November 19, 2008

Y-chromosomes and mtDNA from Eulau (Corded Ware Culture, Germany)

This study looked at mtDNA, Y-chromosomes, and autosomal DNA from the site of Eulau at around 2,600BC in Germany.

Three male individuals, a 40-60 year-old male and two young boys (4-5 and 8-9 years old) from grave 99 belonged to Y-haplogroup R1a. The boys were related to their parent:
Additionally, the Y chromosome haplogroup R1a of the boys corresponds with the man’s (ind. 3). It is noteworthy that in grave 99 the orientation of the adult individuals follows the established pattern of the CWC, whereas both children clearly deviate from it. It appears that the burial orientation pattern was overruled for each boy to face a parent to express a biological relationship.
The results have been added in my compendium of ancient Y-chromosome studies.

The mtDNA results included haplogroups:

K1b (three from grave 99) 16093C, 16224C, 16311C, 16319A
U5b (one from grave 99) 16189C, 16192T, 16270T
I (one from grave 90) 16129A, 16223T, 16391A
H (one from grave 98) 16093C, 16221T
X2 (two from grave 98) 16189C, 16223T, 16278T 73G, 153G, 195C, 225A, 226C, 263G
K1a2 (one from grave 93) 16145A, 16224C, 16311C

The occurrence of X2 and K1b suggests changes in frequency to the present-day:
The detection of mtDNA haplotypes X2 and K1b, both being very rare in modern-day European populations, is unlikely to be based on the occurrence of
independent contamination events.
For the X2 sequence:
At present, three exact matches were found among individuals from Iran, Syria, and Estonia showing HVS I and HVS II patterns identical with the two Eulau individuals, but differing from each other by further coding region polymorphisms.
Regarding the present-day distribution of X2:
Overall, it appears that the populations of the Near East, the Caucasus, and Mediterranean Europe harbor subhaplogroup X2 at higher frequencies than those of northern and northeastern Europe (P less than .05) and that X2 is rare in Eastern European as well as Central Asian, Siberian, and Indian populations and is virtually absent in the Finno-Ugric and Turkic-speaking people of the Volga-Ural region.
For the K1b sequences:
Today, haplogroup K has a frequency of around 6% in Europe (6, 39). The identical sequence haplotype of individuals 1, 2, and 4 has previously been observed (4, 5).

...

So far this haplotype has uniquely been reported in two modern Shugnans of Tadzhikistan (5)
The haplogroup I is also interesting, since it was found at a high frequency in Vikings and Iron Age Danes but has a lower frequency in modern times.

So, in general, these results once again point towards a change in the mtDNA gene pool across the millennia, explained by the authors:
However, we are aware of the fact that the modern distribution might not reflect the haplotype distribution during the Late Neolithic. The mitochondrial haplogroup distribution of a population is likely to have changed throughout time by factors like genetic drift or events like migration or genetic palimpsest (40).

As we recently showed, the frequencies of haplogroups could have been significantly different between Neolithic and present populations (41), although a similar study (from a different region in Europe) provides evidence of genetic continuity throughout the millennia (42).
Study (41) also by Haak et al. was about Linearbandkeramik farmers from Central Europe. Study (42) by Sampietro et al. was about Neolithic Iberians.

PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.0807592105

Ancient DNA, Strontium isotopes, and osteological analyses shed light on social and kinship organization of the Later Stone Age

Wolfgang Haak et al.

Abstract

In 2005 four outstanding multiple burials were discovered near Eulau, Germany. The 4,600-year-old graves contained groups of adults and children buried facing each other. Skeletal and artifactual evidence and the simultaneous interment of the individuals suggest the supposed families fell victim to a violent event. In a multidisciplinary approach, archaeological, anthropological, geochemical (radiogenic isotopes), and molecular genetic (ancient DNA) methods were applied to these unique burials. Using autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosomal markers, we identified genetic kinship among the individuals. A direct child-parent relationship was detected in one burial, providing the oldest molecular genetic evidence of a nuclear family. Strontium isotope analyses point to different origins for males and children versus females. By this approach, we gain insight into a Late Stone Age society, which appears to have been exogamous and patrilocal, and in which genetic kinship seems to be a focal point of social organization.

Link

39 comments:

Polak said...

Yeah, you should mention that this R1a has modern matches in Poland and Russia.

Fits the map of the Corded Ware culture quite nicely indeed.

Antigonos said...

Another tie of the Corded dominant stock with the initial Kurgan racial stock (R1a).

eurologist said...

Seems like real geographical hot spot for neolithic and early bronze age finds, with the Goseck circle and Nebra disk found basically within walking distance, and the Lichtensteinhoehle is not too far away, either.

I should really test my DNA one of these days, with three of my grandparents (or their parents) having been born within 50 miles of this place.

Crimson Guard said...

Interesting post Dienekes. Seems to follow that these people migrated together from the Orient. The R1a probably from India(which is supposed to be its origin base btw I believe).

