Neolithic Refuge and Continuity in Transylvania

But that's not what we see. L618 xV13 appears to be practically extinct in Europe and only exists North Africa and recently Iraq and the Caucuses. This is what makes these samples surprising

We have no dense sampling yet and actually, most of the samples of modern E-L618 seem to be from Western-Central Europe. It is not that much more common anywhere else but Anatolia-Caucasus. What we don't know, since not enough have tested with the BigY, whether they all belong to the already known branches or would form new branches.
Would be great to have more BigY/NGS results for all the E-L618 carriers, to find out how the Western-Central European, Eastern European, South Eastern European, Anatolian-Caucasus and Near Eastern-North African samples connect to each other.
If I'm not mistaken, one of the Varna samples was kind of ancestral to the Egyptian, suggesting rather a movement from the Aegean to Egypt, rather than vice versa.
We have no dense sampling yet and actually, most of the samples of modern E-L618 seem to be from Western-Central Europe. It is not that much more common anywhere else but Anatolia-Caucasus. What we don't know, since not enough have tested with the BigY, whether they all belong to the already known branches or would form new branches.
Would be great to have more BigY/NGS results for all the E-L618 carriers, to find out how the Western-Central European, Eastern European, South Eastern European, Anatolian-Caucasus and Near Eastern-North African samples connect to each other.
If I'm not mistaken, one of the Varna samples was kind of ancestral to the Egyptian, suggesting rather a movement from the Aegean to Egypt, rather than vice versa.
Most modern L618 xV13 is North African, mainly the Egyptian and Algerian clusters. There are a few Italian samples and a few other European samples.

The Egyptian cluster is not linked to any ancient samples so far though the Varna sample is shown as ancestral to the Algerian cluster on FTDNA. Ancient North Africa is still severely undertested especially compared to Europe with 1000s of ancient DNA samples, so we cannot properly evaluate these clusters until we have sufficient data from North Africa.
Ah, it was the Algerian. Well, concerning the Egyptian cluster, keep in mind that its from a scientific paper and not individual testers. Countries like Germany are overall not well-tested, other European countries even worse. We saw how much from the small population of Sardinia emerged, with a larger sample. Its really hard to predict how the E-L618 phylogeny before E-V13 can be grouped, without more samples.
If its about ancient DNA, we definitely need more from Egypt and the Southern Levante-Arabia, especially if talking about E-M35/E-M78.
Next E-V13 batch should come from Trebenista Culture around Ohrid Lake. 😉
According to Pribislav:

If correct, and he usually is, this is an interesting turn of events. E-L618 being confirmed to be fairly widespread in Europe, due to the new FF assignments and a lot more basal testers from e.g. England, Lithuania, basically all over Europe - and we got the ancient DNA samples from Varna, Usatovo and BA Crete.

Kind of a bummer for our E-V13 quest, but interesting nonetheless.

i don't from where he got the bam files

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Confirms him, they put the Bilsk samples into E-L618 too. The Gothic sample is E-Z5017, the Thracian Hallstatt being basal in their assignment as well.
Confirms him, they put the Bilsk samples into E-L618 too. The Gothic sample is E-Z5017, the Thracian Hallstatt being basal in their assignment as well.

It is possible that if pribislav will get his hand
On those bams he might pull his magic and he can find more downstream branches 😉
But generally speaking yes it confirms him👍
Another Avar pre-print:

Not a lot of E-V13s, but they did an IBD analysis where the authors created 4 broad clusters and compared the new samples to previous Hungarian/Avar samples. Unsurprisingly IBD clusters form around haplogroups to a good extend even in a land that was a ethnic meat grinder of the steppe khans.

Another Avar pre-print:

Not a lot of E-V13s, but they did an IBD analysis where the authors created 4 broad clusters and compared the new samples to previous Hungarian/Avar samples. Unsurprisingly IBD clusters form around haplogroups to a good extend even in a land that was a ethnic meat grinder of the steppe khans.


Is group 1 still centered around the Szeged samples?
One of my focusses for reading recently has been Oltenia, because Oltenia is an absolutely crucial region for E-V13 in the later Bronze and entire Iron Age, without a doubt. In the Early Iron Age, we find burial rites we know from Nyirseg into Gáva in the Upper Tisza region, as well as Verbicoara in the South:
Starting with the First Iron Age, the Carpathian
and Danube space is characterised by few of the funerary discoveries. Other
types of funerary practices could be assumed that do not allow the
preservation in time of the traces, such are the dispersing of the cremated
remains, or the exposure of the dead bodies
(Vulpe, 2008: 287-272).

This custom of "leaving no traces" is typical for the North Thracians/Dacians in many periods from the later EBA to their disappeareance as an ethnic group. The ratio of burails vs. total population based upon settlement and other traces is most of the times skewed, with the population being far larger than the number of discernible burials would suggest.

Before Gáva, nearly the whole of the Danube was controlled by Encrusted Pottery lineages (high WHG, I2+G2). Quite typical and annoying, Serbian, Romanian and Bulgarian archaeologists traditionally use different names for basically the same complex and people.

Among the archaeological discoveries that are available in the actual
stage of the researches, the Gârla Mare archaeological culture (the Middle
and Late Bronze)
is evidenced, which belongs to the wider area of the
incrusted pottery groups situated on one side and another, on the middle and
inferior course of the Danube (Lazăr, 2017: 7-15). The presence of this type
on the actual territory of several river-side states, determined the
archaeologist from those countries to present, under different names, the
same archaeological phenomenon, namely the Romanians called it Gârla
Mare, the Serbians Dubovac-Žuto Brdo and the Bulgarian Novo Selo or
It is obvious that Žuto Brdo-Gârla Mare types are concentrated
along the two Danube banks, in a geographical area delimitated
approximately on the west by the Belgrade area, and on the east, by the river-
mouth of the Olt meeting the Danube.

Encrusted Pottery is easier to study, because they used cremations and inhumations, but less of the "scattering of ashes" and leaving the bones rot type of burial we see so often among the Carpatho-Balkan cremation block people (Suciu de Sus, Verbicoara, Gáva etc.).

The Encrusted Pottery groups were taken over by Channelled Ware people and customs, sometimes gradually, sometimes quickly:

The Gârla Mare type discoveries, the cremation necropolises from the
south Danube were reconsidered by Tatiana Shalganova (Shalganova, 1994:
185-195; 1995: 291-308) who believed that, in Bulgaria existed two
chronological horizons, the first represented by the classical phase of the
cultures with incrusted pottery, and the second by the grooved pottery,
specific for the Early Hallstatt.

We have a date for the end of Garla Mare/Encrusted Ptotery dominance:

In his work from 1976, Hänsel takes the debating regarding the
chronology and the periodisation of the Gârla Mare culture again, thinking
that his affirmations from 1968 could be also confirmed by the discoveries
from Balej (Bulgaria). The end of the Gârla Mare culture was considered
synchronous with the end of what he called the second horizon of the bronze
hoards, being situated around 1100 B.C.
(Hänsel, 1976: 62).

The author placed the culture Žuto Brdo-Gârla Mare in the interval situated
between approximately 1650-1250/1200 BCE, followed by the Bistreţ-
Işalniţa group that is considered the one that ended its existence around 1100
(Şandor, Chicideanu, 1986: 209-213).

Again, here like elsewhere, the appearance of Channelled Ware in the Transitional Period marks the end, note also, that this is exactly the time frame for the main E-V13 expansion phase (1.300-1.000 BC). Bistret-Islanita and Vartop mark the arrival and change towards Channelled Ware. We deal with two pulse migrations and cultural shifts, the first causint Bistret-Islanita, which still shows more Southern-Central relations and continuity, the second being Vartop, which shows a complete dominance of Gáva-related Channelled Ware:

In the 1980s, on the occasion of the digs made in the area Bistreţ –
Cârna, Ion Chicideanu identified a cultural group that the author
chronologically placed during the interval of the 13th-12th centuries BCE and
that he called Bistreţ – Işalniţa (Chicideanu, 1986: 7-47). That group was
thought to occupy the Danube meadow, from the Gorge to the mouth of Olt
River and would represent the last manifestation of the Bronze Age in that
area, being contemporary, in Banat, to the second phase of the cultural group
Cruceni-Belegiš and preceding the appearance of the Vârtop type grooved
. The mentioned author considered that this pottery group appeared
after taking some western influences of Cruceni-Belegiš type on the Gârla
Mare local cultural fund. Ion Chicideanu reunited a series of discoveries of
pottery items in the Bistreţ-Işalniţa group, similar to those from the
eponymous stations.

The author leaves the case of mass migrations and replacement events open:

The shifts of the populations from north to south might
have occurred (an inverse direction confronted to that of the cultural
influences propagated in the first half of the Bronze Age). To what extent
these discoveries reflect massive incursions or people shifting from the north-
Danube spaces or whether they are just simple occurrences of some elements
of material culture due to distance exchange is, for now, impossible to
establish. Yet, there has to be noticed, in this context, the fact that from
Kastanas to the Southern Carpathians, in a period previous to the level Troy
VII B 2, a larger area had already been shaped, defined especially through the
spreading of the kantharos type vessel, frequently met in all the cultures of
the Late Bronze from this wide region (Petrescu-Dîmboviţa, 2010: 281-282).
In Oltenia, the presence of such kantharoi is also seen in the Govora
group (Verbicioara IV-Va) and rarely in the Gârla Mare area, and in
Muntenia, in the late phases of the Tei culture and in the area of the
Zimnicea-Plovdiv type pottery. Nonetheless, the area of that ceramic type is
not extended much to the west of the river Olt, but it encompasses Muntenia
especially and the south-eastern region of Romania. Once the spreading of
the grooved pottery, that is dependent to a certain type of forms, goes beyond
the eastern line of the Olt River, the forms characteristic for the anterior stage

The crossing of Channelled of the Olt from West to East is a watershed, it marks the Channelled Ware influence being spilled over the Eastern Balkans:


One can easy see how groups from the North moved along the Old and then crossed it from West to East.
Overall, the author once more doesn't like the idea of a mass migration, yet if looking at the details:

From the analysed period, in the north of the Danube, tumular
constructions that incontestably contain tombs in the traditional meaning of
the word have not been found. The situation from Vârtop presents
similarities, but on a smaller scale, with the tumulus from Susani.

Vartop and Susani are both sites and groups which represent Gáva-related expansions into the South, into Oltenia and the Banat, respectively.

