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Ancient Mitochondrial Genomes Reveal the Absence of Maternal Kinship in the Burials of Çatalhöyük People and Their Genetic Affinities

Institute of Archaeology, Faculty of Historical Studies, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Umultowska 89D, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
Department of Biology and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Education, Charles University, Magdalény Rettigové 4, 116 39 Prague, Czech Republic
Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
Archaeological Research Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, Lilla Frescativägen 7, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Molecular Biology Techniques Laboratory, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(3), 207;
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
Çatalhöyük is one of the most widely recognized and extensively researched Neolithic settlements. The site has been used to discuss a wide range of aspects associated with the spread of the Neolithic lifestyle and the social organization of Neolithic societies. Here, we address both topics using newly generated mitochondrial genomes, obtained by direct sequencing and capture-based enrichment of genomic libraries, for a group of individuals buried under a cluster of neighboring houses from the classical layer of the site’s occupation. Our data suggests a lack of maternal kinship between individuals interred under the floors of Çatalhöyük buildings. The findings could potentially be explained either by a high variability of maternal lineages within a larger kin group, or alternatively, an intentional selection of individuals for burial based on factors other than biological kinship. Our population analyses shows that Neolithic Central Anatolian groups, including Çatalhöyük, share the closest affinity with the population from the Marmara Region and are, in contrast, set further apart from the Levantine populations. Our findings support the hypothesis about the emergence and the direction of spread of the Neolithic within Anatolian Peninsula and beyond, emphasizing a significant role of Central Anatolia in this process. View Full-Text
Keywords: ancient DNA; Neolithic; kinship ancient DNA; Neolithic; kinship
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Chyleński, M.; Ehler, E.; Somel, M.; Yaka, R.; Krzewińska, M.; Dabert, M.; Juras, A.; Marciniak, A. Ancient Mitochondrial Genomes Reveal the Absence of Maternal Kinship in the Burials of Çatalhöyük People and Their Genetic Affinities. Genes 2019, 10, 207.

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