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Thread: Who are the one and only true descendants of the Scythians?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopperAxe View Post
    Sorry mate I misremembered, the statement was in regards to the lone individual sample from the Kimek tribe (still part of the Kipchak confederacy, culturally similar but distinct iirc) which did not have any signs of elevated East Asian ancestry.
    You mean one of the Kipchak samples of Damgaard et al. 2018. From the paper:

    During the Kipchak period in the eleventh century ad, the domination of the central steppe was allegedly assumed by another group originating from the geographical area of Tuva. We present genomic data from two individuals from this period, one of whom shows increased East Asian ancestry, whereas the other has pronounced European ancestry (samples DA23 and DA179, respectively, in Supplementary Information section 4).
    That sample was the one with the least amount of East Eurasian ancestry among the post-Turkic Khaganate Turkic ancient DNA samples from that paper.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukendo View Post
    I have performed some analyses of ancient Central Asian populations which show that the ultimate impact of Scythians on moderns is quite low everywhere, with the major reason being that Mongolia_N ancestry is actually a very minor contributor to all Uralic, Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic speaking populations, with most of their East Asian ancestry being various combinations of Devil's_Gate/Boisman_MN, East Asian farmer ancestry, and East Asian ancestry related to that in Nganasans, Yukagirs and Kets/Selkups. The Scythians, Sarmatians, Saka and latest BA-early IA Steppe populations like Karasuk are predominantly admixed with Mongolia_N, but this changes dramatically with the appearance of historical Turkics.

    In fact, the amount of genetic continuity from e.g. Slab Grave to modern Mongols is extremely low, at least on the autosomal side. There is at least one unpublished analysis that reaches the same conclusion.

    This is not gonna be so apparent on G25 for the same reason that very ANE-rich populations like Bolshoy appear in the "wrong" place there:: populations carrying a genetic signature that falls outside the variation of modern populations (e.g. richer in ANE than any modern population, or richer in Mongolia_N than any modern population) are gonna get their distinctiveness strongly muted when projected into a space defined by the distinctions between moderns, but in formal stats, qpGraph and ADMIXTURE this is super clear (that is, if your analysis is constructed to clarify the different streams of ENA ancestry in modern Northern and Central Eurasians).
    But where else did the west Eurasian ancestry in modern Central Asian Turks ultimately come from? I mean at this point it depends on how far south you place the border between "Turan" and Iran but at least for me it's hard to find any other source for the non-Eastern ancestry in North Central Asian Turks, it being European or West Iranian seems unlikely given the proportions of the various components.
    Last edited by Granary; 07-22-2020 at 04:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granary View Post
    But where else did the west Eurasian ancestry in modern Central Asian Turks ultimately come from? I mean at this point it depends on how far south you place the border between "Turan" and Iran but at least for me it's hard to find any other source for the non-Eastern ancestry in North Central Asian Turks, it being European or West Iranian seems unlikely given the proportions of the various components.
    Modern as well as ancient Turks have quite a bit more EEF ancestry than in Steppe_MLBA, and have about as much Iran_N as Steppe_MLBA ancestry; the preceding Scythians and Saka did not have as much of these, their West Eurasian ancestry is overwhelmingly Steppe_MLBA, and had usually no more EEF than that found in Steppe_MLBA. The only two populations with this profile in the Eastern Steppe at this time are Kangju and Wusun, in the Western Steppe the Sarmatians also look like this. I'm hesitant to say something as direct as "the West Eurasian half of Turks comes from Kangju and Wusun!" (though in fact e.g. Denis Sinor suggested that the Ashina are of Kangju/Wusun extraction...) Suffice to say that some very West-Eurasian-rich and EEF-carrying populations existed in the Eastern Steppes for some reason (not sure how they got there), maybe associated with more settled populations (both the Wusun and Kangju had cities) than Scythians proper, and these strongly resemble the West Eurasian half of Turks.
    Last edited by Ryukendo; 07-22-2020 at 08:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukendo View Post
    Modern as well as ancient Turks have quite a bit more EEF ancestry than in Steppe_MLBA, and have about as much Iran_N as Steppe_MLBA ancestry; the preceding Scythians and Saka did not have as much of these, their West Eurasian ancestry is overwhelmingly Steppe_MLBA, and had usually no more EEF than that found in Steppe_MLBA. The only two populations with this profile in the Eastern Steppe at this time are Kangju and Wusun, in the Western Steppe the Sarmatians also look like this. I'm hesitant to say something as direct as "the West Eurasian half of Turks comes from Kangju and Wusun!" (though in fact e.g. Denis Sinor suggested that the Ashina are of Kangju/Wusun extraction...) Suffice to say that some very West-Eurasian-rich and EEF-carrying populations existed in the Eastern Steppes for some reason (not sure how they got there), maybe associated with more settled populations (both the Wusun and Kangju had cities) than Scythians proper, and these strongly resemble the West Eurasian half of Turks.

