Reduced intensity of bone fat exploitation correlates with increased potential access to dairy fats in early Neolithic Europe
Emily V. Johnson et al.
Journal of archeological science, 2018
We investigated faunal material from eleven early Neolithic sites in central Europe for bone fracture and fragmentation patterns to ascertain the intensity of bone marrow and grease exploitation. These data indicate that bone grease processing was practised rarely if at all during the early Neolithic, likely made unnecessary by ample access to crop carbohydrates. Bone marrow was exploited at all sites, but with varying intensity that exhibited a significant negative correlation with the proportion of milk-producing domestic ruminants. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that fats obtained from dairy products reduced requirements for intensive marrow exploitation.
Cultural hitchhiking and competition between patrilineal kin groups explain the post-NeolithicY-chromosome bottleneck
Tian Chen Zeng et al.
Nature communications, 2018.
In human populations, changes in genetic variation are driven not only by genetic processes,but can also arise from cultural or social changes. An abrupt population bottleneck specifictohuman males has been inferred across several Old World (Africa, Europe, Asia) populations5000–7000 BP. Here, bringing together anthropological theory, recent population genomicstudies and mathematical models, we propose a sociocultural hypothesis, involving the for-mation of patrilineal kin groups and intergroup competition among these groups. Our analysisshows that this sociocultural hypothesis can explain the inference of a population bottleneck.We also show that our hypothesis is consistent with currentfindings from the archae-ogenetics of Old World Eurasia, and is important for conceptions of cultural and socialevolution in prehistory.
Early Life Conditions and Physiological Stress following the Transition to Farming inCentral/Southeast Europe: Skeletal Growth Impairment and 6000 Years of Gradual Recovery
Alinson A. Macintosh et al.
PLOS one, 2016
Results documentsignificantly reduced mean stature, body mass, and crural index in Neolithic agriculturalistsrelative both to Late Mesolithic hunter-gatherer-fishers and to later farming populations.This indication of relative growth impairment in the Neolithic, particularly among women, issupported by existing evidence of high developmental stress, intensive physical activity,and variable access to animal protein in these early agricultural populations. Among subse-quent agriculturalists, temporal increases in mean stature, body mass, and crural indexwere more pronounced among Central European women, driving declines in the magnitudeof sexual dimorphism through time. Overall, results suggest that the transition to agriculturein Central/Southeast Europe was challenging for early farming populations, but was fol-lowed by gradual amelioration across thousands of years, particularly among Central Euro-pean women. This sex difference may be indicative, in part, of greater temporal variation inthe social status afforded to young girls, in their access to resources during growth, and/orin their health status than was experienced by men.
Reproductive trade-offs in extant hunter-gatherers suggest adaptive mechanism for the Neolithic expansion
Abigail E. Page et al.
The Neolithic demographic transition remains a paradox, becauseit is associated with both higher rates of population growth andincreased morbidity and mortality rates. Here we reconcile theconflicting evidence by proposing that the spread of agricultureinvolved a life history quality–quantity trade-off whereby motherstraded offspring survival for increased fertility, achieving greaterreproductive success despite deteriorating health
A recent bottleneck of Y chromosome diversity coincides with a global change in culture
Karmin et al.
Genome research, 2015
It is commonly thought that human genetic diversity in non-African populations was shaped primarily by an out-of-Africa dispersal 50-100 thousand yr ago (kya). Here, we present a study of 456 geographically diverse high-coverage Y chromosome sequences, including 299 newly reported samples. Applying ancient DNA calibration, we date the Y-chromosomal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) in Africa at 254 (95% CI 192-307) kya and detect a cluster of major non-African founder haplogroups in a narrow time interval at 47-52 kya, consistent with a rapid initial colonization model of Eurasia and Oceania after the out-of-Africa bottleneck. In contrast to demographic reconstructions based on mtDNA, we infer a second strong bottleneck in Y-chromosome lineages dating to the last 10 ky. We hypothesize that this bottleneck is caused by cultural changes affecting variance of reproductive success among males.
Transition to agriculture in central europe: Body size and Body shape amongst the First Farmers
Janusz Piontek, Vàclav Vancata
Interdisciplinaria archeologica, 2012
Stature and robusticity during the agricultural transition: Evidence from the bioarchaeological record
Amanda Mummert et al.
Economics & human biology, 2011
[…]empirical studies of societies shifting subsistence from foraging to primary food production have found evidence for deteriorating health from an increase in infectious and dental disease and a rise in nutritional deficiencies. In Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture (Cohen and Armelagos, 1984), this trend towards declining health was observed for 19 of 21 societies undergoing the agricultural transformation. The counterintuitive increase in nutritional diseases resulted from seasonal hunger, reliance on single crops deficient in essential nutrients, crop blights, social inequalities, and trade.