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Ancient DNA Reveals Lack of Continuity between Neolithic Hunter-Gatherers

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Author Topic: Ancient DNA Reveals Lack of Continuity between Neolithic Hunter-Gatherers  (Read 49 times)
Carrie Bowman
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« on: November 04, 2009, 01:36:50 am »

Ancient DNA Reveals Lack of Continuity between Neolithic Hunter-Gatherers and Contemporary Scandinavians

Helena Malmström1, 2, M. Thomas P. Gilbert2, Mark G. Thomas3, Mikael Brandström4, Jan Storå5, Petra Molnar5, Pernille K. Andersen6, Christian Bendixen6, Gunilla Holmlund7, Anders Götherström1, 8, Go To Corresponding Author,   and Eske Willerslev2, 8, Go To Corresponding Author, 


1 Department of Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala University, SE-11863 Uppsala, Sweden
2 Centre for GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, and the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
4 Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-10691 Uppsala, Sweden
5 Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
6 Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Aarhus, PO Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark
7 National Board of Forensic Medicine, Department of Forensic Genetics and Forensic Toxicology, SE-58758 Linköping, Sweden
Corresponding author

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8 These authors contributed equally to the work
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Carrie Bowman
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2009, 01:39:10 am »

Summary

The driving force behind the transition from a foraging to a farming lifestyle in prehistoric Europe (Neolithization) has been debated for more than a century [1,2,3]. Of particular interest is whether population replacement or cultural exchange was responsible [3,4,5]. Scandinavia holds a unique place in this debate, for it maintained one of the last major hunter-gatherer complexes in Neolithic Europe, the Pitted Ware culture [6]. Intriguingly, these late hunter-gatherers existed in parallel to early farmers for more than a millennium before they vanished some 4,000 years ago [7,8]. The prolonged coexistence of the two cultures in Scandinavia has been cited as an argument against population replacement between the Mesolithic and the present [7,8]. Through analysis of DNA extracted from ancient Scandinavian human remains, we show that people of the Pitted Ware culture were not the direct ancestors of modern Scandinavians (including the Saami people of northern Scandinavia) but are more closely related to contemporary populations of the eastern Baltic region. Our findings support hypotheses arising from archaeological analyses that propose a Neolithic or post-Neolithic population replacement in Scandinavia [7]. Furthermore, our data are consistent with the view that the eastern Baltic represents a genetic refugia for some of the European hunter-gatherer populations.

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2809%2901694-7
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