Western Asia lies at the heart of the Old World, in the midst of Africa, Asia, and Europe. As such, this region has been populated and repopulated by myriad peoples, starting with the first migrants from Africa. All evidence points to Western Asia for the beginnings of sedentary life, and indeed, first the villages and later the cities of this land remain as archaeological wonders, revealing complex histories of multiple peoples and their interactions. With the wondrous breakthroughs in genomic studies, we now have the power to look at these histories with a truly quantitative lens. Here, we review the recent anthropological genomics literature pertaining to this region, with an outlook for the future challenges and exciting possibilities for the field.
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Vol. 89 • No. 2