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Two Middle Eastern populations independently developed farming and then spread the technology to Europe, Africa and Asia, according to the genomes of 44 people who lived thousands of years ago in present-day Armenia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Iran.
Posted on 17 June on the bioRxiv preprint server, the research supports archaeological evidence about the multiple origins of farming. . .
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. . . [T]he hot climes of the Fertile Crescent had made it difficult to obtain ancient DNA from remains found there. Advances in extracting DNA from a tiny ear bone called the petrous allowed a team led by Iosif Lazaridis and David Reich. . . to analyse the genomes of the 44 Middle Eastern individuals, who lived between 14,000 and 3,500 years ago.
The team found stark differences between the genomes of Neolithic individuals from the southern Levant region. . . and those living . . . in western Iran. . .
This pattern of ancestry adds to the evidence that the hunter-gatherers in the southern Levant and Iran independently developed farming, says Roger Matthews, an archaeologist at the University of Reading, . . .
Read full, original post: Farming invented twice in Middle East, genomes study reveals