Indo-European languages. What they do not mention is that those same results also include speakers of other languages among those with the highest of all scores for Yamnaya ancestry. Only these are languages of the Uralic family, not Indo-European at all; and their Yamnaya-ancestry signals are far higher than in many branches of Indo-European in southern Europe. Estonian ranks very high, while speakers of the very closely related Finnish are curiously not shown, and nor are the Saami. Hungarian is relevant less directly since this language arrived only c.
Both papers fail to address properly the question of the Uralic languages.
And this despite — or because? Their linguistic ancestors also have a good claim to have been involved in the Corded Ware and Yamnaya cultures, and of course the other members of the Uralic family are scattered across European Russia up to the Urals. They write instead explicitly of admixture with existing farming populations:. This coincides with the archaeologically well-defined expansion of the Yamnaya culture from the Pontic-Caspian steppe into Europe Figs 1 and 2.
This admixture event resulted in the formation of peoples of the Corded Ware …. Indeed, although Haak et al. But such north to south population admixture is in any case expected from the historical period. The collapse of the Roman Empire and the migrations of the early mediaeval period were defined by major invasions and settlements of Slavic and Germanic-speaking populations into southern Europe.
Especially illuminating would be samples from the period when this region and Anatolia are already documented as speaking Indo-European languages: Mycenaean Greek, Italic, and Anatolian Indo-European. For now, these papers do not yet provide new ancient dna from the southern regions at the appropriate periods. Nonetheless, it does reinforce the chronological concerns that attend the Steppe hypothesis on this score…. Traditionally, the Steppe hypothesis has proposed a time-frame for Indo-European expansion of c. But is a time-span of just years or so sufficient to allow for all the divergence between all European branches of Indo-European: Slavic vs.
Baltic vs. Germanic vs. Celtic vs. Italic vs. Greek vs. Albanian, and so on? That is, we are left with little more than two millennia to take us, for example, from the early Latin of the last few centuries bc back to Proto-Italic, then further back to Proto-Italo-Celtic if one accepts that clade , and then back again to allow for a sufficiently deep split from other branches such as Greek. Early Latin and Greek texts document what were, already by years ago, sub-lineages far diverged from each other, into fully-fledged, mutually unintelligible languages.
And even amongst Greek dialects, their own divergence within their single clade already takes us back to at least bp, on standard thinking. As an informal but informative yardstick, consider how similar modern Italian and Spanish remain, some years after Roman expansion to Iberia.
From that perspective, an expansion at barely double that time-depth, bp, looks suspiciously shallow for the entire, far greater diversity of Indo-European within Europe. Looking to Asia, meanwhile, Allentoft et al. Languages have no age or date of birth: they are lineages constantly changing through time. Nor is attestation of Tocharian particularly old. In fact, in the Steppe hypothesis Afanasievo and other eastern Steppe cultures are supposed to be the linguistic ancestors of far more than just Tocharian: principally, of the main Iranic and Indic branches of Indo-European.
If Allentoft et al. One of its main weaknesses has always been the lack of a convincing archaeological scenario by which Steppe speakers crossed southwards into Iran and India. If Tocharian is to be identified with Afanasievo, then on that count too, Afanasievo would seem an unlikely source of Indo-Iranic as well. Moreover, far from leaving a great legacy that might include the huge Indo-Iranic branch of Indo-European, Allentoft et al. Andronovo was replaced by the Karasuk, Mezhovskaya, and Iron Age cultures which appear multiethnic and show gradual admixture with East Asians.
Naturally, Haak et al. Nonetheless, both papers misconstrue the true nature and scale of the Indo-European question. The latest ancient DNA data are no real support for the Steppe hypothesis, in fact. The ancient population movements they detect fall far short of identifying the Steppe as the origin point of the main, primary expansion of all branches of the entire Indo-European family, which is what the Steppe hypothesis claims. The new data are highly coherent with the wider farming hypothesis, particularly its version A 2.
