Demic vs. cultural diffusion and patrilineal Megalithic societies

neolithic-expansion-map

Recent paper A dynastic elite in monumental Neolithic society, by Cassidy et al. Nature (2020) 582:384–388.

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Neolithic Admixture

We sampled remains from all of the major Irish Neolithic funerary traditions: court tombs, portal tombs, passage tombs, Linkardstown-type burials and natural sites. Within this dataset, the earliest Neolithic human remains from the island—interred at Poulnabrone portal tomb14—are of majority ‘Early_Farmer’ ancestry (as defined by ADMIXTURE modelling), and show no evidence of inbreeding, which implies that, from the very onset, agriculture was accompanied by large-scale maritime colonization. Our ADMIXTURE and ChromoPainter analyses do not distinguish between

Read the rest “Demic vs. cultural diffusion and patrilineal Megalithic societies”

Afanasievo ancestry reached Lake Baikal; Nganasan ancestry origins still at large

baikal-neolithic-eba-ane-nea

New paper (behind paywall) Paleolithic to Bronze Age Siberians Reveal Connections with First Americans and across Eurasia, by Yu et al. Cell (2020)

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, paragraphs subdivided for clarity):

Population Structure (PCA)

Most of the Lake Baikal individuals occupied the space on a “ANE-NEA” cline running between “Northeast Asian” (NEA) ancestry represented by Neolithic hunter-gathers from the Devil’s Gate in the Russian Far East (Sikora et al., 2019, Siska et al., 2017), and the ANE ancestry represented by Upper Paleolithic Siberian individuals MA1, AfontovaGora 2 (AG2), and AfontovaGora 3 (AG3) (Fu et al., 2016, Raghavan et al.,

Read the rest “Afanasievo ancestry reached Lake Baikal; Nganasan ancestry origins still at large”

qpAdm best practices and common pitfalls

olalde-2018-qpadm-bell-beaker

The recently published preprint Assessing the Performance of qpAdm, by Harney, Patterson, Reich, & Wakeley at bioRxiv (2020) offers some interesting clues about what previous papers using qpAdm might have done right, and – more importantly – what they might have done wrong.

Since it doesn’t make much sense to repeat what this open access paper says within quotes, I will try to use short sentences or rework them to sum it up, illustrating best practices and common pitfalls with what I believe are corresponding examples with Steppe-related populations to date, with an emphasis on Bell Beakers. Most … Read the rest “qpAdm best practices and common pitfalls”

European hydrotoponymy (VII): Celtic From the West or the East?

iron-age-early-hallstatt-la-tene

Recent paper (behind paywall) An Alternative to ‘Celtic from the East’ and ‘Celtic from the West’, by Patrick Sims-Williams Camb. Archaeol. J (2020) First View.

NOTE. For those who don’t have access to it, you can check other recent similar papers by the same author, like Sims-Williams (2009, 2012, 2017).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Celtic origins

(…) there have been three main stages of scholarship: (1) the Celts are identified with the Hallstatt and La Tène ‘cultures’ of the first millennium BC; (2) then the discovery of contemporary Celtic language inscriptions (Lepontic and Celtiberian) in the ‘wrong’ areas

Read the rest “European hydrotoponymy (VII): Celtic From the West or the East?”

Yamnaya-like Chemurchek links Afanasievo with Iron Age Tocharians

late-bronze-age-mongolia-tarim-china

New preprint by the Jena-Reich labs, The Genomic Formation of Human Populations in East Asia, by Wang et al. bioRxiv (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Mongolia Neolithic cluster

The three most ancient individuals of the Mongolia ‘East’ cluster are from the Kherlen River region of eastern Mongolia (Tamsag-Bulag culture) and date to 6000-4300 BCE (this places them in the Early Neolithic period, which in Northeast Asia is defined by the use of pottery and not by agriculture). These individuals are genetically similar to previously reported Neolithic individuals from the cis-Baikal region and have minimal evidence of West Eurasian-related admixture

Read the rest “Yamnaya-like Chemurchek links Afanasievo with Iron Age Tocharians”

Proto-Anatolians: from the Southern Caucasus or the Balkans?

anatolian-lba-kingdoms-hatti

There has been some renewed interest lately in the origin of Proto-Anatolians, because of the recent lecture by Petra Goedegebuure, associate professor of Hittitology at the University of Chicago: Anatolians on the Move: From Kurgans to Kanesh, given at the Oriental Institute (Feb 5 2020).

I will try to comment on her lecture with a critical view of some of her ideas, keeping in mind reasons for one or the other potential routes, which we can for the moment simplify as Gimbutas’ (1965, 1993) eastern route through the Caucasus vs. Anthony’s (2007, 2015) … Read the rest “Proto-Anatolians: from the Southern Caucasus or the Balkans?”

Italo-Venetic peoples related patrilineally to Terramare elites

italy-terramara-bronze-age-middle

Another interesting finding from Human auditory ossicles as an alternative optimal source of ancient DNA, by Sirak et al. (2020):

A sample classified as Italy Middle Bronze Age from Olmo di Nogara (ca. 1400-1200 BC), who is R1b-L51 (xP311, xL52, xL151), CTS6889+ (T->C, 1 read). See YFull’s corresponding R-S1161.

This sample probably belongs to individual 309 (35-45 yo), and the female sampled to 323 (30-40 yo), both referenced as from the following study:

Canci A, Contursi D, Fornaciari G. 2005. La necropoli dell’età del bronzo di Olmo di Nogara (Verona): primi risultati

Read the rest “Italo-Venetic peoples related patrilineally to Terramare elites”

Early Uralic – Indo-European contacts within Europe

north-west-indo-european-uralic

One of the most interesting aspects for future linguistic research, boosted by the current knowledge in population genomics, is the influence of Uralic – most likely spread initially with Corded Ware peoples across northern Europe – on early Indo-European dialects.

Whereas studies on the potential Afroasiatic (or Semitic), Vasconic, Etruscan, or non-Indo-European in general abound for ancient and southern IE branches (see e.g. more on the NWIE substrate words), almost exclusively Uralicists have dealt with the long-term mutual influences between Indo-European and Uralic dialects, and often mostly from the Uralic side.… Read the rest “Early Uralic – Indo-European contacts within Europe”