It could also match Coon's comment with the Iranian Mediterranean plate man being a perfect example of the 'Corded' type.

Polak said...

^ LMAO

For some guidance on the matter read this blog...

http://polishgenes.blogspot.com

Btw, currently R1a1 is the oldest haplogroup in Europe...ie, no other older samples have been found.

eurologist said...

One of the more interesting consequences of these results is that they show central Germany ~2,600 BC already had significant R1a - i.e., 3000 years before Slavic expansion, and before or contemporaneous with the Kurgan expansion (which perhaps accounts for some of the violence observed).

I agree with a most likely northern Indian/ Pakistani R1a origin, and migration into the steppes and Ukraine river valleys just before the LGM - which is why they did not have time to spread into other, western and southern European LGM refuges. However, given that R1b is relatively rare in most of eastern Europe and much of western Asia, I would think that R1a was already present to a high degree in the eastern plain portion of the Gravettian culture. When temperatures dropped, the natural routes would have been south and south-east, not west into an increasingly uninhabitable and impenetrable stretch north of the Alps - explaining the fairly clean separation of R1a and R1b.

Clearly, the notion that R1a only entered Germany with the Slavic expansion and with the Sorbs (who around 500AD settled in much of the Elbe/Saale/Spree region, i.e., all of East Germany) must be thrown out of the window.

IMO, there is a relationship between R1a, the origin of the Indo-European languages, and the Ukrainian LGM refuge and LGM pockets spanning today's Czech republic, Serbia, and the eastern Danube river valley. These latter pockets likely had a mixture of haplotype I and R1A. These pockets also were small and diverse, explaining the diverse localization of I subgroup prevalences within Europe through founder effects, and the apparent high diversity of R1A from Serbia to the Ukraine.

Central European and western Asian agriculture and Kurgans would spread IE later and easily, because much of their homeland already spoke original proto-IE dialects. IMO, these two important expansions came after proto-IE already was the prevalent language in much of south-east-central Europe, as well as parts of north-western Asia. LGM expansion and agriculture spread both R1A and I in central Europe before any of the later events.

Polak said...

^ R1a1 spread into Central Europe right after the LGM. The real question is whether it did so via the Balkans or the steppes...or both.

Then it spread with the Indo-Europeans...and went far east too. That's why we now sometimes see European looking Indo-Iranians in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, etc.

And then it spread with the Slavs, into Germany as well, right up to the Danish border.

Oh, and the Slavs not only carried R1a1, so some of the R1b and I in Germany is actually of Slavic origin.

eurologist said...

If you read my post, you see that I agree with you 100%, except that I would not call the people who spread R1a and I into Germany and beyond "Slavs," 1. because this predates by four to eight millennia any linguistic or ethnic definition of "Slav", and 2. simply because those people now make up much of the population of Germany and Scandinavia. So where does that leave "Germanic?" The answer is, that separation occurred later, perhaps ~4,000 years ago.

There is evidence for I and parts of R1a expanding simultaneously. Also, given the I-pockets and R1a diversity, as I explained above, LGM pockets in the Balkans (in conjunction with the Ukrainian refuge) IMO best explain today's picture.

I also agree that finer study of R1b substructure is useful to see if the south-east LGM refuges harbored a different version from that of Iberia and southern France - which I would find quite plausible. It makes sense that central Europe was a melting pot during the Gravettian.

Dienekes said...

I agree with a most likely northern Indian/ Pakistani R1a origin

I disagree. The most likely origin is in the Balkans or south Russia/Ukraine. This may be determined when older samples from these regions are tested. There is no plausible way in which R1a could have spread from India to Europe so that it would be found there by 2,600BC.

Antigonos said...

Generally the Cro-magnons of Ucraine and the Cro-magnons of Greece are of the same type. They belong to the Brno-Predmost type. Lepenski Vir, Anza, Hamangia and other Balkan sites give us again Brno-Predmost types.
Thus from an anatomical point of view there is an affinity between the Eastern/Central Balkans and Ucraine.
Hence it is possible that there is also a genetic one as Dienekes said.

eurologist said...

Dienekes,

How old do you think R1a is?

IMO, the easiest explanation for the prevalence and diversification of R1a in both Europe and Pakistan/India is that it existed before the LGM. And if its origin is in northern Pakistan/Afghanistan and much older than the Kurgan expansion, that fits the fact that it only poorly matches expectations from the spread of IE languages in Asia. (Expectations match poorly in Iran, northern central Asia, and most of India, but match -not by chance- where R1a existed, anyway).

The dominance of R1a (and low percentage but higher diversification of R1b) in eastern Europe is also much easier to explain if the people inhabiting that region just before the LGM already possessed it to a significant degree.

And, Antigonos, such an old genetic relation as you suggest fits with R1a being present before the LGM (although I would date it to just before the LGM - otherwise it should be more prevalent in western Europe).

South Central Haplo said...

