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Tracing the origin and spread of agriculture in Europe.

Pinhasi R, Fort J, Ammerman AJ - PLoS Biol. (2005)

Bottom Line: The average rate of the Neolithic spread over Europe is 0.6-1.3 km/y (95% confidence interval).This is consistent with the prediction of demic diffusion (0.6-1.1 km/y).An interpolative map of correlation coefficients, obtained by using shortest-path distances, shows that the origins of agriculture were most likely to have occurred in the northern Levantine/Mesopotamian area.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Human and Life Sciences, Whitelands College, Roehampton University, London, United Kingdom. r.pinhasi@roehampton.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The origins of early farming and its spread to Europe have been the subject of major interest for some time. The main controversy today is over the nature of the Neolithic transition in Europe: the extent to which the spread was, for the most part, indigenous and animated by imitation (cultural diffusion) or else was driven by an influx of dispersing populations (demic diffusion). We analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of the transition using radiocarbon dates from 735 early Neolithic sites in Europe, the Near East, and Anatolia. We compute great-circle and shortest-path distances from each site to 35 possible agricultural centers of origin--ten are based on early sites in the Middle East and 25 are hypothetical locations set at 5 degrees latitude/longitude intervals. We perform a linear fit of distance versus age (and vice versa) for each center. For certain centers, high correlation coefficients (R > 0.8) are obtained. This implies that a steady rate or speed is a good overall approximation for this historical development. The average rate of the Neolithic spread over Europe is 0.6-1.3 km/y (95% confidence interval). This is consistent with the prediction of demic diffusion (0.6-1.1 km/y). An interpolative map of correlation coefficients, obtained by using shortest-path distances, shows that the origins of agriculture were most likely to have occurred in the northern Levantine/Mesopotamian area.

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Location of the 735 Archaeological Sites Used in the Analysis as well as the Ten POAs Listed in Table 1
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pbio-0030410-g001: Location of the 735 Archaeological Sites Used in the Analysis as well as the Ten POAs Listed in Table 1

Mentions: The values of the correlation coefficient, R, derived from the linear regressions for the ten POAs (Figure 1) are presented in Table 1. Let us first consider great-circle distances. The POA with the highest correlation coefficient is Center 3 (Abu Madi). However, eight out of the nine other POAs have values of R that overlap with the range for Abu Madi (R = 0.827 ± 0.026, using uncalibrated dates). Therefore, their R-values are similar, and they can be regarded as likely places of origin for the dispersal. Center 1 (Çatal Höyük) is the only POA with an R-range that does not overlap with that of the center with the highest value of R; it has a substantially lower value (using either uncalibrated or calibrated ages). Interestingly, Table 1 shows that this conclusion changes when we consider shortest-path distances (see Text S2 for details on the computation of shortest-path distances). When shortest-path distances are used, the center with the highest value of R is no longer the most southern one (Abu Madi) of the POAs shown in Figure 1. At the same time, all of the ten POAs now have overlapping ranges of R-values (using either uncalibrated or calibrated dates). In short, the analyses based on shortest-paths yield an area for the origins of agriculture located to the north of the one identified by the use of great-circle distances (this topic is analyzed in detail below).


Tracing the origin and spread of agriculture in Europe.

Pinhasi R, Fort J, Ammerman AJ - PLoS Biol. (2005)

Location of the 735 Archaeological Sites Used in the Analysis as well as the Ten POAs Listed in Table 1
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1287502&req=5

pbio-0030410-g001: Location of the 735 Archaeological Sites Used in the Analysis as well as the Ten POAs Listed in Table 1
Mentions: The values of the correlation coefficient, R, derived from the linear regressions for the ten POAs (Figure 1) are presented in Table 1. Let us first consider great-circle distances. The POA with the highest correlation coefficient is Center 3 (Abu Madi). However, eight out of the nine other POAs have values of R that overlap with the range for Abu Madi (R = 0.827 ± 0.026, using uncalibrated dates). Therefore, their R-values are similar, and they can be regarded as likely places of origin for the dispersal. Center 1 (Çatal Höyük) is the only POA with an R-range that does not overlap with that of the center with the highest value of R; it has a substantially lower value (using either uncalibrated or calibrated ages). Interestingly, Table 1 shows that this conclusion changes when we consider shortest-path distances (see Text S2 for details on the computation of shortest-path distances). When shortest-path distances are used, the center with the highest value of R is no longer the most southern one (Abu Madi) of the POAs shown in Figure 1. At the same time, all of the ten POAs now have overlapping ranges of R-values (using either uncalibrated or calibrated dates). In short, the analyses based on shortest-paths yield an area for the origins of agriculture located to the north of the one identified by the use of great-circle distances (this topic is analyzed in detail below).

Bottom Line: The average rate of the Neolithic spread over Europe is 0.6-1.3 km/y (95% confidence interval).This is consistent with the prediction of demic diffusion (0.6-1.1 km/y).An interpolative map of correlation coefficients, obtained by using shortest-path distances, shows that the origins of agriculture were most likely to have occurred in the northern Levantine/Mesopotamian area.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Human and Life Sciences, Whitelands College, Roehampton University, London, United Kingdom. r.pinhasi@roehampton.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The origins of early farming and its spread to Europe have been the subject of major interest for some time. The main controversy today is over the nature of the Neolithic transition in Europe: the extent to which the spread was, for the most part, indigenous and animated by imitation (cultural diffusion) or else was driven by an influx of dispersing populations (demic diffusion). We analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of the transition using radiocarbon dates from 735 early Neolithic sites in Europe, the Near East, and Anatolia. We compute great-circle and shortest-path distances from each site to 35 possible agricultural centers of origin--ten are based on early sites in the Middle East and 25 are hypothetical locations set at 5 degrees latitude/longitude intervals. We perform a linear fit of distance versus age (and vice versa) for each center. For certain centers, high correlation coefficients (R > 0.8) are obtained. This implies that a steady rate or speed is a good overall approximation for this historical development. The average rate of the Neolithic spread over Europe is 0.6-1.3 km/y (95% confidence interval). This is consistent with the prediction of demic diffusion (0.6-1.1 km/y). An interpolative map of correlation coefficients, obtained by using shortest-path distances, shows that the origins of agriculture were most likely to have occurred in the northern Levantine/Mesopotamian area.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus