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Thread: Early Medieval Czech DNA (years 600-900 AD)

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    Early Medieval Czech DNA (years 600-900 AD)

    From Eurogenes:

    http://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2017/0...m-bohemia.html

    "Two Bohemian Bell Beaker genomes from Allentoft et al. 2015 - RISE568 and RISE569 - are labeled as early Czech Slavs in the new Mathieson et al. 2017 preprint (see rows 148 and 149 in the spreadsheet here).

    Obviously these samples were initially wrongly dated to the Bronze Age and misidentified. They really date to 600-900 CE and 660-770 calCE, respectively. It's an unfortunate mistake, but also an interesting situation, because they've been analyzed in great detail in several papers and on this blog, and no one suspected that anything was wrong.

    So the fact that these two Medieval Slavs from East Central Europe passed so convincingly for eastern Bell Beakers is a hint of very strong genetic continuity in the region since the Bronze Age. Indeed, they're very similar to present-day Czechs (...)

    This is where RISE569, the higher coverage of the two genomes, clusters in my Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of West Eurasian populations:



    Unfortunately, both are females, so there's no Y-DNA data. But I suspect that if there was, we'd probably know something was wrong, because their Y-chromosome haplogroups may have turned out to be relatively young Slavic-specific subclades of R1a-M548 and/or R1a-Z280."
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    If we assumed, hypothetically, that Slavs did in fact migrate from lands further to the east (Ukraine/Belarus), and that they expanded over/mixed with the native bell beaker related people living in Czech lands, then wouldn't we expect that the early Slavic samples from the Czech Republic to share similar PCA results with Bell Beaker samples?

    Although... if early Slavic samples from the Czech Republic are showing similarities with Bell Beaker samples, then perhaps that means that the initial migration of people eastward (if thats how it happened), was limited compared to the entire population of the area they took over... that still would leave the possibility that M458/Z280 came from the east

    Can't wait for more results with YDNA!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent.B View Post
    If we assumed, hypothetically, that Slavs did in fact migrate from lands further to the east (Ukraine/Belarus), and that they expanded over/mixed with the native bell beaker related people living in Czech lands, then wouldn't we expect that the early Slavic samples from the Czech Republic to share similar PCA results with Bell Beaker samples?!
    The usual claim from academia is that the 1st-millennium Slavic migration constituted a massive population replacement in the West Slavic countries, and that most of the R1a and I2a in those countries results from such replacement. According to Figure 2 of this research study, 75 Czech samples were found to be 41% R1a and 14% I2a. If one actually believes that half of Czechs' Y chromosomes originate in Ukraine/Belarus, such massive population replacement certainly ought to show up glaringly in the autosomal DNA--but it doesn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgmayka View Post
    The usual claim from academia is that the 1st-millennium Slavic migration constituted a massive population replacement in the West Slavic countries, and that most of the R1a and I2a in those countries results from such replacement. According to Figure 2 of this research study, 75 Czech samples were found to be 41% R1a and 14% I2a. If one actually believes that half of Czechs' Y chromosomes originate in Ukraine/Belarus, such massive population replacement certainly ought to show up glaringly in the autosomal DNA--but it doesn't.
    Is it possible that R1a (or at least M458) and I2a was introduced by an elite group (and thus in small numbers) that managed to grow to a larger share of the population due to their social position? kind of like a founder effect?

    And is this the first early Slavic autosomal DNA results available so far? are there others we can compare to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent.B View Post
    Is it possible that R1a (or at least M458) and I2a was introduced by an elite group (and thus in small numbers) that managed to grow to a larger share of the population due to their social position? kind of like a founder effect?

    And is this the first early Slavic autosomal DNA results available so far? are there others we can compare to?
    Genetics need to be coordinated with linguistics, history, and archaeology, (and don't forget common sense lest it lead one to pleasant but erroneous conclusions. There was no TOTAL population replacement in Poland or Ukraine in the 5th and 6th cs. CE, but there was indeed massive change. Both history and archaeology concur here. However it is also true that substantial pockets of the older population esp. West of the Vistula, but also in Ukraine, remained, and were assimilated by the incomers. while at the same time contributing much of their material culture and genes to the emerging complex. The Dziedzitska culture of Poland for instance is proof enough. So this is an incontrovertible fact. An additional problem here is that in an earlier period there was a very substantial population movement eastward from Poland and East Germany (associated with the historical Bastarnian expansion) and these newcomers to Ukraine and Belarus also contributed much to the Zarubinian culture (for instance up to 50% or more of the ceramic forms of Zarubinia are of "Pomeranian" origin) which eventually morphed into early Slavdom. So in a sense (but only in a sense) the Slavic "return" westward in the 5th cs. ss. was partly a "reflux" phenomenon except linguistically. That's what makes everything so difficult. As is the fact that early Slavs practised cremation almost exclusively.
    Last edited by George; 05-21-2017 at 05:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgmayka View Post
    The usual claim from academia is that the 1st-millennium Slavic migration constituted a massive population replacement in the West Slavic countries, and that most of the R1a and I2a in those countries results from such replacement. According to Figure 2 of this research study, 75 Czech samples were found to be 41% R1a and 14% I2a. If one actually believes that half of Czechs' Y chromosomes originate in Ukraine/Belarus, such massive population replacement certainly ought to show up glaringly in the autosomal DNA--but it doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent.B View Post
    Is it possible that R1a (or at least M458) and I2a was introduced by an elite group (and thus in small numbers) that managed to grow to a larger share of the population due to their social position? kind of like a founder effect?

