Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

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Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:13 am

Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Analysis of ancient DNA found that Scandinavia was settled by hunter-gatherers via a southern and a northern route, and reveals that agriculture was likely introduced by migrating agriculturalists.

Date: January 30, 2018

Source: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Summary: Scientists analyzed ancient human genomes from 38 northern Europeans dating from approximately 7,500 to 500 BCE. The study found that Scandinavia was initially settled via a southern and a northern route and that the arrival of agriculture in northern Europe was facilitated by movements of farmers and pastoralists into the region.

An international team of scientists, led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, analyzed ancient human genomes from 38 northern Europeans dating from approximately 7,500 to 500 BCE. The study, published today in Nature Communications, found that Scandinavia was initially settled via a southern and a northern route and that the arrival of agriculture in northern Europe was facilitated by movements of farmers and pastoralists into the region.

Northern Europe could be considered a late bloomer in some aspects of human history: initial settlement by hunter-gatherers occurred only about 11,000 years ago, after the retreat of the lingering ice sheets from the Pleistocene, and while agriculture was already widespread in Central Europe 7,000 years ago, this development reached Southern Scandinavia and the Eastern Baltic only millennia later.

Several recent studies of ancient human genomes have dealt with the prehistoric population movements that brought new technology and subsistence strategies into Europe, but how they impacted the very north of the continent has still been poorly understood.

For this study, the research team, which included scientists from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Sweden, assembled genomic data from 38 ancient northern Europeans, from mobile hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic (approximately 12,000 to 7,000 years ago) and the first Neolithic farmers in southern Sweden (approximately 6,000 to 5,300 years ago) to the metallurgists of the Late Bronze Age in the Eastern Baltic (approximately 1300 to 500 BCE). This allowed the researchers to uncover surprising aspects of the population dynamics of prehistoric northern Europe.


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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Poodle » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:24 am

I'm gonna have to read the whole article. I want to know where whoever walked into northern Scandinavia walked from.

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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:38 am

Poodle wrote:I'm gonna have to read the whole article. I want to know where whoever walked into northern Scandinavia walked from.

I thought the same thing..........and assumed it was a lost reference maybe to people walking to the North FROM Northern Europe vs those walking from Southern Europe (via Central Europe???). Hard to imagine people walking over the retreating ice fields that were preventing people moving in from the South.

Just saw a link to "the mystery of the formation of human language." Could be right on point?
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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:44 am

Ice shield over northern Europe. Ice age draws back, land revealed. New land, people move in. Central Europe was already under cultivation when the ice started retreating.
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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:23 pm

The study, published today in Nature Communications, found that Scandinavia was initially settled via a southern and a northern route


What was the Northern route? ie: Starting and ending points.........bonus for points in-between.
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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:30 pm

My copy of Nature Communications hasn't arrived yet. However, looking at a map gives us two obvious starting points, the Danemarck Peninsula and the Baltic States area.
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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Poodle » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:59 pm

Yep - those are the two final settlement areas mentioned in the article, but it's not clear how they are defining the northern entry route. Without more information, it could be read as claiming that the northern route went across the retreating ice field - from an arable area to another arable area via a non-arable area - which implies that they knew where they were going and how to get there. The first post-glacial settlers came to Britain and moved north because they could actually see there was somewhere to go to.
There's not enough info in the article to know what they're saying. I look forward to the next instalment.

EDIT: Nah! - just me being a dummy. It helped when I actually looked at the map. Not a full-blown northern route at all, but a MORE northern route than the southern one. All they had to do was travel due west.

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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:43 pm

As for knowing where they're going, perhaps they sent scouts on ahead?
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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Anomaly » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:09 pm

Poodle wrote:
EDIT: Nah! - just me being a dummy. It helped when I actually looked at the map. Not a full-blown northern route at all, but a MORE northern route than the southern one. All they had to do was travel due west.


If you looked at maps you should look at those who include Doggerland. Past European landmass is different from current.

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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:13 pm

Yeah, now it's the Dogger Barks.
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Re: Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Postby Poodle » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:32 pm

Anomaly wrote:
Poodle wrote:
EDIT: Nah! - just me being a dummy. It helped when I actually looked at the map. Not a full-blown northern route at all, but a MORE northern route than the southern one. All they had to do was travel due west.


If you looked at maps you should look at those who include Doggerland. Past European landmass is different from current.

Indeed - I'm well-acquainted with Doggerland - it's a tad south of the area the article is about (where the North Sea is now, to be more precise) but there are still lots of Mesolithic human artefacts being dredged up every year.


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