Farmers did it better

Study finds most European males are descendants of Near East farmers

Most men living in Europe today are descendants of farmers from the Near East going back 10,000 years, according to a new study by the University of Leicester. Researchers found that the Y chromosome, which gets passed from father to son, most common in European lineage—it’s carried by 110 million males—actually extends from the eastern Mediterranean coast to the Persian Gulf. The researchers say more than 80 per cent of European Y chromosomes come from these Near East farmer ancestors. By comparison, most maternal genetic descendants come from hunter-gatherers. They believe this means that, historically, farming males had a reproductive advantage over hunter-gatherer males. “Or, maybe back then, it was just sexier to be a farmer,” says one of the authors.

Public Library of Science