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Historical Ancestry: an emotional journey to the past

Discover your deepest roots with the historical ancestry report from 24Genetics.

Imagine being able to travel back in time, not just to learn about the world’s history, but to uncover how your own ancestors contributed to shaping it. That’s precisely what we offer with our innovative historical ancestry test. This analysis isn’t just a genetic examination; it’s an open door to living history, an emotional connection with those who came before you.

 

A personal journey to the heart of History

The 24Genetics historical ancestry test invites you on a personal and thrilling journey through the ages. By tracing your origins across eight historical periods, from prehistory to the Middle Ages, this test intimately connects you with the cultures and civilizations that are part of your genetic legacy. It’s a unique exploration that allows you to walk in your ancestors’ footsteps, discovering their worlds, their struggles, and their triumphs.

 

Discover the civilizations in your DNA

The 24Genetics report is an exciting chronicle of your genetic roots. By highlighting the three ancestral cultures with which you have the greatest genetic affinity, the test offers a detailed map of your origins, revealing how your ancestors lived, moved, and mixed in the vast tapestry of human history.

This test goes beyond science; it’s an emotional journey to your roots. By uncovering the civilizations and cultures of your ancestors, you not only better understand your own identity but also feel a deeper, more personal connection to history. It’s an experience that transforms the way you see the world and yourself.

Our historical ancestry test is not just a genetic analysis; it’s an invitation to an emotional journey to your origins. By unraveling the secrets of your DNA, you connect with your ancestors, but also with the civilizations that have shaped the world we live in. It’s a unique opportunity to embrace your heritage and celebrate the rich tapestry of human history that runs through your veins.

 

Science, the basis of our methodology

Want to know more? Here’s a bit of science…

Ancestry, in basic terms, can be defined as everything our ancestors have inherited over time and has reached us today, that is, what connects us with the past and its people. However, ancestry is a much broader concept that encompasses multiple meanings, knowledge, and interpretations. It is of great importance in cultural, religious, or even political aspects, and can significantly influence personal and collective identities. In genetics, these terms have a much more precise definition: your ancestors are the people you are biologically related to, and ancestry refers to the details about these individuals and their genetic connections to you. This reflects how human populations have been moving, connecting, and mixing over time and geography to reach us today. This journey forms our ancestry. Therefore, the study of ancestry can be understood as a great synergy between different areas of knowledge, allowing us to explain the inheritance of our ancestors. For example, archaeology, history, linguistics, and genetics are major pillars in explaining ancestry and being able to contextualize it. From genetics, we can see indications of mixing between populations, but we need knowledge from other areas to shape that result and understand why.

With historical ancestry, what academics call “ancient ancestry”, we refer to populations or individuals who lived in a distant past, often spanning even tens of thousands of years. This involves analyzing current genetic markers and ancient human remains, to understand migratory patterns, genetic diversity, and relationships between ancient populations and today’s humans. The study of historical ancestry allows scientists to better understand the historical migrations and interactions of human groups, as well as the development of certain genetic, social, and cultural traits over time. All of this is what allows us to carry out your historical ancestry analysis.

An important factor to consider when conducting such an analysis is the reference database with which we can compare a person to study their ancestry. This reference must be as large and diverse as possible, including genetic samples from a wide variety of historical periods and geographic origins, to cover the entire human history and its genetic diversity. However, this is much more complicated than it seems, as samples are carefully obtained from the best-preserved archaeological sites, to ensure the highest quality of genetic material to be analyzed. Thus, the creation of these references is limited by the availability of such biological materials. These samples, such as bones or teeth, must be in good condition for DNA to be extracted and analyzed. For this to happen, they must have been maintained over thousands of years in very specific environmental conditions, especially low temperatures and low humidity. That’s why some geographical areas have scarce fossil records compared to others. In addition, contextual information about the archaeological site is crucial for correctly interpreting genetic data. Elements such as remains of materials, ornaments, clothing, tools, and everyday utensils can provide valuable clues about the ethnic group or cultural current to which the individuals may have belonged. This information helps scientists to better understand the historical and cultural context of ancient populations, allowing for a more accurate interpretation of ancestry and genetic relationships over time.

All these samples must undergo a strict treatment protocol in the laboratory to be used. On the one hand, it is necessary to date the samples to know to which historical period they belong. In addition to taking into account the information that can be extracted from the observation of the archaeological site, the samples are subjected in the laboratory to radiocarbon dating or carbon-14, the most used technique to determine the age of archaeological remains. Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope present in organic matter that “disintegrates” over time. By knowing its rate of disintegration, the age of the organism to which the archaeological remains belong can be calculated. On the other hand, given the damage that the extracted genetic material may present due to its age, it goes through a thorough quality control in which ancient DNA is obtained, which is often fragmented and degraded, and proceeds to its sequencing with advanced Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques.

