Across the sea of grass: how Northern Europeans got to be ~10% Northeast Asian

By Razib Khan | September 7, 2012 12:11 pm

The Pith: You’re Asian. Yes, you!

A conclusion to an important paper, Nick Patterson, Priya Moorjani, Yontao Luo, Swapan Mallick, Nadin Rohland, Yiping Zhan, Teri Genschoreck, Teresa Webster, and David Reich:

In particular, we have presented evidence suggesting that the genetic history of Europe from around 5000 B.C. includes:

1. The arrival of Neolithic farmers probably from the Middle East.

2. Nearly complete replacement of the indigenous Mesolithic southern European populations by Neolithic migrants, and admixture between the Neolithic farmers and the indigenous Europeans in the north.

3. Substantial population movement into Spain occurring around the same time as the archaeologically attested Bell-Beaker phenomenon (HARRISON, 1980).

4. Subsequent mating between peoples of neighboring regions, resulting in isolation-by-distance (LAO et al., 2008; NOVEMBRE et al., 2008). This tended to smooth out population structure that existed 4,000 years ago.

Further, the populations of Sardinia and the Basque country today have been substantially less influenced by these events.

 

It’s in Genetics, Ancient Admixture in Human History. Reading through it I can see why it wasn’t published in Nature or Science: methods are of the essence. The authors review five population genetic statistics of phylogenetic and evolutionary genetic import, before moving onto the novel results. These statistics, which measure the possibility of admixture, the extent of admixture, and the date of admixture, are often presented, but nested into supplements, in previous papers by the same group. On the one hand this removes from view the engines which are driving the science. On the other hand I have always appreciated that a benefit of this injustice to the methods which make insight possible is that those without academic access can actually bite into the meat of the researcher’s mode of thought.

I did read through the methods. Twice. I’ve encountered all the statistics before, and I’ve read how they were generated, but I’ll be honest and admit that I haven’t internalized them. That has to end now, because the authors have finally released a software package which implements the statistics, ADMIXTOOLS. I plan to use it in the near future, and it is generally best if you understand the underlying mechanisms of a software package if you are at the bleeding end of analytics. I will review the technical points in more detail in future posts, more for my own edification than yours. But for the moment I’ll be a bit more cursory. Four of the tests use comparisons of allele frequencies along explicit phylogenetic trees. That’s so general as to be uninformative as a description, but I think it’s accurate to the best of my knowledge. In the basics the tests are seeing if a model fits the data (as opposed to TreeMix, which finds the best model out of a range to fit the data). The last method, rolloff, infers the timing of an admixture event based upon the decay of linkage disequilibrium. In short, admixture between two very distinct populations has the concrete result of producing striking genomic correlations. Over time these correlations dissipate due to recombination. The magnitude of dissipation can allow one to gauge the time in the past when the original admixture occurred.

Let’s look at some results. To the left is a section of a table which illustrates the most significant 3-population test scores in the HGDP. The authors checked all the various combinations, and these came out at the top as likely admixtures (i.e., the two sources produce particular patterns in the target). Please remember that these triads should not be taken literally. The Uygur are not descended from Japanese and Italians. Rather, they are descended from populations with genetic affinities to these two sources. Precisely, the Uygurs are descended from Northeast Asian Turks, who assimilated an Indo-European speaking substratum. Most of the results are rather obvious and explicable. Several Middle Eastern populations are known to have Sub-Saharan African admixture, and this is shows up in the results. Others may be more confusing because of the obscurity of the populations, but the Burusho clearly have ancient East Asian ancestry on clustering algorithms, so their presence is not surprising to me. Similarly, the Russians in the HGDP data set have an ‘eastern’ affinity (or at least some do), either due to Finno-Ugric or Turkic ancestry (Tatars regularly assimilated into a Russian ethnic identity as the Tsars expanded their domains).

Some of the other results are more confusing, but one can still find a historical explanation. I have seen evidence that some of the Cambodian samples may have old Indian admixture, though it is not entirely clear to me. But that could explain why there is a signature of West Eurasian admixture into this population (though one wonders why the donor was not Baloch or Pathan.). The Xibo and Tu are Northeast Asian groups, on the border between China proper and the great Eurasian interior. West Eurasian admixture into these groups is not unexpected. West Eurasians are historically attested among the mercenaries and soldiers who arrived on the North China plain after the collapse of the Han dynasty, down to the Alans who served under Kublai Khan. Some of Mongolian and Turkic peoples have individuals who are attested as having characteristics more typical of Europeans (e.g., red hair), so it is likely that this admixture was relatively old and widespread, well before the era of the Pax Mongolica.

There is a minor dissonant note in these results above. The authors used rolloff and inferred an admixture of ~800 years before the present. This is far lower than earlier estimates, which were >2,000 years before the present. First, I have to say that I was mildly skeptical of the higher value reported earlier. From what little I know the roiling of Turco-Mongol peoples which reordered the Inner Asian landscape did not really establish itself beyond the Chinese fringe at this time. Recall that Central Asia was the domain of the Iranians from prehistory down to the Islamic age (the full transition of Central Asia from Persianate to Turkic has not completed itself to this date, though it has progressed over the centuries since 1000 A.D.). Is it creditable that the Turkic hordes were shut on the other side of the Pamirs for ~1,000 years? Perhaps. But it should warrant skepticism, and openness to the lower values proffered here. The technical reason that the authors consider is that STRUCTURE based inferences may overestimate admixture when reference populations are not appropriate. And yet the authors still concede that 800 years is simply difficult to credit when one consults the historical literature. Strangely though it does align with the date of the Mongol ascendancy, during which time the Uygurs served as civil servants in the barbarian empire (Mongol script derives from the old Uygur script). I managed to dig up a cave painting of Uygurs from this period. There is surely artistic license, but they look rather East Asian to me, as opposed to the hybrid Eurasian appearance modal among modern Uygurs. I won’t touch upon the rather fraught and complex ethnology and ethnogenesis of modern Uygurs, and their relationship to Russian and Chinese ethnographers, but suffice it to say that one needs to be careful about excessive reliance on the literality of historical documents in this area, because of semantic confusions.

So let’s move to the main course: what’s going on in Europe? Before putting the spotlight on the macro picture, let’s highlight one secondary aspect: the authors detect evidence of massive gene flow into Spain from Northern Europe ~4,000 years before the present. I’ll let them speak here:

We hypothesize that we are seeing here a genetic signal of the ‘Bell-Beaker culture’ (HARRISON, 1980). Initial cultural flow of the Bell-Beakers appears to have been from South to North, but the full story may be complex. Indeed one hypothesis is that after an initial expansion from Iberia there was a reverse flow back to Iberia (CZEBRESZUK, 2003); this ‘reflux’ model is broadly concordant with our genetic results, and if this is the correct explanation it suggests that this reverse flow may have been accompanied by substantial population movement.

Two things to hammer home here. First, pots move with people. That’s the inference being drawn from the results. It’s not pots-not-people, it’s people-and-pots. Second, the idea of reversals in the direction of gene flow are intriguing, and, I think need to be taken more seriously. It seems the most plausible candidate here are the people who later became the Celtiberians. Celts have been associated with the Bell Beakers before.

But the bigger shock is that Europeans, and especially Northern Europeans, seem to have a substantial Northeast Asian component. From the nature of the prose I feel that the authors were definitely taken aback. They basically say so in so many words. In the process of resolving their confusion they skinned the cat every which way. And it does look to me that Northern Europeans are truly descended in part from a population which has affinities to the “First Americans.” I say this specifically because the Siberian samples they tested actually gave a weaker result than the South American Amerindians on the 3-population test.

So what’s the proportion of ancestry? Using the Siberian population they came up with an interval of 5-18 percent in Northern Europeans. The authors used the Sardinians as their “pure” European reference, and admit that it is likely that their admixture estimate is lower than real value due to this fact. Inference is inference, do you trust this result? As it happens the authors also checked Ötzi the Iceman, and found that like the modern Sardinians he had very little Northeast Asian ancestry. Ötzi is dated to ~5,000 years before he present. Using rolloff the authors estimate an admixture date of ~4,000 years before the present, with an error of nearly 1,000. Additionally, using a different data set they came with an admixture date of ~2,000 years before the present. The latter is obviously wrong (they explain why this could happen in the text). But Ötzi seems to put a boundary on how early it could have been, at least in Southern Europe.

As of publication the authors did not have time to include a reference to this interesting nugget from the abstracts of ASHG 2012:

The complete genome of the 5,300 year old mummy of the Tyrolean Iceman, found in 1991 on a glacier near the border of Italy and Austria, has recently been published and yielded new insights into his origin and relationship to modern European populations. A key finding of this study has been an apparent recent common ancestry with individuals from Southern Europe, in particular Sardinians…We used unpublished data from whole genome sequencing of 452 Sardinian individuals, together with publicly available data from Complete Genomics and the 1000 Genomes project, to confirm that the Iceman is most closely related to contemporary Sardinians. An analysis of these data together with ancient DNA data from a recently published study on Neolithic farmers and hunter-gatherers from Sweden shows the Iceman most closely related to the farmer individual, but not the hunter-gatherers, with the Sardinians again being the contemporary Europeans with the highest affinity. Strikingly, an analysis including novel ancient DNA data from an early Iron Age individual from Bulgaria also shows the strongest affinity of this individual with modern-day Sardinians. Our results show that the Tyrolean Iceman was not a recent migrant from Sardinia, but rather that among contemporary Europeans, Sardinians represent the population most closely related to populations present in the Southern Alpine region around 5000 years ago. The genetic affinity of ancient DNA samples from distant parts of Europe with Sardinians also suggests that this genetic signature was much more widespread across Europe during the Bronze Age.

I’m betting that this Bulgarian sample won’t exhibit Northeast Asian ancestry, though who knows?

There is a definite geographic pattern within Europe to the strength of the signature of admixture. Northern European populations have the greatest, Southern European populations less, and islanders like Cypriots hardly any. Recall that Sardinians seem to be the best reference, so the ~0 floor may just be a statistical artifact of the measuring stick we have. All that being said, what went on <5,000 years before the present to reorder the European landscape?

The answer may sound crazy, but I think the most probable explanation (even if it is unlikely) is something to do with the Indo-Europeans. We know that Indo-European languages were spoken in Greece by ~1500 BC at the latest. One thing that is clear from less advanced clustering algorithms is that Basques and Finns are somewhat distinctive in relation to their neighbors. Though they are not genetically that different, they still lack some “interesting”elements. The results to the left are from Dienekes, though I’ve replicated it. You can see a similar difference between French, and French Basques. The Basques seem to lack something which has affinities with West Asia. These results, and hints elsewhere, imply that the Basque may not be descended from hunter-gatherers, but the first European farmers. So who came after them?

Though it strikes me as a bizarre conjecture, but I can’t help but imagine the rapid expansion of Indo-European populations into Europe, pushing into the peninsulas of the south. These people may have been a newly formed cosmopolitan mix of West Asians, Northern European Mesolithics, and Northeast Asians. I am at a loss to hazard a guess as to who the First American-like Northeast Asians were, though perhaps they were a western offshoot of the Kets? These people were then absorbed into a melange of tribes who themselves emerged from a synthesis between immigrant West Asian farmers and Northern Europeans. In shorthand: perhaps the Indo-Europeans were mongrels! This is not an entirely crazy proposition if you look at the historical record. Conquest populations often synthesized and absorbed those who they conquered. Sometimes they even became the conquered in deep cultural ways (e.g., the Bulgars).


To ward off accusations of glib and facile speculations, I well understand that much of what I suggest above is likely wrong. But bizarre results are going to elicit unhinged hypotheses. And I shouldn’t overplay how strange these results are, I think they are going to stand the test of time. The authors are top notch, and Dr. Joseph Pickrell found the same pattern (a connection between Europeans and Native Americans) with TreeMix! If we sit back and reflect on phenotype it shouldn’t be entirely surprising. Some Scandinavians have always struck me as having a generalized Eurasian cast to their features. Obviously this tendency is stronger among the Sami and Finns, but you can see it in Swedes and others. This is far less evident to me among Southern European peoples. I doubt one would ever confuse a Sardinian for a Eurasian, and I never had that feeling when I spent some time in Italy a few years back (in contrast, some Finns did look Asiatic to me).

