Publications by authors named "Beatriz Gamarra"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Integrating buccal and occlusal dental microwear with isotope analyses for a complete paleodietary reconstruction of Holocene populations from Hungary.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 29;11(1):7034. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna, AltrantraBe 14, Vienna, Austria.

Dietary reconstruction is used to make inferences about the subsistence strategies of ancient human populations, but it may also serve as a proxy to characterise their diverse cultural and technological manifestations. Dental microwear and stable isotope analyses have been shown to be successful techniques for paleodietary reconstruction of ancient populations but, despite yielding complementary dietary information, these techniques have rarely been combined within the same study. Here we present for the first time a comprehensive approach to interpreting ancient lifeways through the results of buccal and occlusal microwear, and δC and δN isotope analyses applied to the same individuals of prehistoric populations of Hungary from the Middle Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age periods. This study aimed to (a) assess if the combination of techniques yields a more precise assessment of past dietary and subsistence practices, and (b) contribute to our understanding of the dietary patterns of the prehistoric Hungarian populations. Overall, no correlations between microwear and δC and δN isotope variables were observed, except for a relationship between nitrogen and the vertical and horizontal index. However, we found that diachronic differences are influenced by the variation within the period. Particularly, we found differences in microwear and isotope variables between Middle Neolithic sites, indicating that there were different dietary practices among those populations. Additionally, microwear results suggest no changes in the abrasiveness of the diet, neither food processing methods, despite higher C plant resource consumption shown by carbon isotopic signal. Thus, we demonstrate that the integration of dental microwear and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope methodologies can provide complementary information for making inferences about paleodietary habits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86369-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007593PMC
March 2021

The Genomic History of the Bronze Age Southern Levant.

Cell 2020 05;181(5):1146-1157.e11

Department of Statistics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 9190501, Israel.

We report genome-wide DNA data for 73 individuals from five archaeological sites across the Bronze and Iron Ages Southern Levant. These individuals, who share the "Canaanite" material culture, can be modeled as descending from two sources: (1) earlier local Neolithic populations and (2) populations related to the Chalcolithic Zagros or the Bronze Age Caucasus. The non-local contribution increased over time, as evinced by three outliers who can be modeled as descendants of recent migrants. We show evidence that different "Canaanite" groups genetically resemble each other more than other populations. We find that Levant-related modern populations typically have substantial ancestry coming from populations related to the Chalcolithic Zagros and the Bronze Age Southern Levant. These groups also harbor ancestry from sources we cannot fully model with the available data, highlighting the critical role of post-Bronze-Age migrations into the region over the past 3,000 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.024DOI Listing
May 2020

The spread of steppe and Iranian-related ancestry in the islands of the western Mediterranean.

Nat Ecol Evol 2020 03 24;4(3):334-345. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Instituto Internacional de Investigaciones Prehistóricas de Cantabria, Universidad de Cantabria-Gobierno de Cantabria-Banco Santander, Santander, Spain.

Steppe-pastoralist-related ancestry reached Central Europe by at least 2500 BC, whereas Iranian farmer-related ancestry was present in Aegean Europe by at least 1900 BC. However, the spread of these ancestries into the western Mediterranean, where they have contributed to many populations that live today, remains poorly understood. Here, we generated genome-wide ancient-DNA data from the Balearic Islands, Sicily and Sardinia, increasing the number of individuals with reported data from 5 to 66. The oldest individual from the Balearic Islands (~2400 BC) carried ancestry from steppe pastoralists that probably derived from west-to-east migration from Iberia, although two later Balearic individuals had less ancestry from steppe pastoralists. In Sicily, steppe pastoralist ancestry arrived by ~2200 BC, in part from Iberia; Iranian-related ancestry arrived by the mid-second millennium BC, contemporary to its previously documented spread to the Aegean; and there was large-scale population replacement after the Bronze Age. In Sardinia, nearly all ancestry derived from the island's early farmers until the first millennium BC, with the exception of an outlier from the third millennium BC, who had primarily North African ancestry and who-along with an approximately contemporary Iberian-documents widespread Africa-to-Europe gene flow in the Chalcolithic. Major immigration into Sardinia began in the first millennium BC and, at present, no more than 56-62% of Sardinian ancestry is from its first farmers. This value is lower than previous estimates, highlighting that Sardinia, similar to every other region in Europe, has been a stage for major movement and mixtures of people.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-1102-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7080320PMC
March 2020

The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia.

Science 2019 09;365(6457)

Earth Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland.

By sequencing 523 ancient humans, we show that the primary source of ancestry in modern South Asians is a prehistoric genetic gradient between people related to early hunter-gatherers of Iran and Southeast Asia. After the Indus Valley Civilization's decline, its people mixed with individuals in the southeast to form one of the two main ancestral populations of South Asia, whose direct descendants live in southern India. Simultaneously, they mixed with descendants of Steppe pastoralists who, starting around 4000 years ago, spread via Central Asia to form the other main ancestral population. The Steppe ancestry in South Asia has the same profile as that in Bronze Age Eastern Europe, tracking a movement of people that affected both regions and that likely spread the distinctive features shared between Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic languages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aat7487DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6822619PMC
September 2019

Ancient genomes document multiple waves of migration in Southeast Asian prehistory.

