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Ancient Farmers Replaced Hunter-Gatherer Forerunners

More on ancient farmers and cross-lingual influences.

Scandinavia's Earliest Farmers Exchanged Terminology With Indo-Europeans
9/29/2017 06:00:00 PM

5,000 years ago, the Yamnaya culture migrated into Europe from the Caspian steppe. In addition to innovations such as the wagon and dairy production, they brought a new language -- Indo-European -- that replaced most local languages the following millennia. But local cultures also influenced the new language, particularly in southern Scandinavia, where Neolithic farmers made lasting contributions to Indo-European vocabulary before their own language went extinct, new research shows.

Most historical linguists agree that words such as 'wheel', 'wagon', 'horse', 'sheep', 'cow', 'milk' and 'wool' can be attributed to the Yamnaya people who migrated into Europe from the Caspian steppe 5,000 years ago. The nomadic and pastoral Yamnayans introduced their material culture to the local peoples through a new language known as Proto-Indo-European, from which most European languages descend.

However, not all words in the European languages are of Proto-Indo-European origin, linguists say; there are words for flora and fauna, which must have been incorporated into Indo-European from local cultures. But where could such cultural exchange have taken place? According to a new study published in American Journal of Archaeology by archaeologist Rune Iversen and linguist Guus Kroonen from the University of Copenhagen, southern Scandinavia 2,800 BC provides an ideal setting for such an exchange: ..
Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blog...st-farmers-exchanged.html#QHYUo3Gp60JuiL9Z.99
More on ancient farmers and cross-lingual influences.

Scandinavia's Earliest Farmers Exchanged Terminology With Indo-Europeans
9/29/2017 06:00:00 PM

5,000 years ago, the Yamnaya culture migrated into Europe from the Caspian steppe. In addition to innovations such as the wagon and dairy production, they brought a new language -- Indo-European -- that replaced most local languages the following millennia. But local cultures also influenced the new language, particularly in southern Scandinavia, where Neolithic farmers made lasting contributions to Indo-European vocabulary before their own language went extinct, new research shows.

Most historical linguists agree that words such as 'wheel', 'wagon', 'horse', 'sheep', 'cow', 'milk' and 'wool' can be attributed to the Yamnaya people who migrated into Europe from the Caspian steppe 5,000 years ago. The nomadic and pastoral Yamnayans introduced their material culture to the local peoples through a new language known as Proto-Indo-European, from which most European languages descend.

However, not all words in the European languages are of Proto-Indo-European origin, linguists say; there are words for flora and fauna, which must have been incorporated into Indo-European from local cultures. But where could such cultural exchange have taken place? According to a new study published in American Journal of Archaeology by archaeologist Rune Iversen and linguist Guus Kroonen from the University of Copenhagen, southern Scandinavia 2,800 BC provides an ideal setting for such an exchange: ..
Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blog...st-farmers-exchanged.html#QHYUo3Gp60JuiL9Z.99
I think this fits here.

Crops evolved 10 millennia earlier than thought
October 23, 2017 in Biology / Biotechnology

Ancient hunter-gatherers began to systemically affect the evolution of crops up to thirty thousand years ago – around ten millennia before experts previously thought – according to new research by the University of Warwick.

Professor Robin Allaby, in Warwick's School of Life Sciences, has discovered that human crop gathering was so extensive, as long ago as the last Ice Age, that it started to have an effect on the evolution of rice, wheat and barley - triggering the process which turned these plants from wild to domesticated.

In Tell Qaramel, an area of modern day northern Syria, the research demonstrates evidence of einkorn being affected up to thirty thousand years ago, and rice has been shown to be affected more than thirteen thousand years ago in South, East and South-East Asia.

Furthermore, emmer wheat is proved to have been affected twenty-five thousand years ago in the Southern Levant – and barley in the same geographical region over twenty-one thousand years ago.

The researchers traced the timeline of crop evolution in these areas by analysing the evolving gene frequencies of archaeologically uncovered plant remains.

Wild plants contain a gene which enables them to spread or shatter their seeds widely. When a plant begins to be gathered on a large scale, human activity alters its evolution, changing this gene and causing the plant to retain its seeds instead of spreading them – thus adapting it to the human environment, and eventually agriculture.

Professor Allaby and his colleagues made calculations from archaeobotanical remains of crops mentioned above that contained 'non-shattering' genes - the genes which caused them to retain their seeds – and found that human gathering had already started to alter their evolution millennia before previously accepted dates. ...

Evidence of interbreeding.

Phys.org)—A large international team of researchers has found that Neolithic hunter-gatherers living in several parts of Europe interbred with farmers from the Near East. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes comparing DNA from several early groups in Europe and evidence of interbreeding.

The Neolithic period, often described as the New Stone Age, was a period of human history from approximately 15,000 BCE to 3,000 BCE. It was a time defined by the development of settlements and the refinement of tools and the arts. Prior research has shown that people living in what is now Germany, Hungary and Spain were mostly hunter-gatherers during the early Neolithic period, but were "replaced" by farmers moving in from the Near East (Anatolia). In this new effort, the researchers suggest that interbreeding between the two groups led to the decline of the hunter-gatherers. The end result is that most modern Europeans are descended from the Near East immigrant farmers, but have remnants of hunter-gatherer DNA.

To learn more about the early history of humans in Europe, the researchers obtained and analyzed 180 DNA samples of people from early Hungary, Germany and Spain dating from between 6,000 and 2,200 BCE. They used data from the DNA analysis to create a mathematical model, which was used to build a simulation of population interactions in the areas of study. ...

Spreading languages, seeds and DNA.

People who moved out of southern China cultivated big changes across ancient Southeast Asia, a new analysis of ancient human DNA finds.

Chinese rice and millet farmers spread south into a region stretching from Vietnam to Myanmar. There, they mated with local hunter-gatherers in two main pulses, first around 4,000 years ago, and again two millennia later, says a team led by Harvard Medical School geneticist Mark Lipson. Those population movements brought agriculture to the region and triggered the spread of Austroasiatic languages that are still spoken in parts of South and Southeast Asia, the scientists conclude online May 17 in Science.

Over the past 20 years, accumulating archaeological evidence has pointed to the emergence of rice farming in Southeast Asia between 4,500 and 4,000 years ago, accompanied by tools and pottery showing links to southern China. Austroasiatic languages now found from Vietnam to India contain words for rice and agriculture, suggesting that ancient arrivals from southern China spoke an Austroasiatic tongue. Questions have remained, though, about where Austroasiatic languages originated and whether knowledge about farming practices, rather than farmers themselves, spread from China into Southeast Asia.

Looks as if these people might have been killed by early Farmer Palmers.

The nine bodies were unceremoniously dumped into a burial pit, tangled in a jumble of limbs anathema to the precise arrangements typically seen in Early Neolithic graves. Eight were men, the youngest of whom was between 16 and 20 years old, and the ninth was a 21- to 26-year-old woman. All bore signs of blunt force cranial trauma.

Archaeologists discovered the mass grave, which dates to the Linearbandkeramik (LBK, or Linear Pottery) era, in Halberstadt, Germany, in 2013, roughly 7,000 years after its inhabitants met their demise. The researchers’ analysis, detailed last month in Nature Communications, reveals unsettling violence practiced by the first farming settlers of Central Europe.

Live Science’s Laura Geggel reports that the nine individuals were “interlopers.” Scientists analyzed the isotopes in their bones and teeth, which vary depending on diet, and found that the nine individuals’ remains contained different isotopes than those present in the remains of other nearby bodies, thought to be the settlement’s residents. It’s unclear who the outsiders were—potential identifications include prisoners of war and failed raiders—or exactly where they originated, but the brutality associated with their deaths is viscerally apparent.

According to the study, the Halberstadt victims’ injuries are located almost exclusively at the back of the head. Other Neolithic mass graves found in Kilianstädten and Talheim, Germany, and Asparn, Austria, reveal an array of wounds likely inflicted as victims ran from their attackers during a surprise massacre. The precise nature of the Halberstadt death blows suggests they occurred as part of a mass execution, the likes of which have never been seen at a Neolithic site.

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smar...side-brutality-180969599/#XxyWX08PEpqcPEqk.99
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I wonder if farmers got bad weather grants back in those days?

A bit more than 8000 years ago, the world suddenly cooled, leading to much drier summers for much of the Northern Hemisphere. The impact on early farmers must have been extreme, yet archaeologists know little about how they endured. Now, the remains of animal fat on broken pottery from one of the world’s oldest and most unusual protocities—known as Çatalhöyük—is finally giving scientists a window into these ancient peoples’ close call with catastrophe.

“I think the authors have done an excellent job,” says John Marston, an environmental archaeologist at Boston University who wasn’t involved in the current study. “It shows the people of Çatalhöyük were incredibly resilient.”

Today, Çatalhöyük is just a series of dusty, sun-baked ruins in central Turkey. But thousands of years ago it was a bustling prehistoric metropolis. From about 7500 B.C.E to 5700 B.C.E., early farmers grew wheat, barley, and peas, and raised sheep, goats, and cattle. At its height, some 10,000 people lived there. Among its more noteworthy features, Çatalhöyük’s inhabitants were obsessed with plaster, lining their walls with it, using it as a canvas for artwork, and even coating the skulls of their dead to recreate the lifelike countenances of their loved ones. ...

Why Archaeologists Are Studying 10,000-Year-Old Urine
The history of animal domestication might be recorded in ancient pee.

About 10,000 years ago, a group of hunter-gatherers settled on a floodplain in modern-day Turkey and stayed for a millennium. You can still see remnants of the houses they built. Archaeologists have mapped out alleyways and uncovered intact skeletons under ancient plaster floors. After all this time, Aşıklı Höyük is remarkably well preserved.

But Jordan Abell did not come for these sights when he last visited Aşıklı Höyük in 2017. He came to look for something invisible: ancient urine.

The people of Aşıklı Höyük all, presumably, peed. So did their sheep and goats. By estimating the quantity of ancient urine deposited at Aşıklı Höyük, Abell and his collaborators reconstructed the population of humans and animals at the site 10,000 years ago. You might call it urine archaeology.

As the team went up the dirt layers and through time, they found 10- to 1,000-fold increases in the concentration of urine salts at the latter end of the millennium-long period of occupation. This suggests that the human and/or animal population of Aşıklı Höyük was getting bigger and denser. (Unfortunately, archaeologists don’t have a way to distinguish between ancient human and animal urine using this method.) Assuming the model holds up, these urine deposits can be seen as a record of humanity’s transition from hunters to animal farmers.

Hunter-gatherers in ancient Britain may have imported cereals from Europe long before they turned to farming. Ancient DNA recovered from soil submerged beneath the English Channel suggests that wheat appeared in Britain some 2,000 years before Neolithic farmers began cultivating cereal grains there. But not all archaeologists are convinced by the new findings, which are reported inScience1.

The Mesolithic-to-Neolithic transition, when modern humans began to settle and grow food, marks a key step in the evolution of civilization and technology. In Europe, agriculture slowly spread from ancient Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), where domesticated plants including wheat were first farmed about 10,000 years ago, through the Mediterranean and central Europe. Archaeologists believe that farming did not reach the British Isles until about 6,000 years ago. ...


It would have been these - Sadly they went the same way as Neanderthals.

I think this podcast fits in here.

Where our microbiome came from, and how our farming and hunting ancestors transformed the world

Micro-organisms live inside everything from the human gut to coral—but where do they come from? Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the first comprehensive survey of microbes in Hawaii’s Waimea Valley, which revealed that plants and animals get their unique microbiomes from organisms below them in the food chain or the wider environment.

