September 27, 2013

Ancient mtDNA from Ukraine (Newton 2011)

I had seen this before, and it appears to have become downloadable.

Ancient Mitochondrial DNA From Pre-historic Southeastern Europe: The Presence of East Eurasian Haplogroups Provides Evidence of Interactions with South Siberians Across the Central Asian Steppe Belt
Jeremy R. Newton, Grand Valley State University

Studies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphism have provided valuable insights for understanding patterns of human migration and interaction. The ability to recover ancient mtDNA sequence data from post-mortem bone and tissue samples allows us to view snapshots of historic gene pools firsthand, provided that great care is taken to prevent sample contamination. In this study, we analyzed the DNA sequence of the first hypervariable segment (HVSI) of the mtDNA control region, as well as a portion of the coding region, in 14 individuals from three collective burials from the Neolithic Dnieper-Donetz culture and three individuals from Bronze Age Kurgan burials, all located in modern-day Ukraine on the northern shores of the Black Sea (the North Pontic Region, or NPR). While most of our samples possessed mtDNA haplotypes that can be linked to European and Near Eastern populations, three Neolithic and all three Bronze Age individuals belonged to mtDNA haplogroup C, which is common in East Eurasian, particularly South Siberian, populations but exceedingly rare in Europe. Phylogeographic network analysis revealed that our samples are located at or near the ancestral node for haplogroup C and that derived lineages branching from the Neolithic samples were present in Bronze Age Kurgans. In light of the numerous examples of mtDNA admixture that can be found in both Europe and Siberia, it appears that the NPR and South Siberia are located at opposite ends of a genetic continuum established at some point prior to the Neolithic. This migration corridor may have been established during the Last Glacial Maximum due to extensive glaciation in northern Eurasia and a consequent aridization of western Asia. This implies the demographic history for the European gene pool is more complex than previously considered and also has significant implications regarding the origin of Kurgan populations.

13 comments:

Unknown said...

This evidence goes against the commonly held notion that during the Bronze Age the only people inhabiting the western Eurasian steppe regions were of the "Aryan" variety, whether they were Caucasian Indo-Iranians or the romanticized blonde Nordic spreading the chariot, horse, and IE culture.
It's possible that the spreaders of Indo-Iranian or Scythians moving into Central Asia from the north were of mixed East Asian and European origin, but they became more Caucasian as they went south into the more densely populated BMAC region.

German Dziebel said...

"Phylogeographic network analysis revealed that our samples are located at or near the ancestral node for haplogroup C and that derived lineages branching from the Neolithic samples were present in Bronze Age Kurgans. In light of the numerous examples of mtDNA admixture that can be found in both Europe and Siberia, it appears that the NPR and South Siberia are located at opposite ends of a genetic continuum established at some point prior to the Neolithic. This migration corridor may have been established during the Last Glacial Maximum due to extensive glaciation in northern Eurasia and a consequent aridization of western Asia. "

So, what does it tell us about the origin of Indo-Europeans?

mm said...

Genetic analysis should be able to pinpoint the possible locations of Atlantis, should it not?

Throwing away all prejudices and theories, the need is to look for a point of convergence of various radial new genetic marker appearance. One more reasonable guidance would be approx 10000 BC sophisticated cities to exist along the perimeter of potential area covered by floods where potential escapees were able to utilize part of surviving skills.

If I am right, one such ring of cities would include Levant, Gobekli Tepe, and a city found under water near East Indian cost. Possibly also Egypt and Ethiopia.

From genetic studies, it seems impossible for Atlantis to be situated in Atlantic ocean, or even Mediterranean, but it does not rule out its possible existence in Indian Ocean, as Mahabharata explains in detail about the island Krishna lived among others like him.

In Mediterranean, however, some other "Athena" civilization that was at war with Atlantis might have suffered a catastrophe as well.

Has there been any interesting attempts to locate Atlantis by genetic studies?

Dr Rob said...

@ GD; "So, what does it tell us about the origin of Indo-Europeans?"

-> Nothing. Language spreads a socio-linguistic phenomena, not gene trees.

German Dziebel said...

@Physician Rob

"Nothing. Language spreads a socio-linguistic phenomena, not gene trees."

Both my question and your answer are actually better suited for Dienekes who's been blogging about a West Asian origin for Indo-Europeans (sic!) on the basis of modern population genetics (sic!). Now, ancient DNA shows that the immediate successors of the Pontic archaeological cultures usually posited as corresponding to the proto-Indo-European language community had a bunch of mtDNA C lineages suggestive of population movements from South Siberia, close to where Tocharian was later spoken, into the Pontic steppes, and not from West Asia where Hittite - the lynchpin of the Anatolian hypothesis - was spoken.

