Genomic transformation and social organization during the Copper Age-Bronze Age transition in southern Iberia

Villalba-Mouco, Vanessa; Oliart, Camila; Rihuete-Herrada, Cristina; Childebayeva, Ainash; Rohrlach, Adam B.; Ines Fregeiro, Maria; Celdran Beltran, Eva; Velasco-Felipe, Carlos; Aron, Franziska; Himmel, Marie; Freund, Caecilia; Alt, Kurt W.; Salazar-Garcia, Domingo C.; Garcia Atienzar, Gabriel; de Miguel Ibanez, Ma Paz; Hernandez Perez, Mauro S.; Barciela, Virginia; Romero, Alejandro; Ponce, Juana; Martinez, Andres; Lomba, Joaquin; Soler, Jorge; Pujante Martinez, Ana; Aviles Fernandez, Azucena; Haber-Uriarte, Maria; de Togores Munoz, Consuelo Roca; Olalde, Inigo; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Reich, David; Krause, Johannes; Garcia Sanjuan, Leonardo; Lull, Vicente; Mico, Rafael; Risch, Roberto; Haak, Wolfgang

VL / 7 - BP / - EP /
The emerging Bronze Age (BA) of southeastern Iberia saw marked social changes. Late Copper Age (CA) settlements were abandoned in favor of hilltop sites, and collective graves were largely replaced by single or double burials with often distinctive grave goods indirectly reflecting a hierarchical social organization, as exemplified by the BA El Argar group. We explored this transition from a genomic viewpoint by tripling the amount of data available for this period. Concomitant with the rise of El Argar starting similar to 2200 cal BCE, we observe a complete turnover of Y-chromosome lineages along with the arrival of steppe-related ancestry. This pattern is consistent with a founder effect in male lineages, supported by our finding that males shared more relatives at sites than females. However, simple two-source models do not find support in some El Argar groups, suggesting additional genetic contributions from the Mediterranean that could predate the BA.

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