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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

My take on the Erfurt Jews

I had a quick look at the genotype data from the recent Waldman et al. preprint focusing on the ancestry of early Jews from Erfurt, Germany. My impression is that the genetic origins of these Jews are somewhat more complex than claimed in the manuscript.

Indeed, I'd say the Waldman et al. characterization of the Erfurt Jews as a three-way mixture between populations similar to present-day Lebanese, South Italians and Russians doesn't exactly reflect reality.

Unlike Waldman et al., I designed an ADMIXTURE analysis that separated East Asian ancestry into East Asian and Siberian clusters, and also included Mediterranean and North African clusters. The output is available in a spreadsheet HERE. Below is a bar graph based on some of the output.
Now, keeping in mind that ADMIXTURE is not a formal mixture test, and that it estimates ancestry proportions from inferred populations, as opposed to ancient groups that actually existed, here are some key observations:

- in terms of fine scale ancestry, the Erfurt Jews show enough variation to be divided into three or four clusters, as opposed to just two as per Waldman et al.

- some of the Erfurt Jews show excess "Mediterranean" ancestry, while others excess "North African" ancestry, and this cannot be explained with ancestral populations similar to Lebanese and/or South Italians, but rather with significant gene flow from the western Mediterranean and possibly North Africa

- several of the Erfurt Jews show relatively high levels of "East Asian" ancestry that cannot be explained by admixture from Russians, or even any Russian-like populations, because such populations almost lack this type of ancestry, and instead show significant "Siberian" admixture

- as far as I can see, there are no correlations between any of the observations above and the quality of the samples. That is, low coverage doesn't appear to be causing the aforementioned excess "Mediterranean", "North African" and/or "East Asian" ancestry proportions.

Investigating this in more detail with, say, formal statistics will take some time. But I was able to reproduce the results from the above ADMIXTURE run using several somewhat different datasets, so that's something.

It seems to me that Waldman et al. want a simple and elegant model to explain the data, which is understandable, but I do think they should at least expand their ADMIXTURE analysis to include "Siberian", "Mediterranean" and "North African" clusters, and go from there depending on what they find.


Waldman et al., Genome-wide data from medieval German Jews show that the Ashkenazi founder event pre-dated the 14th century, bioRxiv, posted May 16, 2022, doi:


Leo Cooper said...

Thanks for taking a deeper look at these David! Two questions:
1. Is there a way to see the results sample-by-sample in this model you made?
2. Does Middle Eastern contain a West Asian-rich reference?

Davidski said...


Yep, the ancestry proportions for each of the samples in the analysis are listed here.

The spreadsheet also shows that the so called Middle Eastern cluster is modal (that is, it peaks in) the Druze, but also shows up well in Armenians, so it does have a high West Asian input.

Druze HGDP00583 0.887954
Druze HGDP00568 0.885731
Druze HGDP00574 0.872008
Druze HGDP00567 0.867398
Druze HGDP00604 0.857945
Druze HGDP00560 0.845064
Iranian_Jew IranianJew1845 0.838156
Druze HGDP00575 0.83749
Druze HGDP00588 0.837258
Druze HGDP00558 0.829929
Assyrian Assyrian151 0.829358
Iranian_Jew IranianJew1409 0.826653
Iraqi_Jew IraqiJew1417 0.826511
Iranian_Jew IranianJew1143 0.825464
Iraqi_Jew IraqiJew4291 0.824431
Iranian_Jew IranianJew1132 0.8228
Georgian_Jew GeorgianJew1594 0.822493
Iraqi_Jew IraqiJew1430 0.820346
Iranian_Jew IranianJew1513 0.819037
Assyrian Assyrian152 0.817517
Druze HGDP00572 0.815385
Assyrian Assyrian165 0.814212
Armenian armenia279 0.812728

Chad said...

It's interesting, but not a surprise to see the heterogeneity still. North African Jews are very important to the story of modern Ashkenazi origins. I think this has been clear for some time now.

rozenblatt said...

Do you think that this East Asian component may be related to Khazars? Or we should wait for high quality Khazar genomes before we can decide it?

LivoniaG said...

@Davidski -
sorry if this is a stupid question --

when you say "western Mediterranean" does that mean Iberia?
and when you write "excess "North African" ancestry" does that mean everything from Morocco to Egypt or some more specific part or people in that wide location

again, sorry. It sounds like the answer should be obvious

Davidski said...


No idea, but yeah I think we'll need ancient DNA from many plausibly relevant groups, including Asian Jews, to work this out.

Davidski said...


Western Mediterranean might be Iberian ancestry and/or some Mediterranean Jewish group with a high level of this component.

The North African component peaks in Berbers, but it shows up strongly in the Middle East too, so I don't know what it means in these Jews? It might actually mean different things.

You might be able to work this out to some degree by running ancestry models on the Erfurt Jews using my ADMIXTURE output.

Ryan said...

@David - is the East Asian component shared with any non-Ashkenazi Jewish groups?

Davidski said...

You can check in the spreadsheet.

Davidski said...


There's probably some minor South Asian (Roma?) ancestry in some of these Erfurt Jews.

This might be slightly elevating the "East Asian" signal in them, because there's no South Asian cluster in my analysis.

Michalis Moriopoulos said...

^ Yeah, I've noticed a South Asian signal when running their G25 coords through a typical "basic components" test (which includes DMXX's AASI sim) with Vahaduo:

The East Asian and North African ancestry is easily evidenced here as well (many samples clearly scoring Devil's Gate, Hanben, and Iberomaurusian).

Puree said...

This is an interesting day for those of us studying this topic, because the Erfurt data are the first set of samples I know of allowing for an in depth view of 14th Century, N. European Jewry. Many thanks to Davidski for the G25s and the quick visualization, which I believe is spot on with regard to there being at least 3 clusters in the Erfurt data. I have gone a little further this evening to develop a simple model which could explain what is happening historically.

I don’t know how to post a chart directly into a post so I must refer here for the image:!AuwT-4qnkJLBnVu3UA7YAT6ndXmi?e=Ffl4ze

According to this model, the three Erfurt clusters represent: 1) Erfurt1a: older N. European Ashkenazim (perhaps descendants of the first wave of Jewish migration to the area circa 800-1100 CE); note that modern German Ashkenazim in the same cluster area as Erfurt1a, 2) Erfurt1b: a wave of migrants from Spain (many Jews were fleeing from Sepharad as early as the Granada Massacre of 1066 and after the Almohads conquered Sepharad circa 1121 until about 1269); on the scatter, Erfurt1b clusters nearby to modern Sephardim; 3) Erfurt2: this is the one that I find most fascinating because it introduces a new aspect to the history which I had not thought about until now: a wave of Jewish migrants coming from the Southern Italian Peninsula seem to have acquired Avar-Longobardic genes since the time when the Longobards and their Avar allies invaded those territories. I am not too clear on the exact historical exigencies that brought this group to N. Europe, nor when the migration may have occured, but I believe that the data support a period of Jewish-Avar hybridization in Southern Italy (and possibly N. Italy as well) from about 650 CE until 1000 CE.

I really don’t know too much about the Avars, besides their Uralic linguistic affinities, but I suppose they could be the vector bringing the unusual East Asian genes into the Erfurt samples, via the Longobards in S. Central Italy. According to this recent study:, the Avars received Xiongnu genes before coming into the Pannonian Plain. According to Amorim, et al, (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06024-4) the Avars became allies of the Longobards (the sample SZ1 which is on the scatter is a later burial from a Longobard cemetery in the Pannonian area, reported in this paper). Amorim goes on to say: “the Longobard duchies of Spoleto and Benevento ruled much of the inland areas of the [Italian] peninsula…” This would have been the time of the Lombard princes Pandulf and Landulf. It is known that Benevento was a Jewish population center during this period (, so there appears to have been an opportunity for introgression.

I am not sure what to make of the Erfurt3s: I14897 appears to be a Sephardic-S. Italian hybrid. I13867 could be an Erfurt1a-Erfurt2 hybrid.

An interesting aspect of this model is that the Erfurt average point clusters with modern Eastern European Ashkenazim which suggests to me that we see in Erfurt, the ingredients which were later to become the Eastern Ashkenazim population.

There is much to be unraveled here and I am curious to see what models others make of these data.

rozenblatt said...

@Puree Why do you think that Avars spoke Uralic language? They much more likely spoke some Mongolic or Turkic language. We now know that genetically Avar elite was of East Asian, which agrees with historical sources, that relate Avars to Rourans. And Rourans, as it seems more likely spoke Mongolic language.

Ryan said...

Isn't this too early for Roma in Erfurt?

Davidski said...

Some of those Jews aren't from Erfurt.

They're somewhere from the east. Maybe the Balkans?

Huck Finn said...

It looks like NE European i.e. something looking like Estonian, Finnish or Lithuanian, East Asian i.e. apparently Han and Siberian i.e. Nganasan components would be somehow connected, possibly inherited from the same ancestral group? Maybe something related to the Jews in the early Rus' state? Or then maybe Ancient Hungarians, if they were NE European enough?

Davidski said...

There's practically no correlation between the East Asian and Siberian components in the Erfurt Jews.

Some have the East Asian admix and others have the Siberian admix, while a few have both.

Even the correlation between the Northeast European and Siberian components isn't particularly strong.

The Erfurt sample with the highest Northeast European score doesn't show any East Asian or Siberian.

Huck Finn said...

@ D and re etc.:

”There's practically no correlation between the East Asian and Siberian components in the Erfurt Jews. Some have the East Asian admix and others have the Siberian admix, while a few have both.”
I'd guess that these components simply act as substitutes in the analysis. The source population is probably not strictly Han like i.e southern or Nganasan like i.e. northern, in Asian terms.

”Even the correlation between the Northeast European and Siberian components isn't particularly strong.”
O.K., so you think that these two are anyhow correlated?

”The Erfurt sample with the highest Northeast European score doesn't show any East Asian or Siberian.”
If there's say one sample looking like a genetic Lithuanian there can still be other people with a different genetic backround.

Davidski said...

In homogeneous populations these components are very evenly distributed. In some we basically only see Siberian and in others only East Asian, while some have both components at quite specific levels.

Take a look at the Mordovians. They show both components, with the East Asian at a very minor level, and this makes sense considering their contacts with some Turko-Mongol populations.

But the Erfurt Jews are very heterogeneous, and their eastern admixture is too, which makes sense.

Erikl86 said...


Thanks for this analysis - this also corresponds to what I (and I know several others) have got using G25 models using both modern and ancients.

Although I will admit the North African levels when one model the Erfurt samples with G25 coords (using either ancient Guanches or modern Berbers as a reference) are nowhere near as high - highest is ~12-13% for the most North African shifted individual.

Unfortunately, this doesn't bring us closer into pinpointing the most plausible East Asian and/or Siberian admixture source, which in my opinion still could be:
1. Actual direct East Asian wives (via Silk Road etc.).
2. East Asian Jews.
3. Some Central Asian Jewish population which no longer exist.
4. Crimean Karaites joining Rabbinical Judaism.
5. Remnants of some Khazar converts.
6. Some East Asian-admixed Caucasian population.
7. Early Avars
8. Early Magyars

The thing is, thanks to uniparentals, we can see that Erfurt-EU seem to have partial origins in Erfurt-ME, so we can trace some part of their ancestry to Western migration as well.
No doubt though the ancestors of Erfurt-EU absorbed this East Asian in their experience East of 14th century Erfurt.

What is missing to me in both the study and here though is any West North European admixture - something French-like perhaps.

There is no proof that Lombards converted to Judaism, plus Erfurt-ME should also have Italian ancestry, and as David shown (and all of us can also corroborate this with the G25 coords he produced) there's no link between the East Asian / Siberian to the North European admixture.
There's also no proof for any substantial Sephardic migration in Germany that early on.
Also, there doesn't seem to be any significant Sephardic subclades among these samples.
It could be remnants from South Italian Jewry which perhaps, just perhaps, had more North African ancestry in the past, regardless of Sephardi ancestry.

Davidski said...


There are French and even eastern French samples in my run. They're similar to Poles, but with more Mediterranean ancestry.

So the Northeast European cluster can be called Northern European, while the Mediterranean cluster basically represents a western shift in North/Central Europeans.

BCBrendan said...

The samples with an East Asian component are high in Middle Eastern and lack any North African. I am also hearing about a possible South Asian-like signal.

I know it's unlikely, but is there any possibility these could be unadmixed Levites, descended in part from royal Mitanni indo-aryans?

I recall talk that the R1a carried by many Askenazi Levites could be Mitanni in origin. Who knows what the earliest indo-aryan mitanni would have looked like but I imagine today they might leave a South Asian trace.

I'm just wondering why the samples with the East Asian component look the most Middle Eastern and the least admixed

AWood said...

The patrilines are overwhelmingly of Middle Eastern origins from the sample, and the female lines are absorbed locally. I suspect the bottleneck effect of the 3-4 main Ashkenazi lines happened in western Europe (presumably France, western Germany, or even England) a few centuries before this study. What's interesting is that the EU group seems to be from a different group of Jews, and merged in with the ME one to some or a limited degree. The EU group of females obviously did not become the dominant group which indicates some degree of segregation or selection process at work here.

Joshua Lipson said...

Worth noting that the two clusters identified by Waldman et al. aren’t derived simply from their PCA positions/degree of Northern/Eastern European ancestry - but also based on dental isotope ratios. Plotted, these values create clusters that almost perfectly match the 2-cluster PCA-based scheme. While it’s clear that Erfurt-EU is somewhat heterogeneous in its components, I think the isotope evidence makes a more-than-2-cluster scheme difficult to argue for.

Erikl86 said...

@David, some modelling I did with ancients:

Target: Erfurt_ME:I13861
Distance: 2.0151% / 0.02015113 | ADC: 0.25x RC
55.8 IA_to_Roman_Levant
44.2 IA_Italic
0.0 Ancient_Greeks
0.0 Berber
0.0 East_Asian
0.0 MA_West_German
0.0 MA_West_Slav
^half n' half 😉 .

