Evidence from genome analysis of human DNA from the Neolithic era has proven exactly where Koreans come from, and the findings were just published two days ago in the international scientific journal Science Advances. This new information, which links modern Koreans to ancestors in the Russian far east and southern Asia, shows for the very first time the genetic roots of the Korean people.

Jong Bhak, a biomedical engineering professor at The Genomics Institute at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), has finally discovered where Koreans actually come from, and who their ancestors are. For his research, Professor Bhak and his team of scientists from his university's biomedical engineering department, international archeologists, British, Russian, and German biologists and genome researchers, sequenced and analyzed the genome of female Eastern Asians who lived sometime around 7,700 years ago inside a cave known as Devil's Cave in Eastern Russia. When studying the DNA, the team found that when combining genomes from the cave with those of the indigenous Vietnamese and Taiwanese, they got what was very close to modern day Koreans' DNA. Therefore, it was concluded that the genetic roots of Koreans are a mix of northern and southern Asian races.

"This matches not only the migration of genes but also thousands of years of history," said Professor Bhak, in regards to the first-ever study of its kind. "This is biological evidence that definitely explains the creation of Koreans' roots and the consequences." Also revealed was the fact that the ancient cave dwellers had characteristics that many Koreans still have today, such as brown eyes, shovel-shaped incisors, odorless bodies, dry earlobes, being susceptible to high blood pressure, etc. Many western Eurasians, however, have seemingly lost these traits over the years. "East Asians have preserved genetic continuity in each ethnic group without an inflow of outsiders for at least the last 8,000 years," said Jeon Sung-won, one of the professors colleagues. "Instead of conquering and eliminating other existing ethnic groups, people with revolutionary new technologies such as agriculture spread these and maintained lifestyles that fit in with regional nature."

So there you have it, folks. Korean roots — from a cave in Eastern Russia and the jungles of South Asia.

Professor Jong Bhak

Skull collected at Devil's Cave and the cave itself

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