For Christmas two years ago, my wife bought me a test kit from the Genographic Project, sponsored by National Geographic. The purpose of the project is to track the migratory history of humans through the study of genetic data. After I received the kit, I quickly (and nervously) followed the instructions, scraping the insides of my cheeks, placing the specimen into the supplied test tube, being careful not to get any foreign matter into the specimen. The last thing I wanted was to get the test results back and learn that I had descended from a long line of Golden Retrievers.
At least once a day I’d log on to the Genographic website which tracked the progress of my test. Looking back on it, I honestly don’t know what type of results I was expecting. I knew that all of my known ancestors were Germanic, but I also knew that mankind has a very transient history. When the results were finally posted, I was shocked to learn that my deep ancestors originated in Siberia 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. This genectic mutation also contains the people who migrated over Beringia, the land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska. These people eventually became the native peoples of North and South America.
I think I sat reading and re-reading this information for a half hour. How could this be? What about my blue eyes and the blond hair I had as a kid? No matter what scenario I used, I couldn’t make this information work. I don’t think I completely dismissed the information, but the possibility of a “bad” test result seemed pretty real at that point. Maybe I did get some dog hair into the sample.
Recently, I found Dr. David Faux’s website which I think states a very solid case for the possible genetic link between the Viking era Norse and the Central Asians which could include such groups as the Scythians, the Huns, and the Mongols. At 42 pages, there’s a lot of information supporting his theory.
Obviously I’m not a geneticist, a linguist, an archaeologist, or even a historian, but Dr. Faux’s theory at least helps me connect some dots. If true, the story of the migration of my ancestors becomes absolutely fascinating.