Dr. Julian Jansen van Rensburg and the David Reich Lab, Harvard Medical School, Publish the First aDNA paper for the Island of Soqotra

Feb 15, 2024

Dr. Julian Jansen van Rensburg has been working closely with local communities on Soqotra, Yemen in an exciting project funded by National Geographic that has just been published in Nature. This multidisciplinary project brought together experts using the latest in scientific methods coupled with oral and written histories to better understand the population history of Soqotra. Highlights from this study of the ancient DNA data from 39 individuals who lived on the island of Soqotra from 650-1750 CE include new evidence that there was not a complete population replacement between the Pleistocene and Holocene throughout the Arabian Peninsula. And, that unlike modern Arabians who derive their Levantine/Anatolian-related ancestry from a Neolithic farmer-related source, the medieval Soqotris had relatively more ancestry from ancient groups closer to Natufian hunter-gatherers.

Click here to read the full paper: https://rdcu.be/dx9iH

Fig c: Burial patterns by sex and genetic relationships across 15 tafoni (A–O) on Soqotra. Legend is in the bottom left corner with additional information in Supplementary Data 14 and Supplementary Note 10. A timeline of tafone usage based on direct 14C dates and dates of lineal relatives with known relationships is included (bottom centre).