I think proto-languages can be applied to basically any appropriate prehistoric setting, and especially to science fiction and fantasy settings. I often viewed the lack of interest for them as based on the idea that they are not fantastic enough, that they would render a fantastic world too realistic to allow for an adequate immersion of the reader (or viewer) into a new world.
With time, I have become more and more convinced that most authors don’t use proto-languages (or tweaked versions of them) simply because they can’t, and resort to the easier way: inventing some rules … Read the rest “A Game of Thrones in Indo-European: proto-languages in Westeros and Essos, and population genomics”
New preprint Population history from the Neolithic to present on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia: An ancient DNA perspective, by Marcus et al. bioRxiv (2019)
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, edited for clarity):
On the high frequency of R1b-V88
Our genome-wide data allowed us to assign Y haplogroups for 25 ancient Sardinian individuals. More than half of them consist of R1b-V88 (n=10) or I2-M223 (n=7).
Francalacci et al. (2013) identified three major Sardinia-specific founder clades based on present-day variation within the haplogroups I2-M26, G2-L91 and R1b-V88, and here we found each of those broader haplogroups in at least one
… Read the rest “Ancient Sardinia hints at Mesolithic spread of R1b-V88, and Western EEF-related expansion of Vasconic”
Sorry for the last weeks of silence, I have been rather busy lately. I am having more projects going on, and (because of that) I also wanted to finish a project I have been working on for many months already.
I have therefore decided to publish a provisional version of the text, in the hope that it will be useful in the following months, when I won’t be able to update it as often as I would like to:
… Read the rest “Happy new year 2019…and enjoy our new books!”
Preprint Paleolithic DNA from the Caucasus reveals core of West Eurasian ancestry, by Lazaridis et al. bioRxiv (2018).
We analyzed teeth from two individuals 63 recovered from Dzudzuana Cave, Southern Caucasus, from an archaeological layer previously dated to ~27-24kya (…). Both individuals had mitochondrial DNA sequences (U6 and N) that are consistent with deriving from lineages that are rare in the Caucasus or Europe today. The two individuals were genetically similar to each other, consistent with belonging to the same population and we thus analyze them jointly.
(…) our results prove that the European affinity of
… Read the rest “Palaeolithic Caucasus samples reveal the most important component of West Eurasians”
Interesting information from ISBA 8 sesions today, as seen on Twitter (see programme in PDF, and sessions from the 19th and the 20th september).
Official abstracts are listed first (emphasis mine), then reports and images and/or link to tweets. Here is the list for quick access:
Scythian population genetics and settlement patterns
Genetic continuity in the western Eurasian Steppe broken not due to Scythian dominance, … Read the rest “Scythians in Ukraine, Natufian and sub-Saharan ancestry in North Africa (ISBA 8, 21st Sep)”
Open access Ancient DNA from Chalcolithic Israel reveals the role of population mixture in cultural transformation, by Harney et al. Nature Communications (2018).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, reference numbers deleted for clarity):
The material culture of the Late Chalcolithic period in the southern Levant contrasts qualitatively with that of earlier and later periods in the same region. The Late Chalcolithic in the Levant is characterized by increases in the density of settlements, introduction of sanctuaries, utilization of ossuaries in secondary burials, and expansion of public ritual practices as well as an efflorescence of symbolic motifs sculpted and
… Read the rest “Migrations in the Levant region during the Chalcolithic, also marked by distinct Y-DNA”
Interesting new paper (behind paywall) Megalakes in the Sahara? A Review, by Quade et al. (2018).
Abstract (emphasis mine):
The Sahara was wetter and greener during multiple interglacial periods of the Quaternary, when some have suggested it featured very large (mega) lakes, ranging in surface area from 30,000 to 350,000 km2. In this paper, we review the physical and biological evidence for these large lakes, especially during the African Humid Period (AHP) 11–5 ka. Megalake systems from around the world provide a checklist of diagnostic features, such as multiple well-defined shoreline benches, wave-rounded beach gravels where coarse material is
… Read the rest “Sahara’s rather pale-green and discontinuous Sahelo-Sudanian steppe corridor, and the R1b – Afroasiatic connection”
BioRxiv preprint now published (behind paywall) Ancient genomes from North Africa evidence prehistoric migrations to the Maghreb from both the Levant and Europe, by Fregel et al., PNAS (2018).
NOTE. I think one of the important changes in this version compared to the preprint is the addition of the recent Iberomaurusian samples.
Abstract (emphasis mine):
The extent to which prehistoric migrations of farmers influenced the genetic pool of western North Africans remains unclear. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Neolithization process may have happened through the adoption of innovations by local Epipaleolithic communities or by demic diffusion from the
… Read the rest “Ancient genomes from North Africa evidence Neolithic migrations to the Maghreb”
Open access A finely resolved phylogeny of Y chromosome Hg J illuminates the processes of Phoenician and Greek colonizations in the Mediterranean, by Finocchio et al. Scientific Reports (2018) Nº 7465.
Abstract (emphasis mine):
In order to improve the phylogeography of the male-specific genetic traces of Greek and Phoenician colonizations on the Northern coasts of the Mediterranean, we performed a geographically structured sampling of seven subclades of haplogroup J in Turkey, Greece and Italy. We resequenced 4.4 Mb of Y-chromosome in 58 subjects, obtaining 1079 high quality variants. We did not find a preferential coalescence of Turkish samples to
… Read the rest “Haplogroup J spread in the Mediterranean due to Phoenician and Greek colonizations”