As humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals were still living in Eurasia. It seems our ancestors hit it off, leaving a small trace of these ancient relatives in my DNA.
After leaving Africa, my maternal ancestors traveled inland across Asia. While many of my cousins settled there, my ancestors continued on. They crossed a temporary land bridge that connected Asia and present-day Alaska during the last ice age, settling in the Americas. My cousins are part of the pre-Columbian population in both North and South America.
My paternal ancestors carried farming culture from the region of the Fertile Crescent into Europe. This revolutionized not only the way food was grown but introduced a shift from a nomadic lifestyle to a settled one. Changes to tools, pottery, and weapons may not otherwise have been possible. Thus, my cousins have played an important role in the history of the Fertile Crescent region and of Europe.