Proof of hereditary elites at Chaco

Proof of hereditary elites at Chaco

Archaeogenomic evidence reveals prehistoric matrilineal dynasty

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14115 (2017)
doi:10.1038/ncomms14115

Douglas J. Kennett, Stephen Plog, Richard J. George, Brendan J. Culleton, Adam S. Watson, Pontus Skoglund, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Kristin Stewardson, Logan Kistler, Steven A. LeBlanc, Peter M. Whiteley, David Reich & George H. Perry

For societies with writing systems, hereditary leadership is documented as one of the hallmarks of early political complexity and governance.  … ⇒

Y-DNA supports population discontinuity between Early Neolithic & Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age in Cis-Baikal

Y-DNA supports population discontinuity between Early Neolithic & Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age in Cis-Baikal

Exciting findings in the 2015 PhD thesis of Nour Moussa, a student at the University of Alberta affiliated with the Baikal(-Hokkaido) Archaeological Project.

Thesis abstract:

The study of Ancient DNA (aDNA), DNA recovered from archaeological and historic post mortem material, has complemented the study of anthropology and archaeology. There are several challenges in the retrieval and analysis of DNA from ancient specimens including exogenous contamination with modern DNA,  … ⇒

A refined global picture of Denisovan admixture

A refined global picture of Denisovan admixture

Sankararaman, S., Mallick, S., Patterson, N., & Reich, D. (2016). The Combined Landscape of Denisovan and Neanderthal Ancestry in Present-Day Humans. Current Biology, 26:1–7. [In Press Corrected Proof, online 28 Mar 2016: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.037]

Some present-day humans derive up to ∼5% [ 1 ] of their ancestry from archaic Denisovans, an even larger proportion than the ∼2% from Neanderthals [ 2 ]. We developed methods that can disambiguate the locations of segments of Denisovan and Neanderthal ancestry in present-day humans and applied them to 257 high-coverage genomes from 120 diverse populations,  … ⇒

The week in bioRxiv

Improving access to endogenous DNA in ancient bone and teeth

Peter B. Damgaard, Ashot Margaryan, Hannes Schroeder, Ludovic Orlando, Eske Willerslev, Morten E. Allentoft
February 6, 2015; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/014985

Poor DNA preservation is the most limiting factor in ancient genomic research. In the vast majority of ancient bones and teeth, endogenous DNA molecules only represent a minor fraction of the whole DNA extract, rendering traditional shot-gun sequencing approaches cost-ineffective for whole-genome characterization.  … ⇒

Unadmixed Polynesians in the interior of 18th century Brazil

Unadmixed Polynesians in the interior of 18th century Brazil

Malaspinas et al. 2014, Fig. 1. “18th century” is a conservative end range: The 95% HPDs of the marine corrected dates are 1479–1708 AD and 1730–1804 AD for Bot15, and 1496–1842 AD for Bot17.

Follow-up to a bizarre mtDNA finding from 2013: 2 of 14 skulls in the Botocudo collection of The Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found to have seemingly Austronesian mtDNA haplogroups while the remainder exhibited the typically Native American hg C1.  … ⇒

Five thousand year genomic time transect through the Alföld

Five thousand year genomic time transect through the Alföld

Quick remarks (updated 2014.10.23 & 2014.10.27):

(1) Pinhasi makes an impressive case for preferentially targeting the very dense and presumably well-sheltered petrous pyramid of the temporal bone for ancient DNA extraction.

(2) All (four) of the Early and Middle Neolithic males in this study were found to have characteristically hunter-gatherer Y hgs (I2a & C6, which you may remember from Mesolithic La Braña)! Male-biased incorporation of local hunter-gatherers? Very much not what you’d anticipate from the German and Iberian Neolithic series.  … ⇒

Europe-endemic lineages of mtDNA hg L* and trans-Gibraltar movement in prehistory

Pardiñas et al. argue in a new article that their recognition of an apparently Iberia-specific sublineage of mtDNA haplogroup L3f in modern Asturians is the legacy of an early Neolithic (if not earlier!) northward crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar. I have my doubts, but it speaks to scenarios that ought to remain under serious consideration.

Over the sands and far away: Interpreting an Iberian mitochondrial lineage with ancient Western African origins  … ⇒Antonio F.