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Monday, June 19, 2017

Ancient herders from the Pontic-Caspian steppe crashed into India: no ifs or buts

It's now more than obvious that South Asia experienced an almighty pulse of admixture from an Early Bronze Age (EBA) population originally from somewhere on the Pontic-Caspian steppe in Eastern Europe. This is fairly easy to demonstrate thanks to ancient DNA from Europe and West Asia. One way of doing it is with the qpGraph algorithm.

Moreover, the widespread presence of Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a in South Asia is, at least in large part, linked to this event, because:

- Mesolithic Eastern European foragers belonging to basal clades of R1a do not show any South Asian or even Near Eastern ancestry, so it's likely that R1a is native to Eastern Europe and surrounds

- If R1a is native to Eastern Europe then it can't also be native to South Asia, which is not only thousands of miles away, but also ecologically a different world

- The most common R1a subclades in the world today, R1a-M417 and one of its main daughter branches R1a-Z93, appear in Late Neolithic and Bronze Age European pastoralist groups (Corded Ware, Srubnaya and closely related peoples) that harbor high levels of Eastern European forager ancestry and no signs of South Asian admixture

- Practically 100% of the R1a in South Asia today belongs to the R1a-Z93 subclade, which, based on full Y-chromosome sequencing data, looks like it began expanding rapidly only during the EBA, eventually making its way to South Asia, and this is in line with the available ancient DNA evidence

- In South Asia, R1a and ancient steppe admixture peak in groups that speak Indo-European, including Indo-Aryan, languages, suggesting that both are genetic signals of the Indo-European expansions into the Indian subcontinent

So we're now at a stage where anyone with at least moderate thinking capacity, whose mind isn't poisoned by extreme bias, has to agree that there was a rather large movement of people from the Eurasian steppes into South Asia during the Bronze Age. No ifs or buts.

Ancient DNA from South Asia is on the way. It might throw up a few surprises and force a new model of how the Indo-Europeans and R1a got to South Asia, but it won't turn things upside down. In other words, don't expect the Out-of-India or "indigenous Aryans" theory to suddenly come into the picture as a viable alternative to the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), occasionally presented as the more politically correct Aryan Migration Theory (AMT).

Many Indians still don't get this, or rather they refuse to get it, which is very frustrating, especially if you're a regular in the comments section here. But admittedly it can also be very entertaining.

Last week The Hindu published an interesting piece on the latest developments in South Asian population genetics that were making the AIT, or at least AMT, look like a sure thing:

How genetics is settling the Aryan migration debate

Soon after came this peculiarly titled retort in the Swarajya online magazine, in which unfortunately it's impossible to find a single coherent argument:

Genetics Might Be Settling The Aryan Migration Debate, But Not How Left-Liberals Believe

Generally hilarious stuff, except the parts where the author abuses blogger Razib Khan for moving with the latest genetic data and arguing in favor of the Aryan expansion into India (see here and here).

So what are we to expect when the first big paper with ancient DNA from South Asia comes out, probably in the next few months? For starters, accusations of racism and maybe even hate speech against anyone who claims that the results support AIT or AMT, or anything even close. And lots of shouting and carrying on. But also a lot more comic relief.

See also...

Descendants of ancient European (fair?) maidens in Central Asia's highlands

The Out-of-India Theory (OIT) challenge: can we hear a viable argument for once?

Late PIE ground zero now obvious; location of PIE homeland still uncertain, but...


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Matt said...

Another couple to test:


Seems like removing 0 length drifts and admixture edges just naturally converges this more towards your model Davidski. Would it be possible to run the outlier sheet for these, so I can see what is happening there?

Of course the difference from your model is that this is modeling South Asians as West Asian HG+a population basal to West_Eurasian and East_Eurasian (but derived to Basal-Eurasian), so I'm interested to see if this fails in all kinds of ways in the outlier sheet...

Arza said...

@ "Tales from a parallel Universe"

WHG + Iran Neolithic = Tajik

Z-score: 0.107

Arza said...

WHG + Iran Neolithic = Tajik + Lithuanian

Z-score: -0.210

Davidski said...


Too many outliers to list in the second test.

By the way, some issues...

label Onge Onge
label CHG Caucasus_Mesolithic
label EHG Eastern_Europe_Mesolithic

Should be:

label Andamanese_Onge Andamanese_Onge
label Caucasus_Mesolithic Caucasus_Mesolithic
label Eastern_Europe_Mesolithic Eastern_Europe_Mesolithic

Davidski said...


That Tajik model makes sense.

It's just a very simple version of reality which is that Tajiks are mostly a mixture of ancient Caucaso-Caspian populations and Eastern Europeans.

Bulan Goldstein said...

"...two excavated Khazar bone remains in the lower Don region in the south of Russia, ... both belonged to haplogroup R1a and its subclade Z93. The pattern could be considered typically “Turkic” ... Two human skeletons which were considered in this work, were obtained from two Khazar burial mounds in southern Russian steppes. The mounds, or kurgans, were typical Khazarian mounds surrounded by shallow square ritual ditches. ... Both burials, ... are located in the South-East of the Rostov region on the left bank of Don river, about 70 kilometers from each other. ... In both cases the Y-chromosomal haplogroup of the ancient Khazars was identified as R1a, and the primers specific to SNP mutations R1a-Z280 and R1a-Z93 revealed that the both samples showed negative Z280 and positive Z93 mutations. Thus, both ancient Khazars’ DNA was interpreted to be of the R1a-Z93 “signature”. This is a very rare SNP in present-day ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, Poles and other Slavic male populations, approximately 50% of whom are estimated to carry the R1a haplogroup. On the other hand, R1a-Z93 is very common in present-day Turkic-speaking peoples such as Caucasian Karachaevo-Balkars, also Tatars, Bashkirs, Kirgiz, and other populations who apparently descended from Scythians, and have their common ancestors in the R1a-Z93 subclade dated back to 1500 - 2500 years ago. ... Clearly, these two haplotypes are not closely related to each other, they likely represent two different tribes, albeit both carried in the Y-chromosome the R1a-Z93 haplogroup. This is not surprising, since subclade R1a-Z93 formed approximately 5000 years ago. This haplogroup was discovered in the ancient timber-grave archaeological culture, as well as in the Potapov, Sintashta, Andronovo, Karasuk and other archaeological cultures (Haak et al., 2015; Allentoft et al., 2015); in the present day Indians, particularly in the Indian upper castes (Sharma et al, 2009), among Karachaevo-Balkars, Bashkirs, Tatars, Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Kirgiz, and many other peoples (Klyosov & Saidov, 2015) with a high share of haplogroup R1a-Z93. ... The discovered subclades (R1a-Z93) and haplotypes from the two Khazar burials, one of early Khazar, and another of late Khazar times, are likely to be assigned to Turkic nomadic tribes, which migrated between Central Asia (and Altai region in particular) and the Black Sea area since the middle of the II millennium BC through the I millennium CE and some later. They belonged apparently to different tribes and different haplogroups (among them haplogroups C, G, Q, R1a, R1b), however, thus far only haplogroup R1a was discovered among ancient excavated DNA of the Scythians and related tribes (Haak et al., 2015; Allentoft et al., 2015). This study describes ancient R1a haplogroup in two Khazar skeletons, dated about 1200 and 1300 years before present (earlier and later Khazars) though the two belonged to rather distant DNA lineages, with their common ancestor who lived some 1500 - 2000 years before them. Both the Khazars (R1a-Z93) were unrelated to ancestors of the present day ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, Belarus, Poles, and other Slavic peoples of haplogroup R1a (predominant subclades are R1a-Z280 and R1a-M458; Rozhanskii & Klyosov, 2012), as well as Scandinavians of haplogroup R1a (the predominant subclade being R1a-Z284; ibid.). There are, however, many peoples with a rather large share of R1a-Z93, who speak Turkic languages, and who seem rather closely related to the DNA lineages of the excavated Khazars (some of them live in the Caucasus, some on the former Scythian and Khazar land, and in the area of Volga river, such as Tatars and Bashkirs."

Klyosov, A. and Faleeva, T. (2017) Excavated DNA from Two Khazar Burials. Advances in Anthropology, 7, 17-21. doi: 10.4236/aa.2017.71002.

Davidski said...


What point are you trying to make?

Obviously, Z93 is found in Bronze Age and Iron Age Eastern European and Central Asian remains (Srubnaya, Scythians etc.) that could not have been Turkic speaking, but rather Indo-Iranian and Iranic.

Also, Z645, the ancestral mutation to Z93, is found in Late Neolithic Eastern European remains belonging to the Corded Ware Culture, which no one in their right mind would classify as proto-Turkic, but rather early Indo-European.

So the Khazars who belonged to Z93 were obviously of Iranic stock to some degree, and this is where they got their Z93. Do you agree?

Karl_K said...

And the newest Scythian ancient DNA paper pointed out that some Turkic speaking groups have the highest Scythian ancestry genome wide of anyone alive, but that their language had spread much more recently. This may help clarify when the language shift occurred.

Azarov Dmitry said...

R1a is very ancient in Eastern Europe and Siberia. This is already a fact because it's based on ancient DNA, and it makes sense, because much of Eastern Europe and much of Siberia have the same ecology.

