Proto-Uralic Homeland (I): Foraging & Animals


This post is part of a draft on palaeolinguistics and the Proto-Uralic homeland. See below for the color code of protoforms.

1. Foraging

1.1. Hunting

PFU (Fi., Ma., Md., Ms., Hu.) *lewi- ‘to shoot’ (UEW Nº 482; Aikio 2019: 47).

PU (Saa., Fi., Md., Ma., Kh., Ms., Hu., Smy.) *je̮ŋsi/*joŋsi ‘bow’ (UEW Nº 190; Aikio 2020: 71 with references).

PU (Saa.? Fi., Ma., Kh., Ms., Hu., Smy.) *jänti(ni) ‘sinew; (bow)string’ (UEW Nº 169; Aikio 2019: 47 with references).

PU (Saa., Fi., Md.., Ma., P, Kh., Ms., Hu., Smy.) *ńe̮li (*ńōle) ‘arrow’ (UEW Nº 622).

PU (Saa. Ma., P, … Read the rest “Proto-Uralic Homeland (I): Foraging & Animals”

Palaeolinguistics: The Homeland Problem


The practice of making inferences about the cultures of language users on the evidence of reconstructed languages is called linguistic palaeontology. These inferences may concern the material culture and geographic location of speakers as well as their social relations, mythology, and beliefs – the notion of ‘archaeological culture’ is used to capture both material culture and behaviour (Mallory 2020).

Proto-Uralic Homeland

This is the introductory post for my draft on the Proto-Uralic Homeland, which I have divided into eight pieces according to semantic fields or chronology, or both. During the following week, you will have the … Read the rest “Palaeolinguistics: The Homeland Problem”

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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Proto-Indo-European kinship system and patrilineality


Within months, it will be finally confirmed that both Late Repin offshoots – Early Yamnaya and Afanasievo – spread with clans that were dominated by R1b-L23 patrilineages. Succeeding migration events, likely coupled with internal founder effects under the most successful clans, left Indo-Tocharian-speaking clans as an almost uniform community in terms of Y-chromosome haplogroups, with their most recent common ancestor traceable to the 5th millennium BC.

Before that, it seems that the Indo-Anatolian-speaking Early Khvalynsk community was slightly more diverse. In particular, the success of R1b-V1636 lineages is apparent in the Khvalynsk-Novodanilovka expansion, since it is … Read the rest “Proto-Indo-European kinship system and patrilineality”

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”

European hydrotoponymy (VIII): Meshchera, a Permian wedge between Volga Finns?


On the ethnolinguistic origin of the Meshchera, Pauli Rahkonen had an interesting proposal that might eventually be tested with Bronze Age and Iron Age DNA samples from North-East Europe: The Linguistic Background of the Ancient Meshchera Tribe and Principal Areas of Settlement, FUF (2009) 60:160-200.

NOTE. The paper is included in his PhD Dissertation, South-eastern contact area of Finnic languages in the light of onomastics (2013).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, minor changes for clarity)

The ethnonym Meshchera [Мещёра] is not found in such very early Russian chronicles as Povest’ vremennyh let [“Nestor’s Chronicle”] (PSRL 1965), first appearing in

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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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