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Thread: Ancient genomes from Caucasus inc. Maykop

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    Ancient genomes from Caucasus inc. Maykop

    Yeah, Haak and Strause (and Reich)!

    See: Chuan-ChaoWang et al:
    "The genetic prehistory of the Greater Caucasus"

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/05/16/322347

    Archaeogenetic studies have described the formation of Eurasian 'steppe ancestry' as a mixture of Eastern and Caucasus hunter-gatherers. However, it remains unclear when and where this ancestry arose and whether it was related to a horizon of cultural innovations in the 4th millennium BCE that subsequently facilitated the advance of pastoral societies likely linked to the dispersal of Indo-European languages. To address this, we generated genome-wide SNP data from 45 prehistoric individuals along a 3000-year temporal transect in the North Caucasus. We observe a genetic separation between the groups of the Caucasus and those of the adjacent steppe. The Caucasus groups are genetically similar to contemporaneous populations south of it, suggesting that - unlike today - the Caucasus acted as a bridge rather than an insurmountable barrier to human movement. The steppe groups from Yamnaya and subsequent pastoralist cultures show evidence for previously undetected Anatolian farmer-related ancestry from different contact zones, while Steppe Maykop individuals harbour additional Upper Palaeolithic Siberian and Native American related ancestry.
    Happy Reading.







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    Seems that Ivanov and Gamkrelidze without genetic data we have today were the most close to PIE homeland.

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    Even I myself numerous times on the forum said that Greek came from east like the paper suggest rather than steppe,so I started to consider "Armenian" homeland,even thought most people here insisted that everything came from steppe,as if matter that much.

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    My emphases:

    Perceiving the Caucasus as an occasional bridge rather than a strict border during the Eneolithic and Bronze Age opens up the possibility of a homeland of PIE south of the Caucasus, which itself provides a parsimonious explanation for an early branching off of Anatolian languages.
    Note that they don't say the Caucacus was a river, running south to north.

    Waiting to hear more from the DNA wonks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    Well, well, well, Krause and Haak and David Reich( and presumably Patterson and the rest of the Harvard group by implication since Reich is listed as an author), Kurt Alt, and Ron Pinhasi don't just consider a south of the Caucasus origin for PIE possible, they're also seeing a possibility for Greek and Armenian spreading from there (so Drews may have been right after all) and perhaps into India as well. That would be a modified "Armenian" homeland hypothesis. Or is it modified at all???? WOW!



    Oh wait, Krause, Haak, Patterson, Alt, Pinhasi, the Chinese, they're all Middle Easterners biased against EHG hunter-gatherers. It's a conspiracy! :)

    I guess I wasn't crazy to think that there was something to the Ivanov and Gamkrelidze body of work, as I argued back in 2012 and before.

    I have to read this all carefully and the supplement too, however.

    I'm also not sure how this fits with the South Asian paper the Harvard team just put out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milan.M View Post
    Seems that Ivanov and Gamkrelidze without genetic data we have today were the most close to PIE homeland.
    Indeed. Dienekes too, without any ancient dna. That's IF this is correct. The authors aren't saying it's definite. They're just saying it's possible.

    There was no appreciable gene flow south over the Caucasus according to the authors, so Anatolian by that route is out. Those languages either descend from "origiinal" PIE or it came from the Balkans.

    How does the "steppe" that the amateurs found in some early Armenian groups fit into all this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Indeed. Dienekes too, without any ancient dna. That's IF this is correct. The authors aren't saying it's definite. They're just saying it's possible.
    There was no appreciable gene flow south over the Caucasus according to the authors, so Anatolian by that route is out. Those languages either descend from "origiinal" PIE or it came from the Balkans.
    How does the "steppe" that the amateurs found in some early Armenian groups fit into all this?
    Well I will stay on my opinion cause it makes more sense to me.Armenian samples from which date? Anyway if that will be Iron age there was migrations some even recorded from Balkans to Anatolia,and steppe to Anatolia and Iran like Phrygians,Cimmerians,Scythians etc if that can explain steppe in early Armenians? But that does not concern PIE homeland or migrations,until that time several daughter languages were developed.

