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Ancestral component – part of the genome of a group of people, i.e., population under discussion that is inherited from the genome of a specific population that lived in the past and contributed to the population.

Ancient DNA – genetic material isolated from bioarchaeological material (bone, tooth, tartar, hair, plant remains, coprolite, parchment, etc.).


Celtic fields – mostly patches of fields surrounded by square enclosures that in large amounts form large field areas. Besides Northwest and North Europe, Bronze Age Celtic fields are known only in Coastal Estonia.

Cultural layer – a layer formed by human activity; the cultural layer along with its findings is the primary source for archaeologists in studying and interpreting the past.

Cup stones – boulders, onto which convex holes are (usually) tapped on, widespread in the entire western Europe and elsewhere since the Neolithic.


Early European Farmers – agriculturalistswho migrated to Europe from the so-called Fertile Crescent in the Near East c. 8000 years ago.

Early Striated pottery – a pottery style that spread in northeastern Lithuania, southeastern Latvia and northwestern Belarus in the Early Metal Period, which consisted predominantly of bucket-shaped (opening toward the mouth) household ware, the surface of which are striated and on which there are almost no ornaments.

European Hunter-Gatherers – anatomically modern humans reaching Europe from Africa c. 45,000 years ago who subsisted on hunting and gathering and who by the Mesolithic, i.e., Middle Stone Age, had diverged into three genetically distinct groups (West Europe, Scandinavia, East Europe).


Formant (i.e., topoformant) – is a suffix-like morpheme of a place name, e.g. '-vere'.


Genome – the complete set of genetic material (DNA) of an organism that in humans consists of 22 autosomes, 2 allosomes (X and Y) and the circular mitochondrial chromosome.


Hiidenkiuas-cairns – monumental stone cairns, mostly with a stone coffin and ring wall(s), spread on the Finnish coastal areas during the Bronze Age.


Lactose tolerance – the continued activity of the enzyme lactase necessary for digesting the sugar lactose in milk after weaning which enables the consumption of dairy products in adulthood.


Phonetics – is the production of physical sounds of a language.


Reservoir effect in radiocarbon datings – an effect that is caused by the circumstance that organisms living in a lime-rich environment (such as molluscs, fish) absorb from the ground or flowing water carbon of a geological age that that has dissolved in photosynthesis, which can change the dating of the sample to be older than in reality. When dating the scorched layer of clay vessels, an error can occur if the vessel was used to store or prepare fish.

Reznes-type barrows – high barrows with many burial layers and numerous buried people on the lower course of River Daugava, belonging to the Bronze Age.


Scandinavian Bronze Age Culture – a culture in South Scandinavia and modern-day North Germany from circa 1800/1700-500 BC, that is characterised by high-quality bronze artefacts, monumental burial sites, numerous settlement sites, rock carvings, field systems, etc.

Second degree relative – relatives who share on average 25% of their DNA between each other; e.g. uncle/aunt and nephew/niece, grandparent and grandchild, half-siblings.

Seima-Turbino transcultural phenomenon – a copious group of high-quality bronze artefacts (mostly weapons and tools, seldom jewellery), that were widespread from West Siberia to the Baltic Sea, are dated to the period between 2150-1600 BC and are not connected to any other so called archaeological culture in Eurasia.

South Finnic languages – are Estonian (incl. Võro-Seto), Votic and Livonian.

Stone-cist graves – graves built above ground from stone, where the central coffin or many coffins are surrounded by one or more concentric stone circles. They belong to the Bronze Age and beginning of the Iron Age.

Stone ships – ship-shaped graves from stone, belonging to the Bronze Age, spread mainly on Gotland and to a lesser extent also on the east coast of the Baltic sea as well as Estonian and Finnish islands.

Substrate – is the sum of lexical, phonological and grammatical features and phenomena that are preserved in a language, the origin of which is an assimilated language of a people that has lived in the area previously, usually having been culturally less developed and small in number.


Tapiola style pottery – an Early Metal Period pottery style of the East European forest zone that has received its name after Tapio, the god of the forest in Finnish mythology (the name comes from Hille Jaanusson). It is divided into two larger groups. In the southwestern group of Tapiola pottery (southwestern Finland, Estonia and northern Latvia until the River Daugava in the south and the areas to the east until the Volga-Oka region), household ware was with a striated, evened or textile-pressed surface and the shape of the pottery was usually with either a double muzzle, curved shoulder or s-shaped wall profile. The northeastern group of the Tapiola style is comprised of textile ceramic groups from inland Finland across northwestern Russia up to Middle Volga.


Western Steppe Herders – pastoralists who migrated to Europe from the East European steppes c. 5000 years ago.