I'm getting cabin fever being off work, which means discovering new threads and making over long posts.
I am mildly fascinated by advances in DNA analysis and what it tells us about human migrations in ancient times in particular. They should be teaching this stuff in schools because it really underlines how fairly irrelevant linguistic differences and geographic boundaries are in defining 'a people'. My highlights from my limited novice understanding include:
i) that all modern day native Europeans are essentially a result of interbreeding between native hunter gatherers (the earliest Europeans), farmers who later spread out from Turkey and a later migration from Central Asia. The exceptions we know of are Basques (remained largely isolated and distinct somehow) and Romani (from northern India originally).
ii) that the DNA of ancient peoples from Portugal journeyed to Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland and west Scotland. So there are minor distinctions in some of the genetic origins of different people in the British Isles.
iii) that Polynesians are believed to have originated from ancient indigenous tribes in Taiwan (who still exist today despite the Han migration to the island).
iv) that there are at least 5 key ancient peoples in sub-saharan Africa, that have likely been divergent since before the time of there ever being humans in Europe. So the differences between these five truly ancient groups can be said to be deeper than those between Africans and Europeans. Also, that the only pure homo-sapiens are indigeneous people from sub-Saharan Africa. Everyone else, without exception, has DNA that has mingled with Denisovans (some of Australasia) or Neanderthals (everyone else on the planet)
v) that the distinctive East Asian appearance is a result of ancient peoples settling in Siberia very early on then developing facial features that are better adapted to the cold (smaller noses and ears, protection for the eyelids), before migrating into East and South East Asia.
vi) My favourite. That Native Americans (from East Asia and Siberia) were not the first humans in the Americas at all. It was settled tens of thousands of years earlier by peoples related to those who became the aborigines of Australia. These very early settlers are believed to have made coastal settlements all way up the Pacific rim around the same time as others settled Australia. They then hopped over to Alaska, I think before the last ice age, and traces of them are found down the Pacific Coast of the Americas and down as far as the east coast of Argentina. Indigenous people in the Bolivian jungle have some of this ancient DNA in their system.
Very accessible (but a little dated) further info can be found at:
(All Europeans alive can trace their ancestry back to one of just seven women. In short, as we say in Scotland "We are all Jock Tamson's bairns" (i.e. respect different people)).
And (not currently available)
Dr Alice Roberts tells the story of how humans left Africa to colonise the world.