Ob-Ugric Homeland


This post is part of a draft on South Siberian language homelands and Sprachbünde.

The following text contains a description of Ob-Ugric languages and their connection within an Ugric Sprachbund. Special emphasis is placed on their evolution among surrounding ethnolinguistic groups before they were first documented, and on their most likely connection with archaeological cultures succeeding the Seima-Turbino phenomenon in the Southern Urals and the Trans-Urals. The archaeological-archaeogenetic discussion is therefore focused on the Middle Bronze Age Cherkaskul and Late Bronze Age Andronovo-like cultures, as well as on the formation of the “Scythian” Sargat … Read the rest “Ob-Ugric Homeland”

Iron Age nomads of West Siberia of hg. Q1b, R1a, and basal N1a-L1026


Open access Ancient genomic time transect from the Central Asian Steppe unravels the history of the Scythians, by Gnecchi-Ruscone et al. Sci Adv. 7 (13) eabe4414.

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

From an archaeological perspective, the earliest IA burials associated with nomad-warrior cultures were identified in the eastern fringes of the Kazakh Steppe, in Tuva and the Altai region (ninth century BCE).

Following this early evidence, the Tasmola culture in central and north Kazakhstan is among the earliest major IA nomad warrior cultures emerging (eighth to sixth century BCE).


These earlier groups were followed by the iconic Saka cultures located

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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

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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”

The Last of the Single Gravers


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”

The complexities of 3rd millennium Steppe-related migrations


Open access paper Mobility and Social Change: Understanding the European Neolithic Period after the Archaeogenetic Revolution, by Martin Furholt, J. Archaeol. Res. (2021).

Content under CC-BY license. Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, stylistic changes for clarity):

This detailed picture of Caucasian population history shows that the initial assertion in the 2015 papers, namely of a one-way migration from east to west, was a simplification supported by a variant of admixture analyses that featured Yamnaya as one unified genetic element (e.g., Haak et al. 2015, fig. 3), which led to calculations of Corded Ware individuals showing 75% Yamnaya ancestry. This

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Proto-Uralic Homeland (VIII): Earliest External Contacts


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

14. Earliest PU ~ PIE contacts

14.1. Indo-Uralic?

The most reliable correspondences to propose an Indo-Uralic phylum come from basic morphological comparisons. Some of the most frequently mentioned ones include (e.g. Čop 1975, Kortlandt 2002, Bjørn 2019, or Lubotsky 2019):

  • Nominal endings:
  • PU nom.sg. *-Ø ~ PIA nom.-acc.sg. *-Ø (in neuter athematic nouns).
  • PU acc.sg. *-m ~ PIA acc.sg. *-m.
  • PU dual *-ki(-) ~ PIA nom.-acc.du. *-h₁.
  • PU abl. *-tA ~ PIA gen.-abl.sg.
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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”

Tug of war between Balto-Slavic and West Uralic (II)


It is firmly established since (at least) the 1980s that Balto-Slavic, Baltic and Slavic show a strong Uralic substrate, even though many details are still the subject of ongoing controversies. Here is how the Baltic linguistic area was described in Thomason’s Language Contact (2001):

Overall, the Baltic area has the same characteristics as the Balkan area: areal linguistic features are distributed differentially among the languages, and the features themselves vary in details of their structure. As for the sources of the Baltic features, some can be traced to Uralic and some to Indo-European, especially Germanic. The Indo-European languages most

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