Stone Age Britons Imported Food

This is from the i newspaper last week, which throws new light on our hunter-gatherer ancestors:

“English hunter-gatherers traded with continental wheat farmers at least 2,000 years before agriculture came to Britain, research suggests. Scientists made the discovery after analysing fragments of ancient DNA at an underwater site off the Isle of Wight.

In the 8,000 year old sediment cores from Bouldnor Cliff, they found sequences that matched Near Eastern wheat strains, but no evidence of the crop’s cultivation or pollen. Since agriculture was unknown in Britain until about 6,000 years ago it suggests that trade between hunter-gatherers and Neolithic farmers must have existed for thousands of years previously.

The research sheds light on the early stages of the Mesolithic-to-Neolothic transition, during which farming advanced across Europe from East to West.

Experts disagree on how quickly the change came to Britaon – whether migrating farmers rapidly displaced indigenous hunter-gatherers or whether unter-gatherers gradaully moved over to the new way of living. When the wheat DNA was deposited, Britain was still connected to mainland Europe.

Bouldnor Cliff, an area identified as the site of an ancient Mesolithic settlement in 1999, lies 36 feet below the surface of the Solent near Yarmouth. It may be where the first British wheat-eaters lived.”

With more farms in Britain being converted to housing and/or solar farms, a claim has been made that 40% of our food should be imported. Some things don’t change.

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