Ancient farmers, foragers kept genes to themselves | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Ancient farmers, foragers kept genes to themselves

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

By
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.

Instead, at least one group of hunter-gatherers clung to its culture for a surprisingly long time despite regularly crossing paths with farmers, paleogeneticist Ruth Bollongino of the University of Mainz in Germany and her colleagues report October 10 in Science. It’s not known whether

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content