In men almost became extinct

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Genetics can reveal many buried secrets. An extramarital dalliance. The origin of our ancestors. In this case, it turns out that men are almost extinct about 7000 years ago.

The genetic indicators are there for some time.

It’s called the “Neolithic Y-chromosome bottleneck”.

It is a point in our stone age past, when our genetic diversity, suddenly faltered.

At least, among the male transferred genes.

After a period of about 2000 years of decline, there was only one fertile man left alive to mate with each of the 17 women.

It is an event recorded in the bloodlines that have emerged all over the world.

Previously, academics felt this may have had something to do with the way in which our ancestors explored and settled in new areas. It was called the ‘founder-effect’, where a small number of individuals remain in motion to establish new settlements.

But a new study published in the scientific journal Nature strives for a much more brutal proposal.

Men killed most of each other.


Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East can be consumed by the carnage between 5000 and 7000 years ago. And, when fathers give their Y chromosome to their children, whole families have been exterminated over large areas.

It was a time when the world population is estimated at somewhere between five and 20 million people. To have such a strong genetic imprint, but less than 9.5 million people have been killed.


The Stanford University team blame “the competition between the patrilineal kin groups”.

Also known as consumer.

Clans form from a common ancestor. They make a strong collective identity. This, in turn, promotes a sense of difference and competition with separate nearby clans.

The researchers say that this pressure came to a head shortly before the first civilization arise in Sumer about 4000 years ago.

“The presence of such groups results in a violent intergroup competition should preferably be carried out between the members of the male descent groups, instead of between unrelated persons,” the researchers write.

“Victims of intergroup competition than the tendency to cluster in the related males, and the group extinction is, in fact, the extinction of the lines.”

In essence, the victorious clans would wipe out the opponent menfolk in order to ensure continued dominance, and the elimination of potential competition. They would then seize the surviving women.


According to the researcher the details of the massacre would be horrendous. The slaughter was so intense that only one-twentieth of the entire male population survived.

The fighting must have lasted for generations. And the first signs of civilization arose from the ashes.

Their hypothesis goes something like this:

The human society began to evolve away from nomadic hunter-gatherers in the direction of farming about 12,000 years ago. Suddenly, they had possessions. The resources are finite. And if clans had begun to settle in a place, the invaders were welcome.

Such groups evolved systems of the organization on the basis of family-membership — generally aimed at the male chief of the clan. In terms of the chromosomes, it would have appeared if every male member of a clan had the same father.

The destruction of a clan would wipe out their unique Y-chromosome markers.

The winning clan would then expand to fill the void left behind.

This hypothesis is only a model. There is no direct evidence of such a world-wide conflict. It is possible for a male-specific disease could have caused carnage.

But, indirectly, such a brutal clan cleaning seems feasible.

This story was previously published in the

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