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Ancient DNA Reveals Lack of Continuitybetween Neolithic Hunter-Gatherersand Contemporary Scandinavians
Department of Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala University, SE-11863 Uppsala, Sweden.
Centre for GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, and the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity, University College London, Gower Street,London WC1E 6BT, UK.
Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-10691 Uppsala, Sweden.
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2009 (English)In: Current Biology, ISSN 0960-9822, Vol. 19, no 20, 1758-1762 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The driving force behind the transition from a foraging to

a farming lifestyle in prehistoric Europe (Neolithization)

has been debated for more than a century [1–3]. Of particular

interest is whether population replacement or cultural

exchange was responsible [3–5]. Scandinavia holds a unique

place in this debate, for it maintained one of the last major

hunter-gatherer complexes in Neolithic Europe, the Pitted

Ware culture [6]. Intriguingly, these late hunter-gatherers

existed in parallel to early farmers for more than a millennium

before they vanished some 4,000 years ago [7, 8]. The prolonged

coexistence of the two cultures in Scandinavia has

been cited as an argument against population replacement

between the Mesolithic and the present [7, 8]. Through analysis

of DNA extracted from ancient Scandinavian human

remains, we show that people of the Pitted Ware culture

were not the direct ancestors of modern Scandinavians

(including the Saami people of northern Scandinavia) but

are more closely related to contemporary populations of

the eastern Baltic region. Our findings support hypotheses

arising from archaeological analyses that propose

a Neolithic or post-Neolithic population replacement in

Scandinavia [7]. Furthermore, our data are consistent with

the view that the eastern Baltic represents a genetic refugia

for some of the European hunter-gatherer populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2009. Vol. 19, no 20, 1758-1762 p.
National Category
Research subject
Osteoarchaeology; Archaeology; Population Genetics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-32794DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.09.017ISI: 000271498400034OAI: diva2:281570
Available from: 2009-12-16 Created: 2009-12-16 Last updated: 2010-02-09Bibliographically approved

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Storå, JanMolnar, Petra
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Osteoarchaeological Research LaboratoryDepartment of Archaeology and Classical Studies
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