The Persian plateau served as hub for Homo sapiens after the main out of Africa dispersal

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Vallini, Leonardo; Zampieri, Carlo; Shoaee, Mohamed Javad; Bortolini, Eugenio; Marciani, Giulia; Aneli, Serena; Pievani, Telmo; Benazzi, Stefano; Barausse, Alberto; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Petraglia, Michael D.; Pagani, Luca
Year of Publication: 2024
Journal: Nature Communications
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Pagination: 1882
Date Published: 2024/03/25
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 2041-1723

A combination of evidence, based on genetic, fossil and archaeological findings, indicates that Homo sapiens spread out of Africa between ~70-60 thousand years ago (kya). However, it appears that once outside of Africa, human populations did not expand across all of Eurasia until ~45 kya. The geographic whereabouts of these early settlers in the timeframe between ~70-60 to 45 kya has been difficult to reconcile. Here we combine genetic evidence and palaeoecological models to infer the geographic location that acted as the Hub for our species during the early phases of colonisation of Eurasia. Leveraging on available genomic evidence we show that populations from the Persian Plateau carry an ancestry component that closely matches the population that settled the Hub outside Africa. With the paleoclimatic data available to date, we built ecological models showing that the Persian Plateau was suitable for human occupation and that it could sustain a larger population compared to other West Asian regions, strengthening this claim.

Short Title: Nature Communications