March 02, 2015

mtDNA from Lengyel culture in Poland

PLoS ONE 10(2): e0118316. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118316

Between the Baltic and Danubian Worlds: The Genetic Affinities of a Middle Neolithic Population from Central Poland

Wiesław Lorkiewicz et al.

For a long time, anthropological and genetic research on the Neolithic revolution in Europe was mainly concentrated on the mechanism of agricultural dispersal over different parts of the continent. Recently, attention has shifted towards population processes that occurred after the arrival of the first farmers, transforming the genetically very distinctive early Neolithic Linear Pottery Culture (LBK) and Mesolithic forager populations into present-day Central Europeans. The latest studies indicate that significant changes in this respect took place within the post-Linear Pottery cultures of the Early and Middle Neolithic which were a bridge between the allochthonous LBK and the first indigenous Neolithic culture of north-central Europe—the Funnel Beaker culture (TRB). The paper presents data on mtDNA haplotypes of a Middle Neolithic population dated to 4700/4600–4100/4000 BC belonging to the Brześć Kujawski Group of the Lengyel culture (BKG) from the Kuyavia region in north-central Poland. BKG communities constituted the border of the “Danubian World” in this part of Europe for approx. seven centuries, neighboring foragers of the North European Plain and the southern Baltic basin. MtDNA haplogroups were determined in 11 individuals, and four mtDNA macrohaplogroups were found (H, U5, T, and HV0). The overall haplogroup pattern did not deviate from other post-Linear Pottery populations from central Europe, although a complete lack of N1a and the presence of U5a are noteworthy. Of greatest importance is the observed link between the BKG and the TRB horizon, confirmed by an independent analysis of the craniometric variation of Mesolithic and Neolithic populations inhabiting central Europe. Estimated phylogenetic pattern suggests significant contribution of the post-Linear BKG communities to the origin of the subsequent Middle Neolithic cultures, such as the TRB.



Maju said...

Something interesting we're seeing in this and also in the recently published Cuyavian late LBK mtDNA data is that, unlike what happens in Germany, we can well consider these mtDNA pools "modern" (or even "hyper-modern" in some cases), particularly on the frequencies of H.

Obviously this underlines the risk of extrapolating to all Europe from data only of Germany or other very specific localities of the North like Sweden (back then much less important than today) but maybe more important is that we are beginning to have a growing number of localities or regions, dated to the Neolithic or early Chalcolithic, that fit well with the modern European genetic pool and are therefore potential candidates for its origins.

Maju said...

I must correct my comment: I was thinking that this was something new because of the use of the term "Lengyel" that is more commonly associated to south of the Carpathians (Austria, Moravia, West Hungary). It's the same Polish (Cuyavian) late LBK sample that I read about earlier elsewhere. Still it's interest re. the "hyper-modernity" of the mtDNA pool stands, assuming that CRS is indeed H (what is likely but not 100% certain).

Simon_W said...

The craniometric cluster analysis looks interesting, too. Especially regarding the Globular Amphora culture in Poland, for which no ancient DNA has been published so far. Going by these results, it was similar to some Walternienburg groups and the TRB. Hence probably not steppe admixed.