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For the first time, scientists have obtained and analyzed genome sequences from the ancient Minoans and Mycenaeans, who lived three to five thousand years ago and were Europe's first civilized people.

The new analysis suggests that the Minoans and Mycenaeans share a great deal of their genetic heritage, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator David Reich and colleagues report August 2 in the journal Nature. The research adds richness to our understanding of these cultures, which are mostly known from archeology and ancient literature, Reich says.

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