Saturday, December 30, 2023

Unexpected ancient DNA results from pre-Islamic Bahrain.

 Unexpected ancient DNA results from pre-Islamic Bahrain. They are different from modern day Arabs living there and plot close to ancient Mesopotamian samples from Iraq. On the PCA they plot just in the vicinity of ancient samples from South Caucasus, North-West Iran and North Iraq LBA. In this group we use the term "Central farmers" for this type of ancestry.

Assuming those samples were not some kind random migrants then we can imagine that most of Mesopotamia was like this prior the arrival of Arabs.
This data gives us a hint what we can expect from more ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia. Sumerians and Akkadians.
The island Bahrain is usually connected with the land Dilmun in ancient Mesopotamian texts. Although other opinions also exist on the location of Dilmun.
Below are some excerpts from the paper.
Lastly, we evaluate the ancestry of Bahrain Tylos individuals in a context of Near Eastern variation by estimating ancestry proportions using a previously published 12 three-way model with TUR_Pınarbaşı_EpiP, ISR_Natufian_EpiP and CHG as sources in a set of relevant ancient groups which can also be modelled in this way (Figure 3C) 12. In this model, the Bahrain_Tylos samples present similar ancestry proportions to AZE_ChL, Mesopotamia_PPN and IRQ_Nemrik9_LBA, IRN_Dinkha_Tepe_A, LBN_IA and to ARM_Aknashen_N. Accordingly, rank=0 qpAdm models show that Tylos-period Bahrainis form a clade with several of these ancient groups (p≥0.01; Table S6), suggesting that similar sources have contributed to their ancestry.
Tylos-Period Bahrainis are genetically closer to present-day Levantine populations than to present-day Arabians
Regarding affinities with present-day populations, the temporally aware model-based clustering analysis (Figure 1B) suggests that Tylos period Bahrain samples are more similar to present-day Levantine groups than to present-day Arabians or South Asians,
In order to gain further insights into the relationship of Tylos to present-day populations from the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant, we tested if the Bahraini samples form a clade with any modern population in our dataset using a set of reference populations (as outgroups) that can differentiate the different ancestries in the Near East. We found that Iraqis, Assyrians and Jewish groups from Iran, Georgia and Iraq could derive all their ancestries from Tylos-period Bahrainis (Table S8). Arabians such as Saudis, Emiratis and Yemenis have, in addition to ancestry from Tylos-period Bahrain, ancestry from East Africa, while Levantines such as Druze and Lebanese have additional Southeast European ancestry (Table S9)

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Origins of Dolmen culture

 Origins of Dolmen culture

Dolmen culture (2900-1300bc) was a remarkable archaeological horizon in north west of Caucasus that appeared after the Maykop culture (3700-3000bc) and the older Darkveti-Meshoko (4500-3500bc). Many scholars believe that Proto NWC people (ancestral to Abkhaz, Adyghe, Cherkez, Kabardin and extinct Ubykh language) were the builders of those dolmens before they separate into modern existing groups.
We have only one ancient DNA sample from Dolmen builders. It's low coverage that is why it is absent in G25. Nevertheless with qpadm models we can try to understand it's origins.
Given that dolmens are found all over Europe some scholars assumed that those north west Caucasian dolmens might be related to them. With the advent of genetics and fact that G2a2-U1 is frequent in NWC those theories gained a new attention.
That is why my first attempt was to test this theory. First I tried to model Dolmen culture as a direct descendants of Darkveti Meshoko ( labeled as Caucasus Eneolithic) and it worked with a good p value Then I tried to use a European sources for Dolmens. They were not wanted. I used specifically Czech TRB which had megalithic burials. But it also failed. Anatolia Chalcolithic source also failed. Then I tried something more proximate and realistic and it worked. Dolmen culture was modeled as largely (more than 90%) descending from Maykop culture. If You look attentively on the PCA You will notice that the single Dolmen sample plot close to Maykop samples. This is a somewhat unexpected result because the burial rites of Maykop and Dolmen cultures are quite different nevertheless the genetic verdict is unambiguous. It must be noted that burial rites of humans are mostly connected to their religion. And people can change over time their religious beliefs. For instance Slavic people were practicing the cremation before the adoption of Christianity. Then they changed their burial rite after they became Christian.
As for the origins of G2-U1 in Caucasus it still remains obscure given the paucity of ancient DNA with this haplotype. Direct origins from Darkveti-Meshoko is possible. But an origin from Maykop also becomes plausible with this data. While a migration from Europe becomes less likely. You may wonder what is the difference between Maykop and Darkveti Meshoko. Well the first descend from South Caucasus and North West Iran region Chalcolithic groups known as Chaff faced ware while the latter descend from farmers more connected to Anatolia and Euphrates basin.
With more ancient DNA from this larger region those questions will be solved. As for the origins of NWC languages it can have more complex origin than just descending from their main Y dna.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

The historic event

 The historic event that could cause the apparition of someone (labeled as Sarmatian in Silva 2023 ) from northern regions of Armenia and Caucasus in Britain in the first half of second century AD is probably the campaign against Armenia by the Britanicum legion lead by a certain Lucius Artorius Castus.

There are epigraphic inscriptions mentioning this campaign. Even though the legion was stationed in Britain but at some point it was relocated and participated in the wars in the eastern parts of Roman Empire.
This idea was suggested in genarchivist forum.
Incidentally the Lucius Artorios Castus was suggested as the historical basis of king Arthur legend. But this idea is strongly disputed. The legendary Arthur battles against Anglo-Saxons so might have lived much later assuming that he existed.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The genetic story of G2b

 The genetic story of G2b

Thanks to Hovann Simonian we have a number of modern Armenian G2b on Yfull. Coupled with ancient DNA we can now have a better idea about the history of G2b.
G2b unlike his "brother" G2a was a minor Fertile Crescent lineage that formed in more eastern regions than Anatolia. It was absent in Anatolian and European Neolithic sites. The finding of 9200 year old G2b in Zagros, West Iran confirms it's more eastern homeland. (See the map). G2b have three important branches, having an old common ancestor, who lived 20.000 years ago. He lived even prior farming was invented. Those three branches had different stories.
G2b1-M377 - This branch apparently was a Copper Age lineage. It is popular in Ashkenazi Jews and Pashtos in Afghanistan. Both are result of Current Era founder effects. The common ancestor of Jewish and Pashto clusters lived some 5500 years ago, so it is hard to say it's real origin given the absence of aDNA from this branch. An Armenian from Syunik is present on basal position in this branch having a 8700 year old common ancestor.
G2b2a-Z8022 - It was found in Wezmeh cave in West Iran in a Neolithic period. Later another sample was found in Kaps (Shirak) from Kura-Araxes period (more than 5000 years ago). And finally a number of G2b2a were found from Teishebaini (Karmir Blur) in later LBA and Iron Age period. Etiuni people had preserved some Y dna from Kura-Araxes culture so the G2b2a was one of them. In most likelihood G2b2a was present in South Caucasus since the Neolithic era. See the second picture. An Armenian from Urfa and a number of Turks are from this branch. Their common ancestor lived 3200 year ago so it's probably represent an old migration of KA to Anatolia and a secondary expansion in Iron Age.
G2b2b-FT36238 - There are no ancient DNA from this branch. There is a young 2600 year old branch which apparently is an Armenian branch given the presence of Armenians there. A very distant 19000 years parallel branch is found in Kuwait.