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Thread: Tumuli of IA inSouthern Slovenia

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    Tumuli of IA inSouthern Slovenia

    Is someone here aware of this paper, seemingly recent, and interesting with some Y-R1b-U152? (discovered thank to Bernard SECHER°
    Some kind of Italics there?

    Abstract

    DNA analysis demonstrates that all seven individuals buried in an Early Iron Age barrow at Dolge njive, southeast Slovenia, are close biological relatives. Although group composition does not suggest strict adherence to a patrilineal or matrilineal kinship system, the funerary tradition appears highly gendered, with family links through both the male and female line being important in structuring communities. We explore the implications for our understandings of kinship and funerary practices in Early Iron Age southeast Europe.
    URI

    http://hdl.handle.net/10454/19104
    Version

    Accepted manuscript
    Citation

    Armit I, Fischer C-E, Koon H.E.C et al (2022) Kinship practices in Early Iron Age southeast Europe: genetic and isotopic analysis of burials from the Dolge njive barrow cemetery, Dolenjska, Slovenia. Antiquity. Accepted for publication.

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    Kinship practices in Early Iron Age southeast Europe: genetic and isotopic analysis of
    burials from the Dolge njive barrow cemetery, Dolenjska, Slovenia
    Abstract
    DNA analysis demonstrates that all seven individuals buried in an Early Iron Age barrow at
    Dolge njive, southeast Slovenia, are close biological relatives. Although group composition
    does not suggest strict adherence to a patrilineal or matrilineal kinship system, the funerary
    tradition appears highly gendered, with family links through both the male and female line
    being important in structuring communities. We explore the implications for our
    understandings of kinship and funerary practices in Early Iron Age southeast Europe.
    Key words: ancient DNA; Iron Age; Slovenia; barrows; isotope analysis; kinship
    Introduction
    The beginning of the Early Iron Age (c. 800–450 BC) in southeast Europe was accompanied
    by significant social changes, many of them apparently related to a growing intensity of
    contacts and exchange between communities around the head of the Adriatic, and with the
    urbanising societies of the wider Mediterranean world. These changes are marked in eastern
    Slovenia, as well as in the broader area between the Eastern Alps and Western Pannonia, by
    the emergence of new centres of population comprising large hillforts associated with
    extensive barrow cemeteries and, in some cases, evidence for iron-working (e.g. Teržan
    1990; Mason 1996; Dular & Tecco Hvala 2007; Mason & Mlekuž 2016;Črešnar& Mele
    2019;Črešnaret al. 2020). In the Early Iron Age Dolenjska group (southeast Slovenia and
    northern Croatia), which is the focus of this paper, funerary rites shifted from cremation
    burials in flat cemeteries to inhumation, usually comprising multiple graves under a
    substantial earthen barrow, often with significant quantities of grave goods. These new
    centres can be linked to the emergence of extended hierarchies that developed to control and
    exploit production and inter-regional trade in, for example, iron, salt and amber.
    Although it has been suggested that burial in these barrows might have been based on
    familial links, with individual barrows being associated with specific lineages (Dular &
    Tecco Hvala 2007: 123–6, 237–45; Teržan 2010), this has been hard to demonstrate using
    traditional archaeological techniques. As part of the HERA-funded ENTRANS (Encounters
    and Transformations in Iron Age Europe) Project (Armitet al. 2014; 2016), osteological and isotope analysis was applied to sites in the region, with further aDNA analysis obtained through the COMMIOS (Communities and Connectivities: Iron Age Britons and their Continental Neighbours) Project. This paper details the results of work on one of these sites,the Dolge njive barrow cemetery, and examines their implications for our widerunderstanding of human mobility and family structure during this dynamic period of southeast European prehistory.The Dolge njive barrow cemeteryThe Dolge njive cemetery forms part of one of the largest mortuary complexes of the Early Iron Age Dolenjska group, which stretches over southeast Slovenia and part of northernCroatia (Figure 1). The complex centres on the large (12.68 ha) hillfort at Veliki Vinji vrh and comprises an estimated 145 barrows. Four main groups ascend to the northwestern entrance of the hillfort from theTopličicavalley, while a further 45 dispersed barrows,erected individually or in smaller groups, extend across a wider area of over 25 km2. Many of these barrows were excavated in the late nineteenth century with a relatively poor standard of field-recording and documentation; modern excavation has confirmed, however, that skeletal remains in the area are generally very poorly preserved or absent (Dular & Tecco Hvala 2007: 191; Mason & Mlekuž 2016).The Dolge njive cemetery itself is located between two deeply incised valleys at the foot of the Vinji vrh massif, southeast of the hillfort (Figure 2). Excavations in 2002, in advance of motorway construction, revealed the poorly preserved remains of three Early Iron Age barrows. Two of these were constructed on the site of Late Bronze Age cremation platforms,whilst the third was located a short distance to the east and connected to the others by a Late Bronze Age hollow-way with associated deposits of cremated bone (Mason 2005; Mason & Mlekuž 2016). The remains of an Early Iron Age farmstead or small settlement, comprisingtwo cobbled surfaces and two apparently domestic structures, were discovered at Pod Vovkom to the southwest of the site (Križ 2005; Figure 2). Its location was undoubtedly influenced by the proximity of the Krka River, but may also have taken advantage of one ofthe possible route-ways from the valley to the hillfort.Page 2 of 51

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    Two of the Dolge njive barrows (2 and 3) had been largely destroyed by a combination of
    Roman settlement activity and medieval agriculture, though both contained at least one
    inhumation, in each case accompanied by spearheads (Figure 3a; Table 1). Barrow 1,
    however, was better preserved, covering the remains of six graves containing seven
    inhumation burials (Figure 3b). All six graves contained extended supine inhumations,
    including one double burial (Burial 3) comprising two individuals buried head to toe (Table
    1). Five of the graves were arranged in a rough circle around the perimeter of the barrow,
    while the other (Burial 1) lay more centrally. This latter grave, however, cut the edge of
    Burial 3 and cannot therefore be primary. Although central graves in the region tend to be the
    earliest within each barrow, there are exceptions in which they belong to the later or even the
    latest phases of a barrow (e.g. Križ 2019: 277, 293).
    The limited evidence for inter-cutting in Barrow 1 (Figure 3b), and the slight degree to which
    the graves intersect, appears to indicate that the later graves were laid out to respect the
    earlier ones: this suggests either that the earlier graves were marked on the surface, and/or
    that the graves were dug over a relatively short period. All of the graves contained grave
    goods, though the number and composition varied (Table 1); they date on typological
    grounds mostly to theStična(I) phase of the Dolenjska Early Iron Age chronology, i.e. Ha
    C(1). Coupled with stratigraphic and aDNA information (see below), the bodies were most
    likely deposited over a relatively short period in the early/mid seventh centu

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    Osteological analysis
    The skeletal remains were characterised by cortical exfoliation, root etching and were
    generally heavily fragmented and incomplete (Nicholls 2017). This was particularly the case
    for the less dense bones of the axial skeleton (vertebrae, sterna, ribs and ossa coxae) and
    crania, which hampered osteological assessment of age and sex. The dentition exhibited
    varying degrees of preservation, but survived most frequently as loose teeth, which permitted
    age estimation. All remains appear to belong to young (c. 20–35) and middle adults (c. 36–
    50), and we could tentatively assign sex based on skeletal morphology in only five cases
    (Table 1). We noted no pathological alterations, although this is unsurprising given the poor
    condition of the bones.

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    Ancient DNA analysis
    We successfully analysed aDNA from all nine individuals recovered from Dolge njive; seven
    from Barrow 1, and single individuals from each of Barrows 2 and 3. The genomic data
    obtained for these individuals allowed us to determine genetic sex based on the ratio of Y
    chromosome sequences to combined X and Y chromosome sequences (Table 1), as well as
    maternal (mitochondrial) and paternal (Y chromosome) lineages (see online Supplementary
    Information, which also contains information on the population genetics of the group).
    Regarding the mitochondrial lineages, six of the seven samples from Barrow 1 belong to the
    H1e5 haplogroup and the seventh carries the H haplogroup. Individuals from Barrows 2 and
    3 carry the H5a6 and H1ba haplogroups respectively. All males (across all three barrows)
    carry a R1b Y chromosome haplogroup, which is one of the major Y chromosome
    haplogroups in Europe following the Late Neolithic/Bronze Age transition; it became
    widespread in Europe during the second half of the third millennium BC and is ultimately
    linked to ancestry from the Eurasian steppe (Allentoftet al. 2015; Haaket al. 2015).
    To explore potential genetic relationships among the Dolge njive individuals, we used the
    software READ (Monroy-Kuhnet al. 2015). Within Barrow 1, we found that all seven
    individuals were close biological relatives (Figure 4). Burial 5 represents the father of the
    individuals in Burials 1, 3a, 3b and 4: three brothers and a sister. The young woman from
    Burial 2 is a second-degree relative of these siblings and their father. She is most likely,
    therefore, the granddaughter of the man from Burial 5 and niece of the four siblings. Since
    she shares her mitochondrial haplogroup with the siblings, it is likely that her mother was a
    sister of this group. Burial 6 is a third-degree relative of the siblings (Burials 1, 3a, 3b and 4a)
    with whom he shares the same mitochondrial haplogroup. He may be their maternal cousin,
    mother’s half-sibling, or great-uncle. Finally, our results highlight that the individuals
    interred in Barrows 2 and 3 were not close biological relatives either of each other or of the
    family group buried in Barrow 1

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    We analysed multiple isotopes from bones and teeth from all individuals in Barrow 1,
    examining evidence for diet and mobility (see Supplementary Information). Where possible,
    we sampled multiple elements from each individual to explore intra-individual isotopic
    heterogeneity, i.e. lifetime variability. In addition to exploring diet and mobility, the nature of
    this assemblage provides a rare opportunity to examine the variation in isotope ratios within a
    familial group.
    Theδ13C andδ15N isotope ratios for the group range from -16.6‰ to -13.6‰ and 7.9‰ to
    9.5‰ respectively, indicating a terrestrial-based diet, composed of a mixture of C3and C4
    plants with some herbivorous animal protein (Tykot 2004; Hedges & Reynard 2007). Values
    from different elements from each individual show little variation (see Figure 5), indicating
    consumption of similar sources of terrestrial protein throughout their lives.δ13CCARB-COL
    values consistently exceed 4‰, reflecting a diet high in C4carbohydrates, likely millet
    (Supplementary Table 1; cf. Lightfootet al. 2013). This is consistent with the limited
    previous isotopic analyses for this period in Slovenia (Nichollset al. 2020; Murray &
    Schoeninger 1988) and contemporary botanical evidence (Dular & Tecco-Hvala 2007).
    Strontium results are variable, with87Sr/86Sr ranging from 0.7091 to 0.7102, and
    concentrations from 59 to 226 ppm (Supplementary Table 3; Figures 5b and 6). Theδ18OCARB
    isotope ratios occupy a relatively narrow range of 21.1‰ to 22.8‰. The86Sr/87Sr values are
    consistent with the variable local geology with no evidence for childhood mobility.
    Strontium concentrations may reflect the trophic level of food consumed by an individual,
    decreasing with increasing trophic level (Evanset al. 2006). The wide variation in strontium
    concentrations here (Supplementary Table 3; Figure 6) suggests that two of the brothers
    (Burials 3a and 4) consumed more meat and dairy than the rest, while their father (Burial 5),
    exhibits by far the highest Sr concentration and thus appears to have eaten more lower trophic
    level food. This is consistent with the latter’sδ15N values, which are the lowest in both
    dentine and rib collagen. The tooth enamel sampled for this analysis reflects the Sr, O and
    CCARBisotopic compositions of food consumed during the formation of the tooth crown in
    early childhood. It appears, therefore, that the father (Burial 5) had a different childhood diet
    and/or location to his children.

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    AMS dating
    Six AMS dates were obtained from the skeletal remains: one from each of the graves in
    Barrow 1 (Table 2; Figure 7). The results form a consistent series in the period c. 800–540 cal
    BC. The radiocarbon calibration problems associated with the Hallstatt plateau, however, are
    such that the AMS dates remain highly imprecise and not readily amenable to further
    resolution through Bayesian analysis. They are nonetheless consistent with the typological
    dates for the grave goods, which suggest deposition in the first half or the middle of the
    seventh century BC.

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    I have jumped over the "discussion" I can post later.
    Here some interesting aspect beside the society, kinship and other aspects.



    Phenotypes
    We used the HIrisPlex SNPs panel (Walshet al. 2013; Chaitanyaet al. 2018), which analyses
    41 SNPs, to predict eye and hair colour, and skin pigmentation.
    We were able to predict eye colour for four individuals:
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    3
    -I5684 has a substantial probability of having blue eyes (76%)
    -I5685 has a substantial probability of having blue eyes (64%)
    -I5686 has a substantial probability of having blue eyes (76%)
    -I5687 has a substantial probability of having blue eyes (78%)
    It was not possible to predict hair or skin colour with any confidence due to the absence of
    data from too many essential SNPs.
    Population Genomics Analysis
    In order to carry out population genomics analysis we used the database provided by the
    David Reich Laboratory (which curates previously published data from many sources), and
    which is available at https://reich.hms.harvard.edu/allen-...resource-aadr-
    downloadable-genotypes-present-day-and-ancient-dna-data
    The comparative dataset comprises different types of data based on capture and shotgun
    sequencing. The shotgun sequencing data are in many cases derived from low coverage
    genomes (from 0.1 to 0.5X). This means that the recovered sequences are randomly
    distributed across the genome and not targeted as in capture analysis.
    Of the first degree relatives, we only use individual I5685 for the following analyses (except
    the PCA), as this individual has the best coverage of the group comprising I5685, I5687,
    I23971, I22933 and I229

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    I23971, I22933 and I22936 - sorry

    Principal Component Analysis
    The PCA is built by projecting the ancient DNA data onto a set of modern European and
    Near Eastern populations. Here we project available data for Iron Age populations in Western
    Europe (Gambaet al. 2014; Allentoftet al. 2015; Schiffelset al. 2016; Martinianoet al.
    2016; Damgaardet al. 2018; Mathiesonet al. 2018; Antonioet al. 2019; Jarveet al. 2019;
    Olaldeet al. 2019; Saaget al. 2019; Sikoraet al. 2019; Brunelet al. 2020; Fernandeset al.
    2020; Marcuset al. 2020; Margaryanet al. 2020).
    Page 22 of 51
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    4
    Our samples from Dolge njive, as well as others samples from Slovenia, plot in an
    intermediate position between Western European samples (UK, France, Spain) and Southern
    European samples (Italy) (Figure S1). However, one individual (I22936) seems to have more
    affinity with Southern European samples (Italy, Eastern Mediterranean or Punic samples
    from Sardinia), but this outlying position potentially reflects the limited coverage (24864
    SNPs among the 600 000 SNPs targeted).
    Affinities among the Dolge njive samples
    We performed a qpWave analysis as implemented in ADMIXTOOLS (Pattersonet al. 2012)
    to determine if individuals from Dolge njive can be defined as a clade, following Fernandes
    et al. 2020. For this test, we used the following set of populations: Mbuti.SDG, EHG,
    Russia_Afanasievo, Turkey_N, Germany_EN_LBK, WHG, Russia_Samara_EBA_Yamnaya.
    Outliers are defined when p < 0.1.
    Our results highlight that all individuals from the Dolge njive site form a clade, including
    individual I22936 who is an apparent outlier on the PCA (and who was buried in a separate
    barrow from the biologically related individuals in Barrow 1). This is consistent with their
    outlying position in the PCA being due to limited data size.
    Affinities with ancestral populations
    We performed a qpAdm analysis as implemented in ADMIXTOOLS (Haaket al. 2015) to
    investigate the percentage of several ancestries in the individuals from Dolge njive. Here we
    estimate the relative proportions of EEF, Yamnaya (Steppe) and Western Hunter Gatherer
    ancestries. We performed this test on each sample.
    Our results indicate that individuals from Dolge njive seem quite homogeneous in terms of
    ancestry (Figure S2; note that two individuals (I22933 and I23971) are not plotted as the
    model does not fit (p value < 0.05)).
    Affinities with contemporaneous populations
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    5
    We computed an outgroup-f3 statistic (Raghavanet al. 2014) as implemented in
    ADMIXTOOLS in the form (Mbuti; Individual from Dolge njive, Iron Age*) where we
    tested the individuals from Dolge njive against the available Iron Age groups. This statistic
    allows us to explore the affinities between two groups: a high f3 means that the groups are
    close and a low f3 means that the groups show few affinities.
    Our results show that the individuals from Dolge njive are closer to other samples from
    Slovenia than from other parts of Europe, with the exception of two outliers: one from Spain
    and one from England.
    Data Availability
    The raw data are available as aligned sequences (bam files) through the European Nucleotide
    Archive under accession number PRJEBXXXXX[to be completed on acceptance]

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    I cannot post the copy of the PCA, too heavy! Sh...!

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    On PCA, at first sight, the paper studied people are close to other IA Slovenian, at the crossroads of N-Spain, S-France, N-Italy; evoks to me some Italic group or Italo-Etruscan group. Or Illyrians if Illyrians were kind of para-italic speakers (close to Liburnians?) and not close linguistically to Dardanians, closer themselves to proto-Albanians, maybe? Just a bet. No money waited.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    I cannot post the copy of the PCA, too heavy! Sh...!
    Here you go:



    Also, here is the admixture chart.


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    Thanks, Jovialis, I'm a poor old man of the first steam-computers generation.

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    Has someone some clues about archeologic (cultural) aspect?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    Thanks, Jovialis, I'm a poor old man of the first steam-computers generation.
    No worries, I am some what of a "digital immigrant" myself, since I only had my first computer at age 18. The new generation are true "Digital natives", my toddler already knows how to use a touch screen.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Dolge Nijve seems to cluster in the range of Cetina culture.

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    It also looks like other IA Italians cluster with the Etruscan/Latins, but also the so-called outliers are present. I'm not sure if this PCA is reusing R437, and R850, but there seems to be a couple more as well. Maybe IA Greeks in Italy? I think the one adjacent to the Scythians, and further to their "west" is the R1 Proto-Villanovan sample.

    Totally my speculation:


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    ^^^^^^^^^^^
    Are they using different shapes to differentiate among populations or are just using colors?

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    Has someone some clues about archeologic (cultural) aspect?
    Dolge njive cemetery tested here is Urnfield classified who were successors of Hügelgräberkultur. Immediate successors of this culture are Hallstatt and further the La Tène Celts.

    As was mentioned in the paper: „DNA analysis demonstrates that all seven individuals buried in an Early Iron Age barrow at Dolge njive, southeast Slovenia, are close biological relatives.“ They essentially represent one family/clan. The paternal DNA is R-L2 which is very typical for the before mentioned cultural complex.

    These have nothing to do with Cetina/Dinaric culture nor do they match their time frames or archaeogenetic records for that. As far as I can tell they are intermediate between Rhine Celts and IA Latin or IA East Adriatic samples (Cetina/Dinaric) which is to be expected from Cisalpine Celts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mount123 View Post
    Dolge njive cemetery tested here is Urnfield classified who were successors of Hügelgräberkultur. Immediate successors of this culture are Hallstatt and further the La Tène Celts.

    As was mentioned in the paper: „DNA analysis demonstrates that all seven individuals buried in an Early Iron Age barrow at Dolge njive, southeast Slovenia, are close biological relatives.“ They essentially represent one family/clan. The paternal DNA is R-L2 which is very typical for the before mentioned cultural complex.

