Has Dienekes Pontikos found the signature of the Indo-Europeans?

By Razib Khan | July 3, 2012 1:35 pm

I don’t know the answer to the question posted in title above, and I’m moderately skeptical that he has. But I wanted to give him full credit in the public record if researchers confirm his findings in the next few years. You can read the full post at his weblog, but basically he found that a West Asian modal element in a north British (Orkney) and Lithuanian individual seems to be negatively correlated with a Northwest European modal element and positively correlated with Near Eastern and South Asian components on a genomic level across different models in ADMIXTURE (e.g., does “South Asian” at K = 5 tend to match “West Asian” at K = 8).

Two major concerns:


- I don’t have a good intuition for this method. Could this be an artifact of the algorithm?

- When you have a hypothesis in mind you can unconsciously seek out confirmatory points. As you can see in the comments below Dienekes and his interlocutors have given this issue much thought. Frankly, I found it difficult to follow a lot of the dialogue, and I follow this topic more than most.

It seems that at this point someone should do follow up analyses with other populations, assuming that the method is informative.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Anthroplogy, History, Linguistics
MORE ABOUT: Indo-Europeans
  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    >> I don’t have a good intuition for this method. Could this be an artifact of the algorithm?

    Well, the method is simple:

    Assess the local ancestry of the individual (Orcadian or Lithuanian) in 500 SNP windows, using the K5c and K8c calculator, e.g.,

    Chromosome BEGIN END Mb #SNPs East_Eurasian South_Asian Atlantic_Baltic Near_East African
    1 1020428 7836017 6.82 500 0.00 0.00 93.65 6.35 0.00
    1 2996143 8939678 5.94 500 0.00 0.00 83.64 16.35 0.00
    1 3671691 9350456 5.68 500 0.00 0.00 82.30 17.70 0.00
    1 4212065 10496454 6.28 500 0.00 0.00 70.05 29.95 0.00
    1 4585532 11443240 6.86 500 2.54 0.00 65.31 32.15 0.00
    1 4923181 12103392 7.18 500 6.12 0.00 60.92 32.95 0.00
    1 5242892 13672722 8.43 500 6.24 0.00 65.20 28.56 0.00
    1 5713242 14107531 8.39 500 7.71 0.00 55.53 36.75 0.00
    1 6899787 14502191 7.60 500 16.62 0.00 48.25 35.13 0.00

    Chromosome BEGIN END Mb #SNPs Atlantic_Baltic West_Asian Siberian Southern South_Asian West_African East_Asian East_African
    1 1020428 7836017 6.82 500 99.10 0.90 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
    1 2996143 8939678 5.94 500 88.47 10.39 0.00 1.14 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
    1 3671691 9350456 5.68 500 86.77 10.60 0.00 2.63 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
    1 4212065 10496454 6.28 500 71.32 18.19 0.00 10.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
    1 4585532 11443240 6.86 500 66.72 15.97 2.20 15.10 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00
    1 4923181 12103392 7.18 500 65.13 8.99 0.01 20.32 0.00 0.00 5.55 0.00
    1 5242892 13672722 8.43 500 72.16 0.01 0.00 21.14 0.00 0.00 6.68 0.00
    1 5713242 14107531 8.39 500 62.93 0.00 0.04 28.82 0.00 0.00 8.22 0.00
    1 6899787 14502191 7.60 500 56.50 1.12 1.98 25.54 0.00 0.00 14.86 0.00

    and then, calculate the correlation between columns of these two tables (each with >3,000 segments)

    that way, you discover that K=8 West_Asian segments (=genomic regions where the individuals apparently have stuff that pre-5kya Europeans don’t) tend to correspond to K=5 Near_East and South_Asian segments.

    So, at a lower resolution the West_Asian segments in Orcadians and Lithuanians are mostly interpreted as Near_East and South_Asian. That (i) points to a clear link between two very distant regions affected by Indo-Europeans, and (ii) points to the fact that this link is mostly southern Caucasoid (Near_East) rather than northern Caucasoid (Atlantic_Baltic).

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    #1, did you have some scripts which batched the processes above? if so, could you share them? i’m game to poke around with your method and see what i find, but time is constrained on my part right now….

  • http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/ Maju

    I also lack a the intuition of the method, even after D. explained it above. I also agree that it’s easy to deceive yourself finding apparent correlations that may well not withstand critical scrutiny (and that’s the good side of peer review, when done properly).

    But more so, I strongly suspect that Indoeuropeans cannot have any single signature. Why? Well, I expect them to have expanded (prior to the Modern Age) in at least three major distinct processes: (1) Europe East of the Rhine and the Adriatic, (2) South Asia and (3) Western Europe. These processes are separated by thousands of years and have many internal irregularities.

    Additionally Orcadians and Lithuanians have several other possible common genetic origins, such as porcesses affecting Northern Europe East of the North Sea (the Orcades are strongly influenced by (probable) Viking Age Norwegian immigration actually clustering halfway between Scotland and Norway Y-DNA-wise) or even the late Upper Paleolithic. In other words: you can always trace a straight line between any two points: you need many more references to be able to posit a theory in the best case.

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    If you’ve used DIYDodecad, you only need to replace ‘genomewide’ with

    byseg
    500
    50

    in the .par file

    and to convert the genotype file in the appropriate format. For 23andMe stuff, this is achieved by the bundled standardize.r script.

    If you have a BED file with 1 individual you can use the following R code:

    ped2genotype <- function(file, plink='./plink') {
    system(paste(plink,' –bfile ', file, ' –recode –transpose'))
    X<-read.table('plink.tped')
    X<-cbind(c(as.matrix(X[,2])),X[,1],X[,4],paste(X[,5],X[,6],sep=""))
    X<-X[order(X[,1]),]
    write.table(X,file='genotype.txt',quote=F,row.names=F,col.names=F)
    }

    This will write a genotype.txt file that can be used with DIYDodecad.

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    I forgot to mention that DIYDodecad outputs the segments in the above format in the byseg.txt file, which you can then import to a spreadsheet or to R to find correlations between different columns.

  • gcochran

    In the spirit of Galileo, when he discovered the phases of Venus, I have something to say – it’s better to burn out, than to fade away!

  • carpetanuiq

    In line with Maju, unconvinced until other more recent events are discarded as explanations of this West Asian element common in europeans, caucasus, baluchis and south-asians. I have several of these events in mind. Huns / Hephtalites is the most prominent at present. It would be nice to check if Sri-Lankans share this WA element. “Arian” migration to Sri Lanka predates by centuries Huns´s ones to North India.

    Also interested in knowing how this 3 waves hypothesis explains the basque conumdrum. If I interpret correctly the hypothesis, Basque language came with second wave of first farmers and R1B with third wave of IE peoples. Linguistics and genetics of basque area does not square up. I tend to think lately that IE came to Europe with first wave through a coastal process first mediterranean and then atlantic. The so called language euro-isolates are late comers.

  • chris w

    That has to be the nerdiest Def Leppard paraphrase I’ve ever heard. I like it.

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    Also interested in knowing how this 3 waves hypothesis explains the basque conumdrum. If I interpret correctly the hypothesis, Basque language came with second wave of first farmers and R1B with third wave of IE peoples. Linguistics and genetics of basque area does not square up. I tend to think lately that IE came to Europe with first wave through a coastal process first mediterranean and then atlantic. The so called language euro-isolates are late comers.

    In my opinion R1b was not originally Indo-European, primarily because it is almost non-existent in most Indo-Aryan groups, and hence does not have the crucial property of being present, even in small frequency, in all major Indo-European groups.

    We don’t have to imagine that there was a 1-1 correspondence between haplogroups and languages. After all, R1b in the Americas came with English, Spanish, Portuguese, and several more besides. So, I think it perfectly possible that it came to Europe a few thousand years earlier with different languages as well. Indeed, this is partially supported by the fact that it occurs even today in the source area in different language families, reaching high frequency in e.g., NE Caucasian Lezgians and IE Armenians.

