Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Marnie On the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition

Marnie at Linear Population Model has a series of well sourced posts on the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition.

The first examines the timelines of archaeological cultures in several areas in or near Europe with related commentary.

The next considers the geographic distribution of the "Early European Farmer" component of autosomal DNA in a three ancestral population analysis that peaks in Sardinia and is next most important in the Basque gene pool.

The third looks at the make up of modern Sweden as a mix of pre-existing European hunter-gatherers and early Swedish farmers.  Eurogenes, however, discounts this analysis as overly simplistic.

A particularly critical point that Marnie makes is that a fair share of what is viewed as a Neolithic contribution to the gene pool of Southern Europe may actually pre-date farming and be a Mesolithic legacy that arrived in the few thousand years between the end of the ice age and the arrival of herders and farmers.

OFF TOPIC: A cemetery with 1,000,000 mummies from ca. 500 CE has been discovered in Egypt, providing large numbers of non-elite body dispositions.  Some were buried as much as 75 feet under for some reason.

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