Going global, Meagan then speaks with Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, about a project that aggregated the expertise of more than 250 archaeologists to map human land use over the past 10,000 years. This detailed map will help fine-tune climate models.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.
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The death of hunter-gathers was tragic. You needed every member of the tribe to be out there finding food.

I heard they tried to stop their decline by telling the "ghost hunter-gathers" to fuck off but it didn't help them.
Humans gave salmonella to pigs!

Pity the pig. We have blamed it for giving us swine flu, a porcine coronavirus in 2012, and—in some ancient hovel—salmonella, which causes gut distress as well as typhoid fever. Now, though, it seems humans got salmonella first, thousands of years ago, and might have passed it to pigs.

A new study suggests early farmers in Eurasia brought a more deadly form of salmonella on themselves when they switched from a nomadic lifestyle of hunting and gathering to farming. By settling down in close quarters with domestic animals and their waste, they gave Salmonella enterica, which was lurking in an unknown animal host, easy access to the human gut where it adapted to humans. Pigs picked up the pathogen later, perhaps from people or another animal.

Researchers have long thought that the transition from foraging to agriculture made humans sicker. By relying on a few crops and domestic animals, early farmers ate a less varied and healthy diet than hunter-gatherers. They also lived closer to human and animal poop where pathogens persist. But few infectious diseases leave marks on skeletons, so these pathogens have been hard to detect in fossils.

In a technological breakthrough, a team led by population geneticists Felix Key and Johannes Krause and bacterial genomicist Alexander Herbig at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History developed a method called HOPS for detecting bits of ancient DNA from disease-causing bacteria. Key, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Herbig, and their team used the method to screen bacterial DNA in the teeth of 2739 humans from sites across Europe, Russia, and Turkey dating back more than 6500 years. From those teeth, they were able to reconstruct eight S. enterica genomes.

They got cheesed off at moving around all of the time.

A study has tracked the shift from hunter-gatherer lifestyles to early farming that occurred in prehistoric Europe over a period of around 1,500 years.

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of York, analysed the molecular remains of food left in pottery used by the first farmers who settled along the Atlantic Coast of Europe from 7,000 to 6,000 years ago. The researchers report evidence of dairy products in 80% of the pottery fragments from the Atlantic coast of what is now Britain and Ireland. In comparison, dairy farming on the Southern Atlantic coast of what is now Portugal and Spain seems to have been much less intensive, and with a greater use of sheep and goats rather than cows.

The study confirms that the earliest farmers to arrive on the Southern Atlantic coast exploited animals for their milk but suggests that dairying only really took off when it spread to northern latitudes, with progressively more dairy products processed in ceramic vessels. Prehistoric farmers colonising Northern areas with harsher climates may have had a greater need for the nutritional benefits of milk, including vitamin D and fat, the authors of the study suggest.

Immune systems adapting to a farming life.

When early farmers of the Vinca culture first sowed barley and wheat 7700 years ago in the rich soil of the Danube River and its tributaries, they changed more than their diet: They introduced a new way of life to the region.

They crowded together in mud huts, living cheek by rump with aurochs, cows, pigs, and goats—and their poop—in settlements that eventually swelled to thousands of people. Togetherness brought a surge in diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, and other maladies spread from animals to people and through early farming communities.

Now a new study of ancient DNA shows how the immune systems of those early farmers responded to this new, pathogen-ridden environment. The Neolithic Revolution was a “turning point” in the evolution of immune responses to infectious disease, according to a paper published today in eLife. The study suggests that in Europeans, evolution favored genes that throttled back inflammatory reactions to pathogens like influenza, restraining the hyperalert inflammatory response that can be deadlier than the pathogen itself.

“This study does a great job of showing that our immune system has continued to evolve in response to pathogen pressure,” says population geneticist Joseph Lachance of the Georgia Institute of Technology. But he notes that the paper relies on an unproven method of predicting ancient immune responses. “I buy it, but it needs to be studied [more] when we have more ancient DNA.”

