Authors: Eugenio Bortolini, Luca Pagani, Gregorio Oxilia, Cosimo Posth, Federica Fontana, Federica Badino, Tina Saupe, Francesco Montinaro, Davide Margaritora, Matteo Romandini, Federico Lugli, Andrea Papini, Marco Boggioni, Nicola Perrini, Antonio Oxilia, Riccardo Aiese Cigliano, Rosa Barcelona, Davide Visentin, Nicolò Fasser, Simona Arrighi, Carla Figus, Giulia Marciani, Sara Silvestrini, Federico Bernardini, Jessica C. Menghi Sartorio, Luca Fiorenza, Jacopo Moggi Cecchi, Claudio Tuniz, Toomas Kivisild, Fernando Gianfrancesco, Marco Peresani, Christiana L. Scheib, Sahra Talamo, Maurizio D’Esposito, Stefano Benazzi


  • Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Via degli Ariani, 1 48121 Ravenna, Italy
  • CaSEs (Culture and Socio-Ecological Dynamics) Department of Humanities, Universitat Pompeu
    Fabra Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
  • Department of Biology, University of Padova, Italy
  • Estonian Biocentre, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena
    07745, Germany
  • Institute for Archaeological Sciences, Archaeo- and Palaeogenetics, University of Tübingen,
    Tübingen, Germany.
  • Department of Humanities – Section of Prehistoric and Anthropological Sciences, University of
    Ferrara, Corso Ercole I d’Este 32, Italy
  • Research Group on Vegetation, Climate and Human Stratigraphy, Lab. of Palynology and
    Palaeoecology, CNR – Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering (IGAG), 20126
    Milano, Italy
  • Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu,
    Tartu, 51010, Estonia
  • Dentist surgeon, via Walter Tobagi 35, 59100, Prato, Italy
  • Dentist surgeon, via D’Andrade 34/207, 16154, Genova Sestri Ponente, Italy
  • Dentist surgeon, Centro di Odontoiatria e Stomatologia, Via Luca Signorelli, 5, 51100 Pistoia PT
  • General surgeon, via Marcantonio Della Torre, 7, 37131, Verona, Italy
  • Sequentia Biotech, Calle Comte D’Urgell 240, Barcelona, Spain
  • Institute of Genetics and Biophysics “Adriano Buzzati-Traverso”, National Research Council of
    Italy, Naples, Italy.
  • Departamento de Matemáticas, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Industrial de Barcelona
    (ETSEIB), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Diagonal 647, Barcelona, Spain
  • Centro Fermi, Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro di Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi, Piazza del
    Viminale 1, 00184, Roma, Italy.
  • The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Strada Costiera 11, 34151, Trieste, Italy.
  • Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University, Melbourne VIC 3800,
  • Earth Sciences, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia
  • Department of Biology, University of Florence, Via del Proconsolo, 12, Firenze 50122, Italy
  • Centre for Archaeological Science, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia.
  • Department of Human Genetics, KU Leuven, Leuven, 3000, Belgium
  • Department of Chemistry “G. Ciamician”, University of Bologna, Via Selmi, 2, I-40126 Bologna,
  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Evolution, Deutscher
    Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

Publication: BioRxiv

Date: August, 2020

Full paper: Early Alpine occupation backdates westward human migration in Late Glacial Europe


The end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in Europe (~16.5 ka ago) set in motion major changes in human culture and population structure1. In Southern Europe, Early Epigravettian material culture was replaced by Late Epigravettian art and technology about 18-17 ka ago at the beginning of southern Alpine deglaciation, although available genetic evidence from individuals who lived ~14 ka ago25 opened up questions on the impact of migrations on this cultural transition only after that date. Here we generate new genomic data from a human mandible uncovered at the Late Epigravettian site of Riparo Tagliente (Veneto, Italy), that we directly dated to 16,980-16,510 cal BP (2σ). This individual, affected by a low-prevalence dental pathology named focal osseous dysplasia, attests that the very emergence of Late Epigravettian material culture in Italy was already associated with migration and genetic replacement of the Gravettian-related ancestry. In doing so, we push back by at least 3,000 years the date of the diffusion in Southern Europe of a genetic component linked to Balkan/Anatolian refugia, previously believed to have spread during the later Bølling/Allerød warming event (~14 ka ago4,6). Our results suggest that demic diffusion from a genetically diverse population may have substantially contributed to cultural changes in LGM and post-LGM Southern Europe, independently from abrupt shifts to warmer and more favourable conditions.