March 12, 2011

Y-DNA of Khazaks from Altay Republic

Not very clear which is the motivation behind or the peculiar interest of this paper but it should add to the data resources anyhow:

Matthew C. Dullik et al., Y-Chromosome Variation in Altaian Kazakhs Reveals a Common Paternal Gene Pool for Kazakhs and the Influence of Mongolian Expansions. PLoS ONE 2011. Open access.

The data adds to and is compared with previous research (several papers) on Kazakhs from Eastern Kazakhstan. Central and Western Kazakhstan remain pretty much unexplored.

There are some difference in the respective Y-DNA pools but they seem to originate in differential founder effects and not specially in admixture with Altays. Notably:
  • Altay Kazakhs are higher in C(xC3c) (24%) and lower in C3c (39%) than other Kazakhs.
  • They are also higher in O3 (26%)
  • They are also higher in G and J (9%) altogether

SW Altayan Kazakhs may be admixed patrilinearly with native Altayans, while SE Altayan Kazakhs do not show such affinity. This difference may be caused by sampling in a Christian Khazak community living side by side with Altayans and Russians.

Fig. 4 PCA (Y-DNA) of Central Asian and Mongol populations

It is interesting that while the genesis of the Kazakh nation lays historically in separation from Uzbeks, these two Turkic nations do not share almost any lineage.

The poor sampling of Kazahstan and even Kazakhs in China is admitted by the authors as a problem to properly understanding Kazakh genesis. As mentioned before most samples come from Eastern and SE Kazakhstan however most of the country remains unsampled.

Fig. 1  Kazakh populations sampled (5: this paper, * sample localities)
Population density in Central Asia (for reference)

31 comments:

  1. The clustering of Manchus and Mongolians together (with the Khazaks) and away from Turkmens and other Turkish peoples in the PCA is notable.

    I suggests that Tungistic and Mongolian branches of Altaic languages may be closer to each other than to Turkic, and that Khazaks, to the extent that they speak Turkish language family languages now may have experienced language shift -- not what you would expect given that Turkic expansion preceded Mongolian expansion historically.

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  2. Language is not blood, blood is not language.

    What this suggests is that the areas of Kazakhstan sampled experienced a population replacement (at least in the male side) that other Turkic areas like Uzbekistan did not, where admixture and assimilation of natives (of Neolithic and Indoiranian origin) was the rule.

    This is nothing new, as all those studies (excepting the part on Altay Khazaks) are already several years old.

    Kazakhs would therefore be, at least on their male side, among the "purest" Turks by ancestry. But it says nothing about language directly.

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  3. "Language is not blood, blood is not language."

    Language follows blood in the absence of good reasons to the contrary. Disconnects certainly happen, but they require explanation.

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  4. Language is a tool and, while it does hold some emotional and identitarian attachments, for most people in most circumstances (and provided that enough time passes so they get to learn it) it is a matter of instrumental choice.

    Language is useful to talk with your neighbors but also to make business, address legal and political matters, pray, learn and teach and show where you belong to.

    Often changing language is convenient and dropping a language with bad luck (persecuted, disdained, not really useful anymore) is matter of pragmatism. Once such a process begins it is likely to continue until total linguistic replacement. The process can happen in really a very short time like a century or a few.

    I tell you from experience: I can see how Basque has lost terrain, sometimes because of outright persecution but mostly because you do not really need it anymore: as you can do everything in Spanish or French (depending on what side of the border you live), there is no real motivation to transmit the language other than emotional and ideological.

    Languages are lost, blood is not.

    For example the British must have changed language family three times in the course of a few centuries from c. 300 BCE to c. 600 CE: pre-Celtic languages, Celtic, Latin (never fully implemented probably) and Germanic. This does not mean to be the norm but at some points in history this kind of change seems to have happened a lot.

    A lineage of people from, say, Seville, may have changed their language also a lot just in (proto-)historical times: Tartessian, maybe Phoenician and maybe Celtic, Latin, Mozarabic, Arabic to some extent at least and finally Castilian Spanish with a strong accent (and now learning English and maybe even Chinese).

    Languages do change. Blood can't change. You are what you are but you can speak in different languages.

    Your claim makes no sense.

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  5. I am kazakh and we kazakh feel often the stupid things around these scientist and genetic researchers, they all do not know the truth history of kazakh people. what gings khan and his soldiers are the tribes of of modern kazakh people, just it was concealed and distorted by Russians because of Russian fake history during the past Soviet union.
    what you called these mongol is exactly todays mongol, the turkic people, gings khan also mongol, he spoke with all these turk and turks tribe without translator, he is turk, and now his tribe kiyat is one of the tribe of kazakh people , not modern mongolians, and there is tribe in kazakh called "tore", and they are the direct generation of gings khan from jochi...

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    1. Sorry, Elarna, I do not understand well what is exactly the point you so vehemently want to make.

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  6. The territory of Kazakhstan was already predominantly Turkic-speaking centuries before the Mongolian invasion, and, in fact, it is the first to be Turkicized among the Turkic-speaking lands of Central Asia. Thus Kazakhs' departure from the other Turkic peoples of Central Asia in Y-chromosomes may be the result of their better preservation of the original Turkic genes, at least on the paternal side, rather than any purported Mongolian admixture in Kazakhs.

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    1. I understand that Turkic peoples actually originated in parts of what is today Mongolia in fact, with Mongols first living further East, so what you say sounds true to me. Both peoples are quite related by origin and language anyhow (Altaic includes three branches: Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic).

      The bipartite division between in the PCA plot actually seems to differentiate between peoples with more purely Altaic ancestry (Y-DNA only) and those more admixed with the pre-existant peoples of Central Asia, of Western affinity.

      You may be interested in the ancient mtDNA study of González Ruiz 2012, which shows that a very neat genetic division existed in Central Asia until the Bronze Age, that was dramatically blurred in the Iron Age instead, already in a period before Turkic expansion (Scythians spoke an Iranic language). So it would seem that there was a first "Turkic" expansion (at least maternal) within a still Indoeuropean ethno-linguistic context, which probably paved the way for later strictly Turkic expansion that we associate with Göktürks, Huns and all that.

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  7. "Kazakhs would therefore be, at least on their male side, among the "purest" Turks by ancestry."

    I completely agree.

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  8. "So it would seem that there was a first "Turkic" expansion (at least maternal) within a still Indoeuropean ethno-linguistic context, which probably paved the way for later strictly Turkic expansion that we associate with Göktürks, Huns and all that."

    I don't think the East Eurasian ancestry in Scythians is Turkic, it is more likely to be Uralic or from a third unknown source, as SW Siberia and East Europe had significant East Eurasian ancestry, at least on the maternal side, already during the Bronze and even the Neolithic Age.

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    1. There is a distinct E-W admixture zone in Siberia (north of Altai) which is much older (at least from the 4th millennium BCE) and looks very much Uralic, at least in part. IMO there were several waves, even if Molodin et al. want to imagine mere continuity. For example the Seima-Turbino phenomenon in that area may be originated East or Russian Altai, maybe in Mongolian Altai or whatever.

      But what happened in Central and Western Siberia seems very strictly separated in time from what happened in Central Asia (incl. Altai, Uyghuristan and parts of Mongolia). In the González Ruiz study we see also that the only sample with a pre-Iron E-W admixture is also the only one from "SW Siberia". Only in the Iron Age the admixture begins. And in the late Pazyrk area, the focus of GR's paper, the kind of Eastern lineages we see are dominated by D (50%), which is precisely what they found in Mongolian Bronze Pazyrk burials exclusively.

      So I would not be so quick in denying Scythian and Tocharian early interactions with Turkic peoples from Mongolia, even if we cannot discern exactly the nature of those interactions. I don't know for you, but for me it seems somewhat easier to explain the replacement of Central Asian Indoeuropean cultures by Turkic ones if there was a previous period of intense interaction in the Iron Age, a period that would have to some extent "Scythianized" the Turkics and "Turkified" the Scythians.

      But my opinion anyhow.

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    2. Erratum: "East or Russian Altai" should read "East of Russian Altai".

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  9. "In the González Ruiz study we see also that the only sample with a pre-Iron E-W admixture is also the only one from "SW Siberia". Only in the Iron Age the admixture begins."

    SW Siberia was already a melting pot of West Eurasians and East Eurasians, at least on the maternal side, during the Bronze Age as illustrated by the papers of Molodin et al.:

    http://www.degruyter.com/view/books/9783110266306/9783110266306.93/9783110266306.93.xml

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1563011013000081

    There were plenty of East Eurasian-admixed populations to the west of the then Turkic lands already before the Iron Age from whom Scythians might have acquired their East Eurasian admixture. The Turkic peoples then lived too much to the east and therefore are not a plausible source for the East Eurasian admixture in Scythians, at least not as a major source. The Uralic peoples, for example, are a much more plausible source than the Turkic peoples.

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    1. To the West but also to the North (specialized subarctic niche, proper of Uralic, Yenisean, etc.)

      The main reason I think that there was a contact in the Pazyrk area specifically is that Mongolia Pazyrk tombs show exclusively mtDNA D already in the Bronze Age, while all other Pazyrk tombs show only Western lineages. I interpret this as the very beginning of the E-W contact other than in subarctic lands: same culture, two ancestries.

      But whatever...

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    2. There was no Pazyryk culture during the Bronze Age, and those Bronze Age populations are separate groups, not the same group or culture. Scythians expanded to the general Altai area during the Iron Age, Pazyryk is a good example of Scythian culture. Scythians might have admixed with Turkic groups in the easternmost Scythian lands, but you cannot explain the high frequency of East Eurasian mtDNA haplogroups in western Scythians (e.g., Rostov Scythians, Kazakhstani Scythians) with Turkic admixture. Also, as I explained in my previous comments, there is not need to resort to any Turkic admixture hypothesis for Scythians.

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    3. It seems you are right in that detail. The Mongolian Altai burials are from the same area as later Pazyryk ones but they are not described as "Pazyryk culture".

      I still think that they seem a plausible source (or at least proxy) for the E→W flows dominated by mtDNA D, that affected the Iron Age Scythian area and, previously: in the Bronze Age, SW Siberia. This flow corresponds to the Odinovo culture, part of the Seima-Turbino phenomenon, allegedly with Altai origins. But then all "Russian" Altai was inhabited by people with 100% Western lineages, so it cannot be the direct source of this Westward flow dominated by mtDNA D.

      Also in the Iron Age, Westernmost Mongolia was indeed part of the Pazyryk culture, and, the same that the rest of the Scythian Central Asia shows input of Oriental matrilineages (largely D), this westernmost part of Mongolia also shows inflow of Occidental ones (as much as 50%).

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    4. Please read the papers I linked to above. They demonstrate that SW Siberia was a melting pot of East and West Eurasians already before the Bronze Age.

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    5. I know already (I said that myself also). I am just saying that SW Siberia is probably (arguably, sure) not the main or only source of that admixture in historical Turkestan. Why would an already admixed region (nearly 50-50) be the source new Oriental inflow to the level of as much as 70%, as is found in some parts of Iron Age Kazakhstan?

      If there is inflow from a 50-50 already admixed population into an non-admixed one, we'd need a much more intense demic inflow, just as if you'd try to flavor your soup with seawater instead of pure salt. In addition to that subarctic populations of the "Uralic belt" were almost for sure too weak in numbers to cause such an effect. Hence I think that the origin of this admixture is in East Asia, quite plausibly Mongolia and surrounding areas, which in that time should have been an early Turkic area.

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  10. There is an active Kazak user group at FTDNA (Houston-Texas)

    One year ago they publised a paper.
    Here is what I wrote in http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=10672.0 :

    In a study of diverse Kazak tribes . It is based on "First 100 Y-STR haplotypes of ethnic Kazakhs collected by «The Kazakhstan DNA project» have been published
    in The Russian Journal of Genetic Genealogy"
    The Kazakhstan DNA project is a FTDNA project and samples are those by FTDNA and SGMF(Sorenson).

    http://rjgg.org/index.php/RJGG/article/view/113
    See "Middle Zhug" in the review of the article: Turuspekov Y., Sabitov Zh., Daulet B., Sadykov ... in
    http://rjgg.org/index.php/RJGG/article/download/116/131

    n=102 47 C3, 16 G1 (including 13 Argyns for 20 sampled: 65%, 1 Kypshak for 6, 2 Naiman for 12), 1 E1b, 4 J2, 2 N1, 10 O3, 9 R1a, 8 R1b 3 R2 2 Q1

    Therefore , for 20 sampled Argyns : 13 G1, 2 R1a, 1 R1b, 1Q1, 3 C3
    A majority of G1a in every Argyn tribe.
    For 6 Kypshaks 1 G1, 4 R1b, 1 O3
    For 12 Naimans, 2G1, 7 O3, 2 R1a, 1 C3 (unhappily, maybe from one Naiman tribe only, C3 is perhaps more imprtant in other Naiman tribes)
    Kypshaks and Naimans are neighbours of Argyns and these three tribes are members of thr Middle Jug (North Kazakhstan).

    Here is a beautiful map of Khazakhstan with Zhugs (Federarion of tribes), tribes and clans.

    Argyns are a big tribe has. "It is found that 80 to 90% of Argyns belong to haplogroup G1a_P20". The origin of Argyn tribe doesn't seem well-known and the homogeneity of its clans is very surprising.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyns said
    "Argyn (Kazakh: Арғын) tribe is one of the main constituents of the Kazakh people, of turkic descent, and a main component in the Middle jüz sub-confederation in Kazakhstan, which historically consisted of three tribal conglomerations of Great jüz, Middle jüz, and Little jüz. It is found that 80 to 90% of Argyns belong to haplogroup G1[[1]]
    Present Argyns in the Kazakh Middle jüz are the former Basmals, and these names are equivalent ("mixed tribe"). As a proof serves the description of the "Tenduk" country by Marco Polo, which says that the prevailing tribe of that country are Argon Christians (i.e. Argyns), which means Basmul. Early Middle Age location of Basmals are given in the Tszychji tuntszyan, where Basmals' residence is named in Beitin, in the Bogdoshan ridge in Guchen area.[2]
    Mahmut Kashgari (11th century) listed Basmyls as one of ten prominent Türkic tribes, enumerating location of the Türkic polities from the borders of Greece to the borders of China in the following sequence: Bechen (Badjinak), Kyfchak (Kipchak), Oguz, Yemek (Kimek), Bashgyrt (Bashkort), Basmyl, Kai, Yabaku, Tatars, Kyrgyz. He also noted that the tribes Kai, Yabaku, Tatar, and Basmyl are bilingial, speaking in Türkic alongside their own languages, while Kyrgyzes, Kyfchaks, Oguzes... have their own Türkic languages, and the languages of Yemeks and Bashkirts are close to them.[3]
    The old location of Guchen is in Qitai country in China-Xinjiang. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qitai_County

    more exhaustive about Argyn/Basmyl http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basmyl
    He seems Argyn/Basmil didn't speak turkish originally and becam turkisk-speakers along the Middle-Age, bilingual in 11th century.

    First high frequence G1 was first found in Madyars on Torgay river, maybe an Argyn clan not stated by the map :(Biro et al-2009) n=45 M89,P14 2% G2a-P20 87%, M172 7% M9 2% M231 2%.

    SW Altai n=30 G1a-P20 10%
    SE Altai n=890 G1a-P20 1%

    In the map, we can notice there is a Sherkesh clan in the Bayuli tribe (Is there a link with Caucasian Tcherkesses ?).

    Kazak genetics in http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/kazakhs.html

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  11. Madyars (or Madgars) were envisaged like cousins of Magyars/Hungarians remained in their ancestral region. Probably it was the reason of they were sampled sooner than other Kazakh clans. They looked for one thing and they found an other thing, the strange strong frequency of G1a who was also found in several other Argyn clans later.

    Madyars are around the Torgay river. This river (there is a town of same name on the river) is this on the map which flows southwards to Aral river, but doesn't succeed to reach thru the desertic steppes, this in the western part of the Argyn territory severed from their biggest territory by a Naiman territory.
    In this western territory, the map signals Argyn clans named ЖШ zhogary-shekty and АТ atygay. Beyond Lower Torgay, they are Alimuly clans of Ш shekty and Ч shomekey .

    http://www.nps.edu/programs/ccs/Docs/Central_Asia/Kazakh_tribal_map.pdf

    Tore (Noble) n=16 : 11 C3, 3 R2, 1 R1a, 1 R1b
    Kozha (descendants of Arabs or Hadjs) n= 4 : 1C3, 1E1b, 1R1a, 1Q1