Target: Erfurt_ME:I13863
Distance: 1.6740% / 0.01673956 | ADC: 0.25x RC
44.4 IA_to_Roman_Levant
25.6 IA_Italic
16.6 Ancient_Greeks
10.2 Berber
3.2 East_Asian
0.0 MA_West_German
0.0 MA_West_Slav
^Highest Berber and high East Asian, but zero North European.

Target: Erfurt_EU:I14904
Distance: 2.6547% / 0.02654747 | ADC: 0.25x RC
23.6 IA_to_Roman_Levant
22.6 Ancient_Greeks
21.8 MA_West_German
18.0 MA_West_Slav
5.8 IA_Italic
4.4 East_Asian
3.8 Berber
^Highest East Asian is not surprisingly Erfurt-EU, but also has Berber AND a lot of West German.

All in all, what I think this means, is that just as the paper mentions, these people were more heterogenous than modern AJs.
And I think they show recent admixture events as if two different populations merged which is also what Waldman et al. suggest.

However, your analysis David, echoed in these G25 models as well, does suggest a mix of wildly, seemingly unrelated, components, with no trend connecting these components.

Davidski said...


The same dental isotope ratios just mean that they were born and lived in the same areas.

But at least some of their immediate ancestors look like they have very different genetic origins.

The PCA in the Waldman preprint could be better. Their ADMIXTURE analysis should be much better.

Elias said...

This is essentially evidence for Khazar admixture, no other explanation makes sense. It's mental gymnastics to think otherwise and I find it pretty amusing to look at. As for the North African excess, I would imagine this is a sign that the bulk of Italian Jewry, known mostly to have originated in Sicily, stemmed from Carthaginian Jewry.

Elias said...

"But at least some of their immediate ancestors look like they have very different genetic origins."

This shouldn't be overlooked. One groups of Jews via Italy to the Rhine, another via the Caucasus to the Steppe (where some Khazars are converted) and then along the Danube to Regensburg. Ashkenaz originally referred to Scythian, then Slavic and finally German territories: follows the route of these Steppe Jews.

Rob said...

@ Rozenblatt

“ We now know that genetically Avar elite was of East Asian, which agrees with historical sources, that relate Avars to Rourans. And Rourans, as it seems more likely spoke Mongolic language.”

If one observes closely, there is no clear historical link between the Ruran and Avars, quite the contrary Chinese sources very clearly state that the Ruran core was exterminated.
Moreover , we know Avar elite hg N was rare in iron age Mongolia
If we were to speculate, I would say that the Avar elite represent a Hunicized paraFU group

Wise dragon said...

There was a study that suggested that Ashkenazi Jews descend from 350 people. Does anyone know whether this assertion is still valid? Plus, I wonder why German Ashkenazi Jews score more "Middle Eastern" than Eastern European ones. Many German Jews have around 60% Middle Eastern ancestry which is a lot and barely German admix.

Wee e said...

@Erikl86 the Bukhara / Tajik jews had a very long history, perhaps since the time of king Cyrus. Chiefly in Bukhara itself and Samarkand. They also had an input over the centuries both from the middle east and from North Africa. They do have descendants nowadays, but not there, at least not as jews there: they were somewhat suppressed under the Emirate and finally bailed out with the advent of the USSR. Apparently there is a descendant community in New York, some in Israel and perhaps some in Ubzbekistan.
I don’t know whether this helps.

Puree said...

@rozenblatt That was merely a guess based on several pieces of information: the theory that the Avars originated from the Uars (who I believe were Uralic speakers), and the possibility that the language spoken by the elite Rourans and the common Avars may not have been the same. I also looked at Marotti's Figure 3 ( and since the Avars seem to have emerged from that same Conqueror Core as the Mansi (Uralic speakers) that they too would have been Uralic speakers. Anyhow, I can't say for certain and it is only a side bar to the main point I was making, which is that the Logobards, who were allied with Avars, could have brought not only their own Germanic genes but also the Avar/Xiongnu/Sarmatian genes into the Benevento area. I should not have even mentioned Uralic....

Puree said...

@Erikl86 I do agree that part of the Erfurt-ME group could just as well be Italian Jews migrating to Erfurt, not necessarily early Sephardic migrants to that area. In some ways that would make the model simpler: a heterogeneous group of Italian Jews consisting of two sub-pops, one with some admixed Longobardic-Avar genes (Erfurt2) (BTW: I don't mean to suggest there was Longobardic-to-Jewish conversion, only that there was genetic mixing), and the other perhaps more recently arrived from the Levant (Erfurt1(b)), being more Middle Eastern. In Erfurt they meet a resident population of German Ashkenazim (Erfurt1(a)), and (this is new) they are met there also by a small number of Sephardic refugees (Erfurt3a: I14736 and I13867; the third Erfurt3 sample, I14897, seems to be a horse of different color, perhaps a person of more slavic origins, not sure). In time these 4 sub-pops merge into what we now call Eastern European Jewry (joined there perhaps by other populations migrating into EEs from other places, not included in this model). The fact that Erfurt 1(b) and Erfurt 2 are two different clusters does not imply they came from different places: both could have been S. Italian sub-pops, I figure. And I believe it makes some sense that there were already Jews in Erfurt who could have formed a slightly different cluster.

It always seems that new data raise even more questions....

Synome said...


Not to stray off topic but the Avar elite from that paper clearly has a strong Baikal ancestry, much stronger than in any FU population. As far as their Y subclades, founder effects are quite possible given the commonality of the N1a subclades among them, but for example there is a Middle Avar with N3a2 M2118, a firmly Siberian haplogroup that does not occur west of the Urals. They are quite clearly a northeast Asian/Siberian population, which lines up with the Rouran Khaganate just fine. We don't need to rely on what ancient Chinese historians said, especially when we have plenty of other historical evidence in favor of the connection.

Wee e said...

Maybe I should have been more explicit in my post: Bukharan /Tajik jews was a suggestion for 3 on Erikl86 list.
It would tick a number of boxes:
1. No longer extant (although assimilated remnants may exist in Uzbekistan, and a discrete subsection of New York Jews claims descent.
2. An origin with the Persian empire, (they spoke an Iranic language too) including from Iran itself, from possibly around 500bc (even some claims for them arriving in the time of King David 500 years before that, though it’s exactly the apocryphal claim that would be made.)
3. An obvious opportunity (given large communities in Samarkand and Bukhara) for far eastern input
4. Discrete chunks of input over the centuries from North Africa, Yemen, the Levant, Western Asia and easy connection to eastern Europe, as more communities of Jewish merchants from these areas traded, and some settled. Also Turkic influence seems likely, if later than the period you’re looking at — and north Asian contact seems plausible in some of the Silk Road byways.

Wee e said...

Oh, and also, some Bukharan Jews adopted the customs and rites of the Ashkenazim in the 19th century, while still living in Central Asia, so there can well be Ashkenazim in various parts of Europe, the US and Israel who are not aware that their ancestry is not the conventional Ashkenazim story . It would be traceable to an extent through some surnames, although others will have been Russianized, Germanized etc from Tajik-language monikers.

rozenblatt said...

Slight offtopic: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History as we know it will cease to exist. It's being renamed, but judging from a description, it's essentially complete overhaul:

Huck Finn said...

