Modern Europeans ‘can trace their heritage to just three tribes over last 10,000 years’ study claims

There may also be a genetic explanation for your caffeine obsession

<p>Modern Europeans can trace their heritage to three tribes in the last 10,000 years.</p>

Modern Europeans can trace their heritage to three tribes in the last 10,000 years.

Modern Europeans can trace their heritage to just three “tribes over the last 10,000 years, according to a new ancestry study. Whether you are overweight, sleep well or like coffee could all be down to having genes from the hunter-gatherer, Steppe sheepherder or Anatolian farmer tribe.

From physique to health and lifestyle, interbreeding moulded the characteristics we see in ourselves today. Tall stature with a strong build, wider hips and waist indicates Steppe ancestry. High cholesterol is also more common in this group, while it tends to be lower in individuals carrying genes from hunter-gatherers.

Senior author Professor Luca Pagani, of the University of Padova in Italy, said: “Our results show the ancient populations were differentiated enough to contribute their own signature to the physiology and appearance of contemporary Europeans.” They were separated for thousands of years and evolved in different directions, creating mass movements then led to them breeding with each other, shaping most of our genetic make-up.

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