January 06, 2016

Even more Anatolian Neolithic genomes

Recently I proclaimed the problem of "Neolithization of Europe" to be "done", but it doesn't hurt to have more confirmation as this new paper does. The Anatolian data is from a different site than those used by Mathieson et al. and Hofmanová, Kreutzer et al. albeit still in the extreme northwest of Asia Minor. Nonetheless, the individual from Kumtepe doesn't seem to carry any major surprises, so "Neolithization of Europe" remains "done".

Current Biology http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.019

Genomic Evidence Establishes Anatolia as the Source of the European Neolithic Gene Pool 

Ayça Omrak et al.

Anatolia and the Near East have long been recognized as the epicenter of the Neolithic expansion through archaeological evidence. Recent archaeogenetic studies on Neolithic European human remains have shown that the Neolithic expansion in Europe was driven westward and northward by migration from a supposed Near Eastern origin [ 1–5 ]. However, this expansion and the establishment of numerous culture complexes in the Aegean and Balkans did not occur until 8,500 before present (BP), over 2,000 years after the initial settlements in the Neolithic core area [ 6–9 ]. We present ancient genome-wide sequence data from 6,700-year-old human remains excavated from a Neolithic context in Kumtepe, located in northwestern Anatolia near the well-known (and younger) site Troy [ 10 ]. Kumtepe is one of the settlements that emerged around 7,000 BP, after the initial expansion wave brought Neolithic practices to Europe. We show that this individual displays genetic similarities to the early European Neolithic gene pool and modern-day Sardinians, as well as a genetic affinity to modern-day populations from the Near East and the Caucasus. Furthermore, modern-day Anatolians carry signatures of several admixture events from different populations that have diluted this early Neolithic farmer component, explaining why modern-day Sardinian populations, instead of modern-day Anatolian populations, are genetically more similar to the people that drove the Neolithic expansion into Europe. Anatolia’s central geographic location appears to have served as a connecting point, allowing a complex contact network with other areas of the Near East and Europe throughout, and after, the Neolithic.



Andrew Lancaster said...

I still don't see how you can exclude the rest of the Levant from being a possible source. Do we really have enough data to do that?

batman said...


Moreover, we don't even know if the direction of movement, as of 8-10.000 years BP, were TO or FROM Anatolia.

The only thing clearified so far - with this an other genetic surveys - is that Anatolia and Trans-Caucsus have been melting-pots of various genetic identities, typical of Europe and western Asia.

The question still remains - wether the haplogroups found at Kumtepe had their origin in northern or western Eurasia, where paleolithic refugias are known to have survived the critical part of ice-time (Younger Dryas).

Alexandros said...

@Andrew Lancaster

The (north) Levant was undoubtedly the source of the first Neolithic farmers. Archaeology is quite clear on that. However, this does not mean that it is from there that the migration into Europe took place. Archaeogenetic evidence so far strongly suggests a route from western Anatolia, through Greece.

What remains to be answered is whether the first Neolithic farmers from the Near East (Levant and Cyprus in particular) were genetically identical to the Anatolian farmers. This would be theory number 1. Theory number 2 would be that the first Levantine farmers were genetically different from the Anatolian farmers and agriculture spread by cultural diffusion from the Levant to Anatolia. A third theory could be that Anatolian farmers are in fact a hybrid between Levantine farmers and a so far unknown Balkanic-type of HG. Let's what for the genomes..

Adrian Purcell Heathcote said...

Is it known what the Y dna was? I can't see the article.