News from IBE
An international consortium led by researchers from the University of Tübingen and Harvard Medical School with the participation of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) in Barcelona, analyzed ancient human genomes from a ~7,000-year-old early farmer from the LBK culture from Stuttgart in Southern Germany, a ~8,000-year-old hunter-gatherer from the Loschbour rock shelter in Luxembourg, and seven ~8,000-year-old hunter-gatherers from Motala in Sweden. In order to compare the ancient humans to present-day people, the team also generated genome-wide data from about 2,400 humans from almost 200 diverse worldwide contemporary populations.
Their surprising finding was that present-day Europeans trace their ancestry back to three and not just two ancestral groups: The first is indigenous hunter-gatherers; the second is Middle Eastern farmers that migrated to Europe around 7,500 years ago; and a novel third is a more mysterious population that spanned North Eurasia and genetically connects Europeans and Native Americans that arrived in Central Europe after the early farmers.
Lazaridis et al. 2014. Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans. Nature 513, 409-413. doi:10.1038/nature13673