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Thread: The spread of 'Steppe' DNA and autosomal best-fit analysis

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    The spread of 'Steppe' DNA and autosomal best-fit analysis

    I ran statistical best-fit analysis on archaeological autosomal data, which yielded the following results:

    1. R1b Bell Beaker and R1a Corded Ware each fit best with a core in the same samples from 5th millennium BC Bulgaria.
    2. These Bulgarian samples in turn each fit best with a 50:50 admixture between 5th millennium BC Khvalynsk (skewed South West) and Neolithic Anatolian.


    These results would accordingly support a number of perhaps unorthodox hypotheses, e.g.

    1. R1b pre-Bell Beaker and R1a pre-Corded Ware emerged from within the same community.
    2. Their most recent common root was Bulgaria, rather than the Steppe.
    3. Their root population's almost exact 50:50 best-fit combinations suggest they were the products of first generation admixture, helping us to date the most significant migration of DNA from the Steppe to the dates of the samples (4,500 BC) - somewhat earlier than otherwise thought, but not significantly earlier than this.
    4. Their Steppe DNA derived predominantly from a Khvalynsk-like population, rather than the Yamnayan population that succeeded it.

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    Coudn't that better fit be just the result of R1b BB and R1a CWC being basically Khvalynsk with more CHG and a bit of EEF heavily mixed with extra EEF when they spread out of the Pontic-Caspian steppe? I'd imagine they'd become more similar to early steppe-enriched Balkanic populations merely as a result of a comparable genetic history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Coudn't that better fit be just the result of R1b BB and R1a CWC being basically Khvalynsk with more CHG and a bit of EEF heavily mixed with extra EEF when they spread out of the Pontic-Caspian steppe? I'd imagine they'd become more similar to early steppe-enriched Balkanic populations merely as a result of a comparable genetic history.
    Yes, it could be; but, from the archaeological samples available, there were no fits so close as the ones I've identified. The matches with other core Pontic-Caspian samples like Sredny Stog and Yamnaya provide more divergent results; and the matches with EEF further away from the Bosphorus likewise.

    The best-fit results actually match up well with what we know about the Steppe-like Suvorovo culture, which appears to have spread from Eastern Bulgaria between 4,300 and 4,000 BC in various directions northwards - to the Danube delta, and then (i) up the Danube into Northern Romania, (ii) up the Dniester into North Western Ukraine and (iii) up the Dnieper into East Central Ukraine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    Yes, it could be; but, from the archaeological samples available, there were no fits so close as the ones I've identified. The matches with other core Pontic-Caspian samples like Sredny Stog and Yamnaya provide more divergent results; and the matches with EEF further away from the Bosphorus likewise.

    The best-fit results actually match up well with what we know about the Steppe-like Suvorovo culture, which appears to have spread from Eastern Bulgaria between 4,300 and 4,000 BC in various directions northwards - to the Danube delta, and then (i) up the Danube into Northern Romania, (ii) up the Dniester into North Western Ukraine and (iii) up the Dnieper into East Central Ukraine.
    I see, but, I mean, how likely is it that a R1b BB and a R1a CWC from, say, around 2500 BC would still have a very close match with a 5th millennium Bulgarian individual even after so intensive migrations, cultural changes and certainly lots of mixing with the local peoples (who, especially in the case of BB, they didn't seem to replace overwhelmingly)? Would very little mixing and autosomal change have happened in more than 1500 years even as the Bulgarian Suvorovo spread to lands very far away and already densely inhabited? I'd be very surprised if that did happen. I think the fact that the BB and CWC do not match as well as with the Sredny Stog and the Yamnaya samples may just result from the very likely and plausible fact that those were still "steppe proper", pre-expansion societies with much less admixture with the ANF+WHG mix dominant especially to the west of the Dniester.

    I've seen some suggestion previously that Cernavoda, under Suvorovo-Novodanilovka influence, may have had some role in the spread of IE languages, but its very early dating and split from the steppe "proper" genetic/cultural horizon made people speculate it could have something to do with the Anatolian IE languages, because the non-Anatolian Late PIE stage has usually been assumed to have started splitting much later, around 3400-3000 BC. But they could be wrong, of course...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    I see, but, I mean, how likely is it that a R1b BB and a R1a CWC from, say, around 2500 BC would still have a very close match with a 5th millennium Bulgarian individual even after so intensive migrations, cultural changes and certainly lots of mixing with the local peoples (who, especially in the case of BB, they didn't seem to replace overwhelmingly)? Would very little mixing and autosomal change have happened in more than 1500 years even as the Bulgarian Suvorovo spread to lands very far away and already densely inhabited? I'd be very surprised if that did happen. I think the fact that the BB and CWC do not match as well as with the Sredny Stog and the Yamnaya samples may just result from the very likely and plausible fact that those were still "steppe proper", pre-expansion societies with much less admixture with the ANF+WHG mix dominant especially to the west of the Dniester.
    We do not know how much people admixed until we examine the data. If we look at the R1a-M417 sample from circa 4,000 BC, for example, it differs little autosomally from the R1a-M417 samples in Corded Ware 1,500 years later. I would suggest this indicates that extant M417 admixed very little during this period, just as its females seemed to admix almost exclusively with M417 men. This is surely a more likely explanation than that it changed autosomally through admixture with Sredny Stog and Yamnaya before changing back to pretty much the same autosomal mix that it had before.

    Sredny Stog and Yamnaya look to me like red herrings. They had different autosomal mixes from each other, and neither of their Steppe DNA mixes match the mixes in the Steppe components within BB or CW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    Yes, it could be; but, from the archaeological samples available, there were no fits so close as the ones I've identified. The matches with other core Pontic-Caspian samples like Sredny Stog and Yamnaya provide more divergent results; and the matches with EEF further away from the Bosphorus likewise.

    The best-fit results actually match up well with what we know about the Steppe-like Suvorovo culture, which appears to have spread from Eastern Bulgaria between 4,300 and 4,000 BC in various directions northwards - to the Danube delta, and then (i) up the Danube into Northern Romania, (ii) up the Dniester into North Western Ukraine and (iii) up the Dnieper into East Central Ukraine.
    Isn't it what Carlos tried to say here? https://indo-european.eu/tag/suvorovo/

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfalp View Post
    Isn't it what Carlos tried to say here? https://indo-european.eu/tag/suvorovo/
    Yes, I suppose, partly.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I doubt Bell Beaker and Corded Ware arose from the same community, there's too many differences between the populations. Whatever the case, neither came from Yamnaya.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    I doubt Bell Beaker and Corded Ware arose from the same community, there's too many differences between the populations. Whatever the case, neither came from Yamnaya.
    What are the main differences between the Bell Beaker and Corded Ware populations, apart from the paternal lineages that dominated them? By the way, the data analysis doesn't suggest that they arose directly from the same community - merely that their ancestors were within the same community until the late fifth millennium BC.

    Both R1a and R1b were represented within Khvalynsk. Perhaps a clear split occurred when Suvorovo branched out at the Danube Delta - with pre-Bell Beaker venturing into Romania and pre-Corded Ware venturing into North West Ukraine. Clearly, they would have been affected by admixture with different populations after that date.
    Last edited by Pip; 29-12-18 at 23:47.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    I doubt Bell Beaker and Corded Ware arose from the same community, there's too many differences between the populations. Whatever the case, neither came from Yamnaya.
    The autosomal best-fit for Yamnaya comes out as predominantly Khvalynsk, but the specific variety of it represented by the sample bearing yDNA haplogroup Q. The more North West-skewed DNA primarily represented by Khvalynsk's R1a sample appears to have diminished by the Yamnayan period, and R1b-Z2103 appears to have become the dominant paternal lineage. Other than that, the cultural development from Khvalynsk to Yamnaya appears to have occurred largely in situ without any major external genetic influence.

    The division between the Khvalynsk people that look to have migrated (Suvorovo) and those that remained (Yamnaya) is estimated from autosomal best-fit data to have occurred around 4,500 BC. This also approximately matches my most recent estimates for yDNA branching between R1b-Z2103 and R1b-L51 (4,480 BC) and for R1b-Z2103's TMRCA (4,360 BC). My best explanation for this is that all extant L51 and some sections of Z2103 were within the Suvorovo migration, and that other sections of Z2103 at first remained in the Caspian Steppe and only spread westwards into Ukraine some time later.

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    Never cite that quack Quiles. The crackpot believes that Corded Ware was Uralic; ridiculous. How about Yamnaya being Vasconic/Northwest Caucasian? See, I can come up with crank theories too!

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    2 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Never cite that quack Quiles. The crackpot believes that Corded Ware was Uralic; ridiculous. How about Yamnaya being Vasconic/Northwest Caucasian? See, I can come up with crank theories too!
    Does he actually? That is really dumb, how can he believe that given the blatant correlation with Y DNA N1c?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    Does he actually? That is really dumb, how can he believe that given the blatant correlation with Y DNA N1c?
    Believe it or not, he thinks N1c and Siberian ancestry have nothing to do with the PU expansion. They're just later absorptions that took place in some Uralic-speaking areas, little more than a faint correlation. On the other hand, he thinks there is a strong correlation between PU and CWC and R1a-M417 (including the "Indo-Iranian" Z93, which according to him makes the Proto-Indo-Iranian community a mix of Yamnaya-derived PIE with Uralic CWC). It's a bit strange, given his clear knowledge about all the papers, that this really basic reasoning was missed by him: 1) with the exception of the clear outliers of the PU family (with a very "unusual" history, too), the Hungarians, all Uralic nations are rich in N1c or at least N1 and have at least some minor Siberian ancestry, but very few non-Uralic populations in Europe have a high frequency of N1, and all of them are neighbors to Uralic nations (what a coincidence); 2) and that CWC is found in heavy proportions in virtually all Uralic nations (Nganasans excluded), but CWC is also found in heavy or actually even heavier proportions in several non-Uralic nations, whereas Siberian ancestry is clearly found in stronger proportions in the Uralic nations than in other nations (even the N1-rich IE people like the Lithuanians have virtually no Siberian ancestry).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Never cite that quack Quiles. The crackpot believes that Corded Ware was Uralic; ridiculous. How about Yamnaya being Vasconic/Northwest Caucasian? See, I can come up with crank theories too!
    His view on the question is not related with his views on Uralic Languages, so why not make the part of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Never cite that quack Quiles. The crackpot believes that Corded Ware was Uralic; ridiculous. How about Yamnaya being Vasconic/Northwest Caucasian? See, I can come up with crank theories too!
    It wouldn't be that huge a problem if he didn't also think that CWC had come from the Pontic-Caspian steppe (early Sredny Stog) where, just before the Neolithization of the region around 5000-4500 BC (approximate dates), PU and PIE would've formed a common homogeneous Indo-Uralic language that split later into the Khvalynsk PIE and Sredny Stog PU. That is, he really believes that PU and PIE were basically separated by just 1000-1500 years of linguistic divergence when they themselves started to split to form their own language families. :-o

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    It wouldn't be that huge a problem if he didn't also think that CWC had come from the Pontic-Caspian steppe (early Sredny Stog) where, just before the Neolithization of the region around 5000-4500 BC (approximate dates), PU and PIE would've formed a common homogeneous Indo-Uralic language that split later into the Khvalynsk PIE and Sredny Stog PU. That is, he really believes that PU and PIE were basically separated by just 1000-1500 years of linguistic divergence when they themselves started to split to form their own language families. :-o
    I believe the traditional argument that had Uralic & IE bordering each other on the steppe usually involved the weird IE forms in PU (*nimi– , *weti– etc.).

    How can these be explained if Uralic expanded from a homeland presumably in the vicinity of Mongolia (under the Seima Turbino hypothesis)? They don't seem like words that would diffuse through trade or the like.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    The two 4,500 BC Bulgarian Steppe/Anatolian 50:50 hybrids have these autosomal best-fits:
    Varna ANI163 - with a combination of the Khvalynsk R1a and Q samples (female, but an adjacent sample shows R1b)
    Smyadovo I2181 - with the Khyvalynsk R1a sample (male, confirmed only as R)

    Being within a predominantly EEF community, the Varna sample is suggestive of having an Anatolian-like father and a Khvalynsk-like mother, which is exactly the opposite of the assumption that it was all about Steppe men taking Anatolian women. The average estimated date for it is 4,626 BC, and yet we know that the Bulgarian Steppe-culture Suvorovo people were still present in the Balkans around 4,000 BC. I would suggest that co-existence and inter-breeding with EEF was likely, rather than the Suvorovo being a one-time raiding party that immediately vanished back to the Caspian Steppe or was totally eliminated.

    12 Suvorovo sites have been discovered, dotted around different parts of the Balkans (extending as far as Hungary), and 6 more derivative sites have been discovered in South Eastern Ukraine. The tacit assumption is that all the people and lineages at these sites died out, and that all of their admixed Steppe DNA entirely vanished to be replaced by Yamna DNA 1,500 years later - despite the fact that their Khvalynsk-like DNA fits better with both Bell Beaker and Corded Ware DNA than Yamnayan DNA does.

    I am only aware of the mtDNA of Suvorovo samples being published (although the two samples above look autosomally like they are of Suvorovo origin), with no Suvorovo yDNA data yet being published. I wonder what it would show.

    The Western branches of Suvorovo moved up the Danube into Northern Romania, where they would have encountered Cucuteni people (and Eastern Bell Beaker has a best fit with 50% Cucuteni mtDNA). The Eastern branches of Suvorovo moved up the Eastern side of the Dnieper (not far from the North Ukrainian site where the earliest R1a-M417 Corded Ware-like outlier sample was discovered with an autosomal best-fit containing a large proportion of the Bulgarian DNA above).

    On the basis of the data that we have, I would tentatively suggest that Yamnaya is most likely largely a red herring, and that Steppe DNA was principally spread by its Steppe antecedent from a common origin point in the South Eastern Balkans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    The two 4,500 BC Bulgarian Steppe/Anatolian 50:50 hybrids have these autosomal best-fits:
    Varna ANI163 - with a combination of the Khvalynsk R1a and Q samples (female, but an adjacent sample shows R1b)
    Smyadovo I2181 - with the Khyvalynsk R1a sample (male, confirmed only as R)

    Being within a predominantly EEF community, the Varna sample is suggestive of having an Anatolian-like father and a Khvalynsk-like mother, which is exactly the opposite of the assumption that it was all about Steppe men taking Anatolian women. The average estimated date for it is 4,626 BC, and yet we know that the Bulgarian Steppe-culture Suvorovo people were still present in the Balkans around 4,000 BC. I would suggest that co-existence and inter-breeding with EEF was likely, rather than the Suvorovo being a one-time raiding party that immediately vanished back to the Caspian Steppe or was totally eliminated.

    12 Suvorovo sites have been discovered, dotted around different parts of the Balkans (extending as far as Hungary), and 6 more derivative sites have been discovered in South Eastern Ukraine. The tacit assumption is that all the people and lineages at these sites died out, and that all of their admixed Steppe DNA entirely vanished to be replaced by Yamna DNA 1,500 years later - despite the fact that their Khvalynsk-like DNA fits better with both Bell Beaker and Corded Ware DNA than Yamnayan DNA does.

    I am only aware of the mtDNA of Suvorovo samples being published (although the two samples above look autosomally like they are of Suvorovo origin), with no Suvorovo yDNA data yet being published. I wonder what it would show.

    The Western branches of Suvorovo moved up the Danube into Northern Romania, where they would have encountered Cucuteni people (and Eastern Bell Beaker has a best fit with 50% Cucuteni mtDNA). The Eastern branches of Suvorovo moved up the Eastern side of the Dnieper (not far from the North Ukrainian site where the earliest R1a-M417 Corded Ware-like outlier sample was discovered with an autosomal best-fit containing a large proportion of the Bulgarian DNA above).

    On the basis of the data that we have, I would tentatively suggest that Yamnaya is most likely largely a red herring, and that Steppe DNA was principally spread by its Steppe antecedent from a common origin point in the South Eastern Balkans.
    Can you point me to the mtDNA results of Suvorovo?

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    Quote Originally Posted by epoch View Post
    Can you point me to the mtDNA results of Suvorovo?
    These are the only ones of which I'm aware:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460020/

    "Two Eneolithic (Eneol) individuals from Romania have been analyzed, showing the same mitochondrial haplotype (haplogroup K) (Table 2). These haplotypes are unique, not found in any mtDNA database of ancient populations. The network performed with the haplotypes corresponding to haplogroup K (S6 Fig) showed that the two individuals from the Decea Mureşului site shared polymorphisms with the ancient and present-day populations from the Near East. Although the two individuals from Decea Mureşului are associated to the Suvorovo culture from the North-Pontic steppes [2932], and this has been suggested to represent the first contact between Transylvania and North-Pontic steppes, we have not found genetic evidence in the present study to support this hypothesis."

    Two points to note from this narrative -
    The mtDNA is noted as Near Eastern, rather than EEF. (My autosomal best-fit analysis gives a similar result in this respect.)
    The Suvorovo culture is identified as from the North-Pontic steppes - this is perhaps misleading, in that Suvorovo is in Bulgaria, and most of the culture's sites (including its earliest ones) are West-Pontic (rather than North-Pontic Steppe).

    I heard a rumour well over a year ago that y-DNA from this site was going to be published, but since then I have heard nothing further. Does anyone else know?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    These are the only ones of which I'm aware:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460020/

    "Two Eneolithic (Eneol) individuals from Romania have been analyzed, showing the same mitochondrial haplotype (haplogroup K) (Table 2). These haplotypes are unique, not found in any mtDNA database of ancient populations. The network performed with the haplotypes corresponding to haplogroup K (S6 Fig) showed that the two individuals from the Decea Mureşului site shared polymorphisms with the ancient and present-day populations from the Near East. Although the two individuals from Decea Mureşului are associated to the Suvorovo culture from the North-Pontic steppes [2932], and this has been suggested to represent the first contact between Transylvania and North-Pontic steppes, we have not found genetic evidence in the present study to support this hypothesis."

    Two points to note from this narrative -
    The mtDNA is noted as Near Eastern, rather than EEF. (My autosomal best-fit analysis gives a similar result in this respect.)
    The Suvorovo culture is identified as from the North-Pontic steppes - this is perhaps misleading, in that Suvorovo is in Bulgaria, and most of the culture's sites (including its earliest ones) are West-Pontic (rather than North-Pontic Steppe).

    I heard a rumour well over a year ago that y-DNA from this site was going to be published, but since then I have heard nothing further. Does anyone else know?

    What's the saddest is that of 62 samples, they only got mtdna. It seems to happened a little too much for important contexte... I guess it's just way cheaper to only test for mtdna snp's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfalp View Post
    What's the saddest is that of 62 samples, they only got mtdna. It seems to happened a little too much for important contexte... I guess it's just way cheaper to only test for mtdna snp's.
    Dare I say it, there is also sometimes a culture within academia of withholding or delaying publication of information.

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    It would be helpful if you actually posted the data and the results of your analyses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markod View Post
    It would be helpful if you actually posted the data and the results of your analyses.
    I'm only really putting this subject up for discussion, rather than trying to demonstrate or prove any points, but I've noted a few of the results below.

    The best fit I've found for German R1a Corded Ware is NE Ukraine Chalcolithic R1a* (I6561) 90% + Khvalynsk R1a 5% + Khvalynsk R1b 5% (0% Russian Yamnaya).
    *The best fit for NE Ukraine Chalcolithic R1a is Bulgaria Steppe-like Chalcolithic** (I2181/ANI163) 36% + Khvalynsk R1a/Q 47% + Central Asia Minor Neolithic 17%.
    ** The best fit for Bulgaria Steppe-like Chalcolithic R (I2181) is Khvalynsk R1a 51% + Central Asia Minor Neolithic 49% (0% Ukraine Neolithic).

    Following the data to its conclusion would suggest this kind of developmental pattern for extant R1a-M417:
    Central Pontic-Caspian Steppe Khvalynsk > Northern Anatolia > Bulgarian Suvorovo> East Dnieper Novodanilovka > Eastern Corded Ware > German Corded Ware.

    Neither Yamnaya nor core North Pontic (Sredny Stog) have to come into the genetic equation significantly.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Please post a link to your statistical best-fit.

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