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Interactions between earliest Linearbandkeramik farmers and central European hunter gatherers at the dawn of European Neolithization

By Alexey G. Nikitin, Peter Stadler, Nadezhda Kotova, Maria Teschler-Nicola, T. Douglas Price, Jessica Hoover, Douglas J. Kennett, Iosif Lazaridis, Nadin Rohland, Mark Lipson, David Reich

Posted 21 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/741900

Archaeogenetic research over the last decade has demonstrated that European Neolithic farmers (ENFs) were descended primarily from Anatolian Neolithic farmers (ANFs). ENFs, including early Neolithic central European Linearbandkeramik (LBK) farming communities, also harbored ancestry from European Mesolithic hunter gatherers (WHGs) to varying extents, reflecting admixture between ENFs and WHGs. However, the timing and other details of this process are still imperfectly understood. In this report, we provide a bioarchaeological analysis of three individuals interred at the Brunn 2 site of the Brunn am Gebirge-Wolfholz archeological complex, one of the oldest LBK sites in central Europe. Two of the individuals had a mixture of WHG-related and ANF-related ancestry, one of them with approximately 50% of each, while the third individual had approximately all ANF-related ancestry. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios for all three individuals were within the range of variation reflecting diets of other Neolithic agrarian populations. Strontium isotope analysis revealed that the ~50% WHG-ANF individual was non-local to the Brunn 2 area. Overall, our data indicate interbreeding between incoming farmers, whose ancestors ultimately came from western Anatolia, and local HGs, starting within the first few generations of the arrival of the former in central Europe, as well as highlighting the integrative nature and composition of the early LBK communities.

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