The finding should thoroughly debunk one of the most questionable, but still tenacious, hypotheses: that most Ashkenazi Jews can trace their roots to the mysterious Khazar Kingdom that flourished during the ninth century in the region between the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire, Richards and Ostrer said.
The genetics suggest many of the founding Ashkenazi women were actually converts from local European populations.
"The simplest explanation was that it was mainly women who converted and they married with men who'd come from the Near East," Richards told LiveScience.
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