The importance of archaeology before population genomics

early-mesolithic-scandinavia

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”

Proto-Indo-Europeans: A family business

khvalynsk-yamnaya-y-dna-bottleneck

I have been updating the Ancient DNA Dataset with date estimates published in the recent preprint by Sedig, Olalde, Patterson & Reich bioRxiv (2020), and it had a reference to some interesting new samples from Khvalynsk, showing tight family connections.

Information below is taken from the preprint and from the latest version of the Reich Lab’s Allen Ancient DNA Resource (AADR). Information about the three published Khvalynsk samples is taken from Mathieson et al. Nature (2015) supplementary materials, and each ID features a different font color in the text below for clarity’s sake.

Khvalynsk Family A

I0434, … Read the rest “Proto-Indo-Europeans: A family business”

The Last of the Single Gravers

the-last-of-the-mohicans

The BAM files from Egfjord et al. (2021) are out, and Y-SNPs of two-year-old Nordic MN_LN/LN migrant Gjerrild 5 (ca. 2284-2035 calBC) were accurately reported, which means that the sample will need to be labelled R1b>L754>L389>(pre-?)V1636, since one derived read Y125110+ (A->G) in this and one ancestral in a Progress2 sample, PG2001, cannot be used to infer anything certain.

NOTE. It has one derived read (A-T) for FT3897 at the R1b>L754>L389>V1636>Y83069 level, but the other 8 SNPs ancestral, which is not really helpful to define a potential pre-Y83069 branch, given the doubts above. A possible relative could Read the rest “The Last of the Single Gravers”

Recent Yamnaya-related intrusion in a Denmark Late Neolithic burial

denmark-single-grave-gjerrild

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

baikal-siberia-basal-n-l1026

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

lake-baikal-ancient-dna

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

We

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

longobards-antiquity

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

afanasievo-sheep-goat-herding

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

carpathian-basin-slovakia

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”