World's First Farmers Were Genetically Distinct Stone Age Groups

Posted: Jul 15 2016, 9:14am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


World's First Farmers were Genetically Distinct Stone Age Groups
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  • Stone Age Farming shows Different Lineages for Europeans and South Asians

It is now a proven fact. Stone Age farming practices show different lineages for Europeans and South Asians.

Farming and domestication of animals began some 10,000 years ago on the time scale. It was a revolutionary step taken by mankind and it began in Anatolia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. This entire region was given the label of “The Fertile Crescent”.

Among the paraphernalia associated with this early and primitive farming was sheep, pigs, goats and cattle that were raised in sedentary communities for the various benefits they conferred upon humans in their struggle for survival. 

The shift from a hunting gathering lifestyle to sedentary farming involved such a massive change in mindset that just contemplating it sends one into a tailspin of vertigo. It was indeed a very revolutionary and utterly radical Neolithic contrast that took place in a sudden manner.

About 2000 years after the change took place, it was commonplace in Europe and the Mediterranean. Also Central Europe was a hub of sedentary farming. A research team published their findings in a journal recently. It showed that the earliest farmers from Zagros, Iran were not of European stock.

This was something of shock to the experts since they had been raised on this hypothesis which was being debunked before their very eyes. The early farmers had been supposed to have an ancestory that went way back to ancient Anatolia.

Yet here for the very first time, it seemed that the lineage got broken somewhere in the middle. The researchers had assumed that farmers from Greece and Turkey had migrated to Central and Northern Europe somewhere along the way.

But now the early Iranian farmers were found to have different genes from their European counterparts. The paleogeneticists were in for a surprise. 

It is a mystery of history that these two stocks, one European and the other one South Asian, seemed to develop the same farming practices. The behavior was adopted at different times without the distinct groups having had any contact with each other.

The people in the Zagros mountains separated from their European counterparts some 50,000 years ago on the time scale. DNA analysis shows this on a consistent basis. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure.

The earliest farmers hailed from The Fertile Crescent. These farmers did migrate eastwards though. They soon reached the areas that are the modern-day nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

As for the 10,000 year old genes of the Zagros farmers, they bear an uncanny resemblance to the genetic structure of the Zoroastrians of Iran. 

This research got published in the journal Science.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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