June 15, 2011

Ancient mtDNA from Wadi el-Makkukh

Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 1‐14


Salamon, M et al.

DNA from fossil human bones can provide valuable information for understanding intra‐ and
inter‐population relationships. Using the DNA preserved inside crystal aggregates from human fos‐
sil bones containing relatively large amounts of collagen, we demonstrate the presence of repro‐
ducible mtDNA control region sequences. Radiocarbon dates from each bone show that the burial
caves were used for up to 600 years during the Chalcolithic period (5th‐4th millennium BP). A com‐
parison of the ancient DNA sequences with modern mtDNA databases indicates that all samples
can most likely be assigned to the R haplogroup sub‐clades, which are common in West‐Eurasia. In
four cases more precise and confident haplogroup identifications could be achieved (H, U3a and
H6). The H haplogroup is present in three out of the four assigned ancient samples.
This hap‐
logroup is prevalent today in West – Eurasia. The results reported here tend to genetically link this
Chalcolithic group of individuals to the current West Eurasian populations.

Link (pdf)


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

The context, for those of you, like me, for whom Wadi Makkukh is not a household name:

"The Wadi Makkukh site comprises 13 caves. The caves are located in the Judean Desert just north of the Dead Sea (Hirschfeld and Riklin, 2002). In three of the caves (nos. 1, 3 and 13) human skeletal remains were found, including at least 40 individuals. A single burial of a male still in articulation was found in Cave 13 (known as The Cave of the Warrior), together with grave goods that included textiles, a basket, wooden arrows and a wooden bowl (see reports in (Schick, 1998)). The latter have been dated to the Chalcolithic Period about 6,700 to 4,700 BP (Jull et al., 1998; Rowan and Golden, 2009). The other human bones were not found
in articulation and there was no well defined stratigraphic organization. The presence of
these organic artifacts indicates that preservation conditions are extremely good at this location."

Interesting that there is no M1/U6/L3 that in the South Levant at that time in this sample.

Unknown said...

The haplogroup identifications are a bit if a stretch if you read the paper.

"Matching haplotypes of H6 haplogroup, that contain the mu8 SALAMON, M. et al tation 16311C were found recently and named as haplogroup H6a1a1 (Behar, 2008). Sample Wm30 was therefore confidently assigned to H6"

Very interesting. H6 is not supposed to have made it into Europe for another ~3-4k. And this looks like the "European" H6a variety not Saudi H6b.

Gioiello said...

H6a1 in Tuscany and the origin of H6

Every test a surprise. Not only the few friends a was able to test so far in Tuscany have been a continuos surprise for the Y:

me and my son = R1b1b2a
Alberto Malvolti = R (probably U152)
Fabrizio Federighi = R1b1b2 (DYS462=12)
Giorgio Tognarelli = R1b1b2a

but also the mtDNA:

me and my mother = K1a1b1 (9932A)
my wife and my son and daughter: K1c1* (310T, 16180T)
my cousin (and my father line) = H* (5460A, 10124C, 15617A)
Giorgio Tognarelli = H6a1

M. Salamon et al. (Ancient mtDNA sequences and radiocarbon dating of human bones from the chalcolithic caves of Wadi El-Makkukh, Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 2010, Vol. 10) wrote:

Its sub-clade, haplogroup H6a1, is one of the oldest clades in the Near East with coalescence time of 20,200 +/-10,900 BP, but in Europe it has an extremely young expansion age of 1800+/-1300 BP (Rootstalu 2007) (page 10)

Now not only the most ancient haplotypes in Ian Logan spreadsheet are European (H6, H6a, H6a1), but also within these suclades perhaps we don’t know everything about Europe.

My relative, even though tested by 23andMe and not by an FGS, has the mutations, for instance, 16145A and 16256T not known elsewhere, demonstrating once more an high variance. From Tuscany.

Onur Dincer said...

Interesting that there is no M1/U6/L3 that in the South Levant at that time in this sample.

