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Half of All Western European Men Are Descendants of a Bronze Age King

It started around 4,000 years ago, a new study says.

(Photo: Qalinx/CC BY 2.0)

Half of men in Western Europe are the descendants of a single Bronze Age ruler, a new study claims, based on genetic research into the Y chromosome of 1,200 men. 

The study was published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics. Its authors told the Telegraph that a single man fathered several elites, who were responsible for an explosion in reproduction some time around 4,000 years ago. 

“We can only speculate as to what happened,” Chris Tyler-Smith told the newspaper. “The best explanation is that they may have resulted from advances in technology that could be controlled by small groups of men.

“Wheeled transport, metal working and organized warfare are all candidate explanations that can now be investigated further,” Tyler-Smith added. 

The Y chromosome is only passed from father to son, making it possible to track how men are related to each other and chart growth over thousands of years. 

Among the study’s other findings is that, throughout history, there have been several mysterious population explosions of men, making for uneven human growth over the last 50,000 years. 

Do we need another explosion in the population of men? I’m going to say no. I don’t think we do