The Late Glacial ancestry of Europeans: combining genetic and archaeological evidence

  • Clive Gamble Centre for Quaternary Research, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London
  • William Davies Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins University of Southampton
  • Paul Pettitt Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield
  • Lee Hazelwood Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds
  • Martin Richards Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins University of Southampton
Keywords: Radiocarbon, Calibration, Late Glacial, Settlement patterns, mitochondrial DNA, GRIP, Archaeological Taxonomic Unit

Abstract

Chronometric attention in the Late Glacial of Western Europe is turning from the dating of archaeological cultures to studying how the continent was re-populated at the end of the last ice age. We present results from a survey of all available radiocarbon determinations (the S2AGES database) which show that when calibrated, and compared to the GRIP stratotype of climatic events, the data can be interpreted as five population events in the 15ka prior to the onset of the Holocene. The fine-grained climate record provides an opportunity to study the impact of environmental factors on a human dispersal process that not only shaped subsequent European prehistory, but also the genetic makeup of modern Europeans. The population events have implications for archaeologists and molecular geneticists concerning the timing, direction, speed and scale of processes in Western European demographic history. The results also bear on the role of climatic forcing on the expansion and contraction of human populations and in particular the correlation of ice core and terrestrial records for the onset of warming in the North Atlantic.
Published
2006-12-31
How to Cite
Gamble, C., Davies, W., Pettitt, P., Hazelwood, L., & Richards, M. (2006). The Late Glacial ancestry of Europeans: combining genetic and archaeological evidence. Documenta Praehistorica, 33, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.33.1
Section
Articles