Understanding domestication process of sheep across Central and Western Anatolia by using ancient DNA

Özer, Onur
Several archaeological and genetic studies indicated that Southeastern Anatolia was the only center of domestication for sheep. The study presented here aims to understand how and when domestic sheep were transported across Anatolia into west from the domestication center by using ancient DNA. In order to achieve that, ancient DNA was extracted from 234 sheep bone samples dating between Epipaleolithic and 2800 BCE from 9 archaeological excavations (Tepecik-Çiftlik, Yeşilova, Ulucak, Aktopraklık, Barcın, Çatalhöyük, Boncuklu, Canhasan III, Pınarbaşı,). A 144 base pair (bp) long fragment of sheep mtDNA was successfully amplified for 121 of these samples yielding a success rate of 52%. The targeted 144 base pair long fragment was shown to be able to identify five mtDNA haplogroups (A-E) observed in modern sheep breeds.Domestic sheep of Central and Western Anatolia within the mentioned time intervals were found to be dominated by HPG B. Temporal analysis of haplogroup diversity indicates a wave of migration into Central Anatolia at around 7000 BCE most likely from the east. Haplogroup distribution of initial phases of Yeşilova Höyük shows a strong deviation from the general trend with a high frequency of HPG A (75%). This deviation may be the result of “maritime route” expansion through which seafaring voyagers migrates into western Anatolia by following the southern coasts. Temporal analysis of haplotype and nucleotide diversity within the HPG B individuals revealed a strong domestication bottleneck and loss of within-haplogroup diversity after 7000 BC. Results of the present study provides information on spatial and temporal distribution of mtDNA haplogroups of sheep Anatolia mainly for the Neolithic Period and contributes to the understanding of initial phases of domestication process of sheep across central and western Anatolia.
Citation Formats
O. Özer, “Understanding domestication process of sheep across Central and Western Anatolia by using ancient DNA,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.