Ancient genomes link early Iberian farmers to Basques
An international team led by researchers at SciLifeLab/Uppsala University reports a surprising discovery from the genomes of eight Iberian Stone-Age farmer remains. The analyses revealed that early Iberian farmers are the closest ancestors to modern-day Basques, in contrast previous hypotheses that linked Basques to earlier pre-farming groups.
“Our results show that the Basques trace their ancestry to early farming groups from Iberia, which contradicts previous views of them being a remnant population that trace their ancestry to Mesolithic hunter-gatherer groups,” says Prof. Mattias Jakobsson at SciLifeLab/Uppsala University, who headed the study.
The team could also demonstrate that farming was brought to Iberia by the same/similar groups that migrated to northern and central Europe and that the incoming farmers admixed with local, Iberian hunter-gather groups, a process that continued for at least 2 millennia.
The study was published September 7, ahead of print, in the leading scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, PNAS.
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