Saturday, June 6, 2015

The First Ancient Genomic Data from Anatolia and its impact on European Neolithics is on its way

Eurogenes' author just shared some interesting links to the abstracts of upcoming peer-reviewed papers on population genetics. One seems to finally touch upon getting us a glimpse at the ancient Near East.

Turkey / Anatolia
As the abstract says:

"The most important process in the prehistory of our species is arguably the Neolithization. In the course of 10000 years, it took us from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to the society we live in today. For Eurasia, Anatolia and the Near East played a key role in this process. It has already been shown that the neolithic expansion from this area and westwards was driven by migration. But we know little about the actual establishing of neolithic societies in Anatolia, and on what kind of population dynamics effected their gene pool. And we also know little more about the Neolithic gene flow from Anatolia than that it had occurred. For the first time we present genomic results from an ancient Anatolian farmer, from Troy's proto-settlement Kumtepe, and it anchors the European neolithic genepool to Anatolia. Further, the late-neolithic individual from Kumtepe does not only contain the genetic element that is frequent in early European farmers, but also a component found mainly in modern populations from the Near and Middle East and Northern Africa, and to a much smaller degree, in some Neolithic European farmers. The scene presented by Kumtepe is compatible with geneflow into Europe from or through the neolithic core area in Anatolia. And it is likely that this occurred early, perhaps just after the neolithic core area had been established in southeastern Anatolia."

 - the sample is from Turkey/Anatolia and clearly seems to from what they're saying; anchor the European Neolithic to West Asia/ the Near East and more so to Anatolia itself. I honestly cannot say much since this is just an abstract but I'll be sure to touch upon this paper's data once it's made fully available and for now all I can say is that this is very very exciting stuff as its the first genomic data we'll have from pre-historic to ancient West Asia; regardless of its seemingly small sample size (one farmer).

Reference List:

Recommended read:


  1. Very interresting. Kumtepe is 4800 years old. Recently we got Barcin sample which appears much older.

    1. Kumtepe is 33-30 ca BCE, and thus must not necessarily present the genomic structure of the Neolithic migration. Hans J. Holm