Vicente M. Cabrera1*, Patricia Marrero, , Khaled K. Abu-Amero,Jose M. Larruga. (2017). Carriers of mitochondrial DNA macrohaplogroup L3 basic lineages migrated back to Africa from Asia around 70,000 years ago. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2017/12/13/233502.full.pdf
Cabrera et al, argue that the basic lineages for L3 migrated back to Africa 70,000 years ago. The proposition is not supported by any archaeological evidence. Absent any archaeological evidence this proposal lacks any credibility. It is more likely that L3 had already spread across Africa prior to 100,000 BC. This is obvious by the fact that the Aurignacians carried L3 (N).
The TMRCA mtDNA ancestor of hgs L3, M and N lived around 94.3kya(3). There appears to have been a serial expansion of haplogroup N from the
Great Lakes region of Africa
to other parts of Africa 93kya (3a). From Tanzania Khoisan speaking people
probably spread the haplogroup into by 80kya. this agrees with Cabrera et al's contention that L3, had early spread into East Africa. Ethiopia
By 70 kya Khoisan people probably spread hg N into
The mtDNA haplogroup N has the common transitions 73,7028,11719, 12705,14766 and 16223. The defining mutations include 8701,9540,10398, 10873 and 15301. Haplogroup N is a branch of L3 (M,N).
There are also N hgs found in
N,N* and N1 is found in low frequencies
within Sub-Saharan groups including
Senegambians (9), Tanzanians (3) and modern
Ethiopians (1) .In Egypt 8.8 percent of the Gurma carry hg N1b (25).
Much of the ancient mtDNA found in
has no relationship to the people presently living in Iberia (1a).
Dominguez found that the lineages recovered from ancient skeletons are the
African lineages L1b,L2 and L3. Almost 50% of the lineages from the Abauntz
Chalcolithic deposits and Tres Montes, in Iberia are the Sub-Saharan
lineages L1b,L2 and L3. Navarre
Until recently it was assumed that the earliest dates for hg N were in
Eastern Eurasia. This view has changed recently as a
result of the extraction and examination of ancient mtDNA from Cro Magnon
skeletons dating to the Aurignacian period (26).
The archaeological evidence indicates that AMH replaced Neanderthal during the Aurignacian period in
between 32-35kya (27).
The Aurignacian civilization appears to have expanded from West to East (28-30).The
founders of this culture came from Africa (28,29,31).
Some researchers have argued that the Aurignacian culture was introduced to Europe from Africa (1a,32).
They based this conclusion on the fact that its tool kit was foreign to the
Mousterian type, and the culture appears in a mature form throughout Europe from to France Central Europe (1a,3a, 32-33).
Around 40,000 BC
was occupied mainly by Neanderthals. They begin to be replaced in Europe around 32,000 by the CroMagnon
people at Les Eyzies in
(29). It is also evident that archaic humans were replaced in much
of the France Levant by the Levantine Aurignacian
culture bearers by a local variant of this technology at Ksar Akil Xlll-Vll
32kya , not 60-50kya.
people at Les Eyzies in
The Cro Magnon DNA found in the ancient skeletons dates back to the Aurignacian period. The Cro magnon skeletons belong to the N haplogroup (26).
The Cro Magnon skeletons carried N1a,N1b,N1c and N* (26). It is characterized by motifs 00073G,10873C, 10238T and A4CC between nucleotide positions 10397 and 10400. Most of the skeletons carried hg N*.
It appears that the hg N was the most frequent mtDNA carried by Western European populations for over 20,000 years. This gene as discussed earlier is found primarily today outside
Western Europe. The
Cro Magnon people were mainly hunter-gathers.
Haak et al. found that the twenty-four samples included haplogroups H or V, T, K, J , N1a and U3 (36). The frequency of N1a among ancient samples ranged from 8% to 42%.The archaeological evidence make it clear that the Cro Magnon people probably originated in
where we find hg N among African populations throughout the continent (3-3a,9).
The spread of Cro Magnon populations from eastward into Iberia Eastern Europe and the Levant
support the view that haplogroup N was
carried into Eurasia by Cro Magnon population
from Africa across the Straits of Gibraltar into
The dates for the hg N in
East Asia are
far later than the dates for hg N among Cro Magnon populations in western Eurasia. This
suggest that the hg N was carried into by Cro Magnon people. Iberia
The Aurignacian culture did not enter
the Levant. The Aurignacian civilization
appears to have expanded from West to East (29-30) . The spread of
the Aurignacian culture from Western to Eastern Eurasian suggest that while hg
N*,N1 was already present among Western Eurasians, by around 12-14 kya hgs N2- N3 probably
originated in Siberia, not East
Asia. It would appear that the presence of these haplogroups in Eastern Europe are the result of a back migration from Siberia.
The high frequency of hg N among the ancient
make it clear that eventhough hg M and hg N may have exited Africa
along the southern coastal route out of Africa
65kya most carriers of hg N probably left Africa
during the migratory trajectory across the Straits of Gibraltar. Low
frequencies of hg N in East Asia and Oceania today, are probably the result of the southern
coastal route out of Africa from the Red Sea on into Asia.This view is supported by the
ancient M and N lineages found in Asia.
