The mtDNA legacy of the levantine early Upper Palaeolithic in Africa

Anna Olivieri, Alessandro Achilli, Maria Pala, Vincenza Battaglia, Simona Fornarino, Nadia Al-Zahery, Rosaria Scozzari, Fulvio Cruciani, Doron M. Behar, Jean Michel Dugoujon, Clotilde Coudray, A. Silvana Santachiara-Benerecetti, Ornella Semino, Hans Jürgen Bandelt, Antonio Torroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sequencing of 81 entire human mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) belonging to haplogroups M1 and U6 reveals that these predominantly North African clades arose in southwestern Asia and moved together to Africa about 40,000 to 45,000 years ago. Their arrival temporally overlaps with the event(s) that led to the peopling of Europe by modern humans and was most likely the result of the same change in climate conditions that allowed humans to enter the Levant, opening the way to the colonization of both Europe and North Africa. Thus, the early Upper Palaeolithic population(s) carrying M1 and U6 did not return to Africa along the southern coastal route of the "out of Africa" exit, but from the Mediterranean area; and the North African Dabban and European Aurignacian industries derived from a common Levantine source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1767-1770
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume314
Issue number5806
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

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