Ancient DNA from mastics solidifies connection between material culture and genetics of mesolithic hunter-gatherers in Scandinavia.

Kashuba N, Kırdök E, Damlien H, Manninen MA, Nordqvist B, Persson P, Götherström A

Commun Biol 2 (-) 185 [2019-05-15; online 2019-05-15]

Human demography research in grounded on the information derived from ancient DNA and archaeology. For example, the study on the early postglacial dual-route colonisation of the Scandinavian Peninsula is largely based on associating genomic data with the early dispersal of lithic technology from the East European Plain. However, a clear connection between material culture and genetics has been lacking. Here, we demonstrate that direct connection by analysing human DNA from chewed birch bark pitch mastics. These samples were discovered at Huseby Klev in western Sweden, a Mesolithic site with eastern lithic technology. We generated genome-wide data for three individuals, and show their affinity to the Scandinavian hunter-gatherers. Our samples date to 9880-9540 calBP, expanding the temporal range and distribution of the early Scandinavian genetic group. We propose that DNA from ancient mastics can be used to study environment and ecology of prehistoric populations.

Bioinformatics Compute and Storage [Service]

NGI Stockholm (Genomics Applications) [Service]

NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

National Genomics Infrastructure [Service]

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PubMed 31123709

DOI 10.1038/s42003-019-0399-1

Crossref 10.1038/s42003-019-0399-1

pii: 399
pmc: PMC6520363
Dryad: 10.5061/dryad.j3k19p9