DNA Study: Ancient Phoenicians Still With Us

Phoenician blood in North Africa, MidEast
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 8:40 AM CDT
DNA Study: Ancient Phoenicians Still With Us
Researchers have found 3,000-year-old Phoenician DNA in the blood of men who live in Lebanon, Israel and other parts of the Mediterranean.   (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

The Phoenicians may have disappeared as a distinct society a few thousand years ago, but it turns out their imprint remains very much alive today. Genetic researchers have discovered the DNA of the seafaring civilization in the blood of men—as many as 1 in 17— who live today in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, North Africa, and islands in the Mediterranean, National Geographic reports.

"By the time of the Romans they more or less disappeared from history, and little has been known about them since," said the lead researcher. "Our motivation was to really identify their genetic traces." The study could offer insights into the genetic impact of other ancient human migrations as well.
(More Phoenicians stories.)

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