Dilek Koptekin

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Middle East Technical U.

Grant number

Gr. 9573

Approve Date

October 13, 2017

Project Title

Koptekin, 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

DILEK KOPTEKIN, then a graduate student at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, received funding in October 2017 to aid research on ‘Ancient Genomic Analysis of Neolithization in Anatolia and the Aegean,’ supervised by Dr. Mehmet Somel. This study aimed to investigate the role of gene flow in cultural contacts among Central Anatolian Neolithic communities and the Neolithization process in the Aegean region. We sought to uncover migration and admixture patterns by analyzing paleogenomic data from Anatolian Neolithic communities during their transition from sedentary hunting-gathering to farming between c.10,000 BCE-6,000 BCE. We produced ancient genomes from the earliest Neolithic site in Southwest Anatolia, Girmeler (c.7600 BCE), and also from a Late Aceramic Neolithic site in Central Anatolia, Musular. The Musular data revealed genetic continuity within Central Anatolia through the Neolithic, with additional gene flow from southern/eastern populations. Our Girmeler data showed that post-7000 BCE West Anatolian Neolithic groups had closer genetic affinity to Girmeler than to groups from Central Anatolia. Our study also identified gene flow from Balkan Hunter-Gatherer-related sources into the Aegean Neolithic populations, suggesting admixture between Neolithic migrants and local Mesolithic populations in West Anatolia. Overall, our WG-supported studies shed light on the interactions and population movements that shaped the cultural and genetic landscape of Anatolia and the Aegean during the Neolithic period.