Open access Emergence and Spread of Basal Lineages of Yersinia pestis during the Neolithic Decline, by Rascovan et al. Cell (2018)
Abstract (emphasis mine):
Between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, many Neolithic societies declined throughout western Eurasia due to a combination of factors that are still largely debated. Here, we report the discovery and genome reconstruction of Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, in Neolithic farmers in Sweden, pre-dating and basal to all modern and ancient known strains of this pathogen. We investigated the history of this strain by combining phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses of the bacterial
… Read the rest “Spread of Y. pestis, earlier than previously thought, may have caused Neolithic decline”
New open access paper from the Max Planck Institute: Analysis of 3800-year-old Yersinia pestis genomes suggests Bronze Age origin for bubonic plague, by Spyrou et al., Nature Communications (2018) 9:2234.
Interesting excerpts from the paper and supplementary materials (emphasis mine):
Here, we analyse material from the Mikhailovsky II burial site, which was excavated in 2015 and is one of numerous kurgan cemeteries identified in the Samara Oblast. It consists of seven kurgan burials, and is chronologically associated to the ‘Pokrovka’ phase (3,900-3,750 BP) of the ‘Srubnaya’ culture (3,850-3,150 BP) (radiocarbon dates produced in this study provided in Supplementary Table
… Read the rest “Oldest bubonic plague genome decoded in Srubna ca. 3800 YBP”
Article of general knowledge in Der Spiegel, Invasion from the Steppe, with comments from Willerslev and Kristiansen, appeared roughly at the same time as the Damgaard et al. Nature (2018) and Science (2018) papers were published.
NOTE. You can read the article (in German) from Kristiansen’s Academia.edu account.
Excerpts translated from German (emphasis mine):
On the Y-DNA data
Particularly striking is the genetic signature from the steppe on the Y chromosome. From this the researchers conclude that the majority of migrants were males. Kristian Kristiansen, chief archaeologist in the Willerslev team, also has an idea of
… Read the rest “Copenhagen group: Germanic and Balto-Slavic from Bell Beaker; Indo-Anatolian homeland in the Caucasus”
In the latest revisions of the Indo-European demic diffusion model, using the results from the article Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago, by Rasmussen et al., Cell (2015), I stated (more or less indirectly) that the high east-west mobility of the Corded Ware migrants across related cultures might have been responsible for the spread of this disease, which seems to have been originally expanded from Central Eurasia.
New results appeared recently in the article The Stone Age Plague and Its Persistence in Eurasia, by Valtueña et al., Current Biology (2017), which … Read the rest “Stone Age plague accompanying migrants from the steppe, probably Yamna, Balkan EBA, and Bell Beaker, not Corded Ware”