DNA study reveals Britons who built Stonehenge were product of ancient wave of migrant farmers

epa03994305 View at Stonehenge, the 5,000 year old stone circle, near Salisbury, Britain, 17 December 2013. The English Heritage organization has opened a new exhibition and visitor center to offer visitors to see original objects from the Bronze Age and a 360 degree virtual experience of Stonehenge. The centre will open to the public on 18 December. EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

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The ancestors of the Britons who built Stonehenge were farmers who had travelled from an area near modern Turkey, arriving around 4000BC.

Researchers compared DNA extracted from Neolithic human remains found across Britain with that of people alive at the same time in Europe.

Details have been published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

See the full report here

The Neolithic inhabitants were descended from populations originating in Anatolia (modern Turkey) that moved to Iberia before heading north.

Scientists investigating the origins of farming in Britain have said they have found overwhelming support for agriculture being introduced to Britain by a surge of continental migrants from Anatolia, bringing farming techniques, pottery and new religious cultures and beliefs.

The team examined DNA from 47 Neolithic farmer skeletons dating from 6,000 to 4,500 years ago and six Mesolithic hunter-gatherer skeletons from the preceding period, around 11,600 – 6,000 years ago.

Via The Independent/BBC

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