New research shows that the early Stone Age human who populated the region of southern Europe and who later went on to become the people that we know as the Ancient Greeks today did not only bring to the world the ideals of democracy, measure. logic, art and the appreciation of beauty; that they were not only ingenious engineers, architects and mathematicians but they also transferred agricultural practices from Southern to Northern Europe as early as the Neolithic Age.
A new Swedish-Danish survey shows that agriculture techniques transferred from Southern to Northern Europe gradually.The scientists examined the DNA of four Stone Age Scandinavians dating almost 5000 years ago. Three of the skeletons analyzed were from hunter gatherers and one was a farmer. The scientists found that the DNA found in the remains of the farmer had more genes in common with inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries, such as the Greeks in comparison to the hunter gatherers whose genetic material was more similar to Finns and other extreme-northern populations that inhabited the area before the appearance of the farmers.
This means that agriculture was introduced from south to north. It also means that it was introduced by migratory southern people who traveled to the Scandinavian countries and after settling interbred with natives. The farmers lived in similar communities with the hunters and gatherers with entirely different genetic backgrounds for thousands of years before interbreeding.
This study opens the door to new questions regarding Mediterranean influence in Scandinavian civilizations which I am sure we will be hearing about in the years to come.
Till then you can learn many new and interesting facts about the Ancient Greek civilization either by following this blog or by signing up for one of the many amazing cultural tours offered by the Athens Walking Tours. My suggestion for this week is a half day tour of Ancient Corinth which you can read about here.