Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Half of all Western European men are descendants of a Bronze Age "king" who lived 4,000 years ago
That's according to the largest ever study of global genetic variation in the Y chromosome. Researchers believe that the "monarch" was one of the earliest people to rule Europe in the Stone Age. His identity remains a mystery, but scientists believe that he fathered a group of "nobles" who then spread across Europe. They brought with them advances in technology such as metal work and wheeled transport. Dr Chris Tyler-Smith, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: "Genetics can't tell us why it happened but we know that a tiny number of elite males were controlling reproduction and dominating the population. Half of the European population is descended from just one man. We can only speculate as to what happened. The best explanation is that they may have resulted from advances in technology that could be controlled by small groups of men."