And we're back!
Started by Maladict, May 27, 2016, 02:34:49 AM
QuoteAncient DNA research in the past decade has revealed that European population structure changed dramatically in the prehistoric period (14,000-3,000 years before present, YBP), reflecting the widespread introduction of Neolithic farmer and Bronze Age Steppe ancestries. However, little is known about how population structure changed in the historical period onward (3,000 YBP - present). To address this, we collected whole genomes from 204 individuals from Europe and the Mediterranean, many of which are the first historical period genomes from their region (e.g. Armenia, France). We found that most regions show remarkable inter-individual heterogeneity. Around 8% of historical individuals carry ancestry uncommon in the region where they were sampled, some indicating cross-Mediterranean contacts. Despite this high level of mobility, overall population structure across western Eurasia is relatively stable through the historical period up to the present, mirroring the geographic map. We show that, under standard population genetics models with local panmixia, the observed level of dispersal would lead to a collapse of population structure. Persistent population structure thus suggests a lower effective migration rate than indicated by the observed dispersal. We hypothesize that this phenomenon can be explained by extensive transient dispersal arising from drastically improved transportation networks and the Roman Empire's mobilization of people for trade, labor, and military. This work highlights the utility of ancient DNA in elucidating finer scale human population dynamics in recent history.
QuoteThe Black Death was history's most lethal plague. Now scientists say they know where it startedAncient DNA has identified the earliest victims of the Black Plague in Kyrgyzstan in central AsiaThere are few events in human history as ominous — both in name and impact — as the Black Death.The bubonic plague pandemic made its way across Eurasia and north Africa between 1346 and 1553. It's estimated to have killed up to 200 million people, or 60 per cent of the Earth's entire population at the time.Now, scientists believe they have pinpointed the origin of the Black Death to a region of present day Kyrgyzstan called Issyk-Kul, once a stopover on the Silk Road trade route in the 14th century. Its place of origin has been one of the most hotly debated controversies in the history of epidemiology. Philip Slavin, an associate professor of environmental history at Stirling University in Scotland, and part of the research team, told Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald there have been a couple of prevailing theories over the past 200 years. "The Black Death was thought to have originated either in China or in Central Asia," Slavin said. "But one thing in common to those theories was that there was absolutely no way to actually prove those theories without the ancient DNA."14th century grave markers referred to 'pestilence'The new study began several years ago when by chance Slavin came across a graveyard in the Lake Issyk-Kul region of present-day Kyrgyzstan. The graveyard had clearly marked and dated gravestones that showed an unusually high number of burials in the years 1338 and 1339."What's really remarkable is that some of those tombstones, the inscriptions were actually longer and more detailed than others," Slavin said. "They stated very precisely that the cause of the death of those individuals was 'pestilence.'" Slavin wanted to investigate further, because these deaths occurred only six or seven years before the Black Death turned up in Europe. He thought there could be a connection. So he and his colleagues looked for ancient DNA from skulls that had been found by archeologists from the graveyard during excavations in the 1880s and 90s.A gravestone from the medieval cemetery in Kyrgyzstan. Researchers found stones like this with engravings identifying victims of 'pestilence' from 1338 and 1339. (Pier-Giorgio Borbone)
QuoteThis paper presents a nutritional template that offers a proxy calorie value for the human body. When applied to the Palaeolithic record, the template provides a framework for assessing the dietary value of prehistoric cannibalistic episodes compared to the faunal record. Results show that humans have a comparable nutritional value to those faunal species that match our typical body weight, but significantly lower than a range of fauna often found in association with anthropogenically modified hominin remains.
Quote from: Maladict on September 15, 2022, 04:16:07 AMThe glamour of archaeology
Quote from: Jacob on September 14, 2022, 08:39:15 PMThat's kind of cool to be part of that, though.
Quote from: Jacob on June 19, 2022, 11:56:56 PMQuoteThe bubonic plague pandemic made its way across Eurasia and north Africa between 1346 and 1553. It's estimated to have killed up to 200 million people, or 60 per cent of the Earth's entire population at the time.
QuoteThe bubonic plague pandemic made its way across Eurasia and north Africa between 1346 and 1553. It's estimated to have killed up to 200 million people, or 60 per cent of the Earth's entire population at the time.
Quote from: crazy canuck on September 16, 2022, 10:43:04 AMVery interest - hunter gatherers, keeping small numbers of animals as living meat lockers.
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