408 pages, 8 plates with colour & b/w photos and colour illustrations
Karin Bojs grew up in a small, broken family. At her mother's funeral she felt this more keenly than ever.
So as part of the healing process, she decided to use DNA research to learn more about herself, her family and the interconnectedness of society. After all, we're all related. And in a sense, we are all family.
My European Family tells the story of Europe and its people through its genetic legacy, weaving in the latest archaeological findings. Karin goes deep in search of her genealogy; by having her DNA sequenced and tested and effectively becoming an experimental subject, she was able to trace the path of her ancestors back, through the Viking age, through the Bronze age to the Neolithic and beyond into prehistory, back even further to a time when Neanderthals ran the European show.
My European Family looks at genetics from a uniquely pan-European perspective, with the author meeting dozens of geneticists, historians and archaeologists in the course of her research. The genes of this seemingly ordinary modern European woman have a truly fascinating story to tell.
"Meticulous, up-to-date, and never tedious, [Bojs] draws from hundreds of scientific results to create a broad-brush picture of human evolution, showing us how DNA research is revolutionizing our knowledge of the past."
– Wall Street Journal
"An extraordinary book [...] part travel narrative, part family history, part scientific study."
– Financial Times
"A rich, detailed and beautifully-written answer to the question 'how did we get here?' My European Family is a vital and timely exploration of the genetic, social and cultural threads that connect and unite us."
– Kat Arney, science broadcaster and author of Herding Hemingway's Cats (2016)
"Tells the story of all modern Europeans."
– New European
Introduction: The Funeral
PART 1: THE HUNTERS
Chapter 1 : The Troll Child: 54,000 Years Ago
Chapter 2 : Neanderthals in Leipzig
Chapter 3 : The Flute Players
Chapter 4 : First on the Scene in Europe
Chapter 5 : Mammoths in Brno
Chapter 6 : Cro-Magnon
Chapter 7 : The First Dog
Chapter 8 : Doggerland
Chapter 9 : The Ice Age Ends
Chapter 10 : Dark Skin, Blue Eyes
Chapter 11 : Climate and Forests
Chapter 12 : Am I a Sami?
Chapter 13 : Pottery Makes its Appearance
Chapter 14 : The Farmers Arrive
PART 2: THE FARMERS
Chapter 15 : Syria
Chapter 16 : The Boat to Cyprus
Chapter 17 : The First Beer
Chapter 18 : The Farmers ' Westward Voyages
Chapter 19 : The Homes Built on the Graves of the Dead
Chapter 20 : Clashes in Pilsen and Mainz
Chapter 21 : Sowing and Sunrise
Chapter 22 : Farmers Arrive in Skane
Chapter 23 : Otzi the Iceman
Chapter 24 : The Falbygden Area
Chapter 25 : Hunters' and Farmers' Genes
PART 3: THE INDO-EUROPEANS
Chapter 26 : The First Stallion
Chapter 27 : DNA Sequences Provide Links with the East
Chapter 28 : Battleaxes
Chapter 29 : Bell Beakers, Celts and Stonehenge
Chapter 30 : The Nebra Sky Disc in Halle
Chapter 31 : The Rock Engravers
Chapter 32 : Iron and the Plague
Chapter 33 : Am I a Viking?
Chapter 34 : The Mothers
Chapter 35 : The Legacy of Hitler and Stalin
The Tree and the Spring
Questions and Answers about DNA
References, Further Reading and Travel Tips
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Karin Bojs is an author and science journalist. She was head of the science desk at Dagens Nyheter, the leading daily newspaper in Sweden, for nearly two decades. Karin has an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University, and has received several awards, including the 2015 Swedish August Prize for My European Family. She has published three other books, including The Pickling Handbook and a chapter in The Nobel Banquet (coming in October 2016), and has written articles on a broad range of topics in natural sciences. Her books have been translated into seven languages. Karin lives in Stockholm, but also has a country house where she grows vegetables, keeps bees, ferments cider, and maintains an orchid meadow. As a teenager she was trained as a baker, and still enjoys baking bread every week.