April 8, 2018

Luxmanda: a 3,000 years-old proto-Horner in Tanzania

I knew, more intuitively than rationally, that the Horner (Ethiopian, Somali, Eritrean) type of Afro-Eurasian admixture was very old but no idea it was so much. I knew that West Eurasian Upper Paleolithic had an impact on Africa (LSA) but I did not know it went so deep South nor that it had left such a massive legacy as ancient DNA reveals.

Pontus Skoglund et al. Reconstructing Prehistoric African Population Structure. Cell 2017 (open access). DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2017.08.049

The data analysis speaks volumes by itself:

Figure 1 - Overview of Ancient Genomes and African Population Structure

Figure S2 - Ancient Individuals and African Population Structure

Figure 2 - Ancestral Components in Eastern and Southern Africa

We show bar plots with the proportions inferred for the best model for each target population. We used a model that inferred the ancestry of each target population as 1-source, 2-source, or 3-source mixture of a set of potential source populations.

So much that I don't really know what else to say. Of course this is just a sample of what there is in the paper, read it. I'm sure there will be plenty of comments even if the study was published months ago.

Regarding haploid DNA, I don't see anything outstanding but, as I know there is generally quite a bit of interest, these are screenshots of the ancient lineages found (full data in the supp. materials of the study):

Ancient Y-DNA (screenshot)
Ancient mtDNA (screenshot)

Related: No Iberian in Iberomaurusian.

Correction: I first titled this "a 30,000 years-old...". That was a major error on my part and I apologize for any confusion it may have caused. Thanks to Capra Internetensis for spotting it.


  1. major typo in your title there - 3 000 years not 30 000. sure would be nice to have 30 000 year old aDNA from East Africa though!

    1. WTF. You're absolutely right. I knew it, I read 3000 the first time I visited the paper but this morning I somehow read 31,000 what made me blink but still not blink enough.

      I'll correct immediately and thank you very much for spotting that MAJOR error (much bigger than a "typo").

  2. Kaixo Maju
    The luxmanda results very interesting.
    As you know in east africa there is a sandawe people which are a khoisan pocket
    Also at 10.000 BC around the nile delta has oldest massacre grave and victims probable from khoisan race.
    The iberomaurasian article mentioned that ancient Rift people mixied with a race which look Like khoisan.
    I wonder before early holocone -what was also Sahara regrassing- all africa except Western and Atlantc coastal rainforest zone were peopling by khoisan people.
    Do you know something or what do you think
    Gau ona.

    1. The Sandawe are click-language speakers but not Khoisan in any meaningful way: not linguisticallt, not genetically. They are distantly related but only very very distantly so. They rather represent one of various East African ancient populations.

    2. "Also at 10.000 BC around the nile delta has oldest massacre grave and victims probable from khoisan race."

      Can you provide a source? I would expect by that time that ALL North Africa was already more or less "asianized", because the arrival of Upper Paleolithic was much older (50-40 Ka BP, much like in Europe, Central Asia, etc.)

  3. https://www.google.com.tr/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/saharan-remains-may-be-evidence-of-first-race-war-13000-years-ago-9603632.html%3famp

    "Cranial analysis of the Jebel Sahaba fossils found that they shared osteological affinities with a hominid series from Wadi Halfa in Sudan.[6] Additionally, comparison of the limb proportions of the Jebel Sahaba skeletal remains with those of various ancient and recent series indicated that they were most similar in body shape to the examined modern populations from Sub-Saharan Africa (viz. 19th century fossils belonging to the San population, 19th century West Africa fossils, 19th and 20th century Pygmy fossils, and mid-20th century fossils culled from Kenya and Uganda in East Africa). However, the Jebel Sahaba specimens were post-cranially distinct from the Iberomaurusians and other coeval series from North Africa, and they were also morphologically remote from later Nubia skeletal series and from fossils belonging to the Mesolithic Natufian culture of the Levant.[7]" from Wikipedia

    1. The article says some very different things from the ones you stated earlier: (1) it's not at the Nile Delta but in Northern Sudan, i.e. south of the Second Cataract; (2) it says they were "broadly Subsaharan", hence not clearly Khoisanid in any way, just not "Caucasoid". Also calling it a "race war" is absolutely speculative because we have no idea who the attackers were.

  4. Agur Maju
    If you are following, you know that ancient DNA's related to Iran and Central Asia are being phenomena in eurogenes recently.

    This is a article about the Ganj Dareh early neolithic archeology zone in the central Zagros.


    This paper was interest me due to it seem Zagros neolithic was very close to CHG.
    For me that is a a evidence of İranian origin of Yamnaya culture,as you know half of the ancestry of yamnaya was coming from an iranian source which was look Like CHG,even this both source-iran and CHG-resemble each other.
    Also genetic workings showed that yamnaya people had Olive skin,Brown eyes and dark hairs very similar to modern iranian people:pashtuns,farsi,kurds etc.
    I think ultimate origin of indo european coming from that Zagros neolithic because if they came from caucasus they Must be liked white skinned caucasian people not iranian and oldest steppe culture in europe,khalivinsk emerged in the Volga valley near the Kazakistan border not in the kalmykia,the caucasian border.
    That is my opinion,what is yours.

    1. I don't recall having read/discussed that one but around the same time Lazaridis et al. also published on various genomes of Neolithic West Asia with a similar result for what they call "Iran Neolithic" (Zagros): https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2016/06/ancient-genomes-from-neolithic-west-asia.html

    2. The CHG homeland is Iran or maybe a bit further east in Afghanistan (since there appears to have always been quite a bit of "Basal Eurasian" in Iran since very early). And it is this region which was the source for the major transformations affecting Europe starting 10,000 years ago and continuing till today. The various R1a1 and R1b lines in Europe show clear origin from multiple founder effects, and even if the CHG homeland were not known, we would know that the transformations of Europe had to come from Elsewhere and that R1a1 and R1b were not native but imported in at various time depths due to the patterns of spread (multiple founder effects, the last being z93 which did not fixate fully in Europe); also the lines lack real derivational structure in Europe. Let me also add that the CHG people were very much more likely to have been like gypsies (true nomads) rather than the like Huns or Alexander-like barbarians from the later imperial ages. So, now we know for fact what many have been saying for a real long time "in the wilderness".

