The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe

Iñigo Olalde*, Selina Brace, Morten E. Allentoft, Ian Armit, Kristian Kristiansen, Thomas Booth, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Anna Szécsényi-Nagy, Alissa Mittnik, Eveline Altena, Mark Lipson, Iosif Lazaridis, Thomas K. Harper, Nick Patterson, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Yoan Diekmann, Zuzana Faltyskova, Daniel Fernandes, Matthew FerryEadaoin Harney, Peter De Knijff, Megan Michel, Jonas Oppenheimer, Kristin Stewardson, Alistair Barclay, Kurt Werner Alt, Corina Liesau, Patricia Rios, Concepcion Blasco, Jorge Vega Miguel, Roberto Menduina Garcia, Azucena Aviles Fernandez, Eszter Banffy, Maria Bernabo-Brea, David Billoin, Clive Bonsall, Laura Bonsall, Tim Allen, Lindsey Buster, Sophie Carver, Laura Castells Navarro, Oliver E. Craig, Gordon T. Cook, Barry Cunliffe, Anthony Denaire, Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy, Natasha Dodwell, Michal Ernee, Christopher Evans, Milan Kucharik, Joan Frances Farre, Chris Fowler, Michiel Gazenbeek, Rafael Garrido Pena, Maria Haber-Uriarte, Elzbieta Haduch, Gill Hey, Nick Jowett, Timothy Knowles, Ken Massy, Saskia Pfrengle, Philippe Lefranc, Olivier Lemercier, Arnaud Lefebvre, Cesar Heras Martinez, Virginia Galera Olmo, Ana Bastida Ramirez, Joaquin Lomba Maurandi, Tona Majo, Jacqueline I. McKinley, Kathleen McSweeney, Balazs Gusztav Mende, Alessandra Mod, Gabriella Kulcsar, Viktoria Kiss, Andras Czene, Robert Patay, Anna Endrodi, Kitti Kohler, Tamas Hajdu, Tamas Szeniczey, Janos Dani, Zsolt Bernert, Maya Hoole, Olivia Cheronet, Denise Keating, Petr Veleminsky, Miroslav Dobe, Francesca Candilio, Fraser Brown, Raul Flores Fernandez, Ana Mercedes Herrero-Corral, Sebastiano Tusa, Emiliano Carnieri, Luigi Lentini, Antonella Valenti, Alessandro Zanini, Clive Waddington, German Delibes, Elisa Guerra-Doce, Benjamin Neil, Marcus Brittain, Mike Luke, Richard Mortimer, Jocelyne Desideri, Marie Besse, Gunter Brucken, Mirosaw Furmanek, Agata Hauszko, Maksym Mackiewicz, Artur Rapinski, Stephany Leach, Ignacio Soriano, Katina T. Lillios, Joao Luis Cardoso, Michael Parker Pearson, Piotr Wodarczak, T. Douglas Price, Pilar Prieto, Pierre Jerome Rey, Manuel A.Rojo Guerra, Aurore Schmitt, Joel Serralongue, Ana Maria Silva, Vaclav Smrcka, Luc Vergnaud, Joao Zilhao, David Caramelli, Thomas Higham, Mark G. Thomas, Douglas J. Kennett, Harry Fokkens, Volker Heyd, Alison Sheridan, Karl Goran Sjogren, Philipp W. Stockhammer, Johannes Krause, Ron Pinhasi, Wolfgang Haak, Ian Barnes, Carles Lalueza-Fox, David Reich, Roberto Risch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

213 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. From around 2750 to 2500 bc, Bell Beaker pottery became widespread across western and central Europe, before it disappeared between 2200 and 1800 bc. The forces that propelled its expansion are a matter of long-standing debate, and there is support for both cultural diffusion and migration having a role in this process. Here we present genome-wide data from 400 Neolithic, Copper Age and Bronze Age Europeans, including 226 individuals associated with Beaker-complex artefacts. We detected limited genetic affinity between Beaker-complex-associated individuals from Iberia and central Europe, and thus exclude migration as an important mechanism of spread between these two regions. However, migration had a key role in the further dissemination of the Beaker complex. We document this phenomenon most clearly in Britain, where the spread of the Beaker complex introduced high levels of steppe-related ancestry and was associated with the replacement of approximately 90% of Britain's gene pool within a few hundred years, continuing the east-to-west expansion that had brought steppe-related ancestry into central and northern Europe over the previous centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-196
Number of pages7
JournalNature
Volume555
Issue number7695
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018

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