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Thread: why did haplogroup J speak Semitic?

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    1 members found this post helpful.

    why did haplogroup J speak Semitic?



    Just a theory ...
    Please comment.

    Afro-Asiatic spread already in mesolithic times along with E1b1b1, into the Levant, along the North African shores and into northeastern Africa.
    The Natufians and the Levant Neolithic were E1b1b1 supplemented with some H2.
    The Anatolian farmers were mainly G2a.
    J is only marginal in the neolithic, and probably also in chalcolithic.
    The bronze metallurgy spread from eastern Anatolia or Mesopotamia into the Levant and the Aegean, and J became the major haplogroup.
    Semitic was an Afro-Asiatic bronze age language in the Levant, and it was also the language of the Akkadians who arrived in southern Mesopotamia prior to written records. They were newcomers from the north though, pushing the Sumerians south.
    In the Aegean and bronze age Anatolia the main haplogroup was the newcomer J, but autosomal the population was still neolithic.
    J was probably a male elite with local wives.
    And the male J didn't raise his children. He left it to the mothers, and they taught them the local languages.

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    Is your theory still valid, if we consider that the Afroasiatic family is only a hypothesis which is not tried and proven ? If I believe what you are saying about Eb1b and J, then as they have not the same origin, so probably they have not the same language. Why the axiom would be that the Afroasiatic family is an incontestable fact ? According to me, the genetic population is a scientific method more rigorous than the historical linguistic in order to know if the languages can be related.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Just a theory ...
    Please comment.

    Afro-Asiatic spread already in mesolithic times along with E1b1b1, into the Levant, along the North African shores and into northeastern Africa.
    The Natufians and the Levant Neolithic were E1b1b1 supplemented with some H2.
    The Anatolian farmers were mainly G2a.
    J is only marginal in the neolithic, and probably also in chalcolithic.
    The bronze metallurgy spread from eastern Anatolia or Mesopotamia into the Levant and the Aegean, and J became the major haplogroup.
    Semitic was an Afro-Asiatic bronze age language in the Levant, and it was also the language of the Akkadians who arrived in southern Mesopotamia prior to written records. They were newcomers from the north though, pushing the Sumerians south.
    In the Aegean and bronze age Anatolia the main haplogroup was the newcomer J, but autosomal the population was still neolithic.
    J was probably a male elite with local wives.
    And the male J didn't raise his children. He left it to the mothers, and they taught them the local languages.
    I've always had a bit of difficulty with the notion that a migrating, probably elite group, perhaps mostly male mediated, would absorb the language of their women.

    That may have been the situation with the Basque, but it certainly isn't the norm, is it? I mean, look at the Magyars, or South Asia.


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    Quote Originally Posted by amegnun View Post
    Is your theory still valid, if we consider that the Afroasiatic family is only a hypothesis which is not tried and proven ? If I believe what you are saying about Eb1b and J, then as they have not the same origin, so probably they have not the same language. Why the axiom would be that the Afroasiatic family is an incontestable fact ? According to me, the genetic population is a scientific method more rigorous than the historical linguistic in order to know if the languages can be related.
    do you doubt the existence of a Afro-Asiatic language group or the connection between Afro-Asiatic and E1b1b1?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I've always had a bit of difficulty with the notion that a migrating, probably elite group, perhaps mostly male mediated, would absorb the language of their women.

    That may have been the situation with the Basque, but it certainly isn't the norm, is it? I mean, look at the Magyars, or South Asia.
    yes, I think they didn't
    that's why I think it was the next generation, their children that did

    or do you doubt that Afro-Asiatic was the language of the E1b1b1 branch?
    or do you doubt J was a newcomer?

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    the same with Minoans and Myceneans
    both bronze age and both the same J elite
    only 4 % difference in autosomal DNA
    yet 2 completely different languages

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    yes, I think they didn't
    that's why I think it was the next generation, their children that did

    or do you doubt that Afro-Asiatic was the language of the E1b1b1 branch?
    or do you doubt J was a newcomer?
    I don't doubt that J was a newcomer. It seems pretty clear to me that J was originally in the northern areas around the Zagros, while most of the mtDna in the Levant is local, and very similar to the mtDna which went on to Europe. There's the J found in Karelia, for one thing. I also think they represent a population more centered on animal domestication which moved south after the Neolithic and carrying more advanced metallurgy with them.

    I'm not sure whether Afro-Asiatic was the language of the E1b1b1 branch. In your mind is the evidence so against that group speaking an unknown language superseded by the language of the J1 branch, for example, and brought further south by them and by absorbed E1b1b1 men?

