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Ancient DNA from medieval Germany tells the origin story of Ashkenazi Jews

Research team analyzed genome-wide data for 33 Jewish individuals from 14th century Erfurt, Germany

Excavating ancient DNA from teeth, an international group of scientists led by Shai Carmi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and David Reich of Harvard University peered into the lives of a once thriving medieval Ashkenazi Jewish community in Erfurt, Germany. The team, including ancient DNA researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, found that the Erfurt Jewish community was more genetically diverse than modern day Ashkenazi Jews.

© Shai Carmi, Hebrew University of Jerusalem