The ability to grow our own food instead of hunting and gathering is considered one of the most important behavioural shifts since modern humans first evolved in Africa 200,000 years ago. But the origins of farming and how it emerged from the Fertile Crescent region in the Middle East are still very much a mystery. Now experts believe several genetically distinct Stone Age hunter-gatherer communities living in the region began to grow crops and keep animals 10,000 years ago, before subsequent generations went on to sow the seeds of farming far and wide. Experts believe several genetically distinct Stone Age hunter-gatherer communities in the Middle East began to grow crops and keep animals 10,000 years ago, before subsequent generations went on to sow the seeds of farming far and wide. Researchers looked at DNA extracted from four ancient skeletons.
Scientists have discovered evidence regarding a previously unknown group of Stone Age farmers from the eastern part of the Fertile Crescent, signaling that agriculture was invented more than once, and challenging existing theories related to the origin of the concept. According to a report published in the journal "Science" Thursday, bones and teeth from four human skeletons recovered from the Zagros mountains in present-day Iran show that they were eating domestically grown crops even 9,000 years ago. In the past, research has claimed that a group of hunter-gatherers in the Middle East put together the concept of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, migrating to Europe, Asia and Africa, where they slowly either replaced or mixed with the locals. However, the DNA from the four skeletons shows that they are from a distinct genetic group, which was not known to scientists before, with "brown eyes, relatively dark skin, and black hair." None of these were related to the Aegeans, widely considered Europe's first farmers.
The world's first farmers came from three genetically-distinct communities in the Near and Middle East, suggesting agriculture was developed in different regions independently. Researchers conducted the first large-scale, genome-wide study of ancient human remains from the Near East at the dawn of agriculture 12,000 to 8,000 years ago. They found farming spread in the Near East at least in part because existing groups invented or adopted farming technologies, rather than because one population replaced another. The world's first farmers came from three genetically-distinct communities in the Near and Middle East, suggesting agriculture was developed in two regions independently, according to a new study. Before, it was difficult to study the genetic history of the Near East because the region's warm climate has degraded much of the DNA in unearthed bones.
The world's first farmers were already reliant on their'wolf-like' dogs who followed them into Europe and Asia 9,000 years ago, according to a new DNA study. Domesticated dogs faithfully tagged along with early agriculturalists who were'already really connected' to their hounds when they spread out of the Fertile Crescent. This recent study shows that not only were dogs useful to early hunters but they were'an integral component of the Neolithic farming package' too. The world's first farmers were already reliant on their dogs who followed them into Europe and Asia 9,000 years ago, according to a new DNA study (stock image) The Fertile Crescent is an ancient area of fertile soil arcing around the Arabian desert from Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and ending in Iraq and Iran. According to a paper by researchers from the University of Rennes in France, dogs accompanied humans when they first spread out from this area.
Researchers in Poland have discovered the remains of a cat which could date as far back as 4,200 BCE, an'unexpected' discovery that suggests cats had spread through Europe much farther and earlier than previously thought. The discovery was made by a team of archaeozoologists from Nicolaus Copernicus University, who excavated four caves in southern Poland that had been sites of early farming settlements. Buried in layers of sediment beside ceramic vessels, the team found the humerus of a cat, which they were surprised to learn were thousands of years older than they had expected. 'We expected to find cat remains not older than the beginning of the Common Era, because that was suggested by other archeological finds from Europe,' team lead Magdalena Krajcarz told Inverse. 'The Neolithic age of these cats was something we didn't even consider as a hypothesis.'