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Tracking the Near East origins and European dispersal of the house mouse

Citation

CUCCHI, Thomas et al. (2020), Tracking the Near East origins and European dispersal of the house mouse , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t4b8gthz1

Abstract

The house mouse (Mus musculus) is one of the most invasive mammals and an evolutionary model. However, the timing and components of its origin and dispersal remain poorly documented. To track its synanthropisation and subsequent biological invasion during the develoment of complex human societies, we analyzed 829 Mus specimens from 43 archaeological contexts in Southwestern Asia and Southeastern Europe, dating between 40,000 and 3,000 cal. BP, combining geometric morphometris numerical taxonomy with ancient mitochondrial DNA and direct radiocarbon dating. We found that large early hunter-gatherer sedentary settlements in the Levant, c. 14,500 cal BP, drove the commensal pathway of Mus musculus, but it was the emergence of agriculture 12,000 years ago that fostered its biological invasion throughout the Near East, with its earliest stowaway transport identified in Cyprus as early as 10,800 years ago. However, the Neolithic spread of domestic animals and plants across Europe did not facilitate the house mouse biological invasion beyond its neareastern cradle. The invasive pulse of house mice towards Europe could happen with the development of urbanization and trading networks —6,500 years ago in Eastern Europe and 4000 years ago in Southern Europe —, which in turn facilitated the first european dispersal of domestic cats.

Methods

The acquisition of GMM data for the molar shape analysis of the first lower molars (m1) was performed on 2D images of the occlusal view of the m1, following Cucchi el al. (2013). The images were acquired by a Leica EZ4D stereoscope digital camera and the LAS operating software. The 2D external outline of the occlusal view of the m1 was recorded using tpsDig v. 2.30

Cucchi, T., Kovács, Z.E., Berthon, R., Orth, A., Bonhomme, F., Evin, A., Siahsarvie, R., Darvish, J., Bakhshaliyev, V., Marro, C., 2013. On the trail of Neolithic mice and men towards Transcaucasia: zooarchaeological clues from Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 108, 917–928. https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12004

Usage Notes

This dataset include the shape variables (procrustes coordinates) of the 1341 modern and archaeological m1 teeth of the genus Mus studied. These shapes coordinates have been obtained after Procrustes superposition using Bending Energy Minimization method follonwing Cucchi et al. (2013)

Cucchi, T., Kovács, Z.E., Berthon, R., Orth, A., Bonhomme, F., Evin, A., Siahsarvie, R., Darvish, J., Bakhshaliyev, V., Marro, C., 2013. On the trail of Neolithic mice and men towards Transcaucasia: zooarchaeological clues from Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 108, 917–928. https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12004

 

Funding

LabEx ANR-10-LABX-0003-BCDiv, Award: ANR-11-IDEX-0004-02