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Thread: Ancient DNA from Romania

  1. #41
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    Dorkymon: Awesome 23andme stuff! I am assuming you got the respective individuals' consent. If so, could you also post the information to the Romanian 23andme thread that you started?
    BTW, you are becoming a celebrity. Googling for information, I found your 23andme collection being quoted in a website that contains the word "Khazar...". Oh, well, that's the internet for you.
    Last edited by Fungene; 06-08-2018 at 01:57 PM.

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fungene View Post
    I am assuming you got the respective individuals' consent.
    Nope, because I wouldn't get anywhere if I did. But I am keeping all the private info in secret, so there isn't any harm done.

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    It would be very interesting to see results of medieval Vlachs from around the Balkans. Hopefully one day some samples will be tested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorkymon View Post
    Nope
    LOL! You're one of a kind, Dorkymon!

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    Ancient and New DNA from Romania- May-June 2018 wrap up

    The point of my initial post about ancient and modern DNA relevant to Romanians got lost in a tangle of side branches. So, this post puts the main points of some the previous ones together and adds just a few more notes suggested by Zheong et al. 2018.

    The relevant information, in addition to samples from Romania discussed earlier in this thread, is from:

    Wang et al. 2018. “The genetic prehistory of the Greater Caucasus.”
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/bior...22347.full.pdf
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/earl...7.figures-only

    Jeong et al. 2018. “Characterizing the genetic history of admixture across inner Eurasia.”
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/05/23/327122
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/earl...2.figures-only

    First, interesting information from Wang et al. 2018 “The Genetic Prehistory of the Greater Caucasus”


    Fig. 2d shows some prehistoric individuals projected onto modern Western Eurasian populations. For the moderns, the tan pentagons represent Romanians.




    In drawing a straight line from Romania Eneolithic (full orange dots) to Samara Eneolithic (upward-pointing dark-grey triangles), one tracks right through the Romanian-Moldavian cluster. The orange dots represent I2532, Coțatcu, close to Râmnicu Sărat, and I2533, which is Cârcea Viaduct, southeast of Craiova, mentioned in earlier posts in this thread.
    The Samara Eneolithic samples are I0433, I0434, and I0122, 5200-4000 BCE, Khvalynsk II. Not bad temporal proximity to the ancient Romanian samples. Cârcea is 5484-5372 calBC.

    Fig. 2 in Wang 2018 is a good way to convey something like the story of admixture in Romania in the blink of an eye needed to take in a picture.
    Sure, there are always more sub-plots to a story. It’s just that this PCA gives us a good clue about what’s a good direction to look in, what’s just a wild goose chase, and –- to be frank, what is just plain dumb. Sorry. I said it.
    This commentary is meant to be of general interest, but it is also targeted at some of the weird stuff I see online, some of it even coming from sources written in Romanian. Some of it is based on older research, but most of it is riffing on historical sources without proper assessment of credibility. I am generally polite, but that material truly does tax one’s patience.

    Let’s continue with Zheong et al. 2018.

    Zheong et al., Fig. S1.: In this figure, PC1 represents the western Eurasian vs. eastern Eurasian dimension; PC2 separates eastern Eurasians “along the north-south cline and also separates Europeans from West Asians.”



    This is the color code for the modern populations:

    South Eastern European populations, including Romanians, are coded red.
    South Western European populations are dark blue. This includes Italian and Spanish.
    European populations coded purple include Belarusian, German, French, Irish, Polish, Ukrainian.
    Populations coded teal blue include Karelian, Ket, Russian, Saami, Selkup.
    Populations coded light green include Chechen, Circassian, Georgian.
    Populations coded grey include Chuvash and Tatar.

    Yes, Romanian samples are in the red blob.

    Zheong et al., Fig. S2. PC3 is intended to separate the West Asians (top) from the Europeans (bottom).


    Notice the relation of ancient populations, Sintashta, Andronovo, Yamnaya Samara, Afanasievo to modern populations.
    Sintashta, Andronovo are closest to Europeans coded purple (Ukraine, etc.). Of all the ancient steppe populations represented, Sintashta appear closest to Romanians. Sintashta had more European Neolithic Farmer admixture than Yamnaya Samara did. And now we know that Yamnaya Samara already had significant European Middle Neolithic admixture.
    Indeed, using Globular Amphora as a stand-in for Anatolian farmer-related ancestry [Anatolian Neolithic + Western Hunter Gatherer], Wang et al. estimate that the contribution of farmer-related ancestry to Yamnaya Samara is 13.2% with a standard error of 2.7%.
    Yamnaya Samara and Sintashta are later populations than the Samara Eneolithic mentioned above.

