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Climate change and evolving human diversity
in Europe during the last glacial
Clive Gamble1*, William Davies1, Paul Pettitt2 and Martin Richards3
Towards improved empirical isobase models
of Holocene land uplift for mainland
Scotland, UK
Correlating Bayesian date
estimates with climatic
events and domestication
using a bovine case study
Simon Y. W. Ho1,2,*, Greger Larson1,3,
Ceiridwen J. Edwards4, Tim H. Heupink1,
Kay E. Lakin1,5, Peter W. H. Holland1
and Beth Shapiro1,6

The tribe Bovini contains a number of commercially
and culturally important species, such as
cattle. Understanding their evolutionary time scale
is important for distinguishing between post-glacial
and domestication-associated population expansions,
but estimates of bovine divergence times
have been hindered by a lack of reliable calibration
points. We present a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis
of 481 mitochondrial D-loop sequences, including
228 radiocarbon-dated ancient DNA sequences,
using a multi-demographic coalescent model. By
employing the radiocarbon dates as internal calibrations,
we co-estimate the bovine phylogeny and
divergence times in a relaxed-clock framework. The
analysis yields evidence for significant population
expansions in both taurine and zebu cattle,
European aurochs and yak clades. The divergence
age estimates support domestication-associated
expansion times (less than 12 kyr) for the major
haplogroups of cattle. We compare the molecular
and palaeontological estimates for the Bison–Bos
Modern human origins: progress and prospects
Chris Stringer
Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK (c.stringer@nhm.ac.uk)
The question of the mode of origin of modern humans (Homo sapiens) has dominated palaeoanthropological
debate over the last decade. This review discusses the main models proposed to explain modern human
origins, and examines relevant fossil evidence from Eurasia, Africa and Australasia. Archaeological and
genetic data are also discussed, as well as problems with the concept of ‘modernity’ itself. It is concluded
that a recent African origin can be supported for H. sapiens, morphologically, behaviourally and genetically,
but that more evidence will be needed, both from Africa and elsewhere, before an absolute African origin
for our species and its behavioural characteristics can be established and explained.
Keywords: Homo sapiens; evolution; Pleistocene; modern human; Neanderthal; DNA; Palaeolithic
How microbial ancient DNA, found in association with human remains, can be interpretedPhil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B January 29, 1999 354:111-119; doi:10.1098/rstb.1999.0364

Mitochondrial DNA analysis shows a Near Eastern
Neolithic origin for domestic cattle and no
indication of domestication of European aurochs
Ice Ages and the mitochondrial DNA chronology of human dispersals: a reviewPhil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B February 29, 2004 359:255-264; doi:10.1098/rstb.2003.1394
Inferring population histories using
cultural data
Deborah S. Rogers*, Marcus W. Feldman and Paul R. Ehrlich
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
The question as to whether cultures evolve in a manner analogous to that of genetic evolution can be
addressed by attempting to reconstruct population histories using cultural data. As others have argued,
this can only succeed if cultures are isolated enough to maintain and pass on a central core of traditions
that can be modified over time. In this study we used a set of cultural data (canoe design traits from
Polynesia) to look for the kinds of patterns and relationships normally found in population genetic
studies. After developing new techniques to accommodate the peculiarities of cultural data, we were
able to infer an ancestral region (Fiji) and a sequence of cultural origins for these Polynesian societies.
In addition, we found evidence of cultural exchange, migration and a serial founder effect. Results were
stronger when analyses were based on functional traits (presumably subject to natural selection and convergence)
rather than symbolic or stylistic traits (probably subject to cultural selection for rapid
divergence). These patterns strongly suggest that cultural evolution, while clearly affected by cultural
exchange, is also subject to some of the same processes and constraints as genetic evolution.
The molecular genetics of European ancestry
Bryan Sykes
Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK
In an earlier paper we proposed, on the basis of mitochondrial control region variation, that the bulk of
modern European mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) diversity had its roots in the European Upper Palaeo-
lithic. Re?ning the mtDNA phylogeny and enlarging the sample size both within Europe and the Middle
East still support this interpretation and indicate three separate phases of colonization: (i) the Early
Upper Palaeolithic about 50 000 BP; (ii) the Late Upper Palaeolithic 11000^14 000 BP; and (iii) the
Neolithic from 8500 BP.
Keywords: Europe; Polynesia; mtDNA; phylogeny; Palaeolithic; Neolithic

