Ust’-Ishim


Overarching period: Upper Paleolithic, 50,000 - 10,000 BP
Specific period: Aurignacian, 43,000 - 37,000 BP
Carbon dating: 46,880 - 43,210 years old
Location: Ust’-Ishim 57.72° North, 71.17° East
Site location country: Russia
mtDNA haplogroups: R
Y haplogroups: K2

The Ust’-Ishim Femur The Ust’-Ishim Femur [14]

The Individual from Ust’-Ishim:

The individual in this sample was found at the side of a riverbank near the village of Ust’-Ishim in the Western Siberian region of present-day Russia [10]. The bone was found by a local fossil collector and historian and did not come from an archaeological site. This meant that there were no other artifacts associated with the find. Despite this limited information, DNA was extracted and the bone was carbon dated to between 46,880 and 43,210 years old, placing it in the Early Upper Paleolithic. This made it one of the oldest samples known in Central Asia.

Genetic analysis of this individual has shown that they were very distantly related to living human groups today, and only slightly more related to East Asians than Europeans. When compared to hunter-gatherer ancient DNA samples from the Paleolithic, this individual was equally related to Europeans and East Asians. This analysis suggests that it is possibly that this individual may be related to a very early group that migrated out of Africa that may not have left descendants in current living populations [10-11].

Genetic analysis showed that this individual was male and belonged to the Y chromosome haplogroup K2, which is found across Eurasia, particularly in Southeast Asia and Oceania [12]. The origins of the K2 lineage are unclear, but the distribution would suggest that it appeared in the Paleolithic. Their mitochondrial lineage was part of the R haplogroup which is common worldwide today and is thought to be of very ancient ancestry [13].


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