Science 2018 07 17;361(6397):92-95. Epub 2018 May 17.

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Southeast Asia is home to rich human genetic and linguistic diversity, but the details of past population movements in the region are not well known. Here, we report genome-wide ancient DNA data from 18 Southeast Asian individuals spanning from the Neolithic period through the Iron Age (4100 to 1700 years ago). Early farmers from Man Bac in Vietnam exhibit a mixture of East Asian (southern Chinese agriculturalist) and deeply diverged eastern Eurasian (hunter-gatherer) ancestry characteristic of Austroasiatic speakers, with similar ancestry as far south as Indonesia providing evidence for an expansive initial spread of Austroasiatic languages. By the Bronze Age, in a parallel pattern to Europe, sites in Vietnam and Myanmar show close connections to present-day majority groups, reflecting substantial additional influxes of migrants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aat3188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6476732PMC
July 2018

5000 years of dietary variations of prehistoric farmers in the Great Hungarian Plain.

PLoS One 2018 10;13(5):e0197214. Epub 2018 May 10.

School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

The development of farming was a catalyst for the evolution of the human diet from the varied subsistence practices of hunter-gatherers to the more globalised food economy we depend upon today. Although there has been considerable research into the dietary changes associated with the initial spread of farming, less attention has been given to how dietary choices continued to develop during subsequent millennia. A paleogenomic time transect for 5 millennia of human occupation in the Great Hungarian Plain spanning from the advent of the Neolithic to the Iron Age, showed major genomic turnovers. Here we assess where these genetic turnovers are associated with corresponding dietary shifts, by examining the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of 52 individuals. Results provide evidence that early Neolithic individuals, which were genetically characterised as Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, relied on wild resources to a greater extent than those whose genomic attributes were of typical Neolithic European farmers. Other Neolithic individuals and those from the Copper Age to Bronze Age periods relied mostly on terrestrial C3 plant resources. We also report a carbon isotopic ratio typical of C4 plants, which may indicate millet consumption in the Late Bronze Age, despite suggestions of the crop's earlier arrival in Europe during the Neolithic.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0197214PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5944993PMC
July 2018

The genomic history of southeastern Europe.

Nature 2018 03 21;555(7695):197-203. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Firenze, 50122 Florence, Italy.

Farming was first introduced to Europe in the mid-seventh millennium bc, and was associated with migrants from Anatolia who settled in the southeast before spreading throughout Europe. Here, to understand the dynamics of this process, we analysed genome-wide ancient DNA data from 225 individuals who lived in southeastern Europe and surrounding regions between 12000 and 500 bc. We document a west-east cline of ancestry in indigenous hunter-gatherers and, in eastern Europe, the early stages in the formation of Bronze Age steppe ancestry. We show that the first farmers of northern and western Europe dispersed through southeastern Europe with limited hunter-gatherer admixture, but that some early groups in the southeast mixed extensively with hunter-gatherers without the sex-biased admixture that prevailed later in the north and west. We also show that southeastern Europe continued to be a nexus between east and west after the arrival of farmers, with intermittent genetic contact with steppe populations occurring up to 2,000 years earlier than the migrations from the steppe that ultimately replaced much of the population of northern Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature25778DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6091220PMC
March 2018

A minimally-invasive method for sampling human petrous bones from the cranial base for ancient DNA analysis.

Biotechniques 2017 06 1;62(6):283-289. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

School of Archaeology and Earth Institute, Belfield, University College Dublin, Ireland.

Ancient DNA (aDNA) research involves invasive and destructive sampling procedures that are often incompatible with anthropological, anatomical, and bioarcheological analyses requiring intact skeletal remains. The osseous labyrinth inside the petrous bone has been shown to yield higher amounts of endogenous DNA than any other skeletal element; however, accessing this labyrinth in cases of a complete or reconstructed skull involves causing major structural damage to the cranial vault or base. Here, we describe a novel cranial base drilling method (CBDM) for accessing the osseous labyrinth from the cranial base that prevents damaging the surrounding cranial features, making it highly complementary to morphological analyses. We assessed this method by comparing the aDNA results from one petrous bone processed using our novel method to its pair, which was processed using established protocols for sampling disarticulated petrous bones. We show a decrease in endogenous DNA and molecular copy numbers when the drilling method is used; however, we also show that this method produces more endogenous DNA and higher copy numbers than any postcranial bone. Our results demonstrate that this minimally-invasive method reduces the loss of genetic data associated with the use of other skeletal elements and enables the combined craniometric and genetic study of individuals with archeological, cultural, and evolutionary value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2144/000114558DOI Listing
June 2017

Genomic insights into the origin of farming in the ancient Near East.

Nature 2016 08 25;536(7617):419-24. Epub 2016 Jul 25.

