It is firmly established since (at least) the 1980s that Balto-Slavic, Baltic and Slavic show a strong Uralic substrate, even though many details are still the subject of ongoing controversies. Here is how the Baltic linguistic area was described in Thomason’s Language Contact (2001):
Overall, the Baltic area has the same characteristics as the Balkan area: areal linguistic features are distributed differentially among the languages, and the features themselves vary in details of their structure. As for the sources of the Baltic features, some can be traced to Uralic and some to Indo-European, especially Germanic. The Indo-European languages most
… Read the rest “Tug of war between Balto-Slavic and West Uralic (II)”
I have recently written about the spread of Pre-Yamnaya or Yamnaya ancestry and Corded Ware-related ancestry throughout Eurasia, using exclusively analyses published by professional geneticists, and filling in the gaps and contradictory data with the most reasonable interpretations. I did so consciously, to avoid any suspicion that I was interspersing my own data or cherry picking results.
Now I’m finished recapitulating the known public data, and the only way forward is the assessment of these populations using the available datasets and free tools.
Understanding the complexities of qpAdm is fairly difficult without a proper genetic and statistical background, which I … Read the rest “Bell Beakers and Mycenaeans from Yamnaya; Corded Ware from the forest steppe”
New archaeological paper (behind paywall) New evidence on the southeast Baltic Late Bronze Age agrarian intensification and the earliest AMS dates of Lens culinaris and Vicia faba, by Minkevičius et al. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany (2019).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Arrival of farming in the south-east Baltic
The current state of research reveals no firm evidence of crop cultivation in the region before the LBA (Piličiauskas et al. 2017b; Grikpėdis and Motuzaitė-Matuzevičiūtė 2018). Current archaeobotanical data firmly suggest the adoption of farming during the EBA to LBA transition. (…) By comparison, in other parts of N Europe subsistence economy
… Read the rest “The Lusatian culture, the most likely vector of Balto-Slavic expansions”
The recent study of Estonian Late Bronze Age/Iron Age samples has shown, as expected, large genetic continuity of Corded Ware populations in the East Baltic area, where West Uralic is known to have been spoken since at least the Early Bronze Age.
The most interesting news was that, unexpectedly for many, the impact of “Siberian ancestry” (whatever that actually means) was small, slow, and gradual, with slight increases found up to the Middle Ages, compatible with multiple contact events in north-eastern Europe. Haplogroup N became prevalent among Finnic populations only through late bottlenecks, as research of modern … Read the rest “Genetic continuity among Uralic-speaking cultures in north-eastern Europe”
Looking for information on Novosvobodnaya samples from Wang et al. (2018) for my latest post, I stumbled upon this from the Supplementary Data 2 (download the Excel table):
Skeletal element: petrous
Date: 4251-3976 calBCE
SNPs hit on autosomes: 167445
The data on Mathieson et al. (2018) is as follows:
Skeletal element: petrous
Origin: ThisStudy (New data; Individual first published in JonesNatureCommunications2017)
Date:4251-3976 calBCE (5280±55 BP, Ua-3639)
SNPs hit on autosomes: 686273
Y-Chromosome derived SNPs: R1b1a1a:PF6475:17986687C-
… Read the rest “Wang et al. (2018) Suppl. data: R1b-M269 in Baltic Neolithic?”
This is the first 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).
As expected, the first Y-DNA haplogroup of a sample from the North Pontic region (apart from an indigenous European I2 subclade) during its domination by the Yamna culture is of haplogroup R1b-L23, and it is dated ca. 2890-2696 BC. More specifically, it is of Z2103 subclade, the main lineage found to date in Yamna samples. The site in question is Dereivka, “in the southern part of the middle … Read the rest “Consequences of O&M 2018 (I): The latest West Yamna “outlier””
I have written before about how the Late Neolithic sample from Zvejnieki seemed to be an outlier among Corded Ware samples (read also the Admixture analysis section on the IEDDM), due to its position in PCA, even more than its admixture components or statistical comparison might show.
In the recent update to Northern European samples in Mittnik et al. (2018), an evaluation of events similar to the previous preprint (2017) is given:
Computing D-statistics for each individual of the form D(Baltic LN, Yamnaya; X, Mbuti), we find that the two individuals from the early phase of the
… Read the rest “The concept of “Outlier” in Human Ancestry (III): Late Neolithic samples from the Baltic region and origins of the Corded Ware culture”
Open Access The genetic prehistory of the Baltic Sea region, by Mittnik et al., Nature Communications 9: 442 (2018), based on preprint The Genetic History of Northern Europe, at BioRxirv.
As you can see, it follows my predictions in terms of haplogroups, and sadly the same trend to substitute ‘Yamna’ for ‘steppe’ while keeping linguistic interpretations unchanged…
Important excerpts for the Indo-European question (emphasis mine):
Mesolithic to Neolithic
In the archaeological understanding, the transition from Mesolithic to Neolithic in the Eastern Baltic region does not coincide with a large-scale population turnover and a stark shift in economy
… Read the rest “Genetic prehistory of the Baltic Sea region and Y-DNA: Corded Ware and R1a-Z645, Bronze Age and N1c”
The latest publication of Documenta Praehistorica, vol. 44 (2017) is a delight for anyone interested in Indo-European and Uralic studies, whether from a linguistic, archaeological, anthropological, or genetic point of view. Articles are freely downloadable from the website.
The following is a selection of articles I deem more interesting, but almost all are.
On the Corded Ware culture
Do 14C dates always turn into an absolute chronology? The case of the Middle Neolithic in western Lesser Poland, by Marek Novak:
In the late 5th, 4th, and early 3rd millennia BC, different archaeological units are visible in western Lesser
… Read the rest “Recent archaeological finds near Indo-European and Uralic homelands”