The Indo-European question remains very much open, then — but perhaps not for many years more. Spectacular advances in ancient DNA data, as published in papers such as these, are enriching and revolutionising our understanding of prehistory at a bewildering pace. They are advancing us in great strides towards an eventual resolution of the Indo-European question.
The theme of this third conference was Indo-European and Indo-Europeans. This topic 1. Linguistic Structure as Diacritic Evidence on Proto-Culture. (pp. ) The general hypothesis to be presented and supported consists of three parts. Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. A Reconstruction and Historical Analysis of a Proto-Language and Proto-Culture. Part I: The Text. Part II: Bibliography.
But these latest papers have focused thus far on the Steppe itself, and northern parts of Eurasia. To that end, we still need more ancient DNA data, from a wider chronological span, and from much more of the Indo-European-speaking world, above all the ancient heartlands south of the Alps, Black Sea, Caspian and Himalayas. In the modern world, a majority of human languages are already heading for extinction as their speakers shift en masse to other languages. But this is an abrupt reversal: a collapse and disappearance of the language diversity arisen over the preceding millennia.
It is driven by the revolutionary changes of the Modern Era: the nation state, language standardisation, printing, mass literacy and transport, telecommunications and now globalisation. Examples are nowhere more obvious than in historical steppe incursions upon farming Europe, India and China. Incoming, conquering steppe elites — e. The doubts will hardly be dispelled if its advocates now change their mind to claim that demographic advantage does after all explain Indo-European — or at least, it does in those regions that do show powerful genetic impact from the steppe, but everywhere else, any contrary genetic signal can be disregarded, and elite dominance conveniently still invoked instead?
The scenarios in which major language shifts may be more or less plausible, and how those may have changed through prehistory, is a big topic in itself, but covered here pp. In this blog, the focus is just on assessing Haak et al. Their claim to support the Steppe hypothesis on the basis of genetic data is of course effectively premised on the basic assumption that so vast a linguistic impact as Indo-European, at so early a stage in prehistory, would indeed have involved major population expansions.
So it is on that basis that this blog has proceeded. While not to do with genetics, it is worth clarifying one of the main arguments made in favour of the Steppe hypothesis. And since those did not develop until after the first spread of farming, this would mean that Indo-European could not have spread so early as with farming. Unfortunately, the logic does not work. Nor did their houses and ships look much like ours.
Nor did the Romans have battery chargers , although those words reconstruct back to the Proto-Romance language. It is open to a great deal of subjective interpretation and interminable arguments, and not probative at all. Coleman If Renfrew were able to convince … that the first farmers were the only possible bearers of Proto-Indo-European, then philologists could probably explain away all the shared vocabulary that has seemed to imply later phases of civilization. The whole doctrine of making cultural inferences from linguistic evidence, known as linguistic palaeontology, has rarely enjoyed particularly high repute.
In practice, however, there are major pitfalls … and the reliability of the approach is questioned by many linguists. For more on the pitfalls of linguistic palaeontology, see pages of this paper. Allentoft, M. Population genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia. Nature : p. Anthony, D. The Indo-European homeland from linguistic and archaeological perspectives.
Annual Review of Linguistics 1 1 : p. Anttila, R. Historical and Comparative Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Brandt, G. Science : p. Coleman, R. Review of Renfrew : Archaeology and Language. Current Anthropology 29 3 : p. Haak, W. Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe. Pulgram, E. The Tongues of Italy. Renfrew, C. London: Jonathan Cape. Sims-Williams , P.
Genetics, linguistics, and prehistory: thinking big and thinking straight. Antiquity 72 : p. Trask, R. Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics.
Stages of Proto-Indo-European evolution. The period between Balkan IE and Proto-Greek could be divided in two periods: an older one, called Proto-Greek close to the time when NWIE was spoken , probably including Macedonian, and spoken somewhere in the Balkans; and a more recent one, called Mello-Greek, coinciding with the classically reconstructed Proto-Greek, already spoken in the Greek peninsula [West ].