Dienekes
" There is no plausible way in which R1a could have spread from India to Europe so that it would be found there by 2,600BC"


Is there any plausible way to spread TO India, Central Asia avoiding Iran and Middle East?.

Maju said...

All R1a among Corded Ware samples means exactly what mainstream interpretations have said so far: R1a (in Europe as in Asia) is mostly or exclusively an Indoeuropean input (and R1b is not Indoeuropean, even if it's distantly related - not much more than R2 or Q anyhow).

The relatively odd mtDNA most frequent clades in such sample also point to the East, no matter these matrilineal lineages were never destinied to become as succesful as their patrilineal counterpart - not in such a Patriarchal society as the Indoeuropean one certainly.

Maju said...

Is there any plausible way to spread TO India, Central Asia avoiding Iran and Middle East?.

Yes, absolutely yes.

R1a/Kurgan original homeland (Samara region) is the easternmost portion of Europe (in other times it would have been considered Asia, as it's East of the Volga river). Indoeuropean/R1a expansion went to South Asia (and Iran/Kurdistan, where it had a much lower Y-DNA impact) via Central Asia in a later date (Bronze Age) than to the Eastern half of Europe. Additionally, some subclades are so recent and so close between Eastern Europe and South Asia that can only be attributed to a later wave: the Scythians (which in a sense are the last genuine Indoeuropean people of he steppes, later replaced/absorbed by the Turkic tribes).

eurologist said...

... but absolutely not, if you consider the relative contribution in various north-central Asian and Afghanistan/Pakistan/Indian regions.

A region that once constituted the only and very large and dominating pool of ancestral R, and the source for all of Europe's and much of western and northern-central Asia's R, could not possibly have been overwhelmed 40,000 years later with re-occupation by just a single grand-grand-grand-child of its former rich R environment.

And, close inspection shows that it indeed, it was not. R1b has larger diversity much farther east of its maximum presence, indicating it existed before at least 35,000 years ago somewhere east of the entrance to Europe. R1a has at least the same diversity in eastern Europe (but likely less) than it has in northern Pakistan. Again, Occam's razor encourages us to think: Afghanistan/northern Pakistan, including perhaps the surrounding northern plains.

With R2 being pan-Indian but also present farther north-west and east, R is clearly the only dominant haplogroup of the pool of AMHs that, adapting to northern climates, benefited from the geography of northern Pakistan/Afghanistan to develop the techniques to expand into the northern plains and north-eastern valleys. While R* is distributed wildly, R2 and R1 tell us that all of these are quite ancient, and R1 likely present ~45,000 years ago. R1a, and R1b may very well have been, too.

At any rate, unless you believe in a clean slate for Y every 5,000 years (not known to apply anywhere else on the globe), a lower limit on R1b is obviously ~35,000 years ago, and ~25,000 years ago for R1a.

Today, R1* (without R1a or R1b) is found in equal or larger fractions exactly in the southern region of migration from the ancestral pool to Europe, where you would expect it: in Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, S. Caucasus, Syria, Lebanon, and Kurdistan.

R1a, on the other hand, points to a northern route because while dominating parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan (as expected from a source), it also has a majority or strong contribution in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, the Altai region, north-western China, and a strong presence in Mongolia and in Saami - oversimplified Kurgan theories notwithstanding.

Dienekes said...

How old do you think R1a is?

That can't be easily determined given the great uncertainties in age estimation. What seems certain to me is that most of it moved around in the Neolithic onwards, not in the Paleolithic.

Dienekes said...

Is there any plausible way to spread TO India, Central Asia avoiding Iran and Middle East?.

Yes, if it spread with the steppe cultures, i.e., north of the Caspian, not south thereof.

Maju said...

... but absolutely not, if you consider the relative contribution in various north-central Asian and Afghanistan/Pakistan/Indian regions.

A region that once constituted the only and very large and dominating pool of ancestral R, and the source for all of Europe's and much of western and northern-central Asia's R, could not possibly have been overwhelmed 40,000 years later with re-occupation by just a single grand-grand-grand-child of its former rich R environment.


I'd agree more or less that P and R must have spawned from that area of Central Asia or maybe NW South Asia but that says nothing about what happened later.

The male lineages dominant in Northern South Asia and Eastern Europe are way too similar and in both cases they are strongly dominant. Poland may be the country with largest apportion of R1a but if we use the word "state" instead there are Indian states that are perfectly comparable. This can only mean a shared patrilineal ancestry for a good deal of he populations of both countries and this shared ancestry can only be, I understand, the Indoeuropean steppary riders, whose language and even mythology and other cultural elements span all that arch (excepting he Turkic wedge) and beyond. [This regardless of the also many peculiarities of both world regions that obviously pre-date IE migrations largely].

I am as surprised as you in a sense about the massive impact in South Asia of the IE Y-DNA markers. While in Eastern Europe this could be explained with some ease due to pre-existent low population densities (up to a point: they were also agriculturalist when IEs arrived), that's probably not the case of South Asia. So patriarchal elite dominance must have been acting in a very strong manner in northern South Asia (and reinforced by further male migrations from the Afghan area through history).

