News
1/3/2018

IBE: Copper Age Iberians 'exported' their culture- but not their genes- all over Europe

IBE: Copper Age Iberians 'exported' their culture- but not their genes- all over Europe


News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)


Prehistoric Iberians 'exported' their culture throughout Europe, reaching Great Britain, Sicily, Poland and all over central Europe in general. However, they did not export their genes. The Beaker culture, which probably originated in Iberia, left remains in those parts of the continent. However, that diffusion was not due to large migrations of populations that took this culture with them. These are the conclusions of an international study in which the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) was involved.

Its findings, published in the journal Nature, indicate no evidence of any genetic outflow from Iberia to those areas has been discovered. “Therefore, the diffusion of the Beaker culture from Iberia is the first example of a culture being transmitted as an idea, basically due to a question of social prestige (since it was associated with the virtues of being virile and of being warriors), which is why it is adopted by other populations”, indicates researcher Carles Lalueza-Fox, from the IBE.

Once the (Bell) Beaker culture reaches the centre of Europe (around Germany and its surrounding area), it expands backwards to other places, notably to the British Isles. Yet, in this case, it does represent a migration, replacing around 90% of the population with it. "That is to say, the Neolithic people who built Stonehenge (and who had a greater genetic similarity with Neolithic Iberians than with those from Central Europe) almost disappear and are replaced by the populations from the Beaker culture from the Netherlands and Germany.

More information:
IBE news

Reference article:
Iñigo Olalde, et. al. The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genomic Transformation of Northwest Europe. Nature. Doi: 10.1038/nature25738