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Monday, March 4, 2019

An exceptional burial indeed, but not that of an Indo-European


Not too many people have been buried sitting on wagons. The most famous case is that of an Early Bronze Age man who, considering his injuries, may have died in a high-speed crash - high-speed for its time anyway - on the Pontic-Caspian steppe in Eastern Europe.

It's likely that this guy was one of the very first wagon-drivers in human history, because his four-wheeled wooden model is dated to 3336-3105 calBCE, which makes it the oldest wagon discovered thus far. His genotype data, under the label Steppe Maykop SA6004, were published recently along with Wang et al. 2019.

Early wagons are very important for a couple of reasons: they revolutionized human transport and warfare, and they're often closely associated with the prehistoric expansions of Indo-European languages.

So I'm pretty sure that many of you must be thinking right now that wagon-driver SA6004 was an early Indo-European, or even a Proto-Indo-European! I bet that's what Wang et al. thought too, considering the conclusion in their paper. But, alas, the chances of this are slim to none.

Steppe Maykop samples show rather peculiar genetic structure considering their geographic origin, with a large proportion of their ancestry deriving from a source closely related to western Siberian hunter-gatherers (aka West_Siberia_N in the ancient DNA record). Indeed, SA6004 basically looks like a 50/50 mix between West_Siberia_N and Piedmont_Eneolithic. Here's a map with all of the relevant details.


Thus, clearly, the Steppe Maykop population wasn't ancestral or even directly related to the steppe and steppe-derived groups generally regarded to have been Indo-European speaking, such as those associated with the Yamnaya, Corded Ware, and Bell Beaker cultures. That's because these groups lack any discernible West_Siberia_N-related ancestry.

It also wasn't ancestral or directly related to any present-day or currently sampled ancient Indo-European speaking populations, again because these populations basically lack West_Siberia_N-related ancestry.

On the other hand, Yamnaya, Corded Ware and other closely related groups show an exceptionally strong genetic relationship with Indo-European speakers, especially those from across Northern Europe, which experienced massive migrations from the Pontic-Caspian steppe during the late Neolithic period, and hardly anything from elsewhere since then.

Case in point, the samples from Wang et al. labeled Yamnaya Caucasus were recovered from the same area of the Pontic-Caspian as their Steppe Maykop samples, and yet, take a look at this linear model based on outgroup f3-statistics. Steppe Maykop does show high genetic affinity to Indo-European speakers (no doubt mediated via its Piedmont_Eneolithic-related ancestry), but, unlike Yamnaya Caucasus, it also shows unusually high affinity for a West Eurasian population to Native Americans and Siberians. The relevant datasheet is available here.
So the only way that the Steppe Maykop population was Indo-European-speaking, was if it inherited its Indo-European speech from its Piedmont_Eneolithic-related ancestors. And even if it was Indo-European-speaking, it probably spoke an extinct Indo-European language not closely related to any extant Indo-European languages. In other words, the possibility that Steppe Maykop passed on its language to Yamnaya, along with its wagons, is close to zero. More likely, Yamnaya stole a few wagons from Steppe Maykop, and the rest is history.

See also...

The Steppe Maykop enigma

On Maykop ancestry in Yamnaya

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

107 comments:

NeilB said...

I really like that: "the rest is history" - I can just imagine steppe nomads High trailing it off over the horizon with their booty - said wagon - and then looking at it and saying "Well what have we got here? A big movable pile of firewood or a revolutionary new mode of transport?" Then deciding it to be the later, reverse engineering the vehicles that would carry them across continents! Fantastic!

Andrzejewski said...

According to Shishlina these Steppe Maykop people decamped and moved back to the Caucasus environment because they couldn't make it in the Steppes. So perhaps modern Northwestern Caucasus language speakers share some or most of their DNA as descendants?

And would the 50% Progress_Eneolithic explain why many Adyghe individuals could pass as Europeans while Kartvelians or Armenians look more Middle Easterners, in spite of their 20%-30% Steppe admixture?

Them meee said...

And would the 50% Progress_Eneolithic explain why many Adyghe individuals could pass as Europeans while Kartvelians or Armenians look more Middle Easterners, in spite of their 20%-30% Steppe admixture?

I don’t know, are Adyghe half West_Siberia_N?

Leron said...

Andrzejewski:

What exactly is your definition of "passing as European"? There's a distinct/stereotypical look to Europeans if they are on the east, north, northwest, southwest and southeast of the continent. Kartvelians and Armenians (trans-Caucasus), being people from south of the Caucasus would share more genetic and morphological affinities with south Europeans. While Adyghe (cis-Caucasus population) with those from north/eastern Europe. For a major part of its history, Europe was essentially the southern portion. The differential goes further back than the time of steppe admixture, all the way to ANE times.

MOCKBA said...

If the composition of Steppe Maykop samples is consistently approximately 50:50 "local foothill residents who are also potentially ancestral to Yamnaya" + "a population with Siberian HG and Far Eastern affinities", then can we tell from the DNA data how long ago did this admixture happen, and was it sex biased?
For the latter IEs, it was all too common to admix with the groups they encountered along the way, and to displace one another, so I would be totally unsurprised if this was another of the admixed, expanded, and later extinct IE branches.

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...

@Andrzejewski "And would the 50% Progress_Eneolithic explain why many Adyghe individuals could pass as Europeans while Kartvelians or Armenians look more Middle Easterners, in spite of their 20%-30% Steppe admixture?"

Does the proportion of steppe ancestry make you look more or less European?

Do you think that the steppes are the origin of the mutations that gave rise to lighter skin tones / blue eyes etc?

@Leron "Kartvelians and Armenians (trans-Caucasus), being people from south of the Caucasus would share more genetic and morphological affinities with south Europeans"

Can you explain this better please? Do you mean the Basques, Spaniards, French, Italian Greeks, Serbs, Albanians?

"The differential goes further back than the time of steppe admixture, all the way to ANE times"
What do you mean by this?


Aniasi said...

