Study of ancient DNA backs theory of massive steppe migration to Europe some 4,500 years ago

Scientists say ancient DNA samples indicate massive migration to Europe from the east took place some 4,500 years ago.

The findings support the theory that some Indo-European languages, such as Germanic and Slavic, were introduced by people from the steppe.

Researchers from Europe, the United States and Australia analyzed the DNA of 69 people who lived between 8,000 and 3,000 years ago. According to their research, published Monday in the journal Nature, genes from the Yamnaya who lived north of the Black and Aral Seas appeared in what is now northern Germany some four-and-one half millennia ago.

The researchers say since major language replacements are believed to require large-scale migration, the huge influx of ancient steppe DNA still in many present-day Europeans could account for the rise of Indo-European languages.