Updates to ASoSaH: new maps, updated PCA, and added newest research papers

The title says it all. I have used some free time to update the series A Song of Sheep and Horses:

I basically added information from the latest papers published, which (luckily enough for me) haven’t been too many, and I have added images to illustrate certain sections.

I have updated the PCAs by including North Caucasus samples from Wang et al. (2018), whose position I could only infer for older versions from previously published PCA graphs.

pca-steppe-eneolithic-early
PCA of ancient and modern Eurasian samples. Early Eneolithic admixture events in the steppe drawn.

I have also added to the supplementary materials the “Tip of the Iceberg” R1b tree by Mike Walsh from the FTDNA R1b group, with permission, because some relevant genetic sections are centered on the evolution of R1b lineages, and the reader can get easily lost with so many subclades.

I have also updated maps, including some of the Y-DNA ones, and managed to finish two new maps I was working on, and I added them to the supplementary materials and to the menu above:

One on Yamna kurgans in Hungary, coupled with contemporaneous sites of Baden-Boleráz or Kostolac cultures:

burials-yamnaya-hungary
Map of attested Yamnaya pit-grave burials in the Hungarian plains; superimposed in shades of blue are common areas covered by floods before the extensive controls imposed in the 19th century; in orange, cumulative thickness of sand, unfavourable loamy sand layer. Marked are settlements/findings of Boleráz (ca. 3500 BC on), Baden (until ca. 2800 BC), Kostolac (precise dates unknown), and Yamna kurgans (from ca. 3100/3000 BC on).

Another one on Steppe ancestry expansion, with a tentative distribution of “steppe ancestry” divided into that of Sredni Stog/Corded Ware origin vs. that of Repin/Yamna origin, a difference that has been known for quite some time already.

It is tentative because there hasn’t been any professional study or amateur attempt to date to differentiate both “steppe ancestries” in Yamna, and especially in Bell Beakers. So much for the call of professional geneticists since 2018 (see here and here) and archaeologists since 2017 (see e.g. here and here) to distinguish fine-scale population structure to be able to follow neighbouring populations which expanded with different archaeological (and thus ethnolinguistic) groups.

steppe-ancestry-corded-ware
Tentative map of fine-scale population structure during steppe-related expansions (ca. 3500–2000 BC), including Repin–Yamna–Bell Beaker/Balkans and Sredni Stog–Corded Ware groups. Data based on published samples and pairwise comparisons tested to date. Notice that the potential admixture of expanding Repin/Early Yamna settlers in the North Pontic area with the late Sredni Stog population (and thus Sredni Stog-related ancestry in Yamna) has been omitted for simplicity purposes, assuming thus a homogeneous Yamna vs. Corded Ware ancestry.

I think both maps are especially important today, given the current Nordicist reactionary trends arguing (yet again) for an origin of Indo-Europeans in The North™, now based on the Fearsome Tisza River hypothesis, on cephalic index values, and a few pairwise comparisons – i.e. an absolutely no-nonsense approach to the Indo-European question (LOL). At least I get to relax and sit this year out just observing how other people bury themselves and their beloved “steppe ancestry=IE” under so many new pet theories…

NOTE. Not that there is anything wrong with a northern origin of North-West Indo-European from a linguistic point of view, as I commented recently – after all, a Corded Ware origin would roughly fit the linguistic guesstimates, unlike the proposed ancestral origins in Anatolia or India. The problem is that, like many other fringe theories, it is today just based on tradition, or (even worse) ethnic, political, or personal desires, and it doesn’t make sense when all findings from disciplines involved in the Indo-European and Uralic questions are combined.

steppe-ancestry-modern-populations
Simple ancestry percentages in modern populations. Recent image by Iain Mathieson 2019 (min. 5.57). A simplistic “Steppe ancestry” defining Indo-European speakers…? Sure.

Within 20 or 30 years, when genetic genealogists (or amateur geneticists, or however you want to call them) ask why we had the opportunity since 2015 to sample as many Hungarian Yamnaya individuals as possible and we didn’t, when it is clear that the number of unscathed kurgans is diminishing every year (from an estimated 4,000 in the 20th century, of the original tens of thousands, to less than 1,500 today) the answer will not be “because this or that archaeologist or linguist was a dilettante or a charlatan‘, as they usually describe academics they dislike.

It will be precisely because the very same genetic genealogists – supposedly interested today in the origin of R1b-L151 and/or genetic marker associated with North-West Indo-Europeans – are obsessed with finding them anywhere else but for Hungary, and prefer to use their money and time to play with a few statistical tools within a biased framework of flawed assumptions and study designs, obtaining absurd results and accepting far-fetched interpretations of them, to be told exactly what they want to hear: be it the Franco-Cantabrian homeland, the Dutch or Moravian Beaker from CWC homeland, the Maykop homeland, or the Moon homeland.

Poetic justice this heritage destruction, whose indirect causes will remain written in Internet archives for everyone to see, as a good lesson for future generations.