Elevated substitution rates estimated from ancient DNA sequencesBiol. Lett. December 22, 2007 3:702-705; doi:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0377
Typing single polymorphic nucleotides in mitochondrial DNA as a way to access Middle Pleistocene DNABiol. Lett. December 22, 2006 2:601-603; doi:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0515
Early history of European
domestic cattle as revealed
by ancient DNA
R. Bollongino1,†, C. J. Edwards2,†, K. W. Alt1,
J. Burger1 and D. G. Bradley2,*
1Molecular Archaeology Mainz, Institut fu? r Anthropologie, Johannes
Gutenberg-Universita? t, Saarstrasse 21, 55099 Mainz, Germany
2Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
*Author for correspondence (dbradley@tcd.ie).
†These authors contributed equally to this work.
We present an extensive ancient DNA analysis of
mainly Neolithic cattle bones sampled from
archaeological sites along the route of Neolithic
expansion, from Turkey to North-Central
Europe and Britain. We place this first reasonable
population sample of Neolithic cattle mitochondrial
DNA sequence diversity in context to
illustrate the continuity of haplotype variation
patterns from the first European domestic cattle
to the present. Interestingly, the dominant Central
European pattern, a starburst phylogeny
around the modal sequence, T3, has a Neolithic
origin, and the reduced diversity within this
cluster in the ancient samples accords with their
shorter history of post-domestic accumulation
of mutation.
A Romani mitochondrial haplotype in England 500 years before their recorded arrival in Britain
The nomadic Romani (gypsy) people are known for their deep-rooted traditions, but most of their history is recorded from external sources. We find evidence for a Romani genetic lineage in England long before their recorded arrival there. The most likely explanations are that either the historical record is wrong, or that early liaisons between Norse and Romani people during their coincident presence in ninth to tenth century Byzantium led to the spread of the haplotype to England.
Microsatellite diversity suggests different
histories for Mediterranean and Northern
European cattle populations
Y-chromosome polymorphisms and the origins of the European gene pool
How ancient DNA may help in understanding
the origin and spread of agriculture
Terence A. Brown
Department of Biomolecular Sciences, UMIST, Manchester M60 1QD, UK (terry.brown@umist.ac.uk)
The origin and spread of agriculture have been central questions in archaeology for the last 75 years and
are increasingly being addressed by a multidisciplinary approach involving biologists, ecologists, geogra-
phers and anthropologists as well as archaeologists. Molecular genetics has the potential to make an
important contribution, especially by enabling the number of times that a crop or animal was domesti-
cated to be determined. Molecular genetics can also assign approximate dates to domestication events,
identify the wild progenitor of a domesticate, and provide new forms of evidence relevant to agricultural
spread.With wheat, molecular genetical studies of modern plants have suggested that einkorn was domes-
ticated just once but that emmer might have been domesticated more than once. Ancient DNA studies of
animal remains have bene?ted from progress made with equivalent analyses of human bones, and with
plant material there have been clear demonstrations of DNA preservation in desiccated seeds. Charred
remains have also been shown to contain ancient DNA but this ?nding is unexpected in view of the high
temperatures to which these seeds have supposedly been exposed. Ancient DNA studies of wheat remains
have been used in taxonomic identi?cation and in assessment of the possible breadmaking quality of the
wheat grown at an Early Bronze Age site in Greece.
Keywords: agriculture; ancient DNA; archaeobotany; archaeology; molecular phylogenetics;
plant domestication
Since the end of the last Ice Age, some 10 000 years ago,
the predominant means of food acquisition for human
communities has changed from hunting^gathering to
agriculture. This shift was important in an ecological
sense, representing a transition from the natural environ-
ment in control of humans to humans in control of the
natural environment, and has also had far-reaching socio-
logical consequences, enabling a steep increase in human
population sizes and the eventual proliferation of complex
societies and technologies (Harris 1996). The biological
implications of animal and plant domestication as evolu-
tionary processes were recognized by Darwin (1868) and
the revolutionary impact of agriculture on prehistoric
human communities was ?rst fully expounded by Childe
(1928). These seminal works established agriculture as a
subject central to biological and archaeological endeavour,
and extensive researches over the last 70 years have been
devoted to the topic (summarized by Harris 1996). These
researches are now taking on an increasingly multidisci-
plinary ?avour?involving ecologists, geographers and
anthropologists as well as biologists and archaeologists?
but they have predominantly been driven by the archaeo-
logical context. As such, ideas regarding agriculture have
been in?uenced by the changing paradigms in archae-
ology (Harris 1996), the emphasis of the processual era
being on `origins of agriculture' (e.g. Binford 1968), super-
seded by a post-processual preoccupation with `domestica-
tion systems' (e.g. Hodder 1990), and most recently leading
to a reassessment of the in?uence of climate change as the
driving force behind the transition to agric

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