Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationMiddle East Technical U.
Grant numberGr. 9573
Approve DateOctober 13, 2017
Project TitleKoptekin, Dilek, Middle East Technical U., Ankara, Turkey - To aid research on 'Ancient Genomic Analysis of Neolithization in Anatolia and the Aegean,' supervised by Dr. Mehmet Somel
Anatolia had two major roles in the development and spread of Neolithic lifestyle in West Eurasia. First, it was part of the primary zone of Neolithization where the first sedentary village cultures and the cultivation of animal and plant domesticates emerged. Second, it was one of the main hypothesized sources of the westward expansion of Neolithic cultures after 7000 cal BCE. Here I will tackle the question of how populations interacted in time and space during Anatolian Neolithization and the Neolithic expansion. Specifically, I will test the possible roles of intraregional and interregional gene flow in cases where populations have been predicted to share cultural traits based on archaeological data. To this end I will produce new ancient genome data, and analyse this in conjunction with published aDNA datasets, making use of extensive demographic simulations. The work will focus on 5 Central Anatolian and 3 Aegean sites, with dates ranging from the late 9th millennium to the early 6th millennium BCE. Using this data I will address two main questions: First, were cultural connections among Neolithic Central Anatolian villages correlated with the genetic similarities I will measure? Second, comparing Aegean Neolithic populations and those of Central Anatolia, can we confirm our earlier prediction that the Aegean Neolithic villagers were descendants of Aegean Mesolithic groups who adopted farming, rather than colonists from inland Anatolia? The work will shed new light on fine-scale population structure in Anatolian settlements at the early stages of Neolithization, and fill a gap in our understanding of the nature of prehistoric population interactions, not only among Neolithic groups but also between Neolithic-Mesolithic societies.