"Another important observation from our perspective is that a third subgroup of haplogroup N,
N3a2-M2118 is practically absent from Europe except for North-Western Bashkortostan, but it is
sporadically present among Hungarian conquerors and contemporary Hungarians. It is
remarkable that the subgroup N3a2-M2118 in Europe only appears in North-Western
Bashkortostan, and even there only among the Yenei tribe, but there with a relatively high

Otherwise, Avars may or may not have spoken something based on Pre Proto Uralic, which apparently was spoken somewhere in Siberia. They apparently can't have spoken anything based on Proto Uralic, which was born near Ural mountains. It anyways seems that Ancient Northern Asian, well represented in the areas next to or maybe actually mostly to the East of Lake Baikal is the only Siberian or East Asian genetic trait shared by all Uralic speakers. If I'm right, Avars share the same genetic feature too, even though they are somewhat more southern in Asian terms.

Puree said...

Update: I've identified a modern descendant of a yline that is quite close (if not identical: cannot say for sure due to lack of SNPs of ancient) to I13865. The modern descendant is R-A13358 and the line goes back to a rabbinical figure known as Meir ben Baruch, a 13th century (1215-1293) Talmudic scholar who officiated in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, about 115 miles from Erfurt. I13865 I believe is R-Y19847+ which is about 4 steps up the ladder from A13358. They can't be the same person because the historical figure is buried in Worms, not Erfurt. But since the remains at Erfurt are dated from about 1275-1398, the two could easily be close relatives (brothers?, father and son? close cousins? etc.)

This could have some bearing on the more general discussion of the phylogeographies because Meir is considered to be a Tzarfati (I believe), rather than an Ashkenazi. I13865 is in the Erfurt1 (ME) group so this finding is an early indicator of the Tzarfati MA genome.

Curiously, sample I14904 is also nearby on the haplotree (R-Y4364+) and could be even closer were all SNPs present in the sample. However, I14904 is in the Erfurt2 (NE) group. I'm not sure what this means but it is worth noting, I reckon.

Rob said...

@ Synome

Yes Im aware that Avars have NEA ancestry rather than Siberian, but that doesn't mean they were Rouran . And it would be quite odd to ignore the only relevant contemporary sources just so we can play along with the Rouran = Avars idea, even if some philologists have imaginatevely tried to link the two.
NEA ancestry was more widespread than Rourans, and even if the Avars were originally within the northern or northwestern sphere of Rouran influences, it's not instructive to conflate the 2. It would be like claiming any perhpheral Germanic group having once been loosely within the Hun sphere of influence in Europe - doesn;t make them Huns.
The Rouran dissipated and died, their identity erased. The Avars appear specficially when the Gokturks were attacking the Hephthalites, an opportuine rebellion from some other group.

Rob said...

in other words Avars were fleeing Turk vassals, rather than fleeing Rouran. In fact, apart from mass beheadings, sources tell us that Rouran fled to China & Korea. Not close to Byzantium.

MOCKBA said...

This recent paper concluded that genetically, the early Avar elites were the Rouran (but subjugated tribes lived alongside East of the Tisza and South of the Danube, while the Rouran descendants were located on the interfluvial

Davidski said...


G25 coords for the new Medieval Hungarian samples...

MOCKBA said...

@Rob, but should we expect as much homogeneity from Y lineages as from the autosomal DNA?? Different patrilinieal clans in an otherwise well mixed population might look unrelated on Y...

Huck Finn said...

Re N-M2118 and Bashkortoshtan I should apparently also have mentioned that Magna Hungaria was probably located in the forest-steppe regions of Bashkortostan i.e. in the area of the Kushnarenkovo etc. cultures.

Rob said...


''Different patrilinieal clans in an otherwise well mixed population might look unrelated on Y...''

Could be, but this well mixed population was already widely spread, but with subtle differences . E.g. Ruruan might have detectable Han-related admixture ?
I guess my guage was that Y-hg N is rare in Xiongnu-era Mongolia, so would be found outside the core parts of the Ruruan khanate. The fleeding proto-Avars would be from a region rich in the relevant Y-hg N1, and indications suggest regions well to the northwest, as NEA-related ancestry had already began to reach Kazakhstan by 300 BC. I get that the Ruruan explanation is economical & have nothing against it per se, but I personally would seek greater conviction for such a link (e.g. IBD, Y-hg correlation).

Copper Axe said...

Rob is correct, there are major issues with connecting the Rouran to the Avars. After having a hard look at the genetics I don't agree with the connection. I think the Avars were Mongolic speakers but the Rouran hypothesis does not simply mean that the Avars were Mongolic but that they were the elites of the Rouran fleeing away.

All the Avars are under one subclade of N that you are not going to find south of the Gobi desert at that time, where the Rouran originated. Their autosomal ancestry implies a more northern origin too. We dont have evidence of the "Pre-Avar" population within a Rouran context but even if we did that wouldnt automatically make them Rouran. The Gokturks were part of the Rouran empire also but we dont call them Rouran as well right?

Both the low status peasants and elites of the Avars had this N clade and the same autosomal ancestry and there is a sample in Kazakhstan that is their literal cousin but it is from the 4th century AD, contemporsry to the formation of the Rouran (on the other side of the Gobi desert) and outside of Rouran territory.

Copper Axe said...


Thank you for the Magyar period coordinates, I will have a good look at them in a few days.

Synome said...

@Copper Axe

Thanks for the responses. I think we can reach a decent middle ground here. I didn't mean to imply that the Avars were necessarily descendants of the Rouran elite, only that they were likely part of the Rouran steppe empire. Indeed the terminology for steppe confederations can be very slippery because of the indistinct barriers between political coalitions and ethnic identity. E.G. before they struck out on their own the ancestors of the Gokturks were probably part of the Xiongnu polity and may have identified as Xiongnu during that time period. But I agree that the Avars were more likely to be a peripheral group from the Rouran hegemony that then fled the Gokturks and not the actual fleeing Rouran core.

LivoniaG said...

It just takes a quick look at David's inferred ancestral chart to see how "Mediterranean" this community was. Most of those blue/purple bands are much deeper than the Lebanese and more than match the Southern Italian.

A Jewish group in Germany that is so deep in "western Mediterranean" (along with Middle Eastern) may show traces of eastern ancestry. But the big picture points I think to Iberia. And maybe it's older than Sephardic and later migrations.

At the start of the Iron Age, there were already Semitic language speakers from the Levant in Iberia. Maybe this suggests that the Jewish presence there is quite a bit older than medieval times.
I mean how do you get more "Mediterranean" than Southern Italian?

Gaska said...

@Livonia G

Semitic language speakers at the start of the iron age in Iberia? really?
You mean the Phoenicians? They only founded Gades and Ibiza and some small commercial factories, their genetic trace in Spain is non-existent. What do they have to do with the medieval Jews of Erfurt, 2.000 years later?- The uniparental markers of the latter, are heterogeneous and those that are not Central European or Asian point to Italy, not Iberia. The North African percentages have to do with the genetic variability of the Italian Jews because at that time the Sephardim still did not have excessive problems to live in Iberia and therefore significant migrations did not take place.

Matt said...

OT: Some Latvian Iron Age with adna -

Not sure if the genotypes will be public.

capra internetensis said...

