The community from which today's thriving R1a lineages emerged


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A huge number of R1a men would have existed over the past 20,000 years, but only one R1a lineage from 4,000 BC still thrives today, making up 99% of the world’s current R1a population. Even the branch of R1a from which this lineage stems (M417) would have spawned a huge number of lineages over the 3,000 years preceding 4,000 BC, only one of which thrives today.

There is no reason to suppose that every one of these thousands of R1a or M417 men would have lived in the same way or in the same location, but what is the one specific community from which all of today’s thriving R1a lineages would have emerged?

I would propose that this was principally a joint R1a and R1b hunter gatherer community from somewhere around North Western Ukraine that would have moved southwards into Moldova and Hungary and partly mixed (both genetically and culturally) with farmer communities that were expanding northwards from the Balkans. This mixed community appears to have already largely formed by 4,000 BC, and initially spread eastwards, around a thousand years before its three thriving branches began to expand successfully (CTS4385 in North Western Europe/Southern Baltic, Z283 in North Eastern Europe and Z93 around the Caucasus).
CTS4385 is one of the two remaining successful branches of this initial founder community. I would propose that it spread North Westwards from Northern Ukraine to join up with developing agricultural communities near the South Eastern corner of the Baltic approximately 4,000 BC. It was probably a minor element of these communities, which would already have contained a mix of other haplogroups such as G2a, E1b, I1, I2a, R1b and other R1a subclades.

Around 3,000 BC, an ultimately unsuccessful section of CTS4385 was subsumed into new communities moving in from the East; and the ultimately successful section of CTS4385 migrated Westwards around this time towards Denmark and the North Sea, from where all its current major subclades emerged.

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