Why Tuscans do not descend from the Etruscans

15 Guido Barbujani

Why Tuscans do not descend from the Etruscans

€ 3.00
Sunday 30 May 2010 11:00 am
teatro Bolognini 5

Identity is a complex thing, yet many believe that we inherit it from our forebears through their DNA and from the traditions of our land. According to recent studies of the Etruscans conducted at the universities of Ferrara and Florence, the analysis of their DNA showed them to be fairly similar to contemporary Tuscans, but not enough to be considered their direct ancestors, whereas other Italian regions such as Sardinia show clear genetic continuity between past and present inhabitants.
In sum, genetics teach that our species has a complex history of migrations and exchanges, and that the DNA of each one of us is like a mosaic created by a great number of different ancestors. Yet if we go back 60,000 years, we find traces of all of those ancestors in Africa, the land we migrated from.


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Guido Barbujani is professor of Genetics at the University of Ferrara. His work is focused on the genetics of populations and evolutionary biology. In addition to many scientific articles, his publications include, among others: Questione di razza (Mondadori, 2003); L’invenzione delle razze (2006); Europei senza se e senza ma (2008) for Bompiani; with Pietro Cheli Sono razzista ma sto cercando di smettere (2008), and Gli africani siamo noi. Alle origini dell’uomo (2016) for Laterza.

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