Ob-Ugric Homeland


This post is part of a draft on South Siberian language homelands and Sprachbünde.

The following text contains a description of Ob-Ugric languages and their connection within an Ugric Sprachbund. Special emphasis is placed on their evolution among surrounding ethnolinguistic groups before they were first documented, and on their most likely connection with archaeological cultures succeeding the Seima-Turbino phenomenon in the Southern Urals and the Trans-Urals. The archaeological-archaeogenetic discussion is therefore focused on the Middle Bronze Age Cherkaskul and Late Bronze Age Andronovo-like cultures, as well as on the formation of the “Scythian” Sargat … Read the rest “Ob-Ugric Homeland”

Proto-Yeniseian Homeland


This post is part of a draft on South Siberian language homelands and Sprachbünde.

The following text contains a description of Yeniseian languages, their dialectal groupings and likely evolution among surrounding ethnolinguistic groups before they were first documented. Special emphasis is placed on ancient Yeniseic formants for water bodies, widely distributed through Western, Southern, and Central Siberia. Finally, the archaeological-archaeogenetic discussion is focused on Early Bronze Age Glazkovo-related and Okunevo-like cultures, due to their patrilineal connection to sampled Yeniseian and ancient Na-Dene populations.

  1. Yeniseian languages
  2. Archaeology and population genomics
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South Siberian Urheimaten and Sprachbünde


The long-lasting intertwined ethnolinguistic developments of East Uralic speakers with Palaeo-Siberian populations makes it impossible to split up a post about the evolution of the former without discussing the fate of the latter.

External contacts with other indigenous East Asian languages close to the Altai-Sayan region and Circum-Baikal area are also relevant, but would no doubt turn this post series into an unending task. Therefore, I will focus on the western part of the Baikal Neolithic and Neo-Siberian-related ancestry clines, which seem more relevant for the ancient stages of Ob-Ugric and Samoyed developments.

For an easier read of … Read the rest “South Siberian Urheimaten and Sprachbünde”

On Fatyanovo and the survival of R1a-Z93* among Mari-Permians


The recent preprint on ancient DNA from Veretye, Lyalovo/Volosovo and Fatyanovo from Saag et al. (2020) has been published in Science Advances Vol. 7, no. 4, eabd6535, and with it the BAM files.

Here are the Y-SNP calls from the files, following the FTDNA Haplotree standard, with Fatyanovo individuals in alphabetical order:

  • Veretye PES001 from Peschanitsa (ca. 10785–10626 calBC), mtDNA U4a1, Y-DNA R1aM459YP1301(pre-YP1272?), with 2 SNPs derived – YP1306 (T-C, 5 reads) and Y12474 (T-A, 6 reads) – and 46 SNPs ancestral at the YP1272 level. A sample with 5× coverage that
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Proto-Uralic Homeland (VII): Kinship & Numerals


This post is part of a draft on palaeolinguistics and the Proto-Uralic homeland. See below for the color code of protoforms.

12. Kinship Terminology

12.1. Immediate Family

PU? (Saa.?, Fi.?, Md.?, Ma.?, Kh.?, Ms.?, Hu.?, Smy.?) *äććä?/*eć(ć)ä/*ić(ć)ä/*äjćä ‘father’ (UEW Nº 35). PSmy. was was borrowed into Yukaghir ečē ‘father’. Samoyedic form borrowed into Yukaghir ečē ‘father’ (Aikio 2014: 57)

NOTE. Pre-PSmy. *äjćä? could reflect an earlier Pre-PIIr. *eićo- or PIIr. *aića- ‘to control, to own’. An underlying Pre-PFi., Pre-PSaa. (based on PSaa. *e̮ćē from Skolt and Kildin Saami) and PMa. *ićä could reflect PIIr. Read the rest “Proto-Uralic Homeland (VII): Kinship & Numerals”

Xiongnu Y-DNA connects Huns & Avars to Scytho-Siberians


Recent paper (behind paywall) Genetic evidence suggests a sense of family, parity and conquest in the Xiongnu Iron Age nomads of Mongolia, by Keyser, Zvénigorosky, Gonzalez, et al. Human Genetics (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Site and bodies

The Tamir Ulaan Khoshuu (TUK) cemetery is located near the confluence of the Tamir River and the Orkhon River in the Arkhangai Aimag (Central Mongolia), about four hundred kilometers west of the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. It encompasses an area of 22 hectares located on a prominent granitic outcrop and comprises a total of 397 graves, delimited by stone circles. (…)

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R1a-Z93-rich Classical CWC-like Fatyanovo replaced Volosovo


Open access Genetic ancestry changes in Stone to Bronze Age transition in the East European plain, by Saag et al. bioRxiv (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Y-DNA chromosome haplogroup

(…) the Bronze Age Fatyanovo Culture individuals [] maternal (subclades of mtDNA hg U5, U4, U2e, H, T, W, J, K, I and N1a) and paternal (chrY hg R1a-M417) lineages were ones characteristic of CWC individuals elsewhere in Europe. Interestingly, in all individuals for which the chrY hg could be determined with more depth (n=6), it was R1a2-Z93, a lineage now spread in Central and South Asia, rather than the

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R1b-rich Proto-Indo-Europeans show genetic continuity in Asia


Another preprint came out at the same time as Wang et al. (2020), from the Jena Lab of the Max Planck Society: A dynamic 6,000-year genetic history of Eurasia’s Eastern Steppe, by Jeong, Warinner, et al. bioRxiv (2020).

NOTE. I have now updated the Ancient DNA Dataset, the Prehistory Atlas – with PDF and GIS files including Y-DNA and mtDNA of all newly reported samples (starting with the Neolithic) – as well as the PCA files with those from Wang et al. (2020).

The conclusions are similar, but with some interesting twists. Relevant excerpts (emphasis mine), … Read the rest “R1b-rich Proto-Indo-Europeans show genetic continuity in Asia”