Formation of R1a root subclades (R1a-YP4141, R1a-M459, R1a-M198) took place between 19000 ybp and 14000 ybp and during this period Eastern Europe was covered with ice. So forget about Eastern Europe as a cradle of R1a folks and the same applies to R1b. It’s pretty much obvious that R1 splited on R1a and R1b haplos somewhere in Central Asia and then both haplos survived the LGM somewhere on the Iranian Plateau.

Chad said...

Eastern Europe wasn't covered in ice. Read on the subject a little.

Karl_K said...

During the peak of the ice, you could walk all the way from Spain to Alaska, while hunting mammoth, bison, reindeer, horses, and other large animals. No need to wait it out in Iran.

Samuel Andrews said...

I think I've finally found method that allows one to easily analyse a population's mtDNA affinities in the most indepth way possible. This is something I've been trying to do for 2 years for now.

I'm using this method right now on a really good collection of samples from West Eurasia, South Asia, and Siberia(22,000 samples in total).

I've discovered many important previously West Eurasian subclades. Within the next month I should have some really interesting posts on my blog which analyse the mtDNA affinity of single regions or populations.

Here are few interesting things I've already learned; Southern Italy shares a lot of mtDNA with the Balkans and Near East and there's a lot of popular East European(Slavic?)-specific lineages.

Salden said...

It's embarassingly obvious that opposition to Ancient Steppe admixture in India seen here roots in the following:

1. A hatred of Europe that drives one to deny a shared heritage.

2. A fear at the notion of being a "mongrel."

EastPole said...

“It's embarassingly obvious that opposition to Ancient Steppe admixture in India seen here roots in the following:

1. A hatred of Europe that drives one to deny a shared heritage.”

Why do they hate Eastern Europe?
We have never had colonies and never done anything wrong to them.
It is R1a rich Eastern Europe that they have shared heritage with, not R1b rich Western Europe which had colonies.
They should differentiate.

Azarov Dmitry said...

During the peak of the ice, you could walk all the way from Spain to Alaska, while hunting mammoth, bison, reindeer, horses, and other large animals. No need to wait it out in Iran.

Steppe tundra was not covered with ice but still it was a very harsh place for living. While the Iranian Plateau was a zone with pretty good climate and it could ensure survival of large groups of pops. It’s like a choice between Siberia and Florida. There’s no need to stay in ass frozing hell if you can migrated only 1000 km and live in sunny paradise.

Ric Hern said...

And that is why the Inuit imigrated to Sunny California ? Some people cling tof the Habitat that they know because they figured out how to live there through thousands of years of trial and error...

Ric Hern said...

Most climate changes that lasted for thousands of years took thousands of years to reach their Maximum and thousands of years to decline. This was certainly enough time to adapt to the changes ? Only extreme cases like the sudden dustbowl effect in the US for example forced people to migrate long distances.....

Matt said...

@Davidski: Too many outliers to list in the second test.

Ah, removed Ami from the tree, but forgot to take it out of the pops, which breaks the graph. Should be:

Samuel Andrews said...

"Many people have some kind of feeling that their own current physical location.....have some bearing on their 'real' genetic idenity."

The fact is people rarely mix with foreigners, people rarely immigrate into new lands, and population replacement rarely happens. The main thing we look for is migration. So when it does happen once every so many thousands of years we all freak out. The point is we exaggerate how common migration is.

If you're Indian, it's not so crazy or naive to have a genetic identity with the geographic location of India and to think your ancestors have always lived there.

Rob said...

Yeah its a bit hard to say for sure, but I think R1a arrived to eastern Europe after the LGM, clustered around the boreal forests, making think that it arrived from Siberia. Then most of the later branches expanded from E.E.
R1b had arrived earlier, from ? central Asia via a more southern trajectory, the Black Sea - Caucasus - Balkan route.

Azarov Dmitry said...

@Ric Hern
And that is why the Inuit imigrated to Sunny California ?

That’s why ancestors of Inuit migrated from north to south and populated Sunny California and South America.

Rob said...

@ Azarov

What are you basing your 'sunny California' hypothesis on ?
During the LGM most of Eurasia had more severe and harsh climate, not just Europe. The Zagros region was harsh, cold & treeless, which only improved c. 14 ky BP. There was indeed population continuity, at least on the basis of archaeology, since the local "Aurignacian".
But populations continued to lived in EE and Siberia also.
So at present its difficult to be so confident of how things lay in the world c. 20 ky BP,

Jaydeep said...

Any idea when is the next significant aDNA paper coming ?

batman said...


"Yeah its a bit hard to say for sure, but I think R1a arrived to eastern Europe after the LGM, clustered around the boreal forests, making think that it arrived from Siberia. Then most of the later branches expanded from E.E.
R1b had arrived earlier, from ? central Asia via a more southern trajectory, the Black Sea - Caucasus - Balkan route."

You need to start with some known refugia(s) - from a time well defined as a 'glacial period'. To find the coldest and most devastating 'glacial period' - when a basic bottleneck of the Eurasian genome was created.

Thus "LGM" have become a term containing the time-span 25.000 - 12.000 BP. Which means the present distribiution of human dna within the arctic circumference is no more than 12.000 years.

Moreover it means that the refugia(s) in question would have survived BOTH glacial maxima, at 21-18000 BP as well as 13-12000 BP.

So which areas of northern Eurasia (and northern America) have known populations existing onto and throughout both these periods - as well as immdeiately after...?

Sharma said...


Pointing out problems with Kurgan theory does not signify hatred towards anyone, we all have shared heritage one way or another and are admixed but nothing points to Yamnaya speaking PIE or even late-PIE as for now. I also agree with Kristiina on various things she has pointed out about Volga-Urals and Uralics.

When it comes to South Asia, there are already various problems. There is no archaeological trail of Yamnaya migration to the region (burials, pottery, stone weapons) and to propose they contributed 30-50% admixture to Indo-Aryans is unrealistic. Much talked about in European archaeology "Cord-impressed egg-shaped" Yamnaya pottery is also not found during this time period or those stone axes. South Asia had such simialr cord-impressed egg-shaped pottery in Late Mesolithic/Early Neolithic in Eastern India but it fell out of vogue before farming revolution, nothing points to them being "Yamnaya".

Bronze work starts in early Neolithic in IVC. It was followed by Iron work (Black and Red ware culture) only a two centuries after Hitties, Iron works are also very different technique from those applied in West Asia.

Europe has ancient DNA from every period currently. Iran has only Mesolithic and Neolithic but it's not enough. We need Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic ancient DNA from South Asia, West Asia Central Asia to conclude anything.

Davidski said...


batman said...


Better start defining the origin of the arctic Eurasians that - obviously - did survive LGM; somewhere north of Zagros, Taurus, Anatolia, Greece, Italy and Spain.

If Pinhasi et al is right there should be at least ONE refugia north of the 45th parallel, to explain the homogenity of the North Europeans. If we're able to define their refugia in space - as we are in time - we should be able to spot the historic reality behind the mythic terms "ari" (arien/arian) and "asi" (aser/azur). See also; 'Asia'.

In the Icelandic myths the "Aser" are known as paralells to the "Ari" of the Indian myths. As the first and oldest among the arctic populations - surviving "a climate catastrophe known as the "Fimbulwinter", when the survivors had to endure "a winter that endured for three whole years, without no summers inbetween".

Comparing the Icelandic Rig-stula and the Indian Rig-veda one may find that they really shared a common history - bore by formalized, traded memories; from story-teller to story-teller, within a common, I-E language-family.

That's old as the Eurasian north, i.e. some 11.500 years. When the arctic men and women grew may enough to start inter-relating with their tropical cousins, from whom they've been isolated since the start of LGM. If not longer...

Starting with the arcic makro-groups y-dna F it should be possible to explain it's post-glacial branching as a common event - as new branches of y-dna GHIJK were formed, rooted and developed into regional dynasties - respectively - from Gibraltar to Manchuria.

Thus we may adress the G-dynasty as the original 'arians' of the Meds, while sub-branches of the brother-line y-dna I populated Northern Europe, while H and J became dynasties on the Indian subcontinent.

Add the Uralian north - which developed by it's own as a peculiar language of the forest-people, peopling the Boreal forest of eastern Eurasia. - and the repopulation of Eurasia is pretty much clearified. As a moverment from west to east - and than from north to south - as the arctic survivors multiplied, spread and developed regular contacts with the tropical populations of the post-glacial world.

The origin and spread of the linguistic stem creating the root of the I-E languages can be easily explained as a result of an "arian migration" that started just after ice-time, as the arctic and tropic were able to - finally - meet again. To re-fertilize and repopulate the vast but barren post.glacial nature, north of the 40th paralell. As well as building similar cultures, centras and capitols with and within the tropical etnicities.

Thus the I-E language - as well as the I-E artforms and symbolism - can be tracked to the initial spread of the 'arctic' culture - where horti-cultivation as agri-cultivation and domestication was long-standing traditions, due to existential needs.

Not to mention salmon-fishing;

Nirjhar007 said...

Any idea when is the next significant aDNA paper coming ?

Greek . The very important one , unfortunately for some specific reasons the publication is delayed. But should be out very soon .

Sharma said...


Your theory reminds me of what Mark Pagel et al (2013) proposes, some 7 language families found in Eurasia having common ancestor some 15k ybp ago.

There is various criticism of Mark Pagels theory however, which can be found here.

