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Genetic advantage may be why farming societies displaced hunter-gatherers

| | April 25, 2014

How did farming take over the world? One theory is that farming was such an evidently good idea that it spread on its own. As hunter-gatherers encountered farmers, they were converted to an agricultural way of living. But a large-scale genetic analysis of Stone Age remains in Sweden suggests that this wasn’t the case.

Instead, it seems like early farmers and hunter-gatherers had deep-rooted genetic differences. This suggests that European farmers were so successful that they displaced hunter-gatherers as they spread across the continent.

Pontus Skoglund of Uppsala University in Sweden and his colleagues sequenced the DNA from 11 early hunter-gatherers and farmers dating back to between 5000 and 7000 years ago. Four were associated with late Stone Age farming settlements; seven were identified as coastal hunter-gatherers.

Read the full, original story: Stone Age DNA shows hunter-gatherers shunned farming

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