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Neotithic transition in the Iberian Peninsula: reviewing an old question from new technological and computational genome wide approaches


The research goal of this proposal revolves around a widely debated
topic in archaeology, anthropology and population genetics: the
dynamics of the spread of farming into Europe, or Neolithic
transition. For a long time, this key event that was to define modern
Europeans has fuelled a dichotomic research debate. In short, did the
Neolithic spread into Europe as the result of cultural or demographic
diffusion? While many approaches can be attempted, in the last few
years, ancient DNA (aDNA) studies have strongly contributed to
shedding light on this topic, through the recovery and analysis of an
increasing number of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes from
prehistorical human samples. Far from closing the debate, these
palaeogenomes are revealing a more complicated scenario, where the
times, paths and genetic legacy of the Neolithic diffusion seem to
have been different in different geographic areas. Furthermore, as the
genomic data increase, the aDNA field is soon facing the challenge of
evolving from a research area largely based on technical development
for the recovery of short DNA fragments, to the analysis of larger
datasets (ultimately, whole genome data) in the context of human
population genetics.
I therefore propose an interdisciplinary project aimed to increase our
knowledge on the Neolithic transition by generating, for the
first time, genome data from ancient human remains from the Iberian
Peninsula at the times of the Neolithic transition. Having been the
last region of Europe reached by the Neolithic diffusion, the IP is a
crucial area for understanding the relative role of migration and cultural changes. By combining
modern technologies for the recovery of ancient genomes,
with state-of-the-art statistical data analyses in the context of
human population genetics, this project will contribute to the
development of practical and theoretical approaches to make the most
of aDNA as a powerful research tool in the fields of archaeology and



Net EU contribution
€ 168 277,20
Via ariosto 35
44121 Ferrara

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Nord-Est Emilia-Romagna Ferrara
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00