AGRICULTURE CAME TO ENGLAND IN 4050 B.C. Using “Bayesian chronological modeling”, a team of archaeologists has combined a great number of different kinds of information from digs, and has produced relatively precise estimates of the timing of the spread of agriculture in England. This article by David Keys in the Independent summarizes some interesting findings. Agriculture arrived from the continent into Kent and Essex in 4050 B.C. It was brought by immigrants and “not simply through the transmission of knowledge and ideas.” Farming then spread by half a mile a year for the next 200 years. Then, starting in 3850 B.C., agriculture spread much more rapidly, at about 9 miles per year, and was also adopted by the previous inhabitants (and not just by the descendants of the immigrants). The spread during this period was 15 times faster than archaeologists had previously thought.

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