Researchers have long suspected that early farmers got sick more often than nomadic hunter-gatherers. Studies suggest farmers in large Neolithic sites such as Çatalhöyük in Turkey faced a flurry of new zoonotic diseases such as influenza and salmonella, as well as new animal-borne strains of diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. ...

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling!

More than 5000 years ago, nomads known today as the Yamnaya rumbled out of the grasslands of modern-day Russia and Ukraine in heavy, ox-drawn wagons.

Within just a few centuries they had expanded across Eurasia, leaving a genetic signature in populations from Mongolia to Hungary. Now, fossilized plaque from the teeth of more than 50 Bronze Age skeletons suggests an unlikely weapon powered their expansion: milk.

“It’s great to see this type of evidence finally there,” says Wolfgang Haak, an archaeogeneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology who was not involved in the research. “It’s a convincing argument as far as dairy is concerned.”

Researchers have long speculated that a combination of wagons, dairying, and horseback riding might have made it possible for the Yamnaya—whom Haak refers to as “eastern cowboys”—to develop a new, more mobile way of life, unleashing their unprecedented expansion. But there was little direct evidence to back that up that idea, aside from a few wagon burials and pottery sherds.

To see what might have fueled the Yamnaya’s success, researchers from the United States, Europe, and Russia looked for milk proteins trapped and preserved in the dental calculus, or plaque, of people living on the steppes of modern-day Russia between 4600 and 1700 B.C.E. They examined 56 skeletons from more than two dozen sites north of the Caspian Sea. The team separated the preserved proteins from the mineral matrix of the plaque and then used mass spectrometry to identify individual proteins.

I think this fits hetre.

Few places have shaped Eurasian history as much as the ancient Near East. Agriculture and some of the world’s first civilizations were born there, and the region was home to ancient Greeks, Troy, and large swaths of the Roman Empire

. “It’s absolutely central, and a lot of us work on it for precisely that reason,” says German Archaeological Institute archaeologist Svend Hansen. “It’s always been a bridge of cultures and a key driver of innovation and change.”

But one of the most powerful tools for unraveling the past, ancient DNA, has had little to say about this crucible of history and culture, in part because DNA degrades quickly in hot climates.

Now, in three papers in this issue, researchers present DNA from more than 700 individuals who lived and died in the region over more than 10,000 years. Taken together, the studies survey the history of the Near East through a genetic lens, exploring the ancestry of the people who first domesticated plants and animals, settled down into villages, spread the precursors of modern languages, and peopled Homer’s epics.

The massive data set includes DNA from burials stretching from Croatia to modern-day Iran, in a region the authors call the Southern Arc. “The sample size is phenomenal, and fascinating,” says Wolfgang Haak, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology who was not part of the team. “The beauty of this is it’s bringing it all together in a bigger narrative.”

I'm sure early vegans opposed this move.

Animals were being farmed for food as early as around 13,000 years ago, an analysis of ancient dung suggests.

According to researchers, hunter-gatherers living in Abu Hureyra – the Upper Euphrates valley in Syria – were bringing sheep and other live animals and tending to them outside their huts thousands of years ago.

Professor Alexia Smith, of the department of anthropology at the University of Connecticut in the US and one of the authors of the study, said:

“This is almost 2,000 years earlier than what we have seen elsewhere, although it is in line with what we might expect for the Euphrates Valley. As hunter-gatherers began to experiment, bringing live animals to the site – even if it was for a short period of time – they would have had no idea of the massive societal changes they were setting in motion. The way we live today rests heavily on this shift from a reliance on hunting and gathering wild plants and animals to a dependence on growing and herding our food.”

An international team of researchers, which included scientists from the University of Durham, analysed soil samples gathered from Abu Hureyra, which is now a prehistoric archaeological site.

