Skip to comments.Migrants from the Near East 'brought farming to Europe'
Posted on 11/14/2010 1:55:35 PM PST by decimon
Farming in Europe did not just spread by word-of-mouth, but was introduced by migrants from the ancient Near East, a study suggests.
Scientists analysed DNA from the 8,000 year-old remains of early farmers found at an ancient graveyard in Germany.
They compared the genetic signatures to those of modern populations and found similarities with the DNA of people living in today's Turkey and Iraq.
The study appears in the journal PLoS Biology.
Wolfgang Haak of the University of Adelaide in Australia led the team of international researchers from Germany, Russia and Australia.
Up until now, many scientists believed that the concept of farming was brought to Europe merely by the transfer of ideas. They thought that European hunter-gatherers living in close proximity to ancient farmers in the Near East were spreading the information about more settled ways and agriculture further north.
But the recent study challenges that hypothesis.
"We have shown that the first farmers in Europe had a much greater genetic input from the Near East and Anatolia, than from populations of Stone Age hunter-gatherers who already existed in the area," said Dr Haak.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
One of the houses in the Neolithic settlement at Skara Brae, in Scotland's Orkney islands
Uber orange ping.
I just love it when archeologists have different opinions of the same find...THEY BOTH GET GRANT MONEY....and it can go on....FOREVER!!!
One of the reasons we have some "history" is that they picked up, purchased, collected, seized, or otherwise laid hands on Greek scribes to take with them to write down important information ~ navigational hints, bills, deliveries, news about the gods, etc.
The Galicians in Spain claim their earliest materials (copied by hand down through the centuries like all ancient documents) are written in ancient Greek for example.
The seagoing Celts weren't the only people to do that, and Greek scribes were always highly prized and sought after.
I suspect in earlier times OTHERS found it advantageous to capture Middle Eastern agricultural technicians and use them as slaves in the "royal gardens".
Else we'd have to believe two possible other tales ~ (1) That Middle Eastern settlers could move into occupied hunting grounds in Europe and just start farming without difficulty, or (2) That primitive hunter/gatherers went to the Middle East to study farming and then returned!
Since Western Europeans look more like the Sa'ami than they do like the Arabs, I simply have to opt for the slavery option.
I've never heard that. Europe has seen wave after wave of peoples from the East moving in. The Lap people in Finland are basically Asians. The Turks aren't like Arabs -- they are also Asians. Huns and all the other barbarians came from Asia. Why would this be a recent (1-2000 years ago) phenomenon? Why wouldn't this have happened at the beginning of agriculture?
The notion that people in the Near East and people in Europe had enough language in common that this sort of idea could transfer seems quite spurious. It seems far more likely like people just walked on over and said "We could plant seeds here. Let's stop and stay a while."
Back to Ex Oriente Lux?
With the exception of a very few highly favored locations around the world, hunter-gatherers never developed anything much above the band or tribe level of organization. Not a dense enought population.
So they never had kings or royal gardens. Such things show up only with agriculture.
What I find most interesting is that these finds show the early history of Europe to be much like that of the US. More advanced agriculturists moving in from the east, pushing the less-advanced natives before them or wiping them out.
The archaeologists and anthropologists never tire of postulating some time in the distant past where things were handled peacefully, but whenever actual evidence turns up it seems to indicate our ancestors were all remarkably warlike.
That's why they became our ancestors. The unwarlike or those who were insufficiently efficient at war died, killed by our ancestors.
(3) Farmers from the Middle East, with the dense populations made possible by farming, were able to move into lands very thinly settled by hunters and push them out.
I'm not sure why that's hard to believe. It's exactly what Americans and Australians did.
Not to mention Bantus, Malays and a great many other peoples.
They are more like your ancestors of 15,000 years ago than you are. Think of them as the "original white people" but more adapted to sub-arctic climates.
