A multinational team of researchers has concluded that Neolithic farmers migrated to Europe from the Near East via the islands that dot the Mediterranean Sea between Turkey and Greece. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they used genetic analysis on a large number of volunteers in the Middle and Near East and Europe to trace the path of early migration into Europe.
Scientists know that the first modern humans to migrate to Europe were hunter-gatherers—they arrived approximately 40,000 years ago. But then, the hunter-gatherers were slowly replaced by new migrants from the Near East approximately 9,000 years ago—migrants that were farmers. But the path they took has been under dispute by historians. In this new effort the researchers sought to lay the arguments to rest by conducting an exhaustive DNA study of the people that live in the region today.
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