Research ArticleEVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Genetic ancestry changes in Stone to Bronze Age transition in the East European plain

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Science Advances  20 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 4, eabd6535
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd6535

Abstract

The transition from Stone to Bronze Age in Central and Western Europe was a period of major population movements originating from the Ponto-Caspian Steppe. Here, we report new genome-wide sequence data from 30 individuals north of this area, from the understudied western part of present-day Russia, including 3 Stone Age hunter-gatherers (10,800 to 4250 cal BCE) and 26 Bronze Age farmers from the Corded Ware complex Fatyanovo Culture (2900 to 2050 cal BCE). We show that Eastern hunter-gatherer ancestry was present in northwestern Russia already from around 10,000 BCE. Furthermore, we see a change in ancestry with the arrival of farming—Fatyanovo Culture individuals were genetically similar to other Corded Ware cultures, carrying a mixture of Steppe and European early farmer ancestry. Thus, they likely originate from a fast migration toward the northeast from somewhere near modern-day Ukraine—the closest area where these ancestries coexisted from around 3000 BCE.

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