Often associated with Greek Athena, the Old European origins of Minerva run much deeper. Minerva is thought to be originally an Etruscan goddess (Menrva), and she is, but note the (slightly) expanded skull and brain case shape wrought into the Bronze Age helmet in the Etruscan bronze image of Minerva. An expanded skull and brain case are biological anatomical features of both Old European Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon humans.
In support of the idea of an Old European Minerva (possibly dating far back into Paleolithic Europe), scientific studies have shown that genetic allele sharing between the ancient Etruscans and modern populations is highest among Germans (7 haplotypes in common) and the Cornish (5 haplotypes in common). Ancient Etruscans only share 2 common haplotypes with modern Tuscans.
The Cornish people are a Celtic ethnic group associated with Cornwall in the United Kingdom. The Cornish can trace their ancestral roots back to the ancient Britons which inhabited the southern and central portions of Great Britain before the Roman conquest. My own U5 Cro-Magnon genetic maternal lineage is a lineage also found among the ancient Etruscans, as well as among the ancient Britons, Celtic and Germanic tribes.
Scientific studies have linked maternal haplogroup U to higher brain pH, high intelligence and high conductivity-transmission between neurons. These biological links to brain function and to the mind align with traits of Minerva. A mitochondrial DNA study (2013) showed that ancient Etruscans fall very close genetically to Neolithic populations in Central Europe (a region which includes Germany and Celtic Gaul; Gaul also includes Brittany, a source population for Old European Brythonic tribes like the ancient Cornish, Britons and Picts).
In Gaul, Minerva was known as Belisama Minerva, "the brightest one" and "the most powerful one.". In Celtic Britain during the Roman occupation, she was known as Sulis Minerva.
Given the association of Minerva with an indigenous Paleolithic Old European maternal genetic lineage (U5), the expanded skull and brain case of her Etruscan helmet, wisdom, knowledge, the mind (including the brain), the known genetic link of ancient Etruscans to Neolithic Celtic-Germanic Europe, and the known genetic link of ancient Etruscans to modern Cornish and German populations, it becomes increasingly plausible that the true origin of Minerva resides with Old European Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal humans.
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