Relive the Past

Ancient DNA discovered in the Solent may rewrite history of farming in Europe.

wheat

We believed that Wheat was first cultured by human being about 10,500 years ago. According to the studies the first cultivations occurred in the Near East, which then spread gradually to the other regions of the world.

People in Eastern Europe started budding wheat about 8,000 to 9,000 years ago, making its way westward, crossing the English Channel some 6,000 years ago.

However, Remarkable new archaeological inventions are likely to totally rewrite a key part of British prehistory.

It is discovered by a team of researchers who have been working at the Boulder Cliff site. They have unearthed the 8,000 year old DNA sample which suggests that wheat was not grown-up in those regions or any other parts of England.

Bouldner Cliff is an archaeological site located 36 feet undersea and about 800 feet off the shore from Bouldnor, which is close to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

This ancient site was first found in 1999, when the local people found a lobster that was moving a small, stone-age tool.

The scientists use a method called box sampling in order to save samples from the underwater site.

They do it by thrusting metal sampling boxes to search the newly exposed soil of the site. They then seal the box and transport it back to the outside and examine the samples in the lab.

Robin Allaby, one of the researchers implicated in the discovery, explained they discovered samples of DNA from ancient wheat. This is eccentric because there is no knowledge of wheat in England for at least another 2,000 years.

Allaby says that southern Europeans were previously growing wheat at that time, which means the wheat in England came from them.

The researchers are very eager about the latest discovery because it suggests that people from Bouldner were not as isolated from the world as it was earlier believed.

According to the researchers, the Bouldner community was in touch with other, more sophisticated Neolithic farmers from southern Europe.

After analyzing the DNA samples, the scientists concluded that the wheat was imported from somewhere else, since it was more connected to the domesticated wheat that grew in Near Eastern, that the wild wheat that grew in the Bouldner areas.

 

March 2nd, 2015 at 7:38 am


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