In September 2017, Google cut off advertising of companies classified under mail order brides industry. However, foreign brides had been essential in the history of humankind, a recent research asserts. Women who married into other clans carried with them information and skills, changing the lifestyle around Europe and assisting the spread of know-how. Researchers of Max Plansck Institute for the Science of Human History say that females traveling far away from home to marry were crucially important to society’s development already during the Stone Age.
“4,000 years ago European women traveled far from their home villages to start their families, bringing with them new cultural objects and ideas”, Science Daily reported. This, in its turn, promoted advancement of novel expertise and practices. Finding someone to marry away from the homeland had enough advantages for the practice to last for centuries. So, the idea of finding someone for marriage from another culture had its merits millenniums ago. It’s not a novel invention by any means. Your European ancestors were taking advantage of intercultural unions as a rule.
Research: Foreign brides were essential to forming the cultural landscape of pre-historic Europe
4 thousand years ago it was traditional for women in Europe to voyage to far away regions to marry men, who remained within the area of their birth. This pattern of marrying is named, “patrilocal”.
The custom of traveling foreign brides endured for over 800 years, from the outgoing Stone Age into the forthcoming Bronze Age, according to the research published on PNAS.org.
The surprising findings come from an archeological research collaboration on the territory of Germany by Corina Knipper, Ken Massy, Alissa Mittnik, and associates.
The team of scientists analyzed DNA and stables isotopes from remains of 84 people, buried during the period from 2500 to 1650 BC. Remains were found within family grave yards that belonged to certain homesteads, where all members of the kin were buried for generations. At that period, there were no large settlements in these areas.
It became apparent that while female remains came from diverse lineages, foreign to the area, males belonged to the same genealogical line. Most females buried in the family grave yards were not born within the area. However, the specifics of objects and the way in which the females were buried was consistent with how family members were honored, which means they were not strangers but members of the same family unit.
Foreign brides were the norm, not an exception
In other words, foreign women who traveled to the region as brides for local men became integrated in the local population.
The researchers concluded that female mobility was valuable for development of prehistoric human settlements in Europe, promoting cultural exchange.
Previously academics believed that it was group mobility that allowed cross-cultural exploration and advancement of new tools and technologies across Europe. The new research points out to the customary pattern of individual female mobility as a driving force behind gene diversification and technological transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age.
So, European women traveling away for marriage were the norm in the early human history, rather than an exception.