Friday, January 6, 2017
The Metal Age invader that never was #2
I just figured out how the Metal Age invader that never was came about. Take a look at this slide from an FTDNA presentation by Dr. Michael Hammer. Lazaridis et al. 2013 and labeled the clusters according to what he thinks they represent. FTDNA then basically copied the analysis and the cluster labels for their "Ancient Origins" test. But those clusters do not represent what Hammer thinks they do, in other words ancient populations like Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) or Ancient North Eurasians (ANE). Ancient ancestry proportions are listed in other parts of the Lazaridis et al. paper, like table S.14.10. Moreover, Hammer appears to be under the impression that the Metal Age invader (that never was) came from Asia, and today it is the Kalasha people of the Hindu Kush who carry the highest ancestry proportion from this ancient population (that, of course, never actually was). First of all, the Bronze Age Yamnaya pastoralists and related groups (i.e. the real Metal Age invaders) expanded both into Europe and Asia from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe. Obviously, the Pontic-Caspian Steppe is located in what is now known as Eastern Europe, not Asia. Secondly, the Kalasha people carry about the same amount of Yamnaya-related ancestry as present-day Northern and Eastern Europeans, not three or four times as much, which, as per the figure above, is what Hammer seems to think. Formal stats-based Yamnaya-related (or Steppe_EMBA) ancestry proportions for Europeans are listed in Haak et al. 2015 and for South Asians, including the Kalasha, in Lazaridis et al. 2016. See below.