Mi­grants in­tro­duced farm­ing to Bri­tain

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOG­ICAL NEWS -

Farm­ing was brought to Bri­tain by mi­grants from con­ti­nen­tal Europe, and not adopted by pre-ex­ist­ing hunter-gath­er­ers, in­di­cates a new an­cient DNA study led by the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum (NHM) and UCL, to­gether with Har­vard Uni­ver­sity.

Sci­en­tists in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ori­gins of farm­ing in Bri­tain ex­am­ined DNA from 47 Ne­olithic farmer skele­tons dat­ing from 6,000 to 4,500 years ago and six Mesolithic hunter-gath­erer skele­tons from the pre­ced­ing pe­riod (11,600-6,000 years ago). NHM’s Dr Tom Booth says: “We looked at the ge­netic an­ces­try of hu­man re­mains from both be­fore and af­ter 6,000 years ago to see if we can char­ac­terise any changes, and as soon as these Ne­olithic cul­tures start to ar­rive, we see a big change in the an­ces­try of the Bri­tish pop­u­la­tion. It looks like the de­vel­op­ment of farm­ing and these Ne­olithic cul­tures was mainly driven by the mi­gra­tion of peo­ple from main­land Europe.”

The skele­tons ex­am­ined in­cluded that of Ched­dar Man; the old­est nearcom­plete hu­man skele­ton found in Bri­tain

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