mtDNA haplogroup V7 from ~5,000-year old kurgan of the Novosvobodnaya culture


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Acta Naturae. 2014 Apr-Jun; 6(2): 31–35.

Analysis of the Mitochondrial Genome of a Novosvobodnaya Culture Representative using Next-Generation Sequencing and Its Relation to the Funnel Beaker Culture

A. V. Nedoluzhko et al.

The Novosvobodnaya culture is known as a Bronze Age archaeological culture in the North Caucasus region of Southern Russia. It dates back to the middle of the 4th millennium B.C. and seems to have occurred during the time of the Maikop culture. There are now two hypotheses about the emergence of the Novosvobodnaya culture. One hypothesis suggests that the Novosvobodnaya culture was a phase of the Maikop culture, whereas the other one classifies it as an independent event based on the material culture items found in graves. Comparison between Novosvobodnaya pottery and Funnelbeaker (TRB) pottery from Germany has allowed researchers to suggest that the Novosvobodnaya culture developed under the influence of Indo-European culture. Nevertheless, the origin of the Novosvobodnaya culture remains a matter of debate. We applied next-generation sequencing to study ~5000-year-old human remains from the Klady kurgan grave in Novosvobodnaya stanitsa (now the Republic of Adygea, Russia). A total of 58,771,105 reads were generated using Illumina GAIIx with a coverage depth of 13.4x over the mitochondrial (mt) DNA genome. The mtDNA haplogroup affiliation was determined as V7, suggesting a role of the TRB culture in the development of the Novosvobodnaya culture and supporting the model of sharing between Novosvobodnaya and early Indo-European cultures.
This is the first mtDNA sample from the Novosvobodnaya culture, which is closely related to the Maykop culture.

I am not surprised of V7 there. Remember that in Identifying the original Indo-European mtDNA from isolated settlements, I mentioned that V7 (particularly V7a) and V15 were the only V subclades that could be confirmed to be of Indo-European origin based on their distribution in Europe and Asia. This is the first solid confirmation that haplogroup V was found among Early Bronze Age steppe people.
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