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Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Yassitepe challenge

This is about the only successful qpAdm model that I can find for the pair of Early Bronze Age (EBA) females from Yassitepe, Turkey, using a decent set of outgroups and markers. I wouldn't take it too literally, but it does suggest a potentially significant level of European ancestry, including some steppe ancestry, in these Yassitepe individuals.

AZE_Caucasus_lowlands_LN 0.565±0.054
ROU_N 0.387±0.041
RUS_Progress_En 0.048±0.022

P-value 0.103248
Full output

If anyone reading this can find a better, more convincing solution then I'd love to see it. Feel free to share it in the comments below.

Obviously, both of the Yassitepe samples are from the recent Lazaridis, Alpaslan-Roodenberg et al. paper. Their EBA dating suggests that they might be relevant to the debate over the origins of Anatolian speakers, such as the Hittites and Luwians.

See also...

Dear Iosif, about that ~2%

The precursor of the Trojans

Thursday, October 13, 2022

The Kura-Araxes people deserve better

When discussing the Kura-Araxes culture and its people it's important to understand these key points:

- there is Eastern European steppe ancestry in Kura-Araxes samples, and if you're not seeing it then you're not looking hard enough

- Armenian Kura-Araxes samples are mainly a mixture between three different groups currently best represented in the ancient DNA record by ARM_Areni_C, IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C and RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En

- ergo, most of the steppe ancestry in the Kura-Araxes population of what is now Armenia must have been mediated via local Chalcolithic groups like ARM_Areni_C

- Kura-Araxes samples show Mesopotamian-related ancestry, and this mustn't be ignored.

Oh, you don't believe it because you just read a big paper in Science claiming otherwise?

Well, the authors of that paper, Lazaridis, Alpaslan-Roodenberg et al., used distal mixture models to study the ancestry of their Kura-Araxes samples, and such models can miss important details.

Consider these three proximate mixture models for a relatively high quality and very homogenous Kura-Araxes sample set from the aforementioned paper. They were done with the qpAdm software

ARM_Areni_C 0.239±0.068
IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C 0.379±0.068
RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En 0.382±0.054
P-value 0.285122 (Pass)
Full output

IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C 0.569±0.051
RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En 0.363±0.058
RUS_Progress_En 0.068±0.020
P-value 0.20306 (Pass)
Full output

IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C 0.531±0.060
RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En 0.469±0.060
P-value 0.0132579 (Fail)
Full output

Some caveats apply. For instance, the pass threshold (P-value ≥0.05) is arbitrary. But the point is that the models look much better with steppe-related and steppe reference populations (ARM_Areni_C and RUS_Progress_En, respectively).

Moreover, the unique and vital Darkveti-Meshoko population is represented by just one individual. I also have the genotypes of his brother and sister, but relatives aren't allowed in these sorts of tests.

Including a singleton in the analysis means that I can't use the inbreed: YES option, which apparently can be a bad thing. Nevertheless, these models do look very solid.

Indeed, I can also model ARM_Kura-Araxes_Berkaber as practically 100% RUS_Maykop_Novosvobodnaya, perhaps with some excess ARM_Areni_C-related input.

ARM_Areni_C 0.094±0.087
RUS_Maykop_Novosvobodnaya 0.906±0.087
P-value 0.284259 (Pass)
Full ouput

This makes good sense, because RUS_Maykop_Novosvobodnaya can also be modeled solidly as a mixture between IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C, RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En and RUS_Progress_En.

IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C 0.614±0.056
RUS_Darkveti-Meshoko_En 0.307±0.064
RUS_Progress_En 0.080±0.022
P-value 0.141468 (Pass)
Full output

I don't know whether the genetic relationship between ARM_Kura-Araxes_Berkaber and RUS_Maykop_Novosvobodnaya shown in my model is due to Maykop ancestry in the former. It might just be a coincidence in the sense that the same or similar processes led to the formation of both groups. Feel free to let me know your thoughts about that in the comments.

The fact that the Kura-Araxes people harbored steppe ancestry might be very important in the debate over the location of the so called Indo-Anatolian homeland. For instance, it's possible that the proto-Anatolian language spread from the North Caucasus into Anatolia via the Kura-Araxes culture.

But, admittedly, such a solution doesn't have strong support from historical linguistics data, which suggest that the Indo-Anatolian homeland was located in what is now Ukraine and that Anatolian speakers entered West Asia via the Balkans:

Indo-European cereal terminology suggests a Northwest Pontic homeland for the core Indo-European languages

See also...

R-V1636: Eneolithic steppe > Kura-Araxes?

Dear Iosif...Yamnaya

But Iosif, what about the Phrygians?

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Balto-Slavs and Sarmatians in the Battle of Himera

G25 coordinates for most of the samples from the recent Reitsema et al. paper are available in a text file here. They're also in the G25 datasheets at the usual link here.

A basic distance analysis with the G25 data at Vahaduo shows that the two samples labeled Himera_480BCE_3 are either early Balts or Slavs. I suspect that they're Slavs, because I believe that early Slavs had this type of Baltic-like genetic structure before mixing with their non-Slavic-speaking neighbors. Well, that's my pet theory for now, so take it or leave it.

Distance to: ITA_Sicily_Himera_480BCE_3:I10943
0.03393838 HUN_IA_La_Tene_o:I18226
0.03572886 DEU_MA_Krakauer_Berg:KRA001
0.03618075 RUS_Pskov_VA:VK159
0.03899963 SWE_Gotland_VA:VK463
0.03915018 Baltic_EST_IA:s19_V12_1

Distance to: ITA_Sicily_Himera_480BCE_3:I10949
0.03573636 HUN_IA_La_Tene_o3:I25524
0.03698768 HUN_IA_La_Tene_o:I18226
0.03732752 SWE_Skara_VA:VK397
0.03767022 Baltic_EST_IA:s19_V12_1
0.03772687 DEU_MA_Krakauer_Berg:KRA001

On the other hand, I'm almost certain that the two Himera_480BCE_4 samples are Sarmatians. The good old G25 does it again!

Distance to: ITA_Sicily_Himera_480BCE_4:I10944
0.03100861 KAZ_Segizsay_Sarmatian:SGZ002
0.03548059 MDA_Sarmatian:I11925
0.03619219 RUS_Urals_Sarmatian:MJ56
0.03626538 RUS_Urals_Sarmatian:chy001
0.03904260 RUS_Urals_Sarmatian:MJ41

Distance to: ITA_Sicily_Himera_480BCE_4:I10947
0.02989458 RUS_Urals_Sarmatian:MJ43
0.03052790 RUS_Urals_Sarmatian:chy002
0.03170622 KAZ_Kangju:DA226
0.03288789 TUR_BlackSea_Samsun_Anc_C:I4529
0.03310149 KAZ_Aigyrly_Sarmatian:AIG003
See also...

Slavic-like Medieval Germans