Open access structured abstract for The first horse herders and the impact of early Bronze Age steppe expansions into Asia from Damgaard et al. Science (2018) 360(6396):eaar7711.
Abstract (emphasis mine):
The Eurasian steppes reach from the Ukraine in Europe to Mongolia and China. Over the past 5000 years, these flat grasslands were thought to be the route for the ebb and flow of migrant humans, their horses, and their languages. de Barros Damgaard et al. probed whole-genome sequences from the remains of 74 individuals found across this region. Although there is evidence for migration into Europe from the steppes, the
… Read the rest ““Steppe people seem not to have penetrated South Asia””
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”
New paper (behind paywall) The Expansion of the Indo-European Languages, by Frederik Kortlandt, JIES (2018) 46(1 & 2):219-231.
When considering the way the Indo-Europeans took to the west, it is important to realize that mountains, forests and marshlands were prohibitive impediments. Moreover, people need fresh water, all the more so when traveling with horses. The natural way from the Russian steppe to the west is therefore along the northern bank of the river Danube. This leads to the hypothesis that the western Indo-Europeans represent successive waves of migration along the Danube and its tributaries. The Celts evidently followed
… Read the rest “Kortlandt: West Indo-Europeans along the Danube, Germanic and Balto-Slavic share a Corded Ware substrate”
Open access Pasture usage by ancient pastoralists in the northern Kazakh steppe informed by carbon and nitrogen isoscapes of contemporary floral biomes, by Miller et al. Archaeol Anthropol Sci (2018).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Bronze age settlement, society, and subsistence in the northern Kazakh steppe
The Middle to Late Bronze Age (2200 to 1400 cal BCE) in the northern Kazakh steppe encompassed a major shift in settlement patterns from semi-sedentary pastoralism to more dispersed, mobile lifeways engaged in pastoral nomadism (Tkacheva 1999; Grigory’ev 2002; Koryakova and Epimakhov 2007; Kuz’mina 2007; Tkacheva and Tkachev 2008). Middle Bronze Age (2200 to
… Read the rest “Pasture usage by ancient pastoralists in Middle and Late Bronze Age Kazakhstan”
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”
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)”