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Friday, June 30, 2017

At the half-way mark


It's been a huge first six months of the year, with the publication of at least five major ancient DNA preprints and papers (depending on how you define major in this context). Here are the five most popular posts at this blog in 2017 thus far:

Ancient herders from the Pontic-Caspian steppe crashed into India: no ifs or buts - over 10,000 hits and counting

Late PIE ground zero now obvious; location of PIE homeland still uncertain, but... - over 10,000 hits

The Bell Beaker Behemoth (Olalde et al. 2017 preprint) - almost 7,000 hits

Latest on Bell Beaker and Corded Ware - almost 6,000 hits

The genomic history of Southeastern Europe (Mathieson et al. 2017 preprint) - almost 6,000 hits

All of these posts are, one way or another, concerned with what ancient DNA says about the expansions of the Proto-Indo-Europeans and/or Indo-Aryans. In other words, the combo of ancient DNA and the Indo-Europeans is what really brings in the crowds here. Conversely, as far as I can tell based on the blog stats, few people nowadays care much about population history papers based solely on present-day DNA.

So what are we to expect in the second half of 2017? Probably quite a lot, including all of that awesome genotype data from the Olalde et al. and Mathieson et al. preprints, as well as a few more ancient DNA preprints and papers. I'm pretty sure that we'll soon see a paper on the origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans, and another one on the population history of South Asia, with samples from Harappan and Swat culture sites. Somewhere amongst all of that there will also probably be genomes from BMAC and Maikop. Below, a pic of South Asia and surrounds courtesy of NASA.


It's hard to predict what will happen in the comments here when the paper on South Asia comes out. But apparently there are five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), and I expect our anti-Kurgan and anti-Aryan Invasion/Migration regulars to go through all five of these stages before they finally accept reality as dictated by the ancient DNA from South Asia. It'll be a hoot whatever happens. So please stay tuned, and remember to behave in the comments.

53 comments:

velvetgunther said...

Looking at a globe, the distance between the steppes and South Asia doesn't appear to be all that much as opposed to viewing it on a Mercator projection.

Mark B. said...

I suspect that there will be no acceptance by the Indo-originists. They could be simple nationalists, but I would guess that you're dealing with Hindu fundamentalists. If so, they have attacked Western scholars of Hinduism for merely discussing Hindu history that they don't approve of. Wendy Doniger has been a target of their reactionary worldview, and others have suffered similarly. When you're talking science, and your opponent is motivated by religion, you're talking past each other, and you can never win.

Synome said...

@velvetgunther

Google maps tells me I can walk from Aralsk on the Kazakh steppe to Peshawar in about 21 days. They didn't have nice highways to walk along then, but they did have horses.

mickeydodds1 said...

Despite all the angst, denial, chauvinism, anger, bally-hoo, squabbling, quibbling, obfuscation etc etc, I, for one, can see only positivity in these scientific findings.

I have a new found sense of connection and sympathy with the people of the subcontinent, and the history band culture of India in particular. There is a feeling of long lost brotherhood.

Jaap said...

That a lot of steppe-genes ended up in India is not going to come as a big surprise for anyone, and frankly, I don't get why this should be an issue for kurganists. It's not a contest for chrissakes, it's a search for the 'truth'. This evasive reality will continue to baffle for some more years, I reckon. Too many elements of the puzzle of how this came about are apparently irretrievably lost to us. I very much doubt that more a-dna will solve this enigma any time soon.
As to the Indian perspective, I can see that many can hardly conceive of all that 'we' have here came from 'there'. How? (no evidence to speak of). Why? How are we going to visualise a relatively primitive (?)horde of pastoralists driving their herds across mountain-ranges to 'crash' unannounced into a fully-fledged urban society? Without leaving any trail?
We know next to nothing of the grape-vine of the chalcolithic and the BA, of the long-distance bonds that may have formed through embassies along the trade routes, about the possible hostages and or foster-children that may have been exchanged (to settle deals perhaps?). But some sort of a pony-express, or pigeon-carriers are not in the books. And we know absolutely zero of the players in the diplomatic field.
Davidsky just erased a post about a feeling of 'brotherhood' wrt the Indian guys. Maybe he thought it was not relevant enough. But it makes me wonder about his agenda. He'll probably erase me too ...
On topic, though, imo it will be hard to come up with a convincing scenario even after all the gentic info has come in.

Jaap said...

Wow, he put it back!

Davidski said...

@Jaap

We know next to nothing of the grape-vine of the chalcolithic and the BA, of the long-distance bonds that may have formed through embassies along the trade routes, about the possible hostages and or foster-children that may have been exchanged (to settle deals perhaps?).

Sure, and this resulted in gene flow only from the steppe to South Asia, and mostly into South Asian upper castes.

At least try and come up with something coherent.

By the way, it's impossible for me to delete and bring back comments. Once they're deleted, they're gone. So you're being paranoid.

Anthro Survey said...

@Jaap:

What makes you think it was a complex, urban society?

I think this was just mainly the case with the Indus basin+Gujarat+the western regions down to Kerala.

The folks of the Bengal and Central Ganges region were likely to have led a more primitive, rural life. In fact, I'd go so far as to suspect that hunters and foragers were a large minority(if not majority) in the Bengal-Orissa region during the supposed Indo-Aryan migration.

aniasi said...

The major problem I see here is terminology. Throughout this forum and others, I have seen unverifiable references to 'invaders', 'raiders', or 'marauders.' The very problematic use of 'Aryan Invasion Theory' itself results in a conflation of sound scientific findings with western colonialism. If the theory was called anything else, it would likely be far better accepted in India.

In addition, the belief that the Indo-Aryans were invaders seems to be based on the higher concentration of R1a amongst the higher castes, and the same with the steppe component. However, history shows that 'Barbarians' can often be found on both sides. Attila was of Germano-Iranian descent, but so was Aetius, the Roman who stopped him. For all we know, they could have shared the same Y-dna marker. The Indo-Aryans could have just as easily been Stilichos as Alarics.

The IVC was already in decline when the Indo-Aryans arrive, and it is not a long shot to consider that there may have been conflicts between city-states for limited resources, or even incursions from outside. In this situation, with more men dying fighting, the steppe arrivals may easily have been welcomed as warrior rulers who could protect their subjects, and the males would have had ample single and widowed females to marry.

If we dropped the insistence on viewing the steppe peoples as invaders, it would go a long way in removing the resistance to these findings.

Davidski said...

@aniasi

If the steppe peoples were invaders, and the evidence clearly shows this, then that's what they were. It's a truth that everyone will have to deal with sooner or later.

Currently, the genetic evidence suggests strongly that South Asia suffered a couple of invasions from the steppe during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. But a lot of people are playing dumb to try and avoid seeing this rather obvious conclusion.

Eventually, ancient data from South Asia might contradict this and perhaps point to a mostly migration scenario. And that'd be fine, because I think deep down almost everyone wants to know what really happened, and to be sure of it beyond any reasonable doubt. But if so, then it's not acceptable to back a certain theory just because it's more diplomatic.

AJ said...


"ancient DNA says about the expansions of the Proto-Indo-Europeans and/or Indo-Aryans."

Since when? I have not come across any DNA study that says Yamnaya or steppe are Proto-Indo-Europeans.

Reich also few weeks ago said Yamnaya is not PIE. Calling them Indo-European is also questionable since nothing points to them speaking that, they left no script behind. We also don't have Hittite ancient DNA yet.

The fact that there is low steppe admixture in Iran & Caucasus itself proves Yamnaya cant be Indo-Europeans, it's highly likely that Maykop culture or Kura-Araxes culture spoke PIE. High steppe admixture in Central Asia and South Asia looks pseudo-steppe, cant be Indo-European but shared ancestry given the geography.

Only for Gimbuta fan-boys steppes are Indo-Europeans.

Elizabeth H said...

@Davidski
That's interesting. I believe you.

Davidski said...

@AJ

There's around 20% Yamnaya/Andronovo-related admixture on average in Iran, and plenty of R1b-M269 and R1a-M417.

That's a lot of steppe admixture, and clear, direct paternal links to Yamnaya and Corded Ware. The latter obviously was Indo-European, and if it was, then Yamnaya was also.

You don't want to acknowledge this because you don't like the thought of it.

AJ said...

@Davidski

"And I burst out laughing when I read the pseudo-steppe comment."

Keep laughing and by the end of this year you can also change your blog name to "Gimbutas Fantasies" or "Gimbutas #1 fanboy" because steppe theory is already dead, except for you.

1. Yamnaya is not PIE. There is no consensus in any genetic journal regrading origins of PIE.

2. We have no ancient DNA from Hittites, Maypok culture, Kura Araxes culture.

3. Oldest Indo-European language is still from Anatolia.

4. There is more to this than some "steppe" people and the steppe theory is already out for PIE.

Davidski said...

That's very funny.

But you sound deranged.

akhil misra said...

Dr Peter Underhill in his recent E-Mail communication stated as under:-
“It is important to realize that haplogroup R1a1 is just one piece of genetic information that informs the conversation about the peopling of Eurasian as well as Indian. It is also important to keep in mind that the Y chromosome locus is sensitive to founder effect and high frequencies may over-emphasize the magnitude of the impulse relative to other genetic data. For example while the Y chromosome might indicate a large degree of replacement of other Y chromosomes in a region, while other genetic data may indicate that the degree of replacement and mixing was not as great as reflected by Y chromosome data alone.”
He further states:-
“The place of origin of the M417 branch & Z93 & Z282 branches as well as the Z780 branch is uncertain but the diversification and distribution of M780 sub-lineages is consistent with an approximate 5,000 years ago time horizon. As city state populations began to rise relatively recently (post-New Stone Age ie Neolithic) the frequency distribution of M780 is consistent with this population growth as well as a culture involving metallurgy and probably Indo-European speakers as well as displacement of earlier peoples. While locally at considerable frequencies, the overall distribution of various R1a lineages is a minority fraction (ca. 10%) in the Indian population overall.”
Dr Nicole Boivin in her paper 'Anthropological, historical, archaeological and genetic perspectives on the origins of caste in South Asia':
“Part of the reason that many geneticists prove Indo-Aryan invasions so frequently is that they give little if any consideration to other populations that have or may have entered South Asia in prehistoric and historic times. Another problematic assumption that therefore needs to be highlighted is that in much of the genetics literature, the only (or only significant) possible post-Holocene source of nonindigenous genetic material is Indo-Aryans.”
Thus genetics have not proved AIT which still remains open. Now it is upto the Davidski to convince Peter Underhill that AIT is proved conclusively. Davidski needs all his and other geneticists persuasive power to convince, majority of Archaeologists about veracity of AIT. Starting with Dr Nicoleia an good idea.

akhil misra said...

David Ski says:-
“If the steppe peoples were invaders, and the evidence clearly shows this, then that's what they were. It's a truth that everyone will have to deal with sooner or later.

Currently, the genetic evidence suggests strongly that South Asia suffered a couple of invasions from the steppe during the Bronze Age and Iron Age.”
The above statement is probably true only in a very limited context simply because:-
1. There is no Archaeological or Anthropological evidence in support of AIT hypothesis.
2. The so called evidence is limited to post modern genetics and is not accepted by Archaeologists/Anthropologists.
3. Ancient Indian DNA results are yet to come in.
4. Genetics cannot determine the linguistic question about origin of Sanskrit.
What do Archaeologists say about genetic studies?
a) Archaeologist Nicole Boivin (Director of the Department of Archaeology at Max Planck Institute, for the Science of Human History in Germany) cites few studies to show that genetic studies confirm AIT because they assume AIT to start with.
b) Nicole Boivin further states that ‘genetic studies reconstructing a picture on the basis of today’s castes are liable to err when they assume that those castes were identical three to four millennia back.’
Thus genetic evidence is neither conclusive nor a necessary or sufficient condition to prove AIT. In order to become a theory, AIT needs support of Anthropologists and Archaeologists. The disagreement between Archaeologists and Geneticists need to be resolved if we are to progress any further. I don’t see this happening any time soon even if ancient DNA sample support AIT.

akhil misra said...

Professor Michel Danino (IIT Gandhinagar) has made the following points in his recent article:-
1. Limited and skewed sample with bias inbuilt into the data set resulting in prejudiced genetic studies. On Marina Siva’ 2017 paper which hypothesise sex biased dispersal in Indian Subcontinent he says:-
a) Silva et al.’s study sequenced very few new genomes of the Subcontinent’s populations; rather, it revisited older samples with new techniques (about 1,500 for their mtDNA study and 850 for their genome-wide study). That is, of course, a valid exercise, but such a small data set remains inadequate to represent the diversity of Indian populations, which the paper itself often stresses (“a remarkable genetic diversity”, “a very complex history”, etc.), and may easily lead to over-interpretation of the limited data.
b) Moreover, the paper (see its Fig. 2) inherits from earlier studies serious inconsistencies in categorising the samples, grouped sometimes regionally (“Sindhi”, “Bengali from Bangladesh”, “Gujarati from Houston”, “Indian Telugu from UK”, with no further details), sometimes caste-wise (“Kshatriya”, “Low-caste South” and “Central”, “Brahmin South” and “Central”, again without further details), and sometimes religion-wise (“Muslim”, with no geographical precision).
c) A look at Table S3 in Additional file 1 makes it clear that thousands of communities from all over the Subcontinent are left out of the picture. Bias is built into the data set.

2. David Reich model of ANI & ASI is flawed and lacks scientific validity as its data set is neither widespread nor representative.
ANI & ASI model leads to predetermined results.
3. “ We might as well put forth constructs of “Ancestral Eastern Indians” and “Ancestral Western Indians” and demonstrate that most Indian populations “can be approximated as a mixture of these two” — the approach would be just as valid, or invalid, as that of Reich et al.”
4. M Silva & other writers assume that population migrating in or about Central Asia must have been speaking a proto-Indo-Iranian language. Genetic data cannot determine linguistic question.
5. Archaeological evidence does not support AIT. Archaeological trails of Harappan presence in Central Asia,Persia and Persian Gulf not factored/investigated in R1a debate instead of assuming that R1a spread into India from Central Asia.
6. Indian presence in Persia, Anatolia, Armenia and Greece, Afghanistan and central Asia is never factored in the two genetic studies.
7. On sex biased dispersal he says that “Anthropologically, pastoral migrations that leave behind their women folk makes no sense.”
8. Indo-European problem is essentially a multi-disciplinary problem.

Davidski said...

@akhil misra

Quite frankly, I don't care what Peter Underhill thinks. He missed the obvious sitting duck in his 2014 paper, in which the data clearly showed a movement of steppe peoples from the western steppe to both Europe and South Asia.

http://polishgenes.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/the-story-of-r1a-academics-flounder-as.html

Maybe Underhill and his team were just being cautious, but if so, then they're just too cautious to be of any real use.

And this signal in R1a Y-chromosomes of a major population movement from Eastern Europe to South Asia is also easily seen in genome-wide data using ancient DNA and methods such as qpGraph.

This is not a matter of if, it's simply a matter of whether you and others of your ilk are willing to understand the basics.

Davidski said...

And obviously, Michel Danino needs a crash course in the latest basics as well.

You don't have a clue how crazy you sound. Really out there.

akhil misra said...

Davidski,You have totally avoided to respond to Archaeologists view about genetic studies which clearly negate your gospel truth. Questioning of Genetic models and studies by Archaeologists is very serious and goes to the root of so called evolutionary science. If you are unable to prevail upon Archaeologists/Anthropologists view disputing AIT, then your and other geneticists claim remains suspect,though you might blab otherwise.

Davidski said...

@akhil misra

You're the one avoiding the facts.

Learn the basics and then attempt to debate me. Otherwise this debate is a pointless one as long as you choose to operate in an alternate reality.

akhil misra said...

Dr Nicole Boivin in her paper 'Anthropological, historical, archaeological and genetic perspectives on the origins of caste in South Asia':
“Part of the reason that many geneticists prove Indo-Aryan invasions so frequently is that they give little if any consideration to other populations that have or may have entered South Asia in prehistoric and historic times. Another problematic assumption that therefore needs to be highlighted is that in much of the genetics literature, the only (or only significant) possible post-Holocene source of nonindigenous genetic material is Indo-Aryans.”
Your response?????

EastPole said...

@Davidski
“That's a lot of steppe admixture, and clear, direct paternal links to Yamnaya and Corded Ware. The latter obviously was Indo-European, and if it was, then Yamnaya was also.”

Yes, it is possible that both CWC and Yamnaya were IE, but surely not in the same sense.
CWC could be for example 80% IE and Yamnaya 20% IE or the opposite.
It is all very complex and depends on the definition of IE and on how PIE is reconstructed.


“Currently, the genetic evidence suggests strongly that South Asia suffered a couple of invasions from the steppe during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. But a lot of people are playing dumb to try and avoid seeing this rather obvious conclusion.”

Yes, but if some of those invasions were CWC derived, which explains some links between Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic languages, and some were from Yamnaya then which one should be linked to AIT?

Coldmountains said...

@akhil misra

Modern day Indians have most of their ancestry from people which lived 10000 years ago outside of India. Either in West Asia or East Europe/Siberia. India was a population sink and quite late Indo-Europeanized actually. It is no coincidence that Indians show so much affinity to Iran_Neolithic and carry so West Asian/Central Asia Y-Dna which definetly not originated in India (J2,R2, L,G,..). Y-DNA H could also originate in West Asia and it was found among Neolithic Farmers in Europe and Anatolia which had no South Asian genetic affinity. Claiming in 2017 that R1a-Z93 is indigenous makes you sound crazy. R1a-Z93 is the best argument we have yet for the Aryan migration/invasion theory. It peaks in Afghanistan, NW India and Tajikistan(Pamir region) exactly from where Aryans migrated into India and in these places steppe ancestry peakes also. Yeah Chenchu have also some R1a but this can be easily explained by Indo-Aryan adventures, who either were assimilated by local tribes or impregnated tribal women. The same happened various times in other places in the world so that modern Native Americans carry a lot of R1b and even some Sub-Saharan Africans carry today West European Y-DNA which they got from colonists.

akhil misra said...

Cloud tail/Davidski- I am not claiming R1a-Z93 originated in India or otherwise. I am simply stating that genetics explanation should have across the board acceptance amongst various disciplines. If Archaeologists suspect the methodology and conclusions of geneticists you need to convince them not me. Archaeologists critique is akin to multi-disciplinary review of genetic studies peddled as gospel truth by geneticists. I'll believe geneticists when dominant view of Archaeologists accept it.

Chad Rohlfsen said...

Soon, there wont be any questions. You'll have to accept a migration of new people into South Asia. Remember, most archaeologists once said there was no migration during the Neolithic. Be patient and you'll see.

Jijnasu said...

The example of the chenchus to defend the indigenist arguments is quite ridiculous. The chenchu have certain special rights of worship at major shrines in the region. Further Brahmins accept cooked food offered by a chenchu. All this only shows that the chenchus traditionally had a close relationship with the 'upper castes' of the region and may have absorbed males from these non-tribal ethnic groups. In any case r1a accounts for only around a quarter of male lineages amongst the chenchu

aniasi said...

@davidski

"If the steppe peoples were invaders, and the evidence clearly shows this, then that's what they were. It's a truth that everyone will have to deal with sooner or later."

What hard evidence is there of an invasion? We known genetically they arrive in the Bronze age, but what conclusive evidence do we have of a conquest?

"Currently, the genetic evidence suggests strongly that South Asia suffered a couple of invasions from the steppe during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. But a lot of people are playing dumb to try and avoid seeing this rather obvious conclusion."

Iron age, yes, but what evidence is there of a bronze age invasion? Migration, yes, but you have never presented the conclusive evidence of an actual invasion on this site before.

"Eventually, ancient data from South Asia might contradict this and perhaps point to a mostly migration scenario. And that'd be fine, because I think deep down almost everyone wants to know what really happened, and to be sure of it beyond any reasonable doubt. But if so, then it's not acceptable to back a certain theory just because it's more diplomatic.

I am not saying you back a theory because it is more diplomatic, but insisting on calling it an invasion without hard evidence is part of the problem. We know there was a migration, but so far I have seen little conclusive evidence that it was a conquest.

aniasi said...

@coldmountains

"Y-DNA H could also originate in West Asia and it was found among Neolithic Farmers in Europe and Anatolia which had no South Asian genetic affinity."

Could you fill me in on H? I did not know about this before, and would definitely like to see the findings. Any other information on H?

jv said...

Thank you Davidski for keeping us update on the latest research in Archaeology/Ancient Migrations/Language Dispersal.This Blog site is a wonderful resource to stay abreast of the latest papers on some of my favorite subjects(Corded Ware Culture, Yamna Culture & Bell Beaker Culture)

Jaap said...

@aniasi
You're thinking along the same lines as I am. Like the beginnings of the Anglo-Saxon presence in Brittannia as described by Nennius. This would fit to T, down to the observations of deceitful rulers in Avestan sources ... It's wildly conjectoral but let's try it for size.
1. A city-state is in trouble: crop failure, demuring citizens, a hostile neighbour, and the 'new talent' clamouring for reform.
2. This city has had trade with Iran, Maykop, Steppe, and Steppe Forest for ages. So they know guys with military savvy ...
3. Couple a hundred guys make it there without leaving a trail that we can now see. They 'teleported' (On horse-back?). With their help the argument was won: the city-state survived.
4. The steppe guys were thanked and paid, but not given any prospects, which is what they had come for in the first place.
5. Thus they sent messages to their folks, informing them of the situation. And not on deaf ears! More male steppe guys came south to help out their kin.
6. Etcetera ...
IMO point 2 requires for some Indian genes to turn up 'a bit too far north', probably in Maykop. Elite-genes, these would be. Only the Old-Irish literature has given us a peek in the BA-instrument of foster-parenthood. It's a tiny thing on the surface, but with huge consequences, I think.
And obviously the first guys were the starters of the lineages that came out on top later. Like Norman descent in English nobility.

@davidsky
Am I more coherent now? I'm an old guy: I dream. But I stand corrected. I dreamt that there were only three comments to this post.
And then there were four again. I apologise! I'm an old guy and, being an old guy I need to learn!

Peter Klevius said...

We are of course all culturally biased. However, on top of this basic bias, archeology and anthropology have their own bias cooker, i.e. interpreting artifacts and remains from a completely different context into that of today. Whereas pots are born out of culture, genes are not. Moreover, as we all know, qualitative science is a far better fertilizer of bias than quantitative ones.

AJ said...

Davidski claims everything related to Indo-European is 'settled' and keeps pushing Yamnaya as Indo-European unlike genetic studies, it's far from settled.

1. How did Hittites show up in Anatolia? They are still oldest recorded Indo-Europeans according to linguistics.

2. Even if we go by Yamnaya as PIE, part of its ancestry is CHG.

3. Maykop culture, Leyla-Tepe culture, Kura–Araxes culture (no aDNA yet) - These Trans-Caucasus/W.Iranian plateau cultures could have influenced steppe people linguistically and "steppes" could have went through language shift. Hitties could have directly arrived from these cultures.

"The foreign objects in the North Caucasus reveal no connection to the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris or to the floodplains of Mesopotamia, but rather seem to have ties to the Iranian plateau and to South Central Asia."

4. How did EHG come to carry y-dna J along with R1a1a*? Probably intrusion from Trans-Caucuses or Northern Iran during late Paleolithic or early Mesolithic to the steppes.

5. Semenov et al. (2016) suggest R1a1a* migration route from Northern Iran to steppes, traveling between Caspian sea & Aral sea. (basal R1a* M420 is still found in Caucasus & Iran) This is also possible route taken by y-dna J, which EHG carries.

Davidski said...

@AJ

Your arguments are either based on outdated notions and irrelevant data, or just plain ridiculous.

It's obvious now that R1a is indigenous to Eastern Europe rather than anywhere near Iran. Just take a look at the latest ancient DNA from Eastern Europe. And when you do look at it, try and understand it.

Late PIE is also clearly from the steppe, because modern-day populations belonging to most of the surviving branches are clearly derived in large part from Yamnaya-related populations. And there's nothing pseudo-steppe about this signal.

Hittites look intrusive to Anatolia, and there's no reason why they couldn't have shared ancestors with Yamnaya on the Eneolithic steppe.

Davidski said...

@aniasi

Right now the most plausible way to explain the early Indo-European expansion into South Asia is via a series of invasions from the steppe, because

- early Indo-Europeans in the Near East, from the Hittites to the Scythians, are recorded as militaristic and expansionist, with a habit of invading and subjugating other peoples, like the Hattians, Hurrians and Mittani (who apparently ended up with an Aryan elite)

- they were not like, say, the Kura-Araxes groups (probably early Hurrians), who seemed to have largely spread across the Near East by integrating themselves into local communities

- the population in South Asia during the Bronze and Iron Ages, even after the collapse of the Indus Civilization, was likely to have been very big for its time, and yet there was a massive pulse of admixture into South Asia from the steppe and a turnover in Y-chromosomes, especially amongst the ruling classes

So when I say that we're probably dealing with a series of invasions, I'm basing this on the modus operandi of the early Indo-Europeans in the Near East, as well as the linguistic and genetic data from South Asia that points to something really dramatic taking place.

As things stand, your version of events looks like special pleading, because you're ignoring the historic data from the Near East, and downplaying the linguistic and genetic data from South Asia.

For one, why do you expect the early Indo-Europeans in South Asia to have had such a starkly different M.O. from those in the Near East, including the Aryans there?

AJ said...

@Davidski

Which genetic study claims "R1a is indigenous to ______"? NONE. At this point you might as well claim y-dna J is indigenous to Eastern Europe because EHG also carried two of those but thats not how it works.

Your "indigenous to" logic does not work for various reasons - Mesolithic La Brana man carried y-dna C, Paleolithic Kostenki 14 man also carried y-dna C, Goyet also carried y-dna C and mtdna M, I can go on but you might as well claim Y-DNA C and mtdna M are indigenous to Europe using these aDNA, again thats not how it works.

Davidski said...

Here read this and try and understand it.

- 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


http://eurogenes.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/ancient-herders-from-pontic-caspian.html

Davidski said...

@AJ

And comparing R1a with J is dumb anyway, because the latter is a much older haplogroup with deeper structure.

Also, we have a lot of Mesolithic/Neolithic forager ancient data from Eastern Europe now, and only one J thus far: the rest is R1 (including R1a and R1b) and various subclades and I2.

None of these samples carries recent Near Eastern ancestry.

So are you really expecting forager groups somewhere in the Near East with a lot of R1, R1a and R1b, like these Eastern Europeans? If you are, then you'll be sorely disappointed.

AJ said...

@Davidski

I know Europe is over sampled in terms of aDNA.

Point me to a genetic study that says "R1a is indigenous to ______".

1. We don't know who Unknown Hunter-Ghaters (UGH) from West Asia are yet, they were apparently similar to European HG. But, we at least know EHG is admixed.

2. Y-DNA R split into R1a, R1b, R2 somewhere in Central Asia. Y-DNA R's upstream clads P1* and P* are from Asia.

3. Your Logic : IF Mesolithic y-dna C is native to La Brana man in Spain, it cant also be native to Asia.

Basal R1a* M420 mostly found is Caucasus, Central Asia and Iran, which is ancestral clad to every R1a1a* found in Eurasia, including EHG, who also carried y-dna J.

Davidski said...

@AJ

Eastern Europe was home to an indigenous population rich in R1 with no Basal Eurasian admixture, hence no recent Near Eastern admixture.

The Caucaso-Caspian region was home to an indigenous population rich in J, with some Eastern European-related admixture, but also already a lot of Basal Eurasian ancestry in the Paleolithic

Conclusion: R1 is the Y-hg of North Eurasian foragers, including those living in Eastern Europe, so there's no reason to assume that R1a isn't native to Eastern Europe and that it got there from the South Caspian region based on modern-day data.

In fact, considering the forager from Karelia belonging to Y-hg J, and with no detectable Basal Eurasian admixture, it's possible that J in the Near East derives from a non-Basal population that once lived in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

And I have no idea why you're mentioning Y-hg C? This actually weakens your argument. That's because Y-hg C is obviously an ancient marker of North and East Eurasian foragers that has nothing to do with Basal Eurasian-rich Near Eastern populations. Sort of like R, R1 and R1a.

If you're trying to argue that R1a can be native to Eastern Europe, Iran and South Asia, despite the fact that each of these regions was home to very different forager populations, and on top of that you actually think that this might explain the current distribution of R1a-Z645 across Eurasia, then please go and seek help from a mental health professional ASAP.

AJ said...

@Davidski

Your Basal Eurasian argument does not apply to Central Asia or even South Asia given that there is low BE admixture there, which looks like Neolithic expansion. Y-DNA R split somewhere in Central Asia. If you're expecting ALL R1a/b to head straight to Eastern Europe during Mesolithic based on samples from E.Euro today then you're going to be disappointed.

When we will have various Paleolithic and Mesolithic aDNA samples from Central Asia and South Asia, it will be obvious that R1 clads wont be restricted to E.Euro.

"Y-hg C is obviously an ancient marker of North and East Eurasian foragers"

Right, completely different forgers can carry same Y-DNA.

"If you're trying to argue that R1a can be native to Eastern Europe, Iran and South Asia, despite the fact that each of these regions was home to very different forager populations"

You would know because you have a lot of Paleolithic and Mesolithic aDNA samples from Centrla Asia? There is no genetic study out there that claims Y-DNA R1a is indigenous to Eastern Europe, FACT.

Davidski said...

@AJ

When we will have various Paleolithic and Mesolithic aDNA samples from Central Asia and South Asia, it will be obvious that R1 clads wont be restricted to E.Euro.

Sounds very unlikely, because Central and South Asia have very different ecosystems from Eastern Europe, so unless you're counting Siberia as part of Central Asia, then don't bother arguing for a heavy presence of R1a and R1b in Central Asia before the Bronze Age.

But you're also ignoring another reality, which is that populations heavy in R1a and R1b show strong continuity in Eastern Europe from the Mesolithic, through the Neolithic and metal ages to the present-day, via the strong association of EHG and WHG forager ancestry with R1a and R1b.

Indeed, it actually makes no difference where R1, R1a and R1b were present before the Bronze Age, because the most common clades of R1a and R1b, R1a-M417 and R1b-M269, look like they expanded very rapidly during the Bronze Age from the Pontic-Caspian steppe along with Yamnaya-related populations, like early Corded Ware.

In order for this statement to be proven wrong, you would need R1a-M417 and R1b-M269 to be present in EHG-rich populations in, say, Central Asia, along with Yamnaya-like mtDNA, as well as some sort of cultural impulse, and this is impossible.

Ric Hern said...

I think the question that has to be answered is "Does the Mesolithic samples have anything directly to do with Proto-Indo-European ?"

So even if R1a is found in India during the Mesolithic will it have had anything directly do with Proto-Indo-European like the Steppe Samples which shows continuity from as early as 8000 bC. ?

Ric Hern said...

Sofar there is no evidence that point to a migration of R1a or R1b from India through Iran during the Neolithic as far back as 8000 bC.which only shows the presence of R2, J2, G2 and L.....Also no R1a or R1b in Neolithic Anatolia and the South Caspian.

So if R1a spread from India, please show us how they migrated to arrive at Derievka before 8000 bC ?

Ric Hern said...

@ AJ

Do you think that Sanskrit would have shown any close similarities to Baltic and Slavic if their Ancestral Language split up before 8000 bC ?

EastPole said...

@Ric Hern
“Do you think that Sanskrit would have shown any close similarities to Baltic and Slavic if their Ancestral Language split up before 8000 bC ?”

Rigveda has many elements of IE religion. Specialists claim that it is more IE than Hindu.
It uses the language of poetic metaphors to describe spiritual life. The same poetic language, metaphors we also find in Greek and Slavic. In addition to it religious terminology in Slavic and Vedic Sanskrit is very close.
These common metaphors refer to driving a chariot, drinking beer/mead/soma, finding analogies between the functioning of mind and the circulation of stars and many other things.

I don’t think that 8000 BC our ancestors were driving chariots and knew wheels with spokes, where growing grain, collected honey and knew how to make beer/mead/soma, carried out sophisticated astronomical observations and philosophical speculations.

I also don’t think that Yamnaya people around Ural did it, although I respect other peoples view based on genetics because maybe there are things we still don’t know about.

My opinion is that that common Indo-Helleno-Slavic culture evolved when steppe people started to mix with Balkan Neolithic cultures like Tripolye etc. So it is most likely Corded Ware after 3000 BC.

Ric Hern said...

@ EastPole

Yes I basically agree. I'm just trying to find out how and when Proto-Indo-Europeans or R1a, according to the "Out Of India" fans, migrated ?

I can not see any migration happening between 8000 and 3000 bC.

Rob said...

@ EastPole

Do you exclude Baltic ?

AJ said...

@Ric Hern

I was not talking about Indo-Europeans or steppe component but Mesolithic forgers Y-DNA.

We have no idea who Proto-Indo-Europeans are and as per Reich- steppe is not PIE. No ancient DNA of Hitties from Anatolia yet, or other important cultures in Caucasus.

Ric Hern said...

@AJ

Okay, then please show us evidence of a Mesolithic migration of R1a or Cultures that can be connected to R1a to the Pontic Caspian Steppe from India before 8000 bC.?

Ryan said...

David - I'm not sure why you keep saying R1 was specific to Eastern Europe though? We have R1b samples from western and southern Europe too. R1a may have been restricted to the east though - I don't deny that.

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