Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

DNA Analyses from Central European Early Neolithic Farmers Reveal Their Near Eastern Affinities

12.11.2010
During an international research project, scientists from the Institute of Anthropology at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt and the Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide worked with a number of additional partners to research the structure and dynamics of population genetic processes in central Germany during the Neolithic period (7,500 - 4,100 years ago).

No change in epoch has shaped the history of the human race like the Neolithic Revolution. The cultural transition from the gathering to the producing economy and the settling of communities took place around 11,000 years ago in the Near East, and reached central Europe around 7,500 years ago with the most significant Neolithic culture, the Linear Pottery Culture (LPC).

In controversial hypotheses, there have long been speculations attempting to explain the spread of the farming lifestyle from the Fertile Crescent to Europe: via idea transfer and acculturation, or even through different forms of infiltration by foreign civilizations in central Europe.

As a "neolithic package", the immigrants didn't just import new species such as domestic cattle and cultivated plants such as einkorn. By mixing with the local population, they also left traces in the genetic pool of central Europe. These traces are still evident today in the form of allochthonous DNA markers (mtDNA and Y-chromosome lineages).

The present interdisciplinary study analyzed samples of old DNA (aDNA) from a burial ground at the Early Neolithic Derenburg-Meeresstieg II site in the Middle Elbe-Saale region. The main finding of the study is the first molecular genetic proof indicating that the genetic profile of the early neolithic settlers from Derenburg has strong similarity with populations currently living in the Near East.

This means that, in this case as least, the first farmers immigrated to central Europe, instead of the hunter-gatherer populations previously prevalent in the region simply adopting a farming lifestyle. The genetic signa- tures also provide clues to the immigration route via South East Europe and the Carpathian Basin to Central Europe. Based on the information gained, it is now possible to reconstruct the settlement processes that have been so influential for early European history.

In addition to the actual historical findings, the conclusions drawn are also of major relevance to the current debate surrounding immigration: "Out of Africa" marks the beginning of the spread of the Homo species throughout the world over two million years ago. Humans are migrants by nature and it is clear that mobility and migration have been part of our behavior for all time. Increases in population density and the rise in hierarchy in society, a strongly regimented access to natural resources, human intervention in nature and war have gradually led to a rise in economic and social pressure within and between societies - with obvious results.

The emotionally charged discussion surrounding integration in Germany could be diffused if politicians used the tools available to demonstrate the joint roots shared by locals and immigrants. The task has surprisingly fallen to the discipline of archaeometry to make these connections clear. The most significant economic transformation in the history of the modern humans - the Neolithic Revolution - began in a region that is thought to be the birthplace of all Europeans, who spread outwards in waves of migration. These findings are not a completely unexpected development for traditional pre-history research. The scientific proof, however, has only just been found in a combined effort between archeology and anthropology.

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/eng/13900.php

Further reports about: DNA DNA marker Farmers Branch Neolithic settlements natural resource

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate change: In their old age, trees still accumulate large quantities of carbon
17.08.2017 | Universität Hamburg

nachricht New plate adds plot twist to ancient tectonic tale
15.08.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Climate change: In their old age, trees still accumulate large quantities of carbon

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related

17.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Superconductivity research reveals potential new state of matter

17.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>