Germanic runes in the Prague-Type Pottery culture


Recent paper (behind paywall) Runes from Lány (Czech Republic) – The oldest inscription among Slavs. A new standard for multidisciplinary analysis of runic bones by Macháček et al. J. Archaeol Sci (2021).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

To date no archaeological find is generally accepted as evidence for a direct contact between Germanic tribes and Early Slavs in Central Europe (Brather, 2004). Here we report a novel archaeological find in support of a direct contact: a rune-inscribed fragment of a bone from the late 6th century found in a Slavic settlement. Runes are an alphabetic script, called fuþark,

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The importance of archaeology before population genomics


Recent paper First encounters in the north: cultural diversity and gene flow in Early Mesolithic Scandinavia, by Manninen et al. Antiquity (2021).

The authors criticize the model laid out in Günther et al. (2018), whereby the origin of the previously defined Mesolithic Scandinavian hunter-gatherer genetic group (SHG) was defined as an admixture between genetically defined WHG and EHG populations that migrated into Scandinavia from two separate Ice Age refugia: the south (WHG) and north (EHG). This dualistic model was further associated with two specific lithic blade technologies present in Early Mesolithic Scandinavia (Sørensen et al. 2013), as summarized … Read the rest “The importance of archaeology before population genomics”

R1b in Eastern Arabia Late Neolithic / Bronze Age


A reader asked my opinion about my reported R1b subclade of one low quality sample from Ra’s Al-Ḥamrāʾ 5 necropolis, Muscat (Oman), published (without Y-DNA) in Harney et al. (2020). For those interested, here are the relevant calls, with information on the graves taken from Salvatori (2007):

I11919_I11920_I11921: Grave 221 (ca. 3700-3200 BC), mtDNA H2a2a1, Y-DNA R1bL754 (xPH155; xL389P297M269; xPF6323PF6292).
* The samples show a straightforward path (but full of deamination question marks): CT (with 1 ancestral call M5813 1x C-A) -PP295M45P284P226 -KM526YSC0000186 Read the rest “R1b in Eastern Arabia Late Neolithic / Bronze Age”

On Fatyanovo and the survival of R1a-Z93* among Mari-Permians


The recent preprint on ancient DNA from Veretye, Lyalovo/Volosovo and Fatyanovo from Saag et al. (2020) has been published in Science Advances Vol. 7, no. 4, eabd6535, and with it the BAM files.

Here are the Y-SNP calls from the files, following the FTDNA Haplotree standard, with Fatyanovo individuals in alphabetical order:

  • Veretye PES001 from Peschanitsa (ca. 10785–10626 calBC), mtDNA U4a1, Y-DNA R1aM459YP1301(pre-YP1272?), with 2 SNPs derived – YP1306 (T-C, 5 reads) and Y12474 (T-A, 6 reads) – and 46 SNPs ancestral at the YP1272 level. A sample with 5× coverage that
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Recent Yamnaya-related intrusion in a Denmark Late Neolithic burial


Open access Genomic Steppe ancestry in skeletons from the Neolithic Single Grave Culture in Denmark, by Egfjord et al. PLoS One (2021).

Relevant excerpts (emphasis mine, content under CC-BY):

Gjerrild stone cist

The Gjerrild stone cist in northern Djursland, eastern Jutland, is remarkable for containing the largest and best-preserved assemblage of SGC skeletons known from Denmark. From this follows a unique opportunity to obtain information on the genetic ancestry of people representing the SGC in Denmark. In the cultural history of Neolithic Denmark, northern Djursland is peculiar as this area lacks finds from the final TRB period but

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Earliest (and basal) haplogroup N-L1026, from East Siberia


This is an update to the data from Human population dynamics and Yersinia pestis in ancient northeast Asia, by Kılınç et al. Science Advances (2021).

Files have been released, and some of them are huge, so it might take me some time to analyze them all and include specific subclades in the Ancient DNA Dataset.

For the moment, the sample I highlighted in the previous post, kra001 (2336-2135 calBCE), mtDNA C4b1, from burial Nº1 of Nefteprovod-2, is of very good quality, and it would not be surprising if it made its way to YFull’s tree. It can be … Read the rest “Earliest (and basal) haplogroup N-L1026, from East Siberia”

Haplogroup N-L708 & Q-L53 hotspot, around Lake Baikal


New open access paper Human population dynamics and Yersinia pestis in ancient northeast Asia, by Kılınç et al. Science Advances (2021).

Content under CC-BY-NC license. Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

We produced whole-genome sequence data from 40 ancient individuals spanning from the Late Upper Paleolithic to the Medieval era and representing five distinct administrative regions in the Russian Federation encompassing Yakutia, Trans-Baikal, Cis-Baikal, Krasnoyarsk Krai, and Amur Oblast (…) All individuals were accredited to either Y macro-haplogroup Q or N and non-African mitochondrial macrohaplogroups of M, N, and R.

Population dynamics during and after the LGM in northeast Asia


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Early Andronovo intrusion in the Eastern Tianshan


Recent paper (behind paywall) The Baigetuobie cemetery: New discovery and human genetic features of Andronovo community’s diffusion to the Eastern Tianshan Mountains (1800–1500 BC), by Zhu, Zhang, et al. The Holocene (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

The Baigetuobie cemetery (Balikun County, Hami City) is located on the eastern slope of the Baigetuobie Mountains, about 54 km west of the Balikun County and 40 km southwest of the Balikun Lake.

Baigetuobie cemetery

The cemetery is relatively small in scale and the burials are rather concentrated. The graves are marked on the surface by stone slabs visible from approximately 0.05 to

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Proto-Hungarian Homeland: East and West of the Urals?


The study of eastern Uralic branches is clearly underdeveloped relative to western ones, and in desperate need of a proper reassessment. This linguistic obscurity contrasts heavily with the decades-long tradition of categorically pinning ethnolinguistic labels (“Ugric” or “Hungarian”) to different prehistorical cultures by (post-)Soviet archaeology, and with the identification of Hungarian as Turkic continuing Turanist trends; 20th century papers showing one of both trends rarely if ever withstand basic scientific scrutiny.

The following is a combination of rewritten excerpts about Ugric in general and Hungarian in particular, as well as some other texts on the linguistic predecessor of the Old … Read the rest “Proto-Hungarian Homeland: East and West of the Urals?”