January 10, 2013

Ancient Y chromosomes from China

This appears to be an abstract of a 2012 dissertation from Jilin University (using Google Translate):
Northern China is the hub of East Asia connecting North Asia, Central Asia and the European civilization, it is a vast variety of natural ecological environment, suitable for farming, nomadic, hunting and fishing and other economic lifestyle coexist, since ancient times is fertile ground for human life, many ancient ethnic groups in here thrive and leave a valuable intangible cultural heritage. Ancient ancestors of the region but also a number of occasions by force to seize power, large-scale war had thrown the history of the North China southward to accelerate China Southern, northern populations gene fusion. Part of the ancient nation even Expeditionary Europe, its descendants across the country to play a role in promoting the exchange of population of the entire Eurasian continent. These events northern populations occupy an important position in the history of human migration. Therefore, this region of the ancient population genetics research for the original genetic retrospective of the Chinese nation, and speculated Eurasia population migration, fusion mode has great significance. This study of 13 archaeological sites in northern China - Xinjiang river cemetery, Hami Tianshan Road cemetery, Barkol the black Gouliang cemetery, the Ning Xia Pengyang cemetery, Xining Tao Wangjiazai cemetery, of Shanxi Jiangxian cross Kitamura cemetery, Hebei Yuxian three hurdles cemetery, Temple Zaigou site Niuheliang site, Sahara Trench cemetery, DADIANZI site, large piedmont ruins, wells ditch sub cemetery - human remains unearthed parent molecular genetics research, summed up the various ancient population Y chromosome haplotype groups paternal genetic diversity of the distribution rules and characteristics, combined with related ancient the modern crowd molecular genetics data reveal ancient population of the different regions of northern China, to explore the genetic makeup of the different periods of the ancient population dynamic process, in order to clarify the north fusion between ethnic origin, flow and crowd differentiation provides evidence of molecular genetics. The results are as follows: First, five archaeological site northeast western Liaoning Province 78 males unearthed ancient human remains of 44 cases of samples Y-DNA results are attributed to the C, N and O three single haplotype groups. Haplogroup N in western Liaoning Province the ancient population for a long, extensive presence, and account for a large proportion, dated to 5500-3000 years ago, is the most important ingredient in the genetic composition of the area of the ancient population paternal; based on single frequency of the haplotype groups O ancient population of western Liaoning Province and their cultural attributes and lifestyle of the crowd, and the combination of the relevant ancient population Y-SNP findings, we speculate that the haplogroup O northward by the Central Plains, emigrated to the the ancient agricultural population of western Liaoning Province carried haplogroup. The emergence of haplogroup C may be related to the nomads of the south of the North Asia. These data suggest that paternal genetic structure of the indigenous populations of the western Liaoning Province while maintaining continuity, integration into the ancient Central Plains and North Asian populations paternal genetic component. , From 64 cases of the Northwest men of ancient human remains successful Y-DNA results of 46 cases of samples, attributable to four single haplotype N, O, Q and R groups. Paternal genetic make-up of the ancient population of the Northwest Territories has obvious geographical specificity, for example, the westernmost Creek crowd as the main western lineage of R1a1 haplogroup; the adjoining Inner Mongolia Pengyang crowd all individuals can be attributed to a single type groups Q, North Asian populations in the high-frequency haplogroup; while the the approaching the Central Plains Dow Wangjiazai crowd of paternal Y-DNA to the East Asian haplogroup O, similar to the modern Han population. Comprehensive analysis of the ancient population of the Northwest Territories paternal genetic structure, in the paternal genetic form of the ancient population of the Northwest Territories there are significantly different, the reason for these different genetic data obtained speculated, is mainly due to the different groups of people have different paternal origin, everyone group accepted by the ancestors of the crowd gene contribution is different, and the from Sire terms, fewer exchanges between people own unique genetic component, so that it is preserved. Third, the success obtained from ancient human remains of the 48 cases in North China's male Y-DNA results of 29 cases of samples, attributable to the N, O and Q three single haplotype groups. The largest proportion of haplogroup O, diversity highest in two archaeological sites of the ancient Central Plains region of North China have been found; the haplogroup Q high frequency existence of Shanxi was the ancient nomads " Di "active area; haplogroup N appears that there may be the exchange of genes between populations in the Central Plains and western Liaoning Province. Comprehensive analysis of the Y-DNA of the various regions of the ancient population study results, northwest and northeast regions of the ancient population of most East Asian specific single haplotype groups can be found in the ancient population of the Central Plains, Ancient crowd paternal genetic diversity high. Central Plains region, since the Shang and Zhou dynasties is the Huaxia their descendants Han settlements, so the characteristics of the ancient population genetic structure in the Central Plains region of North China from one side of corroboration ancestors of the Han - Huaxia the Source is diverse rather than a single the integration of the different sources of the ancient population genetic component in the process of its formation. Based on the above analysis of the results, the paternal genetic structure of the ancient population in northern China in different regions have different distribution patterns: Northeast western Liaoning Province, while maintaining continuity in the of indigenous populations paternal genetic, you can see that the foreign genetic component exists in the population of the region, the foreign genetic component is likely to come from the Central Plains and North Asia and other regions. About 3000-2500 years ago, and the increasing trend of foreign genetic component. Northwest Territories of paternal inheritance there are significant differences between different geographical area of ancient population. 5 northwest of the ancient population of this study, Y chromosome genetic data, the reasons for these differences may be due to different populations have different sources of paternal and less genetic exchange between different populations, so that the the inherent genetic structure is maintained; in North China, the the patrilineal genetic structure is located in the ancient Central Plains region of the ancient population with modern Han closest, the modern Han paternal genes contributors.
The full text appears to be behind a paywall. Any native speakers who can add some information and/or correct possible mistranslations, feel free to do so in the comments.


