New paper (behind paywall) Ancient Rome: A genetic crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean, by Antonio et al. Science (2019).
The paper offers a lot of interesting data concerning the Roman Empire and more recent periods, but I will focus on Italic and Etruscan origins.
NOTE. I have updated prehistoric maps with Y-DNA and mtDNA data, and also the PCA of ancient Eurasian samples by period including the recently published samples, now with added sample names to find them easily by searching the PDFs.
Apennine homeland problem
The traditional question of Italic vs. Etruscan origins from a cultural-historical … Read the rest “R1b-L23-rich Bell Beaker-derived Italic peoples from the West vs. Etruscans from the East”
I will post information on ISBA 8 sesions today as I see them on Twitter (see programme in PDF, and sessions from yesterday).
Official abstracts are listed first (emphasis mine), then reports and images and/or link to tweets. Here is the list for quick access:
Russian colonization in Yakutia
Exploring the genomic impact of colonization in north-eastern Siberia… Read the rest “Neolithic and Bronze Age Anatolia, Urals, Fennoscandia, Italy, and Hungary (ISBA 8, 20th Sep)”
Open access Ancient genome-wide analyses infer kinship structure in an Early Medieval Alemannic graveyard, by O’Sullivan et al., Science (2018) 4(9):eaao1262
The Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes that inhabited the eastern Upper Rhine basin and surrounding region (Fig. 1) (1). Roman ethnographers mentioned the Alemanni, but historical records from the 3rd to the 6th century CE contain no regular description of these tribes (2). The upheaval that occurred during the European Migration Period (Völkerwanderung) partly explains the interchangeability of nomenclature with the contemporaneous Suebi people of the same region and periods of geographic discontinuity
… Read the rest “Early Medieval Alemannic graveyard shows diverse cultural and genetic makeup”
Ancient hepatitis B viruses from the Bronze Age to the Medieval period, by Mühlemann et al., Science (2018) 557:418–423.
NOTE. You can read the PDF at Dalia Pokutta’s Academia.edu account.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of human hepatitis. There is considerable uncertainty about the timescale of its evolution and its association with humans. Here we present 12 full or partial ancient HBV genomes that are between approximately 0.8 and 4.5 thousand years old. The ancient sequences group either within or in a sister relationship with extant human or other ape HBV clades. Generally,
… Read the rest “Shared ancestry of ancient Eurasian hepatitis B virus diversity linked to Bronze Age steppe”
Recent article on The Conversation, The Roman dead: new techniques are revealing just how diverse Roman Britain was, about the paper (behind paywall) A Novel Investigation into Migrant and Local Health-Statuses in the Past: A Case Study from Roman Britain, by Redfern et al. Bioarchaeology International (2018), among others.
Interesting excerpts about Roman London:
We have discovered, for example, that one middle-aged woman from the southern Mediterranean has black African ancestry. She was buried in Southwark with pottery from Kent and a fourth century local coin – her burial expresses British connections, reflecting how people’s communities and lives
… Read the rest “On Latin, Turkic, and Celtic – likely stories of mixed societies and little genetic impact”
Some interesting studies were published at roughly the same time as Damgaard et al. (Nature 2018 and Science 2018), and that’s probably why they got little attention (at least by me).
Monica H. Green (also in Academia.edu), specialized in History of Medicine, summed up their relevance in Twitter quite well (her text is edited here for clarity):
I’ve been disappointed that three recent exceptional studies of one of the world’s most historically important diseases, leprosy, have gotten so little notice from the science communication. It will take me a few hours to lay out their significance. But
… Read the rest “Phylogeny of leprosy, relevant for prehistoric Eurasian contacts”
Two papers have been recently published, offering another interesting use of ancient DNA analysis for Archaeology and, potentially, Linguistics.
Open access Ancient DNA reveals the chronology of walrus ivory trade from Norse Greenland, by Star, Barrett, Gondek, & Boessenkool, bioRxiv (2018).
Abstract (emphasis mine):
The search for walruses as a source of ivory -a popular material for making luxury art objects in medieval Europe- played a key role in the historic Scandinavian expansion throughout the Arctic region. Most notably, the colonization, peak and collapse of the medieval Norse colony of Greenland have all been attributed to the proto-globalization of
… Read the rest “Tracking material cultures with ancient DNA: medieval Norse walrus ivory trade, and leather shields from Zanzibar”
Open access The time and place of European admixture in Ashkenazi Jewish history, by Xue, Lencz, Darvasi, Pe’er, & Carmi, PLOS Genetics (2018).
Abstract (emphasis mine):
The Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) population is important in genetics due to its high rate of Mendelian disorders. AJ appeared in Europe in the 10th century, and their ancestry is thought to comprise European (EU) and Middle-Eastern (ME) components. However, both the time and place of admixture are subject to debate. Here, we attempt to characterize the AJ admixture history using a careful application of new and existing methods on a large AJ sample.
… Read the rest “The time and place of European admixture in Ashkenazi Jewish history”