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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Nov 27;115(48):E11248-E11255. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1813608115. Epub 2018 Nov 5.

Bronze Age population dynamics and the rise of dairy pastoralism on the eastern Eurasian steppe.

Author information

1
Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, 07745 Jena, Germany; jeong@shh.mpg.de warinner@shh.mpg.de.
2
The Eurasia3angle Project, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, 07745 Jena, Germany.
3
Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, 07745 Jena, Germany.
4
Institute of Archaeology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, 14200 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
5
Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
6
Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, 07745 Jena, Germany.
7
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115.
8
Nutrition and Biotechnology Department, Mongolian University of Science and Technology, 14191 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
9
Functional Genomics Centre Zürich, University of Zürich/Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
10
Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, 1010 Auckland, New Zealand.
11
Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Christian Albrechts University, 21118 Kiel, Germany.
12
Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.
13
Department of Archaeology, University of Aberdeen, AB24 3FX Aberdeen, United Kingdom.
14
Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, National University of Mongolia, 14200 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
15
Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.
16
Department of Anthropology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755.
17
Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019.

Abstract

Recent paleogenomic studies have shown that migrations of Western steppe herders (WSH) beginning in the Eneolithic (ca. 3300-2700 BCE) profoundly transformed the genes and cultures of Europe and central Asia. Compared with Europe, however, the eastern extent of this WSH expansion is not well defined. Here we present genomic and proteomic data from 22 directly dated Late Bronze Age burials putatively associated with early pastoralism in northern Mongolia (ca. 1380-975 BCE). Genome-wide analysis reveals that they are largely descended from a population represented by Early Bronze Age hunter-gatherers in the Baikal region, with only a limited contribution (∼7%) of WSH ancestry. At the same time, however, mass spectrometry analysis of dental calculus provides direct protein evidence of bovine, sheep, and goat milk consumption in seven of nine individuals. No individuals showed molecular evidence of lactase persistence, and only one individual exhibited evidence of >10% WSH ancestry, despite the presence of WSH populations in the nearby Altai-Sayan region for more than a millennium. Unlike the spread of Neolithic farming in Europe and the expansion of Bronze Age pastoralism on the Western steppe, our results indicate that ruminant dairy pastoralism was adopted on the Eastern steppe by local hunter-gatherers through a process of cultural transmission and minimal genetic exchange with outside groups.

KEYWORDS:

LC-MS/MS; dental calculus; paleogenomics; α-S1-casein; β-lactoglobulin

PMID:
30397125
PMCID:
PMC6275519
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1813608115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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