Genetic ancestry changes in Stone to Bronze Age transition in the East European plain

Sci Adv. 2021 Jan 20;7(4):eabd6535. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abd6535. Print 2021 Jan.


The transition from Stone to Bronze Age in Central and Western Europe was a period of major population movements originating from the Ponto-Caspian Steppe. Here, we report new genome-wide sequence data from 30 individuals north of this area, from the understudied western part of present-day Russia, including 3 Stone Age hunter-gatherers (10,800 to 4250 cal BCE) and 26 Bronze Age farmers from the Corded Ware complex Fatyanovo Culture (2900 to 2050 cal BCE). We show that Eastern hunter-gatherer ancestry was present in northwestern Russia already from around 10,000 BCE. Furthermore, we see a change in ancestry with the arrival of farming-Fatyanovo Culture individuals were genetically similar to other Corded Ware cultures, carrying a mixture of Steppe and European early farmer ancestry. Thus, they likely originate from a fast migration toward the northeast from somewhere near modern-day Ukraine-the closest area where these ancestries coexisted from around 3000 BCE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't