Skip to comments.Minoan civilization was made in Europe
Posted on 05/14/2013 12:29:08 PM PDT by Renfield
When the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans discovered the 4,000-year-old Palace of Minos on Crete in 1900, he saw the vestiges of a long-lost civilization whose artefacts set it apart from later Bronze-Age Greeks. The Minoans, as Evans named them, were refugees from Northern Egypt who had been expelled by invaders from the South about 5,000 years ago, he claimed.
Modern archaeologists have questioned that version of events, and now ancient DNA recovered from Cretan caves suggests that the Minoan civilization emerged from the early farmers who settled the island thousands of years earlier....
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
"...It is likely, says Stamatoyannopoulos, that the Minoans descended from Neolithic populations that migrated to Europe from the Middle East and Turkey...."
If the island had been long-settled by that time, a major migration from Egypt would have been unwelcome, but a few skilled craftsmen would have been accepted. They would have changed Minoan technology while not affecting Minoan genetics to a significant degree.
Ping for later
If the Minoans had come from Egypt, wouldn't they have spoken Egyptian? They could have had scribes keeping records with Egyptian hieroglyphs instead of inventing their own writing system.
Place names on Crete suggest that the people living there in the Bronze Age were similar to those of mainland Greece during the Early Bronze Age (before the "Greek-speakers" invaded). There are also similar names in Asia Minor so possibly the Minoans were related to some of the early Anatolian populations.
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Thanks Renfield. In recent years some cracks have started to show in Evans' overblown reputation.
The PCA analysis also highlights the high affinity of the Minoans to the current inhabitants of the Lassithi plateau as well as Greece. Among the top 10 nearest neighbours to our Minoan population sample, four are Greek populations and two of these from Lassithi prefecture (Fig. 5). The close relationship of the Minoans to modern Cretans is also apparent, when analysis is restricted to populations originating from Greece (Fig. 6b). Particularly in respect to the first PCA (capturing 92% of the variance of this particular subset of the data), the Minoans are extremely close to the modern Lassithi population, the populations from the islands of Chios and Euboea, as well as the populations of Argolis and Lakonia (Southern Greece ) (Fig. 6b). Thus, the modern inhabitants of the Lassithi plateau still carry the maternal genetic signatures of their ancient predecessors of the Minoan population.
The Minoan mtDNA haplotypes resembled those of the European populations (Figs 2b, 3a and 4; Supplementary Figs S1S3). The majority of Minoans were classified in haplogroups H (43.2%), T (18.9%), K (16.2%) and I (8.1%). Haplogroups U5A, W, J2, U, X and J were each identified in a single individual. The greatest percentage of shared Minoan haplotypes was observed with European populations. Notably, in Fig. 4, a gradient can be observed, with the lowest affinity for Minoans found with Northern African populations and the percentage of haplotype sharing increasing as we move through the Middle East, Caucasus and the Mediterranean islands, southern Europe and mainland Europe (Fig. 4a). Of notice also is the high percentage of haplotype sharing with Bronze Age (Fig. 4c) and Neolithic (Fig. 4d) European populations.
DNA Sheds Light On Minoans
Kathimerini | 4-4-2008
Posted on 04/04/2008 8:02:26 AM PDT by blam