Tuesday, August 9, 2016
On the enigmatic early Neolithic farmers from Iran
There still seems to be a lot of confusion around the traps, including in the comments at this blog, about the genetic structure of the early Neolithic Iranian farmers. They're certainly a unique and mysterious West Eurasian population, but I'd say the picture is generally pretty straightforward considering that they were dug up on the border between the Near East and Central Asia. As per my K7 test, they're closely related to other West Eurasians, and especially Near Easterners, via an ancient component that appears to be a mixture of Basal Eurasian and something very similar to the Villabruna cluster (see post here and the last page of the accompanying comments). Apart from that, they harbor a lot of AG3-related ancestry, albeit probably only distantly related. My guess for now is that this is mostly admixture from an as yet unsampled Central Asian forager population,
perhaps with elevated affinity to Ust_Ishim (update: probably not, see here).
The graphs below are based on the datasheet available here. Like I say, these ancient Zagros farmers are unique and eastern shifted, but, at the same time, don't show the type of Southeast Asian pull that characterizes present-day South and South Central Asians.