Friday, January 14, 2011

R1 Originated in Africa not Western Europe

First European

Myres et al argues that the neolithic European gene pool was probably influenced most, by events in Western Europe, rather than intrusive pioneer farmers from the Near East(1). They argue that R1b M412 lineages , phylogeographic and temperal patterns support a Central European origin for this clade and not a recent genetic heritage from Anatolia.

The archaeogenetic evidence fails to support this conclusion. The genetic, craniometric and archaeological evidence all support an African, rather than Southwest Asian or Central European origin for R1b.

Myres et al note the maritime spread of neolithic farming communities using impressed cardial pottery to coastal Mediterranean populations and Crete 9kya . They interpret the phylogeography as an indication of the probable spread of M269 from Anatolia. This is contrary to the archaeological data which recognize the migration of populations around this time period from Africa, not Anatolia .

Using ancient DNA Haak et al makes it clear that during the Linearbandkeramik (LBK), Neolithic culture 5kya the predominate Eurasian haplogroup was haplogroup N (2) . Caramelli et al’s discovery of the presence of haplogroup N among hunter-gatherer Aurignacian samples suggest continuity between Western European populations from the Holocene to the Neolithic period (3) .

The early coalescent estimate of M269*+L23 (x M412) chromosome between 8.5-12 kya (1) , suggest an African genesis for M269, rather than Southwest Asia, since we see not only Sub-Saharan populations entering the area around this time they also bring with them Sub-Saharan fauna (4) ; and African groups who carry R1b are not of Middle eastern Origin (5).

Many of the African populations that carry R1* M173 are associated with the the Kushite people of Nubia (6) . As a result we find many Eurasian ethnonyms of Anatolia and Mesopotamia that indicate a Kushite presence including the Ksaka tribe (7) ; and Kings of Kish/Kush (6) .

The craniometric evidence for the 4-5kya period indicates that many Mesopotamians were Sub-Saharan Africans (8 -9) . The craniometrics for the Anatolians correspond to Niger Congo and Kerma (Kushite) populations (10-11).

In conclusion, African skeletal remains appear in Southwest Asia during the LBK. This along with the variety of haplogroup R lineages in Sub-Saharan Africa , suggest an African rather than Eurasian origin for haplogroup R1.


1. Myres N, Rootsi S, Lin A, et al. 2010. A major Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b Holocene era founder effect in Central and Western Europe. Eur Jour of Hum Genet advance online publication 25 August 2010; doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2010.146.

2.Haak W, Balanovsky O, Sanchez JJ, Koshel S, Zaporozhchenko V, et al. 2010 Ancient DNA from European Early Neolithic Farmers Reveals Their Near Eastern Affinities. PLoS Biol 8(11): e1000536. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000536

3.Caramelli,D.,Lalueza-Fox,C., Vernesi,C., Lari,M.,Casoli,A., Mallegni,B.C., Dupanloup, I., Bertranpetit,J., Barbujani,G., Bertorelle,G. (2003). Evidence for a genetic discontinuity between Neandertals and 24,000 year-old anatomically modern Europeans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 100 (11):6593-6597.

4.Holiday, T. (2000). Evolution at the Crossroads:Modern Human Emergence in Western Asia, Am Anth,102(1) .

5. Winters, C.2010b.Letter: The Fulani are not from the Middle East. PNAS. August 3, 2010.

6. Winters C. 2010. The Kushite Spread of haplogroup R1*-M173 from Africa to Eurasia, Cur Res Jour of Bio Sci , 2(5): 294-299.

7. Singer, I. (1981). Hittites and Hattians in Anatolia at the beginning of the Second Millennium B.C., J of Indo-Euro Stud, 9 (1-2):119-149.

8. Dieulafoy, J. 2004. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Perzi, Chaldea en Susiane, by Jane Dieulafoy. Retrieved 04/04/10

9. Dieulafoy, M.A.2010.. L' Acropole de Suse d'après les fouilles exécutées en 1884, 1885, 1886, sous les auspices du Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 04/04/10 from :

10. Tomczyk,J., Jedrychowska-Danska, K., Ploszaj,T & Witas H.W. (2010). Anthropological analysis of the osteological material from an ancient tomb (Early Bronze Age) from the middle Euphrates valley, Terqa (Syria) , International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Retrieved 04/04/10 from (

11. Ricaut,F.X. and Waelkens.2008. Cranial Discrete Traits in a Byzatine Population and Eastern Mediterranean Population Movements, Hum Biol, 80(5):535-564.