Y-DNA of 129 high quality shotgun ancient samples


The Reich Lab has recently pre-published high quality shotgun sequencing data from 216 ancient individuals within the framework of the Allen Ancient Genome Diversity Project / John Templeton Ancient DNA Atlas. Metadata for the 216 genomes are available here.

Their median coverage is 4.9x, and among them there are 50 high coverage genomes (17-36x), but there are also samples with a coverage similar to the previously published ones.

The FamilyTreeDNA Haplotree team formed by phylogeneticist Michael Sager and Göran Runfeldt from the R&D team has analyzed all 129 males for Y-SNP calls, using – and updating with them – … Read the rest “Y-DNA of 129 high quality shotgun ancient samples”

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”

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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Afanasievo ancestry reached Lake Baikal; Nganasan ancestry origins still at large


New paper (behind paywall) Paleolithic to Bronze Age Siberians Reveal Connections with First Americans and across Eurasia, by Yu et al. Cell (2020)

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, paragraphs subdivided for clarity):

Population Structure (PCA)

Most of the Lake Baikal individuals occupied the space on a “ANE-NEA” cline running between “Northeast Asian” (NEA) ancestry represented by Neolithic hunter-gathers from the Devil’s Gate in the Russian Far East (Sikora et al., 2019, Siska et al., 2017), and the ANE ancestry represented by Upper Paleolithic Siberian individuals MA1, AfontovaGora 2 (AG2), and AfontovaGora 3 (AG3) (Fu et al., 2016, Raghavan et al.,

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R1b-rich Proto-Indo-Europeans show genetic continuity in Asia


Another preprint came out at the same time as Wang et al. (2020), from the Jena Lab of the Max Planck Society: A dynamic 6,000-year genetic history of Eurasia’s Eastern Steppe, by Jeong, Warinner, et al. bioRxiv (2020).

NOTE. I have now updated the Ancient DNA Dataset, the Prehistory Atlas – with PDF and GIS files including Y-DNA and mtDNA of all newly reported samples (starting with the Neolithic) – as well as the PCA files with those from Wang et al. (2020).

The conclusions are similar, but with some interesting twists. Relevant excerpts (emphasis mine), … Read the rest “R1b-rich Proto-Indo-Europeans show genetic continuity in Asia”

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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Ancient phylogeography: spread of haplogroups R1b, R1a and N


The previous post showed the potential use of TreeToM to visualize ancient DNA samples in maps together with their Y-DNA phylogenetic trees. I have written Newick trees for Y-chromosome haplogroups R1b-L388 (encompassing R-V1636 and R-P297, which in turn split into R-M73 and R-M269), R1a, and N.

I have reviewed some of the BAM files from my previous bulk analyses with YLeaf v.2, to add information that I had not previously included in the All Ancient DNA Dataset, and which might be relevant to the proper depiction of phylogenetic trees; in particular, positive and negative SNPs potentially distinguishing archaicRead the rest “Ancient phylogeography: spread of haplogroups R1b, R1a and N”

Yamnaya replaced Europeans, but admixed heavily as they spread to Asia


Recent papers The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia, by Narasimhan, Patterson et al. Science (2019) and An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers, by Shinde et al. Cell (2019).

NOTE. For direct access to Narasimhan, Patterson et al. (2019), visit this link courtesy of the first author and the Reich Lab.

I am currently not on holidays anymore, and the information in the paper is huge, with many complex issues raised by the new samples and analyses rather than solved, so I will stick to the Indo-European question, … Read the rest “Yamnaya replaced Europeans, but admixed heavily as they spread to Asia”

Proto-Tocharians: From Afanasievo to the Tarim Basin through the Tian Shan


A reader commented recently that there is little information about Indo-Europeans from Central and East Asia in this blog. Regardless of the scarce archaeological data compared to European prehistory, I think it is premature to write anything detailed about population movements of Indo-Iranians in Asia, especially now that we are awaiting the updates of Narasimhan et al (2018).

Furthermore, there was little hope that Tocharians would be different than neighbouring Andronovo-like populations (see a recent post on my predicted varied admixture of Common Tocharians), so the history of both unrelated Late PIE languages would have had to be … Read the rest “Proto-Tocharians: From Afanasievo to the Tarim Basin through the Tian Shan”