Understanding the peopling history of Europe is crucial to comprehend the origins of modern populations. Of course, the analysis of current genetic data offers several explanations about human migration patterns which occurred on this continent, but it fails to explain precisely the impact of each demographic event. In this context, direct access to the DNA of ancient specimens allows the overcoming of recent demographic phenomena, which probably highly modified the constitution of the current European gene pool. In recent years, several DNA studies have been successfully conducted from ancient human remains thanks to the improvement of molecular techniques. They have brought new fundamental information on the peopling of Europe and allowed us to refine our understanding of European prehistory. In this review, we will detail all the ancient DNA studies performed to date on ancient European DNA from the Middle Paleolithic to the beginning of the protohistoric period.
Traces of medieval migrations in a socially stratified population from Northern Italy. Evidence from uniparental markers and deep-rooted pedigrees
Ancient mitochondrial DNA from the northern fringe of the Neolithic farming expansion in Europe sheds light on the dispersion process
Ancient mitochondrial lineages support the prehistoric maternal root of Basques in Northern Iberian Peninsula
Reconciling evidence from ancient and contemporary genomes: a major source for the European Neolithic within Mediterranean Europe
The early Upper Paleolithic human skeleton from the Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Portugal) and modern human emergence in Iberia
The genetic legacy of Paleolithic Homo sapiens sapiens in extant Europeans: a Y chromosome perspective
The Neandertal type site revisited: interdisciplinary investigations of skeletal remains from the Neander Valley, Germany
Evidence for a genetic discontinuity between Neandertals and 24,000-year-old anatomically modern Europeans
Contrasting patterns of Y chromosome variation in Ashkenazi Jewish and host non-Jewish European populations
Mitochondrial DNA of an Iberian Neandertal suggests a population affinity with other European Neandertals
A 28,000 years old Cro-Magnon mtDNA sequence differs from all potentially contaminating modern sequences
Comparing models on the genealogical relationships among Neandertal, Cro-Magnoid and modern Europeans by serial coalescent simulations
Ancient DNA, Strontium isotopes, and osteological analyses shed light on social and kinship organization of the Later Stone Age
Using phylochronology to reveal cryptic population histories: review and synthesis of 29 ancient DNA studies
Ancient DNA sequences are able to offer valuable insights into molecular evolutionary processes, but are notoriously difficult to analyze due to molecular damage and exogenous dna contamination. Discover the latest research on Ancient DNA here.