The Xiongnu from Buryatia are closest thing to the 'pure' early Avars in G25 afaict. N-F4205 peaks there today but of course that could be due to later events. Those Xiongnu had only 1/4 N iirc (and no call for F4205).

Samuel Andrews said...

I published a new video about how Yamnaya were not the Proto-Indo Europeans.

Yamanya were NOT the Proto-Indo Europeans

My videos are getting more professional. I think it is worth the watch.

I'm curious what you guys think. I might have gone too far in section "How my theory changes things." But there is some truth to it. If Yamnaya is not Corded Ware's ancestor, it would change the overall storyline in significant ways.

LivoniaG said...

Gaska said...
"You mean the Phoenicians? They only founded Gades and Ibiza and some small commercial factories, their genetic trace in Spain is non-existent. What do they have to do with the medieval Jews of Erfurt, 2.000 years later?"

Respectfully, Gaska -- I only have a vague idea of what "Mediterranean" means in David's chart, but there's a lot of it in the Erfurt Jewish samples. At least half of them more than "Southern Italian." So I speculated. Not saying this proves anything.

The Bible says that, at certain points, Solomon, etc, had very close economic ties with the Phoenicians. It says they sent out joint merchant fleets. So this part is not completely out of the blue.

And scholars like José Luis López Castro describe very intensive Phoenician settlements in Iberia that lasted 100s of years. Jewish merchants might have been there.

Now I don't know how David's "inferred ancestry" applies to residents of Iberia, but my guess is that they would be very "Mediterranean."

If that's true -- it may not be -- than it looks like the community at Erfurt shared some kind of broad ancestry with Iberians. I guess even going back 2000 years. Maybe?

Rob said...

@ Capra

have a go with 'KAZ_Hun-Sarmatian''

Gaska said...


Ok, you were just speculating because you have read about an excess of "Mediterranean ancestry" in some Erfurt Jews who apparently do not have their origin in Italy because, according to Davidski, this excess can only have its origin in the western Mediterranean while the excess North African component must mean migrations from that region.

That Mediterranean component exists in all European countries to a greater or lesser extent and reaches very high levels in Sardinians (82-92%) and Basques (>74%) followed by south Frenchs (>70%), Northern Italians (Bergamo >50%), the rest of Spaniards (48-60%), some Erfurt jews (40-55%), Ashkenazi Jews (26-35%) Sephardic Jews (26-30%), Hungarians and Czechs (26-35%) etc etc...In my opinion this excess of Mediterranean component is not due to Iberian migrations but confirms the migrations of Italian or French Jews to Germany and also confirms their genetic heterogeneity (hence the small North African component)

Therefore, nothing to do with Semitic populations in Iberia (Phoenicians, Jews). Note that this North African component exists in many Erfurt Jews (both in those who have an excess of Mediterranean component and in those who do not). The Phoenicians in the western Mediterranean were a few traders and settlers who mixed with North Africans so that they quickly lost much of their Levantine signal and became North Africanized Semites. In the Phoenician sites analyzed in Spain (Gades and Ibiza) only European uniparental markers have been found so far, which confirms that these traders mixed with local women.We are waiting for a work to be published on the oldest Phoenician necropolis of Gades, I suppose that there they will find Phoenician Semites and it will help to explain their mixture with the autochthonous populations

Matt said...

@Sam, no comment on the video but if part the idea is that Yamnaya didn't speak late Proto-Indo European (the ancestor for all the living IE languages), then the timing is not good, as Reich's just basically hinted to us that Armenian is from a Yamnaya derived culture and not a Corded Ware derived culture and Armenian is LPIE.

So you could argue that both Yamnaya and early CWC are really just one people linguistically, with divergent burial practices and clan ydna, that's still defensible, but it seems untenable now to argue that Yamnaya spoke a divergent para-proto late Indo-European.

Gaska said...

Harvard and Max Planck never made Yamnaya solely responsible for extending ALL Indo-European languages but only some of them. In this sense, they were never supporters of the steppe hypothesis as understood by Gimbutas and his followers. This left open the possibility that other cultures and other lineages were responsible for the spread of IE into Anatolia and even the Balkans. Genetic data from these regions and the linkage of Hittites and Mycenaeans with the Y chromosome J2 seem to confirm a different spread (both in time and in relation to the uniparental markers involved). I have always thought that Z2103 had to appear in Greece, Anatolia and Armenia to confirm their Yamnaya/Catacomb linkage and I guess they will have found something in those 731 samples they have to publish. Evidently when Reich speaks of the southern arc he refers to an origin of the PIE in Iran so I suppose that he will be able to demonstrate the linkage of the Iranian or Levantines with the Yamnaya culture (second wave?), otherwise I do not understand that he affirms it so categorically.In any case, if all of that is true then Yamnaya would be totally irrelevant to the history of IE ergo Delenda est Yamnaya

Kelteminar said...

I think it's very probable that the Avars spoke a Finno-Ugric language, probably a relative of Hungarian.

To be honest, the earlier theories about Hungarian language seems all wrong to me, and taking into account all the newly discovered archeologic and genetic facts about the Scytho-Siberians, it seems very possible to me that Hungarian-related languages were once more widespread in the Scytho-Siberian world than we thought.

Maybe these haplogroups and the language were introduced in Mongolia by some scytho-siberian groups before the Xiongnu era (as Xiongnus emerged after the arrival of Scytho-Siberian tribes from the west.)

Also, there are at least two Avar groups in historical sources, one of them arrived in Europe with the Sabirs way before the Rouran's fall, and the later arrived after 550. Moreover, Byzantine texts say these late Avars spoke the same language as the Ogurs.

Matt said...

Very off topic but might be interesting to some:

Fine-scale structure of y-dna in the whole UK Biobank sample from as far as I can tell is the first publication on the topic: - "Prevalence of Y chromosome haplogroups by area of birth in UK Biobank" - 2022-06-06 - "Data pertaining to the publication "Limited effect of Y chromosome variation on coronary artery disease and mortality in UK Biobank". Phylogenetic analysis was performed using yhaplo v1.1.2 and 166 genotyped SNPs, which identified 89 haplogroups among 152,186 unrelated White British men from UK Biobank.". Very large sample here.

The relevant medical genetics paper seems unpublished as of yet.

Presented as maps, e.g.:

R1b-S128 (aka R1b-L151?): . Irish associated subclade S116 peaks in Western Scotland - . Some other R1b-M269 subclades seem to peak in Scotland too, but I could see any peaking in Wales. It looks like Wales has a diverse set within S128 not marked by any more recent founder expansions?

E1b1b-V13 (hotspot, at a low level, in North Wales for some reason):

I1 (peak at about 17% in Northern East Anglia): (probably around 12-15% in England as a whole)

I2 (around 7%, more or less, in most places without strong geographical peak):

North London looks like a zone of reduced GHIJK, since it seems to have a reduction in everything under F-M89 ( Similar pattern around some other cities.

Samuel Andrews said...


Yamnaya could not have spoken LPIE if they aren't the ancestor of all IEs

The common ancestor Corded ware and Yamnaya is who spoke LPIE.

Unless yamnaya and Corded ware spoke the exact same dialect of the same language.

In that sense I guess you can both of them spoke the common ancestor of all languages.

But tius would be weird because each gave rise to different ie languages, neither gave rise to all of them.

Rob said...

@ Gaska

Maria Gimbutas was a woman.

LivoniaG said...

Blogger Samuel Andrews said...
"I published a new video about how Yamnaya were not the Proto-Indo Europeans."

Always check the expiration date.

LivoniaG said...

Matt wrote:
"Reich's just basically hinted to us that Armenian is from a Yamnaya derived culture and not a Corded Ware derived culture and Armenian is LPIE."

This is based on new dna from Armenia? Is this supposed to be a migration that happened when and from where? LPIE doesn't exactly seem to make sense.

Linguistically, it hard to separate the Armenian language from either early Greek or IndoIranian. And are we now ok with IE crossing the Caucasus?

Romulus said...


Thanks a lot for sharing that, very interesting indeed.

Matt said...

@Livonia, the alternative is that a post Yamnaya descendent culture crossed that Caucasus, founded a community rich in Yamnaya ydna and steppe ancestry and this just happens to be in the same place we find Armenian language later on from pure coincidence, even though the language is from somewhere totally different. Not very believable.

Matt said...

@Sam, yeah, there may have been some slight dialect divergences emerging already, but LPIE is dated to the time when wheel vocabulary is established, so it would have been the sort of differences emerging in 500-1000 years. If we can reconstruct a history where we could confidently place, say, Germanic+Celtic+Balto-Slavic under early CWC and Greek-Armenian under Yamnaya/Catacomb, we could have some ideas about what sort of dialect differences might have begun to emerge, although contact effects between languages after communities "split off", would complicate this.

Rob said...

agree. it would be a complex web of shared/ retained isoglosses in addition to secondary contacts.

StP said...

The Indo-Europeanist L. Bednarczuk (Języki indoeuropejskie /Indo-European languages/, vol. I, 1986, p. 38) reasoning that part of the population of the original kentum dialect did not make any common innovations, and even could not make them, because apparently right after leaving their common homeland, PIE broke up and migrated, creating separate centum languages.
The remaining PIE population, still remaining in the geographic center of PIE and in the original linguistic community, made several satemic innovations in the original kentum and only after them split up, migrating, creating separate languages of the satem dialect.

Matt said...

Another off topic, but may be of interest to anyone interested in North Asian stuff:

Recent published paper by Harald Ringbauer/Yilei Huang mentions off hand that they tested their method of identifying contamination against a set of samples from an unpublished paper:

"To test our method on even older samples" (than a set of <8000 year old Iberian samples) "which are genetically more distant from the modern reference panel" (a European reference panel) "we additionally tested both methods on 60 male Eurasian hunter-gatherer samples (Yu et al., in preparation) ... The collection of 60 hunter-gatherers is unpublished data and will become publicly available with the publication of this data (Yu et al., in preparation)."

This author is probably He Yu from the Max Planck and her page indicates that one of her major projects is "Population dynamics of Baikal hunter-gatherers from Neolithic to Bronze Age" -

And she has already published a set on this region -

So it's possible this could be a large and old new set of HG genomes from North Asia, which could be older than 8000 years. But she also has some authorship on other projects including European Paleolithic/Mesolithic HG so this could be related to that -

StP said...

I must explain here that L. Bednarczuk believes, however, that "unlike the satem group, the centum languages, due to their peripheral location (and contacts with non-Indo-European languages), have never formed a community and do not have common innovations" (p. 39)

LivoniaG said...

Matt said:
"Yamnaya descendent culture crossed that Caucasus, founded a community rich in Yamnaya ydna and steppe ancestry and this just happens to be in the same place we find Armenian language"
The linguists have already studied Armenian to a fare-thee-well.
Comparative studies with other IE languages are already exhaustive.
The latest try at it was H Martirosyan The place of Armenian in the Indo-European language family (2013)

The "core" IE attributes found in Armenian are very Greek and very Indo-Iranian.
A lot of "borrowed substrate" is very Mediterranean.

What is strikingly strange about Armenian linguistics is that it has borrowed a lot of late features from other IE languages even though it was relatively isolated.

"considerable number of lexical correspondences with European branches
of the Indo-European language family, a large portion of which too should be explained in terms of substrate rather than Indo-European heritage."

If Armenian "culture" evolved directly from Yamamaya "culture" it sure took the long road from where Yamamaya was located.

And it looks like it was at some point the same dialect as Indo-Iranian.
"the Indo-Iranians then moved eastwards, while the Proto-Armenians and
Proto-Greeks remained in a common geographical region a long period and developed
numerous shared innovations."

The linguistics does not support the idea that Armenian just crossed the Caucasus.

What you are saying linguistically instead suggests that the Pre-Greek language crossed the Black Sea to get to Greece.

LivoniaG said...

"Population dynamics of Baikal hunter-gatherers from Neolithic to Bronze Age"

Hunter-gatherers from the Bronze Age.
This is a terminological problem.

Samuel Andrews said...



Puree said...

Returning for a sec to the topic of the thread, and after some more specific ydna hgs became available, I now believe the Erfurt samples have given us an unprecedented glimpse into a Medieval Tzarfati-Ungvari-Ashkenazi dynamic, in the process of forming something new, and consisting primarily of a) Medieval Tzarfatim (French Jews re-located to Germany, Austria, and Hungary from French territories (which include some of Catalunya back then), 2) Medieval Ashkenazim already in Germany from earlier times, 3) Medieval Ungvarim (Hungarian Jews, living (and mixing) in the Pannonian area for some time (this being the source of trace eastern ethnicities previously discussed). These three sub-pops and others eventually blend into the modern Eastern European Ashkenazic composition. A revised and annotated scatter chart summarizes this better than mere words can:!AuwT-4qnkJLBnVu3UA7YAT6ndXmi?e=i7gJ36

Rob said...

Hunter Gatherers existed as late as the metal ages . Eg Pitted Ware

Matt said...

@Livonia, I have no confidence in whether anyone can work out whether Armenian had a family relationship with Indo-Iranian or was subject to some mutual influence. I don't think there is a strong consensus on that point. The most common reconstruction, found in trees focusing more on grammar and phonology (Ringe, Warnow) or core lexicon (Kassian) is of a family relationship with Greek.

Or to work out a migratory route, from linguistic features.

AlexDeLarge said...

Looking at the spreedsheet, it's obvious that those South Italians are actually all Sicilians, with only 4 samples from the mainland, hence the elevated North African. Davidski should rename those samples "South Italian/Sicilian" or simply make 2 separate clusters.

Davidski said...

Sicilians are also South Italians, and they don't have significantly more North African admix than, say, Italians from Calabria.

Also, the point I'm making is that the Erfurt Jews have more North African admix than South Italians, not less, so having the Sicilians in the bar graph doesn't change anything.

StP said...


D. Behar connects such Jews / sefard / from Morocco and Iberia

Erikl86 said...

@Davidski and all, the elevated North African could be connected to Kairouan:

Kairouan, Sicily and Narbonne (S. France) had important centers of Halakhatic and Rabbinic centers roughly at the same time, and could have exchanged not only ideas but people. And from Sicily and S. France, the connection to Ashkenaz is pretty clear.

capra internetensis said...


