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In recent years, advances in DNA sequencing technologies have allowed us to merge the science and history. As if they were forensic of antiquity, researchers have been able to follow the trail of the philistines, templars, or soldiers of napoleon thanks to the studies of ancient DNA. Apart from documents and chronicles, are now equipped with a technique that can help them to situate the origin of the peoples or what color were the eyes of some of them.
it is Even possible to go back to the Bronze Age and studying a village appeared in the Bible. A research recently published in “Cell” has analyzed the genome of 73 individuals of the people of the canaanites , who lived to the south of the Middle East in some regions today occupied by Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.
“The populations of the Southern Levant during the Bronze Age were not static,” he said in a press release Liran Carmel , a researcher from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and first author of the work. “Instead, we observed evidence of population movements for long periods of time, since the current Georgia, Armenia and Arzebaiyán, until the Southern Levant”.
The team of Carmel came to these conclusions after studying the genetic material of 73 individuals found in five sites archeological of the region, and which come from the late Bronze Age and a half. In addition, took into account the information collected prior to the analysis to 20 other individuals.
Roots in Iran and the Caucasus
Thanks to this, confirmed that the canaanites, a group that is defined historically and archaeologically, are also a “demographic group”, that can differentiate genetically of others. “The canaanites, though they lived in different cities-state, were culturally and genetically similar,” he explained Liran Carmel.
however, the data also show that the canaanites are descended from a mixture of populations of neolithic settled in the region and of the populations of Iran culture chalcolithic and with peoples of the Caucasus. In fact, the team of Carmel confirmed that, with time, the influence of Iran and the Caucasus was increasing.
as had been suggested by the researchers, this influence would explain why the rulers of the city-states of Canaan during the late Bronze Age, is not had names of semitic , but hurritas.
“there Was a strong and active connection between these regions through movements of population, which helps to understand the elements that share these cultures,” said Shai Carmi, a co-author of the work and researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Influence up to the present
in Addition to go back to the origins of the canaanites, the researchers studied their relationship with the current populations. Although they have not been able to clarify its influence with clarity, yes I have been able to find out that half of the ancestors of many of the residents-jews and arabs in the region, at present, comes from the Caucasus and of the Mountains of Zagros, in Iran.
Liran Carmel has said that next extend your sampling both in space and in time , including the Iron Age, with the aim of investigating the origins of the populations of the other kingdoms of the bible.