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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Early Anatolian farmers were overwhelmingly of local hunter-gatherer origin (Feldman et al. 2018 preprint)

Over at bioRxiv at this LINK. The dataset in this preprint includes just one Anatolian hunter-gatherer, but that's enough to make the point that in Anatolia, unlike in Europe, there was very strong genetic continuity between the local foragers and earliest farmers. His Y-chromosome haplogroup is an interesting one: C1a2, which has been recorded in European remains from the Upper Paleolithic. Below is the abstract and a pertinent quote. I think this preprint basically confirms what I argued about the origin of the so called Villabruna hunter-gatherer clade back in 2016 (see here). Emphasis is mine.

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 between the hunter-gatherer 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 that extends to central Europe during the post-last-glacial maximum period. Our results suggest a limited role of human migration in the emergence of agriculture in central Anatolia.


Among the Later European HG, recently reported Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from the Balkan peninsula, which geographically connects Anatolia and central Europe (‘Iron Gates HG’) [18], are genetically closer to AHG when compared to all the other European hunter-gatherers, as shown in the significantly positive statistic D(Iron_Gates_HG, European hunter-gatherers; AHG, Mbuti/Altai). Iron Gates HG are followed by Epigravettian and Mesolithic individuals from Italy and France (Villabruna [14] and Ranchot88 respectively [17]) as the next two European hunter-gatherers genetically closest to AHG [20] (Fig. 3A and data table S5). Iron Gates HG have been suggested to be genetically intermediate between WHG and eastern European hunter-gatherers (EHG) with an additional unknown ancestral component [18]. We find that Iron Gates HG can be modeled as a three-way mixture of Near-Eastern hunter-gatherers (25.8 ± 5.0 % AHG or 11.1 ± 2.2 % Natufian), WHG (62.9 ± 7.4 % or 78.0 ± 4.6 % respectively) and EHG (11.3 ± 3.3 % or 10.9 ± 3 % respectively); (tables S4 and S9). The affinity detected by the above D-statistic can be explained by gene flow from Near-Eastern hunter-gatherers into the ancestors of Iron Gates or by a gene flow from a population ancestral to Iron Gates into the Near-Eastern hunter-gatherers as well as by a combination of both. To distinguish the direction of the gene flow, we examined the Basal Eurasian ancestry component (α), which is prevalent in the Near East [6] but undetectable in European hunter-gatherers [17]. Following a published approach [6], we estimated α to be 24.8 ± 5.5 % in AHG and 38.5 ± 5.0 % in Natufians (Fig. 3B, table S10), consistent with previous estimates for the latter [6]. Under the model of unidirectional gene flow from Anatolia to Europe, 6.4 % is expected for α of Iron Gates by calculating (% AHG in Iron Gates HG) × (α in AHG). However, Iron Gates can be modeled without any Basal Eurasian ancestry or with a non-significant proportion of 1.6 ± 2.8 % (Fig. 3B, table S10), suggesting that unidirectional gene flow from the Near East to Europe alone is insufficient to explain the extra affinity between the Iron Gates HG and the Near-Eastern hunter-gatherers. Thus, it is plausible to assume that prior to 15,000 years ago there was either a bidirectional gene flow between populations ancestral to Southeastern Europeans of the early Holocene and Anatolians of the late glacial or a dispersal of Southeastern Europeans into the Near East. Presumably, this Southeastern European ancestral population later spread into central Europe during the post-last-glacial maximum (LGM) period, resulting in the observed late Pleistocene genetic affinity between the Near East and Europe.

Feldman et al., Late Pleistocene human genome suggests a local origin for the first farmers of central Anatolia, biRxiv, posted September 20, 2018, doi:


Samuel Andrews said...

The Anatolian Hg had mtDNA K2b, Y DNA C1a2.

AnatolianHG shares ancestry with both WHG and Natufian. Suggests Iron gate Hgs had some Near Eastern ancestry (Anatolian or Natufian-ish). Debunks, the idea all ancient West Eurasian pops were completely unrelated to each other.

K2b today is more or less European-exclusive today. It's very rare. A "young" branch, K2b1a1, takes up most modern K2b. It's mostly found in western Europe, especially Spain. Not all K2b is K2b1a1. There's K2b2, and I have one K2b* from Iran.

Samuel Andrews said...

As far as I know, K2b has not been found in Neolithic farmers. The only other ancient example I know of comes from Corded Ware (K2b2).

Arch Hades said...

I made a post about this over on ForumBiodiversity...which no one responded to unfortunately.

