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, 10 (1), 1218

Late Pleistocene Human Genome Suggests a Local Origin for the First Farmers of Central Anatolia


Late Pleistocene Human Genome Suggests a Local Origin for the First Farmers of Central Anatolia

Michal Feldman et al. Nat Commun.


Anatolia was home to some of the earliest farming communities. It has been long debated whether a migration of farming groups introduced agriculture to central Anatolia. Here, we report the first genome-wide data from a 15,000-year-old Anatolian hunter-gatherer and from seven Anatolian and Levantine early farmers. We find high genetic continuity (~80-90%) between the hunter-gatherers and early farmers of Anatolia and detect two distinct incoming ancestries: an early Iranian/Caucasus related one and a later one linked to the ancient Levant. Finally, we observe a genetic link between southern Europe and the Near East predating 15,000 years ago. Our results suggest a limited role of human migration in the emergence of agriculture in central Anatolia.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Location, age, and principal component analysis (PCA) of analyzed individuals. a Locations of newly reported and selected published genomes. Archeological sites from which new data are reported are annotated. Symbols for the analyzed groups are annotated in c. b Average ages of ancient groups. c Ancient genomes (marked with color-filled symbols) projected onto the principal components computed from present-day west Eurasians (gray circles) (Supplementary Figure 8). The geographic location of each ancient group is marked in a. Ancient individuals newly reported in this study are additionally marked with a black dot inside the symbol. Source data are provided as a Source Data file
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Differences in genetic affinities between the ancient Anatolian populations. We plot the highest and lowest 40 values of D(population 1, population 2; test, Mbuti) on the map. Circles mark ancient populations and triangles present-day ones. “Test” share more alleles with population 1 when values are positive and with population 2 when negative. The detected gene flow direction is illustrated in the upper schematics; the illustrated rout represents the shortest one between the proximate source and the target and should not be interpreted as the historic rout of the gene flow. The statistics and SEs are found in Supplementary Figures 2–5 and Supplementary Data 3. a Early Holocene Iranian and Caucasus populations, as well as present-day South Asians, share more alleles with Aceramic Anatolian farmers (AAF) than with Anatolian hunter-gatherers (AHG), measured by positive D(AAF, AHG; test, mbuti). The top 10 values with ±1 and ±3SE are shown in the upper box. b Ancient Levantine populations share more alleles with Anatolian Ceramic farmers (ACF) than with AAF, measured by positive D(ACF, AAF; test, Mbuti). The top 10 values with ±1 and ±3 SE are shown in the lower box. Source data are provided as a Source Data file
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Genetic links between Near-Eastern and European hunter-gatherers. a Genetic affinity between Near-Eastern and European hunter-gatherers increases after 14,000 years ago as measured by the statistic D(European HG, Kostenki14; Natufian/AHG, Mbuti). Vertical lines mark ± 1 SE. Data points for which D > 3 SE are outlined. Kostenki14 serves here as a baseline for the earlier European hunter-gatherers. Statistics including all analyzed European hunter-gatherers are listed in Supplementary Data 5. Individuals marked with an asterisk did not reach the analysis threshold of over 30,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) overlapping with Natufian/AHG. b Basal Eurasian ancestry proportions (α) as a marker for Near-Eastern gene flow. Mixture proportions inferred by qpAdm for the Anatolian hunter-gatherer (AHG) and the Iron Gates hunter-gatherers (Iron Gates HG) are schematically represented. The lower schematic shows the expected α in Iron Gates HG under assumption of unidirectional gene flow, inferred from α in the AHG source population. The observed α for Iron Gates HG is considerably smaller than expected; thus, the unidirectional gene flow from the Near East to Europe is not sufficient to explain the affinity between Iron Gates HG and AHG. Source data are provided as a Source Data file

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