Finally, this paper highlights the reality that population genetics has little to do with Plato. A population within a species is simply not clear and distinct in a sense which would satisfy an Idealist. The authors of the above paper nod to this, illustrating how their tests for admixture are confounded and confused by constant gene flow via isolation-by-distance dynamics. These results indicate that Northern Europeans are on the order of 10% Northeast Asian. Does this mean that Northern Europeans are 10% non-white? Well, it turns out that white people were always 10% non-white! We just didn’t know. Is my daughter (who is 50% Northern European) now majority non-white? Oh wait, I’m South Asian. That means I’m ~50% white! Is my friend who is 25% Japanese now more than 25% Northeast Asian? Words and concepts fail us on the boundary of unfamiliarity, in time and space. Populations and genealogies don’t brook our categorizations. On a deep level we are all admixtures, and partitioning of ancestry along phylogenetic trees are useful and comprehensible fictions. These techniques put flesh upon the bones of archaeology and smoke out the outlines of history. But we always need to be aware that that history is not made by humans, rather, we excavating it, and then giving it appropriate glosses in our museums. And yet it is.

Related: Dienekes has much to say (obviously).

Image credit: Wikipedia, Wikipedia, and Wikipedia.

Cite: 10.1534/genetics.112.145037

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Human Genetics, Human Genomics
  • Dm

    Along the lines of “the pith”, you may enjoy reading the verse (one of my fav’s) written by a N European and exclaiming “We’re Asian! Yes, us!”

    http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/isj/1961/no006/blok.htm

    It’s a more poetic translation and it also preserves the famed epigraph, but you can also check here for an alternative, perhaps more literal, translation attempt:

    http://max.mmlc.northwestern.edu/~mdenner/Demo/texts/scythians_blok.html

  • Rashid

    This stuff puts ancestry.com to shame.

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

    #2, well, the problem for a personal genomics company is that tens of thousands of customers will want their results skinned 100 different ways if they start offering these services. do they want to devote the computer and labor resources to this? i think in the near future some sort of application is going to be what you’ll be using, and you can then melt your own CPU to your heart’s content.

  • AG

    If other genetic traits also correlate, then…………

  • Rashid

    I’m not geneticist and thus this question may seem naive – but I’ve always wondered if the Magyars (Hungarians) had a higher frequency of East Asian DNA given their (almost) unique linguistic position.

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

    #5, the data suggests not…but i am curious why hungary and romania are so high in f3 in one of the tables no listed.

  • marcel

    Oh wait, I’m South Asian. That means I’m ~50% white!

    Well, ~45%, anyway, now that we know that what was previously identified as “white” is actually only ~90% so;–)

  • Ed

    Some Scandinavians have always struck me as having a generalized Eurasian cast to their features

    Same here, Eastern Europeans too.

  • Luke Raines

    Does this research provide any insights into the history of R1b?

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

    #9, not directly. but the idea of massive replacement probably changes how we perceive the ubiquity of some haplogroups….

  • Grey

    I think this mostly fits the mental picture i have. Nordics as the survivors of the original hunter-gatherers. Anatolian first farmers spreading rapidly west from Gobekli or thereabouts but only slowly north (because their crops weren’t viable in the north yet) except along the Atlantic coast where fishing could substitute for the crops.

    Indo-europeans (originally pastoralists from the transcaucasus imo) following the Anatolians directly west but also taking a more northerly pastoralist route not as limited by latitude. The northern route IE, mixing with the nordics, forming both the Balkan and the kurgan secondary indo-european heimats.

    I see the Iberian backflow as the result of either the Anatolians or Indos introducing cattle (originally as a draft animal) beyond the viable farming line and with the climate of the Atlantic coast being particularly good for cattle that spawning a cattle-raising culture which spread south and east from the Atlantic coast (and maybe having further knock-on effects as the cattle-culture travelled east in a step-wise fashion).

    The northeast Asian thing doesn’t surprise me if nordics are the surviving HGs (and therefore ironically possibly the least IE) as the globe is quite a small circle up there but i guess it would depend on when it happened.

  • Tone

    R1B and R1A (the Indo-European candidate y-haplogroups) are closely related to haplogroup Q, which is mostly associated with native Americans. I wonder if this connection is the north east asian signal. Perhaps the original Indo-Europeans were more Asian than we tend to think. And maybe they were located more to the east of Europe during the Paleolithic and early Neolithic. Maybe.

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

    I looked at it yesterday and is all very labyrinthic and IMO highly speculative. For example, their “conclusion” of Northern European flow into Iberia is based on comparison with Sardinians, which are probably NOT a valid proxy. Also f3 values for Japanese-European for Uyghurs, Hazaras (admixed Central Asian pops.) are systematically higher than for Han-European, what makes no sense whatsoever (because we know that the Han are in fact much closer, that Japanese are a relatively isolated population).

    The overall method may have some merit because it’s an extension (I understand, although no f3 existed there, only Z-score) of the one used for the discovery of Neanderthal admixture in Eurasians, but in that case the reference populations were very well considered previous to any analysis, much less conclusions. The African references were taken from two very distinct groups, while the Neanderthal one was a true ancient sequence, not a fantastic proxy like Sardinians.

    So IMO just another paper for the toilet pile… I hope is printed on smooth material.

  • Justin Giancola

    Why do you always have to cast little spurs at plato?
    Aristotle is quoted as to say, Plato was a man whom “bad men do not even have the right to praise…”

    btw, I do know asiatic looking Italians.

  • anondyne

    Also f3 values for Japanese-European for Uyghurs, Hazaras (admixed Central Asian pops.) are systematically higher than for Han-European, what makes no sense whatsoever (because we know that the Han are in fact much closer, that Japanese are a relatively isolated population).

    I disagree. Sure, they’re are an island population with all the attendant peculiarities, but this is readily explicable in light of Japanese and Inner Asian population history. I’m pretty confident that this is driven by greater “northern East Asian” in Japanese relative to Han (from what I’ve seen probably even most northern Han), which makes them a better proxy for the South Siberian/eastern steppe contribution to Uyghurs and Hazaras.

  • Darwin’s Chihuahua

    As always, a very enjoyable post that spurs deep thought! As a bacteriologist, I have a bit of difficulty wrapping my head around the definitions of human populations. How do we define the Northern Europeans? Were the original Svear, for instance, a culturally and genetically distinct population from the Sami and. if so, can the different origins fo the two be sorted out? How does the close association of Nordic peoples with later German, Anglo-Saxon, and Scottish and Irish Celtic peoples muddy the waters? Surely, gene flow was not one-way from Scandinavia to other places, even though the patterns of colonization were pretty clear. Do any of the alleles or markers survive from “original” Scandinavians survive into Irish and (the descendents of) Norman populations, or has extensive hybridization and gene flow erased too much of the signal for sensible conclusions to be drawn. I was also interested in the timing of hybridization with the rise of the Mongols. An interesting book byJack Weatherford, I think, “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World”, does a great job of describing how Genghis Khan opened up the mixing of intellectual discourse and populations, bringing religious leaders, artisins, philosophers – everyone – to his “court”. Other populations followed. I suspect that the more we know about history and geology/geography (like the flooding of the Black Sea, proposed to provide an impetus for the movements of Near Eastern peoples into Europe) the more these stories and the “story” told by genetics will be congruent. My question, as someone who puts a lot of stock in the evidence provided by genetics, is how much we can use this genetic evidence as a “scaffold” upon which to base hypotheses about history, or recent pre-history? Is there still a quarrel between people who dig up stuff and compare pottery and language derivation with those who sequence DNA?

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

    I’m pretty confident that this is driven by greater “northern East Asian” in Japanese relative to Han (from what I’ve seen probably even most northern Han), which makes them a better proxy for the South Siberian/eastern steppe contribution to Uyghurs and Hazaras.

    i think his is probably right. the japanese are relatively recent migrants from the korean peninsula.

    The northeast Asian thing doesn’t surprise me if nordics are the surviving HGs (and therefore ironically possibly the least IE) as the globe is quite a small circle up there but i guess it would depend on when it happened.

    yes. the *when* is of interest. there is a second connection via the finno-ugrics. these east-west flows don’t seem that rare….

  • Grey

    “these east-west flows don’t seem that rare….”

    yes, along paths of least resistance (imo) – so rare at some points along the join and common at others.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    One thing I don’t understand here is how the Finns fit into this. Genetically speaking, they have among the highest clearly apparent Asian admixture in Europe, yet they also not only speak a non Indo-European language, they also seem to be the most “pure” representation of the Mesolithic Europe. Lower levels are clearly detectable in nearby populations like Russians and some Scandinavians as well. Why would this type of “Asian-like” admixture be easily detectable, but not the type shared more widely by Europeans? It being easier to detect would presumably mean that it had to be a more recent overlay on the older admixture. Given it seems Proto-Indo European (and perhaps Indo-Aryan later separately) had Finno-Ugric loanwords, it seems unlikely the latter language family would have expanded significantly after the former. I’d love for someone to elucidate, but to me it seems that much of the “Asian” admixture in Northern Europe had to have been mesolithic, and the IE expansion merely blended, and possibly added some of the Asian-like element itself.

    On another tangent, I do wonder if we’ll find something interesting looking at the Burusho. I have heard hypotheses that they were some minor Siberian group which “came along for the ride” on the Indo-Aryan expansion. Maybe their “East Asian” component is mainly from whatever Asian-like group also genetically influenced Europe.

    Finally, I wonder if it would be possible, for kicks, to use facial morphing software with admixture within the next decade. Imagine, for example, you want to see the face of a “pure” Northern European. You look at a number of populations, and come up with average face pictures/estimates of percent Northern European ancestry. Then you figure out the relationship between Northern European percentage and changes to appearance, and apply the same changes to a more extreme degree to get to the hypothetical 100% mark. It wouldn’t provide a totally realistic view, since as you note, admixture components are not primal groups, but it would probably be interesting, and a lot easier than the alternative means of reconstructing – figuring out what the unadmixed genome itself would code for in terms of total physical appearance without actually engineering “unadmixed” children.

  • Grey

    @19
    “One thing I don’t understand here is how the Finns fit into this. Genetically speaking, they have among the highest clearly apparent Asian admixture in Europe, yet they also not only speak a non Indo-European language, they also seem to be the most “pure” representation of the Mesolithic Europe.”

    (This is just my guess so treat accordingly.)

    If the nordics (including Finns) weren’t IE themselves but HGs and the northernmost IE expansion (if it happened) was pastoralist and came through below the level of the Finns i.e. more at the poland lattiude

    http://www.theodora.com/maps/new9/europe_physical_boundaries_map.gif

    then the Finns would have been left out, which would explain the language part. I think the Finn’s higher North Asian admixture would simply be a result of the shorter distances at the top of the world.

    If so then
    Finns would be original foraga + some north asian
    Non-Finn nordics in the next layer below would be original foraga + some IE + (less?) north asian

    (i’d assume the north asian element would decline as you went west but in a sort of diagonal way i.e. at the top of the world the north asian element would be larger and decline slower than lower down).

    (i’d assume the IE would be the same but opposite i.e. declining east to west but lower down)

    (with maybe some odd effects at the western coastal end of europe if there were multiple IE routes and one IE element arrived from the south up the Atlantic coast route at one time and another element from the east at a later time.)

    (American Finndians lol – sorry made me laugh)

    I think the confusing element may be the whole Aryan = nordic idea. I’m thinking that may not be so. It may have been phenotypically true in some places depending on the proportions but at root i think any northern route IE migration (if it happened that way) will have been a hybrid of resident nordic and migratory IE so Hittite IE may have looked very different.

    Just a guess though.

  • Darwin’s Chihuahua

    Some good points, Karl. Just briefly checked out the paper Razib provided the link for – definitely need a better read. Didn’t see anything comparing Finnish/Magyar/Hungarian as a group (supposedly same origin in Western or West central Asia with a language of common origin) or that group to others, probably because the level of significance of the f3 statistic was low or nil. But maybe it would be interesting to have a look at those populations as another check (though it doesn’t really seem necessary – this seems to have been a pretty well controlled study!). I’m wondering if the East Asian/North European admixture is a possible example of Jared Diamond’s theory that the movements of people/culture/agrigulture or food gathering/production flows roughly east to west in similar climate zones? The authors present the possibility as an hypothesis, one that most may not have expected, but perhaps there is some real biological or cultural mechanism at play here that is being teased out? This will be fascinating to follow.

