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 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.
My paternal ancestors were part of an out-of-Africa migration that took them into the lands between Central and South Asia. The first people to live in these lands were hunters of megafauna like the woolly mammoth. These lands came to be a crossroads for migrating peoples and merchants. Today, their culture reflects this diversity.