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Ancient migration and the modern genome – Nature Reviews Genetics

Prehistoric humans underwent three major migration events across Eurasia, influencing the genetic diversity of present-day Europe. These include the arrival of hunter-gatherers approximately 45,000 years ago, the expansion of Neolithic farmers from the Middle East around 11,000 years ago, and the rise of animal husbandry when steppe pastoralists migrated from the Pontic Steppe approximately 5,000 years ago. Each of these events represents a crucial period in human history that has shaped the genetic diversity observed in present-day Europe, although specific genetic and demographic details remain poorly characterized. Now, a series of four papers published in Nature provide insights into the genomic history of European populations using data obtained from ancient DNA.