  • Balaji

    Dienekes deserves recognition for anticipating this result. In April last year, he criticized a paper published by the Reich group in which they estimated sub-Saharan admixture in Southern Europeans. Dienekes pointed out that it was likely that Northern Europeans were Asian-shifted and therefore the Reich group had overestimated the sub-Saharan admixture in Southern Europeans.

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2011/04/sub-saharan-admixture-in-west-eurasian.html

    Dienekes has been vindicated and now the Reich group will have to revisit their earlier work in the light of this new finding.

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

    #17: We know that Japanese have very specifically Japanese lineages like Y-DNA D2 making up some 50% of their patrilineal ancestry. This is incompatible with the claim that they are merely recent immigrants from the mainland. And this is only the the Y-DNA, the mtDNA is always much less likely to be immigrant. You cannot therefore happily claim that about the Japanese (and you should know all this, Razib).

    Incidentally the Z-score measure (unlike the novel f3) favors the Han element but still we see that the European element is “French” rather than “Russian” and that for both measures. This is anything but rocket science, obviously.

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

    This is incompatible with the claim that they are merely recent immigrants from the mainland.

    the old y’s may have been marginalized. the cultural ancestors of the japanese in korea were.

    Do any of the alleles or markers survive from “original” Scandinavians survive into Irish and (the descendents of) Norman populations, or has extensive hybridization and gene flow erased too much of the signal for sensible conclusions to be drawn.

    yes. this is really obvious in a few regions of ireland with genetic and historical connections to the norse.

    My question, as someone who puts a lot of stock in the evidence provided by genetics, is how much we can use this genetic evidence as a “scaffold” upon which to base hypotheses about history, or recent pre-history?

    for parts of pre-history genes are essential. i’m thinking ancient DNA especially.

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

    re: finns & sami. their ‘east asian’ shows ups in the coarser clustering algorithms. that, to me, indicates it is more recent and has not been broken apart by recombination.

  • Eurologist

    Grey,

    There is no evidence for pastoralists moving East-West through North-Central Europe. The area had been settled with agriculturalists since LBK – and that never changed.

    I am certain the NE Asian admixture in Northern Europeans traces back to multiple events (and relatively late full integration of HGs and farmers), and together this gives the ~4,000 years estimate. The first connection to the East might be with the Hamburg and Ahrensburg cultures, then drastic level changes of the Black and Caspian Sees, Siberian reindeer herders and Uralic migrations, and in Russia of course continued contact throughout history.

    A lot of populations in northern Asia are rather admixed today – but the picture may have been quite different many thousands of years ago, and perhaps people in Siberia generally were much more similar to today’s NE Siberians or Beringians.

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

    #24 I cannot accept that Razib: Japanese MUST have pre-Neolithic island ancestry at high levels.

    #26 I disagree with you in this case Eurologist: I think that there is rather strong evidence for Kurgan peoples migrating to the Northern European plain (specially East of the Elbe) in a complex story (a bit too long to explain here but culminating with the Corded Ware culture). Another thing is whether they arrived in enough numbers to make a major genetic impact but some impact they must have made (probably all the R1a West of Belarus arrived with those peoples – and they might have carried minor Siberian autosomal genetics – however not the 10% claimed here, which is probably just wrong).

  • Lank

    Overall, the picture that’s been coming together for a while suggests that the “West Asians” are the most recent newcomers, and I would dare suggest that their recent expansion can also be seen in the Middle East.

    In Europe, we first have the pioneers of the Upper Paleolithic; this element seems to be minor in nearly all European populations (with the possible exception of the Saami). Then follow the early Neolithic agriculturalists. These “Sardinian”-like people seem to have had a massive impact, and the “Atlantic-Baltic” ADMIXTURE component is probably heavily affected by this wave. The aDNA samples seem to support that they were part of an early Neolithic expansion that affected large parts of Europe, at least ranging from Thrace to the Alps. But, I would suggest that “Sardinian”-like people (predominantly “Southern” as it is named in Dodecad K7b) could also be found in large parts of the Middle East at this time, with much lower “West Asian” affinities than modern populations.

    Several observations convince me that this is the case. There is a general lack of “West Asian” in Northwest Africans and Somalis, despite the widespread presence of this component in modern Semitic-speaking populations from the Levant and Arabia. Exceptions are Egyptians who neighbored Semites for a long time, and Semitic-speaking Eritreans/Ethiopians. So, the first Neolithic expansions into Africa from the Middle East do not seem to have carried the West Asian component, just as in Europe.

    Y-DNA R1b, which seems like a newcomer in large parts of Europe, may also have an association with a Southern/Mediterranean element that entered from Anatolia. One of the most clear examples of this is the contrast between Swedes, who are about 20% R1b and 6.9% Southern in K7b, whereas Finns have no R1b, and no Southern.

    As for the Asian-Amerindian element, I’m unsure of how to explain it. It may come from Indo-Europeans, but I wouldn’t expect such a recent admixture, with a varying influence across Europe, to be so elusive. Therefore, I would favor that it comes from older European populations.

  • Lank

    South Asians are an interesting riddle in this context. Unlike in Africa and Europe, Neolithic “Southern”-like populations apparently did not expand into South Asia, where the “West Asian” component is instead much more significant. This seems quite odd. If the Southern group of Middle Easterners were so successful initially, spreading across the Middle East, Europe, and North/East Africa, why would a group distinct from the Southern folks become so successful as agriculture spread east, toward the Indian subcontinent?

    South Asians speak an Indo-European language, so I suppose there’s also a possibility that the same “West Asians” who played a part in Indo-European (mixing with native Europeans?) and Semitic (mixing with “Southern” Middle Easterners?) expansions simply left much more of a genetic mark in South Asia than elsewhere. But I don’t know how likely that is, since Dravidian speakers also carry significant West Asian admixture.

  • Dm

    #26 The Subarctic pastoralists (reindeer herders) are remarkable for their historically documented population admixtures of sweeps of the recent centuries. Sami have been largely displaced by the Nenets, and the latter, by Komi Zyryans. These sweeps have been somewhat kept in check by the Neck of the White Sea, which forms a formidable obstacle between Uralic and Northern European tundras, but at least once in a century, the winter ice there, through perturbed by vicious current, solidified firmly enough to let another wave of pastoralists across – always Westward to Kola Peninsula.

    Of course I doubt if domestication of reindeer and the pastoralist setllement of the tundra happened early enough to explain Finnic influx Westward to Europe…

  • Matt

    Question: Why is this Northern European-East Asian affinity largely not reproduced by the fst statistics? Unless it is….? Greater divergence from East Asian by the Northern Europeans non-East Asian components, relative to the south?

    It wouldn’t provide a totally realistic view, since as you note, admixture components are not primal groups, but it would probably be interesting, and a lot easier than the alternative means of reconstructing – figuring out what the unadmixed genome itself would code for in terms of total physical appearance without actually engineering “unadmixed” children.

    It would be useful for the aspects of shape and form that rely on large numbers of neutral locii (probably some aspects of cranial shape, excluding the mandible (mechanically influenced) affected regions), but not very useful for those shape and form that rely on few numbers of locii under selection (e.g. pigment).

    On Dienekes West-Asian component, it seems interesting it is consistently (?) closest to the Atlantic-Baltic component he finds – that would seem to indicate that it is similar in composition, so itself is possibly a slightly different mixture of pre-Neolithic European-like foragers and Neolithic Near Eastern people.

  • http://dienekes.blogspot.com Dienekes

    When the K12b components are assessed in terms of the other components, the “Caucasus” one appears like a mix of “Gedrosia” and “Atlantic_Med” and the “Gedrosia one as “Caucasus”.

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2012/08/inter-relationships-of-dodecad-k12b-and.html

    Also, when I looked at West_Asian segments in an Orcadian and Lithuanian, they tended to coincide with segments that are “Near_East” rather than “Atlantic_Baltic”

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2012/07/indo-european-genetic-signatures-in.html

    When I use f3 statistics to see if one component can be expressed as mixtures of others, I do get some negative results (e.g., Northwest_African is a mixture of some Caucasoid component + Sub_Saharan), but not for the West_Asian one.

    In short, I do believe that the West Eurasian picture cannot be boiled down to a simple “southern”+”northern” mix.

  • Grey

    @26
    “There is no evidence for pastoralists moving East-West through North-Central Europe. The area had been settled with agriculturalists since LBK – and that never changed.”

    Proportions.

    I’m over-simplifying as in reality the people i’m dividing into farmer and pastoralist are both. If you have one population in the valleya who are 80% farmer and 20% pastoralist (because that is optimal) and another group in the mountains where those proportions aren’t viable because crops aren’t as productive then they could develop an alternative that was say 20% farmer, 80% pastoralist.

    The important difference (imo) is – during the early stages of agriculture – the second group have a larger range.

    Also in reality the “second group” may in fact be multiple groups each with their own proportions and therefore ranges e.g.
    – a westward ho group hopping along the med islands along the line of ideal climate for the original package with a 80% / 20% split
    – a danube group with a 60%/40% split
    – a northern latitude group with a 20%/80% split

    The main thing (imo) is the potential range of each package.

  • Grey

    @29
    “South Asians are an interesting riddle in this context. Unlike in Africa and Europe, Neolithic “Southern”-like populations apparently did not expand into South Asia, where the “West Asian” component is instead much more significant.”

    (Again, just guessing from looking at maps)

    If you look at a world map

    http://www.worldpress.org/images/maps/world_600w.jpg

    and draw a polygon from Eastern Anatolia to the Nile valley to the Ganges to the Yangtze and back to Eastern Anatolia then i wonder if you would be far off if you imagined that polygon roughly describing the latitude range limit of *early* agriculture (with large unsuitable holes within that range limit for other reasons also).

    If so most of India would be outside that range so i wonder if that had something to do with it? If cowboys from further west/north knocked out the Ganges culture everything south of that (exception coastal cultures?) might have mostly still been HG.

    The (possible) exception to this (possible) general latitudinal rule in Europe may have been fishing as a substitute for crops along the Atlantic coast. I don’t know if something similar happened in India with the Ganges level culture spreading around the coasts while the interior remained HG?

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Regarding the Finnic peoples –

    I agree that the best way to interpret this data is their admixture was more recent. But given the most recent archaeological evidence which fits a Finnic migration into Europe is the Pit–Comb Ware culture, which predated Indo-European expansion (presuming it wasn’t also involved in the first wave expansion, which seems highly likely now). This would suggest a last Mesolithic intrusion into far northern Europe, which overlaid clearly Siberian admixture over the older, Amerindian-like admixture.

    A few further thoughts.

    I do wonder about how much we should use the Dodecad population which peaks in Sardinia as a good marker for first-wave farmers. I bring this up because Dodecad does come up with a population, NW African, which peaks with the Mozabites, a population which is clearly admixed slightly with SSA, comes up as a distinct component due to its high level of genetic isolation since. Sardinians might be the same thing, and the Southern/Mediterranean population instead reflecting the minimum that could be considered first wave, not the maximum.

    That said, presuming this new software is easy to use, I’m sure Deinekes could put his “zombie” populations through it and figure out the ancient Asian-like admixture in North European. My guess is a “pure” population of North European would score 20%, with no admixture in the Southern European-like element. I”m not sure about the Caucuses and Gederosia. I anticipate this post some time within the next few months.

    Coupling the two posts, if “pure” North Europeans were at least 20% Asian-like, and they are almost certainly a composite, from which some of the population is actually farmer-descended, the real aboriginal European population could have been very Asian shifted indeed.

  • Grey

    “Ganges” in the earlier post was meant to be “Indus”.

    .
    @35
    “Coupling the two posts, if “pure” North Europeans were at least 20% Asian-like”

    The paper says 5-18% and just looking at the physical geography there’s an awful lot of barriers in the way *except* at the far north so i think the percentage could be dramatically skewed either way depending on how far north or south you sampled: 18% at the northern tip of Finnland down to 5% at the southern tip of Germany, averaging around 10% seems more plausible to me (depending on when it happened).

    “and they are almost certainly a composite, from which some of the population is actually farmer-descended, the real aboriginal European population could have been very Asian shifted indeed.”

    Would that be the case if the farmer-shift was on a south to north cline and the north asian shift was on a north to south cline?

  • Rasko

    For admixture levels see Table 1 in the paper.

    So for Russians between .694 and .923 gives a midpoint of .809. Which is ~19% admixture.
    French: .816 to .964 midpoint .890. 11% admixture.
    Tuscans: .803 to .962 midpoint .883. 12% admixture.
    Italians*: .84 to .97 midpoint .91. 9% admixture.

