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Brotherton P.,University of Adelaide | Brotherton P.,University of Huddersfield | Haak W.,University of Adelaide | Templeton J.,University of Adelaide | And 58 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Haplogroup H dominates present-day Western European mitochondrial DNA variability (>40%), yet was less common (∼19%) among Early Neolithic farmers (∼5450 BC) and virtually absent in Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Here we investigate this major component of the maternal population history of modern Europeans and sequence 39 complete haplogroup H mitochondrial genomes from ancient human remains. We then compare this 'real-time' genetic data with cultural changes taking place between the Early Neolithic (∼5450 BC) and Bronze Age (∼2200 BC) in Central Europe. Our results reveal that the current diversity and distribution of haplogroup H were largely established by the Mid Neolithic (∼4000 BC), but with substantial genetic contributions from subsequent pan-European cultures such as the Bell Beakers expanding out of Iberia in the Late Neolithic (∼2800 BC). Dated haplogroup H genomes allow us to reconstruct the recent evolutionary history of haplogroup H and reveal a mutation rate 45% higher than current estimates for human mitochondria. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Morseburg A.,University of Cambridge | Alt K.W.,State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony Anhalt | Alt K.W.,University of Basel | Alt K.W.,Danube University Krems | Knipper C.,Curt Engelhorn Center Archaeometry gGmbH
Journal of Anthropological Archaeology | Year: 2015

Dietary patterns and subsistence strategies of the early farmers of the central European Linearbandkeramik culture (LBK) have received much research attention, but only little is known about subsequent Neolithic time periods. In order to address continuity or alterations through time, this study explores bone collagen carbon and nitrogen isotope data from the Middle Neolithic cemetery of Jechtingen in southwest Germany, attributed to the ceramic phases of Großgartach, Planig-Friedberg and Rössen (4850/4800-4500BC). The dataset comprises 77 individuals making it the most extensive from this period to date. The average values of the adults are -20.6±0.3‰ for δ13C and 9.4±0.8‰ for δ15N (n=62) indicating a mixed diet of animal and plant proteins based on a terrestrial C3 ecosystem. There is no indication of dietary differences due to age or sex. The δ13C values follow regional trends emerging from previously investigated LBK and Middle Neolithic sites. They appear to be primarily driven by environmental factors, such as annual precipitation rates. Concerning δ15N, LBK and Middle Neolithic datasets overlap widely, and Jechtingen falls well into the data ranges of other previously published sites. The stable isotope data do not hint at remarkable changes of the dietary habits between the food-producing communities of the LBK and the subsequent Middle Neolithic. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

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