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Ancient X chromosomes reveal contrasting sex bias in Neolithic and Bronze Age Eurasian migrations
Stanford Univ, Dept Biol, Stanford, CA 94305 USA..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology.
Stanford Univ, Dept Biol, Stanford, CA 94305 USA..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7840-7853
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 114, no 10, 2657-2662 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dramatic events in human prehistory, such as the spread of agriculture to Europe from Anatolia and the late Neolithic/Bronze Age migration from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, can be investigated using patterns of genetic variation among the people who lived in those times. In particular, studies of differing female and male demographic histories on the basis of ancient genomes can provide information about complexities of social structures and cultural interactions in prehistoric populations. We use a mechanistic admixture model to compare the sex-specifically-inherited X chromosome with the autosomes in 20 early Neolithic and 16 late Neolithic/Bronze Age human remains. Contrary to previous hypotheses suggested by the patrilocality of many agricultural populations, we find no evidence of sex-biased admixture during the migration that spread farming across Europe during the early Neolithic. For later migrations from the Pontic Steppe during the late Neolithic/Bronze Age, however, we estimate a dramatic male bias, with approximately five to 14 migrating males for every migrating female. We find evidence of ongoing, primarily male, migration from the steppe to central Europe over a period of multiple generations, with a level of sex bias that excludes a pulse migration during a single generation. The contrasting patterns of sex-specific migration during these two migrations suggest a view of differing cultural histories in which the Neolithic transition was driven by mass migration of both males and females in roughly equal numbers, perhaps whole families, whereas the later Bronze Age migration and cultural shift were instead driven by male migration, potentially connected to new technology and conquest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 114, no 10, 2657-2662 p.
Keyword [en]
admixture, migration, Neolithic, sex bias, X chromosome
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320658DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1616392114ISI: 000395511400078PubMedID: 28223527OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-320658DiVA: diva2:1116972
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 311413Wenner-Gren Foundations
Available from: 2017-06-28 Created: 2017-06-28 Last updated: 2017-06-28Bibliographically approved

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