Sunday, January 8, 2017

The First mtDNA from Mesolithic Greece is K1*

Image result for theopetra cave
Theopetra Cave. The Cave in Greece which Theo5 and 1 were found in.

Last June Hofmanova et al. 2016 published the first mtDNA results from Mesolithic Greece for two samples named Theo5 and Theo1. They labelled the two Mesolithic Greeks as K1c. Ian Logan has posted the rCRS mutations of these two samples on his site. So with that information I checked if the K1c label given by Hofmanova et al. 2016 is accurate and discovered it isn't. Instead these samples are best labelled as K1*.


What K1 in Mesolithic Greece says about their affinity to modern and ancient populations
K1 is a West Eurasian haplogroup. About 5% of people in West Eurasia belong to K1. About 20%  of Neolithic Europeans and Anatolians belonged to K1. Essentially 100% of modern K1 and all ancient K1 tested so far belong to K1a, K1b, or K1c. K1*s like the ones found in Mesolithic Greece are rare. Until we get autsomal DNA from Mesolithic Greece we can't be confident about their affinities to other ancient populations but their K1s do suggest they were closely related to Neolithic Anatolians and Near Easterners.


Here's a list of the haplogroups leading to K1, the subclades of K1, and their rCRS mutations. Mutations the two Mesolithic Greeks possessed are highlighted in green and mutations they didn't possess are highlighted in red.

U: A11467G  A12308G  G12372A
U2'3'4'7'8'9: A1811G 
U8: T9698C 
U8b'c:  A3480G
U8b: G9055A  C14167T
K: A10550G  T11299C  T14798C  T16224C  T16311C!
K1: T1189C  A10398G!

K1 subclades.
K1a: C497T  (T16093C)
K1b: G5913A
K1c: T146C!  T152C!  C498d
K1d'e'f: T16362C

Extra Mutations.
KU171094: T146C A215G C3107T T6351Y G6446A C13967T T16249C
KU171095: T146C A215G C3107T T6351Y G6446A C13967T T8462C A10113G

These Mesolithic Greeks possessed 1 of 3 of K1c's mutations but not all three. Therefore they can't confidently be labeled as K1c. They're best labelled as K1*.

Both Mesolithic Greeks shared many unique mutations. They form a unique K1 subclade. I checked my collection of 1,000s of ancient and modern Ks, including over 1,000 K mitogenomes, for matches with this Mesolithic Greek K1 lineage.

I could only find HVR1 matches for KU171094. I found the 16249C mutation KU171094 had in two Romanian Ks, a Punjab Northern Indian K, and three Neolithic LBK Ks from Germany. 16249C is a rare mutation. These individuals probably do/did infact belong to the same K1 lineage as these Mesolithic Greeks did.

It wouldn't be surprising if Mesolithic Greek mtDNA or mtDNA from close relatives of Mesolithic Greeks existed in modern Romania. It would be a surprise however if the same was true for modern India. As I discussed in my previous post modern Indian's West Eurasian ancestry is primary from ancient Iran and Russia. Their ancient Russian ancestry though may have included some ancestry from Neolithic Europeans who may have had ancestry from Mesolithic  Greeks which could explain a K in modern India being related to a K from Mesolithic Greece.


  1. My paternal Grandmother was mtDNA K2a. I believe it was brought into Europe with the Neolithic LBK Farmers. MtDNA K2a was found in the Globular Amphorae Culture in Poland.jv

  2. What about the Ks found among Bronze Age Minoan Cretans (16.2% of total sample)? Are these K1* by any chance? You can check the specific haplotypes in the link below (Supplementary Table S2).

    1. There's no way to tell if the Minoan K is K1*. The Minoan mtDNA wasn't tested as well as the two Mesolithic Greeks' mtDNA. I'll make a post about that Minoan mtDNA so stay tuned.

    2. Thanks, looking forward.. Will you be posting this in the current blog?