The scientists claim to have finally solved the mystery of modern agriculture, by revealing that it was founded not by Europeans, but migrants.

Researchers have long questioned whether it was the migration of farmers into Europe that initiated agricultural activity boom 7,500 years ago, or it was merely the spread of new ideas.

Now, an international team has used DNA analysis to reveal that it was the migration of foreigners which first brought farming to central Europe, the latest edition of the 'Science' journal reported.

To reach their conclusion, the scientists collected and compared mitochondrial DNA from skeleton of late European hunter-gatherers who lived before the rise of modern agriculture, early farmers and modern Europeans.

Large genetic differences were found between all three groups, which indicate that there was no link between the populations, their findings revealed.

Eighty-two per cent of the ancient hunter-gatherers' DNA is rare in central European countries today, suggesting that the two groups are unrelated, according to team member Dr Wolfgang Haak of University of Adelaide.

The scientists wrote in the journal: "These analyses provide persuasive evidence that the first farmers were not the descendants of local hunter-gatherers but immigrated into central Europe at the onset of the Neolithic."

Keywords: modern farmingscientists