    3. "Yamnaya" is composed of at least three components: Anatolian Farmer, CHG, and WHG, with only WHG being "native" and even that is doubtful if we go back far enough. Yamnaya was very obviously caught in the whirlpool of CHG for a thousand years and when things settled R1a and R1b from CHG/ANE had become fixated. It is very disingenuous for these Eurocentrists to claim that Yamnaya admixture is found in the source populations that themselves created Yamnaya; Yamnaya is so admixed that it will show affinity to just about anything. Yamnaya is the sink of Eurasia.

    4. Isn't it rather EHG, i.e. the "Siberianized" paleoeuropean component of far NE Europe from Karelia to the Volga (and today also known to have been dominant in Norway)? AFAIK it is.

      WHG can be a proxy for EHG but it's not quite the same thing.

      Where do you get they had "Anatolian farmer" from? Never heard of that before, rather EHG+CHG or more precisely maybe EHG + Zagros Neolithic (Iran Neolithic), which is close to CHG but not exactly the same.

      Intrigued anyhow by what you say about Yamna being "the sink of Eurasia". I'm not familiar with any such approach although they are of course product of Neolithic admixture (unless the Dystruct approach is correct, and then they are just direct descendants of Kostenki, unsure).

  5. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Rja6ZyjQrz3UK7_HTagkzczoOFjwcXOGdNOm9FC3Rik/edit?usp=sharing

    Good afternoon Maju
    I saw this document in eurogenes,it has all steppe related Y-DNA with all SNP's
    You should look this.

  6. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/25/9211

    Agur Maju

    I do not know if you have seen this before but this work was both enlight me and confused.
    Enlighted,because this study is explaining how oldest european neolithic settlements appeared in south greece and albania not in thrace
    Confused,because basque is very outlier from other european people's genetic structure,I was think that basques came from iberian neolithic via cardium pottery but basques does not same as sardinian and south italian
    I will be happy if you explain this basque sitation and good readings.

    1. I had not seen it before but I don't see what's exactly the point and how they "demonstrate" it either. By now it seems quite apparent that West Anatolian Neolithic was crucial in any case.

      Iberians come from ancient (Bronze Age) Iberians who were Basque-like (and Scandinavian-Neolithic-like) and who in turn replaced even more ancient Iberians who were Sardinian-like. Modern Iberians seem to be a mix of those Basque-like Bronze Age Iberians and Indoeuropeans arriving via France (Celts) and Italy (Romans). See this: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2018/03/quickie-pre-indoeuropean-evolution-if.html

      That study is not considering the effect of the Kurgan or Indoeuropean expansion in the modern make-up of Europeans. Basques and Sardinians, lacking that element, are naturally distinct. Sardinians being insular even more clearly so.

      In supp. fig. 9 for example you see Sardinians very isolated (as they are the only "living fossil" of Early Neolithic) but with thin lines linking them to Italy and SE Europe. Basques are also isolated but less so and link somewhat strongly to France and Ireland (no Iberian samples) and weakly to Italy and Denmark. That makes the Basque-Sardinian relation almost compulsorily via Italy, what makes all sense if we understand it is a very old and from the Neolithic (some 7000 years old), however possible Basque-Sardinian links via Iberia are unexplored in the paper you linked to.

  7. https://www.google.com.tr/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1867/20171540.full.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjx8JnzmszaAhXP0aYKHUwyALs4FBAWMAV6BAgGEAE&usg=AOvVaw2SpSiDTFKtemjoZ2ysSm0g

    Gau ona Maju
    This is a fresh(some six-seven months old)work of globular amphora culture genetic structure and affinity to PIE yamnaya
    As you know some steppist assert that globular amphora was an early wave of yamnaya and responsible for creating of corded ware
    But this work break their dreams

    1. Gabon ba, Mem.

      "Gabon" (just like the African country) is how it is actually said, it is a contraction of "gau on", the nominative final -a is not used (just as you don't say "the good night" in English). Similarly it's said "egun on" (good day = good morning) and "arratsalde on" (good afternoon/evening-before-sunset).

      Anyway, I get an "error 404 - not found" from Google for this link: "http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1867/20171540.full.pdf". However if I paste this link, I do get to it.

      Conclusion, do not use google-mediated links but direct links.

      Let's see what is all about. Remember that a recent study on Balcanic Neolithic produced a Globular Amphorae sample that was quite clearly pre-Indoeuropean: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2018/03/ancient-dna-from-balkans.html

    2. Well, that: Globular Amphorae is definitely pre-Indoeuropean and (some) archaeologists did not interpret correctly the tumular elements in the precursor Baalberge culture (which is within Funnelbeaker greater cultural area, probably derivde from Denmark).

      It's clear now that the Indoeuropean expansion into Central and Northern Europe was very sudden and corresponds mostly with Corded Ware, which is almost like the Vedic Era in India: looking all very rural-herder and not at all "civilized".

      Prior to that the inhabitants were roughly Basque-like, although I'd imagine they rather carried R1b-U106, at least in some cases.

      The most curious thing to me is the green component in K=4, because it seems to establish a pattern of continuity between some Vasconic Neolithic peoples and not others: Els Trocs (Catalonia EN) > La Mina (Soria MN) > Iberia Chalcolithic & Globular Amphorae, but not Sweden MN in spite of the similitude between levels of WHG-ish genetics at K=3.

      There's some hidden complexity that we are only beginning to unravel in Vasconic Neolithic. It will take time though to clarify it well enough.

      Pity there is no Y-DNA, because it could shed light on some issues.

    3. It's an interesting read. Not sure if I'd be able to discuss it in any focused manner though: lots of analyses but nothing too specific in the results.

    4. https://www.google.com.tr/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.academia.edu/34105930/RADIOCARBON_CHRONOLOGY_OF_COMPLEXES_WITH_SEIMA-TURBINO_TYPE_2_OBJECTS_BRONZE_AGE_IN_SOUTHWESTERN_SIBERIA&ved=0ahUKEwi5goS48dPaAhXGCCwKHbEGCqQQFggnMAE&usg=AOvVaw0kA8UIPpyeJ9RXfDvCRsrZ

      Gabon Maju

      This paper is about the age and origin of seima turbino phenomena.
      Probable the newest work related to it.
      İt has contain C14 analyses and archeology but not genetic and antrophology unfortunately.
      I hope you Like it.

