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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Ancient DNA vs Ex Oriente Lux


In recent years you may have read academic papers, books and press articles claiming that the Early Bronze Age Yamnaya culture of the Pontic-Caspian steppe was founded by migrants from the Caucasus, Mesopotamia or even Central Asia.

Of course, none of this is true.

The Yamnaya herders and closely related groups, such as the people associated with the Corded Ware culture, expanded from the steppe between the Black and Caspian seas, and, thanks to ancient DNA, it's now certain that they were overwhelmingly derived from a population that had existed in this region since at least the mid-5th millennium BCE (see here).

So rather than being culturally advanced colonists from some Near Eastern civilization, the ancestors of the Yamnaya herders were a relatively primitive local people who still largely relied on hunting and fishing for their subsistence. They also sometimes buried their dead with flint blades and adzes, but hardly ever with metal objects, despite living in the Eneolithic epoch or the Copper Age.

As far as I know, this group doesn't have a specific name. But in recent scientific literature it's referred to as Eneolithic steppe, so let's use that.

It's not yet clear how the Yamnaya people became pastoralists. Some scholars believe that they were basically an offshoot of the cattle herding Maykop culture of the North Caucasus. However, the obvious problem with this idea is that the Yamnaya and Maykop populations probably didn't share any recent ancestry. In fact, ancient DNA shows that the former wasn't derived from the latter in any important or even discernible way (see here).

On the other hand, Yamnaya samples do harbor a subtle signal of recent gene flow from the west that appears to be most closely associated with Middle to Late Neolithic European agropastoralists (see here). Therefore, it's possible that herding was adopted by the ancestors of the Yamnaya people as a result of their sporadic contacts with populations living on the western edge of the Pontic-Caspian steppe.

Eneolithic steppe is currently represented by just three samples in the ancient DNA record, and all of these individuals are from sites on the North Caucasus Piedmont steppe (two from Progress 2 and one from Vonyuchka 1).

As a result, it might be tempting to argue that cultural, if not genetic, impulses from the Caucasus did play an important role in the formation of the Yamnaya and related peoples. However, it's important to note that the North Caucasus Piedmont steppe was the southern periphery of Eneolithic steppe territory.

Below is a map of Eneolithic steppe burial sites featured in recent scientific literature. It's based on data from Gresky et al. 2016, a paper that focused on a specific and complex type of cranial surgery or trepanation often practiced by groups associated with this archeological culture (see here).


Incredibly, one of the skeletons from Vertoletnoe pole has been radiocarbon dated to the mid-6th millennium BCE. My suspicion, however, is that this result was blown out by the so called reservoir effect (see here). In any case, the academic consensus seems to be that the roots of Eneolithic steppe should be sought in the Lower Don region, rather than in the Caucasus foothills (see page 36 here).

Considering that nine Eneolithic steppe skulls from the Lower Don were analyzed by Gresky et al., I'd say it's only a matter of time before we see the publication of genome-wide data for at least of couple of these samples. Indeed, the paper's lead author is from the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, which is currently involved in a major archaeogenetic project on the ancient Caucasus and surrounds. Unfortunately, the study is scheduled to be completed in about four years (see here).

But whatever happens, the story of Eneolithic steppe deserves to be investigated in as much detail as possible, because it obviously had a profound impact on Europe and its people.

In my estimation, at least a third of the ancestry of present-day Northern Europeans, all the way from Ireland to the Ural Mountains in Russia, is ultimately derived from Eneolithic steppe groups. It's also possible that R1a-M417 and R1b-L51, the two most frequent Y-chromosome haplogroups in European males today, derive from a couple of Eneolithic steppe founders. If so, that's a very impressive effort for such an obscure archeological culture from what is generally regarded as a peripheral part of Europe.

See also...


430 comments:

1 – 200 of 430   Newer›   Newest»
Henrique Paes said...

The signal from CHG genetics in the samples is too strong to be relativized in this way. I believe that you are right in the sense that the steppe population did not migrate 'ready' from elsewhere to the steppes, but there was undoubtedly a lot of genetic and cultural influence from the Caucasus. The CHG genetic signal is stronger than the EEF signal in the old steppe populations. In my opinion, it doesn't matter if it was recent or old, CHG genetics is there and represents more than a third of steppe genetics.

Davidski said...

@Henrique Paes

CHG was long extinct at this time, and Caucasus populations already had too much Anatolian admixture during the Eneolithic to be relevant.

Also, Eneolithic steppe doesn't really have CHG ancestry. It has ancestry from a related population.

Archi said...

@Davidski

"Currently one of the most popular theories is that they learned pastoralism from the earlier Maykop people of the North Caucasus region."

In fact, such a theory does not exist, since everyone knows that cattle breeding in the steppes appeared prior to the Maykop culture at least more a thousand years earlier.


Archi said...

@ Henrique Paes "cultural influence from the Caucasus."

Well, what is the cultural influence of the Caucasus in the Steppe Eneolithic? It was not there, simply because there was essentially no Eneolithic in the North Caucasus, the Bronze Age with Maykop immediately set in.


Davidski said...

@Archi

In fact, such a theory does not exist, since everyone knows that cattle breeding in the steppes appeared prior to the Maykop culture at least more a thousand years earlier.

In fact, this popular theory does exist and it posits that Yamnaya got pretty much everything from Maykop, including its ancestry, kurgans, cattle breeding and Indo-European language.

I guess you've had your head stuck up your ass for the past two years or so.

Andrzejewski said...

The reason that Reich lab and others try to diminish the role of the WSH PIE Yamnaya people is because of the erroneous and extremely racist association a cabal of murderous warmongers in 1930s made between themselves and the innocent Western Steppe Herders.

Thus, researchers are going out of their way to dissociate PIE/WSH from anything linked to Europe, and instead attempt to claim that “everyone is an immigrant”, and that “European so-and-so came from Anatolia/Mesopotamia/you name it”.

Acknowledging that our ancestors contributed to our culture the most does not mean at all that we are against non-Europeans.

Davidski said...

By the way, those still arguing that Caucasus populations had a huge genetic and cultural impact on Yamnaya, please explain why there was a genetic border between the Caucasus and the steppe already a thousand years or more before Yamnaya.

https://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2018/06/genetic-borders-are-usually-linguistic.html

Davidski said...

@All

I made the following change to the post...

It's not yet clear how the Yamnaya people became pastoralists. Some scholars believe that they were basically an offshoot of the cattle herding Maykop culture of the North Caucasus.

Samuel Andrews said...

So, the Eneolithic Steppe DNA samples available right now come from burials where the skulls have holes cut into them? And burials much further north also have skulls with holes in them, therefore you're concluding they were the same population?

Davidski said...

@Samuel

Read the Gresky et al. paper and then also read the Wang et al. PDF supplement, especially page 36.

Then come back to this discussion.

Rob said...

''They also sometimes buried their dead with flint blades and axes, but never metal objects, ''

That's not really correct; e.g. Khvalynsk (even if Khvalynsk itself might not have been the direct ancestors of yamnaya).

Eneolithic steppe is a rather poor name. I'm not sure if they're even proto-Repin, let along all other relevant groups.

FrankN said...

Dave: Good summary! I especially like the link to the Gresky e.a. paper, and the conclusion that "the roots of Eneolithic steppe should be sought in the Lower Don region, rather than in the Caucasus foothills." In fact, the Eneolithic Steppe is atypical in two respects:
(i) Their share of CHG is above the standard 50/50 EHG/CHG ratio observed in most other Steppe(-related) populations, and
(ii) Isotopic (dietary) studies suggest that they were not just herders, but actually cereal Farmers, see e.g. Shishlina e.a. 2012 (btw the first English language paper to use the term "Eneolithic Steppe"
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285099434_Isotope_ratio_study_of_Bronze_Age_samples_from_the_Eurasian_Caspian_Steppes

The most parsimonous explanation is that the Elbrus piedmont population included some Sioni Culture (East Caucasian) element; a suggestion strengthened by the presence of typical North Caucasian "Pearl pottery" in Areni I (Armenia_CA).

With respect to the Gresky e.a. paper, I find two things intriguing:
(i) They suggest religious motives for the trepanations. This implies that we are rather dealing shaman burials than with warriors;
(ii) The European practice of trepanation has been traced back to the Dniepr Rapids area, more specifically Vasilievka II, ca. 6.200 BC, from where it spread into various directions, including the Alsacian LBK (sources on request). While we don't have the aDNA of that first documented case of trepanantion, we have that of an adjacent burial, namely Ukraine_Neo:I1736. That one is essentially 60% WHG (IronGates), 40% EHG (Sidelkino), and has obviously not much genetically in common with the Eneolithic Steppe population.

Apparently, we are dealing here with a tradition of high cultural significance, both in terms of religion and as concerns medical skills and related tool-making, that seems to have been transmitted by mechanisms that hardly included gene transfer.

A final question: If the roots of the Eneolithic Steppe population are to be sought on the Lower Don, how and when did the CHG element get there? On the „when“, we may conclude from the Khvalynsk samples that it arrived in the European Steppe before 4,700 BC. OTOH, there isn't much CHG in the Ukraine_Neo samples that date to before ca. 5,300 BC. The same applies to the Samara_HG, ca. 5,500 BC. As such, we seem to be talking about ca. 5,000 BC plus/minus a few centuries. That's a time when the SE Caucasus was already fully neolithicised (late Shulaveri-Shomu /early Sioni) and practised copper metalurgy, none of which is found along the Lower Don (cereal farming there only started with Sredny Stog). I personally find it unlikely that an immigration that so subtantially shifted the genetic profile from the preceding EHG/WHG mix to almost 50% CHG would not have introduced farming and metalurgy, if its origin is to be sought in the SE Caucasus. What does that leave us with? Of course not Iran, equally farming and copper-melting by that time. But what about the E. Caspian, with attested hunter-herders, e.g. Kelteminar. Kelteminar is a poor fit in other respects, such as their lithic technology, and INO geographically too eastern, but the archeologically yet poorly explored areas between the Caspian and Aral Seas come to mind...

Samuel Andrews said...

The exact origins of Steppe (Yamnay) is soooooo important that the Recih lab needs to be on top of this. Seems like they don't care about investigating it.

Davidski said...

@Rob

I know that there was some metal in Khvalynsk burials, but this isn't Khvalynsk. There's no metal in these burials.

Samuel Andrews said...

@Davidskiu,
"Read the Gresky et al. paper and then also read the Wang et al. PDF supplement, especially page 36. Then come back to this discussion."

This is your blog. You're supposed to do the work and answer SIMPLE questions people ask you.

Cuz, from what you write in this blog post NO ONE will be able to tell why you think these burials further north are apart of the same population as published Eneolithic Steppe genomes.

Davidski said...

@Samuel

The exact origins of Steppe (Yamnay) is soooooo important that the Recih lab needs to be on top of this. Seems like they don't care about investigating it.

They thought they solved it ages ago...

Iran ChL (Mesopotamia) > Maykop > Yamnaya

But that was never going to work.

Davidski said...

@Samuel

Cuz, from what you write in this blog post NO ONE will be able to tell why you think these burials further north are apart of the same population as published Eneolithic Steppe genomes.

I'm pretty sure I made it clear that they are very likely to be the same population, and that there appears to be an academic consensus that the population from the Lower Don was ancestral to the one in the North Caucasus Piedmont steppe.

You need to read more carefully.

Samuel Andrews said...

@Davidski, I already started reading your sources anyways. Don't start calling me lazy.

Davidski said...

@FrankN

What paternal markers would you link to this supposed expansion from east of the Caspian?

I can't think of anything.

It seems like your only argument is that there's not much CHG in Ukrainian and north Caspian hunter-gatherers.

That's not much of an argument, considering that we have forager samples from north of the Caucasus with plenty of CHG-like ancestry.

Samuel Andrews said...

@Davidski,
"I'm pretty sure I made it clear that they are very likely to be the same population"

I know that. I'm wondering WHY you think they are the same population. You do say it is because of similar cranial surgery. I'm wondering if this is the ONLY reason you think they are the same population.

Similar cranial surgery isn't super good evidence they are the same culture. You mentioned flint axes and blades. But I don't see any mention of that in Gresky 2016.

Davidski said...

@Samuel

I very clearly state in my blog post that this is the same archeological complex and population.

Gresky et al. say the same thing, and so does Wang et al. if you want an extra reference.

Rob said...

It seem that people think that there was one special CHG/EHG group which spilled over the steppe & replaced others. IMO it's just a series of founder effects from group to group within the steppe; amplifying autosomal shifts. I don't think the relevant 3 or so 'expanding lineages' will all come from one place.

Davidski said...

There were significant genetic substructures on the steppe between different hunter-gatherer groups.

The homogenization process started during the Eneolithic, when mobility increased, and it continued throughout the Bronze Age with the Yamnaya and Steppe_MLBA expansions.

a said...

1]Progress/Novodanilovskaya culture sample=R1b>V1636+

( funeral rite and the prestige of woodworking (Korenevsky, 2016),(A special category of copper shell pendant inventory fixed in female burials,
reflect the symbolism of the cult of the mother goddess of fertility. They are characteristic decorations costume buried in the cultures of the Danube chalcolithic and the culture of Cucuteni-Tripoli (Korenevsky 2017))

2]Yamnaya= R1b>M269+>L23+>Z2103+>Z2109+KMS67+

Davidski said...

@All

Here's a quote from Wang et al. 2019. Emphasis is mine...

Complementary to the southern [Darkveti-Meshoko] Eneolithic component, a northern component started to expand between 4300 and 4100 calBCE manifested in low burial mounds with inhumations densely packed in bright red ochre. Burial sites of this type, like the investigated sites of Progress and Vonyuchka, are found in the Don-Caspian steppe [12], but they are related to a much larger supra-regional network linking elites of the steppe zone between the Balkans and the Caspian Sea [18].

FrankN said...

Dave: "we have forager samples from north of the Caucasus with plenty of CHG-like ancestry." Which ones? Did I miss something here? I hope you are not talking about Vonyushka/ Progress II, which were certainly herders, possibly even farmers (see my Shishlina e.a. link above).

"What paternal markers would you link to this supposed expansion from east of the Caspian?" Don't know. We neither have paternal markers from the E. Caspian, nor from the Lower Don for the late 6th/ early 5th mBC yet. Probably yHG J, which it at first sight might pose a problem. OTOH, if we accept the Gresky e.a. conclusion that the Elbrus piedmont burials represent Shamans, this could mean that several other Eneolithic/ EBA burials equally contained Shamans. In that case, the whole narrative behind the prevalence of certain yHGs might require review. I mean - Shamans probably reproduced (most cultures didn't have something like the Catholic celibate), and the status should have been transferred from father to son, but they - unlike Warriors/Chiefs - would most likely not have messed around with any woman in the neighbourhood.

Rob: "IMO it's just a series of founder effects..". Which traits/conditions would have enabled such founder effects? Climate? Rather unlikely for the time in question. Diseases? Might be - the Plague comes to mind here, albeit its entrance from Central Asia into Europe seems to rather range around 3,000 BC than 5,000 BC. Technology (and associated wealth)? No signs - anything associated with technological advantage (cereal farming, metalurgy, wool sheep) essentially stayed confirmed to south of the Caucasus until at least 4,500 BC.

Davidski said...

@FrankN

Which traits/conditions would have enabled such founder effects?

For one, the introduction of the wheel.

You don't understand what happened on the steppe, that's why you're reaching for solutions like migrations from Central Asia.

But you're not alone. Professionals at major academic institutions are making the same mistake.

