Early Andronovo intrusion in the Eastern Tianshan


Recent paper (behind paywall) The Baigetuobie cemetery: New discovery and human genetic features of Andronovo community’s diffusion to the Eastern Tianshan Mountains (1800–1500 BC), by Zhu, Zhang, et al. The Holocene (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

The Baigetuobie cemetery (Balikun County, Hami City) is located on the eastern slope of the Baigetuobie Mountains, about 54 km west of the Balikun County and 40 km southwest of the Balikun Lake.

Baigetuobie cemetery

The cemetery is relatively small in scale and the burials are rather concentrated. The graves are marked on the surface by stone slabs visible from approximately 0.05 to

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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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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”