March 19, 2018

Quickie: the pre-Indoeuropean evolution of ancient Iberians: from 'Sardinian' to 'Basque'

This may be needed as transition between the ancient Iberian genetic data of Valdiosera and Günther that I discussed two days ago and the modern Iberian genetic data that I'm planning to discuss very soon (just chewing on the data, because it is a bit perplexing in some aspects, but ref. Bycroft 2018 if you want to peek on it on your own). 

Fig. 1B from Valdiosera, Günther et al. 2018, annotated by me.

Just that: we see very clearly how ancient Iberians were at the beginning of Neolithic like modern Sardinians and by the time of Chalcolithic in some cases and at the Bronze Age everywhere, they had turned into something like modern Basques, i.e. more Paleoeuropean but not yet more Indoeuropean at all. 

Modern Spaniards/Iberians seem to be mostly that Basque-like Bronze Age base plus some Indoeuropean admixture from either the continent (Celts surely) or Italy (Romans no doubt). 

Maybe it is like stating the obvious but the obvious is not always obvious for everyone and understanding this will be handy when dealing with modern Iberian DNA and its structure.


  1. Deny, deny, deny. Eventually you'll accept the truth. Keep in mind x5 more ancient genomes from pre-Kurgan Iberia have been sequenced than ancient genomes from the Steppe. Stop complaining about sampling bias. R1b Z2103+ Yamnaya doesn't represent all humans who lived in the Steppe between 5000 and 3000 BC. Yamnaya wasn't PIE. PIE, probably lived around 5000 BC somewhere in southern Russia near the Black sea.

    Once DNA is taken from the ancient Steppe, R1b L151 will pop up in genomes dating between 4000-5000 BC. Already, 'Asian' R1a Z93 was found in a genome in Ukraine dating to 4000 BC. We have lots of ancient Ukraine genomes, we know he wasn't native. He came from somewhere further east, somewhere in Russia. The same place R1b L151 originated.

    Anyways, no mtDNA H1/H3/V or European ancestry in Paleolithic Northwest Africa like you expected.

    First, European introgression into North Africa came with Neolithic farmers of mostly Anatolian origin. That's when mtDNA H1 & H3 & V, which were abundent in Neolithic Iberia, came to North Africa. Ultimately, all three of those lineages came from Anatolia.

    1. Samuel.
      Lets make a bet: I say "R1b L151 will NEVER pop up" in Steppe. Lets bet a very public apology if either of us is proven right?
      (I know, I have best deal because a negative will prove me right). Deal?

    2. I'm already working on the MOST INTERESTING Iberomaurusian study but thanks for the heads up in any case, Samuel.

      It does challenge (or outright demolish) some of my ideas on this culture but it does not say anything new re. Europe, unless it is about the "North African" in Iberia and also via Palestine more in general.

      But what I dislike is your entrenchment in FAITH rather than critical RESEARCH in aspects that are clearly still open and, at the very least debatable.

      "Your truth not, truth.
      And come with me in search of it,
      yours keep it for yourself".
      (Antonio Machado haiku style, my translation to English)

      You mention an instance of R1a-Z93 in Neolithic Ukraine. OK, interesting. How many instances or non-instances do we have from Neolithic Iran, Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan? How ancestral or terminal is it? Remember that, according to my interpretation (not Underhill's), the main expansion of R1a happened very suddenly in the 11-10 Ka BP bracket, still in the Epipaleolithic (or using Underhill's best, Anzick-calibrted, estimate: "R1a-M417 node: 7,700 years ago (CI: 6.4-9.0 Ka)").

      Notice how a 6000 years old R1a-Z93 anywhere is a massive blow to the conservative (recentist) interpretations of the molecular clock. From Underhill's paper:

      "Using the 8 R1a lineages, with an average length of 48 SNPs accumulated since the common ancestor, we estimate the splintering of R1a-M417 to have occurred rather recently, B5800 years ago (95% CI: 4800–6800). The slowest mutation rate estimate would inflate these time estimates by one third, and the fastest would deflate them by 17%".

      This finding basically forces the oldest interpretations on the molecular clock for R1a-M417, and discards the mos recentist ones altogether. Isn't that almost exactly what I've been arguing for for years re. the molecular clock in general? Haven't I've been vindicated in this criticism of the scholastic approach more than just once? I won't ever forget the disappointment of Dienekes when the discovery of E1b-V13 in the Early Catalan Neolithic demolished his adhesion to what used to be called the "pedigree rate". But scholars seem too often oblivious to this kind of stuff, so they keep stumbling on the same error, and reality keeps correcting them. Reality is more stubborn than any idea that you, I, Underhill or whoever can have. We'll be proven wrong, hopefully not too often, hopefully we'll be cautious and wise enough, and hopefully we'll be humble enough to accept theoretical "defeat" by facts when it happens.

      Remember also that part of my argument is that the Z93 samples from Russia (all in the Samara district) are terminal branches derived from Central Asia (and not the other way around). So yeah, there was some very early Z93 in Ukraine and it had no consequence, so what? It's like those H or C1 we find in some ancient Europeans without further ado (they left nearly no legacy at least in the Y-DNA), just because it is R-something instead of C-something does not make it anymore relevant.
      Ref. for the casual reader:

      Let's not put all our eggs in one basket, you know what happens, let's keep our minds open. It's not any matter of life and death, just of facts vs beliefs.


