Archaeogenomic analysis of genetic and cultural interactions in Neolithic Anatolian societies (NEOGENE)

The Neolithic Transition in the Near East (c.10,000-6,000 BC) was a period of singular sociocultural change, when societies adopted sedentary life and agriculture for the first time in human history. This project will jointly use genomic and quantitative cultural data to explore Transition societies’ organisation, interactions, and their social and demographic evolution in time. (1) We will start by dissecting social structures within Neolithic communities in Anatolia, studying the role of kinship, postmarital residence customs, and endogamy. For this end, we will produce genotype data for c.250 individuals interred within five Pre-Pottery and Pottery Neolithic villages in South East and Central Anatolia, and analyse genomic relatedness patterns in the context of bioarchaeological similarity (e.g. by measuring genetic relatedness among Çatalhöyük individuals buried within the same house over generations). (2) We will study the means of cultural interaction among Near Eastern Neolithic societies by documenting which cultural traits -from skull removal customs to pottery- were most likely propagated through emulation and acculturation, and which ones by gene flow, when and where. Here we will produce whole genome data, compile genomic and material culture similarity matrices for >30 Near Eastern pre-Neolithic and Neolithic populations, and develop frameworks for integrated analysis of quantitative material culture and genomic similarity among populations (also including obsidian and sheep exchange connections as factors). The data will be analysed on multiple levels: within regions, interregional, and diachronic. (3) The work will conclude by examining the evolution of social organisation and population interaction patterns through the Neolithic Transition. While enriching and revising current Transition models, the project will set precedents for employing archaeogenomics to study social structures and for systematic co-analysis of genomic and archaeological data.


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...
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...
Variable kinship patterns in Neolithic Anatolia revealed by ancient genomes
Yaka, Reyhan; et. al. (2021-06-01)
The social organization of the first fully sedentary societies that emerged during the Neolithic period in Southwest Asia remains enigmatic,1 mainly because material culture studies provide limited insight into this issue. However, because Neolithic Anatolian communities often buried their dead beneath domestic buildings,2 household composition and social structure can be studied through these human remains. Here, we describe genetic relatedness among co-burials associated with domestic buildings in Neolith...
Architectural Discourse and Social Transformation During the Early Neolithic of Southeast Anatolia
Atakuman, Çiğdem (2014-03-01)
Within the Near Eastern research canon, the transition to more sedentary lifestyles during the Neolithic is often framed as an economic necessity, linked to plant and animal domestication, climatic change and population stress. In such a framework, an increasingly complex social structure, arising in response to the increasingly complex relations of agricultural production, is presumed. For example, some researchers would argue that feasting-based rituals became an arena of social control and an increasingl...
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...
Citation Formats
M. Somel, Ç. Atakuman, and E. Sürer, “Archaeogenomic analysis of genetic and cultural interactions in Neolithic Anatolian societies (NEOGENE),” 2023. Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: