What if all Europeans were Belgians?
At any event, this is the question that has been raised in light of the conclusions of a new DNA study whose results were published last May in the respected scientific journal 'Nature'. In effect, the study suggests that all native Europeans may have Belgian origins, since the Ice Age!
The previous DNA study, carried out by Professor David Reich and his colleagues from Harvard University, found that the first humans arrived in Europe 45,000 years ago, leading to the demise of the Neanderthals.
This study is the largest ever carried out into the origins of Palaeolithic humans, and used 51 DNA samples from native European homo sapiens dating from 45,000 to 7,000 BC and from all over Europe. To analyse the various layers of DNA in the samples, Professor Reich's team used genome editing, which consists of a molecular biology technique to modify the genome in question with specific enzymes acting as molecular scissors. As such, the study revealed that all the populations living in Europe 37,000 years ago appeared to have a common denominator: their Belgian origins! That's right, they all appear to come from a small region whose present-day location corresponds to Belgium.
The study also suggests that there were three major European migratory periods at the end of the Ice Age, and that climate change had a direct link to these major migrations that left from Spain, Turkey and Greece and travelled towards the north of the continent.