The future of the Reich Lab’s studies and interpretations of Late Indo-European migrations


Short report on advances in Genomics, and on the Reich Lab:

Some interesting details:

  • The Lab is impressive. I would never dream of having something like this at our university. I am really jealous of that working environment.
  • They are currently working on population transformations in Italy; I hope we can have at last Italic and Etruscan samples.
  • It is always worth it to repeat that we are all the source of multiple admixture events, many of them quite recent; and I liked the Star Wars simile.
  • Also, some names hinting at potential new samples?? Zajo-I, Chanchan, Gurulde?, Володарка
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David Reich on social inequality and Yamna expansion with few Y-DNA subclades

Interesting article from David Reich that I had missed, at Nautilus, Social Inequality Leaves a Genetic Mark.

It explores one of the main issues we are observing with ancient DNA, the greater reduction in Y-DNA lineages relative to mtDNA lineages, and its most likely explanation (which I discussed recently).

Excerpts interesting for the Indo-European question (emphasis mine):

Gimbutas’s reconstruction has been criticized as fantastical by her critics, and any attempt to paint a vivid picture of what a human culture was like before the period of written texts needs to be viewed with caution. Nevertheless, ancient DNA data

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David Reich on the influence of ancient DNA on Archaeology and Linguistics

An interesting interview has appeared on The Atlantic, Ancient DNA Is Rewriting Human (and Neanderthal) History, on the occasion of the publication of David Reich’s book Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.

Some interesting excerpts (I have emphasized some of Reich’s words):

On the efficiency of the Reich Lab

Zhang: How much does it cost to process an ancient DNA sample right now?

Reich: In our hands, a successful sample costs less than $200. That’s only two or three times more than processing them

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R1b-rich earliest Corded Ware, a Yamnaya-related vector of Indo-European languages


New open source paper, Dynamic changes in genomic and social structures in third millennium BCE central Europe, by Papac et al., Science Advances (2021).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

We report genomic data from the earliest CW individuals to date [show] that CW was widespread across Bohemia by 2900 BCE. The early radiocarbon dates are also supported by these individuals’ genetic profiles, who occupy the most extreme positions on PC2, as expected under a scenario of the earliest CW being migrants from the east who mixed with locals, resulting in intermediate PC2 positions in later generations.

(…)We found poor statistical

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Dene-Yeniseian, Eskimo-Aleut, and Chukotko-Kamchatkan


This post is part of a draft on South Siberian language homelands and Sprachbünde.

At least three major genetic changes have been described to date involving the Lena and Kolyma regions in East Siberia, and all are probably associated with some of the archaeological and linguistic developments that led to the known Early Modern distribution of languages in the Russian Far East and in Northern America.

The following is a tentative description of such intertwined linguistic-archaeological-genetic developments, based on the few available data from each field. For this guesswork, first genetic-archeological results, and then plausible … Read the rest “Dene-Yeniseian, Eskimo-Aleut, and Chukotko-Kamchatkan”

Y-DNA of 129 high quality shotgun ancient samples


The Reich Lab has recently pre-published high quality shotgun sequencing data from 216 ancient individuals within the framework of the Allen Ancient Genome Diversity Project / John Templeton Ancient DNA Atlas. Metadata for the 216 genomes are available here.

Their median coverage is 4.9x, and among them there are 50 high coverage genomes (17-36x), but there are also samples with a coverage similar to the previously published ones.

The FamilyTreeDNA Haplotree team formed by phylogeneticist Michael Sager and Göran Runfeldt from the R&D team has analyzed all 129 males for Y-SNP calls, using – and updating with them – … Read the rest “Y-DNA of 129 high quality shotgun ancient samples”

Another “Pre-Yamnaya” sample from the Northern Caucasus?


I have updated the Ancient DNA Dataset, including a lot of new information from – among other sources – the latest version of Reich Lab curated Dataset, now renamed Allen Ancient DNA Resource (AADR). This includes new columns:

  1. Object-ID: I am now using whenever possible the Master-ID; Version-ID for a quick identification of the ‘best’ sample to include in SmartPCA or ADMIXTURE runs; and Index as a key with a unique reference number for each sample. That should make for enough stable references for any external tool to use the data.
  2. mtDNA: Added mtDNA coverage
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IBD sharing between Corded Ware and Yamnaya-related populations


Oral communication Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich (March 3, 2021).

I noticed this interesting slide called “Caught red-handed”, at approximately 45m 17s, where David Reich asserts that sampled Corded Ware populations had many “close cousins” with Yamnaya-related populations “within generations”. The method could also be used, always according to Reich, to identify “who the Yamnaya mixed with to form groups like Corded Ware”.

NOTE. Notice also the the number of new sampled individuals from Khvalynsk, Ekaterinovka, and new Yamnaya groups from Chelyabinsk, Urals, Volga, Don, Moldova, and Romania.

This represents the … Read the rest “IBD sharing between Corded Ware and Yamnaya-related populations”

Proto-Indo-Europeans: A family business


I have been updating the Ancient DNA Dataset with date estimates published in the recent preprint by Sedig, Olalde, Patterson & Reich bioRxiv (2020), and it had a reference to some interesting new samples from Khvalynsk, showing tight family connections.

Information below is taken from the preprint and from the latest version of the Reich Lab’s Allen Ancient DNA Resource (AADR). Information about the three published Khvalynsk samples is taken from Mathieson et al. Nature (2015) supplementary materials, and each ID features a different font color in the text below for clarity’s sake.

Khvalynsk Family A

I0434, … Read the rest “Proto-Indo-Europeans: A family business”