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.
My maternal 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.
My paternal ancestors left Africa and moved north through western and Central Asia. They then turned west and crossed the grasslands of southern Russia into Europe. There, they eventually drove the Neanderthals to extinction, though they did interbreed with them. Living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, my early ancestors set the stage for later European history.