There is an ever-growing ground for the support of an intermediate European branch between Late Proto-Indo-European and European proto-languages. Genetic studies are showing that the concept of Indo-European migrations is real, and it has also shown that closely related communities expanded over huge areas where ancient European languages were later attested.
Immobility and conservatism have unexpectedly seized the field [Adrados ] : from the nineties we have seen a decline in the theory which proposes at least two strata of Indo-European with the archaism of Hittite barely mentioned , with the most commonly used manuals barely presenting the effects of gradual dialectalisation — and this only related to Hittite phonetics. The field keeps moving forward in the study of individual languages, but the general theory is paralysed, so that in fact dialectal studies are actually based on false theoretical assumptions.
Old European. A more recent, revised and updated version of this paper has been published On the other hand, these are the equivalent simplistic comments in Narasimhan, Patterson et al. The Steppe ancestry in South Asia has the same profile as that in Bronze Age Eastern Europe, tracking a movement of people that affected both regions and that likely spread the unique features shared between Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic languages.
The only academic closely related to linguistics from the list of authors, as far as I know, is James P. Not that anyone needs to be a linguist to dismiss any similarities between Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian beyond this phonetic trend, mind you. If only there was a language substrate that could as Shinde et al.
Say, Eneolithic populations of mainly hunter-fisher-gatherers from the North Pontic forest-steppes with a stronger connection to metalworking …. Borrowings in Finno-Ugric suggest long-lasting, intense contacts. As I said 6 months ago , is a tough year to write a blog, because this was going to be a complex regional election year and therefore a time of political promises, hence tenure offers too. Now the preliminary offers have been made, elections have passed, but the timing has slightly shifted toward So I may have the time, but not really any benefit of dedicating too much effort to the blog, and a lot of potential benefit of dedicating any time to evaluable scientific work.
On the other hand, I saw some potential benefit for publishing texts with ISBNs, hence the updates to the text and the preparation of these printed copies of the books, just in case. I took thus some time about a month ago to update the texts and supplementary materials, to publish a printed copy of the books with Amazon. The first copies have arrived, and they look good. Titles I have changed the names and order of the books, as I intended for the first publication — as some of you may have noticed when the linguistic book was referred to as the third volume in some parts.
In the first concept I just wanted to emphasize that the linguistic work had priority over the rest. Uralic dialects I have changed the nomenclature for Uralic dialects, as I said recently. Anyway, the use of terms like Finno-Ugric or Finno-Samic is as correct now for the reconstructed forms as it was before the change in nomenclature. Mediterranean The most interesting recent genetic data has come from Iberia and the Mediterranean.
Lacking direct data from the Italian Peninsula and thus from the emergence of the Etruscan and Rhaetian ethnolinguistic community , it is becoming clearer how some quite early waves of Indo-Europeans and non-Indo-Europeans expanded and shrank — at least in West Iberia , West Mediterranean , and France. Finno-Ugric Some of the main updates to the text have been made to the sections on Finno-Ugric populations, because some interesting new genetic data especially Y-DNA have been published in the past months.
This is especially true for Baltic Finns and for Ugric populations. Balto-Slavic Consequently, and somehow unsurprisingly, the Balto-Slavic section has been affected by this; e. I2a-L and E1b-V I have also added one new version of the Early Bronze age map , to better reflect the most likely location of Indo-European languages in the Early European Bronze Age.
As those in software programming will understand, major changes in the files that are used for maps and graphics come with an increasing risk of additional errors, so I would not be surprised if some major ones would be found I already spotted three of them. Feel free to communicate these errors in any way you see fit. I have also deleted most SNP-related footnotes and replaced them with the marking of each individual tentative SNP, leaving only those footnotes that give important specific information, because:. You can see another map tool in ArcGIS.
As I say in the text, if the final working map tool does not deliver the names, I will publish another supplementary table to the text, listing all tentative SNPs with their respective author s. I previously used certain samples prepared by amateurs from BAM files like Botai, Okunevo, or Hittites , and the results were obviously less than satisfactory — hence my criticism of the lack of publication of prepared files by the most famous labs, especially the Copenhagen group. I criticized genetic labs for not releasing all data, so now it is time for praise, at least for one of them: thank you to all responsible at the Reich Lab for this great merged dataset , which includes samples from other labs.