    *Source 2 for Italians was Pima.

  • Grey

    @37 Ah, i took the 5-18% from the opening post rather than the paper, so 9%-19% rather than 5%-18% with the far north around 19% and the French/Italian/Tuscan latitudes hovering around 10%?

  • Karl Zimmerman

    36 –

    My point is if you look at modern Dodecad populations, the “North European” component is still only around 75% in the most “pure” modern populations, the Lithuanians and the Finns. Both pops have 13-14% Atlantic_Mediterranean ancestry, and the Lithuanians have Caucasus background (8%-10%) as well. Presuming the Asian admixture is absent from these other components, the North European component alone could easily have 20% Amerindian-like ancestry.

    Further, presuming that some of North_European is actually first-wave ancestry, which doesn’t come out as such because Sardinians aren’t a perfect representation of first-wave farmers (as an isolated population, many gene variants from first-wave farmers might have been lost in antiquity, or never included, whereas elsewhere they blended into the European average), the Mesolithic ancestry could have even been higher.

  • Rasko

    Grey

    Those are just the midpoints between the lower and upper bound, for bounds it’s:

    Russian: 8-31%
    French: 4-18%
    Tuscans: 4-20%
    Italians: 3-16%

  • Onur

    The authors used rolloff and inferred an admixture of ~800 years before the present.

    As conceded by the authors of the paper, that date is too recent and so is not a good fit for the Caucasoid-Mongoloid admixture of Uyghurs (as is clear from ancient genetics, history, ancient anthropology and archaeology). I think the major reason why they estimated the timing of the Caucasoid-Mongoloid admixture of Uyghurs wrong is that the Caucasoid-Mongoloid admixture of Uyghurs occurred over a period of thousands of years, which involved many and punctuated major admixture episodes.

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

    #41, clarify your values. i’m pretty sure i know more about xinjiang’s past that you, but i want to know what you mean by ‘thousands of years’ before i tell you you’re wrong or right ;-)

  • Onur

    #42, the population in the Tarim basin (what is today the Uyghur territory) was already Caucasoid-Mongoloid hybrid during the early Bronze Age:

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1741-7007-8-15.pdf

  • Grey

    @40 Ty – those upper bounds are quite high then.
    @39 Yes i see what you mean. I was mainly quibbling the “at least 20%” bit.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    43 –

    That site is pretty far to the east in the Tarim basin, and they mention that it isn’t archaeologically linked with other Tarim Basin sites. It may have been its own hybrid culture which died out without much impact on later populations. Indeed, if I’m reading the article correctly, the East Eurasian maternal haplogroup that most of the remains had isn’t common south of Siberia today. Plus, of course, now that we can extract nuclear DNA better, we’re finding that uniparental ancestry can give false understandings due to founder effects.

    44 –

    I suppose the question is what their findings are for populations with a high level of North European, but little to no East Eurasian detectable by regular ADMIXTURE. Finns are out of course, and I’d say Russians don’t count for the same reason to a smaller extent, because both have clearly detectable “regular Siberian” elements which would probably show up in this detection model as well. But a population like Lithuanian would be a pretty good base.

  • Onur

    That site is pretty far to the east in the Tarim basin, and they mention that it isn’t archaeologically linked with other Tarim Basin sites. It may have been its own hybrid culture which died out without much impact on later populations. Indeed, if I’m reading the article correctly, the East Eurasian maternal haplogroup that most of the remains had isn’t common south of Siberia today. Plus, of course, now that we can extract nuclear DNA better, we’re finding that uniparental ancestry can give false understandings due to founder effects.

    In my previous post I only gave link to that study because the samples analyzed in that study are the oldest ancient DNA samples from the Tarim basin to date. But there are many other ancient DNA studies of the Tarim basin (and many different regions of it), and in every one of them both Caucasoid and Mongoloid mtDNA haplogroups were found in abundance, pointing to a Caucasoid-Mongoloid hybrid population in the Tarim basin all throughout the thousands of years since at least the early Bronze Age.

    Here are links to some of those studies:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.21257/abstract

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.21237/abstract

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10002007088537493

    Not to mention that the craniometrical studies of the relevant eras of the Tarim basin and the relevant historical and archaeological sources are all in conformity with the ancient DNA results.

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

    onur, to my knowledge the standard LD based methods used to detect uygur admixture would not detect early bronze age mixing (rolloff would obviously, one reason it was developed). uygurs have a lot of recent mixing, that is clear. they may have old mixing, but that is not preponderant, else LD would be far more attenuated.

  • Onur

    Razib,

    The ancient Y-chromosomal studies of the Tarim basin are much more limited in number compared to the ancient mtDNA studies. From the limited number of ancient Y-chromosomal studies of the Tarim basin, it seems to me that, unlike the balanced distribution of the Caucasoid and Mongoloid mtDNA haplogroups, the Tarim basin harbored males carrying almost totally Caucasoid Y-chromosomal haplogroups until the Turkicization of the region during the late 1st and early 2nd millennium CE (there are historical indications that the Tarim basin’s switch from an Indo-European realm into a Turkic realm consummated as late as the post-Genghisid times), during which the Caucasoid majority-Mongoloid minority autosomal mix of the Tarim basin population seems to have turned into the 50% Caucasoid-50% Mongoloid autosomal mix that we see today. This genetically substantial and several centuries-long process of Turkicization seems to cause rolloff to assign a late date to the Caucasoid-Mongoloid admixture in Uyghurs.

  • Grey

    “But there are many other ancient DNA studies of the Tarim basin”

    I can see three possibilities.

    1) General long-term slow admixture through proximity in the far northern latitude band simply because the distances are relatively much smaller that far north. This seems very plausible for the far north but not sure how it fits with Italy.

    2) Same as (1) but it gradually diffused throughout Europe. I think this would mean the process would have to be really old and there should be a reasonably clear NE to SW cline and i can’t see a time or a reason why that would happen – except out of America! (joking) – but who knows.

    3) Most plausible to me: Yuezhi, Tocharians etc. Just reading up on all those groups hanging around the NW and northern borders of China for apparently a very long time who were eventually pushed west by the Hsiong-Nu etc. If those originally more western tribes had eventually become say up to 50%+ admixed in the vicinity of NW China and were then pushed back west in various pulses over time by various incarnations of Huns then as they were pushed back into less admixed tribes further west they might gradually reduce the admixture level until they ended up at whatever it turns out to be.

    However if this idea is correct then i think that implies the north asian signal should pretty much mirror the germanic/slav signal i.e. if you assume various admixed yuezhi type tribes were pushed west over time who in turn then pushed into and admixed with germanics/slavs who then in turn pushed further west and south (including the various invasions over the Alps into northern Italy) then i think that means the two signals should be paired? That could fit northern Italy but for France i guess you’d need to know where the sample was from.

    Also, assuming (1) is separately true but more limited to the northern latitude band then i think that also implies the north asian signal in Finns might be different to the one elsewhere i.e. the Finnish one would be nore subarctic HG and the elsewhere one would be more steppe nomad? That would depend on whether there was a noticeable enough difference between the sub-arctic HG tribes and the nomadic steppe tribes?

    (Actually if there are known genetic differences between the historical Mongols and the earlier top dogs e.g. Hsiong-nu, Huns, or whoever at earlier stages in history then you might be able to separate out the signals like tree rings i.e. the strongest signal among the population who are furthest north and east i.e. Russia, might be the most recent i.e. Mongol but the strongest signal further south and west might be from earlier. I’m not sure that makes sense. Put another way if a tribe was pushed south early they might carry a Hun signal but not a mongol one.)

    If it’s not a result of possibly multiple ripples of admixed steppe tribes being pushed back into less admixed tribes further west in a domino effect i personally can’t see an earlier time when it could have happened because unless i’m missing something it would have to be pre-farming.

    (When i say Hsiong-nu, Hun, Yuezhi etc i don’t mean them specifically as i assume this westward push process would have happened (if it did) in multiple stages.)

  • Onur

    From the limited number of ancient Y-chromosomal studies of the Tarim basin, it seems to me that, unlike the balanced distribution of the Caucasoid and Mongoloid mtDNA haplogroups, the Tarim basin harbored males carrying almost totally Caucasoid Y-chromosomal haplogroups until the Turkicization of the region during the late 1st and early 2nd millennium CE (there are historical indications that the Tarim basin’s switch from an Indo-European realm into a Turkic realm consummated as late as the post-Genghisid times), during which the Caucasoid majority-Mongoloid minority autosomal mix of the Tarim basin population seems to have turned into the 50% Caucasoid-50% Mongoloid autosomal mix that we see today.

    Actually, there is not a balanced distribution of Caucasoid and Mongoloid mtDNA haplogroups in ancient samples from the Tarim basin, as Mongoloid mtDNA haplogroups are more commonly found in the Tarim basin than Caucasoid mtDNA haplogroups right from the earliest samples. So even if we assume almost totally Caucasoid Y-chromosomal haplogroups in the Tarim basin until the Turkicization (this hypothesis is yet to be demonstrated due to the limited number and time period of the analyzed ancient Y-chromosomal haplogroups from the Tarim basin), we should assume significant amounts of Mongoloid autosomal ancestry (though in minority position in the mix relative to the Caucasoid autosomal ancestry) in the population of the Tarim basin all through the pre-Turkicization periods of the Tarim basin. I think the Tarim basin population of the pre-Turkicization times had Caucasoid ancestry at most as much as White Argentinians.

  • Eurologist

    @33

    But the archaeology of Central and Northern Europe is firmly established – from LBK through the Bronze and Iron ages. There simply were no pastoralists except in small areas of sandy soils between the Loess regions and the fertile grounds just off shore (this poor-soil area was created by the Ice Age glaciers, and could only be truly successfully exploited since the advent of chemical fertilizers).

    Outside influences during putative IE entry (Globular Amphora, Corded Ware) clearly were agriculturalists. And there are well-documented climatic reasons for agriculturalists moving west and northwest during this time.

  • Dm

    #51, archaeology of Northern Europe may be established but with a wide exception for the Subarctic belt, where not much is known. The conventional dating of reindeer domestication to merely 3kya (and the ensuing common wisdom that it happened too recently to matter) may be based on faulty genomic evidence (mtDNA for the subspecies which had periodic back-admixtures from the wild reindeer)

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Onur –

    Modern analyses have suggested that Uyghurs have 42.6% West Eurasian Mitochondrial DNA. Thus the question must be asked how could the maternal lineages from West Eurasia have been retained – or even enriched – if in the times of earliest settlement they were in the distinct minority?

    Not that I am denying the veracity of the studies you cited. I just don’t see any way, given the isolated position of the region, that there would have been major fresh infusions of West/South Eurasian past the Bronze Age.

  • windy

    The Chukchi used in this study are not typical of most modern Siberian populations- there is a good illustration in the 2010 paleo-eskimo genome study where they added several Arctic populations to the HGDP:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7282/fig_tab/nature08835_F3.html

    If the Finns / Sami have a more recent North Asian element than other Northern Europeans, would they be a bit “Yakutian” in addition to the older Beringian-Amerindian-like element?

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

    #51 – Eurologist: What do you know of Baalberge and its successors (Salzmünde and Walternienburg-Bernburg in East Germany, Wiórek and Luboń in Poland, Globular Amphorae in both regions and parts of East Europe)? What about Corded Ware (apparently result of Globular Amphorae and a secondary wave from the East)?

    Corded Ware has so few non-burial sites that is comparable to the Vedic period of Pakistan, Northern Inidia and Nepal, both of which have been suggested to be heavily pastoralist and nomadic for that reason.

    But even its precursors show some tendency towards pastoralism, even if it may be more the kind of aristocratic pastoralists we see in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda (Tutsis and relatives), ruling over their farmer vassals of Bantu heritage. They have bovine burials, unheard of in LBK and of course Kurgan style (tummular) aristocratic tombs, although they evolve towards a cultural merge with LBK until Baden culture collapses and Corded Ware takes its place as hegemonic culture of Central Europe (with Bell Beaker and various non-Kurgan residuals of course).

    Even there is a whole phenomenon prior and later in parallel to all that which has been sometimes interpreted as a backflow of the formerly forager peoples. Actually this is two phenomenons: (1) the Funnelbeaker phenomenon, originated probably in Megalithic Denmark, at least in concept and (2) the Pitted Ware phenomenon original from the Dniepr-Don region but in frontier version, so to say, with loss of agriculture and gain of hunt. Finally in NW Germany and nearby areas there was the Michelsberg culture, which is, I think, Funnelbeaker-ized Danubian and which exerted pressure southwards and westwards.

