Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 9;6:31326. doi: 10.1038/srep31326.

The genetics of an early Neolithic pastoralist from the Zagros, Iran.

Author information

Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, UK.
School of Archaeology and Earth Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.
The Genomics Institute, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea.
Integrative Systems Biology Laboratory, Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences &Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, Copenhagen 1350, Denmark.
Department of Anthropology, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada.
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3ER, UK.
Evolutionary Adaptive Genomics, Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknechtstraße 24-25, Potsdam, 14476, Germany.


The agricultural transition profoundly changed human societies. We sequenced and analysed the first genome (1.39x) of an early Neolithic woman from Ganj Dareh, in the Zagros Mountains of Iran, a site with early evidence for an economy based on goat herding, ca. 10,000 BP. We show that Western Iran was inhabited by a population genetically most similar to hunter-gatherers from the Caucasus, but distinct from the Neolithic Anatolian people who later brought food production into Europe. The inhabitants of Ganj Dareh made little direct genetic contribution to modern European populations, suggesting those of the Central Zagros were somewhat isolated from other populations of the Fertile Crescent. Runs of homozygosity are of a similar length to those from Neolithic farmers, and shorter than those of Caucasus and Western Hunter-Gatherers, suggesting that the inhabitants of Ganj Dareh did not undergo the large population bottleneck suffered by their northern neighbours. While some degree of cultural diffusion between Anatolia, Western Iran and other neighbouring regions is possible, the genetic dissimilarity between early Anatolian farmers and the inhabitants of Ganj Dareh supports a model in which Neolithic societies in these areas were distinct.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center