    R1b : 1/20 Argyn, 4/6 Kypshak, 1/16 Tore 2/8 non-identified
    J2 : 1/5 Dulat, 1/1 Karajan, 1/9 Alimuly, 1/8 non-id
    N1 : 1/2 Ysty 1/4 non-id
    R2 : 3/16 Tore
    Q1 : 1/20 Argyn, 1/4 Kozha
    C3 (47/102) Old Zhug (SE K.) : 0/1 Alban 4/5 Dulat 0/1 Katagan 1/3 Zhelair 1/2 Ysty,
    Middle Zhug : 3/20 Argyn, 2/2 Kerei, 2/2 Kongrat, 0/6 Kipshak, 1/12 Naiman (one tested tribe Belgybai)), 1/2 Uak
    Junior Zhug (West K.) 8/9 Alimuly 7/8 Baiuly, 1/1 Zhetyru
    Separate lineages 11/16 Tore, 1/4 Kozha, 4/8 non-id

    R1a : 1/1 Alban 2/3 Zhelair, 2/20 Argyn, 2/12 Naiman, 1/16 Tore, 1/4 Kozha

    O3 : 1/6 Kypshak, 7/12 Naiman (Belgybai), 1/2 Uak, 1/8 Baiuly






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  12. "I am just saying that SW Siberia is probably (arguably, sure) not the main or only source of that admixture in historical Turkestan. Why would an already admixed region (nearly 50-50) be the source new Oriental inflow to the level of as much as 70%, as is found in some parts of Iron Age Kazakhstan?

    If there is inflow from a 50-50 already admixed population into an non-admixed one, we'd need a much more intense demic inflow, just as if you'd try to flavor your soup with seawater instead of pure salt. In addition to that subarctic populations of the "Uralic belt" were almost for sure too weak in numbers to cause such an effect. Hence I think that the origin of this admixture is in East Asia, quite plausibly Mongolia and surrounding areas, which in that time should have been an early Turkic area."

    The correct answer to these questions seems to be closely connected to the question of the homeland of Scythians. It is already evident from linguistics and archaeology that there were interactions between Indo-Iranians and Uralics since very early times. Iranics who stayed in the Indo-Iranian homeland interacted with Uralics yet even more. Scythians themselves might be the end product of the long-standing interactions between northern Iranics and southern Uralics: basically children of Iranic fathers and Uralic mothers.

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  13. Maju, what is your opinion regarding my theory of Scythian origins?

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    1. Sorry, I dropped the conversation because it did not seem we could reach any agreement. But, as you insist, I will say that, in my understanding, the Uralic-Indoeuropean undeniable contacts are generally quite older than the Scythian period and happened mostly in Europe rather than Central Asia.

      I don't flatly reject the possibility of late contacts between Eastern Uralics (Samoyedics) and Indo-Iranians (or later just Iranians and later Scythians) in Central Asia/West Siberia. But I still think that the main source of Oriental admixture comes from peoples with a similar econiche, namely Altaic or, more precisely, Turkic peoples from what is now Mongolia and surroundings.

      There are several reasons:

      1. I have not yet seen the "evidence" you claim about late Uralic-Indo-Iranian contacts (so for me is just a vague claim you make).

      2. Peoples from the subarctic regions (core Siberia) would have weak demography, as simple logic but also some strong genetic evidence suggest, so they could hardly alter the genetic pool by as much as 70% in some cases.

      3. The dominant Oriental mtDNA lineage we see flowing Westward in the Metal Ages is D, which soars among West Siberians in the Bronze Age (later decreases however), is also found alone among Bronze Age Mongolian Altai peoples, and is again the most important one among Siberian Altai peoples in the Iron Age (Pazyryk culture). So I feel that the origin of these flows has to be sought in Mongolian Altai or in other related regions (elsewhere in Mongolia, etc.)

      4. The Eastern steppes' peoples of what is now Mongolia (surely proto-Turkic) would have found in the Scythian (and Tocharian) lifestyle, also specialized to the steppes, something they could relate with and possibly even use to their benefit by cultural interaction. In fact the historical and proto-historical Turkics (Huns, Göktürks) are pretty much like Scythians in many aspects but clearly much more Oriental in blood and some cultural elements. Even the horse itself, which would be so important for early Turks and later also Mongols, arrived to them from the Central Asian Indoeuropeans at some point (not sure exactly when).

      So, unless some strong evidence is presented in support of something else, I lean strongly to reconstruct a quite intense Turkic-Scythian interaction in the Iron Age, which would eventually facilitate Turkic expansion, replacing the Scythians (and Tocharians) in all their homeland. Of course this replacement would not be for the most part abrupt and would incorporate many, most if not all, Scythian and Tocharian tribes into the new Turkic hegemony. Previous interaction of centuries, whose details we don't know, would facilitate the transition.

