DNA recovered from underwater British site may rewrite history of farming in Europe

February 26, 2015 7:17 PM

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Hunter-gatherers may have brought agricultural products to the British Isles by trading wheat and other grains with early farmers from the European mainland. That’s the intriguing conclusion of a new study of ancient DNA from a now submerged hunter-gatherer camp off the British coast. If true, the find suggests that wheat made its way to the far edge of Western Europe 2000 years before farming was thought to have taken hold in Britain.

The work confronts archaeologists “with the challenge of fitting this into our worldview,” says Dorian Fuller, an archaeobotanist at University College London who was not involved in the work.

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