Higher K gave worse CV, which I guess depends on the many ancient and modern samples selected and on the fact that many samples are repeated from different sources in my files, because I did not have time to filter them all individually. Most of them have been refuted in papers from , as you probably know if you have followed this blog see very recent examples here , here , or here , compelling me to delete or change them again, and again, and again.
I wanted to be one step ahead of peer-reviewed publications in the books, but I prefer now to go for something safe in the book series, rather than having one potentially interesting prediction — which may or may not be right — and ten huge mistakes that I would have helped to endlessly redistribute among my readers online and now in print based on some cherry-picked pairwise comparisons.
I am sure whole books can be written about why and how this happened and how this is going to keep happening , based on psychology and sociology, but the reasons are irrelevant, and that would be a futile effort; like writing books about glottochronology and its intermittent popularity due to misunderstood scientist trends. Official site of the book series: A Song of Sheep and Horses: eurafrasia nostratica, eurasia indouralica. Teams led by David Reich at Harvard Medical School and Eske Willerslev at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark announced, independently, that occupants of Corded Ware graves in Germany could trace about three-quarters of their genetic ancestry to the Yamnaya.
Burial practices shifted dramatically, a warrior class appeared, and there seems to have been a sharp upsurge in lethal violence. The collaboration revealed that the origin and initial spread of Bell Beaker culture had little to do — at least genetically — with the expansion of the Yamnaya or Corded Ware people into central Europe. Then, Bell Beaker culture began to spread east, although the people more or less stayed put. By about years ago, it reached the most westerly Corded Ware people around where the Netherlands now lies.
For reasons still unclear, the Corded Ware people fully embraced it. The fact that the genetic analysis showed the Britons then all-but disappeared within a couple of generations might be significant. It suggests the capacity for violence that emerged when the Yamnaya lived on the Eurasia steppe remained even as these people moved into Europe, switched identity from Yamnaya to Corded Ware, and then switched again from Corded Ware to Bell Beaker.
Notice what Kristiansen did there? In fact, there is much stronger evidence that these Yamnaya Beakers were ruthless. By about years ago, they had pushed westwards into the Iberian Peninsula, where the Bell Beaker culture originated a few centuries earlier. Within a few generations, about 40 per cent of the DNA of people in the region could be traced back to the incoming Yamnaya Beakers, according to research by a large team including Reich that was published this month. More strikingly, the ancient DNA analysis reveals that essentially all the men have Y chromosomes characteristic of the Yamnaya, suggesting only Yamnaya men had children.
So these unimaginably violent Yamnaya men had children exclusively with their Y chromosomes …but not Dutch Single Grave peoples. Wait for it…. Archaeologists working there found a Yamnaya-like kurgan, below which was the body of a man buried with a dagger and Yamnaya-like sandals, and decorated with red pigment just as Yamnaya dead were. Does some reader know which one is it? Notice how, if you add all those vanguard Yamna findings of Central and Western Europe, including this one from southern Spain, you begin to get a good idea of the territories occupied by East Bell Beakers expanding later.
More or less like vanguard Abashevo and Sintashta finds in the Zeravshan valley heralded the steppe-related Srubna-Andronovo expansions in Turan…. It seems that many Yamna vanguard groups, probably still in long-distance contact with Yamna settlers from the Carpathian Basin , were already settled in different European regions in the first half of the 3 rd millennium BC, before the explosive expansion of East Bell Beakers ca.
As Heyd says, there are potentially many Yamna settlements along the Middle and Lower Danube and tributaries not yet found, connecting the Carpathian Basin to Western and Northern Europe. These vanguard groups would have more easily transformed their weakened eastern Yamna connections with the fashionable Proto-Beaker package expanding from the west and surrounding all of these loosely connected settlements , just like the Yamna materials from Seville probably represent a close cultural contact of Chalcolithic Iberia with a Yamna settlement the closest known site with Yamna traits is near Alsace , where high Yamna ancestry is probably going to be found in a Bell Beaker R1b-L individual.
