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 were part of an out-of-Africa migration that took them into the lands that would become the Fertile Crescent. Though at first they were nomads, they eventually become some of the earliest farmers. Developing settled agriculture led to cultural changes that have been linked to early art, textiles, and religion.