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

Read the rest “Iron Age nomads of West Siberia of hg. Q1b, R1a, and basal N1a-L1026”

Proto-Tocharians: From Afanasievo to the Tarim Basin through the Tian Shan


A reader commented recently that there is little information about Indo-Europeans from Central and East Asia in this blog. Regardless of the scarce archaeological data compared to European prehistory, I think it is premature to write anything detailed about population movements of Indo-Iranians in Asia, especially now that we are awaiting the updates of Narasimhan et al (2018).

Furthermore, there was little hope that Tocharians would be different than neighbouring Andronovo-like populations (see a recent post on my predicted varied admixture of Common Tocharians), so the history of both unrelated Late PIE languages would have had to be … Read the rest “Proto-Tocharians: From Afanasievo to the Tarim Basin through the Tian Shan”

Yamnaya ancestry: mapping the Proto-Indo-European expansions


The latest papers from Ning et al. Cell (2019) and Anthony JIES (2019) have offered some interesting new data, supporting once more what could be inferred since 2015, and what was evident in population genomics since 2017: that Proto-Indo-Europeans expanded under R1b bottlenecks, and that the so-called “Steppe ancestry” referred to two different components, one – Yamnaya or Steppe_EMBA ancestry – expanding with Proto-Indo-Europeans, and the other one – Corded Ware or Steppe_MLBA ancestry – expanding with Uralic speakers.

The following maps are based on formal stats published in the papers and supplementary materials from 2015 until today, mainly on … Read the rest “Yamnaya ancestry: mapping the Proto-Indo-European expansions”

Bronze Age cultures in the Tarim Basin and the elusive Proto-Tocharians


Master’s thesis Shifting Memories: Burial Practices and Cultural Interaction in Bronze Age China: A study of the Xiaohe-Gumugou cemeteries in the Tarim Basin, by Yunyun Yang, Uppsala University, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History (2019).

Summary excerpts, mainly from the conclusions (emphasis mine):

Both the Xiaohe and the Gumugou groups are suggested as possibly originating from southern Siberia or Central Asia and being related to Afanasievo and Andronovo people (Han 1986, 1994; Li et al. 2010, 2015). But a latest research suggest that the Xiaohe males are genetic distinct from the Afanasievo males, considering the paternal lineages (Hollard et

Read the rest “Bronze Age cultures in the Tarim Basin and the elusive Proto-Tocharians”