Paleogenomic Evidence for Multi-generational Mixing between Neolithic Farmers and Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherers in the Lower Danube Basin



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González-Fortes, Gloria and Jones, Eppie R. and Lightfoot, Emma and Bonsall, Clive and Lazar, Catalin and Grandal-d’Anglade, Aurora and Garralda Benajes, María Dolores and Drak Hernández, Labib and Siska, Veronika and Simalcsik, Angela and Boroneant, Adina and Vidal Romanı, Juan Ramón and Vaqueiro Rodríguez, Marcos and Arias Macias, Pablo and Pinhasi, Ron and Manica, Andrea and Hofreiter, Michael (2017) Paleogenomic Evidence for Multi-generational Mixing between Neolithic Farmers and Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherers in the Lower Danube Basin. Current Biology, 27 (12). pp. 1801-1810. ISSN 0960-9822, ESSN: 1879-0445

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The transition from hunting and gathering to farming involved profound cultural and technological changes. In Western and Central Europe, these changes occurred rapidly and synchronously after the arrival of early farmers of Anatolian origin [1–3], who largely replaced the local Mesolithic huntergatherers [1, 4–6]. Further east, in the Baltic region, the transition was gradual, with little or no genetic input from incoming farmers [7]. Here we use ancient DNA to investigate the relationship between huntergatherers and farmers in the Lower Danube basin, a geographically intermediate area that is characterized by a rapid Neolithic transition but also by the presence of archaeological evidence that points to cultural exchange, and thus possible admixture, between hunter-gatherers and farmers. We recovered four human paleogenomes (1.13 to 4.13 coverage) from Romania spanning a time transect between 8.8 thousand years ago (kya) and 5.4 kya and supplemented them with two Mesolithic genomes (1.73 and 5.33) from Spain to provide further context on the genetic background of Mesolithic Europe. Our results show major Western hunter-gatherer (WHG) ancestry in a Romanian Eneolithic sample with a minor, but sizeable, contribution from Anatolian farmers, suggesting multiple admixture events between hunter-gatherers and farmers. Dietary stableisotope analysis of this sample suggests a mixed terrestrial/aquatic diet. Our results provide support for complex interactions among hunter-gatherers and farmers in the Danube basin, demonstrating that in some regions, demic and cultural diffusion were not mutually exclusive, but merely the ends of a continuum for the process of Neolithization

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Neolithic farmers; Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherers; Danube Basin
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Biological anthropology
ID Code:44035
Deposited On:21 Jul 2017 10:20
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:25

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