Uncanny genetic proportions from Hungary suggest a long lasting Hunter-Gatherer ancestry in Central Europe at the Bronze Age, Gerber et al.

Uncanny genetic proportions from Hungary suggest a long lasting Hunter-Gatherer ancestry in Central Europe at the Bronze Age

Gerber Dániel (1, 2), Ari Eszter (2, 3), Szeifert Bea (1, 2), Kustár Ágnes, Fábián Szilvia (4), Bondár Mária (5), Kiss Viktória (5), Köhler Kitti (5), Mende Balázs Gusztáv (1), Szécsényi-Nagy Anna (1)

1 - Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of Archaeogenomics, Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), Budapest, Hungary (Hungary), 2 - Department of Genetics, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary (Hungary), 3 - Synthetic and Systems Biology Unit, Biological Research Centre, Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH BRC) (Hungary), 4 - Natural History Museum (Hungary), 5 - Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of Archaeology, Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), Budapest, Hungary (Hungary)

Bronze Age was a critical turning point in the formation of today's European populations when especially Central Europe became genetically really colourful. Recent large-scale studies tend to focus on the non-European connections and impacts of incoming populations, however, many factors that shaped the European genepool remains mostly uninvestigated. A number of neglected genetically outlier individuals left an anomalous proportion of Hunter-Gatherer (HG) heritage unrecognized in the post-Neolithic period. Rivollat et al. 2020 have already described elevated HG ancestry from Middle-Late Neolithic sites in present-day Germany, but without further uncovering its exact source and subsequent history. In our study communities of a single site, called Balatonkeresztúr in Western Hungary, from the Early-Middle Bronze age Kisapostag/Encrusted Pottery culture was genetically analysed for the first time, owing to their extensive cremation practices. The site provides further evidence of an increased, yet mosaically appearing HG component in Central Europe even at the Bronze Age, which likely originated in the region, as suggested by additional novel and published outlier samples. The hunt for the HG components' origin is presented in this talk, where yet barely used high coverage genomes were co-analysed and set to new directions by our dataset. We applied low coverage shotgun and genome-wide capture data of 20 individuals from the site, who belong to at least three distinct archaeological horizons. We were able to pinpoint rare genetic diseases, pigmentation, kinship, social organisation and population affinites of these people, thus providing the complex and multidisciplinary interpretation of these Bronze Age communities.





ambron said…
Arza, do you see the possibility of getting more data from this presentation? The slide seems to have been intentionally cut off at the bottom. If it were whole, we would easily calculate the percentage of excess WHG of the inhabitants of the Bronze Age Carpathian basin.
Arza said…
As stated in the abstract - WHG appears there mosaically. Its levels even in the same population can be very different.

That's why I think that it must have come from some unsampled population living in the Carpathian valleys, some kind of Neolithic Vlachs, HG who switched to mountain pastoralism and avoided being overran or assimilated by the EEF.

In this case not the level of WHG is important, but the kind of drift they have and the conclusion that they're of local origin.
ambron said…
And as I understand it, we expect that in Balatonkeresztúr, as well as in Nitra, the local Carpathian WHG will be a source of Balto-Slavic drift.
Arza said…
Exactly. It's always correlated with HG admixture and it be also true for Nitra culture.

"The homogeneity of the male lineages of the Nitra culture’s population, the detected distinct ancestry components and the comparison of the male and female admixture signals"

ambron said…
Arza, maybe this is also a clue of Balto-Slavic drift:


It's about the excess of WHG in Jagodnjak.
ambron said…
Arza, the authors point to one genetic signature (Central European) Jagodnjak with Mako, and you once wrote about Mako like this:

"Tollense shares its specific WHG ancestry (aka "Balto-Slavic drift") with Baltic_BA, Balto-Slavs, and many groups from the Balkans or Carpathians. From the samples we currently have: Mokrin, Kyjatice, Fuzesabony, Mako, Hungarian Bell Beaker, Hallstatt, La Tene, Vekerzug. All these groups are closely related to each other and are a part of a Carpathian metapopulation (Baltic_BA and Balto-Slavs included)."
ambron said…
An important statement by Matt in this context:

"@ambron, yes, I agree that what Arza says there is plausible and I don't think any of this comes as a surprise to you. I thought it was interesting as there is often a suggestion that Global25 has created a false affinity between these WHG-rich samples and Baltic or Slavic peoples, but I haven't had a group of samples that's good enough before to test if this is the case in formal stats. And the formal stats to me seem to support the affinity being real and not false, and moreover that these samples aren't necessarily well explained by being between Latvia_BA and other populations, necessarily."
ambron said…
And my comment on Eurogenes:

Thus, the Balto-Slavic drift is a real phenomenon, not an artifact of the adopted method. The Balto-Slavic drift is not an effect to the admixture of the Baltic BA. And that's the most important thing.