Publications by authors named "Thomas K Harper"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Archaeological Central American maize genomes suggest ancient gene flow from South America.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 12 14;117(52):33124-33129. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106;

Maize ( ssp. ) domestication began in southwestern Mexico ∼9,000 calendar years before present (cal. BP) and humans dispersed this important grain to South America by at least 7,000 cal. BP as a partial domesticate. South America served as a secondary improvement center where the domestication syndrome became fixed and new lineages emerged in parallel with similar processes in Mesoamerica. Later, Indigenous cultivators carried a second major wave of maize southward from Mesoamerica, but it has been unclear until now whether the deeply divergent maize lineages underwent any subsequent gene flow between these regions. Here we report ancient maize genomes (2,300-1,900 cal. BP) from El Gigante rock shelter, Honduras, that are closely related to ancient and modern maize from South America. Our findings suggest that the second wave of maize brought into South America hybridized with long-established landraces from the first wave, and that some of the resulting newly admixed lineages were then reintroduced to Central America. Direct radiocarbon dates and cob morphological data from the rock shelter suggest that more productive maize varieties developed between 4,300 and 2,500 cal. BP. We hypothesize that the influx of maize from South America into Central America may have been an important source of genetic diversity as maize was becoming a staple grain in Central and Mesoamerica.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2015560117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7777085PMC
December 2020

Ancient genomes in South Patagonia reveal population movements associated with technological shifts and geography.

Nat Commun 2020 08 3;11(1):3868. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Archaeological research documents major technological shifts among people who have lived in the southern tip of South America (South Patagonia) during the last thirteen millennia, including the development of marine-based economies and changes in tools and raw materials. It has been proposed that movements of people spreading culture and technology propelled some of these shifts, but these hypotheses have not been tested with ancient DNA. Here we report genome-wide data from 20 ancient individuals, and co-analyze it with previously reported data. We reveal that immigration does not explain the appearance of marine adaptations in South Patagonia. We describe partial genetic continuity since ~6600 BP and two later gene flows correlated with technological changes: one between 4700-2000 BP that affected primarily marine-based groups, and a later one impacting all <2000 BP groups. From ~2200-1200 BP, mixture among neighbors resulted in a cline correlated to geographic ordering along the coast.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17656-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400565PMC
August 2020

Integration of ancient DNA with transdisciplinary dataset finds strong support for Inca resettlement in the south Peruvian coast.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 08 13;117(31):18359-18368. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Paleogenomics, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.

Ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis provides a powerful means of investigating human migration, social organization, and a plethora of other crucial questions about humanity's past. Recently, specialists have suggested that the ideal research design involving aDNA would include multiple independent lines of evidence. In this paper, we adopt a transdisciplinary approach integrating aDNA with archaeological, biogeochemical, and historical data to investigate six individuals found in two cemeteries that date to the Late Horizon (1400 to 1532 CE) and Colonial (1532 to 1825 CE) periods in the Chincha Valley of southern Peru. Genomic analyses indicate that these individuals are genetically most similar to ancient and present-day populations from the north Peruvian coast located several hundred kilometers away. These genomic data are consistent with 16th century written records as well as ceramic, textile, and isotopic data. These results provide some of the strongest evidence yet of state-sponsored resettlement in the pre-Colonial Andes. This study highlights the power of transdisciplinary research designs when using aDNA data and sets a methodological standard for investigating ancient mobility in complex societies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2005965117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414190PMC
August 2020

Early isotopic evidence for maize as a staple grain in the Americas.

Sci Adv 2020 Jun 3;6(23):eaba3245. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Ya'axché Conservation Trust, Punta Gorda Town, Belize.

Maize is a cultigen of global economic importance, but when it first became a staple grain in the Americas, was unknown and contested. Here, we report direct isotopic dietary evidence from 52 radiocarbon-dated human skeletons from two remarkably well-preserved rock-shelter contexts in the Maya Mountains of Belize spanning the past 10,000 years. Individuals dating before ~4700 calendar years before present (cal B.P.) show no clear evidence for the consumption of maize. Evidence for substantial maize consumption (~30% of total diet) appears in some individuals between 4700 and 4000 cal B.P. Isotopic evidence after 4000 cal B.P. indicates that maize became a persistently used staple grain comparable in dietary significance to later maize agriculturalists in the region (>70% of total diet). These data provide the earliest definitive evidence for maize as a staple grain in the Americas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aba3245DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7269666PMC
June 2020

A Paleogenomic Reconstruction of the Deep Population History of the Andes.

Cell 2020 05 7;181(5):1131-1145.e21. Epub 2020 May 7.

UCSC Paleogenomics, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA; UCSC Genomics Institute, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA. Electronic address:

There are many unanswered questions about the population history of the Central and South Central Andes, particularly regarding the impact of large-scale societies, such as the Moche, Wari, Tiwanaku, and Inca. We assembled genome-wide data on 89 individuals dating from ∼9,000-500 years ago (BP), with a particular focus on the period of the rise and fall of state societies. Today's genetic structure began to develop by 5,800 BP, followed by bi-directional gene flow between the North and South Highlands, and between the Highlands and Coast. We detect minimal admixture among neighboring groups between ∼2,000-500 BP, although we do detect cosmopolitanism (people of diverse ancestries living side-by-side) in the heartlands of the Tiwanaku and Inca polities. We also highlight cases of long-range mobility connecting the Andes to Argentina and the Northwest Andes to the Amazon Basin. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7304944PMC
May 2020

The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia.

Authors:
Vagheesh M Narasimhan Nick Patterson Priya Moorjani Nadin Rohland Rebecca Bernardos Swapan Mallick Iosif Lazaridis Nathan Nakatsuka Iñigo Olalde Mark Lipson Alexander M Kim Luca M Olivieri Alfredo Coppa Massimo Vidale James Mallory Vyacheslav Moiseyev Egor Kitov Janet Monge Nicole Adamski Neel Alex Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht Francesca Candilio Kimberly Callan Olivia Cheronet Brendan J Culleton Matthew Ferry Daniel Fernandes Suzanne Freilich Beatriz Gamarra Daniel Gaudio Mateja Hajdinjak Éadaoin Harney Thomas K Harper Denise Keating Ann Marie Lawson Matthew Mah Kirsten Mandl Megan Michel Mario Novak Jonas Oppenheimer Niraj Rai Kendra Sirak Viviane Slon Kristin Stewardson Fatma Zalzala Zhao Zhang Gaziz Akhatov Anatoly N Bagashev Alessandra Bagnera Bauryzhan Baitanayev Julio Bendezu-Sarmiento Arman A Bissembaev Gian Luca Bonora Temirlan T Chargynov Tatiana Chikisheva Petr K Dashkovskiy Anatoly Derevianko Miroslav Dobeš Katerina Douka Nadezhda Dubova Meiram N Duisengali Dmitry Enshin Andrey Epimakhov Alexey V Fribus Dorian Fuller Alexander Goryachev Andrey Gromov Sergey P Grushin Bryan Hanks Margaret Judd Erlan Kazizov Aleksander Khokhlov Aleksander P Krygin Elena Kupriyanova Pavel Kuznetsov Donata Luiselli Farhod Maksudov Aslan M Mamedov Talgat B Mamirov Christopher Meiklejohn Deborah C Merrett Roberto Micheli Oleg Mochalov Samariddin Mustafokulov Ayushi Nayak Davide Pettener Richard Potts Dmitry Razhev Marina Rykun Stefania Sarno Tatyana M Savenkova Kulyan Sikhymbaeva Sergey M Slepchenko Oroz A Soltobaev Nadezhda Stepanova Svetlana Svyatko Kubatbek Tabaldiev Maria Teschler-Nicola Alexey A Tishkin Vitaly V Tkachev Sergey Vasilyev Petr Velemínský Dmitriy Voyakin Antonina Yermolayeva Muhammad Zahir Valery S Zubkov Alisa Zubova Vasant S Shinde Carles Lalueza-Fox Matthias Meyer David Anthony Nicole Boivin Kumarasamy Thangaraj Douglas J Kennett Michael Frachetti Ron Pinhasi David Reich

Science 2019 09;365(6457)

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

By sequencing 523 ancient humans, we show that the primary source of ancestry in modern South Asians is a prehistoric genetic gradient between people related to early hunter-gatherers of Iran and Southeast Asia. After the Indus Valley Civilization's decline, its people mixed with individuals in the southeast to form one of the two main ancestral populations of South Asia, whose direct descendants live in southern India. Simultaneously, they mixed with descendants of Steppe pastoralists who, starting around 4000 years ago, spread via Central Asia to form the other main ancestral population. The Steppe ancestry in South Asia has the same profile as that in Bronze Age Eastern Europe, tracking a movement of people that affected both regions and that likely spread the distinctive features shared between Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic languages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aat7487DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6822619PMC
September 2019

Ancient DNA from the skeletons of Roopkund Lake reveals Mediterranean migrants in India.

Nat Commun 2019 08 20;10(1):3670. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

CSIR Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, Telangana, 500007, India.

Situated at over 5,000 meters above sea level in the Himalayan Mountains, Roopkund Lake is home to the scattered skeletal remains of several hundred individuals of unknown origin. We report genome-wide ancient DNA for 38 skeletons from Roopkund Lake, and find that they cluster into three distinct groups. A group of 23 individuals have ancestry that falls within the range of variation of present-day South Asians. A further 14 have ancestry typical of the eastern Mediterranean. We also identify one individual with Southeast Asian-related ancestry. Radiocarbon dating indicates that these remains were not deposited simultaneously. Instead, all of the individuals with South Asian-related ancestry date to ~800 CE (but with evidence of being deposited in more than one event), while all other individuals date to ~1800 CE. These differences are also reflected in stable isotope measurements, which reveal a distinct dietary profile for the two main groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11357-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6702210PMC
August 2019

Palaeo-Eskimo genetic ancestry and the peopling of Chukotka and North America.

Nature 2019 06 5;570(7760):236-240. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany.

Much of the American Arctic was first settled 5,000 years ago, by groups of people known as Palaeo-Eskimos. They were subsequently joined and largely displaced around 1,000 years ago by ancestors of the present-day Inuit and Yup'ik. The genetic relationship between Palaeo-Eskimos and Native American, Inuit, Yup'ik and Aleut populations remains uncertain. Here we present genomic data for 48 ancient individuals from Chukotka, East Siberia, the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and the Canadian Arctic. We co-analyse these data with data from present-day Alaskan Iñupiat and West Siberian populations and published genomes. Using methods based on rare-allele and haplotype sharing, as well as established techniques, we show that Palaeo-Eskimo-related ancestry is ubiquitous among people who speak Na-Dene and Eskimo-Aleut languages. We develop a comprehensive model for the Holocene peopling events of Chukotka and North America, and show that Na-Dene-speaking peoples, people of the Aleutian Islands, and Yup'ik and Inuit across the Arctic region all share ancestry from a single Palaeo-Eskimo-related Siberian source.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1251-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6942545PMC
June 2019

Ancient DNA reveals a multistep spread of the first herders into sub-Saharan Africa.

Science 2019 07 30;365(6448). Epub 2019 May 30.

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

How food production first entered eastern Africa ~5000 years ago and the extent to which people moved with livestock is unclear. We present genome-wide data from 41 individuals associated with Later Stone Age, Pastoral Neolithic (PN), and Iron Age contexts in what are now Kenya and Tanzania to examine the genetic impacts of the spreads of herding and farming. Our results support a multiphase model in which admixture between northeastern African-related peoples and eastern African foragers formed multiple pastoralist groups, including a genetically homogeneous PN cluster. Additional admixture with northeastern and western African-related groups occurred by the Iron Age. These findings support several movements of food producers while rejecting models of minimal admixture with foragers and of genetic differentiation between makers of distinct PN artifacts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaw6275DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827346PMC
July 2019

Reconstructing the Deep Population History of Central and South America.

Cell 2018 11 8;175(5):1185-1197.e22. Epub 2018 Nov 8.

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:

We report genome-wide ancient DNA from 49 individuals forming four parallel time transects in Belize, Brazil, the Central Andes, and the Southern Cone, each dating to at least ∼9,000 years ago. The common ancestral population radiated rapidly from just one of the two early branches that contributed to Native Americans today. We document two previously unappreciated streams of gene flow between North and South America. One affected the Central Andes by ∼4,200 years ago, while the other explains an affinity between the oldest North American genome associated with the Clovis culture and the oldest Central and South Americans from Chile, Brazil, and Belize. However, this was not the primary source for later South Americans, as the other ancient individuals derive from lineages without specific affinity to the Clovis-associated genome, suggesting a population replacement that began at least 9,000 years ago and was followed by substantial population continuity in multiple regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2018.10.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6327247PMC
November 2018

Fatty acid specific δ13C values reveal earliest Mediterranean cheese production 7,200 years ago.

PLoS One 2018 5;13(9):e0202807. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Department of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States of America.

