Monday, April 17, 2023

Armen Hovakimian has made a map

 Armen Hovakimian has made a map where we can see the differences in the distribution of R1b and I2a2b in LBA-EIA period. Red is the R1b the blue is the I2a2b. As You can notice the I2a2b is more frequent in Sevan basin than elsewhere.

This structured distribution can be due to initial TVC groups random founder effects. But in most likelihood, it is related to secondary developments like the emergence of Sevan-Artsakh culture (known as Sevan-Uzerlik ) Sevan-Artsakh is few hundred years younger than TVC and it is usually assumed that it descends from it. The current data supports that theory.
Later after 1500bc Lchashen culture emerged and most of these local developments disappeared, assimilated into more homogenous Lchashen sedentary culture.
The reason why modern Armenians have more R1b than I2a2b is due to this localized distribution of I2a2b. While R1b was widespread all-over historic Armenia the I2a2b had a founder effect mostly in Sevan basin. Even today the highest level of I2a2b in Armenians and even in the world is found in Gardman Armenians who lived in eastern parts of Sevan. More than ~8.5%. As for modern inhabitants of Sevan basin. They descend in large part from Bayazet, so it's not surprising that they do not have the highest level

Saturday, April 8, 2023

A Brazilian team made a facial approximation

 A Brazilian team made a facial approximation ( reconstruction ) of the most ancient skeleton found in Egypt (~35.000 ybp ). You can see the result on the left picture. What attracted my attention is the eye shape (the epicanthic fold) which in my opinion looks somewhat similar to the reconstruction of Areni cave skull. Unfortunately there are so little reconstructions of very old West Asians to compare them. Was this widespread in the past or it is a software issue? If this reconstruction is correct then it means that my initial assumption about the unusual eye shape in Areni is related to northern admixture was not correct.

PS there is also a reconstruction of king Tutanhamon's father with a similar eye shape. See the comments for links

Sunday, April 2, 2023

The human genome has 3 billion "letters".

 The human genome has 3 billion "letters". But for scientific research and in commercial tests only a small subset of genes is used. From half a million to few millions. Ancient DNA can have even less "letters". Sometimes few dozen thousands. Nevertheless even this small number require complex methods for comparison.

One method which is used by amateurs is the Gedmatch and G25 where the available genome is transformed into a row of numbers. Usually from 10 to 25 numbers. And those numbers are compared to each other. But as You can understand it's a very approximate way to do because the huge info is zipped into small number set. Despite this most of the time those methods give a good idea about the DNA. This is especially true for G25.
But academic papers do not rely on those amateur tools. Well they use the Admixture and PCA programs which are behind the Gedmatch and G25 but the they do not make conclusions based solely on those tools.
For making solid scientific conclusions they rely on more complex tools. One of them is the qpadm.
This is a very complex tool. As far as I know no one in this group have skills to use it. But thanks to Nareg Asatrian we have access to a person who can run the qpadm models. From my side I will add also some from my collection. Notice qpadm results are important because You can use them in an academic publication and create a solid reference.
I will post qpadm results in the comments. In this texts I will mention only the p value and the proportion. A p value is a number between 0 to 1. It means how plausible is the model. If it is close to 1 it means a practical certitude. A number lower than 0.05 means improbable. Although in some papers You will see models with less than 0.05. Keep in mind that finding a plausible model with relatively high p value is very hard.
Let's start from simple things. Like comparing Yervanduni era Armenians from RoA ( 4 samples ) to modern average Armenians.
Well we have two models both have p value higher than 0.05. One of them is 0.17 the other 0.10. Both are made of different set of 3 samples. So the models are feasible.
Then we tried the Van Urartu samples to modern Armenians. Initially two attempts failed which was quite surprising given how close are those samples in G25 to modern Armenians. But when Lebanon Armenians were used the model worked quite well. P value 0.547. But the average and eastern Armenians require something else on top of Van Urartu, which we discussed a lot in this group.
Now we want to know what is that Van Urartu. It turns out that Van Urartu can be modeled as a 50% mixture of Lchashen culture and something like Dinkha tepe (NW Iran) or Syria Ebla EMBA. P value 0.68. Notice I have a thread in this group about the connection of Urartians to Dinkha tepe which is related to Khabur ware. Basically qpadm confirms this connection. Although it must be noted that this type of North Mesopotamian ancestry was present in. Sirnak (modern Hakkari/ historic Korduk) much earlier.
To be continued...