The agricultural transition profoundly changed human societies. We sequenced and analysed the first genome (1.39x) of an early Neolithic woman from Ganj Dareh, in the Zagros Mountains of Iran, a site with early evidence for an economy based on goat herding, ca. 10,000 BP. We show that Western Iran was inhabited by a population genetically most similar to hunter-gatherers from the Caucasus, but distinct from the Neolithic Anatolian people who later brought food production into Europe. The inhabitants of Ganj Dareh made little direct genetic contribution to modern European populations, suggesting those of the Central Zagros were somewhat isolated from other populations of the Fertile Crescent. Runs of homozygosity are of a similar length to those from Neolithic farmers, and shorter than those of Caucasus and Western Hunter-Gatherers, suggesting that the inhabitants of Ganj Dareh did not undergo the large population bottleneck suffered by their northern neighbours. While some degree of cultural diffusion between Anatolia, Western Iran and other neighbouring regions is possible, the genetic dissimilarity between early Anatolian farmers and the inhabitants of Ganj Dareh supports a model in which Neolithic societies in these areas were distinct.
KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2019-02-13
Acknowledgements: A.M. was supported by ERC Consolidator Grant 647787 ‘LocalAdaptation’; R.P. by ERC Starting Grant: ERC- 2010-StG 26344 (“ADNABIOARC”); M.H. by ERC Consolidator Grant 310763 ‘GeneFlow’; C.G. was supported by the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) ERC Support Programme and the Marie-Curie Intra-European Fellowships (FP7-IEF-328024); S.C. was supported by the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) ERC Support Programme; J.B. was supported by the 2014 Research fund (1.140077.01) of Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST) and Geromics internal research funding; J.B. and Y.S.C. were supported by the Research Fund (14-BR-SS-03) of Civil-Military Technology Cooperation Program; R.B. was supported by ERC Consolidator Grant 617627 “ADaPt”; and M.G. by a BBSRC DTP studentship.