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.


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Dağtaş, Nihan Dilşad; Togan, İnci Zehra; Department of Biology (2013)
Recent archaeozoological studies indicated that perhaps the oldest (11,000 years before present) and may be the only sheep domestication center was in Southeast Anatolia. In this study, to contribute to the understanding of sheep domestication history, ancient DNA derived from skeletal remains of sheep unearthed from archaeological sites in Turkey mainly from Oylum Höyük in Kilis were examined. 187 ancient metapodia and mandible samples, dating between 1,800-30 BCE were brought from Oylum Höyük to the dedic...
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Yurtman, Erinç; Somel, Mehmet; Department of Biology (2019)
The transition from hunting-gathering to sedentism happened in West Asia in the early Holocene, eventually giving way to the establishment of agriculture and livestock breeding. In this process, domestication of wild animals played crucial role for human settlements. The domestication center of sheep, among the main four livestock species, is thought to have been within Anatolia. Previous archaeozoological studies also suggested that after domestication this species migrated with human populations to other ...
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Demirci, Sevgin; Togan, İnci Zehra; Department of Bioinformatics (2012)
In the present study, history of domestic sheep were investigated by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) based haplogroups (HPG) of 628 samples and mtDNA control region (CR) sequences of 240 samples from 13 Turkish sheep breeds which were located in the hearth of the first domestication center. Also, 30 Anatolian wild sheep (Ovis gmelinii anatolica) mtDNA CR sequences were obtained to contribute to the scenarios on initial domestication stages of sheep. Haplogroup compositions of breeds were identified with SSCP meth...
Understanding migration of shhep from its domestication center in Southeast Anatolia to West Anatolia by using of ancient mtDNA: Preliminary results
Dağtaş, Dilşad; Yüncü, Eren; Özer, Füsun; Birand Özsoy, Ayşegül Ceren; Açan, Can; Akbaba, Ali; Özbal Gerrıtsen, Rana Deniz; İlgezdi Bertram, Gülçin; Gündem, Can Yümni; Pişkin, Evangelia; Somel, Mehmet; Çakan, Yasin Gökhan; Togan, İnci (null; 2017-07-11)
Sheep domestication started in Southeast Anatolia about 10 000 years before common era (BCE) and spread to from there to other regions by demic diffusion of managed/domesticated sheep, cultural diffusion or both. To contribute to the understanding of the process of sheep domestication and spread within Anatolia, ancient sheep bones were collected from three archaeological sites; Barcın Höyük (Bursa, 6500-2300 BCE), Tepecik Çiftlik Höyük (Niğde, 6850- 5800 BCE) and Yeşilova Höyük (İzmir, 6252-5800 BCE). Anci...
First Genomic Insights into Pre-pottery Neolithic of Upper Mesopotamia
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Recent studies showed that Neolithic populations in southwest Asia included distinct gene pools in the Levant, in Central Anatolia, and in the Zagros. Further, genomic comparisons suggested that all three populations adopted sedentism and farming without major admixture or replacement from other regions. Meanwhile, the population genetic characteristics of the geographic midpoint of these regions, namely upper Mesopotamia, has not been investigated so far. Here in this study, we present the first genomic da...
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.