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Darcy ZalewskiGet to know Darcy's maternal ancestors. Discover your own.

Darcy's Ancestral Map

Darcy is part of a maternal line that scientists have labeled haplogroup R0. The map below shows where people of haplogroup R0 lived around 500 years ago, before modern transportation allowed people to easily move from continent to continent.

Map of R0

R0 originated more than 35,000 years ago in the Near East, at a time when humans were moving outward from the region into other parts of Asia and Europe. The haplogroup spawned several daughter branches that were central in those migrations, notably haplogroups H and V, both of which are most commonly found in Europe.

Quick Facts

Haplogroup: R0

Age: 35,000 years

Region: Near East, northern Africa, Western Eurasia

Populations: Saudi Arabs, Yemeni Jews, Bedouin

Highlight: R0 includes HV and its subgroups, H, V, and a scattering of rare lineages across the Near East and Europe.

Darcy's Ancestral History

Daughter haplogroups of R0 are distributed as far north as the Arctic Circle. Daughter haplogroups of R0 are distributed as far north as the Arctic Circle.


R0 is ancestral to the common European haplogroups H and V. As a result, about 50% of Europeans have mitochondrial DNA belonging to R0 simply by virtue of its ancestral relationship to those haplogroups. R0 originated more than 35,000 years ago, probably in Arabia, and later spread throughout the Near East, Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. It spawned many sub-branches, including the HV sub-groups, which exist at low levels today across Europe and the Near East

The HV Sub-groups

HV*, a sister of the common European haplogroups H and V, arose in the Near East not long after modern humans left Africa more than 40,000 years ago. From the Near East, the haplogroup appears to have spread into North Africa, Russia, eastern Europe and the Italian peninsula, which has an unusually high concentration of HV*. The largest concentration of HV*, however, appears to be in Iraq. The haplogroup is also common in other regions of the Near East, particularly the Caucasus Mountains. There are four major daughter lineages encompassed within haplogroup HV*, known as HV1, HV2, HV3, and HV4.

Haplogroup HV1

We do not yet know when haplogroup HV1 diverged from the main HV branch, but it was probably not long after modern humans had first moved into the Near East 40,000 years ago. Individuals carrying HV1 may have moved with hunter-gatherers into Europe as early as 35,000 years ago, after groups began migrating northward from the Levant and Caucasus Mountains during a brief respite from the frozen climate of the Last Ice Age.

In spite of its ancient spread across eastern Europe, the haplogroup is relatively rare among modern Europeans. HV1 can be found at low levels among the peoples of the northern Caucasus, Turkey and Iran. The highest levels of HV1 are in the nomads of the Near East and North Africa. In fact, HV1 reaches almost 10% in the Druze of the Levant and 15% in Berbers of Tunisia. Although HV1 can be found in Moroccan Jewish, Yemenite Jewish and Palestinian Jewish populations, there are many non-Jews belonging to the haplogroup as well. For example, a small number of HV1 individuals have been found in Ethiopia and Sudan, though they appear to be very recent migrants from the Arabian Peninsula.

Haplogroup HV2

Haplogroup HV2 originated about 28,000 years ago, prior to the coldest days of the Last Ice Age, most likely in present-day Iran or southern Pakistan. Today the haplogroup reaches levels of about 10% in populations like the Parsi and Baluch of Pakistan and the Gilaki of northern Iran. Interestingly, although the Indus Valley and deserts of Iran appear to have limited migrations between the populations of India and those of the Near East, women carrying haplogroup HV2 appear to have migrated short distances throughout the mountains and deserts of the Iranian Plateau.

Haplogroup HV2 was probably maintained at low levels in indigenous hunter-gatherer populations throughout the Ice Age. Then, as the glaciers retreated and deserts shrank, HV2 expanded outward from the Iranian Plateau as local groups adopted agriculture and domesticated animals about 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. Population growth likely led to an increase in the number of migrants leaving the region. Today, HV2 can be found as far East as Xinjiang, China, and as far west as Iraq, Jordan and Yemen.

Haplogroup HV3

Haplogroup HV3 originated just as the Ice Age was loosening its grip on the northern half of Europe. The Ice Age had covered northern Europe with glaciers, and turned the eastern European plains to frigid tundra. Cold temperatures in the north led to a harsh dry climate further to the south, causing deserts in the Near East to grow in size. Humans were forced to hunker down in the few ice-free oases scattered throughout southern Europe, the Black Sea, and parts of the Near East.

As the Ice Age drew to a close, members of HV3 emerged from one of the Black Sea or Near Eastern oases. From there HV3 spread toward Russia and eastern Europe, making it as far north as Latvia, where about 3% of the population belong to the haplogroup. However, HV3 is much less common in other parts of Europe. The only exception to this is the Italian Peninsula, where HV3 appears at about 3% among Tuscans from northern Italy. The presence of HV3 among present-day Tuscans may be tied to the ancient Etruscans, who sailed from Anatolia (modern day Turkey) about 2,500 years ago. Tuscans tend to fall within two branches of HV3: HV3b and HV3c.

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What is a Haplogroup?

Haplogroup is the term scientists use to describe individual branches, or closely related groups of branches, on the genetic family tree of all humans. All members of a haplogroup trace their ancestry back to a single individual.

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