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Genomic data reveal shared ancestry between Neolithic hunter-gatherers from mainland Sweden and the Baltic Sea Island Gotland

Aydogan, Firdevs Ayca (2019) MOBN03 20182
Degree Projects in Molecular Biology
Abstract
The hunter-gatherer group of Neolithic Scandinavia, the Pitted Ware Culture (PWC), appeared when the initial farmer society, the Funnel Beaker Culture (FBC), had already existed for several hundreds of years. They lived side by side first with the FBC, and later with the Battle Axe Culture (BAC), without adopting the agricultural lifestyle. Although the PWC individuals from a Baltic Sea Island (Gotland) have been found genetically closer to Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers, and distinct from the FBC, the origins of the PWC from the Swedish mainland and their association with the Island PWC and the other contemporary groups (FBC and BAC) are still not fully known. Here, the genomic and mitochondrial ancient DNA (aDNA) from skeletal... (More)
The hunter-gatherer group of Neolithic Scandinavia, the Pitted Ware Culture (PWC), appeared when the initial farmer society, the Funnel Beaker Culture (FBC), had already existed for several hundreds of years. They lived side by side first with the FBC, and later with the Battle Axe Culture (BAC), without adopting the agricultural lifestyle. Although the PWC individuals from a Baltic Sea Island (Gotland) have been found genetically closer to Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers, and distinct from the FBC, the origins of the PWC from the Swedish mainland and their association with the Island PWC and the other contemporary groups (FBC and BAC) are still not fully known. Here, the genomic and mitochondrial ancient DNA (aDNA) from skeletal remains from a PWC context from Korsnäs in mainland eastern Sweden are provided. Population genetic comparisons of the Korsnäs PWC individuals with the contemporary groups and the Late Neolithic (LN) Scandinavians showed their genetic similarity with the PWC from Gotland and to Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and also, how they are the genetically distinct from the farmer groups (FBC and BAC) and the LN individuals. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Hunter-Gatherers in Stone Age Scandinavia

Stone Age Scandinavia is like a jigsaw puzzle, which we have been piecing together to see the whole picture. Here I am interested in the Pitted Ware Culture (PWC), which is one of the significant pieces of this puzzle. What made the hunter-gatherer PWC important is that they were present nearly a millennium after arriving of the Agricultural Revolution in Scandinavia. They lived in side by side with the initial farmers, the Funnel Beaker Culture (FBC), and then with another farmer/herder group, the Battle Axe Culture (BAC). However, they maintained their own lifestyle and did not adopt either agriculture or pastoralism. Thus, it has not been fully understood yet where the PWC are coming from and... (More)
Hunter-Gatherers in Stone Age Scandinavia

Stone Age Scandinavia is like a jigsaw puzzle, which we have been piecing together to see the whole picture. Here I am interested in the Pitted Ware Culture (PWC), which is one of the significant pieces of this puzzle. What made the hunter-gatherer PWC important is that they were present nearly a millennium after arriving of the Agricultural Revolution in Scandinavia. They lived in side by side with the initial farmers, the Funnel Beaker Culture (FBC), and then with another farmer/herder group, the Battle Axe Culture (BAC). However, they maintained their own lifestyle and did not adopt either agriculture or pastoralism. Thus, it has not been fully understood yet where the PWC are coming from and how they are related to the other groups.

Archaeologists proposed three different hypotheses to suggest an explanation for the origins of the PWC and the association with the FBC: (1) the PWC are actually from FBC but change their lifestyle and go back to being hunter-gatherer, (2) the PWC and FBC are completely different from each other and the PWC are coming from the earlier hunter-gatherers in the Central Europe and Scandinavia, and (3) the PWC are the direct ancestry of the modern-day Saami populations.

To observe the genetic association of the PWC with the other populations and test those hypotheses, ancient DNA (aDNA) has been used as a research tool. It has been obtained from bones and teeth of ancient individuals excavated from archaeological sites, sequenced and evaluated applying various methods that has been developed in the field of population genetics. In the light of aDNA, it has been already shown that the PWC is completely different from the other farmers and also from present-day Saami populations. However, the PWC individuals analyzed previously were only from the Baltic Sea Islands and no aDNA had been obtained from the PWC from the Swedish mainland until this project. Here I extracted aDNA from PWC individuals from mainland Sweden, sequenced and compared it with aDNA data from PWC individuals from Gotland (a Baltic Sea island) and from the other farmer groups of Scandinavia.

At the end of my study, I obtained genetic information from two PWC individuals from an excavation site in the Swedish mainland and from four farmers who lived in the Stone Age, but a later time period than the PWC. What I demonstrated is that the PWC individuals from this site in the Swedish mainland are genetically similar to the earlier hunter-gatherers in Scandinavia and to the PWC from Gotland. Therefore, they are completely different from the FBC and also the BAC and the later farmers.


Master’s Degree Project in Molecular Biology 60 credits 2019

Department of Biology, Lund University


Advisor: Helena Malmström

Human Evolution, Department of Organismal Biology – Uppsala University (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Aydogan, Firdevs Ayca
supervisor
organization
course
MOBN03 20182
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
8983084
date added to LUP
2019-06-13 12:04:07
date last changed
2019-06-13 12:04:07
@misc{8983084,
  abstract     = {The hunter-gatherer group of Neolithic Scandinavia, the Pitted Ware Culture (PWC), appeared when the initial farmer society, the Funnel Beaker Culture (FBC), had already existed for several hundreds of years. They lived side by side first with the FBC, and later with the Battle Axe Culture (BAC), without adopting the agricultural lifestyle. Although the PWC individuals from a Baltic Sea Island (Gotland) have been found genetically closer to Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers, and distinct from the FBC, the origins of the PWC from the Swedish mainland and their association with the Island PWC and the other contemporary groups (FBC and BAC) are still not fully known. Here, the genomic and mitochondrial ancient DNA (aDNA) from skeletal remains from a PWC context from Korsnäs in mainland eastern Sweden are provided. Population genetic comparisons of the Korsnäs PWC individuals with the contemporary groups and the Late Neolithic (LN) Scandinavians showed their genetic similarity with the PWC from Gotland and to Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and also, how they are the genetically distinct from the farmer groups (FBC and BAC) and the LN individuals.},
  author       = {Aydogan, Firdevs Ayca},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Genomic data reveal shared ancestry between Neolithic hunter-gatherers from mainland Sweden and the Baltic Sea Island Gotland},
  year         = {2019},
}