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Ancient farmers, foragers kept genes to themselves

Groups lived alongside each other in Central Europe for 2,000 years but didn't intermingle

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2:02pm, October 10, 2013

EUROPE'S GENE SCENE  Starting around 5,000 years ago, several farming populations influenced modern Europeans’ genetic makeup, a new study finds. One of those populations, the Corded Ware culture, is represented by this woman’s shell-covered skeleton excavated in Germany.

Modern Europeans’ genetic roots took a surprising turn after farming’s introduction to the continent around 7,500 years ago, two studies suggest.

Farmers and hunter-gatherers lived alongside each other in Central Europe for 2,000 years without mating outside their own groups, according to one of the studies. Until now, researchers have primarily thought that farmers entering Europe from the east either drove out hunter-gatherers or quickly drew nomadic groups into a lifestyle of crop growing and animal raising.

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