Israel may have been more a part of legend than of history. To learn more about when the ancestor of all the cohanim might have lived, another team of geneticists including Skorecki and David Goldstein has looked at the variations that have developed on the cohen modal haplotype. The Goldstein team estimates that about 106 generations must have occurred to account for the observed amount of variation that has built up on the cohen modal haplotype. Assuming 30 years per generation, this means the ancestor of the cohanim lived some 3,180 years ago (or 2,650 years ago, if a generation time

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