Review articles

By Dr. Clyde Winters
Corresponding Author Dr. Clyde Winters
Uthman dan Fodio Institue, 11541 S. Peoria - United States of America 60643
Submitting Author Dr. Clyde Winters

Haplogroup, Phylogenetically, Cro-Magnon, Aurignacian, Craniometric

Winters C. The Gibraltar Out of Africa Exit for Anatomically Modern Humans. WebmedCentral BIOLOGY 2011;2(10):WMC002311
doi: 10.9754/journal.wmc.2011.002311
Click here
Submitted on: 11 Oct 2011 04:10:49 AM GMT
Published on: 11 Oct 2011 04:30:46 PM GMT


Using archaeological, craniometric, anthropological, and samples of ancient mtDNA we examined the possibility that there was a third exit from Africa, of anatomically modern humans (amh) across the Straits of Gibraltar into Iberia and thence throughout Eurasia. The finding of ancient Sub-Saharan mtDNA and related evidences make it clear that the Aurignacian culture was taken into Eurasia from Africa by Cro-Magnon people crossing the Straits of Gibraltar.


It has been assumed that modern humans entered Eurasia either from North Africa and the Levant (the Natufians ), or via an eastern route starting from Ethiopia(the Australians)  and eventually extending into Eurasia 1. These migration routes suggest an out-of-Africa migration event around 65,000 years ago from Eastern Africa, and a second migration route of modern humans into Eurasia around 10,000-20,000 years ago across the Sinai into the Levant.
These researchers have assumed that haplogroup N  was probably carried to Eastern Eurasia by these early migrants since Western Eurasia was still occupied by Neanderthal man. Although this is the traditional view for the origin of the N haplogroup (hg/HG) in Eurasia, the dates for these genes in eastern Eurasian are incongruent to the TMRCA of the populations carrying this haplogroup in eastern and western Eurasia. This incongruence in relation to the dates for this haplogroup in eastern Eurasia, and its complete absence in much of western Eurasia today suggest that the population carrying this gene into Eurasia may not have entered Eurasian during the two recognized possible Africa exit events.
There is considerable evidence that there was third migration out of Africa across the Straits of Gibraltar into Iberia during the Paleolithic. Luis Pericot was sure that the populations associated with the Gravettian and Soultrean cultures  were phylogenetically Sub-Saharan African(1a).

Materials and Methods

We analyzed the craniometric, genomic and archaeological literature relating to African and Eurasian population movements.In this study we critically examined the published literature on ancient mtDNA from Africa and Eurasia focusing on haplogroup N.


Little is known about the origin and phylogeographic patterning and demography of hg N which share a common root with its L3 counterpart 2. The TMRCA mtDNA ancestor of hgs L3, M and N lived around 94.3kya3. There appears to have been a serial expansion of haplogroup N from the Great Lakes region of Africa to other parts of Africa 93kya (3a). From Tanzania Khoisan speaking people probably spread the haplogroup into Ethiopia by 80kya.
By 70 kya Khoisan people probably spread hg N into West Africa. Sometime before 40kya there was probably a second migration event from Cameroon and possibly the Senegambian region into Northwest Africa on into Iberia (3a).
The mtDNA haplogroup N has the common transitions 73,7028,11719,12705,14766 and 16223. The defining mutations include 8701,9540,10398,10873 and 15301. Haplogroup N is a branch of L3 (M,N).
Macrohaplogroup N is widely distributed in Eastern Europe , the Far East, Oceania , Southeast Asia 4-6, India7  and Africa3,8-9 . The age of hg N is probably 60 kya. Some researchers believe that the split of hg N* and hg 0 was 34.6kya 2. Many researchers believe that hg N may have appeared in Siberia, Mongolia or China by 20kya. From here it is believed that it was transported to other parts of Eurasia by human migration.
The age calculations for hg N are based on STR variations 2. The STR variations for  the estimated age of hgs N1-N3 is between 14.2-19.4kya 2. There are low frequencies for hg N from Fiji, Borneo, Cambodia, Southern China, Japan up into Siberia.
The N lineage is believed to have entered Eurasia via the continental route out of Africa 10. This hypothesis has been disputed by some researchers 11 because hg N is found in India 12-12 and Australia 10,14. This has led some researchers assuming that there was a single migration of hgs M and N out of Africa 13,15-17.
The haplogroup N is absent among Native Americans 2, 18-22. This genetic evidence leads one to assume that hg N may not have been present among the East Asian founder groups of Native Americans who colonized the Americas between 12-17kya 23.
Researchers disagree on the possible location from which hg N spread across Eurasian 2,24. Derenko et al suggest an origin for hg N in Siberia 10kya 24. They hypothesize that the spread of hg N into eastern Europe occurred around 8kya24 .
Rootsi et al gives an age of 19.4kya for hgs N1-N32 . They date hg N* to  11.9-12.6kya. Haplogroup N1 is distributed in low frequencies among Koreans, North Han, and Manchurians.
Haplogroups N2-A and N2-E are given a Pleistocene-Holocene migratory trajectory from East Asia 2. Rootsi et al see a recent expansion of hg N from Siberia approximately 12-14 kya 2.
The most frequent N haplogroup in Eurasia is hg N3. Researchers believe this haplogroup originated in N China around 11.8kya. This corresponds to a probably migration scenario from first East Asia, into North Eastern Europe into the Volga-Ural region.
Haplogroup N is also found in India 7. The Indian haplogroups include lineages N5-N8. The major transitions in the Indian hg N5 include 8594,10754 and 74544 corresponds to hg R5.
There are also N hgs found in Africa. Haplogroups N,N* and N1 is found in  low frequencies within Sub-Saharan groups including  Senegambians 9, Tanzanians 3 and modern Ethiopians 1 .In Egypt 8.8 percent of the Gurma carry hg N1b 25.
Much of the ancient mtDNA found in Iberia has no relationship to the people presently living in Iberia (1a). Dominguez found that the lineages recovered from ancient skeletons are the African lineages L1b,L2 and L3. Almost 50% of the lineages from the Abauntz Chalcolithic deposits and Tres Montes, in Navarre are the Sub-Saharan lineages L1b,L2 and L3.


