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Thread: Does genetics support the Steppe hypothesis of Indo-European origins?

  1. #1

    Does genetics support the Steppe hypothesis of Indo-European origins?

    I think recent studies about Etruscans and other non-Indo-European people in Europe show that at least genetically the spread of Steppe ancestry is not equal to the spread of Indo-European culture, is it true?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ramz View Post
    I think recent studies about Etruscans and other non-Indo-European people in Europe show that at least genetically the spread of Steppe ancestry is not equal to the spread of Indo-European culture, is it true?
    I think it is more of fish and salmon analogy.
    No Indoeuropean spread without steppe, but some steppe spread without IndoEuropean.

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    All modern papers about Bronze Age and Iron Age Southern Europe are showing the regular presence of Iranian-related ancestry in different mixtures and different proportions from Anatolia and the Caucasus without steppe, so we have several Anatolian Indo-European languages without steppe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCO View Post
    All modern papers about Bronze Age and Iron Age Southern Europe are showing the regular presence of Iranian-related ancestry in different mixtures and different proportions from Anatolia and the Caucasus without steppe, so we have several Anatolian Indo-European languages without steppe.
    I'm not sure I understand your sentence. Which Bronze Age/Iron Age European samples are showing Anatolian IE without steppe?
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  9. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by parastais View Post
    No Indoeuropean spread without steppe, but some steppe spread without IndoEuropean.
    As far as I know ancient Anatolians (Hittites, Luwians,...) had no steppe ancestry, so your first sentence seems to be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCO View Post
    All modern papers about Bronze Age and Iron Age Southern Europe are showing the regular presence of Iranian-related ancestry in different mixtures and different proportions from Anatolia and the Caucasus without steppe, so we have several Anatolian Indo-European languages without steppe.
    Iranian-related ancestry seems to be the main difference between Non-Indo-European Etruscans and Indo-Europeans in Italy.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ramz View Post
    As far as I know ancient Anatolians (Hittites, Luwians,...) had no steppe ancestry, so your first sentence seems to be wrong.
    It is not exactly true, since we don't have "true" Hittites samples. The only ancient samples from the Hittites period don't come from the Hittite heartland. In all likehood, most of them are Hattians subjects (therefore non IE in origine).

    But, at least 2 samples could have some low level Steppe admixture (cf https://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2018/...-in-qpadm.html ).

    Moreover, Steppe admixture is clearly present since the IVth millenium on the other side of the Bosphorus, and Ezero Culture is number 1 candidate to be ancestral to Hittites and other Anatolians IE.

    To date, no IE population (or thought so) has been found lacking Steppe admixture.

    Obviously, the Wang et al. paper has gave a blow to all theories about PIE in Iran or South of Caucasus (or in the Caucasus btw). Since no trace of admixture with Iran_N has been found in the Steppe, and that the "Southern admix" found is in fact EEF. It is rather clear that PIE ermerged in situ during Mesolithic, and expanded during Chalcolithic.

    The question about non IE cultures in Europe, like Basques or Etruscans, is more about the persistence of Non IE cultures in Europe, and their relations with IE cultures. Obviously, Basques are only attested since the IA, as Etruscans. So, 2000 years or more after Steppe populations came in Western Europe. Too long to not be admixed.

    Btw, Italian samples are admixed with populations from Eastern Mediterranean (Greeks....). That is why they got Iran_N. Nothing to do with Steppe.
    Last edited by ffoucart; 09-27-2021 at 03:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ramz View Post
    Iranian-related ancestry seems to be the main difference between Non-Indo-European Etruscans and Indo-Europeans in Italy.

    As is evident from the figure you shared, there is no Iranian Neolithic-related ancestry in the main Etruscan cluster. Only in the North African related “Etruscan” cluster, three samples, dated to about 300 BC and younger, is there any evidence for it. These are readily explainable by the well known trade and cultural relations between Carthaginians and Etruscans.

    But there was also no Iranian Neolithic-related ancestry in the IE groups of Italy before contact with other Mediterranean populations, of course.

    Contrary to previously reported findings from Bronze Age Sicily and Iron Age Sardinia (27, 28), we do not find evidence for Iranian-related ancestry in individuals from central Italy older than 2000 years (fig. S3). We were able to model C.Italy_Etruscan and C.Italy_Etruscan.Ceu as a mixture between three distal sources [Anatolia_Neolithic, Western hunter-gatherers (WHG), and Yamnaya_Samara] even when Neolithic Iranian individuals were placed in the reference set of qpAdm (table S4H). This suggests that the genetic history of Sicilians and Sardinians during the Bronze and Iron Ages was substantially different from that of populations on the Italian mainland, as confirmed by the distinctive spheres of interaction observed in the archeological record (29).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ramz View Post
    As far as I know ancient Anatolians (Hittites, Luwians,...) had no steppe ancestry, so your first sentence seems to be wrong.
    Care to point out those ancient Hittite samples?

    The Hittites were very likely the ruling class and only a minority amongst their native subjects. In addition, the prevailing phylogeny of Indo-European has Anatolian as the earliest or one of the earliest branches to separate, so until they arrived in Anatolia, they had ample time to mix with post-Neolithic groups in the Balkans.

    These two facts will make the absence of Steppe-ancestry in Hittite individuals if such are sampled in any future study, not at the very least surprising nor disprove the Steppe-hypothesis in favor of some alternative homeland.

    Quote Originally Posted by ramz View Post
    Iranian-related ancestry seems to be the main difference between Non-Indo-European Etruscans and Indo-Europeans in Italy.

    Iran_N only shows up during the later Roman Republic and Imperial-era. It's completely absent in Iron-Age Latins.

    As is evident from the f4 statistics, which show a significant increase in shared drift with Iran_N for Imperial Romans compared to IA samples.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...f=true&sd=true

     


    So unless you're implying that Indo-European languages weren't present in Italy until the late Roman Republic, it's tough to see any connection between Neolithic Iranian ancestry and IE speakers.
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  19. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ffoucart View Post
    It is not exactly true, since we don't have "true" Hittites samples.
    Moreover, Steppe admixture is clearly present since the IVth millenium on the other side of the Bosphorus, and Ezero Culture is number 1 candidate to be ancestral to Hittites and other Anatolians IE.
    Would you please mention your sources? I have read different things in the genetic studies, for example look at this one:

    The Genomic History of Southeastern Europe: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6091220/

    No evidence that steppe-related ancestry moved through southeast Europe into Anatolia

    One version of the Steppe Hypothesis of Indo-European language origins suggests that Proto-Indo-European languages developed north of the Black and Caspian seas, and that the earliest known diverging branch – Anatolian – was spread into Asia Minor by movements of steppe peoples through the Balkan peninsula during the Copper Age around 4000 BCE.47 If this were correct, then one way to detect evidence of it would be the appearance of large amounts of steppe-related ancestry first in the Balkan Peninsula, and then in Anatolia. However, our data show no evidence for this scenario. While we find sporadic steppe-related ancestry in Balkan Copper and Bronze Age individuals, this ancestry is rare until the late Bronze Age. Moreover, while Bronze Age Anatolian individuals have CHG-related ancestry,26 they have neither the EHG-related ancestry characteristic of all steppe populations sampled to date,19 nor the WHG-related ancestry that is ubiquitous in Neolithic southeastern Europe (Extended Data Figure 2&3, Supplementary Data Table 2). An alternative hypothesis is that the ultimate homeland of Proto-Indo-European languages was in the Caucasus or in Iran.

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