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Origin and mobility of Iron Age Gaulish groups in present-day France revealed through archaeogenomics

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JournaliScience
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Mar 2022
DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2022
DatePublished (current) - 15 Apr 2022
Number of pages44
Pages (from-to)1-44
Early online date17/03/22
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The Iron Age period occupies an important place in French history, as the Gauls are regularly presented as the direct ancestors of the extant French population. We documented here the genomic diversity of Iron Age communities originating from six French regions. The 49 acquired genomes permitted us to highlight an absence of discontinuity between Bronze Age and Iron Age groups in France, lending support to a cultural transition linked to progressive local economic changes rather than to a massive influx of allochthone groups. Genomic analyses revealed strong genetic homogeneity among the regional groups associated with distinct archaeological cultures. This genomic homogenisation appears to be linked to individuals’ mobility between regions as well as gene flow with neighbouring groups from England and Spain. Thus, the results globally support a common genomic legacy for the Iron Age population of modern-day France that could be linked to recurrent gene flow between culturally differentiated communities.

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© 2022 The Author(s).

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