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What exactly did they mean with having written "taking over" in second sentence?:

  1. Lynx is thought to have gone by the 10th Century, in England at least.
  2. It is thought that the Neolithic settlers mingling with peoples already present or taking over, came from the continent and brought their own animals.
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    Sometimes the lack of clarity is the author's fault, not the reader's. We cannot say exactly what was meant there. To Ronald's answer we could add the possibility that the original peoples were eradicated. taking over is vague probably intentionally. But it is odd that the history makes a 3000-year leap. Were those sentences adjacent in the original text?
    – TimR
    Sep 15, 2018 at 15:34
  • Animals' History: There was an even bigger size herding animal in Britain in the early centuries. The Giant deer species called Megaloceros, with an antler span of up to 3 meters; it was possibly extinct by the time Neolithic man was making wooden stockades. But the antlers were often found, and perhaps used for digging with. Lynx is thought to have gone by the 10th Century, in England at least. It is thought that the Neolithic settlers mingling with peoples already present or taking over, came from the continent and brought their own animals; cattle, domesticated dogs and cats, pigs etc
    – Jane
    Sep 15, 2018 at 16:34
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    The author leaps like a linx there.
    – TimR
    Sep 15, 2018 at 16:52

2 Answers 2

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Taking over in this context is to say that the Neolithic settlers either drove the previous inhabitants out or possibly simply absorbed them so that little trace subsequently remained of them.

The expression does not make the fate of the previous inhabitants clear, as to whether they were killed, driven away or absorbed. What is clear is that the new settlers, along with the animals they brought, became established.

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to take over = to conquer, that's it here.

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