    5. https://hereditasjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41065-018-0057-5

      Agur Maju

      At least an east asian paper was published and it is very fresh just 3 weeks ago.
      This paper has very interesting and new results.
      Furthermore you have not made any comments about the S-M phenomenon.
      Did you not interest or did not Like
      please tell me if I disturbed you I am sorry.

    6. Sorry, but you can't expect from me, a single-person operation to be active at every turn of the corner. I'll take a look when I have some time and energies. Thanks for the input anyhow.

    7. The Seima Turbino paper (real link: https://www.academia.edu/34105930/RADIOCARBON_CHRONOLOGY_OF_COMPLEXES_WITH_SEIMA-TURBINO_TYPE_2_OBJECTS_BRONZE_AGE_IN_SOUTHWESTERN_SIBERIA) seems interesting but how to interpret it? I'm not familiar enough with the phenomenon and the paper's erudite language does not help to my understanding? Do the oldest dates in Kurgan sites imply that the phenomenon should be read as an offshoot of Kurgan expansion? Or am I reading it completely wrong?

      (Sometimes I wish people would give me articles ready to publish rather than papers, smirk).

      I have touched the subject some times before but I'm still not fully familiar with it, really.

      Other Seima-Turbino entries:

      1. https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2015/09/which-is-correct-date-for-beginning-of.html

      2. https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/05/ancient-west-siberian-mtdna.html

      3. https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2014/06/west-east-admixture-in-mongolian-altai.html

      Maybe you can help me to understand the matter better...

    8. As for the East Asian paper, still reading it but I kinda like the date estimations... after correcting them +25% to make the calibration consistent with archaeological evidence. It may be a very productive paper.

    9. Agur Maju

      Firstly, I am be very glad for your answer.
      You asked a question about the S-M,well let me explain:
      First an introduction
      "Seima-Turbino phenomenon refers to a pattern of burial sites dating around 1500 BC found across northern Eurasia, from Finland to Mongolia, which has suggested a common point of cultural origin, advanced metal working technology, and unexplained rapid migration. The buried were nomadic warriors and metal-workers, travelling on horseback or two-wheeled chariots. The name derives from the Seima (Sejma) cemetery at the confluence of the Oka River and Volga River, first excavated around 1914, and the Turbino cemetery in Perm, first excavated in 1924.

      These cultures are noted for being nomadic forest and steppe societies with metal working, sometimes without having first developed agricultural methods.The development of this metalworking ability appears to have taken place quite quickly.

      Most common view about S-M is that,it was an late bronze age circa 1500-1600BC event and probable an early indo-aryan offshoot even in the Wikipedia says same thing,but this work showed that S-M clearly existed before İE arrival to the central asian steppes.

      My opinion is origin of S-M came from PBT(Proto Bulgaro-Turkic) people and my opinion is based on the articles I shared you previously,those were my first posts to your blog, also Western siberian paper showed that in baraba steppe there was a genetic and cultural continuum circa 6000-1500 BC.

      Also there is a view that S-M was origin of Proto uralic or finno-ugric but this idea is not logical,linguistic reconstruction of PU and PFU not show any pastoralist or metal used tools but shows that a taiga forest centred hunter gatherer and fisherer lifestyle in european side of urals and there is not an evidence for a PU migration into the baraba steppe,except samoyedic but samoyedic migration dated later for S-M and samoyedic languages also not showed an equestral pastoralist and warror lifestyle.
      As you believe that european neolithic was vasconic-which is also
      an idea I participate mostly-and you try to support that,as I believe S-M was PBT and this paper disproved one of the wrong view about S-M,the İEist one.

    10. I've been under the impression (because linked references in previous comment) that Seima-Turbino originated in or near Altai and expanded westward from there into West Siberia. Furthermore I though we had identified "Tungusic" mtDNA (rather than Turkic) associated to it (even if the Uralics took over at a later period again). Also that Seima-Turbino was basically defined by bronze artifacts primarily. However this paper you link to seems to indicate that the oldest findings of the typology are found in Russia in Kurgan contexts. For me it is puzzling but even more puzzling it is that you interpret the study and the previous concepts inversely than I do.

    11. "We can suggest that
      in the last third of the 3rd millennium BC, certain groups of warriors were moving from
      southern and southeastern regions of Central Asia through the Ob-Irtysh interfluve, which
      resulted in the spread of bronze warfare objects. The defined synchroneity of bronze objects,
      most likely produced in different metallurgical centers, indicates the accumulation of
      specialized bronze weapons in southwestern Siberia in the last third of the 3rd to the transition
      to the 2nd millennia BC. Most probably, this region became the area of formation of the so-called “Siberian phalanx”
      military units(Kozhin1993) forlong-distance campaigns.
      The aim and the most likely enemy of the Siberian units was the Abashevo Culture population
      of the Volga-Urals region and, somewhat later, the Sintashta people of southern Urals
      (Chernykh and Kuzminykh 1987; Grigoriev 2002; Solovyov 2005; Bolshov 2012; Chernykh

      "The 14C dates of ST metal objects from eastern European sites currently appear younger than those from the Trans-Ural and western
      Siberian ST sites, which is consistent with the common opinion suggesting that the Seima-
      Turbino transcultural phenomenon expanded from the northern areas of Central Asia and Siberia to the west".
      it not said that youngest object from Russia but exactly opposite

    12. https://www.google.com.tr/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Aleksandr_Pilipenko/publication/303183328_THE_DEVELOPMENT_OF_POPULATION_STRUCTURE_IN_THE_BARABA_FOREST-STEPPE_DURING_THE_4-1_MILLENIA_BC_Based_On_Paleogenetic_Data/links/573874ae08ae9ace840cee82/THE-DEVELOPMENT-OF-POPULATION-STRUCTURE-IN-THE-BARABA-FOREST-STEPPE-DURING-THE-4-1-MILLENIA-BC-Based-On-Paleogenetic-Data.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwimhqyh0djaAhWU0qYKHSIiBo0QFjAKegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw330uTl0u2W2F9IYSsa7akZ

      Also read this work,it is about Western Siberia,sequel of 2012 paper if you read carefully will see that odinov and krotov not distinct from ust tartas,between 11-14 pages

    13. And about south central origin of metal workings
      There was a paper,probably from Molodin,it was about cultural and tecnologic evolution of baraba steppe from ust tartas to late krotov
      İt showed that a continous development of metal working in baraba not a outsider effect
      But...I lost this work.İf I find that I will share it absolutely.

