Ancient DNA and Linguistics: an introduction

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

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

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

Upcoming guest posts

I’m glad to announce that this blog will be hosting some guest posts in the near future. I think that these contributions will greatly enhance the quality of the original content posted here and will also offer a greater diversity in both scope and perspective. And of course, it will help to keep this place… Continue reading

The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia – Some thoughts, Part 2

Continuing with some thoughts about Narisimhan et al 2018 (preprint) from the previous post… The steppe people going south Now turning our attention to how the steppe people interacted, influenced or migrated to SC Asia, let’s first look at the Andronovo-BMAC interactions and then we’ll move further south onto the Indus Valley. I will follow… Continue reading

The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia – Some thoughts, Part 1

While we await a new preprint (or the final version) of Narasimhan et al. 2018 I’d like to comment on several random things related to it. Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) When Victor Sarianidi first excavated the BMAC sites, his hypothesis was that it represented a migration from Syro-Anatolia to the east. Then, as in the… Continue reading

So what was going on around the Caucasus?

Thanks to the preprint discussed in the previous post, we now have a good amount of aDNA from around the Caucasus that can help us understand what was going on in this key region. The answers are still not clear, but we can take a look at what we have and see what we have… Continue reading