Who were the people of the Fertile Crescent who first domesticated wheat and sheep? Are their descendants still with us today? With recent advances in genetic population analysis, it may be possible to infer who these people were.As you may know, it is possible to collect genetic data from people and analyze it to roughly determine ancestry. With new population analysis tools such as ADMIXTURE, it is now possible to run autosomal DNA population ancestry simulations on large groups of people. These are more precise than the mt-DNA and y-DNA population analyses that have been popular for the last several years.
One such large population autosomal analysis has recently been run on Eurasian populations. Please see K=10 results in Dienekes' Anthropology Blog.
What can be inferred from Dienekes' simulation? Let's look at populations of the Fertile Crescent.
If you look closely at the stacked bar chart results, you will see a consistent three component pattern across Fertile Crescent populations. If you remove the other components and renormalize the results, today's people of the Fertile Crescent are represented by a three component cocktail (thanks Gioiello):