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, 522 (7555), 167-72

Population Genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia

Morten E Allentoft  1 Martin Sikora  1 Karl-Göran Sjögren  2 Simon Rasmussen  3 Morten Rasmussen  1 Jesper Stenderup  1 Peter B Damgaard  1 Hannes Schroeder  4 Torbjörn Ahlström  5 Lasse Vinner  1 Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas  1 Ashot Margaryan  1 Tom Higham  6 David Chivall  6 Niels Lynnerup  7 Lise Harvig  7 Justyna Baron  8 Philippe Della Casa  9 Paweł Dąbrowski  10 Paul R Duffy  11 Alexander V Ebel  12 Andrey Epimakhov  13 Karin Frei  14 Mirosław Furmanek  8 Tomasz Gralak  8 Andrey Gromov  15 Stanisław Gronkiewicz  16 Gisela Grupe  17 Tamás Hajdu  18 Radosław Jarysz  19 Valeri Khartanovich  15 Alexandr Khokhlov  20 Viktória Kiss  21 Jan Kolář  22 Aivar Kriiska  23 Irena Lasak  8 Cristina Longhi  24 George McGlynn  17 Algimantas Merkevicius  25 Inga Merkyte  26 Mait Metspalu  27 Ruzan Mkrtchyan  28 Vyacheslav Moiseyev  15 László Paja  29 György Pálfi  30 Dalia Pokutta  2 Łukasz Pospieszny  31 T Douglas Price  32 Lehti Saag  27 Mikhail Sablin  33 Natalia Shishlina  34 Václav Smrčka  35 Vasilii I Soenov  36 Vajk Szeverényi  21 Gusztáv Tóth  37 Synaru V Trifanova  36 Liivi Varul  23 Magdolna Vicze  38 Levon Yepiskoposyan  39 Vladislav Zhitenev  40 Ludovic Orlando  1 Thomas Sicheritz-Pontén  3 Søren Brunak  41 Rasmus Nielsen  42 Kristian Kristiansen  2 Eske Willerslev  1
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Population Genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia

Morten E Allentoft et al. Nature.

Abstract

The Bronze Age of Eurasia (around 3000-1000 BC) was a period of major cultural changes. However, there is debate about whether these changes resulted from the circulation of ideas or from human migrations, potentially also facilitating the spread of languages and certain phenotypic traits. We investigated this by using new, improved methods to sequence low-coverage genomes from 101 ancient humans from across Eurasia. We show that the Bronze Age was a highly dynamic period involving large-scale population migrations and replacements, responsible for shaping major parts of present-day demographic structure in both Europe and Asia. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesized spread of Indo-European languages during the Early Bronze Age. We also demonstrate that light skin pigmentation in Europeans was already present at high frequency in the Bronze Age, but not lactose tolerance, indicating a more recent onset of positive selection on lactose tolerance than previously thought.

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