    14. OK, I read wrongly: the sites at the Tartas-Omsk district are oldest and the site called Perpinski Kurgan, which is third oldest, is actually North of Afanasevo culture and thus surely not much related to actual Kurgan peoples.

      Back in the day I wrote (and believed to this date) that Seima-Turbino originated at Altai: "Odinovo is part of the wider phenomenon known as Seima-Turbino, initiator of the Bronze Age in wide parts of Northern Asia and believed to be original of Altai."

      Ref. https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/05/ancient-west-siberian-mtdna.html

      That sentence included a linke to Wikipedia and the entry still reads: "The Altai Mountains in what is now southern Russia and central Mongolia have been identified as the point of origin of the cultural enigma of Seima-Turbino Phenomenon.[2][4] The culture spread from these mountains to the west.[3] Artefact types such as spearheads with hooks, single-bladed knives and socketed axes with geometric designs traveled west.[5]"

      Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seima-Turbino_phenomenon

      So, if anything this paper would CONFIRM what was already believed (and sorry I haven't gone through all the references cited at Wikipedia, so I'm not sure how solid was this belief or what was based on exactly).

      What you cite about the "Siberian phalanxes" is very intriguing in any case. From the ancient mtDNA we observe an advance of Eastern populations (that I believe Altaic but Tungusic rather than Turkic or Mongolic) and a displacement of pre-existent Uralics, so maybe they used them also against the Uralic tribals. I can also imagine that Altaics back then were not yet horse-peoples and that with such phalanx tactics they'd have advantage in the forest but probably not in the open steppe and that's why we see them moving westward ony via the taiga without making a dent on the Indoeuropean-dominated steppe. They would later on but it'd take a couple of millennia before that could actually happen.

    15. I wrote two reply after this and still not seeming,thanks that the trumptards.
      Well you believe that SM was not efective horse user but there is a treasure came from past and it is a clear proof of SM equestralism.


    16. That was my error surely, sorry. They are published now.

    17. But I also have to ask you again, Mem, to try to add links properly, for example your last link is as short as this: http://www.sarks.fi/fa/PDF/FA19_13.pdf, all the rest is google-junk that makes me go to a 404 error, and so will probably happen to any casual reader of these comments.

    18. "... if you read carefully will see that odinov and krotov not distinct from ust tartas,between 11-14 pages".

      I don't see it, sorry. What I see in the 2013 paper is that Odinovo (the ST culture) is very strongly different in being overwhelmingly mtDNA D, and also the first mtDNA D in the area and anywhere so far west as far as I can tell. Those people were coming from the East and were almost definitely some form of Altaic speakers (I lean for Tungusic).

      D is East Siberian and rare in the Center-West: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/12/siberian-haploid-dna.html

      D was also characteristic of the Mongolian Altai Bronze Age peoples: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2014/06/west-east-admixture-in-mongolian-altai.html

      There are genetic clustering reasons to believe that some of the peoples that now speak Turkic in the Taiga, used to speak Tungusic in the past: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2012/03/mitochondrial-dna-survey-of-some-altaic.html

    19. "you believe that SM was not efective horse user but there is a treasure came from past and it is a clear proof of SM equestralism."

      I didn't mean they were not horse users and in fact they should have learn something about equitation precisely through contact with the Indoeuropeans. I just meant that the type of weaponry and formation your "Siberian phalanx" seems to talk of is one of infantry and one precisely oriented to fight most effectively against horsemen: the pike wall. This type of formation was successfully used the Greeks against the Asian charioteers and much later by the Scots and Swiss against medieval knights, however it is more effective in rugged terrain, at least the way Scots and Swiss used it, and that's why I imagined that there could be a correlation with the taiga/steppe contrast, which is anyhow a very real one.

      Basically the Swiss pikemen ended the Medieval knight, there were some others (longbowmen, etc.) but it was the Swiss militias and mercenaries, along with the more sophisticated copycats of later times: the German Landsknecht and the Spanish Tercios, which initiated the Modern Age in terms military. The French and Russian revolutions were then just a matter of time...

      So I find interesting precisely that you talk of phalanxes: infantry for non-specialist troopers best equipped to fight against cavalry in rugged terrain with ambush and square tactics (Swiss or Scottish style) but too limited mobility to be really effective in the vast flatlands of the steppe.

      That's my though and I'm in no way by this excluding some horsemanship on the side of the Taiga peoples nor the use of some infantry on the side of the Steppe peoples, but they are different terrains appropriate for different tactics and even different lifestyles and economies altogether. And we do see the effects in terms of Uralic vs Indoeuropean space ditribution, largely associated to these two ecological areas.

    20. Note: there are other ways to fight against cavalry but you need good professionals, the Catalan Company was in-famous for fighting against heavy cavalry in open terrain and winning. We had to send some Basques and Gascons (spearmen and horse archers), not a bit less mercenary, to put and end to their career, because nobody could beat them in the Balcans and Asia Minor back in those days, beware of the Catalans! Their tactic seems to have been to just slide under the charging horses and rip open their enthrails with a long knife called falchion, then wrestle the fallen heavy knight until they could cut their throats. Incredibly enough it worked. They were mounted infantry though, so they also enjoyed the benefits of high mobility, what they hated was to be bogged down inside castles: when the Byzantines besieged Gallipoli, they abandoned the fort and marched out. The Byzantines fled in panic.

    21. The Almogavar saga has got to be one of the Middle Ages' most impressive military success stories. I was always curious about them, but it's not easy to find in-depth info about them in English(though, plenty material in Catalan, no doubt). If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you a few questions because you seem to know quite a bit about matters pertaining to Vasconic and Occito-Catalan worlds.

