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Genomic signals of migration and continuity in Britain before the Anglo-Saxons

Martiniano, R; Caffell, A; Holst, M; Hunter-Mann, K; Montgomery, J; Müldner, G; McLaughlin, RL; ... Bradley, DG; + view all (2016) Genomic signals of migration and continuity in Britain before the Anglo-Saxons. Nature Communications , 7 , Article 10326. 10.1038/ncomms10326. Green open access

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Abstract

The purported migrations that have formed the peoples of Britain have been the focus of generations of scholarly controversy. However, this has not benefited from direct analyses of ancient genomes. Here we report nine ancient genomes (∼1 ×) of individuals from northern Britain: seven from a Roman era York cemetery, bookended by earlier Iron-Age and later Anglo-Saxon burials. Six of the Roman genomes show affinity with modern British Celtic populations, particularly Welsh, but significantly diverge from populations from Yorkshire and other eastern English samples. They also show similarity with the earlier Iron-Age genome, suggesting population continuity, but differ from the later Anglo-Saxon genome. This pattern concords with profound impact of migrations in the Anglo-Saxon period. Strikingly, one Roman skeleton shows a clear signal of exogenous origin, with affinities pointing towards the Middle East, confirming the cosmopolitan character of the Empire, even at its northernmost fringes.

Type: Article
Title: Genomic signals of migration and continuity in Britain before the Anglo-Saxons
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10326
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10326
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477225
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