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Monday, July 24, 2017

Corded Ware origin of a big chunk of Finnish mtDNA (Oversti et al. 2017)

Over at Scientific Reports at this LINK. Corded Ware people were in all likelihood early Indo-European speakers and belonged, perhaps almost exclusively, to Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a, while present-day Finns obviously speak a Uralic language and mostly belong to Y-chromosome haplogroups N1c and I1. But Finns do show a lot of Corded Ware- or Yamnaya-related genome-wide ancestry, so it shouldn't be surprising that a large part of their maternal ancestry is derived from the Corded Ware population.

Abstract: In Europe, modern mitochondrial diversity is relatively homogeneous and suggests an ubiquitous rapid population growth since the Neolithic revolution. Similar patterns also have been observed in mitochondrial control region data in Finland, which contrasts with the distinctive autosomal and Y-chromosomal diversity among Finns. A different picture emerges from the 843 whole mitochondrial genomes from modern Finns analyzed here. Up to one third of the subhaplogroups can be considered as Finn-characteristic, i.e. rather common in Finland but virtually absent or rare elsewhere in Europe. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses suggest that most of these attributed Finnish lineages date back to around 3,000–5,000 years, coinciding with the arrival of Corded Ware culture and agriculture into Finland. Bayesian estimation of past effective population sizes reveals two differing demographic histories: 1) the ‘local’ Finnish mtDNA haplotypes yielding small and dwindling size estimates for most of the past; and 2) the ‘immigrant’ haplotypes showing growth typical of most European populations. The results based on the local diversity are more in line with that known about Finns from other studies, e.g., Y-chromosome analyses and archaeology findings. The mitochondrial gene pool thus may contain signals of local population history that cannot be readily deduced from the total diversity.

Oversti et al., Identification and analysis of mtDNA genomes attributed to Finns reveal long-stagnant demographic trends obscured in the total diversity, Scientific Reports, Published online: 21 July 2017, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-05673-7

See also...

Siberian ancestry and Y-haplogroup N1c spread across Northern Europe rather late in prehistory (Lamnidis et al. 2018 preprint)


Ryan said...

Isn't there believed to be an IE substrate in Finnish too?

EastPole said...

“Finnish lineages date back to around 3,000–5,000 years, coinciding with the arrival of Corded Ware culture and agriculture into Finland”

Maybe it is not relevant but in older posts following various linguists and historians I was arguing that Indo-Iranian ‘soma/haoma’ may be related to Slavic ‘xъmel’i.e. hops.
Corded Ware knew how to make beer and mead so they had to use hops.

In Finnish and Karelian epic poetry ‘The Kalevala’ there is fragment about beer making:

The age of the oral poetry present in ‘The Kalevala’ is unknown but some fragments may be very old.

To make beer they used water, barley and hops.
The description of the action of beer is strikingly similar to the description of the action of the Rigvedic Soma drink:

“Fill the heart with joy and gladness,
Fill the mind with wisdom-sayings,
Fill the tongue with ancient legends,”

Ancient Finns didn’ t know what caused water with barley to turn into beer. Attributed it to honey-bee and pollen.

Slavs attributed it to divine hop plant exactly like Rigvedic poets worshiping divine soma plant and mixing it with honey, water or milk. Slavs prepared hops in a similar way as described in Rigvedic soma preparation i.e. cooked, pressed, filtered it and mixed with honey or water and barley.
Before people learned how to properly collect, preserve and apply yeast, using hops was the only way to securely produce beer or mead.

Finnish word for hops is ‘humala’ which is related to Slavic xъmel’ from which also Germanic ‘humle’ is derived:

But Finnish word for mead is ‘sima’ which resembles soma:

Does anybody know what is the etymology of Finnish ‘sima’ mead?

jv said...

Interesting! Thank you! Unique MtDNA lineages from the far northeast fringe of CWC territory. Would love to see a paper on shared MtDNA lineages of the CWC between Poland, Czech Republic and Germany.

Shaikorth said...

Here's the age estimation of the "local" lineages if you want to check if the Bronze Age ones match Corded Ware samples.

Honey is just a fermentation aid in the passage quoted by

There's another segment concerning hops and the beer itself in the same rune:

Spake an old man from his corner:
"Beer arises from the barley,
Comes from barley, hops, and water,
And the fire gives no assistance.
Hop-vine was the son of Remu,
Small the seed in earth was planted,
Cultivated in the loose soil,
Scattered like the evil serpents
On the brink of Kalew-waters,
On the Osmo-fields and borders.
There the young plant grew and flourished,
There arose the climbing hop-vine,
Clinging to the rocks and alders.


"Time had travelled little distance,
Ere the hops in trees were humming,
Barley in the fields was singing,
And from Kalew's well the water,
This the language of the trio:
'Let us join our triple forces,
Join to each the other's powers;
Sad alone to live and struggle,
Little use in working singly,
Better we should toil together.'

Kristiina said...

They argue that ”Bayesian phylogenetic analyses suggest that most of these attributed Finnish lineages date back to around 3,000–5,000 years, coinciding with the arrival of Corded Ware culture and AGRICULTURE into Finland.”

In reality, the title only means that the 15 most important haplotypes are dated between 4000-1000 BC, a period which covers many different archaeological cultures.

In any case, among the Estonian CWC haplotypes only U5b1b and H5a1 are on the top27-list of this paper:
CWC Kunila1 4,4 kya Estonia U5b1b: already present in cultures preceding CWC
CWC Ardu2 4,4 kya Estonia U5b2c: rare or non-existant in Finns
CWC Estonia Naakamäe1 2600 BC U2e2a: rare or non-existant in Finns
Corded Ware LNBA Sope Estonia RISE00 H5a1: introduced into Finns only 0 AD
CWC Kunila2 4,4 kya Estonia J1c3: rare or non-existant in Finns
CWC Ardu1_d 4,4 kya Estonia T2a1a: rare in Finns

U5b1b was present already in Mesolithic times and the age in Finns is 6000 years! Instead, H5a1 was introduced well after the Corded Ware period.

Moreover, neither Latvian or Lithuanian BA haplogroups are well presented on the list of the oldest haplogroups in Finns (=at least 2000 years old lines). The only one is LBA Kivutkalns164 Latvia 500 BC U5a2a1 which is probably of Uralic origin in the Baltics. Kivutkalns mtDNA looks very much modern Balts.

In addition to this, you should read what the Finnish blogger argues about the Estonian CWC genomes:
His conclusion is clear: The following simple dstat-figure shows the mystery of Estonian Corded Ware samples released during this spring. There can't be any population continuum from them to present-day Balts, including Estonians.

Davidski said...

Estonian CWC may have gone largely extinct, or was inhaled by Uralic speakers when the weather turned bad, but there's definitely continuity in the East Baltic between LBA Trzciniec and modern-day Balts, and of course Trzciniec has been hypothesized to be a Kurgan culture derived from local Corded Ware. The most common Y-HG in CWC, Trzciniec, and Balts is R1a-M417, and the shared drift stats match as well. So whatever.

Ebizur said...

I think Finnish sima "mead" might be cognate with German Seim "mucilage, viscous fluid, syrup."

In Estonian, mead is called mõdu. This is different from their name for honey, which is mesi (genitive mee, partitive mett). Their word for honey is cognate with Hungarian méz "honey" and Finnish mesi (genitive meden, partitive mettä) "nectar." Words for "honey" in Slavic languages are very similar to these. The modern Finnish word hunaja "honey," on the other hand, is cognate with the English word.

Mead in Hungarian is mézsör "honey beer."

Samuel Andrews said...

Looks like a good paper. The age estimates really help to put things in perspective. I did something similar last year.

mtDNA Atlas: Finland

And yes though Finnish mtDNA is riddled by local lineages it can safely be concluded Finns have normal European mtDNA.

Note, all Slavs share a lot more mtDNA with Baltic speakers than with Finns. There's no especially close mtDNA relationship between Eastern Europe and Finland.

Kristiina said...

@ Samuel ”There's no especially close mtDNA relationship between Eastern Europe and Finland.”

The big majority of the old haplotypes in Finns have an eastern connection:
U5b1b: frequent in Russia and in Volga Ural
H13a1a1: frequent in Volga Ural and Russia, incl. Udmurts and Tatars
K1c1c: K1c1 and K1c1e are frequent in Russia
W1: shared with Mordvins and Tatars
V1a1: shared with Tatars, frequent in Russia
Haplogroups V1a, V5 and V8 have an eastern distribution. The maximum frequency areas of V are in Lapland and Volga Ural.
H1a: frequent in Volga Ural
H3h1: shared with Belgorod and Pskov Russians
U5b1b1a1a: frequent in Volga Ural
H1n4: H1n1 is found in Belgorod Russians and H1n4 in Novgorod Russians
H5a1: frequent in Russians and in Volga Ural
J1c2: frequent in Russians and in Volga Ural
I2: shared with Aznakaevo and Buinsk Tatars and Vladimir/Belgorod Russians
I1a: found in Chuvash, Mordvins and Tatars

Grizzlor said...

A lot of Finnish place names are supposed to have an Baltic/Proto-IE origin, like Imatra for instance. Wouldn't be surprised if it dated to the CWC period.

Kristiina said...

Petra Tella-Saarnisto did her thesis on the toponyms of the Imatra area and she could not ascertain the etymology of ’Imatra’ (

The only reasonable link seems to be the name of the ’Imandra’ lake in Kola Peninsula. In my own database I can find the Khanty Vasjugan word for a certain lake ’ịīrëŋ èmtrr’, Eastern Khanty word for lake ’emtër’ and the Evenki word for lake ’āmut’.

You can judge yourself if that link with Baltic languages is worth a look if it is based on the Lithuanian verb to see ’įmatýti'(įmãto,įmãtė).

Samuel Andrews said...


Finnish mtDNA may have distant links with Eastern Europe but there isn't a close inmate relationship like what Ukraine, Czech, Poland, and to a lesser extent Lithuania have.

Kristiina said...

Samuel, so you think that Volga-Ural and Russia are not Eastern Europe...

Ryan said...

@Kristiina - "Instead, H5a1 was introduced well after the Corded Ware period. "

You may have this backwards, no? You seem to be assuming CWC is the intrusive group here. Wouldn't H5a1 entering the Finns' gene pool coincide with the arrival of the first Finns? 1300 BCE to 1 CE seems to be the range of estimates for when proto-Finno-Saamic. That doesn't seem too far off here for H5a1. Could the extreme population bottleneck Finns went through also create a bias towards underestimating the age of these haplogroups?

Further, U5b may precede CWC, but that doesn't mean it wasn't passed down to Finns through CWC hands.

Any thoughts on the IE substrate supposedly in Finnic languages btw?

Samuel Andrews said...

"Samuel, so you think that Volga-Ural and Russia are not Eastern Europe..."

Maybe I'm thinking more of Central/East Europe or all of Eastern Europe besides non-Slavs in Russia. The point is there's a lot Eastern Europeans share with each other that Finns don't have.

Kristiina said...

@ Ryan
This study is about the genes of the Finnish population and we do not know where they were at a given moment. If we had ancient mtDNA from Finland, we could see if the population data and the geographical data converge. Of course, it is possible that there was H5a1 in Finland during the Corded Ware but Finns were not there, and H5a1 entered the Finnish DNA when they arrived. However, we do not have Corded Ware genomes from Finland, so the answer to this question is really beyond us.

In any case, this paper does not support the view that U5b1b2 which is calculated as c. 6000 years old in Finns should be of Corded Ware origin because Corded Ware is dated 2900-2350 BC. Moreover, we do not have any U5b1b2 in our ancient mtDNA record in spite of all the intensive sampling of presumed northern IE cultures.

Ric Hern said...

What do you think about some Finnish words(a few) that looks related to Irish ? Can those similarities be attributed to Germanic influence or maybe something older like a Italo-Germano-Celtic ?

Ebizur said...

Kristiina wrote,

"The only reasonable link seems to be the name of the ’Imandra’ lake in Kola Peninsula. In my own database I can find the Khanty Vasjugan word for a certain lake ’ịīrëŋ èmtrr’, Eastern Khanty word for lake ’emtër’ and the Evenki word for lake ’āmut’."

That Evenki word looks properly Tungusic; it is also used by Northern Tungusic speakers in easternmost Siberia (e.g. Negidals), and it seems similar to words used by peoples in Manchuria (e.g. Solon/"Manchurian Evenk" amụǯi "lake," Manchu omo "lake"). Even Korean mos ([mot] ~ [mos-] ~ [moɕ-]) "pond" seems very similar if one assumes that apheresis has occurred.

Ric Hern said...

There is apparently a story about how Finnish cattle(Which show remarkable similarities to Irish Moild cattle and some Scandinavian breeds) arrived in Finland.

Apparently a Red Headed Queen arrived from the West with some boats and cattle. Interestingly the cattle remains that were found and dated, dates back to +-2000 bC.

Sorry for not adding a link. I have read so many stuff and forgot to mark it because I didn't think that it would come in handy some day.

batman said...

@ Kristiina

"Of course, it is possible that there was H5a1 in Finland during the Corded Ware but Finns were not there..."

That's a pretty bold assumption as there's still no evidence of a population turnover in Finland between the Mesolithic and the Middle Ages. Even the most squared and advanced circle-logic can't substitute that abscence of fact.

"H5a1 entered the Finnish DNA when they arrived. However, we do not have Corded Ware genomes from Finland, so the answer to this question is really beyond us."

As is the question about the origin of the Finns. The aDNA from Carelia, Estonia and Scandinavia is still not providing any indications that there have been any grave, demografic changes in this area since the Mesolithic. Not even the Neolithic transition seems to have changed the presence and distribution of the predominant haplotypes of this area.

Which obviously match the old, etnologic assumption that changes in etnicity and/or population-structures are less likely the higher the adaption/speciation needed to populate a certain hemisphere/climate/biotopy.

It seems unquestioned that the NW Europeans, perticulary Finns and Balts, as the most close (clear-cut) descendants we have from the wide but homogenious populations that populated Paleolithic Eurasia.

Today there's evidence for human presence in Finland, too, during the Late Paleolithic. Completing the map of contemporary settlements on both sides of the Baltic waters.

A northern branch populating SW Finland 30-40.000 years ago even made it to the shores of the White Sea and the Kara Ocean no less than 36.000+ C14-years ago.

During the Alleroed Interstadial (18-13.000 bp) there were again settlements on both sides of the Baltic - as in NW Germany, Denmark and Scania (S Sweden) besides Poland, NW Russia and Finland.

Looking at the final re-population of Fenno-Scandia and the Baltics it's a point-in-case that the immigration to Finland has been proven to have started no later than 11.200 bp. That's some centuries after the re-population of the Scandinavian west-coast, but before the first mesolithic settlements known from Estonia (10.900/10.700 bp).

There's no reason to doubt that the present Finns have these paleolithic/mesolithic population - and not much else -
to blame for their present appearances as phenotypes and genotypes.

What language the first settlers of mesolithic Finland spoke is still "beyound us". Unless this new dig-site is able to shed some new light on the origin of the Finnish language, culture and identity.

Chad Rohlfsen said...

Are you high? Mesolithic, Iron Age, and present pops in this region are very different.

batman said...

According to Willerlev et al it's in this region that we find the closest links between paleolithic Europe and present day Europe.

So what are the basic differences you refer to - between the mesolithic, iron Age and present day Finns - in terms of haplotypes?

Davidski said...

batman you're totally shit at this whole genetics thing. Go and get another hobby.

batman said...


I'm fine with your bs reflections too. Meanwhile you better help Chad explaining the differences he claims to be apparent between mesloithic, iron-age and present-day Finland.

By now there's a number of Finns looking forward to your most professional assertions about the Finnish aDNA stilll not published.

Shaikorth said...

Batman, what Chad said is not hard to get.
Mesolithic: EHG
Iron Age: Sami

Read this very carefully:

Chad Rohlfsen said...

I don't need help. If you don't know the difference between EHG, Iron Age Finns(closer to Saami) and modern Finns, it's you that needs help. Do you not pay attention or read anything?

Arch Hades said...

I don't know about The Corded Ware, but I do notice when Finns or Northeastern Europeans in general are modeled in various admixture analyses, their Yamnaya ancestry gets totally bloated. I've seen some admixture charts show them as like 70% Yamnaya which is total BS IMO. 40-50% seems more realistic. For one thing I notice none of these admixture models ever even include EHGs, who would have been the natives of Finland before Yamnaya dispersals. When trying to see how 'Yamanya' or 'EMBA steppe' Georgians or Armenians are, we don't exclude CHGs or Anatolian farmer genomes in our models..but for some reason we put Finns and Russians in models that exclude EHGs? That makes absolutely no sense. Therefore admixture models are picking up at least a significant amount of pre Yamnaya EHG components native to Northeaster Europe and labeling it 'Yamnaya'...since Yamnaya's ancestry of course was at least half EHG.

Another thing that also lowers their Yamnaya admixture ratios is adding modern 'Mongoloid' like Siberians to the mix. Haak et al showed this. Labeling modern Finns 70% Yamnaya is like labeling modern Sicilians 90%'s very misleading.

@ Batman.

Yes Finns have more continuity to Upper Paleolithic Europeans than most modern EUropeans do..but there still has been a ton of turnover there and they are very different today than they were even in the Mesolithic when the Finland was populated by 'Eastern Hunter Gatherers'. Today's Finns are in no way identical to 'Eastern European Hunter Gathers',therefore there has been change and lots of admixture since Mesolithic times from outsides sources. Finns today are both more Woggy [thanks to Neolithic migrations] and Mongoloid [thanks to Siberian migrations] than the Mesolithic inhabitants of Finland.

Davidski said...


What you're saying about Northeast Europeans can only be true if they received extra CHG from a source other than BA steppe groups, in which case a part of their EHG can be said to be of local origin.

But this doesn't appear to be the case. It just looks like Northeast Europeans got all of their CHG from a Yamnaya-like population, in which case almost all of their EHG is also from the steppe.

Of course, there are always margins of error, and using different reference groups can shift the inferred ancestry proportions and error margins, but Yamnaya-related ancestry in Northeastern Europe is very high, certainly well over 30%, and Corded Ware samples range from 60% to basically 100% Yamnaya-like.