      So, were they exclusively melee fighters or crossbows were a staple in their arsenal, too? What was their armor like: mainly brigandine/padded jackets or did it also incorporate some pieces of plate?

      Re/the Catalans:did they hail mainly from the Pyrenean parts of the Catalan world(i.e. Vasconic substrate) or more from regions like Girona and Rossello? Intuitively, in terms of the (probable) center of gravity of these Navarrese and Catalan companies, I'm thinking the former.

      As a side note, the ranks of the Knights of Malta/Hospitalers seem to have been disproportionately staffed by inland Occitans, especially Gascons, as well as Aragonese.
      Then, there are also figures like Gaston de Foix and d'Artagnan(novel on a real character). Oh, not to forget the Artenacian culture either, ofc. So, the greater circum-Pyreneean region has a pretty consistent excellence in martial matters throughout history.

    22. A comparative analysis has revealed no principal genetic differences between the Odino and Krotovo groups, as well as with earlier populations in the Baraba region. Neither Odino nor Krotovo series showed haplogroups (or subgroups)
      demonstrating phylogeographic features being dramatically distinct from the Ust-Tartas mtDNA samples. Thus, the study has yielded no reliable evidence for the pronounced genetic differences between these three series in the composition of
      mtDNA haplogroups. However, such a situation allows one to suggest the existence of a common gene pool among the bearers of the studied series which are intrinsically autochthonous. All three groups show the complete lack of hap￾logroup D variability: only one haplotypic variation 223-362 has been identified. It should be noted that it is widely distributed among present-day human populations
      in Eastern Eurasia and thus decreases the possibility of being used as a marker for genetic continuity between the ancient population groups. The occurrence of haplogroup C lineages, which are not identical, but directly derived form the root haplotype, is characteristic of both series.
      Similar situation can be observed with regards to the West Eurasian mtDNA cluster. The Odino and Krotovo series reveal only haplogroup U lineages, specifically the subgroups, which have been characteristic of the preceding population. Though, the various subgroups U have been identified in Odino and Krotovo series (U5a - in the Odino samples, U2e - in the Krotovo samples), it is
      most likely that this difference, according to our opinion, can be explained by a small size of the studied sample group. In general, both the Odino and Krotovo
      cultures remain to demonstrate the main specific feature of the West Eurasian component identified in the mtDNA pool of the ancient Baraba population, namely
      the occurrence of haplogroup U (U2e, U4, U5a) variations only.
      Data resulted from the comparative analysis shows that Odino and Krotovo
      series, in spite of the existing diversity recognized in isolated structural variations,
      generally fit into the framework of the mtDNA diversity observed in other series of the Baraba region, dating back to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, and show the general tendencies towards the development of the genetic structure of
      autochthonous population. Thus, the data obtained argues in favor of the
      autochthonous development of the Baraba forest-steppe population during the Early and the beginning of Middle Bronze Age (the progressive autochthonous
      development is as follows: the Ust-Tartas culture people - the Odino culture people - the early Krotovo culture people). Such a concept of the
      cultural-historical development is supported by the direct stratigraphic evidence identified at the burial site of Tartas-1 (Molodin et al., 2011). However, it should not
      be ruled out that people associated with the Odino and Krotovo cultures coexisted at some stage. This scenario is suggested by recently obtained radiocarbon dates
      (Molodin, 2012).
      From sequel Western Siberia paper.

    23. you are so obsessed with this phalanxes,it just a theory from kozhin at 1993 and I did not see anything about SM phalanxes.
      All other works about SM are Like minded of SM astonishing mobility and efective horse using, also weapons from SM burials are knives,axes,swords and spears with hooks, not give us any idea about phalanxes structure but most like a horse nomadic warrior or professional infantry equipment.
      Also,the oldest and must rich SM burials found in baraba steepe, this steppe not taiga but forest steppe and second rich burials in pontic-caspian steppe(in Western Ural)and an outlier in danube river, near black sea also exist.If they were not cavalry they could not go that far.

    24. @AnthroSurvey: I do not know much more than what I wrote on the Catalan Company, sorry, I may actually "not know" something of what I wrote. A bit of anecdote from here, and a bit of anecdote from there. I'm as fascinated and confused as you can be.

      History Time made a great video-series recently (also available in what seems Russian language) but they barely deal with the tactics or those other issus you raise at all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-OnAQ5D1rE&list=PL6EOgKphSQjaNxPxEtCj1i_Qk0M0CDStt

      Nowadays you can find some but not much info on the Almogavars or "raiders" online but I'm no expert: they seem specialist "cossack" style frontier fighters but with less emphasis on horses (Iberia is quite rugged terrain, not so good for cavalry), when the "Reconquista" against the late Moorish empires came to an end they had to search for new jobs, so they were moved to Sicily and then hired out to Byzantium. Their leader incidentally was German, even if he's best known for the Catalan version of his name Roger de Flor.

      "As a side note, the ranks of the Knights of Malta/Hospitalers seem to have been disproportionately staffed by inland Occitans, especially Gascons, as well as Aragonese"...

      I wonder about the Templars. Did you know that Alfonso the Battler set in his will that all his domains (the whole Aragonese Crown plus reunified Navarre) would go to the Templar Order? After he died the Parliaments overruled him though and thus was reborn Navarre, because different Courts elected different monarchs.

      Anyhow a reason why the Hospitaliers may have got such a strong input of Catalano-Occitans is because they were in fact a satellite of Aragon. It was in fact Aragon (already as Spanish Crown) which ceded Malta to them after they lost Rhodes. Overall all this crusader business maybe began as an offshoot of Vikings (Normans) to some extent, soon with some attached Lotharingians (German/Dutch) and Gascons, but, once the Reconquista was over (c. 1212) the real Mediterranean power in the Late Middle Ages was, with permission of Venice, Aragon, i.e. Catalonia-plus.

      "So, the greater circum-Pyreneean region has a pretty consistent excellence in martial matters throughout history".

