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Stonehenge has a proud place in Britain's history as one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. But, according to a major new study, modern-day Britons are barely related to the ingenious Neolithic farmers who built the monument 5, years ago. Instead the British are related to the 'Beaker people' who travelled from modern-day Holland and all but wiped out Stonehenge's creators.

The findings are 'absolutely sort of mind-blowing,' said archaeologist Barry Cunliffe, a professor emeritus at the University of Oxford. The Beaker people reached Britain around 4, years ago, and within years, almost completely wiped out the original inhabitants. Researchers still aren't sure how this happened, but they suggest disease may be the cause, farmers journal online dating, as the Beaker people were a peaceful population. Many experts believed it was just Beaker pottery-making and culture which was exported to Britain between 4, and 4, years ago - not the people themselves.

But the new evidence comes from DNA analysis of prehistoric skeletons, some from after Stonehenge and others born before it was created. The genes of these ancient people provide enough clues to determine that Beakers travelled here from Holland and took over in a few centuries. They replaced 90 per cent of the Neolithic farmers who built the monument and had lived here for 1, years.

The creators of Stonehenge appeared Mediterranean, farmers journal online dating, with olive-hued skin, dark hair and eyes. The grave is that of a 16—18 year-old female and a 17—20 year-old male and dates to around BC. Both are buried with a fineware Beaker pottery. But the Beaker people were more like white modern British people, with fair skin, lighter hair and eyes. The Beaker people may have killed off the ancient engineers behind Stonehenge by bringing the bubonic plague to Britain.

DNA from people from Beaker people illustration shown reveal that they descended from nomadic herders. Stonehenge, thought at various times to have been a temple of healing, a calendar or even a royal cemetery, attracts more than a million tourists to Wiltshire each year.

Its 82 bluestones, each weighing up to four tons, are believed to have been rolled, sledged and rafted from Wales to their final destination. While exactly how Stonehenge was made remains a puzzle, the new study at least sheds light on who its creators were. A team of archaeologists led by Harvard University and London's Natural History Museum found we only share only 10 per cent of our DNA with its engineers, and 90 per cent with the Beaker people - named after the pottery drinking tumblers they made.

The new evidence comes from DNA analysis of prehistoric skeletons two picturedsome from after Stonehenge and others born before it was created.

Two fineware beakers excavated from the Trumpington Meadows, Cambridge double beaker burial. This bell-shaped pottery style spread across western and central Europe 4, years ago.

The Beakers were probably a peaceful people, with no evidence that they dispatched the Neolithic farmers by violent means. Disease is the most likely reason for the Stonehenge creators' demise. The research, published in the journal Nature, is the largest study of ancient human DNA ever conducted, by an international team of archaeologists and geneticists. The map labelled A shows the distribution of new genetic samples used in this study.

B shows the approximate time ranges for samples with new genetic data. Sample sizes are given next to each bar. Beaker associated DNA circled in red can be seen across Europe. Following the Beaker spread, there was a population in Britain that for the first time had ancestry and skin ed and taylor dating eye pigmentation similar to the majority of Britons today.

The Beaker culture spread to other places carried by large-scale human migration, says co-senior author of Wolfgang Haak, a geneticist from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.

A beaker pot from Sierentz, France. Beaker pot from a grave in East Yorkshire. New research has shown that this Beaker style pottery spread across western and central Europe between 4, and 4, years ago via migration as well as the exchange of ideas. A Beaker pot housed at the National Museum of Scotland. Another associated study, also published in Nature, found farmers journal online dating local-hunter gatherer people who originally lived on the steppes of Central Asia, north of the Black and Caspian seas, were replaced by nomadic herders, called the Yamnaya.

These people were able to expand rapidly by exploiting horses and the new invention of the cart, and they left behind big, dating an artist burial sites.

Archaeologists have long known that some of the technologies used by the Yamnaya later spread to Europe, but the revelation from the ancient DNA was that the people moved too - all the way to the Atlantic coast of Europe in the west to Mongolia in the east and India in the south.

But, according to a major new study, modern-day Britons are barely related to the ingenious Neolithic farmers who built the monument. This vast migration helps explain the spread of Indo-European languages and it significantly replaced the local hunter-gatherer genes across Europe with steppe DNA, as happened in Britain with the migration of the Bell Beaker people to the island. It also adds new information - the first compelling evidence that the genetic mixing of populations in Europe was biased toward one sex, as hunter-gathered genes remaining in northern Europe after the influx of migrating farmers came more from males than females.

