search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

New Thoughts on Anatolia’s First Farmers

Friday, March 23, 2018

Anatolia early farmingLIVERPOOL, ENGLAND—A new study suggests that hunter-gatherers living on the Anatolian plateau some 10,000 years ago may have invented farming on their own, or learned to farm through their relationships with their neighbors, according to a Haaretz report. At the hunter-gatherer village known as Boncuklu, Douglas Baird of the University of Liverpool and his colleagues discovered stone tools, burned seeds, wheat chaff, and weeds known to have grown in early farmers’ fields. An abundance of pests also suggests the residents of Boncuklu farmed. Bones from the site suggest they kept sheep and goats. But the tools at Boncuklu and other sites in central Anatolia are unlike those found at other early farming sites in the Fertile Crescent, suggesting the Levantine farmers did not replace the Anatolians. “In addition, the ancient DNA evidence now clearly shows that there is a distinctive local gene pool in the early Neolithic at places like Boncuklu, different from the genetics of Levantine Neolithic populations,” Baird said. Anatolians who picked up farming survived to pass their genes on to later Neolithic populations in central and western Anatolia. To read about studies suggesting Europe's first farmers were also its first carpenters, go to “The Neolithic Toolkit.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement