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

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

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

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