Krause and Trappe provide a thrilling overview of what the archaeogenetics revolution has taught us about European population history ... Krause and Trappe capture the excitement of this young field. As is inevitable on the bleeding edge of science, some of their claims—for instance, regarding the New World origins of syphilis—already look shaky in the light of new findings. And as they note, the findings of archaeogenetics can be used or abused for a variety of purposes, from medicine to politics. Racists and ethnonationalists ought to find nothing but disappointment in these discoveries. European population history is a story of change—of dynamism, upheaval, mixture, migration, adaptation and, of course, suffering. It is a history we are starting to decode as never before.
... splendid ... The book’s scope is immense ... Readers will find new information, such as the occurrence of plague in Stone Age societies. Krause has firsthand knowledge of this evidence, having performed some of the leading laboratory research in the genetics of human prehistory. Co-author Trappe uses easily understandable language to describe subjects that might otherwise be overly technical or scientific. What makes this book unique among other world histories is its focus on evidence newly acquired from DNA matter, which provides new avenues of understanding the human past ... Scientific yet accessible, this original book offers much insight to readers of European history.
... fascinating ... Krause and Trappe make complicated scientific processes accessible to lay leaders, and offer hope that the ongoing study of ancient genetics and the development of new technologies such as genome editing will help to fight pathogens including Covid-19. The result is a captivating and informative look at the origins and future of humanity.