Is it possible this was a Para-IE language brought from another ANE population?

Also, phenotype is as much environmental as ancestral

Andrzejewski said...

@Aniasi I don’t think that PIE stems from an ANE source. I’m starting to think that it might’ve been a language isolate rising independently on the Steppes.

MomOfZoha said...

@Andrzejewski:
"According to Shishlina these Steppe Maykop people decamped and moved back to the Caucasus environment because they couldn't make it in the Steppes. So perhaps modern Northwestern Caucasus language speakers share some or most of their DNA as descendants?"

This time Andrew's son said something plausible.

At least Ubykh, who were semi-nomadic, had quite a vocabulary for horses. Although they are ethnically "extinct" now (except lingering in others' DNA), who knows when the other Circassian tribes settled down...

"And would the 50% Progress_Eneolithic explain why many Adyghe individuals could pass as Europeans while Kartvelians or Armenians look more Middle Easterners, in spite of their 20%-30% Steppe admixture?"

And then you revert to nonsense again...

AWood said...

Speaking of modern populations as they compare to ancient ones, I'm not aware of any modern datasets sampling large number of Russians on the actual eastern steppe, or how many of these individuals are in public databases such as FTDNA or 23andMe. Nor do I really know how heavily population these regions are today, and I'm sure the invasion of Asiatic tribes diluted the ancestry, and in some cases wiped it out completely. Measuring a population like Adyghei would also be silly since they are predominantly a Caucasus population rather than a steppe one, as are other groups such as "Ossetians". If back then, they were a mix of Caucasus + Steppe, they will be less "Steppe-like", due to the transient/volatile nature of the Steppes to begin with.

AWood said...

@correction

Eastern steppe, my bad I meant eastern Ukraine.

Davidski said...

@AWood

Speaking of modern populations as they compare to ancient ones, I'm not aware of any modern datasets sampling large number of Russians on the actual eastern steppe, or how many of these individuals are in public databases such as FTDNA or 23andMe. Nor do I really know how heavily population these regions are today, and I'm sure the invasion of Asiatic tribes diluted the ancestry, and in some cases wiped it out completely.

During the Medieval period much of the Pontic-Caspian steppe was occupied by Turkic groups, who were mixtures of many earlier groups from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and West Asia. But they were eventually forced out and replaced with settlers from different parts of European Russia.

That's why the Russians who live on the steppe today don't differ much from other Russians in terms of ancestry.

They're basically like the Russia_Central, Russia_West and even Russia_North pops in my f3-stat tables.

Davidski said...

@Andrzejewski

You need to take your passion for looks somewhere else, because this blog isn't about that.

a said...


SA 6004-at time of death-

Pre and peri mortal injuries at time of death[3336-3105 cal BCE].

Davidski said...

@All

There was a whole paper published in 2017 on the injuries and possible cause of death of SA6004.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018442X1730029X?via%3Dihub

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317291105_An_Accident_at_Work_Traumatic_lesions_in_the_skeleton_of_a_4th_millennium_BCE_wagon_driver_from_Sharakhalsun_Russia

Davidski said...

@All

I sort of got Piedmont_Eneolithic mixed up with Progress_Eneolithic in my blog post. Oops.

Of course, the latter is a subset of the former.

Fixed now.

Davidski said...

@MOCKBA

For the latter IEs, it was all too common to admix with the groups they encountered along the way, and to displace one another, so I would be totally unsurprised if this was another of the admixed, expanded, and later extinct IE branches.

I did consider in my blog post that Steppe Maykop may have spoken a highly divergent and now extinct Indo-European language, which it acquired from its Piedmont Eneolithic-related ancestors.

But I don't think that this is very likely, because Steppe Maykop seems to have been a new population on the Caspian steppe that came with superior technology, and it looks to have absorbed or displaced the preceding population in the area, rather than integrated with it.

So I think it's sensible to expect that they brought a new language with them. Possibly something like Yeniseian.

Andrzejewski said...

@Davidski ". Possibly something like Yeniseian."

Seems that way, because of the strong West Siberian HG component.

Andrzejewski said...

Yet again, PIE may itself have been on the same clade with Chukchi-Kamatchatkadal-Nivkh/Amuric, which means that if it's true, then Indo-European did evolve paternally from its Ancient North Eurasian roots from some Afontova Gora 3 language, and that it has far more in common with Eastern European HG (EHG) than with any ancient CHG language that has ever existed on the Southern and Western Steppe:

"Possible clade with Indo-European
In a 2015 paper, Gerhard Jäger of the University of Tübingen reported "intriguing" and "controversial" findings regarding Chukotko-Kamchatkan and Indo-European, amongst other language families. Using a variant of mass lexical comparison, augmented by computational linguistic techniques, such as large-scale statistical analysis, Jäger investigated "deep genetic relations" between many different language families. To increase the chances that genuine genetic relationships were detected, he eliminated from consideration "rogue taxa": languages and families that had ambiguous positions, due to random similarities or recent language contact. Jäger found evidence that Chukotko-Kamchatkan and the Indo-European languages had statistically-significant similarities with each other suggesting that they may have once formed part of a clade. On the whole, similarities between the two families were greater than either shared with any other language family."

Matt said...

I think I'd agree that they could've been part of the IE linguistic community, but there are certainly no reasons that they had to be (nothing later in history that requires it to be so), and they could've just as easily spoken almost anything at all. If we consider the linguistic diversity in the Americas for'ex, there must've been many languages about that we do not have any trace of.

Davidski said...

@Andrzejewski

That Jager paper was interesting, and we had a discussion about it on this blog when it first came out, but it doesn't really prove anything.

The reason is that languages aren't like DNA, so trying to go as far back as the Mesolithic to find linguistic families is futile and generally regarded as a pseudo-science if pushed too much.

At best, all we can say based on the results in the Jager paper is that Indo-European is a West Eurasian language that shows strong links with North Eurasian languages. But that can probably be explained in several different ways, and doesn't rely on pre-Proto-Indo-European, or whatever, to have been spoken by anyone in Siberia with Y-haplogroup R.

Open Genomes said...

@David

In running Global25 analyses on these Steppe and Caucasus individuals, I noticed the following:

I0118 Alberstedt_LN (Late Neolithic) is a Beaker, not "Late Neolithic".

I0118 Alberstedt_LN on the Global25 Ward's distance-squared clustering tree

Similarly, I0059, BenziegerodeHeimburg_LN, is not "Late Neolithic" but another Beaker too.

I0059 BenziegerodeHeimburg_LN on the Ward's distance-squared clustering tree

If these samples are used for the population averages in some runs of Global25, they will bias the results in favor of European Neolithic admixture in Steppe ancestry, even for samples that are distant from Europe, because they themselves have substantial Steppe ancestry.

Can you take note of the labeling here, and also correct any population averages that you've been using that include them?

(This is why I don't use population averages, because in almost every case, "populations" are not clusters.)

Rafs said...

Armenians are nowhere close to 30% steppe. They're about 5-10% Yamnaya, ie, less steppe-derived than Iranians and about the same as Levantine Arabs.

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...

I believe that many people ignore that the nomads of the steppes lived in continuous movement, so it is very difficult to fix the populations to a certain territory. This turned the cultures of the steppes into a genetic puzzle, which complicates the explanation of migrations and the expansion of the Indo-European.

The herd composition was typical for nomadic pastoralism (Shnirel´man 1980; Masanov 1995). But constant migration could not exist without any transport. Wagon parts and even unbroken wagons were discovered in burial complexes in the territory from the Ural to the Dnestr regions (Gej 2000; Shishlina 2007; Nikolovа & Kaiser 2009).

Wagon parts were found in Pit-Grave burials in the Ural region (Morgunova & Turetskij 2003) – in the burials of elderly people.

A wagon seemed to be not only a means of transport for nomads, but also a home in everyday life; that is why they put only wheels or wagon parts in burials. Wheels were placed in the corners of burials, so that it would be the last home on wheels for the dead.

The burial design with wheel remains allowed to find out how covered wagons (which were necessary for long travels) spread. Another interesting fact is that the Pit-Grave population made wheels for burials of poplar; this type of wood is not durable (Golyeva 2006). Probably these wheels were produced for burials, one set for one occasion.

The antiquity of the burial to which you refer (3.306-3.105 BC) coincides with the Repin horizon of the steppes, which is a clear continuation of Khvalynsk and Sredni Stog.

Davidski said...

@Diego

That Steppe Maykop sample has nothing to do with Sredny Stog, Yamnaya or Repin, because it has a whopping amount of Siberian ancestry.

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...


but it belongs to the Maykop culture, which also complicates the origin of that culture because the nomadic life is not typical of the Caucasus mountains but of the steppes. Therefore, Maykop has to have origin / mixture in Siberia and the Caucasus (which on the other hand is what its uniparental markers seem to indicate- J2a-M410/R1a/T-L206/Q-436/K/G2a2a/L595-Late Maykop)

Davidski said...

Maykop is interesting, but it has nothing to do with Proto-Indo-Europeans, Yamnaya, or modern Europeans.

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...

Yes, it is interesting, and there are many hypotheses about its origin, although I suppose you will agree with me that there had to be a cultural influence between Yamnaya and Maykop, in fact Gimbutas included it in one of his famous waves or invasions.

The culture has been described as, at the very least, a "kurganized" local culture. Its inhumation practices were characteristically Indo-European, typically in a pit, sometimes stone-lined, topped with a kurgan (or tumulus). Stone cairns replace kurgans in later interments.

Agree, genetically it has nothing to do with modern Europeans.

a said...

@Diego One thing you have to keep in mind is the logistics and tools involved in wagon construction 5000 years ago. Different types of wood have different properties and densit for specific uses, for example no bearings existed back then. Variable terrain + weather + steppe forests + hostile ttibes were all factors in construction, which we know little.

Ric Hern said...

It certainty doesn't look as if the Stavropol and Krasnodar Krai areas are Treeless. And even patches of Oak exists along the Volga, West of the Don, and looks like in the Northern Caucasus and Piedmont Steppe areas as well...

Ric Hern said...

Maybe suitable trees for wagon making got depleted and sparked the "Wagon Wars" ?

Ryan said...

Why not something like Uralic for the Steppe Maykop language?

EastPole said...

Revised drawing for Narasimhan et al. paper “The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia”showing expansion of Yamnaya component and IE languages:

https://i.postimg.cc/hjfDNL3c/Narasimhan-yamnaya.png

from David Reich’s lecture at 19:25

https://brown.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=b613818e-b38b-4dd9-8926-aa02016a1124

A third node is introduced which describes expansion of Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian languages from Corded Ware.
Unfortunately this description is very blurry, I can read only few words like Balto-Slavic, Corded-Ware, Indo-Iranian. David, can you read what it says exactly?

Alex said...

@EastPole

Thank you by links!

Apparently the next big paper will be Olalde et al.

https://postimg.cc/PLvSH7Zr

Davidski said...

@EastPole

I can't read what it says, but it looks like they got the expansion of Bell Beakers wrong.

Dragos said...

Haha Davidski
Looks like they got the BB expansion right

Al Bundy said...

Great news more big papers coming.PIE is my main interest, but BB isn't far behind.

Davidski said...

@Ryan

Why not something like Uralic for the Steppe Maykop language?

Bolshoy Oleni Ostrov vs Steppe Maykop

Dragos said...

Yes they should have put the arrow to Britain from Netherlands instead of France, but overall it makes sense
Anyhow Britain & Netherlands are peripheral .

Davidski said...

@Dragos

It doesn't make any sense, because Beakers moved into the Carpathian Basin not from it.

You can't derive Rhenish Beakers, or any other Western European Beakers, from Hungarian Beakers or Hungarian Yamnaya.

JuanRivera said...

How does one make that type of graph?

Davidski said...

@Juan

Use this...

https://folk.uio.no/ohammer/past/index.html

And these datasheets...

Caucasus_ancient-modern_f3-stats.txt

Caucasus_ancient-modern_f3-stats_West_Eurasia.txt

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g-oG1GaYJZ7oeEuNyWdAC4xl5DXwnI4p/view?usp=sharing

HAUMAVARGĀ said...

@Rafs

Armenians are nowhere close to 30% steppe. They're about 5-10% Yamnaya, ie, less steppe-derived than Iranians and about the same as Levantine Arabs.

I would say a little higher than 10%:

[1] "distance%=2.8726"

Armenian_Average

Seh_Gabi_ChL,59.2
Barcin_N,16.2
Catacomb,12.4
Levant_N,12.2

And here's the result of the average Jordanian with the same model:

[1] "distance%=7.1238"

Jordanian_Average

Levant_N,49.4
Seh_Gabi_ChL,40.4
Catacomb,5.4
Dinka,4.2
Nganassan,0.6

They don't look similar to me in any way.

MaxT said...

I'm surprised that Armenians are only about 10%-12% steppe admixed. What route would you guys say steppe ppl took to Armenia?

Grey said...

MaxT said...
"I'm surprised that Armenians are only about 10%-12% steppe admixed"

I may be remembering wrong but i thought the thing with Armenians is they had higher steppe ancestry in the distant past but lost a lot of it along the way?

Grey said...

Steppe-Maykop is an interesting twist to the story

Samuel Andrews said...

@MaxT. Armenians actually have like 5% Steppe admix not even 10%. Aram & Leron explained probable origins of Armenian languages here.
http://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2019/02/catacomb-armeniamlba.html

I guess one leading theory, is Armenian arrived from southeast Europe around 1800bc.

Al Bundy said...

Maybe Armenian didn't come from the steppe?

Davidski said...

Where did it come from? Did it magically sprout out of the ground in Armenia along with all of that R1b-M269?

Al Bundy said...

Before the insults fly, remember MP and Harvard are considering it as well.

Al Bundy said...

Maybe from S.Caucasus, y haplogroups probably J2, possibly G

Davidski said...

Well if the scientists at Max Planck are seriously considering the origin of Armenian in the Caucasus, then it definitely originated on the steppe.

Al Bundy said...

If they actually thought Maykop IEized PC Steppe they were wrong, based on what you've shown.Maybe they're not wrong about everything.Considering the possibilities that's all.

Andrzejewski said...

@Al Bundy We just proved recently that both Anatolian language speakers and Armenians have BA Steppe ancestry. But you keep on with your theories

HAUMAVARGĀ said...

What kind of logic is that?

Samuel Andrews said...

@Al Bundy,
I used to think Armenian was an IE-isolate similar to Hittite. But, posters here explained to me, Armenian shares stuff with European IE languages. Which, means it has the same origin as European IE languages. If they originate in the Steppe then Armenian does to.

Ancient DNA, documents an ancient presence of Steppe admixture in Armenia going back to 4000bc. Some people had it some didn't. But, modern Armenians are basically of entirely local West Asian decent (don't even have Iranian admixture) with almost in-detectable Steppe admixture.

Huck Finn said...

@ D and @ Ryan and re "Bolshoy Oleni Ostrov vs Steppe Maykop": the unpublished IA samples from Finland and from the areas nearby seem to indicate that at least early West Uralic speakers were EHG, but maybe also WSHG heavy and missing a more sizeable BHG connection i.e. they were rather different from BOO samples (and Levänluhta samples,too). Unluckily the WSHG refence was missing in the PCA's I've seen. However, I'd guess that the same ancestral (western, there's an eastern root population too) root population, which was found by Wong et al in Mansi, was present also here: very much ANE like i.e. in my understanding somehow linked to WSHG. If I'm right, that root population can and has been found in BOO and Leväluhta too, even if they are BHG mixed, just like modern Mansi are. Narasimhan at least has confirmed that there is WSHG in BOO.

However, we'll probably never find out what languages were spoken by WSHG people (and Steppe Maykop, too). Pre Proto Uralic however might have been one of them. I BTW wonder if Proto Uralic metal names *äsa "tin, lead" and *wäska "copper", cf. Finnish vaski "bronze", are somehow connected to Caucasian languages, for they apparently are not based on IE loans.

Davidski said...

@Huck Finn

There may have been serious problems with the PCA plots that you saw, like projection bias. So let's wait for the samples.

And I'm very skeptical that Narasimhan was able to confirm the presence of WSHG admixture in BOO, because this really doesn't appear to be the case.

There's simply no way to plausibly model BOO with that type of ancestry.

Bolshoy_Oleni_Ostrov
Baltic_BA 0.119±0.029
EHG 0.432±0.059
Glazkovo_EBA 0.528±0.028
West_Siberia_N -0.079±0.061
infeasible
chisq 14.795
tail prob 0.252859
Full output

Al Bundy said...

@Samuel Andrews Andrzejewski Thanks, @Samuel Andrews what area in Europe has the most WHG ancestry?

Bob Floy said...

@Al Bundy

The Baltic states, I think Latvia has the most.

Al Bundy said...

Thanks

Samuel Andrews said...

@Al Bundy,

West Eurasia Index. These are the most accurate ancient ancestry percentages you can find.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LPWAEC3dbAEDu8aBAAcxIOa5CQjuflt0f0cvhCpZ_ME/edit#gid=1497568895

Huck Finn said...

@ D: I'm convinced that the group involved i.e. the SUGRIGE team (Onkamo et al) is technically most advanced. But, we'll see.

Parastais said...

@HuckFinn
"However, we'll probably never find out what languages were spoken by WSHG people (and Steppe Maykop, too). Pre Proto Uralic however might have been one of them. I BTW wonder if Proto Uralic metal names *äsa "tin, lead" and *wäska "copper", cf. Finnish vaski "bronze", are somehow connected to Caucasian languages, for they apparently are not based on IE loans."
*wäska - this one is of IE origin. It has same roots as proto-Baltic *vaska most likely. Latvian vasks - honeycomb.
Wiktionary: "Etymology
From Proto-Baltic *waksa (with metathesis, *waska-s), from Proto-Indo-European *wokso- (“wax”), from the stem *weg- (“to weave”) (< *aw-eg). The original meaning was thus “woven, fabric-like” (i.e., cells, honeycomb). Cognates include Lithuanian vãškas, Old Church Slavonic воскъ (voskŭ), Russian, Belarusian воск (vosk), Ukrainian віск, Bulgarian восък (vósǎk), Czech vosk, Polish wosk, Proto-Germanic *wahsa- (Old High German wahs, Old English wæx, German Wachs, English wax).[1]"
Just interesting that in survived Northern PIE languages the meaning is that of a honeycomb, but in Finnic is that of a copper. If you google it up, copper does look like honeycomb.

Kirrun said...

In Estonian:
Wax - vaha
Honeycomb - meekärg, kärg; honey - mesi, comb - kärg (comb has the other meanings too)
Bronze - pronks
Copper - vask

ambron said...

Old polish: "miedź" - "honey", modern polish: "miedź" - "copper".

ambron said...

EastPole

1. "An early split of Yamnaya - east to the Altai Mountains, west to Europe - plausibly explains the early branching of the Tocharian language from all other Late Indo-European languages".

2. "A lineage deriving from the westward spread of the Yamnaya was plausibly the source of many Indo-European languages in western and Southern Europe".

3. "Another lineage deriving from the westward spread of the Yamnaya [? mixed ?] with European farmers and is likely responsible for the shared linguistic innovations between Balto-Slavic in Europe (spread by the Corded Ware complex) and Indo-Iranian languages in South Asia (spread to Kazakhstan with only a small amount of mixture with local groups before spreading into South Asia with substantial mixture).

Them meee said...

Let’s not forget modern Uralics have Siberian ancestry and not just extra ANE.

Slumbery said...

@Davidski

Glazkovo EBA has something like 15% WSHG ancestry compared to Shamanka N and Lokomotiv N. This is the G25 nMonte output when modeled with Shamanka N + West Siberia N:

"sample": "Bolshoy_Oleni_Ostrov:Average",
"fit": 5.3868,
"Shamanka_N": 39.17,
"EHG": 32.5,
"West_Siberia_N": 21.67,
"CWC_Baltic": 6.67,

Maybe it disappears with Glazkovo EBA, because Glazkovo EBA is closer in time and its WSHG part is a better fit. In your post about BOO back in December you also modeled some of the BOO samples with West Siberia N.

This dos not mean that they have anything with Steppe Maykop though. BOO rejects Progress Eneolithic and Geoksiur Eneolothic and the lack of both of these ancestries is decisive.

"sample": "Bolshoy_Oleni_Ostrov:Average",
"fit": 5.3619,
"Shamanka_N": 39.17,
"EHG": 34.17,
"West_Siberia_N": 20,
"CWC_Baltic": 6.67,
"Geoksiur_Eneolithic": 0,
"Progress_Eneolithic": 0,

The exact same test for Steppe Maykop:

"sample": "Steppe_Maykop:Average",
"fit": 1.5497,
"Progress_Eneolithic": 42.5,
"West_Siberia_N": 40,
"Geoksiur_Eneolithic": 14.17,
"EHG": 3.33,
"CWC_Baltic": 0,
"Shamanka_N": 0,

So I agree with your conclusion that BOO had nothing to do with Steppe Maykop.

HAUMAVARGĀ said...

North Ossetian with only 19.8% Sintashta? I don't think so.

Slumbery said...

@HAUMAVARGĀ...

"North Ossetian with only 19.8% Sintashta? I don't think so."

North Ossetians are pretty much a dominantly Caucasus population. In fact the Alans were already very similar in that matter.

I tried Global 25 nMontes. Just very simple test with ancient populations as a proof of concept.

"sample": "Alan:Average",
"fit": 1.8637,
"Maykop_Novosvobodnaya": 67.5,
"Sintashta_MLBA": 30,
"Glazkovo_EBA": 2.5,

"sample": "North_Ossetian:Average",
"fit": 2.7926,
"Maykop_Novosvobodnaya": 76.67,
"Sintashta_MLBA": 18.33,
"Glazkovo_EBA": 5,


Al Bundy said...

@ambron That's from the upcoming Olalde paper? Interesting stuff

ambron said...

Al Bundy, this is a illustration from Reich prelection:

https://i.postimg.cc/hjfDNL3c/Narasimhan-yamnaya.png

Huck Finn said...

@ Parastais and re *väska: no, fex Petri Kallio, a respected Finnish linguist, unluckily does not share your view, but I won't get into details here.

Huck Finn said...

@ Slumbery: good point and in order to state the obvious, even if BOO is somehow connected to WSHG, Steppe Maykop is indeed a different story.

Huck Finn said...

@ Parastais: this one is in English, if you're interested:

https://www.sgr.fi/sust/sust266/sust266_viitso.pdf

Cy Tolliver said...

@Samuel Andrews

Given that you're our resident mtDNA expert, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this recent paper, in particular the reassessment the authors have done of the current understanding of mtDNA phylogeny (Figure 3, it appears they have African L3 and M joined together in a clade, with N being a separate branch altogether).

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-39802-1#Sec6

Open Genomes said...

An updated Global25 nMonte cluster analysis of SA6004, with the affiliations of Beziegerode Heimburg and Alberstedt and "Nordic LN" corrected to "Bronze Age" according to their clustering on the Global25 Ward's distance-squared clustering tree:

Chalcolithic and earlier ancestry composition of sample: SA6004 Population: Steppe_Maykop Bronze Age Steppe

Here he's 43.6% West Siberia Neolithic, 36.6% Progress-Vonyuchka Eneolithic, 9.2% Khvalynsk Eneolithic, and 10.4% Iran / BMAC-related ancestry.

As I've pointed out before, he's Y-DNA Q-L939, which today is not Central Asian, but rather Caucasus and European.

His mtDNA U7 in general was found in Seh Gabi in Southwest Iran in the Chalcolithic, and in the Tarim Basin mummies. Today mtDNA U7b has a very widespread but sparse distribution, from Finland and Italy, to Egypt, the Near East, Iran, and South Asia.

Sahakyan et al. (2017) gives a coalescence time for mtDNA U7b at about 10,000 years.

While he has a high percentage of West Siberian Neolithic / Botai ancestry combined with Progress-Vonyuchka Eneolithic, he also has some extra Khvalynsk ancestry too. His radiocarbon dating, 3336-3105 calBCE, is contemporary with Early Yamnaya. He may not be exactly a Yamnaya-Afanasievo-type Proto-Indo-European, but he has more affinities with them than just Progress-Vonychka Eneolithic ancestry. Interestingly, he doesn't have extra CHG beyond the Progress-Vonyuchka Eneolitic contribution.

Based on what we see later in Anatolia, we can't say that he was a Proto-Anatolian, the earliest branch of Proto-Indo-European, but there is some relationship there that seems to make it more likely that he was from a group that spoke a language related to PIE and was later absorbed by it. Culturally, he seems to very similar to Yamnaya, buried in a kurgan, and even with a wagon. I don't know that the relationship of Yamnaya and Proto-Afanasievo was just "stealing wagons" from these people, they seem to have been a key link in the formation of their culture. Perhaps some important cultural words in PIE, like the words for horse-riding, wagon and metal technology came from Steppe Maykop. There's of course the idea from David Anthony that Botai were the first people to domesticate and ride horses, and that Yamnaya and Proto-Afanasievo got the idea of horse domestication from them. This kind of Steppe Maykop individual could have been the link between Botai and Yamnaya / Proto-Afanasievo. The adoption of terminology from this language may have been easier if PIE and the Steppe Maykop or Botai language were already related. Maybe there wasn't such a defined break between PIE and the West Siberian Neolithic-Botai language than we think, but rather that they were part of a dialect continuum. Since Early PIE (including Anatolian) would seem predate Yamnaya and Afanasievo, it may be that the absorption of the populations that spoke these Siberian languages contributed to the formation of PIE.

Davidski said...

@Open Genomes

Steppe Maykop, just like Maykop, didn't readily mix with Yamnaya, or any closely related groups. If they did, then we'd be seeing West_Siberia_N and/or Maykop Caucasus ancestry all over Europe today, but it's just not there, not even at low levels.

So since there were no geographic barriers between them, then the barriers must have been cultural and/or linguistic.

If Yamnaya was indeed culturally very similar to Maykop, then it's possible that this similarity was a superficial one that developed out of opposition to Maykop. In other words, Yamnaya may have become like Maykop to be able to compete with it.

Samuel Andrews said...

@Cy Tolliver,

Thanks for sharing that ancient mtDNA. It's fascinating. 7,000 year old pastorlists in Libya. Both women have identical mtDNA. They belong to an as of far unknown N lineage. I have one low coverage sample from Arabia in my database that *might* be apart of the same lineage.

I don't know why Figure 3 branches together L3 & M. M isn't related to any L3 clades in Africa. The current mtDNA phylogeny tree won't be revised in any dramatic way like that.

The reason, these ancient Libyans are basal to all N is they lack the N mutation 8701G. But that isn't because they belong to a sister branch of N it is because the marker 8701 back mutated at some point in their history. Back-mutations are common.

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...

@Davidski, @Open genomes

Do you know the existence of the Maykop stone? It was written in Byblian pseudo-hieroglyphic letters and Hittite determinatives, in the Abkhazian language. Without a doubt it can be a clue about the language that the Maykop culture spoke because I believe that it is dated in the XV millennium BC.

old europe said...


@ Open Genomes

Have you the updated genetic profile of the Ukraine Eneolithic I6561 you posted some days ago on the previous thread?

Dragos said...

@ OG

“with the affiliations of Beziegerode Heimburg and Alberstedt and "Nordic LN" corrected to "Bronze Age" according to their clustering on the Global25 Ward's distance-squared clustering tree:”

You can’t arbitrarily reassign chronology. Periodisation isn’t based on where a Sample clusters genetically.
BB or the Nordic LN are labelled “late Neolithic” because they pre-date the societal pre-requisite for a Bronze Age, which in central & Northern Europe begins only after BB, c. 2000 BC , when the new cultural models were introduced in key regions

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...

Olalde's new paper brings interesting surprises. Many people will understand better what BB culture was

Al Bundy said...

What are the surprises you're referring too?

Dragos said...

@ Diego
Yeah are you in the know bud ?

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...


@Al Bundy

The antiquity of R1b-P312 in the Iberian Peninsula
The deposits analyzed
The hypothetical demonstration that the Iberian men R1b-P312 spoke Indo-European and non-Indoeuropean languages ​​at the same time (East and North Iberia-Not Indo-European/West Iberia-Indo-European).

Arrived at this point of the debate, it is clear that the BB culture in Iberia is totally autochtonous and distinct from the rest of Europe (more antiquity, ceramic styles, use of arsenical copper, international trade, ivory, salt, burial customs). Apparently, everyone denies that there were genetic and even cultural influences from Iberia in other BB regions, so the time has come for us to start our journey alone. Our relatives R1b-P312 have found their origin in the steppes and for us that explanation does not make any sense.

At this time we have a database with more than 1,000 prehistoric Mitochondrial haplogroups analyzed (from the Paleolithic to the Iron age) but only 70 male genomes. Olalde's new paper will bring more than 150 new genomes which will make Spain one of the European countries with more data of ancient DNA. However, I believe that the collaboration with American labs should not continue, we should encourage more independent studies in Iberia and draw our conclusions. You have already found your origins in the steppes, and that is where you have to keep looking (I hope you have more luck than until now and finally find L51 and P312 in Yamnaya, Repin, Eneolithic steppes, Sredni Stog........).