    3. I think that I have seen other study, pointing out the presence of haplogroup V, H, L3 and so on, in some Taforalt individuals (so pre-Neolithic).

    4. Maju,

      You're completely insane, but at the very least try and get the facts right.

      The R1a-M417 (Z93+) sample in Ukraine dates to the Eneolithic, not the goddamn Neolithic, and belongs to the Sredny Stog culture. You know, the culture that has been posited by some experts to be archaic PIE, and, along with Khvalynsk, partly ancestral to Yamnaya.

      And just in case you've already forgotten, there's also R1a in Khvalynsk.

      But there's no R1a in any ancient Iranian or other West Asian samples, and there never will be in ancient West Asian samples from before the Bronze Age. Just like there never will be any R1a-M417 in any European samples outside of the steppe from before the Corded Ware expansion.

      That's because R1a is a northern forager marker, and R1a-M417 is a Pontic-Caspian steppe marker that expanded from there deep into Europe and Asia with the Indo-Europeans.

      Try and comprehend that reality isn't going to accommodate your various insane pet theories and biases.

    5. I'd really appreciate if you did not throw insults, David. I know you're very foul-mouthed (so am I at times, in different ways though) but insulting people you disagree with just because of disagreement is not acceptable. If that insult would have been directed to anyone but me, your comment would not have been approved. I'm wearing thick skin today, although not sure if I should.

      "The R1a-M417 (Z93+) sample in Ukraine dates to the Eneolithic, not the goddamn Neolithic".

      That is not what Samuel said: he said 5-4 Ka BP, which in my book should be Neolithic, specifically the Dniepr-Don culture or sometimes called Dniepr-Donetsk (who incidentally seem to fall into SHG rather than EHG):

      "... and belongs to the Sredny Stog culture"...

      I would have to check, meanwhile your discussion on this detail is with Samuel Andrews, not with me. I was just following his reference on the assumption that he was right.

      "You know, the culture that has been posited by some experts to be archaic PIE"...

      I know: I was talking of Sredny-Stog II (because there's a Sredny-Stog I that belongs fully to Dniepr-Don) since long before you were aware that it existed at all. It is, at least for what I read in the past, a "mixed" or "complex" group that shows a varied array of cultural affinities, depending on site, some are quite clearly Kurgan, others not yet. And that is interesting for the matter at hand, I believe.

      "And just in case you've already forgotten, there's also R1a in Khvalynsk."

      And in (presumably) Uralic Epipaleolithic Karelia, but thanks for the reminder, I do find hard at times to keep in memory all the aDNA data and there are no trutsworthy reference sites since Jean Manco decided to betray honest reporting for ideology and vested interests.

      "But there's no R1a in any ancient Iranian or other West Asian samples"...

      That's your best argument so far. However modern DNA points to that region as the almost unquestionable origin, so we have a contradiction in the data and we know that (1) there are many gaps in aDNA coverage (unavoidably so) and (2) the modern frequencies of R1a in that region are not that high, so it's plausible that they weren't either in the past (but that they got amplified in effects by means of founder effects.

      Regardless it is indeed possible that R1a was incorporated to Kurgan expansion very much the same way: it was relatively rare in ancestral Khvalynsk culture but was amplified by means of founder effect, maybein Sredny-Stog II as you seem to suggest. There is not such a big contradiction between what you say and what I say, I'm just much more cautious when taking point-evidence from aDNA as "the only thing that matters", I'm more "holistic" (whole-istic) in my approach.

      However the fact that Z93, which today is only made up Central-Asia-derived terminal branches was present in Ukraine in that chronology, whichever it is, to my eyes strongly suggests that the expansion of R1a1 from Iran-Kurdistan-Turkey in either the Neolithic (Underhill's chronology) or the Epipaleolithic (my revised chronology would be 11-10 Ka BP, approx.) fits the aDNA facts. Maybe if some Northern R1a prior to 10 Ka BP (or at least older than the 7 Ka BP chronology of Underhill, when calibrating with Anzick) were found I would have to admit that your conjecture (that to my eyes is nothing but nordicist fanaticism) is based on something.

      So far hard luck.

    6. All modern-day European and Asian R1a-M417 and R1a-Z93 lineages are from the Eneolithic/Bronze Age Pontic-Caspian steppe.

      Ancient DNA will never prove you right. You will have to deal with this sooner or later.

    7. Z93 are definitely not derived from Europe: they are derived from Central Asia, which in turn are derived from Southern and notably SW Asia. Those are the facts found in Underhill's study and nothing in aDNA strongly contradicts them in any way.

      Just repeating a slogan with emphasis does not make it truer, it just makes you sound fanatic.

    8. There's a new paper coming from Harvard soon with hundreds of ancient samples from Central Asia and Iran.

      I'll enjoy seeing you try and squirm your way out of what you just said after you see the results.

    9. There's a new paper coming from Harvard soon with hundreds of ancient samples from Central Asia and Iran.

      I'll enjoy seeing you try and squirm your way out of what you just said after you see the results.

    10. Not dignifying that with an answer, really.

    11. Well you'll have to soon. There's no getting away from it.

    12. Not that I have any strongly opinions on this, but where is R1a supposed to have come from if not from Central Asia or vicinity? The phylogeography of the K2b -> P1 -> R1 line is so deepy nestled in the extreme south-east of Eurasia that it just seems outrageous to call R1a a 'northern forager marker'.