      Maybe. A critical point may be the fact that in many cases peasants were also part-time warriors, a bit like cossacks or, if you wish, US cowboys. It was a region that for several reasons had lower impact of feudalism, with greater power, including martial power and thus prowess, for the commoners. But I would not want to exaggerate anyhow, this surely happened in other places as well in various degrees and forms. What we see in the late Middle Ages is a decrease of the power of the knight or heavy cavalry and an increase of the actual relevance of infantry, and this is something that seems to drive the history of class struggles at least to some extent. But I'd rather put the merit where it's due: in Switzerland and Scotland. The Pyrenean thing seems a bit of a remnant from earlier times (the Bagauda or peasants' revolution) and also an effect of frontier "popular militarism". My impression is that there was a marked tendency to the increase of the power of lords and petty lords in that time, even in the Basque Country to some extent, while in Switzerland they were manning the very first modern revolution, and they did so with "pike phalanxes".

    25. * Erratum: "and Gascons" should read "and Occitans", the first crusader lords were Flanders, Lower Lotharingia, Normandy and Toulouse (Occitan and not Gascon).

    26. @Mem: "you are so obsessed with this phalanxes"

      Said like that sounds like a very weird kink indeed. XD

      I just thought it was an interesting idea to explore. Please don't make too much of it. What I could really be "obsessed" about is about the fact that there is persistent ethno-ecological distinction between the taiga and the steppe. I just grabbed your "Siberian phalanx" idea and inserted it there.

      "Also,the oldest and must rich SM burials found in baraba steepe, this steppe not taiga but forest steppe"...

      Forest steppe? That's a new concept for me. I'm trying to figure out but the info I find is scarce and confusing about its geographic extension. It would not be pure "steppe" in any case because this biome is defined by near absolute lack of trees, except at river banks and such, but rather a transitional zone between steppe (no forest) and taiga (all forest).

      "... and second rich burials in pontic-caspian steppe(in Western Ural)and an outlier in danube river, near black sea also exist.If they were not cavalry they could not go that far."

      I insist: I do not mean that they lacked cavalry altogether but rather that they could not easily compete with the more consolidated Indoeuropean horse-riders of the actual steppe. We know for a fact that the horse was domesticated in the West Eurasian steppe (whether it was Indoeuropeans, Botai people or Dniepr-Don people is still up for grabs, also there was an independent domestication center in or near Iberia) and thus Altaic peoples only knew of this via Afanasevo culture, the probably proto-Tocharian IE offshoot of Altai. So the Altaics were indeed second in the steppe at this business of horse-herding and horse-riding and it is clear from early historical records, archaeology and genetics that they would only become masters of the Western steppe since the Iron Age (although IE Iranians still dominated it) and would roll over already in the CE (Huns and later Turkic offshoots). That's my whole point: that prior to this Eastern shift of horse-based nomadism, which totally correlates with Huns, the Altaics and other East Asian type of peoples were pretty much restricted to where the Indoeuropean horselords could not reach or even bothered to reach: the taiga. And that is very clear in the genetic record through the Bronze Age (it only begins to change in the Iron Age already).

      Of course you can argue that the transitional Baraba "Steppe" (forest-steppe) was part of that other biome that the IE horselords did not take over. Or even a true wedge between European IEs and Altai-Tarim ones. I will listen to that if you can argue consistently, because it seems true that before Andronovo (early Indo-Iranians surely) there was no obvious IE presence in other parts of Central Asia than Altai. So maybe there was some complex dialectics going on between these early IEs and these early Altaics, which sounds like a most interesting matter to understand.

    27. @Mem: as for the genetics I can't but see that Odinovo had 6/10 D, which is a frequency that breaks the pattern completely. The previous and subsequent phases are indeed continuous, so I interpret it as a return of the Uralics or whatever population existed there before and after (Yeniseians are also candidates), with some but not overwhelming increase of European genetics since Late Krotovo and Andronovo. But Odinovo are out of the scheme: they are just too high in D and also the very first D in the region. To me this reads as migration from the Altaic-language region (Eastern steppe and taiga).

      You focus on the wall of text but I can't see how that can contradict the raw data expressed in figure 2 and table 2.

      Ref. https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/books/9783110266306/9783110266306.93/9783110266306.93.pdf

    28. Maju
      About the west Siberia paper,I copied directly from final conclusion of genetic results.
      Yes,odinov had much mt D but this came from ust tartas and earlier baraban people,reason of this high presence of mt D is small sample size,this paper also awared of odinov sitation but at the end results showed that odinov not distinct from ust tartas, early krotov as well.
      And about altaic,this theory is a long time ago debunked.İn present only a handful linguist argued that and nearly all of them also nostratic or other super-mega proto language defenders,so I no longer say something about altaic language garbage.

    29. Alright, Ust-Tartas also had one instance of D, I missed that, my bad.

      However it is one out of many (not sure how many exactly but something like 17) and by comparison Odinovo was absolutely dominated by D. Do you think it's just a fluke? More so when it is generally agreed that Seima-Turbino (of which Odinovo is part but Ust-Tartas was not) came from Mongolian Altai, where we also see that hegemony of mtDNA D even more exaggerated?

      Well, arguable I guess. Maybe there is true in both approaches at the same time (i.e. neither one is fully correct), but I doubt the "fluke" logic when it also makes sense archaeologically/archaeo-culturally.

    30. Maju
      Both me and your papers about Western Siberia both have the same result:
      From ust tartas to late Krotovo same autochthonous people were exist..spot..no doubt about that.
      And you wondered that why ust tartas not part SM,because it is chalcolithic hunter gaterer culture and have newly developed pastoralism,they later evolved to odinivo.This information was written in another baraba paper of Molodin but I lost it.İt is very interested paper.
      And why metals came from altai,because the nearest and most reach mines exist in there,like abashevo:they mining their copper from urals and their activity brought them to central asia,but no one say that abashevo was a Ural mountain indigenous because they did not live in ural but pontic-caspian steppe
      İt is also same in SM,they did not live in altai mountains their cultural center and homes located in baraba steppe and altai sayan mountains peopling by okunevo in SM time.(okunevo was possible Proto yeniseic by the way)
      Anyway,the world is not just SM and PBT,there is much more to be looked
      If I broke you as a result of my discussions or if I bother you I am very sorry.

      bizi luze eta arrakastatsua izan :)

  8. "I knew that West Eurasian Upper Paleolithic had an impact on Africa (LSA)"

    In the case of some East African LSA, namely around the horn, this may be the case, but elsewhere in Africa (namely/such as in Southern Africa at places like Border Cave, by ca. 55ka bc) the LSA develops independently of the Eurasian Upper Paleolithic (as a distinct tradition).

