Focusing on European population genetics and modern physical anthropology.
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Thursday, May 5, 2016
On the modern genetic affinities of Ice Age Europeans
Apparently most of them didn't contribute much to our genomes. But for what it's worth, I tested their present-day affinities, and those of several other ancients, with f3 outgroup stats of the form f3(Test,X;Mbuti). For the archaeological contexts and other details about these ancient samples see here.
Not long ago Basques were thought to be by far the best proxies for Upper Paleolithic Europeans; almost a genetic relict from Ice Age Iberia. Clearly, this is not what they are, but they do share relatively high drift with the El Miron lady, which perhaps suggests some genetic continuity in Basque Country for almost 20,000 years. This would still be a remarkable story if confirmed via multiple lines of evidence.
Below are a couple of examples of what can be done with these stats. It's pretty clear that the Vestonice cave men show a preference for Northeast Europeans, in particular Balts, Estonians and Poles. On the other hand, Kostenki14 shares the highest drift with the Dutch, mostly north of the Rhine Dutch. Might that be meaningful in some way?
Are there any other interesting patterns in this data? Please note, however, that it's not possible to compare the stats directly, because they're based on different numbers of markers.