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  • 1.
    Budd, Chelsea
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Potekhina, Inna
    Snoeck, Christophe
    Lillie, Malcolm
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The Aquatic Neolithic: isotope, aDNA, radiocarbon, and osteological data analysis reveal asynchronous behavior in early prehistoric human societies of Ukraine2020In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, ISSN 0002-9483, E-ISSN 1096-8644, Vol. 171, no S69, p. 40-40Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In Europe the characterization of the Neolithic period is traditionally dominated by the advent of agro-pastoralism. Neolithic populations in the Dnieper Valley region of south-central Ukraine are notably divergent from this trend. From the Epi-Palaeolithic-Neolithic periods (ca. 10,000 - 6000 cal BC), evidence for the adoption of agro-pastoral technologies is absent from archaeological assemblages. It is not until the Eneolithic period (ca. 4500 cal BC) that we observe the beginnings of a transition to farming in the Dnieper region. One hypothesis suggests that spikes in aridity propagated a hunting crisis in Mesolithic populations, which prompted a delay in the transition and the reshaped of Mesolithic subsistence practices to focus on freshwater aquatic resources to supplement terrestrial herbivores such as boar and deer.

    This research presents 300+ human and faunal samples (including 80 unpublished results), using multi-disciplinary techniques such as DNA analysis and various isotope applications, alongside osteological analysis, to provide holistic individual life histories. The results show long-term continuation of ܪshing practices from the Epi-Palaeolithic to Neolithic periods - no distinct shift from hunting to ܪshing practices took place. DNA results show the predominance of indigenous hunter-gatherers, with limited genetic inclusions from proximal Anatolian farming populations. Thus, despite the availability of plentiful dietary resources and the westward inܫuence of extra-local farming populations, the prehistoric communities of the Dnieper region remained resistant to change and resilient in terms of their subsistence strategies, with freshwater resources providing a ‘buffer’ against any perceived impacts from climate variability.

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