lunes, 8 de septiembre de 2014

History of peoples of Africa: Role of agriculture reviewed

What phenomenon enabled the demographic growth of Bantu farmers in Africa and led to their genetic differentiation from the Pygmy hunter-gatherer communities? Up to now, scientists thought that the emergence of agriculture on the continent 5,000 years ago played a major role. But an international team has revealed that the history of these peoples was played out long before. According to an extensive genomic study, the two types of population result from tens of thousands of years of adaptation to their different environments. However, the demographic boom the ancestors of the Bantus dates back to between 7,000 to 10,000 years ago, which might call into question the impact of agriculture, which emerged more than 2,000 years later.

Agriculture, a trigger element in history?

Agriculture has been a major technological cultural and environmental revolution for humanity. Particularly in Central Africa, where it has fundamentally changed the landscapes and livelihoods of sub-Saharan populations since it emerged there 5,000 years ago. He was hitherto recognised that the development of this practice, thanks to the abundance of the resources created, had enabled the demographic and geographical growth of the population having adopted it, which was later known as "Bantus" in Africa. This farming people would then have gradually differentiated genetically from the pygmy hunter-gatherers communities living in forests. A genomic study, published in the Nature Communications journal, has just challenged this assumption. [...]