Unravelling Estonia’s genetic history

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A new paper has been published recently with some new samples from Estonia: The Arrival of Siberian Ancestry Connecting the Eastern Baltic to Uralic Speakers further East Saag et al. 2019 As can be seen already from the title, the paper references the Uralic language as an important part of it. From the highlights: Arrival… Continue reading

The problematic of substrates – A case study of Iberia

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The following post is written with two main purposes: The first one is to explain some of the problematic when dealing with substrates in a way that is accessible for anyone to understand and get a better perspective about this complicated subject. The second one is to take a look at how ancient DNA (aDNA)… Continue reading

A review of the Earlier Prehistory of Southwestern Europe.

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Thanks to a series of papers (Haak 2015, Gunther 2015, Martiniano 2017, Lipson 2017, Valdiosera 2018, Olalde 2018) in addition to the three recent papers by Olalde et al., Marcus et al. and Villalba-Mouco et al., we have a fascinating collection of samples for southwestern Europe which span the series of transitions occurring between Late… Continue reading

The Cirum-Pontic Region, c. 4000-3000 BC

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As a brief fill-in, I will look at what the recent data adds to our understanding of the 4000 – 3000 BC period in northwestern Eurasia, which corresponds to the critical ‘’transition’’ period between the collapse of ‘’Old Europe’’ and arrival of steppe migrants. In reality, events are of course more complex, if one understands… Continue reading

How did CHG get into Steppe_EMBA ? Part 2 : The Pottery Neolithic

Introduction of pottery signifies massive cultural change. Beyond the introduction of a new technology, pottery provides additional possibilities for food storage and preparation (e.g. fish / vegetable soups, extracting animal lipids, brewing, pickling). Appearance of  larger, heavy vessels implies conversion to a more sedentary lifestyle. Such major cultural shift may have autochtonous origins, but more likely is external… Continue reading

Minoan horses and other bullshit – Open thread

My latest post erraneously received a comment that was meant for a much earlier post: Horses and wheeled vehicles. In principle it should be possible to move it to the correct destination, but I somehow failed to achieve that. The comment made, and a comment received on it, are readworthy, but of course far OT… Continue reading

How did CHG get into Steppe_EMBA? Part 1: LGM to Early Holocene

Well, obviously not via Maykop, because it was already present in the pre-Maykop Khvalynsk culture. And also not from Iran_Hotu or Zagros_N -both were shown to be a rather poor fit in Lazarides e.a. 2016. This, in turn, probably has to do with Zagros_N containing some Onge admix that Colchian CHG is lacking (c.f. Lazarides… Continue reading

Early human dispersals within the Americas – Moreno-Mayar et al. 2018

There was a new paper published earlier this month that is really interesting for understanding the human dispersals in the Americas. Of course, with the help of some newly sequenced aDNA. From the abstract emphasis mine): “We sequenced 15 ancient human genomes spanning Alaska to Patagonia; six are ≥10,000 years old (up to ~18× coverage)…. Continue reading

The beginnings of the Bronze Age in Europe

The definition of what, or when, constitutes the Bronze Age differs from region to region, and scholar to scholar. For example, the period after the collapse of the Varna civilization (4000 BC ->) is often seen as a proto-Bronze Age or ‘’Transitional’’ period, with the Bronze Age beginning c. 3000 BC (coincident with the Yamnaya… Continue reading