Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category
“Our analysis shows that there is no direct continuity between hunter-gatherers and farmers in Central Europe,” says Prof Joachim Burger. “As the hunter-gatherers were there first, the farmers must have immigrated into the area.”
The study identifies the Carpathian Basin as the origin for early Central European farmers. “It seems that farmers of the Linearbandkeramik culture immigrated from what is modern day Hungary around 7,500 years ago into Central Europe, initially without mixing with local hunter gatherers,” says Barbara Bramanti, first author of the study. “This is surprising, because there were cultural contacts between the locals and the immigrants, but, it appears, no genetic exchange of women.”
Between 8,000 and 9,000 years ago, the first farmers from Asia were already cultivating land in what is now Greece, according to archaeological remains, but in places like the United Kingdom, Denmark and Northern Germany farming did not happen until around 3,000 years later.
One of the most significant socioeconomic changes in the history of humanity started taking place around 10,000 years ago, when the Near East went from an economy based on hunting and gathering (Mesolithic) to another kind on agriculture (Neolithic) and farming rapidly entered the Balkan Peninsula and then advanced gradually throughout the rest of Europe.
When domesticated agriculture was invented, it took off and revolutionized human expansion but a study of ceramic pots from 15 sites dating to around 4,000 B.C. shows humans may have undergone a gradual rather than an abrupt transition from fishing, hunting and gathering to farming. The researchers analyzed the cooking residues preserved in 133 ceramic vessels from the Western Baltic regions of Northern Europe to establish whether these residues were from terrestrial, marine or freshwater organisms.
The research team found that fish and other aquatic resources continued to be exploited after the advent of farming and domestication, with pots from coastal locations containing residues enriched in a form of carbon found in marine organisms.