First European Farmers Belonged To Anatolia

Posted: Jan 5 2016, 4:07am CST | by , Updated: Jan 5 2016, 7:35am CST, in News | Latest Science News

First European Farmers Belonged to Anatolia
A large part of results come from grave 6 in Kumtepe, excavated in 1994. Here the upper part of a skeleton. Photo provided by Project Troia, thanks to Peter Jablonka. Credit: Photo provided by Project Troia, thanks to Peter Jablonka.
  • The Original European Farmers were from the Region of Anatolia

DNA testing and genomic sequencing has proved once and for all that the original European farmers were from the region of Anatolia.

Human skulls and bones from the Anatolian site of Kumtepe were examined in the study. The goal was to see whether European farmers began their journey of agricultural development from this particular region.

While the paraphernalia that got tested was in a very disintegrated form, enough of it was thoroughly tested as far as DNA samples were concerned. The demographics of these farmers could be traced across their lineage trees in the millennia of progress and evolution.

"I have never worked with a more complicated material. But it was worth every hour in the laboratory. I could use the DNA from the Kumtepe material to trace the european farmers back to Anatolia.

It is also fun to have worked with this material from the site Kumtepe, as this is the precursor to Troy", says doctorate student Ayca Omrak, at the Archaeological Research Laboratory Stockholm University.

While the material circumstances surrounding the collection of the specimens was the most difficult of tasks, it was worth it in the end. Every moment in the lab was proof of the fruits of labor that yielded results.

The DNA from the Kumtepe bones could lend valuable clues as to European farmers and their provenance. The site of Kumpete was also the precursor of Troy, so the whole discovery was one of extreme interest to the lab workers.

Anatolia remains the cradle of the first European farmers. The whole procedure of tracing the origins of these primal agriculturalists was a fun-filled process although it was also back-breaking in its level of difficulty.

"It is complicated to work with material from this region, it is hot and the DNA is degraded. But if we want to understand how the process that led from a hunter-gatherer society proceeded to a farming society, it is this material we need to exhaust", says Jan Storå, associate professor in osteoarchaeology, Stockholm University.

Further research is necessary before any conclusions can be drawn from the study. The study is still in its nascent stage. It needs to be brought to completion via hard work and inspirational impetus.

The 99% of perspiration will have to be covered beside the 1% of inspiration. Only then will the genius of the situation manifest itself. The region has hot weather and most of the DNA is degraded beyond recognition.

The fact of the matter is that if we want to understand how mankind slowly changed from a hunter gatherer society to a sedentary agricultural one, then this examination of the remnants of Anatolian farmers will have to be made.

It is the only way that the missing link of nomadism, that lies half way between primitive and settled societies, can be descried from the rest of the forms of collective living. There are many possibilities that this study can explore with the passage of time.

Further material from the Levant also needs to be probed before a full picture can emerge of European farmers’ ancestry. The field is an exciting one and the discoveries are a source of pride for the scientists engaged in the research.

Anders Götherstörm, who heads the archaeogenetic research at the Archaeological Research Laboratory, said, "Our results stress the importance Anatolia has had on Europe's prehistory. But to fully understand how the agricultural development proceeded we need to dive deeper down into material from the Levant. Jan is right about that."

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