Ancient genomes show social and reproductive behavior of early Upper Paleolithic foragers

Sikora, Martin; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Martins Conde e Sousa, Vitor; Albrechtsen, Anders; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Ko, Amy; Rasmussen, Simon; Dupanloup, Isabelle; Nigst, Philip R.; Bosch, Marjolein D.; Renaud, Gabriel; Allentoft, Morten E.; Margaryan, Ashot; Vasilyev, Sergey V.; Veselovskaya, Elizaveta V.; Borutskaya, Svetlana B.; Deviese, Thibaut; Comeskey, Dan; Higham, Tom; Manica, Andrea; ... (2017). Ancient genomes show social and reproductive behavior of early Upper Paleolithic foragers. Science, 358(6363), pp. 659-662. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/science.aao1807

[img] Text
659.full.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

Present-day hunter-gatherers (HGs) live in multilevel social groups essential to sustain a population structure characterized by limited levels of within-band relatedness and inbreeding.When these wider social networks evolved among HGs is unknown. To investigate whether the contemporary HG strategy was already present in the Upper Paleolithic, we used complete genome sequences from Sunghir, a site dated to ~34,000 years before the present, containing multiple anatomically modern human individuals.We show that individuals at Sunghir derive from a population of small effective size, with limited kinship and levels of inbreeding similar to HG populations. Our findings suggest that Upper Paleolithic social organization was similar to that of living HGs, with limited relatedness within residential groups embedded in a larger mating network.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Martins Conde e Sousa, Vitor; Duperret, Isabelle and Excoffier, Laurent


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




American Association for the Advancement of Science




Susanne Holenstein

Date Deposited:

24 Jul 2018 07:35

Last Modified:

24 Jul 2018 07:35

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback