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Thread: Ancient Yamnaya Hair and Eye color and Cheddar Man: do the same criticisms apply?

  1. #11
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    They could be, because there's enough about pigmentation we don't understand. Albeit have to give some caveats about why this is probably less of an issue than for WHG:

    - Yamnaya contributed a lot more ancestry to people in Europe today than the WHG did, directly, so we should have an easier time detecting their common pigmentation variants. Yamnaya probably about 40-50% of ancestry of North Europeans, and 30-25% of South Europeans. WHG is quite a bit less than that, and particularly if we're talking about WHG proper (the Western WHG group Cheddar Man is from, as opposed to other broadly similar Iron_Gates_HG and other groups).

    So the degree of the problems in detecting any Yamnaya specific pigmentation variants should be lesser than for WHG, and it's less likely that they have significant variants we don't understand.

    - Yamnaya seem not predicted to be too much lighter or darker than you might expect a population from the southern steppe (where they appear to have basically originated from). In latitude terms, where they probably originated (at least in a genetic sense) north of the Caucasus, south of the lower Don and Volga, between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, it's not massively far north from the Caucasus or Anatolia. Present day people from those regions also aren't particularly hugely fair or light eyed / haired.

    So unlike the WHG result where very dark pigmentation seems atypical for most populations evolving on a fairly long time scale at northern latitudes, there's less reason to suspect that we're missing significant details because the result is strange.

    - If the blue eye related variant selected for in Northern Europeans and not common in Yamnaya did not change pigmentation in some way, then we have to find a new reason as to why it was selected, and it also seems likely to affect pigmentation in some way as gene variants in this region are also linked to lighter pigmentation in other groups (e.g. East Asians).

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  3. #12
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    According to Wilde et al, there is no mention of the Yamnaya specifically being tested. They just call the populations tested as Steppe people. So are these samples really Yamna? Another question I had was the sample size: if I did in a archaeological dig in the future at a Welsh grave for instance, would it be logical for me to assume that all British people had darker eyes and darker hair? So looking at Wilde et al, is it really logical to assume that the Yamnaya were almost exclusively dark haired and dark eyed ? For those samples tested, yes. For the entirety of the Yamna, I don't believe so.
    https://archive.org/details/racesofe...5mbp/page/n647
    Last edited by IphonePlus; 11-20-2018 at 03:23 AM.

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    I'd like to see the issue explored in depth by somebody who really knows what they're doing. People are always going to be interested in pigmentation differences so I think it's just a matter of time before we get a comprehensive update to the Wilde study.

    In any case, I think the findings so far reported will hold up. The handful of official and amateur analyses I've run across underline a pigmentational difference between ~EBA Steppe groups (Yamnaya, Afanasievo, Poltavka, etc.) and ~MLBA Steppe groups (Sintashta, Srubnaya, Andronovo, etc.). Even if there's something inadequate with the SNP selection, it's awfully unlikely that the Yamnaya-like samples would consistently come out as overwhelmingly dark-haired/eyed but the later steppe groups wouldn't. So I think it is indeed the case that hair/eye color averages on the Pontic-Caspian/Kazakh Steppes noticeably transformed between the days of Yamnaya and the time of the Proto-Indo-Iranians.

    Here, the late Jean Manco predicted lots of light eyes in Andronovo. Some other guy put this spreadsheet together. You can see the predicted prevalence of dark eyes in the "Bronze Steppe" (EBA, assuredly) group vs. in Sintashta and Andronovo. And then there's Genetiker. I hate to reference him because he's nuttier than a squirrel turd (read: black Olmecs), but he's also the only one I've seen attempt to give an exhaustive pigmentational account of the aDNA record. So assuming his calls are sensible, let's take a look at the earliest steppe samples:

     


    His predictions for Khvalynsk MCA and Sredny Stog II (I6561, Ukraine CA) are interesting. He calls dark blond/light brown hair for both of these samples, with brown eyes for the latter. Another sample is called for blond hair and blue eyes. Not much here to go on, but compare them to the Yamnaya-type samples:

     


    Note: Pit Grave = Yamnaya. There are a lot of samples in this bracket, and they cover a fairly large geographic space from Ukraine to Central Asia/Southern Siberia, and not one is predicted to have light hair or eyes by Genetiker. They look to be as brunet as Neolithic Iberians. Speaking of farmers, this is also counterintuitive.

    Moving onto the later Steppe samples:

     


    Note: Timber Grave = Srubnaya. Still lots of brunets here, sure, but no longer uniformly so. These folks look a lot more like Beakers and Corded Ware people in pigmentational diversity, exactly what you'd expect.

