Exploring the evolutionary history of Anatolian neolithic sheep using modern and ancient genomics

Yurtman, Erinç
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 parts of the world. There has yet been no ancient whole-genome study investigating the evolutionary history of Anatolian sheep from the Neolithic period. In this project, we analyzed ancient genome data belonging to Neolithic sheep from Tepecik Höyük (Central Anatolia) and Ulucak Höyük (West Anatolia), comparing these with modern sheep genomic data. Three different statistical methods (PCA, D-statistics and f3-statistics) were used to understand the relationship between modern European and Asian sheep breeds and Anatolian Neolithic domestic sheep. Possible migration routes (the Land Route and the Maritime Route) that led from Anatolia to neighboring regions were investigated. We report that Anatolian Neolithic sheep samples are genetically closer to modern European sheep breeds (showing particularly high affinity to Central and Northern European breeds) than to non-European populations. This implies that Anatolian Neolithic sheep might have contributed to modern domesticated European breeds gene pool by having migrated through the Land Route. This work thus provides a first genomic insight into domestic sheep history using ancient DNA.


Understanding domestication process of sheep across Central and Western Anatolia by using ancient DNA
Özer, Onur; Somel, Mehmet; Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (2017)
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, Çat...
Archaeogenomic analysis of population genetic relationships and kinship patterns in the sedentary societies from neolithic anatolia
Yaka, Reyhan; Somel, Mehmet; Özer, Füsun; Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (2020-1-12)
The Neolithic way of life first emerged in the Fertile Crescent (c.10thand early 9thmillennium cal BCE) and quickly spread to neighbouring regionssuch as Central Anatoliaand Cyprus,and eventually further westwards. This transition involved to fundamental changes in human lifestyle,with the first emergence of villages during the early Neolithicandthe later the growing reliance on farming and herdingduring the late Neolithic periods. Changes in the social organization of sedentary communi...
Archaeogenomic analysis of the first steps of Neolithization in Anatolia and the Aegean
Kilinc, Gulsah Merve; KOPTEKIN, Dilek; Atakuman, Çiğdem; SUMER, Arev Pelin; DONERTAS, Handan Melike; YAKA, Reyhan; Bilgin, Cemal Can; BÜYÜKKARAKAYA, ALİ METİN; Baird, Douglas; ALTINISIK, Ezgi; FLEGONTOV, Pavel; Gotherstrom, Anders; TOGAN, Inci; Somel, Mehmet (2017-11-29)
The Neolithic transition in west Eurasia occurred in two main steps: the gradual development of sedentism and plant cultivation in the Near East and the subsequent spread of Neolithic cultures into the Aegean and across Europe after 7000 cal BCE. Here, we use published ancient genomes to investigate gene flow events in west Eurasia during the Neolithic transition. We confirm that the Early Neolithic central Anatolians in the ninth millennium BCE were probably descendants of local hunter-gatherers, rather th...
Testing natural selection on polygenic trait-associated alleles in anatolia using neolithic and present-day human genomes
Fer, Evrim; Somel, Mehmet; Department of Bioinformatics (2019)
The Neolithic transition, which started approximately 10,000 year ago in west Eurasia and introduced sedentary life style and food production, led to major shifts in the human diet. Previous studies have reported strong selection signals on genes related to processing of plant-based diets (Buckley et al., 2017; Harris et al., 2019) or the consumption of dairy products (Schlebusch et al., 2013). With the advent of archeogenomics studies, genetic signatures of such adaptations have also been supported using D...
A Short fragment of ancient DNA and its use in determination of sheep mitochondrial dna haplogroups in Southeast Anatolia
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...
Citation Formats
E. Yurtman, “Exploring the evolutionary history of Anatolian neolithic sheep using modern and ancient genomics,” Thesis (M.S.) -- Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences. Biology., Middle East Technical University, 2019.