Thursday, February 24, 2011

Origins of Farming in Europe Result of Human Migration and Cultural Change, Study Suggests

It has long been debated as to whether the transition from a largely hunter-gatherer to an agricultural subsistence strategy in Europe was the result of the migration of farmers from the Near East and Anatolia, or whether this transition was primarily cultural in nature. A new study, co-authored by researchers at University College Cork and the University of Kent suggests that the prehistoric adoption of farming practices in outlying regions of Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic, European Russia and the Ukraine, was the result of cultural diffusion.

The new study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, uses measurements of skulls of hunter-gathering (Mesolithic) and early farming (Neolithic) prehistoric populations from Europe, Near East and Anatolia to find answers.

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