Blätterhöhle Cave

Overarching period: European Neolithic, 9,000 - 3,700 BP
Specific period: Megalithic Burial Cultures, 4,500 - 3,500 BP
Carbon dating: 5,024 to 6,038 years old
Location: Blätterhöhle Cave - 51.36° North, 7.55° East
Site location country: Germany
mtDNA haplogroups: U, J, H
Y haplogroups: R1b

Megalithic Structure A typical megalithic tomb monument [20]

The Ancient DNA from Halberstadt-Sonntagsfeld, Karsdorf and Unterwiederstedt:

Comparisons of modern European mitochondrial DNA to that from ancient samples of both Neolithic famers and Late-Mesolithic hunter-gatherers has shown that the Neolithic farmers were far more similar to Europeans today than the hunter-gatherers that preceded them [13-16]. This is also mirrored in evidence from analysis of Y-chromosomes in the same populations [17].

The ancient DNA from our particular samples comes from 26 Early Neolithic individuals. These individuals were found at three different sites across present-day Eastern and Southern Germany at the sites of Halberstadt-Sonntagsfeld, Wiederstedt, and Karsdorf. These sites often had graves found in conjunction with the remains of wooden long-houses. Analysis of these individuals has shown them to be part of a closely-related group of farmers from the same time period spread across ranging from Hungary to as far away as Spain [18]. These people were distinct from farmers of later period in the area that saw a subsequent migration of peoples coming from the East in what is now Russia. The most common Y haplogroup from this sample was G2a. This haplogroup originated in the Middle East and is the most common haplgroup among living peoples of Europe today [19]. Mitochondrial evidence shows the most common haplogroups were N1a and T, both of which have Middle Eastern origin and are distributed throughout Europe and North Africa today [20].