Wouldn't you say this discredits the idea of WHGs/The "Villabruna cluster" coming from Asia Minor then? As "Qiaomei Fu et al. 2016" argued. How could WHGs be from Asia Minor or the Near East if the ancestors of the EEFs are near fully genetically continuous to late Upper Paleolithic Asia Minor? Two populations that phylogenetically distinct living in the same area? Doubt it very much. My guess is WHGs resided and formed in the Northern Balkans during the time of this Anatolian forger [13,000 BC]

Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Well not a whole lot of either mtDNA or Y-DNA haplogroups survived the transition, but the populations were continuous? How do you go from C-1 to G-2 unless the population changed?

MaxT said...


Will you be adding all new samples to Basal-rich K7 spreadsheet?

Guy said...


Did I miss the supplement? Doesn't seem to be there.


a said...

MA1/ Villabruna/ Iron Gates, Caucasus hunters/gatherer all score European Neanderthal component. There is no mention of this component-- in this Anatolian/Fertile Crescent/Zagros Mountain study.

"Recent genetic studies have shown that in mainland Europe, farming was introduced by
an expansion of early farmers from Anatolia that replaced much of the local populations4, 5. Such
mode of spread is often referred to as the demic diffusion model. In contrast, in regions of the
Fertile Crescent such as the southern Levant and the Zagros Mountains (located between present25
day eastern Iraq and western Iran) the population structure persists throughout the Neolithic "

For example- Iron Gates are within 50K of Oase1 --

Davidski said...

@Arch Hades

Check out the quote from the preprint that I added to the blog post.

rozenblatt said...

Regarding C1a2: It was also found in Neolithic Barcin in NW Anatolia, I1102, from "Genome-wide patterns of selection in 230 ancient Eurasians".

epoch said...

So now it is sure there was no migration from the Anatolia into Europe to explain the affinity WHG/Villabruna *and* Magdalenians have to the Middle East.

I keep thinking this was a two tier thing. One to explain for the wider affinity between El Miron or WHG and Natufians or Anatolians (and to a far lesser extend also Iran), and a second one explaining the affinity between Iron Gates and Anatolians to the exclusion of the rest.

Kristiina said...

There are C1a2 samples from Mesolithic/Neolithic Europe and from Anatolia:
Aurignacian hg Goyet France Q116-1 C1a2
Gravettian hg Czech Pavlov1 C1a2
Mesolithic hg La Braña Spain C1a2
Neolithic Tepecik-Çiftlik Turkey Tep006 C1a2
Neolithic Barcın Turkey I1102/BarM14 C1a2
Balkans Cardial NE Zemunica Croatia I3947 C1a2
LBKT Apc-Berekalja I Hungary NE6/I1496 C1a2
MN ALP Kompolt-Kigyoser Hungary I1500/NE5 C1a2
LBK Schletz Austria I5070 C1a2

@ Samuel
K2b1a has been found in a Neolithic context in Sweden, i.e in Funnelbeaker culture/ Trichterbecherkultur. If I remember correctly these Swedish farmers were very much like Central European farmers.

I have recorded these ancient K2b1a samples:
TRB Neolithic Ansarme dolmen Gotland ans007 c. 3000 BC K2b1a,
TRB Neolithic Ansarme dolmen Gotland ans009 c. 2880 BC K2b1a,
BB Germany-BAV Manching-Oberstimm I5527/F0215 K2b1a1,
BB Switzerland Sion-Petit-Chasseur Dolmen XI I5755 K2b1a,
BB Central Europe Velké Přílepy Czech I6468 K2b1,
Scytho Siberian Kazakh Altai Pazyryk c. 350 BC Tar Asu Ta_1 K2b1a

Corded Ware sample is K2b2 and may have had somewhat different history:
Corded Ware Esperstedt LNBA Germany I1544/ESP36 K2b2.

epoch said...

David, what does this do?

Mbuti Barcin Kostenki14 Vestonice

epoch said...


O wait, maybe add Boncuklu. And Sunghir.

Mbuti Boncuklu Kostenki14 Vestonice
Mbuti Boncuklu Kostenki14 Sunghir

Davidski said...


Mbuti Boncuklu_N Kostenki14 Vestonice16 0.0221 3.51 672408
Mbuti Boncuklu_N Kostenki14 Sunghir 0.0091 1.899 1011048

epoch said...

26.000 year old samples from Georgia. Has Basal, more related to WHG.

Steven said...

So we have farmer related ancestry in Europe prior to the Neolithic?