    Some of the Kangju seems to pick a lot of Iran_C stuff unlike earlier Saka. So maybe the extra EEf arrived from southwestern Central Asia (Yagnobi show lot of Iran_C ancestry for example)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldmountains View Post
    Some of the Kangju seems to pick a lot of Iran_C stuff unlike earlier Saka. So maybe the extra EEf arrived from southwestern Central Asia (Yagnobi show lot of Iran_C ancestry for example)
    How did you think they avoided the East Asian/Mongolia_N ancestry that got to such high levels in e.g. Pazyryk/Scythians/Tien Shan Saka? They are overwhelmingly West Eurasian, unusual so far East. Also their East Asian ancestry, what little they have, is much more southern than that in Pazyryk/Scythians/Tien Shan Saka. I remember being very weirded out by them immediately after the publication of Damgaard et al, due to the combination of Southern-shifted ancestry on both the East Asian and West Eurasian side.

    The story for both the Wusun and the Ashina was that they originated from close to Gansu and whereabouts, do you find this believable?
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    Not sure how true this is, but I recently got my y-HG results from yseq (J-Y182822 which is downstream of J-PF5008 or "J2a2*) and someone on FB suggested this was a 'major clade' amongst Scythians and Sarmatians... its kinda hard to tell i guess, but so far it seems to be have been found in Russian tatars, an Iranian and a Pakistani Punjabi.. would welcome any thoughts!

  10. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldmountains View Post
    Some of the Kangju seems to pick a lot of Iran_C stuff unlike earlier Saka. So maybe the extra EEf arrived from southwestern Central Asia (Yagnobi show lot of Iran_C ancestry for example)
    Kangju are generally identified as Sogdians. Wusun likely had a central Asian origin despite being first mentioned in Inner Asia, Beckwith even suggested an Indo-Aryan origin based on their ethnonym.

    In addition I also think there was a lot of west eurasian geneflow from the sedentary regions of Central Asia and the Tarim Basin into early Turks, who would've had higher demographics which could result in a stronger admixture purely by way of sheer numbers.

  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukendo View Post
    How did you think they avoided the East Asian/Mongolia_N ancestry that got to such high levels in e.g. Pazyryk/Scythians/Tien Shan Saka? They are overwhelmingly West Eurasian, unusual so far East. Also their East Asian ancestry, what little they have, is much more southern than that in Pazyryk/Scythians/Tien Shan Saka. I remember being very weirded out by them immediately after the publication of Damgaard et al, due to the combination of Southern-shifted ancestry on both the East Asian and West Eurasian side.

    The story for both the Wusun and the Ashina was that they originated from close to Gansu and whereabouts, do you find this believable?
    I think it is simply because the Kangju did not have their origins in the Scytho-Siberian "womb of nations" which seemed to be around the vicinity of the Altai. Cimmerians, Scythians, Saka, Pazyryk, Tashtyk etc. all descend from people who had significant interactions with and ancestry from East Asian foragers/pastoralists (hi Karasuk) who then migrated across the steppes and assimilated earlier Andronovo peoples into their new horse nomadic steppe world. Earliest archaeological evidence of Scythians comes from Tuva.

    Whereas Kangju were very likely Sogdians and did not hail from this area but from Central Asia. Keep in mind that the Sogdians had an incredible range with their trading outposts/colonies, they had a significant presence in the Hexi corridor for instance.

    On the topic of Wusun and Yuezhi in Gansu, I think the are still debates on whether Dunghuang in historical texts refers to the modern Dunghuang in Gansu, or a mountain from the Tian Shan. That being said, Gansu is steppe land, has had several other Indo-Iranian presences (Andronovo, Sogdians) and in some old historical texts the lands west of Zhou are referred to as Yuzhi. I think it is very believable, given that there is plenty of evidence of ancient steppe peoples presence in Gansu province.

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  13. #29
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    What did everyone make of the genetics of the Deer Stone Khirigsuur people by the way? Significant Steppe MLBA ancestry, but with a lot of "native" Y-dna, particularly Q1a2. Seems autosomally similar to some of the early Xiongnu samples as well. I suspect they were Yeniseian speaking given that they have an extra ANE/WSHG component. Will probably elaborate with another thread fairly soon, under which forum should that be? Combination of ancient DNA, archaeology, linguistics and some dot connecting? Ancient DNA? This one?

  14. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldmountains View Post
    Some of the Kangju seems to pick a lot of Iran_C stuff unlike earlier Saka. So maybe the extra EEf arrived from southwestern Central Asia (Yagnobi show lot of Iran_C ancestry for example)
    The Kangju proxy I often use in modeling NW/SC Asians is essentially a Steppe shifted variation of TKM IA with very little ENA, the other has 40% BMAC ancestry. This one works quite well, we don't have MLBA genomes from IIr cultures post the BMAC , but I would imagine some of them being like this sans the ENA, this one works quite well. One of the Saka Tian Shan outliers is almost the same as TKM IA.

    Sample: KAZ Kangju ► DA121
    Fit: 2.3602
    Results: Zevakinskiy BA 65.5
    Sappali Tepe BA 32.5
    Chokhopani 2700BP 2



    Sample: Saka Tian Shan o ► Average
    Fit: 3.7993
    Results: Krasnoyarsk MLBA 55.5
    Gonur1 BA 42.5
    Chokhopani 2700BP 2
    Last edited by pegasus; 07-23-2020 at 05:32 AM.

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