Jan Storå


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Works at Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies
Telephone 08-16 12 87
Visiting address Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7
Room 122
Postal address Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • Erik Ersmark (et al.).
  • 2016. Ayca Omrak (et al.). Current Biology 26 (2), 270-275

    Anatolia and the Near East have long been recognized as the epicenter of the Neolithic expansion through archaeological evidence. Recent archaeogenetic studies on Neolithic European human remains have shown that the Neolithic expansion in Europe was driven westward and northward by migration from a supposed Near Eastern origin [1-5]. However, this expansion and the establishment of numerous culture complexes in the Aegean and Balkans did not occur until 8,500 before present (BP), over 2,000 years after the initial settlements in the Neolithic core area [6-9]. We present ancient genome-wide sequence data from 6,700-year-old human remains excavated from a Neolithic context in Kumtepe, located in northwestern Anatolia near the well-known (and younger) site Troy [10]. Kumtepe is one of the settlements that emerged around 7,000 BP, after the initial expansion wave brought Neolithic practices to Europe. We show that this individual displays genetic similarities to the early European Neolithic gene pool and modern-day Sardinians, as well as a genetic affinity to modern-day populations from the Near East and the Caucasus. Furthermore, modern-day Anatolians carry signatures of several admixture events from different populations that have diluted this early Neolithic farmer component, explaining why modern-day Sardinian populations, instead of modern-day Anatolian populations, are genetically more similar to the people that drove the Neolithic expansion into Europe. Anatolia's central geographic location appears to have served as a connecting point, allowing a complex contact network with other areas of the Near East and Europe throughout, and after, the Neolithic.

  • 2015. Torsten Gunther (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (38), 11917-11922

    The consequences of the Neolithic transition in Europe-one of the most important cultural changes in human prehistory-is a subject of great interest. However, its effect on prehistoric and modern-day people in Iberia, the westernmost frontier of the European continent, remains unresolved. We present, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide sequence data from eight human remains, dated to between 5,500 and 3,500 years before present, excavated in the El Portalon cave at Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain. We show that these individuals emerged from the same ancestral gene pool as early farmers in other parts of Europe, suggesting that migration was the dominant mode of transferring farming practices throughout western Eurasia. In contrast to central and northern early European farmers, the Chalcolithic El Portalon individuals additionally mixed with local southwestern hunter-gatherers. The proportion of hunter-gatherer-related admixture into early farmers also increased over the course of two millennia. The Chalcolithic El Portalon individuals showed greatest genetic affinity to modern-day Basques, who have long been considered linguistic and genetic isolates linked to the Mesolithic whereas all other European early farmers show greater genetic similarity to modern-day Sardinians. These genetic links suggest that Basques and their language may be linked with the spread of agriculture during the Neolithic. Furthermore, all modern-day Iberian groups except the Basques display distinct admixture with Caucasus/Central Asian and North African groups, possibly related to historical migration events. The El Portalon genomes uncover important pieces of the demographic history of Iberia and Europe and reveal how prehistoric groups relate to modern-day people.

  • 2015. Kurt Haas, Jan Storå. International journal of osteoarchaeology 25 (6), 935-945

    Palaeohistology as a valuable diagnostic instrument is dependent on the production of high-quality thin-ground sections from dry bone. The objective of this study was to consider technical differences and assess the qualitative outcomes of five techniques for preparing thin-ground sections from dry archaeological bone. Established techniques with long follow-up times and excellently documented results were compared with simpler and cheaper time-saving techniques. Evaluations were made of the quality of thin sections obtained by one classical machine-based embedding technique, two revised versions of the same technique, one manual moulding technique based on Frost's rapid technique and one manual hybrid technique. Five osteological specimens of differing quality were prepared following the manuals for these five techniques and examined microscopically with respect to a list of standardised histological and diagenetic parameters. Alterations in the specimens attributable to preparation effects were recorded, and observations were scored with reference to three criteria: section quality, technical quality and staining. The results show that embedding techniques are to prefer. Superglue should not be used as a mounting or embedding medium. Manual grinding comes with several limitations, and machine cutting and grinding are preferred. Haematoxylin staining can be successfully applied to embedded specimens, giving more information on microscopic diagenetic processes. A stepwise manual for a revision of the classical embedding technique is presented. The time required for producing sections using classical embedding techniques is shortened from 6 weeks to 3.7 days by refining the preparation/polymerization processes involved with no loss of osteological data.

  • 2014. Pirkko Ukkonen (et al.). The Holocene 24 (12), 1694-1706

    The ringed seal (Pusa hispida) is an early immigrant in the Baltic Basin and has since its arrival experienced substantial changes in the climate, salinity and productivity of the Basin. In this paper, we discuss the dispersal and distribution of the ringed seal during different stages of the Baltic Sea in relation to past and ongoing environmental changes. Subfossil ringed seal remains around the Baltic Sea and the Danish Straits were radiocarbon dated in order to map the distribution of the species in different time periods. The delta C-13 data were used in evaluating the changes in the marine character of the Baltic Basin. The sequence of the dates indicates a continuous presence of the species in the Baltic Basin. The earliest ringed seal finds come from the Skagerrak/Kattegat area (Denmark, Swedish west coast) and date to the full glacial period and Baltic Ice Lake. In the Baltic Basin, the species appears in the subfossil record during the Ancylus period, but the main part of the remains date to the Littorina stage. During the Littorina stage, the distribution of the species was at least periodically wider than today, covering also southern parts of the Baltic. The presence of breeding populations in southern parts of the Baltic during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) indicates that the winters were at least periodically cold enough for winter ice. The changes in the marine influence in the Baltic Basin can be seen in the seal collagen delta C-13 values, which serve as a proxy for qualitative changes in water mass salinity.

Show all publications by Jan Storå at Stockholm University

Last updated: May 28, 2018

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