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    2. PS- Found it: horse arrived to East Asia (Qijia and Siba cultures of NE China proper) in the Bronze Age, c. 2000-1600 BCE, as part of contacts this culture had with Indoeuropeans. This shows that the transcontinental contacts existed since well before the Iron Age, even if they only really seem to have involved significant human genetic flow in the Iron Age (but before Turkic expansion proper).

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  14. Maju,

    How do you explain the fairly uniform spread of Turkic admixture among all Scythians from the Altai area to Eastern Europe before the Turkic expansion? Were the eastern Scythians (the ones interacting with the Turkic peoples) so numerous to have such a strong demographic impact on all other Scythians?

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    1. We only know about mtDNA, right? This leaves many questions open. Still I imagine that the pattern was one of clannic interaction: marriages, alliances and surely also occasional war and pillage. Gradually some Eastern (Turkic?) clans and/or individuals would move Westward and vice versa. For long within this process the dominant ethnic identity and language would be Scythian, although local clans and families could speak Turkic, but at some point, maybe after a tribal war or several, the dominance changed and Turkic identity replaced the Scythian one.

      I imagine it somehow like that, really.

      "Were the eastern Scythians (the ones interacting with the Turkic peoples) so numerous to have such a strong demographic impact on all other Scythians?"

      Good question. If we look at Kazakhstan's scattered demography today, we see that most of the people leave towards the East. Add the important crossroads of Altai, also located to the East, at the very edge of the prehistorical E-W Eurasian "border". You may well be onto something indeed.

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    2. Erratum: "leave" should be "live".

      Looking at pop. density maps, it would seem that the actually key region may have been not just Eastern Khazakstan but Eastern and Northern Khazakstan along with nearby areas of Siberia, including (and ranking high) Altai, which stands out in North and North-Central Asia as the most densely populated area, something we know from archaeology was the case also since the Paleolithic.

      Whoever controlled that strip of land (very possibly early Turks, Huns, c. 90 CE) was in an excellent position to exert domination on ancient Scythia, which was in fact divided in two by that wedge. Whatever the case it is very likely that, as we see also in later times, these tribal polities were to large extent multiethnic, allowing for Turkic-speakers and Iranian-speakers (as well as other possible ethnicities: Tocharians, Mongols, various Siberian peoples) to be allied under the same flag, so to say, long before full ethno-linguistic assimilation happened.

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  15. Yes, we are talking mtDNA.

    What about Scythians of Eastern Europe? They have East Eurasian mtDNA haplogroups in quite similar frequencies to those found in all other Scythian groups. Doesn't that seem strange to you based on your theory of Turkic origin of the East Eurasian genetic element in Scythians?

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    1. I do not know for sure. I would have to look at each sample in detail, etc. (I will leave that hard work for you by the moment, as you seem to be much more interested than I am). From De Sarkissian 2011, East Asian lineages of Rostov Scythians are 5/14 (~35%): 2 D, 1 A, 1 F1b and 1 C. C (as well Z and some other, including occasional D) is known to have been in Eastern Europe long before that period so maybe part of these lineages are indeed Uralic in origin, while others may have arrived as part of the Iron Age flows with proto-Turkics.

      I see now that D, as well as F1, was very important also in Uyghuristan (Xinjiang) also in the Iron Age (Tocharians), per Zhang 2010, so it makes some sense that we consider these, along with G probably, as markers of proto-Turkic flows, while C especially may well be more related to Uralics, always with some uncertainty.

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  16. There are significant gaps - both temporally and spatially - in our knowledge of the genetic history of the Eurasian steppes. I am not even mentioning the sampled ancient Y-chromosomes, which are much more scant than the sampled ancient mtDNAs. The formative period of Scythians (the Bronze Age-Iron Age transition period) especially requires a close scrutiny, as it is the period in which the Iron Age genetic landscape of the steppes more or less appeared. But the most important period in the history of the steppes is arguably the Turkic expansion period, as it is the period in which the modern-day Central Asian genetic landscape more or less appeared.

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    1. Yes indeed. I think we can well stop the discussion here, because it is hard to interpret the data with the precision we would both desire and, as you say, there are many gaps in our knowledge as well.

      Enjoy.

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