This is a highlight:

The attributing of the calcined bones, found in the Vârtop tumulus, to
a cremated human body is just hypothetical in the lack of some osteological
analyses. The lack of the bones, due to the soil acidity, is possible and it was
met especially in the case of the inhumation tombs. However, it is known that
the burned bones have an increased resistance to the acidity of the soil,
particularly if they are deposited in urn. In these conditions emerges the
question if somehow those tumuli represented another type of archaeological
monument, other than that called “tomb”, for their funerary function.
Obviously, the total lack of the bones makes us think about the cenotaphs,
but it is possible to talk about a special character deposit, with cultic role, of
In the tumulus from Susani, there might be a similar situation, such is
the lack of a certitude regarding the human bones (there had not been found
calcined bones and discovery of a skeleton in a certain area of the tumulus
cannot be attributed to the Hallstattian period) (Vulpe, 1995: 81-88). There is
no evidence concerning the function of the tumulus from Susani, the opinion
expressed by the authors of the dig, according to which it is a funerary
monument, is based only on analogies and the logic of the interpretation. Yet,
it is obvious that the discovery has a cultic character (this is the first
interpretation given at the UISPP Congress from Belgrade, in 1971) and it is
very plausible to be related to the funerary practices, but it is not necessary to
be regarded as a tomb in the proper meaning of the term that implies the
deposit of the dead body.

Such a usage of huge tumuli, which are kind of cultic constructions and "empty tombs" being well attested from Lapus II-Gáva, with some of the biggest tumuli built in the LBA, but without a proper burial, human remains. It was a collective cultic construction for rituals, it was no proper burial, with the remains of the deceased being dispersed otherwise. This being something later documented for Dacians a well.
And its also remarkable, if following the Olt, the moving people of Lapus II-Gáva could have simply moved along the river South!

That's a great parallel and highly important.

Different dimension tumuli were identified in “Togul Nemţilor” spot
(Kacsó, 2011), at Bicaz, Maramureş County, in the region called “Ţara
Codrului”. The investigation, carried out in one of the tumuli, proved that
they date from the same period, as those from Lăpuş, phase II. It needs to be
mentioned that the discovery is near the place where two big bronze deposits
were found. The discovery, made almost 50 years ago, of the tumuli from
Lăpuș, Maramureș County, and the attributing of a funerary signification,
that of tombs, and, therefore, of “necropolis”, has not been considered
questionable so far.
This situation has to be explained, by analysing the necropolis from
Lăpuş, since it needs to be seen how the funerary practices can undergo
changes, moving from the individual representations to collective

These burial rites represent a direct link of Nyirseg into Suciu de Sus into Lapus into Vartop and Susani in the South! And they are highly specific.

Like in later Thracians and Dacians, we find a hierarchical social order and strict separation, by social class and gender:
Biba Teržan, analysing the same necropolis (Teržan, 2005: 241-261),
tried to prove that its division in several zones reflects the distribution of the
tombs on sex and social statute criteria. The western group would have
belonged to an elite in which, first of all, there were evidenced the warrior
burials (represented especially by weapons and vessels decorated with
incisions and zoomorphic busts or with prominences),
but especially women
(the tombs with clothes items and big grooved vessels). The southern and
eastern group, having a more modest inventory and objects related to the
processing of the metals (moulding valves, tools), would represent a social
segment related to the metal processing profession.

The knobbed-channelled pottery being rather associated with the warrior elite.

Muntenia being covered by Vartop and Susani type Channelled Ware:

Even if we go beyond the studied zone, the tumulus from Meri,
Teleorman County, in Muntenia, needs to be mentioned as it presents many
analogies with the discoveries from Vârtop. Here, it was researched the
tumulus with the diameter of 17 x 20m, height of 1.80m and oval shape. In its
centre, there had been deposited four vessels placed directly on the antic soil.
At variable depths (1.80-1.50m), there had been discovered bones disposed in
many groups. Near the human bones, there were placed animal bones, as
well, namely deer, ox, and horse. At the basis of the mound, there had been
deposited a bronze object plated with gold and an iron knife. The pottery
from here resembles much to that of Vârtop. The porringer with the lip
arched inwardly is decorated with four knobs and a garland ornament placed
inside the vessel. We also find here other two items met at Vârtop, the double
vessel and the oven vessel (Moscalu, 1976: 77-86).
On addressing the type of archaeological monuments, the tumulus
from Meri resembles that from Susani.

Like I said before, we see a Southern Gáva-related Channelled Ware group, from Banat-Oltenia-Muntenia. This is very important to put later Basarabi and Babadag into context.

Emil Moscalu recognised the lack of Tei IV elements from the
repertoire of pottery inventory forms in this tumulus and believed that it
appeared in the later Gârla Mare fund. Altogether, he considered that the
origin of the tumular monument can be connected to the situation from
Transylvania or with the western regions. A great similarity is also present
between the pottery from here and the Gáva type pottery, as well as the
Cruceni II type material. The origin of the pottery decorative style from the
Meri tumulus seems to originate in the western areas.

The disappearance of the plane necropolises, starting with the 12th
century BC and the appearance, in the same period, of the tumular
constructions, as those from Susani, Lăpuş, Libotin or Vârtop with the
richness of offerings and/or the quantity of the social energy invested in
them, suggesting the appearance of new forms of collective representation,
determine us to also believe that there was a change in the collective

The very idea that there were no Gáva influences which reached the Lower Danube, resulting in the Danubian Fluted Ware, which in turn resulted in Babadag and secondarily in Psenichevo, can be laid to rest. The evidence includes nearly all aspects of life and we see a direct connection from Lapus II-Gáva to the Southern expansion of Channelled Ware.

