Lehti Saag „The prehistory of Estonia from a genetic perspective: new insights from ancient DNA” | University of Tartu

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Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003 Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
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    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 4, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
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    Näituse 2, 50409 Tartu
  • School of Law
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  • Institute of Social Studies
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    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Narva College
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  • Pärnu College
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Faculty of Medicine
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Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
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    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
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    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
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  • Institute of Dentistry
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  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
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    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 50406 Tartu
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
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    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
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    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5820
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46–208, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
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    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
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    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
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  • Tartu Observatory
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    Observatooriumi 1, Tõravere, 61602 Tartumaa
  • Institute of Technology
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    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
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    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
  • Library
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5702
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5581
    Faculty address: 
    Uppsala 10, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Genomics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4000
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5674
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6076
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6339
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6600
    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51005 Tartu
  • Grant Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6000, IT-help: +372 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090 Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 17–103, 51005 Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 102, 104, 209, 210, 50090 Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Procurement Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6632
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
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    +372 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5400
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51005 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Lehti Saag „The prehistory of Estonia from a genetic perspective: new insights from ancient DNA”

Date: 
12.09.2019 - 10:15

On 12 September at 10:15 Lehti Saag will defend her doctoral thesis „The prehistory of Estonia from a genetic perspective: new insights from ancient DNA”.

Supervisors:
Mait Metspalu, PhD (Molecular Biology), Senior Research Fellow of Modern Population Genetics and Director of Institute of Genomics
Kristiina Tambets, PhD (Molecular Biology), Senior Research Fellow of Population Genetics
Toomas Kivisild, PhD (Genetics), Senior Research Fellow of Population Genetics and Professor of Leuven KU

Opponent:
Daniel Bradley, PhD, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Ireland

Summary:
The processes that have shaped the demographic histories of populations through time have been studied for decades using modern genetic data. In the last almost 15 years, ancient DNA research has started to contribute significantly to this field. Analysing modern genomes enables to derive models to explain population change in the past. Ancient genomes are connected to a certain time and place, enabling to specify these models and to uncover genetic lineages that have not managed to contribute to the genomes of modern populations.

The main topic of this thesis is the demographic history of Europe and more specifically Estonia. Modern humans reached Europe by around 45,000 years ago (ya). Around 8,000 ya, farming was brought to Europe by people with Near-Eastern ancestry. Estonia is somewhat different from most of Europe – the first evidence of human settlement is from after the ice age around 11,000 ya, farming arrived only with the Late Neolithic Corded Ware culture people, and Estonians, Finns and some smaller populations in Eastern Europe and Western Siberia speak Uralic languages, originating probably in the Volga-Kama region.

This thesis combines data from archaeology, linguistics and genetics to study the occupants of Estonia from the Neolithic until today in a wider Eurasian context. The genome of modern Estonians is found to be influenced by several past migration events. Firstly, the Neolithic hunter-gatherers of Comb Ceramic culture were likely to bring eastern influences to the initial population with a western genetic background. Around a thousand years later, farming-based economies spread in Estonia together with Corded Ware culture. Its carriers were people with ancestry from Yamnaya people from the Eastern European steppe. Hunter-gatherer ancestry increased again in the Bronze Age while Estonian Iron Age genomes reveal an influx of a new genetic component from Siberia, which also connects modern Estonians to other Uralic speakers in Europe and Siberia.

Location: 
Riia 23b/2-105
Event category: