N1c-L392 associated with expanding Turkic lineages in Siberia

Second in popularity for the expansion of haplogroup N1a-L392 (ca. 4400 BC) is, apparently, the association with Turkic, and by extension with Micro-Altaic, after the Uralic link preferred in Europe; at least among certain eastern researchers.

New paper in a recently created journal, by the same main author of the group proposing that Scythians of hg. N1c were Turkic speakers: On the origins of the Sakhas’ paternal lineages: Reconciliation of population genetic / ancient DNA data, archaeological findings and historical narratives, by Tikhonov, Gurkan, Demirdov, and Beyoglu, Siberian Research (2019).

Interesting excerpts:

According to the views of a number of authoritative researchers, the Yakut ethnos was formed in the territory of Yakutia as a result of the mixing of people from the south and the autochthonous population [34].

These three major Sakha paternal lineages may have also arrived in Yakutia at different times and/ or from different places and/or with a difference in several generations instead, or perhaps Y-chromosomal STR mutations may have taken place in situ in Yakutia. Nevertheless, the immediate common ancestor(s) from the Asian Steppe of these three most prevalent Sakha Y-chromosomal STR haplotypes possibly lived during the prominence of the Turkic Khaganates, hence the near-perfect matches observed across a wide range of Eurasian geography, including as far as from Cyprus in the West to Liaoning, China in the East, then Middle Lena in the North and Afghanistan in the South (Table 3 and Figure 5). There may also be haplotypes closely-related to ‘the dominant Elley line’ among Karakalpaks, Uzbeks and Tajiks, however, limitations in the loci coverage for the available dataset (only eight Y-chromosomal STR loci) precludes further conclusions on this matter [25].

17-loci median-joining network analysis of the original/dominant Elley, Unknown and Omogoy Y-chromosomal STR haplotypes with the YHRD matches from outside Yakutia populations.

According to the results presented here, very similar Y-STR haplotypes to that of the original Elley line were found in the west: Afghanistan and northern Cyprus, and in the east: Liaoning Province, China and Ulaanbaator, Northern Mongolia. In the case of the dominant Omogoy line, very closely matching haplotypes differing by a single mutational step were found in the city of Chifen of the Jirin Province, China. The widest range of similar haplotypes was found for the Yakut haplotype Unknown: In Mongolia, China and South Korea. For instance, haplotypes differing by a single step mutation were found in Northern Mongolia (Khalk, Darhad, Uryankhai populations), Ulaanbaator (Khalk) and in the province of Jirin, China (Han population).

14-loci median-joining network analysis for the original/dominant Elley (Ell), Unknown Clan
(Vil), Omogoy (Omo), Eurasian (Eur) and Xiongnu (Xuo) Y-chromosomal STR haplotypes and that for a representative ancient DNA sample (Ch0 or DSQ04) from the Upper Xiajiadian Culture
recovered from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

Notably, Tat-C-bearing Y-chromosomes were also observed in ancient DNA samples from the 2700-3000 years-old Upper Xiajiadian culture in Inner Mongolia, as well as those from the Serteya II site at the Upper Dvina region in Russia and the ‘Devichyi gory’ culture of long barrow burials at the Nevel’sky district of Pskovsky region in Russia. A 14-loci Y-chromosomal STR median-joining network of the most prevalent Sakha haplotypes and a Tat-C-bearing haplotype from one of the ancient DNA samples recovered from the Upper Xiajiadian culture in Inner Mongolia (DSQ04) revealed that the contemporary Sakha haplotype ‘Xuo’ (Table 2, Haplotype ID “Xuo”) classified as that of ‘the Xiongnu clan’ in our current study, was the closest to the ancient Xiongnu haplotype (Figure 6). TMRCA estimate for this 14-loci Y-chromosomal STR network was 4357 ± 1038 years or 2341 ± 1038 BCE, which correlated well with the Upper Xiajiadian culture that was dated to the Late Bronze Age (700-1000 BCE).

Geographical location of ancient samples belonging to major clade N of the Y-chromosome.

NOTE. Also interesting from the paper seems to be the proportion of E1b1b among admixed Russian populations, in a proportion similar to R1a or I2a(xI2a1).

It is tempting to associate the prevalent presence of N1c-L392 in ancient Siberian populations with the expansion of Altaic, by simplistically linking the findings (in chronological order) near Lake Baikal (Damgaard et al. 2018), Upper Xiajiadian (Cui et al. 2013), among Khövsgöl (Jeong et al. 2018), in Huns (Damgaard et al. 2018), and in Mongolic-speaking Avars (Csáky et al. 2019).

However, its finding among Palaeo-Laplandic peoples in the Kola peninsula ca. 1500 BC (Lamnidis et al. 2018) and among Palaeo-Siberian populations near the Yana River (Sikora et al. 2018) ca. AD 1200 should be enough to accept the hypothesis of ancestral waves of expansion of the haplogroup over northern Eurasia, with acculturation and further expansions in the different regions since the Iron Age (see more on its potential expansion waves).

Also, a simple look at the TMRCA and modern distribution was enough to hypothesize long ago the lack of connection of N1c-L392 with Altaic or Uralic peoples. From Ilumäe et al. (2016):

Previous research has shown that Y chromosomes of the Turkic-speaking Yakuts (Sakha) belong overwhelmingly to hg N3 (formerly N1c1). We found that nearly all of the more than 150 genotyped Yakut N3 Y chromosomes belong to the N3a2-M2118 clade, just as in the Turkic-speaking Dolgans and the linguistically distant Tungusic-speaking Evenks and Evens living in Yakutia (Table S2). Hence, the N3a2 patrilineage is a prime example of a male population of broad central Siberian ancestry that is not intrinsic to any linguistically defined group of people. Moreover, the deepest branch of hg N3a2 is represented by a Lebanese and a Chinese sample. This finding agrees with the sequence data from Hallast et al., where one Turkish Y chromosome was also assigned to the same sub-clade. Interestingly, N3a2 was also found in one Bhutan individual who represents a separate sub-lineage in the clade. These findings show that although N3a2 reflects a recent strong founder effect primarily in central Siberia (Yakutia, Sakha), the sub-clade has a much wider distribution area with incidental occurrences in the Near East and South Asia.

Frequency-Distribution Maps of Individual Sub-clades of hg N3a2, by Ilumäe et al. (2016).

The most striking aspect of the phylogeography of hg N is the spread of the N3a3’6-CTS6967 lineages. Considering the three geographically most distant populations in our study—Chukchi, Buryats, and Lithuanians—it is remarkable to find that about half of the Y chromosome pool of each consists of hg N3 and that they share the same sub-clade N3a3’6. The fractionation of N3a3’6 into the four sub-clades that cover such an extraordinarily wide area occurred in the mid-Holocene, about 5.0 kya (95% CI = 4.4–5.7 kya). It is hard to pinpoint the precise region where the split of these lineages occurred. It could have happened somewhere in the middle of their geographic spread around the Urals or further east in West Siberia, where current regional diversity of hg N sub-lineages is the highest (Figure 1B). Yet, it is evident that the spread of the newly arisen sub-clades of N3a3’6 in opposing directions happened very quickly. Today, it unites the East Baltic, East Fennoscandia, Buryatia, Mongolia, and Chukotka-Kamchatka (Beringian) Eurasian regions, which are separated from each other by approximately 5,000–6,700 km by air. N3a3’6 has high frequencies in the patrilineal pools of populations belonging to the Altaic, Uralic, several Indo-European, and Chukotko-Kamchatkan language families. There is no generally agreed, time-resolved linguistic tree that unites these linguistic phyla. Yet, their split is almost certainly at least several millennia older than the rather recent expansion signal of the N3a3’6 sub-clade, suggesting that its spread had little to do with linguistic affinities of men carrying the N3a3’6 lineages.

Frequency-Distribution Maps of Individual Subclade N3a3 / N1a1a1a1a1a-CTS2929/VL29.

It was thus clear long ago that N1c-L392 lineages must have expanded explosively in the 5th millennium through Northern Eurasia, probably from a region to the north of Lake Baikal, and that this expansion – and succeeding ones through Northern Eurasia – may not be associated to any known language group until well into the common era.


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Bo S Olsson

Here’s a very useful starting-point to understand the area of origin and the consequent spread of N1-tatC:

From page 276:

Carlos Quiles

Thank you. Now I understand why Kristiina Tambets is looking for the N-Uralic connection in her recent papers. This paper was difficult to find with the spelling mistake…

Bo S Olsson

Vilems first works on Tat-C pointed to an origin in the Finnish Gulf area – and a subssequent spread towards the east. That would be along the Volga, east to Ural and beyond. Populating the waterways along the Eurasias boreal forest-zone. (Preparing the infrastructure nessecary to help spread the later agriculture, evolved by the ‘highlanders’ among cattlefarmers – characteristic of the early R1a-dynasties – both west and east of the Finnish Gulf.) .A small decade later his ex-adept, Siiri Rootsi, investigated mt-dna along the same horison, pulling in the oposite direction – as (archaic) sino-tibetan mt-dna (hgs C-Z, D) was… Read more »

Yesükhei Baatar

Understanding that the only population (and culture) that came out of the YD – to repopulate the empty void of arctic/semi-arctic Eurasia – had the very same, European roots. From Cro-Magnon to Caucasian. Thus we do undertand that macrogroup F is the defining root of all “Caucasians” – including N1a/b/c. It’s funny you should say that it’s the defining root of all ”Caucasians”. Macrogroup F is the parent of M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, L, and T, which includes the Ket, Nganasan, Yakut, Tatars, and Inuit. I would say it’s the defining root of nearly every human being… Read more »

Bo S Olsson

The palearctic macro-group CF/F is obviosuly ancestral to y-dna-lines that spread far and wide – AFTER ice-time. Just like the evolutionary sub-groups of the palearctic Greywolf, ancestral to all domesticate dogtypes. (That doesn’t mean other canines were excluded from this evolution. Cross-breeding with other wolves and foxes have definitly been tried.) Later we might follow the evolution of domesticated horses and cattles the same way – from a palearctic origin in NW Europe, where a climatical refugia by the incomming Gulfstream had made it possible for these aur-species to survive both the LGM and the YD – in the very… Read more »

Yesükhei Baatar

The moment I read counsciousness I was done reading. What does that even mean?

Carlos Quiles

Maybe of interest to you, a potential route of expansion of haplogroup N1c based on modern samples, by Hunter Provyn:

Bronze Age Migrations of N Haplogroups to the Baltic via Finland

Bo S Olsson

This is pretty much in concordance with Rootsi 2007, using “multiple founder-effects” to construe a “anti-clockwise” migration from a hypotetical origin in China, dated before the LGM. “While the majority of these lineages are in Central Europe and Russia, the progenitor of haplogroup N likely lived as far east as China during the bottleneck from 37,000 to 22,000 years ago.” In other words – higly speculative. As in “likely or not? Which is exactly why I commented on this in the first place – by reffering to Villems 2001 as the more sober, plain and simple suggestion. Besides – there’s… Read more »

Carlos Quiles

Thank you. Now I understand why Kristiina Tambets is looking for the N-Uralic connection in her recent papers.

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Yesükhei Baatar

Any thoughts on the Seima-Turbino phenomenon and Haplogroup N3a3’6, N1b (F2930)? Also, I wouldn’t be suprised if Haplogroup N and/or Q were heavily involved in the spread of “Nostratic” or “Eurasian” all along, maybe a dialect-continuum of some sort. “Considering the three geographically most distant populations in our study—Chukchi, Buryats, and Lithuanians.”

Carlos Quiles

The Seima-Turbino phenomenon seems to be rather a west-east phenomenon in terms of genetics, which would confirm Carpelan & Parpola’s theory of metal from the west, driven by Abashevo. I think this interaction, even if mainly west-east, is one of both possibilities as to where and how did haplogroup N1c infiltrate early Permian groups, and later Volga Finns and then Balto-Finns, through a more ‘southern’ route (distinct from the ‘northern route’ of the Arctic found in Kola, and later in Samic and Finnic peoples). I believe the infiltration happened rather through the Cis-Urals Arctic region, though, in direct contact with… Read more »

[…] publishing papers with completely different interpretations about hg. N1c: one systematically arguing for Altaic origins, and another for Uralic […]