Thanks! I was using some crappy average based on the borked labelling from Damgaard. 'Hun-Sarmatian' DA20, rich Korgantas culture burial (11 horse sacrifices), 366-176 BC, is close to the Avars. KBO001 (Korgantas culture) and BRE002 (Pazyryk) also from same general area and time period fall into this group too; all of them Q1b-L330. Not that this is a particularly tight or exclusive cluster by any means.

DA95, AD 241-530, is the only one with N1c-F4205, he is not super far from the Avar group either. The other 'Hun-Sarmatian', DA27, AD 265-539, R1a-Z93, is much more Yellow River-shifted, closer to the Hun Asian Core.

So yeah, not surprisingly this kind of autosomal profile was not very localized. Finding the specific Y hg might be the best way to find the ancestral Avars in the east. I am really looking forward to the results of the new Y DNA capture stuff they have, so far we've only seen the Neolithic hg H paper but I hope they are deploying it left right and centre.

Samuel Andrews said...


About whether Corded Ware & Yamanya spoke the same dialect of the same language.

Something to consider is Corded Ware and Yamanya may have originated in locations within the PC STeppe which were far away from each other.

What I suggested in the video, and which I think Davidski agrees with, is Corded Ware's ancestors probably lived in southwest Ukraine before moving northwest. And Yamanya's ancestors probably originated in the Repin culture, somewhere in Russia, before moving across the Steppe.

If that is the case, then the image of them being apart of the same language community right up until their respective expansions would be wrong.

Davidski said...

I don't subscribe to the theory that Yamnaya pushed Corded Ware out of the steppe, because I don't think it fits the available facts.

The main problem is that Corded Ware was adapted to the forest zone, and very successful there, so the chances that it got pushed out of the steppe aren't good.

I think what happened is that Yamnaya and Corded Ware expanded from the same population that lived in the border zone between the steppe and forest somewhere, except Corded Ware went north and Yamnaya went south.

I discussed that here...

So I don't know about Repin, but I'm pretty sure that both Corded Ware and Yamnaya are from Sredny Stog.

Samuel Andrews said...


Hey can you resend me that image from the powerpoint showing Hungarian Yamnaya Y DNA results?

I forgot to save it the last time you sent me it.

A few people in the comment section of my Yamnaya video have asked for it.

Samuel Andrews said...

Yamanay did occupy land that Corded Ware's ancestors used to occupy. Did they not? This is reason to believe they pushed them off the land.

But the main reason I suggested Yamanya pushed Corded Ware out, is the moment Corded Ware moved north, was the same time Yamanya moved west into southwest Ukraine. Circa 3000 BC. The timing matches up.

Samuel Andrews said...

Btw, I am not really serious about this idea Yamanya pushed Corded Ware out of the Steppe.

I am just suggesting it.

Which is why in the video I said "I suspect" this is what happened. And why I said "I am not seriously suggesting Yamanya bullied Corded Ware like that."

I am not really serious about anything do with the details of the origins of Corded Ware & Yamanya. Whether Yamanay comes from Repin, where in the Steppe they originated, I am only confident that they are two different Indo European tribes.

Samuel Andrews said...

You make a good point that Corded Ware was already adapted to the forest zone. This is contrary to how in my video I suggested they didn't want to move to the forest zone and only did so because their brother Yamnaya forced them to.

But once again, I only suggested this is what happened.

Davidski said...


Yamanay did occupy land that Corded Ware's ancestors used to occupy. Did they not? This is reason to believe they pushed them off the land.

I don't know.

But the point I'm making is very important and should be obvious, which is why I'm surprised that many people have gone for these other less obvious ideas, like Yamnaya pushing Corded Ware out, or Corded Ware being a Yamnaya underclass (as per David Anthony).

Successful adaptation to ecological zones is something so important that it's a do or die for animals and people.

So considering that Corded Ware was so successful in the forests, it must have had time and opportunities to learn to live there.

If Corded Ware was pushed out by Yamnaya into the forests, it would have become extinct IMHO.

Samuel Andrews said...

If Corded Ware was totally adapted to the forest zone, this is important, For a reason I tried to communicate in the video.

Because, the Harvard lab likes to talk a lot about how the Indo Europeans had a lifestyle adapted to the Steppe. They were the first people to live on the Steppe not along rivers. They were the first Steppe nomads.

They describe Corded Ware as these Steppe people who moved to the forest zone and then learned to live in a brand new habitat.

But you, describe Corded Ware as people who had always been "forest people." As people who had a lifestyle, that developed for generatons before their expansion, designed for the forest zone,

This means the narrative of PIEs being Steppe people, Steppe nomads is wrong. It means only one IE tribe were truly Steppe Nomads, Yamanya.

This if true, is a big change in the storyline. I have been thinking this myself and tried to communicate it in the video.

Samuel Andrews said...


I really have had similar thoughts.

I communicated in my video that Corded Ware were "masters of the forest zone" and Yamnaya were "masters of the Steppe zone."

Davidski said...

Sredny Stog sites are located in the forest steppe as well as the steppe.

So there might be a clue in that.

Samuel Andrews said...

I had similar thoughts because of this blog post from you, where you said the same stuff you are now.

So kudos to you for doing that. I think you are on to something.

LivoniaG said...

Blogger Matt said…
"@Livonia, I have no confidence in whether anyone can work out whether Armenian had a family relationship with Indo-Iranian or was subject to some mutual influence.

Matt - Respectfully. Armenian had to have a family relationship with Indo-Iranian because they are both IE.

You mention the Ringe and Warnow trees — the trees I’m aware of show one split when Indo-Iranian branches away from the Greek Armenian branch.
No other IE language branches are anywhere as close.

Celtic, Germanic and Hittite are all relatively distant from the branch that includes Greek/Armenian/Indo-Iranian on Ringe’s trees

And that points to the problem of Armenian coming out of Yamamaya — it implies the Indo-Iranian branch came out of Yamamaya.
I don’t think that feels acceptable based on how the genetics say Indo-Iranian was supposed to have spread.

Cladistically early Armenian almost looks like it is from a early Greek colony — like Greek speakers at some point moved there from Greece and then were heavily influenced by Persian -- a lot like Romanian, sitting in somehow the wrong place.

Part of the problem is the language is only first attested in 500 AD from writing by maybe a Caucasian polyglot.
and a lot of early documentation in Armenian comes a short while later from the “Kingdom of Armenia” which was located not in Armenia but in southwest Anatolia.

And of course, Armenian should look a lot less like Greece if they parted around 3000 BCE up on the steppes.

LivoniaG said...

I wrote:
"Population dynamics of Baikal hunter-gatherers from Neolithic to Bronze Age"
Hunter-gatherers from the Bronze Age.
This is a terminological problem.

Rob said...
Hunter Gatherers existed as late as the metal ages . Eg Pitted Ware

Hunter-gatherers existed in the Atomic Age in some places.

One practice is to identity HG populations by earlier ancestry (e.g.WHG)
so even after the Bronze Age had arrived, the ancestry is still WHG

The other is to identify HG populations by contemporaneous lack of metal use
If the Baikal hunter-gatherers were still hunter-gatherers, then they weren't in the Bronze Age.