Meanwhile we have thousands of prehistoric skeletons to analyze, hundreds of them in the culture of the Millares (3,200-2,000 BC), surely you will not be interested in knowing the results, although perhaps they are the explanation for some of the lineages that we share.



Al Bundy said...

@Dragos Wanna take this one? Thanks Diego

Davidski said...

Take it where exactly? Diego is hoping for some kind of miracle.

But this new paper is going to argue the same things as the other paper: Indo-European languages arrived in Iberia with steppe ancestry and R1b-M269.

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...


@Davidski
I'm not waiting for any miracle, what I'm saying is that your explanations are valid for you and people who think like you. If you are happy and satisfied, it seems very good. Keep looking in the steppes, but my advice is to present some convincing evidence.

The conclusions that Olalde presented in the other paper that you mention can even be considered as fun. With 32 samples of Iberian BBs, he reached amazing conclusions; one of the most fun is to ensure that there was no genetic exchange in the chalcolithic between Iberia and the rest of Europe because they had not found the mitochondrial haplogroup H3 in the Iberian BB sites analyzed, when it is supposed to be a marker that had previously been considered by other geneticists as linked to the expansion of BB culture. Well, haplogroup H3 is documented from the Mesolithic with more than 20 samples including typical BB burials. Lack of scientific rigor?, Ignorance of Iberian prehistory? Desperate attempt to seek arguments to support previously established theories?

In one thing you are right, knowing the history of the Harvard scientists, everyone expects that the conclusions are the same as in the previous work, which does not stop being fun because sooner or later they will have to rectify. Besides Olalde in Spain there are very good geneticists and many think differently, that is, you have your truth and we have ours. If you are interested in learning about different studies and opinions, I can provide them.


Dragos said...

@ Al
I’m particularly interested in samples from Valencina de la Concepción
But overall, there’ll be no big surprises : cultural & population shift during BB by R1b-Df27 rich groups; followed by Celts arriving about 1000 years later
The Mesolithic - Neolithic aspect will be more interesting aspect

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...

@ Dragos, the samples for the analysis of the more than 20 women (priestesses) suicide with cyanide in the dolmen of Montelirio (2.800 BC) I believe that there are also in Harvard. The man who occupied the princely tomb is H1 but they have not been able to determine haplogroup Y. I believe that samples have also been sent to Groningen, especially from the Humanejos BB site (3.200-2.000 BC), where more than 100 complete skeletons have been recovered, many of them with BB chronology.

Of course there will be surprises, many more than you think.

From your comments, it seems that you think that BB culture originated in Eastern Europe (Hungary, the Balkans?) And that from there it expanded to Central Europe and then to Iberia. Is that really what you think?

Dragos said...

@ Diego
The “Bell Beaker culture” is characterised by a series of artefacts which might originate from various regional influences. However, those which bore it, or at least became a particularly expansive group associated with it, seem to have originated in EE. Whether they moved via Hungary or Northern Europe is a secondary point.

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...

@Dragos

Don't think I'm asking you with a second intention, it's just interesting to consider other points of view. If I have not misunderstood it, you think that the BB package could have originated simultaneously in several parts of Europe depending on regional influences, and that a group from Eastern Europe (I suppose you will think of the Balkans) expanded into northern Europe by taking it with them the BB culture. Two questions

Do you think that BB culture (pottery, BB package....) originated in the steppes, or has influences from the steppes?

Do you handle different chronologies that we do not know in other parts of Europe?


Grey said...

Huck Finn said...
"Proto Uralic metal names *äsa "tin, lead""

any connection between "asa" and "aes?"

Open Genomes said...

@Diego

The Maykop Stone is an artifact without an archaeological context with what are thought by some to be symbols on it that form an inscription. Only one Soviet researcher dated it to the 13th or 12th century BCE, and made the claim that he could decipher it. Even if this completely unverified claim were true, it would date the stone to about 2000 years after the actual Maykop culture, because this would post-date the development of the alphabet.

On the Attempt to Read the Maikop Inscription

There's nothing relevant here for the archaeology of the Maykop culture.

Open Genomes said...

@Dragos

Since the three samples obviously show significant Steppe ancestry compared to the European Neolithic samples, they postdate the entry of the Eneolithic and Bronze Age Steppe people into Central Europe. The periodization I'm using here is based on finding pre-Steppe ancestry in the Caucasus, Near East, Anatolia, and Europe, and arbitrarily including these outliers with the Neolithic attracts any earlier individuals with Steppe ancestry as predecessors - which they are not - and gives a false read of Central European ancestry in geographically distant samples from the Caucasus. This is a similar situation to the Hajji Firuz outlier and other outliers, where including them in a population group when they are clearly much later and from a different origin gives a false impression of gene flow in one direction, instead of the opposite.

Do you really think that Progress Eneolithic had ancestry from the Bell Beakers or from the Hajji Firuz outlier?

Open Genomes said...

@old europe

The updated Global25 restricted nMonte for Ukraine Eneolithic I6561 is here:

Chalcolithic and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I6561 Population: Ukraine_Eneolithic Chalcolithic Steppe

Here we see a 35.6% contribution / affinity with ANI163, the Varna outlier, 29.2% Khvalynsk Eneolithic, 19.2% Progress Eneolithic, 11.6% Balkans Chalcolithic, 3.6% Globular Amphora, and tiny amount of additional Iran-like ancestry..

From the Neolithic perspective:

Neolithic and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I6561 Population: Ukraine_Eneolithic Chalcolithic Steppe

Aside from the EHG and European Neolithic ancestry, we see 11.4% CHG (from Progress-Vonyuchka Eneolithic) and 7.4% Iran-like ancestry, mostly from the same source.

Huck Finn said...

@ Grey: No idea, unluckily.

old europe said...


