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Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings Hardcover – 9 Sep 2013
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Useful for anyone interested in DNA research ... It employs DNA evidence both critically and effectively. --Who Do You Think You Are?
An academic but accessible study of our earliest ancestors and their movements. --Your Family Tree
This lively account of the kaleidoscopic shifting of European demographics skillfully interweaves archaeology, history, linguistics, and the latest genetic research. --Current Archaeology
A well-organised, well-presented, and consistently interesting book. --The Historical Association online
Enjoyably combines details of the latest advances in genetics with archaeology, history and linguistics ... If you're interested in genetic genealogy and considering tracing your ancestry through DNA testing, this book will be invaluable. --Family Tree
A skilful synthesis of the latest research. --Current Archaeology
Well informed ... The genetic detail, excellent maps and 29-page bibliography will appeal to many. --British Archaeology
An important work. --BBC Focus
An important work. --BBC Focus
About the Author
Jean Manco is a building historian who trained within an archaeological unit and applies an interdisciplinary approach to her work. She is also the author of Blood of the Celts.
Top customer reviews
I think this book would be equally good as an overview for someone not yet familiar with the field of population genetics or the origin of the people of Europe, and as a deskside reference to European DNA for someone more familiar with the field.
The illustrations are very skilfully placed and referenced in the text, not distracting as in some books. Well done to the editor who laid all that out.
This book makes going to primary sources easy, with everything footnoted.
The book passed my two toughest tests: I spotted only one misprinted word, and the minefield of my own complicated Y-DNA haplogroup is negotiated judiciously; in fact, it is such a good description that I will probably start quoting it.
The whole book is written in an executive summary style, with short sentences usually stating only one fact. What a pleasure to read, compared to academic papers. But the text is not dumbed-down, such as by calling haplogroups by names like "Rory" or "Helen". All the correct detail is there, even if it is smoothed out for quicker reading. An example is replacing the non-self-descriptive term "Younger Dryas" with "big freeze." I like that.
I was very pleased to find out that Ms Marco has managed to present information in such a way that if you want to ponder individual haplogroups you can, but what it all leads to is the focus of the story. Her ability to clearly tell you what we know of our past from the Stone Age to basically 1 000 AD is extremely impressive. The Support through the book of a large number of maps are also first class.
Having read this book a huge number of question marks have been lifted from my understanding of our ancient past but also a number of new ones have arrived that begs to be answered. I do hope there will be an update of this book every five or ten years since the science of DNA analysis are taking such great leaps forward. We might actually be able to tell where these Basques came from!
The work indicates that waves of mass movement rather than population continuity in prehistoric and early historic times lay behind the formation of the various peoples and nations of Europe.
This is backed up by a recent Oxford University genetic map by Sir Walter Bodmer snd Mark Robinson which shows a heavy Germanic influence from Yorkshire to the south coast and Dorset to Kent. Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall have different genetic clusters. It seems that Bede's famous account of the coming of the Saxons was correct after all!
Well worth the price.