We report genome-wide ancient DNA from 44 ancient Near Easterners ranging in time between ~12,000 and 1,400 bc, from Natufian hunter-gatherers to Bronze Age farmers. We show that the earliest populations of the Near East derived around half their ancestry from a 'Basal Eurasian' lineage that had little if any Neanderthal admixture and that separated from other non-African lineages before their separation from each other. The first farmers of the southern Levant (Israel and Jordan) and Zagros Mountains (Iran) were strongly genetically differentiated, and each descended from local hunter-gatherers. By the time of the Bronze Age, these two populations and Anatolian-related farmers had mixed with each other and with the hunter-gatherers of Europe to greatly reduce genetic differentiation. The impact of the Near Eastern farmers extended beyond the Near East: farmers related to those of Anatolia spread westward into Europe; farmers related to those of the Levant spread southward into East Africa; farmers related to those of Iran spread northward into the Eurasian steppe; and people related to both the early farmers of Iran and to the pastoralists of the Eurasian steppe spread eastward into South Asia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature19310DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003663PMC
August 2016

Phylogenetic signal in molar dental shape of extant and fossil catarrhine primates.

J Hum Evol 2016 05 11;94:13-27. Epub 2016 Mar 11.

Secc. Antropologia, Departament de Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain; Grup d'Estudi de l'Evolució dels Homínids i altres Primats, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Morphology has been widely used for inferring the phylogenies of numerous taxonomic groups. Recent molecular studies performed on extant non-human primates, however, have cast doubt on the reliability of cranial and postcranial characters for characterizing evolutionary affinities. Because molecular evidence is often not available for fossil specimens, detecting phylogenetic signals in anatomical features is of great relevance. Here we have analyzed molar (M1 and M2) crown shape by means of geometric morphometrics in a large sample of both extant and fossil Miocene catarrhine primates to detect the phylogenetic signal in molar morphometry. Results support that molar shape carries a strong phylogenetic signal, mostly at the superfamily level but also to some extent at the family level. Dietary factors, however, appear to have less influence, especially for M2. The Miocene Pliopithecoidea, Cercopithecoidea, and Hominoidea superfamilies clearly grouped according to the expected taxonomic affinities with the extant groups, although some discrepancies were found depending on the tooth considered. Our findings suggest that although molar crown shape can be used as a reliable proxy for establishing taxonomic affinities of catarrhine fossil primates with extant groups, a significant amount of interspecific variation exists, indicative of derived adaptations at the genus or species level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.01.005DOI Listing
May 2016

Dental shape variability in cercopithecoid primates: a model for the taxonomic attribution of macaques from Roman archaeological contexts.

Folia Primatol (Basel) 2014 19;85(6):361-78. Epub 2015 Feb 19.

Secció d'Antropologia, Departament Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Morphometric variation of biological structures has been widely used to determine taxonomic affinities among taxa, and teeth are especially informative for both deep phylogenetic relationships and specific ecological signals. We report 2-dimensional geometric morphometrics (GM) analyses of occlusal crown surfaces of lower molars (M1, n = 141; M2, n = 158) of cercopithecoid primate species. A 12-landmark configuration, including cusp tips and 8 points of the molar crown contour, were used to evaluate patterns of variation in lower molar shape among cercopithecoid primates and to predict the taxonomic attribution of 2 archaeological macaques from Roman time periods. The results showed that the lower molar shape of cercopithecoid primates reflects taxonomic affinities, mostly at a subfamily level and close to a tribe level. Thus, the cusp positions and crown contour were important elements of the pattern related to interspecific variation. Additionally, the archaeological specimens, attributed to Macaca sylvanus based on osteological information, were classified using the GM molar shape variability of the cercopithecoid primates studied. The results suggest that their molar shape resembled both M. sylvanus and M. nemestrina, and species attribution varied depending on the comparative sample used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000371633DOI Listing
October 2015

Age-related tooth wear differs between forest and savanna primates.

PLoS One 2014 14;9(4):e94938. Epub 2014 Apr 14.

Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive UMR 5175, CNRS, Montpellier CEDEX 5, France.

Tooth wear in primates is caused by aging and ecological factors. However, comparative data that would allow us to delineate the contribution of each of these factors are lacking. Here, we contrast age-dependent molar tooth wear by scoring percent of dentine exposure (PDE) in two wild African primate populations from Gabonese forest and Kenyan savanna habitats. We found that forest-dwelling mandrills exhibited significantly higher PDE with age than savanna yellow baboons. Mandrills mainly feed on large tough food items, such as hard-shell fruits, and inhabit an ecosystem with a high presence of mineral quartz. By contrast, baboons consume large amounts of exogenous grit that adheres to underground storage organs but the proportion of quartz in the soils where baboons live is low. Our results support the hypothesis that not only age but also physical food properties and soil composition, particularly quartz richness, are factors that significantly impact tooth wear. We further propose that the accelerated dental wear in mandrills resulting in flatter molars with old age may represent an adaptation to process hard food items present in their environment.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0094938PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3986402PMC
May 2015