View Full Version : Upcoming paper on Alemannic dna

14-09-16, 19:42
"Capture of ancient genomic DNA of individuals recovered from a Medieval Alemannic gravesite provides evidence for high mobility of fellowships during the 7th century CE.

Niall O'Sullivan et al

Whether the historic spread of cultural/language groups such as the Alemanni were migrations or local adoption of culture is still unresolved in archaeology. The Alemanni were a confederation of tribes that inhabited an area, from the third to the 10th century CE, which approximately overlaps with the modern distribution of Alemannic German dialect in Swabia. We present the genomic and isotopic data of eight individuals excavated from a gravesite in Niederstotzingen, Germany of supposed Alemannic origin dated to the 7th century CE. There were two multiple burials at the site suggesting either kinship or fellowship between the individuals. The tombs in the gravesite contained cultural artefacts and weapons indicating close contact of the Alemanni with Longobards and Byzantines. We investigated the genetic affinity of these individuals between each other and to modern West Eurasians. The genetic analysis utilised the targeted enrichment and sequencing of over 1.2 million genetic markers that have known ascertainment. From these data, we found no familial relationship among the individuals in the multiple graves, thus supporting a burial practice based rather on fellowship. All individuals were genetically male. The genetic affinities of the individuals, based on modern genetic distributions, were five Eastern Europeans, two Germans/Austrians and one Southern European. Isotopic data supports that only the Southern European individual was certainly born outside this region. The genetic data appear to correlate with the provenance of the burial artefacts, showing that westward movements and interactions among cultural groups likely occurred in this region during the 7th century CE."

So, a rather multi-ethnic group: 5 Eastern Europeans, 2 Germans/Austrians/1 Southern Eruopean, although perhaps more weighted toward Eastern Eurpeans than I would have imagined.

15-09-16, 05:43
So many papers will come soon! Tsunami of ancient population genetics we've been waiting for. :)

15-09-16, 18:32
Alemannic colonizators of these ancient rather Romano-Celtic territories were at first of northern stock according to classical anthropology; not a pure pop, but one where dominated in number the dolichocephals compared to previous periods when meso-brachys dominated; I rely on old works here. They said that roughly the Germanics cemeteries were in the valleys and the remnants of the ancient pop were more in slopes and highlands. I cannot judge it.
It seems the two pops mixed later (When exactly?). The local pop of Schwaben in the 20th Cy, like Alsacians, was the darker haired pop of Great Germany, darker than the highlands parts of Thuringen and of Baviera, and as dark as some parts of Alemannic Switzerland (there too, the Bern plateau shows lighter pop). Only Tyrol could show darker pop for hairs. Even at this period of sedentism, the close pops of Pfalz-S-Rheinland not to far north but on the valleys was a bit lighter, and more meso, not brachy. In deeper analysis, it seem (in 20th) that as a whole valleys were still a bit lighter and less brachy or more meso. It's the past century, of course! Some Turcs could have modified the "tableau" today.
So I would vote for a genuine Germanics input before osmosis. But these people studied in this study could have a very uncommon history... The "northeastern" affinity could be from Longobards?

15-09-16, 18:47
Well, I finally have an answer for why my Swiss-German cousins in law are all rather dark haired, dark eyed, and rather olive skinned. If I can find the pictures to upload, I'll put them in an anthropology thread.

15-09-16, 21:49
Well, I finally have an answer for why my Swiss-German cousins in law are all rather dark haired, dark eyed, and rather olive skinned. If I can find the pictures to upload, I'll put them in an anthropology thread.

Angela, the Alsacians were among the darkest German speaker pops but they were among the lighest French people along with Picards, North Coast Normands, Germanic Lorrains and French Flemings!! Not dark all of them: it's relative. And I know you know Swiss people were and are multiethnic.

14-01-17, 14:34
It is good to learn that we will get more results and analysis of ancient DNA.