Ancient DNA and the European Neolithic: Relations and descent [Paperback]

Alasdair Whittle(Editor); Joshua Pollard(Editor); Susan Greaney(Editor)

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ISBN: 9781789259100 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2023 | Language: English 272p, H9.4 x W6.7, B/W
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Ancient DNA and the European Neolithic


A current paradigm-changing aDNA revolution is offering unparalleled insights into central questions within archaeology relating to the movement of populations and individuals; patterns of descent; relationships; and aspects of identity – at many scales and of many different kinds. The impact of recent aDNA results can be seen particularly clearly in studies of European Neolithic populations, the subject of contributions presented in this volume. This has all helped to reset the terms in which we must now consider movements and mixtures of people both at the start of the Neolithic and at its end, and complex questions of identities and relationships. If the terms of archaeological debate have been permanently altered, this has left many issues in its wake.

This volume stems from the online day conference of the Neolithic Studies Group held in November 2021, which aimed to bring geneticists and archaeologists together in the same forum, and in the second place to enable critical but constructive inter-disciplinary debate about key issues arising from the application of advanced aDNA analysis to the study of the European Neolithic and Chalcolithic. The resulting papers gathered here are by both geneticists and archaeologists. Overall, they offer wide-ranging reflections on the progress of aDNA studies, and on their future reach and character, and a series of significant, up-to-date, period and regional syntheses of various manifestations of the Neolithic across the Near East and Europe, including particularly Britain and Ireland. Chronological coverage in some papers extends into the Chalcolithic or Copper Age.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: questions of descent, relationships, and identity Alasdair Whittle (Cardiff) and Joshua Pollard (Southampton)
2. Living with archaeogenetic: three decades on Martin B. Richards (Huddersfield)
3. Archaeology and genetics: the current debate and a way forward Kristian Kristiansen (Gothenburg)
4. One SNP or two? The inference and use of genome-wide diploid genomes in ancient DNA Daniel Bradley and Bruno Ariano (Trinity College, Dublin)
5. Reconstructing the genealogical relationships of hunter-gatherers and farmers Leo Speidel
6. Ancient DNA of Near Eastern Neolithic populations: the knowns and the unknowns Eva Fernández-Domínguez (Durham)
7. Did foragers become farmers in Southeast Europe? A reappraisal in light of the latest biomolecular data Maxime N. Brami (Mainz)
8. Early Neolithic south-east and central Europe – as reflected by archaeological and archaeogenetic detester Bánffy (Frankfurt)
9. Ancestry and identity in the steppes of south-eastern Europe during the 3
rd millennium BC Bianca Preda-Bălănică (Helsinki) and Yoan Diekmann (Mainz)
10. A Tale of Two Transitions, Part One: The Late Neolithic-Chalcolithic in Britain Tom Booth (Crick Institute, London)
11. A Tale of Two Transitions, Part Two: The Early Neolithic in Britain Selina Brace (Natural History Museum, London)
12. A genomic survey of Irish megaliths Lara Cassidy (Trinity College, Dublin)
13. An alternative to Out of Iberia. From Cardial via Chassey to Carinated Bowl: a genetic tale Alison Sheridan and Alasdair Whittle
14. Genetics and identity in the British Chalcolithic Joanna Brück (University College, Dublin)
15. Genetics, lifeways, death, and desecration in the shadow of great monuments: a Beaker case study from Cranborne Chase, Dorset Phillip Endicott, Gabrielle Delbarre, Alistair Pike, Martin Green and Joshua Pollard
16. Looking back, looking forward – humanity beyond biology Susan Greaney (English Heritage)

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