Paleoanthropology

Farmer-foragers went west

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Science  18 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6314, pp. 844-845
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6314.844-e

Humans began to settle and combine farming with foraging about 12,000 years ago. Over the next 2000 to 3000 years, they moved west from the Fertile Crescent into Anatolia, although it seems, from the distribution of obsidian flints, that the eastern and western populations kept in contact. Kılınç et al. obtained genome sequence data from nine Neolithic individuals from two ancient village sites in Anatolia. The settlers from the older site were distinct from their European forager counterparts but, like them, showed little genetic diversity, indicating a small population. The later farmer-settlers, who had acquired pottery-making skills, were genetically more diverse. These data point to an additional wave of migration from the Fertile Crescent or the Levant that brought new genes and promoted further westward expansion before the mobile hunter-gatherers of the northern steppes added their genes to the European mix.

Curr. Biol. 26, 2659 (2016).

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