Where did the ancient Europeans flee from snow and ice?
(ORDO NEWS) — During the last ice age, today’s south of France and the Iberian Peninsula were a climatic paradise, while the inhabitants of the Apennine Peninsula were dying of cold. Scientists have established when the Europeans mixed with each other.
When modern humans settled in Europe some 45,000 years ago, some of them ended up in what are now fertile regions: the Algarve, Andalusia, and Provence.
But how idyllic the real life of the hunters and gatherers there was, it is difficult to say today. However, by choosing these lands as their homeland, they rendered a great service to their descendants.
While the rest of Europe became an uninhabitable region during the coldest phase of the last ice age, the southwest of the continent remained a zone with a pleasant, warm climate.
In this climatic paradise, no one had to leave their homes.
Such an idea of life during that period can be obtained from a recently published detailed article in the scientific journal Nature.
An international team of scientists studied the heritage of 356 people who lived at that time in different regions of Eurasia.
Scientists, comparing the results of their research, were able to reconstruct the routes of movement of hunters and gatherers over a period of 30 thousand years.
Some places were as uninhabitable as the North Pole
Research data indicate that the southwest of Europe has been a fertile region for many generations. The change of generations there can be traced over a period of 20 thousand years.
Cosimo Posth, a researcher at the University of Tübingen, says: “For the first time, we can confirm with facts the assumption that people in the coldest phase of the last ice age took refuge in the ego-west of Europe, where climatic conditions were more favorable”.
And when later the climate became warmer in other regions, people spoiled by the sun settled in the northern and eastern regions.
But there were also people who at that time ended up in places as unsuitable for life as today’s North Pole.
Such regions included, for example, today’s Czech Republic and – oddly enough – Italy, which was previously considered the Mediterranean haven of people.
But after the cold reached its maximum there, it was not possible to establish signs of the presence of hunters and gatherers who previously lived there using genetic analysis – they died out.
However, the Apennine Peninsula did not remain deserted for long, as the results of further research showed. When the temperature in the region began to rise again, men and women with different genetic traits were drawn there.
Another participant in the study, He Yu from the University of Beijing, says: “Presumably, these people during the maximum of the last glaciation came from the Balkans to northern Italy and spread across the peninsula as far as Sicily.”
But soon some ancestors of the current Italians and Italians were overcome by wanderlust, and about 14 thousand years ago they settled throughout Europe and at the same time displaced the descendants of those people who had come there earlier from the southwestern regions.
The team of researchers speaks of a large genetic exchange and that this migration was also caused by weather changes.
Participating biochemist Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig says: “Then the climate warmed up in a relatively short time and forests spread throughout Europe.
Perhaps this is what prompted people from the south to expand their living space. And the people who lived there before, as their living space narrowed – the mammoth steppe – were probably forced out by newcomers.
The next turning point came about 8,000 years ago, scientists report. By that time, agriculture and sedentary life had spread from Anatolia to Europe.
“It is possible that the migration of ancient peasants caused the final retreat of hunters and gatherers to the northern fringes of Europe, and at the same time, genetic mixing between the two groups began, which lasted almost 3,000 years,” says Krause.
The study confirms that people from time immemorial rushed to where they lived better.
Commenting on the study French scientist Ludovic Orlando (Ludovic Orlando) praised his results: she alone traces her ancestry back to those groups that were the first to establish themselves on the continent.”
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