New paper (behind paywall) Ancient Rome: A genetic crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean, by Antonio et al. Science (2019).
The paper offers a lot of interesting data concerning the Roman Empire and more recent periods, but I will focus on Italic and Etruscan origins.
NOTE. I have updated prehistoric maps with Y-DNA and mtDNA data, and also the PCA of ancient Eurasian samples by period including the recently published samples, now with added sample names to find them easily by searching the PDFs.
Apennine homeland problem
The traditional question of Italic vs. Etruscan origins from a cultural-historical … Read the rest “R1b-L23-rich Bell Beaker-derived Italic peoples from the West vs. Etruscans from the East”
The recent data on ancient DNA from Iberia published by Olalde et al. (2019) was interesting for many different reasons, but I still have the impression that the authors – and consequently many readers – focused on not-so-relevant information about more recent population movements, or even highlighted the least interesting details related to historical events.
I have already written about the relevance of its findings for the Indo-European question in an initial assessment, then in a more detailed post about its consequences, then about the arrival of Celtic languages with hg. R1b-M167, and later in combination with … Read the rest “North-West Indo-Europeans of Iberian Beaker descent and haplogroup R1b-P312”
There is overwhelming evidence that the oldest hydrotoponymic layer in Italy (and especially Etruria) is of Old European nature, which means that non-Indo-European-speaking (or, at least, non-Old-European-speaking) Etruscans came later to the Apennine Peninsula.
Furthermore, there is direct and indirect linguistic, archaeological, and palaeogenomic data supporting that the intrusive Tursānoi came from the Aegean during the Late Bronze Age, possibly through the Adriatic, and that their languages spread to Etruria and probably also to the eastern Alps.
The following are translated excerpts (emphasis mine) from Lenguas, genes y culturas en la Prehistoria de Europa y … Read the rest “European hydrotoponymy (V): Etruscans and Rhaetians after Italic peoples”
As I said 6 months ago, 2019 is a tough year to write a blog, because this was going to be a complex regional election year and therefore a time of political promises, hence tenure offers too. Now the preliminary offers have been made, elections have passed, but the timing has slightly shifted toward 2020. So I may have the time, but not really any benefit of dedicating too much effort to the blog, and a lot of potential benefit of dedicating any time to evaluable scientific work.
On the other hand, I saw some potential benefit for … Read the rest “A Song of Sheep and Horses, revised edition, now available as printed books”
New preprint The Arrival of Steppe and Iranian Related Ancestry in the Islands of the Western Mediterranean by Fernandes, Mittnik, Olalde et al. bioRxiv (2019)
Interesting excerpts (emphasis in bold; modified for clarity):
Balearic Islands: The expansion of Iberian speakers
Mallorca_EBA dates to the earliest period of permanent occupation of the islands at around 2400 BCE. We parsimoniously modeled Mallorca_EBA as deriving 36.9 ± 4.2% of her ancestry from a source related to Yamnaya_Samara; (…). We next used qpAdm to identify “proximal” sources for Mallorca_EBA’s ancestry that are more closely related to this individual in space and time, and found
… Read the rest “Arrival of steppe ancestry with R1b-P312 in the Mediterranean: Balearic Islands, Sicily, and Iron Age Sardinia”
As you can see from my interest in the recently published Olalde et al. (2019) Iberia paper, once you accept that East Bell Beakers expanded North-West Indo-European, the most important question becomes how did its known dialects spread to their known historic areas.
We already had a good idea about the expansion of Celts, based on proto-historical accounts, fragmentary languages, and linguistic guesstimates, but the connection of Celtic with either Urnfield or slightly later Hallstatt/La Tène was always blurred, due to the lack of precise data on population movements.
The latest paper on Iberia is interesting for many … Read the rest “Haplogroup R1b-M167/SRY2627 linked to Celts expanding with the Urnfield culture”
New paper (behind paywall) The female ancestor’s tale: Long‐term matrilineal continuity in a nonisolated region of Tuscany, by Leonardi et al. Am J Phys Anthr (2018).
EDIT (10 SEP 2018): The main author has shared an open access link to read the PDF.
Here we analyze North-western Tuscany, a region that was a corridor of exchanges between Central Italy and the Western Mediterranean coast.
We newly obtained mitochondrial HVRI sequences from 28 individuals, and after gathering published data, we collected genetic information for 119 individuals from the region. Those span five periods during the last 5,000
… Read the rest “Long-term matrilineal continuity in a nonisolated region of Tuscany”
Open access Ancient genome-wide analyses infer kinship structure in an Early Medieval Alemannic graveyard, by O’Sullivan et al., Science (2018) 4(9):eaao1262
The Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes that inhabited the eastern Upper Rhine basin and surrounding region (Fig. 1) (1). Roman ethnographers mentioned the Alemanni, but historical records from the 3rd to the 6th century CE contain no regular description of these tribes (2). The upheaval that occurred during the European Migration Period (Völkerwanderung) partly explains the interchangeability of nomenclature with the contemporaneous Suebi people of the same region and periods of geographic discontinuity
… Read the rest “Early Medieval Alemannic graveyard shows diverse cultural and genetic makeup”
Open access Genomic and Strontium Isotope Variation Reveal Immigration Patterns in a Viking Age Town, by Krzewińska et al., Current Biology (2018).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, some references deleted for clarity):
The town of Sigtuna in eastern central Sweden was one of the pioneer urban hubs in the vast and complex communicative network of the Viking world. The town that is thought to have been royally founded was planned and organized as a formal administrative center and was an important focal point for the establishment of Christianity . The material culture in Sigtuna indicates that the town had intense
… Read the rest “Viking Age town shows higher genetic diversity than Neolithic and Bronze Age”