Longobards from Scandinavia, and the “Ural-Altaic” Árpád lineage


The Family Tree DNA R&D team formed by Göran Runfeldt and Michael Sager has reported detailed Y-SNPs of sampled Longobards from the open access paper Understanding 6th-century barbarian social organization and migration through paleogenomics, by Amorim et al. Nat. Commun. (2020). From the abstract:

We obtained ancient genomic DNA from 63 samples from two cemeteries (from Hungary and Northern Italy) that have been previously associated with the Longobards, a barbarian people that ruled large parts of Italy for over 200 years after invading from Pannonia in 568 CE. Our dense cemetery-based sampling revealed that each cemetery was primarily organized

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Afanasievo brought domesticated bovids to the Altai; new Tianshanbeilu chronology


Article in press (behind paywall) Mitochondrial DNA of domesticated sheep confirms pastoralist component of Afanasievo subsistence economy in the Altai Mountains (3300–2900 cal BC), by Hermes et al. Archaeological Research in Asia (2020).

Interesting excerpts:

Previous zooarchaeological research at Afanasievo settlement and mortuary sites argues for the exploitation of both domesticated and wild cattle, sheep, and goats (Derevianko and Molodin, 1994; Gryaznov, 1999; Kosintsev, 2005; Kosintsev and Stepanova, 2010; Pogozheva, 2006). However, the biogeographic distribution of Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica) and argali sheep (Ovis ammon) includes the Altai (Baskin and Danell, 2003), while aurochsen (Bos primigenius) were also likely

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East Slovakia Yamnaya settlers and links with Niche-Graves


Prehistoric populations did not set stable regional boundaries, but rather dynamic local ones in constant flow and change of interaction strategies. Semi-nomadic groups like the Yamnaya and early mobile Corded Ware communities had an even more variable control of pasture lands – at least until they settled down and became “locals” in certain territories. Nevertheless, the Carpathians – like the Caucasus Mountains – might be a priori regarded as a more stable natural border, that could help populations of the same language keep strong cultural and kinship ties.

The upcoming samples from the Carpathian Basin, announced in Szécsényi-Nagy’s oral communication, … Read the rest “East Slovakia Yamnaya settlers and links with Niche-Graves”

Vikings, Vikings, Vikings! Hordes of high quality ancient DNA


Recent paper (behind paywall) Population genomics of the Viking world, by Margaryan et al. Nature (2020), containing almost exactly the same information as its bioRxiv preprint.

I have used Y-SNP inferences recently reported by FTDNA (see below) to update my Ancient DNA Dataset and the ArcGIS Online Map, and also to examine the chronological and geographical evolution of Y-DNA (alone and in combination with ancestry).

Sections of this post:

  1. Iron Age to Medieval Y-DNA
  2. Iron Age to Medieval Ancestry
  3. Iron Age to Medieval Y-DNA + Ancestry
  4. FTDNA’s big public debut

I. Iron Age to Medieval

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Origin of DOM2 closing in on the Pontic-Caspian steppes


Open access Ancient DNA shows domestic horses were introduced in the southern Caucasus and Anatolia during the Bronze Age by Guimaraes et al. Sci Adv. (2020) Vol. 6, no. 38, eabb0030.

Here is a good summary:

Our study of ancient equid remains from Anatolia and the southern Caucasus covering ~9000 years of the Holocene analyzed the dynamics over time of mitochondrial lineages and tested the hypothesis that Anatolia was a center of horse domestication. We were able to identify mitotypes characteristic of local Anatolian wild horses, which were regularly exploited in the early and middle Holocene. However, we identified a

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West Yamnaya settlers like Early Bell Beakers: R1b-P310 and R1b-Z2103


Informal report by Bulgarian archaeologist Svetoslav Stamov in 7/8 TV, from data collected by the Reich Lab for their future paper on South-Eastern Europe.

As can be seen from the TV captions below, this is the earliest R1b-P310 from Yamnaya or Yamnaya-related individuals in Early Bronze Age contexts from Bulgaria. In fact, its appearance together with a R1b-Z2103 lineage (and another undefined R1b-M269) shows once again that the earliest R1b-L23 bottlenecks were associated with Proto-Indo-Europeans.

Lacking a precise periodization, location, or proper cultural context in the spreadsheet, it is impossible to know whether they belong to Khvalynsk-related cultures … Read the rest “West Yamnaya settlers like Early Bell Beakers: R1b-P310 and R1b-Z2103”

Neolithic spread of “Eurasian” Lactase Persistence among Saharan pastoralists


New paper (behind paywall) Sahelian pastoralism from the perspective of variants associated with lactase persistence, by Priehodová et al. Am J Phys Anthropol (2020) e24116.

Interesting excerpts from the discussion (emphasis mine, minor modifications for clarity):

Our investigation of LP variant frequencies revealed new and interesting results related to the origins of pastoralism and subsequent gene flow between pastoralists and farmers in the Sahel/Savannah belt of Africa.

  • We observed a clear distinction between regions west and east of Lake Chad: while variant −13910*T prevails in the western Sahel, where we found it only in pastoralists such as the Fulani,
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Epigravettian migrations 3,000 years before Villabruna


Open access Early Alpine human occupation backdates westward human migration in Late Glacial Europe, by Bortolini et al. bioRxiv (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

To understand the full extent of the role played by demic processes in this key transition in Late Glacial Europe we focused on the left hemimandible of an individual found at Riparo Tagliente (Tagliente2) associated with Late Epigravettian evidence. During the LGM and the Late Glacial, the Adriatic Sea basin played a critical role in shaping the economy and mobility of Epigravettian groups. Geomorphological and sedimentological processes linked to the extension of Alpine glaciers and

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Xiongnu Y-DNA connects Huns & Avars to Scytho-Siberians


Recent paper (behind paywall) Genetic evidence suggests a sense of family, parity and conquest in the Xiongnu Iron Age nomads of Mongolia, by Keyser, Zvénigorosky, Gonzalez, et al. Human Genetics (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Site and bodies

The Tamir Ulaan Khoshuu (TUK) cemetery is located near the confluence of the Tamir River and the Orkhon River in the Arkhangai Aimag (Central Mongolia), about four hundred kilometers west of the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. It encompasses an area of 22 hectares located on a prominent granitic outcrop and comprises a total of 397 graves, delimited by stone circles. (…)

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