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Friday, February 12, 2016

Upright for all eternity


Open access at Quartär:

Abstract - This article presents results of new research on the Mesolithic burial site at Groß Fredenwalde in northeastern Germany, where a multiple burial was first discovered by accident in 1962. Anthropological analyses identified one female with a child and two males with two children within this material. According to systematic AMS dating and 15N/13C-isotope analyses the individuals are typical Mesolithic hunter-fisher-gatherers of the Atlantic period (c. 6 000 calBC). During re-excavation of the site in 2012-2014 three new burials including a disturbed child burial and a baby burial were recognised. There is also an outstanding burial: a young man was interred standing upright and then furnished in stages. The burial is without any parallel in Central Europe, although there are possible parallels at Olenij Ostrov in Karelia. Altogether nine individuals from at least four graves are now known; they probably belong to an early cemetery located at a prominent position in the landscape. AMS-dates assign the burials to the period from c. 6 400 to 4 900 calBC, and thus the site was in use when the first Linear Band Pottery farmers established the agricultural way of life in the region c. 5 200 calBC. Two successfully analysed individuals belong to the haplogroup U [precisely U5b with mutations at 12308G and 16270T] of mitochondrial lineages fitting well into the model of highly differentiated forager and farmer populations.

Terberger, T. et al., Standing upright to all eternity – The Mesolithic burial site at Groß Fredenwalde, Brandenburg (NE Germany), Quartär, Volume 62 (2015), DOI: 10.7485/QU62_06

13 comments:

andrew said...

Could it be as simple a reason as bedrock/permafrost barriers that made a horizontal burial impracticable?

Krefter said...

Wow. More and more and more U5 from Hunter gatherers. Most admixture with WHG must have been via Y DNA. Because MN has 10%< U5 and 50%+ I2 in both Iberia and Germany.

Rob said...

Krefter

Yes it's odd if you think about it: Mesolithic Y-lineages lingered around more successfully than female one, the reverse appears to be true with 'Neolithic farmer' lineages.

Krefter said...

@Rob,

It's easier to find mtDNA U5 in modern Europeans than Y DNA I, that isn't I2a1b-Dinaric or I1(both founder effects or whatever you want to call it). The only exception is I2a2 in Germany which might also be a founder effect. EEF/WHG Y DNA in general is hard to find, 90% of Europeans have R1 or J/E1b.

Nirjhar007 said...

Excellent to see more aDNA,

Rob said...

Krefter

Almost all modern Y lines in Europe are recent founder (LN / BA) effects. That's been known for several years now.

Romulus said...

@Krefter

HG I makes up 20-30% of European Male Lineages, U5 is about less than 5-10% of total mtDNA.

Krefter said...

@Romulus,

Stop trolling. I'm not getting into a waste of an argument because you like to annoy people.

Rob said...

But his figures are more or less correct, aren't they ?

Nirjhar007 said...

I think he is ''annoyed'' by those figures ;D.

FrankN said...

Thanx for the post, Dave! The connections to Karelia and the Eastern Baltics are interesting (aside from the "standing burial" also several grave goods). Another confirmation that the Circum-Baltic region was quite interconnected.
This raises, of course, further doubt on the appropriateness of the WHG-EHG separation. If we had more Circum-Baltic Mesolithic aDNA, I am quite sure it would yield a continuum, and Karelia_HG might not neccessarily constitute the eastern endpoint, but it could well extend further east to possibly even the Baikal Lake.

@Andrew: "Could it be as simple a reason as bedrock/permafrost barriers that made a horizontal burial impracticable?"

6th millenium BC, close to the "Holocene climate optimum" with average temperatures some 1-1.5°C higher than today. South Sweden was growing wine, Copenhagen had approximately the climate of today's Budapest, the lower Oder might be compared to today's Belgrade.

Rob said...

Frank

I think the big question is where Mesolithic forager from north Germany and Poland would sit?
If bet somewhat in between WHG and SHG

Chad Rohlfsen said...

http://sciencepress.mnhn.fr/sites/default/files/articles/pdf/az2013n2a3.pdf