Slavs in the Making – History, Linguistics and Archaeology


Florin Curta strikes again with the early release of an unpublished book, Slavs in the Making. History, Linguistics and Archaeology in Eastern Europe (ca. 500 – ca. 700), Routledge (2021), freely available now at

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, minor stylistic changes for clarity):


Much has been made of the supposed conservatism of the Slavic ceramic repertoire. In reality, the fossilization of pottery forms and, occasionally, patterns of decoration, are typically indications of maintaining pottery-making and its appearance “as remembered.” As such, conservatism (leading to the treatment of pots as heirlooms, a material reminiscence of life

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Early arrival of Steppe ancestry in Switzerland


Open access paper Ancient genomes reveal social and genetic structure of Late Neolithic Switzerland by Furtwängler et al. Nat. Commun. (2020).

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

The ancient individuals from this study originate from 13 Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites in Switzerland, Southern Germany, and the Alsace region in France. All samples taken from the individuals were radiocarbon dated.

The arrival of Steppe ancestry

Two distinct clusters can be identified and were also confirmed by ADMIXTURE analysis, one consisting of individuals dating to 4770–2500 calBCE, and one comprising individuals dating to 2900–1750 calBCE. The oldest individuals from the sites of

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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”

Fully Steppe-like Proto-Corded Ware Late Trypillians


The genotypes from Human auditory ossicles as an alternative optimal source of ancient DNA, by Sirak et al. Genome Res. (2020), have been finally published by the Reich Lab, so we can get a sneak peek into what’s coming in future papers about the origins of R1a-rich Proto-Corded Ware and R1b-rich Italo-Venetic peoples.

NOTE. To avoid adding potential errors, I have merged the Reich Lab’s Curated Dataset (v. 42.4, March 1 2020) with these new samples before performing the qpAdm analyses. If you find something different with your files, you should probably check out this simple setting first. Read the rest “Fully Steppe-like Proto-Corded Ware Late Trypillians”

Earliest R1a-Z93…from Late Trypillia in the Podolian-Volhynian Upland!


Recently, the preprint by Sirak et al. biorXiv (2019), Human auditory ossicles as an alternative optimal source of ancient DNA, was published in Genome Res. (2020), and the corresponding samples were finally uploaded to ENA.

I have been trying to get my hands on sample GLAV_14, a male from the Late Eneolithic site Glăvăneştii Vechi, classified as Romania Bronze Age (ca. 3500-3000 BC), mtDNA T1a1, referenced as investigated first in the study:

Haas N, Maximilian K. 1958. Anthropological study of the human bones from graves with ochre from Glăvăneștii Vechi, Corlăteni and Stoicani Cetățuie. Soviet Anthropology 4,

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Ancient phylogeography: spread of haplogroups R1b, R1a and N


The previous post showed the potential use of TreeToM to visualize ancient DNA samples in maps together with their Y-DNA phylogenetic trees. I have written Newick trees for Y-chromosome haplogroups R1b-L388 (encompassing R-V1636 and R-P297, which in turn split into R-M73 and R-M269), R1a, and N.

I have reviewed some of the BAM files from my previous bulk analyses with YLeaf v.2, to add information that I had not previously included in the All Ancient DNA Dataset, and which might be relevant to the proper depiction of phylogenetic trees; in particular, positive and negative SNPs potentially distinguishing archaicRead the rest “Ancient phylogeography: spread of haplogroups R1b, R1a and N”

Samoyedic shows Yeniseic substrate; both influenced Tocharian


Open access paper The deviant typological profile of the Tocharian branch of Indo-European may be due to Uralic substrate influence by Peyrot, Indo-European Linguistics (2019).

NOTE. This seems to be part of the master’s thesis by Abel Warries, but the paper is authored only by Peyrot.

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

1. The stop system

The loss in Tocharian of the Proto-Indo-European obstruent distinctions conventionally noted as voice and aspiration is a very strong indication of foreign influence. Since Proto-Indo-European roots mostly have at least one stop, and often two, the merger of all three stop series into one must have

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The expansion of Indo-Europeans in Y-chromosome haplogroups


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.

Y-DNA timeline

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”