The archaeological, linguistic and other evidence is there in favor of a migration from the steppes. There's nothing of the like that could support the inverse migration. R1a coalesced in Far Eastern Europe/Central Asia until IE migrations.

That is not the case for R2 nor other R1 clades (though Central Asian R1-M73, a very distinct R1b branch, did incidentally participate in the Tocharian expansion as dominant), and certainly not for Q.

Today, R1* (without R1a or R1b) is found in equal or larger fractions exactly in the southern region of migration from the ancestral pool to Europe, where you would expect it: in Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, S. Caucasus, Syria, Lebanon, and Kurdistan.

Interesting info. But that has nothing to do with R1a spread as such. It speaks of a much more ancient epysode, maybe as old as Aurignacian. Then R1a coalesced for many milennia around the Ural.

At any rate, unless you believe in a clean slate for Y every 5,000 years...

Personally I think that all or most MC estimates are abstruse underestimations and that the human lineages are in general much older. I strongly suspect that the Eurasian fraction of Humankind was lurking in places like South Asia for much longer than the post-Toba rapid colonization model suggests (but I also think that the Homo-Pan splinter is significatively much older than the fossil record can account for).

But all that is irrelevant for the discussion unless you want use the feeble MC hypothesis mathematical fireworks as heavy artillery.

R1a, on the other hand, points to a northern route because while dominating parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan (as expected from a source), it also has a majority or strong contribution in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, the Altai region, north-western China, and a strong presence in Mongolia and in Saami - oversimplified Kurgan theories notwithstanding.

Doesn't that distribution perfectly account for IE spread? The apportion among Saami and Mongol (originally Mongolia was mostly the Turkic homeland, remember) is not that big anyhow and can be explained by recent gene "infiltration". Altai and in general Central Asia was a major province in Indoeuropean prehistorical spread in any case. There's absolutely no mystery about those areas being very high in R1a.

R1a had a "northern route" certainly with their expanded homeland in the Eurasian steppes. How does that clash with the IE migration model? Not at all: it strongly ratifies it.

eurologist said...

So let me briefly re-state my viewpoint. In short, what I am trying to say is that the regions in the south-western arc of R1a follow IE so nicely because they already were largely R1a to begin with.

Everywhere we look, Y-DNA does not normally follow languages when new territory is added to the language. Not in modern-day USA, not in anything Europe west or South of central Europe. Not in Iran, not in Turkmen, not in modern-day Muslims that adopt Arabic. In fact, I would go as far and say that IE intrusion into central and south-central Asia stands out as a wild exception.

The easiest explanation of this anomaly is that we are looking at a superposition of two very distinct phenomena. (I), a large pool of R, including R1a, already present in the area, and (ii) a very successful military and agricultural invasion/expansion. Where R1a was not already present, as in Iran or some mostly southern Indian pockets, or east of India, IE invasion indeed did not have much of an impact.

eurologist said...

south-western arc of R1a

Sorry, I meant south-eastern part of the arc, of course.

Maju said...

... because they already were largely R1a to begin with.

I don't think that can be sustained: if that would be the case, there would be a much higher R1a diversity in that "original" area that has, according to you, persisted for much longer than the presence of R1a elsewhere.

Instead the R1a diversity is similar in Eastern Europe and South Asia and even the subclades are virtually the same ones. What does that say? That some population migrated to both areas about the same time and with about the same kind of proportional impact, mostly on the male side. What population can that be that had such a big and parallel impact? Indo-Europeans only and exclusively.

Everywhere we look, Y-DNA does not normally follow languages when new territory is added to the language.

That depends. Obiously not all IE peoples are high in R1a, for whatever reasons some IE areas appear to have suffered a much lower impact of IE male lineages or even the impact of anomalous lineages predominantly (case of Tocharians, surely a founder effect of sorts).

But in America (both the Anglo and Latin America) you can certainly see the impact of European immigration. Mainly male-mediated in most of Latin America, more oddly bilateral in Angloamerica and some parts of Latin America too. So I don't really see what you're talking about when you use America as counter-example. It is no counter-example at all.

Some Islamized/Arabized areas also saw a major Arabic genetic impact. It was not uniform but it's there, exactly as with Indoeuropean. Now why South Asia (large parts of it) was so intensely affected and not more in the line of Iran, a very parallel case? I really have not the slightest idea nor I feel there is enough info to determine why.

The easiest explanation of this anomaly is that we are looking at a superposition of two very distinct phenomena. (I), a large pool of R, including R1a, already present in the area, and (ii) a very successful military and agricultural invasion/expansion. Where R1a was not already present, as in Iran or some mostly southern Indian pockets, or east of India, IE invasion indeed did not have much of an impact.

