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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

R1a-M417 from Eneolithic Ukraine!!!11

A new version of Mathieson et al. 2017 has just been posted at BioRxiv [LINK]. It includes more samples. One of these new samples is a male from an Eneolithic Sredny Stog culture site on the Pontic (Ukrainian) steppe who belongs to Y-haplogroup R1a-M417 (ID I6561 from Alexandria in the ADMIXTURE bar graph below). This is huge, obviously with major implications for the peopling of large parts of Eurasia. Why? Because of this. Here's the new abstract:

Abstract: Farming was first introduced to southeastern Europe in the mid-7th millennium BCE - brought by migrants from Anatolia who settled in the region before spreading throughout Europe. To clarify the dynamics of the interaction between the first farmers and indigenous hunter-gatherers where they first met, we analyze genome-wide ancient DNA data from 223 individuals who lived in southeastern Europe and surrounding regions between 12,000 and 500 BCE. We document previously uncharacterized genetic structure, showing a West-East cline of ancestry in hunter-gatherers, and show that some Aegean farmers had ancestry from a different lineage than the northwestern Anatolian lineage that formed the overwhelming ancestry of other European farmers. We show that the first farmers of northern and western Europe passed through southeastern Europe with limited admixture with local hunter-gatherers, but that some groups mixed extensively, with relatively sex-balanced admixture compared to the male-biased hunter-gatherer admixture that prevailed later in the North and West. Southeastern Europe continued to be a nexus between East and West after farming arrived, with intermittent genetic contact from the Steppe up to 2000 years before the migration that replaced much of northern Europe's population.

Mathieson et al., The Genomic History Of Southeastern Europe, bioRxiv, Posted September 19, 2017, doi:

By the way, I don't want to toot my own horn too much, but looking back, some of my comments in the discussion about the first version of Mathieson et al. 2017 were awesome. See here and here.

Three new Yamnaya, all from Ukraine, but sadly all females.

Expected the Mesolithic/Neolithic R1a/R1b in Ukraine, and it would've been good to see some Yamnaya males from there, because some are likely to be R1a-M417.

But it's nice to see that Bulgarian MLBA R1a/U5a sample. Interesting date for R1a to be in the Balkans: 1750-1625 calBCE (3400±30 BP).


It can't be a coincide that all of their Yamnaya samples from Ukraine are females.

I reckon they're holding the males back for their South Asian paper.

I'm surprised they let the Bulgarian MLBA R1a out of the bag, because that's a big clue about what we'll see in BA Ukraine.

Update 20/09/2017: I put together a spreadsheet with the key details for the samples in this paper (click on the image below to open it). I'm not sure which of the individuals are new, because many of the IDs have been changed. A spreadsheet with the original set of samples is located here.

See also...

The beast among Y-haplogroups

Ancient herders from the Pontic-Caspian steppe crashed into India: no ifs or buts


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Olympus Mons said...

... and the other only H15 we have is SHulaveri (5000bc) and Yamnaya Ukraine (by 3500bc)

Alberto said...


Look at the chart in this post. There are 5 Latvia_MN samples. 2 are like the previous population, another 2 are EHG and 1 is intermediate. I wouldn't call that a replacement. With these samples, we can talk about some EHGs moving to the east Baltic and co-habitating there with the local HGs, and to some degree mixing.

So firstly that replacement you put as example didn't happen in Latvia. But eve if it did, that does not allow one to presume that the same happened in Ukraine. The samples from Ukraine don't show that. Look carefully at them, the large number and the chronology in the chart at the right of the PCA. Also look at the little time span between the youngest Neolithic sample and the oldest Eneolithic sample.

Why would one speculate that in that little gap the local hunter gatherer's were replaced by some EHGs coming from the north, and almost simultaneously a CHG-like population moving also to that same area, and then these two population mixing at around 50:50, but only EHG lineages surviving, though they turn into pastoralists.

Don't you think that's a lot of speculation? Are you betting any money that we'll find the samples that show that in the next round?

Rob said...

@ Alberto

Speaking of the PCA, it does seem that the (rather marked) shift from Ukraine Meso-Neo samples toward Ukraine Yamnanaya is in the CHG/ Iran direction (without saying that they actually came from Iran). Yet that female outlier shows pull toward something in between Anatolia Bronze Age & CHG. This does suggest a path through the Caucasus, at least for her.

jv said...

I see that CWC Germany & Srubna Culture cluster together according to the 671 Extended Data Figures graph. There are 3 mtDNA H6a1a's obtained from ancient samples to date: Corded Ware Culture Esperstedt Germany, Srubna Culture Samara Russia & Bell Beaker Culture Netherlands.

postneo said...


"Yes, so it's important that the earliest known M417 has no central or south Asian ancestry in it's aDNA. That tells us something."

No it just tells us that the earliest M417 does not have a modern construct called ASI. We have no idea how far the so called Steppe was spread during the eneolithic. There are no samples from central asia or other places. Malta and Baikal are too early.

