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Qiaomei Fu, Cosimo Posth, Mateja Hajdinjak, Martin Petr, Swapan Mallick, Daniel Fernandes, Anja Furtwängler, Wolfgang Haak, Matthias Meyer, Alissa Mittnik, Birgit Nickel, Alexander Peltzer, Nadin Rohland, Viviane Slon, Sahra Talamo, Iosif Lazaridis, Mark Lipson, Iain Mathieson, Stephan Schiffels, Pontus Skoglund, Anatoly P. Derevianko, Nikolai Drozdov, Vyacheslav Slavinsky, Alexander Tsybankov, Renata G. Cremonesi, Francesco Mallegni, Bernard Gély, Eligio Vacca, Manuel R. G. Morales, Lawrence G. Straus, Christine Neugebauer-Maresch, Maria Teschler-Nicola, Silviu Constantin, Oana T. Moldovan, Stefano Benazzi, Marco Peresani, Donato Coppola, Martina Lari, Stefano Ricci, Annamaria Ronchitelli, Frédérique Valentin, Corinne Thevenet, Kurt Wehrberger, Dan Grigorescu, Hélène Rougier, Isabelle Crevecoeur, Damien Flas, Patrick Semal, Marcello A. Mannino, Christophe Cupillard, Hervé Bocherens, Nicholas J. Conard, Katerina Harvati, Vyacheslav Moiseyev, Dorothée G. Drucker, Jiří Svoboda, Michael P. Richards, David Caramelli, Ron Pinhasi, Janet Kelso, Nick Patterson, Johannes Krause, Svante Pääbo and David Reich (2016)

The genetic history of Ice Age Europe

Nature, 534:200-205.

Modern humans arrived in Europe ˊ45,000 years ago, but little is known about their genetic composition before the start of farming ˊ8,500 years ago. Here we analyse genome-wide data from 51 Eurasians from ˊ45,000–7,000 years ago. Over this time, the proportion of Neanderthal DNA decreased from 3–6\% to around 2\%, consistent with natural selection against Neanderthal variants in modern humans. Whereas there is no evidence of the earliest modern humans in Europe contributing to the genetic composition of present-day Europeans, all individuals between ˊ37,000 and ˊ14,000 years ago descended from a single founder population which forms part of the ancestry of present-day Europeans. An ˊ35,000-year-old individual from northwest Europe represents an early branch of this founder population which was then displaced across a broad region, before reappearing in southwest Europe at the height of the last Ice Age ˊ19,000 years ago. During the major warming period after ˊ14,000 years ago, a genetic component related to present-day Near Easterners became widespread in Europe. These results document how population turnover and migration have been recurring themes of European prehistory.

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