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Genetic Impact of the Bronze Age at the Fringes of Europe

Foody, M. George B. (2021) Genetic Impact of the Bronze Age at the Fringes of Europe. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

The Bronze Age had a major effect on societies across Europe, bringing new tech-
nologies, ideologies and languages. In recent years, archaeogenetic studies have
demonstrated that this time period is also associated with a large-scale migration
from the Eurasian steppe. This PhD thesis studies the genetic impact of the Bronze
Age on two island fringes of Europe. The island of Crete lies in the Mediterranean,
on the southeastern point of Europe. In contrast, the Orkney archipelago sits at the
northwestern extreme of the coast of Britain. Although culturally different, they are
both seen as being atypical compared to their mainland counterparts.

Crete hosted a flourishing civilisation, the Minoans, who developed their own
language, writing and architectural styles. Hypotheses have associated this culture to
a continuation of pre-existing Neolithic society. The necropolis of Armenoi presents a
unique opportunity to understand this population as it dates to a transition period in
Crete between the indigenous Minoan and the mainland Mycenaean culture. Analyses
of the genetic composition of Armenoi provided insights into whether this cultural
change occurred as the result of the movement of ideas or people. Genetic diversity,
similarities to other ancient populations, and kin groups within the cemetery were
investigated. Isotopic analysis will be used to demonstrate the dietary composition of
the population.

The Bronze Age of Orkney is often seen as a cultural backwater, not undergoing
the same cultural changes of the British mainland. Differences seen during the British
Bronze Age are associated with a large population turnover. The Bronze Age in
Orkney is different to other parts of Britain, and genomic analysis will determine
whether Orkney was part of this migration or not. The impact of the Bronze Age will
also be assessed in Britain by studying a time transect from across the island.
These studies will provide insights into the local populations and their place in
comparison to the broader history of Europe.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Schools: School of Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Christine Morelli
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 10:52
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 14:21
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/35516

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