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The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe

Olalde, I; Brace, S; Allentoft, ME; Armit, I; Kristiansen, K; Booth, T; Rohland, N; ... Reich, D; + view all (2018) The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe. Nature , 555 pp. 190-196. 10.1038/nature25738. Green open access

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Abstract

From around 2750 to 2500 bc, Bell Beaker pottery became widespread across western and central Europe, before it disappeared between 2200 and 1800 bc. The forces that propelled its expansion are a matter of long-standing debate, and there is support for both cultural diffusion and migration having a role in this process. Here we present genome-wide data from 400 Neolithic, Copper Age and Bronze Age Europeans, including 226 individuals associated with Beaker-complex artefacts. We detected limited genetic affinity between Beaker-complex-associated individuals from Iberia and central Europe, and thus exclude migration as an important mechanism of spread between these two regions. However, migration had a key role in the further dissemination of the Beaker complex. We document this phenomenon most clearly in Britain, where the spread of the Beaker complex introduced high levels of steppe-related ancestry and was associated with the replacement of approximately 90% of Britain's gene pool within a few hundred years, continuing the east-to-west expansion that had brought steppe-related ancestry into central and northern Europe over the previous centuries.

Type: Article
Title: The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/nature25738
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/nature25738
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Genomics, Population genetics
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044127
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