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Its all in the genes

25 August 2011

Interesting web site to browse … www.geneticarchaeology.com, while at www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14630012, BBC News reports on a DNA study that overturns earlier genetic research which claimed farmers displaced the indigenous Mesolithic population of Europe – or a large part thereof. The latest research now says that most of Europe's males can trace descent from Stone Age hunters (research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B). It seems the results vary depending on the genetic markers studied and different interpretations are being made. The problem is in estimating a date when an ancestral lineage might have originated and this is subject to a number of assumptions.

Meanwhile, Reuters has a report on archaeology in Arabia – at www.reuters.com. It claims a site, al-Maqar, is Neolithic (pre-Bronze Age/before 3000BC) and reportedly, horses were domesticated there as early as 9000 years ago. If this is true it will upset current dogma which has the horse domesticated on the Eurasian steppe zone in the 4th millennium BC. This report, as yet, is not verified and it may turn out to be onagers. We will have to wait and see.

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