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The neolithic revolution was spread by sea

June 12, 2014

New mitochondrial DNA analysis shows that neolithic agricultural practices spread from the fertile crescent ten thousand years ago by migration, not cultural transfer. More, the migration was by sea. Lead researcher Eva Fernández writes:

The most significant conclusion is that the degree of genetic similarity between the populations of the Fertile Crescent and the ones of Cyprus and Crete supports the hypothesis that Neolithic spread in Europe took place through pioneer seafaring colonization, not through a land-mediated expansion through Anatolia, as it was thought until now.

Six thousand years before the Homeric tales or the Old Testament were conceived, our ancestors were plying the Mediterranean with animals and grain and all the stuff needed to set up agricultural colonies. The paper has some interesting maps.

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