    The matter is complex but Chalcolithic Central Europe is anything but a simple LBK continuity. LBK continues in modified forms indeed until the Corded Ware takeover but there is one or more millennia of agitation and sometimes quite dramatic change in between.

    “Outside influences during putative IE entry (Globular Amphora, Corded Ware) clearly were agriculturalists.”

    As I see it the precursors of Globular Amphora culture and this one itself represent a pastoralist warrior elite arrived from the East that established itself on top of LBK agriculturalists, Tutsi style. Corded Ware looks like an emphasis on the pastoralist aristocratic thing, quickly completing the cultural transformation of the whole region (for example: no more megalithic collective burials, where they existed), but of course they must have ruled over an underclass of peasants who surely made up the vast majority of the people.

    This does not mean that I agree with the “10% Asian” claim, which I won’t believe in until I see in unmistakable Admixture format (and we won’t see that) but that there was indeed a flow of peoples which were probably warrior-pastoralists, Tutsi style but in Europe 6 or 5000 years ago.

  • Onur

    Modern analyses have suggested that Uyghurs have 42.6% West Eurasian Mitochondrial DNA. Thus the question must be asked how could the maternal lineages from West Eurasia have been retained – or even enriched – if in the times of earliest settlement they were in the distinct minority?

    Not that I am denying the veracity of the studies you cited. I just don’t see any way, given the isolated position of the region, that there would have been major fresh infusions of West/South Eurasian past the Bronze Age.

    I think you are making too much assumptions. Rather than that, you should let the data speak for themselves. Obviously we need more ancient DNA data, especially autosomal and Y-chromosomal data. But the existence of significant amounts of Mongoloid admixture (its proportions are open to debate) in the Tarim basin since at least the early Bronze Age is already clear from the existing data.

  • pconroy

    @16. Darwin’s Chihuahua,

    In terms of Irish and admixture with Nordic elements, I can offer some concrete data – here are my DODECAD K12B results, and my parents, in single and mixed-mode:

    Me – single:
    [1,] “Dutch_D” “2.1236”
    [2,] “CEU30″ “2.8124”
    [3,] “English_D” “3.0133”
    [4,] “British_Isles_D” “3.6707”
    [5,] “Kent_1KG” “3.7379”
    [6,] “Mixed_Germanic_D” “4.0753”
    [7,] “Orkney_1KG” “4.248”
    [8,] “Argyll_1KG” “4.3347”
    [9,] “Orcadian” “4.7646”
    [10,] “Irish_D” “4.9291”

    Me – Mixed-Mode:
    [1,] “32% German_D + 68% Orcadian” “0.7141”
    [2,] “80.5% Orcadian + 19.5% Hungarians” “0.8296”
    [3,] “17.7% Hungarians + 82.3% Orkney_1KG” “0.8339”
    [4,] “29.4% German_D + 70.6% Orkney_1KG” “0.8677”
    [5,] “67.3% Irish_D + 32.7% German_D” “0.8731”
    [6,] “14.7% Russian_D + 85.3% Cornwall_1KG” “1.001”
    [7,] “93.6% English_D + 6.4% Lithuanians” “1.0041”
    [8,] “93.7% CEU30 + 6.3% FIN30″ “1.0045”
    [9,] “6% Finnish_D + 94% CEU30″ “1.0079”
    [10,] “94.1% CEU30 + 5.9% Lithuanians” “1.0401”

    Father – single:
    [1,] “CEU30″ “1.3554”
    [2,] “English_D” “1.5605”
    [3,] “Dutch_D” “2.1126”
    [4,] “Kent_1KG” “2.2012”
    [5,] “British_Isles_D” “2.4688”
    [6,] “Mixed_Germanic_D” “3.9181”
    [7,] “Orkney_1KG” “4.1312”
    [8,] “Argyll_1KG” “4.23”
    [9,] “Irish_D” “4.3032”
    [10,] “British_D” “4.3066”

    Father – Mixed-Mode:
    [1,] “96.4% English_D + 3.6% Lithuanian_D” “0.4303”
    [2,] “96% English_D + 4% Belorussian” “0.4372”
    [3,] “4.8% Polish_D + 95.2% English_D” “0.4424”
    [4,] “96.2% English_D + 3.8% Russian_B” “0.4425”
    [5,] “12.2% Mixed_Slav_D + 87.8% Cornwall_1KG” “0.4456”
    [6,] “11% Russian_B + 89% Cornwall_1KG” “0.447”
    [7,] “4% Russian_D + 96% English_D” “0.4492”
    [8,] “95.7% English_D + 4.3% Mixed_Slav_D” “0.4563”
    [9,] “3% Lithuanian_D + 97% CEU30″ “0.4801”
    [10,] “96.7% English_D + 3.3% Lithuanians” “0.4811”

    Mother – Single:
    [1,] “Dutch_D” “2.929”
    [2,] “British_Isles_D” “3.2208”
    [3,] “CEU30″ “3.4368”
    [4,] “English_D” “3.6218”
    [5,] “Kent_1KG” “4.3298”
    [6,] “Orkney_1KG” “4.3354”
    [7,] “Orcadian” “4.9827”
    [8,] “Argyll_1KG” “5.1404”
    [9,] “Irish_D” “5.1911”
    [10,] “Mixed_Germanic_D” “5.2659”

    Mother – Mixed-Mode:
    [1,] “13.6% Lithuanians + 86.4% Cornwall_1KG” “0.536”
    [2,] “26.5% Swedish_D + 73.5% Kent_1KG” “0.6521”
    [3,] “32.8% Norwegian_D + 67.2% Kent_1KG” “0.653”
    [4,] “8.4% Russian_D + 91.6% British_Isles_D” “0.6637”
    [5,] “14.2% Lithuanian_D + 85.8% Cornwall_1KG” “0.7193”
    [6,] “87% British_D + 13% Lithuanian_D” “0.7334”
    [7,] “22% Swedish_D + 78% CEU30″ “0.7448”
    [8,] “91.9% British_Isles_D + 8.1% Mordovians_Y” “0.7465”
    [9,] “85.6% British_D + 14.4% Belorussian” “0.7518”
    [10,] “22.9% Swedish_D + 77.1% English_D” “0.7645”

  • Grey

    @53
    “Outside influences during putative IE entry (Globular Amphora, Corded Ware) clearly were agriculturalists.”

    I confused the issue by calling them pastoralists.

    Say for the sake of example you have a farming package invented in a valley in eastern Anatolia which is 70% crops, 30% sheep. Now say in an adjacent mountainous area to the north-east that package doesn’t work because the crops don’t produce as much *but* by switching the proportions to say 50% crops, 50% sheep the package does work. It might provide a lower population density than the farmers in the valley but if it’s higher than foraging then it has a reason to expand.

    I think the second more pastoralist package would have had a larger range – at least in the early days of farming – than the crop-dominated package. In terms of total population the former might have the edge but in terms of physical space i think the latter would.

    The point that flows from this is the people who had a need to adapt the package are the ones most likely to have done so therefore people in relatively marginal land adjacent to the first farmers but not suitable for the original farming package would seem to fit the bill and following on from that the people who first developed that wider range package would have had a very big space to expand into (hence why i think those people would be more likely to be the ones who turned up at the mouth of the Danube).

    Following on further if the 50% crops, 50% sheep package didn’t work further north then a 30% crops, 70% sheep package could extend the range further to the north up to a line where the resulting population density had no advantage over foraging.

    So when i say first pastoralists in contrast to the first farmers in this context i really mean *more* pastoralist as a proportion (ranging up to actual pastoralist at the edge of their range).

    (This is just an attempt to explain the (seemingly) non-IE speaking agriculturalists who (seemingly) settled the med islands and coasts (and the fertile crescent) early on and who were (seemingly) over-run by IE (or Semitic) speaking peoples later. Some or all of those seeminglys may be in dispute of course.)

  • Grey

    @53
    “Not that I am denying the veracity of the studies you cited. I just don’t see any way, given the isolated position of the region, that there would have been major fresh infusions of West/South Eurasian past the Bronze Age.”

    That’s the thing. The Tarim basin was on one of the silk routes. In fact it’s the route that leads into the Wei valley (which interestingly is apparently one of the places where agriculture started in China*).

    .
    “Thus the question must be asked how could the maternal lineages from West Eurasia have been retained – or even enriched – if in the times of earliest settlement they were in the distinct minority?”

    Slave-raids?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Russia

    “In 1382 the Golden Horde under Khan Tokhtamysh sacked Moscow, burning the city and carrying off thousands of inhabitants as slaves…blah blah……In Crimea, about 75% of the population consisted of slaves.”

    A bit like the middle-east but in reverse.

    .
    *As an aside looking at these movements mostly from the point of view of physical geography and with two rules 1) crop-dominated package limited latitudinally and 2) path of least resistance, and then looking at a relief map

    http://www.physicalmapofasia.com/images/1899-physical-map-of-asia-large.jpg

    On the surface the easiest route from eastern Anatolia to India looks pretty clear
    – fertile crescent
    — Persian coast
    — Indus
    but if you then add on the route from there to the Yellow and/or Yangtze valleys it looks to me like the overall easiest path from eastern Anatolia to the yellow river at least might have been via the Tarim *if* the people taking that route were less constrained by the latitude limits i.e. if they were more pastoralist-weighted.

  • Eurologist

    Maju,

    I know we disagree on this issue – just a few things:

    * All recent archaeology seems to confirm that Globular Amphora and Corded Ware were agriculturalists and agriculturalists only.

    * GA lived side-by-side with TRB for ~300 years, with many sites sharing ceramics from both groups. GA was not intrusive in a military sense.

    * More researchers are considering climate change – and not “aggressive pastoralists” as the prime factor for changes ~3,000 BCE.

    * Almost all of North/Central Europe is extremely ill-suited to pastoralism. There are dense native forests with thickets, moors, lakes, and rivers – and no grasslands except narrow ones in flood zones or after recent fires. Summers are wet, winters are cold and snowy – so they require ~ 4-5 months of housing for the animals, and making hay and storing that as well for winter fodder (plus other fodder, depending on species).

    * There is zero archaeological evidence for pastoralism, but 100% evidence for agriculture.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Grey –

    There were of course ways to raid into West Eurasian areas, and traders from Central Asia would come into the area. However, there were East Eurasians to the East (Proto-Chinese) South (Tibetans, or their antecedents if the area was populated before the Tibetans moved in), and north (Siberians). Presuming they went a-raiding for brides, it would tend to enrich the East Eurasian component over time.

    A second historical migration of West Eurasians en-masse into the region could explain everything. However, that doesn’t appear to have happened. Tocharian doesn’t have any major influences from other languages, and until the conquest of the region by the Uyghurs, there wasn’t much linkage with outside empires.

    Of course, some enrichment may have happened during the Mongol Khanate period, as most nearby Mongolic people have a minor West Eurasian component. However, it’s more likely the result of this period would have been blending, resulting in a relatively high West Eurasian population becoming more like its immediate neighbors.

    I actually wonder if the best hypothesis might be sexual selection. Much of India retained a pretty strong bias towards light skin in women to the present, possibly due to cultural memories from the Aryans. Perhaps the Tocaharian culture simply found European-looking women more beautiful, and thus they were positively selected for up until the Turkic conquest.

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

    #60: Eurologist: you just cannot be right about zero pastoralism because such thing is unreal. Even if you’d be partly right in emphasizing farming (only farming is not real) that would not detract from the origins of Kurgan peoples being pastoralist in Samara valley and leter in the Pontic steppe.

    What we have in any case is:

    1. Rural-aristocratic domination of the Baalberge peoples (Kurgan) over the Gatersleben group of the Western Danubian. Where? In Southern Sachsen-Anhalt, around Halle. Expansion to the north by means of deforestation and to the East (Cuyavia specially) by probable conquest of other Danubian groups. The farmers would stay and become mostly an underclass of serfs, I interpret.

    2. Successor cultures at the Elbe (with cattle burials) and the Vistula influenced by Danubian culture. This latter one expanding in the Luboń phase (from Oder to Dniepr): horse and cattle abundant.