Errr ... the best estimates of cooking and other forms of food preparation put the start at 250,000 years ago and some estimates push it back as far as 1.8 mya.
Here is a paper on the subject
http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Pennisi_99.html (abstract only online)
and an article from Discover http://discovermagazine.com/2013/ma...earliest-evidence-of-humans-cooking-with-fire

Now it may be at 780,000 ya.

Human beings used fire to cook food hundreds of thousands of years earlier than previously thought, an Israeli-led group of researchers have suggested.

They found evidence in the 780,000-year-old remains of a huge carp-like fish discovered in northern Israel.

The scientists noted "the transition from eating raw food to eating cooked food had dramatic implications for human development and behaviour".

The previous earliest evidence of cooking dated from about 170,000 BC.

The remains of the two-metre (6.5ft) fish were found at the Gesher Benot Yaaqob archaeological site which spans the River Jordan about 14km (8.5 miles) north of the Dead Sea. Researchers studied crystals from the enamel of the fish's teeth, which were found in large quantities at the site. The way the crystals had expanded was a sign that they had not been exposed to direct fire, but cooked at a lower temperature.

Carp is also a popular Christmas dinner in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, as well as Germany and Croatia.

Some keep the live carp in a bathtub for a few days, though this is thought to be a leftover from pre-refrigeration days.

You can thank the Roman Catholic church for this fishy custom: Christmas Eve was traditionally considered a day of fasting, and devotees were not permitted to eat meat. Seafood, however, was entirely permissible, and over the years, Christmas Eve dinners evolved to include fish as the main course.
Earlier hunter-gatherers left their genetic markers behind.

Hunter-gatherers took shelter from the ice age in Southwestern Europe, but were replaced on the Italian Peninsula according to two new studies, published in Nature and Nature Ecology & Evolution today.

Modern humans first began to spread across Eurasia approximately 45,000 years ago, arriving from the near east.

Previous research claimed these people disappeared when massive ice sheets covered much of Europe around 25,000–19,000 years ago. By comparing the DNA of various ancient humans, we show this was not the case for all hunter-gatherer groups.

Our new results show the hunter-gatherers of Central and Southern Europe did disappear during the last ice age. However, their cousins in what is now France and Spain survived, leaving genetic traces still visible in the DNA of Western European peoples nearly 30,000 years later.

Two studies with one intertwining story​

In our first study in Nature, we analyzed the genomes – the complete set of DNA a person carries – of 356 prehistoric hunter-gatherers. In fact, our study compared every available ancient hunter-gatherer genome.

In our second study in Nature Ecology & Evolution, we analyzed the oldest hunter-gatherer genome recovered from the southern tip of Spain, belonging to someone who lived approximately 23,000 years ago. We also analyzed three early farmers who lived roughly 6,000 years ago in southern Spain. This allowed us to fill an important sampling gap for this region.

By combining results from these two studies, we can now describe the most complete story of human history in Europe to date. This story includes migration events, human retreat from the effects of the ice age, long-lasting genetic lineages, and lost populations. ...

Would you let a farmer borrow your jeans?

Early European farmers borrowed genes from hunter-gatherers to help them fight disease, a study suggests.

When early Stone Age farmers first moved into Europe from the Near East about 8,000 years ago, they met and began mixing with the existing hunter-gatherer populations.

Now genome-wide studies of hundreds of ancient genomes (complete sets of DNA) from this period found that a large genetic region responsible for immune responses to diseases showed both the strongest evidence of rapid evolution, and more Mesolithic hunter-gatherer ancestry than expected.

According to the Francis Crick Institute researchers, the findings suggest that mixing between the two groups resulted in mosaics of genetic variation that were acted upon by natural selection. ...

Ancient farmers didn't get grants but taming plants and taming animals was easier.

According to a new study, some wild plants are predisposed to "taming," similar to how some wild animals have attributes that made them easier for ancient humans to tame.

This might explain why our ancestors targeted certain plants to become crops. In attempting to re-tame wild versions of plant species that ancient farmers previously domesticated, researchers have made intriguing discoveries about how the process works.

