West Yamnaya settlers like Early Bell Beakers: R1b-P310 and R1b-Z2103

Informal report by Bulgarian archaeologist Svetoslav Stamov in 7/8 TV, from data collected by the Reich Lab for their future paper on South-Eastern Europe.

As can be seen from the TV captions below, this is the earliest R1b-P310 from Yamnaya or Yamnaya-related individuals in Early Bronze Age contexts from Bulgaria. In fact, its appearance together with a R1b-Z2103 lineage (and another undefined R1b-M269) shows once again that the earliest R1b-L23 bottlenecks were associated with Proto-Indo-Europeans.

Lacking a precise periodization, location, or proper cultural context in the spreadsheet, it is impossible to know whether they belong to Khvalynsk-related cultures like Ezero (i.e. Pre-Yamnaya) or Yamnaya-related individuals; that is, whether they belong to EBA-1c, EBA-2, or even post-Yamnaya EBA-3.


Based on ancient phylogeography and SNP estimations, though, Yamnaya(-related) seems much more likely.

Admittedly, this is but another unnecessary and indirect proof of what was already evident long ago, especially after the confirmation of R1b-L51 in Pre-Tocharian Afanasievo; but it is still nice to see a sneak peek of a paper that has been expected for a long time.

#EDIT: Updated TreeToM phylogeography map of Yamnaya-related R1b-M269 samples including this new data, the Tollense R1b-P312 samples and the Middle Eastern ones (see previous versions here):

Updated TreeToM map of Yamnaya R1b-M269 and (likely) related L389 subclades during the Bronze Age (ca. 3300 – 800 BC). Click on the image to see the dynamic version (you might need to refresh the website).

Probably much more interesting (but possibly a mistake) is the earliest reported “Dinaric” I2-L621, also among Early Bronze Age individuals from Bulgaria, which – if confirmed when samples are released – would mean that the most likely common haplogroup associated with Early Slavs was already there among the Yamnaya 5,000 years ago.

Top: Y-DNA samples from the Early Chalcolithic. Bottom: Samples from Bulgaria (all reported samples without location have been placed in Central Bulgaria). See full maps.

Stamov also shares Y-DNA from the Early Iron Age, showing that E1b-V13 was also present there quite early, probably among Thracians, hence both haplogroups already quite close to the likely Proto-Slavic homeland near the Carpathians.


The Ancient DNA Dataset and the ArcGIS Web App have been updated with these (preliminary) data.

See also

More on Yamnaya Bulgaria:

  1. Pit graves in Bulgaria and the Yamnaya Culture, by Elke Kaiser & Katja Winger (2015).
  2. Yamnaya Groups and Tumuli west of the Black Sea, by Volker Heyd (2012)

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