The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe

Iñigo Olalde, Selina Brace, Morten E Allentoft, Ian Armit, Kristian Kristiansen, Thomas Booth, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Anna Szécsényi-Nagy, Alissa Mittnik, Eveline Altena, Mark Lipson, Iosif Lazaridis, Thomas K Harper, Nick Patterson, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Yoan Diekmann, Zuzana Faltyskova, Daniel Fernandes, Matthew FerryEadaoin Harney, Peter de Knijff, Megan Michel, Jonas Oppenheimer, Kristin Stewardson, Alistair Barclay, Kurt Werner Alt, Corina Liesau, Patricia Ríos, Concepción Blasco, Jorge Vega Miguel, Roberto Menduiña García, Azucena Avilés Fernández, Eszter Bánffy, Maria Bernabò-Brea, David Billoin, Clive Bonsall, Laura Bonsall, Tim Allen, Lindsey Büster, Sophie Carver, Laura Castells Navarro, Oliver E Craig, Gordon T Cook, Barry Cunliffe, Anthony Denaire, Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy, Natasha Dodwell, Michal Ernée, Milan Kuchařík, Joan Francès Farré, Chris Fowler, Michiel Gazenbeek, Rafael Garrido Pena, María Haber-Uriarte, Elżbieta Haduch, Gill Hey, Nick Jowett, Timothy D J Knowles, Ken Massy, Saskia Pfrengle, Philippe Lefranc, Olivier Lemercier, Arnaud Lefebvre, César Heras Martínez, Virginia Galera Olmo, Ana Bastida Ramírez, Joaquín Lomba Maurandi, Tona Majó, Jacqueline I McKinley, Kathleen McSweeney, Balázs Gusztáv Mende, Alessandra Mod, Gabriella Kulcsár, Viktória Kiss, András Czene, Róbert Patay, Anna Endrődi, Kitti Köhler, Tamás Hajdu, Tamás Szeniczey, János Dani, Zsolt Bernert, Maya Hoole, Olivia Cheronet, Denise Keating, Petr Velemínský, Miroslav Dobeš, Francesca Candilio, Fraser Brown, Raúl Flores Fernández, Ana-Mercedes Herrero-Corral, Sebastiano Tusa, Emiliano Carnieri, Luigi Lentini, Antonella Valenti, Alessandro Zanini, Clive Waddington, Germán Delibes, Elisa Guerra-Doce, Benjamin Neil, Marcus Brittain, Mike Luke, Richard Mortimer, Jocelyne Desideri, Marie Besse, Günter Brücken, Mirosław Furmanek, Agata Hałuszko, Maksym Mackiewicz, Artur Rapiński, Stephany Leach, Ignacio Soriano, Katina T Lillios, Michael Parker Pearson, Piotr Włodarczak, T Douglas Price, Pilar Prieto, Pierre-Jérôme Rey, Roberto Risch, Manuel A Rojo Guerra, Aurore Schmitt, Joël Serralongue, Ana Maria Silva, Václav Smrčka, Luc Vergnaud, João Zilhão, David Caramelli, Thomas Higham, Mark G Thomas, Douglas J Kennett, Harry Fokkens, Volker Heyd, Alison Sheridan, Karl-Göran Sjögren, Philipp W Stockhammer, Johannes Krause, Ron Pinhasi, Wolfgang Haak, Ian Barnes, Carles Lalueza-Fox, David Reich

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Abstract

From around 2750 to 2500 bc, Bell Beaker pottery became widespread across western and central Europe, before it disappeared between 2200 and 1800 bc. The forces that propelled its expansion are a matter of long-standing debate, and there is support for both cultural diffusion and migration having a role in this process. Here we present genome-wide data from 400 Neolithic, Copper Age and Bronze Age Europeans, including 226 individuals associated with Beaker-complex artefacts. We detected limited genetic affinity between Beaker-complex-associated individuals from Iberia and central Europe, and thus exclude migration as an important mechanism of spread between these two regions. However, migration had a key role in the further dissemination of the Beaker complex. We document this phenomenon most clearly in Britain, where the spread of the Beaker complex introduced high levels of steppe-related ancestry and was associated with the replacement of approximately 90% of Britain's gene pool within a few hundred years, continuing the east-to-west expansion that had brought steppe-related ancestry into central and northern Europe over the previous centuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-196
Number of pages7
JournalNature
Volume555
Issue number7695
Early online date21 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018

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    Olalde, I., Brace, S., Allentoft, M. E., Armit, I., Kristiansen, K., Booth, T., Rohland, N., Mallick, S., Szécsényi-Nagy, A., Mittnik, A., Altena, E., Lipson, M., Lazaridis, I., Harper, T. K., Patterson, N., Broomandkhoshbacht, N., Diekmann, Y., Faltyskova, Z., Fernandes, D., ... Reich, D. (2018). The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe. Nature, 555(7695), 190-196. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature25738