Open access paper New genetic evidence of affinities and discontinuities between bronze age Siberian populations, by Hollard et al., Am J Phys Anthropol. (2018) 00:1–11.
NOTE. This seems to be a peer-reviewed paper based on a more precise re-examination of the samples from Hollard’s PhD thesis, Peuplement du sud de la Sibérie et de l’Altaï à l’âge du Bronze : apport de la paléogénétique (2014).
Afanasevo and Yamna
The Afanasievo culture is the earliest known archaeological culture of southern Siberia, occupying the Minusinsk-Altai region during the Eneolithic era 3600/3300 BC to 2500 BC (Svyatko et al., 2009;
… Read the rest “Yamna/Afanasevo elite males dominated by R1b-L23, Okunevo brings ancient Siberian/Asian population”
Open access study Cultural hitchhiking and competition between patrilineal kin groups explain the post-Neolithic Y-chromosome bottleneck, by Zeng, Aw, and Feldman, Nature Communications (2018).
Abstract (emphasis mine):
In human populations, changes in genetic variation are driven not only by genetic processes, but can also arise from cultural or social changes. An abrupt population bottleneck specific to human males has been inferred across several Old World (Africa, Europe, Asia) populations 5000–7000 BP. Here, bringing together anthropological theory, recent population genomic studies and mathematical models, we propose a sociocultural hypothesis, involving the formation of patrilineal kin groups and intergroup competition among
… Read the rest “Post-Neolithic Y-chromosome bottleneck explained by cultural hitchhiking and competition between patrilineal clans”
I wrote a series of posts at the end of 2017 / beginning of 2018, to answer the wrong assumptions I could read in forums and blogs since 2015.
I decided not to publish them then, seeing how many successive papers were confirming my Indo-European demic diffusion model in a (surprisingly) clear-cut way.
Nevertheless, because I keep reading the same comments no matter what gets published, even in mid-2018 – the latest ones in our Facebook page (“was haplogroup X Indo-European?”), and in this very blog (“I see it very difficult to link Bell Beaker with Balto-Slavic, when now Balto-Slavic … Read the rest “The R1b-L23/Late PIE expansions, and the ‘R1a – Indo-European’ association”
Interesting excerpts about local Hungarian groups that had close contacts with Yamna settlers in the Carpathian Basin, from the paper Immigration and transhumance in the Early Bronze Age Carpathian Basin: the occupants of a kurgan, by Gerling, Bánffy, Dani, Köhler, Kulcsár, Pike, Szeverényi & Heyd, Antiquity (2012) 86(334):1097-1111.
The most interesting of the local people is the occupant of grave 12, which is the earliest grave in the kurgan and the main statistical range of its radiocarbon date clearly predates the arrival of the western Yamnaya groups c. 3000 BC. This is also confirmed by the burial rite,
… Read the rest “Immigration and transhumance in the Early Bronze Age Carpathian Basin”
Recent paper (behind paywall) The Unique Burial of the Ekaterinovsky Cape Early Eneolithic Cemetery in the Middle Volga Region, by Korolev et al. Stratum Plus (2018) Nº2.
Abstract (official, in English):
This is the first time we published the results of a comprehensive study of burial 45 of the eneolithic cemetery called Ekaterinovsky Cape. The burial contains the skeleton of a young man with traumatic injuries of the skull, leg and hand bones of other individuals, skeleton of a young specimen of a domestic goat (Capra hircus) that was abundantly sprinkled with red ocher. Grave goods include three stone
… Read the rest “The unique elite Khvalynsk male from a Yekaterinovskiy Cape burial”
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 Indo-Iranian – Finno-Ugric connection
On the linguistic aspect, this is what the Copenhagen group had to say (in the linguistic supplement) based on Kuz’mina (2001):
(…) a northern connection is suggested by contacts between the Indo-Iranian and the Finno-Ugric languages. Speakers of the Finno-Ugric family, whose antecedent is commonly sought in the vicinity of the Ural Mountains, followed an east-to-west trajectory through the forest zone north and directly adjacent to the steppes, producing languages across to the Baltic Sea. In the languages that split off along this trajectory, loanwords from various stages in the development of the
… Read the rest “Consequences of Damgaard et al. 2018 (III): Proto-Finno-Ugric & Proto-Indo-Iranian in the North Caspian region”
A commenter in a previous post left a reference to an oral communication by Aleksander Khokhlov – shared in a Russian forum on genetics – , from the XIV Conference on Samaran Archaeology, 27-28th January 2018 (still publicized in the Samaran Archaeological Society).
NOTE. You may know Khokhlov as a palaeoanthropologist, part of the Samara Valley project, like David W. Anthony. See the project referenced here, or their recently published book.
Here is my translation of the reported summary (emphasis mine):
Khokhlov, A.A. Preliminary results of anthropological and genetic studies of materials of the Volga-Ural
… Read the rest “Haplogroup R1b-L51 in Khvalynsk samples from the Samara region dated ca. 4250-4000 BC”
This is part of a series of posts analyzing the findings of the recent Nature papers Olalde et al.(2018) and Mathieson et al.(2018) (abbreviated O&M 2018).
The recent publication of Narasimhan et al. (2018) has outdated the draft of this post a bit, and it has made it at the same time still more interesting.
While we wait for the publication of the dataset (and the actual Y-DNA haplogroups and precise subclades with the revision of the paper), and as we watch the wrath of Hindu nationalists vented against the West (as if the steppe was in Western Europe) … Read the rest “Consequences of O&M 2018 (III): The Balto-Slavic conundrum in Linguistics, Archaeology, and Genetics”