Sharma said...

@Azarov Dmitry

Agreed. Horvath et al. 2016 and Semenov et al. 2016 propose R1a migration from Iranian plateau to else where in Eurasia.

R1a* M420 which is upstream clad to R1a1* is still found there.

R1b* (M343) which is upstream clad to other R1b1* in Eurasia is also found in Iran.

We don't find old upstream R1a* and R1b* in other parts of Eurasia. I'm sure more ancient DNA from Iran and South Central Asia will solve this issue.

Unknown said...

Forget the word Yamnaya. The Kurgan theory aka the Steppe theory aka the Eastern European theory is the theory the starting point of the Indo-European expansion. It says no strict binding to any cultures or to their sequence. It has no problems with the migration of Indo-Aryans into South Asia, because it does not approve of any migration of the Yamnaya culture into South Asia, this claim to you personally.
You confuse the eras and millenniums and cultures.
As we see you know nothing of archeology, otherwise he would know that the Painted Grey Ware culture there are ceramics like a ceramic of the Carpathians-Danube region, but it have not any analogues out of Europe.
And other and other and other...

batman said...


I've linked to Pagel et al on this blog already, adding that "15.000 yrs BP" is to be understood as the "Younger Dryas-period".

This was the period where northern America and Eurasia experienced an exceptional drop in yearly main temperature, by some 5 centigrade in less than 50 years - leading to a mass-extinction of Eurasian mammals - and a severe bottle-neck to the ones that survived - within some 'climatical refugia(s)'. The cause of this lethal climate-drop is disputed but it's appearance, consequence and impact duely documented.

Seemingly there were a first and worst drop starting some 12.930 yrs BP, dropping more than 5 centigrades in less than 50 years. Then there was yet another, though smaller drop appearing at the end of the "Younger Dryas". All in all the drop in main annual temperature is repported as 9-10 centigrade i Europe - and 15 degrees over the Greenland Ice Sheet, from where there are de facto messurements available, as drilled ice-cores.

Today it's pretty clear that this cathastrophe was ending just about 12.000 BP - when the climate suddenly improves as sudden as the cold-waves came. As Younger Dryas becomes Early Holocene the main-temperature in Europe rises some 9-10 degrees - to the level of the Alleroed interstadial, equalling todays climate-type - in less than 300 years. Which in and of itself is out of the ordinary - again pulling the question of what caused such abnormal plunges in the earths climate.

That may even confirm the myths of Rigstula and Rigveda, both stating that the indigenious Eurasians are a product of a common, post-glacial ancestor - known to have survived "the time of frost, rim and ice". While turning 'arctical' - as a proto-type of the 'colorless caucasian'. Still to be seen among the indigenous NW Europeans...

Davidski said...


We don't find old upstream R1a* and R1b* in other parts of Eurasia. I'm sure more ancient DNA from Iran and South Central Asia will solve this issue.

Is there any reason you ignored all those R1a and R1b indigenous forager samples from all over Eastern Europe with no signs of any admixture from Iran or South Central Asia?

You don't think they're relevant to this?

Unknown said...

"R1a migration from Iranian plateau to else where in Eurasia. R1a* M420 is still found there."

This is incorrect information. It comes from an Underhill (from 2009 etc.) who mistakenly believes subclade R1a-YP4141 for R1a*, which is associated with its limitations in testing. He had a lot of mistakes due to the fact that many samples they do not typedown, so he called it "basal", but it's not. Subclade R1a-YP4141 has two very old branches: (West) European YP4132 and Western Asian YP5018, which is likely brought Hittite-Luvians.

See A few years ago there was also R1a* in East Asian samples.

Sharma said...


Those are downstream clads found in EHG or else we would see upstream clads along side downstream clads within various Kurgan people. Let us wait and see what ancient DNA from Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic Central Asia and South Asia shows. EHG is admixted. ANE is also admixed. We don't know who those UHG from West Asia are either, a lot is unclear and aDNA is still at its early stages.

@Ir Pegasus

"which is likely brought Hittite-Luvians."

did you time-travel and had a look at their Y-DNA? We have no Hittite-Luvian DNA.

Sharma said...

@Ir Pegnesus

I was talking about European archaeologists about their bizarre "Pottery not people" theory with those Kurgan Cord-impressed pottery arriving to Europe with expansion of Samara/Yamnaya-like people theory.

We find similar pottery already in Pitted Ware culture in Scandinavia, in mesolithic/neolithic Eastern India and Central India, in East Asia and Southeast Asia - all had similar hunter-gatherer cord-impressed egg-shaped pottery like Yamnaya and none of cultures have anything to do with Yamnaya or Kurgan-like expansion in those regions.