Second, before the Turkish invasions from about the 900s to 1300s in the Middle East, most of the people in Anatolia (today's Turkish main homeland) were of Celtic, Greek or Semitic ancestry. The Celts and Greeks "moved in" during the First Millenium BCE, and this is talking about people all the way back to 10,000 BCE, so they'd be mostly descendants of folks who survived the last ice age in the Middle Eastern refugia ~ or the predecessors to those we call Semites today.
I thought I had this ready to post, shows how wrong I can be. From the FRchives:
With respect to the Turks, their movement into Anatolia is comparatively modern, as you point out. But again, I was merely pointing to a Asian people who clearly moved in from Asia and decided to stay. This is an incredibly common phenomenon and I find is surprising that people think the populations were somehow static, and that the concept of agriculture was spread by word of mouth.
This whole thing sounds like a grant seeker stating something very obvious ("agriculture was spread by human migration") and pretending to disprove a notion that no one really held ("agriculture spread by word of mouth").
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The number of plant species domesticated by ancient American populations is HUGE and easily outnumbers the count from the Old World.
So, what you had in America were advanced agriculturalists (with, for example, squash, beans, popcorn, strawberries, and myriads of other tasty delights) being overrun by people little removed from their hunter/gather, migratory herdsman traditions.
One of the great hot-houses of agricultural development occurred in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
The most renowned civilization, that of Sumer (the first one we know of) was started up by migratory herdsmen!
The second most renowned civilization, that of Egypt, was also started up by people who moved in from the dying grasslands of what became known as the Sahara Desert. They may have herded domestic animals, or not ~ most likely they were great hunters from the plains!
The Yayoi brought agriculture to an already civilized and organized Japan. The Jomon were developing agriculture in the far North where conditions were tougher, but otherwise they could depend on hunting and gathering in the rich hardwood forests then covering Central and Southern japan!
Dollars to doughnuts Hunter/Gatherer societies were capable of enslaving farmers and doing with them as they wished.
So, yes, "royal gardens" and filled with slaves brought in from distant lands.
We don't know where that first "royal garden" might have been but archaeologists working in Iran may well have found it ~ and are working very carefully to recover every piece of information available.
The Sa'ami languages are grouped with the Finno-Ughric group ~ mostly on the basis of sharing the same vocabularies in a wide variety of human activities.
However, there are sufficient grammatical differences in ALL the Sa'ami languages to set them aside as EARLIER than Finnish, Estonian, and possibly some extinct forms more akin to the Hungarian base language (before the arrival of the Cumin, et al).
Even German has acquired some grammatical forms from Sa'ami ~ which suggests some serious contact about the 8th Century BCE.
Current thinking is the other languages once grouped in the former Uralic-Altaic group probably originated IN THE WEST and then spread EAST.
Even some Japanese (the Royal Family and Daimyo ~ the people who invaded in the 6th century AD) have the Sa'ami X-factor gene sequence, as do the Yakuts/Sakha in Russia, the Iriquois, Cherokee, Ojibway and other Indians in North America, as well as do the Fulbe in Africa, and the Berbers ~ these all being connections as recent as 7,000 years back!
The Sa'ami have no connection with Central and East Asian groups except the Yakuts/Sakha (who are ancestral to the Daimyo BTW).
The archaeological record shows that as fast as the ice melted the people who became the Sa'ami moved NORTH on the Western coast of the Fenno-Scandian peninsula to the Arctic Ocena and then East to more familiar Sa'ami territories.
Check this website: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1199377/
Why do “modern” archeologists think that a particular step forward is unique to a certain area of the world? I know for a fact that the same idea can come to more than one person at a time.
In their arrogance, archeologists dismiss entire cultures because the cultures don’t fit the beliefs of the archeologists.
I could make a list, but why? Stupidity seems to be rampant in certain educational circles.
Righto. The reason, of course, that so many species were domesticated in the Americans, as compared to the Old World, is that with the exception of maize (North America) and potatoes (South America) they weren't very productive in the old calories/acre test.
