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'However in the last 1,500 years Egypt became more genetically African, whereas the ancient Egyptians showed almost no sub-Saharan African ancestry and high affinity to ancient Near Eastern and European populations.'The team sampled 151 mummified individuals from the archaeological site of Abusir el-Meleq, along the Nile River in Middle Egypt.Recent advances in the study of ancient DNA present an intriguing opportunity to test existing understandings of Egyptian history using the ancient genetic data.The team sampled 151 mummified individuals from the archaeological site of Abusir el-Meleq, along the Nile River in Middle Egypt.In total, the authors recovered mitochondrial genomes from 90 individuals, and genome-wide datasets from three individuals.Ancient Egyptians likely had a more diverse genetic heritage because it was once one of the world's biggest trading hubs.

The study also found that modern Egyptians share more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians did.

This is likely the reason that ancient Egyptians had such a diverse genetic heritage, the authors, from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, said.'The population history of Egypt is complex because it is found at the ispus of Africa, the gateway to a continent, and has seen much historical turnover,' Max Planck Director for the Science of Human History and study lead author Professor Johannes Krause told Mail Online.'Ancient Egypt in the 1millenium BC had been dominated by many foreign powers.

The team's research involved unravelling the genetic history of Egyptians by comparing DNA samples taken from both modern and ancient natives.

They found that ancient Egyptians were closely related to ancient populations in the Levant - now modern day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon.

They were also genetically similar to Neolithic populations from the Anatolian Peninsula and Europe.

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