About Painted Grey Ware : That is laughable, Painted Grey Ware is somewhat continuity of Harrapan pottery tradition. This is according to archaeologists, including Mallorys and Anthonys "Elite recruitment" theory where pottery was made by local people, not elites. Painted Grey Ware pottery is not associated with anything west of Indus river.

Unknown said...


Painted Grey Ware ceramic is not the Painted Grey Ware culture! The Painted Grey Ware ceramics were only 10% in the Painted Grey Ware culture! Name of a culture is conventionality which mean nothing. Painted Grey Ware ceramic is mean nothing.

Gill said...

While the Yamnaya -> Corded Ware (R1a1) -> Sintashta/Andronovo (R1a-Z93-Z2124) connection is established through genetics and archaeology, it's still mostly the Z2124 clade of Z93 that's accounted for, and that has limited presence east of the Indus river. It's the main clade in Afghanistan though, so that addresses the origin of the Pashtun, an Indo-Iranian ethnic group speaking an Indo-Iranian language (and Z2124 is the main clade in Tajiks too I suppose? Someone correct me if I'm wrong).

But L657, the primary clade of Indo-Aryans (well, R1a Indians and other South/Southwest Asians), is still not accounted for.

Gill said...

The closest thing to a root (R-Y3*) is one sample from Eastern Saudi-Arabia:

Though there's also a R-Z2124* from Saudi-Arabia.

But the next oldest is a Z2122* from Russia.

Unknown said...

"Corded Ware (R1a1) -> Sintashta/Andronovo (R1a-Z93-Z2124)" it is good.
"While the Yamnaya -> Corded Ware (R1a1)" it is not good now because Yamnaya is R1b-Z2103 while.

Coldmountains said...

Pashtuns , Tajiks and Afghan Uzbeks have around 10% L657. Tajiks and Uzbeks have almost as much L657 as Z2124. Pashtuns are 40-45% Z2124>YP413>M12280(looks like a recent founder effect and 10% L657 + a bit Y40 and Z93-. So the L657/Z2124 ratio is higher in the North than in the East which is closer to India. Basal M780 was found in Ukraine and M780 is just a bit upstream of L657.

Coldmountains said...

Only late northeastern Andronovo was tested. I expect L657 to be found in early Southern Andronovo. L657 seems to be older than Andronovo and was probably born in Abashevo.

Jaap said...

The word 'crashed' in the title is somewhat provocative. Steppe-genes ended up in India in large numbers, so much is obvious. They brought a language, and a religeous vocabulary, plus possibly one or two other things. Remarkably R1a, no R1b took psrt in this migration-process. This three-pronged transition (genes, language, religion) is a bit of Behemoth of a fact. It's huge and puzzling, as the authochtonous population was so advanced and so numerous. They seem to have got along like a house on fire! A slightly ambivalent formulation ... How they came, when they came, where they came (the route), whence they came (what steppe-group exactly), why they came ... No one has the slightest idea, but somehow everyone has an idea, a visualisation of how this Behemoth took place. Thus the whole thing is fraught with projections. And in such a situation it is notoriously hard to keep thinking straight.
The word 'Aryan' has an awful ring. As does 'Caucasian'. Frankly it would be better to steer clear of these words as thay are so laden with racial prejudice, and worse: Nazi propaganda. All the white guys posting on this blog are handicapped by this relic from the past. The Indian guys look past this with ease.
Other stereotypes muddle up the issue; Tatars, Avars, Huns, and what have you, are continously galloping on horseback from the steppe, whooping and hollering (Karl May stuff, that), wreaking all sorts of sadistic havoc on quite innocent agrarian people trying to make ends meet in the face of adversity. There's absolutely no evidence the Yamnaya - or the Yamnaya-like - at issue here were like that at all. They could well have been raiders, but they needn't have been. Maybe they were traders or diplomats. Scythians were later. And even they may have had a bad press for unknown reasons ... Yamnaya and Cucuteni-settlements coexisted peacefully (? Maybe not our idea of 'peace', but still ...) for centuries.
The Indian guys posting here tend to have problems with what Davidsky calls the little details. Again: very provocative! They are looking for the trail, the evidence for what happened. Most of all they want the narrative to be in accordance with the ancient literary Avestan and Sanscrit sources. Let's call a spade a spade: there was no 'invasion': not a shred of evidence for that in the archealogical record! There was a migration, though! But not attested as such in the ancient literature. This ancient record doesn't lie, it is not trying to hide anything. They insist the narrative should be in accordance with 'the memories', and I'm inclined to agree. This ancient record has been painstakingly upheld in the memory of the people because of an agenda unfamiliar to us, for thousands of years. It must somehow be respected.
NB. For the same reason I think that the record left by Celtic scribes should not be dismissed as 'legendary'. It held truth 'according to them', and this differs from the truth according to us. But I think it is important to realise that it can't lie! So any narrative should try to somehow accord with it.