Now if you go with the author and prefer local adoption or my interpretation - well, the author didn't consider genetic facts we already know:
- The earlier groups with high WHG and steppe disappear
- E-V13 has a clear phylogeny and timing, the earlier groups can't represent that. We know that later Daco-Thracians were completely dominated by E-V13 and the main E-V13 population needs to be relatively isolated and compact, because otherwise there would be no parallel development of many main E-V13 branches up to 1.300-1.000 BC, without the involvement of other haplogroups.

This is the best evidence for any sort of unification of the later Daco-Thracian territories. And its clearly from the protected Inner Carpathians, from the area of Suciu de Sus/Lapus, expanding with Gáva-related Channelled Ware.

On the transition from Gáva to Basarabi:

Worth to repeat some quotations on Gáva as the Proto-Thracian culture, again, note that Belegis II-Gáva is just the result of Channelled Ware expansion and influence, as we see it in Susani and Vartop:
Of particular interest for the ethnic identification of its bearers is the opinion expressed by G. Smirnova

in the end of the 20th century. She thinks that early Gava culture (Mahala III)
is of Thracian origin. She also pointed to stylistic connections of Belegiš II
and Chisinaŭ-Corlateni culture already in her works published in 1990.
experiences and so far published works indicate that significant changes in
the material culture of the Belegiš group had happened at Bronze-Iron Age
transition. They are conspicuous in the appearance of channels as leading
fashion of urn decoration first of all in necropoles (Vojlovica, Belegiš etc) but
also in settlements of this culture: in Srem (Ekonomija Sava) in south Banat
(Dubovac – Kudeljište) and in south Bačka (Feudvar). For Srem, Banat and
Serbian Danube basin this was an important phenomenon, which could be
considered as characteristic of the beginning of the Early Iron Age.

These relations of Lapus II-Gáva to Susani and Vartop, of developed Belegis II-Gáva to Chisinau-Corlateni, unite the whole area of Southern Romania, Northern Bulgaria and Moldova as kind of a Southern Gáva range.

Hopefully we get these samples from Gomolava soon, which would be among the oldest (on par or earlier than the Thracian Hallstatt sample) E-V13 samples we got, if they sample enough males:

Some necropolies and single finds in northwest Bačka especially those near Odžaci and in particular
from Doroslovo (Trajković 1977, 29) also pertain to this very circle of finds.
Within this ‘contact zone’ had happened the direct contacts of these two
large cultural complexes, Urnfield and Bosut-Basarabi that are reflected in
the presence of shapes and type of decoration of the Basarabi-Bosut style
on the pottery from the graves in Lijeva Bara (graves 16, 67, 80 and so on).
We would like
to add to these characteristics also certain facts concerning the funerary
rituals: in the Urnfield culture as its name says the dead had been buried in
urns (after cremation) while in the Bosut culture the inhumation had been
exclusive mortuary ritual (two collective tombs at Gomolava, individual
graves in Vrdnik, Asfaltna Baza near Zemun and burial near Jaša Tomić). In
addition to the combination of styles in pottery production the individual
inhumation burials at the Lijeva Bara necropolis near Vukovar also suggest
strong influences of the Bosut culture on its western neighbor

Transition from Gáva to Basarabi, largely continuous:

The only site investigated in Vojvodina that provides the complete
stratigraphy of the Bosut-Basarabi complex evolution is Gradina on the
Bosut river near Šid. The archaeological excavations conducted at this
site for many years from 1964 to 1988 with shorter intervals provided
the precise picture of continuous changes happening within this culture
or cultural complex. Characteristics of the earliest phase (identified as
Kalakača-Bosut) are the absence of pottery decorated with ‘S’ motifs and

‘S’ spiral and presence of elements of the final phase of the Gava culture
. In
the course of further investigations of Romanian and Serbian archaeologists
this phase was named Kalakača and Kalakača-Gornea phase (Guma 1993).
Basarabi phase, i.e. the period exceptionally rich in pottery decorated with
impressed spirals, running ‘S’ motifs and the like continues as the second
phase but without cultural and chronological break. Finally, the latest phase
is identified as Bosut culture III when engraved and impressed decoration
was abandoned and once again the channel was the most popular decorative
In spite many new investigations at the sites in Vojvodina, in the
Iron Gates region, in Serbia to the south of the Sava and the Danube and at
many sites in Romanian Banat and in Oltenia there is hardly any possibility
for some radical changes.

Basically we see a change from Gáva to Kalakaca with the beginning of inhumation and new styles, then Basarabi, which kind of combined different elements, but still has Gáva traditions, and the latest phase is new form of Channelled Ware pottery.

There is also confirmation of contacts of these two cultures – Belegiš-Gava and early Bosut

culture - in the vertical stratigraphy of Gomolava. Furthermore, typological
analysis of the pottery from the collective tomb especially one discovered in
1954 suggests gradual transformation into the new culture.

Funnily, at the Danube, further South West, the continuation of Gáva people is even more safe than in the Kalakaca-Bosut zone in the Banat, where there was a more obvious change from the LBA-EIA to the EIA:

In the Djerdap II area at the site Vajuga-Pesak with very complex
horizontal stratigraphy could be distinguished chronological relation of the
final Gava culture and earlier phase of the Basarabi complex. Particularly
interesting is grave 1 from this site including 11 vessels (urns and other
grave goods) (Premk et al. 1984, 112 sq.). Material dates from the advanced
Gava culture as we know from the area to the north of Danube, for
example in large tumulus at Susani or from slightly later phase of the Gava
culture identified by M. Guma as Medias (Guma 1993, 184 sq.). From the
chronological point of view it was the beginning of the 1st millennium BC,
i.e. the first phase of the Early Iron Age in this area. It is obvious that Gava
culture developed in southwest Romania and in the Djerdap II area at the
same time when Kalakača phase of the Bosut-Basarabi complex occurred
in the west, in Srem. This fact explains relatively infrequent occurrence of
Kalakača pottery at the sites in the Djerdap I and II area. It is possible that
black burnished pottery decorated with channeled garlands, facets, bands
characteristic of the closing phase of the Gava culture in west Romania (e.g.
Medias or Susani tumulus) existed until the occurrence of the classic phase
of the Basarabi style.
Consequently, it means that this ‘prolonged’ Gava
culture continued until as late as the 9th century BC. It is particularly well
distributed at the sites in the Djerdap I and II area

Continuity down to the locals or not?

The problem recognized at this moment especially when
sites in the Djerdap I and II area are concerned is the problem of genesis
of the earliest phase i.e. Gornea-Kalakača and classic Basarabi culture
and its style, more precisely, whether it is the same culture and whether
the bearers were identical.

Basarabi essentially spread from Oltenia as the epicentre:

Concentration of the sites of Bosut-Basarabi culture, more
precisely its middle phase (Basarabi II or Bosut II) in the east Srem area,
in south Banat (site near Židovar among others), in the Serbian Danube
basin (to the south of Danube) even also in Oltenia in Romania indicate
that we could identify this area as the central zone of the large Basarabi
complex, which as investigations suggest spread from Sopron in the west
to the Oltenia including also some areas to the south as it is confirmed for
example in Zlotska pećina (Tasić 1995) and in southwest Bulgaria
Sofronijevo). Problem of intrusion of the Bosut-Basarabi pottery to the
south along the Morava or Timok valley is still unresolved.

Moreover, pottery from the most
of sites in Serbia to the south of the Danube is related to the intrusion of the
pottery of Bosut I (Kalakača, Gornea) type. Certain amount of specimens
of ‘Basarabi style’ was recorded in Zlotska pećina, at Lanište and Panjevački
Rit near Jagodina and at some other sites (Stojić 1996, 119 sq.) In spite of
that, it seems that it was just a short-lasting intrusion, influence coming
from the central areas of the Bosut-Basarabi complex. In the same way
could be explained the appearance of pottery with ‘S’ ornament and other
‘Basarabi motifs’ at the sites in Austria, part of Slovenia and western regions
of Hungary (along the Austrian border) (Eibner 1996, 105 sq., Teržan 1990,
441 sq.). The sites registered to the south of the Danube in eastern Serbia and
northwestern Bulgaria are characterized more by numerous metal finds and
less by pottery.

The author has a theory for the Triballi, which I would associate most strongly with E-CTS9320, as a separate group of the wider Bosut-Basarabi sphere:

The above mentioned examples of brief intrusion are important
for acquiring precise picture of cultural and historical evolution of the
Serbian Danube valley in general but also for interpretation of ethnogenetic
processes, which could be better comprehended from the beginning of Early
Iron Age. It is often quoted in literature that bearers of the Basarabi style in
Serbian Danube basin and especially in the Morava valley were the tribes
of Triballian stock. It is difficult to draw such conclusions for the Basarabi
style even more so as Bosut-Basarabi pottery only brushes the area where
the Triballi lived in the middle of the 1 st millennium BC according to the
historical data (Papazoglu 1969, 11 sq.) It is more appropriate to attribute
to the Triballi the pottery occurring in the Morava valley synchronously
with the Basarabi culture and characterized by ‘tremolo’ ornament.

That is a position considerably further South than the bulk of the Basarabi population, which would neatly explain why E-CTS9320 is more Southerly distributed compared to the main Northern branches of E-V13, especially of E-Z5018/S2979, even if those would have been present in Bosut-Basarabi.

Macedonia was reached as well:

Within cultural and historical processes in the Serbian Danube valley and more to
the south should be also considered the strong intrusion of pottery decorated
with Basarabi ‘S’ motifs to the south as far as north Macedonia (Cf. Georgijev
1993). This intrusion of Bosut-Basarabi style could be explained in the same
way as intrusion of ‘S’ pottery of Basarabi style and other elements to the
sites in eastern Austria or western Hungary (Eibner 1996, 105 sq.)

Here is a map showing the main EBA groups:


Early Bronze Age cultures in the central region of the Carpathian Basin (after KALICZ 1984, map 3) (1: Bell Beaker – Csepel group, 2: Chłopice-Veselé culture, 3: Lajta group, 4: Somogyvár-Vinkovci culture, 5: Early Nagyrév culture, 6: Nyírség culture, 7: Maros culture, ⬤: stray finds of the Bell Beaker – Csepel group, ○: Budapest-Albertfalva);

No 4 is the predecessor of Encrusted Pottery, Maros culture being intrusive with Yamnaya, Bell Beaker and Southern influences, different from the rest close to the Tisza. Chlopice-Vesele is more oriented towards the West and future Tumulus culture.

Now what remains, what is in the same area as later Suciu de Sus and core Gáva, especially Lapus II-Gáva, is Nyirseg and also interesting is the direct neighbour, Nagyrev. From Nyirseg we have no samples, they already used cremation and scattering of ashes, just like later Suciu de Sus, Lapus, Gáva, Dacians.
But from Nagyrev, we have samples, and what's interesting is, that the Chotin sample, Mezocsat-Late Gáva etc. do sometimes pick up a bit of it.

I therefore think that the Proto-Nagyrev samples are the closest thing we got to the Nyirseg and local Transtisza people:

Note that we don't know whether these Mako samples are actual Mako people, because Mako in general did cremate their dead. Therefore its possible, just possible, that they represent more Somogyar, therefore Pre-Encrusted Pottery people.

You see the clear and absolute striking difference between the Mako (?) and Pre-Encrusted Pottery people and Proto-Nagyrev.

About the Nagyrev culture:

The Nagyrév culture was a Bronze-Age culture that existed in what is now Nagyrév, Hungary. It existed alongside the Vatya culture and Hatvan cultures and was eventually superseded by the latter.[1] The main style of pottery was a one or two handed cup with a tall funnel neck that is made in a black burnished ware.

Black burnished ware later appeared also in Gáva, in a more advanced form. I won't say they are directly related, but probably its worth to point out nevertheless.

They were centered close to the Tisza:
Nagyrév was located on the left bank of the Tisza which was at the western edge of a flood plain.[2] Sand dunes and other mounds of earth indicated to archaeologists that burials were done in groups, sometimes with up to 6 or 7 buried in one area.

Most burials were of cremated remains and the ashes would either be spread on the ground of the site or occasionally placed in urns. Most graves contained up to fourteen pottery pieces that held food, water and other possessions for the journey to the after life.

Already in the past I pointed to Proto-Nagyrev being among the ancient samples which regularly pop up for Daco-Thracian samples from later groups, like here:

The Proto-Nagyrev being males and assigned to:

A rather rare branch of R-L51, likely Bell Beaker derived.

In general, neither Nagyrev nor Maros are likely being the direct ancestor of Gáva, nor fully identical to Nyirseg, or having a lot of E-V13. However, since the core group of Nyirseg did cremate their dead, the closest samples, by culture and geography, we got so far, are these two Proto-Nagyrev individuals.

And they show a striking decrease of WHG and a rather low level of steppe also. They are pretty close, with their ratio, to the Chotin Vekerzug E-V13 indivdual from millenia later.

What this shows, in any case, is that the closer you get to the Tisza, the lower the WHG ratio gets. We can't be 100 % sure, since their haplogroup might suggest admixture will Bell Beakers or the like, but it is in any case remarkable that these Proto-Nagyrev samples pop up regularly in G25 as some of the closest ancient DNA samples for Daco-Thracian related individuals in the current ancient DNA record.

And again, autosomally it appears much more likely that Nyirseg and later Gáva were more like these (Nagyrev, possibly Maros) than the Encrusted Pottery-Danubian block. The Danubian block includes Monteoru, which has clearly the same ratio as EP and some earlier Bronze Age Bulgarian samples, which too have higher WHG (!) than these Proto-Nagyrev samples.

They might be outliers, since Nagyrev usually cremated their dead, Nyirseg even more strictly so (cremation and scattering of the ashes), but again: These are the geographically and culturally closest samples we got so far, otherwise Cotofeni and all its succesors in the Eastern Carpathian basin being just one big black hole in the ancient DNA record, up to Nyirseg, Suciu de Sus, Verbicoara, Lapus, Gáva, Vartop, Belegis II-Gáva and Dacians in general, because of both their strict cremation rite and the lack of sampling from Western Romania/Transylvania in the BA-IA.

Going by the trend in the EBA, its entirely possible that Nyirseg had only as much or even lower levels of WHG as these Proto-Nagyrev samples. It would follow the trend, because the hotspot for WHG in the Carpathian basin was, without a doubt, the I2+G2 dominated Somogyvar/Pre-Encrusted Pottery complex in Western Pannonia.

Here is one of the Proto-Nagyrev samples vs. the whole data set of official G25, note again, I don't consider them being exactly like Nyirseg or the ancestral E-V13 populiation, but still the closest we got to Nyirseg, in all likelihood:

Distance to:




As one can see, it is a quite generalised Carpathian, West-North Balkan profile, which isn't all too specific and fits into a lot of comparisons. Among the top 30 samples by distance are at least 4 which are from the suppesed Thracian Hallstatt/North Thracian sphere. One Mezocsat-Late Gáva, one Western fringe Gáva (Kyjatice-Gáva zone), the Vekerzug Chotin E-V13 and a Transtisza Sarmatian (note the E-V13 "Sarmatian").

I'm rather skeptical about us getting ever Nyirseg samples, but they might be even better fits in a more central (less but still elevated WHG, low steppe rather) position relative to the Central European and Balkan neighbours.
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We have neolithic samples from transalvania and Bukovina. They were already low on WHG (10%). We don't know what Cotofeni and Cernavodă did to this already lo WHG population, based on north Bulgaria and Wallachian neolithic, WHG levels were even smaller with the new Yamnaya admixed migrants.

From this study:


Northern Tranalvania:

Bulgarian Gumenita:

Romanian Gulmenita:
The BA E-V13 in Bulgaria is likely a MBA offshoot from Wietenberg culture, and most likely a unsuccessful branch after LBA.


Agreed. Could have survived, but is highly unlikely to be very relevant for the later expansion of E-V13 in the BA-IA-Antiquity.

To put it that way, if two Wietenberg brothers lived at the end of the MBA, the chances of the brother moving South would have been far worse, for becoming a very successful founder, than that of his brother staying in the home region and joining emerging Suciu de Sus.

For two reasons: First, the Southward moving brother had no huge advantage on his side, secondly, his descendants would have been overrolled by a series of invasions and finally Channelled Ware itself.

Therefore even if the same lineage split in the MBA between Transylvania and Bulgaria, I would still bet on the Northenr one to have a bigger impact, because the Southern one had no good chances at all.
Expanding on the above, the main relationships of early Wietenberg being indeed to the Western groups mentioned before: Hatvan, Nyirseg and Nagyrev. From Nagyrev, we have these two Bell Beaker admixed individuals and can see that the less admixed locals were likely even more EEF, not higher WHG, and had significant but low level (say 5-20 %) steppe.

Dabei ist anzumerken, daß Elemente der Nagyrev- und Hatvan-Kulturen, die in der ersten Phase A 1
noch zahlreich vorhanden sind
, in Phase A 2 abnehmen.

Verf. macht eine ausgedehnte Beschreibung der Fundentwicklung während aller Phasen der
Wietenberg-Kultur, beginnend mit den Vorläufern der Wietenberg-Kultur, die sonst nur kurz
erwähnt wurden. Es scheint, daß die Wurzeln der Wietenberg-Kultur in der dritten Phase der
Frühbronzezeit, in der Nagyrev-, Hatvan- und frühen Otomani-Kultur
zu suchen sind.

Early Wietenberg is therefore very closely connected to Nagyrev, Hatvan (and Nyirseg), which form the foundation of the Carpathian cremation block, in the tradition of Cotofeni, which successors were Makó-Kosihy-Čaka, Livezile, Şoimuş, Roşia - the latter three being tested and must be the base for the genetic continuity claim. Therefore we see an emerging pattern, which includes the areas from Upper Tisza to the Eastern borders of Transylvania, for the surviving Cotofeni tradition, which supposedly (also based on the Nagyrev samples with BB admixture!) looks like being dominated by EEF, with minor steppe and WHG.

The end of Wietenberg is due to the Noua invasion, and the connection of Wietenberg are again with their Western neighbours, essentially with the cultures which lead up to Pre-Gáva and finally Gáva:

Außerdem kommen Wietenberg-Formen in Vergesellschaftung mit Fundgut der Suciu de Sus-, späten Otomani-, Igrita- und Egyek-Gruppen wie auch der donauländischen Hügelgräber-Kultur vor.

Again the Tisza-Transtisza zone shows the strongest contacts with Wietenberg people. That was always their main connection. Egyek-Tumulus culture are foreigners (R-L51/R-L2 dominated, Bell Beaker derived from Central Europe), but late Otomani-Gyulvarasand, Suciu de Sus and Igrita are the base of later Gáva and their direct neighbours.

Keep in mind that Wietenberg is not the direct predecessor of Pre-Gáva/Gáva, but that their closest relatives to the West are. This means, however, that we can assume that whatever Wietenberg brings up, like I always stressed, the Gáva people will be similar.
And the closest results we got, so far, are clearly these two Bell Beaker admixed Proto-Nagyrev samples, which point indeed, like suggested, to a high EEF population not just in Transylvania, but in the Tisza-Transtisza zone throughout much of the Bronze Age and as the main source group of Gáva.

All we need, in this respect, is therefore a confirmation by actual remains from this complex, which survived ever since Yamnaya, in the area of the Upper Tisza-Transcarpathian highlands and around the Apuseni mountains, whenever invaders stressed them. This is a recurring pattern ever since Cotofeni emerged, which relations are to locals from the Copper Age and to the East - with Western steppe groups like Usatovo-Gorodsk. And from Tripolye-Cucuteni/Usatovo-Gorodsk, we got E-L618.
First Wietenberg-related sample:
teepeanAncient Plasmodium genomes shed light on the history of human malaria


Malaria-causing protozoa of the genus Plasmodium have exerted one of the strongest selective pressures on the human genome, and resistance alleles provide biomolecular footprints that outline the historical reach of these species1. Nevertheless, debate persists over when and how malaria parasites emerged as human pathogens and spread around the globe1,2. To address these questions, we generated high-coverage ancient mitochondrial and nuclear genome-wide data from P. falciparum, P. vivax and P. malariae from 16 countries spanning around 5,500 years of human history. We identified P. vivax and P. falciparum across geographically disparate regions of Eurasia from as early as the fourth and first millennia BCE, respectively; for P. vivax, this evidence pre-dates textual references by several millennia3. Genomic analysis supports distinct disease histories for P. falciparum and P. vivax in the Americas: similarities between now-eliminated European and peri-contact South American strains indicate that European colonizers were the source of American P. vivax, whereas the trans-Atlantic slave trade probably introduced P. falciparum into the Americas. Our data underscore the role of cross-cultural contacts in the dissemination of malaria, laying the biomolecular foundation for future palaeo-epidemiological research into the impact of Plasmodium parasites on human history. Finally, our unexpected discovery of P. falciparum in the high-altitude Himalayas provides a rare case study in which individual mobility can be inferred from infection status, adding to our knowledge of cross-cultural connectivity in the region nearly three millennia ago.

Raw sequencing data from 36 malaria-positive individuals, as well as newly reported data from 41 ancient individuals enriched at human ancestry-informative SNP positions, have been deposited at the European Nucleotide Archive.


The human samples are interesting, as they come from regions and cultures so far undersampled. The most interesting sample is a male from Wietenberg culture, Romania:
Ft 347
Gambas - Site 3
Middle Bronze Age Wietenberg culture

That's the site this individual is from:
Wietenberg culture Inhumation Graves Discovered at Gâmbaș (Aiud, Alba County, Romania)

That's written about the site:
From an archaeological perspective, the investigated surface was divided in two distinctive areas. The first one, labelled Sp. 1, was rich in archaeological finds and it comprised, in fact, successive habitation layers. In the second area, investigated through multiple sections (S57 to S163), only eight isolated archaeological features were discovered and documented. The features assigned to the Bronze Age (Wietenberg culture) were concentrated in the northern part of surface Sp. 1, while features assigned to the La Tene and migration period were predominant in the rest of Sp. 1. A few isolated features dated to the First Iron Age (Gava culture), the post-roman period, and the early middle ages were also identified. A number of 217 Bronze Age (Wietenberg culture) features were identified and documented, representing storage pits, refuse pits, fire fireplaces, dwellings, and inhumation graves. Four Bronze Age inhumation graves were discovered, labelled: C18 (adult male, age 35-44), C316 (adult female, age 30-35), C320 (sub-adult, age 1,5-4), and C347 (adult male). The grave goods consisted only of pottery vessels, most of them preserved in a fragmentary state. Except for grave C 316, the funerary sets were rather poor. Based on the shape and decoration elements of these ceramic vessels, the graves were assigned to the second phase of the Wietenberg culture.

The rescue excavations undertaken by the National Museum of Unification in Alba Iulia were conducted in autumn 2014 and spring 2015. The research showed that this area had been settled across several historical ages: The Middle Bronze Age (Wietenberg Culture), Early Iron Age (Gáva Culture); Late Iron Age, represented by Dacian features (of the 1 st c. BC - 1st c. AD), Post-Roman Period (4th-6th c. AD) and Migration Period (7th-8th c. AD).

Crouched position burials are a bit suspicious for Wietenberg, but that's the burial in question - makes me wonder whether the Transylvanian research group has the other 3 tested too, but they were spared because they had no Malaria, unlike this unlucky fellow:

Ft. 347 is a grave found in the East-central part of the settlement, which was identified at a depth of 0.7 m. Its length amounted to 0.67 m and its width to 0.37 m, while its maximum depth was 0.82 m. The deceased lay crouched, with its head towards SE. This feature was cut by another, from a more recent period (Fig. 6/1; Pl. 2/4). Its inventory consisted of two ceramic fragments: - ceramic fragment (tureen), with a simple girdle right under the rim. It was made out of semifine paste, with sand and small pebbles as temper and of grey colour (Fig. 6/2). - ceramic fragment made of semi-coarse paste with pebbles, the exterior decorated with parallel striations, the exterior had a grey colour, while the interior was reddish (Fig. 6/3). Based on their shapes and decorations, the artefacts retrieved from this grave belong to the second phase of the Wietenberg Culture and can have a relative dating in the Middle Bronze Age II (MB II), sometime between 1900-1700 BC1 . The observations made during the excavation showed that, in fact, the deceased were buried in shallow graves, as all of them were identified at a depth of 0.7 m. Therefore, both the skeletons and the inventory were exposed to external factors. It is obvious that we are dealing with special burials. It is well known that incineration is the predominant rite in the Wietenberg Culture. Thus, inhumation burials, rarely encountered in the Wietenberg medium, were associated with uncommon funerary practices. We do not intend to review the entire discussion about the existence of funerary discoveries in Wietenberg settlements, since there has been just recently a debate on this subject2 . The old finds are being completed now by those from Gâmbaş, Aiud and Şoimuş3 .

I'm pretty sure some of those were used in the Transylvanian paper. Because while these burials are uncertain, many other inhumation burials from Wietenberg are sure to be foreign.

Ft. 347: the bones of the skeleton from the last grave given to analysis are few. Based on some cranial characteristics (the nuchal line, the mastoid process, the supraorbital foramen and the mental protuberance), the skeleton belonged to the masculine gender. His age at the time of death could not be precisely established, but based on the general morphology of the skeleton, one can say that he was an adult. Only 4 permanent teeth remain. Additionally, 3 teeth were lost before death (the second and first left mandibular molars and the first right mandibular molar), 3 teeth have decay (the third mandibular molar, the maxillary canine and the second maxillary molar, all from the right side), and 2 abscesses appear at the following molars: 1st left maxillary, 2nd right mandibular. No hypoplastic defects were observed and the wear on the molars is moderate. Of the 13 joints that are present, 6 are affected by weak osteoarthritis: the right acromioclavicular joint, the right distal humerus, the right proximal radius, the right distal ulna, the thoracic segment of the spine and the left glenoid cavity. Of the 5 long bones, none have subperiostal inflammation. Healed porotic hyperostosis is present on the cranial bone, but without being associated with criba orbitalia. On both humerii, the insertion of Pectoralis major is well accentuated, with several bony exostosii.

As you see, the Wietenberg sample is Y-DNA I2, there was a WHG expansion during Early-Middle Bronze Age in Carpathian Basin apparently and they formed a cline, somewhere south to them right south of Danube were the E-V13 people.

After the LBA turmoils Y-DNA I2 gets massively reduced, so they suffered a lot initially from Tumulus expansion and then from some yet to be resolved LBA turmoil happening not only in Mediterranean but further North as well.

E-V13 expanded both North of Danube and South of it during LBA.

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