Did Milk help the Indo-European expansion?

Mmiikkii

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We know that Paleolithic and Neolithic Western Europeans were lactose intolerant, as well as many Eastern Europeans who were not R1.
But an study showed that among Yamnayas, for example, 94% were clearly milk drinkers.

It's already well studied that the key to their success came from the ability to produce bronze swords, as well as domesticate horses and wagons that allowed them to travel long distances in relatively large groups.

But what about Milk(dairy in general)? Milk is both a source of Calcium and Proteins that is available largely all the year. It doesn't take the amount of effort or resources to get than meat or fruit for example.
Milk is also a varied nutrient food, we even need it to survive when we are children. When we're babies we don't eat any other thing.
It neither depends on abundant rains or warm seasons, which may have been a survival advantage in Europe during all the millenia previous to the Industrialization of Agriculture. It rather depends on the hormonal and reproductive cycles of cows. And their fats apart from giving meat, make them resist harsh winters in Central and Northern Europe.

Thus, I ask myself if Milk can be considered some sort of 'staple food' like wheat or rice. One that widely expands through different regions, and is easily obtainable and fulfill the needs of large segments of the population.
 
We know that Paleolithic and Neolithic Western Europeans were lactose intolerant, as well as many Eastern Europeans who were not R1.
But an study showed that among Yamnayas, for example, 94% were clearly milk drinkers.

It's already well studied that the key to their success came from the ability to produce bronze swords, as well as domesticate horses and wagons that allowed them to travel long distances in relatively large groups.

But what about Milk(dairy in general)? Milk is both a source of Calcium and Proteins that is available largely all the year. It doesn't take the amount of effort or resources to get than meat or fruit for example.
Milk is also a varied nutrient food, we even need it to survive when we are children. When we're babies we don't eat any other thing.
It neither depends on abundant rains or warm seasons, which may have been a survival advantage in Europe during all the millenia previous to the Industrialization of Agriculture. It rather depends on the hormonal and reproductive cycles of cows. And their fats apart from giving meat, make them resist harsh winters in Central and Northern Europe.

Thus, I ask myself if Milk can be considered some sort of 'staple food' like wheat or rice. One that widely expands through different regions, and is easily obtainable and fulfill the needs of large segments of the population.

When we are babies we are supposed to be eating human milk.
And also lactose tolerance is not important for societes that have the knowledge to create e.g. cheese or yogurt.
 
Plant based foods will generally be easier to cultivate than animal and they alone create the possibility of generating surpluses which is why civilisations developed only after the adoption of farming which is primarily cultivation of plant based foods (wheat grasses, rice and maize) and accessorily animal husbandry both for primary (meat) and secondary usage (clothing, transportation, farming and milk/cheese). All humans lose the enzyme to process lactose because once mammals are weaned off maternal milk, they no longer need to ingest it as a food source. It's just that certain populations developed lactase persistence due to their cultural practice of ingesting milk. It's not a staple food for humans.
 
Plant based foods will generally be easier to cultivate than animal and they alone create the possibility of generating surpluses which is why civilisations developed only after the adoption of farming which is primarily cultivation of plant based foods (wheat grasses, rice and maize) and accessorily animal husbandry both for primary (meat) and secondary usage (clothing, transportation, farming and milk/cheese). All humans lose the enzyme to process lactose because once mammals are weaned off maternal milk, they no longer need to ingest it as a food source. It's just that certain populations developed lactase persistence due to their cultural practice of ingesting milk. It's not a staple food for humans.

wheat based agriculture and domestication of the animals developped around the same time but independent of each other
wheat based agriculture developped in the Levant giving way to the PPNA right after the youngest dryas (11,5 ka)
domestication of goat, sheep, pig and cattle happened in the Eastern Taurus Mts during the final stages of the youngest dryas
PPNB is the result of the farmers merging with the herders around 10,5 ka
probably dairy products were made using baskets and cloth
but when pottery was introduced in SW Asia around 9 ka, they used clay sieves and they expanded very rapidly into western Anatolia and across the Aegean

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dairy products were probably produced during PPNB and maybe even earlier
 
We know that Paleolithic and Neolithic Western Europeans were lactose intolerant, as well as many Eastern Europeans who were not R1.
But an study showed that among Yamnayas, for example, 94% were clearly milk drinkers.
It's already well studied that the key to their success came from the ability to produce bronze swords, as well as domesticate horses and wagons that allowed them to travel long distances in relatively large groups.
But what about Milk(dairy in general)? Milk is both a source of Calcium and Proteins that is available largely all the year. It doesn't take the amount of effort or resources to get than meat or fruit for example.
Milk is also a varied nutrient food, we even need it to survive when we are children. When we're babies we don't eat any other thing.
It neither depends on abundant rains or warm seasons, which may have been a survival advantage in Europe during all the millenia previous to the Industrialization of Agriculture. It rather depends on the hormonal and reproductive cycles of cows. And their fats apart from giving meat, make them resist harsh winters in Central and Northern Europe.
Thus, I ask myself if Milk can be considered some sort of 'staple food' like wheat or rice. One that widely expands through different regions, and is easily obtainable and fulfill the needs of large segments of the population.

Every study I've ever seen shows that the people of the Pontic Caspian steppe were lactose intolerant, as shown by the absence of the lactase mutations.

Could you produce a link to the study you reference?

That's completely different from saying they consumed dairy products. So did the Neolithic people, and Mongolians. That indicates to me they were either fermenting it for yoghurt or making cheese. B

Later on, perhaps with admixture further west it changed.

Which
 
Sorry, the paper referenced was discussed in another thread. I spoke to the authors of the original paper.

The ancient people sampled by them did not possess the gene for lactase persistence.

The Yamnaya were not lactose tolerant.

It is true that at a certain point, before they headed east once again, they started consuming dairy products, but then so did Neolithic farmers. They just consumed them in a form with less lactose.

It's a good idea always to go to the source, and not rely on the garbled information in newspaper articles, especially papers like The Daily Mail.
 
[FONT=&quot]The first sample with the lactase persistence gene is a R1a-Z93 guy from Ukraine. Also it may be instructive that the word for butter comes from a Greek term meaning ‘cow-cheese’, indicating the ancient Greeks did not make cheese with milk from cows.[/FONT]
 
To the best of my recollection there were very ancient samples from Iberia which also had the lactase persistence allele. However, I can't seem to find it in my files. Regardless, a few stray mutations are not going to tell us the story.

The facts are clear. One: there is lactose in all forms of animal milk, including the milk of sheep and goats and horses. Two: the early Neolithic farmers brought cows with them to the Balkans, and dairy residue from those cows has been found in containers. Three: even in Mongolia, it was found that the people ate a dairy like substance while lacking the lactase persistence gene.

The old story so beloved of internet hobbyists that the steppe people had an advantage when first moving west because they were lactose tolerant and could drink milk on the move, so to speak, has no basis in fact. We have dozens of samples from these people and they did not carry the lactase persistence gene. Everything we currently know about lactase persistence tells us that without at least one copy of that gene drinking milk from any animal would be a very bad idea, weakening instead of strengthening people.

I deliberately checked with the authors of the paper by e-mail to clarify whether or not they had any new evidence concerning this topic. They don't. All they know is that the steppe people who moved east back into Central Asia consumed dairy products. Period. That doesn't tell us whether they had the gene, because they didn't test it. It also has nothing to tell us about the habits of the steppe people when they first moved west.

This is what happens when reporters post stories about topics they don't understand, and those stories are then taken up by people who themselves wish to see the data in a certain way.

What happened after these people left the steppe, when the lactase persistence gene rose in frequency, we don't know. What we do know from the British paper is that apparently it rose to prominence very quickly in Britain, but on the continent it rose much more slowly. My best guess for the reason is perhaps a founder effect in Britain, where it came in very handy given the climate, since regular farming was not very successful, but all that rain leading to lots of grass was very good for cows and thus for dairying.
 
Allentoft et al. (2015) first reported a low allele frequency (5%) of the rs4988235-A allele in Bronze Age Europeans, but a higher frequency (∼25%) among Bronze Age samples from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, indicating a possible Steppe origin of lactase persistence. The Mail article's basic assumption that the LP gene originated in the Steppes is based on the study (Allentoft et al. 2015), which has been widely circulated and discussed in the media. The follow-up study (Burger et al. 2020) did not come to my attention until very recently and most British journalists may have missed it, too.

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A recent study by Burger et al. (2020) subsequently found that the rs4988235-A allele was rare in Steppe populations of the Early Bronze Age and it was still at low frequency in the CWC individuals with predominantly Yamnaya ancestry (0.018). If it is really the case, the lifestyle change introduced by the Yamnaya likely contributed to the increase in the LP allele in Late Bronze Age Europe.

The Yamnaya community was regularly consuming dairy that could have included fresh milk and other processed products with reduced lactose, such as yogurts, cheeses or fermented milk beverages with or without the LP allele. During the fermentation process, horse milk loses all lactose properties, and thus people who are lactose intolerant can drink it quite safely. The lactase persistence allele rose to appreciable frequency about a millennium earlier in Britain than in central Europe due to a greater reliance on pastoralism in Britain than in Central Europe in the LBA and IA (Patterson et al. 2021).


We could not detect the rs4988235-A allele among any of these samples (n = 37), suggesting that the frequency of this allele was very low, possibly close to zero, and almost certainly lower than the 5.4% previously reported for a geographically, culturally, and temporally diverse sample with “Steppe ancestry” [2]. Additionally, we re-analyzed published data from the Eastern European steppe area (5,600–4,300 BP) and that of the Corded Ware Culture in Central and North-eastern Europe (4,900–4,300 BP)—based on pseudo-haploid random allele picking—obtaining frequencies of 0% and 1.8%, respectively; this corresponds to a single LP-associated allele in 92 individuals (Table 1). Although these estimates are not directly informative about the origin of the rs4988235-A allele, they appear inconsistent with a major contribution of the Steppe-associated expansion to the high frequencies observed after the Bronze Age in Europe.

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(20)31187-8
 
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The Daily Mail article clearly states the following:

"Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, studied ancient tartar — the remnants of meals in the plaque on people's teeth — and discovered proteins still preserved within it.This allowed them to identify which ancient individuals consumed milk, yoghurt and cheese, and which did not.
Their results surprised them. 'The pattern was incredibly strong,' said the study's lead author Dr Shevan Wilkin."

So, it would seem it has nothing to do with the 2015 Allentoft paper.

Instead, they are talking about a paper discussed on another thread.

See:
Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions | Nature

If you follow the link you will see the same illustrations.

These are the authors whom I contacted and the discussions were as I described. No testing for the presence of the lactase persistence genes was done.

There is no way they could tell whether there was any actual milk drinking. All they were able to tell was that the western steppe people started consuming dairy at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age. As I have also pointed out, the Neolithic peoples had been doing that for thousands of years already.

From the paper:

"The earliest samples in our study (about 4600 to 4000 BC) are from 5 Eneolithic sites in southwestern Russia located on or close to the Volga River and its tributaries. Of the samples from these 19 individuals, 11 were successfully extracted and well-preserved, and 10 of these did not show any evidence for dairy consumption (Figs. 1a, 2a). The calculus of one individual contained two peptides specific to bovine (Bos, Bubalis and Bison) α-S1-casein, a milk curd protein. However, as the only dietary peptides contained in this sample were specific to casein and evidence for the most commonly recovered dairy protein β-lactoglobulin (BLG) was lacking, dairy consumption in this individual could not be confidently confirmed.