14 thoughts on “Updates to ASoSaH: new maps, updated PCA, and added newest research papers

  1. Late Iron Age cemetery Luistari, in the Satakunta region of SW Finland, connected to the Viking Age (ca. AD 6-12th c.):

    – 4 male samples for which SNP calls were obtained (of 10 studied) show hg. N.
    – 10 female mtDNA obtained (out of 20) apparently show typical eastern and western kinship.
    – Three of the N samples showed mutations linked to Dupuytren’s contracture.

    Article: https://scontent-arn2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/54799399_1113998742105040_1022243808911294464_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-arn2-2.xx&oh=1e35f4956bc2ed6fd3521be64c0ee495&oe=5D07F228

    So I guess we can say that the founder effect in modern Finns, associated with their known genetic isolation (and expansion of haplogroup N), had already begun to happen in the region by the Late Iron Age, while the admixture with ‘more eastern’ peoples of hg. N we know were around the Barents Sea since the Bronze Age had already happened before this time.

    Info on Luistari: https://www.visitpyhajarviseutu.fi/wp-content/uploads/prehistoric_eura.pdf

    (Now it’s the time when people who say “steppe ancestry = IE” or “I find Dutch Beaker ancestry everywhere” and “haplogroups are too variable” suddenly change and say “Medieval N = Uralic”. Indeed. And “R1b = Basque”, and “J = Greek”…).

    Source: http://terheninenmaa.blogspot.com/2019/03/iron-age-finns-in-southwestern-finland.html

      1. Yes, I saw that, but sounds too vague, no? I don’t know if all researchers who appear in papers from the Reich Lab have access to the results from other teams… Seems like a lot of risk for premature leaks, IMHO.

        Anyway, that’s the most reasonable assumption about R1b-L51.

        1. Yep a little unlikely now that I think about it. But we know the Yamna Hungary samples were already with the team of Wang et al before they were mysteriously excluded. So maybe they’re waiting for some big reveal.

          BTW, does the Hajji_Firuz sample look now like a Proto-Armenian from the west or an early West Iranic marker from the east?

          1. It could be both, I guess. Based on rough ancestry estimates you never know.

            But if I had to guess, seeing how R1b-Z2103 and steppe ancestry appear to the south of the Caucasus within the expected LBA period, I would bet for Proto-Armenians (and/or related Balkan peoples in general) from the west.

            Since admixture (as always) will be more or less local, we would need further subclades and/or a fine-scale population structure to assess the precise origin of this “steppe ancestry” (impossible with the few samples we have).

            R1b-Z2103 lineages might appear associated with early Iranians, with earlier groups to the north in the Caucasus, and even potentially among Mitanni-related Aryans in the area, so it could be anything.

            Seems rather early for Iranians, though.

          2. It could be both, I guess. Based on rough ancestry estimates you never know.

            But if I had to guess, seeing how R1b-Z2103 and steppe ancestry appear to the south of the Caucasus within the expected LBA period, I would bet for Proto-Armenians (and/or related Balkan peoples in general) from the west.

            Since admixture (as always) will be more or less local, we would need further subclades and/or a fine-scale population structure to assess the precise origin of this “steppe ancestry” (impossible with the few samples we have).

            R1b-Z2103 lineages might appear associated with early Iranians, with earlier groups to the north in the Caucasus, and even potentially among Mitanni-related Aryans in the area, so it could be anything.

            Seems rather early for Iranians, though.

            1. Yes, to me the Hajji Firuz samples with steppe look like a mix between
              a Steppe_MLBA-like population and local Iranian/Transcaucasian populations (including the
              non-steppe Hajji Firuz) without any
              Balkan-related ancestry. If it’s something from the West, it didn’t pick
              up any ancestry on the way there. Similar case with Armenia_MLBA which appears as Armenia_EBA + steppe to me, more or less.

              But, until we get the new date for this one, the other (female) Hajji Firuz BA sample with even more steppe ancestry is dated 2465-2286 BCE. It certainly seems very early for Indo-Iranian but I wonder if even Armenian was present that early in the area. It’s not implausible that Armenian and Greek split from each other a bit earlier than that and Greek was driving into Greece c. 2200/start of EHIII so I suppose it’s not out of the question but in that case we’d have to separate the Armenian migration from the similarly Balkan Phrygian one which is plausibly and tentatively only LBA. Unless it’s misdated, maybe it was an early IE-speaking group altogether that left no direct linguistic descendants?

            2. Yes, to me the Hajji Firuz samples with steppe look like a mix between
              a Steppe_MLBA-like population and local Iranian/Transcaucasian populations (including the
              non-steppe Hajji Firuz) without any
              Balkan-related ancestry. If it’s something from the West, it didn’t pick
              up any ancestry on the way there. Similar case with Armenia_MLBA which appears as Armenia_EBA + steppe to me, more or less.

