The Corded Ware culture, more complex than previously thought

corded-ware-malopolska-poland

Open access Corded Ware cultural complexity uncovered using genomic and isotopic analysis from south-eastern Poland, by Linderholm et al. Scientific Reports (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

We have obtained genetic data from 19 individuals (16 of CWC and 3 of BBC). All examined individuals come from three geographical regions: the Rzeszów Foothills (part of the Subcarpathian Region; sites of Szczytna, Chłopice, Mirocin and Święte), the Małopolska Upland (Mistrzejowice, Proszowice, Bosutów, Pełczyska) and the Sokal Ridge (the western part of Volhynian Upland – site of Łubcze). All burials are of similar type exhibiting the same funeral rite with some differences

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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

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R1b-rich Proto-Indo-Europeans show genetic continuity in Asia

middle-bronze-age-andronovo-horizon

Another preprint came out at the same time as Wang et al. (2020), from the Jena Lab of the Max Planck Society: A dynamic 6,000-year genetic history of Eurasia’s Eastern Steppe, by Jeong, Warinner, et al. bioRxiv (2020).

NOTE. I have now updated the Ancient DNA Dataset, the Prehistory Atlas – with PDF and GIS files including Y-DNA and mtDNA of all newly reported samples (starting with the Neolithic) – as well as the PCA files with those from Wang et al. (2020).

The conclusions are similar, but with some interesting twists. Relevant excerpts (emphasis mine), … Read the rest “R1b-rich Proto-Indo-Europeans show genetic continuity in Asia”

Fully Steppe-like Proto-Corded Ware Late Trypillians

late-trypillia-corded-ware

The genotypes from Human auditory ossicles as an alternative optimal source of ancient DNA, by Sirak et al. Genome Res. (2020), have been finally published by the Reich Lab, so we can get a sneak peek into what’s coming in future papers about the origins of R1a-rich Proto-Corded Ware and R1b-rich Italo-Venetic peoples.

NOTE. To avoid adding potential errors, I have merged the Reich Lab’s Curated Dataset (v. 42.4, March 1 2020) with these new samples before performing the qpAdm analyses. If you find something different with your files, you should probably check out this simple setting first. Read the rest “Fully Steppe-like Proto-Corded Ware Late Trypillians”

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

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Earliest R1a-Z93…from Late Trypillia in the Podolian-Volhynian Upland!

chalcolithic-yamnaya-corded-ware

Recently, the preprint by Sirak et al. biorXiv (2019), Human auditory ossicles as an alternative optimal source of ancient DNA, was published in Genome Res. (2020), and the corresponding samples were finally uploaded to ENA.

I have been trying to get my hands on sample GLAV_14, a male from the Late Eneolithic site Glăvăneştii Vechi, classified as Romania Bronze Age (ca. 3500-3000 BC), mtDNA T1a1, referenced as investigated first in the study:

Haas N, Maximilian K. 1958. Anthropological study of the human bones from graves with ochre from Glăvăneștii Vechi, Corlăteni and Stoicani Cetățuie. Soviet Anthropology 4,

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Ancient phylogeography: spread of haplogroups R1b, R1a and N

haplogroups-r1a-r1b-q

The previous post showed the potential use of TreeToM to visualize ancient DNA samples in maps together with their Y-DNA phylogenetic trees. I have written Newick trees for Y-chromosome haplogroups R1b-L388 (encompassing R-V1636 and R-P297, which in turn split into R-M73 and R-M269), R1a, and N.

I have reviewed some of the BAM files from my previous bulk analyses with YLeaf v.2, to add information that I had not previously included in the All Ancient DNA Dataset, and which might be relevant to the proper depiction of phylogenetic trees; in particular, positive and negative SNPs potentially distinguishing archaicRead the rest “Ancient phylogeography: spread of haplogroups R1b, R1a and N”

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”