Sci/Tech

Some 7,000 years ago

Basques predate arrival of agriculture in the Iberian Peninsula

03/07/2012

According to Science Daily, Basques share unique genetic patterns that distinguish them from the surrounding non-Basque populations.

  • Basque city of Bilbao. Photo: Alex Cerdeño

    Basque city of Bilbao. Photo: Alex Cerdeño

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The Basque genetic uniqueness predates the arrival of agriculture in the Iberian Peninsula some 7,000 years ago, the Genographic Project announced recently.

Launched by the National Geographic Society, this genetic anthropology study aims to map historical human migration patterns by collecting and analyzing DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.

According to Science Daily, through detailed DNA analysis of samples from the French and Spanish Basque regions, the Genographic team found that Basques share unique genetic patterns that distinguish them from the surrounding non-Basque populations.

Published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, the study also found that the peculiarities that made the Basques unique were also reflected in their language, Euskara, a non-Indo-European language which has been found to be a linguistic isolate, unrelated to any other language in the world.

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