Matt said...

@Sam, here are those slides again: . I've also included a copy of the PCA from David Anthony's talk showing the cline of admixed Yamnaya Hungary individuals, in case this is of interest to your readers/watchers.

Matt said...

@Livonia, well Ringe's tree has Armenian in a clade with Greek and Indo-Iranian in a clade with Balto-Slavic, but does not support a closer family relationship of Armenian with Indo-Iranian.

Kassian's tree has a simultaneous divergence of Albanian, Greek-Armenian, Indo-Baltic and Germano-Celt-Italic.

There's no family of Armenian with Iranian languages in either.

I just don't fundamentally think it seems parsimonious to suggest that we have this infusion of ydna and autosomal steppe ancestry to the Armenian Highland, the y-dna is later associated to Armenian speakers, and the area is associated with Armenian language and polity.... But this is just coincidence and the language came later via Greece.

I would guess that Greek-Armenian diverged from each other in separate movements from the steppe zone around 2300BCE, and the similarities of these with Indo-Baltic languages are due to contact both before and after 2300 BCE.

@Sam; agree I can't say they were 100% the same community. But if we have;

1) likely descendents from Yamnaya all the way down to Armenian, then we know that Yamnaya was speaking a LPIE language which is constrained by wheel vocab to have bene around 3700-3500 BCE at earliest, only 500-600 years before the first CWC in Central Europe (800 at most).

2) Ringbauer showing direct fourth cousins between Yamnaya and early Corded Ware.

Then I don't think they could have been separated by much more than 500 years and would have been in mutual linguistic (and likely religious and cultural) influence. I can't say how mutually intelligible the languages might've been though as different rates of change can hold over that time period.

This is also the case if it's likely that Yamnaya is responsible for some paleo-Balkan languages.

Rob said...

There is the curious case of Yhg I2c in the Iron Age Armenian ..
Although present in Barcin N , it seems to disappear in Anatolia. Seems to be a Central European / Balkan connection . Not 100% sure how it got there

StP said...

I think now IE's homeland in Europe and IE's migration route to South Asia could help determine the severe COVID-19 samples :-)

In these COVID-19 samples, the western border of the PIE with which the Neanderthal Vindija (Croatia) haplotype was associated, was likely to be revealed, creating a susceptibility to infection and the risk of severe COVID especially for people from Central-Eastern Europe to India and Bangladesh, and of the Neanderthal himself probably led to extinction (Zeberg and Paabo 2020; Marszalek, Kosmos 70, 3, 2021)

LivoniaG said...

Ringe Warnow Taylor, Indo‐European and Computational Cladistics(2002)
page 87 the nearest clade to Greek-Armenian by two branchings are the Indo-Iranian clades.

This tree says the nearest relative of Greek-Armenian is Indo-Iranian.

By this tree, Late PIE should have been history by the time of the branching, which already was separated into Celtic, Germanic and Anatolian. By this, the Greek Armenian clade are well past Late PIE.

If Armenian speakers crossed the Caucasus to get to Armenian, they took the long way home.

StP said...

Archaeologists hardly confirm that the CWC population is forestry people. They write rather that steppe-forest areas were their ecumena for cattle breeding. And if forest for cattle, it is rather forest glades (polish: polana). A common ethnonym among the Slavs is the name "Polanie". The etymology of the word for "broad, arable plat, cultivable land" is difficult and erroneous.

"Polanie", it is easily associated with the word "polana" (forestry clearing). The "Polana" is an empty area among forests. Certainly not from the word "pole" (i.e. arable field), but from "polana" (forestry clearing) come. The Latin variations of the name of Poland: "Polania, Polenia, Polonia", i.e. from the word "polana" (forestry clearing).

The 15th-century Hungarian historian Antonius Bonfini (in R.H.D.) revealed the old wording of the name of the country, the birthplace of the Polish hermit Andreas Zoerad, who came to Hungary under the authority of St. Stefan: “ex ea Sarmatie parte, quam POLANIAM dicunt”.
This tradition of living in forest clearings probably dates back to the CWC era.

Matt said...

@Livonia, sure here's that figure:

The branching order is like I said - Greek-Armenian splits from Indo-Baltic.

The point is that these are all late PIE languages, not that some developments could've happened in Greek-Armenian which are shared in other branches, which may be due to contact or family relationships. Armenian and Indo-Iranian, nor Greek-Armenian, do not have a special relationship with Indo-Iranian compared to Balto-Slavic, in this tree.

There are other trees which are possible in any case:

Vladimir said...

For the later branches of the Greek-Armenian, Thracian, Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic languages, it is important to have the genetics of the Babino culture. There is a suspicion that, unlike the monolithic Z93 in Abashevo, Babino was a mix of Z93 and Z2103, and in its northwestern territories, where the Komarovo culture was subsequently formed, Z282 is also possible.

Matt said...

Another off-topic (if Davidski will allow it) but might interest folks:
A podcast ("History Extra" - on "End of Roman Britain", giving a preview of new adna work claiming large scale replacement with Anglo-Saxon migration, in England.


I know these findings were also presented at a conference and shared on Anthrogenica, where the claim has been that large scale Anglo-Saxon migration was accompanied by or followed by large scale migration from France which sort of masked out some of the signal of migration in an almost exactly balancing amount.

I'm quite skeptical of this simply because G25 shows the England_IA and England_Roman projecting so close on a neighbour joining tree to England and Wales, and these are almost completely preferred as donors over Denmark_IA, France_Grand_Est_IA (northern France), and even England_Saxon. It also seems to be asking a large coincidence to have an exactly balancing pattern of French+Germanic donations that pushes back to the EEF:HG:Steppe ratios of England_IA. PCA Compression should also be relatively minimal as an issue for G25 here - the G25 can find fine-structure between present day Britain and continental North Europe, the samples would be within the bounds of present day EEF:WHG:Steppe ratios, and generally not too distant.

So possibly something has gone awry with the complex haplotype based models, which are well able to find structure beyond unlinked analyses, and able to find immediate relationships, but have never really been particularly good at admixture proportions and admixture models. I think by now we all have major reservations about Chromopainter based mixture models.

However, it is possible there could be some quality issue which make the Roman and IA England samples better on G25 - the England_Roman could be particularly high quality (indeed England_Saxon which was sampled similarly is preferred as a donor to Denmark over the Denmark_IA set) and the England_IA set from Patterson are very numerous, which should remove noise. They are selected to be closer to England today because of high quality or sample count or something like this. So I will wait and see.

Rob said...

Might be something to it, although surprising if it as weightly as Anglo-Saxons
Archaeologists have always drawn distinctions in south of the Thames, where distinctive material culture - barbarian but rooted in Roman provincial forms (inhumation and certain types of quoit brooches; rather than obviously heathen cremation & A-S metalwork to the north)'. From Wiki - ''The brooches, the belt-fittings and the style, are mainly found in high-status burials in southern-eastern England, south of the Thames, and right across northern France, dating from the middle quarters of the 5th century''
Vera Evison in the 1960s had suggested that Salian Franks played a major role in orchestrating the 5th century invasions of Britain.