Increased mobility in the Nordic Late Neolithic/Bronze Age


Open access Mobility patterns in inland southwestern Sweden during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, by Blank, Sjögren, Knipper, et al. Archaeol. Anthropol. Sci. 13, 64 (2021).

NOTE. For a full archaeological description of the area of study, refer to the related paper Old bones or early graves? Megalithic burial sequences in southern Sweden based on 14C datings, by Blank, Sjögren, & Storå, Archaeol. Anthropol. Sci. 12, 89 (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

The sampling from megalithic graves shows a chronological gap of at least 400 years (2600–2200 cal BC), when no megalithic graves were constructed or used

Read the rest “Increased mobility in the Nordic Late Neolithic/Bronze Age”

Another “Pre-Yamnaya” sample from the Northern Caucasus?


I have updated the Ancient DNA Dataset, including a lot of new information from – among other sources – the latest version of Reich Lab curated Dataset, now renamed Allen Ancient DNA Resource (AADR). This includes new columns:

  1. Object-ID: I am now using whenever possible the Master-ID; Version-ID for a quick identification of the ‘best’ sample to include in SmartPCA or ADMIXTURE runs; and Index as a key with a unique reference number for each sample. That should make for enough stable references for any external tool to use the data.
  2. mtDNA: Added mtDNA coverage
Read the rest “Another “Pre-Yamnaya” sample from the Northern Caucasus?”

IBD sharing between Corded Ware and Yamnaya-related populations


Oral communication Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich (March 3, 2021).

I noticed this interesting slide called “Caught red-handed”, at approximately 45m 17s, where David Reich asserts that sampled Corded Ware populations had many “close cousins” with Yamnaya-related populations “within generations”. The method could also be used, always according to Reich, to identify “who the Yamnaya mixed with to form groups like Corded Ware”.

NOTE. Notice also the the number of new sampled individuals from Khvalynsk, Ekaterinovka, and new Yamnaya groups from Chelyabinsk, Urals, Volga, Don, Moldova, and Romania.

This represents the … Read the rest “IBD sharing between Corded Ware and Yamnaya-related populations”

Proto-Indo-European Self-Study Course Book


Today is International Mother Language Day, a day as good as any other to start or continue learning Proto-Indo-European.

Fernando López-Menchero has just published the 3rd version of his Proto-Indo-European self-study book, A Practical Guidebook for Modern Indo-European Explorers, updating the previously published 1st version (2018). It includes:

  • Multiple corrections to the already published lessons 1-30, based on many comments from readers, received by email and through the Modern Indo-European Group.
  • The addition of previously announced Part II of the Guidebook, now published as lessons 31-42 and Appendices.
  • Corrections and updates to the supplementary materials,
Read the rest “Proto-Indo-European Self-Study Course Book”

Germanic runes in the Prague-Type Pottery culture


Recent paper (behind paywall) Runes from Lány (Czech Republic) – The oldest inscription among Slavs. A new standard for multidisciplinary analysis of runic bones by Macháček et al. J. Archaeol Sci (2021).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

To date no archaeological find is generally accepted as evidence for a direct contact between Germanic tribes and Early Slavs in Central Europe (Brather, 2004). Here we report a novel archaeological find in support of a direct contact: a rune-inscribed fragment of a bone from the late 6th century found in a Slavic settlement. Runes are an alphabetic script, called fuþark,

Read the rest “Germanic runes in the Prague-Type Pottery culture”

The importance of archaeology before population genomics


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


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”

R1b in Eastern Arabia Late Neolithic / Bronze Age


A reader asked my opinion about my reported R1b subclade of one low quality sample from Ra’s Al-Ḥamrāʾ 5 necropolis, Muscat (Oman), published (without Y-DNA) in Harney et al. (2020). For those interested, here are the relevant calls, with information on the graves taken from Salvatori (2007):

I11919_I11920_I11921: Grave 221 (ca. 3700-3200 BC), mtDNA H2a2a1, Y-DNA R1bL754 (xPH155; xL389P297M269; xPF6323PF6292).
* The samples show a straightforward path (but full of deamination question marks): CT (with 1 ancestral call M5813 1x C-A) -PP295M45P284P226 -KM526YSC0000186 Read the rest “R1b in Eastern Arabia Late Neolithic / Bronze Age”

On Fatyanovo and the survival of R1a-Z93* among Mari-Permians


The recent preprint on ancient DNA from Veretye, Lyalovo/Volosovo and Fatyanovo from Saag et al. (2020) has been published in Science Advances Vol. 7, no. 4, eabd6535, and with it the BAM files.

Here are the Y-SNP calls from the files, following the FTDNA Haplotree standard, with Fatyanovo individuals in alphabetical order:

  • Veretye PES001 from Peschanitsa (ca. 10785–10626 calBC), mtDNA U4a1, Y-DNA R1aM459YP1301(pre-YP1272?), with 2 SNPs derived – YP1306 (T-C, 5 reads) and Y12474 (T-A, 6 reads) – and 46 SNPs ancestral at the YP1272 level. A sample with 5× coverage that
Read the rest “On Fatyanovo and the survival of R1a-Z93* among Mari-Permians”