Heirs of the Glacial Maximum: dental morphology suggests Mesolithic human groups along the Iberian Peninsula shared the same biological origins

Diego López-Onaindia, Juan F. Gibaja, M. Eulàlia Subirà

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. The study of dental morphology has proven useful for reconstructing the biological profiles of ancient populations. In this work, we present the results obtained by analysing dental non-metric traits in many of the most important Mesolithic burial contexts from the Iberian Peninsula. Currently, a substantial debate is underway regarding the relationship between the different geographical areas of the Peninsula and their different chronological moments. This paper is based on a sample consisting of a minimum number of 437 previously unpublished individuals from 11 Mesolithic and Neolithic sites, whose data were compared with Italian Mesolithic and Neolithic samples and posterior Iberian groups. We analysed these data by chi-squared analysis and by calculating the mean measure of divergence biological distance measure. There were no significant differences among the different regional groups from the Iberian Mesolithic. Moreover, the Iberian Mesolithic samples differ significantly from the Italian samples. In addition, although certain Neolithic samples differ from the hunter-gatherer profile, it seems that they received important biological influence from Mesolithic groups from the Iberian Peninsula, which varies with geography, since the farmer groups from the Mediterranean area are the most distinct from the previous hunter-gatherers. Our results suggest a common biological origin for all the Iberian Mesolithic assemblages, which probably originated during the Last Glacial Maximum. In addition, this profile differs from the one observed in Italian coetaneous groups. Finally, similar to the latest aDNA studies, this study suggests that the Neolithization process of the Peninsula was heterogeneous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5499-5512
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Burials
  • Dental non-metric traits
  • Holocene
  • Hunter-gatherers
  • Iberian Peninsula

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