Genghis Khan made the news a dozen years ago when a team of geneticists at the University of Oxford led by Tatiana Zerjal noticed a curious pattern in the distribution of an unusual Y chromosome among Asian males. Zerjal’s team suggested that this genetic variation could be traced back to a common ancestor. They located this putative ancestor in Mongolia and set his place in time at somewhere early in the second millennium. Their prime suspect was none other than Genghis Khan.
Genghis did not get the nod because he displayed any outward sign of genetic anomaly. It was rather his social behaviour thatbrought him to the researchers’ attention. As he and his male relatives conquered vast areas of Inner Asia in the early decades of the 13th century, they slaughtered the