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Friday, March 3, 2017

Genetic origins and legacy of the Scythians and Sarmatians


Nature Communications has a new paleogenetic paper focusing on Iron Age steppe nomads. Emphasis is mine:

Abstract: During the 1st millennium before the Common Era (BCE), nomadic tribes associated with the Iron Age Scythian culture spread over the Eurasian Steppe, covering a territory of more than 3,500 km in breadth. To understand the demographic processes behind the spread of the Scythian culture, we analysed genomic data from eight individuals and a mitochondrial dataset of 96 individuals originating in eastern and western parts of the Eurasian Steppe. Genomic inference reveals that Scythians in the east and the west of the steppe zone can best be described as a mixture of Yamnaya-related ancestry and an East Asian component. Demographic modelling suggests independent origins for eastern and western groups with ongoing gene-flow between them, plausibly explaining the striking uniformity of their material culture. We also find evidence that significant gene-flow from east to west Eurasia must have occurred early during the Iron Age.

...

In the East, we find a balanced mixture of mitochondrial lineages found today predominantly in west Eurasians, including a significant proportion of prehistoric hunter-gatherer lineages, and lineages that are at high frequency in modern Central and East Asians already in the earliest Iron Age individuals dating to the ninth to seventh century BCE and an even earlier mtDNA sample from Bronze Age Mongolia [49]. Typical west Eurasian mtDNA lineages are also present in the Tarim Basin [16] and Kazakhstan [8] and were even predominant in the Krasnoyarsk area during the 2nd millennium BCE [31]. This pattern points to an admixture process between west and east Eurasian populations that began in earlier periods, certainly before the 1 st millennium BCE [13,50], a finding consistent with a recent study suggesting the carriers of the Yamnaya culture are genetically indistinguishable from the Afanasievo culture peoples of the Altai-Sayan region. This further implies that carriers of the Yamnaya culture migrated not only into Europe [26] but also eastward, carrying west Eurasian genes—and potentially also Indo-European languages—to this region [17]. All of these observations provide evidence that the prevalent genetic pattern does not simply follow an isolation-by-distance model but involves significant gene flow over large distances.

All Iron Age individuals investigated in this study show genomic evidence for Caucasus hunter-gatherer and Eastern European hunter-gatherer ancestry. This is consistent with the idea that the blend of EHG and Caucasian elements in carriers of the Yamnaya culture was formed on the European steppe and exported into Central Asia and Siberia [26]. All of our analyses support the hypothesis that the genetic composition of the Scythians can best be described as a mixture of Yamnaya-related ancestry and East Asian/north Siberian elements.

Concerning the legacy of the Iron Age nomads, we find that modern human populations with a close genetic relationship to the Scythian groups are predominantly located in close geographic proximity to the sampled burial sites, suggesting a degree of population continuity through historical times. Contemporary descendants of western Scythian groups are found among various groups in the Caucasus and Central Asia, while similarities to eastern Scythian are found to be more widespread, but almost exclusively among Turkic language speaking (formerly) nomadic groups, particularly from the Kipchak branch of Turkic languages (Supplementary Note 1). The genealogical link between eastern Scythians and Turkic language speakers requires further investigation, particularly as the expansion of Turkic languages was thought to be much more recent—that is, sixth century CE onwards—and to have occurred through an elite expansion process.



Unterländer et al., Ancestry and demography and descendants of Iron Age nomads of the Eurasian Steppe, Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14615 (2017), doi:10.1038/ncomms14615

See also...

Eastern Scythians = Steppe MLBA + East Eurasians

North Pontic Steppe Scythians: heirs of the Srubnaya people

Scythians and Sarmatians in the Global 10

The Scythian

77 comments:

Davidski said...

I should have the data soon.

rozenfag said...

It is little bit disappointing that they didn't get genome-wide data from Scythians from Pontic steppes.

EastPole said...

The steppe east of the Don river in Iron Age seems very multicultural.

Roy King said...

The Mesolithic Sardinian mtDNA samples were just published:
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep42869

Kurti said...

The appearance of the Turkic language is very recent but the genetic signature of them is more ancient and goes far into early Iron Age. Simply because allot of the Western Turkic groups are basically turkified Iranic tribes.

Take a note, the article even states the Eastern Scythians were most similar to Kipchaks. Kipchaks are amnong the most West Eurasian like groups among Turkic speakers infact since decades scientist argue that Kipchaks are basically turkified Scythians.

Also interesting how the study points out most genetic similarity to Central Asians and Caucasians for West Scythians which again proves my point that when most Indo_Iranian tribes emerged they were already heavily mixed with more CHG/Iran_Neo like groups from cultures like the BMAC. In fact the origin of the Scythians seems to be the southern parts of the Andronovo culture close to Yaz culture. Thats also where Greek sources point to where Scythians came from. It's pity that they have no Anatolian_Neo sample to compare with. Some of "WHG" in Iron AGE Adygei and Russia is most likely Anatolian_Neo derived.

Also the study pretty much confirmed by we all should know. Scythians were basically West Eurasian with some East Eurasian admixture towards the East. And they appear like one uniform group debunking allot of biased theories about their origin being mixed or them being some kind of multi-culti group mixed of Iranics, Uralics, Turkics, Slavs. The opposite is the case they have been absorbed by some Turkics, Uralics, and Slavs but their origin is clear visibly Iranic.

Kurti said...

East Pole said

"The steppe east of the Don river in Iron Age seems very multicultural."

It's the opposite. The paper is bad in expressing itself but it basically confirms that the whole Steppe was quite homogenous(relative for such a huge territory) what can be explained with the uniformity of their material culture. Uniformity of material culture => one culture => one people. If they were a multi-culti groups they would not have a uniform culture. They simply had the typical neighboring admixtures that you would expect to get through contact.

also striking that the paper actually says that the Eastern Scythians resembled Kipchaks while today these guys live in the Western Steppes near the Caucasus. Whle the Western Scythians resembled Caucasians and Central Asians. Just shows you how much the Steppes have shifted towards East Eurasian DNA throughout the time. Which is also confirmed by the paper and as we all know by historic accounts.

Nirjhar007 said...

Dave ,

I am dying to see how S Asians perform . Going to be truly interesting , Perhaps Jatts and Gujarati A,B,C s will top the scores.

Alos will be interesting to see the Kalash .

Aram said...

The Sarmatian R1b is probably from this branch
https://yfull.com/tree/R-Y21707/

They are opinions that he could be a Massagetae.

Aram said...

The Q1a is from this young branch

https://www.yfull.com/tree/Q-L332/

bellbeakerblogger said...

Well, no H in Mesolithic Sardinia. Just hatin' out here.

Aram said...

2 R1as are here

https://www.yfull.com/tree/R-S23592/

Rob said...

Following on from Kurd, and discussion elsewhere, would this mean there was (yet again) a massive displacement in the steppe; this time from a southerly, east admixed point radiating west? Scythians displacing the Bronze Age Srubnaya- Andronovans

Davidski said...

Maybe. By the way, Iosif just tweeted this.

The Scythians of the eastern steppe were seemingly derived from Yamnaya and East Eurasian ancestors And not from temporally closer Sintashta/Andronovo populations that carried EEF ancestry Similar to present-day South Asians who are best modelled with Early/Middle Bronze Age steppe not Andronovo/Sintashta.

https://twitter.com/iosif_lazaridis

Grey said...

Rob

"would this mean there was (yet again) a massive displacement in the steppe"

this seems to be a recurring feature - with the steppe being mostly a single, very large, flat biome whenever a particular group gain a significant advantage they expand massively

Grey said...

"The Scythians of the eastern steppe were seemingly derived from Yamnaya and East Eurasian ancestors And not from temporally closer Sintashta/Andronovo populations that carried EEF ancestry"

possible connection to that R1b Mongol noble burial?

Matt said...

@ Davidski, I had a question in the other thread, was wondering if you had any answer:

"Looking at the data table for sample origin from Laz 2016 (Supplement Table 1), the 3 Steppe_MLBA who are outliers for latitude are RISE500, RISE503, RISE505 and all from Andronovo culture (lat 85.447 like Afanasievo vs the others are 50-56). Does anyone know if these samples are outliers from other Andronovo when modelled with mixes of Europe_MN, Steppe_EMBA?"

I.e. are the Andronovo samples who are geographically around where Afanasievo / Eastern Scythians are found any different to the others from the Western Steppe? Particularly in ways that would affect how plausible they are as ancestors for Eastern Scyths.

Davidski said...

Andronovo RISE500, RISE503 and RISE505 are all fairly typical Steppe_MLBA samples, and classified as such in Laz 2016.

As far as I can tell, they have less WHG than Srubnaya and less Anatolian than Sintashta, and probably more ANE than both, but not enough to push them into Steppe_EMBA, like one of the Potapovka samples.

Andronovo RISE512 is the clear outlier, both from Steppe_MLBA and the Andronovo set. This sample wasn't even in Laz 2016. Don't know why? But he's Z93 and clusters just past Afanasievo in the West Eurasian plot, and has a lot of ANE as well as some Siberian.

Could well be a good fit for an ancestor of the eastern Scythians.

Nirjhar007 said...

Andronovo is Proto-Scythian IMO , but if they are closer to Yamnaya , then It may mean there will be R1a in Yamnaya or perhaps they came from somewhere else .

Matt said...

Ah, so the Andronovo around the area seem fairly typical.

Seems there must have been a "dark matter" of Afanasievo/local people hybrid populations (proto-Scythians or proto-Iranians?) who are not visible to us because of their burial customs were perhaps more low key.

Then I would assume that at some point the climate, or the technological advantages of stockbreeding and riding turned against the kind of culture the Andronovo had. Seems (from archaeological skim reading) like a relatively settled culture compared to later nomads, with a mix of mobile people and permanent villages, copper mining (Bronze weapons) and maybe a chariot based elite. Then the Andronovo either migrated out to more favorable climes (South Central Asia?) or were just replaced.

OTOH, given the linguistic relationship between Scythians and Indo-Aryan languages, does this raise questions about whether it's the Andronovo horizon that is so important as we had thought for South Asia? Instead rather, were proto-Iranians / proto-Scythians more important than we'd think? Would Andronovo / early Scythians share a language that is downstream derived from early steppe languages if their last genetic divergence seems to be early steppe? It seems possible they would (languages can spread by many means, inc. elite) but less certain.

Alberto said...

@Matt

Yes, those Andronovo samples from around the Altai are similar to the Sintashta/Srubnaya/Potapovka ones. That's what I meant when I said that it's strange that Eastern Scythians seem to be a mix of Yamnaya-like people with East Asians, but in an area where apparently Yamnaya-like people have been replaces 1000 years earlier.

And yet they (Eastern Scythians) have R1a-Z93. So somehow, they could be derived from Andronovo (ultimately Sintashta), but taking East Asian and Yamnaya-like wives to the point of replacing their whole genome except the Y chromosome? And while it's easy to find a source of East Asian wives, where was this big reservoir of Yamnaya-like women (who in theory had been replaced long before)?

I guess we have to check those Scythian samples to know if they really completely lack the European admixture or it's just reduced mostly by the East Asian admixture and I'm reading too much into the non-conclusive information in the paper (though I'm not the only one who noticed, since Lazaridis twitted about it too, and he must know more about those (and other) samples than we do).

Nirjhar007 said...

Andronovo Horizon had nothing to do with S Asia , ask any contemporary archaeologist working on S Asia and surrounds...

Davidski said...

Apparently, those eastern Scythians aren't just Z93, they're in fact Z2124. So same as Sintashta and many modern South Asians.

It's possible that what we're looking at here is an early migration of Z93 and even L657 early Corded Ware-like Indo-Aryans to South Asia, that were basically like Yamnaya in terms of genome-wide DNA.

After that there may have been further waves from the steppes into South Asia, including of Scythians with Sintashta-derived Z2124, due to elite male dominance, but again with the genome-wide DNA mostly like Yamnaya.

Alberto said...

@Shaikorth

I still didn't get to understand those figures 10 and 11. Don't know if they explain the methodology somewhere, but it looks strange to me. I can't see a clear pattern of what it's telling, and the Ancestral vs. Descent categories don't even seem to be consistent between east And West Scythians.

Nirjhar007 said...

Dave,

I am sorry but Archaeology disproves your long standing imagination .

The Scythians did come here and there is some chance they do have some arguable ancestry in some Indian pops , but certainly IE languages didn't come here from Steppes , this will be proven this very year , but its a matter of formality .

Just wait for the aDNA.

Matt said...

@ Alberto, yes, you were in the right here (I only wanted to double check about the specific samples and those didn't check out). A serial founder effect where a male lineage expands into Andronovo into Afanasievo / East Eurasian ancestry populations, losing much of its autosomal connection to Anatolia_N like you suggest seems pretty possible to explain the y connection without autosomal connection. It's a time of strong male founder effects and starlike expansions.

I think the whole " in theory had been replaced long before" to me maybe just shows how limited the archaeology can be - in theory WHG had been replaced, but then we see the accumulation of WHG through the Early to Middle Neolithic and probably continuing slightly later than our latest MN samples (if you judge that ADMIXTURE and PCA doesn't quite fit Central Europe_LNBA as CE_MN plus Steppe_EMBA). There's a unavoidable bias towards thinking people who didn't have the most elaborate burial and tool traditions (at the extreme, who had invisible burial traditions and quickly degrading toolkits) were replaced more than they may have actually been.

Alberto said...

@Matt

Yes, I agree.

Still, it's rather surprising in the sense that the Afanasievo people would greatly outnumber the Sintashta derived population of Andronovo, so that in the long run they imposed their genes (even if by female admixture).

I mean surprising because Afanasievo doesn't look like it went huge (archaeologically) and expanded much. It's more with Sintashta/Andronovo that there seems to be a population boom/expansion (but apparently the "not many locals to mix with" is totally wrong?).

Nirjhar007 said...

I think its ridiculous, to assume that Andronovo mixed with Afanasievo , also I am not sure first about the archaeological POV on this ( Is there any such POV?) , and they became EBA like and expanded to S Asia , its not possible . OTOH Its perhaps possible ,that the area around BMAC was EBA Type from before , but if they were EBA type from before , they must have had the R1a's also!.

Davidski said...

Not just R1a, but Z645. So someone Corded Ware-related moved into South Asia big time.

Nirjhar007 said...

On that philosophy, we have to totally neglect all materialistic evidence , and if we are to follow such notion then anything goes! .

Seinundzeit said...

Iosif beat me to it!

I had this very same thought (yesterday), while I was quickly skimming through the paper.

Regardless, I think this resurrects the concept of a "Yamnaya-like steppe influx" into South Asia.

Personally, I was beginning to have my doubts, mainly because South Central Asians + South Asians have a very strong preference for R1b-rich "Steppe_EMBA" rather than R1a-rich "Steppe_MLBA", even though R1a is, by far, the most common haplogroup in this part of the world (although, I should note that a few of the "Pathan" samples utilized in the academic papers are R1b).

So, I was beginning to entertain the possibility that South Asians harbor extremely low levels of steppe ancestry, while South Central Asian have only modest amounts, but loads of excess ANE ancestry (although, some Pashtun highlanders, and all Pamiri peoples, can still be modeled as 40%-50% Sintashta/Andronovo/Srubnaya).

My assumption became that this intense excess of ANE ancestry (over what Iran_Neolithic had), combined with low to moderate levels of actual steppe ancestry, was enough to produce the "illusion" of substantial Yamnaya ancestry.

For example, with formal methods, you can model the Kalash as having as much Steppe_EMBA ancestry as Lithuanians, and I've found the same sort of result with nMonte.

Basically, to sum up my original train of thought: South Central Asians tend to be equal to Northern Europeans when it comes to this sort of ancestry, and I was beginning to think that this could be chalked up to some sort of submerged ANE substrate from Central Asia.

But now, it seems that this "rethinking" was unnecessary, and in light of new evidence, probably somewhat unparsimonious.

Instead, maybe the Indo-Aryans really were Yamnaya-like, but with R1a?

I mean, looking at these Scythian results, I'm sure people who resembled "Steppe_EMBA", rather than "Steppe_MLBA", must have been quite common on the steppe. And many of these "Steppe_EMBA" people probably had R1a, the kind seen in Central and South Asia.

Basically, I think Matt hit the nail right on head, and David pretty much summed it up.

So, the real problem here is our lack of sampling.

Still, the ANE substrate possibility is not dead, by no means. As always, we need more samples, especially from BMAC, Botai, etc.

Davidski said...

@Nirjhar

But there's no archaeological evidence proving that this didn't happen. Apparently there's only a lack of strong archaeological evidence that it did.

The strong evidence might be missing for any number of reasons, including the possibility that so far people have looked in the wrong places. This doesn't mean that the inferences from ancient DNA are wrong.

Matt said...

@ Alberto, I see what you mean about the different size and weight of the horizons would seem to make it difficult to imagine Andronovo being absorbed at the eastern end, and that would've been my intuition as well. Though I would say about this that:

1) It seems it's only the Eastern Scyths who to me look to lack any Anatolian ancestry (based on the ADMIXTURE) and that may not have been where the demographic weight of Andronovo was (where they seemed to boom). The Samaritans at the western end look to have about half the amount of Anatolian than Andronovo (and quite a bit less than half the amount of Siberian components, suggesting to me intermediate populations with a higher Yamnaya:Siberia ratio than the Eastern Scyths sampled). The east might have been a marginal territory for Andronovo, at the limits of their "package". So where Andronovo seems like a booming culture with a large population, the weight might have been in the Western steppe and the eastern end may not have been much more successful than Afanasievo. Need someone with more archaeological knowledge than I have to comment here.

2) We might be mentally overestimating the size of these Steppe MLBA populations and how resistant they would be to a relative demographic collapse, if the kind of sedentary culture and tools they had - chariots, bronze weapons, some settled towns built with timber - became unfavourable due to climate (cooling) and new technologies (stirrups, compound bows, yurt, dairy processing). You might only need relatively few Andronovo males to mix into relatively few again Afanasievo+Siberian, then a population expansion totally changes the relative size of each, later on in history.

But maybe I need to look at the text of the paper in more detail. Since there have been so many in the last few days, I admit I've mainly browsed for Figures and key results than read through properly.

fendo mania said...

just confirms the known. don't understand why this hurts some poeple. Even the males of Pazyryk were N1b-P34, a quite common HG among Turkics-kipchaks and nort euroasians.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301548191_Pilipenko_2015_A_PALEOGENETIC_STUDY_OF_PAZYRYK_PEOPLE_BURIED_AT_AK-ALAKHA-1_THE_ALTAI_MOUNTAINS_in_russian

Nirjhar007 said...


Dave,
No no people didn't look at any wrong place , they did look everywhere :) . But we should also admit, that genetics is independent of archaeology and may hint something yet to be discovered, from archaeology, uh but of course we need the representative aDNAs from discussed areas first .

Now the question , in your opnion David, given the current situation , when did IEs arrived S Asia , what is your oldest date?> .

Davidski said...

No further back than 2,000 BC.

In other words, Harappa was not IE.

Nirjhar007 said...

So, In 2000 BC Aryans enter India , okay . But 2000 Bc is still early, for either Andronovo or even Sintashta actually .

Lithuania is showing R1a from ~2500 BC , why do you think same can't happen for India?.

Davidski said...

Lithuania isn't very far from the Pontic Steppe. India is quite far.

Also, Z645 can't be much older than 5,000 years, and it needed some time to expand from a single lineage.

Nirjhar007 said...

But didn't those groups spread quite fast?. And Central Asia is more easily cross able ?.

Grey said...

thinking more about the possibility of the steppe as a particularly "winner takes all" environment where maybe a small competitive advantage could have dramatic expansion effects then i wonder if there's an expansion for every addition to the package by whichever group came up with or had best access to that innovation?

like (random examples)

halters and travois -> 1st expansion
bridles -> 2nd expansion
bronze -> 3rd expansion
saddles -> 4th expansion
stirrups -> 5th expansion
iron-> 6th expansion
composite bows -> 7th expansion
etc

ak2014b said...

@Kurti
"Also the study pretty much confirmed by we all should know. Scythians were basically West Eurasian with some East Eurasian admixture towards the East."

Actually, the study found that all their Iron Age steppe samples, meaning Western and Eastern Scythians and not just the eastern ones, were derived from both western Eurasian (steppe) and eastern Asian ancestry

In the next step we included LBK farmers testing whether Test, the Yamnaya from Samara and the LBK farmers from central Europe could be descended from two streams of ancestry, in which case Test could potentially be modelled as a mixture of the other two populations. Our results show that the Iron Age Scythians and the Yamnaya are not descended from a single stream of ancestry (Supplementary Table 23) and furthermore, cannot be modelled as mixtures of the Yamnaya and the LBK (Supplementary Table 24). We therefore considered an alternative model in which we treat them as a mix of Yamnaya and the Han (Supplementary Table 25). This model fits all of the Iron Age Scythian groups, consistent with these groups having ancestry related to East Asians not found in the other populations. Alternatively, the Iron Age Scythian groups can also be modelled as a mix of Yamnaya and the north Siberian Nganasan (Supplementary Note 2, Supplementary Table 26).

@Matt
"OTOH, given the linguistic relationship between Scythians and Indo-Aryan languages,"

Scythians are only know to have spoken Iranian, not Indo-Aryan, languages.


About the Lazaridis tweet, the paper itself provided more specific details,

For this purpose—and based on low FST values between these groups—we combined 40 samples related to the Andronovo culture in the west Siberian forest steppe30 and nine samples from the same culture in the Krasnoyarsk region31, all of which were dated to the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE. The results provided very strong support for a linkage between these Middle Bronze Age groups and eastern Scythians (Supplementary Tables 16 and 17). However, these simulations were not able to fully capture the patterns of genetic diversity observed in the Bronze Age populations, suggesting that the true demographic history of the ancestry of Iron Age populations may have been more complex than considered here (see Supplementary Note 1 and 32 for details).


Why did Reich, Lazaridis and the others come out with this paper first, when there's a huge backlog of promised papers with aDNA data that concern the IE question that everyone's been waiting for for years now (Bell Beakers, Greece, Western Yamna, South and South Central Asia, Balkans), whereas I don't think most people even heard about a Scythian paper being in the offing?

Davidski said...

@Nirjhar

But didn't those groups spread quite fast?. And Central Asia is more easily cross able?

Crossing the forests between the Black Sea and Lithuania was probably fairly easy. Crossing Central Asian deserts and some of the highest mountains in the world was probably very difficult. It's difficult even now.

@ak2014b

Why did Reich, Lazaridis and the others come out with this paper first, when there's a huge backlog of promised papers with aDNA data that concern the IE question that everyone's been waiting for for years now (Bell Beakers, Greece, Western Yamna, South and South Central Asia, Balkans), whereas I don't think most people even heard about a Scythian paper being in the offing?

This is the first Scythian paper. There are more on the way, with Iron Age samples from deeper in Europe. Give it a couple of months or so.

ak2014b said...

@Alberto and @Matt

"And yet they (Eastern Scythians) have R1a-Z93. So somehow, they could be derived from Andronovo (ultimately Sintashta), but taking East Asian and Yamnaya-like wives to the point of replacing their whole genome except the Y chromosome? And while it's easy to find a source of East Asian wives, where was this big reservoir of Yamnaya-like women (who in theory had been replaced long before)?"

"A serial founder effect where a male lineage expands into Andronovo into Afanasievo / East Eurasian ancestry populations, losing much of its autosomal connection to Anatolia_N like you suggest seems pretty possible to explain the y connection without autosomal connection. It's a time of strong male founder effects and starlike expansions."

I don't mean to give anyone any ideas, but if an entire autosomal component like Anatolian Neolithic can be lost in such a manner, or even the whole genome can get replaced except the Y, aren't you both just opening the floodgates for certain quarters to argue that any ASI component in the steppes was drowned out over time in a similar manner too?

Rob said...

""in theory had been replaced long before" to me maybe just shows how limited the archaeology can be - in theory WHG had been replaced, but then we see the accumulation of WHG through the Early to Middle Neolithic ""


Actually, it has long been known that the Baltic and Pitted ware were hunter gatherer refuges.

Matt said...

@ak2014b: If we have earlier populations with heavy ASI who have Y dna HG precisely upstream of what we find in later steppe populations, and there are supporting overlapping archaeological horizons, then I will consider that an equivalent (and an equivalently plausible) argument.

We know that Y dna hg expansions are highly likely to diverge from autosome due to larger scale founder effects in the Bronze Age (e.g. R1b in Basques).

@ Rob: Though I'm not talking about Baltic and PWC here, but the accumulation of MN ancestry in Central and West Europe (Iberia, Germany).

Nirjhar007 said...

David,

You are underestimating our great R1a ancestors prowess! ;) .

Now, concerning Lithuania , remember I am taking genetics first from now on .

I think this finding, again shows the intimate relationship of R1a and PIE .

