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The Neolithic Pitted Ware culture foragers were culturally but not genetically influenced by the Battle Axe culture herders
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1756-9469
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9460-390x
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1512-6565
Area Offices, Office of Technology and Science; The Student Service Unit.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4349-849X
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The 3rd millennium BCE was a period of marked cultural and demographic developments in Europe. Here we sequence genome data from human skeletal remains to study the interaction between two Scandinavian cultures; the hunter-gatherer Pitted Ware culture (PWC, 3400-2400 BCE) and the farmer/herder Battle Axe culture (BAC, 2800-2300 BCE), two cultures who have been found to be represented by distinct gene-pools in northern Europe. We focus on the Baltic island of Gotland that presents Scandinavia’s richest record of PWC gravesites where the majority of individuals are buried in typical PWC manner (supine position), but with some burials indicating BAC influences (either hocker position burial or burials with BAC associated artifacts). We sequenced and analyzed the genomes of 25 individuals of both types of burials excavated in three gravesites in order to determine if the different burial styles were associated with the different gene-pools (PWC or BAC) at the time. The genomic data show that all individuals belonged to one genetic population – that of the PWC – irrespective of the burial style. We conclude that the PWC communities on the island of Gotland were culturally influenced by the BAC society, without any signs of gene-flow.

National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Biology with Specialisation in Human Evolution and Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-397180OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-397180DiVA, id: diva2:1370702
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-02503Available from: 2019-11-17 Created: 2019-11-17 Last updated: 2019-11-18
In thesis
1. Where our feet have taken us: Examples of human contact, migration, and adaptation as revealed by ancient DNA
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Where our feet have taken us: Examples of human contact, migration, and adaptation as revealed by ancient DNA
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In spite of our extensive knowledge of the human past, certain key questions remain to be answered about human prehistory. One involves the nature of cultural change in material culture through time from the perspective of how different ancient human groups interacted with one another. The other is how humans have adapted to the different environments as they migrated and populated the rest of the world from their origin in Africa. For my thesis I have investigated examples of human evolutionary history using genetic information from ancient human remains. Chapter 1 focused on the nature of possible interaction between the Pitted Ware Culture (PWC) and Battle Axe Culture (BAC) on the island of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea. Through the analysis of 4500 year old human remains from three PWC burial sites, I found that the existence of BAC influences in these burial sites was the result of cultural and not demic influence from the BAC. In chapter 2, I investigated the ancestry of a Late Stone Age individual from the southwestern Cape of South Africa. Population genetic analyses revealed that this individual was genetically affiliated with Khoe groups in southern Africa, a genetic make-up that is today absent from the Cape. Chapter 3 investigated the genetic landscape of prehistoric individuals from southern Africa. Specifically, I explored frequencies of adaptive variants between Late Stone Age and Iron Age individuals. I found an increase in disease resistance alleles in Iron Age individuals and attributed this to the effects of the Bantu expansion. Chapter 4 incorporated a wider range of trait-associated variants among a greater number of modern-day populations and ancient individuals in Africa. I found that many allele frequency patterns found in modern populations follow the routes of major migrations which took place in the African Holocene. The thesis attests to the complexity of human demographic history in general, and how migration contributes to adaptation by dispersing novel adaptive variants to populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 78
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1880
Keywords
Human demography, migration, adaptation, human contact, ancient DNA, human evolution, African prehistory, Scandinavian prehistory
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Biology with Specialisation in Human Evolution and Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-397222 (URN)978-91-513-0815-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-01-17, Lindahlsalen, Evolutionary Biology Centre EBC, Norbyvagen 18, 75236, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-12-16 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2020-01-13

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Coutinho, Alexandra

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