Most Britons descended from male farmers who left Iraq and Syria 10,000 years ago (and were seduced by the local hunter-gatherer women)
Most Britons are direct descendants of farmers who left modern day Iraq and Syria 10,000 years ago, a new study has shown.
After studying the DNA of more than 2,000 men, researchers say they have compelling evidence that four out of five white Europeans can trace their roots to the Near East.
The discovery is shedding light on one of the most important periods of human history – the time when our ancient ancestors abandoned hunting and began to domesticate animals.
The invention of farming led to the first towns and paved the way for the dawn of civilisation.
The Leicester University study looked at a common genetic mutation on the Y chromosome, the DNA that is passed down from fathers to sons.
They found that 80 per cent of European men shared the same Y chromosone mutation and after analysing how the mutation was distributed across Europe, were able to retrace how Europe was colonised around 8,000BC.