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)

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,  … ⇒

European contact boiled the mitochondrial pool of South America

Llamas, B., Fehren-Schmitz, L., Valverde, G., Soubrier, J., Mallick, S., Rohland, N., Nordenfelt, S., Valdiosera, C., Richards, S. M., Rohrlach, A., Barreto Romera, M. I., Flores Espinoza, I., Tomasto Cagigao, E., Watson Jiménez, L., Makowski, K., Leboreiro Reyna, I. S., Mansilla Lory, J., Ballivián Torrez, J. A., Rivera, M. A., Burger, R. L., Constanza Ceruti, M., Reinhard, J., Spencer Wells, R., Politis, G., Santoro, C. M., Standen, V. G., Smith, C., Reich, D., Ho,  … ⇒

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:

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.  … ⇒

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.  … ⇒

Red foxes out of the Middle East and twice into America

Range-wide multilocus phylogeography of the red fox reveals ancient continental divergence, minimal genomic exchange and distinct demographic histories

Mark J. Statham, James Murdoch, Jan Janecka, Keith B. Aubry, Ceiridwen J. Edwards, Carl D. Soulsbury, Oliver Berry, Zhenghuan Wang, David Harrison, Malcolm Pearch, Louise Tomsett, Judith Chupasko, & Benjamin N. Sacks

Molecular Ecology 23(19): 4813–4830; Article first published online: 25 SEP 2014; DOI: 10.1111/mec.12898

Widely distributed taxa provide an opportunity to compare biogeographic responses to climatic fluctuations on multiple continents and to investigate speciation.  … ⇒

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.