    13. It's absolutely obvious that K2->P->R follows the SE Asia->South Asia route. I hope not even Davidiski challenges that, because, you know: Southern Asia is not sufficienly frozen and steppary for his like.

      I believe even he agrees that R1 may have coalesced in or near South Asia and that R1b did so in West Asia, but I may be wrong. The core of his argumentation seems to be that, as some R*, R1a and even (go figure!) a derived and very local variant of R1b have been found in Russia or nearby areas (where DNA preservation is better and research has been more intense) either R, R1 or R1a and R1b (separated already but together somehow, because you know: it reads "R-something" and because of ANE and Yamna-Khvalynsk autosomal stuff, but do not look at the mtDNA side of the equation, please, it may be the wind that makes your card castle crumble, don't look at Basque or even Bell Beaker autosomal DNA too much either: it may say inconvenient truths).

      In any case, much of my stand is based on modern Y-DNA geographically organized phylogeny, which strongly suggests (Underhill 2015) that:

      (1) R1a originated from West Asia and has two main branches: one European that can be largely associated to Kurgan expansion and another one Asian that just cannot because it clearly expands from South to North and then from East to West, so this one should be Neolithic in its frame of expansion or something like that (partly Epipaleolithic maybe?), while the other does look (Karelia HG) as definitely Epipaleolithic in its early expansion frame even if it was later expanded by Corded Ware.

      (2) R1b-S116 phylogeny strongly suggests a Basque-like origin at France or nearby areas. My best hunch right now is Artenacian->Bell Beaker, with its "brother" R1b-U106 maybe being expanded from Denmark and/or Low Germania by the Funnelbeaker phenomenon and its Michelsberg-SOM derivate. This would be the expansion of the "Atlantic Mestizos" in the LNCA period and at least partly before Corded Ware takes over Central-North Europe, although Bell Beaker and realated groups almost definitely seem to play a role, but an "Atlantic Neolithic" kind of role primarily, not a Kurganite one.

    14. Some quick references in case some casual reader does not understand what the heck I'm talking about in my last comment:

      For R1a origins: http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.comFor /2014/03/y-dna-r1a-spread-from-iran.html

      For R1b-Western, there are many entries in this blog but maybe these are most illustrative (cool maps and such):

    15. M Z

      Well if you think it's outrageous to call R1a a northern forager marker, then take it up with the ancient DNA.

      It shows R1a in northern foragers from what is now Ukraine as old as 10,000 years with no foreign admixture (ie. nothing Near Eastern nor South Asian).

      And then it shows a continuity of R1a into the Bronze Age, with a strong correlation with Eastern European forager ancestry.

      So isn't it more outrageous for you to claim that R1a isn't native to Eastern Europe when obviously it is? Do you pick and choose what you like when you come up with your theories or what?

    16. Hey Maju, which way are the arrows pointing in this image showing the migration of R1a-Z93-rich Sintashta and Andronovo? From Europe to Asia or not?

    17. The arrows in that map show cultural expansion from the archaeological perspective. Meh!

    18. I'm not sure what you coonsider South Asian or Near Eastern ancestry, but in Lazaridis' model even the hunters from Mesolithic Karelia have significantly inflated affinity to the Basal Eurasian ghost relative to the hunter gatherers in Western Europe. But be that is it may, the claim that R1a is 'native to Eastern Europe' is ridiculous not only because hunter gatherers tended to migrate and weren't 'native' anyhwere, but because the P1 clade came to Europe relatively late. We know this because we have sufficient ancient DNA from Paleolithic Europe.

      On a forum I used to post in several people who held the usual biases were hoping that the Sungir HGs would be on the clade leading to R1 - since they predictably turned out to be under C such notions of a European haplogroup R should finally be laid to rest. It's falsified and has always been quite frankly ridiculous, much like the suggestion to 'take it up with ancient DNA' when 95% of what we have is from Europe, with zero samples from the relevant places.

    19. Correction: it's not the Karelian HGs but the Scandinavian HGs that Lazaridis modelled: in Lazaridis (2016) the SHGs are inferred to have 10% BE ancestry, in the Eneolithic steppe it's already close to 20%.

    20. M Z

      I hate to be the fly in the ointment here, but the fact that R1a has been present in Eastern Europe since at least 10,000 YBP, and has always correlated strongly with local forager ancestry, will be taken by reasonable people as evidence that it's native to Eastern Europe.

      I mean, sure, you can try and argue against reality, but you'll just end up looking insane. And indeed you already are.

    21. Maju,

      The arrows on that map are based on ancient DNA evidence featured in the paper.

      You should read it.

    22. I read the legend in the image you linked to and it talks about cultural expansion very clearly. You did not link to the paper.

    23. Wow, so you haven't bothered to read one of the major ancient DNA papers on the topic that clearly shows the movement of R1a-rich steppe groups from Europe to Asia, and here you are arguing that the opposite happened.

      No wonder M Z is a fan. He has exactly the same disorder as you: ignore whatever doesn't fit the pet theory, and keep believing in the stuff that does, no matter what.

      You guys should look around for a new hobby, because the eventual realization and shock that you're no good at any of this might prove fatal.

