Iron Age nomads of West Siberia of hg. Q1b, R1a, and basal N1a-L1026


Open access Ancient genomic time transect from the Central Asian Steppe unravels the history of the Scythians, by Gnecchi-Ruscone et al. Sci Adv. 7 (13) eabe4414.

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

From an archaeological perspective, the earliest IA burials associated with nomad-warrior cultures were identified in the eastern fringes of the Kazakh Steppe, in Tuva and the Altai region (ninth century BCE).

Following this early evidence, the Tasmola culture in central and north Kazakhstan is among the earliest major IA nomad warrior cultures emerging (eighth to sixth century BCE).


These earlier groups were followed by the iconic Saka cultures located

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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 (VIII): Earliest External Contacts


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

14. Earliest PU ~ PIE contacts

14.1. Indo-Uralic?

The most reliable correspondences to propose an Indo-Uralic phylum come from basic morphological comparisons. Some of the most frequently mentioned ones include (e.g. Čop 1975, Kortlandt 2002, Bjørn 2019, or Lubotsky 2019):

  • Nominal endings:
  • PU *-Ø ~ PIA *-Ø (in neuter athematic nouns).
  • PU *-m ~ PIA *-m.
  • PU dual *-ki(-) ~ PIA nom.-acc.du. *-h₁.
  • PU abl. *-tA ~ PIA
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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”

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

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Afanasievo ancestry reached Lake Baikal; Nganasan ancestry origins still at large


New paper (behind paywall) Paleolithic to Bronze Age Siberians Reveal Connections with First Americans and across Eurasia, by Yu et al. Cell (2020)

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine, paragraphs subdivided for clarity):

Population Structure (PCA)

Most of the Lake Baikal individuals occupied the space on a “ANE-NEA” cline running between “Northeast Asian” (NEA) ancestry represented by Neolithic hunter-gathers from the Devil’s Gate in the Russian Far East (Sikora et al., 2019, Siska et al., 2017), and the ANE ancestry represented by Upper Paleolithic Siberian individuals MA1, AfontovaGora 2 (AG2), and AfontovaGora 3 (AG3) (Fu et al., 2016, Raghavan et al.,

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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”

Proto-Anatolians: from the Southern Caucasus or the Balkans?


There has been some renewed interest lately in the origin of Proto-Anatolians, because of the recent lecture by Petra Goedegebuure, associate professor of Hittitology at the University of Chicago: Anatolians on the Move: From Kurgans to Kanesh, given at the Oriental Institute (Feb 5 2020).

I will try to comment on her lecture with a critical view of some of her ideas, keeping in mind reasons for one or the other potential routes, which we can for the moment simplify as Gimbutas’ (1965, 1993) eastern route through the Caucasus vs. Anthony’s (2007, 2015) … Read the rest “Proto-Anatolians: from the Southern Caucasus or the Balkans?”