    The only haplogroup that I’d wager for being present in the PIE community is J2a which has several attractive properties:

    - Despite being labeled “Neolithic” for a long time, it is so far absent in all early ancient DNA samples, making a late expansion quite possible.
    - Its center is near the likely PIE homeland, and projects to both Europe and Central/South Asia
    - It has clear upper caste associations within the Hindu system, again making the case for recency (since the caste system cannot be pushed very far into the past)
    - It nicely contrasts Anatolia, Armenia, and Iran (regions inhabited by several IE groups historically) with the Levant/Arabia

    So, in conclusion, while I think some R1b going into Europe was Indo-European, it was probably not all Indo-European and most likely not PIE but rather an early IE-ized population.

  • http://0pines.mythusmage.org Alan Kellogg

    How large, and how inclusive, were the samples used?

  • http://www.isteve.blogspot Steve Sailer

    “Def Leppard paraphrase”

    I thought it was Neil Young?

  • carpetanuiq

    1. Thanks for your answer, Dienekes.

    “So, I think it perfectly possible that it (R1b) came to Europe a few thousand years earlier with different languages as well. Indeed, this is partially supported by the fact that it occurs even today in the source area in different language families, reaching high frequency in e.g., NE Caucasian Lezgians and IE Armenians”.

    Just to confirm that I understand correctly above statements, then, according to you before the later third wave carrying the West Asian component and IE languages, that is before 5ky ago, a wave of peoples from a source area around Caucasus-Armenia brought to Europe R1b (with possibly other haplo) and several languages, including possibly basque.

    (A reminder for readers, the earliest R1b found so far in WEurope are Kromsdorf – Germany dated aprox. 4,5 kya in a Bell Baker context. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaker_culture) which is not far from this time frame. All other samples, indeed very few yet, before this date were carrying G, I, E).

    2. As for Sri Lanka, I could not find much genetic informartion about Sinhalese: 40% are R2, 13% are R1a1a (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_archaeogenetics_of_South_Asia).

    Their origin seems to be West-Bengal and it seems they are not that different, genetically, from Tamils which came later to the island. Legend says that Sinhalese descent from prince Vijaya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Vijaya) so maybe it was elite migration and it will not be easy to find their genetic footprint.

  • James

    @ carpetanuiq

    If basque would have come from Caucasus-Armenia along with R1b, how do you explain that Basques show consistently on all runs 0% of Caucasus or West-Asian ??

  • carpetanuiq

    @James, please ask this question to Dienekes. It is him who (I think) asserts that.

    However I do think it is likely that basque language came from this area much later (around VI century B.C) and through some kind of elite migration. This last factor explains the lack of this Caucasus / WA element in their genetics.

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    Just to confirm that I understand correctly above statements, then, according to you before the later third wave carrying the West Asian component and IE languages, that is before 5ky ago, a wave of peoples from a source area around Caucasus-Armenia brought to Europe R1b (with possibly other haplo) and several languages, including possibly basque.

    Not before 5ky, certainly not long before.

    You shouldn’t think of multiple waves; there was one wave, probably post-5ky -although it may have entered currently unsampled areas, such as the Balkans, pre-5ky, this remains to be seen.

    A useful analogy is to imagine a Finn and a Lithuanian N1c-bearer on a steamship going to New York. They share their Y-chromosome lineage, but one carries ~10% Siberian genes, while the other does not. Now, if there remained Finnish and Lithuanian enclaves a long time afterwards, one of them would preserve the legacy of those Siberian genes, while the other would not.

    This is exactly what happened in the Americas: you had lots of different autosomal mixes associated with the same group of Y-chromosomes, and we see this more clearly in North vs. South America where Englishmen and Spaniards brought different autosomal mixes.

    One can easily imagine the same thing happening thousands of years ago: the R1bs of the time in the Transcaucasus didn’t speak a single language; some of them had been IE-ized and carried some PIE genes, others had not been and did not. When news of the West reached them, they all jumped onto the opportunity (as many Europeans did when news of the discovery of America reached them) and headed that way, bringing their particular autosomal mixes with them.

