Upcoming paper on ancient dna from "Mesolithic" cemetery in Britain

Angela

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This could be entitled, "The archaelogists got it wrong".

The cemetery is the one at Aveline's Hole in Somerset.

The surprise is that the people buried there are similar to MN farmers from central Europe.

"The Hole Story: Ancient DNA, stable isotope and radiocarbon analysis of human remains from the ‘Mesolithic’ cemetery at Aveline’s Hole

Tom Booth1, Selina Brace1, Zuzana Faltyskova2, Yoan Diekmann2, Linda Wilson3, Graham Mullan3, Rick Schulting4, Mark Thomas2, Ian Barnes1

1Natural History Museum, London, UK, 2University College London, London, UK, 3University of Bristol Spelaeological Society, Bristol, UK, 4University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Aveline’s Hole Cave in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, England, which was originally excavated in 1860, is renowned as the earliest known cemetery in Britain. Up to 50 individuals were interred in the cave, although remains of only around 21 individuals have survived. Dozens of radiocarbon dates obtained from this assemblage are tightly clustered in the mid-late 9th Millennium BC, the Early Mesolithic. These tight dates suggest that whole bodies were interred over a relatively short period, after which the cave was sealed, perhaps deliberately.
Here we present whole genome data, as well as further stable isotope and radiocarbon dating results from the Aveline’s Hole human remains. Our results suggest that the assemblage includes remains which date to the early 4th Millennium BC, show dietary signals more consistent with a farming than a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and which have genetic affinities with European Middle Neolithic populations ultimately deriving from Anatolia. These results not only inform on the nature of the British Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, but also overturn the conventional archaeological narrative of this unique and important site."
 
I expect that they will be autosomally WHG with mtDNA U5 (+ maybe some U2 or U8). The Y-DNA is most probably I* or I2. Not the most exciting period to study now that the Western European Mesolithic has been well covered.
 
They say the remains actually date to the early 4th Millennium BC, not the earlier dates found by previous analyses, and they have whole genome data "which indicates that these people have genetic affinities with European Middle Neolithic populations ultimately deriving from Anatolia."

They furthermore say that the "
results not only inform on the nature of the British Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, but also overturn the conventional archaeological narrative of this unique and important site."

None of this indicates to me that they found Mesolithic WHG like people; rather the opposite.
 
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It will serve me right for not reading everything properly. So some remains also include 4th millennium Middle Neolithic individuals. That's the Megalithic period, so there should be the usual combination of G2a, I2a, E1b1b and perhaps a bit of T1a, R1b-V88 or even J1. It would be interesting to see if Mesolithic lineages were assimilated by the Megalithic farmers. I'd say that most of the Megalithic I2a came from Southwest Europe with the other Neolithic lineages. If there were completely different Mesolithic lineages in the British Isles, then they are almost extinct today, but they might have included Paleolithic remnants like C1a2, I* and even A1a.

The Megalithic mtDNA will surely contain H1, H3, H5, J1c, J2a1, J2b1a, K1a, T2, U2, U5b, and X2.
 
Other Paleolithic lineages from Europe like L2-L595 should appear at any time somewhere. It's only a matter of time.
 
I should not be surprised if a detailed analysis of autosomes would put them closer to Iberian Neolithic or in between, say, like Gurgy people, than to initial Neolithic people of Anatolia or LBK people. But who knows at this stage of information?
Concerning Y-haplos or mt-haplos, some very ancient DNA could provide us more diverse haplos than subsequent periods DNA, effect of the selection and the drift affecting low density haplos.
 
It looks like they found a lot of G2 folks.

will it increase the 61% of G2 from below?

Early/Middle Neolithic Y-DNA samples

HaplogroupsC1a E1b1b F G2a H2 I I1 I2a J2 R1a R1b T
Neolithic Europe (n=69)2 1 4 42 2 2 1 11 1 0 1 2
%3% 1.5% 6% 61% 3% 3% 1.5% 16% 1.5% 0% 1.5% 3%
 
How do you know?

Our results suggest that the assemblage includes remains which date to the early 4th Millennium BC, show dietary signals more consistent with a farming than a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and which have genetic affinities with European Middle Neolithic populations ultimately deriving from Anatolia.

 
Our results suggest that the assemblage includes remains which date to the early 4th Millennium BC, show dietary signals more consistent with a farming than a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and which have genetic affinities with European Middle Neolithic populations ultimately deriving from Anatolia.


It's not authomatic the connection... perhaps some HG lines were absorbed by farmers.
 

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