    So blondism is apparently present in the earliest steppe samples, conspicuously low or absent in Yamnaya et al, but swoops back in with a vengeance with Corded Ware-derived people like Sintashta. These groups are not that different autosomally, though, so how did Yamnaya-like steppe types go from dark to not-so-dark in such a short time period? Maybe mixing with lighter-haired GAC-like farmers + selection?
    Last edited by Michalis Moriopoulos; 11-20-2018 at 06:17 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michalis Moriopoulos View Post
    So blondism is apparently present in the earliest steppe samples, conspicuously low or absent in Yamnaya et al, but swoops back in with a vengeance with Corded Ware-derived people like Sintashta. These groups are not that different autosomally, though, so how did Yamnaya-like steppe types go from dark to not-so-dark in such a short time period? Maybe mixing with lighter-haired GAC-like farmers + selection?
    That is my prediction aswell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michalis Moriopoulos View Post
    Maybe mixing with lighter-haired GAC-like farmers + selection?
    I keep a spreadsheet of West Eurasians (Europe + Caucasus + Near and Middle East) withe "base" components. I noticed that when I filter to around >=7% WHG and >=30% EHG, I get the list of some of the fairest people in West Eurasia (eyes+hair).

    So, the source could have been GAC because they had significant WHG admixture in their later stages if I'm not mistaken. They are also situated at the edge of the steppe, so steppe cultures probably interacted with them over time, which brought extra blondism from people bearing ANE ancestry.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorkymon View Post
    I keep a spreadsheet of West Eurasians (Europe + Caucasus + Near and Middle East) withe "base" components. I noticed that when I filter to around >=7% WHG and >=30% EHG, I get the list of some of the fairest people in West Eurasia (eyes+hair).

    So, the source could have been GAC because they had significant WHG admixture in their later stages if I'm not mistaken. They are also situated at the edge of the steppe, so steppe cultures probably interacted with them over time, which brought extra blondism from people bearing ANE ancestry.



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    That's an interesting spreadsheet. Is it from Davidski? How can I get my own scores?
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    Another thread of butthurted WHGeans?

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    Quote Originally Posted by michal3141 View Post
    That's an interesting spreadsheet. Is it from Davidski? How can I get my own scores?
    No, it's mine, but based on Global 25. Maybe I should open a thread.
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    [QUOTE=Michalis Moriopoulos;518366]I'd like to see the issue explored in depth by somebody who really knows what they're doing. People are always going to be interested in pigmentation differences so I think it's just a matter of time before we get a comprehensive update to the Wilde study.

    In any case, I think the findings so far reported will hold up. The handful of official and amateur analyses I've run across underline a pigmentational difference between ~EBA Steppe groups (Yamnaya, Afanasievo, Poltavka, etc.) and ~MLBA Steppe groups (Sintashta, Srubnaya, Andronovo, etc.). Even if there's something inadequate with the SNP selection, it's awfully unlikely that the Yamnaya-like samples would consistently come out as overwhelmingly dark-haired/eyed but the later steppe groups wouldn't. So I think it is indeed the case that hair/eye color averages on the Pontic-Caspian/Kazakh Steppes noticeably transformed between the days of Yamnaya and the time of the Proto-Indo-Iranians."

    Okay so you are saying that the Yamnaya changed between the time they settled in Urkaine but were differently looking as they migrated in full force to Iran and India? If so, do you have any specific evidence for that? Thank you
    Last edited by IphonePlus; 11-20-2018 at 06:58 PM.

  15. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by IphonePlus View Post
    According to Wilde et al, there is no mention of the Yamnaya specifically being tested. They just call the populations tested as Steppe people. So are these samples really Yamna?
    If you look in the supplement you can find the genetic results, time, location, and cultural context of each individual sample.

    There are 48 samples with pigmentation allele data: 4 Eneolithic (3 Ukraine, 1 Bulgaria); 22 Yamnaya (9 Ukraine, 6 Samara, 5 Bulgaria, 2 southwestern Russia); and 22 Catacomb (12 Ukraine, 10 southwestern Russia). The Samara and Bulgaria Yamnaya have somewhat higher frequency of derived light pigmentation alleles than the Ukraine and Southwestern Russian Yamnaya and Catacomb or the Eneolithic samples (though there are really too few of the latter to be significant).

    Yamnaya has 19% and Catacomb 17% derived allele frequency in HERC2, so we'd expect only 3-4% to be GG and hence likely blue-eyed on average. But in fact 4 out of 43 individuals (2 from each) have the GG genotype and are likely to be blue-eyed going by this one SNP. The derived allele in SLC45A2 had a frequency of 59% in Yamnaya and 31% in Catacomb, but this may be geographical, as the AF is highest in Bulgarian Yamnaya (83%) and then Samara Yamnaya (63%), but only 38% for Ukraine. The derived allele in TYR is quite rare, 8% AF in Yamnaya and 2% in Catacomb.

    But really there are not enough samples for breaking it down regionally like that to be statistically sound.

    Compare these to modern Ukrainian AFs of 65%, 93%, and 37% at the respective SNPs; clearly the Yamnaya were very likely notably darker than modern Ukrainians. As Matt says there's no obvious reason to think this is misleading, unlike the WHG case. A large proportion of the samples are Yamnaya, from a wide swath of Europe, and Catacomb are their descendants, so this is a pretty representative sample.

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