    The Basques can then be seen as a group of people who are descended from non-IEs from West Asia mixing with the non-IE natives of Western Europe (who were already a Neolithic/Mesolithic mix).

    Alternatively, they are descended from IEs too, but in their case the local language won out over that of the newcomers, just as e.g., Slavic won in Croatia, but failed to win in Romania over Latin.

  • Matt

    Dienekes,

    Perhaps a comment more appropriate for your blog than here, but (since I can’t comment there without access to my google ID) what do you now think about the linguistic evidence which you earlier reported as strong evidence for a first farmers theory of Indo European spread? E.g. the Gray-Atkinson statistical linguistics and the suggestions IIRC that you saw/reported that the “pre-IE” languages of the West Asian neolithic had IE affinities. Do you now doubt that these are correct or valid?

    http://dienekes.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/indo-european-origins-neolithic.html – These statistics were helped affirm your doubts about the “the ability of Chalcolithic pastoralists from the Eurasian steppes of effecting almost total linguistic replacement over a huge area from the Atlantic to India” so what do they say about the ability of Chalcolithic agro-pastoralists from the the Caucasuan highlands of effecting almost total linguistic replacement over a huge area from the Atlantic to India?

  • Grey

    James
    “If basque would have come from Caucasus-Armenia along with R1b, how do you explain that Basques show consistently on all runs 0% of Caucasus or West-Asian ??”

    carpetanuiq
    “However I do think it is likely that basque language came from this area much later (around VI century B.C) and through some kind of elite migration. This last factor explains the lack of this Caucasus / WA element in their genetics.”

    1) If the first farmers were from eastern Anatolia and the Hattians, Minoans, Etruscans, Sumerians etc were farmers but non-IE speaking and the Hattians, Minoans, Etruscans etc were later over-run by IE speakers then it seems most likely that the first farmers were non-IE. So it seems to me if the argument is that IE speakers came from the same geographical region (or nearby) then there must have been at least two waves: the non-IE one and the IE one.

    In which case the atlantic_med component could be the non-IE Anatolian first wave (or a hybrid of that with northern euro assuming northern euro was originally all-euro) and the west_asian component the later IE speaking wave (or one of them) so the Basques have the former but not the latter.

    2) Apart from the two southern waves (if there were two) if the Transcaucasus IE speakers also hopped to the Balkans and the steppe by sea (bypassing the mountainous Caucasus) then they could have been the source regions for later IE-speaking waves (in each case in differently mixed form) one moving up the Danube and the other eventually becoming the standard Kurgan model.

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    The time depth reported by Gray-Atkinson involves the deepest split in the tree; the major multifurcation in occurs a few thousand years later. And, of course, split times in the tree do not necessarily involve long-range migrations; for example the split between Dorian and Ionian occurred long before Dorians migrated to Sicily and Ionians to Asia Minor.

    At present, the absence of genetic evidence cannot help us determine whether the Renfrew model (early IE dispersal into the Balkans), or the Ga&Iv model (late IE dispersal) is correct. As of late, I am rather more willing to give even Johanna Nichols’ 1997 model of a Bactria-Sogdiana homeland -which she considered closest to the Ga&Iv model- serious thought, principally because I suspect that there have been great changes in West Asia itself (e.g., if it was exactly as it is today, then it’s weird that the West_Asian component didn’t accompany the first farmers, and the first farmers were so G2a-heavy and lacked other typical haplogroups from the source area).

    It remains to be seen how it will all play out: if for example, early farmers from Greece and the Balkans are West_Asian-deficient like Oetzi and Gok4, then the Renfrew model is probably wrong. If the West_Asian component appears, say, 3-2,000 BC, then the Ga&Iv model is more likely to be correct. There are other ideas that could be tested, for example, Stanislav Grigoriev’s archaeological elaboration of Ga&Iv’s model would derive Sintashta from the Near East; if West_Asian turns up there but not in earlier steppe denizens, then that model might find support.

    At present, we know only that down to 5,000 years ago, the Indo-Europeans most likely had not crossed over to Western Europe as they eventually did; whether they were lurking just to the east in the Balkans and Central Europe, or much further east in their original homeland remains to be seen.

    so what do they say about the ability of Chalcolithic agro-pastoralists from the the Caucasuan highlands of effecting almost total linguistic replacement over a huge area from the Atlantic to India?

    Pastoralists have mostly left the periphery of the Eurasian steppe unscathed. Sure, they linguistically converted Hungary and Turkey, but we can very well say that of all their _known_ excursions most were duds. For example, Scytho-Sarmatians of the European steppe left only the Ossettes and some now extinct languages in Central Europe; the waves of Turkic speakers north of the steppe largely failed. The same can be said for invaders of China or India.

    So, if all the _known_ out-of-steppe migrations affected only a tiny part of the agricultural zone, it is extremely unlikely that the prehistoric ones converted most of it.

    There _are_ on the other hand abundant traces of large-scale linguistic conversion in Europe by farmers: 2,000 years ago, most of what is now Romance, Germanic, and Slavic spoke different languages. More generally, history furnishes us with ample examples of language shift within the agricultural periphery of the Eurasian steppe and very few examples of language transfer between the steppe and its periphery.

  • Grey

    “So, if all the _known_ out-of-steppe migrations affected only a tiny part of the agricultural zone, it is extremely unlikely that the prehistoric ones converted most of it.”

    Religion. The biggest (only?) known pastoralist language replacement is the Arabic one. If a language is tied to a religion and the religion is replaced then i think language replacement is quite likely, otherwise much less so as a conquering pastoralist elite are always likely to be relatively small in numbers because pastoralism generally involves lower population densities.

  • carpetanuiq

    1. Grey, yes, this scenario of a first farmer wave originating from WA speaking a non-IE language family is one of the posibilities worth to explore. But the hard linguistic facts, beyond any speculation are as follows:

    –as soon as we have historical writing records, the three language families that still exist in the area IE, Semitic and Hurro-Urartian, appeared very soon: Sumerian 5 kya (isolate), Akkadian 4,9 kya (Semitic), Hurrian Hittite 4 kya (anatolian IE), and Gutian (Iranian IE related to Tocharian according to Ga&Iv but this is not widely accepted) even sooner.

    –When we can document languages in all Europe all we find are mostly IE (highly dialectized even in small regions such as Greece, Italian peninsula etc)…except Minoan (3,8kya, unknown clasification, theories of all colours exist, including IE Indo-iranian branch), Etruscan (2,7 kya clasification unknow, theories of all colours exists, including IE), Basque (2,3 kya aquitanian, clasification unknown, theories of all colours exist), Iberian (same). One informaiton to keep in mind is that if the first wave was effected by speakers of a unique language family and all these languages were remnants of this first wave we would expect that they are related (I mean Minoan, Etruscan, Basque and Iberian). But afaik few scholars accepts this.

    –I have studied the Basque language issue in deep and experts accept that the basque present dialectization is not old. In other words, proto-basque (hypohtesized proto-language of ancient aquitanian and historical basque) is not older than 1st millenium.

    At present I remain agnostic about the PIE homeland (probably somewhere around black sea) but all this facts on the linguistic side lead me to think that farmer first wave was IE (mediterranean and later atlantic) and bronze and later waves brought us all the other languages.

    2. Dienekes, thanks again for your explanations. I have read again your original post about bronze age IE expansion and after seeing the modern distribution of WE autosomal element on which it is based I remain sceptic. Please be remainded that caucasus and adyacent areas has probably been a source of slaves since ancient times. That might explain the high propotion of this component in Greece and italy. Other similar later events may explain its presence in India.

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    Please be remainded that caucasus and adyacent areas has probably been a source of slaves since ancient times. That might explain the high propotion of this component in Greece and italy. Other similar later events may explain its presence in India.

    That is inaccurate, there is hardly any evidence for slaves from the Caucasus in Greece and Italy.

    Also, the “slave” hypothesis cannot really explain the presence of the West_Asian component in Ireland or Lithuania.

  • James

    Remember that slaves cannot be an explanation of any admixture in Europe, as slaves didn’t reproduce at all, and lived only 30 years. I hate when I see the “slaves” as a hypothesis of any kind of admixture.

