New paper (behind paywall) Origins of equine dentistry, by Taylor et al. PNAS (2018).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
The practice of horse dentistry by contemporary nomadic peoples in Mongolia, coupled with the centrality of horse transport to Mongolian life, both now and in antiquity, raises the possibility that dental care played an important role in the development of nomadic life and domestic horse use in the past. To investigate, we conducted a detailed archaeozoological study of horse remains from tombs and ritual horse inhumations across the Mongolian Steppe, assessing evidence for anthropogenic dental modifications and comparing our findings
… Read the rest “Origins of equine dentistry in Mongolia in the early first millennium BC”
Open access Investigating Holocene human population history in North Asia using ancient mitogenomes, by Kılınç et al., Scientific Reports (2018) 8: 8969.
Abstract (emphasis mine):
Archaeogenomic studies have largely elucidated human population history in West Eurasia during the Stone Age. However, despite being a broad geographical region of significant cultural and linguistic diversity, little is known about the population history in North Asia. We present complete mitochondrial genome sequences together with stable isotope data for 41 serially sampled ancient individuals from North Asia, dated between c.13,790 BP and c.1,380 BP extending from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age. Analyses … Read the rest “North Asian mitogenomes hint at the arrival of pastoralists from West to East ca. 2800-1000 BC”
Recent article on The Conversation, The Roman dead: new techniques are revealing just how diverse Roman Britain was, about the paper (behind paywall) A Novel Investigation into Migrant and Local Health-Statuses in the Past: A Case Study from Roman Britain, by Redfern et al. Bioarchaeology International (2018), among others.
Interesting excerpts about Roman London:
We have discovered, for example, that one middle-aged woman from the southern Mediterranean has black African ancestry. She was buried in Southwark with pottery from Kent and a fourth century local coin – her burial expresses British connections, reflecting how people’s communities and lives
… Read the rest “On Latin, Turkic, and Celtic – likely stories of mixed societies and little genetic impact”
Open access Characterizing the genetic history of admixture across inner Eurasia, by Jeong et al. (2018).
Abstract (emphasis mine):
The indigenous populations of inner Eurasia, a huge geographic region covering the central Eurasian steppe and the northern Eurasian taiga and tundra, harbor tremendous diversity in their genes, cultures and languages. In this study, we report novel genome-wide data for 763 individuals from Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. We furthermore report genome-wide data of two Eneolithic individuals (~5,400 years before present) associated with the Botai culture in northern Kazakhstan. We find that inner Eurasian populations
… Read the rest “Genetic history of admixture across inner Eurasia; Botai shows R1b-M73”
The expected study of Eurasian samples is out (behind paywall): 137 ancient human genomes from across the Eurasian steppes, by de Barros Damgaard et al. Nature (2018).
Dicussion (emphasis mine):
Our findings fit well with current insights from the historical linguistics of this region (Supplementary Information section 2). The steppes were probably largely Iranian-speaking in the first and second millennia bc. This is supported by the split of the Indo-Iranian linguistic branch into Iranian and Indian33, the distribution of the Iranian languages, and the preservation of Old Iranian loanwords in Tocharian34. The wide distribution of
… Read the rest “Eurasian steppe dominated by Iranian peoples, Indo-Iranian expanded from East Yamna”
Austronesian influence and Transeurasian ancestry in Japanese: A case of farming/language dispersal, by Martine Robbeets, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
In this paper, I propose a hypothesis reconciling Austronesian influence and Transeurasian ancestry in the Japanese language, explaining the spread of the Japanic languages through farming dispersal. To this end, I identify the original speech community of the Transeurasian language family as the Neolithic Xinglongwa culture situated in the West Liao River Basin in the sixth millennium bc. I argue that the separation of the Japanic branch from the other Transeurasian languages and
… Read the rest “Model for the spread of Transeurasian (Macro-Altaic) communities with farming”
Open Access article on modern populations (including ancient samples), Between Lake Baikal and the Baltic Sea: genomic history of the gateway to Europe, by Triska et al., BMC Genetics 18(Suppl 1):110, 2017.
The history of human populations occupying the plains and mountain ridges separating Europe from Asia has been eventful, as these natural obstacles were crossed westward by multiple waves of Turkic and Uralic-speaking migrants as well as eastward by Europeans. Unfortunately, the material records of history of this region are not dense enough to reconstruct details of population history. These considerations stimulate growing interest to obtain
… Read the rest “Genomic history of Northern Eurasians includes East-West and North-South gradients”
The expansion of peoples is known to be associated with the spread of a certain admixture component, joint with the expansion and reduction in variability of a haplogroup. In other words, few male lineages are usually more successful during the expansion.
Known examples include:
… Read the rest “Expansion of peoples associated with spread of haplogroups: Mongols and C3*-F3918, Arabs and E-M183 (M81)”
A preprint paper has been published in BioRxiv, Relationships between clans and genetic kin explain cultural similarities over vast distances: the case of Yakutia, by Zvenigorosky et al (2017).
Archaeological studies sample ancient human populations one site at a time, often limited to a fraction of the regions and periods occupied by a given group. While this bias is known and discussed in the literature, few model populations span areas as large and unforgiving as the Yakuts of Eastern Siberia. We systematically surveyed 31,000 square kilometres in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and completed the archaeological study of 174
… Read the rest “How to do modern phylogeography: Relationships between clans and genetic kin explain cultural similarities over vast distances”