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Newly released genome sequences from almost a dozen early human inhabitants of Europe suggest that the continent was once a melting pot in which brown-eyed farmers encountered blue-eyed hunter-gatherers.

Present-day Europeans, the latest work shows, trace their ancestry to three groups in various combinations: hunter-gatherers, some of them blue-eyed, who arrived from Africa more than 40,000 years ago; Middle Eastern farmers who migrated west much more recently; and a novel, more mysterious population whose range probably spanned northern Europe and Siberia.

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