New preprint Late Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers in the Central Mediterranean: new archaeological and genetic data from the Late Epigravettian burial Oriente C (Favignana, Sicily), by Catalano et al. bioRxiv (2019).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Grotta d’Oriente is a small coastal cave located on the island of Favignana, the largest (~20 km2) of a group of small islands forming the Egadi Archipelago, ~5 km from the NW coast of Sicily.
The Oriente C funeral pit opens in the lower portion of layer 7, specifically sublayer 7D. Two radiocarbon dates on charcoal from the sublayers 7D (12149±65 uncal. BP) and 7E,
… Read the rest “Villabruna cluster in Late Epigravettian Sicily supports South Italian corridor for R1b-V88”
Wang et al. (2018) is obviously a game changer in many aspects. I have already written about the upcoming Yamna Hungary samples, about the new Steppe_Eneolithic and Caucasus Eneolithic keystones, and about the upcoming Greece Neolithic samples with steppe ancestry.
An interesting aspect of the paper, hidden among so many relevant details, is a clearer picture of how the so-called Yamnaya or steppe ancestry evolved from Samara hunter-gatherers to Yamna nomadic pastoralists, and how this ancestry appeared among Proto-Corded Ware populations.
Please note: arrows of “ancestry movement” in the following PCAs do not necessarily represent physical … Read the rest ““Steppe ancestry” step by step: Khvalynsk, Sredni Stog, Repin, Yamna, Corded Ware”
It has been known for a long time that the Caucasus must have hosted many (at least partially) isolated populations, probably helped by geographical boundaries, setting it apart from open Eurasian areas.
David Reich writes in his book the following about India:
The genetic data told a clear story. Around a third of Indian groups experienced population bottlenecks as strong or stronger than the ones that occurred among Finns or Ashkenazi Jews. We later confirmed this finding in an even larger dataset that we collected working with Thangaraj: genetic data from more than 250 jati groups spread throughout India (…)
… Read the rest “Dzudzuana, Sidelkino, and the Caucasus contribution to the Pontic-Caspian steppe”
Preprint Paleolithic DNA from the Caucasus reveals core of West Eurasian ancestry, by Lazaridis et al. bioRxiv (2018).
We analyzed teeth from two individuals 63 recovered from Dzudzuana Cave, Southern Caucasus, from an archaeological layer previously dated to ~27-24kya (…). Both individuals had mitochondrial DNA sequences (U6 and N) that are consistent with deriving from lineages that are rare in the Caucasus or Europe today. The two individuals were genetically similar to each other, consistent with belonging to the same population and we thus analyze them jointly.
(…) our results prove that the European affinity of
… Read the rest “Palaeolithic Caucasus samples reveal the most important component of West Eurasians”
My speculative bet on the arrival of haplogroup R1b to Europe (and the expansion of R1b-V88 to Africa through southern Italy) was based initially entirely on genomic (especially phylogeographic) finds, but judging by data on the latest papers on south-eastern Europe it seems to have been the right choice.
Archaeological information on these prehistoric periods is scarce – compared to more recent times -, and anthropological models of migration are therefore speculative. Some information on the potential periods for its expansion are contained in the chapter Social Networks and Connectivity among the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Foragers of the … Read the rest “Palaeolithic and Mesolithic connections between Italy and the Balkans, and the potential expansion of the Villabruna cluster and haplogroup R1b in Europe”
Interesting new paper at Science, The earliest modern humans outside Africa, by Hershkovitz et al., Science (2018) Vol. 359, Issue 6374, pp. 456-459
Recent paleoanthropological studies have suggested that modern humans migrated from Africa as early as the beginning of the Late Pleistocene, 120,000 years ago. Hershkovitz et al. now suggest that early modern humans were already present outside of Africa more than 55,000 years earlier (see the Perspective by Stringer and Galway-Witham). During excavations of sediments at Mount Carmel, Israel, they found a fossil of a mouth part, a left hemimaxilla, with almost complete dentition.
… Read the rest “Earliest modern humans outside Africa and ancient genomic history”
New article by Leonid Zaliznyak, Mesolithic origins of the first Indo-European cultures in Europe according to the archaeological data (also available in Russian).
The article refers to the common Meso-Neolithic basis of Ukrainian ancient Indo-European cultures (Mariupol, Serednii Stih) and Central Europe (Funnel Beaker and Globular Amphorae cultures) of the fourth millennium BC. Archaeological materials show that the common cultural and genetic substrate of the earliest Indo-Europeans in Europe was forming from the sixth to the fourth millennia BC due to migration of the Western Baltic Mesolithic population to the east through Poland and Polissia to the Dnipro … Read the rest “Archaeological origins of Early Proto-Indo-European in the Baltic during the Mesolithic”