View Full Version : What branch of R1a-M417 could Caucasoid mummies of Xiaohe belong to?

18-09-15, 14:31
I think no similar thread exists, if I'm wrong then please merge threads.

Ancient IE males from Xiaohe belonged to R1a1a (M417), but not to Z93 - according to prof. Hui Zhou from Jilin University:


Hui Zhou, Jilin University, wrote (on 2014-07-18 16:14):

Archaeological and anthropological investigations have helped to formulate two main theories to account for the origin of the populations in the Tarim Basin. The first, so-called “steppe hypothesis”, maintains that the earliest settlers may have been nomadic herders of the Afanasievo culture (ca. 3300-2000 B.C.), a primarily pastoralist culture distributed in the Eastern Kazakhstan, Altai, and Minusinsk regions of the steppe north of the Tarim Basin. The second model, known as the “Bactrian oasis hypothesis”, it maintains that the first settlers were farmers of the Oxus civilization (ca. 2200-1500 B.C.) west of Xinjiang in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. These contrasting models can be tested using DNA recovered from archaeological bones. Xiaohe cemetery contains the oldest and best-preserved mummies so far discovered in the Tarim Basin, possible those of the earliest people to settle the region. Genetic analysis of these mummies can provide data to elucidate the affinities of the earliest inhabitants.

Our results show that Xiaohe settlers carried Hg R1a1 in paternal lineages, and Hgs H, K, C4, M*in maternal lineages. Though Hg R1a1a is found at highest frequency in both Europe and South Asia, Xiaohe R1a1a more likely originate from Europe because of it not belonging to R1a1a-Z93 branch (our recently unpublished data) which is mainly found in Asians. mtDNA Hgs H, K, C4 primarily distributed in northern Eurasians. Though H, K, C4 also presence in modern south Asian, they immigrated into South Asian recently from nearby populations, such as Near East , East Asia and Central Asia, and the frequency is obviously lower than that of northern Eurasian. Furthermore, all of the shared sequences of the Xiaohe haplotypes H and C4 were distributed in northern Eurasians. Haplotype 223-304 in Xiaohe people was shared by Indian. However, these sequences were attributed to HgM25 in India, and in our study it was not HgM25 by scanning the mtDNA code region. Therefore, our DNA results didn't supported Clyde Winters’s opinion but supported the “steppe hypothesis”. Moreover, the culture of Xiaohe is similar with the Afanasievo culture. Afanasievo culture was mainly distributed in the Eastern Kazakhstan, Altai, and Minusinsk regions, and didn’t spread into India. This further maintains the “steppe hypothesis”.

In addition, our data was misunderstand by Clyde Winters. Firstly, the human remains of the Xiaohe site have no relation with the Loulan mummy. The Xiaohe site and Loulan site are two different archaeological sites with 175km distances. Xiaohe site, radiocarbon dated ranging from 4000 to 3500 years before present, was a Bronze Age site, and Loulan site, dated to about 2000 years before present. Secondly, Hgs H and K are the mtDNA haplogroups not the Y chromosome haplogroups in our study. Thirdly, the origin of Xiaohe people in here means tracing the most recently common ancestor, and Africans were remote ancestor of modern people.More about Xiaohe DNA: http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/silkroaddna.shtml

Xiaohe cemetery, located near the Lop Lake (Lop Nur) in the Tarim Basin, Xinjiang province, North-Western China:



"Evidence that a West-East admixed population lived in the Tarim Basin as early as the early Bronze Age":



Photos showing the cemetery:






Here a documentary about those mummies:


In my opinion, they belonged to some subclade under R1a-Z645 other than Z93 - what do you think ???

18-09-15, 15:26
I would guess R1a1a* and that they are extinct now

Later (from 6th cent BC) in China there were more Indo-Europeans, both defeated by the Xoingnu, ancestral to the Huns : Ordos culture and Juezhi


Ordos people may be extinct, but Yuezhi did flee to Central-Asia and later some of them conquered parts of India.
So Yuezhi were probably R1a-Z93

18-09-15, 15:43
^ The Xiongnu (who were probably ancestors of Huns) themselves were ruled by a partially Indo-European ruling class.

An autosomally Western Eurasian Caucasoid male with R1a1 (Y-DNA) and U2e1 (mtDNA) was found in Xiongnu elite cemetery:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.21242/abstract;jsessionid=B58DE687130C09668A1B0A5BB78080 94.f02t01

A western Eurasian male is found in 2000-year-old elite Xiongnu cemetery in Northeast Mongolia:

We analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNP), and autosomal short tandem repeats (STR) of three skeletons found in a 2,000-year-old Xiongnu elite cemetery in Duurlig Nars of Northeast Mongolia. This study is one of the first reports of the detailed genetic analysis of ancient human remains using the three types of genetic markers. The DNA analyses revealed that one subject was an ancient male skeleton with maternal U2e1 and paternal R1a1 haplogroups. This is the first genetic evidence that a male of distinctive Indo-European lineages (R1a1) was present in the Xiongnu of Mongolia. This might indicate an Indo-European migration into Northeast Asia 2,000 years ago. Other specimens are a female with mtDNA haplogroup D4 and a male with Y-SNP haplogroup C3 and mtDNA haplogroup D4. (...) There was no close kinship among them. The genetic evidence of U2e1 and R1a1 may help to clarify the migration patterns of Indo-Europeans and ancient East-West contacts of the Xiongnu Empire. Artifacts in the tombs suggested that the Xiongnu had a system of the social stratification. The West Eurasian male might show the racial tolerance of the Xiongnu Empire and some insight into the Xiongnu society.

More about Xiongnu DNA: http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/hunsdna.shtml

Actually, little is known about Hunnic language - we only have 3 words, and all of them sound Indo-European:


The only three words agreed to have been part of European Hunnic (medos, kamos, strava) are not Turkic,[5] but are probably derived from a satem Indo-European language similar to Slavic and Dacian.[17] Maenchen-Helfen suggests that "strava" may have come from an informant who spoke Slavic. Other names were classified as Germanic[18] and Iranian.[19] The Gothic language was widely used, described as not being Hunnic, and learned by non-Gothic subjects of the Huns.[20]


there are only three words (other than proper names) that are widely accepted by scholars as part of European Hunnic:[5]

medos: a beverage akin to mead
kamos: a barley drink
strava: a funeral feast

All three of these words are considered to have originated in non-Turkic languages, likely satemised Indo-European languages,[9] such as those from the Iranian, Slavic and/or Thraco-Dacian families.

The Huns were definitely a mixed Caucasoid-Mongoloid population, but so are modern Indo-Europeans of Asia:

Circles show linguistic affinity (violet - IE; yellow - Turkic), red in pie graphs show % of East Asian admixture:



On Caucasoid-Mongoloid race mixing in Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Western China during the Bronze and Iron Ages:






18-09-15, 16:03
Cultural characteristics of the Xiaohe cemetery:


The Xiaohe cemetery (40°20'11" N, 88°40'20.3" E) is located in the Taklamakan Desert of northwest China, about 60 km south of the Peacock River and 175 km west of the ancient city of Kroraina (now Loulan; Figure 1). It was first explored in 1934 by Folke Bergman, a Swedish archaeologist, but the cemetery was lost sight of until the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute rediscovered it in 2000. The burial site comprises a total of 167 graves. Many enigmatic features of these graves, such as the pervasive use of sexual symbolism represented by tremendous numbers of huge phallus-posts and vulvae-posts, exaggerated wooden sculptures of human figures and masks, well-preserved boat coffins and mummies, a large number of textiles, ornaments and other artifacts, show that the civilization revealed at Xiaohe is different from any other archaeological site of the same period anywhere in the world [3].