Incorporates the latest discoveries and theories from
archaeology, genetics, history, and linguistics to paint a spirited
history of European settlement Who are the Europeans and where did
they come from? In recent years scientific advances have released a
mass of data, turning cherished ideas upside down. The idea of
migration in prehistory, so long out of favor, is back on the
agenda. New advances allow us to track human movement and the
spread of crops, animals, and disease, and we can see the evidence
of population crashes and rises, both continent-wide and locally.
Visions of continuity have been replaced with a more dynamic view
of Europe's past, with one wave of migration followed by another,
from the first human arrivals in Europe to the Vikings.
Ancient DNA links Europe to its nearest neighbors. It is not a
new idea that farming was brought from the Near East, but genetics
now reveal an unexpectedly complex process in which farmers arrived
not in one wave, but several. Even more unexpected is the evidence
that the European gene pool was stirred vigorously many times after
farming had reached most of Europe. Climate change played a part in
this upheaval, but so did new inventions such as the plough and
wheeled vehicles. Genetic and linguistic clues also enhance our
understanding of the upheavals of the Migration Period, the
wanderings of steppe nomads, and the adventures of the Vikings.
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