DNA studies show that the Iberian population has Central European origins, and several ancient skeletons were North African.
Rabat – Two studies of ancient DNA have shown that North Africans inhabited the Iberian Peninsula long before the Muslim conquest.
The journal Current Biology published a study on the makeup of the Iberian population between 6,000 and 13,000 years ago. The journal Science published a second study on the origins of the population over the past 8,000 years.
The studies proved the presence of North Africans in Iberia from the Bronze Age, when Iberia saw a dramatic genetic shift.
Among the 271 ancient Iberians analyzed, researchers found many had DNA from central Europe, including one man buried in a central Spain Bronze Age site called Castillejo de Bonete. The DNA examination of the man’s 4,400-year-old skeleton showed it was from central Europe.
They also found a 3,500-year-old skeleton of a local Iberian woman.
Researchers discovered that one person buried between 2400 and 2000 B.C. had North African ancestry. After studying the DNA of a woman buried between 2000 and 1600 B.C., the researchers found that she had a North African grandparent.
The results only confirm that the Iberian countries were home to migrants from Central Europe and North Africa.