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The Balts and the Finns in historical perspective

发表于 2010-1-17 18:19 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
The Balts and the Finns in historical perspective: a multidisciplinary approach

Introduction. Ethnic history of human populations is a too complicated phenomenon to elucidate it on the basis of several gene frequencies. It is obligatory to compile all data on molecular genetics and serology, to add new ones, to request services of paleopopulation comparisons, facts of anthropological odontology, craniology, and anthropology of the modern population of the area as well as linguistic and archaeological information. A multidisciplinary approach to elucidating historical relations between the Balts and the Finns is the goal of the present report. Materials and methods. Approx. 800 blood samples from Lithuania were examined in order to investigate Lithuanian population according to different genetic markers. Discrete cranial traits of 6,426 skulls from Lithuania and adjacent territories as well as 3,734 skulls belonging to the Neolithic, Bronze Age, 2,000 YBP and 1,000 YBP were investigated. We disposed of data on the ethnic odontology of 4,993 modern Lithuanians as well as of 1446 skulls dated to 2,000 YBP and 1,000 YBP. Results. Two separate clusters consisting consequently of four Baltic and two Finnish groups emerged in the dendrogram (Fig. 1).The mesocranial Mesolithic population in Lithuania might be related to the Middle-European kernel of mesocranes. The Middle-European orientation of the Neolithic and Bronze Age Lithuanian population is evident. The influx from the eastern part of the ancient Baltic area was detected in the 2,000 YBP population. The Lithuanian 1,000 YBP population was more homogeneous than the inhabitants of Latvia (Fig. 2). The Y chromosome haplogroups 1 and 9 show complementary clines from southeast to northwest of Europe, the Baltic peoples (Latvians and Lithuanians) demonstrating a mixture of western and eastern genetic traits (Fig. 3). In Northern Europe, strong geographical, linguistic and cultural barriers can be identified. Three main migration directions could have a real influence on the formation of the Lithuanian gene pool. Conclusions. Anthropological, archaeological and linguistic data demonstrate that there was no common ancestry of the Balts and the Finns. Genetic and phenetical similarities might occur due to gene exchange between adjacent populations on the northern and eastern borderlines of the ancient Baltic area that took place from the Mesolithic time. It is impossible to date the emergence of some genetic and anthropological similarities between the Balts and the Finns.

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