Between 4, and 4, years ago, a new bell-shaped pottery style spread across western and central Europe, and this period is called the 'Bell Beaker'. The period received its name due to the pottery's distinctive bell-shaped beakers, decorated in horizontal zones by finely toothed stamps. The decorated pots are almost ubiquitous across Europe, and could have been used as drinking vessels or ceremonious urns.

Believed to be originally from Spain, the Beaker folk soon spread into central and western Europe in their search for metals. But the sheer variety of beaker artifacts across Europe has made the pottery difficult to define as coming from one distinctive culture. A new study published in Nature farmers journal online dating that the Beaker culture spread through Europe via two different mechanisms - the spread of ideas and migration.

The set includes Beaker pots of the so-called 'Maritime style'. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Rival fans rejoice as world champions Germany are dumped OUT of the World Cup after humiliating defeat to South Korea so they won't beat England on penalties this time. Share or comment on this article: Most watched News videos Moment angry woman vandalizes nail salon captured on camera Guilty dog slinks away after being caught in swimming pool Trump supporter holds a 'CNN sucks' sign pakistani dating sites canada Jim Acosta Meet the year-old Japanese man living alone on a desert island Russian world cup fan Natalia Andreeva stars in photo shoot "Why farmers journal online dating you hate us?

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Were they the descendants of local hunter-gatherers, or did they migrate from southwestern Asia, where farming began? We recover genome-wide DNA sequences from early farmers on both the European and Asian sides of the Aegean to reveal an unbroken chain of ancestry leading from central and southwestern Europe back to Greece and northwestern Anatolia.

Farming and sedentism first appeared in southwestern Asia during the early Holocene and later spread to neighboring regions, including Europe, along multiple dispersal routes. Conspicuous uncertainties remain about the relative roles of migration, cultural diffusion, and admixture with local foragers in the early Neolithization of Europe.

Here we present paleogenomic data for five Neolithic individuals from northern Greece and northwestern Turkey spanning the time and region of the earliest spread of farming into Europe.

We use a novel approach to recalibrate raw reads and call genotypes from ancient DNA and observe striking genetic similarity both among Aegean early farmers and with those from across Europe.

Our study demonstrates a direct genetic link between Mediterranean and Central European early farmers and those of Greece and Anatolia, extending the European Neolithic migratory chain all the way back to southwestern Asia. It is well established that farming was introduced to Europe from Anatolia, but the extent to which its spread was mediated by demic expansion of Anatolian farmers, or by the transmission of farming technologies and lifeways to indigenous hunter-gatherers without a major concomitant migration of people, has been the subject of considerable debate.

All these sites show material culture affinities with the central and southwestern Anatolian Neolithic 6. The distribution of obsidian from the Cycladic islands, as well as similarities in material culture, suggest extensive interactions since the Mesolithic and a coeval Neolithic on both sides of the Aegean 8.

We present five ancient genomes from both, the European and Asian sides of the northern Aegean Fig. Estimates of mitochondrial contamination were low 0. North Aegean archaeological sites investigated in Turkey and Greece.

The mtDNA haplogroups of all five Neolithic individuals are typical of those found in central European Neolithic farmers and modern Europeans, but not in European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers 1. The mitochondrial haplogroups of two additional less well-preserved Greek Mesolithic individuals Theo1, Theo5; SI Appendix , Table S6 belong to lineages observed in Neolithic farmers from across Europe; consistent with Aegean Neolithic populations, unlike central European Neolithic populations, being the direct descendants of the preceding Mesolithic peoples who inhabited broadly the same region.

However, we caution against over-interpretation of the Aegean Mesolithic mtDNA data; additional genome-level data will be required to identify the Mesolithic source population s of the early Aegean farmers. Sequences in and around genes underlying the phenotypes hypothesized to have undergone positive selection in Europeans indicate that the Neolithic Aegeans were unlikely to have been lactase persistent but carried derived SLC24A5 rs and SLC45A2 rs alleles associated with reduced skin pigmentation.

However, despite their relatively low latitude, four of the Aegean individuals are homozygous for the derived rs T-allele in the SLC24A5 gene, and four carry at least one copy of the derived rs G-allele in the SLC45A2 gene.

This suggests that these reduced-pigmentation—associated alleles were at appreciable frequency in Neolithic Aegeans and that skin depigmentation was not solely a high-latitude phenomenon SI Appendix , SI The derived rs G-allele in the HERC2 domain of the OCA2 gene was heterozygous in one individual Klei10 , but all other Aegeans for whom the allelic state at this locus could be determined were homozygous for the ancestral allele, indicating a lack of iris depigmentation in these individuals.

Examination of several SNPs in the TCF7L2 gene region indicates that the two Neolithic Anatolian individuals, Bar8 and Bar31, are likely to have carried at least one copy of a haplotype conferring reduced susceptibility to type 2 diabetes T2D ; the Klei10 and Rev5 individuals also carry a tag allele associated with this haplotype.

