Reader Comments

Post a new comment on this article

A Sub-Saharan Origin of the Early European Farmers

Posted by Clyde98 on 10 Nov 2010 at 05:18 GMT

Haak et al argue that a genetic analysis of ancient mtDNA suggest that the LPC population originated in Eurasia. The archaeology, craniometric, phylogeographic and genetic evidence trace the origin of the Neolithic European farmers to Africa. It also shows continuity between hunter-gather and Neolithic European populations.
Researchers have found that the ancient Europeans fail to have a genetic link with contemporary European populations and the Neanderthals (1). An analysis of Cro-Magnon DNA indicates that they belonged to haplogroup N among ancient samples ranged from 8% to 42%.
Haak et al found that the first Neolithic farmers did not have a strong genetic influence on modern European female lineages . These researchers found that the farmers were predominately HG N1a . The existence of the hg N in western Europe from 24,000-7500 kya1 ,show continuity between the Pleistocene and Neolithic western Eurasians who carried hg N.
The craniofacial evidence makes it clear that the Levantines and Aurignacian people came from Africa (2,9). As a result we find those craniofacial features of the Grimaldi-Cro-Magnon population (3) and especially the Natufian populations when plotted fall within the range of Sub-Saharan populations like the Niger-Congo speakers (10).
Numerous Sub-Saharan skeletons have been found in Europe dating to the Aurignacian and Neolithic periods(3-5). Boule and Vallois observed that Sub-Saharan skeletons have been found in the Ligurian and Lombard tombs, Grotte des Enfants, Chamblandes in Switzerland, caverns of Moniat, near Dinant in Belgium(3). Boule and Vallois claim that these European farmers correspond to the Khoisan population3. This is interesting because Brace et al found that the craniofacial features of these early European farmers and the Natufians plotted with Sub-Saharan groups (2), just like the Aurignacians (3).
There are also N hgs found in Africa. Haplogroups N,N* and N1 is found in low frequencies within Sub-Saharan groups including Senegambians (6), Tanzanians (7) and modern Ethiopians (8) .In Egypt 8.8 percent of the Gurma carry hg N1b (9).
In conclusion, the Old Europeans may have been Africans. This is based on the reality that the haplogroup N1(a) is common to Senegambians, modern Ethiopians and the Dravidian speaking people of India and the craniometric evidence indicate that the Aurignacian and Neolithic populations were Sub-Saharan Africans. Thus, the Old Europeans may be related to African cattle raising farming groups, planted the seeds of agriculture in ancient Europe.

Reference:

1.Caramelli,D.,Lalueza-Fox,C., Vernesi,C., Lari,M.,Casoli,A., Mallegni,B.C., Dupanloup, I., Bertranpetit,J., Barbujani,G., Bertorelle,G. Evidence for a genetic discontinuity between Neandertals and 24,000 year-old anatomically modern Europeans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003,;100 (11):6593-6597.
2.Brace, C.L. , Noriko Seguchi, Conrad B. Quintyn, Sherry C. Fox, A. Russell Nelson, Sotiris K. Manolis,** and Pan Qifeng. (2006). The questionable contribution of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age to European craniofacial form. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 January 3; 103(1): 242–247.
3. Boule, M., HV Vallois . (1957). Fossil Man . Dryden Press New York Bordes, Francois.(1972 ). L’Origine de l’homme moderne.Paris, UNESCO. Bordes, Francois.(1972 ). L’Origine de l’homme moderne.Paris, UNESCO.
4. Diop, A.( 1991 ) . Civilization or Barbarism. Lawrence Hill Books.
5. Diop,A.(1974). The African Origin of Civilization. Lawrence Hill Books .
6. González, A. M., V. M. Cabrera, J. M. Larruga, A. Tounkara, G. Noumsi, B. N. Thomas and J. M. Moulds. Mitochondrial DNA Variation in Mauritania and Mali and their Genetic Relationship to Other Western Africa Populations. Annals of Human Genetics 2006;70,5. http://www.blackwell-syne... A, Gilles A, Bouzaid E, Kefi R, Paris,F. Mitochondrial DNA sequence diversity in a Sedentary population from Egypt, Ann Hum Gent 2003; 68, 23-30.
7. Gonder MK, Mortensen HM, Reed FA, de Sousa A, Tishkoff SA. (2006). Whole mtDNA Genome Sequence Analysis of Ancient African Lineages. Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Dec 28.

7. Quibtanana-Murci L, Semino O,Bandelt H J, Passaro G, McElreadey K, Santachiara-Benerecetti A S. Genetic Evidence of an early exit of Homo sapiens from Africa through eastern Africa, Nat. Genet (1999); 23:437-441.

9. Holiday, T. (2000). Evolution at the Crossroads:Modern Human Emergence in Western Asia, American Anthropologist,102(1) .
10. Balter M. 2005. Ancient DNA yields clues to the puzzle of European origins. Science 310:964-965. Full text (subscription)


No competing interests declared.