View Full Version : WHGs and EEFs lived side by side for 2000 years, long preserving genetic distinctness

24-11-15, 14:05
I apologize if a similar thread already exists but I haven't noticed it.

We know that genomes of EEF from Early Neolithic show, that they were almost 100% Anatolian-derived (they had 10% of WHG but it was absorbed already in Anatolia) and it has been long assumed, that what it means is that: 1) they did not assimilate / absorb / teach to farm WHGs and 2) that they replaced WHGs in some way (either WHGs went away as farmers came and scare away game that hunters had used to hunt for, or farmers just eliminated them). Then we observe an increasing portion of WHG ancestry - both autosomal and uniparental - among Middle Neolithic farmers, and even more of WHG among Late Neolithic farmers (but before steppe groups come). And we used to explain this steady increase of WHG by claiming, that probably hunters migrated south from northern fringes, or that WHG ancestry was being "selected for", etc.

However, it seems that explanation may be different - it seems that WHGs did not disappear, but continued to live side by side with farmers, close to their agricultural settlements - and even buried their dead in the same cemeteries - but restrained from intermarriage. Only very slowly and very gradually (= reluctantly?) WHG groups were resigning from their hunter lifestyle and marrying into, or joining, farmer communities. This would that steady increase of WHG ancestry in Neolithic DNA over time. The most stubbornly HG groups probably never adopted farming, and eventually died out as there were fewer and fewer hunting grounds left, and farmers around them were becoming more and more numerous.

This study also shows potential traps in drawing premature conclusions from autosomal (as well uniparental) DNA of some individuals. Because it shows, that people who live next to each other, and bury their dead next to each other, are not necessarily similar to each other in terms of DNA. They eventually become similar as total lack of mixing and intermarriage is inevitable if two peoples live close to each other (pheromones of love are stronger than the most strict cultural norms!), but as we can now see, such "blending" can last even up to 2000 years until the process is complete. WHG hunters who lived next to farmers 5500 years ago were still more genetically similar to their distant WHG ancestors who had lived in the same area 7500 years ago, than they were to the contemporaneous farmers, their neighbours, who also lived 5500 years ago!

We can also see this in present-day societies which have a recent history of mixing of very genetically different groups - for example the USA. Americans have been living side by side for a few centuries by now, but they are still not homogeneous in autosomal terms. For example, about 5% of the population are Native North Americans, but it's not like every American on average is 5% autosomally Amerindian. Most of them are close to 0% Amerindian, while a few of them are close to 100% Amerindian. And there are some mixed guys who claim partially Amerindian ancestry (such as South Park's "David 1/16th Indian" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbFViTJPAqw), etc.). Perhaps in year 4000 AD, some 2000 years from now, all Americans will be a "homogeneous blob" in autosomal terms - with everyone being part-European, part-Hispanic, part-African, part-Asian, and so on.

Let's cite the original source:


'Hunter-gatherers and immigrant farmers lived side-by-side for more than 2,000 years in Central Europe, before the hunter-gatherer communities died out or were absorbed into the farming population.

In a paper published today in Science, researchers describe their analysis of DNA and isotopes from human bones found in the 'Blätterhöhle' cave near Hagen in Germany, where both hunter-gatherers and farmers were buried.

The team, led by anthropologist Professor Joachim Burger of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany, used stable isotopes to determine their diet, DNA to investigate how they were related, and radiocarbon to establish how old the bones were.

"It is commonly assumed that the European hunter-gatherers disappeared soon after the arrival of farmers", said Dr Ruth Bollongino, lead author of the study. "But our study shows that the descendants of the first European humans maintained their hunter-gatherer way of life, and lived in parallel with the immigrant farmers, for at least 2,000 years. The hunter-gathering way of life only died out in Central Europe around 5,000 years ago, much later than previously thought."

"Until around 7,500 years ago all central Europeans were hunter-gatherers," said Professor Mark Thomas, professor of evolutionary genetics at UCL, and a co-author of the study. "They were the descendants of the first wave of our species to arrive in Europe, around 45,000 years ago. They survived the last Ice Age and the warming that started around 10,000 years ago. And now it seems they also survived the initial wave of farmers spreading across Europe from the southeast of the continent [from the Balkans, and originally from Western Anatolia - as we know]."

Previous genetic studies by Professors Burger and Thomas showed that agriculture was brought to Central Europe by immigrant farmers around 7,500 years ago. From that time on, little trace of hunter-gathering can be seen in the archaeological record, and it was widely assumed that the hunter-gatherers rapidly died out or were absorbed into the farming populations.

"Although there is some archaeological evidence of interactions between immigrant agriculturalists and local hunter-gatherers, its extent and duration has remained something of a mystery," said Professor Thomas. "But our study now shows that the hunter-gatherers stayed in close proximity to farmers, had contact with them for thousands of years, and buried their dead in the same cave.

"This contact was not without consequences, because hunter-gatherer women sometimes married into the farming communities, while no genetic lines of farmer women have been found in hunter-gatherers", explained Burger. "This pattern of marriage is known from many studies of human populations in the modern world. Farmer women regarded marrying into hunter-gatherer groups as social demotion."

[in other studies it has been shown that not only WHG mtDNA, but also WHG Y-DNA penetrated into EEF communities over time - in Early Neolithic there was almost no WHG Y-DNA in farmer genomes, but it shows up in Middle and Late Neolithic farmer genomes - perhaps some male hunters learned how to farm, became accepted by farmers into their communities or married into farming communities - becoming farmers, or raped farmer women, or conquered some farmers and imposed themselves as their chieftains, etc.]

For a long time the team were unable to make sense of the findings. "It was only through the analysis of isotopes in the human remains, performed by our Canadian colleagues, that the pieces of the puzzle began to fit," states Bollongino.

She added: "The results showed that the hunter-gatherers sustained themselves in Central and Northern Europe on a very specialized diet that included fish, among other things, until 5,000 years ago. And what is more, the hunter-gatherers living at the same time as the farmers were genetically more similar to the pre-farming hunter-gatherers than to the contemporaneous farmers.'


Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this.

24-11-15, 15:25
A search for Bollongino et al turns up seven results including this one started by Maciamo which is specifically devoted to it.


So, yes, it's been extensively discussed.

24-11-15, 15:50
HG Blaterhohle Y DNA is unkown, but very likely I, all known mtDNA is HG DNA indeed
HG Pitted Ware in Sweden, Y DNA only 1 is known, it is I2a1, but mtDNA is a mixture of HG and neolithic DNA
the Danube Gorge HG lived in this area since the youngest dryas (12 ka) ; 8.2 - 7.9 ka they came in contact and traded with neolithic (Köros) farmers ; there is no DNA of them, but strontium analyses and burial rituals suggests the males from this period descended from the indogenous HG, while many females were immigrants, most likely neolithic women ; so here, the opposite of what happened in Blaterhohle ; probably the HG in the Danube Gorge had a much better life than the neolithic farmers ; 7.9 ka population became to dense, HG dissapeared and farming toke over in this area ; it would be very interesting to know DNA from this area and period

Greying Wanderer
24-11-15, 15:55

24-11-15, 18:05

Are these Australian Aborigines ???

A search for Bollongino et al turns up seven results including this one started by Maciamo which is specifically devoted to it.


So, yes, it's been extensively discussed.

Ok, sorry then.

Could you please merge the threads? Or close this one (but I will post a link to it in that previous thread).