Interestingly, we observe derived states for six of eight loci in a protein—protein interaction network inferred to have undergone concerted positive selection 2. The first two dimensions of variation from principal component analysis PCA reveal a tight clustering of all five Aegean Neolithic genomes with Early Neolithic EN genomes from central and southern Europe 2 , 3 , 13 Fig.

This cluster remains well-defined when the third dimension of variation is also considered https: PCA of modern reference populations 18 , 19 and projected ancient individuals. The Greek and Anatolian samples reported here cluster tightly with other European farmers close to modern-day Sardinians; however, they are clearly distinct from previously published Caucasian hunter-gatherers This excludes the latter as a potential ancestral source population for early European farmers and suggests a strong genetic structure in hunter-gatherers of Southwest Asia.

Central and East European C. European , South European South Eur. Consistent with their PCA clustering, the northern Aegean genomes share high levels of genetic drift with each other and with all other previously characterized European Neolithic genomes, including early Neolithic from northern Spain, Hungary, and central Europe.

Given the archaeological context of the different samples, the most parsimonious explanation for this shared drift is migration of early European farmers from the northern Aegean into and across Europe To cope with issues such as unequal sample sizes, we then used a linear model 28 to fit the allele-matching profile of the target group as a mixture of that of other sampled groups.

Sampled groups that contribute most to this mixture indicate a high degree of shared ancestry with the target group relative to other groups. S23, S24, and S Furthermore, in this analysis modern samples from Europe and surrounding regions are inferred to be relatively more genetically related to the Aegean Neolithic genomes than to the Neolithic genomes from Germany and Hungary Fig.

These patterns are indicative of founder effects 29 in the German and possibly Hungarian Neolithic samples from a source that appears to be most genetically similar to the Aegean Neolithic samples specifically, Bar31 and that distinguishes them from the ancestors of modern groups.

Runs of Homozygosity and Fig. However, it is not possible to infer a direction for dispersal within the Aegean with statistical confidence because both the Greek and Anatolian genomes copy from each other to a similar extent.

We therefore see the origins of European farmers equally well represented by Early Neolithic Greek and northwestern Anatolian genomes. Inferred mixture coefficients when forming each modern small pies and ancient large pies, enclosed by borders matching key at left group as a mixture of the modern-day Yoruba from Africa and the ancient samples shown in the key at left.

The shared drift between Kum6 and both the early and late Neolithic Aegeans is similar in extent to the drift that Aegeans share with one another. This is consistent with population structure in the Early Neolithic Aegean or with Kum6 being sampled from a population that differentiated from early Neolithic Aegeans after they expanded into the rest of Europe. It is widely believed that farming spread into Europe along both Mediterranean and central European routes, but the extent to which this process involved multiple dispersals from the Aegean has long been a matter of debate We calculated f4 statistics to examine whether the Aegean Neolithic farmers shared drift with genomes from the Spanish Epicardial site Els Trocs in the Pyrenees 3 , 12 that is distinct from that shared with Early Neolithic genomes from Germany and Hungary.

The best explanation for this observation is that migration to southwestern Europe started in the Aegean but was independent from the movement to Germany via Hungary. This is also supported by other genetic inferences 24 and archaeological evidence An alternative scenario is a very rapid colonization along a single route with subsequent gene flow back to Greece from Spain.

Potentially, preexisting hunter-gatherer networks along the western Mediterranean could have produced a similar pattern, but this is not supported by archaeological data.

Given that the Aegean is the likely origin of European Neolithic farmers, we used Bar8 and Bar31 as putative sources to assess the extent of hunter-gatherer admixture in European farmers through the Neolithic.

These results suggest that mixing between migrating farmers and local hunter-gatherers occurred sporadically at low levels throughout the continent even in the earliest stages of the Neolithic. Most of the modern Anatolian and Aegean populations do not appear to be the direct descendants of Neolithic peoples from the same region. Furthermore, when we form each Anatolian Neolithic genome as a mixture of all modern groups, we infer no contributions from groups in southeastern Anatolia and the Levant, where the earliest Neolithic sites are found SI Appendix , Figs.

Similarly, comparison of allele sharing between ancient and modern genomes to those expected under population continuity indicates Neolithic-to-modern discontinuity in Greece and western Anatolia, unless ancestral populations were unrealistically small SI Appendix , SI9. Modern groups matching the Neolithics—mostly from the Mediterranean and North Africa—strikingly match more to Bar8 from northwestern Anatolia than to the LBK genome from Stuttgart in Germany, indicating that the LBK genome experienced processes such as drift and admixture that were independent from the Mediterranean expansion route, consistent with the dual expansion model.

