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Research Article

Ancient DNA from European Early Neolithic Farmers Reveals Their Near Eastern Affinities

  • Wolfgang Haak mail,

    wolfgang.haak@adelaide.edu.au

    Affiliation: Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

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  • Oleg Balanovsky,

    Affiliation: Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia

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  • Juan J. Sanchez,

    Affiliation: National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, Canary Islands Delegation, Campus de Ciencias de la Salud, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain

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  • Sergey Koshel,

    Affiliation: Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

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  • Valery Zaporozhchenko,

    Affiliations: Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia, Research Centre for Drug Evaluation, Ministry of Public Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia

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  • Christina J. Adler,

    Affiliation: Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

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  • Clio S. I. Der Sarkissian,

    Affiliation: Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

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  • Guido Brandt,

    Affiliation: Institute for Anthropology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

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  • Carolin Schwarz,

    Affiliation: Institute for Anthropology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

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  • Nicole Nicklisch,

    Affiliation: Institute for Anthropology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

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  • Veit Dresely,

    Affiliation: Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archaeologie und Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte, Halle (Saale), Germany

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  • Barbara Fritsch,

    Affiliation: Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archaeologie und Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte, Halle (Saale), Germany

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  • Elena Balanovska,

    Affiliation: Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia

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  • Richard Villems,

    Affiliation: Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu and Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia

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  • Harald Meller,

    Affiliation: Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archaeologie und Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte, Halle (Saale), Germany

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  • Kurt W. Alt,

    Affiliation: Institute for Anthropology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

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  • Alan Cooper,

    Affiliation: Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

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  • the Genographic Consortium

    Membership for the Genographic Consortium is listed in the Acknowledgments section.

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  • Published: November 09, 2010
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000536

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A Sub-Saharan Origin of the Early European Farmers

Posted by Clyde98 on 10 Nov 2010 at 05:18 GMT

Haak et al argue that a genetic analysis of ancient mtDNA suggest that the LPC population originated in Eurasia. The archaeology, craniometric, phylogeographic and genetic evidence trace the origin of the Neolithic European farmers to Africa. It also shows continuity between hunter-gather and Neolithic European populations.
Researchers have found that the ancient Europeans fail to have a genetic link with contemporary European populations and the Neanderthals (1). An analysis of Cro-Magnon DNA indicates that they belonged to haplogroup N among ancient samples ranged from 8% to 42%.
Haak et al found that the first Neolithic farmers did not have a strong genetic influence on modern European female lineages . These researchers found that the farmers were predominately HG N1a . The existence of the hg N in western Europe from 24,000-7500 kya1 ,show continuity between the Pleistocene and Neolithic western Eurasians who carried hg N.
The craniofacial evidence makes it clear that the Levantines and Aurignacian people came from Africa (2,9). As a result we find those craniofacial features of the Grimaldi-Cro-Magnon population (3) and especially the Natufian populations when plotted fall within the range of Sub-Saharan populations like the Niger-Congo speakers (10).
Numerous Sub-Saharan skeletons have been found in Europe dating to the Aurignacian and Neolithic periods(3-5). Boule and Vallois observed that Sub-Saharan skeletons have been found in the Ligurian and Lombard tombs, Grotte des Enfants, Chamblandes in Switzerland, caverns of Moniat, near Dinant in Belgium(3). Boule and Vallois claim that these European farmers correspond to the Khoisan population3. This is interesting because Brace et al found that the craniofacial features of these early European farmers and the Natufians plotted with Sub-Saharan groups (2), just like the Aurignacians (3).
There are also N hgs found in Africa. Haplogroups N,N* and N1 is found in low frequencies within Sub-Saharan groups including Senegambians (6), Tanzanians (7) and modern Ethiopians (8) .In Egypt 8.8 percent of the Gurma carry hg N1b (9).
In conclusion, the Old Europeans may have been Africans. This is based on the reality that the haplogroup N1(a) is common to Senegambians, modern Ethiopians and the Dravidian speaking people of India and the craniometric evidence indicate that the Aurignacian and Neolithic populations were Sub-Saharan Africans. Thus, the Old Europeans may be related to African cattle raising farming groups, planted the seeds of agriculture in ancient Europe.

Reference:

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7. Quibtanana-Murci L, Semino O,Bandelt H J, Passaro G, McElreadey K, Santachiara-Benerecetti A S. Genetic Evidence of an early exit of Homo sapiens from Africa through eastern Africa, Nat. Genet (1999); 23:437-441.

9. Holiday, T. (2000). Evolution at the Crossroads:Modern Human Emergence in Western Asia, American Anthropologist,102(1) .
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No competing interests declared.