    These have nothing to do with Cetina/Dinaric culture nor do they match their time frames or archaeogenetic records for that. As far as I can tell they are intermediate between Rhine Celts and IA Latin or IA East Adriatic samples (Cetina/Dinaric) which is to be expected from Cisalpine Celts.

    R-L2 is in NE Italy , istria, croatia as well
    Fathers mtdna ...... T2b17
    Grandfather paternal mtdna ... T1a1e
    Sons mtdna ...... K1a4p
    Mothers line ..... R1b-S8172
    Grandmother paternal side ... I1-CTS6397
    Wife paternal line ..... R1a-PF6155

    "Fear profits man, nothing"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Dolge Nijve seems to cluster in the range of Cetina culture.
    At the autosomal level, yes they show a mean close to the Cetina culture ones, apparently stable since EBA until IA.
    That said, they are separated geographically, at least at IA, and the dominant Y haplo in Cetina seems having been Y-J2b-L283.
    But the Slovenian tumuli people, Y-R1b all of them, are so close parents that it proves nothing at a less narrow scale of population.
    Also, the Cetina ancestors could have come from northern places not too far from Eastern Slovenia.
    Only suppositions todate in absence of archeological definitions of the present study tumuli. I 've found nothing on the web helas...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mount123 View Post
    Dolge njive cemetery tested here is Urnfield classified who were successors of Hügelgräberkultur. Immediate successors of this culture are Hallstatt and further the La Tène Celts.

    As was mentioned in the paper: „DNA analysis demonstrates that all seven individuals buried in an Early Iron Age barrow at Dolge njive, southeast Slovenia, are close biological relatives.“ They essentially represent one family/clan. The paternal DNA is R-L2 which is very typical for the before mentioned cultural complex.

    These have nothing to do with Cetina/Dinaric culture nor do they match their time frames or archaeogenetic records for that. As far as I can tell they are intermediate between Rhine Celts and IA Latin or IA East Adriatic samples (Cetina/Dinaric) which is to be expected from Cisalpine Celts.
    I had not read correctly your post when I answered Jovialis.
    Thanks for cultural horizon; so, just before Hallstatt times. But I doubt it could be Celts: too less WHG, too Southern for this period Celts of the time, more Southern than other IA "Slovenians" (I consider some IA from Southern Gaul were not true Celts: too much substrata, Ligurians among them). So spite without proof, I would bet just now on some para-Italics (Venetics?) or Italics stayed with an earlier autosomal making. Maybe I'm splitting hair?
    But I would be glad if I had more precise clues for this culture...