Va_Highlander said...

Google really made a mess of this one. My grasp of Chinese is modest, at best, but some of this is already familiar to me.

The first archaeological site mentioned is in Xinjiang Provence: the Xiaohe cemetery, near Lop Nor. This is the "westernmost Creek crowd", reported to be R1a1. To the best of my knowledge, this is nothing new and their Y DNA has been known for some years.

The next site is the Tianshanbeilu cemetery -- sometimes called Linya, as in Li, 1999 -- in the Hami Oasis area of Xinjiang. This is a site of particular interest, since the ceramic assemblage shows connections to both the Siba culture, to the east, and to the Ke’ermuqi culture, from the Dzungar Basin. Ke'ermuqi had apparent cultural ties to the Afanasevo people of southern Siberia.

Va_Highlander said...

For the sake of completeness, the remaining eleven of the thirteen archaeological sites mentioned are Heigouliang cemetery (Barköl Kazakh Autonomous County, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, dated to the early Iron Age), Pengyang cemetery (Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, 2600-2200 BP), Taojiazhai cemetery (Xining City, Qinghai Provence, 2000 BP), Hengbei Village cemetery (Jiang County, Shanxi Province, Early Zhou to Spring-and-Autumn period), Sanguan cemetery (Wei County, Hebei Provence, early Lower Xiajiadian), Miaozigou cemetery (Chayouqian Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, type site, 5500-5000 BP), Niuheliang cemetery (Jiangping County, Liaoning Province, Late Hongshan, 5650-5150 BP), Halahaigou cemetery (Sihe Village, near the town of Yuanbaoshan, Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, 4500 BP), Dadianzi cemetery (near type site of Xiajiadian, Aohan Banner, Inner Mongolia, two phases: Lower Xiajiadian, 4000-3500 BP, and Upper Xiajiadian, 3000-2300 BP), Dashanqian cemetery (Chifeng City, Lower Xiajiadian, 4000-3500 BP), and Jinggouzi cemetery (Linxi County, Inner Mongolia, type site, Spring-and-Autumn through Warring-States periods).

dux.ie said...

Unfortunate that the ancient DNA
from Linzi was not included.

terryt said...

Thanks for those titbits folks. The translation seems not much better than what we find in instructions for assembling Chinese made products.

dux.ie said...

The article seems to suggest that
for the nomadic tribes Rong and Di
the dominant yHpG is Q. The result
is more significant than I thought.

One of the puzzle from Louis Gates'
documentary Faces of America, is
among the twelve celebs whose DNA
were analysed YoYo Ma was found to
be closest related to Eva Langoria
despite that there was another American Japanese in the sample,


Longoria was thought to have 27% presumingly Mayan DNA. Indigenous
American are thought to be mainly
of yHpG Q (I know Longoria is female). Chinese surname Ma (meaning horse) tends to be decendent of the nomads rather than farmers. So was the possible
link happened 12 thousand years ago before the Indigenous American crossed over the Bering Straits ?

Va_Highlander said...


You may be correct, as I haven't seen the paper itself, but this abstract makes no mention of the Rong.

What the abstract says, roughly, is that the high frequency of haplogroup Q is possibly due to the fact that Shanxi was the main area of activity for the Di (狄人), an ancient race of nomadic pastoralists. The Rong, according to surviving accounts, were said to be further to the west. They are sometimes associated in Chinese historical accounts, but it was also common for such accounts to blur distinctions between what may in fact have been distinct "barbarian" populations.

Lathdrinor said...

Nomadicism is a lifestyle that was undertaken by a huge variety of groups over the course of time. We certainly don't have evidence that the Mongols, Turks, etc., who are known descendants of nomads, are Q. On the other hand, it is conceivable that the distribution of Q was a lot higher 3,000 years ago in and around Central Asia, and they were among the groups that spearheaded the pastoral life style in those days. But later nomads, from the looks of it, did not share in the same haplotype. The steppes were never homogeneous, and it is better not to make sweeping statements about the haplotype of nomads when we have plenty of evidence for diversity.

dux.ie said...


Yes the paper did not mention Rong.
However, in


"In 706 BC Qi was attacked by the Shan Rong."
"In 664 he protected Yan from the Rong.'

Liaonin and Jilin are in the old Yan Kingdom. May be the Rong had not reach there at that time.

Valikhan said...

Hi Va_Highlander,

I can send you the original Chinese article in pdf.

dux.ie said...


The paper found high freq yHpG Q at Shanxi and attributed them to the ancient Di normad there, not the other way round.

Later there was large scale sinitization occuring there,


Va_Highlander said...


I should appreciate such kindness very much and many thanks:



The difficulty is that "Rong" (戎) seems to have been a generic term for barbaric peoples. For instance, the Xirong ("Western Rong") and Shanrong ("Mountain Rong") may have been somehow related. But it may have also been that the only thing that they had in common was the fact that they were both considered barbarian peoples by the Chinese.

As for the Xianbei, they were explicitly said to be descendants of the Donghu, a proto-Mongolian people originally to the north of the Di. The sinicization campaign you mention is 500 years or more after the latest archaeological site surveyed in this paper and a millennium or more after the Zhou wrote of the Di and Rong. If there was a relationship between these latter two and the Xianbei, there doesn't seem to be much evidence to support the claim, at least from what I can see.

So, I must agree with at least the spirit of Lathdrinor's comment. I think it is tempting to emphasize similarities between nomadic pastoralists and minimize their differences, if for no other reason than for simplicity's sake. However, one of the significant conclusions of this paper is that there was considerable genetic variation along the northern boundary of the "Huaxia". We should probably, as a consequence, resist such temptations as much as possible.

We have a similar situation to the west, across the Eurasian steppe. It was assumed that the nomadic pastoralists of that region were more-or-less culturally homogeneous, with only some largely insignificant regional variation. Now, it is becoming increasingly clear that this is not the case and the differences between the Afanasevo, for instance, in the east, and the Yamna, their alleged relations far to the west, were profound, easily more significant than any supposed similarities.

dux.ie said...


It seems that both Rong and Di are just generic terms. They more ore less operating in each other's territory. The difference seems to be that Rong had no significant archaeological site to pin the location to whereas Di was more sinitized, had established a significant state at Hebei during the warring states period and a king's tomb was found,


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9BDoWTfcK4 (in Chinese)

The grave goods were inscribed in ancient Chinese. The branding of barbarian might be more political (not submitting to Zhou ?) than cultural.

Anonymous said...

Within the 12 Xiaohe graves, there are 11 R1a results, and one K* result. I find this K* result interesting.
I have read the paper of this study. The following is a list of the Y-SNP markers that have been tested in this study:

-C-M216, C-M8, C-M38, C-PK2
-N-M231, N1a-M128, N1b-P43, N1c-Tat
-O-M175, -O1, O2-M95, O3-M122, O3a-M324, O3a3-P201, O3a2c1a-M117 , O3a3c1-M117, O3a-M324, O3a3-P201
-Q-M242, Q-MEH2

As a conclusion from this list of tested markers, the remaining subgroups of the Y-SNP marker K-M9(xN, O, P) have not been tested. I am thinking that this K* result could belong to the Y-SNP haplogroups L or T? Do you guys agree with this? Also, since the combination of subgroups of haplogroups R and T have been found in several unexpected cases in other studies, i think this K* could belong to haplogroup T. Ofcourse in order to prove this, the K* needs to be subtyped.

terryt said...

"I am thinking that this K* result could belong to the Y-SNP haplogroups L or T? Do you guys agree with this?"

Possible, but it seems unlikely to me. There are quite a few Y-DNA haplogroups listed as 'MNOPS' in the Philippines and Southern Wallacea and it seems reasonable to suppose it could be more widespread. Perhaps as far north as the current study area.

anthropolog said...

hello very interesting blog. Could it be possible to send me the full article too please?

Mason said...

Dear Dienekes,

I think you would be interested about this new paper.


Y Chromosome analysis of prehistoric human populations in the West Liao River Valley, Northeast China

Yinqiu Cui etc.


The West Liao River valley in Northeast China is an ecologically diverse region, populated in prehistory by human populations with a wide range of cultures and modes of subsistence. To help understand the human evolutionary history of this region, we performed Y chromosome analyses on ancient human remains from archaeological sites ranging in age from 6500 to 2700 BP.

47 of the 70 individuals provided reproducible results. They were assigned into five different Y sub-haplogroups using diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms, namely N1 (xN1a, N1c), N1c, C/C3e, O3a (O3a3) and O3a3c. We also used 17 Y short tandem repeat loci in the non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome. There appears to be significant genetic differences between populations of the West Liao River valley and adjacent cultural complexes in the prehistoric period, and these prehistoric populations were shown to carry similar haplotypes as present-day Northeast Asians, but at markedly different frequencies.

Our results suggest that the prehistoric cultural transitions were associated with immigration from the Yellow River valley and the northern steppe into the West Liao River valley. They reveal the temporal continuity of Y chromosome lineages in populations of the West Liao River valley over 5000 years, with a concurrent increase in lineage diversity caused by an influx of immigrants from other populations.