Unravelling genetic histories: University of Alicante’s international study

Aerial photo of Alto de la Cruz, Navarre, belonging to the Early Iron Age

Aerial photo of Alto de la Cruz, Navarre, belonging to the Early Iron Age. Image: UA / Servicio Patrimonio Histórico Gobierno de Navarra.

The University of Alicante has been involved in an international study, examining the genomes of nearly 10,000 ancient individuals, aimed to uncover cases of chromosomal trisomies.

This research identified six cases of Down syndrome, all of which were infants.

Five of these cases date back to between 5,000 to 2,500 years ago, with the sixth case being more recent.

Three of the prehistoric cases were found in sites from the Early Iron Age in Navarre (Navarra), northern Spain (approximately 2,800 to 2,500 years ago).

Additionally, a less common and more severe case of Edwards syndrome was discovered at one of these Navarrese sites, marking the first such finding in an archaeological population globally.

Among the findings, three prehistoric individuals with Down syndrome were discovered in Navarre’s Alto de la Cruz and Las Eretas sites, dating back to Navarre’s Iron Age (around 2,800 to 2,500 years ago).

Two additional cases from the Bronze Age in Greece and Bulgaria (around 4,700 to 3,300 years ago) were also identified, along with one case from a church graveyard in Finland dating to the 17th or 18th century.

The study also unveiled the first-ever case of Edwards syndrome in an archaeological population, found in Navarre.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Author badge placeholder
Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.