A new Swedish-Danish survey shows that agriculture techniques transferred from Southern to Northern Europe gradually.
The scientists examined the DNA of four Scandinavian farmers of the Neolithic Age and found that they had more genes in common with inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries, such as Greeks, Cypriots or Sardinians, rather than with Northern people.
They analyzed, by means of innovative techniques, the genetic material of one farmer and three hunters-gatherers found in Sweden. These four skeletons date back to the Neolithic Age, almost 5,000 years ago.
Comparing the farmer’s genetic material to other modern Europeans’, scientists found more similarities with the Southern inhabitants DNA, rather than with that of their neighbors. On the contrary, the three hunters-gatherers were more like the Norwegians.
According to the researchers, this result leads to the conclusion that ancient Greeks gave their agricultural knowledge to the Northern communities and they did not simply just explain their techniques to them. They had to travel so far and thus, their genetic material was mixed with the Scandinavians. This may be the reason why they have so many genetic similarities.
Scientists all around the world agree that agriculture techniques were “transported from the Mediterranean countries to all of Europe,” but they disagree about the way it happened. The survey now gives a boost to those researchers who claim that the agricultural spread followed the immigration of the Mediterraneans.