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Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0500051788
ISBN-10: 050005178X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An interesting account of the peopling of Europe that attempts to integrate archaeology, history, and linguistics with the latest genetic evidence. . . . Recommended.” (Choice)

“The armchair route to uncovering the mysteries of who we really are.” (Woman Around Town)

“Richly illustrated . . . this highly readable volume outlines a new paradigm in European archaeology and pre-history and tackles the central question of the meaning of European identity, genetic and cultural.” (ProtoView)

About the Author

Jean Manco is a building historian who trained within an archaeological unit and applies an interdisciplinary approach to her work. She is also the author of Blood of the Celts.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1 edition (October 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 050005178X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500051788
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Wheaton on February 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
First off this book is not for those looking for a significant treatment of their particular Y DNA or mtDNA. This book will however educate you on the broad movements of Y and mtDNA in Europe. It is also not for someone looking for simplistic answers to very complex questions.

This book is absolutely incredible in the way it takes a multidisciplinary approach to the Peopling of Europe and presents it in a way that is both compelling and understandable to the lay person. It draws heavily on the latest research in linguistics, history, archeology, anthropology and DNA to weave the tale of human migrations and settlement in Europe. Its wonderful maps, charts and illustrations provide excellent illustration for the material presented. I very much appreciate that the author presents different viewpoints and gives us a thorough background of how ideas have changed over time.

Although new research will certainly impact the evidence presented here, unlike another reviewer I do not see that this book will become quickly obsolete. As a genetic genealogist interested in ancient origins this book places genetics into the broader context of history and geography. I am grateful to the author for taking so much information and bringing it together so that those from different perspectives can see what each discipline brings to the table in helping us to understand the migrations of our ancient ancestors.

Perhaps I am influenced by my own belief that anything to do with humans is complicated. I happen to agree with the author that any one single migration is less likely than lots of smaller ones over time and sometimes getting to the same place via very different routes.

The Notes and Bibliography are particularly impressive. This is an exceedingly well researched book presented with all the rigors of an academic textbook but accessible for any one with a keen interest in the subject. Bravo!
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Format: Hardcover
First, let me say that I am not an expert in any of the fields relevant to this book - I'm a retired biochemist, so the genetics is quite comprehensible to me, but I have no training in population genetics. It doesn't seem to be mentioned in the book or on amazon, but the author has a website called ancestraljourneys.org, which is a supplement to the book. If you are considering buying it, you can get a good idea what the book is like by looking at the site, and it has updated tables of ancient DNA results which are very useful if you are interested in this. As the author makes clear in the book, some hypotheses about ancient Europe that have prevailed for a long time are being overturned by ancient DNA results, and even some population geneticists are still publishing papers arguing for models that are completely inconsistent with ancient DNA typing results.

The author has some training relevant to archaeology, and she has followed this very big topic of the pre-history of Europe for a long time, taking notes on the developments in archaeology, linguistics, population genetics, climate science, etc. that are relevant. I found the book very worthwhile for someone like me who recently got interested in genetic genealogy and past population movements. I have read a number of research papers in the pertinent population genetics, but I needed a broad overview, especially of fields like archaeology, where I know much less. Manco does probably as good a job at this as any non-specialist could. Unlike another reviewer, I thought the book was pretty well written, but there are some shortcomings of organization. It seems that topics are introduced at a point in the narrative that doesn't make sense - the tsunami that inundated Doggerland in ~6100 B.C.
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Format: Kindle Edition
//Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings// by Jean Manco is an exciting new book that deals with the most recent data and theory around the peopling of Europe. For a book that came about almost by accident, its content is pretty incredible.

It’s long been held that European populations were mostly static, but the latest genetic, archaeological, and linguistic evidence says otherwise. This paradigm-shifting work reveals the flaws in previous theories, mainly concerning migration, using ancient DNA, genetics, and language to change our understanding of the European gene pool.

What is most likeable about this book is the author’s voice. Science, especially the explanation of genetics and mtDNA versus aDNA, is particularly prone to dry writing. Not so with Jean Manco. Her enthusiasm for the topic is infectious and she has a way of drawing the reader in, or maybe back is the more correct term, sharing the zeal for discovery of the movement of people in ancient times. It just goes to show that people are people, and history can always surprise you.

--Review also provided to portlandbookreview.com
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Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary book in it's scope and ambition. This is exactly the kind of book I am after, namely a book that changes your understanding about the key markers of our civilization. Perhaps unavoidably there are too many names, cultures and genetic nomenclatures. Yet you come out on the other side of the engaging read with an unexpected view of the human itinerary. This is a heroic achievement for the author. I very much recommend this precious volume.
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