My DNA ancestry test revealed that many of the people who consider their ancestry to be in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and coastal Spain, actually originated from the Persian Plateau area of the Middle East, about 25,000 years ago! This northward migration happened as the Ice Age was receding and plants and animals were being domesticated.
That area is largely present day Iran, which sadly is not a safe travel destination these days. So, I decided to become a “virtual tourist”, and found it to be a fascinating destination.
The World Heritage Committee has designated the “Maymand Historical Village” in Iran, as a place of value. It is over 12,000 years old. Locals still are living in the multi level cave dwellings of the “Rocky Village”, which are reminiscent of the “Flintstones” on TV. I see why famous Persian rugs were commonly used here. Un-documented fables in Iran suggest that the biblical “Garden of Eden” was located in the “El-Goli Park” in Tabriz.
(Click photos for full sized view with slideshow)
WikiVoyage Travel Guide – Central Iran is the Plateau area
DNA Genetic Information
The test I used was from 23andMe. Here is some of their information about my paternal Haplogroup line that is pretty generic for many Western Europeans.
R-M269 10,000 years ago, Origin and Migrations of Haplogroup R-M269
Your paternal line stems from a branch of R-M343 called R-M269, one of the most prolific paternal lineages across western Eurasia. R-M269 arose roughly 10,000 years ago, as the people of the Fertile Crescent domesticated plants and animals for the first time. Around 8,000 years ago, the first farmers and herders began to push east into Central Asia and north into the Caucasus Mountains. Some of them eventually reached the steppes above the Black and Caspian Seas. There, they lived as pastoral nomads, herding cattle and sheep across the grasslands, while their neighbors to the south developed yet another crucial technology in human history: bronze smelting. As bronze tools and weaponry spread north, a new steppe culture called the Yamnaya was born.
Around 5,000 years ago, perhaps triggered by a cold spell that made it difficult to feed their herds, Yamnaya men spilled east across Siberia and down into Central Asia. To the west, they pushed down into the Balkans and to central Europe, where they sought new pastures for their herds and metal deposits to support burgeoning Bronze Age commerce. Over time, their descendants spread from central Europe to the Atlantic coast, establishing new trade routes and an unprecedented level of cultural contact and exchange in western Europe.
The men from the steppes also outcompeted the local men as they went; their success is demonstrated in the overwhelming dominance of the R-M269 lineage in Europe. Over 80% of men in Ireland and Wales carry the haplogroup, as do over 60% of men along the Atlantic Coast from Spain to France. The frequency of R-M269 gradually decreases to the east, falling to about 30% in Germany, 20% in Poland, and 10-15% in Greece and Turkey. The haplogroup connects all these men to still others in the Iranian Plateau and Central Asia, where between 5 and 10% of men also bear the lineage.
DNA tests can be interesting to provide deep ancestry information and insights to interesting travel destinations, real or virtual.
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