February 27, 2010

Ancient DNA from Pengyang nomads

It is interesting that only haplogroup Q was found in the (admittedly limited) sample of nomads. I am pretty sure that there is plentiful haplogroup O (the dominant Han group) in the region today and C (the dominant Mongolian one), just as haplogroup R1a which was dominant in the earliest inhabitants of the Tarim basin has lost its special place there.

Hopefully we will be seeing more ancient Y chromosome results from the eastern half of the Eurasian continuum in the future.

Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 26 February 2010; doi: 10.1038/jhg.2010.8

Ancient DNA from nomads in 2500-year-old archeological sites of Pengyang, China

Yong-Bin Zhao et al.


Six human remains (dating ~2500 years ago) were excavated from Pengyang, China, an area occupied by both ancient nomadic and farming people. The funerary objects found with these remains suggested they were nomads. To further confirm their ancestry, we analyzed both the maternal lineages and paternal lineages of the ancient DNA. From the mitochondrial DNA, six haplotypes were identified as three haplogroups: C, D4 and M10. The haplotype-sharing populations and phylogenetic analyses revealed that these individuals were closely associated with the ancient Xiongnu and modern northern Asians. Single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis of Y chromosomes from four male samples that were typed as haplogroup Q indicated that these people had originated in Siberia. These results show that these ancient people from Pengyang present a close genetic affinity to nomadic people, indicating that northern nomads had reached the Central Plain area of China nearly 2500 years ago.



Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

R1A is still common in the Uyghurs
who sometimes live in the Tarim basin.

Unknown said...

Not to mention the Kyrzyz and Pamiri.

Dienekes said...

Not saying that it isn't, just that it's no longer dominant like it was 4,000 years ago.

Mongols said...

Anthropological traits of Pingyang inhabitants were similar to the present arctic subrace with far east asian and north asian subrace elements, and their anthropologically closest relatives was the inhabitants of Wanggong site, Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia who was considered to be the ancestral group of Toba Xianbei, according to the study by Qifeng Pan,1990.

Mongols said...

sorry, I make a mistake, Sorry, it's pengyang from upper yellow river where occupied by west Rong namadic group, not Pingyang of North Manchuria.

Mongols said...

Halpotypes of Pengyang nomads from upper yellow river match exaclty with the present Mongolians, Siberians, Central asian Turks and the altaic ethnicities of north China, that suggests there's a strong genetic link to ancient north asian groups, also consistent with their anthropological traits of north Mongoloid. one halpotype M10 is a bit special among others, only matches one of Inner Mongolians, I remember there's halpotype M10 among ancient Inner Mongolians, Japan's Jomon inhabitants, China's neolithic Hongshan inhabitants of taosi site from middle yellow river, and the present southwest China's Tibetant groups with a relatively high frequnce, and liaoning people of northeast China, the former south Manchuria too. it seems that halpogroup M10 was native to the area of upper yellow river, and represented the native proto-Tibetant Di-Qiang groups, although they was called west Rong, the typical Rong nomads occupied central and east Inner Mongolia.

Y-DNA halpotype Q seems to suggest they were one of proto-Turkic groups from Siberia like today's Yakut.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

The Romanization appears to be non-standard. Is this the same as "Xinjiang"?

The timing is a huge deal, which makes up for the small (and probably not satistically independent) sample. 2500 years ago is a really crucial formative period. Around that time in the area North of the Great Wall is a formative period for the Japanese and Korean languages and predecessor kingdoms, it was a time of Bronze age technology acquisition and political unification among "barbarians" North of China, it is 270 years prior to to the political unification of China, and this time and place roughly corresponds with the Urheimat of the Turkic and Mongolian languages (and possibly a division from a proto-Altaic language).

But, subsequent waves of Mongolian and other steppe nomad expansions going back and forth since then have erased our ability to use current haloptype distributions as a reliable indicator of genetic makeup this far back.