Stone Age Aegean Sea migrants brought agriculture to Europe

June 7, 2016

According to the latest scientific findings, the Stone Age people from the Aegean Sea region brought to Europe the agricultural skills. Hunter-gatherers dominated 8,000 years ago in Europe (its central and southern parts), say the scientists in their publication at in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Therefore, ancient migrants introduced agriculture to a continent, said population geneticist Joachim Burger from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.

The findings of scientists revealed that Stone Age people from the Aegean Sea region was the first in southern and central Europe who brought the agriculture to the continent. DNA analysis confirmed this fact, say anthropologist Joachim Burger, one of the study’s authors. The genetic data says the ancient farmers in central Europe and Spain were more closely related to the Aegean group than to each other. Thus, that farmers have been appeared on the continent in two separate waves: i) northward into the continent, and ii) westward along the coastline to Spain.

The anthropologists compared genetic samples from ancient agricultural communities in Germany, Hungary and Spain. Additional ancient genomes from the regions in Greece and northwest Turkey showed a link between the European and Aegean populations. How ancient Stone Age Aegean Sea migrants could come to the Europe? The same way as today’s migrants do — one is the Balkan route, and the second is the Mediterranean route.

Some typical characteristics of the ancient Aegean farmers based on their DNA, noted the Burger. Those Stone Age Aegean Sea migrants were fair-skinned with dark eyes, and another interesting fact is they weren’t able to digest milk after childhood — a trait that only developed in Europe later.