Very interesting PhD thesis by Igor Chechushkov, Bronze Age human communities in the Southern Urals steppe: Sintashta-Petrovka social and subsistence organization (2018).
Why and how exactly social complexity develops through time from small-scale groups to the level of large and complex institutions is an essential social science question. Through studying the Late Bronze Age Sintashta-Petrovka chiefdoms of the southern Urals (cal. 2050–1750 BC), this research aims to contribute to an understanding of variation in the organization of local communities in chiefdoms. It set out to document a segment of the Sintashta-Petrovka population not previously recognized in the archaeological record
… Read the rest “The origin of social complexity in the development of the Sintashta culture”
New paper (behind paywall) Bronze Age diet and economy: New stable isotope data from the Central Eurasian steppes (2100-1700 BC), by Hanks et al. J. Arch. Sci (2018) 97:14-25.
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Previous research at KA-5 was carried out by A. V. Epimakhov in 1994–1995 and 2002–2003 and resulted in the excavation of three Sintashta culture barrows (kurgans) that produced 35 burial pits and a reported 100 skeletons (Epimakhov, 2002, 2005; Epimakhov et al., 2005; Razhev and Epimakhov, 2004). Seven AMS radiocarbon dates on human remains from the cemetery yielded a date range of 2040–1730 cal. BC (2
… Read the rest “Sintashta diet and economy based on domesticated animal products and wild resources”
Ancient hepatitis B viruses from the Bronze Age to the Medieval period, by Mühlemann et al., Science (2018) 557:418–423.
NOTE. You can read the PDF at Dalia Pokutta’s Academia.edu account.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of human hepatitis. There is considerable uncertainty about the timescale of its evolution and its association with humans. Here we present 12 full or partial ancient HBV genomes that are between approximately 0.8 and 4.5 thousand years old. The ancient sequences group either within or in a sister relationship with extant human or other ape HBV clades. Generally,
… Read the rest “Shared ancestry of ancient Eurasian hepatitis B virus diversity linked to Bronze Age steppe”
This post should probably read “Consequences of Narasimhan et al. (2018),” too, since there seems to be enough data and materials published by the Copenhagen group in Nature and Science to make a proper interpretation of the data that will appear in their corrected tables.
The finding of late Khvalynsk/early Yamna migrations, identified with early LPIE migrants almost exclusively of R1b-L23 subclades is probably one of the most interesting findings in the recent papers regarding the Indo-European question.
Although there are still few samples to derive fully-fledged theories, they begin to depict a clearer idea of waves that … Read the rest “Consequences of Damgaard et al. 2018 (II): The late Khvalynsk migration waves with R1b-L23 lineages”
The expected study of Eurasian samples is out (behind paywall): 137 ancient human genomes from across the Eurasian steppes, by de Barros Damgaard et al. Nature (2018).
Dicussion (emphasis mine):
Our findings fit well with current insights from the historical linguistics of this region (Supplementary Information section 2). The steppes were probably largely Iranian-speaking in the first and second millennia bc. This is supported by the split of the Indo-Iranian linguistic branch into Iranian and Indian33, the distribution of the Iranian languages, and the preservation of Old Iranian loanwords in Tocharian34. The wide distribution of
… Read the rest “Eurasian steppe dominated by Iranian peoples, Indo-Iranian expanded from East Yamna”
Local cultural settings and transregional phenomena: on the impact of a funerary ritual in the Lower Danube in the 4th millennium BC, by Frinculeasa & Mirea, In: Buletinul Muzeului Judetean Teleorman, Seria Arheologie, 9, 2017, p. 75-116.
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
1. In the area under discussion, around 4300-4200 BC – a chronological segment marking the evolutionary peak of ‘Old Europe’ (Anthony 2007: 225), represented by the Cucuteni A/ Tripolie BI, Aldeni-Bolgrad, Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultures – the first tumular burials appeared (Govedarica 2016: 85). However, flat burials, marked by the existence of some allogeneous elements in the local
… Read the rest “The Lower Danube during the Eneolithic, and the potential Proto-Anatolian community”
New article on The Caravan, Indus Valley People Did Not Have Genetic Contribution From The Steppes: Head Of Ancient DNA Lab Testing Rakhigarhi Samples, by Hartosh Singh Val.
Niraj Rai, head of the DNA Laboratory where the samples from the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana are being analysed, has this to say:
It will show that there is no steppe contribution to the Indus Valley DNA.
The Indus Valley people were indigenous, but in the sense that their DNA had contributions from near eastern Iranian farmers mixed with the Indian hunter-gatherer DNA, that is still reflected in the
… Read the rest “Rakhigarhi samples from the Indus Valley Civilisation will support the conclusions of Narasimhan et al. (2018)”
The awaited, open access paper on Asian migrations is out: The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia, by Narasimhan et al. bioRxiv (2018).
The genetic formation of Central and South Asian populations has been unclear because of an absence of ancient DNA. To address this gap, we generated genome-wide data from 362 ancient individuals, including the first from eastern Iran, Turan (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan), Bronze Age Kazakhstan, and South Asia. Our data reveal a complex set of genetic sources that ultimately combined to form the ancestry of South Asians today. We document a southward spread of
… Read the rest “Early Indo-Iranian formed mainly by R1b-Z2103 and R1a-Z93, Corded Ware out of Late PIE-speaking migrations”
We already know that the Sintashta -Andronovo migrants will probably be dominated by Y-DNA R1a-Z93 lineages. However, I doubt it will be the only Y-DNA haplogroup found.
I said in my predictions for this year that there could not be much new genetic data to ascertain how Pre-Indo-Iranian survived the invasion, gradual replacement and founder effects that happened in terms of male haplogroups after the arrival of late Corded Ware migrants, and that we should probably have to rely on anthropological explanations for language continuity despite genetic replacement, as in the Basque case.
Nevertheless, since … Read the rest “Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-Z2103 in Proto-Indo-Iranians?”