Disclaimer: I am not claiming that 417 is from outside Ukraine ...just calling a spade a spade. As hinted by Reich there may be other samples from areas further east of yamnaya. lets see.

Davidski said...

ASI is not a modern construct, it's an ancient construct dating back to at least the Mesolithic in South Asia.

And Reich hasn't hinted about any Eneolithic M417 samples from east of Yamnaya. What he said was that the steppe admixture in South Asia was like Yamnaya not like Andronovo.

epoch2013 said...


Yes, the timeframe is short. The Latvia_MN2 sample was 6,179–5,750 cal BP. You certainly have a point there. Still, R1a was in EHG north of Ukraine.

epoch2013 said...


On the one hand the Latvia_MN2 sample did expand at roughly the right time. On the other is the short time frame.

Davidski said...

You guys remember this post from almost two years ago?

It looks like Sredny Stog was the early vector for the spread of both Anatolian Neolithic and Caucasus hunter-gatherer (CHG) admixture onto the steppe, from the west and east, respectively.

Rob said...

@ dave

I certainly remember my brilliant deductions on it "I think that the north & western Black Sea areas will be more complex and diverse than the Samara Yamnaya samples. When we get aDNA from the Black Sea countries and further up in eastern Europe at good resolution, we'll be able to come up with final conclusions, fine-tunings and modifications."

Davidski said...

Well, the Sredny Stog M417 guy is very similar to Yamnaya, and considering that some early Corded Ware look basically 100% Yamnaya, I wouldn't argue now that associating the "Yamnaya" genetic component with PIE was a bad idea.

Rob said...

Yes I agree, the genetic component which formed / appeared (?) in the steppe c 4000BC (=before Yamnaya) can be linked to the dispersal of IE into Europe

Davidski said...

Not only Europe. Definitely also South Asia and probably Armenia.

Gioiello said...

@ Rob

“Yes I agree, the genetic component which formed / appeared (?) in the steppe c 4000BC (=before Yamnaya) can be linked to the dispersal of IE into Europe”

6000 years ago is the date of separation of the survived subclades of R-L23 (included my R-L23-Z2110-FGC24408) as to YFull, even though I think that those dates are underestimated for at least an 1.17 factor, and those subclades are very old in Western Europe and don’t derive from the eastern European haplotypes…

Davidski said...


What you just said has nothing to do with the Yamnaya component.

Gioiello said...

@ Davidski


What you just said has nothing to do with the Yamnaya component".

But it has to do with the origin of R1b1 and subclades, and also with the Indo-European languages. You know that I think that from Samara expanded only the satem ones.

Davidski said...


But the Yamnaya component arrived in a big way in Western Europe 5,000 years ago. It wasn't there before that time. And there was no such migration from Italy to the steppes.

So no matter what you think about the R1b subclades of Western Europeans and Yamnaya, it looks like Indo-European languages were introduced from the steppe to Western Europe.

Gioiello said...

OK, yes, this is the theory of everyone except me and also Giacomo Devoto who thought that IE languages formed in central Europe etc etc

I won't believe that R1b1 wasn't in Italy when I get the aDNA of the Tyrrhenian Italy from 12000 to 4000 years ago.

postneo said...

"ASI is not a modern construct, it's an ancient construct dating back to at least the Mesolithic in South Asia."

ASI is not from ancient samples neither has it been found in pure form. It is a construct based on MODERN component in South Asia is not shared outside in wider Eurasia. So by definition and by a-priori assumption it isolates the portion that is not shared. You cannot now use this implicit assumption to prove that there was no sharing.

We need a ancient ASI/ancient mesolithic samples for empirical proof.

"And Reich hasn't hinted about any Eneolithic M417 samples from east of Yamnaya. What he said was that the steppe admixture in South Asia was like Yamnaya not like Andronovo."

I never said it is m417. No, you posted an excerpt from an interview where he talks about Kazakh steppe. Sampling from one corner of Eurasia is getting boring now.

Samuel Andrews said...

"There's nothing in those ancestry proportions that you posted that prevents the formation of a Corded Ware-like population at Dereivka during the Eneolithic."

To me the R1a M417 guy looks like a foreigner from further east. Sredny Stog and Eneolithic Ukraine in general seems to have been overwhelmingly descended from earlier Ukraine hunter gatherers who had too much WHG to be a significant ancestor of the R1a M417 guy and Corded Ware.

The heavy WHG in the 'Early Kurgan' Ukraine sites is quite surprising and puts to question their role in their relation to 'Steppe' and Indo European languages.

If anything Khvalynsk culture looks like the PIE Steppe culture. Their northern boundry already had CHG admixture in around 4000 BC. I think it's likely R1a M417 and R1b L23 and 'Steppe' formed in southern Khvalynsk.

Ric Hern said...

A while back someone posted a link about an Archaeological paper which shows that Sredny Stog spread into Khvalynsk territory.

Antoni Małkowski said...

Widzę w arkusz I2399 (R1b-Z2103).
Można z tych danych które Pan posiada wydobyć informacje czy to przodek CTS9219 ?
Z góry dziękuje.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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