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Thread: To what degree is it possible that G2a's are well adapted to high altitudes?

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    To what degree is it possible that G2a's are well adapted to high altitudes?

    So we know that Neolithic farmers, largely y-haplogroup G2a, occupied most of Europe before the PIE invasions. The current school of thought is that these G2a's were violently displaced and fled into the mountains where they took refuge.

    What if we were to approach this from a different angle:

    -Is it possible that G2a's developed in isolation in the Caucasus Mountains and developed a genetic acclimation to high altitudes (like Sherpas or Incas)? Then, following either their own invention of agriculture or a J or E1b1b invention of agriculture and subsequent spread to G2a's, they had the necessary tools to survive in the majority of the European continent but spread mainly from mountainous ares?

    -R1b's and some R1a's roll into G2a territory and annihilate the sedentary settlements of the G2a's which are potentially recent developments for G2a's who up until this time had resided predominantly in the mountains.

    -G2a settlements in the mountains are either too well protected/developed for the PIE invaders who probably struggled a bit with large semi-fortified settlements to begin with had no business taking their horses up to equally (or more) developed settlements in the mountains.

    So of course the question becomes, "where is the evidence to support a high altitude G2a theory?". I think the answer is that we quite simply have not been looking in the right places. We stumble across Vinca culture ruins or LBK ruins that pop up with high G2a and we assume that they radiated out from these flatland locations. I would argue that perhaps it's the other way around, perhaps they are radiating out of the mountainous regions.

    We stumble across Otzi for example in the Alps. We see extremely high concentrations today of G2a practically only in mountainous regions like the above mentioned Alps, Appenines, Dinaric Alps etc. We have strong evidence to believe that the Hallstatt culture (also in the Alps) was a large contingent of R1b's bumping into a mountainous culture of G2a-L497's.

    Perhaps we are searching in all the wrong places for G2a's. We should continue searching places like South Tyrol- scouring them in fact. I believe we'll find quite a treasure trove of G2a neolithic high-altitude settlements that rival those attributed to the Vinca/LBK etc.

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    If it were just G2a peaking in mountainous regions I would agree, but I1, I2a, and I2b peak in mountain regions as well. PIE arrived at the onset of a period of global warming, so I doubt G2a (or any other population) had much chance to inhabit mountains in the 15,000 years preceding their arrival.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expredel View Post
    If it were just G2a peaking in mountainous regions I would agree, but I1, I2a, and I2b peak in mountain regions as well. PIE arrived at the onset of a period of global warming, so I doubt G2a (or any other population) had much chance to inhabit mountains in the 15,000 years preceding their arrival.
    We know that G2a mixed with indigenous I1/I2 in Continental Europe and thus it would follow that we would also find I1/I2 in mountainous regions. We know that I1/I2 got farming from G2a and a number of civilizations were G2a/I1/I2 hybrids.

    Also, correct me if I'm wrong but we know the PIE's were a combination of genetic groups but largely a group of Caucasus hunter gatherers that survived in the mountains in complete isolation. I'm not in anyway hinting that these were G's as we don't necessarily see genetic evidence of this in the original PIE people but if any ethnic group could develop in isolation in the mountains (much less the Caucasus Mountains themselves), then why would it be impossible for G2a's to have potentially developed in isolation somewhere in the mountains (probably the Caucasus Mountains, ironically but at a different time period or just different area of the Caucasus Mountains with little to no contact with future PIE genetic contributors).

    What I think would be more telling is to look at G2a in places where there is far less I1/I2 like in the Caucasus Mountains. If we see G2a's living only in high altitude places now, it allows for only 2 explanations:

    1) G2a's were adapted to high altitudes and moved from mountain area to mountain area only later trickling down into the flatlands where they would eventually be assimilated by R1b/R1a tribes in the Bronze Age.

    2) G2a's were horribly unsuited to warfare and were brutally slaughtered everywhere they made contact with R1b/R1a's.

    Quite honestly, both sound equally plausible to me. I just think quite a lot of things would be explained by a high altitude origin for G2a (why they are basically only in mountain regions today, why they only represent low %'s in all countries where they are present today [especially in the Middle East] etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaterKeklos View Post
    2) G2a's were horribly unsuited to warfare and were brutally slaughtered everywhere they made contact with R1b/R1a's.
    R1a and R1b most likely had horses, so it's my suspicion (and that of others) that the sedentary farmer communities were picked off one by one. Mountainous regions might have been harder to reach with horses. By the time the indigenous populations adapted R1 was firmly settled in Europe. This is very similar to the conquest of North America where the Native Americans eventually adopted horseback riding and began to fight back, with the Europeans at one point engaging in the mass slaughter of horses to weaken the military power of the Natives. Similarly some tribes survived in mountainous regions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yana_people

    I suspect that if researchers look for any region that was hard to reach with horses they are going to find lower levels of R1. One exception is the Basque region, but this can be explained by the R1 Y haplogroup itself having some kind of evolutionary advantage allowing it to outbreed most other Y haplogroups, with the exception of I1, I2, and G2.

    This then suggests the original Basques may have been Y haplogroup C or some other rare indigenous haplogroup.

    I'm also not sure that the Alps are high enough to require genetic adaptation. Certainly high enough to be uncomfortable, but it's better to be uncomfortable than dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expredel View Post
    One exception is the Basque region, but this can be explained by the R1 Y haplogroup itself having some kind of evolutionary advantage allowing it to outbreed most other Y haplogroups, with the exception of I1, I2, and G2.
    Yes this what I'm getting at- somehow, if we look at the current model of things, we have to believe that haplogroup G was literally the worst haplogroup at resisting any invasion not just the PIE invasion. Haplogroup G represents roughly the same sub 10% minority everywhere it's found with a couple of exceptions (all being mountainous regioins). So this means that Haplogroup G was way less successful at defending itself from invaders (both R1b/R1a and J and E1b1b invaders in the Middle East) than any other haplogroup in Eurasia with the exception of perhaps Haplogroup T. It just seems a bit odd. Essentially, they could only thrive in Old Europe/LBK Europe before there was anything even remotely resembling competition.

    Meanwhile, we have Haplogroup I surviving the PIE purge in Europe, J, E1b1b, T etc resisting the PIE invasion in most of the Middle East. So the cosmic loser in this whole equation is just Haplogroup G?

    I'm a huge fan of being realistic about the pros and cons of certain lineages but it just seems odd that G specifically would be almost completely eradicated despite covering most of Europe and the North Middle East in the Neolithic.

    I do agree that if the Basques do turn up to be largely C, that would indicate that there were bigger losers in the Eurasian genetics game than just haplogroup G and there are potentially tons of other haplogroups that no longer exist as a result of the PIE's.

    Furthermore, Sherpas are largely Haplogroup C4 so there could plausibly be a connection between that an mountains if the Basques are indeed C as well. Of course, this has no direct bearing on my G high-altitude theory except to highlight that there are indeed very recent mutations that we know allow for high-altitude acclimation. I do not think Basques are Haplogroup C at all, however.

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    G2a who moved into Europe, were not the shepherds from very tall mountains of Caucasus, but farmers from Anatolia. Secondly, the high altitude adaptation of Sherpas, comes from adaptation to 5,000 meters above sea level. I think the highest usable for herding plates are at 1,000 meter in Western Eurasia. I never heard of such adaptation of Inkas, neither anyone from West Eurasia. I think you are reaching too far trying to connect haplogroups to your... creativity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    G2a who moved into Europe, were not the shepherds from very tall mountains of Caucasus, but farmers from Anatolia. Secondly, the high altitude adaptation of Sherpas, comes from adaptation to 5,000 meters above sea level. I think the highest usable for herding plates are at 1,000 meter in Western Eurasia. I never heard of such adaptation of Inkas, neither anyone from West Eurasia. I think you are reaching too far trying to connect haplogroups to your... creativity.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Functions on Y-chromosome are mostly related to production of sperm. I dont see that there are any genes on Y that might give you hight adaptation.

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    Hmm interesting.
    Only connection i could think of between high altitudes and humans is low oxygen. Low oxygen causes low hemoglobin or otherwise know as Anemia. Anemia is very common in Caucasus region, but on the other hand, it is also common in Africa and South America.
    i cant post links so google bellow address and scroll down to look at the map

    k4health.org/toolkits/anemia-prevention/anemia-causes-prevalence-impact

    in other words... i have no idea. lol

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    The list of the main "advanced" civilizations that were predominantly G2a tend to all be in mountainous areas. These are typically civilizations that predate the PIE's in that area like the Nuragic people of Sardinia, the Rhaetic people of the Alps, and the Etruscans who lived in semi-mountainous parts of Italy. Furthermore, we see the highest genetic diversity right smack in the Caucasus Mountains today. If you look at the tree for haplogroup G, it's very clear that it got bottlenecked somewhere for a long time before emerging and spreading neolithic farming techniques to Europe/Middle East. That place it got bottlenecked is most likely the Caucasus Mountains.

    I should not have been so quick to ask if they made a "genetic" adaptation to high altitudes based only on their paternal haplogroups. However, I think you could make a strong environmentally-sourced cultural continuity claim that they were a "mountain based culture/people" in the same way that PIE's were "horse-based nomads" that were largely drawn to flat areas.

    What do you think? The key thing is to decipher which happened first: Did the G2a's spread to the Caucasus mountains? From them? If so, did they spread first to other mountain areas and then trickle down into the lowlands?

    If they spread from the mountains and there is any scrap of cultural and/or linguistic continuity, then it is very possible that they brought with them the hillfort building concept from their thousands of years trapped in the Caucasus Mountains in the same way the PIE's brought their equestrian knight social hierarchy to Europe in the Bronze Age based on their thousands of years on the steppes with horse riding warrior aristocracy nomads in charge.

    Deep rooted cultural tendencies are often environmentally spawned.

    Let's perhaps go forward in this thread as if I had posted the question as: "To what degree is it possible that there is mountain-based cultural continuity amongst people referred to as Neolithic Farmers?".

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaterKeklos View Post
    Let's perhaps go forward in this thread as if I had posted the question as: "To what degree is it possible that there is mountain-based cultural continuity amongst people referred to as Neolithic Farmers?".
    I would like to reignite this thread. I don't think I'm completely off by positing a mountainous cultural origin for the G2a farmers.

    LeBrok says that the ones in Europe descend from Anatolian flatland farmers but that's not the whole picture. That's like saying that LBK farmers descend from Anatolian flatland farmers which is technically true but doesn't go back far enough to my posited Caucasus Mountain Origin theory (CMO theory from here on out).

    Let me flesh out the CMO - I'm suggesting that the bottleneck seen in haplogroup G occurred in the Caucasus mountains. This does not necessarily mean a genetic adaptation occurred but enough time passed that one could have were said adaptation to be advantageous to being stuck in the Caucasus mountains for a large chunk of the Paleolithic <- get my point here? Then they flow out and "peak" culturally in mountainous areas like the Rhaetians, Etruscans, Sardinians or even the Vinca before them. The LBK was not a cultural "peak" for the G2a men. None of their flatland areas were cultural "peaks". This contrasts sharply with R1a/R1b peoples who thrived and even sought out flatlands (probably due to herding and horses).

    Let me know your thoughts.

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    I came across a report headed by Biochemical Society Transactions , with a headline ' Evidence suggesting that Homo neanderthalensis contributed the H2 Mapt haplotype to Homo sapiens,( dated Aug 1st 2005 ).

    In the report it mentions " The H2 haplotype is the minor haplotype in Caucasion populations and is not found in other populations", it also refer's to the associated H1 Haplotype being the only haplotype found in all other populations 'except those derived from Caucasions'.

    As the Y H2 haplogroup, which I assume it is concerned with here, is also associated with G2a and the early European Farmers EEF, it may be supporting your argument, but it was some time ago so I'm not to sure if it is still reflecting current opinions.

