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    Groundbreaking Study Reveals Genetic Origins of Early Medieval Poland

    A recent article published in “Genome Biology” marks a pivotal breakthrough in the debate surrounding the genetic history of early medieval Poland and the origin of its inhabitants. Led by Prof. Marek Figlerowicz, an interdisciplinary team of biologists, archaeologists, and historians conducted extensive research under the project “Dynasty and Society of the Piast State: Integrated Historical, Anthropological, and Genomic Studies.” Their findings shed light on the demographic processes that shaped the genetic structure of the population in present-day Poland from the 5th to 12th centuries CE.

    For over two centuries, scholars have debated two opposing hypotheses regarding the appearance of Western Slavs in Central Europe. The allochthonic theory suggests that the Slavs arrived in the region around the 6th century CE, while the autochthonic theory claims they inhabited the area between the Oder and Vistula rivers long before the Migration Period (375-568 CE).

    The groundbreaking study reveals that both hypotheses are inaccurate. Instead, the researchers found that the early medieval inhabitants of Poland were not exclusively Slavic. The population exhibited genetic similarities to neighboring regions along the southern Baltic coast, such as northern Germany, Denmark, Lithuania, and Latvia. The study also identified a minor migration from the north, specifically from areas near Gdańsk, along the Vistula and Bug rivers, where migrants mixed with the local population. Notably, this blending of cultures contributed to the formation of the Piast state society.

    These new findings revolutionize the understanding of the genetic history of Central and Eastern Europe, demonstrating that preconceived notions about ethnic groups like the Goths or Slavs have little connection to the genetic and biological history of these populations. The research confirms that the major genetic structures in East-Central Europe were established by the end of the first millennium CE, without any significant additional migrations after the 5th century CE.

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