iScience | VOL. 25
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Genomic and dietary discontinuities during the Mesolithic and Neolithic in Sicily

Publication Date May 1, 2022

Abstract

Sicily is a key region for understanding the agricultural transition in the Mediterranean because of its central position. Here, we present genomic and stable isotopic data for 19 prehistoric Sicilians covering the Mesolithic to Bronze Age periods (10,700-4,100 yBP). We find that Early Mesolithic hunter-gatherers (HGs) from Sicily are a highly drifted lineage of the Early Holocene western European HGs, whereas Late Mesolithic HGs carry ∼20% ancestry related to northern and (south) eastern European HGs, indicating substantial gene flow. Early Neolithic farmers are genetically most similar to farmers from the Balkans and Greece, with only ∼7% of ancestry from local Mesolithic HGs. The genetic discontinuities during the Mesolithic and Early Neolithic match the changes in material culture and diet. Three outlying individuals dated to ∼8,000 yBP; however, suggest that hunter-gatherers interacted with incoming farmers at Grotta dell'Uzzo, resulting in a mixed economy and diet for a brief interlude at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition.

Concepts
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Grotta Dell
Hunter-gatherers
Changes In Material Culture
Early Neolithic Farmers
Incoming Farmers
Early Hunter-gatherers
Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition
Mesolithic Hunter-gatherers
Genetic Discontinuities
Mixed Economy

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