Tag: agriculture

The First Population Explosion: Human Numbers Expanded Dramatically Millennia Before Agriculture

Ten millennia ago, there were about six million people on Earth. Today, there are six billion. This thousandfold increase in the global population is often thought to be linked to the invention of farming and the domestication of animals about 13,000 years ago in the Near East. Growing crops and raising ...

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Archaeologists Discover Early Example of Domesticated Camels

Most experts agree that the earliest examples of farming and animal domestication lie in the aptly named Fertile Crescent, in present day Iraq.  But still many questions have lingered over the years, especially with regard to remnants of farming or animal domestication that have not survived to the present ...

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Recommended Reading: The 10,000 Year Explosion

Almost since the 1871 publication of "The Descent of Man," in which Charles Darwin applied his theory of natural selection to the human species, biologists have argued over whether the dramatic series of evolutionary events that led to the emergence of Homo sapiens continues to this day. Some have argued ...

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Hidden in Plain Sight: New Genetic Discoveries Shed Light on the Spread of Farming in Eastern Europe

Before genetics came into the picture, researchers interested in the introduction of agriculture to Europe had only the archaeological record to go on — a limited collection of primarily stone and bone artifacts that left much room for interpretation. But as researchers began applying population genetics to ...

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Where Today Meets Yesterday: A New Approach to Studying the Genetic History of Southeast Asia

Archaeologists rarely agree on anything.  So it's no surprise that for years two groups of scholars have drawn completely opposite conclusions about the relationship between the ancient people of Thailand and China. Some experts argue that, thousands of years ago, people from Thailand migrated into East ...

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Genes and Languages: Not So Strange Bedfellows?

Throughout the history of our species there has been one constant:  movement.  Since the origin of Homo sapiens nearly 200,000 years ago in East Africa, humans have journeyed around the globe, ultimately inhabiting every continent save Antarctica.Scientists have traditionally used archaeology, and more ...

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The Origin of Farming in Europe: A View from the Y Chromosome

This guest post is by Roy King, who is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and a research colleague of Stanford geneticist and 23andMe scientific adviser Peter Underhill. Roy and Peter have been using genetics to trace the spread of agriculture from the Near East to Europe. The question of ...

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