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Thread: Steppe DNA South of the Caucasus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    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.
    My guess is that the lighter Steppe DNA in the Anatolian sample is mostly from a different (earlier) source.

    Mycaenean BA DNA does, however, look to be from similar source to the two Armenian clusters (MBA and LBA), indicating that Steppe-infused Caucasus DNA branched apart circa 2,000 BC in at least three directions (Middle East, Armenia and Balkans/Greece) and perhaps four (if we include Northern India).

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    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.
    Just have a look at the ADMIXTURE runs in the Anatolian Hunter-Gatherer paper (Supplement figure 1). It has both Kumtepe samples, Kumtepe 6 and Kumtepe 4. One of them looks pretty packed with Steppe ancestry. There is no doubt that is Kumtepe 4, a very low resolution sample, because the paper where they were published in makes extensively clear that Kumtepe 6 is a run of the mill Anatolian farmer.

    https://www.cell.com/current-biology...822(15)01516-X

    You can see PCA's with Kum4 that cluster with Greeks and Iberians, while Kum6 is more inclined to Sardinians. Now Kum4 is dated 5,500 - 4,800 BP. Have a look at what the Kumtepe site actually means:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumtepe

    Around 3700 BC new settlers came to Kumtepe. The people of this new culture, Kumtepe B, built relatively large houses with multiple rooms, sometimes a porch. They also practiced animal husbandry and agriculture. The main domestic animals were goats and sheep, bred not only for meat but for milk and wool as well. They knew lead and bronze along with copper. Shortly after 3000 BC Yassıtepe and Hisarlık (Troy) were colonized probably from Kumtepe.
    Kum4 is at the right spot and time. It is unfortunate that the sample is such low resolution that formal stats can't be done with it, otherwise the debate was over.
    Last edited by epoch; 23-06-19 at 15:50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by epoch View Post
    Just have a look at the ADMIXTURE runs in the Anatolian Hunter-Gatherer paper. It has both Kumtepe samples, Kumtepe 6 and Kumtepe 4. One of them looks pretty packed with Steppe ancestry. There is no doubt that is Kumtepe 4, a very low resolution sample, because the paper where they were published in makes extensively clear that Kumtepe 6 is a run of the mill Anatolian farmer.

    https://www.cell.com/current-biology...822(15)01516-X

    You can see PCA's with Kum4 that cluster with Greeks and Iberians, while Kum6 is more inclined to Sardinians. Now Kum4 is dated 5,500 - 4,800 BP. Have a look at what the Kumtepe site actually means:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumtepe



    Kum4 is at the right spot and time. It is unfortunate that the sample is such low resolution that formal stats can't be done with it, otherwise the debate was over.
    It does not look very clear to me for Kum4, only for Kum6. The analysis looks pretty limited, but perhaps I am misreading it.

    I have seen formal stats run for even lower resolution samples than Kum4. Perhaps they did run the stats but didn't publish, because they didn't like the answer that came out? Indeed, perhaps the Steppe ancestry even looked uncomfortably heavy? It's a curious thing that so many of the most interesting samples are low res.

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    @epoch That's very interesting. I'm not sure what to think about it though because i don't know enough about the Balkan-West Anatolian interactions except i think there were less plague and population collapse in Anatolia.
    I wonder if there are any data on skull shapes of 3700 BC Kumtepe population? If it's same with the Balkan steppe ones that would be an important evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    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.
    Even Mycenaeans might have had in fact less than ~15-20% (that's the upper reach of the estimates, not the average IIRC), and the Mycenaeans seem to have been relatively late arrivals from the steppe, speaking a LPIE dialect that shared many common lexical and grammatical innovations with Armenian, Indo-Iranian and other proto-languages that seem to correspond to some of the latest IE dialects to migrate to very far away from the steppe. I'd certainly expect the Anatolian speakers to have much less steppe ancestry by the MLBA in Anatolia. Their language seems much more archaic, i.e. having split from the PIE dialect continuum area a lot before any other, maybe even as early as the Eneolithic in the 5th millennium B.C., and it might have split off and started mixing with non-steppic populations more than a millennium before the steppic ancestors of the Mycenaeans, and that's if the Proto-Anatolians speakers of Early PIE were indeed fully "steppic" autosomally, and not something else. Add to that that those Proto-Anatolian speakers then went on to live and develop in some of the most populated areas of the world back then, either first Southeast Europe or Transcaucasia, and later Anatolia, so their steppic ancestry would've been very diluted since a long time before the Proto-Greeks even existed. So, I honestly don't expect Anatolian Indo-Europeans of the MLBA, even if their language really had origins in a steppic population, to have more than 10% of Steppe_Eneolithic ancestry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Even Mycenaeans might have had in fact less than ~15-20% (that's the upper reach of the estimates, not the average IIRC), and the Mycenaeans seem to have been relatively late arrivals from the steppe, speaking a LPIE dialect that shared many common lexical and grammatical innovations with Armenian, Indo-Iranian and other proto-languages that seem to correspond to some of the latest IE dialects to migrate to very far away from the steppe. I'd certainly expect the Anatolian speakers to have much less steppe ancestry by the MLBA in Anatolia. Their language seems much more archaic, i.e. having split from the PIE dialect continuum area a lot before any other, maybe even as early as the Eneolithic in the 5th millennium B.C., and it might have split off and started mixing with non-steppic populations more than a millennium before the steppic ancestors of the Mycenaeans, and that's if the Proto-Anatolians speakers of Early PIE were indeed fully "steppic" autosomally, and not something else. Add to that that those Proto-Anatolian speakers then went on to live and develop in some of the most populated areas of the world back then, either first Southeast Europe or Transcaucasia, and later Anatolia, so their steppic ancestry would've been very diluted since a long time before the Proto-Greeks even existed. So, I honestly don't expect Anatolian Indo-Europeans of the MLBA, even if their language really had origins in a steppic population, to have more than 10% of Steppe_Eneolithic ancestry.
    As a hypothesis this makes sense to me. Steppe IE comes to Balkans, mix with locals, steppe admixture gets diluted, then with minority steppe admixture they move to Anatolia and mix with locals there. In this case they might have even less than %3-5 steppe ancestry. This would require heavy immigration from Balkans to Anatolia though since Anatolia was quite populated and developed i don't believe elite dominance model would work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Even Mycenaeans might have had in fact less than ~15-20% (that's the upper reach of the estimates, not the average IIRC), and the Mycenaeans seem to have been relatively late arrivals from the steppe, speaking a LPIE dialect that shared many common lexical and grammatical innovations with Armenian, Indo-Iranian and other proto-languages that seem to correspond to some of the latest IE dialects to migrate to very far away from the steppe.
    It depends what is meant by Steppe ancestry. Mycenaeans most likely had a bit of steppic DNA derived from a variety of sources (direct and indirect) at various times - the older sources (via Central Anatolia and the Suvorovo, almost completely diluted away), then some Cernavoda, then some Yamnaya, then some South Caucasus. In total, as you suggest, a steppic component of probably less than 15%. I wouldn't categorise Mycenaeans as arrivals from the Steppe - for the most part they were already there in Greece; but they appear to have been catalysed by incoming semi-steppic people with genetic links to the same South Caucasians that spread across the Middle East from around 2,200 BC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    I'd certainly expect the Anatolian speakers to have much less steppe ancestry by the MLBA in Anatolia. Their language seems much more archaic, i.e. having split from the PIE dialect continuum area a lot before any other, maybe even as early as the Eneolithic in the 5th millennium B.C., and it might have split off and started mixing with non-steppic populations more than a millennium before the steppic ancestors of the Mycenaeans, and that's if the Proto-Anatolians speakers of Early PIE were indeed fully "steppic" autosomally, and not something else.
    Again, Anatolians most likely had some steppic DNA derived from a variety of sources over time - some archaic (heavily diluted), some Eneolithic, and some Bronze Age. Given both their genetics and language, as you indicate, I suspect their main source of steppic ancestry (heavily diluted) was pre-Bronze Age and largely unrelated to the Mycenaeans, and I doubt the Proto-Anatolian speakers of early PIE were fully steppic autosomally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Add to that that those Proto-Anatolian speakers then went on to live and develop in some of the most populated areas of the world back then, either first Southeast Europe or Transcaucasia, and later Anatolia, so their steppic ancestry would've been very diluted since a long time before the Proto-Greeks even existed. So, I honestly don't expect Anatolian Indo-Europeans of the MLBA, even if their language really had origins in a steppic population, to have more than 10% of Steppe_Eneolithic ancestry.
    Yes, although you can see that degrees of dilution varied hugely so it cannot always be assumed. Some examples:
    1. Steppic people going South of the Caucasus/Caspian during the Bronze Age - in the Middle East, their DNA appears to have been more heavily diluted (due to integration?); in Northern India, less so (due to separation by caste?).
    2. Steppic people going into Europe during the Chalcolithic - in SE Europe/Balkans, heavily diluted; in SW Europe, less diluted; in N Europe, less diluted still. To the extent that the steppic people separated, thrived and then admixed with each other, dilution did not occur to anywhere near the same degree.

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    Returning to what seems to be the most lasting/influential Steppe DNA insertion South of the Caucasus (probably late third millennium BC), it looks like it branched widely in four directions:
    1. South towards Arabia and/or the Levant
    2. Mainly remaining around the Southern Caucasus (Armenia/N Iran), then later spreading South
    3. Back through the Steppe towards Balkans/Greece
    4. East into Pakistan and Northern India

    Different paternal lineages appear to have dominated each branch, but each seems to have had a similar autosomal mix of Bronze Age Steppe and South Caucasus components.

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