Population dynamics and the rise of empires in Inner Asia: Genome-wide analysis spanning 6,000 years in the eastern Eurasian Steppe gives insights to the formation of Mongolia’s empires — ScienceDaily

“Our study of ancient Mongolia reveals not only early genetic contributions from populations on the Western Steppe, but also a marked genetic shift towards eastern Eurasian ancestry during the Mongol Empire. The region has a remarkably dynamic genetic history, and ancient DNA is beginning to reveal the complexity of population events that have shaped the Eurasian Steppe,” says Ke Wang, co-first author of the study and a PhD student at the MPI-SHH.

In addition to the impacts of genetic events on political structures, the researchers also investigated the relationship between genetics and subsistence strategies. Despite more than 5,000 years of dairy pastoralism in the region and the continued importance of dairy in the average Mongolian diet today, researchers found no evidence for the selection of lactase persistence, a genetic trait that allows lactose digestion.

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