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11.13.2005

European Origin Finding

It's not entirely unsurprising, given the archeological record, but recent DNA evidence has show that Europeans are not genetically descended from the first farmers in the Fertile Crescent.
Researchers led by Wolfgang Haak of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, argue that their finding supports the belief that modern residents of central Europe descended from Stone Age hunter-gatherers who were present 40,000 years ago, and not the early farmers who arrived thousands of years later.
What does that mean? It would seem that the idea of agriculture - along with crops, livestock, etc. - spread as a result of cultural exchange, not colonization or conquest by the early agricultural societies. Given how bloody our history has been, that's a little refreshing.


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