2003 marks the year of groundbreaking historical genetics research paper which indicated that a good proportion of men in the whole world are direct descendants of Mongol Leader Genghis Khan. By direct we mean, Y chromosomes that have come down from a person that existed approximately 1000 years ago. As Y chromosomes are known to be only passed from a Male to another, making Y a record of one’s patrilineage.
Who was Genghis Khan?
- Temujin, later called Genghis Khan, was born in nearly 1162 around the border between current Mongolia and Siberia.
- His mother got kidnapped and forced into marriage by his father. Temujin came from a trauma stricken family, it was a time when Central Asia was constantly full of violence and you had to fight in order to survive.
- His father was poisoned by his enemy clan before Temujin turned 10. Temujin’s own clan then abandoned rest of his family, including his mother and six siblings.
Shocking Life Events Of Genghis Khan
- Shortly after, Temujin murdered his elder half-brother and took his poverty-stricken family under his wings.
- He even got kidnapped by the very clan that abandoned him and his family, but he was able to escape them bravely.
- Temujin married Borte, In 1178 with whom he had four sons and the number of daughters is still unknown.
- Borte was also kidnapped like his mother for whom then he launched a daring rescue, and he soon began making alliances, building a reputation as a warrior and accumulated an attractive number of followers.
- Most of the information about Genghis Khan that we know comes from “The Secret History of the Mongols,” that was written after his death in 1227, it's the oldest work of Mongolian history.
- Genghis Khan turned out to be one of the greatest ruler and warrior who conquered twice as much land as any other person in history, maybe more. He even brought Eastern and Western civilizations into contact in the process of his reign.
- His ruling descendants, Ogodei and Khubilai, also were quite prolific conquerors, who took over Eastern Europe, Middle East and even the rest of China.
- The Mongols also invaded Japan and Java before their empire broke apart in the 14th century.
- Genghis Khan’s last known ruling descendant was in 1920.
The Genetic Legacy of the Mongols:
Genghis Khan died approximately 794 years ago, and assuming 25 years each generation, we get about 31 men between the present and that period. In conclusion if 10% men lived near the Mongol Border nearing the death of Ghenghis Khan, today 0.5% men that is 16 million men on earth are carrying his Y chromosome.
The pattern that is being noticed of variation of the lineage suggested that it might have originated in Mongolia almost 1,000 years ago. Such rapid spread cannot be a result of chance, this shows that it might have been selection.
The lineage or the Y chromosome is carried by only male descendants of Genghis Khan, and therefore it has to be a novel form of social selection as noticed their behaviour.