A new preprint on ancient DNA, Ancient genomes from present-day France unveil 7,000 years of its demographic history. It goes from the late Pleistocene to the Iron Age, and has a lot of Neolithic samples, as well as Mesolithic and Bronze Age samples
– The Magdalenian populations, as represented by Goyet2, seem to have contributed ancestry to groups in substantial numbers down to the Mesolithic period. Earlier work showed the persistence of this group mostly in Iberia, but these data suggest they were present in France, and perhaps even Central Europe.
– The Neolithic populations are what you’d expect. The transition is what you’d expect (little initial admixture, later increase in Mesolithic hunter-gatherer ancestry). That being said, they seem to not establish whether the Neolithic farmers in France were mostly Cardial [Southewest European] or LBK [Central European]. It seems they lean to the proposition that they were more Cardial. Certainly for the southern samples.
– The arrival of the Beaker Culture heralded major genetic change as in Britain, though perhaps not as much. R1b became common, and steppe ancestry as well was ubiquitous. But, there was lots of variation. One of their samples is only about 25% steppe (the balance Neolithic-farmer), while another is 100% steppe. Southwest France, which had many non-Indo-European speakers until relatively late, had more Mesolithic hunter-gatherer and less steppe.
– Unlike in Iberia, there was significant mtDNA turnover. What this means is that the Indo-European expansion into Iberia was very male-mediated, but it France it wasn’t. Though the Neolithic impact seems higher than in Britain, on the whole there seem broad similarities here.
– The shift from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age didn’t result in a change in the average ancestry, but the variance seems to have decreased. The reason for this is that prehistoric France seems to have been undergoing genetic mixing across reagions.
– Finally, strong very recent selection on lactse persistence and pigmentation.