Assistant Professor Kurt Rademaker publishes in the journal Cell on reconstructing deep population history of the Andes

Department of Anthropology Assistant Professor Kurt Rademaker co-authored a recently published article in the journal Cell with colleagues around the world, including first author Nathan Nakatsuka (Harvard-MIT) and senior authors David Reich (Harvard) and Lars Fehren-Schmitz (UCSC). The article is titled “A Paleogenomic Reconstruction of the Deep Population History of the Andes” and discusses the changes to the genetic landscape in the Central Andes over 9,000 years. The article also investigates the correlation between changes in population structure and archaeologically detected periods of cultural, political, and socioeconomic shifts.

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Abstract: “There are many unanswered questions about the population history of the Central and South-Central Andes, particularly regarding the impact of large-scale societies, such as the Moche, Wari, Tiwanaku, and Inca. We assembled genome-wide data on 89 individuals dating from ~9,000-500 years ago (BP), with a particular focus on the period of the rise and fall of state societies. Today’s genetic structure began to develop by 5,800 BP, followed by bi-directional gene flow between the North and South Highlands, and between the Highlands and Coast. We detect minimal admixture among neighboring groups between ~2,000–500 BP, although we do detect cosmopolitanism (people of diverse ancestries living side-by-side) in the heartlands of the Tiwanaku and Inca polities. We also highlight cases of long-range mobility connecting the Andes to Argentina and the Northwest Andes to the Amazon Basin.”