[One for the EDL] Most British people descended from male farmers who left Iraq and Syria
Most Britons are direct descendants of farmers who left modern day Iraq and Syria 10,
000 years ago, a new study has shown.
After studying the DNA of more than 2,000 men, researchers say they have compelling evidence that four out of five white Europeans can trace their roots to the Near East.
The discovery is shedding light on one of the most important periods of human history – the time when our ancient ancestors abandoned hunting and began to domesticate animals.
The invention of farming led to the first towns and paved the way for the dawn of civilisation.
The Leicester University study looked at a common genetic mutation on the Y chromosome, the DNA that is passed down from fathers to sons.
They found that 80 per cent of European men shared the same Y chromosone mutation and after analysing how the mutation was distributed across Europe, were able to retrace how Europe was colonised around 8,000BC.
Prof Mark Jobling, who led the study: ‘This was at the time of the Neolithic revolution when they developed a new style of tools, symmetrical, beautiful tools.
‘At this stage about 10,000 years ago there was evidence of the first settlements, people stopped being nomadic hunter-gatherers and started building communities.
‘This also allowed people to specialise in certain areas of trade and make better tools because there was a surplus of food.’
European farming began around 9,000 BC in the Fertile Crescent – a region extending from the eastern Mediterranean coast to the Persian Gulf and which includes modern day Iraq, Syria, Israel and southeast Turkey.
The region was the cradle of civilisation and home to the Babylonia, Sumer and Assyrian empires.