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Science. 2016 Jul 29;353(6298):499-503. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf7943. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

Early Neolithic genomes from the eastern Fertile Crescent.

Author information

1
Palaeogenetics Group, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55099 Mainz, Germany.
2
Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
3
Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.
4
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
5
Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
6
Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics, Swedish Museum of Natural History, SE-10405, Stockholm, Sweden.
7
Unit of Human Evolutionary Genetics, Institut Pasteur, 75015 Paris, France.
8
BioArCh, Department of Archaeology, University of York, York, YO10 5YW, UK.
9
Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, 11794- 5245, USA.
10
Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
11
UMR 7041 ArScAn -VEPMO, Maison de l'Archéologie et de l'Ethnologie, 21 allée de l'Université, 92023 Nanterre, France.
12
Department of Genetics & Evolution-Anthropology Unit, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.
13
Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, University of California-lrvine, Irvine, CA 92697-3370, USA.
14
Paleolithic Department, National Museum of Iran, 113617111, Tehran, Iran.
15
Institute of Archaeology, University College London, London WC1H 0PY, UK.
16
CNRS/MNHN/SUs - UMR 7209, Archéozoologie et Archéobotanique, Sociétés, Pratiques et Environnements, Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

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.

PMID:
27417496
PMCID:
PMC5113750
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaf7943
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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