Ofnet Höhle Cave


Overarching period: Mesolithic, 15,000 - 4,500 BP
Carbon dating: 8,430 - 8,060 years old
Locations:
Ofnet Höhle Cave - 48.49° North, 10.27° East
Site location country: Germany
mtDNA haplogroups: U5b1d1
Y haplogroups: -

Ofnet Cave Ofnethöhlen Cave [15]

The Ofnet Höhle Cave Individuals:

Mesolithic archaeological material has been found at a number of sites in Southwest Germany, most commonly in cave deposits, but also on lakeshores and riverbanks where it appears that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers lived [10]. The 5 individuals in this particular sample were radiocarbon dated to the late Mesolithic and were found in the Ofnet Höhle cave of the Franconian Jura of present-day Germany [11]. This cave site had multiple burials with cut marks on of human skulls that archaeologists have suggested to be potential evidence of cult or religious practices [12].

These individuals were found to be more closely-related to Middle Eastern hunter-gatherers than ancient DNA samples taken from earlier Paleolithic populations of the region dated to before 14,000 years ago [11]. While the major influx of West Asian genetic lineages appeared later in the Neolithic, this finding indicates that European peoples were already interacting with neighboring regions in the Mesolithic. This was also shown to be true in analysis of mitochondrial lineages, which were all from the U5 haplogroup. This lineage is thought to have arisen in the Paleolithic of West Asia and is common among Europeans today [13]. DNA from only one Y chromosome was recovered and belonged to the F haplogroup, which is today found primarily in Asia and likely originated in India between 35,000 and 55,000 years ago [14].


References:

  1. Greenfield H. 2006. The spatial organization of Early Neolithic settlements in temperate southeastern Europe: a view from Blagotin, Serbia. In: Robertson JDS Elizabeth C, Fernandez Deepika C, Zender Marc U, editors. In Space and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. pp. 69–79.
  2. Taylor KC, et al. 1997. The Holocene- Younger Dryas transition recorded at Summit, Greenland. Science 6278: 825-827.
  3. Smith DE, Harrison S, Firth CR, Jordan JT. 2011. The early Holocene sea level rise, Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 30(15–16):1846-1860.
  4. Spikins P. 2008. Mesolithic Europe: glimpses of another world. In Bailey G, Spikins P. (eds) Mesolithic Europe. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. pp. 1-17.
  5. Zvelebil M. 2008. Chapter 2. Innovating Hunter-Gatherers: The Mesolithic in the Baltic. In Bailey G, Spikins P. (eds.) Mesolithic Europe. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. pp. 18-59.
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  7. Price TD. 1987. The Mesolithic of Europe. Journal of World Prehistory 1:225–305.
  8. Rozoy JG. 1989. The revolution of the bowmen in Europe. In Bonsall C, ed. The Mesolithic of Europe. Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, Ltd. p 13–28.
  9. Conneller C, Schadla-Hall T. 2003. Beyond Star Carr: The Vale of Pickering in the 10th Millennium BP. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 69: 85-105.
  10. Jochim MA. 1998. Hunter-Gatherer Landscape: Southwest Germany in the Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic. Plenum Press: New York.
  11. Fu Q, et al. 2016. The genetic history of Ice Age Europe. Nature 534:200–205.
  12. Schulting RJ. 2015. Chapter 2: Mesolithic Skull Cults? In Hackwitz KV, Peyroteo-Stjerna R. (eds.) Ancient Death Ways: Proceedings of the workshop on archaeology and mortuary practices. Uppsala University Press: Uppsala.
  13. Secher B, Fregel R, Larruga JM, Cabrera VM, Endicott P, Pestano JJ, González AM. 2014. The history of the North African mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6 gene flow into the African, Eurasian and American continents. BMC Evolutionary Biology y14: 109.
  14. Karafet, T, et al. 2008. New binary polymorphisms reshape and increase resolution of the human Y chromosomal haplogroup tree. Genome Research. 18: 830–838.
  15. Nördlingen - Ofnethöhle auf dem Riegelberg02 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Ofneth%C3%B6hlen#/media/File:N%C3%B6rdlingen_-_Ofneth%C3%B6hle_auf_dem_Riegelberg_02.jpg