Research press release


Nature Communications

Genetics: Bronze Age male dispersal in Europe


現代ヨーロッパ人集団に関しては、その起源と時期をめぐって激しい議論があり、新石器時代の農耕民と旧石器時代の狩猟採集民の相対的な寄与度も分かっていない。今回、Chiara Batiniたちは、ヨーロッパ人集団と中東人集団(合計17集団)のY染色体の雄性特異的領域の一部について塩基配列解読を行い、新石器時代以降、比較的近年のヨーロッパ大陸全体で急激な人口増加のあったことを明らかにした。特に2,000~4,000年前頃の青銅器時代には、父系系譜(父方で繋がる子孫群)が増え始めていた。


The modern population of Europe was fuelled by a widespread male-specific expansion during the Bronze Age, suggests a study published in Nature Communications. The study helps to shed light on the origins of modern Europeans and focuses interest on the social structure of Bronze Age Europe.

The origins and antiquity of the modern European population are hotly debated, with the relative contribution of Neolithic farmers and Paleolithic hunter-gatherers undetermined. Now, Chiara Batini and colleagues sequence part of the male-specific region of the Y chromosome of 17 European and Middle Eastern populations to reveal that Europe underwent a recent and rapid continent-wide demographic expansion that occurred after Neolithic times. Specifically, patrilineages (groups of descendants traced through the paternal line) show an expansion in the Bronze Age, starting somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago.

The Early Bronze Age was a time of rapid and widespread change characterised by changes in burial practices, the spread of horse-riding and the developments in weaponry. Male-driven social selection linked with these practices could, the authors suggest, have led to some of the patterns observed but ancient DNA studies are required to clarify this.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms8152

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