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Science. 2017 Nov 3;358(6363):659-662. doi: 10.1126/science.aao1807. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Ancient genomes show social and reproductive behavior of early Upper Paleolithic foragers.

Author information

1
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
2
Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.
3
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
4
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal.
5
Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, 2200 København N, Denmark.
6
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
7
Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.
8
Division of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK.
9
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3ER, UK.
10
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
11
Institute of Molecular Biology, National Academy of Sciences, 0014 Yerevan, Armenia.
12
Centre of Physical Anthropology, Institute Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Science, 119334 Moscow, Russia.
13
Department of Anthropology, Biological Faculty, Lomonosov's Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia.
14
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK.
15
Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK.
16
Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1QH, UK.
17
Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275, USA.
18
Laboratoire d'Anthropobiologie Moléculaire et d'Imagerie de Synthèse, CNRS UMR 5288, Université de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, 31000 Toulouse, France.
19
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark. ewillerslev@snm.ku.dk.
20
GeoGenetics Groups, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK.
21
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.

Abstract

Present-day hunter-gatherers (HGs) live in multilevel social groups essential to sustain a population structure characterized by limited levels of within-band relatedness and inbreeding. When these wider social networks evolved among HGs is unknown. To investigate whether the contemporary HG strategy was already present in the Upper Paleolithic, we used complete genome sequences from Sunghir, a site dated to ~34,000 years before the present, containing multiple anatomically modern human individuals. We show that individuals at Sunghir derive from a population of small effective size, with limited kinship and levels of inbreeding similar to HG populations. Our findings suggest that Upper Paleolithic social organization was similar to that of living HGs, with limited relatedness within residential groups embedded in a larger mating network.

PMID:
28982795
DOI:
10.1126/science.aao1807
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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