Well, the IE invasion(s) did have a major impact in Iran, clearly, even if it was not so much in the genetic sense. Why? A more open assimilation policy (no rigid caste system, for instance)? Invasion made by a splinter group with different genetic pool? A little of both and other reasons? Can't say for sure.

But overall I can't make much sense of your reasoning anyhow: if R1a would have coalesced in such a wide area we should see a much greater diversity than in Eastern Europe. We just do not. We see some greater diversity in some zones for upstream clades of the sort of R* and maybe even R1* (though I suspect R1 had a more western dispersal node).

The early IEs apparently coalesced for milennia in the Samara valley (whichever their earlier origins) before even beginning expansion at all. This fact is not compatible with any South Asian origin model, model that, btw, has no archaeological backing of any sort.

...

On R1b:

I don't agree either with what you say in the previous comment (just re-read it) about R1b diversity. This is misleading: R1b is probably much more diverse in Western Europe than farther East, specially if we take only R1b-M269 (the Central Asian branch is an oddity and the African possible branches have not yet been fully resolved): there are many more haplotypes and halogroups in Western and Central Europe than Anatolia. Anyhow, some studies have (admittedly in the case of Alonso et al) strongly undervalued the Basque diversity of this clade because of excessive restricions in the sample requirements, what made the impossible to compare with the rest. To date Basques are still the only ethnic group with two well defined haplogroups within R1b in significative ammounts. The research of the internal structure of R1b is only slowly improving but the claims that Eastern R1b is more diverse than the Western one do not stand scrutiny and may reflect, if anything, more the accumulation of diversely sourced small migrations than anything else (this seems pretty clear in the case of Croatia for example, where diversity is increased because it's a crossroads of western and eastern haplotypes).

peterk said...

The highest micro-satellite diversity for R1a1 is found in the population of modern day Ukraine. The early Indo-Europeans (6,000 to 7,000 years ago) had a lot of contact with the Cris and later Trypyllian Cucuteni cultures of western Ukraine, Moldova, and Rumania suggesting a close proximity. The Dnieper cataracts/rapids was a good piece of real estate and possibly close to the nucleus of the genesis of the early Indo-Europeans who later expanded in many stages east west and south, some later back migrating (Scythians). Whether it was the Pontic steppe (which I believe is obviously the case) or the Pontic-Caspian steppe region, this is the most accepted hypothesis for the Indo-European genesis.

Maju said...

The highest micro-satellite diversity for R1a1 is found in the population of modern day Ukraine. The early Indo-Europeans (6,000 to 7,000 years ago) had a lot of contact with the Cris and later Trypyllian Cucuteni cultures of western Ukraine, Moldova, and Rumania suggesting a close proximity.

I'm fine with the first part of this paragraph: that Ukranians seem to host the highest R1a diversity and that this is directly related to early IE presence in that reagion.

But I really cannot agree with the emphasis in Cucuteni-Tripylle. This culture only occupied the SW corner of Ukraine (and also both Moldavias), while most of pre-IE Ukraine was actually (along with the Donets basin) part of a different Neolithic culture: the Dniepr-Donets one.

In fact, it was this Dniepr-Donets culture which suffered the first IE penertration of all, c. 3500 BCE, becoming the Srednij-Stog II complex (sometimes called "culture" but rather a complex mixture of pre-IE and IE elements actually). Dniepr-Donets elements also seem to have migrated in NW direction prior to IE presence, altering the ethno-cultural composition of the Baltic area (specially strong influence in East Baltic countries and Sweden but also influential in Denmark and the northern continental coast).

Cucuteni-Tripylle actually had separate dynamics and was, as I understand it, subject to intense plundering by neighbouring IEs in the following centuries, only gradually receeding anyhow. But its territory was not central in IE expansion in Europe, unlike that of former Dniepr-Donets culture (or also the Poland-East Germany area). C-T also had in its formation a much greater influence from Balcan-Danubian Neolithic and is itself considered one of the "Danubian" cultures (though had an older substrate, probably native).

Dienekes said...

The highest micro-satellite diversity for R1a1 is found in the population of modern day Ukraine.

There is actually no evidence for this oft-repeated claim. Not saying that it isn't true, just that there is no evidence for it.

peterk said...

(Deineke- I'm looking into the micro-satellite diversity issue). The C-T culture was well established on the Dniester-Buh of modern day Ukraine-Moldavia, later moving east as far as the Dneiper in a kind of salient. I agree C-T was a different culture altogether than IE, but they introduced words such as "Tawr" or "Taurus" for bull into IE suggesting close contact to the early IE peoples. This would have been unlikely had the original early IE come from the Urals as some would suggest. I believe the evidence points to the Dnieper cataracts as within the original IE range. These areas are well documented archeaologically, but much less so the further east you go. I don't see the necessity of somehow "proving" the original IE couldn't have come from the Dnieper/Donets/Don area, but had to be imposed from the east. There seems to be ample proof of them coming from the Dnieper/Donets/Don area archeaologically, genetically, and culturally, I just don't see the need to put them as coming from further east.

pconroy said...

eurologist,

... and (ii) a very successful military and agricultural invasion/expansion.