@Open Genomes

Thank you

But I tought Progress Eneolithic was later than Sredni Stog ( or roughly contemporary?)?

Diego Arroyo de Lagasca Encinas said...


@open genomes-

And do not you think that this steppe ancestry detected in the Greek Neolithic, Minoans, Mycenaeans...., even if we heed the rumors in the Italian Neolithic may have been dispersed by mainland Europe before any migration from the cultures of the steppes?

The calcolithic specimens related to the BB culture may have traces of that ancestry of their neolithic ancestors, and this may have misled the researchers interpreting this signal as a consequence of more recent migrations.


Dragos said...

@ Open Genomes

The period of CWC & BB belong to the Late Neolithic of temperate Europe ; whilst the pre-steppe period is middle Neolithic
I can’t explain any simpler
You haven’t discovered an error

See here
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0194862.g001

Always check ‘raw dates’ in future, to avoid confusion

Angantyr said...

@Dragos
@Open Genomes

In Southern Scandinavia, sometimes considered temperate and sometimes not, CWC is Middle Neolithic. So yes, only dates matter.

Open Genomes said...

@Dragos

While both the Bell Beaker and Corded Ware cultures start with the Final Neolithic, both postdate Yamnaya and are part of what are regarded as a "Bronze Age" movement of Steppe peoples into Europe. Both the Bell Beaker and Corded Ware cultures extend into the Early Bronze Age. This of course didn't happen everywhere all at once, and since we're trying to examine the ancestry of early Steppe, Caucasus, and possibly related Near Eastern individuals here, the fact that these three individuals both cluster with later groups and that they then show up as "ancestral components" of Steppe-admixed individuals like I4243 Bronze Age Hajji Firuz. The chances are zero that I4243 or the earlier Steppe-related Caucasus region individuals have ancestry from Beakers from Central Germany, so it just makes sense to categorize samples according to their clustering and not according to the periodization in one region or another. If the "Final Neolithic" Beakers are both hundreds of years later than Yamnaya, and also Yamnaya is considered a "Late Eneolithic - Early Bronze Age" culture, does it even make sense for the purposes of ancestry analysis to categorize their descendants the Beakers as belonging to a large group of samples that predate Yamnaya by sometimes thousands of years?

What I don't have here is the absolute dating of all of these approximately 1500 ancient samples in Global25. Radiocarbon dates don't even exist for many of them. If anyone would like to compile a list of dates for each sample, I can implement that pretty easily. Still, because of overlapping wide date ranges, it's impossible to get it right.

The real question (@David) is whether these individuals are included in population averages for non-Steppe groups. It doesn't matter for my cluster-based nMonte, but it would make a difference for "population-based" nMonte analyses, which is why I was pointing this out to everyone.

Open Genomes said...

@old europe

I6561 Ukraine Eneolithic (Alexandria, Dereivka culture) is dated to 4045-3974 calBCE.
PG2001 Progress Eneolithic is dated to 4336-4178 and also 4991-4834 calBCE, but PG2004 is dated to 4233-4047 calBCE.

So Progress Eneolithic is in fact earlier than I6561 Ukraine Eneolithic from the Dereivka culture.

19.2% Progress Eneolithic ancestry for I6561 is pretty significant.

However, you're right that with nearly contemporary samples, we can't tell which way the gene flow goes.
1. It might be from direct contemporary admixture, or
2. They both might share a recent common ancestor that was unsampled.

This is why I'm also showing the "Neolithic and earlier" perspective on the ancestry of I6561.

From the perspective of Neolithic ancestry, we see that I6561 has 7.4% Darra-i-Kur Iran Neolithic-like ancestry. Since this is present in Progress Eneolithic and in other samples from around the Caucasus, but not present among the EHGs, it almost certainly came via Progress Eneolithic admixture in Dereivka. It couldn't have come directly from Darra-i-Kur in northeast Afghanistan. The question then is how this Iran Neolithic-like ancestry got to Progress Eneolithic, and then was passed on to Dereivka ...

Open Genomes said...

Did Progress Eneolithic have an influence on the later Steppe-derived cultures of Western Europe?

Bronze Age and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I0118 Population: Alberstedt_LN Bronze Age Europe

Note the 8.2% Progress Eneolithic here:

Chalcolithic and earlier ncestry composition of sample: I0118 Population: Alberstedt_LN Bronze Age Europe

Here we have 6.2% Darra-i-kur Iran Neolithic-like ancestry, which is obviously coming from Progress Eneolithic:
Neolithic and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I0118 Population: Alberstedt_LN Bronze Age Europe

Bronze Age and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I0059 Population: BenzigerodeHeimburg_LN Bronze Age Europe

Here there is 12.0% Vonuychka Eneolithic, which is in the same subcluster as Progress Eneolithic:
Chalcolithic and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I0059 Population: BenzigerodeHeimburg_LN Bronze Age Europe

Neolithic and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I0059 Population: BenzigerodeHeimburg_LN Bronze Age Europe

By way of comparison, I1570, the Netherlands Beaker who clusters closely with I6583 the Beaker from Poland, and I0059, Benziegerode Heimburg Late Neolithic:

Bronze Age and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I5750 Population: Beaker_The_Netherlands Bronze Age Europe

Notice the significant 19.6% Progress-Vonyuchka Eneolithic ancestry that this Netherlands Beaker has, even more than I6583 and I0118:

Chalcolithic and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I5750 Population: Beaker_The_Netherlands Bronze Age Europe

Here the additional Iran Neolithic-like ancestry is just 1.6%, but it isn't zero. There's a clear trace of Progress Eneolithic here:

Neolithic and earlier ancestry composition of sample: I5750 Population: Beaker_The_Netherlands Bronze Age Europe

@David, maybe you can write a post about the subsequent influence of Progress-Vonyuchka Eneolithic on the Steppe-descended peoples of Europe, even the Bell Beakers, as well as the Dereivka (Sredny Stog) culture?

a said...

@OG Nice work. Interesting and creative runs....