Large-scale migration into Britain during the Middle to Late Bronze Age

Nick Patterson, Michael Isakov, Thomas Booth, Lindsey Büster, Claire Elise Fischer, Iñigo Olalde, Harald Ringbauer, Ali Akbari, Olivia Cheronet, Madeleine Bleasdale, Nicole Adamski, Eveline Altena, Rebecca Bernardos, Selina Brace, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Kimberly Callan, Francesca Candilio, Brendan Culleton, Elizabeth Curtis, Lea DemetzKellie Sara Duffett Carlson, Daniel M. Fernandes, M. George B. Foody, Suzanne Freilich, Helen Goodchild, Aisling Kearns, Ann Marie Lawson, Iosif Lazaridis, Matthew Mah, Swapan Mallick, Kirsten Mandl, Adam Micco, Megan Michel, Guillermo Bravo Morante, Jonas Oppenheimer, Kadir Toykan Özdoğan, Lijun Qiu, Constanze Schattke, Kristin Stewardson, J. Noah Workman, Fatma Zalzala, Zhao Zhang, Bibiana Agustí, Tim Allen, Katalin Almássy, Luc Amkreutz, Abigail Ash, Christèle Baillif-Ducros, Alistair Barclay, László Bartosiewicz, Katherine Baxter, Zsolt Bernert, Jan Blažek, Mario Bodružić, Philippe Boissinot, Clive Bonsall, Pippa Bradley, Marcus Brittain, Alison Brookes, Fraser Brown, Lisa Brown, Richard Brunning, Chelsea Budd, Josip Burmaz, Sylvain Canet, Silvia Carnicero-Cáceres, Morana Čaušević-Bully, Andrew Chamberlain, Sébastien Chauvin, Sharon Clough, Natalija Čondić, Alfredo Coppa, Oliver Craig, Matija Črešnar, Vicki Cummings, Szabolcs Czifra, Alžběta Danielisová, Robin Daniels, Alex Davies, Philip de Jersey, Jody Deacon, Csilla Deminger, Peter W. Ditchfield, Marko Dizdar, Miroslav Dobeš, Miluše Dobisíková, László Domboróczki, Gail Drinkall, Ana Đukić, Ceiridwen J. Edwards, Michal Ernée, Christopher Evans, Jane Evans, Manuel Fernández-Götz, Slavica Filipović, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Harry Fokkens, Chris Fowler, Allison Fox, Zsolt Gallina, Michelle Gamble, Manuel R. González Morales, Borja González-Rabanal, Adrian Green, Katalin Gyenesei, Diederick Habermehl, Tamás Hajdu, Derek Hamilton, James Harris, Chris Hayden, Joep Hendriks, Bénédicte Hernu, Gill Hey, Milan Horňák, Gábor Ilon, Eszter Istvánovits, Andy M. Jones, Martina Blečić Kavur, Kevin Kazek, Robert A. Kenyon, Amal Khreisheh, Viktória Kiss, Jos Kleijne, Mark Knight, Lisette M. Kootker, Péter F. Kovács, Anita Kozubová, Gabriella Kulcsár, Valéria Kulcsár, Christophe Le Pennec, Michael Legge, Matt Leivers, Louise Loe, Olalla López-Costas, Tom Lord, Dženi Los, James Lyall, Ana B. Marín-Arroyo, Philip Mason, Damir Matošević, Andy Maxted, Lauren McIntyre, Jacqueline McKinley, Kathleen McSweeney, Bernard Meijlink, Balázs G. Mende, Marko Menđušić, Milan Metlička, Sophie Meyer, Kristina Mihovilić, Lidija Milasinovic, Steve Minnitt, Joanna Moore, Geoff Morley, Graham Mullan, Margaréta Musilová, Benjamin Neil, Rebecca Nicholls, Mario Novak, Maria Pala, Martin Papworth, Cécile Paresys, Ricky Patten, Domagoj Perkić, Krisztina Pesti, Alba Petit, Katarína Petriščáková, Coline Pichon, Catriona Pickard, Zoltán Pilling, T. Douglas Price, Siniša Radović, Rebecca Redfern, Branislav Resutík, Daniel T. Rhodes, Martin B. Richards, Amy Roberts, Jean Roefstra, Pavel Sankot, Alena Šefčáková, Alison Sheridan, Sabine Skae, Miroslava Šmolíková, Krisztina Somogyi, Ágnes Somogyvári, Mark Stephens, Géza Szabó, Anna Szécsényi-Nagy, Tamás Szeniczey, Jonathan Tabor, Károly Tankó, Clenis Tavarez Maria, Rachel Terry, Biba Teržan, Maria Teschler-Nicola, Jesús F. Torres-Martínez, Julien Trapp, Ross Turle, Ferenc Ujvári, Menno van der Heiden, Petr Veleminsky, Barbara Veselka, Zdeněk Vytlačil, Clive Waddington, Paula Ware, Paul Wilkinson, Linda Wilson, Rob Wiseman, Eilidh Young, Joško Zaninović, Andrej Žitňan, Carles Lalueza-Fox, Peter de Knijff, Ian Barnes, Peter Halkon, Mark G. Thomas, Douglas J. Kennett, Barry Cunliffe, Malcolm Lillie, Nadin Rohland, Ron Pinhasi, Ian Armit, David Reich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Present-day people from England and Wales harbour more ancestry derived from Early European Farmers (EEF) than people of the Early Bronze Age1. To understand this, we generated genome-wide data from 793 individuals, increasing data from the Middle to Late Bronze and Iron Age in Britain by 12-fold, and Western and Central Europe by 3.5-fold. Between 1000 and 875 bc, EEF ancestry increased in southern Britain (England and Wales) but not northern Britain (Scotland) due to incorporation of migrants who arrived at this time and over previous centuries, and who were genetically most similar to ancient individuals from France. These migrants contributed about half the ancestry of Iron Age people of England and Wales, thereby creating a plausible vector for the spread of early Celtic languages into Britain. These patterns are part of a broader trend of EEF ancestry becoming more similar across central and western Europe in the Middle to Late Bronze Age, coincident with archaeological evidence of intensified cultural exchange2–6. There was comparatively less gene flow from continental Europe during the Iron Age, and Britain’s independent genetic trajectory is also reflected in the rise of the allele conferring lactase persistence to ~50% by this time compared to ~7% in central Europe where it rose rapidly in frequency only a millennium later. This suggests that dairy products were used in qualitatively different ways in Britain and in central Europe over this period.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

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