For decades, genetic research has been an excellent source of information for investigating the history and the origin of human populations. While the archaeologist studies cultural changes in human groups (e.g. a different way of producing ceramic objects) and linguist examines the variation of their languages, in the same manner, the molecular Anthropologist studies the genetic variations that have accumulated to date in the different human populations. These genetic changes, which can be revealed thanks to the DNA analysis techniques, are analyzed using mathematical and statistical models through which it is possible to establish the evolutionary relationship among populations. Molecular Anthropology studies the genetic variation in modern populations and reconstructs their evolutionary history through a neontological approach. Moreover, it studies the genetic variation of ancient people directly by studying the ancient DNA of fossil remains discovered during archaeological excavations.
In order achieve the principal aims of the research, the BIOSTRE project analyzed both the modern populations and the ancient DNA from fossil remains discovered in the region (dated to 6,500 years ago) which date back to the Neolithic period. Genetic analysis has focused on different portions of our genetic heritage. The unilinear systems, Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA,Â and a portion of autosomal genes.
Furthermore, the project compared the genetic results with other data from various sources such as archaeology, linguistics and history andÂ has followed an interdisciplinary approach which is, without doubt, the most fruitful and rigorous in studying the history of human populations.