    And is this the first early Slavic autosomal DNA results available so far? are there others we can compare to?
    The only scenario that i can comprehend is one where the males were R1a and I2a dominant and the women were "indigenous" eastern Bell-Beaker types. Otherwise, it is hard to reconcile the patrilineage lines with the autosomal dna.

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Genetics need to be coordinated with linguistics, history, and archaeology, (and don't forget common sense lest it lead one to pleasant but erroneous conclusions. There was no TOTAL population replacement in Poland or Ukraine in the 5th and 6th cs. CE, but there was indeed massive change.
    What is your understanding of "There was no TOTAL population replacement in Poland or Ukraine in the 5th and 6th cs. CE, but there was indeed massive change." How close was the "massive change" to a total population change? 50%?60%?70%? 80%? 90% or more?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent.B View Post
    Is it possible that R1a (or at least M458) and I2a was introduced by an elite group (and thus in small numbers) that managed to grow to a larger share of the population due to their social position? kind of like a founder effect?
    Some degree of elite dominance was almost ubiquitious in pre-modern society: The rich and powerful could ensure the survival to reproduction of their children, whereas the poor and oppressed had to take their chances.

    In Y-haplotrees, I like to point to fan-out, the number of direct subclades and singletons a clade has. Take a look at these prolific patrilineage generators:
    R-YP1337 in the M458 branch, TMRCA 1650 ybp, has 4 subclades and 7 singletons
    R-L1029 in the M458 branch, TMRCA 2100 ybp, has 9 subclades and 7 singletons
    R-YP682 in the Z280 branch, TMRCA 1750 ybp, has 5 subclades and 7 singletons
    R-Y2902 in the Z280 branch, TMRCA 2500 ybp, has 8 subclades and 3 singletons
    R-Y2915 in the Z280 branch, TMRCA 1950 ybp, has 1 subclade and 9 singletons
    I-S17250 in the CTS10228 branch, TMRCA 1850 ybp, has 4 subclades and 10 singletons
    Most of the singletons in I-S17250 may actually belong to its subclade I-PH908, TMRCA 1850 ybp, which has 2 subclades and 5 singletons of its own.

    Of course, many other mostly-Slavic clades also expanded in this same timeframe, though not as rapidly.

    The significant range in TMRCA may represent a distinction between the tribes on the "ground floor" of the expansion, as opposed to those which were incorporated into the community as it gained allies or subordinates.
    Last edited by lgmayka; 05-21-2017 at 06:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leonardo View Post
    What is your understanding of "There was no TOTAL population replacement in Poland or Ukraine in the 5th and 6th cs. CE, but there was indeed massive change." How close was the "massive change" to a total population change? 50%?60%?70%? 80%? 90% or more?
    My response was kept deliberately ambiguous, in that "change" referred to all factors (genetic, linguistic, cultural etc..) taken together. It's very hard to be as accurate as you would like, but my best guess is that change was greatest (with different patterns in various localities) at the linguistic and cultural levels, and certainly important though not as pervasive at the genetic level. I hope that further aDNA analysis as results roll in will provide more answers here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgmayka View Post
    If one actually believes that half of Czechs' Y chromosomes originate in Ukraine/Belarus, such massive population replacement certainly ought to show up glaringly in the autosomal DNA--but it doesn't.
    Well, as long as we don't have any results for the pre-Slavic (Germanic/Marcomanic) population from Bohemia (not to mention the Early Slavic population from Ukraine/Belarus), your above statement is certainly premature. This is best illustrated for Poland, where we already have an east-shifted Early Bronze Age sample from Poland (Gustorzyn), while there are rumors that the Iron Age samples do not resemble neither that Early Bronze Age sample nor the Piast period population.

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