Argeopop. Suomen esihistoriaa arkeologian ja populaatiogenetiikan valossa

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

Aims and short description of the project:
The aim of the project is to shed new light on the prehistory of the Finns by integrating evidence from genetic, archeological and possibly paleo-climatologic data in a Bayesian statistical framework. Specifically, we aim to carry out spatiotemporal modelling of the rich archeological data existing from the Finnish prehistory. Tens of thousands of items, starting from the times of pioneering inhabitation until the present time, are stored in archaelogical repositories . Bayesian methods are an important aid to archeological data interpretation because the data is often quite imprecise, but a lot of informative prior insight exists, and this can elegantly be incorporated in Bayesian inference.
Simultaneously, we aim to simulate alternative population genetic histories of our country, and model the coalescence histories of mtDNA and Y chromosomal haplotypes with Bayesian statistical tools . Both approaches are used in interpreting the present-day population genetic distributions in Finns . Later on, we also consider incorporating paleo-climatological data to the models.
The particular questions to be answered will be such as, are the archeological and demographical data, overall, in agreement with the present day genetic diversity, given the large differences in the regional differentiation in mtDNA, Y chromosomal and autosomal DNA in our country? How well do the time estimates from archeological and genetic data fit together, and on the other hand, with the paleo-climatic and linguistic data? What is the relationship between immigration, as measured by gene flow, and on the other hand, the cultural transference? When exactly did the archeologically justified population bottlenecks take place in our past, and how deep were they? How much did these bottlenecks actually affect our gene pool and thus, the present genetic variation, including the Finnish disease heritage?
The results of the Bayesian modeling of archeological, genetic and paleo-climatic data will also be implemented into a geographical visualization tool, depicting the peopling and cultural developments of our country through the last 10,000 years. Such a tool might be utilized as well by archeologists and other scientists, but also by general audience, schools etc.
Effective start/end date01/01/201031/12/2013


  • Unknown funder: €479,980.00

Fields of Science

  • 118 Biological sciences
  • archeology, spatio-temporal modelling, population genetics, population simulation, radiocarbon, ancient DNA