Jul 28, 2016

Genomic insights into the origin of farming in the ancient Near East

Nature
Iosif LazaridisDavid Reich

Abstract

We report genome-wide ancient DNA from 44 ancient Near Easterners ranging in time between ~12,000 and 1,400 bc, from Natufian hunter-gatherers to Bronze Age farmers. We show that the earliest populations of the Near East derived around half their ancestry from a 'Basal Eurasian' lineage that had little if any Neanderthal admixture and that separated from other non-African lineages before their separation from each other. The first farmers of the southern Levant (Israel and Jordan) and Zagros Mountains (Iran) were strongly genetically differentiated, and each descended from local hunter-gatherers. By the time of the Bronze Age, these two populations and Anatolian-related farmers had mixed with each other and with the hunter-gatherers of Europe to greatly reduce genetic differentiation. The impact of the Near Eastern farmers extended beyond the Near East: farmers related to those of Anatolia spread westward into Europe; farmers related to those of the Levant spread southward into East Africa; farmers related to those of Iran spread northward into the Eurasian steppe; and people related to both the early farmers of Iran and to the pastoralists of the Eurasian steppe spread eastward into South Asia.

  • References44
  • Citations81

References

  • References44
  • Citations81

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Genetic Drift
Genome
Hemoglobin J Anatolia
History, Ancient
Hybridization, Intraspecies
Ancient DNA
Eastern Tribes Race
Persons
Grassland
Human Migration

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