    I believe the small amount of Eurasian ancestry present in some Khoisan peoples (Especially the northern ones) arrived much later through the intermediary of (likely southern Cushitic or Cushitic-admixed) East Africa peoples around the late neolithic.

    1. I didn't mean that the WEA UP had an overwhelming impact everywhere, but mostly in NE Africa (from Cyrenaica to Somalia maybe initially).

      Anyhow, Border Cave's LSA seems to be dated a much later chronology: c. 38.600 BP (ref. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0305440378900523 ), allowing for techno-concepts to migrate along East Africa southwards.

  9. "I didn't mean that the WEA UP had an overwhelming impact everywhere, but mostly in NE Africa (from Cyrenaica to Somalia maybe initially)."

    I see. that's what I though you might have meant.

    "Anyhow, Border Cave's LSA seems to be dated a much later chronology: c. 38.600 BP (ref. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0305440378900523 ), allowing for techno-concepts to migrate along East Africa southwards."

    The full LSA (though some similar technologies start in the area—and elsewhere in Africa—much earlier, in the MSA) starts earlier, ca. 50 bc, and transitions/evolves locally from the local MSA.
    "Border Cave and the beginning of the Later Stone Age in South Africa"
    Paolo Villa et al.

  10. Edit: "The full LSA in South Africa (at Border Cave)......starts earlier, ca. 45-55 bc,..."

    My last response seems perhaps not to have been placed where it should have been (under your response to my comment)—my mistake I think, I must have not responded in the right place. But it is still under your response to me, so things (the sequence of comments) should nevertheless be clear I think (thus probably not an issue).

  11. It is striking that the ancient population of Southeast Africa virtually died out with no issue. At all.

  12. I know this post is old but can you please explain the results for people who don't understand these graphs? What are the implications? You say the data speaks for itself but many of are dumb lol

    1. It just seems to say that a population very similar to Kushitic speakers (Oromos and Somalis in the data set) was present as far south as Tanzania some 3000 years ago. The purple component seems native East African (although based on other analyses it could well be also a consolidated Afro-Asian admixture), the grey component is Sardinian-like, i.e. unmistakably West Eurasian.

      However this last is small enough in Luxmanda that it could be little more than noise and maybe we should consider this population as East African aboriginal with no or very little West Eurasian admixture. Unsure.

    2. Thank you and apologies for the late response. I appreciate you responding after so long. You said that Upper Paleolithic West Eurasian populations made in an impact in Africa but I don' see a population that is representative of that in the graphs. Is it the Sardinian DNA? I read through the paper sited and I don't see mention of it. Also I don't see any African samples older than 8100 so how can Upper Paleolithic Eurasians be detected. Again sorry if it's a dumb question, I don't have much experience in this field.

    3. I didn't say that, I don't think so. At least in my reply to you above I clearly said that the "unmistakably West Eurasian" component is so small that it could well be just "noise". Remember that autosomal DNA analysis is stastical and thus there is some room for error, which can only be properly gauged by contrasting various analysis and taking due care of inputing the best possible dataset. It's an art, sorta.

      However I know from other data/studies that Horners (Kushitics included) have a significant West Eurasian ancestry, which is probably very ancient in the greatest part (IMO from the early Upper Paleolithic, which clearly impacted NE Africa in general from a West Asian source of proto-Caucasoid populations). This West Asian (or West Eurasian or Caucasoid) component, most apparent in haploid genetics such as Y-DNA J1 and T or mtDNA M1 and various R/N haplogroups, is also apparent in autosomal DNA when you look carefully at it... but has been admixed with aboriginal African components into a homogeneous regional blend that it's sometimes easy to miss and makes harder to gauge the "exact" apportion of each contribution.

      While I haven't worked on this issue myself (and only know of very little research on the matter by others), I believe that this (North Africa focused) analysis I made a decade ago is relevant and interesting: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2011/12/north-african-genetics-through-prism-of.html

      In the Admixture runs, we consistently see that Ethiopians appear as a mix of African Aboriginal (maybe 40%) and West Eurasian/North African (c. 60%)... until at K=10 their homogeneization of many millennia "pays up" by showing an Ethiopian or Horner specific component.

      A somewhat similar case of intercontinental admixture happens with the Fulani, however for what I know this admixture is much more recent and pertains to Muslim expansion south of the Sahara in historical times, more specifically to the formation of the Kingdom of Tekrur, which is at the origin of the Fula people. Their specific source of admixture is Sahrawi-like (Mauritanian are probably similar) and produced interesting info somewhat accidentally about the destiny of Guanche people (also close in terms genetic) of Canary Islands, who were quite apparently deported in large numbers to the Caribbean colonies (at the very least Puerto Rico). See this: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-major-guanche-genetic-influence-in.html

    4. The Upper Paleolithic Eurasian case is not apparent here. We have to infer it from: (a) modern distribution of genetics (haploid and autosomal) and (b) ancient genetics from populations like Taforalt in Morocco, which show that "Iberomaurusian" or Oranian culture people were not at all derived from ancient Europeans (Iberians) but essentially from West Asians instead (via Egypt-Cyrenaica, as we know from the archaeological record). See: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2018/04/no-iberian-in-iberomaurusian.html

      There is also some important European element in NW Africa (and maybe even in Sudan, more research is needed but that Y-DNA I in several Sudanese pops. is extremely suspicious) but it's more recent: from the Neolithic and ultimately from West Asia in fact. The Cardium Pottery Neolithic people (with genetics like those of modern Sardinians approx.) did clearly cross into Morocco-plus after arriving to Iberia. While unclear at this point, it's a possible source of R1b-V88 as well, which in any case had surely a key hub in Sudan (Chadic peoples origin probably) and does in any case has an ultimate Asian root, as all R < P < K < ... < F lineages (we know that these went all the way to SE Asia and back westwards via North India and West/Central Asia, the exact details are more complicated to unravel but the migration of these "clans" are the most amazingly long distance of Paleolithic peoples, more so as the Native Americans are also included: Q1 < Q < P...) I clearly identify the westward migration of P1 (precursor of R and Q) as something pertaining to the "Neanderwars", i.e. the invasion of the "Neanderlands" (West Eurasia) by our kin some 50,000 years ago, which is coincident with the formation and spread of the Upper Paleolithic (mode 4 or stone blade tech) in that same region and also into NE Africa (where is often called "Late Stone Age" = LSA).

