I have compiled for two years now the reported Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups of ancient DNA samples published, including also SNPs from analysis of the BAM files by hobbyists.
Here is a video with a timeline of the evolution of Indo-European speakers, according to what is known today about reconstructed languages, prehistoric cultures and ancient DNA:
NOTE. The video is best viewed in HD 1080p (1920×1080) with a display that allows for this or greater video quality, and a screen big enough to see haplogroup symbols, i.e. tablet or greater. The YouTube link is here. The … Read the rest “The expansion of Indo-Europeans in Y-chromosome haplogroups”
Fernando López-Menchero has just published the first part of his A Practical Guidebook for Modern Indo-European Explorers (2018).
It is a great resource to learn Late Proto-Indo-European as a modern language, from the most basic level up to an intermediate level (estimated B1–B2, depending on one’s previous background in Indo-European and classical languages).
Instead of working on unending details and discussions of the language reconstruction, it takes Late Proto-Indo-European as a learned, modern language that can be used for communication, so that people not used to study with university manuals on comparative grammar can learn almost everything necessary about PIE … Read the rest “A Late Proto-Indo-European self-learning language course”
A recent comment on the hypothetical Central European origin of PIE helped me remember that, when news appeared that R1b-L51 had been found in Khvalynsk ca. 4250-4000 BC, I began to think about alternative scenarios for the expansion of this haplogroup, with one of them including Central Europe.
Because, if YFull‘s (and Iain McDonald‘s) estimation of the split of R1b-L23 in L51 and Z2103 (ca. 4100 BC, TMRCA ca. 3700 BC) was wrong, by as much as the R1a-Z645 estimates proved wrong, and both subclades were older than expected, then maybe R1b-L51 was not part of … Read the rest “On the origin of haplogroup R1b-L51 in late Repin / early Yamna settlers”
Article of general knowledge in Der Spiegel, Invasion from the Steppe, with comments from Willerslev and Kristiansen, appeared roughly at the same time as the Damgaard et al. Nature (2018) and Science (2018) papers were published.
NOTE. You can read the article (in German) from Kristiansen’s Academia.edu account.
Excerpts translated from German (emphasis mine):
On the Y-DNA data
Particularly striking is the genetic signature from the steppe on the Y chromosome. From this the researchers conclude that the majority of migrants were males. Kristian Kristiansen, chief archaeologist in the Willerslev team, also has an idea of
… Read the rest “Copenhagen group: Germanic and Balto-Slavic from Bell Beaker; Indo-Anatolian homeland in the Caucasus”
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”
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”
Preprint of a review by Iosif Lazaridis, The evolutionary history of human populations in Europe.
Steppe populations during the Eneolithic to Bronze Age were a mix of at least two elements, the EHG who lived in eastern Europe ~8kya and a southern population element related to present-day Armenians, and ancient Caucasus hunter-gatherers, and farmers from Iran. Steppe migrants made a massive impact in Central and Northern Europe post- 5kya[28,43]. Some of them expanded eastward, founding the Afanasievo culture and also eventually reached India. These expansions are probable vectors for the spread of Late Proto-Indo-European languages
… Read the rest “Lazaridis’ evolutionary history of human populations in Europe”
Interesting paper Excavation at the Razdolnoe site on the Kalmius river in 2010, by N. Kotova, D. Anthony, D. Brown, S. Degermendzhy, P. Crabtree, In: Archaeology and Palaeoecology of the Ukrainian Steppe / IA NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv 2017.
Nothing new probably to those who have read Anthony (2007), but this new publication of his research on the North Pontic region seems to contradict recent papers which cast doubts on the presence of early forms of domestication in the North Pontic steppe, and would reject thus also the arrival of domestication to Khvalynsk from a southern route.… Read the rest “Domestication spread probably via the North Pontic steppe to Khvalynsk… but not horse riding”