Are the Balkan Europeans in the Middle East

New gene analyzes Europe's farmers came via the Balkan route

Much of the ancestors of the Europeans came from the Middle East. This is confirmed by a current study published in the specialist magazine "Nature". The genetic analyzes show that in the Neolithic (the time in which Ötzi also lived) steppe dwellers from today's Eastern Europe and farmers from the A team led by geneticist David Reich from Harvard Medical School in Boston analyzed the genes of a total of 180 people who lived in Hungary, Spain and Germany between 6,000 and 2,200 BC. Max Planck was also involved -Institute for Human History in Jena. The study answered a long discussed research question.

Coexistence instead of displacement

Hundreds of bones from the three areas have been examined by archaeologists, anthropologists and geneticists from numerous museums and collections. The researchers found that in all regions the proportion of genes in hunters and gatherers slowly increased over the period investigated. From this they concluded: The local cultures were not replaced by the immigrant farmers.

It is much more likely that the groups coexisted alongside and with one another for a long time and that the hunters and gatherers gradually adapted to the farming cultures. Earlier theories of so-called "demic diffusion" assumed that the immigrants from the Middle East had displaced the original Europeans.

The already resident hunters and gatherers were slowly but surely integrated into the early farming cultures.

Mark Lipson | Co-author of the study

Neolithic Revolution

Immigration led to a major development in Europe known as the Neolithic Revolution: the nomadic hunter-gatherer cultures became sedentary farmers with domesticated pets. The spread of sedentary agriculture in Europe between 6,500 and 5,500 BC is a controversial field of research. The theory that nomadic hunters and gatherers were not displaced but adapted to the advantages of sedentary farming life had been around for a long time. However, it has not yet been proven. How exactly the individual cultures mixed is now to be investigated further.

LexiTV | 11/08/2017 | 3 p.m.