J Craniofac Genet Dev Biol. 1998 Apr-Jun;18(2):59-63. Related Articles, Links


The origin of Europeans is not rooted in the Middle East but in southern east Asia.

Shields ED.

Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. shields@medcor.mcgill.ca

The study of tooth crown variables has proven useful in the assessment of human origin and dispersal. I show that multivariate analysis of quantified total tooth structure from dental X-rays is a powerful phylogenetic methodology. From an analysis of the complex global dental phenotype ("GDP," composed of approximately 30 root, pulp, crown, and enamel variables per tooth), a representative Western European population was found to associate with Southeast Asians, while Mongolians formed a tight cluster with all Native Americans. The results suggest that either an emigrant wave, or waves, of modern humans emerged from Africa and with time segregated into at least three groups: Australian aborigines, Europeans, and Southeast Asians, or less likely due to genetic and archaeologic observations, a southern Asia origin of all modern humans from an emigrant African hominid. Both hypotheses portend an early evolution of the European genotype and support the argument that Europeans are principally derived from Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, and thus Middle East Neolithic people did not have a major genetic impact on Europeans.