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    Discussion


    One of the most promising avenues for ancient DNA research is its potential to reveal patterns of biological relatedness that can inform theanalysis of kinship in prehistoric populations (e.g. Sjögrenet al. 2020; Fowleret al.2022). Perhaps the most striking aspect of the present study has been the discovery that all seven individuals buried in Barrow 1 are close biological relatives. The group comprises a father (Burial 5), four of his children (three brothers (Burials 3a, 3b and 4) and a sister (Burial 1)), his granddaughter (Burial 2), and a third-degree male relative of the siblings (Burial 6) who is most likely their maternal cousin, great uncle or mother’s half-brother. Since no biological relationships can be identified between individuals buried in different barrows, it thus seems probable that each accommodated the remains of a distinct familial group, although we should bear in mind that forms of kinship based on factors independent of biological relatedness (e.g. Brück & Frieman 2021) will always elude detection by DNA analysis. The presence in Barrow 1 of four full siblings, and the implied existence of a fifth (mother of Burial 2), together with the absence of definite half-siblings, is also suggestive of a monogamous family structure, though it is always possible that half-siblings may have existed but simply not have been buried within the barrow. Assessing how this familial structure might articulate with broader kinship patterns requires a dialogue between genetic, ethnographic and archaeological evidence. At first sight, the genetic evidence appears to hint at a possible matrilineal structure in Barrow 1, since all but the father share the same mitochondrial DNA, Burial 2 is related to the rest of the group through the ‘missing’ sister, and Burial 6 is related to the rest of the group through the ‘missing’ mother. Nonetheless, there are several indications that the group composition of Barrow 1 cannot be characterized as being based on matrilineal descent. Most significant, perhaps, is the presence of the biological father and his children, who together form the ‘core family’ within the tomb. This is not typical of matrilineal systems, where the father is typically buried separately with his natal matriline (cf. Ensoret al. 2017: 742). The two female relatives (the mother of the siblings and the mother of the grandchild (Burial 2)), who are the only multi-generational links connecting this core family to the non-first-degree relatives and would thus be central to any scenario of matriliny, are also the only core members of the family that are absent from the tomb. Indeed, it is striking that no individual within Barrow 1 is buried with either their mother or any other maternal ancestor,
    undermining the notion of a matrilineal basis for selection. Neither does the genetic evidence lend support to the idea of bilateral descent, where spouses are characteristically buried together (Ensoret al. 2017: 741). The physically present individuals within Barrow 1 have a definite male-centred aspect, since they include a father (Burial 5), his four children, and his grandchild. Yet the presence of a maternal relative (Burial 6) and a grandchild from a different patrilineage (Burial 2) suggest that this does not represent a straight forwardly patrilineal system. Despite the close biological relationships between all occupants of Barrow 1, therefore, the genetic evidence does not provide clear support for any specific kinship
    structure drawn from the ethnographic literature. In considering these findings, it is important to remember that biological relatedness need not equate to social relatedness, which can be constituted very differently (cf. Brück 2021; Brück & Frieman 2021). In a society where many would have died young, as is evident from the age profile of Barrow 1 itself, many children would have been raised in households of relatives who were not their biological parents. Indeed, relationships of fosterage were apparently institutionalised in certain Iron Age societies in Europe (Karl 2005). In this context, it is possible that the granddaughter and likely cousin from Barrow 1 (Burials 2 and 6) were additional dependents of the senior male (Burial 5), acquiring membership of the patriline through adoption or fosterage. Given their age profile, they may perhaps be dependents who died before marriage, still resident in their ‘father’s’ household. Such a ‘messy’ and fluid, but essentially patrilineal, system could explain the absence from Barrow 1 of the mother, who may have been returned to her natal group for burial (cf. Ensoret al. 2017), although it does not explain the absence of the fifth sibling (the mother of the young woman in Burial 2), who by the same logic would have been buried with her father in Barrow 1. We must also bear in mind that, while societies may espouse certain idealised kinship structures and social practices, these need not always be rigidly adhered to in practice (e.g. Ilcan 1994). The biological relationships between the individuals buried in Barrow 1, combined with the stratigraphic and osteological evidence, suggests a short use-life for the barrow. The father is identified steologically as a middle adult, approximately 35–50 years at death (although likely at the older end of this range), while the others (where age can be estimated) died as younger adults. The time gap between their deaths is thus likely to be short, perhaps no more than a decade or so. The internal stratigraphy of Barrow 1 demonstrates that the father’s grave (Burial 5) was cut by that of one of his sons (Burial 4) and by that of the likely cousin (Burial 6) (Figure 3a). The degree of intercutting is, however, minimal and the excavation plan suggests that the latter two graves were laid out to respect that of the father, which was thus probably marked above-ground. Burial 3, which represents the double grave of two brothers (presumably buried at the same time), is cut by that of their sister (Burial 1) and closely respects the grave of their niece (Burial 2). The central placement of Burial 1, combined with its stratigraphic position, suggests that it represents a conscious ‘closing’ of the monument. The results from Dolge njive have implications for the interpretation of the many other small barrows found individually, in small groups, or within more extensive barrow cemeteries throughout the region. At Kapiteljska njiva, Novo mesto, for example, most of the 67 barrows contained 10 graves or less, and are likely to be of short duration (e.g. Križ 2019: 261, 314– 15). It seems likely that the burial groups within these barrows were constituted along similar lines to Barrow 1 at Dolge njive, and it remains unclear why such tombs should be so short-lived, rather than containing multiple generations of the same kinship group. One possibility may be that this society was highly mobile, with kin groups frequently fissioning and moving, leading to the establishment of new burial mounds. Other barrows in the region, however, were used for several centuries and contain much larger numbers of burials; perhaps as many as 400 at Preloge near Magdalenska gora (Dular & Tecco Hvala 2007: 123– 6; Tecco Hvalaet al. 2004: 124). Finally, it is important to note the overall sex bias of the Dolge njive group, where males outnumber females by 7:2 (5:2 in the better-preserved Barrow 1). Although based on a small sample, so not statistically significant (P=0.45 for a two-sided test of equal numbers of males and female considering all burials together), this imbalance may suggest that factors other than kinship, perhaps relating to biological sex, social position, or circumstances of death, played a part in determining the composition of the burial population. This of course should not be surprising, given that funerary rites seldom present a straightforward reflection of social organisation, but are rather the outcome of complex processes of negotiation among the living (e.g. Parker Pearson 1999; Fowler 2013). Conclusion