    Don’t we just like science? And it just keeps getting better, in the sense that the data seem to be painting an ever-more coherent picture. At this stage, we should not be expecting major surprises about the genetic make-up of Europe. The surprises –-for some-- are behind us. People still have some digesting and adjustment to do. But for Romanians, the news is interesting. In fact, it is very good. I am amazed at the reticence and mistrust that Romanians show toward genetic research. They are not doing themselves a favor.

    Yes, well, the upshot. Here’s a highly technical recommendation: follow the red blob, you’ll find modern Romanians in there. The blob is at the end of a path indicated by a cline linking middle-Neolithic-Eneolithic populations. Is geography destiny? That’s too complicated an issue to be addressed here. Romania is geographically closer to, say, Ukraine than Greece is. That's got to affect admixture to some degree. Did I tell you something you didn’t already know? But you won’t find Ukraine (or Chuvashia for that matter) in the red blob. Enough deep thoughts for the moment.
    Last edited by Fungene; 06-09-2018 at 11:18 PM.

  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Man View Post
    It would be very interesting to see results of medieval Vlachs from around the Balkans. Hopefully one day some samples will be tested.
    Interesting comment. Vlach is a very ambiguous term. It would probably be contextualized in different ways depending on archaeological finds.
    As to what the results could be, I think at this stage, we should not expect any surprises. Anything southeastern European, by and large.
    But I'm with you, I always like to see more samples tested.

  8. #47
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    The interesting thing for me here, which aDNA finally managed to unravel with the recent samples, is the following.

    When looking from Central Europe towards the East, the gradual increase in EHG and HG-like ancestry in general seems to sidestep Romania.
    You'd expect Romanians to have more EHG for a logical genetic continuum, but that's not the case.

    In the past, this led me to hypothesise that maybe the reason for that lies in a possible Iron Age or even Medieval migration from deep down in the Balkans towards the Carpathian basin. As such, the EHG-rich natives were infused with an excess of Farmer-like admixture.

    However, now the picture becomes clearer. It seems that Romania Eneolithic was pretty much full Anatolian Farmer. Ukraine Neolithic was almost full EHG.
    In Hungary, although the Hungarian Neolithic was almost full Farmer too, they are in the perfect place to have been influenced both by Corded Ware (via the Northern European plain expansion) and Bell Beaker cultures. These migrations brought extra HG-like ancestry.

    By the way, we've got samples from Cucuteni-Tripoli who slowly start to pull North, however some of them are still strongly in Farmer territory. One of them even seems like a first generation Tripolye/Yamna Ukraine mix.
    Yamna Bulgaria is already mixed and due to this is clearly separated from those Yamna in Ukraine and Russia.
    If there were more indigenous people in the Carpathian basin than the migrating Yamna then through the mixing over time, I guess the population on that plot would move Southeast due to absorbing slightly more Farmer input. And this is kind of how you could arrive at the Romanian cluster on the map.

    The next curiosities for me are the Dacians, Cumans, medieval Vlachs from deep down in the Balkans and medieval Romanians.

    Especially I'd like to see the Dacians, considering that they are supposed to be a mix between Tripolye/Globular Amphora-related people and Yamna.

    It is generally proposed that a proto-Dacian or proto-Thracian people developed from a mixture of indigenous peoples and Indo-Europeans from the time of Proto-Indo-European expansion in the Early Bronze Age (3,300–3,000 BC)[60] when the latter, around 1500 BC, conquered the indigenous peoples.[61] The indigenous people were Danubian farmers, and the invading people of the BC 3rd millennium were Kurgan warrior-herders from the Ukrainian and Russian steppes.[62]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dacian...d_ethnogenesis

    Frescoes
    Last edited by Dorkymon; 06-09-2018 at 10:51 PM.

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  10. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fungene View Post
    Interesting comment. Vlach is a very ambiguous term. It would probably be contextualized in different ways depending on archaeological finds.
    As to what the results could be, I think at this stage, we should not expect any surprises. Anything southeastern European, by and large.
    But I'm with you, I always like to see more samples tested.
    I should have been clearer haha....By Vlach I mean Pre-Slavic Romance speaking inhabitants of the Balkans many of whom were shepherds.

  11. #49
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    Yes, genetics clearly supports the theory the Romanian Vlach initially came from South of the Danube. Practically Romanians from Wallachia, Bulgarians, Gagause, Macedonians and now Moldavians are one genetically.
    The common denominator is the Medieval Bulgar Empire, in fact old Wallachia was culturally and genetically a part of Bulgaria, which managed to remain semi independent on the Balkans, because was in the periphery of the Ottoman expansion towards Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorkymon View Post
    The interesting thing for me here, which aDNA finally managed to unravel with the recent samples, is the following.

    When looking from Central Europe towards the East, the gradual increase in EHG and HG-like ancestry in general seems to sidestep Romania.
    You'd expect Romanians to have more EHG for a logical genetic continuum, but that's not the case.