At 24Genetics, applying the above, we have developed the historical ancestry test, with which we achieve a much closer connection between your genetics and the past, being able to trace your genetic history from a much greater depth than other companies in the market. This advanced analysis reveals our connections with the past and also demonstrates how modern science can unravel the mysteries of our genetic heritage.

 

Our Ancestry Test, Step by Step

Now let’s explore in detail how this test is performed, from the collection of DNA samples to the comparison with sequenced archaeological remains.

Collection and Analysis of DNA Samples

Saliva kits and raw data: the process begins with the collection of DNA samples from clients, either through saliva kits received from clients by mail or by uploading their raw genetic data (raw data).

Sample processing: once received, saliva samples are processed in specialized laboratories. DNA is extracted and genotyping is carried out, using precise molecular biology techniques to isolate, purify, and analyze genetic material. All samples go through multiple steps of strict quality control to ensure that they are suitable for analysis and to extract optimal results from them.

Comparison with the DNA of Our Clients

Comparative genetic analysis: your DNA is compared with our historical genetic database. This database includes genetic information from thousands of samples extracted from archaeological remains throughout 8 historical periods spanning more than 40,000 years of human history, from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. In addition, we have hundreds of scientific articles and bibliographic references that give solidity, robustness, and support to our methodology and analysis. We divide the analysis into 8 historical periods to see in detail what genetic similarities we find with the population groups of that stage. If they were combined into a single analysis, the oldest ancestry signals could be diluted in the analysis. However, by using them in a specific study, these data take on the importance they deserve. Our analysis has been divided into eight historical stages: Upper Paleolithic (before 10,000 BC) Mesolithic (from 10,000 to 5,000 BC) Neolithic (from 5,000 to 3,000 BC) Metal Age (from 3,000 to 1,300 BC) Ancient Age (from 1,300 to 500 BC) Classical Antiquity (from 500 BC to 500 AD) High Middle Ages (from 500 to 1,000 AD) Full Middle Ages (from 1,000 to 1,300 AD)

These stages are determined taking into account the beginning of various socio-economic and cultural activities, varying according to the different geographical regions of the world. We have sought the most accurate approximation to global geographic diversity. Depending on the particular geographic region, these stages may have begun or ended earlier or later than the time periods established in our classification.

Algorithms and Statistical Models:

Sophisticated algorithms and statistical models are used to interpret the genetic data. These algorithms can identify specific genetic markers and establish correlations between current DNA and archaeological samples. During the analysis, a comparison of genetic similarities and differences between your DNA and the reference is conducted, establishing the probability of sharing common ancestors with various groups. This is done by comparing your genetic patterns with those of the reference groups. The more similar they are, the higher the likelihood of shared ancestry.

Interpretation of Results and Connection with History

Detailed Report: The result is a comprehensive report that highlights a person’s current genetic connections with various cultures and civilizations throughout history.

Historical and Genetic Perspective:

The report not only provides information about geographical and cultural ancestry but also offers insight into how migrations and the mixing of populations throughout history have influenced your current genome. The result is given in the form of a percentage, reflecting the closeness to your genetics and, therefore, a greater relationship with your ancestors. This means that, for the groups included in our reference, it’s very likely that your ancestors were closely linked to those specific population groups, or with genetic mixtures that included those populations. It’s not a static snapshot of genetic mixing at a given moment, but the result of a continuous and complex process of population mixing over time. These populations have been joining and diversifying due to population movements, giving rise to the current populations and ethnicities. These signals are imprinted in our DNA and are reflected in the results of our analyses, covering from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages, and more recent periods in the sections of geographical and ethnic ancestry of our report.

Historical Ancestry Section of the 24Genetics Ancestor Test:

This section is a fascinating fusion of genomics and archaeology, providing a unique window into the past. This detailed and scientifically rigorous analysis connects us with our ancestors in an emotional and personal way and gives us a deep understanding of how civilizations and cultures of the past have contributed to our genetic diversity. Through this test, we offer you a glimpse into the history of humanity, and we celebrate the incredible genetic journey that each of us has traveled.

 

Our Ancestry Test:

It’s not just a genetic analysis; it’s an exhaustive and multifaceted exploration of our heritage. Through its various sections, which include Geographical Ancestry, Ethnic Ancestry, Historical Ancestry, Maternal and Paternal Haplogroups, and Neanderthal DNA, this test offers the most complete and holistic view that current science can provide about who we are and where we come from.

 

Written by Dr. André Flores Bello

Geneticist

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