    The genetic results from Dolge njive confirm the close biological relatedness of individuals
    buried within the same barrow. They do not, however, provide a definitive guide to
    understanding the kinship practices of the interred community. While links through the
    maternal line appear to have been important, the group composition within Barrow 1 does not
    suggest either a matrilineal or bilateral kinship structure. Evidence for a straightforwardly
    patrilineal system is also weak, although these results may nonetheless be the products of a
    more flexible patrilineal system, which pragmatically included the adoption or fosterage of
    cognatic relatives (including through the female line).
    The results from Dolge njive have implications for our wider understanding of Early Iron
    Age kinship and funerary practices in southeast Europe. The shift from flat cremation
    cemeteries to the burial of multiple individuals under substantial barrows in itself marks a
    new concern with the grouping and ordering of the dead and with their visibility in the
    landscape. Whilst the provision of weaponry and other martial accoutrements in a substantial
    number of male burials across the region frequently presents the deceased as a physically
    dominant warrior, this dimension of social power is balanced by female grave assemblages
    containing objects of considerable intrinsic value and prestige. As at Dolge njive, grave
    goods were evidently highly gendered, but not necessarily ranked (e.g. Teržan 1985; 2010).
    The genetic data too suggest the dual importance of male and female descent in determining
    the composition of the cemetery population. As we have seen in other contexts (Fowleret al.
    2022), aDNA analysis reveals kinship structures that are potentially highly complex and
    unlikely to be reducible to simple patterns of patrilineal or matrilineal descent. Indeed, such
    kinship relations, built through both male and female lines, will have provided wider and
    potentially more robust social networks than those based on purely patrilineal or matrilineal
    principles alone. Future genetic and isotopic analysis, using a large sample of additional
    barrows from some of the more extensive cemeteries in the region will help us to better
    understand this complex emerging picture.

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    This study was focalised on kinship. Interesting but not my first pole of interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    I had not read correctly your post when I answered Jovialis.
    Thanks for cultural horizon; so, just before Hallstatt times. But I doubt it could be Celts: too less WHG, too Southern for this period Celts of the time, more Southern than other IA "Slovenians" (I consider some IA from Southern Gaul were not true Celts: too much substrata, Ligurians among them). So spite without proof, I would bet just now on some para-Italics (Venetics?) or Italics stayed with an earlier autosomal making. Maybe I'm splitting hair?
    But I would be glad if I had more precise clues for this culture...

    ancient Slovenians ( pre slav times ) are Venetics and Illyrians ( Japodes who mined Noric steel ) you might get some Histrian as well

    I would test the indigenous Euganei as well......but it might be slightly out of reach for them

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    On PCA, at first sight, the paper studied people are close to other IA Slovenian, at the crossroads of N-Spain, S-France, N-Italy; evoks to me some Italic group or Italo-Etruscan group. Or Illyrians if Illyrians were kind of para-italic speakers (close to Liburnians?) and not close linguistically to Dardanians, closer themselves to proto-Albanians, maybe? Just a bet. No money waited.
    Japodes Illyrians where in southern slovenia , mining iron in early iron age

    the paper has all R1b samples

    are they R1b-L2 as I suspect ?

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