David, I am not sure about the R1a and R1b in those areas today , Is R1b frequent in Lithuanians today?.

Lithuanians like Vedic, have very good similarities, with the PIE culture and language . Indic and Lithuanian is of course quite close .

Davidski said...

@Nirjhar

It's very difficult to divorce R1b-M269 from the earliest spread of IE, because the same people who moved to Lithuania and India also moved to the British Isles and Iberia at around the same time, except they carried R1b-M269 instead of R1a-Z645.

Rob said...

@ Matt

Yes I realised afterward, but even there, archaeology and anthropology has long assumed hunter-gather introgression. The LBK - TRB- GAC, etc, sequence has been a classic case-study.

aDNA has been consistently proving archaeology, before post-modern scholars began to throw the baby with the bath water. It shows CWC is a real entity, not just an archaeological construct, and its links to the steppe clear. It showed that farming was indeed introduced as a whole package with demic movements.

The corollary is- we should see evidence of migration to south Asia. So if the only evidence of migration into SOuth Asia is with BMAC material, then we should perhaps expect EHC/CHG & Z93 in BMAC (?)

Nirjhar007 said...

Dave,
But how can they be same people, if they were R1b?. I understand there is the emotional reason of R1b here and perhaps also political ;) , but you and I know , the evidence is leaning in favor of R1a as PIE.

Rest assured, that all the IE sites and important areas will show R1a , Greece ,SE Anatolia, India etc etc .

Nirjhar007 said...

Rob,

The corollary is- we should see evidence of migration to south Asia. So if the only evidence of migration into SOuth Asia is with BMAC material, then we should perhaps expect EHC/CHG & Z93 in BMAC (?)

Yes, if we are to imagine that BMAC is responsible , then we can theorize that , its much better than others as there is at least something ;) , the objects can be however, suggested of trade origin and from mature phases around 2200 BC , BMAC type materials are there in for Ahar Banas in Rajasthan .

ak2014b said...

I suppose that makes sense, thanks for explaining Matt.

Thanks David. I just hope that none of these additional papers will end up further delaying the major ones that have been anticipated for so long.

Karl_K said...

@Nirjhar007

"remember I am taking genetics first from now on"

Great news!

Matt said...

@ Rob, fair enough if so. I do recall JeanM (of Ancestral Journeys blog) swearing blind, before our studies on MN, that HG ancestry in West and Central Europe either didn't happen or had to have come from other places in Europe because the HG in West and Central Europe were totally replaced, and that the archaeology was absolutely definite on this (because just no further WHG sites found). But if others have always had a more nuanced and ultimately genetically accurate view of the archaeology, archaeological invisibility of WHG may not have been as much of an issue as I though.

To try and clarify, I don't think archaeology is wrong about the people it does find and the cultural changes it does see, but I wonder if there may be a fair bit it doesn't see, because of relatively small groups, and archaeologically innocuous toolsets and burials. I also think there may be an enthusiasm for neat periodisation that tends to make people think that we have moved totally from one culture to another, in a way that belies hidden persistence and overlap. But I'm no expert in the way you are (much of the time I only really know second hand what people have reported tbh) and it all may have more nuance than I expect.

Nirjhar007 said...

haha . Karla ,

There is a suggested Sanskrit Saying : Yasmin deshe Yadachar

It means : follow the law of the land .

Karl_K said...

@Nirjhar007

"But how can they be same people, if they were R1b?"

You know the answer already. Their autosomal component (which is a million times more informative on real genetic relationship) is extremely similar.

Two populations can't accidently become nearly identical autosomally. Thus occurs only because most (if not all) of their ancestors were from the same population(s).

Rob said...

@ Matt

Ha thanks but I am no expert either. It seems the floodgates we have been waiting for have opened. I look forward to your analyses

Nirjhar007 said...

I don't think Autosomal composition can suggest much on language , y-dna lineage is much more precise , autosome is blunt .

Jomon said...

I really read this?

Karl_K said...

@Nirjhar007

"I don't think Autosomal composition can suggest much on language , y-dna lineage is much more precise , autosome is blunt ."

I think you might find that making your own conclusions of these studies would require less arguments if you would take the time to read a good modern book on population genetics.

Nirjhar007 said...

You very well know what I said , and soon you will find, you have no arguments to advocate for the suggestions you are making .

Jack Rusher said...

Nirjhar007,

"But how can they be same people, if they were R1b?"

The model in this paper describes Iranian-speaking Scythians expanding east and mixing with locals, primarily on the mtDNA side, until they ultimately began speaking Turkic. They go on to say that the modern groups with whom the Eastern Scythian most share autosomal material are Kipchaks.

If we check the haplogroup situation among the Kipchak-speaking Bashkir, we find: R1b (R-M269/R-M73) at 47.6% and R1a (Z93) at 26.5%, alongside a group of East Eurasian mtDNA (G, D, С, Z and F). This would suggest to me that these haplogroups are not always segregated.

Kurti said...

@Rob

The Scythians themselves would be derived from a Srubnaya like culture. Infact East Iranic tribes as a whole show more genetic similarities to Srubna/Yaz culture than Andronovo or Sintashta. We need to change our understanding of Indo_Iranians. Since years I have been arguing that the Indo_Iranians do not derive from one single culture (Sintashta) but a network/complex of cultures. Sintashta/Andronovo seem to be early reflections of some very ancient nowadays extinct Indo_Iranian branches. The Srubna and/or Yaz culture seem to be the origin of most East Iranic branches while West Iranic branches seem to have evolved out of a merging of Yaz and Kura Araxes elements.

And yet again another kick in the ass of people still claiming Ossetians are "Iranified Caucasians". Once again I have been arguing with people that I expect that the R1b and G2a in Ossetians is Sarmatian derived but these people have always stubbornly and simplisticly been saying Sarmatians=R1a therefore Ossetians = Caucasian language shifters.

But from the data we have collected so far the Sarmatians and, their subbranch, the Alans belonged to various Haplogroups such as G2a, R1a, J1, R1b, J2.

For the king said...

Those samples are pretty northern, a lot are most likely assimilated Yamnaya and afanasievo/(Tarim?) remnants. Keep in mind that the term Scythian/Saka was extremely broad and vague (basically applied to all IE speaking nomads).

Important paragraph from the Supp Info:

" The populations with the highest likelihood of direct descent were either located in close proximity (e.g. Russians, Mohska), the Caucasus (e,g, Azeris, Abazinians) or in Central Asia (e.g. some Uzbeks, Tajiks) (Supplementary Fig. 10a). Secondly and similarly, contemporary populations most likely to share a common ancestor with western Scythians were primarily found among Iranian and Caucasian groups, predominantly situated in the western part of our sampling range (Supplementary Fig. 10c and Supplementary Fig. 11). Though supported by lower model posteriors, these included Iranians, Chechens, Cirkassians and also (again) Uzbeks. "


Based on the figure in page 13, West Asian (Persian, caucasian, Azeri) populations + Some East Euros and south central Asians dominate the descent from western Scythian chart. Not sure how accurate their method is, more testing would give us a clearer picture.

Kurti said...

OpenID ak2014b said...
Actually, the study found that all their Iron Age steppe samples, meaning Western and Eastern Scythians and not just the eastern ones, were derived from both western Eurasian (steppe) and eastern Asian ancestry

Correct but it was allot weaker in the West and more prominent in the East. Also they basically speak of Yamnaya like ancestry with East Asian admixture.

The fact that all the Scythic groups had some East Eurasian ancestry also points to an more Eastern point of origin for the Scythic groups which is in the southern parts of Andronovo complex close to Yaz culture as pointed out by ancient Greeks.

And bout the figure 7 The light blue component seems to be a West and East Eurasian mixed component modeled after modern Central Asians.

Kurti said...

@Jack Rusher

correct, we are always underestimating the impact mothers can sometimes have on the language the children chose or learn to speak.

A example of exactly the same phenomena is Shah Ismail, the founder of the Safavid dynasty son of the Kurdish sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili, and founder of the Safaviyya order, and a Turkmen mother.

He ultimately chose to speak Azeri Turkic after his mother and the whole Kurdish and Persian elite started to speak Azeri too which is the reason why still a large part of Northwest Iran and Azerbaijan speaks Turkic.

I assume when the Scythians moved into the Altai/East they encountered the local people. In order to integreate themselves with these people they started to speak the language of the locals and married local females too.

Kurd said...

I just posted some IBD tables at http://www.eurasiandna.com/2017/02/28/detailed-look-east-north-eurasian-gene-flow-south-west-asians/ if anyone is interested.

Kurti said...

We should also note here what they label as "West Scythian" are infact Sarmatians. There have been long debates already that the Sarmatians and Scythians were not the same.

Bill Lipton said...

This appears to be an updated variation on one aspect of "Grandpa Was A Deity: How a Tribal Assertion Created Modern Culture" {Amazon September 2011}
[http://www.amazon.com/Grandpa-Was-Deity-Assertion-Created/dp/1462053041]

Nirjhar007 said...

Jack,
yes, but modern stats are not trusted, as assimilation took place quite likely , lets see what further ancient evidence speak of :) .

mickeydodds1 said...

The Turks are (or were) our brothers ;)

George Okromchedlishvili said...

@Kurti

You're writing nonsense - there is ZERO G2a1 in Iron Age Sythian and Sarmatian remains
Their haplogorups are typical Steppe ones - R1a, R1b, Q1
Nothing to do with G2a1 that came from Koban Culture in the Caucasus

Seinundzeit said...

Kurd wrora,

Thanks! An exceedingly exhaustive analysis.

And on a personal level, this is all quite interesting.

To put things in perspective, I was previously under the assumption that Scythian populations were going to be very similar to Sintashta/Andronovo/Srubnaya. So, I thought that (perhaps) I had very little (if any) Scythian ancestry.

Mainly, because I can't be modeled with any Steppe_MLBA populations, as I have far too much ANE. Instead, I am best modeled with Yamnaya + MA1/AG3 + Siberian/Native American (and specifically Siberians/Native Americans, I never pick East Asians when provided with the option). At least with nMonte.

But now, the picture looks quite different.