"
For the Early Bronze Age individuals (dating to the onset of the Yamnaya cultural horizon), dairy peptides were recovered from 15 of the 16 individual calculus samples we analysed (Fig. 1b, 2b). All 15 individuals with positive dairy results contained multiple peptide spectral matches to ruminant dairy proteins (including BLG), and some individuals also contained α-S1 casein, α-S2-casein or both. Although many of the milk peptides were only specific to higher taxonomic levels (such as Pecora, an infraorder within Artiodactyla (cow, sheep, goat, buffalo, yak, reindeer, deer and antelope)), others enabled more specific taxonomic classifications, including to family, genus or species. We found Ovis, Capra and Bos attributions, and the calculus of many individuals contained dairy peptides from several species. Notably, we identified Equus milk peptides from the protein BLGI in 2 of 17 Early Bronze Age individuals, both from the southwestern site of Krivyanskiy 9 (3305 to 2633 calibrated years BC (Supplementary Table 5 provides individual accelerator mass spectrometry dating information)). Although the genus Equus includes horse, donkey and kiang, only horse species (E. caballus, E. przewalskii, Equus hemionus and Equus ferus) are archaeologically attested in the steppe in the Early Bronze Age, supporting the Equus identification as horse."

"Our findings suggest that regular dairy consumption in the Pontic–Caspian Steppe began only at the time of the Eneolithic-to-Early Bronze Age transition. Although neighbouring Eneolithic farming populations in Europe appear to have been dairying39, those living across the steppe frontier did not adopt milking practices, which suggests the presence of a cultural frontier. The proteomic data are in broad agreement with findings from lipid analyses in the Ukraine (Supplementary Information section 2, Supplementary Table 2). They also agree with stable isotope analysis of individuals from Eneolithic-to-Bronze-Age Samara showing a corresponding shift from a heavy reliance on fish, deer and other riverine forest (C3) resources to a greater reliance on terrestrial and grassland (C3 and C4) animal products22,40."

It would therefore appear that starting in the Early Bronze Age, the western steppe people began dairying, even horse dairying. For what it's worth, to the best of my recollection, horse milk has even more lactose than cow milk.

"Our study of dental calculus from the Eneolithic site of Botai to the east, where early horse milking has been suggested by lipid analysis (albeit equivocally44), did not yield milk proteins."



Just a quick point about dairying and the presence of a lactase persistence gene. As I'm sure you know, consuming dairy products will, of course, not "give rise" to the LP alleles. The alleles must be present. Those with those alleles would do better with dairy products, being able, for instance, to drink actual milk, and thus might have a better chance of long survival particularly in areas where crops cannot be grown in the winter months. Longer survival would lead to more children, which would lead to an increase over time in the percentage of people in a certain area who carry those alleles.

As we now know, however, the rise in that percentage on the continent was very slow.

Also, I may be missing something or misreading it, but I went back to Allentoft 2015, Table 13, which gives results for alleles under selection, and for Bronze Age Steppe the figure is 0 for the Lactase Persistence gene. It is 7% for Bronze Age Europe.

Off topic, but both Bronze Age Europe and Bronze Age Steppe are 100% for derived SLC2415 depigmentation gene, but for the "European specific" SLC45A2, the steppe is at 29%, and Europe at 65%.
 
Sorry, the paper referenced was discussed in another thread. I spoke to the authors of the original paper.

The ancient people sampled by them did not possess the gene for lactase persistence.

The Yamnaya were not lactose tolerant.

It is true that at a certain point, before they headed east once again, they started consuming dairy products, but then so did Neolithic farmers. They just consumed them in a form with less lactose.

It's a good idea always to go to the source, and not rely on the garbled information in newspaper articles, especially papers like The Daily Mail.

Okey, thank you for the correction about the Yamnayas being actually lactose intolerant.
In fact, now that you say, I get from where comes the mistake.

That study said that they found remains of cheese in 94% of the analyzed individuals.

But turns out they hadn't developed the lactase persistence gene...

This is very interesting indeed. Because, we can see several populations throughout history and regions consuming dairy.

And then, tolerance for milk consumption appearing once the Neolithic has kicked off in several populations.
Different lactose adaptations in different places of the world.

