Sumerian Origins and Ancient DNA

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8m Jan 30, 2021

In this episode we bring you the origins of the Sumerians with none other than the geneticist Razib Khan.

In this episode Mr. Khan explains passionately that if we could genetically type any ancient People, he would choose the Sumerians. Why? Because these are arguably the first historic nation. The first self-conscious ethnic group which operated by the rules which we define as the fundamentals of literate civilization. Strangely, they are an ethno-linguistic isolate.

He goes on to explain what the term ethno-linguistic isolate means and how it applies to these ancient peoples, who even though they interacted with their neighbors stood apart from their Semitic neighbors like the Akkadians until later they became absorbed entirely through military and cultural conquests but that their legacy stays with us today in various forms including how we tell time.

He goes on to explain what his original model was for the origins of the Sumerians and how it changed over time and why?

What does his current model tell us about the Sumerians and their origins and foundation within ancient Mesopotamia?

Why are we struggling to genetically type populations in modern Iraq and Iran? How has Covid 19 made studying ancient history and peoples harder?

And finally, Mr. Khan hits us with his predictions of what we will learn the next decade when it comes to ancient DNA studies.

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Website: https://razib.substack.com/

Razib Khan: https://www.razib.com/bio/wordpress/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/razibkhan

Original Article discussed: https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/ancient-dna-and-sumerians

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