  • Matt

    The time depth reported by Gray-Atkinson involves the deepest split in the tree; the major multifurcation in occurs a few thousand years later. And, of course, split times in the tree do not necessarily involve long-range migrations

    Certainly the earliest splits for Hittite (8700 BP) and Tocharian (7900 BP) certainly, but also Greek (7300 BP) and the Indo-Iranian languages (6900 BP) seem to occur a long time prior to the Bronze Age, under the model referred to in G&A’s model under that link.

    I suspect that there have been great changes in West Asia itself (e.g., if it was exactly as it is today, then it’s weird that the West_Asian component didn’t accompany the first farmers, and the first farmers were so G2a-heavy and lacked other typical haplogroups from the source area).

    One final question – the West Asian component you find AFAIK is elevated in the non-Indo-European speaking areas of the Middle East, relative to Europe and South Asia, e.g. is enriched in the southern Levant (e.g. Jordanians) compared to all of Europe (even Greece) and is comparable in Egyptians to Europeans.

    http://dienekes.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/genetic-structure-of-west-eurasians.html
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8St3ZtCjNBI/TbDF3lDzR2I/AAAAAAAADh4/olPakmVBW9c/s1600/ADMIXTURE_8.png

    Do you think this was brought by a West Asian wave of migration as well, and if so, what do you think is the linguistic / archaeological / anthropological event demonstrating this wave? Would it be the spread of the Indo-European languages in that region (which were then subsequently replaced again by Semitic languages in the later Bronze Age)?

  • carpetanuiq

    Dienekes & James, please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_ancient_Greece and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_ancient_Rome.

    From these links:

    “There was slave trade between kingdoms and states of the wider region. The fragmentary list of slaves confiscated from the property of the mutilators of the Hermai mentions 32 slaves whose origin have been ascertained: 13 came from Thrace, 7 from Caria, and the others came from Cappadocia, Caria, Scythia, Phrygia, Lydia, Syria, Ilyria, Macedon and Peloponnese.[70] The mechanism was similar to that later seen in the African slave trade: local professionals sold their own people to Greek slave merchants. The principal centres of the slave trade appear to have been Ephesus, Byzantium, and even faraway Tanais at the mouth of the Don. Some “barbarian” slaves were victims of war or localised piracy, but others were sold by their parents.[71] There is a lack of direct evidence of slave traffic, but corroborating evidence exists. Firstly, certain nationalities are consistently and significantly represented in the slave population, such as the corps of Scythian archers employed by Athens as a police force—originally 300, but eventually nearly a thousand”.

    “Between 317 BC and 307 BC, the tyrant Demetrius Phalereus ordered[49] a general census of Attica, which arrived at the following figures: 21,000 citizens, 10,000 metics and 400,000 slaves”.

    In short if I am not wrong WA element is not only present in Caucasus, also in Anatolia, West Iran etc…. War and trade were the main sources of slaves and some of these areas were on the frontier of the Ancient Greek world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Location_greek_ancient.png) and Roman empire.

    Slave childs was not uncommon, as wasn´t slaves “flying” or manumissio (I suppose this intensified with the spread of christianism). You can for instance add this three effects and apply to the situation of Atica (400.000 slaves for 21.000 citizens) and find that slaves might account of a sustantial share of the genetic ancestry in these areas.

    Re Ireland or Lithuania I am not saying that ancient slavery explains all the presence of this WA component in Europe. Other events might explain this cases. Vikings are known to have practiced slave trade at least in the direction Europe –>WestAsia.

    In any case my general argument is that before jumping to 5 kya one must try to discard later events.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    as other commenters have noted, the idea of caucasian slaves into india and eastern mediterranean in antiquity large numbers is a manifestly stupid assertion for WA admixture for MANY reasons. i’m not going to waste my time elucidating why to respond to your citations. abandon it or i will close this discussion for devolving into wasteful idiocy. the rest of the thread is interesting. keep up the good work :-)

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    The fragmentary list of slaves confiscated from the property of the mutilators of the Hermai mentions 32 slaves whose origin have been ascertained: 13 came from Thrace, 7 from Caria, and the others came from Cappadocia, Caria, Scythia, Phrygia, Lydia, Syria, Ilyria, Macedon and Peloponnese.[70]

    i.e., not Caucasus.