I've seen that in Arabia, in the East African coast, and even like 25% could be lactose tolerant because of adaptation.
 
Milk products contain hormonal growth factors that can enhance the height of individuals in their childhood. But it also contributes to the growth of some kinds of cancer and probably diabetes.

Many milk products and cheeses are lactose free, because the lactose is fermented in the ripening process: Appenzeller, Cheddar, Old Gouda, Parmesan for example. The longer the cheese has ripened, the lesser lactose.
Also yogurt is often very low in lactose or free, if it is sour/ripened for example Ayran.

When a population knows how to ferment the lactose, there is no need to be lactose tolerant.
I also don’t know any old steppe sample that is lactose tolerant. All the so called Indo European samples that are lactose tolerant, had contact to northern or eastern European Neolithic cultures.

There is also a study mentioning lactose tolerance in Basque Country Neolithic: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22234158/

The first sample with the lactase persistence gene is a R1a-Z93 guy from Ukraine. Also it may be instructive that the word for butter comes from a Greek term meaning ‘cow-cheese’, indicating the ancient Greeks did not make cheese with milk from cows.

Could you post the link to the sample and his age?
 
I also don’t know any old steppe sample that is lactose tolerant. All the so called Indo European samples that are lactose tolerant, had contact to northern or eastern European Neolithic cultures. [/FONT][/COLOR]

There is also a study mentioning lactose tolerance in Basque Country Neolithic: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22234158/



Could you post the link to the sample and his age?

It is confirmed, Neolithic populations were already going through an evolution to tolerate lactose.

But you get it wrong, the article says that in the Neolithic, was still significantly lower than in modern Basques. So, it was increased by the Corded Ware, Bell Beaker migrations.
 
According to the literature I read in the last years, Bell Beaker started in Iberia and came later in contact to Steppe Migration and build up a cultural amalgam. Bell Beaker style is not of a Steppe origin, but later Steppe was integrated.

There is no evidence for lactose tolerance in Steppe so the Corded Ware people where likely to get their lactose tolerance from neolithic cultures like Funnel Beaker (Gökhem2).

I do not deny that Indo-European migration could have been the source of the spread of lactose tolerance, but I disagree with the idea that they had been the ancestral genetic carries of that allele.
The ancestral source of lactose tolerance is European, not Steppe in my opinion.
 
Milk products contain hormonal growth factors that can enhance the height of individuals in their childhood. But it also contributes to the growth of some kinds of cancer and probably diabetes.

Many milk products and cheeses are lactose free, because the lactose is fermented in the ripening process: Appenzeller, Cheddar, Old Gouda, Parmesan for example. The longer the cheese has ripened, the lesser lactose.
Also yogurt is often very low in lactose or free, if it is sour/ripened for example Ayran.

When a population knows how to ferment the lactose, there is no need to be lactose tolerant.
I also don’t know any old steppe sample that is lactose tolerant. All the so called Indo European samples that are lactose tolerant, had contact to northern or eastern European Neolithic cultures.

There is also a study mentioning lactose tolerance in Basque Country Neolithic: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22234158/



Could you post the link to the sample and his age?

Well, long aged cheeses are not "entirely" lactose free, but close to it, like aged parmigiano reggiano, for example. I didn't know that about Ayran; no wonder Turks drink it.

If I had to guess, I think the mutation took off somewhere in central Europe in some Neolithic farming community, but it's just a guess, although there was a paper a long time ago that did center in on that area.

It's still mysterious why the growth was so slow on the continent but so quick in the British Isles, or perhaps it was just a function of the fact that farming was less successful there. My recollection of it is poor, but was the spurt in LP persistence pre or post the 800-500 BC population crash in Britain?

I do love cheese, and butter, but dairy consumption is not an unalloyed blessing; there are negative health consequences as well. As someone said above, baby humans are supposed to drink human milk, not ruminant animal milk. An over consumption of it as adults, just because some of us can doesn't necessarily mean we should.
 
Also, I may be missing something or misreading it, but I went back to Allentoft 2015, Table 13, which gives results for alleles under selection, and for Bronze Age Steppe the figure is 0 for the Lactase Persistence gene. It is 7% for Bronze Age Europe.


Off topic, but both Bronze Age Europe and Bronze Age Steppe are 100% for derived SLC2415 depigmentation gene, but for the "European specific" SLC45A2, the steppe is at 29%, and Europe at 65%.

Another study by Segurel et al. (2020) also found no LP individual directly associated with the Yamnaya herders (S1 Table). The data are taken from David Reich Lab that is responsible for the controversial Steppe migration theory. The forum owner presented a grand theory in an archived thread that the Bashkirs could represent the last leftovers from PIE R1b subclades such as R1b-M73 or R1b1a1a1 (0% to 55%) and R1b-M269 or R1b1a1a2 (0% to 84%). Looking at these R1b subclades, the Yamnaya were almost identical with the Bashkirs who always drink tea with milk like the British do.

nacionalnij-kostyum-bashkir-opisanie-osobennosti-i-istoriya-vozniknoveniya.jpg


In summary, the −13.910*T allele was first seen in Central Europe 5,950 years ago. Given that most samples around that time do not carry evidence for any steppe ancestry, it is difficult to infer whether it originated in Yamnaya-associated cultures or in European farmers. Regardless, the T allele quickly spread across Eurasia during the late Bronze Age (first appearance at 3,713 BP in Central Asia), which is concomitant with the expansion of Yamnaya-associated cultures. This suggests that steppe populations might have contributed to the spread of the T allele across and outside Europe. This hypothesis is further supported by the fact that the −13.910*T allele is currently found at elevated frequency in Europe and North India (Fig 2), the two places where Yamnaya-associated populations are known to have left some genetic legacy [46]. The T allele then strongly increased in frequency in Europe (reaching 31% in average in the 3,000 BP to present day period) while remaining low in Central Asia (6%), likely reflecting differences in selective pressures between populations.


S1 Table
Contextual information on the ancient samples used for the spatiotemporal analysis of the −13.910*T allele frequency (consisting of 1,434 individuals, of which 874 had enough coverage to call genotypes and thus were used to infer the frequency of LP).


The data are taken from David Reich Lab’s website [58], to which we added information for 3 additional newer publications [28,46,59]. The number in the “rs4988235” column corresponds to the number of reference allele at the −13.910 position (thus 0 means the alternative T allele, and 2 means the reference C allele). This is the information used in Fig 2 and S1 Fig. The last column (“LP status”) gives the phenotypic status of each individual based on its genotype at all reads (see Methods). This is the information used in S2 Fig.



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7302802/#pbio.3000742.s003
 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59741723

Bold is mine.

(...)
"Also intriguing is the new study's finding that there was a rapid increase - during the Iron Age - in the frequency of a gene variant for digesting raw milk, something that's commonly known as lactose tolerance.

'It remains rare in Britain until the middle of the Iron Age, about 2,500 years ago. It's incredibly recent in evolutionary terms. In order for it to have gone from nothing to almost everybody in that period of time, your ability to digest raw milk must have been life or death,' said Tom Booth.

'Adding to this whole craziness to some extent is that it becomes common in Britain 1,000 years before it becomes common elsewhere in Northern Europe.'

He added: 'One of the leading possibilities is maybe that Britain went through a period of catastrophe like a famine or difficulty acquiring clean water sources. Then, what raw milk does is supply you with a clean source of hydration and food at the same time. Potentially, all you need are cows or sheep and you can make it through a disaster like that.'"
(...)
 
Another study by Segurel et al. (2020) also found no LP individual directly associated with the Yamnaya herders (S1 Table). The data are taken from David Reich Lab that is responsible for the controversial Steppe migration theory. The forum owner presented a grand theory in an archived thread that the Bashkirs could represent the last leftovers from PIE R1b subclades such as R1b-M73 or R1b1a1a1 (0% to 55%) and R1b-M269 or R1b1a1a2 (0% to 84%). Looking at these R1b subclades, the Yamnaya were almost identical with the Bashkirs who always drink tea with milk like the British do.

nacionalnij-kostyum-bashkir-opisanie-osobennosti-i-istoriya-vozniknoveniya.jpg


In summary, the −13.910*T allele was first seen in Central Europe 5,950 years ago. Given that most samples around that time do not carry evidence for any steppe ancestry, it is difficult to infer whether it originated in Yamnaya-associated cultures or in European farmers. Regardless, the T allele quickly spread across Eurasia during the late Bronze Age (first appearance at 3,713 BP in Central Asia), which is concomitant with the expansion of Yamnaya-associated cultures. This suggests that steppe populations might have contributed to the spread of the T allele across and outside Europe. This hypothesis is further supported by the fact that the −13.910*T allele is currently found at elevated frequency in Europe and North India (Fig 2), the two places where Yamnaya-associated populations are known to have left some genetic legacy [46]. The T allele then strongly increased in frequency in Europe (reaching 31% in average in the 3,000 BP to present day period) while remaining low in Central Asia (6%), likely reflecting differences in selective pressures between populations.


S1 Table
Contextual information on the ancient samples used for the spatiotemporal analysis of the −13.910*T allele frequency (consisting of 1,434 individuals, of which 874 had enough coverage to call genotypes and thus were used to infer the frequency of LP).


The data are taken from David Reich Lab’s website [58], to which we added information for 3 additional newer publications [28,46,59]. The number in the “rs4988235” column corresponds to the number of reference allele at the −13.910 position (thus 0 means the alternative T allele, and 2 means the reference C allele). This is the information used in Fig 2 and S1 Fig. The last column (“LP status”) gives the phenotypic status of each individual based on its genotype at all reads (see Methods). This is the information used in S2 Fig.



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7302802/#pbio.3000742.s003

I've been pointing out since the beginning that the steppe people did NOT possess the LP allele, and that people can consume dairy products without it. Italians, for example, eat a lot of cheese, and a lot of them don't have it.

As for the Bashkirs, perhaps they have the LP gene, and perhaps they don't. We have no data on that to my knowledge. If they do, there's no need for them to have gotten it from steppe people. The gene eventually spread all over Europe. Plus, putting a little bit of milk in your tea is not going to send you running for the bathroom. I'm allergic to milk proteins (despite having two copies of the LP allele), and even I can add milk to my tea and coffee, or even drink a cappuccino once in a while.

It would seem to me that if there is no evidence of the LP allele in Bronze Age steppe people, contrary to your prior assertion, and it existed in European Bronze Age people living at the same time, the odds would be higher that it first started spreading in people with no steppe, although that's only playing the odds.

I also pointed out upthread that other than Britain, the LP allele only started spreading widely in Europe in the Iron Age. That's thousands of years after the spread of the steppe people into Europe.

As for the steppe migration theory being controversial, it's only controversial among fringe amateurs on the internet. People should be cautious about what they read. Academic papers are not always flawless, but they're better in the vast majority of cases than "theories" thought up by amateurs with an ax to grind. In addition, every academic population genetics lab in the world believes in the "steppe migration theory". We're far beyond it being just some wild idea concocted by the Reich Lab.
 
It would seem to me that if there is no evidence of the LP allele in Bronze Age steppe people, contrary to your prior assertion, and it existed in European Bronze Age people living at the same time, the odds would be higher that it first started spreading in people with no steppe, although that's only playing the odds..

Not necessarily without steppe ancestry, but it is the most likely it happened in Europe.
For example, in Britain(where we have the most genomes). Lactase persistence genes spread rapidly about 500 BC a new paper has said.
Honestly, I would like to know more of what happens between the IE expansion and the rise of the Romans. 2000 years!!!!

https://phys.org/news/2021-12-harvard-geneticists-ancient-britain-insights.amp
 

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