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Thread: Steppe DNA South of the Caucasus

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    Quote Originally Posted by johen View Post
    ^
    I don' know. Tell me the difference or comparison.
    The difference is in the use. A cattle herding gotra type steppe culture like Yamnaya R1b-Z2109+ with mobile mounted yurt wagons, constructed them to be sturdy well built; pulled by cattle and made with a basic shelter on top to give some relief say from a theoretical 4.2 kilo year sand storm event, or relief from sun on the steppe . While Sumerian and Sintashta carts are either built for speed, and or full visibility to hurl projectile type weapons for war.

    Think of Yamna-Afansievo-Catacombe gotras R1b-Z2109+ deployed wagons constructed with a basic yurt like shelter on top[kind of like a mini steppe schooner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdbnriTpg_M]. Or like the Juggernaut festival in India except cattle[slow -steady] were used for pulling on the steppe, instead of horses[ Sintashta-speed].
    छादित वाहन n. chādita vāhana covered wagon [Rly.]

    यान n. yAna wagon
    http://spokensanskrit.org/index.php?...ink=yes&mode=3
    http://spokensanskrit.org/index.php?...ink=yes&mode=3


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    Quote Originally Posted by halfalp View Post
    Are those samples R1b?
    One of the Armenian samples is an unspecified R1b-P297 and the other two have Middle Eastern E1b lineages. Curiously, it is the R1b that has by far the least steppic profile; it would seem any common steppic autosomal inheritance they had would likely have come from an alternative yDNA source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    One of the Armenian samples is an unspecified R1b-P297 and the other two have Middle Eastern E1b lineages. Curiously, it is the R1b that has by far the least steppic profile; it would seem any common steppic autosomal inheritance they had would likely have come from an alternative yDNA source.
    This sounds like R1b-V1636.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfalp View Post
    This sounds like R1b-V1636.
    Because the Armenian MBA autosomal profiles are so diverse, I have tried running analysis on each cluster separately. This yields curious and striking results:
    1. The more steppic samples best match prior local populations with the addition of a 23% mix of Srubnaya and Poltavka
    2. The R1b less-steppic sample best matches prior local populations with the addition of 10% Latvian MNHG

    The common factor between the new components is traces of Eastern Baltic. In the more steppic samples, its Srubnaya appears to comprise a significant component most closely related to Plinkaigalis (early Lithuanian Corded Ware), and the Armenian R1b sample looks to have a component most closely related to Latvian R1b-P297* (which is probably the source of its yDNA). For diverse contemporary new entrants like this, I don't think two elements from the same location 2,000 km away is a coincidence. It looks like different people moving down from the vicinity of the Eastern Baltic through the Steppe to the Caucasus at the same time, some of them picking up some Poltavkan-like Steppe DNA along the way, and some not.

    These new entrants must have admixed with locals by the Armenian MBA, as their steppic DNA had been incorporated into Middle Eastern E1b paternal lineages there. In fact, even the steppic E1b samples also show a small best-fit trace of the Latvian MNHG present in the R1b sample.

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    The DNA arriving in Armenia 2,500-1900 BC has multiple hallmarks of Eastern Baltic. Related R1a-Z93 samples turning up in Poltavka and Sintashta 2,700-2,000 BC each have profiles originating to their West, with both having significant Balkanic or Carpathian traces. The Z2103 sample turning up at the Dnieper 2,800 BC has some Baltic and a substantial Globular Amphora-like element. R1a-Z93's recent relative Z283 (from which yfull estimates it split only 3,000 BC) is North Central European in its early distribution.

    The people travelling through the Steppe 2,800-1,900 BC look to be clearly mainly eastward-moving. Those moving out of the other side to the South of the Caucasus appear to have substantial East Central European ancestry; and I suspect those moving into Northern India at around or soon after that time were similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    it was more the 4.2 ka climate cold that erased R1b from the steppe
    somehow a small group of Sintashta succeeded to conquer just a few strategic places where there was winter food available for the animals and tin ores nearby
    horses and tin ores are found together , this will lead to a powerful combination

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfalp View Post
    You mean that colder climate made the local demography decrease over the years? And why would a more northern than Steppe people associated with R1a not be more touched by this demographic decrease than their southern R1b counterpart?
    It could've been a chain of events caused by the same climate worsening: North Europeans of CWC origin migrating southward to the Pontic-Caspian steppes, and simultaneously or just before that R1b Poltavka, Potapovka and Catacomb people migrating southward into the Balkans, Transcaucasia, Anatolia, and so on. That would fit well with the arrival of the Greeks some centuries later. In my analyses the Yamnaya-like ancestry in Greeks, Armenians, South Italians and others seems more of a Catacomb-like nature than CWC-like or BB-like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    In my analyses the Yamnaya-like ancestry in Greeks, Armenians, South Italians and others seems more of a Catacomb-like nature than CWC-like or BB-like.
    In my analyses, the Yamnaya-like ancestry in Armenians is most like Srubnaya, and this in turn is most like a derivation from Lithuanian Plinkaigalis (which although identified as early CWC, is not at all typical of CWC genetically, looking much more like a Yamnayan offshoot). An optimal mix with Srubnaya explains 96.8% of LMBA Armenians, whereas Catacomb (presumably taken as I5884) only explains 92.9%.

    The other section of Armenian MBA is not Yamnayan-like at all, but is explained best by an insertion of 10% Latvian MNHG.

    This gives two markedly different lineages from the Eastern Baltic, both of which appear to pop up later in the same site 2,000 km away in Bronze Age Armenia. It seems likely to me that they were part of broadly the same migration. Autosomal mixes (with elements of Poltavka) suggest this migration route was down the Volga and through the Caspian Steppe, rather than the Pontic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    It could've been a chain of events caused by the same climate worsening; North Europeans of CWC origin migrating southward to the Pontic-Caspian steppes, and simultaneously or just before that R1b Poltavka, Potapovka and Catacomb people migrating southward into the Balkans, Transcaucasia, Anatolia, and so on.
    The migration route appears to be eastwards before southwards. This follows a general pattern across Eurasia of people moving eastwards (Beaker-likes into Germany, Sweden and Unetice; Globular Amphora and Trypillia into Ukraine; Sintashta into the Caspian Steppe; Z2103 into the Urals and Siberia) - i.e. into harsher climates, rather than away from them. My instinct tells me that, while climate change was almost certainly an indirect contributory factor, the direct cause was most likely conflict.

    The earliest sign of contact between Upper Volgan R1a-Z93 and Lower Volgan R1b-Z2103 looks like the appearance of a pure Z93 outlier within Poltavka around 2,700 BC; but this does not optimally fit the Armenian insertion, which looks to have been later. This appears to have preceded brother populations in Srubnaya, however, as the Baltic aDNA in the earliest Armenian MBA sample was already heavily diluted by indigenous Armenian components by 1,800 BC. My suggestion is that the main move to Armenia probably occurred on the collapse of CWC around 2,350 BC. This also matches my yDNA calculations (based on STRs divergence) of an estimated coalescence zone for surviving Z93 at the Western Caspian around 2,400 BC.

    This migration probably comprised a variety of paternal lineages, but it looks like R1a-Z93 was the one that ultimately thrived the most. (I do not see Volgan Z2103 as a particularly thriving lineage South of the Caucasus - its surviving Z2109 branches do not seem to have proliferated there, and my calculated estimate is that all of its several sibling branches split away from it to the South long beforehand, probably during the early Chalcolithic).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    In my analyses, the Yamnaya-like ancestry in Armenians is most like Srubnaya, and this in turn is most like a derivation from Lithuanian Plinkaigalis (which although identified as early CWC, is not at all typical of CWC genetically, looking much more like a Yamnayan offshoot). An optimal mix with Srubnaya explains 96.8% of LMBA Armenians, whereas Catacomb (presumably taken as I5884) only explains 92.9%.
    I'm talking of modern Armenians. I'm not sure we can assert that those MLBA Armenia samples were already Armenian in language. The language itself is only attested much later, and lots of things happened in the LBA and EIA. In linguistic terms, Armenian would make more sense fitting a common origin with the Greeks, whereas Srubnaya was more probably an early subset of Indo-Iranian.

    The migration route appears to be eastwards before southwards. This follows a general pattern across Eurasia of people moving eastwards (Beaker-likes into Germany, Sweden and Unetice; Globular Amphora and Trypillia into Ukraine; Sintashta into the Caspian Steppe; Z2103 into the Urals and Siberia) - i.e. into harsher climates, rather than away from them. My instinct tells me that, while climate change was almost certainly an indirect contributory factor, the direct cause was most likely conflict.
    Good points, indeed. However, the southward flow was certainly encouraged by the climate changes and the depopulation and large-scale emigration from the steppes. The same thing happened in ~1200-800 B.C. during the transition from the LBA pretty Sintashta-like peoples to the more mixed Scythian dominance, in which the steppe-like population retreated to the "borders" of the steppe and main river valleys, leaving vast lands uninhabited, before resettling the entire area when the climate improved.

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    These are the best models I could find for the Armenian samples, using virtually all steppe-derived BA (from EBA to MLBA) samples in addition to several non-steppe samples of West Eurasia. IMO they at least make sense from the point of view of geography and linguistics. Of course that's a risky experiment, because some of these samples are so similar genetically that any relatively minor genetic drift or genetic structure in the original population can lead to wrong assignment of the ancestral admixture, but these models should be read as general guidelines to give us ideas, not as a literal truth.

    By the way, Pip, what software and database do you use to make your calculations and hypothetical models of ancestry?

    [1] "distance%=1.5584 / distance=0.015584"
    [1] "distance%=1.8623 / distance=0.018623"
    [1] "distance%=1.6767 / distance=0.016767"



    ARM_MBA
    ARM_LBA ARM_Lchashen_MBA



    Kura-Araxes_Kalavan 49.65
    Maykop_Novosvobodnaya 27.55 Kura-Araxes_Kalavan 38.30
    Yamnaya_Bulgaria 18.85 Armenia_ChL 24.00 Maykop 18.15
    Yamnaya_Caucasus 14.10 Yamnaya_Karagash 13.25 RUS_Potapovka_MLBA 10.55
    Seh_Gabi_ChL 8.90
    Seh_Gabi_ChL 8.65 Levant_N 9.35
    Levant_N 3.65
    Hajji_Firuz_ChL 7.90 Sarazm_Eneolithic 8.85
    Anatolia_EBA_Ovaoren 3.10
    Yamnaya_Caucasus 6.75 Yamnaya_Ukraine 7.45
    Maykop_Novosvobodnaya 1.75 Levant_N 5.65 Anatolia_EBA_Ovaoren 7.35

    Catacomb 4.80

    Greece_N 1.45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    I'm talking of modern Armenians. I'm not sure we can assert that those MLBA Armenia samples were already Armenian in language. The language itself is only attested much later, and lots of things happened in the LBA and EIA. In linguistic terms, Armenian would make more sense fitting a common origin with the Greeks, whereas Srubnaya was more probably an early subset of Indo-Iranian.
    Ah, I haven't looked beyond the MBA, and generally avoid questions of language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Good points, indeed. However, the southward flow was certainly encouraged by the climate changes and the depopulation and large-scale emigration from the steppes. The same thing happened in ~1200-800 B.C. during the transition from the LBA pretty Sintashta-like peoples to the more mixed Scythian dominance, in which the steppe-like population retreated to the "borders" of the steppe and main river valleys, leaving vast lands uninhabited, before resettling the entire area when the climate improved.
    Yes, I think this might have happened more often than people generally imagine.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    These are the best models I could find for the Armenian samples, using virtually all steppe-derived BA (from EBA to MLBA) samples in addition to several non-steppe samples of West Eurasia. IMO they at least make sense from the point of view of geography and linguistics. Of course that's a risky experiment, because some of these samples are so similar genetically that any relatively minor genetic drift or genetic structure in the original population can lead to wrong assignment of the ancestral admixture, but these models should be read as general guidelines to give us ideas, not as a literal truth.