Since the native Americans were so much more "advanced" than Europeans, why didn't the NAs "discover" Europe and colonize it instead of the other way around?
I've read a great deal about the pre-Columbian history of the New World, and I'm perfectly in agreement that their achievements have often been overlooked, but let's not let hyperbole get out of hand.
While there were areas of what is now the USA where "civilizations" had sprung up, notably in the South and Southwest, they were at best at a stage roughly equal to that of very early Sumer or the peoples discussed in this article, which were 5000 to 7000 years earlier in the Old World.
No large domestic animals, no wheel, no metal (for utilitarian purposes), no writing. That's not an advanced civilization.
BTW, "migratory herdsmen" is not an earlier stage of life than settled agriculture, it's a parallel one. It's far more advanced than the hunter-gatherer stage and to be fully economically viable often requires a settled agricultural society nearby to raid, rule or trade with.
But my overall point is that various peoples from the East have moved into Europe and that these periodic waves of migrations have been taking place for thousands of years and are not any sort of surprising new discovery.
Migrants from the Near East ‘brought farming to Europe’ only because they had already lost all the topsoil, turned the Middle East into a desert and were ready to do the same thing in Europe until the Arayan-descended Hessian Stormtrooopers wiped them out Big Battle of the Saar [Cannaanite God of the Storm, pronounced with a Germanic lisp as “Thor”] with iron swords against the farmer`s puny bronze sickle swords. That`s why Teutonic legend calls them “Thor Losers”
What we’ll see is that ancient peoples had much greater contact through trade and migration than we currently realize.
Intermarriage had to occur or tribal systems would collapse under their own genetic weight.
I've been to the site near the Wisconsin/Michigan border ~ and now there's a site of comparable age in Meso-America.
Remembering that smelting copper is logically the first off the block ~ and the easiest to do, you can also start with what are called native ore surface deposits (they look green) and beat them rather than melt them. First time you put that stuff on an exceptionally hot fire you would, of course, discover smelting.
America has had several such deposits and the Old World has had harder to get-at deposits.
So far the Indians are arguably ahead of the Old World when it comes to copper working, or smelting, but the time frames are working their way back to probably "simultaneous discovery" having something to do with the return of human populations to Northern forests (which took time to grow).
The Indians were also CENTURIES ahead of the Euro-African invaders when it came to the use of glass to cut and kill! Their error was to not first invent firearms, or maybe some way of avoiding Hanta Virus!
Now, concerning "writing", the North American plains Indian sign language is clearly identical to what is known as Chinese in the Shang Dynasty shards. No idea how that got here, but it was very useful. Then there several independent writing methods developed in Meso-America ~ and fortunately as I drift off into the great never never smart guys have learned how to decipher them ~ and they are like us. In the Old World ONE form of writing was independently developed ~ that was in Sumer. It's earliest hieroglyphic form appears to have served as the basis for Chinese and Egyptian! All other forms in the Old World arise out of that discovery. Meso Americans devised MORE THAN ONE independent form of writing.
Large Domestic Animals ~ the Llama was domesticated LONG before any Old World animals. The North American cattle had/have endemic brucellosis which means that any native human population that succeeded in breeding the first 3 or 4 generations in the 8 generation domestication process would themselves have suffered from some serious reproductive problems and would have gone extinct before working it out. (SEE: Tame Foxes).
Still, i'm sure more than one Indian looked at a buffalo and said "Hey, I'd like to have one of them so I could build a big wagon and pull it around" ~ it's an obvious application, not one not readily accomplished.
The Indians also had old world dogs and I suppose they could have bred for large dogs but think of the meat bill for those suckers!
The Sumerians, BTW, did their thing in an area of land between the otherwise defensible Euphrates and Tigris rivers ~ and their first settlements appear to have arisen before the arrival of cattle ~ so that meant they were purely hunters.