Karin Bojs grew up in a small, broken family. At her mother's funeral she felt this more keenly than ever. As a science journalist she was eager to learn more about herself, her family and the interconnectedness of society. After all, we're all related. And in a sense, we are all family.
My European Family tells the story of Europe and its people through its genetic legacy, from the first wave of immigration to the present day, weaving in the latest archaeological findings. Karin goes deep in search of her genealogy; by having her DNA sequenced she was able to trace the path of her ancestors back through the Viking and Bronze ages to the Neolithic and beyond into prehistory, even back to a time when Neanderthals ran the European show. Travelling to dozens of countries to follow the story, she learns about early farmers in the Middle East and flute-playing cavemen in Germany and France, and a whole host of other fascinating characters.
This book looks at genetics from a uniquely pan-European perspective, with the author meeting dozens of geneticists, historians and archaeologists in the course of her research. The genes of this seemingly ordinary modern European woman have a truly fascinating story to tell, and in many ways it is the true story of Europe. At a time when politics is pushing nations apart, this book shows that, ultimately, our genes will always bind us together.
Introduction: The Funeral
PART 1: THE HUNTERS
Chapter 1 : The Troll Child: 54,000 Years Ago
Chapter 2 : Neanderthals in Leipzig
Chapter 3 : The Flute Players
Chapter 4 : First on the Scene in Europe
Chapter 5 : Mammoths in Brno
Chapter 6 : Cro-Magnon
Chapter 7 : The First Dog
Chapter 8 : Doggerland
Chapter 9 : The Ice Age Ends
Chapter 10 : Dark Skin, Blue Eyes
Chapter 11 : Climate and Forests
Chapter 12 : Am I a Sami?
Chapter 13 : Pottery Makes its Appearance
Chapter 14 : The Farmers Arrive
PART 2: THE FARMERS
Chapter 15 : Syria
Chapter 16 : The Boat to Cyprus
Chapter 17 : The First Beer
Chapter 18 : The Farmers ' Westward Voyages
Chapter 19 : The Homes Built on the Graves of the Dead
Chapter 20 : Clashes in Pilsen and Mainz
Chapter 21 : Sowing and Sunrise
Chapter 22 : Farmers Arrive in Skane
Chapter 23 : Otzi the Iceman
Chapter 24 : The Falbygden Area
Chapter 25 : Hunters' and Farmers' Genes
PART 3: THE INDO-EUROPEANS
Chapter 26 : The First Stallion
Chapter 27 : DNA Sequences Provide Links with the East
Chapter 28 : Battleaxes
Chapter 29 : Bell Beakers, Celts and Stonehenge
Chapter 30 : The Nebra Sky Disc in Halle
Chapter 31 : The Rock Engravers
Chapter 32 : Iron and the Plague
Chapter 33 : Am I a Viking?
Chapter 34 : The Mothers
Chapter 35 : The Legacy of Hitler and Stalin
The Tree and the Spring
Questions and Answers about DNA
References, Further Reading and Travel Tips
Meticulous, up-to-date, and never tedious, [Bojs] draws from hundreds of scientific results to create a broad-brush picture of human evolution, showing us how DNA research is revolutionizing our knowledge of the past. * Wall Street Journal *An extraordinary book ... part travel narrative, part family history, part scientific study. * Financial Times *A rich, detailed and beautifully-written answer to the question 'how did we get here?' My European Family is a vital and timely exploration of the genetic, social and cultural threads that connect and unite us. -- Kat Arney, science broadcaster and author of Herding Hemingway's Cats (2016)Tells the story of all modern Europeans. * New European *
The story of Europe and its people, told through its genetic legacy
Karin Bojs is an author and science journalist. She was head of the science desk at Dagens Nyheter, the leading daily newspaper in Sweden, for nearly two decades. Karin has an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University, and has received several awards, including the 2015 Swedish August Prize for My European Family.
Karin lives in Stockholm on top of a hill with a view over Lake Malaren. She often leaves her apartment for her country house where she keeps honey bees, produces cider and maintains an orchid meadow. During the long, dark Scandinavian winter nights she enjoys dancing the tango.