Matt said...

@ Davidski, cheers. I'm pretty certain I can't modify this model any more to get anything like as low a Z score for the same populations as you have achieved through the model in your main post (2.229 vs 3.736)! Without adding some kind of admixture from both Iran_N and Steppe and probably Onge. This seems like the closest that is possible for a model using admixture of Basal ANI / ASI proxies.

For a last model to try:

Vara said...


"Most of all they want the narrative to be in accordance with the ancient literary Avestan and Sanscrit sources."

There's no such thing as that. Only in the Vedas there's such a thing as Indo-Aryans as being given their current land by Yama. Yama's original land could be anywhere even 3 miles west of wherever the IA land was.

On the other hand, the steppe fanboys just pick and choose whatever fits with their narrative.

1. They ignore Rigveda so that the Indo-Aryans can reach the Indus post 1500BCE. The Rigveda is the least mythical Veda but it's considered purely myths by them.

2. They ignore the Gathas while using the Younger Avesta as proof of the Andronovo migration. There's no such thing as chariots in the Gathas and the warrior caste is not related to chariots for once, and that's weird for the "descendants" of Andronovo. What they use from the Gathas are the names that in end up in aspa (horse), an animal found even in Mesopotamia, while ignoring the ustra(camel) that Indo-Iranians were familiar with. Camels only appeared north of BMAC post 1200BCE and they were very rare. They use the Yashts instead, which are post Achaemenid texts and finished during the late Sassanid era.

" Let's call a spade a spade: there was no 'invasion': not a shred of evidence for that in the archealogical record!"

Agreed. There were conflicts atleast post 1400BCE, though.

But what's really annoying are the double standards used here. No Andornovo burials in BMAC just some pottery and that's considered a migration. Yet, these same people consider metallurgy and kurgans came from the females of Maykop or from trade.

Davidski said...


Ric Hern said...

What I take from these discussions is that some try to tell us that Indo-Aryan Languages are not Connected to Indo-European languages in Europe and there are no Connection between Ireland and India ?

I am at least glad to know that Indo-Europeans in Europe knows where they originated from Genetically and most probably Culturally as well.

Coldmountains said...

@Ric Hern

Nationalist Indians very much want take pride in the uniqueness of Indian civilization and want to unite Indo-Aryans, Dravidians and other people of India under on nationalists ideology so AMT is a big problem for them because it very much means that Indian civilization took impulses from the West (not just Aryans but also Neolithic farmers from Iran) and that there is some deeper divide between Dravidians and Aryans. So many of them claim that Hindi is closer to Telugu/Tamil/.. than to Irish because Telugu has some Sanskrit words. It is very much a desperate argumentation but many believe it because they want to believe it. An Afghan or Pakistani would rarely have a problem with AMT because they would take pride in having some "foreign " ancestry from the northwest.

Matt said...

Hmm, that didn't work. Can't improve that model with simply an edge from Iran_N.

Could try a Steppe_EMBA edge there, but I think I'll abandon variations on this model.

@ Davidski, changing tack, have you tried modelling the maximum ASI populations with your successful main model? That's populations like GujaratiD, Paniya. Also populations that look like ASI+East Asian: Munda, Kusunda.

Ideally could be good to fit two populations at the extreme end of the South Asian cline on the same graph, because that should add more constraint to the ANI and ASI populations.

Unknown said...

"It's actually pretty funny reading some Slavocentric posts about how Zarathushtra was born around the Volga! Yep, the owner of the golden camels lived in an area were no camels lived!"

Well, you might laugh... But camels were actually common in Volga region until half a century ago. Nowadays only very few are left.

Davidski said...


You mean like this?

MfA said...

The Saudi Z2124*'s surname is Kurdi. He used to use Turkey as country of origin but apparently has changed it to KSA later on.

Matt said...

Yep, just I was thinking instead of Paniya and Gond on the same graph, using Paniya and Brahmin_India on the same graph:

Basically because the input of D9 and D7 into D10 differs for Paniya and Brahmin_India, so I was interested in how that would affect the model, and whether that would make a model necessary where you have an extra D7+C2 population necessary. Which would be:

Davidski said...


Matt said...

Thanks. Funnily enough it seems like the second model with a separate ASI which is Iran_N related plus ENA actually gave a worse Z score fit. I was not expecting that.

Proportions looking at the better model where Paniya and Brahmin_India are co-fit

Brahmin_India: Iran_N - 32%, CHG - 18%, EHG - 16%, South_Asian - 34% (total Steppe - 34%).

Paniya: Iran_N - 9%, CHG - 5%, EHG - 4%, South Asian - 82% (total Steppe - 9%).

Makes sense. Perhaps the reason why the separate ASI with its own Iran_N is not necessary is that the level of West Eurasian type components in Paniya is so low...

Couple of other graphs (though I suspect these might be harder to fit):

Fitting Gond, Brahmin_India and Kalash together -

Fitting Paniya and Kharia together, using Ami for the East Eurasian edge into Kharia -

Arza said...

@ Matt
Maybe this will help you a little bit:

May contain peanuts and an answer to Garvan's question:
b) Would the model work if Iran_Neolithic ancestry came in two waves, both before the steppe admixture, and again as part of the steppe admixture? Is this not the most likely case?

Arza said...

@ Matt
With Ami added to the equation it looks like that:

Arza said...

For the model that includes Ami I have such two ghosts (Global_10):


ASI_1 is based on Iran_N I1945 and Chamar
ASI_2 is based on Ami and Bonda

Population,Iran_Neolithic:I1945,ASI_1,ASI_2,Ami,D statistic

So if this model is true the real ASI was somewhere around these two points.

Vara said...

@Sleept Kat

All camel remains north of BMAC before 1200BCE are now classified as onager remains. Camels became common sometimes after 1000BCE and really common when the Silk Road came to be.

@Ric Hern

Most Out Of India people believe in an Indo-European language that came out of IVC, which is not possible.

Salden said...

Update on the Moroccan samples. They're apparently from this excavation:

The poster who leaked an upcoming study supported it being from that study:

Davidski said...


And I don't have Ami, Kharia and Paniya in the same dataset, so...

Matt said...

@ Davidski, great, thanks:

Proportion comparisons between these two models and five populations:

Problem stats with the model with Munda and India_South relate to the greater relatedness of ANE related populations to Ami than Andamanese...

f4( Yor Cau And Ami) model: 0, reality: 0.004032, difference: 0.004032, standard error?: 0.001331, Z (difference/standard error) 3.029

f4 (Yor Yam And Ami) model: 0, reality: 0.004567, difference: 0.004567, standard error?: 0.001131, Z: 4.039

f4 (Yor Eas And Ami) model: 0, reality: 0.006261, difference: 0.006261, standard error?: 0.001498, Z: 4.178


Unknown said...

This wait for the next papers is too tense, some History is on the brink of being solved. Does anyone know if the Mycenaean samples are of elite burials, and how many samples there possibly could be, is there a chance of any Iron age samples being included. As for the IE question, these Mycenaeans will be of utter importance, IMO more so then the IVC reults.

Comrade Theodore said...

Can you suggest me a top 20 books to make sense of the debate going on in here.

Davidski said...

Well I wish I could, but things are moving so quickly in this area and related fields that just about all of the books out there are outdated.

Best thing you can do is to go through this blog and read the entries that you're interested in plus the scientific papers that they link to.

Or you can just wait for the big ancient DNA papers on South Asia that will come out later this year and/or next year. They'll have the very latest data and concepts, plus I'll be analyzing the data here when it's released.

Anonymous said...

@Azarov Dmitry

"Steppe tundra was not covered with ice but still it was a very harsh place for living. While the Iranian Plateau was a zone with pretty good climate and it could ensure survival of large groups of pops. It’s like a choice between Siberia and Florida. There’s no need to stay in ass frozing hell if you can migrated only 1000 km and live in sunny paradise."

HG's don't do that. They followed the herds of mammoths untill these got extinct. Then they dispersed. Hence the Epigravettian. BTW, Eskimo's didn't go to Florida either.

primeargument said...

Argument similar to Jaydeep made here. Only ancient DNA from subcontinent will prove the correct migration theory. This matter is far from settled.

Davidski said...

@Aditya Singh

The article you linked to is nonsense. The author is arguing that up is down and down is up based on outdated data.

Rami said...

Wow David your going from bitter to outright crazy. Being more equivocal would serve you better.

Davidski said...

The article that was linked to was fact free. If you think that it did offer something useful then you're living in la la land like the author. Too bad for you.

And you'll see exactly how "crazy" I am when the ancient DNA data from South Asia are published.

Samurai Jack said...

"The reason for no Clear Archaeological Material connection between Steppe and India could maybe be that Steppe people adopted the Cultures that they came into contact with, much like what happened in Western Europe with the Bell Beaker phenomenon...."

Or could be the oversimpfication and trying too hard to fit a false theory, couldn't it?

Samurai Jack said...

"specially the ones when they explicitly say that they are from elsewhere, not India."

LMAO! Thanks for exposing your retardation. Go and read Shrikant Talageri's work on this. He has proved the origin of Aryans is in India as per Vedic and Avestan texts.

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