View Full Version : Ancient MtDna: The Longobards

12-07-18, 17:49

Stefania Vai et al (Patrick Geary is also in on this one)

"Title: A genetic perspective on Longobard-Era migrations"

"From the first century AD, Europe has been interested by population movements, commonly knownas Barbarian migrations. Among these processes, the one involving the Longobard cultureinterested a vast region, but its dynamics and demographic impact remains largely unknown. Herewe report 87 new complete mitochondrial sequences coming from nine early-medieval cemeterieslocated along the area interested by the Longobard migration (Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy).From the same locations, we sampled necropolises characterized by cultural markers associatedwith the Longobard culture (LC) and coeval burials where no such markers were found (NLC).Population genetics analysis and ABC modeling highlighted a similarity between LC individuals,as reflected by a certain degree of genetic continuity between these groups, that reached 70%among Hungary and Italy. Models postulating a contact between LC and NLC communitiesreceived also high support, indicating a complex dynamics of admixture in medieval Europe."

"A principalcomponent analysis (PCA) on this expanded dataset highlighted the similarity between the LCgraves of Szólád and medieval populations from Central Europe (Slovakia 800-1100 CE, Poland1000-1400 CE) (Fig. S1). The Collegno individuals clustered midway between Slovakian andmedieval samples from Southern Europe (Spain 500-600 CE, Italy 900-1400 CE)."

"We explored the relationships between LC and NLC individuals through a principal componentanalysis (PCA, Fig. 1B). The first two axes of the PCA suggest a degree of similarity betweengroups, as NLC individuals are found across all of the range of genetic variation shown by the LCsamples. There is also no clear geographical structure between samples in our dataset, withindividuals from Italy, Hungary and Czech Republic clustering together. However, the first PCclearly separates a group of 12 LC individuals found at Szólád, Collegno and Mušov from a groupcomposed by both LC and NLC individuals. The same pattern is also found when pairwisedifferences among individuals are plotted by multidimensional scaling (MDS, Fig. S2)"

". The presence in this group of LC sequencespeer-reviewed) is the author/funder. All rights reserved. No reuse allowed without permission.bioRxiv preprint first posted online Jul. 11, 2018; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/367201. The copyright holder for this preprint (which was not10belonging to macrohaplogroups I and W, commonly found at high frequencies in northern Europe(e.g. Finland 32), suggests (although certainly does not prove) the existence of a possible linkbetween these 12 LC individuals and northern Europe. The peculiarity of this group is strengthenedby archaeological information from the Szólád cemetery, where 8 of the 12 individuals in this grouporiginated, indicating that all these samples were found buried with typical Longobard artifacts andgrave assemblages.We do not find the same tight association for the 3 samples from Collegno,where the 3 graves are indeed devoid of evident Germanic cultural markers; however they are notplaced in a separate and marginal location—as for the tombs without grave goods found in Szólád—but among graves with wooden chambers and weapons."

Just more evidence, I think, that the Langobards picked up different mtDna lineages as they moved south. As for the data from Collegno, does it mean that the migrating Longobard women also married local men, but the offspring had a slightly lower social status?

"Indeed, when we estimated the extent of these admixture events, weobserved that more than 80% of the genetic makeup of the Hungarian LC population could betraced to NLC people already inhabiting the region, while the Czech LC contributed around 18%(Table S5 and Fig. S6). This could either indicate a reduced contribution of Czech LC to the geneticmake-up of the Hungarian LC, or that the Musov cemetery, while showing archaeological signs ofLongobard occupation, is not a good proxy of the LC population that moved from the CzechRepublic to Hungary. The Collegno individuals can, instead, trace more than 70% of their geneticmakeup to LC populations migrating from Hungary, confirming the high degree of similarity shownby the exploratory analyses and supporting the migration hypothesis based on archaeological data."