This need not be the case. R1a and particularly R1a1 were probably spread into South Asia by 2 driving forces:

1. Elite dominance - whereby powerful men had more wives - from the native population - and more offspring, over many generations. Like the Genshis Khan, Nial Naoighiallach phenomenon.

2. R1a1 Steppe herders may very well have carried the Lactose Persistance gene (LCT), that gave them a huge nutritional advantage in a dairying economy, like that of South Asia. Here the real spread is of the LCT gene into the population, and R1a1 is just carried along for the ride!

In other words a relatively small percentage of R1a1 invaders, could result in a large percentage of descendants a few thousand years later.

Maju said...

I agree C-T was a different culture altogether than IE, but they introduced words such as "Tawr" or "Taurus" for bull into IE suggesting close contact to the early IE peoples.

Where do you get that from. What you say is nothing but extreme speculation. We just have no idea of what language C-T peoples spoke much less on wether they used that root for bull.

I believe the evidence points to the Dnieper cataracts as within the original IE range.

No. Absolutely no.

The original IE/Kurgan homeland was at the Samara valley, beyond the Volga river. The precursors of IEs lurked there for milennia until c. 3500 BCE, when they began expanding. Their first conquest was the "Ukranian" Dniepr-Don culture that became Serendij-Stog II "culture" or rather "complex". Then you find them at the mid Elbe, apparently ruling a small Danubian tribe (Baalberge clture) and also (separate branch) raiding the eastern Balcans and mid Danub, where "high cultures" (specially Karanovo-Gumelnita) had been evolving until then. The process continued with forths and backs (and a very interesting complexity) for many centuries until the "final" IE consolidation east of the Rhin with Corded Ware (c. 2400 BCE), that was followed in most of Europe by one milennium of stability.

I don't see the necessity of somehow "proving" the original IE couldn't have come from the Dnieper/Donets/Don area, but had to be imposed from the east.

The necessity is archaeological. Dniepr-Donets are not the direct precursors of IEs. Samara valley cultural continuum is instead. Dniepr-Donets show very marked differences with Kurgan peoples: their burial styles are very different (aboundant use of ochre, for instance, no tumuli at all...) and only change when the influence from the East (Kurgans from Samara) arrive. Also Dniepr-Donets experienced their own less massive expansion into the Baltic, some centuries before IE arrival but, unlike IEs after them, they showed to be able to co-exist with other cultural practices like dolmenic burial or the very Funnelbeaker pottery style of Denmark/Northern Germany in which they got integrated but did not supress.

Finally, Dinepr-Donets were with all likehood direct descendants of Eastern European epi-Gravettian peoples and therefore one would rather expect them to be associated with languages and cultures of the Caucasus and Zagros area if anything (IMO they most likely belonged to the NE Caucasian/Hurrian linguistic family).

peterk said...

I think Sredny Stoh, or "place at the middle stack" is very central to the question of IE origins. (Middle stack refers to a now flooded haystack shaped island on the Dnieper at the southern end of the Dnieper rapids). Whether certain cultural elements were imposed from the Khvalynsk from the east on the Volga or blended with the population living in the area, there is a continuity of cultural practices such as burial locations and stone tool types.

Sredny Stoh also has the first kurgans to be ever placed on the steppe at Kvityana and Maiorka. There is much cultural interaction between C-T and IE including stone maces, pottery types, trade/gifts, etc. The Dnieper-Donets people were buried with polished stone maces, copper and gold ornaments, and ornamental plaques made of boar's tusk. This is well documented, and these people obviously had a big influence on the soon to be IE, if not central.

I disagree with your opinions, let's agree to disagree. This all happened a very long time ago. Among others, I've read J.P. Mallory "In Search of Indo-Europeans" and David W. Anthony "The Horse the Wheel and Language". There is no way we are going to resolve these complex and contentious issues in a blog. A lot of it is a question of interpretation leading to much to much room for subjective reasoning claiming to be fact. You think IE came 100% from the Samara displacing 100% of the Dnieper-Donets. This ignores the evidence of cultural continuity of Dnieper-Donets into Sredny-Stoh with some changes and innovations. Not only do I disagree, but I believe your motives are biased and subjective.

Linguists believe the root *tawro-s is from an Afro-Asiatic super family perhaps spoken by the Neolithic Cris, later C-T. It came down into IE as "bull" and is non-IE in origin. Cris being a Balkan Neolithic culture.

pconroy said...

Maju, paterk,

I think you both have part of the solution correct, as I think the emergence of the IE speakers was from a core of Dniepr-Donets people, as influenced initially by the Cucuteni-Trypolje, then by the Sredny-Stog - domesticted horse introduced - and lastly by Maykop culture, which is really a Northern outpost of the Kura-Araxes culture - who introduced chariots and metal-working to the steppe. The latter is the key to tying everything together.

