On Thursday, October 31, 2019, Prof. dr. Damir Marjanović, held a guest lecture for students of the Department of International Relations and European Studies as a part of Ethnicity and Cultural Politics course, taught by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Adis Maksić, about the genetic game and origins of people of BiH.
Prof. dr. Damir Marjanović, a geneticist in the fields of molecular anthropology, forensic and population genetics, joined ECP class, held a lecture about genes and differences between people, Slavs in general. Marjanović emphasized the fact that people are biologically just one big population, and that our components of genes are different.
The lecture started with the very origins of the people who habituated ground of today’s BiH. Archaeologist found remains of life dating from Palaeolithic age, which were concluded to be humans, more similar to African people than habitants of today. Remains date from before The Last Glacial Maximum, one of the few who survived.
Talking about history, Marjanović mentioned The Great Roman Empire influence on the population of BiH’s territory. The impact came with emigration and the exchange of the genetic material between two peoples, which was significant in the further evolution of BiH’s population.
Marjanović also gave an insight about the first research of people of BiH. The research partook during the Austro-Hungarian reign in BiH, since there was no evidence of BiH’s origin. Trgeted group was 160 BiH’s soldiers, aged from 20 to 23, from whom researchers took bio anthropologic analysis, and found proof of different types of haplogroups in each soldier.
There are four major haplogroups identified as present in the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 2005 study: HgI, HgE, HgJ, and HgR-M17. The two most frequent haplogroups are HgI and HgR-M17, oftentimes called the ‘Illyrian’ haplogroup and the ‘Slavic’ haplogroup due to the time of arrival and the geographic source.
Another research was conducted, by Marjanović himself, about the genetic base of the division of people of BiH, where he analysed genomes from sample of 7 ml of blood of participants. The results proved that there were minor differences between the constituent people of BiH.
It was also concluded that three constituent peoples of BiH have differences in their blood. Differences found do not confirm that the three are not the same population rather that they are genetically very similar, therefore are one population. The identity of the people is shaped by tradition, customs and history.
The conclusion of the lecture was in the fact that all nations and the whole population of the world originates from the same genetic pool, where we are all biologically the same. Marjanović also emphasized that genes are not the only factors influencing the construction of identity, and the importance of the environment which created the main differences between the people, from religious to cultural ones.