It just means that there was a complex picture of contacts between Yamna and European Chalcolithic groups before the expansion of Bell Beakers. New paper behind paywall , The genomic history of the Iberian Peninsula over the past years , by Olalde et al. Science Access to article from Reich Lab: main paper and supplementary materials. We assembled genome-wide data from ancient Iberians, of whom are from the largely unsampled period after BCE, thereby providing a high-resolution time transect of the Iberian Peninsula.
We document high genetic substructure between northwestern and southeastern hunter-gatherers before the spread of farming. We show that, in the Iron Age, Steppe ancestry had spread not only into Indo-European—speaking regions but also into non-Indo-European—speaking ones , and we reveal that present-day Basques are best described as a typical Iron Age population without the admixture events that later affected the rest of Iberia. Additionally, we document how, beginning at least in the Roman period, the ancestry of the peninsula was transformed by gene flow from North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean.
Y-chromosome turnover was even more pronounced Fig. These patterns point to a higher contribution of incoming males than females, also supported by a lower proportion of nonlocal ancestry on the X-chromosome table S14 and fig. S7 , a paradigm that can be exemplified by a Bronze Age tomb from Castillejo del Bonete containing a male with Steppe ancestry and a female with ancestry similar to Copper Age Iberians.
For the Iron Age, we document a consistent trend of increased ancestry related to Northern and Central European populations with respect to the preceding Bronze Age Figs. S6 and tables S11 and S This trend documents gene flow into Iberia during the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age, possibly associated with the introduction of the Urnfield tradition Unlike in Central or Northern Europe, where Steppe ancestry likely marked the introduction of Indo-European languages 12 , our results indicate that, in Iberia, increases in Steppe ancestry were not always accompanied by switches to Indo-European languages.
I think it is obvious they are extrapolating the traditional not that well-known linguistic picture of Iberia during the Iron Age, believing in continuity of that picture especially non-Indo-European languages during the Urnfield period and earlier. What this data shows is, as expected, the arrival of Celtic languages in Iberia after Bell Beakers and, by extension, in the rest of western Europe. The other Iberian Bronze Age males could belong to DF27 as well, but the extremely low recovery rate of this SNP in our dataset prevented us to study its true distribution.
All the Iberian Bronze Age males with overlapping sequences at R1b-L21 were negative for this mutation. Therefore, we can rule out Britain as a plausible proximate origin since contemporaneous British males are derived for the L21 subtype. Cell :. The geographical vicinity and contemporaneity of these two sites led us to run genomic kinship analysis in order to rule out any first or second degree of relatedness. The title says it all. I have used some free time to update the series A Song of Sheep and Horses :. I have also updated maps, including some of the Y-DNA ones, and managed to finish two new maps I was working on, and I added them to the supplementary materials and to the menu above:.
So much for the call of professional geneticists since see here and here and archaeologists since see e. Not that there is anything wrong with a northern origin of North-West Indo-European from a linguistic point of view, as I commented recently — after all, a Corded Ware origin would roughly fit the linguistic guesstimates, unlike the proposed ancestral origins in Anatolia or India.
Poetic justice this heritage destruction, whose indirect causes will remain written in Internet archives for everyone to see, as a good lesson for future generations. There is a good reason for hope, for those who look for a happy ending to the revolution of population genomics that is quickly turning into an involution led by beliefs and personal interests. This blog is apparently one of the the most read sites on Indo-European peoples , if not the most read one, and now on Uralic peoples, too.
Nothing out of the ordinary, I guess, and obviously numbers are not a quality index, but rather a hint at increasing popularity of the subject and of our work. The most read posts of , now that we can compare those from the last quarter, are as follows:. I think it is obvious what the greatest interest of readers has been in the past two years.
You can see the pattern by looking at the most popular posts of , when the blog took off again:. I guess you can say this blog and our projects have profited from the first relevant Streisand effect of population genomics, big time.