DNA study finds Beaker migrants from Europe replaced ancient Britons

Updated 2018-02-24 10:23:01 Xinhua

A study on ancient DNA has found that the Beaker folk, migrants from central Europe and beyond who landed in Britain about 4,500 years ago, replaced at least 90 percent of ancient Britons.

The study, based on the examination of more than 400 prehistoric skeletons from across Europe, was published in Nature magazine Wednesday.

According to archaeological discoveries, the Beaker folk came to Britain with their distinctive Beaker culture, called so because of the discovery of clay drinking cups that were found buried with the prehistoric skeletons.

"At least 90 percent of the ancestry of Britons was replaced ... Following the Beaker spread, there was a population in Britain that for the first time had ancestry and skin and eye pigmentation similar to the majority of Britons today," geneticist Ian Barnes from the Natural History Museum in London said.

Hundreds of scientists and archaeologists and almost all the major DNA testing laboratories took part in the international project.

Among the DNA samples, one was from the famous "Amesbury Archer", who was buried around 2300 B.C. and excavated in 2002. With five beakers, gold hair ornaments and other possessions, his grave is the richest ever found in Britain from the period.

The study proves that the Amesbury Archer was a Beaker man from central Europe.

It further explains why the people buried with the beakers didn't have the same DNA as the earlier residents.

However, not all questions have been answered. Where did the Beaker culture originate? And what happened to the pre-Beaker population? These remain to be answered, perhaps by another study.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58January 18 2019 19:40:36

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16January 18 2019 19:40:36

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18January 18 2019 19:40:36

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords