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Monday, November 26, 2018

Steppe ancestry in Chalcolithic Transcaucasia (aka Armenia_ChL explained)


In 2016 Lazaridis et al. published a paper featuring five ancient samples from the famous Areni-1 cave complex, in what is now Armenia, dated to the Chalcolithic (see here). This is how they described the ancestry of these ancients, which they labeled Armenia_ChL, in the supplementary PDF to their paper (page 94):

We do not have a pre-Chalcolithic sample from Armenia. We first model it [Armenia_ChL] as a 2-way mixture of any of WHG, EHG, CHG, Iran_N, Levant_N, Anatolia_N (Table S7.18), but we find no pair of these populations that could be ancestral to Armenia_ChL. We next model it as a 3-way mixture (Table S7.19), and determine that Armenia_ChL can be modeled as 18.3±1.5 EHG, 29.2±2.4% Iran_N, and 52.5±2.2% Anatolia_N. In the absence of a pre-Chalcolithic sample, we cannot be certain whether the Neolithic population of Armenia (which borders Anatolia from the east) was similar to that of Northwestern Anatolia and experienced gene flow from the east and north, or the reverse.

Since then, a lot of opinions have been posted in the comments at this blog and elsewhere about the possible origin and significance of Armenia_ChL. It seems to me that many people see Armenia_ChL as more or less an example of the indigenous Neolithic and Chalcolithic peoples of the South Caucasus. But some have argued that Armenia_ChL was in large part of Central Asian origin and concocted various mixture models to try and back up this rather strange claim.

To me, it was always obvious that Armenia_ChL harbored very recent admixture from the Pontic-Caspian steppe, because I couldn't reconcile its relatively high level of Eastern European Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) ancestry with a deep origin south of the Greater Caucasus range.

Moreover, in any decent Principal Component Analysis (PCA), like the one below, Armenia_ChL appears to form two subtle sub-clusters, with three of its individuals "pulling" more strongly towards Eastern Europe. This suggests that the EHG admixture in Armenia_ChL was present at variable levels and thus likely to be recent, because it didn't yet have time to diffuse evenly throughout the population.

Also, two out of the three Armenia_ChL individuals who are "pulling" north belong to steppe-specific mitochondrial (mtDNA) haplogroups. Armenia_ChL I1634 belongs to mtDNA haplogroup H2a1, which is seen in ancient samples from the Pontic-Caspian steppe associated with the Khvalynsk, Sredny Stog and Catacomb cultures, while Armenia_ChL I1409 belongs to mtDNA haplogroup U4a, which is found in numerous ancient samples, especially foragers, from the Pontic-Caspian steppe and other parts of Eastern Europe (see here). Coincidence? Surely not.


The idea that Armenia_ChL represents a long-standing indigenous Transcaucasian population also took a major hit recently with the release of the Wang et al. manuscript on the genetic prehistory of the Greater Caucasus. The preprint included samples from the Eneolithic Caucasus dated to earlier than Armenia_ChL (4594-4404 calBCE vs 4330-3985 calBCE) which looked typically Caucasian and lacked any discernible signals of ancestry from the steppe. Below is a PCA from Wang et al. featuring both the Eneolithic Caucasus and Armenia_ChL samples.


Unfortunately, modeling the recent ancestry of Armenia_ChL is still difficult, because the genotype data from Wang et al. haven't yet been released, so currently there is still no pre-Armenia_ChL sample available from the Caucasus for me to work with.

The earliest post-Armenia_ChL sample is Armenia_EBA I1658, dated to around a thousand years too late (3347-3092 calBCE). However, this individual is associated with the Kura-Araxes culture, which is generally seen as a direct successor to the native Neolithic cultures of Transcaucasia, and appears to be practically indistinguishable from the Eneolithic Caucasus trio in the Wang et al. PCA. Thus, pending the release of a pre-Armenia_ChL sample I might be able to use Armenia_EBA I1658 as an effective proxy for such a population.

Below are a couple of successful two-way qpAdm mixture models for Armenia_ChL and Armenia_ChL I1634, featuring Armenia_EBA I1658 and Sredny_Stog I6561 (the output for Armenia_ChL I1409 looked wobbly, probably due to a lack of markers). The reason I decided on Sredny_Stog from the North Pontic steppe as the surrogate for the steppe ancestry is because of the position of Armenia_ChL in the Wang et al. PCA relative to Eneolithc Caucasus, which suggests gene flow into the former from a more westerly steppe source than, say, Khvalynsk from the Samara region. Using these reference samples, the inferred ratio of steppe admixture in Armenia_ChL is around 15%, which I think makes sense, more or less, considering its position in both of the PCA above.

Armenia_ChL
Armenia_EBA_I1658 0.862±0.050
Sredny_Stog_I6561 0.138±0.050
chisq 17.038
tail prob 0.148174
Full output

Armenia_ChL_I1634
Armenia_EBA_I1658 0.836±0.065
Sredny_Stog_I6561 0.164±0.065
chisq 13.813
tail prob 0.312808
Full output

The presence of a significant, unambiguous signal of steppe ancestry in a group from a rich archeological site in Chalcolithic Transcaucasia might be very important in the context of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) homeland debate. That's because it suggests that there was a movement of peoples potentially speaking dialects of PIE from the Eneolithic Pontic-Caspian steppe, the main candidate for the PIE homeland based on historical linguistics data, into cultural hubs south of the Caucasus, which may have acted as early dispersal points for Indo-European languages into other parts of the Near East, such as Anatolia. Admittedly, though, I'm still a fan of the Balkan route for the introduction of Hittite and other Anatolian languages into Anatolia, despite recent claims in scientific literature that this scenario wasn't corroborated by ancient DNA (see here).

Citation...

Lazaridis et al., Genomic insights into the origin of farming in the ancient Near East, Nature volume 536, pages 419–424 (25 August 2016), DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature19310

See also...

Yamnaya: home-grown

49 comments:

Ric Hern said...

Well the Gutians are still a mystery....

Erikl86 said...

Interesting. Could this mean, potentially, that Kura-Araxes culture carriers have already had Steppe-like admixture, given it's also of Trans-Caucasian origin and dated to the later BA?

Also, what's the plausibility now that Armenia_ChL could have also carried Steppe-"associated" haplogroups, such as the nowadays Middle Eastern Q-M378 and more specifically, it's downstream subclade Q-L245, which is thought to have arrived from Central Eurasia to the Middle East by Steppe-admixed people?

I know the TMRCA of the downstreaming Q-Y2220 which is shared by Mesopotamians (Assyrians, Mandaeans and Marsh Arabs), Armenian and Jewish populations are dated to ~3500-4000 YBP and exist only in the ME (or ME-derived populations), but that just means that Q-M378 have already existed in the ME at the time - and Q-M378's TMRCA itself is 8000-12,000 YBP, so we're talking about a population, most likely arriving from the Pontic–Caspian steppe, which arrived into the region no later than ~4,000 YBP and no earlier than ~10,000 YBP.

Davidski said...

@Erikl86

Yes, I think that there was some steppe ancestry in Kura-Araxes populations, but it was probably present at highly variable levels, and I reckon it arrived via several different sources at different times. Some of it might be from Sredny Stog and some from Steppe Maykop and Yamnaya.

And certainly, even though I chose Sredny_Stog I656, which belongs to Y-hg R1a-M417, as the proxy for steppe ancestry, it's likely that there were all sorts of R1a, R1b, Q and I2 subclades present in Sredny Stog and related groups, so the steppe genome-wide ancestry in the Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age Near East may have been associated with any of these haplogroups and their subclades.

Ric Hern said...

Well U4a and U5a1 seems to have migrated from Mesolithic Padina in Serbia. H2 seems to be a bit mysterious, roughly at the same time in Greece, the Steppe and in Armenia...?

Davidski said...

@Ric

As far as I know, in the Copper Age there's no H2a1 outside of the steppe, including the Near East, unless in steppe admixed samples, including the one Armenia_ChL individual with elevated EHG ancestry.

Arza said...

@ Davidski
which suggests gene flow into the former from a more westerly steppe source than, say, Khvalynsk from the Samara region

Maybe even more western than Ukraine_Eneolithic?

Armenia_ChL
Armenia_EBA_I1658 0.741±0.089
Beaker_Central_Europe_I3590 0.259±0.089
chisq: 14.316
tail: 0.426421034
numsnps used: 210501

Can you repeat this with your set of outgroups?

Davidski said...

@Arza

The problem with your assumption is that you're assuming Beaker_Central_Europe is more western than Ukraine_Eneolithic based on their geography.

However, Ukraine_Eneolithic is, overall, more western than Beaker_Central_Europe in terms of ancestry. Take a look at my recent PCA files to see how they cluster.

And keep in mind that during the Eneolithic, populations like Beaker_Central_Europe only existed east of the Dnieper.

In fact, Beaker_Central_Europe actually resembles the Sredny Stog sample fairly closely.

Cpk said...

I read that there were no cranial shape change in Anatolia until around 2000 BC (Brachy Hittites) and people from Balkans and Pontic-Caspian steppe had different cranial shapes. Is this true?

Erikl86 said...

@Davidski - so this could mean that the Middle Eastern R1a and Q subclades have arrived earlier than what is usually assumed - with Kura-Araxes rather than with the Mitanni, which might explain how some of these Middle-East only subclades appear to have TMRCA much older than Mitanni presence in the region.

Kura-Araxes as the source of some Steppe haplogroups in the region would also explain how these haplogroups became so widespread, as Mitanni alone didn't penetrate as far into the Middle East as the Mitanni.

An Idiot said...

Well, I'd put this Steppe-like ancestry down to a much older migration of R1b into the Middle East (with the spread of copper metallurgy from the Balkans), but your hypothesis is simpler (and so better, even though I think mine is correct)

Matt said...

Puzzle where these people came from.

There's obviously some interactions of the Maykop and successor cultures with Chacolithic Anatolia - see that Maykop/Caucasus stream off to Anatolia - and with the Steppe Maykop. Armenia Chal could even be from some odd interaction there, where some Steppe Maykop herders go south of the Caucasus and mix with a transitional population in Armenia between Caucasus and Anatolians.

It's probably a good question for archaeology and detailed analysis of the genetic data - the idea of interactions between Sredny Stog and a Caucasian like substrate seems plausible for sure.

The presence of y-dna L suggests nothing too male mediated, or if it was initially, it's not represented by these individuals (but then that is to be expected given low level of admixture).

@AnIdiot, that seems a bit strange when the samples aren't R1b?

Ric Hern said...

Now I wonder about I2318 H2 in Greece Neolithic ? Looks like the same time period as Armenia Chalcolithic....from the Steppe maybe ?

Ric Hern said...

And RISE487 H2a in Remedello Italy ? Steppe related ?

JuanRivera said...

What further reinforces the steppe origin of these Near Eastern Q clades is that most of them have relatives in South Asia and Europe. Some are even present from South Asia to the British isles (and at least two cases in Iberia, one in Portugal and the other one in Andalusia, Spain), having in effect a full Indo-European distribution. Another thing is that the prescence of Steppe admixture in Chalcholithic Near Eastern samples completely kills the Armenian/South Caspian hypothesis.

Davidski said...

@Ric

Focus on H2a1.

Chad Rohlfsen said...

Hate to burst bubbles but..

Armenia Chalcolithic is something different from Maykop. There was an EHG migration to the Caucasus in the Mesolithic. Nothing to do with the copper age steppe. This didn't affect NW Iran, but the eastern Black Sea. Maykop and Meshoko have more from NW Iran, which is why they are Hajji Firuz shifted. Especially, during the Maykop transition. There's no magical steppe migration over Meshoko, to Armenia during the Chalcolithic. It's Iran/S Caspian to N Caucasus creating the difference w Armenia.

On another note, those Steppe Eneolithic, CHG shifted samples aren't ancestral to Yamnaya. They're at the same level as Villabruna and Samara, R1b1. 15,000 years off from having anything to do with Yamnaya or Z2103. P297 Latvia HG is the closest, by phylogeny to this point. Still off, but much closer than R1b1, as far as pre-Yamnaya R1b samples go. Unfortunate, but true. As much as many of us would like to see an L23 on the Steppes before the BA, it's not happening so far.

Davidski said...

@Chad

Yeah, no shit that Armenia_ChL is different from Maykop and Meshoko.

It has significant recent steppe admixture that they lack. Nothing to do with the Mesolithic.

Take a look at the PCA again.

bellbeakerblogger said...

@ Davidski
"which suggests gene flow into the former from a more westerly steppe source than, say, Khvalynsk from the Samara region"

Like maybe the 3rd bloc of Evgeny Chernykh's Carpatho-Balkan Metallurgical Province?

"Within the eastern sector of the CBMP it seems to the author that one should concentrate mainly on three archaeological communities: Dnieper-Donets, Sredni Stog, and Khavalynsk cultures..."

and it is within "The Steppe Belt of Stockbreeding Cultures in Eurasia during the Early Metal Age" he posits the centrality of stockbreeders in disseminating extractive metallurgy across a vast plain (going south also).

Samuel Andrews said...

@Chad,

Steppe Eneolithic had R1b1* hence is a possible source for R1b1* in Armenia_Chalcolithic.

Davidski said...

@Samuel

I think you mean Armenia_EBA...

Armenia_EBA I1635, 2619-2465 calBCE, R1b1a1

There's a number of options of how R1b like this might have ended up in such a late Kura-Araxes sample, including migrations south by Eneolithic steppe and Steppe Maykop groups.

But yeah, there are only three male Armenia_ChL samples available right now, and they might all be related paternally because they share a fairly unusual haplogroup (L1a1). If we had fourth male, then who knows, he might belong to R1b.

jeanlohizun said...

Well Chad, I find myself agreeing with you more and more. Do you think the lack of M269 or its derivative on the Ukranian remains dating from ~5000 BC to 2800 BC is due to 29 samples being too small, or do you think we should focus on the Baltic region in the pre-3000 BC timeframe to look for L23 and its precursor? Honest question.

Ric Hern said...

Maybe L23 will be found near Derievka if it is in some way connected to the spread of MtDNA U5a1b. Or somewhere in a triangle between Derievka, Latvia through Poland to the Czech Republic.

Davidski said...

@jeanlohizun

I wouldn't get my hopes up too much here. I think Chad will see the light very quickly as soon as the ancient data from the Wang et al. preprint are released.

And if not, then after the first Neolithic samples from Armenia come out it'll be game over and back to cold hard reality.

Ric Hern said...

@ Davidski

Couldn't a more Eastern shiftedness in Central European Bell Beaker be a sign of a more EHG like population situated North of Derievka ?

Davidski said...

@Ric

I'm pretty sure that this sort of thing has been discussed before, both in regards to Central Beakers and Corded Ware.

And there are two main reasons why it's now impossible to argue for a non-steppe origin for either, because...

1) their ratios of CHG ancestry are too high

2) they share uniparental markers with eastern Yamnaya and Eneolithic steppe from Samara and the North Caucasus.

Bob Floy said...

@Ric

"Couldn't a more Eastern shiftedness in Central European Bell Beaker be a sign of a more EHG like population situated North of Derievka ? "

Seems kind of needlessly overcomplicated, don't you think?

Simon_W said...

@cpk

"I read that there were no cranial shape change in Anatolia until around 2000 BC (Brachy Hittites) and people from Balkans and Pontic-Caspian steppe had different cranial shapes. Is this true?"

In Wolfram Bernhard's large study from 1993 on the racial history of Southwest Asia, the cranial samples from Bronze Age Anatolia are grouped into EBA samples and MLBA samples. And the shift you're alluding to dates clearly to the MLBA. It's not extreme, but appreciable in the averages. At Alishar Hüyük for instance, the EBA population had a length-breadth-index of 75.4, a length-height-index of 75.3 and an upper facial index of 54.2, indicating an average with narrow and high skulls and relatively long face. In contrast the MLBA population had 79.5, 69.1 and 52.5, respectively. Which means that they were rounder headed, though not quite brachycephalic, considerably lower headed and with broader facial shape. Now if that's associated with the Indo-European infiltration is another question, but the date would gel well with it. And although Anatolia undeniably also experienced a strong eastward shift during the Neolithic and Bronze Age, the narrow headed EBA population was already eastward shifted, as we know from ancient DNA evidence.

I'm not sure about the situation on the Balkans. A quick glance into Coon's ancient work showed me for example this: "The inhabitants of Yugoslavia during the Copper Age were, like those of Hungary, also uniformly dolichocephalic. Unfortunately, here also we have no further information of racial significance. As one approaches the mouth of the Danube, however, this dolichocephalic uniformity disappears. Four skulls from Russe in Bulgaria, include one male of Corded type, a mesocephalic male, and two brachycephalic females."

Samuel Andrews said...

Accurate ancient ancestry percentages in West Eurasia. Made with G25.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_jr6EMoG_1eFm1x8hltNHW2bE5A0lW9N7XDjCU_jO_k/edit#gid=0

I think these scores are pretty accurate. I didn't model populations as EEF, WHG, Yamnaya, etc. because recent drift and other things make that impossible. I used second hand sources that share drift with modern populations and get good fits.

Samuel Andrews said...

Btw, In my sheet is every non-Lombard person in the Lombard burials in Italy & Hungary.

There's hardly any WHG in Italy. Italy's Yamnaya-WHG ratio makes it impossible for all their Yamnaya ancestry to be from R1b U152+ Bell Beakers. One far flung guess is Italy has recent Balkan ancestry (which was already Yamnaya admixed).

Also, notice the difference between Spanish & Basque. The main difference is WHG ancestry. 10-12% in Spanish, 19% in Basque. I think Iberia also has recent Balkan admixture which would have sustained ~50% EEF, didn't lower Yamnaya too much, but really lowered WHG.

Ric Hern said...

@ Davidski

I did not say Non-Steppe, I just said North of Derievka. Maybe between Kiev and Derievka. But yes maybe I'm overcomplicating things.

An Idiot said...

@Simon_W This brachycephaly is completely at odds with a Yamnaya origin - as is the brachycephaly of the Bell Beaker folk. Both clearly point to a West Asian origin: the Steppe was, after all, dolichocephalic. I'm partial to the idea of Kura-Araxes as the origin of Anatolian, with Z2103 previously in Caucasia moving up into the Steppe and mixing with the natives to form Yamnaya (where the rest of the IE languages would come from). I keep on saying this point though, and it doesn't add much to the discussion, so I'll stop repeating myself.

Davidski said...

@An Idiot

Not all steppe peoples were dolichocephalic. Yamnaya from near the Caspian was brachycephalic.

But that doesn't mean it came from West Asia. Head shape doesn't mean much.

An Idiot said...

@Davidski I think it matters a lot as it is clearly a heritable trait, but obviously it can't be used with much precision. It does, though, pretty much confirm to me (in and amongst other pieces of evidence, such as pigmentation and Y DNA) things like CW isn't possible to be derived from Yamnaya - there's no way to artificially significantly narrow your face.

And that's interesting, I'll admit I just assumed the Steppe was dolicho/meso for most of post-mesolithic history, but I could have sworn Yamnaya was too. Perhaps this brachy you're talking about isn't actually true brachycephaly, but just an increase in CI due to an increase in cranial breadth (while still being long-headed so as to not be brachy but rather meso)? Yamnaya was broad-faced and long-headed on the whole, but the previous population was more like CW (narrow-faced and long-headed), so I think that's correct, rather than calling Yamnaya (near the Caspian or otherwise) brachycephalic. Besides, this is completely different to the Bell Beaker brachycephaly, which was due to a relatively-narrow face but a very short (often planoccipital) head form.

Do you have a source for that claim btw? If Yamnaya was, more specifically, short-headed, to me, that would be evidence of large Caucasian introgressions. Brachycephaly seems to be mostly down to CHG-folk, though in Neolithic Western Europe there is signs of it amongst WHG-types too.

Davidski said...

@An Idiot

I think it matters a lot as it is clearly a heritable trait.

No, it's not, and it's also not a trait that matters much as a marker of population structure.

Please don't discuss physical anthropology in the comments here anymore, or I'll have to ban you. This is not Dienekes Pontikos' blog, just in case you were confused.

An Idiot said...

@Davidski Alright

André de Vasconcelos said...

@Sam

Could you please share the dataset you used for that G25 spreadsheet? I am assuming you ran those with nMonte, I'd like to try a few individuals myself out of curiosity

Bob Floy said...

@Sam

"There's hardly any WHG in Italy. Italy's Yamnaya-WHG ratio makes it impossible for all their Yamnaya ancestry to be from R1b U152+ Bell Beakers. One far flung guess is Italy has recent Balkan ancestry (which was already Yamnaya admixed).

Also, notice the difference between Spanish & Basque. The main difference is WHG ancestry. 10-12% in Spanish, 19% in Basque. I think Iberia also has recent Balkan admixture which would have sustained ~50% EEF, didn't lower Yamnaya too much, but really lowered WHG."

How much of a genetic impact do you figure the Greeks had when they ruled the area?

Samuel Andrews said...

@Bob Floy,

My humble guess is Greeks basically had 0 affect. The reason is this admix extends far beyond Greek colonies.

Davidski said...

@Samuel

You don't have any Neolithic samples from Italy. This might be affecting the results in your analysis.

Bob Floy said...

@Samuel

"The reason is this admix extends far beyond Greek colonies."

I'm sure you're right about that, but I doubt that the very thorough Greek colonization of the west med area had no genetic impact, especially in southern Italy and Sicily. But like you, I'm a little puzzled by Italy.

Samuel Andrews said...

@Davidski,
"You don't have any Neolithic samples from Italy. This might be affecting the results in your analysis."

True. The only Neolithic sample is from northern Italy.

R1b U152 isn't very popular outside of northern Italy while in Spain R1b DF27 dominates. That including low WHG makes me doubt R1b+ IEs are the only sources of Yamnaya in Italy.

These are the ancestor pops I used for Italy.

Barcin_N Beaker_Northern_Italy Beaker_Northern_Italy_no_steppe WHG Anatolia_EBA Cypriot Greek_Central_Anatolia Aegean_Italy Medieval Levant_ChL Hajji_Firuz_ChL Armenia_EBA Balkans_IA SZ19 SZ36 SZ37 SZ40 SZ43 HallstattBylany Cluster 1_Beaker_Central Europe Cluster 2_Beaker_Central Europe Cluster 3_Beaker_Central Europe Moroccan

Samuel Andrews said...

Something that's interesting is there's several outliers in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Romania.

One in Bulgaria, BulgarianD6, appears to have very different old Balkan (nonSlavic) ancestry which resembles Balkans_IA.


@Andre,

I added the datasheets I used for some regions including Iberia to get scores. It includes lots of sources. In the ancient WE spreadsheet there are scores for each reference. With that you can get ancient ancestry scores from nMonte results.

Them meee said...

@Samuel Andrews

I’m not sure about that claim but, if that’s the case or close, have something to do with these guys? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iapygians or could it be a more recent migration?

Chad Rohlfsen said...

I think it will be in Eneolithic Ukraine. There's only four samples there. They are a better fit into Bell Beaker, being up to 2/3 of their ancestry, and can also be fit as a good chunk of Yamnaya. Simple M269 and P297 are also, I believe, found in Yamnaya. The P297 one makes me think that rather than the East Baltic, it was closer to Ukraine where M269 evolved from P297. I've always been a fan of Ukraine being the root of both Beaker and Yamnaya R1b. I think that M269 may have formed around Belarus or Ukraine around 7000-6000 BCE, and became L23 around 4000-4500 BCE in Ukraine Eneolithic. This then mixes with Balkan ChL to make Beaker and mixes with Steppe Eneolithic and yes, I still think some Maykop, to make Yamnaya.

I think we will eventually find L23 in the Western Steppe, with Balkan farmer admixture before Yamnaya exists. R1b in the Steppes before 3300BCE is all younger subclades than the Baltic and even with the Balkans (ie Bulgaria).

Ric Hern said...

I still wonder how the Ancestors of R1b migrated to the Balkans and Italy...Did they migrate via a Northern route maybe from the Southern Urals, down the Volga and Don and from there Westwards ? Or just followed the Border of the Forest Steppe ? If down the Don then how did most of them miss the probable CHG ancestral population (Imeretian Related) at the Lower Don ? Did some R1b stay behind or did R1b backmigrate towards the Crimea from the Balkans (Similar toolkits etc.) and then encountered the CHG people ?

An Idiot said...

@Chad Rohlfsen I'm curious, how do you think L51 came about? I think it should be clear now that it didn't spread with Yamnaya, as Yamnaya was Z2103 dominated. What evidence is there of a migration over continental Europe from East to West in the Chalcolithic besides Yamnaya and Corded Ware (as we know L51 cannot have reached the West from either of these sources, given their respective Y DNA profiles)? Unless this migration of L23 (pre-L51) from the Steppes was ridiculously early (before Yamnaya and Corded Ware), I don't see how the Ukraine is the source of L23 (though I'd agree with M269). I don't know of any archaeological evidence permitting that possibility.

Why does nobody here except me see the possibility that L23 was originally West Asian, and that (pre-)L51 travelled from East to West via the Mediterranean instead of Danubian or Northern European routes? M269 in the Ukraine/Balkans to L23 in West Asia makes perfect sense looking at the modern phylogeny too, much more so than L23 especially being Steppe in origin. Would you rather believe that the Armenian Chalcolithic European HG was from a Steppe migration over the Caucasus, not least that long ago? Where is the archaeological evidence of this Steppe infiltration into the Southern Caucasus? There IS, however, archaeological evidence of a migration of sorts from the Balkans (more the side nearer to the Black Sea than Mediterranean, so places like Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia (corresponding to Karanovo and Vinca) rather than anything near the Dinaric Alps) to West Asia accompanied by the spread of very early copper metallurgy technology (and other things, such as the swastika, certain distinctive styles of figurines, maybe the Euphratic language etc.). This explains why basically all West Asian R1a-M417+ seems to be from the great expansion period of IE (so, almost all from the Iranians), whereas West Asian R1b-M269+ is far older and has a distribution that cannot be explained by Anatolian or Iranian (both in the IE sense) origins.

Them meee said...

@An Idiot

Because the aDNA we have right now does not suggest a Middle Eastern origin of R1b-L23. R1b-P297 has been found in the steppe and R1b-M269 has so far only been seen in steppe and steppe derived populations, including those with more EHG than CHG. Additionally, pre-Eneolithic samples with R1b have been found.

Also we’ve already seen other posters “wait for other samples” and ultimately get hit back with evidence pointing against, not in favor of, their theories, so while more samples is a good thing, don’t expect them to shift the evidence in your favor.

Ric Hern said...

@ An Idiot

How do you for example trace an Armenian migrant who migrated to the USA and adopted the American Culture on arrival ? Or any other who does the same ?

Ric Hern said...

@ An Idiot

There is the Suvorovo Cultural expansion into the Balkans and into the Transylvanian Plateau...