Early Neolithic genomes from the eastern Fertile Crescent.

  • publication
  • 16-07-2016

Broushaki F, Thomas MG, Link V, López S, van Dorp L, Kirsanow K, Hofmanová Z, Diekmann Y, Cassidy LM, Díez-del-Molino D, Kousathanas A, Sell C, Robson HK, Martiniano R, Blöcher J, Scheu A, Kreutzer S, Bollongino R, Bobo D, Davoudi H, Munoz O, Currat M, Abdi K, Biglari F, Craig OE, Bradley DG, Shennan S, Veeramah KR, Mashkour M, Wegmann D, Hellenthal G, Burger J. Science 2016 Jul;353(6298):499-503. science.aaf7943. 10.1126/science.aaf7943.

We sequenced Early Neolithic genomes from the Zagros region of Iran (eastern Fertile Crescent), where some of the earliest evidence for farming is found, and identify a previously uncharacterized population that is neither ancestral to the first European farmers nor has contributed substantially to the ancestry of modern Europeans. These people are estimated to have separated from Early Neolithic farmers in Anatolia some 46,000 to 77,000 years ago and show affinities to modern-day Pakistani and Afghan populations, but particularly to Iranian Zoroastrians. We conclude that multiple, genetically differentiated hunter-gatherer populations adopted farming in southwestern Asia, that components of pre-Neolithic population structure were preserved as farming spread into neighboring regions, and that the Zagros region was the cradle of eastward expansion.

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