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The Stone Cist Conundrum: A multidisciplinary approach to investigate Late Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age population demography on the Island of Gotland
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4714-088x
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0201-6204
Natural Environment Research Council, Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK.
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, ISSN 2352-409X, E-ISSN 2001-1199, Vol. 20, p. 324-337Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Late Neolithic period in Scandinavia [LN, c. 2350-1700 cal BCE] marks a time of considerable changes in settlement patterns, economy, and material culture. This shift also lays the foundation for the demographic developments in the Early Bronze Age [EBA, c. 1700-1100 cal BCE]. However, little is presently known regarding the developments from these time-periods on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. During the Middle Neolithic period [MN, c. 3300-2350 cal BCE], Gotland was inhabited by groups associated with the Funnel Beaker culture [TRB, c. 4000-2700 cal BCE], and the sub-Neolithic Pitted Ware culture [PWC, c. 3300-2300 cal BCE]. Some indications of connections with the Bathe Axe/Corded Ware cultures [BAC/CWC, c. 2800-2300 cal BCE] have also been found, but no typical BAC/CWC burials have been located on the island to date. Here, we investigate the chronological and internal relationship of twenty-three individuals buried in four LN/EBA stone cist burials; Haffinds, Hagur, Suderkvie, and Utalskog on Gotland. We present eleven mitochondrial genomes [from 23 X to 1271 X coverage], and twenty-three new radiocarbon dates, as well as stable isotope data for diet. We examine the local Sr-baseline range for Gotland, and present new Sr-data to discuss mobility patterns of the individuals. The genetic results are compared and discussed in light of earlier cultural periods from Gotland [TRB and PWC], and CWC from the European continent, as well as contemporaneous LN secondary burials in the MN Ansarve dolmen. We find that all burials were used into the EBA, but only two of the cists showed activity already during the LN. We also see some mobility to Gotland during the LN/EBA period based on Strontium and mitochondrial data. We see a shift in the dietary pattern compared to the preceding period on the island [TRB and PWC], and the two LN individuals from the Ansarve dolmen exhibited different dietary and mobility patterns compared to the individuals from the LN/EBA stone cist burials. We find that most of the cist burials were used by individuals local to the area of the burials, with the exception of the large LN/EBA Haffinds cist burial which showed higher levels of mobility. Our modeling of ancestral mitochondrial contribution from chronologically older individuals recovered in the cultural contexts of TRB, PWC and CWC show that the best model is a 55/45 mix of CWC and TRB individuals. A 3-way model with a slight influx from PWC [5%] also had a good fit. This is difficult to reconcile with the current archaeological evidence on the island. We suggest that the maternal CWC/TRB contribution we see in the local LN/EBA individuals derives from migrants after the Scandinavian MN period, which possible also admixed with smaller local groups connected with the PWC. Further genomic analyses of these groups on Gotland will help to clarify the demographic history during the MN to EBA time periods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 20, p. 324-337
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Molecular Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-343836DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.02.045ISI: 000444281500030OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-343836DiVA, id: diva2:1186924
Funder
Berit Wallenberg Foundation, BWS 2011.0090Gunvor och Josef Anérs stiftelseHelge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, RJ M13-0904:1Available from: 2018-03-01 Created: 2018-03-01 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. People of the Dolmens and Stone Cists: An archaeogenetic Investigation of Megalithic Graves from the Neolithic Period on Gotland
Open this publication in new window or tab >>People of the Dolmens and Stone Cists: An archaeogenetic Investigation of Megalithic Graves from the Neolithic Period on Gotland
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study of ancient genomics of pre-historic human remains has in recent years offered unprecedented knowledge regarding pre-historic migration and population structure on the European continent which has fundamentally altered the current views in the archaeological community. However, the merging of the two fields, archaeology and genetics, is still in its infancy and much work is still needed in order for these fields to integrate. In this thesis I explore how genetic analyses, in combination with contextual radiocarbon dating and isotopic analyses for diet and mobility can be used to investigate demographic events on a local and regional level. This is done through the investigation of people buried in five previously excavated megalithic tombs on the Island of Gotland dated to the Neolithic period. I present the genomic population structure and archaeological background for the pre-historic European reference data and show how this is used to investigate population continuity, demographic shifts, cultural duality, and admixture for local and regional contexts. I present new data and explore the Strontium-baseline for the Gotland biosphere which is used for the mobility analyses. I show that mitochondrial haplogroup data is especially useful in combination with isotopic data, and radiocarbon dating for investigation of demographic shifts on a larger scale. I also show that genomic data gives unique insights into the individuals’ life history which, together with the established demographic background allows for fine scale investigation of population demographic events within and between different archaeological contexts. Finally I show that the different Neolithic contexts on Gotland to a large extent involves immigration of new groups to the island, and that the contextual breaks seen in the archaeological record during the Neolithic period are connected with cultural and population demographic shifts. This dissertation demonstrates that genomic analyses, in combination with archaeology and isotopic analyses, as well as contextual osteological analyses and radiocarbon dating, present unique insights into the life history of the actual people who lived the lives we try to understand.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för arkeologi och antik historia, 2018. p. 83
Series
Aun, ISSN 0284-1347 ; 47
Keywords
archaeology, aDNA, ancient genomics, archaeogenetics, mtDNA, osteology, radiocarbon dating, Strontium, Carbon, Nitrogen, TRB, PWC, BAC, CWC, dolmen, stone cist, population demography, diet, mobility, cultural duality, admixture, kinship, Neolithic period, Early Bronze Age, Europe, Baltic Sea area, Scandinavia, Gotland
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Molecular Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-347559 (URN)978-91-506-2692-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-22, Geijersalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsv. 3P, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
The ATLAS of Ancient Human Genomes project
Available from: 2018-04-26 Created: 2018-04-04 Last updated: 2018-04-26

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Fraser, MagdalenaSjödin, PerSanchez-Quinto, FedericoSvedjemo, GustafKnutsson, KjelJakobsson, MattiasWallin, Paul

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