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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.


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Chad Rohlfsen said...

Natufians, sorry.

Davidski said...

Nah, I just can't see any major EHG, CHG or Iran_N in the Anatolians, not even the Central ones.

Rob said...

Some CHG in early Anatolian shouldn't be surprising. Some "bullet core" substratum is seen in Anatolia, Caucasus and northern levant, but not south levant or Greece.

Davidski said...

There is some CHG in the Anatolians, and there's more of it in the Central Anatolians than the Western Anatolians.

But CHG has a lot of ANE and a very strong eastern pull. The Anatolians lack these features for the most part.

qpAdm can show a lot of interesting and useful things, like Mota standing in for Basal Eurasian, more or less. So it's possible to get good fits in many cases, but it's hard to know precisely what the results mean. No point chasing ghosts.

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