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. (…)

Read the rest “Xiongnu Y-DNA connects Huns & Avars to Scytho-Siberians”

“Local” Tollense Valley warriors linked to Germanic peoples


Recently published paper Genomic Data from an Ancient European Battlefield Indicates On-Going Strong Selection on a Genomic Region Associated with Lactase Persistence Over the Last 3,000 Years, by Burger et al., submitted to Current Biology, available at CellPress SneakPeek.

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Tollense sample shows no structure

Multiple lines of evidence point to little or no genetic structure in the population from which the Tollense individuals were sampled. First, all individuals fall within the range of Central and northern European variation when projected onto a principle component analysis (PCA) trained on modern samples and their spread matches that

Read the rest ““Local” Tollense Valley warriors linked to Germanic peoples”

Tug of war between Balto-Slavic and West Uralic (II)


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)”

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

Read the rest “R1a-Z93-rich Classical CWC-like Fatyanovo replaced Volosovo”

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 Academia.edu.

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

Read the rest “Slavs in the Making – History, Linguistics and Archaeology”

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

Read the rest “Early arrival of Steppe ancestry in Switzerland”

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”