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Farmer fidelity in the Canary Islands revealed by ancient DNA from prehistoric seeds
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Research Group Tarha, Department of Historical Sciences, Las Palmas, Spain.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Nordiska Museet, Swedish Museum of Cultural History, Stockholm, Sweden; The Archaeological Research Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Research Group Tarha, Department of Historical Sciences, , Las Palmas, Spain.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 78, 10 p.78-87 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Canary Islands were settled in the first millennium AD by colonizers likely originating from North Africa. The settlers developed a farming economy with barley as the main crop. Archaeological evidence suggests the islands then remained isolated until European sea-travellers discovered and colonized them during the 14th and 15th centuries. Here we report a population study of ancient DNA from twenty-one archaeobotanical barley grains from Gran Canaria dating from 1050 to 1440 cal AD. The material showed exceptional DNA preservation and genotyping was carried out for 99 single nucleotide markers. In addition 101 extant landrace accessions from the Canary Islands and the western Mediterranean were genotyped. The archaeological material showed high genetic similarity to extant landraces from the Canary Islands. In contrast, accessions from the Canary Islands were highly differentiated from both Iberian and North African mainland barley. Within the Canary Islands, landraces from the easternmost islands were genetically differentiated from landraces from the western islands, corroborating the presence of pre-Hispanic barley cultivation on Lanzarote. The results demonstrate the potential of population genetic analyses of ancient DNA. They support the hypothesis of an original colonization, possibly from present day Morocco, and subsequent isolation of the islands and reveal a farmer fidelity to the local barley that has lasted for centuries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 78, 10 p.78-87 p.
Keyword [en]
aDNA; Archaeobotany; Barley (Hordeum vulgare); Canary Islands; Crop evolution; Landrace
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136007DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2016.12.001ISI: 000394200900007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85006983032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-136007DiVA: diva2:1084341
Note

Funding agencies: Olle Engkvist Byggmastare foundation; Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities; Spanish Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad [HAR2013-41934]; ERC [CoG 614960]

Available from: 2017-03-24 Created: 2017-03-24 Last updated: 2017-04-21

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The full text will be freely available from 2019-12-18 15:17
Available from 2019-12-18 15:17

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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