much less was known about the influence of these events on Iberian populations, especially in southern areas such as Andalusia. Two independent Neolithic migrations The first farmers came mainly to Iberia by following a coastal route through the northern Mediterranean Sea. This study shows that Iberian Neolithic individuals show genetic differences with the first migrant farmers who settled in central and northern Europe. “This suggests that the first farmers of Iberia trace most of their ancestors back to the first Neolithic peoples who emigrated to the Peninsula by the Mediterranean route and that the later contributions of their Central European counterparts were lower in this region”, says the Paleo- geneticist Cristina Valdiosera, from La Trobe University in Australia, one of the lead authors of the study. These migrants from the Mediterranean route show a

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strong genetic connection with the Saint Lucia Email List modern inhabitants of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. We can probably consider modern Sardinians to be relatively direct descendants of the people who spread agricultural practices throughout the Mediterranean region around 8,000 years ago, “adds Mattias Jakobsson, population geneticist at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and another of the authors. main of the study. The first groups of Neolithic farmers, very small Despite other potential entrances of Neolithic groups into Iberia via North Africa or continental Europe, researchers have found no substantial regional differences between the early farmers who populated Iberia. Torsten Günther, a population geneticist at Uppsala University and another of the lead authors of this study, thinks that “Although the geographic differences seem minor, we see some

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differences over time due to the interaction and genetic exchange between the different groups. “. The first Iberian farmers show significantly low levels of genetic diversity, indicating that the first Neolithic wave of migration that settled in the Peninsula was of a relatively low number of individuals. After this initial period of low diversity, the newly arrived populations grew in size and intermingled with local hunter-gatherers, rapidly increasing genetic diversity in later periods (Chalcolithic and Bronze Age). A low proportion of steppe ancestry While recent studies have shown that the massive migration of Caspian-Pontic steppe populations during the late Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and early Bronze Age was responsible for significant population renewal in central and northern Europe, the authors show in this study that the The genetic influence of this migration on contemporary southwestern

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