New studies show that there is no such thing as "pure" European—or anyone else. Almost all of us are the children of repeated ancient migrations, according to researchers who study ancient human origins. Indigenous Europeans, for example, descend from at least three major migrations in the past 15,000 years, including two from the Middle East. Those migrants swept across Europe, mingled with previous immigrants, and then remixed to create the peoples of today.
Most people tend to have a certain idea about their heritage: that they simply are, well, whatever they are. Scottish or German or Nigerian or whatever else. Maybe thereâ€™s some other stuff mixed in there, sure, but most people have a sense that theyâ€™re â€œfromâ€? one particular place, and thatâ€™s where their culture â€” and maybe some of their values â€” originates.
When the first busloads of migrants from Syria and Iraq rolled into Germany 2 years ago, some small towns were overwhelmed. The village of Sumte, population 102, had to take in 750 asylum seekers.