May 06, 2008

mtDNA from Neolithic Androrra

The freely available paper is in French, but the tables of mtDNA frequencies in various populations don't really need translation.

Determination genétique de l’individu Néolithique de Segudet (Ordino), les restes humains les plus anciens d’Andorre

Díaz N. et al.

Human remains analyzed in this study come from a prehistoric burial from Segudet, Ordino, Andorra. The skeleton was diagnosed as a female of between 30-35 years of age at death. C14 analysis results in 5350±40 BP; this date and the funerary furnishings found in the burial set it in the ancient Neolithic Age, specifically in the Epicardial period. These are the most ancient human remains found in Andorra. Genetic determination was performed by mitochondrial haplogroup analysis and sequencing the control region. Both analysis enable us to classify this individual within the European haplogroup K. Although population interpretation cannot be carried out, it is interesting to notice the antiquity of this haplogroup in Europe and the strategic location of the country of Andorra as a pass to enter the Iberian Peninsula.

Link (pdf)

3 comments:

miz RAND BLOWTON said...

Interesting,but how do you know that's where she K is from? Where are all the other Mtk remains? Didn't all Europeans live in the Mediterranean during the icy age,when mostly ice covered northern Europe? Even better are there Mt K's in Andorra today? For instance, the Cheddar Man is MtU in England,but most English people are MtH-so there might have been different influxes or they might be neighbors.

Antigonos said...

It's not sure that all Europeans lived in the Mediterranean during the last Ice Age. Some of them might have lived in the Middle East and North Africa.
It's too early to say for sure yet.

I am anxious to see when scientists will decide to examine the mtDNA and Y-DNA of the Grimaldi skeletons throughout Europe as well.

Maju said...

Didn't all Europeans live in the Mediterranean during the icy age,when mostly ice covered northern Europe?

No. According to the archaeological record it seems they mostly lived in the Franco-Cantabrian region that only has about 1/4 of its extension looking to the Mediterranean. The rest is Atlantic.

South of that, in Mediterranean Spain or Italy, there was some population certainly but the archaeological record does not suggest even close densities to those of the FC region.

Apart of that there are other two important regions, again not as dense as the FC region: Central Europe (or Rhin-Danub area) and Eastern Europe (mostly Ukraine and the Don basin). Central Europe was apparently depopulated during the LGM (and later repopulated from the FC region), while Eastern Europe was mostly on its own (epi-Gravettian) all the time, except for the Gravettian connection.

Even better are there Mt K's in Andorra today?

Yes. If you read the paper you'll see that K is an important haplo of Andorra. K is also found in significative ammounts among nearby Basques and Catalans (actually Andorrans are Catalans, though the region was probably Basque-speaker in antiquity). K was not found among ancient Iberians from Catalunya but it was found among Medieval Basques.

For instance, the Cheddar Man is MtU in England,but most English people are MtH-so there might have been different influxes or they might be neighbors.

U (U5 specially but also U8a among Basques and U6 in Mediterranean Iberia) is also an important and ancient European clade. H only accounts for a plurality in most of Europe, with very few cases where it's more han 50%. The rest are other clades, some of which (like U5 or V) can be equally old or even older.

K in Europe could be Paleo- or Neolithic. It's a close relative of European U8a but also of Mediterranean U8b and it's frequent enough in West Asia as not to be clear when it arrived to Europe.

...

Some of them might have lived in the Middle East and North Africa.
It's too early to say for sure yet.


Certainly all Europeans surely have some ancestor who was in West Asia in that time. Wether the Neolithic input was large or (more probably) small, it's clear there was some Neolithic and post-Neolithic flow from West Asia.

I am anxious to see when scientists will decide to examine the mtDNA and Y-DNA of the Grimaldi skeletons throughout Europe as well.

I guess it will be something weird again. The only analyzed Cro-Magnons so far were both N* - nothing like you find in Europe (or anywhere) today, at least at significative levels.