Proto-Turkic homeland


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

The following text contains a description of Proto-Turkic and its main dialectal split. Contacts with Samoyed, Ob-Ugric, Iranian, Yeniseian, Tocharian, Chinese and Mongolic, as well as palaeolinguistics, hydronymy, and ethnonymy are taken into account to pinpoint the succeeding homelands and expansion territories. The archaeological-archaeogenetic discussion is focused on the Middle and Late Bronze Age Altai Mönkhkhairkhan and Deer Stone-Khirigsuur Complex and related groups, as well as on Ulaanzukh; Early Iron Age “Scytho-Siberian” Pazyryk & Uyuk and Slab Grave cultures; and on the Late … Read the rest “Proto-Turkic homeland”

South Siberian Urheimaten and Sprachbünde


The long-lasting intertwined ethnolinguistic developments of East Uralic speakers with Palaeo-Siberian populations makes it impossible to split up a post about the evolution of the former without discussing the fate of the latter.

External contacts with other indigenous East Asian languages close to the Altai-Sayan region and Circum-Baikal area are also relevant, but would no doubt turn this post series into an unending task. Therefore, I will focus on the western part of the Baikal Neolithic and Neo-Siberian-related ancestry clines, which seem more relevant for the ancient stages of Ob-Ugric and Samoyed developments.

For an easier read of … Read the rest “South Siberian Urheimaten and Sprachbünde”

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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Yamnaya-like Chemurchek links Afanasievo with Iron Age Tocharians


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

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A Game of Thrones in Indo-European: proto-languages in Westeros and Essos, and population genomics


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”

Munda admixture happened probably during the ANI-ASI mixture


Preprint The genetic legacy of continental scale admixture in Indian Austroasiatic speakers, by Tätte et al. bioRxiv (2018).

Interesting excerpts:

Studies analysing mtDNA and Y chromosome markers have revealed a sex-specific admixture pattern of admixture of Southeast and South Asian ancestry components for Munda speakers. While close to 100% of mtDNA lineages present in Mundas match those in other Indian populations, around 65% of their paternal genetic heritage is more closely related to Southeast Asian than South Asian variation. Such a contrasting distribution of maternal and paternal lineages among the Munda speakers is a classic example of ‘father tongue

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Palaeolithic Caucasus samples reveal the most important component of West Eurasians


Preprint Paleolithic DNA from the Caucasus reveals core of West Eurasian ancestry, by Lazaridis et al. bioRxiv (2018).

Interesting excerpts:

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

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Evolution of Steppe, Neolithic, and Siberian ancestry in Eurasia (ISBA 8, 19th Sep)


Some information is already available from ISBA 8 (see programme in PDF), thanks to the tweets from Alexander M. Kim.

Official abstracts are listed first (emphasis mine), then reports and images with link to Kim’s tweets. Here is the list for quick access:

Updates (17:00 CET):

Turkic and Hunnic expansions

Tracing the origin and expansion of the Turkic and Read the rest “Evolution of Steppe, Neolithic, and Siberian ancestry in Eurasia (ISBA 8, 19th Sep)”

A study of genetic diversity of three isolated populations in Xinjiang using Y-SNP


New open access paper (in Chinese) A study of genetic diversity of three isolated populations in Xinjiang using Y-SNP, by liu et al. Acta Anthropologica Sinitica (2018)


The Keriyan, Lopnur and Dolan peoples are isolated populations with sparse numbers living in the western border desert of our country. By sequencing and typing the complete Y-chromosome of 179 individuals in these three isolated populations, all mutations and SNPs in the Y-chromosome and their corresponding haplotypes were obtained. Types and frequencies of each haplotype were analyzed to investigate genetic diversity and genetic structure in the three isolated populations. The results

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