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New Support for an Old Story

About 3,000 years ago, the story goes, the Queen of Sheba left Ethiopia to meet with King Solomon in Israel, and they had a child. Now, says New Scientist's Hannah Krakauer, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's Luca Pagani may be able to show that the meeting may not have taken place entirely in the imaginations of story-tellers. In a new study appearing in the American Journal of Human Genetics, Pagani reports his examination of Ethiopian genomes. He reports having noticed that some had a mix of both African and non-African lineages, Krakauer says. "Delving deeper, Pagani and his colleagues discovered that the non-African genetic components had much more in common with people living in Syria and around the eastern Mediterranean than in the nearer Arabian peninsula," she adds. "What's more, the gene flow probably took place around 3,000 years ago." The story of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon may be a legend, but it may actually represent a real meeting of the populations around that time, Pagani tells New Scientist.

Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study.

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