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Gelabert, P., Schmidt, R.W., Fernandes, D.M., Karsten, J.K., Harper, T.K., Madden, G.D., Ledogar, S.H., Sokhatsky, M., Oota, H., Pinhasi, R., 2021. Genomes From Verteba Cave Suggest Diversity Within The Trypillians In Ukraine. Scientific Reports 12, 7242.
The transition to agriculture occurred relatively late in Eastern Europe, leading researchers to debate whether it was a
gradual, interactive process or a colonization event. In the forest and forest-steppe regions of Ukraine, farming appeared
during the fifth millennium BCE, associated with the Cucuteni-Trypillian Archaeological Complex (CTCC, 4800-3000 BCE).
Across Europe, the Neolithization process was highly variable across space and over time. Here, we investigate the
population dynamics of early agriculturalists from the eastern forest-steppe region based on analyses of 20 ancient
genomes from the Verteba Cave site (3789-980 BCE). The results reveal that the CTCC individuals’ ancestry is related to
both western hunter gatherers and Near Eastern farmers, lacks local ancestry associated with Ukrainian Neolithic hunter
gatherers and has steppe ancestry. An Early Bronze Age individual has an ancestry profile related to the Yamnaya
expansions but with 20% ancestry related to the other Trypillian individuals, which suggests admixture between the
Trypillians and the incoming populations carrying steppe-related ancestry. A Late Bronze Age individual dated to 980-948
BCE has a genetic profile indicating affinity to Beaker-related populations, detected close to 1,000 years after the end of
the Bell Beaker phenomenon during the Third millennium BCE.