The itinerary is being planned – and I am carrying DNA kits with me.
What do Genevieve von Petzinger, Jean Manco and Alex Shoumatoff all have in common? Their stories about art, humanity and life all contributed to the itinerary of the trip. Along with these decades of the travels and research of Dai and me we take our hopefully Ancient DNA tour – with or without DNA. All the DNA here belogs to all of us who have any European ancestry – it is just how much – and when, and how, can you prove it.
We have all been here before – just visiting home – one way or another from one time or another – visit with pedigree collapse in mind. From Alex Shoumatoff’s, The Mountain Of Names:
“…The mathematics of descent has fascinated many people. “If we could go back and live again in all of our two hundred and fifty million arithmetical ancestors of the eleventh century,” Henry Adams wrote in 1904 of those with Norman-English blood, “we should find ourselves doing many surprising things, but among the rest we should certainly be ploughing most of the fields of the Contentin and Calvados; going to mass in every parish church in Normand y; rendering military service to every lord, spiritual or temporal, in all this region; and helping to build the Abbey Church at MontSaint- Michel.” And, more recently, the sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson has written, “The gene pool from which one modern Briton has emerged spreads over Europe, to North Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. The individual is an evanescent combination of genes drawn from this pool, one whose hereditary material will soon be dissolved back into it.”
The genetic consequences of distant-cousin marriage are negligible. Only “relatively recent consanguinity . . . is pertinent,” Cavalli-Sforza and Bodmer explain in “The Genetics of Human Populations.”…”
We hope one day SNPs will link the past to the future.
We are taking Jean Manco’s work with us and I hope – hope – hope I will be able to locate some sequenced y-DNA and or mt-DNA for our families to visit a place or two. Of, course, over time, every haplogroup and so someone of the family of every ancestor would have lived everywhere.
And the work of Razib Khan and Insitome
For the plan of which cave to see and why – we are also following the work of the one and only Ice-Age Art expert Genevieve von Petzinger.
The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols
We have her book in hand and are ready for our senior-age tour
Preparing for this journey is far different from both our past decades of being posted as journalists overseas. But then we both were younger, and today we are going to, at least try to, make the trip prepared for the expected and unexpected.
Years gone by the transformer/converters were enormous and I certainly carried my own with not just two different currents but some trip with multiple different sockets and currents and cycles.
From eras gone past in our own lives to the multiple eras of our ancestors.