    24. I'm not some sort of god that can be everywhere at the same time. I might have been missed something. Is it important? I don't know. I won't know until you give me the relevant link (or if pay-per-view, send me a free copy, I don't buy academic papers, I have no money left after buying toilet paper: I live in Third World Europe).

    25. You made a claim that contradicts published data and respond with insults when this is pointed out. It is a strange world you live in, and you clearly lack the abilities and scholarly attitude to deal with such data. I do not have any pet theories and ancient DNA can never be 'shocking' to me.

    26. @Maju,
      "Remember that, according to my interpretation (not Underhill's), the main expansion of R1a happened very suddenly in the 11-10 Ka BP bracket, still in the Epipaleolithic"

      Nope. Modern R1a derives from the R1a M417 expansion. R1a M417 did not expand in the Epipaleolithic. Ancient DNA shows R1a M417 expanded into Europe with Corded Ware and into central Asia with Sintashta & Andronovo. Sintashta & Andronovo carried R1a Z93. They eventually brought into Iran, Afghanistan, and India.

      No Epipaleolithic or Neolithic samples from eatern Europe belong to R1a M417. Some belong to extinct basal forms of R1a but none to R1a M417.

    27. Davidski is only a moron with no laurea no knowledge except his asshole, who banned from his blog all the people more knowledgeable than him as the same German Dziebel (with whom we may disagree about his “Out of America” but he has two PhD-s and very great knowledge in the Anthropological field.
      I don’t speak about R1a (I think it came from a Western European Refugium too) but about R-L51 from Yamnaya Davidski has demonstrated all his asininity and also about the “Out of Africa”, criticized on his blog by me and German in favour of the theory of Shi Huang and colleagues. What has he to say now that also hid God David Reich seems not believing with that anymore? What I promised to Richard Rioca is worthj also for him….

    28. M Z

      Published data show that the oldest recorded R1a is from Eastern Europe...

      Ukraine_Mesolithic, ID: I5876, 7040-6703 calBCE, Mathieson et al. 2018

      And there's a strong continuity of R1a in the Eastern European ancient DNA record throughout the Neolithic and Bronze Age.

      So now you show me older, or at least just as old, R1a samples from elsewhere. Till then you have nothing except highly theoretical models of where R1a might have been at the same time as in Eastern Europe, but no direct evidence to prove it.

      And no, Karelia HG doesn't have an Basal Eurasian ancestry. This has been clearly shown in a couple of papers. You're obviously just confused.

    29. SHG has BE as per Lazaridis (2016). You might want to cite those papers.

    30. Samuel: you are misunderstanding, I believe. That they can't resolve ancient Y-DNA lineages downstream of some marker is also related or at least CAN be also related to the limitations of DNA preservation itself. So if researchers can only resolve to M417 that does not mean it is not some downstream lineage, it can still be. And that's why Genetiker sometimes thinks he "sees things" downstream: they could be but they are dubious because the aDNA quality is not, never, even in the best case, as good as moder, "fresh", DNA. This is one of the various forms of "quantum uncertainty" in genetics, another one is that various autosomal analysis results can be similarly valid, as in the example from the entry before this one, while they say slightly different things.

      In any case, even assuming you'd be right (which is a lot to asume) and that ancient Y-DNA could be interpreted straightforwardly as if it'd be "fresh", you would then need a model by which modernly dominant variants of R1a such as Z282 became dominant, driving the others to near-extinction, may I know which one is it?

      You also say: "No Epipaleolithic or Neolithic samples from eatern Europe belong to R1a M417. Some belong to extinct basal forms of R1a but none to R1a M417".

      Alright, that's interesting enough to dwell on it (even if we're way off topic, but whatever). How do you explain that while retaining the parsimony of basal R1a being today only found in Iran-Kurdistan and basal R1a-M417 is only found in Turkey and Denmark (per Underhill 2015). This is very hard to explain with the Corded Ware and Eastern Europe origin model you spouse, more so when other lineages like R1b-Volga are clearly persistent (i.e. it must have been a very selective kind of genocide).

      For reference for the casual reader, we are discussing this:

      ... among other stuff whose references I'm missing right now.

      And apologies to those casual readers for the off-topicness, I guess it is somehow very obliquely related to the matter at hand, at least from the viewpoint the pan-Indoeuropeanist camp, which heavily relies on their belief on all Y-DNA R or at least all R1 stemming from the West-Central Eurasian Steppe, what doesn't seem to match much of the actual data we have, with modern DNA strongly suggesting it expanded from West Asia instead (R1a and R1b) and even from Pakistan/NW India (R, R1).

    31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    32. WARNING FOR DAVIDSKI: I'm not going to put up with bullying and personal attacks in my blog! Not against me, not against other commenters.

      This is the relevant sentence of the type I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANYMORE: "You're a liar and an obfuscater".

      Thus, I'm deleting the comment, and you get a stern warning. Bite your tongue or you'll be banned from commenting here.

    33. You should've also quoted the part where I pointed out to M Z that Lazaridis et al. 2016 did not find any Basal Eurasian in SHG. Here it is again...

      "European hunter-gatherers (EHG, WHG, SHG, Kostenki14, Switzerland_HG) show no evidence of Basal Eurasian ancestry, but populations of Near Eastern or partial Near Eastern ancestry do."

    34. I feel bad for cluttering the blog with the above exchange, which consists of little more than the exchanging of insults. I really need to work on my temper. I'd like to make one last post on the topic to illustrate my point. Here is the chart showing the inferred percentages of Basal Eurasian ancestry from Lazaridis (2016):

      It looks as though the affinity to the BE ghost existed as far north as Mesolithic Scandinavia in significant amounts relative to the low levels present in the Villabruna cluster, which presumably migrated to Europe from northern Asia Minor. The samples from the PC-Steppe, too, show this component in excess of what can be derived from the proposed source of southern ancestry in the Bronze Age steppe, namely the Iran_Chl population.

      I believe Pagani of Oxford and Metspalu of the Estonian Biocentre are working on a paper that detected this pre-existing cline of a component that appears to be modal in Iran. The title is "A Pre-Existing Isolation by Distance Gradient in West Eurasia May Partly Account for the Observed “Steppe” Component in Europe". We shall see what comes of it, but the pattern looks real enough.

      If this turns out to be real, I think the very basal R1a haplogroups in Iran and vicinity mentioned by Maju could be an interesting piece of the puzzle. I'm thinking of a hypothetical northern expansion of the Zarzian, or perhaps from the under-researched paleolithic cultures in southern Central Asia.

    35. You can rewrite the whole message, without the personal attack, David. You can say exactly the same without starting a fight by replacing your aggressive sentence by somenthing in the line of "it is not that way", "I have to disagree" or even "you are outright wrong". It's not that difficult, thank you in advance because I know it will be an effort considering your temperament but nothing you can't do.

    36. M Z

      You don't understand the chart you posted. The conclusion in Lazaridis et al. 2016 is that SHG and EHG do not have any Basal Eurasian admixture.

      This is clearly stated in the paper. You're being ignorant or just plain dishonest by ignoring this.

      But this is not my problem, it's your problem.

    37. Maju

      M Z is either being dishonest, or he's simply so biased that he can't see straight on most of these issues. Pointing this out isn't an insult, it's just an observation.

      Look above, he's very clearly misrepresenting the conclusions of a paper to try and "win" an argument, at least in his mind anyway.

    38. Ok, I see the reason for the apparent contradiction between the chart I posted and the statement from the supplementary information. The authors speculate that EHG & SHG derive their 'pseudo-basal' ancestry from a population that split off closer to Ust_Ishim, hence reducing non-Afican->Eurasian drift.

      It'll be interesting to see how this is resolved in the Pagani paper. I'm particularly curious about this statement:

      However ancient DNA samples from East European and Caucasian Hunter-Gatherers as well as from Early Iranian Neolithic, dating from before the Yamnaya expansion, already show signs of this so called “Steppe” component (Lazaridis et al. 2016). Such an observation is compatible with the presence of a pre-existing genetic gradient ranging from Caucasus/Iran all the way to Europe, which likely formed through isolation by distance over thousands of years."

    39. I don't know who is correct or wrong, because nobody is posting links. And I have way too limited time and energies to search stuff vaguely mentioning some paper by Lazaridis, which I'm not sure I had time to take note of. You say Lazaridis 2016?

    40. OK, I did discuss it here: , I wrote something about "Basal Eurasian" but rather concerned about Fst distances to Yoruba, which doesn't seem to be what you're talking about.

      So which was the number of the image you're so hotly debating?

    41. The chart just shows the f4-ratio, how could I not understand it? But yes, the authors clarify the supplements that the 'basal' ancestry in SHG-EHG might be of a different type than what's found in the near east.

    42. M Z

      There was no steppe component until the Eneolithic on the steppe. This is covered in detail in several major papers.

      And there was no Basal Eurasian admixture in EHG or SHG. This is explicitly pointed out in the paper that you cited.

      The steppe is also the first place where R1a-M417 and R1b-M269 show up, and these are the most important Indo-European paternal markers.

      So quit making things up.

    43. OK, seems you're discussing fig.2 in the paper, I guess:

      Which says that SHG have c. 10% "Basal Eurasian", very low but still greater than WHG, which are the lowest or all at c. 2%. That's still 3-5 times more BA in SHG than in WHG, with the largest European fraction of it, excepting CHG, being at the EN: c.24%. Is maybe an argument about whether the glass is half-full or half-empty?

      My underline on that issue was rather about West Asian EN/Mesolithic populations rich in BA, which I consider confusing at best: Natufians are rich in BA and E1b but very distant from Yoruba (2nd most distant after WHG), instead Iran_N is rich (slightly richer than Natufians) in BA and much closer to Yoruba. Levant_N on the other hand is as close to Yoruba as Iran_N but much lower in BA. I find all this utterly confusing, to be honest.

    44. Davidski does have a point, the authors state in the supplement that they think the BE ancestry in SHG & EHG are statistically insignificant - I hadn't noticed this. However, in the f4-test SHG and especially EHG do show those affinities, albeit to a lesser extent than, for example, CHG (in the case of EHG it's about half).

      The problem is that the margins are huge, so it was definitely wrong of me to use hypothetical BE ancestry as an argument for a possible paleolithic migration from the Near East.

      There's been a new paper published a couple of days ago which reduced the possible BE ancestry in EEF by more than half of Lazaridis estimate, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence in those methods:

    45. Maju

      "Which says that SHG have c. 10% "Basal Eurasian", very low but still greater than WHG, which are the lowest or all at c. 2%"

      Nope, there's no Basal in SHG. Read the paper properly and understand it, instead of making things up like M Z.

      See page 21 here...

      How difficult is it to actually make an attempt to have an honest and informed discussion? Is it really beyond you guys to try and do that?

    46. I would add that their f4-test actually bears out an almost perfect gradient from Iran_Neo -> CHG -> EHG -> SHG -> WHG, which is presumably what Pagani et al. detected in their upcoming paper which I cited above. To me it seems that the authors in the paper at hand somewhat arbitrarily decided where the signal stopped being statistically significant. But those might just be my personal biases talking.

    47. How difficult is to copy-paste the relevant text: "European hunter-gatherers (EHG, WHG, SHG, Kostenki14, Switzerland_HG show no evidence of Basal Eurasian ancestry, but populations of Near Eastern or partial Near Eastern ancestry do, reaching significance when Y=MA1, WHG, or SHG and being negative (although not always reaching ignificance at the |Z|>3 threshold) for the other hunter-gatherer groups".

      I believe it's the sentence you meant to state all this time...

    48. @MZ: I also see that gradient but the important thing for me is that we really don't know what exactly is Basal Eurasian, which IMO they could have equally called "Terminal African" or whaveter else. We don't know if it is, as speculated, something that remained in West Asia from the OoA period or something that arrived from Africa later on, or both. On light of the Iberomaurusian and related studies on Afro-Eurasians, I'd think that the latter but that it can also be several different flows of African genetics into West Asia (and beyond) that get conflated in a single "catch-all" label.

      If Iran_N was significantly more African (Yoruba-like) than Natufian and also slightly more BA, couldn't that focus of BA/African admixture have spread throuhgh Central Asia or the Caucasus even before the Neolithic expansion? People are not rocks: they mix every generation and some of that admixture (sexual reproduction) should have been from neighbors. Even if the pops. remained quite isolated from each other, as it seems to be the case, some minor flow should have happened, producing that gradient.

    49. It's not up to me to educate you. Make an effort to at least understand the basics. Terminal African? Haha.

      If you really have a genuine interest in this topic, then you will study the paper I linked to and make an informed and unbiased judgment.

      But this is clearly not about that and not a debate. It's me ramming facts and reality down your throats and you trying your best to get away.

    50. @ Maju

      "If Iran_N was significantly more African (Yoruba-like) than Natufian and also slightly more BA, couldn't that focus of BA/African admixture have spread throuhgh Central Asia or the Caucasus even before the Neolithic expansion? People are not rocks: they mix every generation and some of that admixture (sexual reproduction) should have been from neighbors. Even if the pops. remained quite isolated from each other, as it seems to be the case, some minor flow should have happened, producing that gradient".

      I write only to you, because you are the only one here able to search for the truth and not any undemonstrated (and undemonstrable) agenda. What you said above is reasonable, and, if I had PC-s and programs, I'd check the data from the paper of Shi Huang's team I quoted in another thread to see if this "BE" may have come from Asia and not Africa, of course with a migration different from that which carried R1* from central Asia to the western European refugia, very likely that which brought hg. E to Near East, Nortrhern Africa and the same Africa, after of course the migration which brought hgs A and B. To see A00, which separated at least more than 300000 years ago.

    51. David: it's up to you to provide evidence of your claims, including proper references, preferably links.

      I have only SOME interest in the topic: you creating one after another side debates that deviate mora and more from the topic at hand and, I'm OK with that if it makes sense to you, but, damnit!, provide some references, so the rest can follow up what the heck are you talking about. Don't pretend we have to be magically infused with the knowledge of the very matter you brought around for no apparent reason, because that's also abuse. And I'm telling you: I'm having none of it in this new epoch.

      And have measure! Quit the off-topicness at some point and agree to disagree. Trying to "be right" all the time, much less with that arrogance and pretense, does not help anyone involved.

      "It's me ramming facts and reality down your throats and you trying your best to get away."

      Our apoligioes oh kow-it-all ramming "fact" feeder.

      Next time you feed "facts", do it with less rage and more evidence, it is up to the arguer to provide the evidence (links, quotes and so on). Alternatively, just quit arguing at some point. Because there's no point in arguing all the time: we need some time to lay back and live, including chewing on all the stuff about genetics and what-not.

      Just because you say something with an angry face don't expect me to agree, most likely I'll disagree because I don't like to be yelled at alone. If you instead feed that info with some basic care and respect, there's a good chance that I chew on it calmly and I may end up agreeing with you, or maybe I would still disagree, but we would both be happier.

      I know it's partly the testosterone: you are younger than me, I've already gone through the age of menopause (we men may not have that exactly but it's still a significant line to cross and a lot of things change in that period, including gradual lowering of testosterone levels) and that surely affects how you see things and react to them. But you are no teenager either to be picking fights mindlessly, I know you believe you "know better", and in some cases that may be true, but you should also know better in the sense I mean: this is not any battlefield but a debate-field, and in debates there's always some disagreement, there's always people who don't know every single aspect (much less if you keep branching out from the main topic) and there is no need to reach to any immediate conclusion.

    52. PD- sorry for the typos, I need to install the correctors/dictionaries again (a virus killed my PC just a few days ago and lost a lot of stuff, including bookmarks, papers, etc.)

      Advise: if people sends you videos using FB messenger, don't click on them even for pause (which I did), delete them with the side-menu for comments and scold the person (or just outright block them, unfriend them, whatever). There's an epidemic of viruses via that.

    53. @Maju: Yes, it's an intersting possibility, especially considering the revised date of a split 80,000 BP present and a measly 9.4% of Basal Eurasian Admixture in the new paper I linked which, IMHO, doesn't support a very ancient presence of this component in the Near East. If this was the case, those Basal Eurasians must have been quite isolated in southern Arabia or thereabouts. However, that still leaves the question why the BE component peaks in Mesolithic Iran.

      An interesting approach Lazaridis uses to constrain the BE ghost is using the Ethiopian Mota HG as a proxy for incipient Non-African, and it indeed it does reduce the need for the Basal Ghost. Switzerland HG modelled as WHG + Mota has less BE, same for SHG modelled as WHG + EHG + Mota. So it seems that these ancestries are in some way related but not exactly cognate. There could have been various populations that branched from the West Eurasian clade before Ust-Ishim. 'African' and 'non-African' is a matter of degree after all.

    54. As for the Iranian gradient, one of the authors of the Pagani paper, Mait Metspalu, tweeted this: "Yes - the gradient we think is there is made of some components of future steppe ancestry. But the signal for inflation would remain."

      I hope this comes out soon because I sincerely think the aforementioned gradient is real, because it's right there in data. Hopefully the authors have come up with a more sophisticated method to demonstrate this.

  2. It would be interesting, too, in this context to try to reconcile what we know about the population dynamics in more northern regions during metal ages with the linguistic data. For example, I am pretty sure the ancestors of the insular Celts replaced non-Indo-European groups when they moved to the Isles in the Iron Age. Matasovic considers the substrata that exist in the insular Celtic languages to be typologically close to a loose 'Atlantic' group, in which he includes Niger-Congo, Basque & some Afrasian languages. In light of what we learned about the near-complete replacement of Late Neolithic groups in the Isles, I'd think that the evidence points strongly towards the non-Indo-European association of early northern Bell Beakers. If the western branches under M269 were found to have an origin independent of Yamnaya, that would explain how the already 'vasconized' Celtic speech became yet more non-Indo-European in north-western Europe, but not so in Iberia or France.

    Oh well, we shall see. More samples from the some of the key regions would definitely help. I've been reading up on the Artenac culture you mentioned - very interesting, I'd never heard of it. Ancient samples from France will be exciting.

    1. There is very little material about Artenacian online and all of it (or most at least) is in French. Basically they are the Western counterpart to Corded Ware in the North and their strongest trait is being an archer people, what is similar to Bell Beaker. They expanded from Dordogne (Aquitaine) and reached Belgium, establishing a border with Indoeuropeans near the Rhine that, if we exclude Bell Beaker, persisted until the Celtic invasions of the Iron Age you mention (the Celts breached previously the near-Rhine border only by the East, outside the previously Artenacian area, along the Rhône river and into Catalonia, this happened at the end of the Bronze Age).

      For what I know they are often considered to be "proto-Aquitanian" and thus related to modern Basques somehow but it's not too clear how exactly, maybe just by vicinity and persistent interaction. The Southern Basque Country was much better inserted in the Bell Beaker phenomenon instead.

      In the Northern area (the latter Belgica Province of the Romans) Artenacian is also known as Le Gord, with some distinctive features, probably from the SOM/Michelsberg/Funnelbeaker substrate.

      Another key trait of Artenacian, most clearly visible in and around Brittany, is that the Mega-Megalithism ends and a Mini-Megalithism, plausibly more egalitarian, with smaller and more frequent dolmen-type tombs. We can interpret this, I guess, as Artenacian being more populist-egalitarian than the classical Brittany Megalithism, which seems elitist instead (plausibly priestly caste precursor of later druids, as the phenomenon seems to persist in Great Britain, where druidism probably originated).

      I wish so much we had ancient genetic data from these cultures! It could explain so many things!

  3. Good work!

    So modern Iberians are mainly a pre-roman local people?

    That´s interesting (though maybe not very surprising).

    How much indo-european is known Iberia? Maybe the values are not static, as soon as new discoveries are made, but I would like to know what´s currently know.


    1. How much Indoeuropean in Iberia? I'd say that around 15% steppe, except Basques, maybe 20% at most. But judge yourself based for example on what I was saying in the previous entry:

      Anyhow the overall admixture when comparing with for example Italy can be in some cases much greater, I don't know but I would not be surprised by as much as 50% (although 30% may be a safer range for the most affected areas). Because one thing is Indoeuropean-steppe and another very different thing Indoeuropean-Roman. The steppe thing gets diluted but the new IE origin is also closer genetically to the new destination.

      In commercial DNA analyses Iberians are seldom near 100% "Iberian" (you have to be purebred Basque for that), but they show large fractions of Italian, Irish, West European, and smaller ones of Finnish, Turkish... and of course the typical North African.

      In the new Bycroft paper these trends seem to reappear but now we get to know better how they affect the different regions. Quite interestingly "Irish" and "North African" overlap so much that I think they are a single "Atlantic" influence and quite possibly a pre-IE one: one corresponding to the Atlantic Bronze Age quite probably.