    I don't see what would be so different about their culture that they would absorb the language of the locals, although perhaps the Lombards in Italy are an example of that kind of thing happening? In that case, though, their contribution autosomally is much less than the contribution of these northern Near Easterners on the Levant isn't it?

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    In my opinion the situation of the J1 (mostly) + J2 (less so) = Semitic connection could be explained if the "J population" was not dominant for a long time, but say a semi-nomad pastoral population living in the mountains and hills around a farmer Afro-Asiatic, mostly E1b1b population in the lowland valleys of the Levant/North Mesopotamia and bearing a more advanced and prestigious society at least initially.

    That population may have been caused to slowly shift their language to the "farmer language" along several generations and when they became strong enough to expand and become dominant they already spoke the language of the foreigners that were later defeated by them. It could've been a case of the lowly neighbors getting to turn the tables, but only when they were already very changed by their own former masters (even linguistically, at least partially).

    If the conquered population was advanced, populous and prestigious enough, and maybe much more sedentary and widespread (thus their language could've been a regional lingua franca), with a long history of influence onto the pastoralists that eventually became their conquerors, they could've dealt with a population that was already largely at least bilingual (in Proto-Semitic and their original language) or even monolingual (total shift to Afro-Asiatic) and was easily absorbed by the "farmer" cultures of the lowlands, as it happened several times successively in the history of Sinitic-speaking China for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I'm not sure whether Afro-Asiatic was the language of the E1b1b1 branch. In your mind is the evidence so against that group speaking an unknown language superseded by the language of the J1 branch, for example, and brought further south by them and by absorbed E1b1b1 men?
    I find this a bit unlikely because Afro-Asiatic is too old to be attributable to this Chalcolithic/Bronze Age expansion of J1 (probably the oldest known family language, ~10-20 kya) and fits just too neatly the range of E1b1b in North, Northeast and part of East Africa much better than that of J1. J1 also seems strongly correlated with the Iranian Chalcolithic/South Caucasian admixture, and I doubt it had spread to East Africa and Central/Northwest Africa so long ago that it could've diverged into so many wildly diverging branches as Omotic, Cushitic, Chadic and Semitic. The Afro-Asiatic expansion seems to have involved a location very near to Africa and a much earlier date for its early stages, a Late Paleolithic/Mesolithic headstart, and I think only the Levant_Neolithic and E1b1b have genetic evidences (as of now) of having expanded to both Africa and Southwest Asia as early as that.

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    @ Bicicleur

    If I 'accept' as basis, as an axioma your post #1 & #3
    then in case of Minoans and Myceneans,
    means that IE in Myceneans might be previous than chalcolithic and bronze eras.
    so we move to neolithic expand of IE language, I think,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    In my opinion the situation of the J1 (mostly) + J2 (less so) = Semitic connection could be explained if the "J population" was not dominant for a long time, but say a semi-nomad pastoral population living in the mountains and hills around a farmer Afro-Asiatic, mostly E1b1b population in the lowland valleys of the Levant/North Mesopotamia and bearing a more advanced and prestigious society at least initially.

    That population may have been caused to slowly shift their language to the "farmer language" along several generations and when they became strong enough to expand and become dominant they already spoke the language of the foreigners that were later defeated by them. It could've been a case of the lowly neighbors getting to turn the tables, but only when they were already very changed by their own former masters (even linguistically, at least partially).

    If the conquered population was advanced, populous and prestigious enough, and maybe much more sedentary and widespread (thus their language could've been a regional lingua franca), with a long history of influence onto the pastoralists that eventually became their conquerors, they could've dealt with a population that was already largely at least bilingual (in Proto-Semitic and their original language) or even monolingual (total shift to Afro-Asiatic) and was easily absorbed by the "farmer" cultures of the lowlands, as it happened several times successively in the history of Sinitic-speaking China for example.
    Yes, that makes sense.
    This could have happened if the Levant neolithic expanded into the foothills Eastern Taurus Mountains and J herders were roaming these mountains.
    At some point these J herders must have become an elite maybe because of bronze metallurgy.
    From the Minoan and Mycenean autosomal we know they took farmers wifes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    I find this a bit unlikely because Afro-Asiatic is too old to be attributable to this Chalcolithic/Bronze Age expansion of J1 (probably the oldest known family language, ~10-20 kya) and fits just too neatly the range of E1b1b in North, Northeast and part of East Africa much better than that of J1. J1 also seems strongly correlated with the Iranian Chalcolithic/South Caucasian admixture, and I doubt it had spread to East Africa and Central/Northwest Africa so long ago that it could've diverged into so many wildly diverging branches as Omotic, Cushitic, Chadic and Semitic. The Afro-Asiatic expansion seems to have involved a location very near to Africa and a much earlier date for its early stages, a Late Paleolithic/Mesolithic headstart, and I think only the Levant_Neolithic and E1b1b have genetic evidences (as of now) of having expanded to both Africa and Southwest Asia as early as that.
    My observation too.
    So you agree that a language switch of the bronze age J is very likely to have happened?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Yes, that makes sense.
    This could have happened if the Levant neolithic expanded into the foothills Eastern Taurus Mountains and J herders were roaming these mountains.
    At some point these J herders must have become an elite maybe because of bronze metallurgy.
    From the Minoan and Mycenean autosomal we know they took farmers wifes.
    not the Eastern Taurus Mountains, probably even further east .. Kura-Araxes fits the whole picture

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    Is your theory still valid, if we consider that the Afroasiatic family is only a hypothesis which is not tried and proven ? If I believe what you are saying about Eb1b and J, then as they do not have the same origin, so probably they do not have the same language too. Why would the axiom be that the Afroasiatic family is an incontestable fact ? According to me, the population genetics is a scientific method more rigorous than the historical linguistic in order to know if the languages can be related.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    My observation too.
    So you agree that a language switch of the bronze age J is very likely to have happened?
    Yes, I think so, but not during the Bronze Age. I think Proto-Semitic was already the language of that mix of pastoralists and farmers (Levant + Iranian/South Caucasian) when it was spoken as a common language in the Late Chalcolithic (~3500-3700 BC). For me, as you said, Proto-Semitic was one of a bunch of Afro-Asiatic Levant Neolithic languages, and it was absorbed by highland pastoralists right to the north of the Fertile Crescent plains even before they were strong enough to impose their language (kind of like "Italians" - including Etruscans, Picenes, etc. - weren't strong enough to impose their languages before they had already switched to Latin). In my totally subjective point of view it is possible and plausible (though I can't say certain) that the "original" language families spoken by J1 males could've been represented by or related to either Northeast Caucasian or Hurro-Urartian (it's not a consensus that these 2 families were closely connected, that's just a hypothesis).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yetos View Post
    @ Bicicleur

    If I 'accept' as basis, as an axioma your post #1 & #3
    then in case of Minoans and Myceneans,
    means that IE in Myceneans might be previous than chalcolithic and bronze eras.
    so we move to neolithic expand of IE language, I think,
    Not necessarily. Semitic attestation is much, much earlier than Indo-European one, that's the main difference. By 2600 BC Semitic languages (Eblaite and Akkadian), already differentiated from the proto-language, were already being spoken and written in a large territory (Syria + Iraq). The EMBA already saw several distinct, but still closely related, Semitic languages. The first attestation of Mycenaean Greek dates to around 1500 BC, ~1100 years later, and most of it is even more recent. There was a lot of time during the EMBA for PIE-derived Proto-Greek to be absorbed by J2a males and others, especially as we know that the expansion of Yamnaya-like admixture (at least in lands near to the Pontic-Caspian steppe, e.g. Western Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria) probably had already begun in the Late Chalcolithic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Not necessarily. Semitic attestation is much, much earlier than Indo-European one, that's the main difference. By 2600 BC Semitic languages (Eblaite and Akkadian), already differentiated from the proto-language, were already being spoken and written in a large territory (Syria + Iraq). The EMBA already saw several distinct, but still closely related, Semitic languages. The first attestation of Mycenaean Greek dates to around 1500 BC, ~1100 years later, and most of it is even more recent. There was a lot of time during the EMBA for PIE-derived Proto-Greek to be absorbed by J2a males and others, especially as we know that the expansion of Yamnaya-like admixture (at least in lands near to the Pontic-Caspian steppe, e.g. Western Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria) probably had already begun in the Late Chalcolithic.
    However phylogenetic models do give a younger age for Semitic than for Indo-European. IIRC correctly the methods developed by Bouckaert et al. and later modified by Chang yield an age of only 5750 BCE when applied to Semitic, only shortly before its first attestation. In fact the deepest split in the Semitic tree between East- and West Semitic was still quite shallow at the time the first Semitic texts were written & the languages from both branches were quite similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markod View Post
    However phylogenetic models do give a younger age for Semitic than for Indo-European. IIRC correctly the methods developed by Bouckaert et al. and later modified by Chang yield an age of only 5750 BCE when applied to Semitic, only shortly before its first attestation. In fact the deepest split in the Semitic tree between East- and West Semitic was still quite shallow at the time the first Semitic texts were written & the languages from both branches were quite similar.
    5750 BCE is not 5750 years ago, I think you got a bit confused there. Semitic languages were first attested in written form around 2600 BCE. That Bouckaert method which gave such early dates for many languages (for IE ones at least they were quite surprising) was very widely criticized by linguists on methodological and linguistic matters, and indeed the dates given were so wildly off the mark usually given by most other professional estimates that I think they really overestimated the dates, miscalculated the rate of borrowings and phonetic changes, all in all, they missed something by simply assuming that the method used for biology would work very similarly in linguistics. The dates they gave for some of the earliest PIE splits were so ancient that they even preceded the Neolithic in most of the Caucasus and Pontic-Caspian steppe. Highly unlikely. Anyway, even considering that Bayesian analysis, the results look plausible enough for Proto-Semitic and roughly corresponded to what linguists using other methods and the linguistic evidences (historical reconstruction) had expected in approximate terms: 3750 BCE, a Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age date. That's early enough to explain why in 2600-2300 BCE the Eblaite and Akkadian languages already had features clearly different from the West and South Semitic languages. However, that is not necessarily much earlier than the PIE, at least PIE in the PIE minus Anatolian later stage, which is also assumed to have been spoken in 3000-4000 BCE (my personal opinion is ~3500 BCE, a bit before the bulk of the Yamnaya phenomenon).

    However, I didn't mean that PIE was necessarily younger than Proto-Semitic. That wasn't my point at all. Actually, I think LPIE and Proto-Semitic were contemporaneous, but Indo-Hittie PIE was spoken earlier... BUT I was not talking about PIE. The point was about the adoption of an IE language, probably Proto-Greek, by J2a (and other haplogroups) Mycenaeans with a genetic makeup heavily rich in EEF and additional (non-steppe) CHG. That does not need to have happened as early as the first split of PIE. The expansion of the IE family went on with many of the daughter branches, some of them moving and expanding, others receding or being displaced... It wasn't just one huge expansion followed by stasis.

    My point was that the J1/J2 shift to E1b1b Afro-Asiatic languages do not have to mean that, because a similar thing happened with Mycenaean Greek (J2 shift to R1b/R1a Indo-European), it must've happened as early as in the Neolithic era, as Yetos implied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    5750 BCE is not 5750 years ago, I think you got a bit confused there. Semitic languages were first attested in written form around 2600 BCE. That Bouckaert method which gave such early dates for many languages (for IE ones at least they were quite surprising) was very widely criticized by linguists on methodological and linguistic matters, and indeed the dates given were so wildly off the mark usually given by most other professional estimates that I think they really overestimated the dates, miscalculated the rate of borrowings and phonetic changes, all in all, they missed something by simply assuming that the method used for biology would work very similarly in linguistics. The dates they gave for some of the earliest PIE splits were so ancient that they even preceded the Neolithic in most of the Caucasus and Pontic-Caspian steppe. Highly unlikely. Anyway, even considering that Bayesian analysis, the results look plausible enough for Proto-Semitic and roughly corresponded to what linguists using other methods and the linguistic evidences (historical reconstruction) had expected in approximate terms: 3750 BCE, a Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age date. That's early enough to explain why in 2600-2300 BCE the Eblaite and Akkadian languages already had features clearly different from the West and South Semitic languages. However, that is not necessarily much earlier than the PIE, at least PIE in the PIE minus Anatolian later stage, which is also assumed to have been spoken in 3000-4000 BCE (my personal opinion is ~3500 BCE, a bit before the bulk of the Yamnaya phenomenon).

    However, I didn't mean that PIE was necessarily younger than Proto-Semitic. That wasn't my point at all. Actually, I think LPIE and Proto-Semitic were contemporaneous, but Indo-Hittie PIE was spoken earlier... BUT I was not talking about PIE. The point was about the adoption of an IE language, probably Proto-Greek, by J2a (and other haplogroups) Mycenaeans with a genetic makeup heavily rich in EEF and additional (non-steppe) CHG. That does not need to have happened as early as the first split of PIE. The expansion of the IE family went on with many of the daughter branches, some of them moving and expanding, others receding or being displaced... It wasn't just one huge expansion followed by stasis.

    My point was that the J1/J2 shift to E1b1b Afro-Asiatic languages do not have to mean that, because a similar thing happened with Mycenaean Greek (J2 shift to R1b/R1a Indo-European), it must've happened as early as in the Neolithic era, as Yetos implied.
    I got a little confused there, the date is 3750 BCE resp. 5750 BP. Nicholls gives an even younger date. The point is that Semitic is young, and the languages were quite similar when they were first recorded. That lead to problems with classification initially with regards to the West-East Semitic split.

    The estimates by Chang et al. still use the very same methodology used by Bouckaert et al., albeit with time constraints. If the same were applied to Semitic we'd probably get a much later date. There's no reason to assume they were contemporaneous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    However, I didn't mean that PIE was necessarily younger than Proto-Semitic. That wasn't my point at all. Actually, I think LPIE and Proto-Semitic were contemporaneous, but Indo-Hittie PIE was spoken earlier... BUT I was not talking about PIE. The point was about the adoption of an IE language, probably Proto-Greek, by J2a (and other haplogroups) Mycenaeans with a genetic makeup heavily rich in EEF and additional (non-steppe) CHG. That does not need to have happened as early as the first split of PIE. The expansion of the IE family went on with many of the daughter branches, some of them moving and expanding, others receding or being displaced... It wasn't just one huge expansion followed by stasis.
    I'm not a linguist, but could Armenian and Greek have developped in late Yamna, influenced by Sintashta?
    That would have been around 4 ka.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Just a theory ...Please comment.Afro-Asiatic spread already in mesolithic times along with E1b1b1, into the Levant, along the North African shores and into northeastern Africa.The Natufians and the Levant Neolithic were E1b1b1 supplemented with some H2.The Anatolian farmers were mainly G2a.J is only marginal in the neolithic, and probably also in chalcolithic.The bronze metallurgy spread from eastern Anatolia or Mesopotamia into the Levant and the Aegean, and J became the major haplogroup.Semitic was an Afro-Asiatic bronze age language in the Levant, and it was also the language of the Akkadians who arrived in southern Mesopotamia prior to written records. They were newcomers from the north though, pushing the Sumerians south.In the Aegean and bronze age Anatolia the main haplogroup was the newcomer J, but autosomal the population was still neolithic.J was probably a male elite with local wives.And the male J didn't raise his children. He left it to the mothers, and they taught them the local languages.
    It seems likely, It is a great theory

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    I'm not a linguist, but could Armenian and Greek have developped in late Yamna, influenced by Sintashta?
    That would have been around 4 ka.
    That's really hard to say at this moment, but we can speculate. In my opinion Proto-Greek was already spoken and well developed/differentiated around 4 kya, so I think the common source of Greek and Armenian (and probably other ancient Balkanic & Anatolian languages, like Phrygian and perhaps Daco-Thracian) is even earlier, possibly Late Yamnaya or - I think more likely - Catacomb, but even before the expansion of Sintashta. But I think the closer link to Indo-Iranian in relation to other European IE groups may really indicate some mutual influence between Catacomb and Poltavka/Potapovka before the subsequent changes (like the wide expansion of R1a-Z93 and CWC-like ancestry with more EEF) that made steppe people even further apart from Yamnaya and led to Srubnaya and Sintashta. Catacomb was already, IIRC, more "northern" than Yamnaya and had closer links with the forest-steppe horizon, but it probably absorbd Yamnaya and mixed with it, so the links with Indo-Iranian but also with some Northwestern IE languages could maybe be explained due to that history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    ...And the male J didn't raise his children. He left it to the mothers, and they taught them the local languages.
    What language(s) do you think those early male J spoke? Would it have been related to a hypothesized pre-Indo-European haplogroup I language, or was it something else entirely?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    That's really hard to say at this moment, but we can speculate. In my opinion Proto-Greek was already spoken and well developed/differentiated around 4 kya, so I think the common source of Greek and Armenian (and probably other ancient Balkanic & Anatolian languages, like Phrygian and perhaps Daco-Thracian) is even earlier, possibly Late Yamnaya or - I think more likely - Catacomb, but even before the expansion of Sintashta. But I think the closer link to Indo-Iranian in relation to other European IE groups may really indicate some mutual influence between Catacomb and Poltavka/Potapovka before the subsequent changes (like the wide expansion of R1a-Z93 and CWC-like ancestry with more EEF) that made steppe people even further apart from Yamnaya and led to Srubnaya and Sintashta. Catacomb was already, IIRC, more "northern" than Yamnaya and had closer links with the forest-steppe horizon, but it probably absorbd Yamnaya and mixed with it, so the links with Indo-Iranian but also with some Northwestern IE languages could maybe be explained due to that history.
    ok, thank you

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertColumbia View Post
    What language(s) do you think those early male J spoke? Would it have been related to a hypothesized pre-Indo-European haplogroup I language, or was it something else entirely?
    I have no clue.

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