    Speaking of “adjacent areas”, most of the ones mentioned were Indo-European in antiquity. The ones that were not are Semitic-speaking and rich in the Southwest Asian component, which is lacking in both Western Europe and India. If “ancient slaves” were responsible for the West_Asian component, then we would also see Southwest_Asian in places like Ireland and India. We do not, and I have to agree with Razib about the assertion being “manifestly stupid”.

    In conclusion, the West_Asian component cannot be reasonably ascribed to either recent gene flow (because it’s difficult to see what kind of recent gene flow would have affected Ireland and Lithuania, and also the Southwest_Asian component is quite rare in Northern Europe). It cannot be ascribed to pre-5ka gene flow for a great area of Europe where ancient DNA samples exist.

    The obvious conclusion is that snuck into parts of Europe between 5ka and historical antiquity, i.e., during the Chalcolithic and Bronze ages.

    One final question – the West Asian component you find AFAIK is elevated in the non-Indo-European speaking areas of the Middle East, relative to Europe and South Asia, e.g. is enriched in the southern Levant (e.g. Jordanians) compared to all of Europe (even Greece) and is comparable in Egyptians to Europeans.

    There is no reason to think that Indo-Europeans would have been the champions of the West_Asian charts. For example, most of the North_European in the Americas came from West Europeans, even though North_European is more frequent in Russians, Slavs, Finns and the like.

    And, of course, we must not forget that neither in Egypt nor in Jordan do they now speak what they spoke 5,000 years ago, and both regions have had long contacts with Indo-European groups and other non-Semitic groups of West Asia. One can contrast, for example, Egyptians with Berbers, Moroccans, Algerians, and the like that were much less affected by such groups.

  • carpetanuiq

    As a last comment in the thread let me just repeat, as general propositions, why I still remain unconvinced of “the obvious conclusion is that snuck into parts of Europe between 5ka and historical antiquity, i.e., during the Chalcolithic and Bronze ages”. Please note that I am not saying that the proposition in the conclusion is imposible or even unlikely, just that the provided evidences are not strong at present:

    –you must prove that this WA component is present in all places where the suposed carrier (IE) went or explain absences. I´m still waiting for comments re Sri Lanka. And I have other cases in mind.

    –you must discard all other later events (in historical times) as vectors for the scaterring of the WA component in the regions where you assert it is present. After reading your comments I must stress once again that you don´t need a single event in a single point of time such slavery in Antiquity (which I still think can explain part of it, of course not in India of course, nobody spoke about India). A combination of different events in different point times would be acceptable provided that certain conditions that i will not develope here holds.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    After reading your comments I must stress once again that you don´t need a single event in a single point of time such slavery in Antiquity (which I still think can explain part of it, of course not in India of course, nobody spoke about India).

    yes you did:

    Please be remainded that caucasus and adyacent areas has probably been a source of slaves since ancient times. That might explain the high propotion of this component in Greece and italy. Other similar later events may explain its presence in India.

    don’t be a weasel.

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    @27.

    The West_Asian component does exist in Sri Lanka at a level of ~1/4 in my sample of N=3

    As for later influences, I have already argued why they cannot be responsible for the presence of the West_Asian component in places like Ireland and Lithuania, namely because these places have extremely low levels of Southwest_Asian, and this is inconsistent with substantial recent Near Eastern admixture.

    Similarly, India, and Altai both have “West_Asian”, but no “Southern” and this is again inconsistent with recent Near Eastern admixture.

    So, in both east and west we get “West_Asian” without the other components one would expect from recent Near Eastern admixture.

    The sweet spot for when it appears on the record is the period between 3,000-1,000BC, I would say, and I’ve already entered my guess that after 5-4kya it will turn up in ancient DNA from Europe, while it may be present in currently unsampled areas (such as the Balkans) even earlier.

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Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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