South African Zulus

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South African Zulus

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What's included in Ancient DNA Origins?

  • The Ancient DNA Origins DNA test provides powerful, innovative, and interactive DNA-based tools to help you find your ancient ancestors, trace your prehistorical lineages, and determine your ancient tribal origins.
  • Find out how related you are to the Zulus of South Africa (400 BC – 1800 AD) found at ten sites in South Africa. from these sites
  • Maps data: (C) Google Maps 2023
  • Receive a detailed breakdown of your ancient geographical origins, ancient ancestry maps showing where your ancestors lived and traveled, and your exact genetic similarity to each member of your ancient tribe.
  • Compare your results with over 50 worldwide ancient and modern populations.
  • Reach out and reconnect with your 2400-year-old Zulu ancestors who communicate with colorful beads or their own click language.
  • Explore the course of 2000 years of history with the Zulus at the Gold Age of their Kingdom – Their story can be your story.
  • Basic test includes 5 tribal members.
  • Advanced test includes 15 tribal members.

About the test

With 10–12 million people, the Zulus are the largest ethnic group in South Africa, most of whom still live in their historical province KwaZulu-Natal on the eastern coast of South Africa. The Zulus arrived in KwaZulu-Natal as early as 300 AD as part of the Bantu migrations. It is believed that the migration was led by farmers seeking new fertile lands and vast territories. The word Zulu is derived from the Nguni word for heaven, and maybe that was an apt description for the scenic, verdant, and diverse land they found. Technological advances around the making and use of iron allowed the farmers to make use of lands previously uncharted, providing the migrants with more and better farming opportunities in their new rich land. That combined with the diverse and verdant land of KwaZulu-Natal provided more and better farming opportunities.

As was common among the peoples of Southern Africa, the Zulus had no written language. As such, much of their history concerning their origins and the identities of their early chieftains and kings remains unknown. It is known that they rose under the leadership of King Shaka in the 18th century AD. Though he preferred diplomacy, he was a trained warrior and reformed and strengthened the army. In the first quarter of the 19th century, Shaka had grown his land to cover an empire of 80,000 square miles.

Over time, the Zulus integrated defeated clans into their collective. The integration was full, and promotion to military and civil service was based on merit, not birthright. This allowed the Zulus to grow and prosper and for the Zulu kingdom to become the most powerful organization in South Africa until they were conquered by the British in 1879.

Although the Zulus still live today, they are detached from their ancient origins due to the lack of historical records. Who were the ancestors of the Zulus? Where did they migrate from? How similar are they to surrounding tribes? What is their genetic legacy to modern-day Africans? Until recently, scientists have mainly speculated as to the origin of the Zulus based on their language. This, however, changed in 2017 with the sequencing of the first Zulu genomes from ten sites in South Africa. These ancient people, living in the span of 2000 years, lived at the Gold Age of the Zulu Kingdom. Empowered by these genetic findings, we can finally tell their full story and understand their relationships with modern Africans over time as well as trace their genetic legacy.

The test includes 15 Zulus who lived between 400 BC and 1800 AD and provides a detailed historical, archeological, and paleogenetic background of their lives. It describes the relationships of the Zulu with other ancient Africans and their cultic practices. A detailed profile is available for every Zulu. Find out now how related you are to the Zulu impis (warriors!).

Why take this test

Up until 2010, reading the DNA of ancient people was a dream. Since then, the DNA of the Neanderthal who lived over 30,000 years ago has been sequenced. After that reading, the DNA of ancient people who lived from 15,000 BC to 1,800 AD all over the world became the main object of paleogenomic research. This forward leap in technology allowed the creation of a new type of DNA tests — tests that do not use modern-day populations as representatives of the ancient past but as people who can also be studied. The Ancient DNA Origins DNA test is the first next-generation DNA test. It is designed solely using the DNA of ancient people throughout history using our novel technologies. With this test, you will receive a precise ancient ethnicity estimate with far greater geographical details than you could imagine. You will make new connections with historical people and places where your ancestors lived, walked, battled, created, and dreamed thousands of years ago. Using the genetic data and evidence from history and archeology, we can revive the past and allow you to take part of this story at the most personal level.

what do you get?

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Reconnect with your ancient ancestors and become a part of their story.


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dna matches


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Compare your results with other ancient people


how is it done?


Download your DNA data

Simply download your DNA data from the company that genotyped your DNA and upload it here. We accept DNA from 23andme, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, GenebyGene or FamilyTreeDNA (Family Finder), Genographic (Geno 2.0), HomeDNA, and LivingDNA.
Please upload a txt, csv, zip, gz or tgz file.
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Basic Test
Low resolution test
  • Personalized ancient ancestry report
  • 2-5 Ancient individuals per test
  • Extensive records of the ancient culture
  • 10+ Modern populations
  • Latest scientific knowledge
  • Interactive interface to discover your roots
  • 12 Tests with Emerald subscription
Advanced Test
High resolution test
  • Personalized ancient ancestry report
  • 15-30 Ancient individuals per test
  • 12 Geographic regions
  • Extensive records of the ancient culture
  • 50+ Modern populations
  • In-depth ancestry analyses
  • Latest scientific knowledge
  • Interactive interface to discover your roots
  • 12 Tests with Amber subscription

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