The Kura-Araxes are located close to the heartland of early domestication of cereals and cattle in the Northern fertile crescent, and are bordered on one side by the Taurus mountains where I believe the word for cattle comes from - the semitic root *tawro-s.

The would all tie in nicely with the genesis of the Tocharians from the North Caucusus area - as an analysis of their plaid/tartan clothes tells us.

So I think that the infleunce of the Kura-Araxes culture, and maybe some population movement from the South Caucusus to the Steppe, provided the means and the impetus for the IE peoples to expand. I don't think the KA people were IE speakers, but may have spoken a semitic or kartvelian language, and introduced loan-words from it into the IE language.

peterk said...

Deineke,

The best I can come up to support the "oft repeated" claim of Ukrainians having the highest micro-satellite diversity of all R1a1 is Passorino, Semino, and Wells. (One should note, y-chromosome testing is not exactly a high priority for many modern day Ukrainians). However, I believe improving living standards (despite 70+ years of totalitarian communism) improve the prospects for more y-chromosome testing in modern day Ukraine in the medium term.

Also, Ukraine was one of the 3 or 4refuges during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in Europe, possibly creating a sort of bottleneck for R1a1 in the region of the Dnieper due to genetic drift.

I do have a couple of people looking into it further, and will let you know what else I can come up with.

Maju said...

Hmmmm... Khvalynsk (Samara) seems much older than any of your putative origines and is also the first to develope Kurgan burial, so characteristic of early IE expansion. Additionally they were surely in direct contact with the Botai culture of Khazakstan, who may have been the first to domesticate horses at large scale (a very apparent element in IE expansion, overall and specially at the beginning).

What may have happened is that the increase of hierarchization may have evolved further west in the Sredny Stog II complex, prior or parallely to other even more to the west epysodes of expansions (Baalberge, Balcanic-Panonnian early Kurgan remains).

Seredny Stog II is in any case a complex phenomenon ("areal term" I read as I re-check) where different actual ethno-cultural realities surely existed.

Kura-Araxes is also of that period of the late 4th milennium. In general, we can say with great security, I believe, that both Kura-Araxes as the Kurgan patches of Seredny Stog II/Pit Grave are the first geographic expansion (complex) of IEs, which was followed by the "jump" to Eastern Germany (Baalberge) and the raids into SE Europe. The ultimate cultural source was East of the Volga in any case, though it's very likely that it got "ignited" in other areas as well, where hierarchical domination was easier to implement after conquest.

Trying to divert the chronological order of Kurgan (characteristic tumular burials) expansion doesn't make any sense to me. This doesn't mean that the conquered (or sometimes maybe just directly incorporated/assimilated) peoples of other Eastern European areas did not feed the genetic pool driven by this expansion. Nevertheless, their influence in Central European IE developements after the first incursions seem very limited (almost nil, I'd say, with a possible exception at the origin of Globular Pottery/Corded Ware).

eurologist said...

As widely proven by history, prehistoric cultural associations have little to no reflection on language. I will comment on this in more detail, later.

peterk said...

Last I checked we are on a genetics blog. The genes trump theories and archeaology, which is what I like so much about recent genetic breakthroughs, specifically y-chromosomes. Show me the genetic evidence of the Samara being the source of the Indo-Europeans?

The Dnieper-Donets culture, specifically DDII is the direct pre-cursor of Sredny Stoh. In the DDII chief burials, we start to see symbols of power such as "thousands of shell beads, copper and gold ornaments, imported crystal and prphyry ornaments, polished stone maces, bird-bone tubes, and ornamental plaques made from boar's tusk. . .At the Mariupol cemetery 310 (70%) of the 429 boar's-tusk plaque accompanied just 10 (8%) of the 124 individuals". These were native displays of status. The DDII also were stockbreeders before the Khvalynsk and they were the ones who introduced it to Khvalynsk (I think a likely weaker culture). The horse also could have been domesticated by DDII. There is no evidence that it came from the Botai or Khvalynsk, these are just theories suggested as possibilities based on the weakest of guesses. I'm not saying it isn't true, but native domestication on the Pontic steppe is just as likely (more likely in my opinion). The horses native to the Pontic steppe (where the people actively hunted them and were active stockbreeders, as opposed to Khvalynsk) are ideal candidates, and big enough, to have been the first to be domesticated.

I believe if you follow the genetic evidence of R1a1 on the male side, the trail leads most obviously to the Pontic steppe. This coincides quite well with the archeaological evidence as well through and through. I'm sorry that it doesn't align with the imaginings you are trying to propagate about who, what, and where the IE were!

Maju said...

Last I checked we are on a genetics blog.

AFAIK it is an anthropology blog.

The genes trump theories and archeaology...

Hardly the latter. They are new important evidence but it's not like they are the ultimate answer to everything taken alone. Any reconstruction of the past must be comprehensive and archaeology certainly cannot be ignored, not at all.

