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 *-Ø ~ PIA *-Ø (in neuter athematic nouns).
  • PU *-m ~ PIA *-m.
  • PU dual *-ki(-) ~ PIA nom.-acc.du. *-h₁.
  • PU abl. *-tA ~ PIA *-es/*-os/*-s.
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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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RISE1.SG, R1b from Poland CWC, a likely mislabelled Balto-Slav


When I started ruminating in 2016 over the apparent differences between populations that kept the two-velar distinction of Indo-Tocharian, and the only two unrelated dialectal groups that showed a strong satemization trend, I believed that – much like in modern times – there would be no clear-cut division in terms of ancestry or Y-DNA haplogroups between neighbouring forest-steppe and steppe populations.

The answer to the question of interacting ethnolinguistic groups had to lie, as everything else, on the investigation of fine-scale population movements that must have put Uralic-speaking peoples as the main substratum of Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian.

Still, … Read the rest “RISE1.SG, R1b from Poland CWC, a likely mislabelled Balto-Slav”

R1a-Z93-rich Classical CWC-like Fatyanovo replaced Volosovo


Open access Genetic ancestry changes in Stone to Bronze Age transition in the East European plain, by Saag et al. bioRxiv (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Y-DNA chromosome haplogroup

(…) the Bronze Age Fatyanovo Culture individuals [] maternal (subclades of mtDNA hg U5, U4, U2e, H, T, W, J, K, I and N1a) and paternal (chrY hg R1a-M417) lineages were ones characteristic of CWC individuals elsewhere in Europe. Interestingly, in all individuals for which the chrY hg could be determined with more depth (n=6), it was R1a2-Z93, a lineage now spread in Central and South Asia, rather than the

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De-Neolithisation of Corded Ware groups in the Eastern Baltic


New paper (behind paywall), Fishers of the Corded Ware culture in the Eastern Baltic, by Piličiauskas et al. Acta Archaeologica (2020) 91(1):95-120.

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):


Traditionally the people of the Corded Ware culture (hereafter CWC) were considered mobile stock breeders who brought animal husbandry into the eastern Baltic, ca. 2800-2400 cal BC; a viewpoint substantiated by reconstructed settlement patterns and a lack of substantial structures at CWC sites, which despite being located in various environments have largely yielded little material culture. Indeed, the zooarchaeological evidence alongside the stable isotope data obtained from human bone collagen have generally

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Survival of hunter-gatherer ancestry in West-Central European Neolithic


Recent papers on France and neighbouring regions, Ancient genome-wide DNA from France highlights the complexity of interactions between Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and Neolithic farmers, by Rivollat et al. Science Advances (2020) 6(22), and Ancient genomes from present-day France unveil 7,000 years of its demographic history, by Brunel et al. PNAS (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

I. Survival of HG ancestry in Central Europe

From Rivollat et al. (2020):

Here, we present newly typed genome-wide data from 101 individuals from 12 sites from modern-day France and Germany (3 Late Mesolithic and 98 Neolithic, 7000–3000 cal BCE (…)

We explored

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Indo-Iranian influence on West Uralic through the Catacomb culture


In the recent Linderholm et al. (2020), I preferred to interpret the finding of R1b-P310* among late niche (catacomb) grave groups of Lesser Poland as derived from Late PIE – Late Uralic contacts, through a much earlier intrusion of late Repin/early Yamnaya chieftains among Late Trypillians.

This is one of the few aspects of the books where I tried to offer my own contribution to the field, by combining the Indo-Uralic concept (which supports a distinct evolution of laryngeals for PIE and PU) with a modified, ‘layered’ use of Koivulehto’s controversial and irregular PIE laryngeal borrowing as PU … Read the rest “Indo-Iranian influence on West Uralic through the Catacomb culture”

Early arrival of Steppe ancestry in Switzerland


Open access paper Ancient genomes reveal social and genetic structure of Late Neolithic Switzerland by Furtwängler et al. Nat. Commun. (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

The ancient individuals from this study originate from 13 Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites in Switzerland, Southern Germany, and the Alsace region in France. All samples taken from the individuals were radiocarbon dated.

The arrival of Steppe ancestry

Two distinct clusters can be identified and were also confirmed by ADMIXTURE analysis, one consisting of individuals dating to 4770–2500 calBCE, and one comprising individuals dating to 2900–1750 calBCE. The oldest individuals from the sites of

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