Turkish university to analyse Neolithic DNA

The European Research Council (ERC) has assigned 2.5 million euros to Turkey’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) to analyse the genomes of 1,500 people who lived in Anatolia during the Neolithic period, TRT Haber said.

ODTÜ Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Mehmet Somel said he was going to work with archaeologists, biologists and anthropologists in the five-year project named “Neogene”. 

The project aims to conduct a survey of the Neolithic period (10.000 – 7000 B.C), which caused radical changes in the lifestyles of humanity.

“In this research, which will shine a light on the Neolithic period, samples from 1,500 people collected from 20 Neolithic Anatolian settlements will be scanned with a DNA sequencing method according to their genetic contents,” Somel was quoted as saying. “These samples, which are going to be analysed, will be the most comprehensive DNA research of this area.”

The data collected from the DNA analysis and the archaeological data will be assessed together to reveal effects of immigration, cultural interaction and information exchange on the spread of settled life and agriculture in Anatolia, the news website said.