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Later Stone Age human hair from Vaalkrans Shelter, Cape Floristic Region of South Africa, reveals genetic affinity to Khoe groups
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution. (Human Evolution)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1756-9469
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution. (Human Evolution)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3784-4285
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Human Evolution. (Human Evolution)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6456-8055
Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur- og religionsvitenskap, Universitetet i Bergen.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2818-293X
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The indigenous people of the southern Cape of South Africa were dramatically impacted by the arrival of European colonists starting to arrive some 400 years ago and their descendants are today mixed with Europeans and Asians. Here we sequence and analyze the genome (1.01 times coverage) of a Later Stone Age individual, who lived about 200 years ago, obtained from a hair sample excavated at Vaalkrans Shelter southern Cape, South Africa. We analyzed this genome, along with genetic data from 10 prehistoric individuals from southern Africa spanning the last 2000 years. Our results show that the individual from Vaalkrans was a man who traced ~80% of his ancestry to local southern San hunter-gatherer populations, and ~20% to a mixed East African-Eurasian source. This genetic make-up is very similar to modern-day Khoekhoe individuals from South Africa and Namibia. The Vaalkrans man’s genome reveals how the Holocene pastoralist migration event shaped the genomic landscape of historic and current southern African populations and shows that Khoekhoe groups lived in the southern Cape as late as 200 years ago.

National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Biology with Specialisation in Human Evolution and Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-397032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-397032DiVA, id: diva2:1370868
Available from: 2019-11-18 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2019-11-18
In thesis
1. Where our feet have taken us: Examples of human contact, migration, and adaptation as revealed by ancient DNA
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Where our feet have taken us: Examples of human contact, migration, and adaptation as revealed by ancient DNA
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In spite of our extensive knowledge of the human past, certain key questions remain to be answered about human prehistory. One involves the nature of cultural change in material culture through time from the perspective of how different ancient human groups interacted with one another. The other is how humans have adapted to the different environments as they migrated and populated the rest of the world from their origin in Africa. For my thesis I have investigated examples of human evolutionary history using genetic information from ancient human remains. Chapter 1 focused on the nature of possible interaction between the Pitted Ware Culture (PWC) and Battle Axe Culture (BAC) on the island of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea. Through the analysis of 4500 year old human remains from three PWC burial sites, I found that the existence of BAC influences in these burial sites was the result of cultural and not demic influence from the BAC. In chapter 2, I investigated the ancestry of a Late Stone Age individual from the southwestern Cape of South Africa. Population genetic analyses revealed that this individual was genetically affiliated with Khoe groups in southern Africa, a genetic make-up that is today absent from the Cape. Chapter 3 investigated the genetic landscape of prehistoric individuals from southern Africa. Specifically, I explored frequencies of adaptive variants between Late Stone Age and Iron Age individuals. I found an increase in disease resistance alleles in Iron Age individuals and attributed this to the effects of the Bantu expansion. Chapter 4 incorporated a wider range of trait-associated variants among a greater number of modern-day populations and ancient individuals in Africa. I found that many allele frequency patterns found in modern populations follow the routes of major migrations which took place in the African Holocene. The thesis attests to the complexity of human demographic history in general, and how migration contributes to adaptation by dispersing novel adaptive variants to populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 78
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1880
Keywords
Human demography, migration, adaptation, human contact, ancient DNA, human evolution, African prehistory, Scandinavian prehistory
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Biology with Specialisation in Human Evolution and Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-397222 (URN)978-91-513-0815-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-01-17, Lindahlsalen, Evolutionary Biology Centre EBC, Norbyvagen 18, 75236, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2019-12-16 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2020-01-13

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Coutinho, AlexandraEdlund, HannaMalmström, HelenaSchlebusch, CarinaJakobsson, Mattias

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