Overarching period: European Neolithic, 9,000 - 3,700 BP
Specific period: Linear Band Pottery Cultures, 7,500 - 6,500 BP
Carbon dating: 7,500 - 6,500 years old
Location: Asparn/Schletz - 48.58° North, 16.47° East
Site location country: Austria
mtDNA haplogroups: J, T, K, H
Y haplogroups: J, G, C1a

Stone Sickle Neolithic Stone Sickle [24] Typical Linear Band Pottery Typical Linear Band Pottery [25]

The Asparn/Schletz Individuals:

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 majority of individuals in this sample come from a site in present-day Austria called Asparn/Schletz [18]. The individual Linear Pottery sub-culture of the people that lived here was called the Notenkopfkeramik, or ‘music note headed’ pottery, in reference to some of the depressions and lines on the pottery looking like music notation. Archaeological evidence points to these early famers meeting a grisly fate with signs of injuries and trauma found on many of the skeletons. Animal tooth marks and the scattered nature of the burials suggest that the settlement had succumbed to a violent end and was abandoned [19].

Analysis of the ancient DNA from these individuals shows they are directly linked to early Anatolian farmers that migrated into Europe from a region in what is modern-day Turkey. They form a distinct period in European genetic history where they began to intermix in small numbers with indigenous European hunter-gatherers. This was a time prior to subsequent migrations into Central Europe by Steppe peoples from the East that can be detected in later ancient DNA samples. Of the three males in the sample, two had the common Middle Eastern-derived Y chromosome haplogroups of J and G, but one of had the C1a haplogroup. The C1a haplogroup is thought to have appeared in the Paleolithic and is most common in Asia, including among Japanese and Austronesians, but can be found rarely among modern Europeans [20]. The mitochondrial lineages of J, T, K, and H that appeared in the sample all are known to have Middle Eastern Origin [21-23].