The Genomic History of the Bronze Age Southern Levant

Lily Agranat-Tamir, Shamam Waldman, Mario A.S. Martin, David Gokhman, Nadav Mishol, Tzilla Eshel, Olivia Cheronet, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Nicole Adamski, Ann Marie Lawson, Matthew Mah, Megan Michel, Jonas Oppenheimer, Kristin Stewardson, Francesca Candilio, Denise Keating, Beatriz Gamarra, Shay Tzur, Mario NovakRachel Kalisher, Shlomit Bechar, Vered Eshed, Douglas J. Kennett, Marina Faerman, Naama Yahalom-Mack, Janet M. Monge, Yehuda Govrin, Yigal Erel, Benjamin Yakir, Ron Pinhasi, Shai Carmi, Israel Finkelstein, Liran Carmel, David Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report genome-wide DNA data for 73 individuals from five archaeological sites across the Bronze and Iron Ages Southern Levant. These individuals, who share the “Canaanite” material culture, can be modeled as descending from two sources: (1) earlier local Neolithic populations and (2) populations related to the Chalcolithic Zagros or the Bronze Age Caucasus. The non-local contribution increased over time, as evinced by three outliers who can be modeled as descendants of recent migrants. We show evidence that different “Canaanite” groups genetically resemble each other more than other populations. We find that Levant-related modern populations typically have substantial ancestry coming from populations related to the Chalcolithic Zagros and the Bronze Age Southern Levant. These groups also harbor ancestry from sources we cannot fully model with the available data, highlighting the critical role of post-Bronze-Age migrations into the region over the past 3,000 years. Genome-wide data from Bronze Age individuals across nine sites in the Southern Levant show strong genetic resemblance, including a component from populations related to Chalcolithic Zagros and Early Bronze Age Caucasus introduced by gene flow lasting at least until the late Bronze Age and affecting modern Levantine population architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1157.e11
JournalCell
Volume181
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Reuven Amitai, Menachem Ben-Sasson, Tom Booth, Pontus Skoglund, Philipp Stockhammer, Jason Ur, and several anonymous reviewers for critical comments. This study was funded by the Israel Science Foundation ISF grant 1009/17 to L.C. and B.Y. and ISF grant 407/17 to S.C. D.R. is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and his ancient DNA laboratory work was supported by National Science Foundation HOMINID grant BCS-1032255, by National Institutes of Health grant GM100233, by an Allen Discovery Center grant, and by grant 61220 from the John Templeton Foundation. Work at Megiddo is supported by the Dan David Foundation, the Shmunis Family Foundation, Mark Weismann, and Vivian and Norman Belmonte. Conceptualization, L.A.-T. R.P. Y.E. B.Y. S.C. I.F. L.C. and D.R.; Methodology, L.A.-T. S.W. B.Y. S.C. L.C. and D.R.; Formal Analysis, L.A.-T. S.W. N.M. B.Y. S.C. L.C. and D.R.; Investigation, L.A.-T. S.W. M.A.S.M, D.G. T.E. O.C. N.R. S.M. N.A. A.M.L. M. Mah, M. Michel, J.O. K.S. F.C. D.K. B.G. S.T. R.K. S.B. V.E. D.J.K. M.F. N.Y.-M. J.M.M. Y.G. Y.E. B.Y. R.P. S.C. I.F. L.C. and D.R.; Resources, M.A.S.M, S.B. V.E. N.Y.-M. J.M.M. Y.G. R.P. and I.F.; Data Curation, S.M. and D.R.; Writing, L.A.-T. S.W. T.E. Y.E. B.Y. S.C. I.F. L.C. and D.R.; Supervision, Y.E. R.P. S.C. I.F. L.C. and D.R. The authors declare no competing interests.

Funding Information:
We thank Reuven Amitai, Menachem Ben-Sasson, Tom Booth, Pontus Skoglund, Philipp Stockhammer, Jason Ur, and several anonymous reviewers for critical comments. This study was funded by the Israel Science Foundation ISF grant 1009/17 to L.C. and B.Y. and ISF grant 407/17 to S.C. D.R. is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and his ancient DNA laboratory work was supported by National Science Foundation HOMINID grant BCS-1032255 , by National Institutes of Health grant GM100233 , by an Allen Discovery Center grant, and by grant 61220 from the John Templeton Foundation . Work at Megiddo is supported by the Dan David Foundation , the Shmunis Family Foundation , Mark Weismann , and Vivian and Norman Belmonte .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Abel Beth Maacah
  • ancient DNA
  • archaeology
  • Baq‛ah
  • demographic inference
  • genetic ancestry
  • population genetics
  • Tel Megiddo
  • Tel Shadud
  • Yehud

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)

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