In conclusion, the ‘Classic Aurignacian’ culture probably began in
Africa, crossed the
Straits of Gibraltar into ,
and expanded eastward across Iberia Europe (3a,40-41,44)
. The archaeological record informs us that CroMagnon people carried hg N and
replaced the Neanderthal population of the Levant, at Ksar Akil around 32, 000 years ago (42-43),
not the Natufians who entered the Levant almost 20,000 years later. Moreover,
by 7000 BC the dominant haplogroup of Western Eurasians
remained hg N1(36) .
The appearance of phylogenetically related sequences of hg L3 present in many ancient Iberian skeletons suggest that this haplogroup may have a long history in
The fact that hg N came to Iberia
with the Cro-Magnon people in Aurignacian times suggest that carries of L3 may
have also been part of this population movement. Iberia
The mtDNA, skeletal and archaeological record generally, support a third migration event out of
Africa before the expansion of the Natufians into the Levant 10,000-20,000 ybp (35). This third out
of Africa event took place between 40-35kya,
when modern man crossed from Africa into carrying
haplogroups N and L3, and began to
replace Neanderthal as the dominant population in western Iberia Eurasia.
1. Quibtanana-Murci L, Semino O,Bandelt H J, Passaro G, McElreadey K, Santachiara-Benerecetti A S. Genetic Evidence of an early exit of Homo sapiens from Africa through eastern Africa, Nat. Genet (1999); 23:437-441.
1a. Domínguez E.F. Polimorfismos de DNA mitocondrial en poblaciones antiguas de la
Universitat de Barcelona. Departament de Biologia Animal, 2005 (PhD thesis).
2. Rootsi S, Zhehvotsky LA, Baldovi M, Kayer M, Kutnev IA, Khusainova R, Bermisheva MA, Gubina M. A counter-clockwise northern route of the Y-chromosome haplogroup N from
towards Europe. Eur J Hum Genet (2007)15, 204-211.
8. Rosa A, Ornelas C, Jobling MA, Brehm A, Villems R. Y-chromosome diversit6y in the population of Guinea-Bissau: a multiethnic perspective, BMC Evolutionary Biology 2007; 7, 124-.
9. González, A. M., V. M. Cabrera, J. M. Larruga, A. Tounkara, G. Noumsi, B. N. Thomas and J. M. Moulds. Mitochondrial DNA Variation in
and Mauritania and their
Genetic Relationship to Other Mali Western Africa Populations. Annals of Human Genetics 2006;70,5.
29. Diop, A.( 1991 ) . Civilization or Barbarism. Lawrence Hill Books.
Diop,A.(1974). The African Origin of Civilization. Lawrence Hill Books .
31. Boule, M., HV Vallois . (1957). Fossil Man . Dryden Press
Francois.(1972 ). L’Origine de l’homme moderne.Paris, UNESCO. Bordes,
Francois.(1972 ). L’Origine de l’homme moderne.Paris, UNESCO. New York
32. Mellars, P.A. (1992).Archaeology and the Population-Dispersal Hypothesis of Modern Human Origins in Europe. The Origin of Modern Humans and the Impact of Chronometric Dating. .Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, 337( 1280) : 225-234.
33. Verneaux,R.(1926). Les Origines de l’humanite.
: F. Riedder & Cie. Paris
34. Holiday, T. (2000). Evolution at the Crossroads:Modern Human Emergence in
American Anthropologist,102(1) .
35. Haak W et al. 2005. Ancient DNA from the first European farmers 7500-year-old Neolithic sites. Science 310:1016-1018.
36. Barral,L. & Charles,R.P. (1963) Nouvelles donnees anthropometriques et precision sue les affinities systematiques des negroides de Grimaldi, Bulletin du Musee d’anthropologie prehistorique de
37. Brace, C.L. , Noriko Seguchi, Conrad B. Quintyn, Sherry C. Fox, A. Russell Nelson, Sotiris K. Manolis,** and Pan Qifeng. (2006). The questionable contribution of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age to European craniofacial form. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 January 3; 103(1): 242–247.
38. Balter M. 2005. Ancient DNA yields clues to the puzzle of European origins. Science 310:964-965. Full text (subscription)
39. Haak W et al. 2005. Ancient DNA from the first European farmers 7500-year-old Neolithic sites. Science 310:1016-1018.
40. Mellars,P.A. (2006).Going East:New Genetic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Modern Human Colonization of Eurasia. Science 333 (11 August):796-800.
41. Brown, S.J. (2006). Neanderthals and modern humans in western
Asia. Retrieved 2/7/2007 at: http://karmak.org/archive/2003/01/westasia.html
42. Steven,L.K. Stiner,M.C., Reese,D.S. & Gulec,E. (2001). Ornaments of the earliest Upper Paleolithic:New insights from the
Gilead, I.(2005). The
Upper Paleolithic period in the Levant. Journal
of World History, 5(2): 105-154.
44. Winters C.(2008). Aurignacian Culture: Evidence of Western Exit for Anatomically Modern Humans, South Asian Anthropologist, 81(1):79-81.