Population history in third-millennium-BC Europe: assessing the contribution of genetics
Authors: Vander Linden, M.
Journal: World Archaeology
Several recent high-profile aDNA studies have claimed to have identified major migrations during the third millennium BC in Europe. This contribution offers a brief review of these studies, and especially their role in understanding the genetic make-up of modern European populations. Although the technical sophistication of aDNA studies is beyond doubt, the underlying archaeological assumptions prove relatively naive and the findings at odd with more ‘traditional’ archaeological data. Although the existence of past migrations needs to be acknowledged and fully considered by archaeologists, it does not offer either a robust explanatory factor or an enduring platform for interdisciplinary dialogue between archaeology and genetics. Alternative hypotheses are briefly explored. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.