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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Like three peas in a pod

One of the most interesting questions still waiting to be answered by ancient DNA is where exactly did the ancestors of the present-day European and South Asian bearers of Y-haplogroup R1a part their ways? Indeed, the answer to this question is likely to be informative about the place and time of the split between the Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian language families.

I was doing some reading today and discovered that the peoples associated with the Bronze Age Fatyanovo-Balanovo and Unetice archeological cultures shared strikingly similar metalwork, despite being separated by well over two thousand kilometers of forest and steppe. Apparently, this similarity is especially pronounced in the metalwork of the Unetice culture from what is now Slovakia (see Ancient Metallurgy in the USSR: The Early Metal Age, page 136).

S11953 is currently the only sample from Slovakia associated with the Unetice culture (Sirak et al. 2020). There are no Fatyanovo-Balanovo samples available yet. However, as far as I can tell, I0432 from Samara, Russia, should be a decent stand in (Mathieson et al. 2015).

Of course, both S11953 and I0432 belong to Y-haplogroup R1a. Moreover, S11953 belongs to a typically Balto-Slavic subclade of R1a, while I0432 belongs to a closely related subclade that is dominant nowadays among the Indo-Iranian speakers of Asia.

S11953 is younger than I0432, but this doesn't necessarily mean that his ancestors arrived in East Central Europe from deep in Russia during the Bronze Age. Indeed, the opposite is more likely to be true. That is, I0432 is probably the recent decedent of migrants from somewhere near the North Carpathians, because he shows elevated European Neolithic farmer ancestry compared to earlier ancients from the Samara region (see here).

Below is a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showing how S11953 and I0432 compare to each other in the context of ancient West Eurasian genetic variation. Obviously, they're sitting in the same part of the plot, which suggests that they harbor very similar ratios of ancient genetic components and probably share relatively recent ancestry. The relevant PCA datasheet is available here.

I've also highlighted myself, Davidski, on the plot. That's because I share the same Balto-Slavic-specific subclade of R1a with S11953 and, in terms of overall ancestry, I'm similar to both S11953 and I0432. Moreover, I'm the speaker of Polish, which is a Balto-Slavic language. What are the chances that we're dealing here with a remarkable string of coincidences? Indeed, was the North Carpathian region perhaps the homeland of the language ancestral to both Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian?

However, please note that there's nothing unusual or remarkable about my ancestry. The vast majority of people of Central, Eastern and Northern European origin - that is, mostly the speakers of Balto-Slavic, Germanic and Celtic languages - would also land in this part of the plot.

See also...

On the doorstep of India

Y-haplogroup R1a and mental health

The mystery of the Sintashta people


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Samuel Andrews said...

IMO, the Motala man has unique features. I don't think they artificially made him look like modern Europeans. He looks similar to the Loschbour reconstruction which shouldn't be a coincidence.

Copper Axe said...


"Vladimir, you should go to Eupedia or Anthrogenicia. You'll fit right in, rather than shitting up these comments with your ignorance."

The audacity you have to tell Vladimir to go to another forum for shitting up the comments. You consistently have the most walnut-brained takes on this site. If anyone should go to Eupedia it is you my friend.


Indo-Europeans came from the steppes. Greeks came from the steppes.

Rob said...

Well the leading theory is from the days of Gimbutas & Hammond is that the Greeks came via Epirus ; noting all the burial mounds there ~ 2200 BC
But maybe Archie & the big Axe man are right.

Copper Axe said...


But before reaching those regions, where did their (pre-proto-) Greek ancestors lived? Has to be a place in the vicinity of Indo-Iranian speakers based on the many ancient linguistic and cultural connections you had between the two. Armenian has to be somewhere around there as well.

Just to be sure, I do not claim to know where exactly the Greeks came from or which material culture represented the Proto-Greeks or their ancestors, but it ultimately does come from the steppes, like all the other Indo-European languages. And in the case of the coming of the Greeks, you either consider the entry of steppe influences at the end of 3rd millenium to represent the Greeks, or an Indo-Iranian/steppe influence on the Greeks. I think option 1 is more likely, but I am always happy to change my stance in view of good arguments or new data.

Rob said...

That makes sense. But those 3 languages also have had historic language contact. So, population data will clarify the extent & character of genetic relationship

vAsiSTha said...


"Then why isn't R1a in Swat_LBA/IA?"

Yes indeed. why not, if the big steppe men came in thundering chariots tearing down cities to conquer south asia?? Lmao

I already told you indian subclades of R1a are more associated with south and east, not the north or north west.
Put 2&2 together with that little pea brain of yours.
Also do a vahaduo G25 analysis of I6942 and I6946, the only 2 R1as found in roopkund, one of which is derived for L657, the other being a rare subclade not being previously found. Tell me how much Sintashta ancestry they have lol. They don't even have 1 percent.

vAsiSTha said...

I should say 1% on top of whatever paniya tribals have.


I6942 - R-L657>R-Y928
I6946 - R-M417 (so i misremembered, its not some obscure subclade, this sample has less snp's so couldnt be analyzed further)

TLT said...

Haha now you aren't even grasping at straws anymore. You are grasping on imaginary ones.

Yes we know that U1a1a isn't all subclades of U1a1 and that T2c is more general than T2c1, but we (at least are expected to) also know that modern U1a1 isn't U1a1*, all modern U1a1 is descended from the very old U1a1* which no longer exists. Any modern U1a1 result is a byproduct of either low coverage (on ancient samples) or not looking at all mutations on living samples. But the fact that we see U1a1 (U1a1c-something in shahr and U1a1d in eneolithic south-central Asia) in the pre steppe populations means that there is an Anatolia -> Iran -> South Asia route for U1a1 of many types to travel through. Same with T2c, there is similar route for this and these aren't the only haplogroups, there are ancient I subclades, and through modern inference, even HV14 which would have come from an Anatolian HV that moved to southern Iran around 14,000 years ago. When routes alternative to the steppe routes exist, these are no longer steppe specific lineages. But let's be very generous and expand the selection to mtDNA M as well. M is found in gypsies, therefore there is a Europe -> steppe -> India route for mtDNA M. Haha the ride never ends.

Coldmountains said...

I am Y920+ like the Roopkund sample and Pashtuns have around 25-30 steppe dna so what is your point. Y920+ is around 4000 years old enough time for the line to end in populations with zero steppe. Just like you have pure Scandinavians with zero SSA admix carrying A1a.

vAsiSTha said...


Yes its perfectly possible for autosomal ancestry to get diluted over centuries. That is not the point. Point is that the 11 others from roopkund with actual steppe admixture dont have it. Point is that you have to resort to special pleading everytime.

So they found 13 male samples in Roopkund_A label (of which 9 are on G25). None of those with steppe ancestry are R1a (top being 29% sintashta), but the 2 R1a's have 0% sintashta? What are the bloody odds of that if you believe Indian R1a is linked to sintashta ancestry? and mind you, the only R-L657 ancient we have so far has 0% sintashta.

Target Distance SiS_BA2 Paniya Sintashta_MLBA Dzharkutan1_BA Y-Dna
IND_Roopkund_A:I3406 2.8% 47.6 22 28.8 1.6 J2a1
IND_Roopkund_A:I3346 2.9% 74.4 9 16.6 0 E1b1b1
IND_Roopkund_A:I3352 2.1% 55.4 27.2 10.4 7 R2a3a2b2c
IND_Roopkund_A:I7036 2.0% 44.8 45.8 9.4 0 R2a3a
IND_Roopkund_A:I6941 2.7% 29.2 63 7.8 0 R2a3a
IND_Roopkund_A:I3342 2.6% 43.6 49 7.4 0 H1a1d2
IND_Roopkund_A:I2868 2.5% 37 58.8 4.2 0 H1a2a1
IND_Roopkund_A:I6946 2.8% 17.2 82.2 0.6 0 R1a
IND_Roopkund_A:I6942 2.3% 41 58.6 0.4 0 R1a1a1b

You people said that steppe ancestry in Swat must be via male mediated invasion (with chariots & blah blah). They found hardly any R1a there, but decent steppe ancestry, which led them to conclude that the ancestry was female mediated.

None of you seem to care about how the data keeps proving your hypotheses wrong, as long as you can trumpet your preconceived biases. I used to believe that R1a had to be from europe. I am not sure anymore because of the data, and just have a more open mind.

Coldmountains said...

Y920+ and Y928+, which is under Y920+ , exist today among Arabs, Iranians, Baluchs/Brahui, Pashtuns, Uyghurs and especially Indians. Yes it actually seems to have a higher frequency in South an East India but Baluchs are also quite rich in it. The point is that this line exist today among many groups rich in steppe and according to you they got it from a tribal ancestor from South India.

It is absolutely irrelevant what kind of admixture this sample has. He is not even 2000 years old and much younger. I am sure you will during this time already find R1a-L657 in Southeast Asia, Arabia and maybe even in some coastal regions of East Africa with basically zero steppe admix. This is like saying R1b in Mexico is from Natives because you can find samples with around 1% euro admix still having y-dna R1b

vAsiSTha said...

Don't put words in my mouth.
I did not say R1a is from a tribal ancestor. I said it seems uncorrelated to caste and steppe ancestry %
Papers also say that it is caste agnostic.

Davidski said...

The American analogy is a very good one.

R1b spread into many indigenous American groups very early thanks to pioneers and conquistadors, but the accompanying European autosomal ancestry was bred out within a few generations.

Similar things happened in South Asia with tribal groups, R1a and Sintashta-derived ancestry.

That's why there are now some people claiming that R1b is native to the Americas, and others claiming that R1a is native to South Asia. But it's nonsense on both counts.

vAsiSTha said...

And how do you know that the Sa specific R1a in NW South Asia did not the come during mauryan rule there with over 2 centuries of control? Ashoka started as a governor of gandhara. The region was also an important Buddhist pilgrimage.

Mauryan rule or maybe earlier rule is also possibly responsible for the presence of R1a and sinhalese IE language in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese has been shown to be closest to magadha odia and bengali. Read here

Archi said...

I already told you indian subclades of R1a are more associated with south and east, not the north or north west.
Put 2&2 together with that little pea brain of yours.

Troll, except for delirium and lies, you have not written anything yet, you are hammered. You have shown that you are a brainless troll who evilly trolls and lies in all topics without exception. All you're gonna write is lies and your fiction.

vAsiSTha said...

See the distribution of SA specific R-M780 in Underhill 2015, also corroborated by chaubey's unpublished samples. It shows hotspot in bengal and Bihar, with much less frequency in NW.

Stop puking senseless ad hominems here.

Davidski said...

SA specific R-M780 is derived from Eastern European R1a.

That's what ancient DNA clearly shows.

Archi said...

Stop puking senseless ad hominems here troll.

"See the distribution of SA specific R-M780 in Underhill 2015, also corroborated by chaubey's unpublished samples. It shows hotspot in bengal and Bihar, with much less frequency in NW."

1. Underhill has nothing to see, because he did everything very approximately, he has a lot of undefined, he did not show anything, but only disgraced himself.
2. Underhill acknowledged the mistake of the haplogroup under-definition approach, and now he's silent about embarrassing himself in the scientific community.
3. Only freaks and trolls are referred to Underhill for deception.

Thomas Spence said...

Yes, but wouldn't a western shift among West Slavs indicate an expansion of Slavs from the east (as in eastern Poland, Belarus, and northern Ukraine)?

From what I understand, eastern Poles, Belarusians, Ukrainians, and Russians are very close to each other, but west Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks have a western shift, perhaps indicating that they mostly descend from Slavs but have a small pre-Slavic substratum?

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