Marja-Leena Rathje
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the human journey


I've been happily lost in my travels through the pages of the Atlas of the Human Journey. I'm always fascinated to learn more about the amazing migration of humans from Africa to all the far corners of the earth. Clicking on "Journey Highlights" on the lower right hand corner brings up a long list of different cultures, languages, anthropology and archaeological sites with some history or other interesting bits of information. The mention of some yet unproven theories on how some peoples arrived where they did reveals how much is still unknown. The Saami culture and other more obscure ones are even on the list, something you don't often see in these kind of broad studies.

As most readers know, a great deal of new information has been recently discovered through the modern science of genetics. So, this site happens to be a part of the Genographic Project. Read the fascinating information here about DNA and genetic markers. I'm rather tempted to order the kit and send in some of my DNA and find out where the Finns came from! I'm also intrigued by some claims (elsewhere) that the Finnish language and genes may be as authentic, ancient and unique as that of the Basques.

The image above is of a Gravettian period (22,000 to 28,000 years ago) cave painting in the Czech Republic, photo by Kenneth Garrett, captured from this site.

Marja-Leena | 24/08/2006 | 4 comments
themes: Anthropology, Culture, History, Rock Art & Archaeology


You'd be interested in Alexander Csoma de Koros (
Hungarian_searcher.html) .

He was a Hungarian scholar who set off to Asia to discover his people's Magyar origins in the warrior societies of the steppes of Mongolia. He died in Darjeeling, India, but prior to that managed to produce the first reasonably accurate Tibetan/English dictionary on the planet and opened up Tibetan Buddhism to the world.

He is important here, because he was on a wild goose chase in a sense--the origins he was seeking were arguably north and east of him, in Finland, where relations of the Magyars, the Finns, were soon to see their own origin myths, the Kalevala, published.

By all means send in your DNA. And add to the collective story of humankind in the process.

Peter, that is a very interesting story of a fascinating man! How did you learn about him? And you've got a website with much reading there; I noticed you've written for the Winnipeg Free Press! I grew up reading that paper. Thanks for sharing.

My (Finnish Canadian) wife Joyce went to Hungary on a trip with her sister, and found a book on de Koros in a bookstore. His story is beyond belief. And there is the genetic and linguistic shared ancestry of Finns and Hungarians to link that up. Hungarians are the "Ugric" side of "Finno-Ugric".

Wow, what a find! I've been aware of the Hungarian-Finnish connection for a long time. Interestingly the languages today are quite far apart, but somewhere I saw a study showing how the roots in many words are similar. Fascinating stuff!