    The report also indicates Y H2 was in Europe co-existing with Neanderthalensis from 45,000,to 18,000, thereby significantly separating it from The Y H1 haplogroup, but at the same time indicating it was in Europe before the farmers arrived ? and 'had entered Europe from the Caucasus', no doubt this suggests evidence of EEF in the Caucasus Mountain area's if accepted.

    Y H2 is also associated with several early culture's including Bug/Dniester, Vinca, Starcevo, Lengyel, and LBK, no doubt using and entering through the rivers including the Danube to central Europe etc.,

    The same argument concerning Y G2a, would most certianly be applied to Y H2 who was closely attached with the early movements of this haplogroup.
    Last edited by paul333; 09-06-18 at 00:39.

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    It is conversations like this that make me wish I had majored in genetics...

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul333 View Post
    I came across a report headed by Biochemical Society Transactions , with a headline ' Evidence suggesting that Homo neanderthalensis contributed the H2 Mapt haplotype to Homo sapiens,( dated Aug 1st 2005 ).

    In the report it mentions " The H2 haplotype is the minor haplotype in Caucasion populations and is not found in other populations", it also refer's to the associated H1 Haplotype being the only haplotype found in all other populations 'except those derived from Caucasions'.

    As the Y H2 haplogroup, which I assume it is concerned with here, is also associated with G2a and the early European Farmers EEF, it may be supporting your argument, but it was some time ago so I'm not to sure if it is still reflecting current opinions.

    The report also indicates Y H2 was in Europe co-existing with Neanderthalensis from 45,000,to 18,000, thereby significantly separating it from The Y H1 haplogroup, but at the same time indicating it was in Europe before the farmers arrived ? and 'had entered Europe from the Caucasus', no doubt this suggests evidence of EEF in the Caucasus Mountain area's if accepted.

    Y H2 is also associated with several early culture's including Bug/Dniester, Vinca, Starcevo, Lengyel, and LBK, no doubt using and entering through the rivers including the Danube to central Europe etc.,

    The same argument concerning Y G2a, would most certianly be applied to Y H2 who was closely attached with the early movements of this haplogroup.
    Very interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaterKeklos View Post
    I would like to reignite this thread. I don't think I'm completely off by positing a mountainous cultural origin for the G2a farmers.

    LeBrok says that the ones in Europe descend from Anatolian flatland farmers but that's not the whole picture. That's like saying that LBK farmers descend from Anatolian flatland farmers which is technically true but doesn't go back far enough to my posited Caucasus Mountain Origin theory (CMO theory from here on out).

    Let me flesh out the CMO - I'm suggesting that the bottleneck seen in haplogroup G occurred in the Caucasus mountains. This does not necessarily mean a genetic adaptation occurred but enough time passed that one could have were said adaptation to be advantageous to being stuck in the Caucasus mountains for a large chunk of the Paleolithic <- get my point here? Then they flow out and "peak" culturally in mountainous areas like the Rhaetians, Etruscans, Sardinians or even the Vinca before them. The LBK was not a cultural "peak" for the G2a men. None of their flatland areas were cultural "peaks". This contrasts sharply with R1a/R1b peoples who thrived and even sought out flatlands (probably due to herding and horses).

    Let me know your thoughts.
    You could be right.
    I'm not sure how your theory might be affected by distinguishing the two types of G2a Europeans:
    1. Early (continental) G2a, which mixed little with other populations, e.g. LBK
    2. Later (maritime) G2a, which moved up from the South, mixed more with other populations, and began displacing early G2a before R1a and R1b seem to have had any significant impact.
    Only one branch of later European G2a and one branch of European R1b really thrived (and continue to thrive), and they seem to have moved in tandem.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Studies on ancient skeletons have shown that haplogroup G, and other haplogroups belonging to EEF chronologically entered Europe through the Balkans. Studies on modern genetics have shown that the subgroups of haplogroup G found in Europe today are not the same ones found in the Caucus region. Some of them are on adjacent branches of haplogroup G, but these splits took place thousands of years ago (many over 10,000).

    Now, funny enough, my father comes from a family of farmers from the Ukrainian pre-Carpathian region. Also, a very mountainous region. We belong to a subgroup of the G2a2a. As far as haplogroup G largely disappearing from the archeological record after the arrival of R1b/R1a groups, could just be a question of numbers. There could have been more men belonging to the R group. Though, neither haplogroup G nor haplogroup I completely disappear; they are still there. Studying haplogroups should be a scholarly pastime activity, and not much more. Haplogroups do not explain adaptations to high altitude, nor why certain people chose to live in a mountainous region. Haplogroups simply show genetic events that occurred thousands of years ago.

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    Trance, I agree, occasionally haplogroup mutations can confer genetic advantage in certain environments, but for the most part you are right, they explain little more than genetic events that occurred thousands of years ago. It is difficult to be sure in relation to the question of the thread

    DNA data suggests that there were probably less men in Europe belonging to the R group during the late Neolithic, but that they expanded rapidly in number, whereas there are many more early branches of I and G, most of which are not so populous. The most reproductively-successful branch of European G2a was probably PF3345, and I would propose that this was a result of co-existence with dominant early R1b communities, rather adaptation to high altitudes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trance View Post
    Studies on ancient skeletons have shown that haplogroup G, and other haplogroups belonging to EEF chronologically entered Europe through the Balkans. Studies on modern genetics have shown that the subgroups of haplogroup G found in Europe today are not the same ones found in the Caucus region. Some of them are on adjacent branches of haplogroup G, but these splits took place thousands of years ago (many over 10,000).

    Now, funny enough, my father comes from a family of farmers from the Ukrainian pre-Carpathian region. Also, a very mountainous region. We belong to a subgroup of the G2a2a. As far as haplogroup G largely disappearing from the archeological record after the arrival of R1b/R1a groups, could just be a question of numbers. There could have been more men belonging to the R group. Though, neither haplogroup G nor haplogroup I completely disappear; they are still there. Studying haplogroups should be a scholarly pastime activity, and not much more. Haplogroups do not explain adaptations to high altitude, nor why certain people chose to live in a mountainous region. Haplogroups simply show genetic events that occurred thousands of years ago.
    Yea I think disappearance of G is more likely to be associated with genocide than anything else. R1 seem to have been ancient version of mongols or huns moving into Europe en masse. while G2a were probably sparsely settled farming settlements in Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G2ian View Post
    Yea I think disappearance of G is more likely to be associated with genocide than anything else.
    I do not think so.
    In antiquity, no one first asks what haplogrup the opponent has to see if he kills him or not. I think any haplogroups grow and decrease for genetic reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gidai View Post
    I do not think so.
    In antiquity, no one first asks what haplogrup the opponent has to see if he kills him or not. I think any haplogroups grow and decrease for genetic reasons.
    Of course but why not in Caucasus then ? They weren't sheltered from migrants there so if it were to faze out due to pure selection they would've done so in places like Georgia and north Caucasus which also has significant presence of R and J. But as far as Ossetia is concerened the opposite seems to be the case, G(non Alan lineage) has in fact won over the dominant Alan Haplogroup. Also the only way for a Y haplo to faze out is for Fathers to not have sons and I don't find it likely that G were just fine everywhere but for some reason stopped having sons on lowlands while reproducing in mountains. Unless mountains act as a natural aphrodisiac for us which sounds improbable.

    What makes Caucasus special is the the fact that it avoided the brunt of original Indo-European migration. That means it's sort of a control group for: What happens if Indo-European migration doesn't hit Europe en masse but in a trickle. It means G haplogroup survives and thrives. If it was purely selection wouldn't the regular indo-european migration to Caucasus do the same damage as the migration that happened on mainland Europe ? That is why i think that Migration to Europe was accompanied by a lot of bloodshed whereas migration into the Caucasus was more peaceful (or the natives were able to fend off the invaders due to the well defensible terrain) hence no drastic drop in the original population of G or J. Same can be said about Armenia which famously has had big Indo-European presence but it didn't result in G's near extinction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G2ian View Post
    Of course but why not in Caucasus then ? They weren't sheltered from migrants there so if it were to faze out due to pure selection they would've done so in places like Georgia and north Caucasus which also has significant presence of R and J. But as far as Ossetia is concerened the opposite seems to be the case, G(non Alan lineage) has in fact won over the dominant Alan Haplogroup. Also the only way for a Y haplo to faze out is for Fathers to not have sons and I don't find it likely that G were just fine everywhere but for some reason stopped having sons on lowlands while reproducing in mountains. Unless mountains act as a natural aphrodisiac for us which sounds improbable.

    What makes Caucasus special is the the fact that it avoided the brunt of original Indo-European migration. That means it's sort of a control group for: What happens if Indo-European migration doesn't hit Europe en masse but in a trickle. It means G haplogroup survives and thrives. If it was purely selection wouldn't the regular indo-european migration to Caucasus do the same damage as the migration that happened on mainland Europe ? That is why i think that Migration to Europe was accompanied by a lot of bloodshed whereas migration into the Caucasus was more peaceful (or the natives were able to fend off the invaders due to the well defensible terrain) hence no drastic drop in the original population of G or J. Same can be said about Armenia which famously has had big Indo-European presence but it didn't result in G's near extinction.
    G is not extinct from Europe. It has spread everywhere in concentrations of 2-3% to 10-20% in some area of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Sardinia or in 40% of men in smaller areas in Austria. In the Caucasus, I read that cultural-religious perceptions promoted marriages in the same ethnic group. In Europe this has not been the case. This has led to the biological isolation of some haplogroups there. That seems to have led to a founding effect that has now made the particular mosaic of haplogroups out there. In Europe, isolation was much smaller and that's why some haplogroups could win in front of others because of biological reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gidai View Post
    G is not extinct from Europe. It has spread everywhere in concentrations of 2-3% to 10-20% in some area of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Sardinia or in 40% of men in smaller areas in Austria. In the Caucasus, I read that cultural-religious perceptions promoted marriages in the same ethnic group. In Europe this has not been the case. This has led to the biological isolation of some haplogroups there. That seems to have led to a founding effect that has now made the particular mosaic of haplogroups out there. In Europe, isolation was much smaller and that's why some haplogroups could win in front of others because of biological reason.
    "near extinct" meaning gone from almost 100% to 2-3%...

    I also don't agree that recent cultural/religious customs could've made that much difference because all R, G and J haplogroups are prehistoric and people do not really pick and choose based on ydna. It's one melting pot for 10,000 years and if it was the same melting pot both in Caucasus and Europe the outcome would also be the same. Unless there was a variable to skew the results in favor of Indo-Europeans in Europe which was not present in Caucasus. I think it was genocide/war. Or perhaps a disease which they brought with them - But if so, why didn't it affect Caucasus. Another possibility is the sheer number of people. For all we know G in Europe had very low populations and Indo-Europeans could've had 10 times the number upon arrival.

    Really all I'm doing it is looking at more recent migrations from Eurasian Plain to Europe and assuming that Indo-European migration looked very similar. Even Rome couldn't resist the onslaught of the migrating hordes, What could sedentary G farmers do if faced with similar threat ? not much but run for the mountains is my guess.

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    I think that under certain conditions, some haplogroups can change fast without much affecting the autosomal background of the population. No need for any selective genocide on the continental scale war, related to the decline and increase of the frequency of haplogroups in populations.
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...l=1#post551805

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    Quote Originally Posted by gidai View Post
    I think that under certain conditions, some haplogroups can change fast without much affecting the autosomal background of the population. No need for any selective genocide on the continental scale war, related to the decline and increase of the frequency of haplogroups in populations.
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...l=1#post551805
    I understand what you're saying. But I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that outcomes in Europe were the opposite of Caucasus where G spread rapidly while R, I and J declined. Whereas opposite happened in Europe. Also the places where G is more common are Geographically safer more protected areas which should be taken into consideration.

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