Scientists have deciphered the genomes of the first inhabitants of northern Mesopotamia

(ORDO NEWS) — The international team of paleogeneticists for the first time restored and deciphered 13 genomes of the ancient inhabitants of northern Mesopotamia at once, which helped them to reveal the structure of their tribes and confirm the direct connection of these people with the first farmers who lived in the Middle East.

“We immediately deciphered the genomes of 13 ancient inhabitants of the upper reaches of the Tigris who lived on Earth in the era of the pre-ceramic Neolithic. Analysis of their genomes indicates that their communities were built around large biological families.

Natives of this region, apparently, made their genetic contribution to the formation of the gene pool early Anatolian farmers, which is in good agreement with archaeological finds,” the researchers write.

As scientists suggest, farming art appeared in the Middle East, India and Iran about 12-10 thousand years ago, at about the same time when civilization was born and people switched to a settled way of life.

Subsequently, farming spread to other regions of the world, which led to the birth of the cultures of hundreds of sedentary agricultural peoples.

In recent years, archaeologists and geneticists have been actively testing these assumptions using paleogenetic methods.

In particular, this year scientists deciphered the genomes of the first Middle Eastern farmers and found that these people appeared as a result of the mixing of two tribes of hunter-gatherers who lived in the west and east of the Middle East region during the Neolithic.

The first inhabitants of Mesopotamia

A group of paleogeneticists led by Mehmet Somel, a professor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara (Turkey), discovered the first evidence that hunter-gatherers who lived in the upper reaches of the Tigris about 10-10.5 thousand . years ago.

Scientists came to this conclusion during the restoration and study of the genomes of 13 ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia at once, whose remains were recently discovered at the Neolithic site of Chayenu Tepesi in the southeast of modern Turkey.

All of them were buried on the territory of one of the large ancient settlements, which supposedly existed for more than a thousand years and survived the transition from gathering and hunting to agriculture and cattle breeding.

In total, Professor Somel and his colleagues studied the remains of more than three dozen inhabitants of Chaienyu Tepesi, however, due to suboptimal conditions for the occurrence of the remains, paleogenetics managed to find a sufficient number of genome fragments in only a third of them.

They included six women, two men, as well as three girls and two boys. All of them were close relatives, which suggests that the society in this settlement was built around large families.

A subsequent comparison of the genomes of these people and other ancient inhabitants of the Middle East showed that the inhabitants of Chayenyu Tepesi were close relatives of both the first Anatolian and Levant farmers, and the ancient inhabitants of the Iranian Zagros Mountains, one of the supposed birthplaces of farming.

According to the researchers, this suggests that the first farmers of the Earth inherited the “eastern” half of the genome from people from northern Mesopotamia or their relatives from the Zagros Mountains.


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