Show me the genetic evidence of the Samara being the source of the Indo-Europeans?

AFAIK there's no such study. Anyhow R1a shows incredible homogeneity across its range, including India. It's very hard to determine anything based on what we know on R1a at the moment. Samara valley anyhow is a small area that was subject in history to many recolonizations, the genetic lanscape may have changed much since Khvalinsk and the Scythians certainly.

The Dnieper-Donets culture, specifically DDII is the direct pre-cursor of Sredny Stoh. In the DDII chief burials, we start to see symbols of power such as "thousands of shell beads, copper and gold ornaments, imported crystal and prphyry ornaments, polished stone maces, bird-bone tubes, and ornamental plaques made from boar's tusk. . .At the Mariupol cemetery 310 (70%) of the 429 boar's-tusk plaque accompanied just 10 (8%) of the 124 individuals". These were native displays of status. The DDII also were stockbreeders before the Khvalynsk and they were the ones who introduced it to Khvalynsk (I think a likely weaker culture).

This is all very interesting data and fits prefectly in the context of Early Chalcolithic, not just in the steppes but elsewhere in Europe. My question is rather blunt though: did the practice Kurgan inhumation?

The answer is NO.

The horse also could have been domesticated by DDII.

I know this has been argued in the past but right now the evidence seems to favor the Botai culture of Khazakstan instead.

There is no evidence that it came from the Botai or Khvalynsk, these are just theories suggested as possibilities based on the weakest of guesses.

AFAIK the matter on Botai seems pretty clear with loads of very direct evidence. This doesn't preculde that further evidence for earlier domestication of horse cannot be found elsewhere but so far the Botai culture stands clearly as the forefront cadidate.

I believe if you follow the genetic evidence of R1a1 on the male side, the trail leads most obviously to the Pontic steppe. This coincides quite well with the archeaological evidence as well through and through. I'm sorry that it doesn't align with the imaginings you are trying to propagate about who, what, and where the IE were!

Not quite. The R1a evidence is (AFAIK) inconclusive and the archaeological evidence is strong for a somewhat more eastern origin in fact. Said that, I do believe that the Pontic Steppe played a major role in the formation of European-specific IEs (while the Samara-Ural area would be more central to Eastern IEs).

rmstevens2 said...

Three males - THREE! - a father and two sons probably - are R1a and look at all the leaping to conclusions! Good grief! That is the great danger in this type of thing. I would urge caution. This proves that there was some R1a present in this particular Corded Ware site. What it does NOT prove is that the CWC was exclusively R1a. And it certainly does NOT prove that "R1b is not Indo-European" as someone very rashly said earlier.

Dienekes said...

And it certainly does NOT prove that "R1b is not Indo-European" as someone very rashly said earlier. I wasn't aware that anyone held the outlandish theory that R1b was associated with the Proto-Indo-Europeans, but I guess every theory has some believers.

Widdekind said...

According to the "link" article -- especially its "full supporting information" file (pg. 5) -- the father (#11) buried w/ the two children (#12-13) in grave 93 might have been J mtDNA.

And, one of his children (perhaps by a previous wife) might have been N mtDNA.


Now, both J & N mtDNA reflect the first farmer invaders of central Europe (LBK Culture, from roughly 5500 BC). This seems to suggest, or at least hints, that those first farmer families might have maintained some sense of "stand-offish-ness" from the newer Aryan immigrants (the Aryan R1a father [#3], and his sons & wife, from grave 99).

Certainly, this seems to have been a mixed population.

Dienekes said...

I don't see any reason to ascribe R1a to immigrants based on the available information. Now, if the LBK Y-chromosomes are studied and shown not to include R1a, then we can conclude that immigration of R1a is likely.

What this study does show is that LBK seems to be closer related (in terms of mtDNA) to the LBK than to any Paleolithic population of Europe.

MickeyCool30 said...

Making assumptions that all R1a in Britain is Viking is nonsense. In modern populations R1b and I haplogroup is also found in Scandinavia. 42% in Denmark are R1b so a Viking is just as likely to be R1b or I1a. Given the fact R1a is found in Germany at least 4600 years ago whose to say it didn't spread into Britain over the landbridge of Doggerland at the same time, whose to say it didn't come in with a constant connection with northern Europe over a long period of time. No ethnic/racial group is purely one haplogroup and the Vikings are no different.

As for the origin of R1a - no one really knows. After all R1a cover a vast area and includes a variety of ethnic groups. Indians don't look like Poles yet both are R1a. I would suggest climate and environment has also shaped people over many thousands of years and also as populations especially in the northern climes got worse, populations found themselves smaller and less diverse. Which may very well scew results of age and diversity.Therefore people use dating that of haplogroups ages based on scewed results. Diet can also change age ranges. Female DNA in Europe is now thought to be older (30,000) but their ages are found to be younfer (15,000) due to the Ice Age) Populations were smaller then and haplogroups could spread quickly as well as racial characterisitics.