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
… Read the rest “Iron Age nomads of West Siberia of hg. Q1b, R1a, and basal N1a-L1026”
Open access Ancient genome-wide analyses infer kinship structure in an Early Medieval Alemannic graveyard, by O’Sullivan et al., Science (2018) 4(9):eaao1262
The Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes that inhabited the eastern Upper Rhine basin and surrounding region (Fig. 1) (1). Roman ethnographers mentioned the Alemanni, but historical records from the 3rd to the 6th century CE contain no regular description of these tribes (2). The upheaval that occurred during the European Migration Period (Völkerwanderung) partly explains the interchangeability of nomenclature with the contemporaneous Suebi people of the same region and periods of geographic discontinuity
… Read the rest “Early Medieval Alemannic graveyard shows diverse cultural and genetic makeup”
Open access Prehistoric migrations through the Mediterranean basin shaped Corsican Y-chromosome diversity, by Di Cristofaro et al. PLOS One (2018).
This study included 321 samples from men throughout Corsica; samples from Provence and Tuscany were added to the cohort. All samples were typed for 92 Y-SNPs, and Y-STRs were also analyzed.
Haplogroup R represented approximately half of the lineages in both Corsican and Tuscan samples (respectively 51.8% and 45.3%) whereas it reached 90% in Provence. Sub-clade R1b1a1a2a1a2b-U152 predominated in North Corsica whereas R1b1a1a2a1a1-U106 was present in South Corsica. Both SNPs display clinal distributions of frequency variation in
… Read the rest “Y-chromosome mixture in the modern Corsican population shows different migration layers”
Copying from Sherds. Creativity in Bronze Age Pottery in Central Iberia (1800-1150 BC), by Antonio Blanco-González, In: J. Sofaer (ed.): Considering Creativity Creativity, Knowledge and Practice in Bronze Age Europe. Archaeopress (2018), Oxford: 19-38
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Several Iberian scholars have referred to stab-and-drag designs in both Bell-Beaker and Bronze Age ceramics (Maluquer de Motes 1956, 180, 196; Fernández-Posse 1982, 137), although these have not always been correctly appraised. In the 1980s it was finally realized that the sherds retrieved at the Boquique Cave should be dated to the Middle-Late Neolithic (4400-3300 BC), and that the same technique
… Read the rest “Cogotas I Bronze Age pottery emulated and expanded Bell Beaker decoration”
Open access The genetic prehistory of the Greater Caucasus, by Wang et al. bioRxiv (2018).
The Caucasus Mountains as a prehistoric barrier
I think the essential message we can extract from the paper is that the Caucasus was a long-lasting cultural and genetic barrier, although (obviously) it was not insurmontable.
Our results show that at the time of the eponymous grave mound of Maykop, the North Caucasus piedmont region was genetically connected to the south. Even without direct ancient DNA data from northern Mesopotamia, the new genetic evidence suggests an increased assimilation of Chalcolithic individuals from Iran, Anatolia
… Read the rest “The Caucasus a genetic and cultural barrier; Yamna dominated by R1b-M269; Yamna settlers in Hungary cluster with Yamna”
The definitive publication of a BioRxiv preprint article, in Nature: Parallel palaeogenomic transects reveal complex genetic history of early European farmers, by Lipson et al. (2017).
The dataset with all new samples is available at the Reich Lab’s website. You can try my drafts on how to do your own PCA and ADMIXTURE analysis with some of their new datasets.
Ancient DNA studies have established that Neolithic European populations were descended from Anatolian migrants who received a limited amount of admixture from resident hunter-gatherers. Many open questions remain, however, about the spatial and temporal dynamics of
… Read the rest “Before steppe ancestry: Europe’s genetic diversity shaped mainly by local processes, with varied sources and proportions of hunter-gatherer ancestry”