Thousands of years ago, the north and east, in other words, a great migration from today’s Iran and Turkey wave reached today’s northern Israel. This immigrant movement has created a profound effect, leading to a transformation in the culture of the nascent process.
According to a new research, immigrants have not brought new cultural practices to the region, but have brought together new genes that have previously been unknown to this geographical area, such as mutations leading to blue-eyed.
Archaeologists discovered by analyzing the DNA they had received from the skeletons that had survived in a cave in Israel in the past when this historic population change was over. Scientists have reported that there are dozens of bodies buried in the excavation site to the north of this small country and more than 600 bodies dated about 6,500 years ago.
DNA analysis showed that skeletons that survived into the cave were genetically different from people who lived in this region throughout history. In the study, some of the genetic differences in the neighboring lands of Anatolia and today both in Turkey and was found to correspond with people who lived in the Zagros Mountains, remaining within the borders of Iran.
Antiquity Israel, then called Galilee, belonged to the South Levant region, a part of the Levant, a wider area covering today’s Eastern Mediterranean countries. The southern Levant underwent a significant cultural change during the Late Chalcolithic Age, covering the period from about 4500 BC to 3800 BC. The settlements have intensified, more ritual has become publicly available, and there has been an increase in the use of containers of residues that survive the funeral arrangements.
Some experts have previously claimed that the cultural transformation was directed at the locals of the South Levant, but the authors of this new study suggest that changes may be explained by waves of human migration. The scientists turned to a burial site in the Cave of Peki, located in Israel, to find reliable answers to the questions in the wisdom.
Ancestor is solved
A natural cave of Peki, about 17 meters long and 5-8 meters wide. There are hundreds of skeletons in the cave as well as decorated pots and funerary offerings, all indicative of the fact that this region is some sort of morgue for the Chalcolithic people living in the area.
However, the archaeologist and research co-author Dina Shalem of Kinneret Colloge Galilee Archaeological Institute in Israel stated that the contents of the cave do not all have local origins.
“Some of the finds caught in the cave show region-specific characteristics, but others point out that it is a cultural exchange with remote areas,” Shalem says. Eadaoin Harney, Ph.D. candidate for the Department of Organism and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, says that the artistic styles of the works in the cave closely resemble the widespread styles in the more northerly regions of the Near East.
Scientists who took DNA samples from bone powder obtained from 48 skeletal remains succeeded in reconstructing the genomes of 22 individuals found in the cave. Researchers have reported that this is among the most extensive genetic studies of ancient DNA in the Near East.
Blue eye, open skin
Scientists have found that these individuals have common genetic traits with people in the north, and that these similar genes are not in farmers who lived in the South Levant. For example, the allele (one of two or more alternative forms of a gene) that leads to blue-eyed is associated with 49 percent of the sampled remains, indicating that the blue eye is becoming common among people living in Upper Galilee. According to research authors, another allele indicates that open skin may also be common in the local population.
Harney states, “Both eyes and skin color are not all, but many are features controlled by the complex interactions between the multiple alleles described.”
“In our work, we know that the two alleles we are talking about are closely related to the open eye and skin color, and they are often used to anticipate the appearance of various human populations in ancient DNA studies.”
However, it is worth noting that many other alleles may affect the eye and skin color in humans. So “scientists can not go beyond being an estimate of pigmentation in an individual”.
In addition to the above, scientists have discovered that genetic diversity within groups has increased over time, and genetic differences among groups have diminished. According to the researchers, this is typically the case in populations after a period of human migration.
A dynamic past
Daniel Master, a professor of archeology at Wheaton College in Illinois, says that these findings, which carry DNA from distant past, present new and exciting information about the dynamic ancient world and the diverse human populations housing it.
“One of the most key questions was how closely the groups in Galilee were in the Beersheba Valley, the Jordan Valley or the Golan Heights,” Master said.
“The publication of the works seized in Peki showed that there are many cultural links between these regions, and in the future it will be interesting to see if these links are genetic at the same time.”
Shalem also points out that the results of the researchers have long been ongoing discussions on what is the main factor that changed the course of the unique cultures of the Chalcolithic people.
“Now we know that this is migration.”