The earliest evidence for cheese production in the Mediterranean is revealed by stable carbon isotope analyses of individual fatty acids in pottery residues from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Lipid residue data indicate the presence of milk in the earliest pottery, Impressed Ware, by 5700 cal. BCE (7700 BP). In contrast, by 5200 cal BCE (7200 BP), milk was common in refined Figulina pottery, meat was mostly associated with Danilo ware, cheese occurred in Rhyta, and sieves contained fermented dairy, representing strong links between specific function and stylistically distinctive pottery vessels. Genetic data indicate the prevalence of lactose intolerance among early farming populations. However, young children are lactase persistent until after weaning and could consume milk as a relatively pathogen-free and nutrient rich food source, enhancing their chances of survival into adulthood. Fermentation of milk into yogurt and cheese decreases lactose content. The evidence for fermented dairy products by 5200 cal BCE indicates a larger proportion of the population was able to consume dairy products and benefit from their significant nutritional advantages. We suggest that milk and cheese production among Europe's early farmers reduced infant mortality and helped stimulate demographic shifts that propelled farming communities to expand to northern latitudes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0202807PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124750PMC
February 2019

Archaeogenomic evidence from the southwestern US points to a pre-Hispanic scarlet macaw breeding colony.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 08 13;115(35):8740-8745. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802;

Hundreds of scarlet macaw () skeletons have been recovered from archaeological contexts in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico (SW/NW). The location of these skeletons, >1,000 km outside their Neotropical endemic range, has suggested a far-reaching pre-Hispanic acquisition network. Clear evidence for scarlet macaw breeding within this network is only known from the settlement of Paquimé in NW dating between 1250 and 1450 CE. Although some scholars have speculated on the probable existence of earlier breeding centers in the SW/NW region, there has been no supporting evidence. In this study, we performed an ancient DNA analysis of scarlet macaws recovered from archaeological sites in Chaco Canyon and the contemporaneous Mimbres area of New Mexico. All samples were directly radiocarbon dated between 900 and 1200 CE. We reconstructed complete or near-complete mitochondrial genome sequences of 14 scarlet macaws from five different sites. We observed remarkably low genetic diversity in this sample, consistent with breeding of a small founder population translocated outside their natural range. Phylogeographic comparisons of our ancient DNA mitogenomes with mitochondrial sequences from macaws collected during the last 200 years from their endemic Neotropical range identified genetic affinity between the ancient macaws and a single rare haplogroup (Haplo6) observed only among wild macaws in Mexico and northern Guatemala. Our results suggest that people at an undiscovered pre-Hispanic settlement dating between 900 and 1200 CE managed a macaw breeding colony outside their endemic range and distributed these symbolically important birds through the SW.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1805856115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6126748PMC
August 2018

Erratum: The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe.

Authors:
Iñigo Olalde Selina Brace Morten E Allentoft Ian Armit Kristian Kristiansen Thomas Booth Nadin Rohland Swapan Mallick Anna Szécsényi-Nagy Alissa Mittnik Eveline Altena Mark Lipson Iosif Lazaridis Thomas K Harper Nick Patterson Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht Yoan Diekmann Zuzana Faltyskova Daniel Fernandes Matthew Ferry Eadaoin Harney Peter de Knijff Megan Michel Jonas Oppenheimer Kristin Stewardson Alistair Barclay Kurt Werner Alt Corina Liesau Patricia Ríos Concepción Blasco Jorge Vega Miguel Roberto Menduiña García Azucena Avilés Fernández Eszter Bánffy Maria Bernabò-Brea David Billoin Clive Bonsall Laura Bonsall Tim Allen Lindsey Büster Sophie Carver Laura Castells Navarro Oliver E Craig Gordon T Cook Barry Cunliffe Anthony Denaire Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy Natasha Dodwell Michal Ernée Christopher Evans Milan Kuchařík Joan Francès Farré Chris Fowler Michiel Gazenbeek Rafael Garrido Pena María Haber-Uriarte Elżbieta Haduch Gill Hey Nick Jowett Timothy Knowles Ken Massy Saskia Pfrengle Philippe Lefranc Olivier Lemercier Arnaud Lefebvre César Heras Martínez Virginia Galera Olmo Ana Bastida Ramírez Joaquín Lomba Maurandi Tona Majó Jacqueline I McKinley Kathleen McSweeney Balázs Gusztáv Mende Alessandra Modi Gabriella Kulcsár Viktória Kiss András Czene Róbert Patay Anna Endrődi Kitti Köhler Tamás Hajdu Tamás Szeniczey János Dani Zsolt Bernert Maya Hoole Olivia Cheronet Denise Keating Petr Velemínský Miroslav Dobeš Francesca Candilio Fraser Brown Raúl Flores Fernández Ana-Mercedes Herrero-Corral Sebastiano Tusa Emiliano Carnieri Luigi Lentini Antonella Valenti Alessandro Zanini Clive Waddington Germán Delibes Elisa Guerra-Doce Benjamin Neil Marcus Brittain Mike Luke Richard Mortimer Jocelyne Desideri Marie Besse Günter Brücken Mirosław Furmanek Agata Hałuszko Maksym Mackiewicz Artur Rapiński Stephany Leach Ignacio Soriano Katina T Lillios João Luís Cardoso Michael Parker Pearson Piotr Włodarczak T Douglas Price Pilar Prieto Pierre-Jérôme Rey Roberto Risch Manuel A Rojo Guerra Aurore Schmitt Joël Serralongue Ana Maria Silva Václav Smrčka Luc Vergnaud João Zilhão David Caramelli Thomas Higham Mark G Thomas Douglas J Kennett Harry Fokkens Volker Heyd Alison Sheridan Karl-Göran Sjögren Philipp W Stockhammer Johannes Krause Ron Pinhasi Wolfgang Haak Ian Barnes Carles Lalueza-Fox David Reich

