Special Seminar - Shai Carmi: Population genetics of the Bronze Age Levant

  • Date: May 22, 2019
  • Time: 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Shai Carmi from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Please find more information on the speaker and his expertise here: https://scarmilab.org/shai-carmi/
  • Location: MPI Plön
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: Linda Odenthal-Hesse


Introduction: The Southern Levant has been a region of cultural importance throughout ancient history. To learn about the genetic history and heritage of the inhabitants of the region during the Bronze Age, we sequenced whole genomes of 73 individuals, the majority of which are from 1800-1300 BCE (middle-to-late Bronze Age). We combined these genomes with previously published Bronze Age individuals to form a dataset covering eight archaeological sites in Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.
Methods: We used a combination of existing and new statistical methods to study the ancestry of the ancient genomes and their relations to modern groups, including an adaptation of ChromoPainter to pseudo-haploid data that can take advantage of information in linked SNPs.
Results: The Bronze Age Levant individuals showed close genetic affinities, and were consistent with being a mixture of earlier local populations and migrants from the north-east. Evidence suggested that migration was still ongoing until the middle Bronze Age. We quantified the contribution of the Bronze Age Levant groups to present-day Middle-Eastern and Jewish populations, and found that it was over 50% for most populations.
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