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Nature. 2015 Jun 11;522(7555):207-11. doi: 10.1038/nature14317. Epub 2015 Mar 2.

Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe.

Author information

1
Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences &Environment Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia.
2
1] Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [2] Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.
3
Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.
4
1] Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [2] Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA [3] Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
5
Institute of Anthropology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, D-55128 Mainz, Germany.
6
1] Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [2] Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA [3] Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany [4] Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, IVPP, CAS, Beijing 100049, China.
7
Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Tübingen, D-72070 Tübingen, Germany.
8
1] Institute of Archaeology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Science, H-1014 Budapest, Hungary [2] Römisch Germanische Kommission (RGK) Frankfurt, D-60325 Frankfurt, Germany.
9
Archaeological Research Laboratory, Stockholm University, 114 18 Stockholm, Sweden.
10
Departments of Paleoanthropology and Archaeogenetics, Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment, University of Tübingen, D-72070 Tübingen, Germany.
11
State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt and State Museum of Prehistory, D-06114 Halle, Germany.
12
Departamento de Prehistoria y Arqueología, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, E-28049 Madrid, Spain.
13
The Cultural Heritage Foundation, Västerås 722 12, Sweden.
14
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS, St Petersburg 199034, Russia.
15
Volga State Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities, Samara 443099, Russia.
16
Deutsches Archaeologisches Institut, Abteilung Madrid, E-28002 Madrid, Spain.
17
1] Institute of Anthropology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, D-55128 Mainz, Germany [2] State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt and State Museum of Prehistory, D-06114 Halle, Germany [3] Danube Private University, A-3500 Krems, Austria.
18
Institute for Prehistory and Archaeological Science, University of Basel, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland.
19
Departamento de Prehistòria, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Barcelona, Spain.
20
Departamento de Prehistòria y Arqueolgia, Universidad de Valladolid, E-47002 Valladolid, Spain.
21
1] Institute of Anthropology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, D-55128 Mainz, Germany [2] Institute of Archaeology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Science, H-1014 Budapest, Hungary.
22
State Office for Cultural Heritage Management Baden-Württemberg, Osteology, D-78467 Konstanz, Germany.
23
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.
24
1] Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Tübingen, D-72070 Tübingen, Germany [2] Departments of Paleoanthropology and Archaeogenetics, Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment, University of Tübingen, D-72070 Tübingen, Germany [3] Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, D-07745 Jena, Germany.
25
Anthropology Department, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York 13820, USA.
26
1] Institute of Anthropology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, D-55128 Mainz, Germany [2] State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt and State Museum of Prehistory, D-06114 Halle, Germany [3] Danube Private University, A-3500 Krems, Austria [4] Institute for Prehistory and Archaeological Science, University of Basel, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

We generated genome-wide data from 69 Europeans who lived between 8,000-3,000 years ago by enriching ancient DNA libraries for a target set of almost 400,000 polymorphisms. Enrichment of these positions decreases the sequencing required for genome-wide ancient DNA analysis by a median of around 250-fold, allowing us to study an order of magnitude more individuals than previous studies and to obtain new insights about the past. We show that the populations of Western and Far Eastern Europe followed opposite trajectories between 8,000-5,000 years ago. At the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe, ∼8,000-7,000 years ago, closely related groups of early farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary and Spain, different from indigenous hunter-gatherers, whereas Russia was inhabited by a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a ∼24,000-year-old Siberian. By ∼6,000-5,000 years ago, farmers throughout much of Europe had more hunter-gatherer ancestry than their predecessors, but in Russia, the Yamnaya steppe herders of this time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but also from a population of Near Eastern ancestry. Western and Eastern Europe came into contact ∼4,500 years ago, as the Late Neolithic Corded Ware people from Germany traced ∼75% of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. This steppe ancestry persisted in all sampled central Europeans until at least ∼3,000 years ago, and is ubiquitous in present-day Europeans. These results provide support for a steppe origin of at least some of the Indo-European languages of Europe.

PMID:
25731166
PMCID:
PMC5048219
DOI:
10.1038/nature14317
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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