Nature 2018 03;555(7697):543

This corrects the article DOI: 10.1038/nature25738.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature26164DOI Listing
March 2018

Population Turnover in Remote Oceania Shortly after Initial Settlement.

Curr Biol 2018 04 28;28(7):1157-1165.e7. Epub 2018 Feb 28.

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Medical and Population Genetics Program, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Electronic address:

Ancient DNA from Vanuatu and Tonga dating to about 2,900-2,600 years ago (before present, BP) has revealed that the "First Remote Oceanians" associated with the Lapita archaeological culture were directly descended from the population that, beginning around 5000 BP, spread Austronesian languages from Taiwan to the Philippines, western Melanesia, and eventually Remote Oceania. Thus, ancestors of the First Remote Oceanians must have passed by the Papuan-ancestry populations they encountered in New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the Solomon Islands with minimal admixture [1]. However, all present-day populations in Near and Remote Oceania harbor >25% Papuan ancestry, implying that additional eastward migration must have occurred. We generated genome-wide data for 14 ancient individuals from Efate and Epi Islands in Vanuatu from 2900-150 BP, as well as 185 present-day individuals from 18 islands. We find that people of almost entirely Papuan ancestry arrived in Vanuatu by around 2300 BP, most likely reflecting migrations a few hundred years earlier at the end of the Lapita period, when there is also evidence of changes in skeletal morphology and cessation of long-distance trade between Near and Remote Oceania [2, 3]. Papuan ancestry was subsequently diluted through admixture but remains at least 80%-90% in most islands. Through a fine-grained analysis of ancestry profiles, we show that the Papuan ancestry in Vanuatu derives from the Bismarck Archipelago rather than the geographically closer Solomon Islands. However, the Papuan ancestry in Polynesia-the most remote Pacific islands-derives from different sources, documenting a third stream of migration from Near to Remote Oceania.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.02.051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882562PMC
April 2018

The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe.

