Ancient Genomic Analysis Unveils History of Northern European Population


The new research found that it was first settled north-south to Scandinavia, and that farmers and nomadic shepherds were facilitating the development of agriculture with the movement of the region.

Under the leadership of Max Planck Institute for Human Historical Science, an international research group examined the genomes of 38 Northern Europeans. These genomes are dated to between 7.500 and 500 BC. The study, which was published in Nature Communications' found that it was first settled north-south to Scandinavia, and that farmers and nomadic shepherds were facilitating the development of agriculture with regional movements.

Northern Europe can be considered a region where human history has grown late in some aspects. The settling history of hunter collectors took place only 11,000 years ago. Agriculture was common in Europe 7,000 years ago. In Southern Scandinavia and the Eastern Baltic region, only a thousand years after Europe, agriculture began with the melting of the glaciers from the Pleistocene Period.

The last few studies on ancient human genomes have been concerned with prehistoric population movements that bring new technology and livelihood strategies to Europe, but it remains to be seen how these movements affect the north of the continent.

( First settled with Scandinavia with two main migratory waves )

Incentives for the genetics of 38 Europeans who lived in the Ancient Age for this work, which researchers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Sweden participated in. Among these 38 Europeans, nomadic hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic Age (7,000-12,000 years ago), the first farmers of the Neolithic Age (5.300-6.000 years ago) who lived in Southern Sweden, and the Late Bronze Age (1,300 BC – 500) There are the first metallurgists in the Eastern Baltic. This broad spectrum gave astonishing information about the population dynamics of prehistoric Northern Europe

Two different routes for settlement

Previous analyzes of ancient human genomes have revealed that in the Mesolithic, two different groups of hunter collectors were genetically differentiated in Europe. These two groups were named as Western hunter collectors from the Iberian Peninsula up to Hungary and Eastern hunter collectors from Karelya in the north-west of Russia. Surprisingly, as a result of the present work, it was seen that the Lithuanian hunter collectors in the Mesolithic Age were more similar to their Western neighbors, despite their geographical proximity to Russia. The descendants of Scandinavian hunter collectors who lived in the same period were the descendants of both Western and Oriental hunter collectors.

Johannes Krause described this as "Oriental hunter collectors lived on the eastern shores of the Baltic region, yet some of their genetic components are now available in Scandinavia. This shows that people carrying Eastern genetic components travel northward through Fennoscandia towards the southern part of the Scandinavian peninsula. In the south of Scandinavia, the genetics of Oriental hunter collectors and westerners from the south blended. This mixture formed Scandinavian hunter collectors. "

Agriculture and livestock: cultural items received from the people

Large-scale agriculture began in Southern Scandinavia about 6,000 years ago. This date coincides with the millennium after the spread of agriculture in Central Europe. In the Eastern Baltic region, the inhabitants were hunting, gathering and fishing only for the next thousand years. Some argue that the use of the new livelihood strategy is a local development of the hunters, who probably presume the practice of farmer neighbors, but the genetic evidence presented in this study tells a different story.

(19459020) Women's Potteries Wandered around the Baltic Circle 5,000 Years Ago


Sweden's first farmers do not come from the descendants of the Mesolithic Scandinavians. The genetic profile of these farmers is closer to the Central European group with agriculture. Moving from this, it was understood that the Central Europeans migrated to Scandinavia, and when they migrated, they brought new agricultural methods to the region. These early-period Scandinavian farmers, like the Central European agriculturists, received a significant proportion of their genes from Anatolian farmers who went to Europe 8,200 years ago. This migration of Anatolian farmers initiated a transit, known as the Neolithic Revolution.

Similarly, there is a wholesale genetic change in the Eastern Baltic with the birth of large-scale agricultural-pastoralism. People in the Eastern Baltic are not genetically confused with Central European or Scandinavian farmers, but from about 2,900 BC most of their genes are taken from nomadic pastoralists of the Pontus-Caspian steppes.

Chief editor of the work Max Planck Alissa Mittnik from the Institute of Human Historical Science says: "Interestingly, we see that in the beginning of the Bronze Age, the population of the local Eastern Baltic hunter collectors is increasing in this population. The local population has not been completely replaced by newcomers. She lived with the newcomers and eventually got mixed up with the newcomers. "

This study emphasizes regional differences in cultural transitions. It also prepares a more detailed study of the prehistoric period of Northern Europe, such as the Iron Age and the Viking Age

Science Daily. January 30, 2018.

Article : Mittnik, A., Wang, CC, Pfrengle, S., Daubaras, M., Zariņa, G., Hallgren, F., … & Furtwängler, A. 2018). The genetic prehistory of the Baltic Sea region. Nature communications, 9 (1), 442.


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