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Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 16;6:8912. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9912.

Upper Palaeolithic genomes reveal deep roots of modern Eurasians.

Author information

1
Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
2
Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24-25, Potsdam 14476, Germany.
3
Department of Biology and Evolution, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari 46, Ferrara I-44100, Italy.
4
School of Archaeology and Earth Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
5
Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, UK.
6
Integrative Systems Biology Laboratory, Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences &Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
7
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, Copenhagen 1350, Denmark.
8
Georgian National Museum, 3 Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi 0105, Georgia.
9
Department of Anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
10
Laboratoire d'archéozoologie, Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel 2000, Switzerland.
11
Office du patrimoine et de l'archéologie de Neuchâtel, Section archéologie, LATÉNIUM, Hauterive 2068, Switzerland.
12
Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.
13
Israel Antiquities Authority, PO Box 586, Jerusalem 91004, Israel.
14
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology &the History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK.
15
Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling History (AGP), Department of Genetics and Evolution - Anthropology Unit, University of Geneva, Geneva 1227, Switzerland.

Abstract

We extend the scope of European palaeogenomics by sequencing the genomes of Late Upper Palaeolithic (13,300 years old, 1.4-fold coverage) and Mesolithic (9,700 years old, 15.4-fold) males from western Georgia in the Caucasus and a Late Upper Palaeolithic (13,700 years old, 9.5-fold) male from Switzerland. While we detect Late Palaeolithic-Mesolithic genomic continuity in both regions, we find that Caucasus hunter-gatherers (CHG) belong to a distinct ancient clade that split from western hunter-gatherers ∼45 kya, shortly after the expansion of anatomically modern humans into Europe and from the ancestors of Neolithic farmers ∼25 kya, around the Last Glacial Maximum. CHG genomes significantly contributed to the Yamnaya steppe herders who migrated into Europe ∼3,000 BC, supporting a formative Caucasus influence on this important Early Bronze age culture. CHG left their imprint on modern populations from the Caucasus and also central and south Asia possibly marking the arrival of Indo-Aryan languages.

PMID:
26567969
PMCID:
PMC4660371
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms9912
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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