Welcome to the launch of my monthly blog post about the research behind my books. Allow me to begin with an apologetic….
The twenty-first century is a precarious time to write novels set in any prehistoric era. The development of archaeogenetics and genetic anthropology has sent many cherished theories to the boneyard. (Pardon the pun, but I absolutely love puns!) Nonetheless, I’m delighted to have this relatively new science available to shed light on our ancient past.
As part of my research for this novel and its sequel, I had my DNA tested, and I also talked my 89-year-old father into having his done.
My DNA test revealed some expected results: Scots/British, Irish, Eastern European, a touch of Native American and European Jewish, but also some unexpected results: Melanesian and Scandinavian. My father’s test showed some DNA from the Caucasus, and that certainly fit in with one of the groups I’m writing about — Proto-Indo-European speakers who, within the timeline of my novel, had just begun their first few forays into Europe from the area of the Caucasus and Black Sea. They brought with them not only their Proto-Indo-European language (the parent language of most European languages) but also their DNA — one of the most common Y-DNA subclades (passed down from father to son) of modern Europeans, R1b.
The photo below is of my family — Mom and Dad and us five kids. I’m at the far left. You can see, like many families today, we are a very genetically diverse group!!
So tell me about your heritage. Have you had your DNA tested? If not, is that on your bucket list? Or is it something you’d prefer not to do?