The Transition From Hunting To Farming In Europe

September 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment

According to a new genetic study reported in Science Express tomorrow, the first farmers of Europe were almost certainly immigrants, perhaps descendants of those first farmers in the Fertile Crescent. The article is a continuation of the study of the archaeological Linearbandkeramik culture, and I’ve used it as the basis for a new photo essay on the transition from hunting to farming in Europe.

Geographic Range of Linearbandkeramic - the First Central European Farmers

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Geographic Range of Linearbandkeramic – the First Central European Farmers. Image © Science

The archaeological culture known as Linearbandkeramik (or LBK for short) has been long recognized as that of the originators of agriculture in Europe. LBK is marked by a distinctive pottery, house style and stone tool technology, but most importantly, the people carried a farming technology not seen in Europe before that point. Agriculture—the domestication of wheat, barley, peas, lentils and linseed; and cattle, sheep, goats and pigs—was an invention of the Near East and Southwestern Asia about 10,000 years ago. That package of skills spread to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkmenistan over the next 3000 years and was finally brought into central Europe starting with the Balkan states of Hungary and Slovakia about 5500 BC.

 

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