Researchers from several universities worldwide including Harvard and Cambridge say a wave of migrants from modern-day Greece and Turkey arrived in Britain approximately 6,000 years ago and all but replaced the region’s hunter-gatherer population.
The findings come from a recently published study in the Nature —the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journal.
According to the study, genetic samples of ancient remains show that there was minimal interbreeding between the newly arrived Aegean farmers and the darker-skinned hunter-gatherers who had lived in the British Isles for millennia. Such findings suggest that the farmers likely replaced the hunter-gatherers altogether.
The findings also contrast with trends on continental Europe, where Aegean farmers mixed extensively with local populations, according to previous DNA studies.
Mark Thomas, a professor of evolutionary genetics at University College London who co-wrote the study, says that one explanation “may be that those last British hunter-gatherers were relatively few in number” and therefore left little trace in the genetic record.
Featured photo: This 2018 file photo features a full facial reconstruction model of a head based on the skull of Britain’s oldest complete skeleton on display during a screening event of The First Brit: Secrets Of The 10,000 Year Old Man at The Natural History Museum, in London.
See the full study here
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