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Thread: Why do Dagestani Avars and Lezgins score so high Yamnaya ancestry?

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    Why do Dagestani Avars and Lezgins score so high Yamnaya ancestry?

    If I recall both groups score Yamnaya around 40% on average. Is this a remnant of the catacomb culture paired with genetic isolation? How come Dagestan in particular stands out in the Caucasus as it pertains to steppe ancestry?

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    They belong to the same populations providing founders to the admixtures in Yamnaya.
    J1 FGC5987 to FGC6175 (188 new SNPs)
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    Y-DNA - Milhazes, Barcelos, Minho, Portugal.
    mtDNA - Ilha Terceira, Azores, Portugal
    North_Swedish + PT + PT + PT @ 3.96 EUtest 4

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    The same question can be asked about Etruscans, Basques, Bashkirs and other non-Indo-European people.

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    It seems to be mostly Catacomb, yes.
    The bulk of it was probably brought by Steppe migrants who merged with local Caucasians to form the Trialeti culture. Said Catacomb wave probably reached South Caucasus via Dagestan where they mixed with local Dagestanian Kura-Araxans.
    There were later Steppe contributors to Dagestan as well, such as late Catacomb/Kubano-Tersk, Scytho-Sarmatians and Khazars.

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    The same in the Gilaki and Mazandarani from the South Caspian region of Iran and they also moved to the North.
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    North_Swedish + PT + PT + PT @ 3.96 EUtest 4

  8. #6
    You have a steppe_eneolithic ancestry layer in the bronze age Caucasus samples, then you get Yamnaya and Catacomb migrations as they lived north of the Caucasus. Its not one big migration but more of a gradual process over the centuries. Although I bet the climatic changes around 2200-2000 bc on the steppes could have been a driver for (post-)Catacomb populations being the main vector for this ancestry.

    I think it might be possible some populations with either 50 or 60% catacomb related ancestry could've persisted in the north Caucasus foothills during the bronze age, but ultimately being absorbed by both expanding Caucasian populations and early Scytho-Siberians.

    You also have a bit of ancestry from the Indo-Iranian late bronze age and iron age inhabitants of the steppes but I don't think this had a huge impact on the total amount of 'steppe' ancestry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CopperAxe View Post
    You have a steppe_eneolithic ancestry layer in the bronze age Caucasus samples, then you get Yamnaya and Catacomb migrations as they lived north of the Caucasus. Its not one big migration but more of a gradual process over the centuries. Although I bet the climatic changes around 2200-2000 bc on the steppes could have been a driver for (post-)Catacomb populations being the main vector for this ancestry.

    I think it might be possible some populations with either 50 or 60% catacomb related ancestry could've persisted in the north Caucasus foothills during the bronze age, but ultimately being absorbed by both expanding Caucasian populations and early Scytho-Siberians.

    You also have a bit of ancestry from the Indo-Iranian late bronze age and iron age inhabitants of the steppes but I don't think this had a huge impact on the total amount of 'steppe' ancestry.
    But why do Eastern North Caucasians have more Steppe ancestry than Western ones? Especially considering that a lot of the steppe ancestry in Circassians seem to be mediated through Iron age Scyhtian and later TUrkic populations as also evidence by Turkic and Iranic linguistic presence there.
    Last edited by Granary; 09-25-2021 at 12:23 PM.

  11. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Granary View Post
    But why do Eastern North Caucasians have more Steppe ancestry than Western ones? Especially considering that a lot of the steppe ancestry in Circassians seem to be mediated through Iron age Scyhtian and later TUrkic populations as also evidence by Turkic and Iranic linguistic presence there.
    I think you would need far more samples from the bronze and iron age to find out how the genetic compositions formed (migrations from several directions, replacements, founder effects etc.) but I don't see why it should be identical as the two sides differ a bit in terms of geography and environment, subsistence economies and which other regions they are connected to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granary View Post
    But why do Eastern North Caucasians have more Steppe ancestry than Western ones? Especially considering that a lot of the steppe ancestry in Circassians seem to be mediated through Iron age Scyhtian and later TUrkic populations as also evidence by Turkic and Iranic linguistic presence there.
    Northwest Caucasians expanded into Northwest Caucasus rather late, during MBA, and were shielded off from Steppe-rich people until the Cimmerians made their presence in the vicinity of the Koban culture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Korotyr View Post
    Northwest Caucasians expanded into Northwest Caucasus rather late, during MBA, and were shielded off from Steppe-rich people until the Cimmerians made their presence in the vicinity of the Koban culture.
    Shielded by what?

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