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      Symbols in motion: Flexible cultural boundaries and the fast spread of the Neolithic in the western Mediterranean

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          Abstract

          The rapid diffusion of farming technologies in the western Mediterranean raises questions about the mechanisms that drove the development of intensive contact networks and circulation routes between incoming Neolithic communities. Using a statistical method to analyze a brand-new set of cultural and chronological data, we document the large-scale processes that led to variations between Mediterranean archaeological cultures, and micro-scale processes responsible for the transmission of cultural practices within farming communities. The analysis of two symbolic productions, pottery decorations and personal ornaments, shed light on the complex interactions developed by Early Neolithic farmers in the western Mediterranean area. Pottery decoration diversity correlates with local processes of circulation and exchange, resulting in the emergence and the persistence of stylistic and symbolic boundaries between groups, while personal ornaments reflect extensive networks and the high level of mobility of Early Neolithic farmers. The two symbolic productions express different degrees of cultural interaction that may have facilitated the successful and rapid expansion of early farming societies in the western Mediterranean.

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          Most cited references77

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          Isolation by resistance.

          Brad McRae (2006)
          Despite growing interest in the effects of landscape heterogeneity on genetic structuring, few tools are available to incorporate data on landscape composition into population genetic studies. Analyses of isolation by distance have typically either assumed spatial homogeneity for convenience or applied theoretically unjustified distance metrics to compensate for heterogeneity. Here I propose the isolation-by-resistance (IBR) model as an alternative for predicting equilibrium genetic structuring in complex landscapes. The model predicts a positive relationship between genetic differentiation and the resistance distance, a distance metric that exploits precise relationships between random walk times and effective resistances in electronic networks. As a predictor of genetic differentiation, the resistance distance is both more theoretically justified and more robust to spatial heterogeneity than Euclidean or least cost path-based distance measures. Moreover, the metric can be applied with a wide range of data inputs, including coarse-scale range maps, simple maps of habitat and nonhabitat within a species' range, or complex spatial datasets with habitats and barriers of differing qualities. The IBR model thus provides a flexible and efficient tool to account for habitat heterogeneity in studies of isolation by distance, improve understanding of how landscape characteristics affect genetic structuring, and predict genetic and evolutionary consequences of landscape change.
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            SplitsTree: analyzing and visualizing evolutionary data.

            D Huson (1998)
            Real evolutionary data often contain a number of different and sometimes conflicting phylogenetic signals, and thus do not always clearly support a unique tree. To address this problem, Bandelt and Dress (Adv. Math., 92, 47-05, 1992) developed the method of split decomposition. For ideal data, this method gives rise to a tree, whereas less ideal data are represented by a tree-like network that may indicate evidence for different and conflicting phylogenies. SplitsTree is an interactive program, for analyzing and visualizing evolutionary data, that implements this approach. It also supports a number of distances transformations, the computation of parsimony splits, spectral analysis and bootstrapping.
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              Correlation between genetic and geographic structure in Europe.

              Understanding the genetic structure of the European population is important, not only from a historical perspective, but also for the appropriate design and interpretation of genetic epidemiological studies. Previous population genetic analyses with autosomal markers in Europe either had a wide geographic but narrow genomic coverage [1, 2], or vice versa [3-6]. We therefore investigated Affymetrix GeneChip 500K genotype data from 2,514 individuals belonging to 23 different subpopulations, widely spread over Europe. Although we found only a low level of genetic differentiation between subpopulations, the existing differences were characterized by a strong continent-wide correlation between geographic and genetic distance. Furthermore, mean heterozygosity was larger, and mean linkage disequilibrium smaller, in southern as compared to northern Europe. Both parameters clearly showed a clinal distribution that provided evidence for a spatial continuity of genetic diversity in Europe. Our comprehensive genetic data are thus compatible with expectations based upon European population history, including the hypotheses of a south-north expansion and/or a larger effective population size in southern than in northern Europe. By including the widely used CEPH from Utah (CEU) samples into our analysis, we could show that these individuals represent northern and western Europeans reasonably well, thereby confirming their assumed regional ancestry.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: ResourcesRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                1 May 2018
                2018
                : 13
                : 5
                Affiliations
                [1 ] CNRS, UMR 5199 –PACEA, Université de Bordeaux, Bâtiment, Allée Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, Pessac, France
                [2 ] CNRS, UMR 5608 –TRACES, Université Toulouse–Jean Jaurès, Maison de la Recherche, 5, allées Antonio-Machado, Toulouse Cedex 9, France
                [3 ] Arcadia-Fundación General de la Universidad de Valladolid FUNGE-UVa, Valladolid, Spain
                New York State Museum, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-17-39891
                10.1371/journal.pone.0196488
                5929525
                29715284
                a95b2094-4c2c-4d4d-89fe-39a0830d548d
                © 2018 Rigaud et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Pages: 18
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001665, Agence Nationale de la Recherche;
                Award ID: ANR-13-CULT-0001-01
                Award Recipient :
                This analysis was supported by the French National Research Agency, project ANR-13-CULT-0001-01.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Social Sciences
                Archaeology
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Culture
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Agriculture
                Earth Sciences
                Geography
                Human Geography
                Cultural Geography
                Social Sciences
                Human Geography
                Cultural Geography
                Earth Sciences
                Geology
                Geologic Time
                Stone Age
                Neolithic Period
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Europe
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Professions
                Agricultural Workers
                Social Sciences
                Archaeology
                Archaeological Dating
                Radioactive Carbon Dating
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Chemical Characterization
                Isotope Analysis
                Radioactive Carbon Dating
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

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