Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans

Nature. 2014 Sep 18;513(7518):409-13. doi: 10.1038/nature13673.

Abstract

We sequenced the genomes of a ∼7,000-year-old farmer from Germany and eight ∼8,000-year-old hunter-gatherers from Luxembourg and Sweden. We analysed these and other ancient genomes with 2,345 contemporary humans to show that most present-day Europeans derive from at least three highly differentiated populations: west European hunter-gatherers, who contributed ancestry to all Europeans but not to Near Easterners; ancient north Eurasians related to Upper Palaeolithic Siberians, who contributed to both Europeans and Near Easterners; and early European farmers, who were mainly of Near Eastern origin but also harboured west European hunter-gatherer related ancestry. We model these populations' deep relationships and show that early European farmers had ∼44% ancestry from a 'basal Eurasian' population that split before the diversification of other non-African lineages.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / history
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Europe
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / classification*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Genome, Human / genetics*
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Population Dynamics
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Workforce