New preprint by the Jena-Reich labs, The Genomic Formation of Human Populations in East Asia, by Wang et al. bioRxiv (2020).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Mongolia Neolithic cluster
The three most ancient individuals of the Mongolia ‘East’ cluster are from the Kherlen River region of eastern Mongolia (Tamsag-Bulag culture) and date to 6000-4300 BCE (this places them in the Early Neolithic period, which in Northeast Asia is defined by the use of pottery and not by agriculture). These individuals are genetically similar to previously reported Neolithic individuals from the cis-Baikal region and have minimal evidence of West Eurasian-related admixture
… Read the rest “Yamnaya-like Chemurchek links Afanasievo with Iron Age Tocharians”
New paper (behind paywall) Ancient Rome: A genetic crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean, by Antonio et al. Science (2019).
The paper offers a lot of interesting data concerning the Roman Empire and more recent periods, but I will focus on Italic and Etruscan origins.
NOTE. I have updated prehistoric maps with Y-DNA and mtDNA data, and also the PCA of ancient Eurasian samples by period including the recently published samples, now with added sample names to find them easily by searching the PDFs.
Apennine homeland problem
The traditional question of Italic vs. Etruscan origins from a cultural-historical … Read the rest “R1b-L23-rich Bell Beaker-derived Italic peoples from the West vs. Etruscans from the East”
The recent data on ancient DNA from Iberia published by Olalde et al. (2019) was interesting for many different reasons, but I still have the impression that the authors – and consequently many readers – focused on not-so-relevant information about more recent population movements, or even highlighted the least interesting details related to historical events.
I have already written about the relevance of its findings for the Indo-European question in an initial assessment, then in a more detailed post about its consequences, then about the arrival of Celtic languages with hg. R1b-M167, and later in combination with … Read the rest “North-West Indo-Europeans of Iberian Beaker descent and haplogroup R1b-P312”
Interesting recent developments:
Celts and hg. R1b
Recent paper (behind paywall) Multi-scale archaeogenetic study of two French Iron Age communities: From internal social- to broad-scale population dynamics, by Fischer et al. J Archaeol Sci (2019).
In it, Fischer and colleagues update their previous data for the Y-DNA of Gauls from the Urville-Nacqueville necropolis, Normandy (ca. 300-100 BC), with 8 samples of hg. R, at least 5 of them R1b. They also report new data from the Gallic cemetery at Gurgy ‘Les Noisats’, Southern Paris Basin (ca. 120-80 BC), with 19 samples of hg. R, at least 13 of … Read the rest “More Celts of hg. R1b, more Afanasievo ancestry, more maps”
Open access Population genomics of the Viking world, by Margaryan et al. bioRxiv (2019), with a huge new sampling from the Viking Age.
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, modified for clarity):
To understand the genetic structure and influence of the Viking expansion, we sequenced the genomes of 442 ancient humans from across Europe and Greenland ranging from the Bronze Age (c. 2400 BC) to the early Modern period (c. 1600 CE), with particular emphasis on the Viking Age. We find that the period preceding the Viking Age was accompanied by foreign gene flow into Scandinavia from the south and east:
… Read the rest “Vikings, Vikings, Vikings! “eastern” ancestry in the whole Baltic Iron Age”
There is overwhelming evidence that the oldest hydrotoponymic layer in Italy (and especially Etruria) is of Old European nature, which means that non-Indo-European-speaking (or, at least, non-Old-European-speaking) Etruscans came later to the Apennine Peninsula.
Furthermore, there is direct and indirect linguistic, archaeological, and palaeogenomic data supporting that the intrusive Tursānoi came from the Aegean during the Late Bronze Age, possibly through the Adriatic, and that their languages spread to Etruria and probably also to the eastern Alps.
The following are translated excerpts (emphasis mine) from Lenguas, genes y culturas en la Prehistoria de Europa y … Read the rest “European hydrotoponymy (V): Etruscans and Rhaetians after Italic peoples”
New open access paper Ancient DNA sheds light on the genetic origins of early Iron Age Philistines, by Feldman et al. Science Advances (2019) 5(7):eaax0061.
Interesting excerpts (modified for clarity, emphasis mine):
Here, we report genome-wide data from human remains excavated at the ancient seaport of Ashkelon, forming a genetic time series encompassing the Bronze to Iron Age transition. We find that all three Ashkelon populations derive most of their ancestry from the local Levantine gene pool. The early Iron Age population was distinct in its high genetic affinity to European-derived populations and in the high variation of that
… Read the rest “Sea Peoples behind Philistines were Aegeans, including R1b-M269 lineages”
Open access Tracking Five Millennia of Horse Management with Extensive Ancient Genome Time Series, by Fages et al. Cell (2019).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
The earliest archaeological evidence of horse milking, harnessing, and corralling is found in the ∼5,500-year-old Botai culture of Central Asian steppes (Gaunitz et al., 2018, Outram et al., 2009; see Kosintsev and Kuznetsov, 2013 for discussion). Botai-like horses are, however, not the direct ancestors of modern domesticates but of Przewalski’s horses (Gaunitz et al., 2018). The genetic origin of modern domesticates thus remains contentious, with suggested candidates in the Pontic-Caspian steppes (Anthony, 2007), Anatolia (Arbuckle,
… Read the rest “Yamna the likely source of modern horse domesticates; the closest lineage, from East Bell Beakers”