    3. Globular Amphorae merges both groups again: cattle burials.

    4. Corded Ware, maybe generated by the arrival of a new minor Kurgan wave from the East (Catacombs culture), expands massively. Almost no known settlements (all we know is tombs). Agriculture and pastoralism both documented; horse and 4-wheeled carts.

    No pastoralism? Whatever you say.

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

    Perhaps the Tocaharian culture simply found European-looking women more beautiful, and thus they were positively selected for up until the Turkic conquest.

    european-diagnostic pigmentation alleles are basically where you’d expect from whole-genome ancestry (slc24a4 and slc45a2, for example). so if it was for european phenotype, i don’t see it.

  • Grey

    @60 “There is zero archaeological evidence for pastoralism, but 100% evidence for agriculture.”

    That doesn’t address the issue of proportions. If there was a latitudinal cline in effectiveness of crops in early agriculture that could (would imo) result in a latitudinal cline in the proportion of crops vs animals (or fishing and foraging) in a successful agricultural package in a particular region to substitute for the relative weakness of their crop package. That shift in proportions would create a shift in mobility and range.

    (Over time the crops would be improved and the proportions would shift back to crops.)

    .
    @61
    “There were of course ways to raid into West Eurasian areas, and traders from Central Asia would come into the area.”

    Well 75% slaves in the Crimea (according to Wiki anyway) implies it happened quite a lot and again (according to wiki) slave raids into Russia from the steppe were going until quite late. I think that covers potential quantity.

    “However, there were East Eurasians to the East”

    Unless i’ve misunderstood something isn’t that the point? I may be mixed up here but i thought the argument was over originally the western mtdna among the Tocharians was the minority so how did it later became more 50/50?

    If the steppe’s east-west equilibrium line was exactly in the middle with equal raiding potential on either side you’d expect the mtdna among raiders in the middle to be 50/50 also. If the equilbrium line was skewed to the east you’d expect the mtdna to be skewed to the east. If the equilibrium line was skewed to the west the mtdna would be skewed to the west.

    So it seems plausible to me that originally it was skewed to the east – as a secondary effect of the first farmers – with for example smaller but more mobile groups in the Tarim basin raiding into places like the Wei valley (thus giving an eastern skew to their mtdna) then if later in history one of the Hun incarnations pushed the steppe’s east-west equilibrium line back more towards the midpoint and then raided in both directions the mtdna would gradually move to 50/50.

    However i may have misunderstood the point you and Onur were debating about so in that case ignore.

    (If the above is a reasonable approximation then i think mtdna on the steppe could have gone back and forth a few times: skewed to the east early on by the IE, then pushed back towards 50/50 by the hsiong-nu, then skewed to the west by the mongols and then back towards 50/50 again by the russian expansion.)

  • Grey

    @60 “That doesn’t address the issue of proportions…That shift in proportions would create a shift in mobility and range.”

    Another variation on the same basic idea of viable range is maybe illustrated from a link posted in the other thread

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehrgarh

    “The earliest farming in the area was developed by semi-nomadic people using plants such as wheat and barley and animals such as sheep, goats and cattle.”

    similar to

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funnelbeaker_culture

    “was dominated by animal husbandry of sheep, cattle, pigs and goats, but there was also hunting and fishing. Primitive wheat and barley was grown on small patches that were fast depleted, due to which the population frequently moved small distances.”

    So if the first farmers didn’t rotate their crops (and i assume someone had to have the idea before they did) then agriculturalists would be forced to be at least slightly semi-nomadic unless they were living on land you could grow food on year after year without it ever getting depleted.

    The only type of land you can grow food on year after year without it ever getting depleted are flood-plains (because you’re effectively getting new soil delivered to your doorstep) but flood-plains have their own problems hinted at by the name so it seems to me the optimal and possibly the only(?) suitable places (early on) for fully sedentary agriculture might have been right on the edge of a flood-plain – close enough but not too close.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Grey –

    My point is, even prior to the Turkic expansion, East Turkestan was surrounded by East Eurasian populations in three cardinal directions. Therefore, any gene flow due to random migration, or bride capture, etc would be much more likely over time to enrich the East Eurasian component over the West Eurasian one.

    As I said in the other thread however, I realized after the fact the back-migration of the Kushans did allow for an infusion of West (or rather South) Eurasian ancestry nearly 1,000 years before the Turkic influx.

  • Grey

    @66
    “My point is, even prior to the Turkic expansion, East Turkestan was surrounded by East Eurasian populations in three cardinal directions.”

    They were? east yes, but south is the Himalayas and north? If the equilibrium line had been skewed to the east for a long time before getting pushed back west then the people to the north might have originally been like the Tarim people so a mixture. Either way i think raiding can at least potentially explain an increase in western mtdna in the Tarim (if that is even the argument as i’m not entirely sure).

    If you imagine the steppe as a space and the raiding flow going from the settled areas around the space into the space than counter-intuitively whoever is the current top dog in the raider space will be physically changing over time to become more like the people they are raiding. So if the top dogs at one time were western/iranian then they would gradually become more north asian and vice versa (i think that’s right).

    If so the high north asian signal might make perfect sense. I don’t recall reading any ancient writers physically describing the Goths, Vandals, Alans etc but if they were similar to the Tarim people in this regard a 20% north asian signal might not actually be as surprising as it first seemed if it maps onto where the Goths and Alans and Vandals etc ended up.

  • Eurologist

    Maju,

    I apologize for my exaggeration – this was of course also a bit of a trick statement, since pastoralists leave comparatively little evidence, in the first place. Also see my post #51.

    I will take a look at your additional, very detailed input later, when I will have more time.

    @58
    Grey,

    The thing is that there are numerous, very good statistics about the type of domesticated animals used throughout LBK and following cultures, and about the detailed temporal development of settlements. Some of those indicate that in much of North/Central Europe (say, Eastern France to much of Poland and the Baltics, and Alsace through parts of Hungary), grazing and hay-making land is the limiting factor for settlements. That is, people moved on when it was too difficult to create more of that and not if more growing areas for grains and pulses was required. Of course, the reason is that grazing and haymaking dominates taking up space, and it takes an enormous effort to convert old-growth deciduous forest into grassland in humid climates – while it takes much less effort to use existing clearings or to take down low-growth bushes and trees close to river valleys (E.g., you cut all the relatively thin stems in the spring without removing any wood, and then burn the entire area towards the late summer/ early fall dry season. This removes all the wood, creates enough heat to kill new sprouts and most humid-climate weed seeds, and fertilizes the ground).

    All of this also demonstrates why low-tech pastoralism is a losing proposition in these humid, old-growth forest areas of Europe.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    67 –

    You raise an excellent point. I had always assumed that the known Indo-European areas (Central Asia and East Turkestan) basically represented the essentially maximal expansion of West Eurasians. But we need to consider the evidence.

    First, to the north of East Turkestan there is a belt of mountains, which fairly quickly transitions into boreal forest. There’s no way to cross the steppe that famously travels from the Ukraine to Manchuria without crossing into Mongolia first, and whatever forest tribes inhabited the area probably had a very different way of life than farmers and herdsmen.

    Second, at least as recently as 200 BCE we have good records. The Yuezhi (a Tocharian people) lived in and around what was Gansu, but were pushed out prior to this era by the Xiongnu (an East Asian people often thought to be the Huns, with little evidence) to “Tochar/Daxia,” which they conquered. The area immediately to the east of the Yuezhi, which is the only adjacent area conducive to steppe culture, was the home of the Ordos culture which seems to have been indigenous East Asian, although it’s unclear which group it was exactly (Mongols were first recorded as living in Manchuria, IIRC).

    The bottom line is there were probably, in the Bronze age, Indo-European herdsmen to the west, East Asian herdsmen to the east, hunter-gatherers of probable Siberian extraction to the north, a largely uninhabited wasteland, with some scattered East Asian settlement, to the south.

  • Onur

    Karl,

    What is today Xinjiang (alternatively called East Turkestan, but East Turkestan is more properly only composed of the Tarim basin part) is composed of two ecologically, culturally and historically distinct regions: the Tarim basin south of the Tian Shan mountains, and Dzungaria north of the Tian Shan mountains. All throughout this thread, I have only written about the Tarim basin and never ever written anything about Dzungaria due to its vast differences from the Tarim basin. The Tarim basin is a vast desert land with scattered oases conductive to city life and agriculture. Because of its desert landscape, the Tarim basin has never had enough grasslands to support nomadic pastoralism and therefore has always been home to sedentary cultures since the Neolithic times. Dzungaria, on the other hand, is a part of the Eurasian steppes with many grasslands and therefore has overwhelmingly been inhabited by pastoralist nomads since the Neolithic times and was not conductive to city life and agriculture at all up until the modern times.

  • Onur

    BTW, I wrote my above post to explain why the Tarim basin and Dzungaria should be treated separately.

  • Onur

    Razib: Oh wait, I’m South Asian. That means I’m ~50% white!

    Marcel: Well, ~45%, anyway, now that we know that what was previously identified as “white” is actually only ~90% so;–)

    Marcel, you are forgetting that Razib’s White part comes from West Asian type Caucasoids (ANI clusters with West Asians), and West Asians have much less ancient Mongoloid element admixture than northern Europeans have.

  • Grey

    @69
    “The bottom line is…”

    I was being a bit facetious but i think the general point stands. If you have a raider-space raiding females from a surrounding settled space then a bit counter-intuitively whoever is the top dog in the raider space will over time gradually become more like the people they’re raiding.

    The second question then is if the quantity is enough to make a dramatic difference and if the figure of 75% slaves in the Crimea is true i’d say that was an indication towards yes.

    The reason i think this fits better is if if you look at it in terms of population pumps then the early adopters have the initial advantage. If the Tocharian types were the early adopters and spread east (and south east) until they were blocked by something or other and they had a raiding culture then you’d expect them to gradually become more like the people they raided. At the same time if they passed agriculture on to the people they were adjacent to* then you could see the creation of new population pumps in say Iran or China. If those new population pumps were on a giant flood plain e.g. the Wei valley, then i think that would eventually create a much stronger population pump and the direction of flow would reverse (including counter-intuitively increasing the western mtdna in those populations who were already admixed).

    If the above is correct then i’d expect the Tocharian types to have spread east as far as they could go before they were blocked either by geography or population density*, become more east asian over time through raiding, and then eventually get pushed back west over time after the Yellow Emperor (or his duller but probably more historical equivalent) figured out flood-defences and irrigation along the Yellow river and reversed the flow.

    *pots and/or people. i think it’s pots *and* people when there’s potential population density differential and pots when there isn’t i.e. if/when farmers/pastoralists hit a region with a high enough forager population density to equalize the numbers advantage the agriculturalists are blocked and pots have a chance to flow across the equilibrium line.

    I think relatively high density forager places are likely to include deltas and flood-plains (which before irrigation i assume were wetlands) so i’d picture the advance of the first farmers (and first pastoralists) possibly being population blocked at places like the Nile delta, Red Sea delta, Wei valley etc.

    ###

    I think most of this testable in theory if these genetic signals can be teased out separately

    1) If there’s a subarctic east-west gene flow and a steppe gene flow then the Finnish signal and the “Goth” signal might be different.
    2) Once-Tocharian type tribes that were bounced into Europe earlier might have a “Hun1″ signal but not a “Hun2″ signal.
    3) The once-steppe signal should map onto the places where the Goths, Vandals etc settled.
    4) The historical examples e.g. Goths, may represent later versions of things that happened at earlier times also e.g. the celts who came over the alps and burned Rome c400 BC may been bounced by earlier steppe movements in the same way the later Goths were or Caesar saying the Belgae were originally from much further east.
    5) If the western part of early Tocharian mtdna was mostly from around the Transcaucasus area but later mtdna was more north european.

    etc etc

    probably easier said than done though.

  • Grey

    @68
    “and then burn the entire area towards the late summer/ early fall dry season. This removes all the wood, creates enough heat to kill new sprouts and most humid-climate weed seeds, and fertilizes the ground).

    All of this also demonstrates why low-tech pastoralism is a losing proposition in these humid, old-growth forest areas of Europe.”

    Ah, i thought i read somewhere the northern tribes used semi-nomadic slash and burn techniques in the forests because the resulting new growth provided the woodland equivalent of pasture to feed their herds of boar. maybe that’s wrong.

    (i’m not talking about the danube here. i mean further north where crops had a bigger dissadvantage).

  • http://www.barti.co.uk Barti Cox

    Dear Razib, much of your article here is way over my head, but for some time I have been trying to discover the most likely origin of ‘ The White Man’ with fair hair and complexion and blue eyes.
    How did this sub species of human arise. He is so different from all the other strains of humans around the world who all have, typically, Black hair and brown eyes with darker complexion.
    I can only assume that the original white humans were some sort of cross or random mutation, possibly between entirely different human species….Neanderthal possibly.
    I have puzzled over this for some time but can not find any information. Surely genetics has found the answer……can you throw any light on my query, how did the White Man arise?

  • Grey

    It’s a shame Kabyles being partly descended from Vandals seems to be an internet myth as Kabyles having North Asian admixture would be pretty entertaining.

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

    #75: Totally wrong, Barti. The process of depigmentation while very apparent is just a very minor trait. The main reason is that we produce most of our vitamin D in the skin (in a process similar to photosynthesis) and, in areas of low solar radiation, we (specially children and also pregnant mothers) need to be able to maximize that (the only non-pharma alternative is a fish-rich diet). So if we would not have depigmented, our children would have got (and probably got in fact) severe mental problems, never mind rachitism.

    Blond hair and blue eyes are less important characteristics but they are ultimately triggered by the same process of loss of eumelanin (in the case of red haired people, while preserving most pheomelanin instead). These traits, unlike skin color, never became homogeneous enough and even today, even in the areas where they are most common, they are still just an individual variant.

  • Eurologist

    Ah, i thought i read somewhere the northern tribes used semi-nomadic slash and burn techniques in the forests because the resulting new growth provided the woodland equivalent of pasture to feed their herds of boar. maybe that’s wrong.

    (i’m not talking about the danube here. i mean further north where crops had a bigger dissadvantage).

    Grey,

    Again, it is not necessarily the grains and other crops that are a limiting factor in the North (they benefit from the longer sunshine hours, compensating for a shorter growing season). But, during rather periodic unseasonal cold periods, you have to collect and store enough fodder for the grazing animals for perhaps 6+ months, while keeping them healthy, happy, and warm. That is not an easy task – even today. Ask dairy owners in Alaska (Southern Alaska is the same latitude as Northern Germany).

    Maju,

    One thing we can perhaps agree upon is that Corded Ware IE expansion in the North (assuming TRB wasn’t already pre-PIE) was very different from the later, stereotypical ones:

    * no bronze age swords involved
    * no other new significant new technology involved, except perhaps the oxen-pulled cart
    * no standing armies or any evidence of large-scale battles
    * horses played no role, what-so-ever
    * no bronze-age jewellery or coins to bribe or pay
    * little additional significant stratification of graves and grave goods compared to earlier times
    * little overall change in the way of life

    All these items make me ponder, why? And are ultimately the reason I still seriously consider that TRB and LBK had linguistic relations to pre-PIE. That would explain a lot.

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

    #78: Eurologist: I understand that TRB (Funnelbeaker) is not a single culture but a cultural phenomenon spanning several cultures, groups, populations and/or ethnicities, much as Megalithism or Bell Beaker (but each in its own terms).

    The core of TRB is in Denmark/Scania and maybe NW Germany/Netherlands. In Denmark there is a squence which is linked to Megalithism and may or not be more or less of Epipaleolithic local origins and/or having Neolithic influences from elsewhere (more SW Megalithic than Danubian IMO).

    Further south in Michelsberg culture (“reformed” Danubian), Baalberge (Kurgan on Danubian substrate), etc. Funnelbeaker is little more than a fashion, maybe with some ideological or meta-cultural meaning (???) but besides pottery styles these different groups are very different from each other and have different roots. They may be converging but from diverse origins and with different identities in any case.

    As for Corded Ware (and also Bell Beaker, they overlap) of course that no bronze was involved: it is still the Chalcolithic and metallurgy was still in its very infancy in most of Europe.

    I’m not sure what kind of evidence can suggest battles to you. The Baalberge center was fortified, as were many other sites of the time. In general we can appreciate an evolution towards fortified villages and even what seem to be kingdoms (princely burials, general appearance of “centralized state”) in some cases, although this is more to the South (Bulgaria, Hungary briefly, parts of Iberia, Stonehenge and Carnac can also be considered in this line probably – but theocracies instead of kingdoms?) In general in the Chalcolithic we do not only see greater development of social structure, social classes, specialized artisans, long distance trade networks, polities, etc. but also an increase of violence (violent injuries in some areas, large hoards of arrow points, weaponry in burials – even if often it is ritual/magical weapons, and certainly fortifications almost everywhere).

    The Balcanic Kurgans were much more affluent than the Northern ones because they plundered wealthy realms. They were buried with major hoards of gold and other riches, including maybe sacrified personal servants. The Northern Kurgan peoples are much more modest but I bet they also enjoyed a lord-like lifestyle in their own way often – at least some of them. There’s some evidence in this direction but limited because if their wealth were cows and slaves, for example, or wheat and pigs paid as tribute, that leaves no obvious archaeological evidence.

    “horses played no role, what-so-ever”

    I have read otherwise. There is evidence of horses and carts, as happens among steppe Kurgans even more dramatically.

  • http://www.barti.co.uk Barti Cox

    77. Maju.. Thanks for the reply, your point is well made but what people were the forbears of these first de-pigmented Europeans. I presume they would have been from the south as it seems highly unlikely that they descended from Inuits in the north in which case we would be equivalent to the Chinese or Native Americans, or maybe we are. I apologize if I am being too simplistic.
    Incidentally, I understand that globally, the greatest concentration of red haired people is to be found in the Chester/North Wales area. Now, if true, that is odd.

  • pconroy

    @80, Barti,

    Based on an old map I have the greatest concentration of Red Hair in the UK is the Border region between Scotland and England – home of the Border Reivers – second is Wales in general.

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

    #80 I believe that Razib recently commented on this matter but I can’t find it. Essentially most of the depigmentation genetics seems to be different for West Eurasia and East Eurasia, each great region developing a gradient of depigmentation from South to North, more or less, in their own distinct way (also Melanesian blond hair is now known to be caused by different alleles than in West Eurasians).

    West Eurasians seem to derive essentually from South Asians who are mostly dark skinned (although with some variation) plus some minor input from Africa and Siberia later on. So it’s indeed a brown-to-white process of loss of pigmentation.

    Red Hair seems to be a side-effect of depigmentation among those populations with high pheomelanine. Dark skinned people can also be redder or yellower/bluer and that is also because of pheomelanin variation. It’s not well known the role of pheomelanin, if any. If a population was low in pheomelanin and lost pigmentation they went “up” in the blond scale: brown haired, ash blond, blond, platinum blond… I guess, while if they were high in pheomelanin they went instead towards auburn, carrot, etc. Usually there is some correlation between hair tone and skin one and tanning intensity after sunbathing and risk of skin cancer.

  • Onur

    West Eurasians seem to derive essentually from South Asians

    What is your evidence for that claim? The ancestors of West Eurasians were surely unlike modern-day South Asians, who are relatively recent hybrids of fully formed Caucasoids and a distinct race that is closer to Mongoloids than Caucasoids.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    83 –

    He’s technically right, if you include Southwest Asia (e.g., the Near East) as part of South Asia. The following scenario could be true:

    Proto West Eurasians + “Siberian” admixture = Europeans
    Proto West Eurasians + Ancient South Indians = Modern South Asians
    Proto West Eurasians + African Admixture = Modern Middle Easterners

    Overall, the least admixed populations are those which stayed near the core, but didn’t see the recent historic West African admixture (and, I believe, some older East African admixture as well). Basically highland middle eastern groups like the Kurds and Armenians, and peoples of the Caucasus.

    This is the reason, I think, that Dienekes feels the data shows all West Eurasians flow back to the Caucasus. Not that it was the actual locus of origin per-se, (which was probably in the Fertile Crescent proper, if anywhere in particular), but because the peoples represent the “purest” snapshot of a West Eurasian population at the dawn of the Neolithic.

  • Onur

    He’s technically right, if you include Southwest Asia (e.g., the Near East) as part of South Asia.

    In no realistic racial grouping West Asia can be included in South Asia. West Asians are racially West Eurasians (i.e., Caucasoids), while South Asians are Caucasoid-ASI hybrids. Also it is clear that Luis (a.k.a. Maju) does not include West Asia in South Asia.

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

    #83: It’s not my wish to enter a lengthy discussion with you Onur on “races” but I understand that all West Eurasian lineages patri- or matrilineal have a South Asian (i.e. Indian subcontinent) phase (and in some cases even a SE Asian one).

    In my understanding, Y-DNA F coalesced in South Asia where it has the greates basal diversity, as was the case with its descendant LT; MNOPS (aka K(xLT)) seems to have coalesced in SE Asia or maybe around Bengal, with its descendant P leaving a quite clear track through South Asia (P*, R, R2, R1a) and nearby Iran/Central Asia (Q)… All West Eurasian haplogroups except E1b (and partly N because it arrived via East Asia and Siberia in fact) are derived from these in one way or another.

    In the mitochondrial line also West Eurasian lineages are mostly derived from N and, specially, R, whose coalescence localities I place (by means of inference from basal diversity) in SE Asia or South Asia. The few exceptions within M must also come from South Asia, where M coalesced without any possible doubt (again judging on basal diversity). Only a few very rare African-derived lineages break this pattern.

    There’s nothing that is just “Africa > West Eurasia” and ends here, except maybe a few rare “fossil” lineages of Peninsular Arabia and the like or more recent arrivals like E1b. Almost all what makes up West Eurasians in terms of haploid genetics went at some point through South Asia (and some also through SE Asia or almost) and it fundamentally can be described, in my best understanding, as a “boomerang” flow África > Arabia > South Asia (> SE Asia > South Asia) > West Eurasia.

    I have to make a page at my blog explaining this with maps and such because I often find myself having to explain all this that is very obvious for me but apparently not so much for others.

  • pconroy

    @86 Maju,

    I’ve come around to this thinking myself over the last year.

    That’s why i see the Caucasus component of Dodecad as being derived from Gedrosia, and not the other way about. I also see Gedrosia as essentially Ancestral North Indian (ANI).

    In the decomposition of the South Asian, we see that:

    South Asian = Caucasus + East Asian

    But of course Gedrosia is 97% Caucasus + 3% Siberian

    So that’s like saying:
    South Asian = Gedrosia + East Asian

    So it may be that India is the home of the East Asian component too, and that a population like that of Bengal does NOT have recent East Asian admixture, rather it harbors an ancient East Asian root?!

    Essentially Ancestral South Indian (ASI) is a stable mixture of East Asian + minor Australasian (probably from an ultimate Denisovan source)

    More here:
    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2012/08/inter-relationships-of-dodecad-k12b-and.html

  • http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com ohwilleke

    “the authors detect evidence of massive gene flow into Spain from Northern Europe ~4,000 years before the present. . . .

    We hypothesize that we are seeing here a genetic signal of the ‘Bell-Beaker culture’ (HARRISON, 1980). Initial cultural flow of the Bell-Beakers appears to have been from South to North, but the full story may be complex. Indeed one hypothesis is that after an initial expansion from Iberia there was a reverse flow back to Iberia (CZEBRESZUK, 2003); this ‘reflux’ model is broadly concordant with our genetic results, and if this is the correct explanation it suggests that this reverse flow may have been accompanied by substantial population movement.

    . . . the idea of reversals in the direction of gene flow are intriguing, and, I think need to be taken more seriously. It seems the most plausible candidate here are the people who later became the Celtiberians. Celts have been associated with the Bell Beakers before.”

    The archaeological associations of the Celtiberians with the Hallstatt culture (sometime after the 8th century BCE) that emerged out of the Urnfield culture (which arrives in Iberia sometime after 1200 BCE) are pretty clear and post-dates the earliest Bell Beaker culture by about 1200 years.

    It is much more plausible that Bell Beaker is pre-IE. As I suggested in a more fully annotated blog post in late 2011, the Bell Beaker people are a very plausible the linguistic source, core cultural source and significant genetic contributor to Basque ethnogenesis.

