Ancient Britons Traded In Wheat 8000 Years Ago

Posted: Feb 27 2015, 8:39am CST | by , Updated: Feb 27 2015, 9:29am CST, in News | Technology News


8000 Years Ago Ancient Britons traded in Wheat
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Recently 8000 years old wheat DNA samples were found at an ancient site in Britain indicating the presence of Bread even before Britons adopted farming!

Ancient Britons have always been assumed to have been isolated from the rest of the European world however a recent study published on Thursday is about to shatter the old perspective. British scientists recently discovered traces of wheat DNA about 8000 years old in a Stone Age site near the Isle of Wight, at the South coast of England.

Britons at the time of Stone Age were always believed to have been hunter gatherers and did not adopt agriculture until 6000 years ago. The new study has provided a new insight into the relationship between the ancient hunter gatherers and the next generation farmers.

it is believed the people in British mainland started farming after it was adapted in the Northern regions which comprise countries such as France and Germany however the age of the wheat samples revealed wheat was present in Britain about 400 years before farming was adopted in its European neighbors.

According to DNA analysis, the Wheat DNA is about 8000 years old which proves the existence of wheat in Britain before they even started growing cereals themselves. The hunter gatherers were part of the Middle Stone Age and in the Neolithic age farmers replaced them in Britain.

The paper detailing the new discoveries has been published in the journal Science and the team was led by Robin Allaby of the University of Warwick. Allaby also co-wrote the journal and stated in a press release his team was surprised to have found wheat and believed the findings to be a pinnacle discovery of cultural interactions between hunters in Britain and farmers in Europe.

Allaby further believes the discoveries will upset a lot of archaeologists who have always believed Britain was isolated from the rest of Europe. The sample was also tested for wheat pollens but came up negative which indicates the wheat was domestically grown but came from foreign sources.

Allaby further exclaimed they can only assume how the ancient Britons came in possession of the wheat and could only speculate that the wheat found could have been a trade product or a gift and could even be stolen merchandise snagged by the old dwellers. Farming originally reached Europe about 8000-9000 years ago from the way of Balkans.

The site where the wheat DNA was found is a pre-historic boat building site and its sediments are 38 feet below sea levels now. Other than wheat the scientists also found DNA traces of oak, beech, dogs, deer, wolves and a type of cow. 

An American archaeologist at the Oxford University Greger Larson, praised the team who discovered the wheat DNA for having double checked the authenticity of their results.   

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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