Rob said...

@ FrankN

''IMO it's just a series of founder effects..". Which traits/conditions would have enabled such founder effects? Climate? Rather unlikely for the time in question. Diseases? Might be - the Plague comes to mind here, albeit its entrance from Central Asia into Europe seems to rather range around 3,000 BC than 5,000 BC. Technology (and associated wealth)? ''

Sorry I was probably not being understandable enough. So, within the steppe between 4500 & 3000 BC, certain groups engaged in significant mating networks which led to the amplification of 'the steppe signal' within the steppe (We don;t need to invoked plagues & famines)
And in fact, as per Daves quote (''but they are related to a much larger supra-regional network linking elites of the steppe zone between the Balkans and the Caspian Sea'') many aspects spread from west to east. The mirage of Caucasian spread is due to the relative novely of CHG.

''No signs - anything associated with technological advantage (cereal farming, metalurgy, wool sheep) essentially stayed confirmed to south of the Caucasus until at least 4,500 BC.'''

most of these things existed in eastern Europe since 5000 BC at least

EastPole said...

@Davidski
„They thought they solved it ages ago...

Iran ChL (Mesopotamia) > Maykop > Yamnaya”

I don’t understand it.
Corded Ware was important IE culture. Agriculture came from Tripolye/Balkans. Religion came from Tripolye/Balkans. Metallurgy came from Tripolye/Balkans. Wheel came from TRB/Tripolye. Horses most likely from Dereivka/Sredny Stog. Some MtDNA came from Tripolye/Balkans and Yamnaya. Y-DNA was local i.e. Sredny Stog. Autosomal was mixed, from Sredny Stog, Yamnaya and Tripolye/Balkans.
The origin of IE language in Corded Ware is unknown. It can be from Sredny Stog, it can be from Tripolye/Balkans, it can be local development in Poland where CWC originated.
We don’t know the language and religion of Yamnaya. We know that the religion of Vedic Aryans and Hellenes was related to Balto-Slavs i.e. to Corded Ware. This is all we know for sure.

https://i.postimg.cc/05Cnpw1Z/CWC-BS-II.jpg

The rest is dreaming and speculating.

Ric Hern said...

@ FrankN

Maybe Health played a significant role. Some papers do suggest that some Hunter Gatherer populations were on average Healthier than cereal consumers....So it could have been something as simple as that.

FrankN said...

Dave:
1. You implicitly (in your Wang e.a. 2019 quote) adress the issue of red ochre burials, of course a main feature of all steppe-derived cultures. This is another intriguing point: Red ochre burials were pretty common in the European Mesolithic, but rather uncommon for ANF/EEF, and are, from what I could gather, also not well documented for North Asia. IOW: This seems to be another cultural trait, in addition to trepanation, which seems to have reached the Steppe from WHGs. Yet, we have these Elbrus Piedmont burials that archeologically/ culturally should have beeen WHG-derived, but aDNA-wise don't have anything in common with them. Frankly, I don't know how to explain this enigma!

2. "Which traits/conditions would have enabled such founder effects? For one, the introduction of the wheel."
Do you really want to say that the wheel was introduced into the Steppe already around 4,500 BC? Come on! For all that we know so far, the first culture to have regularly used wheeled vehicles was TRB (Bronocicze pot, Flintbek trails, that TRB barn in Poland constructed for being through-passed by wheeled vehicles; all slightly after 3.500 BC). The final (AMS) verdict on CT is still out, so TRB might have acquired their wheeled vehicles from there. There are also pretty early wheel finds from Zurich Lake.
Anything from the Steppe dates considerably later, and is in addition from a background (Maykop Novosvobdnaya) that has little to do with the Steppe aDNA we are discussing here.

Rob said...

@ Frank
''This seems to be another cultural trait, in addition to trepanation, which seems to have reached the Steppe from WHGs. Yet, we have these Elbrus Piedmont burials that archeologically/ culturally should have beeen WHG-derived, but aDNA-wise don't have anything in common with them. Frankly, I don't know how to explain this enigma!''

There's plenty of I2a in the steppe & just west of it. It even reacehd Samara valley (I'd also call R1b-V88 'WHG' of sorts)
That's also how cultural borrrowings from EEF reached the steppe, without an actual EEF colonization of the steppe (c.f. loess-zone of Europe)
Where's the enigma ?

Davidski said...

@FrankN

I'm not sure why you're focusing on the red ochre, since it's just one of the clues, and not a very important one at that?

The point is that this is a very early kurgan culture identified by archeologists from various traits and it expanded from the Lower Don region to the southeast, not from east of the Caspian to the Lower Don.

Nothing gels with your theory here.

Ric Hern said...

@ FrankN

Mobility were not a problem for Native Americans and they didn't have wheels. The travois is almost just as effective as a small wagon and maybe even more effective in snow and muddy conditions...maybe this is why the Poledrag was in use in Ireland as late as the 1800s. So basically all Steppe people needed were ponies or oxen and healthy individuals with good diets who could travel longer distances.

Andrzejewski said...

@Rob Let’s just call them “Western Steppe Herders” or WSH

Andrzejewski said...

@Davidski When do you suggest that PIE in its earliest recognizable form might’ve begun?

Davidski said...

I don't have a personal opinion on the matter. The seemingly most reliable (ie. least insane looking) academic works suggest that archaic PIE was first spoken sometime in the 5th or 4th millennium BCE. So let's go with that for now.

Ric Hern said...

@ FrankN

If we look strictly at R1b there is nothing that says that they should have come from the West since subclads East of the Urals most probably split from subclads West of the Urals around 17 000 years ago. R1b looks like it at least split in two West of the Urals with one group ping ponging between the Southern Urals and Baltic maybe picking up some WHG cultural traits and another migrating to the Balkans and ping ponging between there and the Dnieper maybe picking up some more WHG cultural traits or contributing some traits which formed some WHG cultural traits...

FrankN said...

Dave: "I'm not sure why you're focusing on the red ochre, since it's just one of the clues"
Actually, I am not focusing on it. You implicitlty brought it up with your Wang e.a. 2019 quote, I took it from there...
However, let's not play Black Peter here. The intriguing thing is that in the Eneolithic Elbrus Piedmont we have burials that culturally appear to strongly be rooted in WHG traditions, but are at the same time genetically one of the earliest attestation of what is to become the "Steppe aDNA" that ultimately shall genetically transform all of Europe (with the possible exception of Sardinia). Honestly, I don't know how to solve that riddle, and would really appreciate any constructive advice from you or anybody else here.

Ric Hern said...

@ FrankN

So I think the Paper about Northern Russia and the Forest Steppe David mentioned earlier may in future throw some light on this issue you are struggling with...

end said...

that 40% of my ancestry came from proto proto proto aryans that lived 7000 years ago fill me with pride
lol i cant hide it

Davidski said...

@All

No more discussions about politics.

pnuadha said...

that 40% of my ancestry came from proto proto proto aryans that lived 7000 years ago fill me with pride
lol i cant hide it


looks up pictures of the lower don landscape :)

Pine trees and mountains said...

@FrankN

Don't forget the Chokh site of the Trialetian culture. This is the same material culture that Kotia CHG and Hotu had. It seems that by the late part of Trialetian culture Western Georgian CHG had contact with other groups, most likely some kind of Hotu-related maybe Hotu-CHG admixed groups from Eastern Georgia and Azerbaijan (perhaps Edzani people). The Trialetian part in this paper might interest you. Anyway, I would say the date of expansion into the steppe by CHG-like group happened at least 6000 BC. Maybe in Azerbaijan a CHG-Hotu mixing occured and the resulting pop is what contributed to the steppe?

http://www.exoriente.org/docs/00061.pdf

Pine trees and mountains said...

Point is that by 6000 BC at least there was already a CHG-like group on the Northern side of the Caucasus mountain range. I couldn't find the exact date for Chokh remains though.

Pine trees and mountains said...

@FrankN
The East Caspian expansion is also not out of the question, but I very much doubt it. Another interesting paper.
https://www.persee.fr/doc/paleo_0153-9345_2016_num_42_1_5694

Matt said...

We already know that Piedmont_En / Steppe_En like ancestry must have been spreading around to the north of NC piedmont sites, from Khvalysnk, where we have a sample of mostly NC piedmont like ancestry around 4600 BCE, as well as two other samples of more EHG ancestry.

That seems roughly the date of these skulls (with a much earlier outlier that may be dated incorrectly?).

If Piedmont_En like people were present in Eastern Ukraine already at an earlier time than this, there not much unambiguous imprint of them in Ukraine_N.

In f3 stats test, Piedmont_En isn't rejected as a contributor to Ukraine_N beyond EHG+Iron_Gates, but it also doesn't really improve fits.

(In f3 stats test, a 16% Piedmont_En+33% EHG+50% Iron_Gates model for Ukr_N works about as well as 50% EHG+50% Iron_Gates but not really any better.)

In terms of the general scene and samples we have at the moment around here at the time, Khvaylnsk samples are dated approx. 4600 BCE (6600 BP), Piedmont_En 4200 BCE (6200 BP), last two Central Ukraine_N samples (I4111 and I1378) who don't seem to show particular sign of Piedmont ancestry component (though they could have some) at 4500 BCE.

We can also guess that the formation of the main Steppe_Maykop genepool happened earlier than Steppe_Maykop samples are attested, and involved Piedmont_En+West_Siberia_N, as another independent signal of Piedmont_En ancestry spreading out. (The Steppe_Maykop outliers are then later combination of this cluster with the main Caucasian cluster, like the Yamnaya_Ukraine outlier is).

It seem really pretty likely that similar ancestry was present at Don, possibly meeting with Ukraine_N to form a metapopulation richer in Iron_Gates like ancestry than Yamnaya, but lower in CHG and Anatolian related ancestry. Or maybe without significant Ukr_N admixutre - I don't know! The genepools that we can see forming from Piedmont_En+others as it expands in the 5th millennium BCE probably incorporated variable admixture from other groups (Steppe_Maykop a lot of WSHG, Khvalynsk samples variable EHG).

In terms of better characterizing what Piedmont_En / Steppe_En was, the best chance we have for that seems to be the more genetically "southern" of the upcoming Khvalynsk samples with less evidence of local EHG incorporation, that David Anthony recently revealed, when Reich's group publishes that.

In terms of whether interactions with Maykop were in some sense important in transferring technologies, ideas, etc. to Yamnya from Maykop Culture, via Repin, or providing some cultural "stimulus", I would tend to think they would be, but that simply because David Anthony seems to argue so, and I don't think his read of archaeological evidence is necessarily that far out. I guess that could be wrong though (and many here have much criticism of Anthony that I won't bother to discuss again).

MaxT said...

Vaguely remember your post about sex-biased ancestry in Yamnaya, with Yamnaya females derived mainly from CHG-related population. Does that still stand?

We also see Y-DNA J in some Mesolithic EHG samples but we don't see any J in later Eneolithic steppe samples. Would this hint trade/minor CHG ancestry in those specific EHG sample?

Davidski said...

@Matt

The Lower Don isn't in Ukraine and not really all that close to the Ukrainian Neolithic sites from which samples are available.

But one of the closest ancients we have from Ukraine to the Lower Don is, not surprisingly, I6561, with a lot of Eneolithic steppe/CHG-like ancestry.

I suspect there may have been a genetic barrier or some kind that prevented large scale gene flow between the west and east areas of the Sea of Azov until the Eneolithic, perhaps even the Don River itself.

Matt said...

I6561 is from approx 4000 BCE.

Davidski said...

Yeah, he's from the Eneolithic, and his people probably got to eastern Ukraine earlier than his calBCE date.

Matt said...

Sure, the Piedmont related ancestry may have arrived a 700-600 years before or something like this. Would be consistent with what is present in Khvalynsk samples.

Davidski said...

@MaxT

J does appear on the Eneolithic steppe. Not only in the singleton Khvalynsk sample which belongs to J1, but also in other unpublished samples from further west.

However, it's always much less common than I2, R1b and R1a.

And it does still seem to me like the CHG-related ancestry on the steppe mostly arrived with women, because there's a lot of Caucasus-related mtDNA in the ancient steppe groups, but hardly any such Y-DNA.

Rob said...

We don’t really know when CHG reaches Samara valley because the samples are neither carbon dated / reservoir corrected
But it doesn’t change much

Mardi said...

The Pre-Caspian Culture from the second half of the 6th mill. must have already been part of this kind of ancestry. The samples from the succeeding Khvalynsk are from the northern edge (middle Volga) and have extra local HG admixture. So probably it's still around the Caspian Sea where this ancestry first formed, reaching Ukraine around 4500-4300 BC.

Mardi said...

@FrankN

From https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a97f/430c4ee928a3b009e7fa85a2b5b4466a3e4d.pdf

"In Belt Cave, a burial (Belt Cave, Skull No.2) was discovered in Trench A spanning
Levels 19—21, which Coon attributed to the lowest level of the Upper Mesolithic cultural
horizon (Coon 1951, 79). The remains of three individuals (an young adult male, a middle aged
male, and a pre-pubescent 12-13 year old female), which were coated with red ochre, were
within a pocket of intrusive soil, indicating that the bones had been purposefully painted and
ritually buried after death (Coon 1951, 79)."

Red Ochre is extensively used throughout the Iranian Neolithic too, from the Zagros to Mehrgarh in Pakistan to Jeitun in Central Asia. As well as Majkop culture, later on.

Davidski said...

None of the ancient Iranian samples/populations are a good fit the CHG-related ancestry in Eneolithic steppe, Khvalynsk, Yamnaya etc.

Davidski said...

When discussing this topic, it's useful to keep in mind this...

Ancient human genome-wide data from a 3000-year interval in the Caucasus corresponds with eco-geographic regions

There was a very pronounced genetic border between the Caucasus and the steppe. Even Maykop and Steppe Maykop were very different.

So we should expect the same sorts of dynamics on the steppe. That is, sharp borders between forager populations adapted to different eco-geographic regions.

zardos said...

@Frank: You produce a time frame for the spread of CHG based on known samples. But we don’t have samples from the Lower Don core area or the coastal region. So we have idea of the genetic profile of the founders of R. Yar for example.
If there was a massive immigration, its more likely it happened earlier, in the 8th/7th mil. latest.
They are just below the current radar and spread later along the rivers.

Davidski said...

@zardos

How is it possible for Eneolithic foragers to be derived from a massive migration of Neolithic farmers?

Matt said...

@Mardi, that seems like David Anthony's most recent argument, right or wrong, that CHG ancestry entered the rest of the zone via first being present "At about 6200 BC, when these camps were first established at Kair-Shak III and Varfolomievka, they hunted primarily saiga antelope around Dzhangar, south of the lower Volga, and almost exclusively onagers in the drier desert-steppes at Kair-Shak, north of the lower Volga.", then reaches other areas at some time probably after 5500-5000 BCE, but by 4500 BCE (because of Khvalynsk).

Sites around the Caspian Sea, although really the SW or W margins, not too far East, probably as then interfacing with West Siberian related ancestry, which probably did eventually, forming Steppe_Maykop pool.

He is probably thinking about this sort of cranial measurement information as well when he says this, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1563011014000750 - "On the Biological Distinctness of the Pit-grave (Yamnaya) People in the Northwestern Caspian: Cranial Evidence" which suggests that "four clusters of Proto-European groups are present: two Pit-Grave, Mesolithic and Early Neolithic, and later Neolithic. The Chalcolithic Khvalynsk and Sredni Stog series are again intermediate between Mesolithic and Early Neolithic, on the one hand, and Pit-Grave (except northwestern Caspian), on the other. Crania from Khlopkov Bugor and Dzhangar are very similar to Pit-Grave crania from Kalmykia, Astrakhan and Stavropol Provinces. However, facial and orbital breadth and naso-malar angle is larger in the former, which is why they deviate toward the Neolithic populations of Eastern Europe. Therefore these crania reveal both “Neolithic” and “northwestern Caspian Pit-Grave” features, being intermediate between those two clusters". (E.g. Dzhangar more Yamnaya like than Sredni Stog and Khvlaynsk which are themselves intermediate Yamnaya and the Ceramic Neolithic EHG and Ukraine_N populations). Khlopkov Bugor is one of sites Anthony states from which these 30 new samples are coming which show some CHG component.

Ric Hern said...

From when till when did the previously proposed Manych-Kerch Spillway between the Caspian and Black Seas exist ? 17 000 till 14 000 years ago ? Maybe created a Marshy barrier for some years later ? That could have been an effective barrier if it did not freeze over during Winter...If it did exist it will be interesting to know who got trapped between the Spillway and the Caucasus. Was it a pure CHG-like population or one already mixed with Steppe inhabitants North of the later Spillway (17 000 ybp) ?

Davidski said...

There's nothing from the South Caspian in those Khvalynsk samples. They all have typically steppe uniparentals, except for that one sample with J1, but that might be the same type of J1 as in the EHG samples up north.

Weak arguments all around. I'm surprised how low level this whole discussion has been, and it's been like that for years.

zardos said...

They were only part-Neolithicised foragers themselves and the community was overtaken by local hunter-warriors, which is why their patrilineages dominated early on. I would compare it with a European pioneer settlement in the American plains being captured by Indians.
The Indian males are the socially dominant group, but the community is a fusion, a mix of both.
Apparently they were superiour for whatever genetic or cultural reasons to the unmixed foragers North of them. So they started to replace them.
Full scale Neolithic techniques and pastoralism were obviously adopted from their Western Neolithic neighbours with which they had just very limited initial gene flow however. That is evident from the cultures around the Sea of Azow. You have pure Neolithics West, some admixture in the middle and the pure (steppe ancestry?) In the relative South East. The cultural transmission happened mostly through the middle group. The most successful was the South Eastern which in the end captured the others and became the most warlike pastoralists.

MaxT said...

Low steppe admixture in South Caucasus groups makes me think there was greater geographical barrier between North and South Caucasus.

These Caucasus groups have pretty low steppe admixture for example:

Armenians have 6%-14% Yamnya-related steppe admixture
Azeris have 14%-21% Yamna-related stepe admixture
Georgians have 10%-18% Yamna-related steppe admixture
Albanians have 20%-21% Yamna-related steppe admixture

If CHG-like ancestry in Yamnaya came from these regions, we should see much higher steppe admixture there but we don't

Andrzejewski said...

@Davidski “And it does still seem to me like the CHG-related ancestry on the steppe mostly arrived with women, because there's a lot of Caucasus-related mtDNA in the ancient steppe groups, but hardly any such Y-DNA.”

Anthony 2019 thinks that EHG and WHG males marrying EEF and CHG females created Western Steppe Herder (WSH) Proto-Indo-Europeans. According to this logic, he believes that PIE was an EHG language. What do you think of this?

Andrzejewski said...

@MaxT “Armenians have 6%-14% Yamnya-related steppe admixture
Azeris have 14%-21% Yamna-related stepe admixture
Georgians have 10%-18% Yamna-related steppe admixture”

Amazing how Armenians have the lowest (almost non-existent) amount of WSH yet they speak IE and others don’t.

zardos said...

When the Northern EHG hunter-warriors got in charge of the early Lower Don settlements, it seems their patrilineages dominated like 10:1 or 10:2 and their spiritual dominance seems to be evident too, together with a patriarchal, PIE social structure with male warriors on top.
Go figure.

But nobody can tell you for sure, because nobody was there to document which group gave up its own language. I take it as a given that EHG was the main language giver, its just the most likely scenario.

Drigu said...

@Andrzejewski

I don't think that Armenians have the lowest steppe admixture and Azeris are largely descended from Iranian-speaking people for sure.


Armenian_Average
Distance: 1.8%

IRN_Seh_Gabi_C 43.8%
Anatolia_Tepecik_Ciftlik_N 34%
RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En 15%
RUS_Catacomb 7.2%


Azeri_Average
Distance: 1.4%

IRN_Seh_Gabi_C 51.2%
Anatolia_Tepecik_Ciftlik_N 23.2%
RUS_Catacomb 13.8%
MNG_Hovsgol_BA 8.2%
RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En 3.6%


Georgian_Imer_Average
Distance: 2.4%

RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En 75.4%
Anatolia_Tepecik_Ciftlik_N 16.6%
IRN_Seh_Gabi_C 7.4%
RUS_Catacomb 0.6%

Pine trees and mountains said...

@MaxT
"Georgians have 10%-18% Yamna-related steppe admixture"
Next time try abstaining from saying such bullshit. West Georgians have less than 1% Yamna ancestry and East Georgians less than 5%.

MaxT said...

@Pine trees and mountains

What is that based on?

Yamnaya_k6 spreadsheet has pretty accurate estimates for steppe ancestry in Europeans, similar to genomic studies.

Spreadsheet includes over 10-something Georgian samples, they vary in steppe admixture, along with various West Asian and Middle Eastern groups with over 10 samples of each ethnic groups.

@Drigu

I doubt that, Kurds have 9%-18% steppe admixture and Iranians 13%-20%, based on over 10 samples of each group.

Drigu said...

Kurds have even higher steppe admixture. So it certainly can't be that there's a greater barrier between North & South Caucasus.

Kurd_Average
Distance: 1.5%

IRN_Seh_Gabi_C 62.6%
Anatolia_Tepecik_Ciftlik_N 19.2%
RUS_Catacomb 16.4%
MNG_Hovsgol_BA 1.8%

I use MNG_Hovsgol_BA as a Proto-Turkic marker btw.

Drigu said...

@MaxT

The average Azeri has 13.8%, while the average Kurd has 16.4% steppe-related admixture according to the model I've created above. They're about the same but it seems like Kurds score slightly higher.

MaxT said...

@Drigu

That seems about right in terms of average.

I forgot to post the link to spreadsheet earlier.

http://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2015/03/yamnaya-related-ancestry-proportions-in.html

Pine trees and mountains said...

@MaxT
Things change very fast in this young field. 2015 is quite an old source. Anyway, you can now check these things yourself, use Global25 nMonte or as I prefer Vahaduo, Davidski posted sample coordinates in some old post so you can look it up. Also use scaled samples for accuracy. Drigu already posted more accurate modelings.

CrM said...

Steppe ancestry can be pretty high in North Caucasus and very low in South Caucasus.
https://imgur.com/a/S7BTjeY

Tesmos said...

@Davidski,

''In my estimation, at least a third of the ancestry of present-day Northern Europeans, all the way from Ireland to the Ural Mountains in Russia, is ultimately derived from Eneolithic steppe groups. ''

Isn't it like around 50%?

Drigu said...

@CrM

Steppe ancestry is very high among Northeast Caucasian speakers along with considerable percantages of Iran_N, but the same can't be said when it comes to Northwest Caucasian speakers.

CrM said...

@Drigu

Yep. Northeast Caucasians are basically Kura Araxes + Steppe, but Nakh are a bit different, possibly because they mixed with West Caucasians at some point.

Andrzejewski said...

50% for Norwegians and East/West Slavic speakers

Andrzejewski said...

@zardos “When the Northern EHG hunter-warriors got in charge of the early Lower Don settlements, it seems their patrilineages dominated like 10:1 or 10:2 and their spiritual dominance seems to be evident too, together with a patriarchal, PIE social structure with male warriors on top.
Go figure.

But nobody can tell you for sure, because nobody was there to document which group gave up its own language. I take it as a given that EHG was the main language giver, its just the most likely scenario.”

Which is very tricky. Even @Davidski agrees that the earliest PIE was formed (at least was attested to) not earlier than 7,000 years ago, which coincides with the incursion of CHG into the Steppe. Most posters here date the CHG in the Steppe to 7,000 years ago, so I believe that they had at least SOMETHING to do with it. My own theory is that PIE was formed by both EHG and CHG tribes or clan developing a completely brand new language once they merged and their lifestyle changed from fisher-hunters to agropastoralists.

zardos said...

@Andre: The consensus is that PIE is no creole language. So whatever the subdominant language was, its supposed to be a substrate only.

Andrzejewski said...

@zardos “The consensus is that PIE is no creole language. So whatever the subdominant language was, its supposed to be a substrate only.”

I mean, a completely unrelated language to either EHG and CHG. Just like Basque and Etruscan may both be Bell Beaker languages but they are unrelated to each other.

epoch said...

@Zardos

Creole languages form when non-native speakers that don't understand each others language use an intermediate language. Mixed languages, however, form from two languages that speakers are all acquainted with.

However, as Agamemnon of AG explained to me, mixed languages lead to many exceptions of rules. PIE however is quite neatly structured so is not considered a mixed language.

FrankN said...

On red ochre: Thx Mardi for the info on its use in Iran and Central Asia. I also re-checked on it for Siberia. Turns out that some 95% of early Neolithic (7-6 mBC) burials around Baikal Lake were stained in red ochre. So, red ochre burials of Steppe cultures may actually reflect any of WHG, EHG/WSHG, or CHG/Iran influences. Still leaves the trepanation, which points to the Dniepr Rapids (btw, Zardos, no "Northern EHG hunter-warriors", but a WHG/EHG mix that practised cattle and pig herding since the beginning of the 6th mBC, see e.g. Kotova 2017, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324389041).

Ric Hern, re Manych-Kerch Spillway: Acc. to Krijgsman e.a. 2018, the Lagoon Cockle (Cerastoderma glaucum) is a human introduction from the Sea of Azov into the Caspian Sea around 6,000 BC. Unless one wants to propose Early Neolithic aquaculture, the most likely explanation is boat portage across the Pontic-Caspian watershed via the Kuma-Manych depression.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328381142

Leron said...

This mystery will be easier to solve if we find a Central Asian variant of CHG/IranN, who had some relation with Botai and Yamnaya but not with later steppe groups like Abashevo.

FrankN said...

Zardos, Andrzej;
A general characterisation of PIE would go as follows:
- Phonetically it is typical Caucasian, i.e. with a large consonant inventory including lots of guttural and aspirated sounds (laryngeals, the kw, bh, gh etc. stuff) - a feature shared with Kartvelian, NWC and NEC languages. A classic areal phenomenon that often unites otherwise distinct language families, compare SE Asian tonal languages (Sino-Tibetan, Thai, etc.) or Klick sounds present in Khoisan and also South African Bantu languages.
- Morphologically, the closest living relative seems to be Afro-Asiatic, more specifically Semitic. Multi-consonant roots (in contrast to most North Eurasian languages that prohibit inter-syllabic consonant clusters), Ablaut/Umlaut, i.e. vowels serving for semantic/grammatical differentiation, presence of grammatical gender (missing in Uralic, Altaic, Sino-Tibetan, Japanese), inflection (in contrast to agglutination) plus various other features are shared by PIE and Semitic. Whether this relation is genetic, or stems from long and intensive contact, e.g. with Akkadian, has remained unclear to me.
- There are also a couple of parallels to Hurro-Urartian, especially when it somes to derivational suffixes. Compare, e.g. Hurrian -(a)=šše to English "-ness", Hurr -nzi/lzi to Engl. "-ing", Hurr. -he to Engl. "-an" (as in "Hurri-an"). Probably not genetic, rather via prolonged language contact (EEF might have spoken a language related to HU).
- In terms of basic vocabulary (Swadesh lists), the closest connections are with Uralic and, intriguingly, Nivkh-Algic as proposed by S. Nikolaev.

In short: PIE looks like a Near Eastern language that acquired heavy ANE substrate, plus quite some HU (ANF/EEF?) adstrate somewhere not too far away from the Caucasus.

Samuel Andrews said...

You can't blame Harvard or anyone for thinking Yamnaya's and Indo European language roots were in the Middle East. Because, it's hard to believe them being pastorlists, metal-makers and having 50% Middle Eastern ancestry was a coincidence.

It's just really annoying how Harvard won't change this view of Yamnaya and IE origins after evidence comes out showing it is wrong.

Samuel Andrews said...

I'll remind you guys again. At 23andme, they say R1b M269 is from ancient Mesoptamia! Lol. They have millions upon millions of European R1b M260 customers who are told their lineage is from ancient Mesoptamia!

So, yeah, there's a lot of inaccurate info about R1b, R1a, Indo European genetics coming from authoritative voices. Basically, no authortative voice is saying what is said at this blog.

zardos said...

@Andre: "I mean, a completely unrelated language to either EHG and CHG. Just like Basque and Etruscan may both be Bell Beaker languages but they are unrelated to each other."

That's unlikely because if my idea is right, not even in detail, but generally, we deal with a broad "steppe horizon" from which the PIE stems from. There is no space in this for anything else but an EHG (more likely) or CHG (less likely) language being at the root of it. Bell Beakers are a completely different thing, from a different place and time, but for PIE I see very little room for anything else. And as things are, the Northern hunter-warriors seem to have been the main root.

@epoch: Alright, there are different terms and definitions, but what most mean is that there is no "equal share" of different languages in PIE, which would result in, like you correctly said, many exceptions and simplifications which PIE doesn't show at all. Actually PIE is the opposite: Its highly differentiated, complicated and structured. So there might be substrate/superstrate influences, but it is no creole/mixed language.

self-consumer said...

@Andrze

"My own theory is that PIE was formed by both EHG and CHG tribes or clan developing a completely brand new language..."

Like Esperanto?

MaxT said...

@CrM
Steppe ancestry can be pretty high in North Caucasus and very low in South Caucasus.
https://imgur.com/a/S7BTjeY


Thanks for that, pretty interesting. Those estimates for South Caucasus groups look pretty accurate when it comes to Azeri and Armenians.

That is quite high Yamnaya admixture in North Caucasus Darginians at 42% and their language isn't even Indo-European apparently? They look rather dark IMO.. https://youtu.be/JtSYcLeDDRg?t=41

Wonder if these North Caucasus groups have direct Yamnaya input going by their phenotype? Considering light eyes/hair was more common in late steppe groups while early steppe groups overwhelmingly had dark eyes/hair.

Archi said...

@FrankN

" There are also a couple of parallels to Hurro-Urartian, especially when it somes to derivational suffixes. Compare, e.g. Hurrian -(a)=šše to English "-ness", Hurr -nzi/lzi to Engl. "-ing", Hurr. -he to Engl. "-an" (as in "Hurri-an"). Probably not genetic, rather via prolonged language contact (EEF might have spoken a language related to HU)."

This is just absolutely ridiculous nonsense. Such random coincidences exist between any two languages.

" aspirated sounds (laryngeals, the kw, bh, gh etc. stuff)"

Aspirated sounds did not exist in PIE. Character of laryngeals are unknown, therefore suggestion that they were gutturals is unreasonably.

"ntriguingly, Nivkh-Algic as proposed by S. Nikolaev."

This is linguistic friction.

"In short: PIE looks like a Near Eastern language that acquired heavy ANE substrate, plus quite some HU (ANF/EEF?) adstrate somewhere not too far away from the Caucasus."

Absolutely does not look. This Semitic-Hamitic look as if they are from Ukraine(R1b-V88 ahahah). Ablaut is also in the Kartvelian languages; this is generally a property of Western Nostratic languages. The umlaut to the ablaut has nothing to do.




Davidski said...

@Tesmos

If we use Yamnaya as the steppe proxy for North Euros, it's 40-50%.

But of course Eneolithic steppe was different from Yamnaya, with no farmer input, so if we use that we get 30-40%.

zardos said...

In the end its all about getting earlier samples from South of the Caucasus, especially M'lefaatian, and even more important from the earliest Lower Don settlements like R. yar and subsequent burials from the LDC and related Mariupol warrior burials.
These samples alone would, even with many others under water, verify or falsify a whole list of current speculations.
I just hope they publish it in my lifetime...

a said...

@FrankN

Red ochre near Moscow--- Sungir samples 32,050 and 28,550 BC, Y-DNA Haplogroup C1a2." Red ochre,.... Grave 1 and the two adolescent children in Grave 2, placed head-to-head, together with an adult femur filled with red ochre..... an important ritual material associated with burials at this time, covered the burials"....

Dobrovolskaya, M; Richards, M. -P; Trinkaus, E (2011). "Direct radiocarbon dates for the Mid Upper Paleolithic (eastern Gravettian) burials from Sunghir, Russia".

Davidski said...

@zardos

Can you link us to some recent publications about R. yar, if possible with C14 dates and other types of modern analyses?

FrankN said...

Since I mentionned possible relations between the PIE and the Proto Nivkh-Algic-Wakashan (PAW) vocabulary in my previous comment, and remember someone having asked about it not too long ago, here follow several examples.
Sources: S. Nikolev 2017 http://www.jolr.ru/files/(232)jlr2017-15-3-4(250-278).pdf
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Proto-Indo-European_Swadesh_list

"belly": PAW *ʔVta:gA, PIE *úderos
"big": PA *meʔł (Miami-Peoria mehš-i), PIE *méǵh₂s
"burn": PNA *tu(:)ʁwV, PIE dʰegʷʰ-
"come": PW *Gi:, PIE *gʷeh₂-
"die": PNA *mo:ryV, PIE *mer-
"dog": PAW *q’änV, PIE *ḱwṓ(n) [a Wanderwort]
„drink“: PAW *hək’ʷE (also „water“), PIE *h₁egʷʰ-
"egg": PNA *ʔə:wV, PIE *h₂ōwyóm
"fish": PAW *ǯu: , PIE *dʰǵʰu- (->Balto-Slav. *źū́ˀs)
"good": PA *wal-, *wel- [comp. Engl. "well"]
"hair": PAW *həpV(-lV), PIE *pulh₂-
"I": PAW *ńV, PIE *me (a paleo-word)
"kill" PAW *χVlV ≈ *ʔVlχV (compare to English!)
"to lie": PAW *łi:hV, PIE *légʰyeti
"long": PAW *gɨl’V, PIE *dl̥h₁gʰós (metathesis?)
"man, male": PWN *wi:s-, PIE *wiHrós
"meat": PAW *mi:-, PIE *mḗms (a paleo-word, c.f. Malay makan "to eat)
"moon": PAW *l’u:ŋ’ʒV, PIE *lowksneh₂
"night" PAW *ńä:gʷE ~ *ńä:gʷTV, PIE *nókʷts
"nose": PWS *nic-, PIE *Hnéh₂s
"one": PAW *ń’ə, PIE *(H)óynos
"round" PAW *kOlxV ~ *k’Olk’V [No PIE root given, but compare to "wheel" terminology]
"say": PW *wa:-, PIE *wéwket
"see": PWN *du:qʷ-, PIE *derḱ-
"small": PNi *məc-ki-, PIE *mey-
"this": PAW *gV ~ *gʷV, PIE *koh₂ (a paleo-word)
"warm": PWN *kʷu:xʷ-, PIE *gʷʰer-
"water": PAW *hək’ʷE ≈ *ʔəhk’ʷE, PIE *h₂ekʷeh₂
"what, who": PAW *qV, *gʷV; PIE *kʷis (a paleo-root, equally present in PU)
"Woman": PWN *Gən- ; PIE *gʷḗn
"far (away)": PAlg *wa:ɣl-aw, PIE *wi
„heavy“: PWN *Gʷi:- , PIE *gʷréh₂us

This is a long-list of 32 potential parallels within the Swadesh-110 list (~30%). Surely, some parallels are more obvious than others - die, drink, egg, moon, night, small, water are among my favourites. In several cases, we are dealing with „ultraconserved“ paleo-words - but these also drive up similarity scores between PIE and other families, e.g. Uralic, which ranges around 35% in this respect, including at least ten attested PIE borrowings into Proto-Uralic. My list will in all likelyhood also include some cases of chance similarity. But it is extremely unlikely that all potential parallels have come about accidentally.
Now, let's put this into context: Comparison is made between two reconstructed proto-languages that each date to some 7,000 or more years ago. And, in spite of all the perceived parallels, both proto-languages were already quite differentiated by that time. I lack the competence to translate that difference into a TMRCA estimate, and am actually not sure if anyone has ever conducted such exercise.
Nevertheless, there is the expansion of „combed“ or „pseudo-corded“ pottery out of the Baikal Lake area, arriving in European Russia via Kokharovsky Kholm (some 100 km N. of Yekaterinenburg) around 5,800 BC. And, we have the arrival of domesticated dogs in the Americas by around 8,000 BC, apparently having travelled from Siberia via the Polar Sea and the Mackenzie to the Great Lakes area, and in all likelyhood with human assistance (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326211519_The_evolutionary_history_of_dogs_in_the_Americas)...

JuanRivera said...

I don't think the hypothetical EHG languages were the same as hypothetical ANE languages (plural because they occupied an immense area from the Urals to Western Beringia and from at least Southern Siberia to the Arctic coastlines, guaranteeing the existence of several languages or even language families in Siberia; similarly, EHGs occupied a huge area from the Urals and Arctic coastlines to ill-defined western and southern boundaries in Ukraine and Russia, given them being part of a continuum). The hypothetical EHG languages, though very likely descended from an ANE language, would have diverged beyond mutual intelligibility with those ANE languages still remaining in Siberia (and not yet displaced by the hypothetical languages of Paleosiberians, which are not to be equated with the Paleosiberian wastebasket) and with each other, plus it would have some hypothetical loanwords from WHG languages (again, they occupied a huge area) and maybe features too (more pronounced in the hypothetical language spoken by Dnieper Rapids HGs), and maybe some hypothetical CHG language influence (increasing towards the south) and maybe later influence from a hypothetical Western Siberian ANE-derived language. Added hypothetical because we don't know what was actually being spoken; there was nothing back then to attest them.

Rob said...

@ Zardos

“ Full scale Neolithic techniques and pastoralism were obviously adopted from their Western Neolithic neighbours with which they had just very limited initial gene flow however. That is evident from the cultures around the Sea of Azow. You have pure Neolithics West, some admixture in the middle and the pure (steppe ancestry?) In the relative South East. The cultural transmission happened mostly through the middle group. The most successful was the South Eastern which in the end captured the others and became the most warlike pastoralists.
“ But nobody can tell you for sure, because nobody was there to document which group gave up its own language. I take it as a given that EHG was the main language giver, its just the most likely scenario.”

Lol. I enjoy your fluff pieces . Except the western groups moved 800 years prior

JuanRivera said...

The hypothetical Paleosiberian languages, though, may also descend from an ANE language, if not, they would have lots of hypothetical ANE language loanwords and other influences anyway.

JuanRivera said...

And some of the language families of Northern Eurasia may represent modern descendants of the hypothetical Paleosiberian languages.

Rob said...

@ Frank
Don’t you think the odd similarity between indo-European and Ket, American languages, etc can be explained by the fact that the western steppe saw movement on movement of people from Central -East Asia ( steppe -neolithic Q1a; steppe Majkop, Cimmerians, etc)

FrankN said...

Juan: I aggree that there is a huge speculative element to any attempts to figure out which languages were spoken in Ukraine/ European Russia prior to the IE expansion.

However, may I suggest the following exercise to you: Model Samara_HG:I0124 as (i) direct continuation of Sidelkino (you may add the usual suspects, i.e. CHG, IronGates, Barcin, Kunda etc. to account for "trickling in" of new elements), and (ii) as a mix of Sidelkino, UA_Mes (I recommend I1763, since it lacks the homeopathic Barcin element present in most other UA_Mes samples), UA_Neo:I3715 (Azov-Dniepr/"Mariopol, ca. 5,500 BC), CHG, and AG3. My runs (more precisely, the runs Alberto did on my request) showed that the second setup improved the fit considerably, and I am curious if you will reproduce that result.

Specifically, Alberto came out with the following:

Target: I0124 (Samara_HG)
Sidelkino - 36.7
AG3 - 26.4
UA_N:I3715 - 17.9
UA_Mes:I1763 - 16.6
CHG - 2.4
WSib_N:I1960 - 0.0

Distance: 3.6778

Provided your analysis yields a comparable outcome, we might conclude the following:
a) Samara_HG contained a substantial Ukrainian (Mariupol) element, which actually aligns well to archeological findings, e.g. Morgunova 2015, that constate a substantial Mariupol influence on the genesis of the Samara Culture;
b) At the same time, we see influx of fresh Siberian ancestry - for lack of chronologically closer samples somewhat imperfectly approximated by AG3. This AG3 element IMO represents the bearers of "Combed"/"Pseudo-Corded" ceramics, which replaced the preceding (Y)Elshan(ka) pottery during the early 6th mBC.
c) EHG is essentially a methodological artefact, not a homogenous population in its own right. The Samara Region was a melting pot of western (WHG) and Siberian (ANE/WSHG) entrants during at least two points in time (possibly more): (i) the Epi-Paleolithic/ early Mesolithic, when the Region was after the Younger Dryas re-colonised from both the West and the East; and (ii) during the 6th mBC, when the "Combed Ware" expansion out of Siberia via the Middle Urals encountered the Mariupol Expansion out of Ukraine.

If so, any speaking about "EHG languages" becomes rather meaningless. More precisely - we shouldn't bother much about the language Sidelkino spoke, his ancestry was anyway widely replaced during the 6th mBC. The interesting question is about the linguistic outcome of the encounter between Siberian-descended "Combed Ceramic" people and substantially WHG (IronGates)- influenced Mariupol. My hunch is that this encounter could have had something to do with the differentiation between Uralic and Altaic, but that is of course also quite speculative..

A final remark: For all the huge size of Siberia, let's not forget that most of it was uninhabitable during the LGM, and only recolonised sustainably after the Younger Dryas. Aside from Beringia (your "Paleosiberian wastebasket"), there are only a handful of areas that might qualify as linguistic homelands: The Baikal area, the Northern Altai, and the Upper Yenisei (AG3) come to mind, but that already moreless seems to be it. As such, we shouldn't expect too much linguistic diversity for the Siberian Mesolithic...

JuanRivera said...

With nMonte I got similar results for late EHG (late EHG being here RUS_Karelia_HG and RUS_Samara_HG; they fit good as a mixture between UKR_Meso, RUS_Sidelkino_HG, and extra AG3-like ancestry, with the addition of extra CHG-like for RUS_Samara_HG). Also, when I said Paleosiberian wastebasket I was reflecting most linguists' position that the Paleosiberian/"Paleoasiatic" group is an unnatural one (hence a wastebasket).

FrankN said...

Rob: "Don’t you think the odd similarity between indo-European and Ket, American languages, etc can be explained by the fact that the western steppe saw movement on movement of people from Central -East Asia ( steppe -neolithic Q1a; steppe Majkop, Cimmerians, etc)?"

Well, Ket isn't an issue here - at least I have not yet looked into it, and am not aware of any scientific paper proposing a specific relationship between PIE and Ket.

Otherwise: Yes, I have been thinking about Steppe Majkop, especially in relation to the "Amerindian" signal reported by the respective paper. However, Steppe Majkop (and even more so Cimmerians) seem too late to explain the "odd similarity" already on the PIE level. I mean - if we were just talking about Germano-BaltoSlavic vs. Nivkh-Algic (as we are when it, e.g., comes to PAW *c’ä:q’ʷA- "bird" vs. Engl. "cock", w. parallels a/o in Polish), I might well go for Steppe Majkop. But this seems to go much deeper. E.g., Latin malus "apple" can be connnected to the PAW term for edible fruits. PIE *weyk "settlement", attested from Latin, Greek, Germanic, Indo-Iranian and Tocharian finds a good match in the Proto-Algic word for "dwelling" (don't have the time now to look up Nicolaev's reconstruction, but he places a/o Algonquinian wig-wam here). Moreover, if there is any truth in Anthony's reasoning about PIE wheel terminology, the obvious parallel to the PAW term for "round (object)" must date to before PIE split into sub-families.

My best guess at the moment (and it is really not more than a guess) is the steppe -neolithic Q1a mentionned by you, which I would place into the context of the "Combed Ware" expansion addressed in my previous comments.

Juan: Thx for the confirmation. Otherwise, I enjoyed your "Paleosiberian wastebasket" formulation. No reason to excuse for it, I think it very much nails it!

JuanRivera said...

The extra AG3-like ancestry seems to be lowest at the Samara region among all late EHGs (RUS_Karelia_HG has more such ancestry than RUS_Samara_HG, while the Piedmont samples also have more of such ancestry, to the point that RUS_Progress_En may have a ratio of ~93% AG3 ~7% ITA_Continenza_Meso in its non-Near Eastern ancestry). The difference may be due to the lower hostility of the Samara region compared to the Arctic and the Caspian Depression, which may have enabled more WHG-shifted populations survive there by virtue of higher population densities.

Archi said...

@ FrankN
"EHG is essentially a methodological artefact, not a homogenous population in its own right."

LOL This WHG is absolutely not a homogeneous population, in essence Villabruna has an early branch of EHG mixed with local European Paleolithic fauna.

"The Samara Region was a melting pot of western (WHG) and Siberian (ANE/WSHG) entrants during at least two points in time (possibly more): (i) the Epi-Paleolithic/ early Mesolithic, when the Region was after the Younger Dryas re-colonised from both the West and the East; and (ii) during the 6th mBC, when the "Combed Ware" expansion out of Siberia via the Middle Urals encountered the Mariupol Expansion out of Ukraine."

It's a complete nonsense. Karelia HG is EHG which appeared before 6000 BC. Moreover, Mesolithic Ukraine is EHG, with some admixture of WHG. The Mariupol community in general came to Ukraine, and its influence in the east was absolutely negligible. The Mariupol community people died fully physically.

"If so, any speaking about "EHG languages" becomes rather meaningless. More precisely - we shouldn't bother much about the language Sidelkino spoke, his ancestry was anyway widely replaced during the 6th mBC."

This is only your fantasies. Karelia EHG is R1a, CWC is R1a. Physically, anthropologically, genetically and culturally, the representatives of the Eneolithic steppe were extensions of the Mesolithic East Europe, but not of the Neolithic. All neolithic populations were simply extinct. Pure EHGs were victorious. So all your reasoning is just wrong.

Mike said...

@Achi Do you think R1a-m417 is also a forager lineage?

Rob said...

@ Archi said :


''This is only your fantasies. Karelia EHG is R1a, CWC is R1a. Physically, anthropologically, genetically and culturally, the representatives of the Eneolithic steppe were extensions of the Mesolithic East Europe, but not of the Neolithic. All neolithic populations were simply extinct.'

If you understood the published data, you'd see why this is not correct.

Even if we conjure the sorts of outdated skull stuff- ''All the anthropological types of the Pit-grave culture population have indigenous roots... The heir of the Neolithic Dnieper-Donets and Sredniy Stog cultures was the Pit-grave culture. Its population possessed distinct Europoid features, was tall, with massive skulls. The second component were the descendants of those buried in the Eneolithic cemetery of Khvalynsk. They are less robust'' (Kuzmina)

So perhaps best to stick to modernised data.


''The Mariupol community in general came to Ukraine, and its influence in the east was absolutely negligible''


Except Khvalynsk & even Samara culture is considered Mariupol influenced
''The cultural attribution of graves 9 and 12 from Lebyazhinka V generated heated debates.
Most scholars agreed with the initial conclusion made by I B Vasiliev and N B Ovchinnikova,
who in their first publication (Vasiliev and Ovchinnikova 2000:219–20, Fig. 8) attributed
these graves to the Eneolithic Mariupol type
(5500–4700 cal BC)''

Location of Lebazhynka

FrankN said...

Archi: I usually prefer to not argue with you - your statements are often poorly founded, and you should seriously consider working on your tone.

Interestingly, after qualifying any PIE - Nivkh-Algic parallels as "linguistic frictions", you remain tacit on the evidence I have provided.
You have also stated that "Aspirated sounds did not exist in PIE." Please try a simple internet search for "media aspirata" - you'll be surprised to learn that such sounds (bh, gh, dh) existed, and were actually quite typical for PIE.

Further fact-checking:
"Karelia HG is EHG which appeared before 6000 BC." The samples (I suppose you talk about I0061, I0221, UzOO77) have officially been dated to 6850-5000 BC. Even if we just average the dating interval, we land shortly after 6000 BC. Lake island, suggests a substantial acquatic element in the diet, which in turn makes reservoir effects likely, which would lead any prudent commentator (which, unfortunately, you don't seem to be) to substract another couple of centuries from the Dates provided.

"Karelia EHG is R1a, CWC is R1a." I0061 was R1a, I0221 was J.

"Mesolithic Ukraine is EHG, with some admixture of WHG." The UA_Mes samples available in G25 model at 25-40% AG3, 53-68% WHG, plus traces of CHG and Barcin. With Sidelkino (itself WHG-admixed) as source, the WHG (IronGates) share ranges between 22% (I1763) and 49% (I5876).

Please, please: Even if you should not be able to remove terms like "bullshit", "nonsense", "your fantasies" etc. from your postings, do at least a little bit of fact-checking before following your urge to discharge statements here. Your contributions actually might be meaningful - you obviously have some knowledge. But the way you are currently presenting yourself here makes me tend to ignore your contributions completely, even if they might in part be meaningful and worthwhile considering.

Davidski said...

@All

Thoughts?

5,200-year-old cereal grains from the eastern Altai Mountains redate the trans-Eurasian crop exchange

zardos said...

@David: Some important papers I already quoted before are:

Zu kaukasischen und vorderasiatischen Einflüssen bei der Neolithisierung im unteren Donbecken.

English
Neolithisation’ in the NE Sea of Azov region: one step forward, two steps back|

and

Radiocarbon chronology of Neolithic in the Lower Don and North-eastern Azov Sea.


What all these papers and more will tell you is that its a work in progress. The genetic data would really help to clear some aspects.

The influence of the Bug–Dniester culture being noted, which you can also find in the reports from Kotova. Kotova gives a good summary and while some of her assertions might be disputed, the basics being repeated and searched for in the new, still ongoing projects - from which I hope samples will finally come from.

From Kotova:
"Some traits of Rakushechny Yar culture are similar to Neolithic sites in Eastern Anatolia: rectangular houses with daub, flat-bottomed pots, clay figurines,
polished tools, animal husbandry with domestic cattle, ovicaprids and pigs, but no horses. This similarity, together with close radiocarbon dates, allows me to assume a borrowing of some attainments, or even a penetration of small groups of population
from Eastern Anatolia to the Azov Sea area around 6900 calBC."

She is definitely not alone with her opinion and even if the early domestication might be now questioned (not solved yet!), the other similarities are still there, especially the buildings of the settlement and pieces of art.

"The migration of some small groups of the Anatolian population along the eastern shore of the Black Sea was also possible. The similarity of the pottery found at
the Chokh site in the Northern Caucasus to pottery in Northern Mesopotamia, as recorded by Shnirelman (Shnirelman 1989.85), has confirmed this migration. Triticum
dicoccon, Triticum monococcum, Hordeum vulgare and Hordeum vulgare var. Coeleste;
the bones of cattle and ovicaprids were found at this site, which is dated to c. 6900 calBC (Amirkhanov 1987).
Penetrations of some groups of ancient populations from the South to Northern Caucasus during dry periods are well known for prehistory and ancient history. For example, the origin of the Maikop culture was connected with such migration after the most extreme drought c. 5200–5000 uncalBP (Korenevskiy 2001). We may assume that
the origin of Rakushechny Yar culture was related to that Early Neolithic migration."

Nadezhda S. Kotova, The Neolithization of Northern Black Sea area in the context of climate changes Basic concepts of the Early Neolithic in Ukraine (2009).

These are all still ongoing debates and researches. I really think we can only solve that with genetic data from human and animal remains, of different regions and times/strata of the Lower Don region.

From the 2016 paper I quoted above of Gorelik et al:
"The assemblage of the Rakushechnyi Yar group is
especially familiar to us, due to the materials of the
extended M’lefatien cultural group (following S. Kozłowski)
(Kozłowski 1999.51–75) in the eastern wing
of the Fertile Crescent, except for the above-listed
features, and also exhibits a distinctive ensemble of
geometric microliths."

R. yar might have been just culturally important, while having no big demographic impact, but its position and role as a formative element for the more advanced steppe cultures that followed is imho without a doubt. So who exactly were those people, where did they come from and did they have a significant impact on the steppe ancestry. Only genetic data can solve that and can look for the other settlements and the tribes which gathered around it, which were - again imho - definitive of formative importance for the steppe people.

JuanRivera said...

Maybe it can be linked to Afanasievo.

Archi said...

@Rob
"The heir of the Neolithic Dnieper-Donets and Sredniy Stog cultures was the Pit-grave culture."

Sredniy Stog is Eneolithic culture, but not Neolithic! Sredniy Stog did not have common (and anthropologically especially) with Dnieper-Donets culture.
The Pit-grave culture is Bronze age culture, it did not have common with the Dnieper-Donets culture.
The Dnieper-Donets culture have not any continuation in cultures, it fully died.

@FrankN

"Interestingly, after qualifying any PIE - Nivkh-Algic parallels as "linguistic frictions","

Nikolaev did not make any such comparisons with the PIE, in fact, in any language there are a lot of random coincidences, in some African languages there are words that fully coincide with English, and they are not borrowed! Just random coincidences. Nivkh-Algic hypothesis has not been proven in any way.

"You have also stated that "Aspirated sounds did not exist in PIE." Please try a simple internet search for "media aspirata" - you'll be surprised to learn that such sounds (bh, gh, dh) existed, and were actually quite typical for PIE."

This is an old refuted misconception made on the basis of Sanskrit, you are completely out of touch with modern linguistics. It has long been proven that there were and could not have been aspirated to PIE, but traditionally it is written in this way because no one can prove what the sounds were. But they were definitely not aspirated, which appeared only in Indo-Iranian-Greek group of languages. This is late innovation.

"Further fact-checking:
"Karelia HG is EHG which appeared before 6000 BC." The samples (I suppose you talk about I0061, I0221, UzOO77) have officially been dated to 6850-5000 BC. Even if we just average the dating interval, we land shortly after 6000 BC."

You failed fact-checking by writing a complete untruth:
Mesolithic Russia Yuzhnyy Oleni Ostrov [I0061 / UzOO 74; Karelia in Fu 2016; MAE RAS collection number 5773-74, grave number 142] 6590-6240 calBCE (7560±90 BP, OxA-1668); 6410-6050 calBCE (7350±90 BP, OxA-2266); 6390-6030 calBCE (7330±90 BP, OxA-1667); 6590-6240 calBCE (7560±90 BP, OxA-1669); 6360-6000 calBCE (7280±90 BP, OxA-2124); 6530-6210 calBCE (7510±90 BP, OxA-2125); 6773-5886 BCE (7280±80 BP, OxA-1665); 6850-6410 calBCE (7750±110 BP, OxA-1973); M R1a1*.


You always write numbers taken from a certain ceiling that are obviously wrong. Your models are wrong because they are biased, you don't understand the probability and don't look at it. You just don't know how to make models and know them at all.

zardos said...

Influence of Bug–Dniester on the later Neolithic culture of the steppe of course as an answer to Rob, not on R. Yar. Could be misunderstood above...

Rob said...

@ Archie


Sredniy Stog is Eneolithic culture, but not Neolithic! Sredniy Stog did not have common (and anthropologically especially) with Dnieper-Donets culture.”

I did not say it did
I was rather quoting the contrasting (academic) opinion which contradicts what you suggested , hence highlighting the dubiousness of sweeping claims from skull studies sometimes with an n=4 in some groups

“The Pit-grave culture is Bronze age culture, it did not have common with the Dnieper-Donets culture.
The Dnieper-Donets culture have not any continuation in cultures, it fully died.”

Obviously D-D continued somewhere; which is why there’s loads of I2a2 in BA west Pontic region
Dnieper -Donets -> Sredni Stog -> post -Stog -> cernavoda -> “west” Yamnya

Archi said...

@Rob "I was rather quoting the contrasting (academic) opinion which contradicts what you suggested"

No, the text is clearly wrong. This is not an academic text, but clearly your erroneous one. I use just the data of all academic research, not your false texts that are usually untrue. The one who wrote this text clearly does not understand what he writes, but the picture from the one who understands, is a professional Kazarnitsky who has been engaged in steppe cultures all his life.

https://ibb.co/mK8CSa

Rob said...

@ Zardos

“Kotova gives a good summary and while some of her assertions might be disputed, the basics being repeated and searched for in the new, still ongoing projects - from which I hope samples will finally come from.

From Kotova:
"Some traits of Rakushechny Yar culture are similar to Neolithic sites in Eastern Anatolia: rectangular houses with daub, flat-bottomed pots, clay figurines,
polished tools, animal husbandry with domestic cattle, ovicaprids and pigs, but no horses. This similarity, together with close radiocarbon dates, allows me to assume a borrowing of some attainments, or even a penetration of small groups of population
from Eastern Anatolia to the Azov Sea area around 6900 calBC."

She is definitely not alone with her opinion and even if the early domestication might be now questioned (not solved yet!), the other similarities are still there, especially the buildings of the settlement and pieces of art. “

Because those things obviously don't date to 6900 BC ( a gross inflation of dating)
If there was a migration from E Anatolia to the lower Don, aDNA would have picked it up already

Ric Hern said...

Hypothetically all who evolved out of Haplogroup F > G,H,I,J,K could have had linguistic similarities at the root with some longer interaction between some and less of the other. Some could have preserved some features which could have made it easier for them to communicate with those others who preserved some of the same features. However Language is not stagnant and can change extremely in a very short time even without outside influences. So basically for me it is pointless trying to even significantly link Mesolithic languages to todays language families. Like I said before it doesn't take only a few words or even other similarities to make up an entire Language which has Thousands of words and features etc. The best we can do is start at the known reconstructed Families and their proposed dates of origin. Anything before that is even more murky.

So what happened between 5000 BCE and 4000 BCE is most important linguistically regarding PIE. You can not bake a cake without adding the Last ingredient. So what was the Last ingredient ? EEF ?

Andrzejewski said...

Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) probably sounded somewhat like that: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4cLjMU0Hp7M

FrankN said...

Back closer to the original topic:
Dave, you asked for recent publications about R. Yar with AMS dates. There is actually quite a number of them, which I have reviewed (and linked to) here: https://adnaera.com/2019/01/11/how-did-chg-get-into-steppe_emba-part-2-the-pottery-neolithic/
For a start, I recommend Tsybrij e.a. 2017, https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/DocumentaPraehistorica/article/view/44.13

Zardos: "So we have [no] idea of the genetic profile of the founders of R. Yar for example. Right!

"If there was a massive immigration, its more likely it happened earlier, in the 8th/7th mil. latest."
Nah - when corrected for reservoir effects (shell-tempered pottery!), I don't think that R. Yar can be dated to much before the 8.2 kya event. Nevertheless, as R. Yar pottery seems to pre-date the arrival of pottery making in NW Anatolia (Barcin/Fikirtepe), its most likely source is the Caspian (probably Azerbaijan). The Lower Volga culture/ pottery, of obvious Central Asian descent, certainly postdates said event, since the post-6.200 BC Caspian Sea highstand flooded that area.

"They are just below the current radar and spread later along the rivers." In fact, they spread very quickly along the rivers. The Sertaya culture, in the Dniepr-Dvina-Lovat interfluve between Smolensk and Vitebsk, i.e controlling the watersheds between the Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas, has provided AMS dates for its pottery as early as 7,500 BC. These dates probably require hefty correction for reservoir effects. Still, pottery seems to have appeared that far north in the forest zone almost simultaneously with R. Yar, and certainly long before ANF brought pottery to the Balkans.
From Mazurkevich / Dolbunova 2015 (https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/DocumentaPraehistorica/article/view/42.2): "Phase ‘a-1’ seems to be the oldest in this region [Serteya], given the typological-technological analysis and 14C dates, and could have originated in the pottery of the Rakushechny Yar site. (..) The pottery of phase ‘a’ is similar to the early Neolithic pottery of the Northern Caspian region (..)". Acc. to the same paper, R. Yar pottery even appeared at Onega Lake during the late 7th-6th mBC. And, of course, Narva pottery (from ca. 5.800 BC) follows R. Yar prototypes (the same applies to Sredny Stog, but that was anyway to be expected).

Interestingly, now, this rapid cultural spread along the East European river network wasn't connected to significant genetic change. I mean - R. Yar was in all likelyhood CHG-dominated, and the Lower Don Culture certainly reflects Central Asian influence (IMO also CHG-related, our host here is obviously more sceptical in this respect). Still, the available aDNA doesn't show much of an increase in CHG already during the 6th mBC. Right - we have some extra 5% CHG in Mariupol compared to UA-Mesolithic, 3% additional CHG in Samara_HG compared to Sidelkino, there is the yDNA J in Karelia_HG, and Jones e.a. 2017 report some CHG affinity in their Latvia_MN2 (6,179–5,750 cal BP) sample. These are all signs that CHG-heavy populations were involved in Neolithic trade along the E. European river networks up to the Baltic, possibly even the White Sea. But to me, it looks rather comparable to European (French) 18th century fur trade in N. America, with sometimes significant yDNA change (over 50% R1b in the Ojibwe), but little autosomal impact.

The Eneolithic was certainly different, and changed the Steppe's, ultimately Europe's genetic profile fundamentally. How so? Did those (putatively CHG-derived) settlers on the Lower Don and Lower Volga need 1,500 years to decide it was time to not only spread their pottery, but also their genes across the remainder of (Eastern) Europe? Even if so - R.Yar appears to have been a kind of isolated trading post with little hinterland, so I seriously doubt it could have accumulated sufficient demographic weight to effect such a substantial genetic shift as obviously occured during the Eneolithic.

Rob said...

@ Frank

'' Right - we have some extra 5% CHG in Mariupol compared to UA-Mesolithic,''

If you look at all the Ukr Meso & Neolithic in G25, there is some choppy, sub-10% CHG in them, without clear rise in Neolithic.

''there is the yDNA J in Karelia_HG''

But that's without pottery, and dates to c. 6000 BC. There's alos J/j1 in Popovo Mesolithic.
I don't think these lend support to the rather bold claim that LDC will be predominantly CHG
You should note that the Donets culture is part of the broader (& well sampled) Dnieper-Donets culture group. So im not expecting any aDNA surprises

Rob said...

... but happy to be surprised

FrankN said...

Rob: "If you look at all the Ukr Meso & Neolithic in G25, there is some choppy, sub-10% CHG in them, without clear rise in Neolithic.

That's the problem of indiscriminately averaging across regions/time scales. If you seperate UA_Neo between those Dereivka samples from the Kiev area, and the Dniepr Rapids samples a good 250 km further south, you'll see that they are aDNA-wise quite different - culturally also, since the Dniepr Rapids were neolithicised (both in terms of pottery-making and as becoming herders of domesticated animals) already around 6,000 BC, while the Dereivka area stayed - culturally speaking - Mesolithic until ca. 5,000 BC, i.e. the arrival of EEF in Tripolye, just next to it.
These Dereivka samples have rather little extra CHG compared to UA_Mes, and in general display a "choppy" profile of minor admixes (aside from UA_Mes, IronGates and Sidelkino), which may include CHG, Barcin, Levant_N, Ganj Dareh, even Sarazm elements in nMonte analyses. Clearly, "Neolithic" Dereivka was also somewhat connected to the emerging river-based trade network, but I wouldn't take any of those G25/nMonte admixtures at face value.
For the Dniepr Rapids area, the picture is very different: I1736 (Vasilievka 2, the "first European trepanation site", ca. 6.150 BC, as such technically still Mesolithic), can still be fully modelled as IronGates/Sidelkino/UA_Mes mix. The subsequent post 6,000 BC samples from just a couple of kms up-/downstream, labelled alternatively as "Azov-Dniepr" or "Mariupol" [IMO they could also represent the Sursk(aya) culture], however, all display a visible increase in CHG ancestry. It averages at around 5%, and is maximised, at 7.8%, in I1738. [For the absence of any Barcin element in all Dniepr Rapids samples, this btw. supports the suggestion of several reknowned authors, including Kotova, Gronenborn and Motuzaite-Matuzeviciute, that herding reached the Dniepr Rapids from the Caucasus rather than from NW Anatolia/ the Balkans].

I: " there is the yDNA J in Karelia_HG" - You: "But that's without pottery, and dates to c. 6000 BC." Correct! But note Mazurkevich / Dolbunova 2015 as cited above on the presence of R.Yar pottery by c. 6,000 BC in Karelia (Onega Lake).

"I don't think these lend support to the rather bold claim that LDC will be predominantly CHG" Karelia (Onega Lake) isn't about LDC pottery, but about R. Yar.

Ric Hern said...

@ Rob

Whahahaha !!! Yes indeed.

Which Culture was responsible for the making of the Shigir Idol ? Interestingly it was found at the same latitude as many Mesolithic sites eg. in Latvia and near Moscow and even Tyumen etc...almost looks like there was a fairly large Mesolithic population at this latitude between the Urals and Baltic since at least 9500 BCE...with some sporadic migrations down rivers like the Volga, Don and Dnieper into the Pontic Caspian Steppe...

Ric Hern said...

How about herding spreading along a Northern Route along the Forest Steppe towards the East ?

CrM said...

@MaxT

Dagestanis are a mix of Caucasus Bronze Age/KAC and Catacomb/Yamnaya. They don't look far from the Yamnaya reconstructions, both are quite robust with pronounced nose bridges, their pigmentation doesn't seem far off either. But Yamnaya were dolichocephalic while Dagestanis are mostly brachycephalic.

https://imgur.com/a/wlK1pUx

end said...

if i remenber correctly ehg admixture was very low in north caucasus peaking around 13% how is posible that dagestanis have nearly as much yamnaya admixture as north euros?

CrM said...

@end

It's more than 13% according to G25.

Target: Kaitag
Distance: 3.3084% / 0.03308448
74.6 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps
24.4 RUS_Samara_HG
1.0 Mongolian

Target: Darginian
Distance: 3.6596% / 0.03659554
73.2 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps
25.2 RUS_Samara_HG
1.6 Mongolian

Target: Avar
Distance: 3.2424% / 0.03242394
74.8 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps
23.4 RUS_Samara_HG
1.8 Mongolian

Davidski said...

@FrankN

Wang et al. 2019, supp info page 36...

The earliest attested evidence of the Neolithic lifestyle in the North Caucasus, including domesticates and settlement architecture, dates to the mid-5 th millennium BCE and is associated with a cultural formation termed Darkveti-Meshoko Eneolithic 9 or ‘pearl-ornamented ceramic’. Sites associated with this phenomenon are situated on both flanks of the West Caucasian Mountains and in all probability reflect groups advancing through the mountain passes from the southern to the northern side of the mountains. This cultural phenomenon represents a rather dispersed and flimsy settlement of the mountain zones. Some habitation sites were found under rock shelters or in caves such as the site of Unakozovskaya, but large fortified settlements are present as well. The settlers lived on agriculture, cattle herding and pig rearing. Complementary to the southern Eneolithic component, a northern component started to expand between 4300 and 4100 calBCE manifested in low burial mounds with inhumations densely packed in bright red ochre. Burial sites of this type, like the investigated sites of Progress and Vonyuchka, are found in the Don-Caspian steppe 12 , but they are related to a much larger supra-regional network linking elites of the steppe zone between the Balkans and the Caspian Sea [18].

https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41467-018-08220-8/MediaObjects/41467_2018_8220_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

end said...

CrM

thanks, maybe high steppe ethnic groups like avars darginians and kaitag in north caucasus being a minority in dagestan skew the average admixture.

https://imgur.com/a/jBIW7qw


https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/9/eaaw3492

i always imagined even before knowing anything about genetics that the so called aryans were a mix of viking like people and chechens and i wasnt so wrong after all.



zardos said...

@Frank: "Did those (putatively CHG-derived) settlers on the Lower Don and Lower Volga need 1,500 years to decide it was time to not only spread their pottery, but also their genes across the remainder of (Eastern) Europe? "

Well, the same could be said about many cultures and people, which started a massive expansion at some point. Two things:
This mixed group might have developed and matured in a rather confined region before.
A rapid expansion within a specific time window is likely and can be proven and investigated with the samples. What we have from Mariupol so far obviously predates that.

CrM said...

I recently found a video which shows a Rakushechny Yar burial. Did they also practice red ochre burials? This one seems to be covered in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAhw7pRorv4

Davidski said...

@zardos

I can't see the so called southern ancestry in Eneolithic steppe coming from eastern Anatolia.

Considering how the Neolithic samples from Tepecik look, it would be a miracle if a few hundred miles east there was a Neolithic population almost identical to CHG.

CHG was so distinct from contemporaneous Anatolians because it was in the mountains IMO. So if R. Yar people came form eastern Anatolia, or even nearby, it looks to me like they had no genetic impact on the later steppe peoples, and so we're back to square one.

Archi said...


There was no fantastic distribution of ceramics from R. Yar. This is the established way of spreading from Elshan culture.

https://i.ibb.co/sCgy0cg/image.png

MaxT said...

Wang et al. models Eneolithic Steppe with 37% something-ancestral-to-CHG but not exactly CHG itself, and rest was 63% EHG.

Which is interesting because in Basal Rich K7, steppe groups have lowest Basal/Near Eastern ancestry, while CHG (kotias) have high amounts of it. ANE estimates are identical to Flegontov Changmai et al/Lazaridis et al.

Afanasievo_Bateni:average
ANE - 50.29
Basal - 13.47
Villabruna - 33.415

Kotias:KK1
ANE - 44.22
Basal - 49.1
Villabruna - 5.13

K7 roughly shows how early steppe groups need something distinct from CHG itself, something more Euro HG-rich.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tFAa7oxWpcNN-OdMMjBdb4NeWKG7EkpKMzZJVW2_MME/edit?pref=2&pli=1#gid=1145986956

@Davidski can you include Eneolithic Steppe samples to spreadsheet?

zardos said...

There is no rule for the transmission of such cultural elements. They can be brought by people with demic diffusion or by just a few individuals bringing just the ideas and material. And this can change from one expansion to the next.
Like we have a predominantly Iranian-like ancestry in the East and a predominantly Anatolian-like in the West with contacts in between.
So I can even imagine a diffusion with present but limited gene flow from further South. So that in the Lower Don only small remains of far away pioneers remain and the main body of the carriers was more regional, CHG dominated. So from the relative South, but not Transcaucasian. This impuls and the following change due to the capture by the Northern hunters created a new people which spread rapidly without the full Neolithic package.
Those remaining in contact with Bug-Dniester related Western Neolithics became PIE proper.
Just a concept which I don’t see falsified yet and with some facts in favour. Verifiable only with aDNA.

Andrzejewski said...

@CrM @MaxT “Dagestanis are a mix of Caucasus Bronze Age/KAC and Catacomb/Yamnaya. They don't look far from the Yamnaya reconstructions, both are quite robust with pronounced nose bridges, their pigmentation doesn't seem far off either. But Yamnaya were dolichocephalic while Dagestanis are mostly brachycephalic.

https://imgur.com/a/wlK1pUx”

Dagestan I looked mostly like Yamnaya reconstructions (especially the people in the right and center of the picture) but a couple of them to the left side had some Middle Eastern admixture

Davidski said...

@MaxT

Progress_En:PG2001
Progress_En:PG2004
Vonyuchka_En:VJ1001

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tFAa7oxWpcNN-OdMMjBdb4NeWKG7EkpKMzZJVW2_MME/edit?usp=sharing

epoch said...

@Davidski

"Thoughts?"

This pushes back evidence for agriculture among IE groups east of the Dnieper more than a thousand years.

JuanRivera said...

I have observed before the increase of CHG-like ancestry in RUS_Samara_HG and UKR_N respective to preceding members of their clusters (RUS_Sidelkino_HG and UKR_Meso, respectively). I think it represents some expansion of a population rich in CHG-like northwards, plus it could reveal the composition of Mesolithic and Neolithic Crimeans and North Caspians. Could be linked to an increase in population densities in the south.

Leron said...

epoch: How are you sure they are IE groups?

old europe said...



@epoch


yes east of the Dneper...... but in the wrong continent if you mean PIE

JuanRivera said...

I don't think it's a good idea to include Yana in the spreadsheet. It's both older than and ancestral to ANE, which is going to upset the sheet.

epoch said...

@David

"Thoughts?"

Also very interesting is the location. It is where Mallory thinks Afanasievo started to move south towards the Taklamakan desert. The paper states that roughly at 2000 BC a climatic change drove these people away

"The earliest domesticated crops thus far recovered from the Altai Mountains date as early as 5,200 cal bp. The economy at the site was probably diverse, with mixed hunting, fishing, foraging, herding and low-investment agriculture. The early domesticated crops provided people with higher economic flexibility, which enabled population growth and long-term adaption to a dynamic environment in the mountain area of the northern latitudes. The expansion of the steppe ecozone into Middle Asia, with a long-term global cooling trend since the middle Holocene, provided low-investment agropastoral economies more adaptability and extended their living space at the same time. The abrupt cold events during and after the mid-Holocene transition drove the steppe populations southward"

This really fits neatly in the Afanasievo as ancestors of Tocharians theory. Tocharians have words PIE derived words for wheat and barley.

epoch said...

@Leron and old europe

From the paper:

"Archaeological contexts. In the cultural layers of pits T0505 and
T0103, sherds of three types of pottery were discovered: sand and
clay plain pottery; dotted decorative pottery pieces; and carved pottery pieces. They were accompanied by fine stone microlith flakes (Supplementary Fig. 2), which are commonly found in the cultural
layers ascribed to the Afanasievo, Chemurchek and Andronovo cultural
complexes.


The cave is roughly in the Afanasievo area if I understand it correctly.

MaxT said...

@Davidski

Thanks, they do look Euro HG-rich. Whatever CHG-related is in steppe groups is definitely something more northern.

FrankN said...

Archi: "There was no fantastic distribution of ceramics from R. Yar. This is the established way of spreading from Elshan culture."

According to recent research, it was the other way around. Mazurkevich / Dolbunova 2015 (link in previous comment) state: “Some types of Elshanskaya culture are similar to pottery from Rakushechny Yar (form 2), made with the ‘S’ technique with an admixture of grog (only in this case, crushed pottery was used). Also, the straight walls and roundish or pointed rims of the earliest stage of Elshanskaya culture are similar to forms 1 and 5 from Rakushechny Yar (Pl. 1).” Against this background, Kulkova e.a. 2015 regard Elshan as “secondary centre” that developed under Rakushechny Yar influence.

Unfortunately, most AMS dates for both sites require correction for reservoir effects, at a size yet unknown, so at the moment it is impossible to establish the chronological relation between both. Moreover, the Kiev laboratory that has provided most AMS analyses is known to regularly come out with earlier dates than other labs (e.g. Poznan), and plateaus in the calibration curve don’t allow for much distinction. The only half-way reliable dates for R.Yar result from soil (pollen) samples from the lowest levels, and fall around 6,200 BC. For Elshan, Vybornov e.a. 2017 state: „The most acceptable date for this site [Chekalino IV] is 6229–6016 calBC (Tab. 1.48), obtained on charcoal from pottery by the AMS technique.“ (btw. one of the few dates from a reliable Lab, namely Poznan). This would make the appearance of Elshan at best contemporary, most likely a bit later than R.Yar.
Note also that the Vybornov paper describes a NW expansion of Elshan into the Sura and Moksha river basins (around 6,100 BC, not corrected for possible reservoir effects), but doesn't speak of any reach further beyond (Serteya, Karelia etc.).
https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/DocumentaPraehistorica/article/view/44.14

Archi said...

@ FrankN

I don't care what they're looking at, it's just their personal fiction. I use the later fundamental work 2016, it's clear - the ceramics of Elshan culture precedes R. Yar, and this type 2 was borrowed from Elshan culture to R. Yar, because there is always a more limited set of types than in the original culture.

The oldest dating of ceramics without reservoir effect in Elshan culture is 7052–6101 (7660±200, Spb-424), all dating in R. Yar is younger. I am now looking at this table of the professional team of authors of 2016, and I believe it, because this is data, unlike empty-handed statements, it is not clear who, without giving any data, requires us to believe them. By the way, these impudent people simply deceive the people, they give data from layers in which there is no ceramics, once again, they did not even make dates on ceramics, they have exactly bones, coal. And in Elshan culture, it was ceramics that was dated.

In the Elshan culture all corrections were made long ago, because without them there begin in the 9th millennium BC.

zardos said...

We have another problem in the Lower Don concerning ceramics, namely that they were not present in all settlements, but primarily in R. yar to begin with. So either we deal with innovations which reached only R. yar or different people sitting there in a comparably small space. I wouldn't wonder if there would be, in the earlist settlement layers, quite distinct local populations and lineages in the Lower Don area.
It was later the whole region was united by the dominant hunter-warrior lineages from the North. So even if we have a single sample, that won't be it probably, because it could be misleading for the general character of the whole region.

Andrzejewski said...

Is Elshanka Culture also known as Seroglazov Culture?

Andrzejewski said...

I bet ANE language sounded like Kett does today

Samuel Andrews said...

@Max T,
"Thanks, they do look Euro HG-rich. Whatever CHG-related is in steppe groups is definitely something more northern."

