Friday, 8 February 2019

DNA reveals early mating between Asian herders and European farmers

DNA reveals early mating between Asian herders and European farmers

Hundreds of years before changing the genetic face of Bronze Age Europeans, herders based in western Asia’s steppe grasslands were already mingling and occasionally mating with nearby farmers in southeastern Europe. That surprising finding, published online February 4 in Nature Communications, raises novel questions about a pivotal time when widespread foraging and farming populations interacted in Eurasia’s Caucasus region. Those exchanges presumably sparked the geographic spread of metalworking, the wheel and wagon, and Indo-European languages still spoken in much of the world.

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