              But, until we get the new date for this one, the other (female) Hajji Firuz BA sample with even more steppe ancestry is dated 2465-2286 BCE. It certainly seems very early for Indo-Iranian but I wonder if even Armenian was present that early in the area. It’s not implausible that Armenian and Greek split from each other a bit earlier than that and Greek was driving into Greece c. 2200/start of EHIII so I suppose it’s not out of the question but in that case we’d have to separate the Armenian migration from the similarly Balkan Phrygian one which is plausibly and tentatively only LBA. Unless it’s misdated, maybe it was an early IE-speaking group altogether that left no direct linguistic descendants?

              1. The origin of Armenian is one of the most interesting unsolved questions for the future, for me. I bet for the earlier R1b samples (if they are correctly dated) having no descendants (or more likely being assimilated to Caucasian cultures), and the later ones being a renewed influx, but let’s see if (and when) a paper like that of Iberia comes out for the (Southern) Caucasus and shows a more clear western influx or not.

                Both options are theoretically possible from a linguistic POV, Armenian could be theoretically identified with Catacomb / North Caucasus through contacts with both Yamna settlers in the Danube and East Yamna / Poltavka, since Graeco-Aryan was supposedly the last group to remain together, and Graeco-Armenian – even if it was a dialect, and not just an areal group of Graeco-Aryan dialects – had to separate quite early.

                Not that the methods used are particularly strong, but a recent paper to appear in JIES 2019 shows results that could be interpreted as how NWIE dialects supposedly expanded more distantly and wider, while Graeco-Aryan remained closer together:
                https://www.academia.edu/38549062/The_Cultural_Lexicon_of_Indo-European_in_Europe_Quantifying_Stability_and_Change

                https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dcf3775f0f4396f73cd9a5e019c773c28e6a6d2a9c8e8b69edf19b6af4106d34.png

                1. Certainly, there are many common features among Greek, Indo-Iranian and Armenian that would suggest that the dialects were at least in geographical contact for a long enough time. Apart from various grammatical shared markers and vocabulary terms which have all been well covered by scholars, there is also the little fact that Greek and IIr are the only two branches that show reflexes of PIE *Hóywos ~ one (Sanskrit एव (éva), Ancient Greek: οἶος (oîos)). All other branches show only descendants of *Hóynos. Indo-Aryan specifically shows one additional variant *Hóykos (with possible correspondences in Ugric languages according to Arnaud Fournet’s article in JIES 2010 which I have linked to before).
                  Granted, just one term of vocabulary (even if it’s a cardinal number) isn’t enough to prove anything, but it’s certainly a curious fact.

                2. Certainly, there are many common features among Greek, Indo-Iranian and Armenian that would suggest that the dialects were at least in geographical contact for a long enough time. Apart from various grammatical shared markers and vocabulary terms which have all been well covered by scholars, there is also the little fact that Greek and IIr are the only two branches that show reflexes of PIE *Hóywos ~ one (Sanskrit एव (éva), Ancient Greek: οἶος (oîos)). All other branches show only descendants of *Hóynos. Indo-Aryan specifically shows one additional variant *Hóykos (with possible correspondences in Ugric languages according to Arnaud Fournet’s article in JIES 2010 which I have linked to before).
                  Granted, just one term of vocabulary (even if it’s a cardinal number) isn’t enough to prove anything, but it’s certainly a curious fact.

  2. Frederik Kortlandt’s new paper: https://blogs.helsinki.fi/santerijunttila/files/2019/02/Petri-Kallio-Rocks.pdf

    Sadly nothing essentially new, but for his renewed faith in an eastern Uralic homeland; funnily enough, in a book in honor of his disciple Kallio, who believes in a western Uralic homeland…

    I still don’t understand why he contends that Corded Ware is not Indo-European (not Late Indo-European, in any case), but keeps on trying to locate Proto-Balto-Slavic (or what he calls “Proto-Baltic”) as the Late Neolithic sample from Zvejnieki…I have the feeling he has not gone past Gimbutas plus some comments he got from the recent genetic papers.

    At least he has no doubts that North-West Indo-European comes from the Yamna – Bell Beaker transition in the Carpathians: https://indo-european.eu/2018/06/kortlandt-west-indo-europeans-along-the-danube-germanic-and-balto-slavic-share-a-corded-ware-substrate/

    On the Uralic language estimates, I agree for the early ones indeed, and for dialectal divisions, which are the traditional ones (whether eastern or western). His take on phonology (like his specific take on the glottalic theory for IE, and on the very very recent laryngeal loss everywhere) I think are making him accept too late estimates.

    Based on these features he accepts, he would be right. However, an early laryngeal loss, a common (non-glottalic) phonetic evolution, and Old European hydronymy up to the Baltic (not Italo-Celtic as he believes), with all Temematic substrate words fully rejected, makes this theory very unlikely.

    Anyway, summary: Corded Ware is not Late PIE, but it is also not Uralic, it’s just some Para-Indo-European group that absorbed lots of non-IE substrate during their migration, and got substituted everywhere by other cultures (like BBC in the west, and Abashevo-Volosovo in the east).

    That’s one step ahead in the right direction. Now let’s see how the Volga-Kama area brings steppe ancestry and R1a, and we are done with the Pit-Comb Ware tradition for Uralic for good.

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