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Eur J Hum Genet. 2012 Mar;20(3):313-20. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2011.192. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Neolithic patrilineal signals indicate that the Armenian plateau was repopulated by agriculturalists.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA. herrerar@fiu.edu

Abstract

Armenia, situated between the Black and Caspian Seas, lies at the junction of Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and former Mesopotamia. This geographic position made it a potential contact zone between Eastern and Western civilizations. In this investigation, we assess Y-chromosomal diversity in four geographically distinct populations that represent the extent of historical Armenia. We find a striking prominence of haplogroups previously implicated with the Agricultural Revolution in the Near East, including the J2a-M410-, R1b1b1(*)-L23-, G2a-P15- and J1-M267-derived lineages. Given that the Last Glacial Maximum event in the Armenian plateau occured a few millennia before the Neolithic era, we envision a scenario in which its repopulation was achieved mainly by the arrival of farmers from the Fertile Crescent temporally coincident with the initial inception of farming in Greece. However, we detect very restricted genetic affinities with Europe that suggest any later cultural diffusions from Armenia to Europe were not associated with substantial amounts of paternal gene flow, despite the presence of closely related Indo-European languages in both Armenia and Southeast Europe.

PMID:
22085901
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3286660
Free PMC Article

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