December 26, 2009

mtDNA evidence for Caucasoid-Mongoloid admixture in Xinjiang 2,500 years ago

American Journal of Physical Anthropology doi:10.1002/ajpa.21237

Prehistorical East-West admixture of maternal lineages in a 2,500-year-old population in Xinjiang

Fan Zhang et al.


As an area of contact between Asia and Europe, Central Asia witnessed a scenario of complex cultural developments, extensive migratory movements, and biological admixture between West and East Eurasians. However, the detanglement of this complexity of diversity requires an understanding of prehistoric contacts of the people from the West and the East on the Eurasia continent. We demonstrated the presence of genetic admixture of West and East in a population of 35 inhabitants excavated in Gavaerk in southern Xinjiang and dated 2,800-2,100 years before present by analyzing their mitochondrial DNA variations. This result indicates that the initial contact of the East and the West Eurasians occurred further east than Central Asia as early as 2,500 years ago.


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