Together with evidence from the western Asian fossil record 11, and admixture between AMHs and Neanderthals predating the main Eurasian expansion 12, our results contribute to the mounting evidence for the presence of AMHs out of Africa earlier than 75,000 years ago.
Coeval independently dispersals around 50 kya of the West Asia haplogroup U and the Wallacea haplogroup P, points to a halfway core area in southeast Asia as the most probable centre of expansion of macrohaplogroup R, what fits in the phylogeographic pattern of its ancestor, macrohaplogroup N, for which a northern route and a southeast Asian origin has been already proposed.
Our work opens the possibility to detect the presence of hominin groups at sites and in areas where no skeletal remains are found.
We analyzed 47 fully sequenced Y-chromosomes and reconstructed the haplogroup Q3 phylogenetic tree in detail. Haplogroup Q3-L275, derived from the oldest known split within Eurasian/American haplogroup Q, most likely occurred in West or Central Asia in the Upper Paleolithic period. During the Mesolithic and Neolithic epochs, Q3 remained a minor component of the West Asian Y-chromosome pool and gave rise to five branches (Q3a to Q3e), which spread across West, Central and parts of South Asia. Around 3–4 millennia ago (Bronze Age), the Q3a branch underwent a rapid expansion, splitting into seven branches, some of which entered Europe. One of these branches, Q3a1, was acquired by a population ancestral to Ashkenazi Jews and grew within this population during the 1st millennium AD, reaching up to 5% in present day Ashkenazi.
The more southerly distributed sub-clade N4 emerged before N2a1 and N3, found mostly in the north, but the latter two display more elaborate branching patterns, indicative of regional contrasts in recent expansions. In particular, a number of prominent and well-defined clades with common N3a3’6 ancestry occur in regionally dissimilar northern Eurasian populations, indicating almost simultaneous regional diversification and expansion within the last 5,000 years. This patrilineal genetic affinity is decoupled from the associated higher degree of language diversity.
Haplogroup R is a branch on the maternal tree of human kind. Its age is between 54,400 and 58,600 years (Behar et al., 2012b).
Haplogroup U is a branch on the maternal tree of human kind. Its age is between 43,200 and 49,800 years (Behar et al., 2012b).
Haplogroup U8 is a branch on the maternal tree of human kind. Its age is between 39,400 and 46,700 years (Behar et al., 2012b).
Haplogroup U8b is a branch on the maternal tree of humanity.
Haplogroup N is a branch on the maternal tree of human kind. Its age is between 56,500 and 61,200 years (Behar et al., 2012b).