(Mitochondrial diversity in the Taforalt population (circa 12,000 BP, Morocco): a genetic approach to the study of the peopling of North Africa.)
The population exhumed from the archaeological site of Taforalt in Morocco (12,000 years BP) is a valuable source of information toward a better knowledge of the settlement of Northern Africa region and provides a revolutionary way to specify the origin of Ibero-Maurusian populations. Ancient DNA was extracted from 31 bone remains from Taforalt.The HVS1 fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region was PCR-amplified and directly sequenced. Mitochondrial diversity in Taforalt shows the absence of sub-Saharan haplogroups suggesting that Ibero-Maurusian individuals had not originated in sub-Saharan region.Our results reveal a probable local evolution of Taforalt population and a genetic continuity in North Africa.
The genetic inheritance of Taforalt population (12,000 years) is composed of:
Eurasiatic component (J/T, H, U et V) and North African component (U6).
Genetic structure of Taforalt:
Eurasiatic Component : H, U, JT, V: 90.5%
North African component: U6: 9.5 %
- 42, 8% (9/21) H or U
- 14, 2% (3/21) JT
- 2 individuals (9,5%) U6
In modern Human population, JT is presents only in:
1,6% Berbers from the North of Morocco
1,8% of Sicilians,
1,6% of Italians.
Here we have direct indisputable evidence of a Caucasoid presence in North Africa in ancient times. This isn’t exactly as surprise, as all the other studies have said the same thing. Interesting there’s no M clades though.
Although, a closer look at the paper shows one sample could have been M, L3 or N.
The paper also says that (my translation)…
The analysis of the diversity of mitochondrial DNA taken from the Taforalt population reveals the existance of 13 haplotypes. This haplotype diversity is similar to that of Europeans, and Mediterranean of the Mahgreb, with the exception of Algerian people ( the Berber Mozabites and non-Berbers) compared to whom they who have less haplotype diversity. The haplotype diversity of the Taforalt population is less than that of near Eastern populations.
…the hypothesis of a sub Saharan origin of the Ibero-Maurussians in the Sahara is not supprted by our results, which show a popultion more typical of the Mediterranean in North Africa for the past 12,000 years. Our results support the work based on cranio-facial and dental studies showing difference between Ibero-Maurussians and their contemporaries in the Sudan. the presence of a sub Saharan component in North Africa is due to migrations after 12,000 BP.
Here is a link to the translated page. It observes that North coast Moroccan Berbers seem to be the most similar to the Taforalt population. All in all it’s conclusion is that modern Berbers are descended mainly from the Holocene population of North Africa, with populations like the North coast Berbers showing the most similarity.