The mtDNA frequency analysis presented in this report revealed close genetic association, at the mtDNA level, between TC and European Neo-Eneolithic farming groups, particularly those from central and northern Europe, including representatives of the Funnel Beaker/TRB complex such as Funnel Beakers from Scandinavia (FBC [23–27]) as well as the Baalberge (BAC) and Salzmünde (SMC) Funnel Beaker groups from central Germany (Fig 1). Like TC, the FBC group lacked representatives of hunter-gatherer lineages of haplogroup U such as U5, while the U5 component in the BAC and SMC populations comprised less than 5% of the mtDNA haplogroup variety. All three abovementioned European Funnel Beaker groups featured representatives of haplogroup H at or over 25% frequency, as well as having representatives of haplogroups J and T2b. The BAC and SMC populations also contained individuals belonging to haplogroup HV. The similarity in mtDNA lineage composition between TC and the Funnel Beaker/TRB culture complex may be a result of inter-group contacts due to the proximity of the TRB populations to the TC territory. An overlap of TC and TRB settlements has been documented to the northwest of the Verteba site, in the upper parts of the Dniester River basin and adjacent areas, and evidence of contacts between the two cultures exists in the archeological record . Certain artifacts found in Verteba (clay buttons, perforated bone plates, a massive megalith inside the cave across from the cave entrance, some of these discussed in ) can be viewed as the influence of the Beaker cultural horizon on the Verteba cultural complex. The geographic proximity might have promoted cultural and biological contacts between TRB and Trypillian groups throughout the entire extent of the TC distribution along the Carpathian arc and reaching the western part of the NPR, thus providing the Beakers with an access to the North Pontic steppe. A recent study revealed close genetic proximity of the Eneolithic NPR as well as western NPR Yamna groups of the Early Bronze Age to the Funnel Beaker Bernburg population (3,100–2,650 BCE) from Germany . There is also evidence that the contacts involving Beakers and the Pontic steppe and forest-steppe populations potentially extended further eastward into the Ponto-Caspian region during the Early Bronze Age (EBA). An mtDNA analysis of the Novosvobodnaya and Maikop cultures (3,700–3,000 BCE) from the northern foothills of the Caucasus mountain range produced mtDNA lineages of T2b and U8b1a2 , although displaying different polymorphism patterns compared to the T2b and U8b1a2 lineages reported for TC (this report) and ancient farming groups from central Europe. At the same time, Novosvobodnanya culture artifacts suggest a Funnel Beaker influence . Additional mtDNA sampling from Novosvobodnaya, Maikop, Trypillia and the North Pontic steppe should clarify the relationship between the EBA cultures from northern Caucasus and Trypillia and their genetic connection with the Beaker cultural horizon, as well as the extent of the Beaker influence on the genetic landscape of prehistoric Ponto-Caspian region. ... Archeogenetic evidence points towards the expansion of the major sub-branches of haplogroup H such as the H1 mtDNA lineage from western Europe during the second half of the Neolithic, thus not being directly associated with the initial spread of farming in Europe, but, instead, being connected to the spread of the Beaker groups across the subcontinent [22,43]. The frequency of haplogroup H and the presence of H1 in mtDNA lineages found in TC population at Verteba further strengthen the genetic connection between TC and populations of the Beaker cultural complex.Was this an oversight? Or are we going to learn in the Bell Beaker behemoth that Bell Beakers are in fact the product of contacts between Funnel Beakers, Trypillians and North Pontic Steppe groups? Nikitin AG, Potekhina I, Rohland N, Mallick S, Reich D, Lillie M (2017) Mitochondrial DNA analysis of eneolithic trypillians from Ukraine reveals neolithic farming genetic roots. PLoS ONE 12(2): e0172952. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0172952
Friday, February 24, 2017
Trypillian mtDNA + hints of things to come?
Over at PLoS ONE there's a new paper on the maternal ancestry of Trypillian Culture (TC) farmers. It's based on just eight mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences, which, despite the authors' valiant efforts to interpret their significance, aren't especially informative. The paper's main conclusion is that, at least maternally, these farmers aren't much different from the Neolithic farmers of Anatolia and Central Europe. Bell Beaker behemoth. Indeed, despite the small number of samples and relatively limited data, a good chunk of the paper is devoted to documented and hypothesized links between the Trypillians, Funnel Beakers, North Pontic Steppe populations and the Maikop Culture of the North Caucasus. Moreover, interestingly, the authors make no distinction at any point between Funnel Beakers and Bell Beakers; they're just referring to a single European-wide Beaker cultural complex. Emphasis is mine: