Ethnohistorical and Genetic Survey of Four Central Anatolian Settlements

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University of Pennsylvania, 2008 - 189 pages
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This study investigates the genetic diversity and ethnohistory of four Central Anatolian settlements from a local perspective to better understand the complex population history of Anatolia. The objectives of this project are to (1) document the biological and cultural diversity in contemporary settlements in the Yuksekyer region, (2) describe the population history of the Yuksekyer settlements within an ethnohistorical context, and (3) contextualize the findings of broader studies, which address major population events, such as the Neolithic expansion and the Turkic invasion, from a local perspective. To accomplish these goals, ethnohistorical fieldwork was conducted using interviews and questionnaires to obtain genealogical information about participants and record the local histories of these settlements, including their cultural and social affinities with each other. During this process, biological samples were also collected from the Yuksekyer inhabitants for genetic analysis. These samples were screened for mtDNA, Y-chromosome, and autosomal polymorphisms, and the resulting data analyzed with statistic and phylogenetic methods to define the biological affinities of Central Anatolian populations, and reconstruct the migration history of the region. The ethnohistorical information obtained through fieldwork facilitated a more thorough historical and cultural understanding of genetic variation in Turkey than has been achieved in previous studies. Furthermore, by working at the local level, it was possible to distinguish patterns of diversity resulting from long-term inhabitation versus those arising from recent immigration into the region.

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