It seems that the Scythians represented a resurgence of Steppe_EMBA ancestry, but with Siberian/Native American-related admixture.

So now, I think I can say with some confidence/certainty that a good portion of my ancestry can be traced to Eastern Scythians.

Basically, I can't wait to play around with those samples, using nMonte.

Kurti said...

@George Okromchedlishvili

I am tarting to get even sick of your presence. I have yet to remember a single constructive comment of yours. All I see is pseudo science, ignorance and nationalistic chauvinism combined in one Person. I will give you an advice if you don't know a crap what you are talking about just shut the hell up for the sake of it. Have you been living under a rock or are you seriously that ignorant.

Russian scientists have examined Haplogroup G2a in several Alanic burials from around Rostov. J1 in Sarmatians among North Caucasus (But a West Iranian, West Indian specific J1 rare in modern Caucasians).

And the ignorant trollish expert you are, inb4 you come up with this. I never gave a specific subclade since they didn't test any further. So no one knows what kind of G2a it is. But one thing is for sure you are talking out of your damn ass if you believe Sarmatian Haplogroups were all R1a, R1b, Q1a.

Next time you want to discuss with the big boys. Make sure your knowledge is on level. Otherwise just stop boring the other with your presence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarmatians#Genetics

Kurti said...

I know what your problem is and I know why you are so keen with the idea of a Steppe (and Steppe only) origin of Indo European. I am not trying to argue against this. Just trying to show the people what is going on in your sick head. You are so keen to it, so you can lay claim on the whole Caucasus for modern Caucasic speakers. Thats the whole f... issue here. Your Chauvinism that blindens you.

But you know what? You might have not heard the news yet. But it is much more likely that at least Kartvellian is a Anatolian_Neo language brought to the Caucasus sometime from the Late Neolithic to Iron Age, by the ~30% Anatolian_Neo ancestors of modern Kartvelians. It is most likely not the original language of the CHG speakers. Would also explain the archaic similarities Basque has with Kartvelian such as Ergativity.

Nirjhar007 said...

I Remember a while ago , we had the debate on Horse Riding , looks like Iran has depiction of horse riding from 2000 BC , though I must admit, that paintings are not easy to date accurately :
https://kurdishdna.blogspot.in/2016/12/archery-in-iran-horse-riding-in-iran.html

Slumbery said...

There are some interesting populations they missed out from their Scythian ancestry and relatedness test. Bashkir and Chuvash would be interesting if there is a connection between Eastern Scythian and Turkic. Especially since Chuvash language is the only extant member of the Oghur branch.

Davidski: I remember you saying among the comments of another post that Pamir Tajik chooses Andronovo against Yamnaya (while Indo-Aryan chooses Yamnaya against Andronovo or Sintashta). There however seems to be quite a lot of Scythian in Pamit Tajik and Scythian is Yamnaya over Andronovo. How would you unify this?
(Although I can see on their map that there are like half a dozen Tajik group included and they are incredibly varied in therms of Scythian relatedness, so I guess not the same sample...)

George Okromchedlishvili said...

"I know what your problem is and I know why you are so keen with the idea of a Steppe (and Steppe only) origin of Indo European. I am not trying to argue against this. Just trying to show the people what is going on in your sick head. You are so keen to it, so you can lay claim on the whole Caucasus for modern Caucasic speakers. Thats the whole f... issue here. Your Chauvinism that blindens you.

But you know what? You might have not heard the news yet. But it is much more likely that at least Kartvellian is a Anatolian_Neo language brought to the Caucasus sometime from the Late Neolithic to Iron Age, by the ~30% Anatolian_Neo ancestors of modern Kartvelians. It is most likely not the original language of the CHG speakers. Would also explain the archaic similarities Basque has with Kartvelian such as Ergativity."

Ossetians are recent language-shifters that cluster with the rest of Caucasians. Case closed. They're closer to Chechens, Georgians and Kabardians than to Kurds or Tadjiks.

As for the rest of your incoherent ramblings - you're an obviously don't understand that Middle Age burials have nothing to do with real Alans. Modern day American Indians also have a lot R1b from Spanish conquistadors but only a troll would argue that its any kind of Amerindian marker.

Yes, my very smart friend _ I am well aware of ENF ancestry among Georgians. I can give you an even better clue - G2a1 - a Neolithic Pre Pottery derived lineage peaks in Western Georgia and is especially high among most archaic and undamaged Kartvelian group - Svans. Meanwhile its frequency in Eastern Georgia is substantially lower than in Western one and guess what? - These lands adopted Kartveian languages only relatively recently and before that belonged to non-Kartvelian Caucasus Albanians.

There are three non-related language families in Caucasus out of which only Nakh-Daghestanian (North-East Caucasian) can be claimed to represent "original" CHG language. Kartvelian and Abkhaz-Adyghe are obviously later comers which also shows in their relative homogeneity (few and not very differentiated branches) compared to NE-Caucasian.


Davidski said...

Seven out of the eight new Scythian/Sarmatian samples are now in the Basal-rich K7 spreadsheet.

http://eurogenes.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/sneak-peek-basal-eurasian-k7.html