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Eupedia Ancient Ethnicities Analyzer

Author: Maciamo Hay.

Ancient Ethnicities Analyzer

How does it work?

A lot of DNA testing companies purport to reveal your ancestral genetic make-up. In the best cases they will be able to identify your recent ancestry (in the last few centuries) somewhat accurately. In the worst cases, the ancestry report will be wildly inaccurate and all but useless. Unless someone has very mixed recent ancestry and would like to know approximately how much they inherited from each side, these ancestry reports won't tell you much about your ancient roots. What a lot of people are interested in is to know who were their ancestors 1000, 2000 or even 5000 years ago. This is now possible thanks to ancient DNA testing, also known as archaeogenetics or paleogenetics. Thousands of skeletons ranging from the Stone Age to a few centuries ago have had their DNA retrieved and analysed by geneticists, notably at the David Reich Lab at Harvard University and at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

For many years, ancient ancestry could only be fathomed through Y-chromosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA, uniparental markers which only give a very partial picture about one's ancestry. The ideal way of tracing back one's ancestry on all 23 pairs of chromosomes would be to compare one's genome with that of all ancient genomes sequenced to date. But that would require significant computing power and could take weeks to complete. A more efficient approach is to calculate genetic admixtures for each ancient sample, then compare these admixtures with that of present-day individuals. It initially takes hundreds of hours to compute the admixtures for the thousands of ancient samples available. But once it is done, comparing one's genome to these admixtures only takes a few seconds. For this purpose we used the Dodecad K12b admixture calculator, developed by a Harvard geneticist.

Yet, comparing one's genomes to thousands of ancient samples is not very convenient, nor is it very reliable because of sometimes important interpersonal variations within a same population. To get a clearer picture of each ancient population at a give place in time and space (e.g. Neolithic Britons, Minoan Greeks, Iron Age Gauls, Viking-age Danes), we calcuated the average ("modal") admixture values for each population, as reported in the genomic analysis of archeogenetic samples.

Anyone who has tested their genome can compare their own admixture with the ancient population modals below.


  • 1. You should first get your Dodecad K12b percentages. You can obtain them by running your DNA's raw data either on GEDmatch or Admixture-Studio.
    • 1.A With GEDmatch, click on 'Admixture (heritage)', then select Dodecad and Admixture Proportions (With link to Oracle). Enter your kit number, select the calculator Dodecad K12b and press Continue. Copy your percentages in the right order separated by commas (no space in between).
    • 1.B With Admixture-Studio, download the application. It's very easy to use. Just unzip the file, run AdmixtureStudio.exe, upload your genome, select Dodecad K12b in the list, and click Run . Once it has finished calculating, click on the tab Table just above the results, then on Copy only values. In a text editor (like Notepad in Windows), add a comma between each value.

How to use Admixture-Studio

How to use Admixture-Studio

  • 2. Go to Vahaduo Dodecad K12b, delete the source coordinates (Ctrll+A to select, then backspace) and replace it by the coordinates of the period of your choice below. Just copy and paste the text. You can of course combine different periods, but it makes more sense to compare the percentage of DNA shared with populations that live around the same time.
  • 3. In target, paste your Dodecad K12b coordinates (from step 1), with your name in front separated by a comma (just like in the coordinates you just copied and pasted in the previous step). Click on Distance, then Run to see the closest match with an entire ancient population. You may obtain better results in Single or 2Way to see the potential mix of your ancestral populations.

You can also create your own PCA map using any Dodecad K12b coordinates (ancient, modern, your own) to visualize the distance between various populations.

Genetic admixtures (Dodecad K12b) of Epipaleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Chalcolithic populations

Dodecad K12b coordinates: Epipaleolithic to Chacolithic

Genetic admixtures (Dodecad K12b) of Bronze Age populations

Dodecad K12b coordinates: Bronze Age

Genetic admixtures (Dodecad K12b) of Iron Age populations

Dodecad K12b coordinates: Iron Age & Early Antiquity

Dodecad K12b coordinates: Late Antiquity & Middle Ages


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