Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Ancient DNA From 2000 BCE Hair Of A Herder In Sudan

A new study has analyzed ancient DNA and other chemical features of hair from an individual who died around 2000 BCE and was interred in Sudan. The open access source paper is here. As Bernard explains at this blog (at the link):

This individual is dated 4033 years in the Kerma period which succeeds the Neolithic.

A recent study on the diet of individuals buried in Kadruka cemeteries showed that these individuals ate dairy products from cows or sheep, C3-type plants such as beans, cowpeas, cassava, soybeans, rice or barley, or animals eating type C3 plants. The early proliferation of the pastoral economy visible in the Kerma culture of northern Sudan has been proposed as a potential source for the spread of pastoralism in East Africa. . . .
The results show that the ancient individual from northern Sudan is located close to the ancient pastors of East Africa, particularly Kenya and Tanzania, also dated 4000 years ago. Moreover, the f3 statistic shows that this individual from Sudan has the most genetic affinity with the ancient individuals of the Levant, the ancient individuals of North or East Africa, or the current populations of North Africa or the Horn of Africa.

These results suggest that the pastoral economy has spread in Africa along the banks of the Nile, towards the south.

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