In conclusion, the ‘Classic Aurignacian’ culture probably began in Africa, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar into Iberia, and expanded eastward across Europe 3a,40-41,44. The archaeological record informs us that CroMagnon people carried hg N and replaced the Neanderthal population of the Levant, at Ksar Akil around 32, 000 years ago 42-43, not the Natufians who entered the Levant almost 20,000 years later. Moreover, by 7000 BC the dominant haplogroup of Western Eurasians remained hg N136.
The appearance of phylogenetically related sequences of hg L3 present in many ancient  Iberian skeletons suggest  that this haplogroup may have a long history in Iberia. The fact that hg N came to Iberia with the Cro-Magnon people in Aurignacian times suggest that carries of L3 may have also been part of this population movement.
The mtDNA, skeletal and archaeological record generally, support a third migration event out of Africa before the expansion of the Natufians into the Levant 10,000-20,000 ybp 35. This third out of Africa event took place between 40-35kya, when modern man crossed from Africa into Iberia carrying haplogroups N and L3, and began to replace Neanderthal as the dominant population in western Eurasia.


1. Quibtanana-Murci L, Semino O,Bandelt H J, Passaro G, McElreadey K, Santachiara-Benerecetti A S. Genetic Evidence of an early exit of Homo sapiens from Africa through eastern Africa, Nat. Genet (1999); 23:437-441.
1a. Domínguez E.F. Polimorfismos de DNA mitocondrial en poblaciones antiguas de la cuenca mediterránea.
Universitat de Barcelona. Departament de Biologia Animal, 2005 (PhD thesis).
2. Rootsi S, Zhehvotsky LA, Baldovi M, Kayer M, Kutnev IA, Khusainova R, Bermisheva MA, Gubina M. A counter-clockwise northern route of the Y-chromosome haplogroup N from Southeast Asia towards Europe. Eur J Hum Genet   (2007)15, 204-211.
3. Gonder MK, Mortensen HM, Reed FA, de Sousa A, Tishkoff SA. (2006). Whole mtDNA Genome Sequence Analysis of Ancient African Lineages. Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Dec 28.
3a. Winters,C. Origin and spread of the Haplogroup N. Bioresearch Bull (2010) 3:116-122.
4. Karafet TM, Osipova LP, Gubina MA, Posukh OL, Zegura SL, Hammer MF: High levels of Y-chromosome differentiation among native Siberian populations and the genetic signature of a boreal hunter-gatherer way of life. Hum Biol 2002; 74: 761–789. | PubMed | ISI |
5. Zerjal T, Dashnyam B, Pandya A et al: Genetic relationships of Asians and Northern Europeans, revealed by Y-chromosomal DNA analysis. Am J Hum Genet 1997; 60: 1174–1183. | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
6. Tambets K, Rootsi S, Kivisild T et al: The western and eastern roots of the Saami – the story of genetic 'outliers' told by mtDNA and Y-chromosome. Am J Hum Genet 2004; 74: 661:682. | Article |
7. Palanichamy MG, Sun C, Agrawal B, Kong Q-P, Khan F, Wang C-Y, Palla V, Zhang Y-P. Phylogeny of Mitochondrial DNA Macrohaplogroup N Based on complete sequencing: Implications for South Asia , Am J Hum Genet 2004; 75(6), 966-978.
8. Rosa A, Ornelas C, Jobling MA, Brehm A, Villems R. Y-chromosome diversit6y in the population of Guinea-Bissau: a multiethnic perspective, BMC Evolutionary Biology 2007; 7, 124-. 
9. González, A. M.,  V. M. Cabrera, J. M. Larruga, A. Tounkara, G. Noumsi, B. N. Thomas  and J. M. Moulds. Mitochondrial DNA Variation in Mauritania  and  Mali and their Genetic Relationship to Other Western  Africa Populations. Annals of Human Genetics  2006;70,5. e=ahg
10. Su B, Jin L: Natives or immigrants: modern human origin in East Asia. Nat Rev 2000; 1: 126–133. | Article | ChemPort |
11. Wendorf, F. The History of Nubia, 1968. Dallas.
12. Hammer MF, Karafet TM, Park H et al: Dual origins of the Japanese: common ground for hunter-gatherer and farmer Y chromosomes. J Hum Genet 2006; 51: 47–58. | Article | PubMed |
13. Tajima A, Pan IH, Fucharoen G et al: Three major lineages of Asian Y chromosomes: implications for the peopling of east and southeast Asia. Hum Genet 2002; 110: 80–88. | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
14. Dupuy BM, Stenersen M, Egeland T, Olaisen B: Y-chromosomal microsatellite mutation rates: differences in mutation rate between and within loci. Hum Mutat 2004; 23: 117–124. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
15. Cinnioglu C, King R, Kivisild T et al: Excavating Y-chromosome haplotype strata in Anatolia. Hum Genet 2004; 114: 127–148. | Article | PubMed |
16. Kayser M, Brauer S, Weiss G et al: Reduced Y-chromosome, but not mitochondrial DNA, diversity in human populations from West New Guinea. Am J Hum Genet 2003; 72: 281–302. | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
17. Su B, Xiao J, Underhill P et al: Y-Chromosome evidence for a northward migration of modern humans into Eastern Asia during the last ice age. Am J Hum Genet 1999; 65: 1718–1724. | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
