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

9 Comments

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

The beginnings of the Bronze Age in Europe

48 Comments

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

Is Male-driven Genetic Replacement always meaning Language-shift?

4 Comments

A rethorical question, obviously, with an equally obvious, trivial answer: Well, it depends… Depends on what, however, is less trivial, and deserves a closer look at the evidence available. Let me start with distinguishing Colonisation from male-driven genetic replacement. The former entails a joint migration of males and females into new territories, e.g. the European settlement of… Continue reading

Ancient DNA and Linguistics: an introduction

48 Comments

The ancient DNA (aDNA) era has been a revolution (still in progress) in our understanding of prehistory, and one of the implications of it has been the search for the origin of languages (mostly the origin of IE languages, which has been a central subject in many aDNA publications). However, I have the feeling that… Continue reading

Paleolithic DNA from the Caucasus reveals core of West Eurasian ancestry – Lazaridis et al. 2018 – preprint

20 Comments

A great day for West Eurasian deep prehistory thanks to ancient DNA! First with “Late Pleistocene human genome suggests a local origin for the first farmers of central Anatolia” (Feldman et al. 2018, preprint) and now with this unexpected and very surprising “Paleolithic DNA from the Caucasus reveals core of West Eurasian ancestry” (Lazaridis et… Continue reading

A first, and intriguing glimpse at TRB West Group aDNA

11 Comments

A good month ago, I presented here a new publication by Krause-Kyora e.a. “Neolithic and medieval virus genomes reveal complex evolution of Hepatitis B” that includes some interesting fresh aDNA from Central Europe. The most fascinating sample they provide is TRB-Tiefstichkeramik, Hildesheim-Sorsum, 3335–3107 cal BC, which closes an important geographical, chronological and cultural gap, and holds several surprises…. Continue reading

Horses and wheeled vehicles

Horses The domestication of the horse has been an event with important implications in human history, and as such it has drown the attention of archaeologist and historians for a long time, and more recently of ancient DNA studies. I’ll briefly recapitulate some of the latest findings mostly related to ancient DNA. We know for… Continue reading

Some interesting fresh aDNA from Central Europe

I recently came across a new publication: Krause-Kyora e.a. “Neolithic and medieval virus genomes reveal complex evolution of Hepatitis B”. The main message sounds familiar: Hepatitis B viruses present in Central Europe during the EN/MN went extinct, to be replaced sometimes between the LN and the High Medieval with the strain haplogroup that is dominating… Continue reading