Farmers assimilated foragers as they spread agriculture

Ancient Europeans’ genetic makeup reveals that those who resisted died out

By Tina Hesman Saey, 14:24 PM April 24, 2014

Agriculture’s spread into Europe was a movement of people, not just ideas, new genetic data suggest.

Early farmers living in Sweden about 5,000 years ago carried genetic signatures of both farmers and hunter-gatherers, researchers report April 24 in Science. The findings suggest that migrating farmers bred with foragers, carrying more and more hunter-gatherer genes with them as they brought agriculture from the Middle East through Central Europe and into Scandinavia.

Not all of the foragers wer...

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