Scientists have found the origin of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

Ученые выяснили происхождение минойцев и микенцев

The heroes of the Iliad and myths of Ancient Greece were close relatives of the ancient inhabitants of Turkey and Iran.

The first European civilization – the Minoans from the island of Crete and the Mycenaeans from the South of mainland Greece is genetically similar to the population of Asia Minor, the Caucasus and Iran. In addition, the Mycenaeans were the owners of the genes of hunter-gatherers from Eastern Europe and Siberia. About the study of German geneticists reported in the journal Nature, reports N+1.

About the middle of the fourth Millennium BC on Crete arose the Minoan culture – the first advanced civilization in Europe. The Minoans were the first Europeans who invented writing. They worked bronze, made pottery and built multi-storey palaces with running water and sanitation.

They had centralized the city-States, each of which was the king. Subsequently, this polity was borrowed from the Greek mainland. The Cretans, apparently, was a skilled mariners: they traded with Egypt, mainland Greece, Cyprus, Mesopotamia.

City on Crete was washed away by the tsunami that struck the North coast after the eruption of the Santorini volcano about 1645-1500 years BC. The Minoan civilization existed at least a century, but in the end, the island was conquered by the Mycenaeans came from mainland Greece.

The Mycenaeans borrowed from the inhabitants of Crete state device, writing, mural painting and maybe the principles of shipbuilding. They founded several cities, which developed into city-States, particularly Athens, Sparta and Thebes.

Unlike the Cretans, the Mycenaeans were a warlike people, they became heroes of Homer’s poems – the Achaeans, who conquered Troy. After the Mycenaeans conquered Crete and colonized nearby Islands, they became a major force in the region. But about the 1200-1100 BC the Mycenaean civilization went into decline.

Until now, scientists had not been clear who were the Minoans and the Mycenaeans at the origin. The Minoan script (linear a) decoding still failed, so linguistic evidence of the origin of the Minoans is not yet available.

The authors of the new study took DNA otsenival 19 representatives of the ancient Mediterranean: the Minoans, who lived in the period 4900-3700 years ago, the Mycenaeans from mainland Greece and Crete (the age of the remains – 3700-3200 years) and residents of South-Western Anatolia (modern Turkey).

In addition, researchers have used published DNA sequence 332 of the ancient inhabitants of the Mediterranean, Iran, the Caucasus, Anatolia and the Eastern European steppe, and 2600 genomes of modern Europeans (including Cretans) and the inhabitants of Western Asia.

In the result, geneticists have found that both the Minoans and the Mycenaeans were genetically similar to Neolithic people of Anatolia, and immigrants from the East: from the Caucasus and from the territory of modern Iran.

The analyzed genomes in 62-86% match the DNA of the Neolithic people of Anatolia, and 9-32% were “Eastern” component. In addition, the Mycenaeans were genetically similar to hunter-gatherers from Eastern Europe and Siberia.

Earlier, Indian geophysicists and archaeologists in the new study gave evidence that Indian civilization may be the oldest in the world.