    In the past, this led me to hypothesise that maybe the reason for that lies in a possible Iron Age or even Medieval migration from deep down in the Balkans towards the Carpathian basin. As such, the EHG-rich natives were infused with an excess of Farmer-like admixture.

    However, now the picture becomes clearer. It seems that Romania Eneolithic was pretty much full Anatolian Farmer. Ukraine Neolithic was almost full EHG.
    In Hungary, although the Hungarian Neolithic was almost full Farmer too, they are in the perfect place to have been influenced both by Corded Ware (via the Northern European plain expansion) and Bell Beaker cultures. These migrations brought extra HG-like ancestry.

    By the way, we've got samples from Cucuteni-Tripoli who slowly start to pull North, however some of them are still strongly in Farmer territory. One of them even seems like a first generation Tripolye/Yamna Ukraine mix.
    Yamna Bulgaria is already mixed and due to this is clearly separated from those Yamna in Ukraine and Russia.
    If there were more indigenous people in the Carpathian basin than the migrating Yamna then through the mixing over time, I guess the population on that plot would move Southeast due to absorbing slightly more Farmer input. And this is kind of how you could arrive at the Romanian cluster on the map.

    The next curiosities for me are the Dacians, Cumans, medieval Vlachs from deep down in the Balkans and medieval Romanians.

    Especially I'd like to see the Dacians, considering that they are supposed to be a mix between Tripolye/Globular Amphora-related people and Yamna.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dacian...d_ethnogenesis

    Frescoes
    There are still many interesting things to find out. But by now it's looking like there never was a radical population turnover in southeastern Europe in the Bronze Age similar to what northern Europe experienced.
    Small-scale infiltration from the steppe began a couple of centuries earlier than previously estimated, according to Mathieson et al 2018 (the Varna outlier, ANI 168 is a case in point).
    For southeastern Europe, the story of admixture coming from the east was probably one of pulses, wavelets, and dribbles extending well into historical times, which is why people remember them. The net effect yields a smooth gradient of steppe admixture in modern populations of southeast Europe, which rises from south to north, and then increases noticeably north of Moldova. This is information we have become familiar with since Lazaridis 2014. Since then, the picture has become more precise, while gaining in breadth and coherence.

    BTW, it is mostly the work that has been published since 2014 that is the basis for the better calculators we are so fond of using in this discussion board. So in discussing calculator results, we implicitly buy into the gradient described as something real.

    Examining a cross-section of human remains from various periods in a systematic way would give us a sense of how the admixture in southeastern Europe occurred. One could think of dropping ink with an ink dropper into a glass of water. Looking at the distribution of the ink in the glass, one could reconstruct, to some extent, the timing and quantity of the ink. I’m interested in the water. The ink has to have something to mix in with. That’s what we lose sight of. By the Eneolithic, the water, so to speak, for the area that interests us, is itself already a mixture of Western Hunter Gatherers and Western Anatolian Farmers.
    That admixture also occurred gradually, and the movie of how it occurred would also be interesting to reconstruct, as there were several incoming strands of Anatolian farmers. The details of that population movement is also awaiting examination.
    Reading material from Romanian archaeologists gives fascinating insights. I can read reports by Turkish archaeologists only in translation. Ozdogan’s work is essential.

    As for what we have of archaeological sites and remains from Romania, one can get a sense of what is at least registered and to some extent documented by consulting the National Archaeological Record of Romania (RAN). Sites, even recorded sites, are being destroyed as we speak, not necessarily through bad intent, but mostly due to indifference and lack of understanding. And what is recorded is probably a very small part of what is still underground. Most discoveries are accidental. Unfortunately, the literature in English is negligible, which might give the impression that there is nothing there.

    “Dacian,” “Vlach” and other such terms are vague and ambiguous. That is, it’s not exactly clear what they mean, and they can be used in different ways in different contexts. I tend to think that they are not important. But if one does think they are important, one way to go about making sense of them in genetic terms (because this is what Anthrogenica is about and why we are here) would be to attempt an exercise in genetic, historical, and archaeological correlation. An example of this is the study of the Longobards.

    As for Cumans, of course they were traipsing around. Neagu Djuvara, a Romanian historian who just recently died, made a name for himself by claiming that they ruled the present territory of Romania for 1000 years. Before that, there were Dacians for 2000 years. And that’s it. Some genetic studies from Romania, and there are not many, reference this for historical background. I can see maybe this might be influencing some of your views?
    Think of it this way. ISIS is pretty similar to the Cumans of yore. Imagine one thousand years from now historians from outer space reconstructing the history of modern Iraq in the following way: there were Americans, and then ISIS ruled. The end. That’s pretty much Djuvara right there. He is our historian from outer space.
    Now, this is not a history thread. So I want to stick close to evidence from ancient DNA.
    Last edited by Fungene; 06-10-2018 at 05:06 PM.

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