Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scandinavians Are Descended From Stone Age Immigrants, Ancient DNA Reveals

Date:
September 25, 2009
Source:
Uppsala University
Summary:
Today's Scandinavians are not descended from the people who came to Scandinavia at the conclusion of the last ice age but, apparently, from a population that arrived later, concurrently with the introduction of agriculture. This is one conclusion of a new study straddling the borderline between genetics and archaeology.

New research suggests that modern Scandinavians are not descended from the people who came to Scandinavia at the conclusion of the last ice age but, apparently, from a population that arrived later, concurrently with the introduction of agriculture.
Credit: iStockphoto/Jean Assell

Today's Scandinavians are not descended from the people who came to Scandinavia at the conclusion of the last ice age but, apparently, from a population that arrived later, concurrently with the introduction of agriculture. This is one conclusion of a new study straddling the borderline between genetics and archaeology, which involved Swedish researchers and which has now been published in the journal Current Biology.

"The hunter-gatherers who inhabited Scandinavia more than 4,000 years ago had a different gene pool than ours," explains Anders Götherström of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University, who headed the project together with Eske Willerslev of the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen.

The study, a collaboration among research groups in Sweden, Denmark and the UK, involved using DNA from Stone Age remains to investigate whether the practices of cultivating crops and keeping livestock were spread by immigrants or represented innovations on the part of hunter-gatherers.

"Obtaining reliable results from DNA from such ancient human remains involves very complicated work," says Helena Malmström of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University.

She carried out the initial DNA sequencings of Stone Age material three years ago. Significant time was then required for researchers to confirm that the material really was thousands of years old.

"This is a classic issue within archaeology," says Petra Molnar at the Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory at Stockholm University. "Our findings show that today's Scandinavians are not the direct descendants of the hunter-gatherers who lived in the region during the Stone Age. This entails the conclusion that some form of migration to Scandinavia took place, probably at the onset of the agricultural Stone Age. The extent of this migration is as of yet impossible to determine."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uppsala University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Helena Malmström, M.Thomas P. Gilbert, Mark G. Thomas, Mikael Brandström, Jan Storå, Petra Molnar, Pernille K. Andersen, Christian Bendixen, Gunilla Holmlund, Anders Götherström, and Eske Willerslev. Ancient DNA Reveals Lack of Continuity between Neolithic Hunter-Gatherers and Contemporary Scandinavians. Current Biology, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.09.017

Cite This Page:

Uppsala University. "Scandinavians Are Descended From Stone Age Immigrants, Ancient DNA Reveals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924141049.htm>.
Uppsala University. (2009, September 25). Scandinavians Are Descended From Stone Age Immigrants, Ancient DNA Reveals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924141049.htm
Uppsala University. "Scandinavians Are Descended From Stone Age Immigrants, Ancient DNA Reveals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924141049.htm (accessed July 27, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Newsy (July 25, 2014) — Unverified footage posted to YouTube purportedly shows ISIS militants destroying a shrine widely believed to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

AFP (July 25, 2014) — Visitors will be able to look down from a glass walkway on the grave of King Richard III when a new centre opens in the English cathedral city of Leicester, where the infamous hunchback was found under a car park in 2012. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) — Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins