Study shows Gypsy groups moved to Europe far earlier than thought


A genetic analysis of 13 Gypsy groups around Europe, published in the Current Biology journal, has revealed that the arrival on the continent of Gypsy forebears from northern India happened far earlier than was thought - about 1,500 years ago.

The earliest population reached the Balkans, according to researchers, and the spread outwards from there came about 900 years ago.

"There were already some linguistic studies that gave clues pointing to India and genetic studies too, though without being precise about the where or when," said lead researcher David Comas.

"Now we can see that they arrived in one single wave from the northwest of India around 1,500 years ago."

Gypsies were originally thought to have come from Egypt and some of the earliest references call them "Egyptians". - (Guardian service)