18. Bergen AW, Wang CY, Tsai J et al: An Asian-Native American paternal lineage identified by RPS4Y resequencing and by microsatellite haplotyping. Ann Hum Genet 1999; 63: 63–80. | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
19. Karafet TM, Zegura SL, Posukh O et al: Ancestral Asian source(s) of new world Y-chromosome founder haplotypes. Am J Hum Genet 1999; 64: 817–831. | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
20. Lell JT, Sukernik RI, Starikovskaya YB et al: The dual origin and Siberian affinities of Native American Y chromosomes. Am J Hum Genet 2002; 70: 192–206. | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
21. Seielstad M, Yuldasheva N, Singh N et al: A novel Y-chromosome variant puts an upper limit on the timing of first entry into the Americas. Am J Hum Genet 2003; 73: 700–705. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
22. Bortolini MC, Salzano FM, Thomas MG et al: Y-chromosome evidence for differing ancient demographic histories in the Americas. Am J Hum Genet 2003; 73: 524–539. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
23. Zegura SL, Karafet TM, Zhivotovsky LA, Hammer MF: High-resolution SNPs and microsatellite haplotypes point to a single, recent entry of Native American Y chromosomes into the Americas. Mol Biol Evol 2004; 21: 164–175. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
24. Darenko M, Malyarchuk B, Denisova G., Wozniak M, Grzybouski T, Dambueva I, Zakharov I. Y-chromosome haplogroup N dispersals from South Siberia to Europe, J Hum Genet 2007, 52 (9), 763-770.
25. Stevanovitch A, Gilles A, Bouzaid E, Kefi R, Paris,F. Mitochondrial DNA sequence diversity in a Sedentary population from Egypt, Ann Hum Gent 2003; 68, 23-30.
26. Caramelli,D.,Lalueza-Fox,C., Vernesi,C., Lari,M.,Casoli,A., Mallegni,B.C., Dupanloup, I., Bertranpetit,J., Barbujani,G., Bertorelle,G. Evidence for a genetic discontinuity between Neandertals and 24,000 year-old anatomically modern Europeans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003,;100 (11):6593-6597.
27. Lindly LM,  G. A. Clark; O. Bar-Yosef; D. Lieberman; J. Shea; Harold L. Dibble;  Phillip G. Chase; Clive Gamble; Robert H. Gargett; Ken Jacobs; Paul Mellars; Anne Pike-Tay; Yuri Smirnov; Lawrence Guy Straus; C. B. Stringer; Erik Trinkaus; Randall White .(1990). Symbolism and Modern Human Origins [and Comments and Reply] Current Anthropology, 31( 3): 233-261.
28. Winters C.(2008). Aurignacian Culture: Evidence of a Western Exit for Anatomically Modern Humans. South Asian Anthropologist , Forthcoming March.
29. Diop, A.( 1991 ) . Civilization or Barbarism. Lawrence Hill Books.
30. Diop,A.(1974). The African Origin of Civilization. Lawrence Hill Books .
31. Boule, M., HV Vallois . (1957).  Fossil Man . Dryden Press New York Bordes, Francois.(1972 ). L’Origine de l’homme moderne.Paris, UNESCO. Bordes, Francois.(1972 ). L’Origine de l’homme moderne.Paris, UNESCO.
32. Mellars, P.A. (1992).Archaeology and the Population-Dispersal Hypothesis of Modern Human Origins in Europe. The Origin of Modern Humans and the Impact of Chronometric Dating. .Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences,  337( 1280) : 225-234.
33. Verneaux,R.(1926). Les Origines de l’humanite. Paris: F. Riedder & Cie.
34. Holiday, T. (2000). Evolution at the Crossroads:Modern Human Emergence in Western Asia, American Anthropologist,102(1) .
35. Haak W et al. 2005. Ancient DNA from the first European farmers 7500-year-old Neolithic sites. Science 310:1016-1018.
36. Barral,L. & Charles,R.P. (1963) Nouvelles donnees anthropometriques et precision sue les affinities systematiques des negroides de Grimaldi, Bulletin du Musee  d’anthropologie prehistorique de Monaco, No.10:123-139.
37. Brace, C.L. , Noriko Seguchi, Conrad B. Quintyn, Sherry C. Fox, A. Russell Nelson, Sotiris K. Manolis,** and Pan Qifeng. (2006). The questionable contribution of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age to European craniofacial form. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 January 3; 103(1): 242–247.
38. Balter M. 2005. Ancient DNA yields clues to the puzzle of European origins. Science 310:964-965. Full text (subscription)
39. Haak W et al. 2005. Ancient DNA from the first European farmers 7500-year-old Neolithic sites. Science 310:1016-1018.
40. Mellars,P.A. (2006).Going East:New Genetic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Modern Human Colonization of Eurasia. Science 333 (11 August):796-800.
41. Brown, S.J. (2006). Neanderthals and modern humans in western Asia. Retrieved 2/7/2007 at:
42. Steven,L.K. Stiner,M.C., Reese,D.S. & Gulec,E. (2001). Ornaments of the earliest Upper Paleolithic:New insights from the Levant. PNAS, 98(13):7641-7646.
43. Gilead,I.(2005). The Upper Paleolithic period in the Levant. Journal of World History, 5(2): 105-154.
44. Winters C.(2008). Aurignacian Culture: Evidence of Western Exit for Anatomically Modern Humans, South Asian Anthropologist, 81(1):79-81.