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    I don't see much of a difference between Kura Araxes and Late Maykop on the admixture chart above. The Caucasus samples also seem to be G2, J, and L, yes? Our prior Kura Araxes sample was also L.
    Last edited by Angela; 17-05-18 at 06:18.

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    [IMG][/IMG]

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    I honestly see no proof for a Southern Caucasian homeland for PIE and, more than that, a supposed expansion of PIE right from there. They themselves say it's also a possibility, it is also compatible with their data, but the authors simultaneously stress that from the North Caucasus or Pontic region "some or all of the Proto-Indo-European branches" could have been spread. The details of the narrative of the "classic" Kurgan hypothesis are certainly outdated by now, but I still see no reason to state that it is "game over". Not now, not yet.

    Actually, what I see is that there are still a lot of questions to be answered, at least two likely and competitive hypothesis, and maybe the need to finally consider the possibility that the truth relies on some middle ground between the extremes of those hypothesis, and the increasingly likely scenario of a PIE expansion (with its split into many daughter subfamilies) in two or three different stages that not only differed in chronology, but maybe also in geography, even though all the genetic data still point to the same broad region roughly between the Black Sea, Caucasus and Caspian. I think in the end we will all find that, whether the earliest (still pre-Anatolian split) PIE was north or south of the Caucasus, the IE expansion was not just a star-shaped expansion from just one original dialect, but rather a succession of expansions at different stages of the development and diversification of that language (much like the spread of Latin and eventually Romance - or should we say "Late Latin"? lol - languages).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    Yep I agree; wrap it up, line up, shake hands, say "good game".
    mmmmmmmmm dooouuughhhnuuuutz

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    Finally! It seems like they sampled many of the same specimens they discussed recently in "Contextualizing Innovation: Cattle Owners and Wagon Drivers in the North Caucasus and Beyond" too, very cool. I haven't had to time to read it through fully, but the y-dna here is quite the puzzle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Though I understand the possibility (and even likelihood) of an ultimate South Caucasian homeland for the earliest form of PIE, I somehow find it difficult to understand that, in the ancient world, the steppe populations would've been linguistically assimilated by a South Caucasian population even before the Bronze Age (that's if Repin/Yamnaya is already a sign of that acculturation) without any significant or even minor male dominance. Centralized states with an official language can be ruled out for that region as early as that period, and there was certainly no permanent long-distance contact, otherwise we'd expect the 2 regions to have become much more similar in their Y-DNA and Mt-DNA makeup. Would this Indo-Europeanization have happened without any appreciable migration and mostly via maternal lines? I try to accept this scenario, but the details of how that linguistic shift could've happened do not seem to be clearly explained (or even understood as of now).

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    This is getting muddy in terms of the genetics.

    "An interesting observation is that steppe zone individuals directly north of the592 Caucasus (Eneolithic Samara and Eneolithic steppe) had initially not received any593 gene flow from Anatolian farmers. Instead, the ancestry profile in Eneolithic steppe594 individuals shows an even mixture of EHG and CHG ancestry, which argues for an595 effective cultural and genetic border between the contemporaneous Eneolithic populations in the North Caucasus, notably Steppe and Caucasus. Due to the temporal597 limitations of our dataset, we currently cannot determine whether this ancestry is598 stemming from an existing natural genetic gradient running from EHG far to the north599 to CHG/Iran in the south or whether this is the result of farmers with Iranian farmer/600 CHG-related ancestry reaching the steppe zone independent of and prior to a stream601 of Anatolian farmer-like ancestry, where they mixed with local hunter-gatherers that602 carried only EHG ancestry."

    Well, if it wasn't there before, and then it was there, wouldn't you lean toward it moving in, especially as it's showing up in steppe Maykop?

    Anyway, this is helpful to keeping it straight:
    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

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    Well, there's no R1b south of the Caucasus in this set, that's for sure.

    There's definitely movement south to north but it may be qualitatively different when talking about the very early admixture versus the time of late Maykop.

    Anybody feel like they're still not telling us everything they know?

    I mean, I get it, all the fellows have to get a chance to publish, but it's like reading tea leaves.

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    In the map provided they only have a sample in South Caucasus.
    Maybe they keep more samples from there for another round.
    "What I've seen so far after my entire career chasing Indoeuropeans is that our solutions look tissue thin and our problems still look monumental" J.P.Mallory

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Well, there's no R1b south of the Caucasus in this set, that's for sure.

    There's definitely movement south to north but it may be qualitatively different when talking about the very early admixture versus the time of late Maykop.

    Anybody feel like they're still not telling us everything they know?

    I mean, I get it, all the fellows have to get a chance to publish, but it's like reading tea leaves.
    The haplogroups in this set of Chalcolithic/Bronze Age South Caucasus correspond to the haplogroups that I have associated with the Kura-Araxes expansion (J2a, J1-Z1828, L1b, T1a-P77 and G2a-L293) except that they didn't find any T1a among those 12 samples (but it's not surprisingly considering the low frequency of this haplogroup in any region today).

    The Bronze Age admixture from the South Caucasus that they detect in Greece is obviously from the Kura-Araxes expansion (just look at the haplogroups found in Minoan Greece or modern Crete), not from the Anatolian branch of IE. I completely agree that Proto-Indo-European descend from a language spoken by R1b-L23 in the South Caucasus, but that group of R1b-L23 wasn't related to Kura-Araxes (Georgia, Armenia), but to a distinct population apparently more concentrated around Azerbaijan and NW Iran, where R1b-L23 is still found today at reasonable frequencies.

    I have only very briefly browsed the paper, but from the admixtures posted above it is startling to see just how different Steppe Maykop (almost pure EHG) is from core Maykop (CHG + Anatolian Chalcolithic).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Though I understand the possibility (and even likelihood) of an ultimate South Caucasian homeland for the earliest form of PIE, I somehow find it difficult to understand that, in the ancient world, the steppe populations would've been linguistically assimilated by a South Caucasian population even before the Bronze Age (that's if Repin/Yamnaya is already a sign of that acculturation) without any significant or even minor male dominance. Centralized states with an official language can be ruled out for that region as early as that period, and there was certainly no permanent long-distance contact, otherwise we'd expect the 2 regions to have become much more similar in their Y-DNA and Mt-DNA makeup. Would this Indo-Europeanization have happened without any appreciable migration and mostly via maternal lines? I try to accept this scenario, but the details of how that linguistic shift could've happened do not seem to be clearly explained (or even understood as of now).
    Maybe more advanced civilization with much more population in the south forced the steppe population to assimilate into them? Steppe population need to know the language to communicate, trade, work etc. with them.

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    Well apparently we dont read the studies the same way, their only assumptions of a south caucasus homeland is the absence of EHG wich can be debunked many ways. I mean i'm the complete genetic amateur here, but i feel some of you and even them forget many genetic rules, like change of autosomal dna etc for the particular IE hypothesis. Anatolian languages have believed to came from Balkans and not Caucasus so that.

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    Looking at the supplements, I see that Maykop had R1b-M269 (L23?), just as I had predicted since 2009. The surprise is that it has an awful lot of haplogroup L (L1b?) too.

    There are two Q1a2 from Nevinnomiskiy in the Kuban region (Steppe above Maykop) dating from c. 2000 BCE and two more Q1a2 from Sharakhalsun in the same region, alongside an R1b-L23. These are apparently the Steppe Maykop samples. Those Q1a2 samples were almost pure EHG, so that means they have been in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe for a while. I wonder if they could be related to the Scandinavian Q1a2 (L527 and L804).

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    Q1a2 is together with R1b in mesolithic Baltic and Khvalynsk and Afanasevo, it makes a little too much for only be a coincidence, they must have lived together for a certain amount of time.

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    Edit: What they mean by anatolia neolithic is actually EEF, dont know why they said anatolia neolithic instead of EEF. So Yamnaya was basically WHG / EHG / CHG / EEF / ANE its a gigantic melting pot if you ask me.

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    Its also weird that the CHG amount dont decrease in post-yamnaya cultures like sintashta and andronovo, the logic for andronovo would be an increase of EHG and an input of ANE or siberian / central asian dna, so is that means that in bronze age, south caucasus and the eurasian steppe always exchange some dna to keep the pretty much same ratio?

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