FYI: linguistic classifications such as "Indo-European" are genealogical classifications by definition so some sort of concordance between genetic and linguistic phylogenies can be expected once contact phenomena are correctly identified and removed from the equation.

Dr Rob said...

@ G D.
The problem is the very fundamentals which you allude to are inherently incorrect, or simplistic at best.

Molecular anthropolgoy can, at best, reveal insights into local demographic processes, and should not be used to make sweeping , broad-brush conclusions about langauge expansions, esp the likes of IE whose spread was a long-term, punctuated and complex affair which cannot be linked neither solely to Pontic steppe farmers, not West Asian highland metallurgists, or what have you.

That is why most good quality scholars not only refrain from using genetics, but are against it. Excpections are bellwood,, refnfrew , of course, but they're just committing the very cardinal sins I describde above.

And Im sure we all agree and applaud Dieneke's findings of a West Asian component coming thru in ~ Copper / Bronze Age. However, the *meaning* of this is likely to be very complex, and beyond a simple migrationist tail.

Dr Rob said...

Oh, and the simple, unadulterated version of 'family tree' langueg phylogenies are simply incorrect and bereft of explanatory explanation. Langauges are not species, and to think of them as such is disappointingly naive

terryt said...

"Excpections are bellwood,, refnfrew , of course, but they're just committing the very cardinal sins I describde above".

But Bellwood has the very real advantage that Autronesian was expanding into largely uninhabited regions and so language and genetic expansion are intimately tied in the Pacific. Or at least cane be easily interpreted.

German Dziebel said...

You make no sense, Physician Rob. Science is in the business of making complex simple, not in the business of worshipping complexity.

Unknown said...

The very concept of Indo-European languages is “genetic.” You have common aspects in these languages that historical linguists trace back to one common ancestor. It’s not biological genetics, but linguistic genetics.

The whole IE idea (as well as the idea of Proto-Indo-European) is based on a mother language that’s conjectured from its descendants.

This is on what the original idea of an Indo-European Homeland -- more properly a Proto-Indo-European Homeland -- was based. A “dominant” language carried by people who were biologically genetically related people (“Indo-Europeans”) who were also dominant. And this caused in some way dominated people to adopt an Indo-European language.

The model was based on a colonial one. The British in India, the spread of Latin and Arabic, Spanish and English in America, etc. Sometimes the suggested CAUSE of dominance was a technological one. Sometimes it was attributed to cultural or racial advantages.

Various versions of this idea of “Indo-Europeans” as a discreet ethnic group continue to this day. One thing that has made this theory less credible is that the “Indo-European” DNA that some people predicted has not shown up.

There is really no evidence of a biologically genetic, discrete “ruling class” sweeping out of the Steppes and spreading the Indo-European languages across of substrates of biological genetic underclasses.

The new influx of DNA data paints a very different picture.

One of the most important ideas that has come out of this new data is that we now have two different questions.

Where Indo-European languages originated is a very different question from why they spread. And its pretty clear that most of the spread of Indo-European languages is unlikely to be connected to any group that can be called “Indo-Indoeuropeans” or “Proto-Indo-Europeans.”

Simon_W said...

Is there ever going to be a satisfying, convincing solution to the problem of IE origins and expansions based on linguistic arguments alone, one that will be accepted by most scholars and become mainstream? I doubt it. Therefore additional kinds of evidence are needed and welcome, such as archeology and human (and other) genetics. People who reject these as additional evidence to the PIE problem will be left with only one option: Scepticism, an eternal „we can't know“. It's probably a question of personal taste, if one is ready to live with this.

Simon_W said...

I think that both extreme positions are untenable: That all the IE peoples must have something on the genetic side in common – and that the IE expansion had absolutely nothing to do with expanding peoples and hence, alleles. More reasonable is an intermediate position: A huge expansion like the IE one cannot have occured without leaving at least some trace on the genetic side; that would be strange. But then again, we know things can be complicated, and sometimes even victorious invaders adopted the language of their subjects – as was the case with Franks in France or the Bulgarians in Bulgaria.

terryt said...

"More reasonable is an intermediate position: A huge expansion like the IE one cannot have occured without leaving at least some trace on the genetic side; that would be strange. But then again, we know things can be complicated, and sometimes even victorious invaders adopted the language of their subjects"

To me that is so obvioulsy the case that is is a problem that you need to point it out in detail to some.