DNA Sequenced From Ancient Skeletons Sheds Light On How Modern European Populations Formed
An international team of scientists, including Dr Paul Brotherton from the University of Huddersfield, reveal that events after the initial migration of farmers into Europe had a major impact on the modern gene pool.
The paper, published in Nature Communications, investigates a major component of the maternal population history of modern Europeans by focusing on haplogroup H mitochondrial genomes from ancient human remains. This genetic data is then compared with cultural changes taking place between the Early Neolithic (~5450 BC) and Bronze Age (~2200 BC) in Central Europe.
The results reveal a significant population upheaval around 4,000 BC, when DNA patterns suddenly changed. This could be due to a large population migration or substantial population growth. The group will now be focusing on expanding the project to cover wider areas of Europe to investigate just what could have caused this upheaval.