From Science Daily: Genetics Confirm Oral Traditions Of Druze In Israel.
DNA analysis of residents of Druze villages in Israel suggests these ancient religious communities offer a genetic snapshot of the Near East as it was several thousands of years ago.
The Druze harbor a remarkable diversity of mitochondrial DNA types or lineages that appear to have separated from each other many thousands of years ago, according to a new study by multinational team, led by researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Rappaport School of Medicine.
But instead of dispersing throughout the world after their separation, the full range of lineages can still be found within the small, tightly knit Druze population.
Technion researcher Karl Skorecki noted that the findings are consistent with Druze oral tradition suggesting the adherents came from diverse ancestral lineages "stretching back tens of thousands of years." The Druze represent a "genetic sanctuary" or "living relic" that provides a glimpse of the genetic diversity of the Near East in antiquity, the researchers write in the May 7th issue of the journal PLoS ONE.
But there is a modern twist to their story: [continue]