      We can go haplogroup by haplogroup but I already have a synthesis of what probably happened in Asia (and by extension Australia, Europe, NE Africa, and later also NW Africa, and America) here: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/p/continuing-with-joint-series-in-spanish.html (it's a bit old and would benefit from some corner polisihing but in the essentials I stand for it).

    5. As afterthought, I'd like to add that, while the West Eurasian impact in North Africa and parts of East Africa has evidence all over the place, there was also backflow of Aboriginal African genetics. This is most obvious in the Y-DNA haplogroup E1b, one of whose major branches spread via Egypt to West Asia, and from there to Europe (already in the Neolithic). Another E1b impact, mediated by NW Africa in an unclear but surely pre-Muslim timeline, is very apparent in the Western third of Iberia.

      Additionally there is the issue of the so-called "Basal Eurasian" component in West Eurasians ancient and modern, which I'm persuaded that it is Aboriginal African and not the left-behind West Asian element that many imagine. It's very clearly not just Dinka-like but actually phylogenetic trees strongly suggest that it is proto-Dinka.

      Overall the West Eurasian impact in NE Africa and later also in NW Africa is quite overwhelming but it's not a one-sided story at all and African influence in West Eurasians in general is very clear as well. A key episode surely happened in Egypt, c. 50-40,000 years ago, when the "proto-Caucasoid" apopulation arrived in the region (better documented in Cyrenaica but Egypt was surely more central) and had matrilocal interactions with the natives. Why matrilocal? Because it already happened before (IMO) in NW India / Pakistan: in both cases the population (which was clearly expanding and not contracting) incorporated mostly male lineages: only those in India/Pakistan (not even a single mtDNA lineage apparently) but both in Egypt, however much more intensely Y-DNA ones again.

      So my conclusion is that the early West Eurasian population was matrilocal and not "racist" re. other Homo sapiens (although maybe re. Neanderthals, as no secondary Neanderthal admixture happened that left any legacy). In contrast, one of their branches, the proto-Amerinds, who first migrated to Altai and then eastwards through NE Asia to Alaska and the rest of America, show patrilocality (almost exclusively incorporating mtDNA lineages from East Asia, retaining the absolutely dominant West Eurasian Y-DNA haplogroup Q instead). This may be, I guess, an adaptation to Northern climate and scattered populations, and we see it again in the Finno-Ugric migration in the opposite direction at a later time.

    6. When you say a backflow of Aboriginal African genetics, you aren't meaning a movement of subsuharan Africans into West Asia and Europe right

    7. I mean that but through the filter of North Africa, i.e. North Africans, who are mostly Asian in terms genetic, also have some amounts of Tropical African or Aboriginal African genetics (notably Y-DNA E1b) and these made their way to West Asia and (secondarily) Europe. That's why even Hitler was E1b, an aboriginal African patrilineage that never took part in the "out of Africa" migration and only moved into the Levant probably in the Mesolithic (and from there would reach Europe in the Neolithic).

      A lesser more direct E1b (and thus some Aboriginal African overall genetics) exists in West Iberia, originated in NW Africa at some uncertain time (maybe Bronze Age) but it has a more restricted geography.

    8. I wonder why you think that E1B is aboriginal African when it's clearly comes from the Levant and is introduced into Africa.

      From wikipedia in the E1b haplogroup page:

      According to Lazaridis et al. (2016), Natufian skeletal remains from the ancient Levant predominantly carried the Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1b. Of the five Natufian specimens analysed for paternal lineages, three belonged to the E1b1b1b2(xE1b1b1b2a,E1b1b1b2b), E1b1(xE1b1a1,E1b1b1b1) and E1b1b1b2(xE1b1b1b2a,E1b1b1b2b) subclades (60%). Haplogroup E1b1b was also found at moderate frequencies among fossils from the ensuing Pre-Pottery Neolithic B culture, with the E1b1b1 and E1b1b1b2(xE1b1b1b2a,E1b1b1b2b) subclades observed in two of seven PPNB specimens (~29%). The scientists suggest that the Levantine early farmers may have spread southward into East Africa, bringing along Western Eurasian and Basal Eurasian ancestral components separate from that which would arrive later in North Africa.

    9. All E is African but E1b specifically also appears to be native to Africa, NE Africa specifically and may be partly associated to the expansion of Afroasiatic languages (maybe also Nubian ones?), which parallels to a great extent that of E1b from what is now Ethiopia and the Sudans, with a major northern hub in Upper Egypt surely.

      Yes, Natufians were E1b but Natufian has also lots of African cultural influence and has been long argued in terms archaeological to be derived from African cultures/populations. No surprise here in the end.

      The overall picture may be a tad more complex but I'd say, based on what we know of archaeology and population genetics (both ancient and modern), that Palestine and Egypt were always very closely related and interacting since the very beginnings of the Upper Paleolithic. And that's even more noticeable in Y-DNA J1, which is most diverse in West Asia but is also extremely diverse in Egypt and NE Africa, with lineages criss-crossing from one continent to the other almost like fabric. J1 is surely a very ancient haplogroup and, as I understand it had Palestine and Egypt as main hubs (although its ultimate origins may be further north, as there's a lot of basal diversity in the Caucasus area).

      Another example is mtDNA haplogroup X, which has two branches: X1, almost exclusive of Egypt, and X2, centered in West Asia, with high diversity in Palestine and Iran and also a branch that must be early Upper Paleolithic to Native Americans, via Altai (and nope: the "Solutrean hypothesis" doesn't work because there was no X2 in Europe before the Neolithic).


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).