    By the way, Pip, what software and database do you use to make your calculations and hypothetical models of ancestry?

    [1] "distance%=1.5584 / distance=0.015584"
    [1] "distance%=1.8623 / distance=0.018623"
    [1] "distance%=1.6767 / distance=0.016767"



    ARM_MBA
    ARM_LBA ARM_Lchashen_MBA



    Kura-Araxes_Kalavan 49.65
    Maykop_Novosvobodnaya 27.55 Kura-Araxes_Kalavan 38.30
    Yamnaya_Bulgaria 18.85 Armenia_ChL 24.00 Maykop 18.15
    Yamnaya_Caucasus 14.10 Yamnaya_Karagash 13.25 RUS_Potapovka_MLBA 10.55
    Seh_Gabi_ChL 8.90
    Seh_Gabi_ChL 8.65 Levant_N 9.35
    Levant_N 3.65
    Hajji_Firuz_ChL 7.90 Sarazm_Eneolithic 8.85
    Anatolia_EBA_Ovaoren 3.10
    Yamnaya_Caucasus 6.75 Yamnaya_Ukraine 7.45
    Maykop_Novosvobodnaya 1.75 Levant_N 5.65 Anatolia_EBA_Ovaoren 7.35

    Catacomb 4.80

    Greece_N 1.45
    Thanks, this is interesting. The programme that I use is my own.

    Your combination has got pretty close, and you appear to access a bigger database than me. The Armenian samples I used were Nerquin Getashen and Katnaghbiur, processing the R1b outlier separately.

    Your Steppic/European total contributions look very similar to mine. And if I substitute your Ukraine Yamnaya and Potapovka samples into my programme, the main cluster comes out at an explanation of 96.7% (almost identical to my own optimal combination of 96.8%). So, yes, the Armenian insertion is confirmed to look like a mixture of R1a-Z93 and R1b-Z2103 populations. Presumably yours are based on the Yamnayan samples in far NW Ukraine, in which case it is a similar geographical mix to mine of Northern Steppe samples, split between the region close to Belarus and the middle Volga.

    Your other optimal combination (including Bulgarian and Caucasus Yamnaya) comes out only slightly worse in my programme (96.2%), but it is interesting to note that this again has a heavy Central European (in this case, Bulgarian) component, indicating a population displaced back eastwards, initially into harsher climes, rather than southwards into a milder Greece or Western Anatolia.

    Did you try with my best-fits of Srubnaya, Plinkaigalis, mainstream Poltavka and Alexandria? If so, it would be interesting to find out if this came out with worse fits for you?

    I don't know if your analysis included the R1b outlier (RISE413), which to me looks wholly different - with a clear East Central European (mainly Eastern Baltic) addition seemingly unrelated to Yamnaya or the Caspian Steppe.

    Based on the above, I think I would still say a migration from upstream Volga and down the Western Caspian, picking up DNA along the way, is the most likely explanation for the bulk of the initial insertion of steppic DNA into Armenia, at least in the samples I have examined; and the only significant traces of its yDNA that I see in modern South of Caucasus populations is R1a-Z93.
    Last edited by Pip; 09-06-19 at 21:00.

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    I've carried out further analysis, and am now less confident still that a worsening climate episode is the single predominant cause of the arrival of Steppe DNA South of the Caucasus. The data suggests to me that there were at least several prehistoric ebbs and flows of different steppic populations across the Caucasus extending over millennia:
    1. A Caucasian population with a partly steppic profile appears to have been displaced (probably north westwards along the Pontic coastline) by a mixture of Anatolians and other local populations (4,000 BC?).
    2. Centuries later, a little DNA from this partly steppic population appears to have leaked back into the Caucasus.
    3. Then there are traces of Eastern Baltic/West Russian populations moving into the Southern Caucasus, rather than into South Eastern Europe.
    4. There are signs of some early Southern Steppe Yamnayan admixture into Iranian populations.
    5. Then there are signs of population replacement (more than admixture) South of the Caucasus by most likely Northern Steppe populations (closest fit Eastern Baltic to the middle Volga) around the middle Bronze Age (latter half of the third millennium BC?), significantly increasing steppic DNA proportions.
    6. There are then signs that this population was itself mostly replaced by related Eastern Volga populations (closest fit Potapovka and Sintashta) a few centuries later, probably coming in via the Eastern and Southern Caspian, rather than across the Caucasus itself (early or middle second millennium BC?).

    Since then, all of these steppic DNA elements look to have been heavily diluted, at least in South Western Asia, although several steppic paternal lineages (mainly R1a-Z93) still appear to provide evidence of them.

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    How is it there decent steppe ancestry in South Caucasus but nothing in Eastern Anatolia?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    How is it there decent steppe ancestry in South Caucasus but nothing in Eastern Anatolia?
    Which time period you are looking at? And which samples for Eastern Anatolia?
    All I can think of is that mountainous areas are often refuges for marginalised or fleeing populations. Perhaps the South Caucasus steppic incursors could hide away in the Caucasus, but were unwelcome in Anatolia?

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    Dating - If we take R1a-Z93 as a proxy for steppic DNA South of the Caucasus, and take the expansion in the number of its extant lineages as a proxy for the expansion and dispersal of its populations, we see the following pattern. (I am using yfull's estimates, based on SNP variance. My own estimates based on STR variance show similar results.)

    Expansion per 100 years -
    3,000-2,850 BC - 0%
    2,850-2,700 BC - over 1,000 %
    2,700-2,250 BC - 4%
    2,250-1,800 BC - 89%
    1,800-1,500 BC - 8%
    1,500-900 BC - 7%
    900 BC-0 AD - 3%

    It is clear that Z93 was a regular lineage for most of its history, apart from during two huge bursts of expansion/development - around 2,850-2,700 BC (consistent with CWC's initial expansion) and 2,250-1,800 BC. The latter of these expansions is presumably reflective of the expansion and spread of Z93 populations East and South of the Caucasus, and its greatest period of expansion is during the early part (2,250-2,200 BC).

    This indicates that the expansion of the Mitanni and Hittites (dated to around 1,500 BC) were not proxies for the expansion of Z93 populations, which had mainly occurred probably 700-800 years earlier. Accordingly, I would propose that significant steppic DNA moved East and South of the Caucasus before 2,000 BC (as autosomal DNA suggests), and that subsequent IE/Aryan expansions during the middle 2nd millennium BC were of admixed populations (in which steppic DNA was already only a minor component, say up to 20%).

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    yDNA data from yfull suggests two separate waves of steppic people spread South of the Caucasus - Before 2,200 BC, it estimates these populations developed in tandem, with expansions in R1a-Z2124 and R1a-Y3 lineages occurring at the same time. However, after 2,200 BC, these two haplogroups show completely opposite development patterns:

    Between 2,200 and 1,850 BC, it is estimated that 23 new extant Y3 lineages emerged, compared to only 4 for Z2124.

    In the subsequent period 1,850 to 1,450 BC, the converse is estimated to have occurred, with 41 new lineages emerging for Z2124 and only 1 for Y3.

    After this, both haplogroups develop fairly normally at gradual rates, with only Y3 having another strongish growth spell at the end of the second millennium BC.

    Questions: might this pattern tie up with
    1. Autosomal data, which appears to show two different steppic contributions in Armenia - a more Westerly one (Poltavka/Srubnaya/Eastern Corded Ware-like) in the Middle Bronze Age, replaced by a more easterly one (Potapovka/Sintashta-like) in the Late Bronze Age?
    2.Any cultural/historical developments South of the Caucasus?
    (Bear in mind, some think yfull's dates are a little conservative, although my own calculations using different methodology yield pretty similar estimates.)

    Also, do we have early archaeological Y3 samples?

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    Hi, so what are you all thinking for Armenians? Where did they come from? Catacomb? When did they arrive in Armenia?

    Was the MBA sample from the Trialeti Culture? Do you all think the Trialeti Culture were speakers of (proto)Armenian?

    I'm seeing the Baltics mentioned a few times. What's interesting is that some linguists have noted some morphological similarities between Armenian and Balto-Slavic languages.

    Are we sure that samples found with Steppe ancestry in Armenia are Armenian and not Iranian (Scythian), Cimmerian, or some other group? Perhaps the Iranians or Cimmerians account for the LBA Shintashta-like sample(s)?

    From the historical record, in the Bible, a region in the Armenia area is called Ashkenaz. Ashkenaz is usually equated with the Scythians. Also, Ishkugulu and possibly Eriak, mentioned by the Urartians in the 8th century BCE, could possibly be Scythian settlements as well (Ishku could be a version of Ashka, Eriak would be Arias (Aryans?)).

    It's also believed that Gyumri, which is located near where Ishkugulu and Eriak were, was settled by/named after Cimmerians, during the 8th century BCE as well.

    So it seems that there was a Scythian and Cimmerian presence in what is now modern Armenia. We know that they helped to overthrow the Urartians, but it seems that they were in the region at least a century prior to the fall of Urartu. If these LBA samples were found in the north of modern Armenia, they could very well be from one of these other groups.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    How is it there decent steppe ancestry in South Caucasus but nothing in Eastern Anatolia?
    It is intriguing for me that 1 of the MLBA Anatolian individuals I have data from consistently picks some small amount of steppe ancestry in the models I have tried for several BA samples of that and other regions. The other samples totally lack that component, only 1 of them does. The fits improve a bit when some steppic source is included. What's intriguing, considering the pretty early divergence of the Anatolian IE family, is that that Anatolian sample consistently prefers an early steppe input (Progress_Eneolithic) over any other when I use all kinds of steppe aDNA samples possible (Yamnaya, Eneolithic Steppe, BB, CWC, Andronovo), in addition to a larger number of non-steppic DNA samples of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early BA.

    [1] "distance%=2.1477 / distance=0.021477"
    Anatolia_MLBA:MA2203
    Anatolia_EBA_Ovaoren 46.80
    Greece_N 31.05
    Sarazm_Eneolithic 7.65
    Levant_N 5.75
    Armenia_ChL 5.20
    RUS_Progress_Eneolithic 3.55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    This indicates that the expansion of the Mitanni and Hittites (dated to around 1,500 BC) were not proxies for the expansion of Z93 populations, which had mainly occurred probably 700-800 years earlier. Accordingly, I would propose that significant steppic DNA moved East and South of the Caucasus before 2,000 BC (as autosomal DNA suggests), and that subsequent IE/Aryan expansions during the middle 2nd millennium BC were of admixed populations (in which steppic DNA was already only a minor component, say up to 20%).
    Why do yu presume that the subsequent IEAryan expansions were of admixed populations with little steppic admixture? Couldn't it have been, as the data suggest, a secondary and more demographically (in the long term) impactful expansion coming originally from a region that had preserved its MLBA Steppe ancestry much better, North-Central Asia (Srubnaya and Andronovo horizons)? I agree that when that kind of ancestry, together with some clades of Z93 (and other haplogroups), arrived in areas like the Iranian Plateau and the Armenian Highlands (probably absorbing the steppe-admixed people already living in parts of that broad region), they were already mixed with South-Central Asian people along the way (mainly of Iran_Neolithic descent), but I do not think the expansion began with such people with diluted steppic ancestry. What I think is likely is that a post-Yamnaya type of ancestry with R1a-Z93 went along a southern route and also along an eastern route (maybe in its first expansion i.e. 2850-2700 B.C.), and much later a secondary southward expansion came mainly from those who had taken that former eastern route, coming via Turan into West Asia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyuiopman View Post
    Hi, so what are you all thinking for Armenians? Where did they come from? Catacomb? When did they arrive in Armenia?

    Was the MBA sample from the Trialeti Culture? Do you all think the Trialeti Culture were speakers of (proto)Armenian?
    If you're talking about modern Armenians, they are probably derived from a mixture of different populations. One MBA sample was identified as Trialeti, although it looks an atypical 'outlier' to the other samples. I don't know about language, and am just looking at the genetics.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyuiopman View Post
    Are we sure that samples found with Steppe ancestry in Armenia are Armenian and not Iranian (Scythian), Cimmerian, or some other group? Perhaps the Iranians or Cimmerians account for the LBA Shintashta-like sample(s)?
    The samples I looked at pre-date the Scythians. i haven't analysed them in detail, but they don't really look Scythian to me. Yes, perhaps the Scythians had a genetic influence at a later stage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    It is intriguing for me that 1 of the MLBA Anatolian individuals I have data from consistently picks some small amount of steppe ancestry in the models I have tried for several BA samples of that and other regions. The other samples totally lack that component, only 1 of them does. The fits improve a bit when some steppic source is included. What's intriguing, considering the pretty early divergence of the Anatolian IE family, is that that Anatolian sample consistently prefers an early steppe input (Progress_Eneolithic) over any other when I use all kinds of steppe aDNA samples possible (Yamnaya, Eneolithic Steppe, BB, CWC, Andronovo), in addition to a larger number of non-steppic DNA samples of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early BA.

    [1] "distance%=2.1477 / distance=0.021477"
    Anatolia_MLBA:MA2203
    Anatolia_EBA_Ovaoren 46.80
    Greece_N 31.05
    Sarazm_Eneolithic 7.65
    Levant_N 5.75
    Armenia_ChL 5.20
    RUS_Progress_Eneolithic 3.55
    Yes, I'm sure some steppic DNA leaked into Anatolia at various points, especially originating from predominantly R1b communities - after all, the Steppe really isn't that far away. As I've pointed out before, most branches of R1b-Z2103 seem to coalesce there, and R1b-Bell Beaker also has a good fit with a Central Anatolian Neolithic component. I imagine that any steppic immigrants were heavily outnumbered, and thus their DNA was for the most part massively diluted through admixture over time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Why do yu presume that the subsequent IEAryan expansions were of admixed populations with little steppic admixture?
    Because (i) the major growth of steppic lineages seems to pre-date the expansion of apparently steppic cultures, and (ii) we can see from Armenian samples that steppic autosomal DNA was already heavily diluted by indigenous Middle Eastern DNA and mixed into Middle Eastern paternal lineages at an earlier stage. I don't see any pure steppic samples anywhere South of the Caucasus. Isn't there also some evidence to suggest that some adopted local languages like Hurrian?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    I agree that when that kind of ancestry, together with some clades of Z93 (and other haplogroups), arrived in areas like the Iranian Plateau and the Armenian Highlands (probably absorbing the steppe-admixed people already living in parts of that broad region), they were already mixed with South-Central Asian people along the way (mainly of Iran_Neolithic descent), but I do not think the expansion began with such people with diluted steppic ancestry.
    Yes, I don't think the expansion of steppic lineages in the region necessarily began with people of diluted steppic ancestry. I am merely talking about the expansion of the later steppe-like cultures/peoples, such as the Mitanni and the Hittites, which seem to have arisen quite some time after the steppic lineages themselves expanded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    What I think is likely is that a post-Yamnaya type of ancestry with R1a-Z93 went along a southern route and also along an eastern route (maybe in its first expansion i.e. 2850-2700 B.C.), and much later a secondary southward expansion came mainly from those who had taken that former eastern route, coming via Turan into West Asia.
    I often see the expansion of steppic people described as coming in waves, with the first wave ignored as largely disappearing, followed by a second wave that also apparently disappears with little trace, and with only the last wave believed to have any significant genetic impact. To me, this is not only simplistic, but also fits poorly with the data.

    The data suggests to me that, for the most part, the various steppic peoples arrived and thrived at the Caucasus approximately together. Some (the earlier thrivers) quickly mixed with Southern/Middle Eastern peoples, the later thrivers look to be more heavily mixed with older Armenian-like peoples (rather than mainstream Iranians/Central Asians). I can't see that much difference between them, apart from the later thrivers looking a bit closer to East Volga, rather than West Volga. The abrupt shifts in their lineage growth patterns between one branch and another, and the abrupt changes in best-fit admixed autosomal inheritance, both suggest conflict between themselves, rather than a joint steppic people conflicting with indigenous folk, and I would expect that many of these indigenous folk were co-opted into their internecine warring.

    Within a few centuries of arrival, the massive expansion of steppic lineages dies out, presumably as the steppic people became less destructive of indigenous paternal lineages, and more integrated into general Middle Eastern populations.
    Last edited by Pip; 19-06-19 at 10:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Why do yu presume that the subsequent IEAryan expansions were of admixed populations with little steppic admixture? Couldn't it have been, as the data suggest, a secondary and more demographically (in the long term) impactful expansion coming originally from a region that had preserved its MLBA Steppe ancestry much better, North-Central Asia (Srubnaya and Andronovo horizons)? I agree that when that kind of ancestry, together with some clades of Z93 (and other haplogroups), arrived in areas like the Iranian Plateau and the Armenian Highlands (probably absorbing the steppe-admixed people already living in parts of that broad region), they were already mixed with South-Central Asian people along the way (mainly of Iran_Neolithic descent), but I do not think the expansion began with such people with diluted steppic ancestry. What I think is likely is that a post-Yamnaya type of ancestry with R1a-Z93 went along a southern route and also along an eastern route (maybe in its first expansion i.e. 2850-2700 B.C.), and much later a secondary southward expansion came mainly from those who had taken that former eastern route, coming via Turan into West Asia.
    These are the main genetic differences between the earlier (MBA) and the later (LBA) steppic samples in Armenia:
    1. The MBA people had a substantial (approximately 1/3) Southern component, derived either from the Levant, Iraq or even possibly Arabia, whereas this Southern component appears absent from the LBA people. This seems unlikely to be a coincidence, and looks to be a sign that some of the first MBA steppic people ventured deep into the Middle East before returning admixed with Middle Easterners to colonise Armenia.
    2. There is little trace of EBA Armenians in the MBA people, but they comprise a substantial component within the LBA people. This suggests that the MBA steppic people resurging into Armenia from the South did not integrate with EBA Armenians, but that the LBA steppic people did. My suggestion is that the MBA and LBA steppic people arrived approximately together, but that the MBA people roamed further, whereas the LBA people were descended from steppics who largely remained within their Southern Caucasus refuge.
    3. I do not see any best-fit traces of Iranian within either the MBA or LBA Armenian steppic samples. Accordingly, my suggestion is that both most likely derive from people who came directly to the Southern Caucasus without gestating in Central Asia or Iran along the way.

    In each of these admixed populations, perhaps unlike in Europe, both autosomal DNA and paternal lineages of the indigenous people seem to have continued to thrive. It looks to me like the elite lineages were shared between the indigenous and steppic people, and I suspect that the steppics largely became a respected caste of mercenaries/enforcers/guards/'people herders' within ethnically mixed populations, supporting the indigenous elites. The polarised developments of the different branches of R1a-Z94 suggest that the steppics' fortunes were dependent on the fluctuating successes and failures of the general populations they supported; one branch probably conflicting with the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    It is intriguing for me that 1 of the MLBA Anatolian individuals I have data from consistently picks some small amount of steppe ancestry in the models I have tried for several BA samples of that and other regions. The other samples totally lack that component, only 1 of them does. The fits improve a bit when some steppic source is included. What's intriguing, considering the pretty early divergence of the Anatolian IE family, is that that Anatolian sample consistently prefers an early steppe input (Progress_Eneolithic) over any other when I use all kinds of steppe aDNA samples possible (Yamnaya, Eneolithic Steppe, BB, CWC, Andronovo), in addition to a larger number of non-steppic DNA samples of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early BA.

    [1] "distance%=2.1477 / distance=0.021477"
    Anatolia_MLBA:MA2203
    Anatolia_EBA_Ovaoren 46.80
    Greece_N 31.05
    Sarazm_Eneolithic 7.65
    Levant_N 5.75
    Armenia_ChL 5.20
    RUS_Progress_Eneolithic 3.55
    My objections:

    The location of this sample is pretty good but it is from 1750–1500 BC. Also given the widespread distribution of Anatolian languages i would expect ~%15-20 steppe admixture (similar to Myceneans) in all the samples.

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