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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Complete Mammoth Skeleton / Origins of First European Farmers

Complete Mammoth Skeleton found

It looks like a discovery in Lea County, N.M., could be a complete mammoth skeleton. The mammoth was found Delbert Sanderson, who saw the femur bone fossil sticking up out of the ground.

The New Mexico Natural History Museum Executive Director Calvin Smith said: “It is a major discovery,” “We usually find pieces and parts, but if this is a complete skeleton, it is very important.” “It is a significant find and one that deserves a lot of attention,” “If we are on the bottom of it, we are through, if we are on the top of it, we have another year’s work.” (Source)

So far  a femur, tibia, fibula and a carpal has been found

More on this:

DNA Reveals Origins of First European Farmers

A team of international researchers led by ancient DNA experts from the University of Adelaide has resolved the longstanding issue of the origins of the people who introduced farming to Europe some 8000 years ago. (Source)

A detailed genetic study of one of the first farming communities in Europe, from central Germany, reveals marked similarities with populations living in the Ancient Near East (modern-day Turkey, Iraq and other countries) rather than those from Europe. (Source)

Project leader Professor Alan Cooper, Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) at the University of Adelaide, says: "This overturns current thinking, which accepts that the first European farming populations were constructed largely from existing populations of hunter-gatherers, who had either rapidly learned to farm or interbred with the invaders." (Source)

The results of the study have been published today in the online peer-reviewed science journal PLoS Biology. (Source)

"We have finally resolved the question of who the first farmers in Europe were -- invaders with revolutionary new ideas, rather than populations of Stone Age hunter-gatherers who already existed in the area," says lead author Dr Wolfgang Haak, Senior Research Associate with ACAD at the University of Adelaide. (Source)

"We've been able to apply new, high-precision ancient DNA methods to create a detailed genetic picture of this ancient farming population, and reveal that it was radically different to the nomadic populations already present in Europe. (Source)

"We have also been able to use genetic signatures to identify a potential route from the Near East and Anatolia, where farming evolved around 11,000 years ago, via south-eastern Europe and the Carpathian Basin (today's Hungary) into Central Europe," Dr Haak says. (Source)

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