We thought Yamnaya's low Basal scores in David's test were an error. Yeah but, maybe it is acauurate and the product of Yamnaya having Basal-low CHG ancestry.

FrankN said...

Dave: Yeah, the Wang et al. 2019 SupMats could have been somewhat more specific when it comes to the archeological background. From what I could gather, there are two problems:
(i) The N. Caucasian Eneolithic tended to be seen as "prelude" to Maykop, and
(ii) in classic Russian "lumper" tradition, everything S. of the Don was united into a single cultural unit, termed "Meshoko - Svobodnoe - Zamok", often just shortened into "Meshoko".
For an illustration of how even reknowned Western researchers have fallen in these traps, see A. Courcier 2014: https://www.academia.edu/5789550/2014_-_Ancient_Metallurgy_in_the_Caucasus_From_the_Sixth_to_the_Third_Millennium_BCE

Wang e.a. have provided two important messages in this respect (undiscussed by them, possibly they themselves were surprised):
(i) The N. Caucasian Eneolithic wasn't a prelude to Maykop, but genetically (and culturally) very different;
(ii) There wasn't anything like a unified "Meshoko - Svobodnoe - Zamok" horizon (an issue btw. already cautiously addressed by several researchers, including Anthony 2007, without anybody explicitly challenging the Russian archeological Mainstream, see link below for an example).
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316434241_A_Generalized_Assessment_of_Cultural_Changes_at_Stratifi_ed_Sites_The_Case_of_Chalcolithic_Fortresses_in_Northwestern_Caucasus
Instead, Meshoko was not only economically and culturally, but also genetically very different from the Elbrus piedmont (the "Central Plateau" in Anthony's diction). I am pretty certain that the Svobodnoe Culture around the Lower Kuban, specialised sheep herders with fortified wattle-and-daub settlements reminiscent of CT, will, once analysed for aDNA, come out with yet another quite distinct aDNA profile (possibly "Steppe"-enriched EEF with some extra WHG and CHG).

So, we have
1. Meshoko pig herders and copper smelters, according to Trifonov representing early 5th mBC immigrants from Colchis, a theory that aDNA seems to support;
2. Svobodnoe sheep herders in settlements reminiscent of CT; and
3. Zamok on the "Central Plateau".

Now, it is fairly difficult to find out anything specific about Zamok. Even the exact location has remained unclear to me, except that it seems to have been in the surrounds of Kislovodsk. Nevertheless, I would - for purely geographical reasons - for the time being associate the Progress and Vonyushka samples with the Zamok culture.

t.b.c.

Rob said...

@ Frank

Yep the earliest pottery is Black Sea - Caspian littoral ceramics ~ 6000 BC
Slightly later is Elshanka - apparently with Kelteminar influences ~ 5400 BC
IMO, the first one explains CHG .

I’ll get back to you about pastoralism

Archi said...

@Rob said...
" Yep the earliest pottery is Black Sea - Caspian littoral ceramics ~ 6000 BC
Slightly later is Elshanka - apparently with Kelteminar influences ~ 5400 BC
IMO, the first one explains CHG ."

It is only lie.

Archi said...

@FrankN "Meshoko copper smelters"

There is no evidence that Meshoko processed copper in any way, most likely those literally isolated finds of copper products were imports. There are no even hypotheses where Meshoko could take copper other way than to import it purely, all conducted studies showed that all copper was imported in the North Caucasus. Therefore, the Eneolithic in it is purely formal.

Mr. J said...

Forgive my ignorance but I am trying to learn about the spread of the Neolithic lifestyles of domesticated crops (agriculture) and domesticated animals (herding) into the West Georgian area in the South Caucasus. It was the Darkveti-Meshoko culture that first spread the Neolithic lifestyle into that region?

FrankN said...

Continuing my previous comment:

While there doesn't seem to be any English language publication available on Zamok, the Kislovodsk area, where it was located, is pretty good studied archeologically. From Reinhold & Korobov 2007 (emphasis is mine):
"The first human presence in the Kislovodsk basin can be dated into the Aeneolithic period (5th-Mid 4th millennium BC.). Mesolithic or Neolithic sites so far are known only from the neighbouring areas (Bader & Cereteli
1989: 100-104), a fact which is usually attributed to the lack of proper silex raw material in the Kislovodsk area. Two certain Aeneolithic sites, however, are known, >Agriculture is likely, but not proven. From an osteological perspective this period in general shows very heterogeneous subsistence strategies, obviously with strong adaptations to local conditions and varying importance of cattle, pigs and wild animals. Also in the Kislovodsk sites hunting is attested by a percentage of 25% wild animal bones – deer, capricon and boar."
https://www.academia.edu/2627193/The_Kislovodsk_basin_in_the_North_Caucasian_piedmonts_-_archaeology_and_GIS_studies_in_a_mountain_cultural_landscape

In summary:
a) New entrants, no continuity from the Neolithic;
b) Certainly herders (including pig herding, which is absent from Khvalynsk), possibly farmers.

There are two sites not too far from Progress & Vonyushka that are commonly connected to Zamok and IMO also display cultural similarities to the a/m sites. One is the Nalchik cemetery (not the Nalchik Kurgan, that one belongs to Maykop!), the other one is the eneolithic settlement of Agubekov, at the outskirts of Nalchik. Here is what a Russian blogger has to say about them (emphasis is mine):
"Our knowledge of the Late Neolithic and Eneolithic of the Central Ciscaucasia is based on material from the Agubekov settlement, as well as from the Nalchik burial ground in Kabardino-Balkaria. Both monuments date back to both eras. Agubekovskoe settlement was located on a hill, its cultural layer abounded with shards, obsidian and flint agricultural tools, as well as fragments of wattle, which was the basis of the walls of light dwellings. The economy was dominated by livestock. The general appearance of the settlement resembles the monuments of the North-East Caucasus. Ceramics are flat-bottomed and correspond to local features of the local Eneolithic."
http://darnika.ru/en/recepty/epoha-rannego-metalla-i-problemy-ee-izucheniya-mednyi-vek-hronologicheskie/
Otherwise, Kohl 2007 has a footnote on Agubekov - that seems to be it, as far as concerns the English language WWW.

I'll expand on the Nalchik Cemetery in my next comment.

gamerz_J said...

@Davidski @Matt

Unless I missed something (and unfortunately can only read the papers not test the genomes) but I am a bit confused about Maykop.
Matt says it has some West_Siberian_N component while Wang et al said it had some kind of relict ANE ( they modeled it as 7% East Eurasian I think).

To me West_Siberian_N would make more sense but I was wondering what would be some good explanations as how it ended up in Maykop apparently missing Yamnaya. Mainly, was it a cultural barrier between them?

Any feedback appreciated as always.

FrankN said...

Archi: "There is no evidence that Meshoko processed copper in any way"
Please do some reading before posting next time here. I have a bit further up provided two sources that a/o deal with Meshoko's copper metalurgy:

https://www.academia.edu/5789550/2014_-_Ancient_Metallurgy_in_the_Caucasus_From_the_Sixth_to_the_Third_Millennium_BCE

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316434241_A_Generalized_Assessment_of_Cultural_Changes_at_Stratifi_ed_Sites_The_Case_of_Chalcolithic_Fortresses_in_Northwestern_Caucasus

There's more about it, just run some Internet researches!

Archi said...

@FrankN

It says what I've written. What are you trying to prove to me with this?

Davidski said...

@FrankN

My blog post is about the archeological formation known as Eneolithic steppe, which is regarded to have originated in the Lower Don, not in the Kislovodsk basin.

Apparently it started to expand in the late 5th millennium BCE, and eventually arrived in the Kislovodsk basin.

And I'm very skeptical about the claims that the economy in Central Ciscaucasia at that time was dominated by livestock. The views of the Russian blogger appear to be outdated and irrelevant.

Also, I'm not interested in the Nalchik burial ground in Kabardino-Balkaria in this context, since it's located in the Caucasus, not on the steppe, and thus it has nothing to do with Eneolithic steppe.

There was a goddamn awesome genetic border between the Caucasus and steppe populations. Surely you know this by now.

https://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2018/06/genetic-borders-are-usually-linguistic.html

Can you confirm to everyone here that you're aware of this fact? Just type yes or no. But if you type no, then you can no longer take part in this debate.

Rob said...

@ Archi

''It is lie''

Is that all you can eek out ?

lets see:

''The oldest pottery assemblages from Eastern Europe date to the first quarter of the 7th millennium calBC. One of the oldest complexes with pottery can be found at Rakushechny Yar in the Lower Don basin.

The next period with a concentration of dates is attributed to the beginning of the second quarter of the 7 th millennium calBC, connected to the Elshanskaya culture pottery in the Middle Volga region. Its origin may have been connected to the penetration of the conical ware ceramic tradition, poorly decorated, from south-western areas, from the Eastern Caspian area and Aral region, bypassing the Caspian plain (Vasilliev, Vybornov 1988.24)

In case you claim it is a 'lie' again, here direct link for article
https://www.academia.edu/20713738/The_oldest_pottery_in_hunter-gatherer_communities_and_models_of_Neolithisation_of_Eastern_Europe

See, that's how being high-level works.
Of course, you are welcome refute these ceramic specialists, but you better bring some evidence (not that it really matters which river valley pottery first apperaed in)

Rob said...

@ Frank

You've split hairs from Wang's classification of Meshoko culture (a change from your usual linguistic lumping ;)), but the fact remains that productive ecnonomy only appears c. 4500 BC in the north Caucasus, making it as the source of pastoralism on the steppe unlikely.


Moreover, if pastoralism was introduced via the Caucasus, steppe Eneolithic productive economy would not be focussed in the northwest Black sea zone
https://imgur.com/0419MUm
whislt domesticate animals appear in Caspian region later & more sporadically (Stable Isotope Analysis of Neolithic to Late Bronze Age Populations in the Samara Valley)

For some reason, you misquote Motuzaite-Matuzeviciute who in fact states '' It was on thesheep/goat remains from the Semenovka site that N.Kotova based her theory of the Caucasian-Steppe origins of agriculture in eastern Ukraine (Kotova2009). However, according to the opinion of a zoo-archaeologist colleague from the University of Cam-bridge, this bone specimen is more likely to be that of Saiga tatarica than Ovis aries orientalis''

On the LDC/ R Yar ''The presence of agriculture in the Lower Don and Donets basins has been detected by the author only in the Chalcolithic period. Cereal impressions inpottery were found at the Rakushechny Yar in site layers 4–2 and Zanovskoe’s Chalcolithic layers. Raku-shechny Yar and Zanovskoe are attributed to a verysimilar period of the Sredny-Stog culture and dated to the second half of the 5th and the 4thmillenniacal BC....During this pe-riod, an increase in the use of domestic animals inthe region can be noted; a large quantity of domes-tic animal bones has been reported from the Zanovskoe and Rakushechny Yar sites and from other sites...''

You also misquote Tsirbij:

'' The question of the correctness of these determinations arose when the data on the fauna of the Razdorskaya 2, a site adjacent to Rakushechnyi Yar, made by an expert on Neolithic
fauna of south-eastern Europe, the Balkans and Transcaucasia, Norbert Beneke, were published (Gorelik et al. 2013.296). Unlike his predecessors, he did not confirm the existence of bones of domestic animals, except for one dog, in the fauna at this settlement. ''

FrankN said...

Finally, the Nalchik Cemetery:
There are two English language sources with a bit more detailed archeological description. The first one is Gimbutas 1963, https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1525/aa.1963.65.4.02a00030
"The earliest phase of the Kurgan culture in the northern Caucasus is represented by the cemetery of Nalchik on the upper Terek in central northern Caucasus (Kruglov, Piotrovsky and Podgaetsky 1941). Burial rites were the same as in the earliest Kurgan cemeteries in the lower Dnieper area: the dead were laid on ochre deposits in single pits, on the back with legs sharply contracted upwards, the grave was covered with stones and an earthen barrow. Grave inventories included beads of shells, perforated elks’ teeth, white paste and carnelian which allows placing them in the same chronological group with the earliest Kurgan graves and the latest Mariupol graves north of the Black Sea. Sheep bones were predominant in graves. An engraving of a snake combined with a concentric circle (sun symbol?) appeared on a bone plate in Nalchik-symbols that lived on for a long time in the Kurgan realm."
[Emphasis mine, as always]

Then, we have Anthony 2007 (https://erenow.net/ancient/the-horse-the-wheel-and-language/9.php):
"Near Nalchik, in the center of the North Caucasus piedmont, was a cemetery containing 147 graves with contracted skeletons lying on their sides in red ochre—stained pits in groups of two or three under stone cairns. Females lay in a contracted pose on the left side and males on their right. A few copper ornaments, beads made of deer and cattle teeth, and polished stone bracelets (like those found in grave 108 at Khvalynsk and at Krivoluchie) accompanied them. One grave yielded a date on human bone of 5000–4800 BCE (possibly too old by a hundred to five hundred years, if the dated sample was contaminated by old carbon in fish). Five graves in the same region at Staronizhesteblievsk were provided with boars-tusk plaques of the DDII Mariupol type, animal-tooth beads, and flint blades that seem at home in the Early Eneolithic. (..)
Carved stone bracelets and ornamental stones from the Caucasus—black jet, rock crystal, and porphyry—were traded into Khvalynsk and Dnieper-Donets II sites, perhaps from people like those at Nal’chik and Kamennomost Cave 2. The Nalchik-era sites clearly represent a community that had at least a few domesticated cattle and sheep/goats, and was in contact with Khvalynsk.
"

The burial rites at Nalchik clearly resemble those from Progress/ Vonyushka. Otherwise, there is too little English language archeological documentation on Progress/ Vonyushka available for further conclusions. Still, for geographical reasons, but also when it comes to burial customs, I tend to think that "Eneolithic Piedmont", "Zamok" and "Nalchik Cemetary" represent the same cultural and genetical unit - Herders (possibly at the transition towards cereal farming), originating from the Lower Don, with typical "Steppe" aDNA enhanced by some E. Caucasian CHG, tradewise and also genetically connected to Khvalynsk and Sredny Stog).

Intriguingly, btw., Gimbutas' and Anthony's placements of Eneolithic Piedmont/Nalchik/Zamok in relation to Indo-Europeans are fundamentally different. Anthony "would guess they spoke languages ancestral to Northwest Caucasian". For Gimbutas, it was "the earliest phase of the Kurgan culture in the northern Caucasus". Of course, Gimbutas associated Kurgan culture with PIE, and located its homeland in the linked paper "in the lower Volga area, around the Sea of Aral, in Uzbekistan, and in Kazakhstan to the Altai mountains" (p. 820). I clearly have various issues with her reasoning (and that 1963 publication is, expectably, in many ways outdated), but in this case I am certainly more on her than on Anthony's side.

Archi said...

@Davidski

"I'm not interested in the Nalchik burial ground in Kabardino-Balkaria in this context, since it's located in the Caucasus, not on the steppe, and thus it has nothing to do with Eneolithic steppe."

All researchers disagree with this. They see it as an expansion of the steppe SrednyStog-Khvalynsk population.

@Rob

First, your statement is completely at odds with the statement in this text, so you're referring to a source that refutes you.

Secondly, you're quoting an outdated 2015 work, a year later a fundamental work was released
G.I. Zaitseva, O.V. Lozovskaya, A.A. Vybornov, A.N. Mazurkevich. Radiocarbon chronology of the Eastern European Neolithic Age VII-III millennium BC. 2016, the same authors, where no fantasies about the priority of R. Yar over Elshan culture, therefore, the authors admitted their mistake.

Davidski said...

