15407Island-hopping brought civilization to Europe (pre-Sea Peoples migration)
- Jun 19, 2014
Dear list members,
Could this be the same migration path later used by the "Sea Peoples?"
NS 2973: Civilization's Island Odyssey to Europe
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25695-islandhopping-odyssey-brought-civilisation-to-europe.html * 20:00 09 June 2014 by Andy Coghlan It was the first Greek island getaway. The farmers who brought advanced civilisation to Europe got there by sailing between the many islands strewn across the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, according to a new genetic analysis. The first modern humans in Europe were hunter-gatherers who arrived around 40,000 years ago. But around 9000 years ago the first farmers arrived. They spread rapidly, dominating the continent by 7500 years ago, and pushing the hunter-gatherers into decline. The farmers originated in the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, where farming arose, but until now no one knew which route they took to get to Europe. Three possibilities have been put forward (see map, below). The favoured route has been by land from northern Turkey, across the Bosphorus strait separating Europe and Asia and then through the Balkans. A second suggestion has been that they zipped directly to Greece by sea, from the coastline now occupied by Israel. Or they could have hopped between the many islands that arc up towards Greece from Turkey's southern coast. This third "island-hopping" route is the correct one, says Peristera Paschou of the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. Paschou and her colleagues hunted for genetic relics of the early farmers in people who now live along the possible routes, as well as in people who live in places where agriculture originated or spread to. They analysed DNA from 964 people in 32 places, from north Africa and the Mediterranean coast to the European mainland and the Middle East. Each DNA sample was checked for 75,000 genetic markers called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The team used the data to piece together how the SNPs spread across Europe, reconstructing how the farmers colonised the continent. Two different analyses came to the same conclusion. First, the farmers moved from Cappadocia in central Turkey to its south-west coast. From there, they island-hopped across Dodecanese islands like Kos and Patmos to Greece. As well as colonising the Greek mainland, another group settled on Crete, and established Europe's first advanced civilisation, the Minoan, 5000 years ago. From there, they headed west to Sicily and the southern tip of Italy. Boat trip "We cannot rule out the other pathways, and most likely they were all used simultaneously to some degree," says Paschou. "But our analysis shows that island-hopping was the major path." "The Mediterranean islands seem to bridge central Europe with Turkey and the Near East," says Ruth Bollongino of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany. But she says there may have been other migrations, before recorded history, that explain the patterns of the SNPs. The speed of the colonisation suggests that the farmers used boats to cross the sea. "Although the type of sea craft is not known, there is evidence of maritime activity in the Mediterranean during the Neolithic," says Paschou. Journal reference: PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1320811111 References 17. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25461-stone-age-dna-shows-huntergatherers-shunned-farming.html 18. http://utopia.duth.gr/~ppaschou/paschou.html 19. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18524811.200-quakes-left-cretan-civilisation-high-and-dry.html 20. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227106.000-decoding-antiquity-eight-scripts-that-still-cant-be-read.html 21. http://www.uni-mainz.de/FB/Biologie/Anthropologie/MolA/English/Staff/Bollongino.html 22. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328544.800-neanderthals-were-ancient-mariners.html 23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1320811111