    There were modern humans living in what is now Basque Country as far back as the early Upper Paleolithic, but a very strong candidate for Basque ethnogenesis is the Aquitani people (or their close kin), who are in turn derived from the Artenacian culture to the north in Western France, who in turn have cultural and probably at least partial genetic origins in the Southern Iberian Bell Beaker people (the origins of the earliest Bell Beaker culture itself is harder to know with confidence). The archaeological, toponymical and historical evidence suggest that the Aquitani language was from the same linguistic family as the Basque language. This fits the genetic evidence of a Bell Beaker reflux migration and historically ties this reflux migration to the Basque linguistically. Toponymns from a larger proposed Vasconic linguistic substrate in Europe are also a pretty good geographic fit to the maximum extent of the Bell Beaker cultural complex in Europe. There is not an archaeological indication of a reflux migration pattern in later Celto-Iberian associated cultures, however.

    The Atenacian culture would be a very plausible source, among other things, for a very high rate of lactase persistance among the Basque, while their Gascon neighbors to the immediate east have among the lowest rates of lactase persistence among Europeans, particularly given that cattle herding appears to become much more prominent in Basque country right during the Atenacian period in France. Ancient DNA has shown the first wave Neolithic migrants to Iberia and Southeastern France lacked lactase persistance.

    Studies of physical anthropology have found that “only in Northern Spain and the Czech Republic were there demonstrable genetic links between immediately previous populations and Bell Beaker populations.” This could explain why the Basque not only lack of an Indo-European “West Asian” autosomal genetic components, but also have more ancient population genetic roots than most other peoples in what was once Bell Beaker territory.

  • http://www.barti.co.uk Barti Cox

    82 -87…It will take some time to translate your in-house code but I think I can follow the general ideas of migration, however, without the benefit of and the means of understanding complicated scientific data, it seems obvious that during the last expansion of polar ice, our species of Hominid would have consisted of Africans in a largely tropical or semi arid habitat, what I choose to refer to as the Intuits, encircling the globe around the Northern ice sheet and…a cocktail in between.

    The adaptations for the contrasting habitats seem obvious to me, although I grant, that could be through ignorance. The East Asian forbears have rounded heads and small features to minimise surface area, and Africans, and I am wildly generalizing here, have deeper set eyes and can indulge in powerful, protruding jaws to use as a tool and cope with tough vegetable foodstuffs.

    The Australian Aborigines seem to be something entirely out of the box to me, unless they are closely related to the earliest humans just prior to the expansion from East Africa from which all other variants have arisen.

    What I am really interested in, is to identify at what point the peoples we contemporarily refer to as, Northern Europeans, became identifiable before migrating across much of the Globe. We have this image from history books of crazed, long haired warriors on horse-back galloping across the plains of Europe, trampling the indigenous, peaceful tribes.

    If this is even only partially true, what gave rise to these people? If this has already been answered above, please cut and paste and I will work on it.

  • Grey

    @89
    “what gave rise to these people”

    a giant forest covering most of europe imo

    “”We have this image…”

    I think a more likely image is forest hunter gatherers living in a giant forest like the huron, iroquois etc in last of the mohicans – but white (i assume). The guys on the horses came later imo.

  • Onur

    The following scenario could be true:

    Proto West Eurasians + “Siberian” admixture = Europeans
    Proto West Eurasians + Ancient South Indians = Modern South Asians
    Proto West Eurasians + African Admixture = Modern Middle Easterners

    Overall, the least admixed populations are those which stayed near the core, but didn’t see the recent historic West African admixture (and, I believe, some older East African admixture as well). Basically highland middle eastern groups like the Kurds and Armenians, and peoples of the Caucasus.

    According to the latest results, among Eurasian Caucasoids (thus excluding North Africans) West Asians and Sardinians are the populations least (if any) affected by the ancient Mongoloid admixture seen throughout West Eurasia. So, for instance, if Anatolian Turks did not have recent Mongoloid admixture that comes from the historical Turkic migration to Anatolia from what is now Kazakhstan, they would show no Mongoloid admixture at all, whether ancient or recent, because that their West Asian base, just like Armenians, is totally or almost totally devoid of any Mongoloid admixture, whether ancient or recent.

    As for the Negroid admixture in West Asia, also according to the latest results, non-Arab West Asians and Sardinians have almost no Negroid admixture, whether ancient or recent, and the Negroid admixture in West Asian Arabs seems to be overwhelmingly recent.

  • Onur

    To visualize what I am saying in my previous post, here is the result of a 4-population test by Dienekes:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qCEiV81NI0c/UDJP0Y-C_LI/AAAAAAAAFjs/WJLXbhylaCM/s1600/f4_Sardinian_X_Han_San.png

    Note that according to these results, Turks have less overall Mongoloid admixture, whether ancient or recent, than Poles (or may be roughly equal if we assume that Turks also have tiny latent Negroid admixture).

    But in model-based tests like ADMIXTURE analyses Poles invariably show up “much less” Mongoloid-admixed than Turks.

    Why the discrepancy? It is because, unlike 4-population tests, model-based tests like ADMIXTURE analyses are not formal genetic admixture tests and are not good at detecting ancient admixtures. Because that Mongoloid admixture in Poles is mostly ancient while the one in Turks is totally or almost totally recent (see my above post), totality or almost totality of the overall Mongoloid admixture of Turks is detected by model based tests like ADMIXTURE analyses but only a small portion of the overall Mongoloid admixture of Poles can be detected by such model-based analyses. If we did not apply a formal genetic admixture test such as the above one Dienekes applied, we would never detect the bulk of the overall Mongoloid admixture of Poles and hence would never find out that the overall Mongoloid admixture, whether ancient or recent, of Turks is less than or roughly equal to the one of Poles.

  • Onur

    @86,

    Luis (a.k.a Maju),

    Your model does not make sense. You are assuming a too limited range for the early modern human dispersals in Eurasia. You seem to be under the influence of the coastal migration hypothesis, which is not backed up by the evidence. Also you are underestimating the impacts of large scale population replacements throughout the existence of modern humans in Eurasia and assuming that genetic landscape of regions experienced relatively little change after the early colonizations, which is not supported by the evidence. Your model is too simplistic and does not make sense at all.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    91 –

    While I agree that most of the detectable SSA ancestry is of recent origin, I’m not sure if we can certainly say virtually all is a result of this. The problem is, few lowland Near Easterners resisted Arabization. Really so far only the Assyrians and the Samaritans have been studied in great detail. Other groups, like the Mandeans, Copts, and the different South Arabian groups, have not been looked at.

    I also wonder if previous to the SSA admixture into Arabian populations if there were older elements, which is what distinguishes them from other near eastern populations. One possibility is ancient stabilized East African ancestry. Given it seems ancient Egyptians were somewhat admixed themselves, and the Afro-Asiatic languages seem to have their ultimate origin within Africa, it wouldn’t be surprising.

    Another possibility is whatever coastal hunter-gatherer population lived in Arabia prior to agriculture was absorbed into the Arabian genome. Given no remnants of this remain, absent paleolithic DNA we’ll never be able to isolate this component, but it could be a component of why Arabians are different from non-Arab admixed Near Easterners.

  • Onur

    While I agree that most of the detectable SSA ancestry is of recent origin, I’m not sure if we can certainly say virtually all is a result of this. The problem is, few lowland Near Easterners resisted Arabization. Really so far only the Assyrians and the Samaritans have been studied in great detail. Other groups, like the Mandeans, Copts, and the different South Arabian groups, have not been looked at.

    I think programs like ADMIXTURE are pretty good at detecting Negroid admixture in Caucasoids for even ancient times. That is because the Caucasoid genetics is too dissimilar to the Negroid genetics compared to the Mongoloid genetics, which is, like the Caucasoid genetics, basically a part of the same Out-of-Africa gene pool. Hence much easier Negroid admixture detection in Caucasoid populations for even ancient times, while not so easy Mongoloid admixture detection in Caucasoid populations for ancient times and the need to use formal admixture tests to detect them.

  • Onur

    Indeed, there is a pretty high concordance between the overall Negroid admixture estimates for Eurasian populations (whether Caucasoid or Mongoloid) of valid formal admixture tests and those of valid non-formal admixture tests like ADMIXTURE.

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

    #93 I’m judging based on factual data. All my modeling of the Eurasian colonization is based, very strictly, on the geographical distribution of the basal diversity of the various haplogroups: those are facts and the reconstruction fulfills the requirement of greatest parsimony, while what you say, Onur, is just ideological nagging as far as I can see, not supported by anything but personal likes and dislikes. Emotional choices do not a scientific theory make.

    “you are underestimating the impacts of large scale population replacements”

    Proven by what?

    “You are assuming a too limited range for the early modern human dispersals”…

    I do not think so: from Yemen to Japan and Australia via India is not a “limited range”. Actually it is all Eurasia-Sahul except the arctic quasi-deserts and the Neanderlands (most of West Eurasia, incl. Central Asia), well documented as occupied by this other, very strong and intelligent, cousin species with their culture, technology and such until c. 55-35 Ka.

    “You seem to be under the influence of the coastal migration hypothesis”…

    The hipothesis is built on the most parsimonious reconstruction of the genetic data. Strictly coastal probably was not the case but Tropical Migration for sure. The only alternative route is Altai and it was occupied by Neanderthals and (even earlier) by the H. erectus, partial ancestor of Denisovans.

    “Luis (a.k.a Maju),”

    I do not think you have asked me for permission to use that other name of mine in public online. You are being outright rude.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Onur –

    I’m not sure why you replied twice, but would this be as true for East African admixture as West African admixture? East Africans, although they predate the OOA split, seem to have been subject to back migrations from Eurasia at least three time: The modern Arab expansion, the ancient expansion of the Semetic languages into the Ethiopian highlands, and some underlying admixture shared by all Horners. There may even be older admixture, not detectable, which is part of what separates even the “pure” East African component from West Africans.

    In contrast, aside from a few oddball populations like the Mozabites and other Berber peoples, there was essentially no admixture between West Africans and Eurasians until the expansion of Islam.

  • Onur

    #97,

    You are making wild inferences about modern human past based on modern genetic variation, without taking into account how vastly different ancient genetic variation can be from today. In fact, the first thing that ancient DNA studies taught us is not to make much inference about modern human past, especially for so ancient times, based on modern genetic variation. It is you who is being ideological and/or emotional here. I, on the other hand, am boringly cautious and meticulous.

    I do not think you have asked me for permission to use that other name of mine in public online. You are being outright rude.

    Should I? What is wrong with you real name? I think it is cooler than Maju, and more natural.

  • http://www.barti.co.uk Barti Cox

    90. Grey Says:
    95. Onur Says:
    Firstly Guys, thanks for your patience and for tolerating my ignorance but I am seriously trying to learn and understand.

    So, rather than Caucasoid man being a recent arrival from some sort of cross between more ancient Hominids from the ‘Out of Africa’ migration, Caucasoid man developed in Europe independently from the onset.

    Later, having survived the recent expansion of the ice sheet, the adaptations to which brought about his distinctive characteristics, he eventually settled into farming, 6,000BC, in so doing levelled areas of forest and through the clearings discovered that he was not alone and has never looked back??

    Incidentally, why do all contemporary humanoids have white (Pink) palms and soles of their feet. Is it possible that the common ancestor was white? Yes, a crazy proposition, but why is this so.

  • Onur

    #98,

    Horn Africans are essentially Caucasoid-Negroid hybrids. Their respective amounts of overall admixture from the Caucasoid and Negroid races can be fairly accurately estimated with both formal and non-formal admixture tests as far as I can see.

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

    #97 Ancient DNA studies are in their infancy, except arguably for some very specific subregions of Europe where they may be in their puberty, not more. Furthermore there’s some people who think in your line who are selectively “approving” or “rejecting” various studies depending on their whim. Very specially they are dedicated to deny, against mounting very serious evidence, the presence of mtDNA H in Paleolithic Europe (specifically in the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco), a key element to understand past and peresent. With falsification of data we cannot reconstruct anything.

    In brief, I think that, even if there were some localized or even more generalized population replacements, those are still ill understood and in any case happened mostly within continental regions such as West Eurasia, East Asia, etc. And those large continental regions are what I mostly use as divisions in my analysis of likely past migrations: in that context is not important if H is Iberian, Anatolian or Danubian by origin, what matters is that it is West Eurasian – and that’s unquestionable.

    The finer the detail you pretend, the more likely to err. But I never pretended such a high resolution, just a very rough, yet clear, general description of the most likely flows.

    “What is wrong with you real name?”

    Just that you are taking liberties that have not been granted, what is rude, violent.

    Also which name is more “real”? Is “Onur” your real name? Not that I care, I’m not enquiring. It is the name I know you by and that should be enough.

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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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