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Tuesday, October 31, 2006


If you are not already a member of the DNA-ANTHROGENEALOGY Yahoo! group, then I encourage you to check it out. It is very informative, with spirited discussion.

A recent thread involving the genetic makeup of Italy has provided some especially good reading. I don't think anyone will mind if I quote a little bit of it here:

I am going to speak from the perspective of a little remote mountain town called Montemurro in the Province of Potenza. This is in the Val d'Agri on the southern mainland. You do not get there by accident. It is the village of my grandfather's birth, but most importantly I hope to demonstrate the ethnic diversity found here in the example that if it is this diverse in such a remote and rural area, then imagine the implications for the coastal regions and larger cities and towns.

The village itself was rumored to have been founded by Saracens in the 9th century or so. It is definitely known that the Saracens destroyed the neighboring former Roman town of Grumentum in the 10th century and that the people of Grumentum relocated to Montemurro. Let me pause here for just a moment to explain the ethnic composition of Grumentum, which became the root stock of the village of Montemurro. Grumentum was founded in the 3rd century BC by the Romans. We might assume that the local population constituted at least some of the inhabitants. They were Lucani, also known as Lykoi from Anatolia. They had come to Italy in about 1300 BC and settled in the region of Lucania to which they later gave their name.

That bit was written by Dale J. J. Leppard, but the whole discussion is well worth reading.


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