Source(s) of Funding

Uthman dan Fodio Institute Research Grant 1202.

Competing Interests



This article has been downloaded from WebmedCentral. With our unique author driven post publication peer review, contents posted on this web portal do not undergo any prepublication peer or editorial review. It is completely the responsibility of the authors to ensure not only scientific and ethical standards of the manuscript but also its grammatical accuracy. Authors must ensure that they obtain all the necessary permissions before submitting any information that requires obtaining a consent or approval from a third party. Authors should also ensure not to submit any information which they do not have the copyright of or of which they have transferred the copyrights to a third party.
Contents on WebmedCentral are purely for biomedical researchers and scientists. They are not meant to cater to the needs of an individual patient. The web portal or any content(s) therein is neither designed to support, nor replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Your use of the WebmedCentral site and its contents is entirely at your own risk. We do not take any responsibility for any harm that you may suffer or inflict on a third person by following the contents of this website.

1 review posted so far

0 comments posted so far

Please use this functionality to flag objectionable, inappropriate, inaccurate, and offensive content to WebmedCentral Team and the authors.


Author Comments
0 comments posted so far


What is article Popularity?

Article popularity is calculated by considering the scores: age of the article
Popularity = (P - 1) / (T + 2)^1.5
P : points is the sum of individual scores, which includes article Views, Downloads, Reviews, Comments and their weightage

Scores   Weightage
Views Points X 1
Download Points X 2
Comment Points X 5
Review Points X 10
Points= sum(Views Points + Download Points + Comment Points + Review Points)
T : time since submission in hours.
P is subtracted by 1 to negate submitter's vote.
Age factor is (time since submission in hours plus two) to the power of 1.5.factor.

How Article Quality Works?

For each article Authors/Readers, Reviewers and WMC Editors can review/rate the articles. These ratings are used to determine Feedback Scores.

In most cases, article receive ratings in the range of 0 to 10. We calculate average of all the ratings and consider it as article quality.

Quality=Average(Authors/Readers Ratings + Reviewers Ratings + WMC Editor Ratings)