Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups

Some interesting excerpts from Wang et al. (2018):

An interesting observation is that steppe zone individuals directly north of the Caucasus (Eneolithic Samara and Eneolithic steppe) had initially not received any gene flow from Anatolian farmers. Instead, the ancestry profile in Eneolithic steppe individuals shows an even mixture of EHG and CHG ancestry, which argues for an effective cultural and genetic border between the contemporaneous Eneolithic populations in the North Caucasus, notably Steppe and Caucasus. Due to the temporal limitations of our dataset, we currently cannot determine whether this ancestry is stemming from an existing natural genetic gradient running from EHG far to the north to CHG/Iran in the south or whether this is the result of farmers with Iranian farmer/ CHG-related ancestry reaching the steppe zone independent of and prior to a stream of Anatolian farmer-like ancestry, where they mixed with local hunter-gatherers that carried only EHG ancestry.

PCA-caucasus-khvalynsk-sredni-stog
Image modified from Wang et al. (2018). Samples projected in PCA of 84 modern-day West Eurasian populations (open symbols). Previously known clusters have been marked and referenced. An Eastern European (blue) and a Caucasus (brown) ‘clouds’ have been drawn in dotted circles, leaving Pontic-Caspian steppe and derived groups between them.See the original file here.

Concerning the influences from the south, our oldest dates from the immediate Maykop predecessors Darkveti-Meshoko (Eneolithic Caucasus) indicate that the Caucasus genetic profile was present north of the range ~6500 BP, 4500 calBCE. This is in accordance with the Neolithization of the Caucasus, which had started in the flood plains of the great rivers in the South Caucasus in the 6th millennium BCE from where it spread to the West and Northwest Caucasus during the 5th millennium BCE9, 49. It remains unclear whether the local CHG ancestry profile (represented by Late Upper Palaeolithic/Mesolithic individuals from Kotias Klde and Satsurblia in today’s Georgia) was also present in the North Caucasus region before the Neolithic. However, if we take the Caucasus hunter-gatherer individuals from Georgia as a local baseline and the oldest Eneolithic Caucasus individuals from our transect as a proxy for the local Late Neolithic ancestry, we notice a substantial increase in Anatolian farmer-related ancestry. This in all likelihood is linked to the process of Neolithization, which also brought this type of ancestry to Europe. As a consequence, it is possible that Neolithic groups could have reached the northern flanks of the Caucasus earlier50 (Supplementary Information 1) and in contact with local hunter gatherers facilitated the exploration of the steppe environment for pastoralist economies. Hence, additional sampling from older individuals is needed to fill this temporal and spatial gap.

The newest paper of the Reich/Jena group has brought samples (probably) much nearer to the actual CHG and ANE contribution seen in Eneolithic steppe peoples than the previously available Kotias Klde, Satsurblia, Afontova Gora 3, or Mal’ta.

It is impossible to say without direct access to the samples, but it is very likely that we will soon be able to break down different gross contributions from groups similar to these Steppe/Caucasus Neolithic ancestral groups into the diverse Eneolithic cultures of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, and thus trace more precisely each of these cultures to their genetic (and thus ethnolinguistic) heirs.

qpgraph-eneolithic-steppe
Admixture Graph modelling of the population history of the Caucasus region. We started with a skeleton tree without admixture including Mbuti, Loschbour and MA1. We grafted onto this EHG, CHG, Globular_Amphora, Eneolithic_steppe, Maykop, and Yamnaya_Caucasus, adding them consecutively to all possible edges in the tree and retaining only graph solutions that provided no differences of |Z|>3 between fitted and estimated statistics. The worst match is |Z|=2.824 for this graph. We note that the maximum discrepancy is f4(MA1, Maykop; EHG, Eneolithic_steppe) = -3.369 if we do not add the 4% EHG ancestry to Maykop. Drifts along edges are multiplied by 1000 and dashed lines represent admixture.”

Some more representative samples from Eneolithic steppe, steppe-forest and forest zone cultures of Eastern Europe will probably help with the fine-scale structure of different Chalcolithic groups, especially the homeland of early Corded Ware groups.

These new samples seem another good reason (like the Botai and R1b-M73) to rethink the role of (what I assumed were) different westward Mesolithic Eurasian waves of expansion influencing the formation of an Indo-Uralic and Indo-European community in Eastern Europe, and return to the simpler idea of local contributions from North Caucasus and steppe peoples absorbed by expanding EHG-like groups.

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] invented ‘theoretical problem’ (as Iosif Lazaridis puts it) that we have seen with the Corded Ware showing steppe ancestry, with Old Hittite samples not showing EHG ancestry, or with CHG ancestry appearing north of the […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] remember, the sample of haplogroup Q1a from Khvalynsk was the closest one to those we now know most likely represent one or more groups of the steppe north of the Caucasus. In principle, it is assumed that this CHG-like population was dominated by haplogroup […]

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[…] ✅ Khvalynsk formed from EHG + local steppe Neolithic groups: checked. […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Studies on hunter-gatherer pottery – appearing in eastern Europe before Middle Eastern Neolithic pottery – may be important to understand the arrival of R1a-M17 lineages to the region before ca. 7000 BC. Or not, right now it is not very clear what happened with R1b-P297 and R1a-M17, and with WHG—EHG—ANE ancestry… […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] with what we know about the Eneolithic Steppe and Caucasus populations – it is likely that the ANE ancestry remained the most important component of […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] in many aspects. I have already written about the upcoming Yamna Hungary samples, about the new Steppe_Eneolithic and Caucasus Eneolithic keystones, and about the upcoming Greece Neolithic samples with steppe […]

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[…] WHG expanding into ANE territory from the Pontic-Caspian region to the east (read more on recent Caucasus Neolithic, on , and on Caucasus […]

theempiricalmage
theempiricalmage

Too bad the authors did not directly test for Iran Chalcolithic component in Yamayna.

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]

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[…] Steppe and Caucasus Eneolithic: the new keystones of the EHG-CHG-ANE ancestry in steppe groups […]