Our results further advance this transformative understanding by extending the unbroken trail of ancestry and migration all of the way back to southwestern Asia. The high levels of shared drift between Aegean and all available Early Neolithic genomes in Europe, together with the inferred unique drift between Neolithic Aegeans and Early Neolithic genomes from Northern Spain to the exclusion of Early Neolithic genomes from central Europe, indicate that Aegean Neolithic populations can be considered the root for all early European farmers and that at least two independent colonization routes were followed.

A key remaining question is whether this unbroken trail of ancestry and migration extends all the way back to southeastern Anatolia and the Fertile Crescent, where the earliest Neolithic sites in the world are found. Regardless of whether the Aegean early farmers ultimately descended from western or central Anatolian, or even Levantine hunter-gatherers, the differences between the ancient genomes presented here and those from the Caucasus 20 indicate that there was considerable structuring of forager populations in southwestern Asia before the transition to farming.

The dissimilarity and lack of continuity of the Early Neolithic Aegean genomes to most modern Turkish and Levantine populations, in contrast to those of early central and southwestern European farmers and modern Mediterraneans, is best explained by subsequent gene flow into Anatolia from still unknown sources.

Five Neolithic and two Mesolithic samples from both sides of the Aegean were selected for ancient DNA extraction and sequencing Table 1. DNA was extracted, and Next Generation Sequencing libraries were constructed in dedicated ancient DNA facilities as previously described 1 , 34 with slight modifications.

SI Appendix , Fig. The protocol for the preparation of further libraries for shotgun sequencing and capture was modified according to previously estimated sample quality, whereby some libraries from samples Bar8, Bar31, and Rev5 were prepared with USER treated DNA extract.

For paired-end sequences only pairs with overlapping sequence were retained and merged into a single sequence. For genotyping, we developed a novel method to recalibrate quality scores and call genotypes that probabilistically accounts for postmortem damage patterns as estimated in mapDamage2.

For low-coverage genomes, we further developed a Bayesian haploid caller to reliably identify the most likely allele call for each site code available on request from D. The assessment of ancient DNA authenticity was performed using the sequence reads mapping to the mitochondrial genome following the likelihood approach described in Fu et al. Postmortem damage deamination rates were estimated using mapDamage 2.

Mitochondrial haplogroups were determined using HaploFind First, a reference space was generated on genotype data of modern individuals. In a second step, ancient samples provided as BAM files were projected into the reference space via a Procrustes analysis.

PCA , for details. Samples from this study were compared with the Haak et al. To compose a target group as mixtures of other sampled groups, we used the following two-step procedure. We did this for each SNP and each target individual and then summed up these scores across SNPs and target individuals to give an allele-matching profile for the target group conditional on that set of donors. For each target group, the contributions from each donor group were rescaled to sum to 1.

For analyses presented here, our donor groups consisted of modern individuals 2 plus Neanderthal and Denisova. Our target groups included all modern and ancient groups. Next, analogous to ref. In all analyses, we used three different sets of surrogate groups: Mixture coefficients were inferred using nonnegative least squares in R with a slight modification to ensure that the coefficients sum to 1 SI Appendix , SI We used a forward-simulation approach to test for population continuity.

We designate alleles as ancestral or derived by comparing them to the chimpanzee genome panTro2 and consider only haploid calls for the ancient genome to avoid genotype calling biases. We examine the proportion of allele sharing between the ancient haploid and modern diploid genome calls that fall into each of the following six classes: To generate expected proportions of these allele-sharing classes, we forward-simulate genetic drift by binomial sampling from a set of allele frequency vectors based on the modern site frequency spectrum.

We performed this test for a range of assumed ancient and modern effective population sizes SI Appendix , SI9. Burger received funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Burger designed research; Z. Burger analyzed data; and Z. Burger wrote the paper. Genomic data are available at the European Nucleotide Archive under the accession no. This article contains supporting information online at www. We only request your email address so that the person you are recommending the page to knows that you wanted them to see it, and that it is not junk mail.

We do not capture any email address. Skip to main content. Shennan , Daniel G. Bradley , Mathias Currat , Krishna R. Veeramah , Daniel Wegmann , Mark G. Thomas , Christina Papageorgopoulou , and Joachim Burger.


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Gibbs Researchers find differences between ethnic groups living as farmers and those engaged in traditional hunter-gatherer activities. Scientists have long thought that the rate with which mutations occur in the genome does not depend o. Stonehenge has a proud place in Britain's history as one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. But, according to a major new study, modern-day Britons are barely related to the ingenious Neolithic farmers who built the monument 5, years ago.