Authors:
Iñigo Olalde Selina Brace Morten E Allentoft Ian Armit Kristian Kristiansen Thomas Booth Nadin Rohland Swapan Mallick Anna Szécsényi-Nagy Alissa Mittnik Eveline Altena Mark Lipson Iosif Lazaridis Thomas K Harper Nick Patterson Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht Yoan Diekmann Zuzana Faltyskova Daniel Fernandes Matthew Ferry Eadaoin Harney Peter de Knijff Megan Michel Jonas Oppenheimer Kristin Stewardson Alistair Barclay Kurt Werner Alt Corina Liesau Patricia Ríos Concepción Blasco Jorge Vega Miguel Roberto Menduiña García Azucena Avilés Fernández Eszter Bánffy Maria Bernabò-Brea David Billoin Clive Bonsall Laura Bonsall Tim Allen Lindsey Büster Sophie Carver Laura Castells Navarro Oliver E Craig Gordon T Cook Barry Cunliffe Anthony Denaire Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy Natasha Dodwell Michal Ernée Christopher Evans Milan Kuchařík Joan Francès Farré Chris Fowler Michiel Gazenbeek Rafael Garrido Pena María Haber-Uriarte Elżbieta Haduch Gill Hey Nick Jowett Timothy Knowles Ken Massy Saskia Pfrengle Philippe Lefranc Olivier Lemercier Arnaud Lefebvre César Heras Martínez Virginia Galera Olmo Ana Bastida Ramírez Joaquín Lomba Maurandi Tona Majó Jacqueline I McKinley Kathleen McSweeney Balázs Gusztáv Mende Alessandra Modi Gabriella Kulcsár Viktória Kiss András Czene Róbert Patay Anna Endrődi Kitti Köhler Tamás Hajdu Tamás Szeniczey János Dani Zsolt Bernert Maya Hoole Olivia Cheronet Denise Keating Petr Velemínský Miroslav Dobeš Francesca Candilio Fraser Brown Raúl Flores Fernández Ana-Mercedes Herrero-Corral Sebastiano Tusa Emiliano Carnieri Luigi Lentini Antonella Valenti Alessandro Zanini Clive Waddington Germán Delibes Elisa Guerra-Doce Benjamin Neil Marcus Brittain Mike Luke Richard Mortimer Jocelyne Desideri Marie Besse Günter Brücken Mirosław Furmanek Agata Hałuszko Maksym Mackiewicz Artur Rapiński Stephany Leach Ignacio Soriano Katina T Lillios João Luís Cardoso Michael Parker Pearson Piotr Włodarczak T Douglas Price Pilar Prieto Pierre-Jérôme Rey Roberto Risch Manuel A Rojo Guerra Aurore Schmitt Joël Serralongue Ana Maria Silva Václav Smrčka Luc Vergnaud João Zilhão David Caramelli Thomas Higham Mark G Thomas Douglas J Kennett Harry Fokkens Volker Heyd Alison Sheridan Karl-Göran Sjögren Philipp W Stockhammer Johannes Krause Ron Pinhasi Wolfgang Haak Ian Barnes Carles Lalueza-Fox David Reich

Nature 2018 03 21;555(7695):190-196. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

From around 2750 to 2500 bc, Bell Beaker pottery became widespread across western and central Europe, before it disappeared between 2200 and 1800 bc. The forces that propelled its expansion are a matter of long-standing debate, and there is support for both cultural diffusion and migration having a role in this process. Here we present genome-wide data from 400 Neolithic, Copper Age and Bronze Age Europeans, including 226 individuals associated with Beaker-complex artefacts. We detected limited genetic affinity between Beaker-complex-associated individuals from Iberia and central Europe, and thus exclude migration as an important mechanism of spread between these two regions. However, migration had a key role in the further dissemination of the Beaker complex. We document this phenomenon most clearly in Britain, where the spread of the Beaker complex introduced high levels of steppe-related ancestry and was associated with the replacement of approximately 90% of Britain's gene pool within a few hundred years, continuing the east-to-west expansion that had brought steppe-related ancestry into central and northern Europe over the previous centuries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature25738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5973796PMC
March 2018

High-precision chronology for Central American maize diversification from El Gigante rockshelter, Honduras.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 08 7;114(34):9026-9031. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802;

The first steps toward maize ( subspecies ) domestication occurred in the Balsas region of Mexico by ∼9,000 calendar years B.P. (cal B.P.), but it remains unclear when maize was productive enough to be a staple grain in the Americas. Molecular and microbotanical data provide a partial picture of the timing and nature of morphological change, with genetic data indicating that alleles for some domestication traits were not yet fixed by 5,300 cal B.P. in the highlands of Mexico. Here, we report 88 radiocarbon dates on the botanical remains from El Gigante rockshelter (Honduras) to establish a Bayesian chronology over the past ∼11,000 y spanning the transition to maize-based food production. Botanical remains are remarkably well preserved and include over 10,000 maize macrofossils. We directly dated 37 maize cobs to establish the appearance and local change of maize at the site. Cobs are common in deposits dating between 4,340 and 4,020 cal B.P., and again between 2,350 and 980 cal B.P. The earliest cobs appear robustly domesticated, having 10-14 rows, suggesting strong selection for increased yield. The later cobs are comparable to these earliest ones, but show clear emergence of diverse traits, including increased cob width, rachis segment length, and cupule width. Our results indicate that domesticated landraces of maize productive enough to be a staple grain existed in Central America by 4,300 cal B.P.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1705052114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576806PMC
August 2017