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Green R.E.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Green R.E.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Krause J.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Krause J.,CAS Beijing Institute of Genomics | And 64 more authors.

Neandertals, the closest evolutionary relatives of present-day humans, lived in large parts of Europe and western Asia before disappearing 30,000 years ago. We present a draft sequence of the Neandertal genome composed of more than 4 billion nucleotides from three individuals. Comparisons of the Neandertal genome to the genomes of five present-day humans from different parts of the world identify a number of genomic regions that may have been affected by positive selection in ancestral modern humans, including genes involved in metabolism and in cognitive and skeletal development. We show that Neandertals shared more genetic variants with present-day humans in Eurasia than with present-day humans in sub-Saharan Africa, suggesting that gene flow from Neandertals into the ancestors of non-Africans occurred before the divergence of Eurasian groups from each other. Source

Prufer K.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Racimo F.,University of California at Berkeley | Patterson N.,The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard | Jay F.,University of California at Berkeley | And 50 more authors.

We present a high-quality genome sequence of a Neanderthal woman from Siberia. We show that her parents were related at the level of half-siblings and that mating among close relatives was common among her recent ancestors. We also sequenced the genome of a Neanderthal from the Caucasus to low coverage. An analysis of the relationships and population history of available archaic genomes and 25 present-day human genomes shows that several gene flow events occurred among Neanderthals, Denisovans and early modern humans, possibly including gene flow into Denisovans from an unknown archaic group. Thus, interbreeding, albeit of low magnitude, occurred among many hominin groups in the Late Pleistocene. In addition, the high-quality Neanderthal genome allows us to establish a definitive list of substitutions that became fixed in modern humans after their separation from the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Golovanova L.V.,ANO Laboratory of Prehistory | Doronichev V.B.,ANO Laboratory of Prehistory | Cleghorn N.E.,ANO Laboratory of Prehistory | Koulkova M.A.,ANO Laboratory of Prehistory | And 3 more authors.
Quaternary International

This paper presents a review of the Epipaleolithic (EPP) sites postdating the Last Glacial Maximum in the northern and southern Caucasus. Although securely excavated EPP sites are as yet rare in the Caucasus, those that provide homogeneous artifact assemblages contain tool types characteristic of EPP industries in Europe and in the Near East. Tool types characteristic of the Caucasian Epipaleolithic are discussed, as well as development during more than 10,000 years. A climatostratigraphic scheme of the Caucasian Epipaleolithic is proposed on the basis of paleoenvironmental data and radiocarbon dates. A review of the available data and a critical approach to treating Epipaleolithic variability in the Caucasus recognizes that only several EPP occurrences in the southern and northern Caucasus might represent a specific Epipaleolithic industry that existed from ca 17/16 to ca 13/12 ka BP (cal) in the region. The old term "Imeretian Culture" may be applied only to this industry type. Contacts between the inhabitants of these EPP occupations are shown by new data concerning the EPP obsidian transport networks from sources located in the southwest Caucasus and in the central part of the northern Caucasus to EPP sites in the northwestern Caucasus. High mobility of human groups in the Epipaleolithic was one of the most significant factors providing affinity of the EPP industries across the Caucasus. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

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