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15407Island-hopping brought civilization to Europe (pre-Sea Peoples migration)

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  • richfaussette
    Jun 19, 2014
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      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 [13]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 [16]the first
      farmers arrived. They spread rapidly, dominating the continent by
      7500 years ago, and [17]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
      [18]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 [19]Crete, and established Europe's first
      advanced civilisation, [20]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 [21]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 [22]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: [23]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

      Rich Faussette
      NYC