Paleogenomics and the Migration of Lombards

Saturday, January 6, 2018: 3:50 PM
Virginia Suite B (Marriott Wardman Park)
Krishna Veeramah, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Migrating barbarian groups are thought to have had a major demographic impact on Western Europe between the fifth and seventh centuries following the fall of the Roman Empire. Some scholars have described massive-scale invasions of violent tribes, while others prefer a model suggesting a more peaceful integration with local populations. However, historical and archaeological data alone lack sufficient power to distinguish these two extreme viewpoints, while very little is known about the social structures of people from this era. The migration of the Lombards from Pannonia (what is now Western Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Eastern Austria) into Italy in 568 C.E. represents one of the most historically documented migrations and one for which there is a relative abundance of putative archaeological material. Therefore, as part of a larger multi-disciplinary study, I will present the analysis of from more than 50 Lombard-era graves that have been characterized based on grave goods, strontium isotope data and genomic data. The latter was generated using a combination of deep whole genome shotgun sequencing and targeted capture of ~1.2 million single nucleotide polymorphisms. These data will allow the examination of the degree to which Lombard-era cemeteries are structured by kinship rather than by gender, social status, or other criteria, as well as allow us to quantify evidence of possible genetic continuity between pre- and post-migration Lombard-era cemeteries.
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