Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Blue Eyes Were Common In The Copper Age Levant

Historical human geneticist Iosif Lazaridis notes on Twitter that:
A huge surprise of the new @EadaoinSays et al. paper on Chalcolithic Levant is that the OCA2/s12913832 "blue eye" allele frequency is ~1/2, i.e., Chalcolithic Levantines were probably more blue-eyed than Bronze Age people from Russia, a complete inversion of what is now observed.
Mass migration clearly played a part, although Levantines were almost surely not a source for Russian and Ukrainian populations based upon other genetic indicators.

More Twitter discussion here. The abstract of the paper based on ancient DNA results explains that:
The material culture of the Late Chalcolithic period in the southern Levant (4500–3900/3800 BCE) is qualitatively distinct from previous and subsequent periods. 
Here, to test the hypothesis that the advent and decline of this culture was influenced by movements of people, we generated genome-wide ancient DNA from 22 individuals from Peqi’in Cave, Israel. These individuals were part of a homogeneous population that can be modeled as deriving ~57% of its ancestry from groups related to those of the local Levant Neolithic, ~17% from groups related to those of the Iran Chalcolithic, and ~26% from groups related to those of the Anatolian Neolithic. 
The Peqi’in population also appears to have contributed differently to later Bronze Age groups, one of which we show cannot plausibly have descended from the same population as that of Peqi’in Cave. These results provide an example of how population movements propelled cultural changes in the deep past.
Modern Peq'in in Israel (near the Lebanese-Israeli border) is predominantly Druze in ethnicity, but are almost surely not descendants of the Chalcolithic residents of the area.

3 comments:

neo said...

in the news right now

DNA reveals first-known child of Neanderthal and Denisovan, study says
CNN-9 hours ago
(CNN) A 50,000-year-old bone fragment discovered in a Russian cave represents the first-known remains of a child that had a Neanderthal ...

doesn't this support multiregionalism? maybe one day they will find a neanderthal-croganon 50-50% and same with sapien-denosvan or even sapien-erectus

also there's african multiregionalism.

andrew said...

This doesn't support multiregionalism, which is the idea the a large percentage of regional differences in modern humans (i.e. race) is due to admixture with locally distinct archaic hominins. For example, Englishmen and men from China have only about a 1% difference in archaic admixture and both have archaic admixture predominantly from Neanderthals (possibly, mostly, the same population of Neanderthals even).

Neanderthal-Denisovan admixture had previously been discerned from autosomal analysis of genes in that cave, although perhaps not a recent an admixture.

neo said...

that version is very old and can be traced back to coon.

now there's African multiregionalism, different archaic hominids in africa mixed to form modern h sapiens.