      The French influence is also at least partly pre-IE, as it is most concentrated in Basques with very poor fit (basically Basques don't get anything else, so all French but not quite, the authors suspect some French-constituent component, something like pre-IE French plausibly).

      But there's a lot of Italian influence in the South and that mostly makes sense in relation to Rome, right? And Spaniards overall seem to be between Basques and Italians, so the Romans must be it. Because would it be Neolithic stuff they'd rather tend to Sardinia instead, and that's not the case at all.


  4. Thanks for your opinion.

    The idea that Iberians were possibly like modern Sardinians at the beginning of the Neolithic, may be because of lack of representative sampling, or do you think that hypothesis can be excluded right away?

    I have seen Iberians getting 100% Iberian on 23 andme, just not sure how far back it can go.

    1. Well, there's always the possibility that greater sampling produces greater diversity. But the "Sardinian" affinity is a pattern we see all across Europe in that early phase and not just in Iberia. So I see no reason to question it: they were settling and not yet admixing. Middle and some Late Neolithic probably represents locally admixed populations but in most cases they are still close to Sardinia.

      But there is that other step (3) towards "Basqueness" that we see in some northern LNCA individuals (and then in all BA ones) and includes Swedish Neolithic. Is this something "Megalithic"?, is this something "Bell Beaker"?, is "French" (in a Neolithic or Paternabidea-Gurgy way of "Frenchness")?, Artenacian?, maybe just biological expansion of lactose-tolerant people? I can't say for sure because I just don't manage enough info to know, although some paths to explanation may seem more likely than others.

      One key piece of evidence would be to know which of those LNCA individuals fall in each cluster, because it's clearly then when we can see the pattern of change happening: in the LNCA phase, i.e. between 3500 and 1800 BCE approx. Why is that happening and how does it relate to Swedish Neolithic and thus quite probably to the Funnelbeaker phenomenon (which begins in Denmark and its Swedish associated area). Who are those Basque-like Atlantic farmers?, when do they begin to exist and how?, how exactly did they expand? Those are the key questions that require answers.

    2. "I have seen Iberians getting 100% Iberian on 23 andme, just not sure how far back it can go."

      Most are Basques but I've seen the occasional other too. IDK, I get very confused because people and companies seem only interested in the individual results and also people use different companies with somewhat different "calculators", what is even more confusing.

    3. On 23andme :

      Myself (Gascon from east Bearn) : Iberian 86.8%
      Another Gascon guy from east Bearn : Iberian 88%
      A Gascon girl from west Bearn : Iberian 96.7%
      A Basque girl from Hendaye (Labort) : Iberian 100%
      An Aragonese girl from Huesca : Iberian 76.6%
      A Basque guy from Pamplona (Navarre) : Iberian 95.6%
      A Catalan guy from Barcelona : Iberian 43%
      Another Catalan guy from Penedès : 37%

      It is quite clear "Iberian" is Basqueness as far as 23andme is concerned.


    4. I honestly rarely engage on these DNA kit discussions (more on peer reviewed scientific articles), because the results are often not well detailed, biased and can make people take wrong conclusions.
      If the results are really representative, then my bad and I would find it fascinating anyway (to be honest I wouldn´t be annoyed or anything, because there are much more important things in my life than stuff like this).

      Anyway, just to make it clearer, aren´t they using a Basque sample to represent «Iberian» on 23andme?
      That would of course show biased results in Basque direction.
      And why it is considered non native, a DNA segment that can be dated to as far back the Epipaleolithic (and back then was already present in Iberia), just because it appears as «North African»?
      Northwest Africans and Iberians, can and do have shared DNA portions from this period. And this doesn´t tell you anything about the direction of the gene flow, it could even come from North to South.
      On the meanwhile isn´t it possible that some DNA portions that got in Iberia more recently than the ones I was speaking, are considered native Iberian by these kit companies?

      I remember that at time I got a print screen from the Azorean guy (and there are others scoring 99,9%, 99,6% and something like that), so here it is:

      I think that I saw it on Apricity or something like that (my bad that I didn´t got the exact link to it).
      Maybe I can try to locate it again, but don´t have the time for it, and it´s up to each one to believe it or not...
      Maybe there are some flaws on this as well, but I think that I had to show this, instead of just words.

    5. I think they are using a "zombie", not a real population: i.e. a pre-selected component "distilled" from previous analyses. However it is clear that their "Iberian" component is very close to the actual Basque genetic makeup.

      Then I have seen in FB also one or two people from South Iberia that also get very high Iberian, but it's hard to remember in which company or calculator or from which location because their attitude is basically "these are my results, what can you make out of them?" (very individualistic and often a bit secretive about their personal/family data, not useful for the collective analysis we are interested in). The vast majority do not in any case: they get very sizable chunks of NW European (and/or Finnish) and of Italian (and sometimes also Balcan-Turkish-Jewish), plus almost invariably a small amount of NW African too.


  5. Yes, one of the ones that got 100% Iberian, was Portuguese (from the Azores).

    And thanks for all the informations given. Still need time to digest all this interesting stuff.


Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. Personal attacks, manipulation and trolling are also very much unwelcome here.The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Preliminary comment moderation is... ON (your comment may take some time, maybe days or weeks to appear).