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Megalithic tombs in western and northern Neolithic Europe were linked to a kindred society
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0201-6204
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution. Univ Johannesburg, Dept Anthropol & Dev Studies, Ctr Anthropol Res, ZA-2006 Auckland Pk, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6456-8055
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4714-088x
Liverpool John Moores Univ, Sch Nat Sci & Psychol, Res Ctr Evolutionary Anthropol & Paleoecol, Liverpool L3 3AF, Merseyside, England.
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2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 116, no 19, p. 9469-9474Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Paleogenomic and archaeological studies show that Neolithic lifeways spread from the Fertile Crescent into Europe around 9000 BCE, reaching northwestern Europe by 4000 BCE. Starting around 4500 BCE, a new phenomenon of constructing megalithic monuments, particularly for funerary practices, emerged along the Atlantic facade. While it has been suggested that the emergence of megaliths was associated with the territories of farming communities, the origin and social structure of the groups that erected them has remained largely unknown. We generated genome sequence data from human remains, corresponding to 24 individuals from five megalithic burial sites, encompassing the widespread tradition of megalithic construction in northern and western Europe, and analyzed our results in relation to the existing European paleogenomic data. The various individuals buried in megaliths show genetic affinities with local farming groups within their different chronological contexts. Individuals buried in megaliths display (past) admixture with local hunter-gatherers, similar to that seen in other Neolithic individuals in Europe. In relation to the tomb populations, we find significantly more males than females buried in the megaliths of the British Isles. The genetic data show close kin relationships among the individuals buried within the megaliths, and for the Irish megaliths, we found a kin relation between individuals buried in different megaliths. We also see paternal continuity through time, including the same Y-chromosome haplotypes reoccurring. These observations suggest that the investigated funerary monuments were associated with patrilineal kindred groups. Our genomic investigation provides insight into the people associated with this long-standing megalith funerary tradition, including their social dynamics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 116, no 19, p. 9469-9474
Keywords [en]
paleogenomics, population genomics, migration, megalithic tombs
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-384070DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818037116ISI: 000467226400047PubMedID: 30988179OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-384070DiVA, id: diva2:1318831
Funder
Riksbankens JubileumsfondKnut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Note

De 3 första författarna delar förstaförfattarskapet.

Available from: 2019-05-28 Created: 2019-05-28 Last updated: 2019-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Sanchez-Quinto, FedericoMalmström, HelenaFraser, MagdalenaSvensson, EmmaSimões, Luciana G.Hollfelder, NinaBurenhult, GöranBritton, KateJakobsson, Mattias
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Human EvolutionArchaeologyDepartment of Archaeology and Ancient History
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