Taming is a necessary first step in domesticating wild animals, but it might only work in species with tamable traits. Wolves were well-suited to befriend humans, for example, but many species lack the temperament and behavioral flexibility to vibe with us.

To be tamable, a wild animal must be capable of living among people without excessive fear or aggression. We can't apply that standard to plants, of course, but plants have less obvious barriers to domestication, with variability among species just like animals.

I think this fits here. DNA entangled in different strands as contrasting ethnic groups assimilated each other.

A new DNA study has nuanced the picture of how different groups intermingled during the European Stone Age, but also how certain groups of people were actually isolated. The study was carried out by researchers at Uppsala University working with an international team of researchers, who produced new genetic data from 56 Central and Eastern European individuals from the Stone Age. The results have been published in the journal Communications Biology.

"Conducting studies like this one requires a broad interdisciplinary discussion. In this study, this discussion has been exceptionally fruitful," says Tiina Mattila, population geneticist at Uppsala University and the study's lead author.

Over the past 15 years, DNA research has pieced together a picture of the history of the European Stone Age. Before agriculture spread to Europe, there were different groups of hunter-gatherers in different parts of Eurasia, who also intermingled with each other. This study shows that the intermingling of these hunter-gatherer genetic lines was strongly linked to geography.

Several previous DNA studies of Europe's pre-history have also shown that the spread of agriculture was strongly linked to the gene flow from Anatolia. That group was very different—genetically and culturally—from the European hunter-gatherers. But agriculture spread in different ways in different geographical areas, and this led to ethnic groups intermingling in different ways in different parts of Europe.

Fishy Farmer Findings.

Pioneering early farmers who arrived on the Baltic coast 6,000 years ago may have taken up fishing after observing indigenous hunter-gatherer communities, a major new study has found.

Previous studies of prehistoric cooking pots in areas including Britain, Spain, France and Portugal have indicated that people completely stopped cooking fish once they started farming crops and animals, even in coastal areas.

In stark contrast, the new research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and led by academics at the University of York in collaboration with the British Museum, has found that farmers who arrived on Northern Europe's Baltic coast adopted a mixed diet that embraced both fish and domesticated animal products.

The researchers say their study, which looked at fats preserved in fragments from more than a thousand prehistoric vessels uncovered in the coastal area stretching from western Denmark to southern Finland, suggests there may have been close cooperation and interaction between new arrivals and local forager communities.

I think this best fits here,

Blood relations and kinship were not all-important for the way hunter-gatherer communities lived during the Stone Age in Western Europe.

A new genetic study, conducted at several well-known French Stone Age burial sites, shows that several distinct families lived together. This was probably a deliberate system for avoiding inbreeding. These findings are revealed in a new study led by researchers from Uppsala University in collaboration with several French institutions. The study is published in the journal PNAS.

In the study, the researchers have succeeded in obtaining biomolecular data from human skeletons buried at iconic sites in France, such as Téviec and Hoedic in Brittany, as well as Champigny. The remains were dated to the very last stages of the Mesolithic (approximately 6,700 years ago), when the last Western European hunter-gatherers lived, overlapping with the Neolithic, when settled farmers took over.

This is the first study analyzing the genome of several Stone Age hunter-gatherers from the same place who lived at the same time as and in the proximity of newly arrived Neolithic farming communities.

"This gives a new picture of the last Stone Age hunter-gatherer populations in Western Europe. Our study provides a unique opportunity to analyze these groups and their social dynamics," says Professor Mattias Jakobsson from Uppsala University, who led the study.

Some 7,500 years ago, the last hunter-gatherer populations in Western Europe encountered incoming Neolithic farmers and were gradually replaced and assimilated. The coexistence of these groups has raised many questions about the extent to which they interacted.

Earlier studies, based on isotope data, have suggested that the last hunter-gatherer communities deliberately assimilated women from the Neolithic farming community. This new study shows instead that the hunter-gatherer groups mixed with other hunter-gatherer groups but not with the Neolithic farmers. ...