@FrankN

Finally, the Nalchik Cemetery...

Nalchik is in the Caucasus, where domesticates are confirmed from the mid-5th millennium BCE, and I posted a quote from Wang et al. to this effect in a post above.

So what's your point?

FrankN said...

Zardos: "We have another problem in the Lower Don concerning ceramics, namely that they were not present in all settlements, but primarily in R. yar to begin with."

Right! And the same, btw., applies to Elshan pottery, which even in the Samara Region remains restricted to a few findspots, while very quickly also appearing a couple of hundred kms further NW in the Moksha basin. My feeling is that we are dealing with some kind of "trading posts" along the main waterways within a network that ultimately connected the S. Caspian to the Baltic and even the White Sea. Kind of Varangians (Kiev Rus) pre-loaded. To put it differently (intentionally formulated provocantly): Scandinavians owed their ship-building technology to Azerbaijan (Gobustan) - and paid it back by the Varangian plundering of Baku in the 8th(?) cAD.

[Under that premise, of course, any "forest zone" aDNA/ uniparental markers need to be treated with caution (not just the yDNA J in Karelia_HG). I mean - Serteya hasn't only provided very early examples of R. Yar and Lower Volga pottery, but also yielded late 6th mBC LBK finds; M Szmyt has described a GAC outpost there during the 4th mBC; it has furthermore yielded Corded Ware pots; and IIRC, at some point in time during the LN/CA, it consisted of five dwellings, each of which could be assigned to a different archeological culture.]

Archi - on the dating of Elshan pottery: "I use the later fundamental work 2016" Well, and I use publications from 2017 and later. You tell me, which sources are more recent..

Archi said...

FrankN said... "Archi - on the dating of Elshan pottery: "I use the later fundamental work 2016" Well, and I use publications from 2017 and later. You tell me, which sources are more recent.. "

It's not true. You quoted Mazurkevich / Dolbunova 2015
February 15, 2020 at 12:03 PM etc!

With Elshan pottery everything is clear, this is the first half of the 7 millennium BC, this is absolutely accurate. But with R. Yar dating all much worse, there is so imprecise dating of the layers of pottery which in general is unclear, but what is clear is that they are younger than the beginning of the Elshanskaya culture for all that that at the next settlement Razdorskaya pottery in the same layers did not!

The Neolithic R. Yar (pottery) "lies in the mid–7 - mid-6 thousand calBC range" quote from Tsybryi A.V., Tsybryi V.V., Zaitseva G.I., Kulkova M.A., Dolbunova E.V., Mazurkevich A.N. 2016.

Davidski said...

@All

I deleted a post from banned commentator Olympus Mons.

This troll is still convinced that samples from the Shulaveri-Shomu culture are going to be relevant to any of this.

Sad but true.

FrankN said...

Dave: "Nalchik is in the Caucasus".
Acc. to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalchik, it lies at an elevation of 512 m a.s.l. Google Maps shows Progress(2) lying between the 600m and 400m isolines. IOW: They are both equally "Caucasus" or "Piedmont". I leave the choice to you..
But seriously, you disappoint me now. You certainly can do better!

My intention was to provide a bit more background on these "Eneolithic Piedmont" samples. Not in order to prove anything, just because the available documentation (including the Wang e.a. SuppMats) is so meagre, and others here had asked for additional information, that I thought it would be helpful to share the research I had done. If that isn't welcome here, I accept it - after all, it's your site!

Still, I feel that you - as apparently most of us here - are still struggling with putting these findings into context. My opening comment to this thread was meant serious - I feel you are on the right way, and you may actually ultimately arrive at similar conclusions as I have, But even if not - I believe in Dialetcics (the old Marxist I am!) as a way to promote understanding the truth, and as such appreciate that we both differ in opinion (the same, btw, applies to you, Rob, and I will certainly take you up on the Neolithisation issue if still allowed to do so here).

Davidski said...

@FrankN

They are both equally "Caucasus" or "Piedmont". I leave the choice to you.

No, they're not.

Nalchik is in the Caucasus Mountains. It literally means horseshoe because it's almost completely surrounded by mountains, while Progress and Vonyuchka are on the steppe.

See that's probably why Nalchik is located south of this hypothetical ancient genetic border between the steppe and the Caucasus.

https://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2018/06/genetic-borders-are-usually-linguistic.html

And the problem I have with your way of searching for the truth is that you usually pick the least likely option, and then you argue your position based on a misunderstanding of the data.

The idea that the CHG-related ancestry in the Progress and Vonyuchka samples came from Central Asia is idiotic, and it totally contradicts the obvious facts, like, for instance, that CHG lived in Georgia, which is nowhere near Central Asia but actually west of Progress and Vonyuchka.

end said...

MAXT

so steppe EMBA are basically udmurts with 15% more ANE and 15% less east eurasian admixture .

thanks all of you for the information

Rob said...

@ Epoch

That article suggests the crops were introduced into northern Asia via the IAMC from Oxus region. It argues against their arrival with Afansievo

Rob said...

^ main transmitters were probably Dali EBA people (IIRC predominantly WSHG origin)
Then replaced by Andronovo during 4,2 ky drying event

vAsiSTha said...

@rob says
"article suggests the crops were introduced into northern Asia via the IAMC from Oxus region. It argues against their arrival with Afansievo"

This is also confirmed with genetics. Dali eba 2600bce = botai + sarazm/geoksyur_en.

Tarim basin & east kazakhstan archaeobotany is to be linked to the oxus agriculture. Also very interesting is appearance of cremation at tasbas along with oxus wheat and barley (tasbas is 2km from Dali) in 2600bce.

Davidski said...

@FrankN

I made a map for you. Nalchik is in the Caucasus, surrounded by big mountains.

Eneolithic steppe burial sites plus Nalchik

epoch said...

@Rob

So?

We have wheat and barley at the earliest site we can assume to be IE speakers. That means we can explain why eastern IE cultures retain words for agriculture.

Rob said...

@ epoch

Sorry I don’t understand what you mean

You suggested -
“ This pushes back evidence for agriculture among IE groups east of the Dnieper more than a thousand years.”

You’re kinda right of course; Turan is “east of the Dnieper”
But what’s your point ?

“ This really fits neatly in the Afanasievo as ancestors of Tocharians theory. Tocharians have words PIE derived words for wheat and barley.”

Rather difficult given that Afansievo were largely replaced by Yeneisians and separated to Tocharians 3000 years later

vAsiSTha said...

@rob
Tocharian is supposedly the 2nd to split from PIE after Anatolian, so it is quite early.
Afanasievo has no evidence of sustainable arable agriculture, and such agriculture is not to be seen in the east till andronovo. and tocharian clearly has agricultural pie words.

Afanasievo also has pit grave culture, whereas tasbas and begash sees cremation rituals in the early bronze age. The aDna of Dali eba also contains sarazm_en.
Quite clear that the source of the words, the seeds and the rituals is the oxus.

Ric Hern said...

@ epoch

Words for animals and plants could predate the actual domestication or introduction of domesticated varieties...eg. a Camel remains a Camel doesn't matter if it is domesticated or not....

I think the evidence of dominance of MtDNA Haplogroup T3 in Cattle of Europe and later Ancient Northern China is maybe better evidence of a link between Afanasevo and Tocharians...maybe even the early horse remains found at sites of related cultures...

Davidski said...

@All

I just learned that some copper trinkets were found in a few graves that might be classified as Eneolithic steppe, so I edited my blog post...

They also sometimes buried their dead with flint blades and adzes, but hardly ever with metal objects, despite living in the Eneolithic epoch or the Copper Age.

Ric Hern said...

@ Davidski

Very interesting. Thanks.

Rob said...

@ vAsiSTha

''Tocharian is supposedly the 2nd to split from PIE after Anatolian, so it is quite early.''

Supposedly, but not necessarily

Davidski said...

@vAsiSTha

Here's the most recent mainstream paper on the origins of Tocharian...

The deviant typological profile of the Tocharian branch of Indo-European may be due to Uralic substrate influence

Ric Hern said...

I think the fact that MtDNA Haplogroup T3 dominated Europe early on and the fact that it dominated a little later in Ancient Northern China is a clear indication that herding spread from the Balkans and or Eastern Central Europe to the Lower Don/Middle Volga and beyond...

vAsiSTha said...

@rob said
Supposedly, but not necessarily

True, but that is the consensus. I would like to read some linguists who disagree. then we have anatolia_chalc sample from 3800bc showing iran (and not chg) admixture into anatolia. so it fits with the consensus theory.

@davidski
Thanks for the paper. nowhere conclusive as the late/post vedic epic Mahabharata and the corroborative findings from this paper below from Nov 2019 which basically nails the aryan migration shut.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-53489-4

Paper proves that Ghagghar saraswati was a perennial glacial fed river between 7k-2.5kbce, post which glacial connection got cut off and it started disappearing. Witzel's opposition to ghagghar being non glacial, non perennial and therefore not Saraswati is therefore debunked.

Paper also proves that between 2500-1900bce, saraswati disappears at 1 place in the desert (thar desert, look at the map in the paper) and reappeared down the river as is mentioned in Mbh.

ततॊ विनशनं गच्छेन नियतॊ नियताशनः गच्छत्य अन्तर्हिता यत्र मरु पृष्ठे
सरस्वती चमसे च शिवॊद्भेदे नागॊद्भेदे च दृश्यते ।। - Mbh 3.80.118
The Saraswati disappears in the desert at Vinshana and reappears at Chamasa, Shivodbheda and Nagodbheda.

This is much much more than a few reconstructed words here and there. Sanauli warrior chariot burials (helmet, sword, dagger, shield, bow, arrowheads buried along with chariot) near kurukshetra, the warzone of the mahabharata.

Therefore, steppe entry into NW india around 1500bce is inconsequential to the origins of vedic people. A much older connection from central asia/NW india/east iran is the answer.

Davidski said...

@vAsiSTha

A much older connection from central asia/NW india/east iran is the answer.

What you need is a link between India and the East Baltic. If you don't have that then you don't have a theory.

Balts don't have any ancestry from Central Asia, India or Iran. They have ancestry from the steppe though, and plenty of R1a, just like Indians.

Rob said...

@ Avisthata

''True, but that is the consensus. I would like to read some linguists who disagree. .''

Perhaps, but concensus can change, & linguistics cannot date with certainty. Let's see what the actual humans say for themselves..

''then we have anatolia_chalc sample from 3800bc showing iran (and not chg) admixture into anatolia. so it fits with the consensus theory''

That probably reflects the spread of Chalcolithic Dark-Burnished horizon through Anatolia in the post-5000 BC shifts. I did think it relevant for a while, but its a bit hard to relate that to P-A

epoch said...

@vAsiSTha

"Afanasievo has no evidence of sustainable arable agriculture"

Well, that just changed, apparently. The Tongtian Cave is on the Chinese side of the Kazahk-Chinese border, in a place called Jeminay. On the other side of the border, in Karatal, a Afanasievo burial was found.

https://astanatimes.com/2017/09/burial-of-eneolithic-era-man-discovered-in-east-kazakhstan/

a said...

1}Proposed mutational spread of Steppe Yersinia Pestis

RK-1001 and Rise 509/511

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Proposed-Dispersion-Model-of-Y-pestis-during-Neolithic-and-Bronze-Age-A-Schematic_fig5_329456734

a said...

Davidski said...
@All

"I just learned that some copper trinkets were found in a few graves that might be classified as Eneolithic steppe, so I edited my blog post...

They also sometimes buried their dead with flint blades and adzes,but hardly ever with metal objects, despite living in the Eneolithic epoch or the Copper Age."

Burial further north,- 10122 / SVP35 (grave 12)

Male (confirmed genetically), age 20-30, positioned on his back with raised knees, with 293 copper artifacts, mostly beads, amounting to 80% of the copper objects in the combined cemeteries of Khvalynsk I and II. Probably a high-status individual, his Y-chromosome haplotype, R1b1, also characterized the high-status individuals buried under kurgans in later Yamnaya graves in this region, so he could be regarded as a founder of an elite group of patrilineally related families. His MtDNA haplotype H2a1 is unique in the Samara series.

Davidski said...

@a

That's obviously bullshit, because that haplotype isn't Z2103, so there's no way he's a Yamnaya founder.

I'm guessing that text is from one of David Anthony's recent papers. He should learn what subclades are.

vAsiSTha said...

@epoch
I read the paper, not some article. The wheat and barley at tongtian cave is from sarazm dated to 3200bce.

The paper makes no definite conclusions about these seeds being farmed there, you should read it.

"Radiocarbon dates of grains from two naked barley and one common wheat from
early layers at Tongtian Cave demonstrate that these two important
crops were already present in the northern regions of Asia as early
as 5,200 cal bp. While the low number of recovered grains and lack
of chaffing material do not allow us to say anything about the role
of these crops in the economy, they do represent the earliest directly
dated specimens of domesticated crops this far north in Asia. We
cannot say for certain that these grains indicate local cultivation
and the possibility of long-distance exchange must be entertained.
"

vAsiSTha said...

@epoch

"A closer look at paleoclimatic
shifts and localized environmental changes in the Inner
Asian piedmont provides a clearer image of how the spread of
these crops took place. Currently the area around Tongtian Cave is
not arable without irrigation or water-catchment technology. The
site is located at 1,826 m a.s.l. and at a latitude of 47° N; the annual
average temperature is 1 °C and minimum temperatures can reach
as low as −50 °C in winter. Early wheat varieties cultivated in southern
Central Asia would have had physiological barriers to their
spread northward. Notably, photoperiod sensitivity, short growing
seasons, cold temperatures and unpredictable climates would have
been important obstacles21."

also this

"Evidence for farming remains absent at sites
ascribed to the hunting and herding ‘Yamnaya’ populations (5,300–
4,600 cal bp) or other Eurasian populations ascribed to the poorly
understood Afanasievo Cultural Complex (5,200–4,500 cal bp)—a
relatively arbitrary cultural construct of the broader Altai and northern
steppe region that is usually linked to the Yamnaya in cultural
historic frameworks19,28,29. The lack of agriculture in subsequent late
fifth and early fourth millennia bp sites in the central steppe and
Ural regions makes arguments of a trans-steppe crop exchange hard
to justify30,31"

a said...

Blogger Davidski said...
@a

That's obviously bullshit, because that haplotype isn't Z2103, so there's no way he's a Yamnaya founder.

I'm guessing that text is from one of David Anthony's recent papers. He should learn what subclades are.

No he is not you are right, he is R1b-V1636. You don't think there is a connection between R1b-V1636 and R1b-Z2109+ burials in Khvalysnk and R1b V1636 and R1b Z2109+ Progresss 2001-2004 burials in the South? The same R1b-Z2109+ that had Yersinia Pestis in Afanasievo samples Rise 509/511? The same branch of Yersinia Pestis found in Baltic Corded Ware and Bell Beakers?

epoch said...

@vAsiSTha

Even that is enough. The issue is that we need to explain IE roots for wheat and barley in Tocharian. Originally the issue was that the first IE cultures never saw evidence for agriculture earlier than 2000 BC. We now know that the earliest PIE culture we know of, Afanasievo, had access to them, one way or another.

Davidski said...

@a

You don't think there is a connection between R1b-V1636 and R1b-Z2109+ burials in Khvalysnk and R1b V1636 and R1b Z2109+ Progresss 2001-2004 burials in the South?

Yes, there's a connection that goes back to the Eneolithic.

Then these lineages parted, and later in some instances they were incorporated into Yamnaya ranks as Yamnaya expanded across the steppe.

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