Genomic insights into the origin of farming in the ancient Near East

Iosif Lazaridis, Dani Nadel, Gary Rollefson, Deborah C. Merrett, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Daniel Fernandes, Mario Novak, Beatriz Gamarra, Kendra Sirak, Sarah Connell, Kristin Stewardson, Eadaoin Harney, Qiaomei Fu, Gloria Gonzalez-Fortes, Eppie R. Jones, Songül Alpaslan Roodenberg, György Lengyel, Fanny Bocquentin, Boris GasparianJanet M. Monge, Michael Gregg, Vered Eshed, Ahuva Sivan Mizrahi, Christopher Meiklejohn, Fokke Gerritsen, Luminita Bejenaru, Matthias Blüher, Archie Campbell, Gianpiero Cavalleri, David Comas, Philippe Froguel, Edmund Gilbert, Shona M. Kerr, Peter Kovacs, Johannes Krause, Darren McGettigan, Michael Merrigan, D. Andrew Merriwether, Seamus O'Reilly, Martin B. Richards, Ornella Semino, Michel Shamoon-Pour, Gheorghe Stefanescu, Michael Stumvoll, Anke Tönjes, Antonio Torroni, James F. Wilson, Loic Yengo, Nelli A. Hovhannisyan, Nick Patterson, Ron Pinhasi, David Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

258 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report genome-wide ancient DNA from 44 ancient Near Easterners ranging in time between ∼12,000 and 1,400BC, from Natufian hunter-gatherers to Bronze Age farmers. We show that the earliest populations of the Near East derived around half their ancestry from a 'Basal Eurasian' lineage that had little if any Neanderthal admixture and that separated from other non-African lineages before their separation from each other. The first farmers of the southern Levant (Israel and Jordan) and Zagros Mountains (Iran) were strongly genetically differentiated, and each descended from local hunter-gatherers. By the time of the Bronze Age, these two populations and Anatolian-related farmers had mixed with each other and with the hunter-gatherers of Europe to greatly reduce genetic differentiation. The impact of the Near Eastern farmers extended beyond the Near East: farmers related to those of Anatolia spread westward into Europe; farmers related to those of the Levant spread southward into East Africa; farmers related to those of Iran spread northward into the Eurasian steppe; and people related to both the early farmers of Iran and to the pastoralists of the Eurasian steppe spread eastward into South Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-424
Number of pages6
JournalNature
Volume536
Issue number7617
Early online date25 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2016

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    Lazaridis, I., Nadel, D., Rollefson, G., Merrett, D. C., Rohland, N., Mallick, S., ... Reich, D. (2016). Genomic insights into the origin of farming in the ancient Near East. Nature, 536(7617), 419-424. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature19310