Apparently there is no M1 (and M in general), ex-R L3 (and ex-R L in general), but whether there is U6 or not is far from clear, as U6 is a sub‐clade of R and all samples apparently belong to R sub‐clades.

Anonymous said...

Gioiello, try too see this:

Guido Barbujani explained the sense of his studies on the DNA of the Etruscans.
It is true that the Tuscans, or any part thereof, have genes in common with the Anatolian, or rather the Lydians, but according to his calculations the two populations diverged 13k years ago.
The Etruscan civilization was indigenous, direct evolution of the Villanovian, how I always thougth.

Gioiello said...

@ DagoRed

DagoRed, first of all I’d like to know who you are, perhaps someone I know by his true name. I am Gioiello Tognoni, and am the same on the blogs from the beginning.
This has always been also my position. For this I suffered two banishments.
It can’t be said the same of Barbujani (whom I call Farfugliani) or of Cavalli Sforza (whom I name Cavallo Sforzesco). As you see, I don’t suffer of reverentia auctoritatum. In my small way I have always presumed to understand of Genetics more than they both. They are the typical Italians against Italians who have always supported the theory that Italians don’t exist, they came always from elsewhere. If Farfugliani are saying now what you said, it means he changed his mind. Better late than never. But with them put also Achilli, Brisighelli, Pichler and infinite others I mocked in all these last years. The unique who replied to my letters (amongst the foreigners very kind like Palanichamy and Rozen) is Fulvio Cruciani and he is the unique I save now.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

"The Etruscan civilization was indigenous, direct evolution of the Villanovian, how I always thougth."

Etruscans made their way to Northern Italy from the mountains to the North of modern day Italy. They peceded the Romans by less than a thousand years in Italy.

Onur Dincer said...

Cavalli-Sforza is so coward that while formerly he equated human races to subspecies later due to academic pressures he renounced that view and even denied the existence of human races altogether.

Unknown said...


I dont use my own name because I have different views and circumstances from you. Please let us respect each others life philosophies and reasons for privacy.

Onur Dincer said...

On the issue of using real names I agree with Gioiello. I think using the real name instead of fake names is a more manly and honest behavior.

Anonymous said...

The 5th sample that couldn't be assigned to a haplogroup, Wm29, with the mutations 16362, is most likely either R0a (with 16126, typical of R0a, not being within the tested range) or H6a.

The 5 samples different from the CRS are all different from each other, and the radiocarbon ages of the skeletons span 500 years, clearly indicating the samples aren't inbred relatives, so it's very weird that the other 7 samples are all CRS (actually 8 are CRS, one of the 5 is CRS in HVR-I but different in HVR-II).

It's also strange that apparently almost all the samples are H. Today, H makes up 25% of the Levant's mtdna.

And where is the N1a of Haak's 2005 study of Neolithic Europe? Also found in another study of Neolithic France of the same time, in 1 of 3 samples?

Anonymous said...

From the study:

Sample Wm30 was confidently assigned to
haplogroup H6 and it most likely belongs to
haplogroup H6a1a1. Haplogroup H6 is largely
restricted to the Near East and the South Caucasus
and is found in very low frequencies all
over Europe (Roostalu et al., 2007).

The statement is as wrong as can be, it's the reverse actually, H6 is found all over Europe at about 2% to 4%, but in Turkey it's 1%, in the Middle East it's 1%, and in Arabia it's 1% (and half of them are probably H6b). Furthermore, in Brandstatter (2008), they found 3 H6* in Tyrol, Austria.

Note what I said in the previous post that the unclassified sample, Wm29, with only 16362C, is most likely either R0a or H6a.

Unknown said...

Well I am not aiming to be "manly" but I am happy that I am true to my own high moral standards.

Intimidating others into satisfying personal curiosity concerning their private/public life, or "outing" them against their wishes is despicable and far from "manly". As is attempting to attack a person with opposing scientific views using other aspects of their life.

I dont walk in the shoes of others so cannot know the reasons for their choices. But they are their choices. As my choice to be anonymous is my choice.

Unknown said...

H6 is highest in the Chuvash and Altai.