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Thread: Over 50 ancient R1a samples in the context of archaeological cultures

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    Over 50 ancient R1a samples in the context of archaeological cultures

    By now there are at least 52 Ancient samples with R1a haplogroup (+ 1 Medieval R1a from Usedom, marked as "Med" below).

    I've made a map showing their locations in the context of archaeological cultures (Jean M's website was of great help):

    http://s12.postimg.org/4h50rnzp9/Ancient_R1a_B.png



    Red Deer Island cemetery - http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/24870
    CW or Corded - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corded_Ware_culture
    BattleAxe - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corded...e#Nomenclature
    Urnfield - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urnfield_culture
    Zhizhitskaya* - http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/wps/p.../3551584/?lng=
    Iron Age* - http://s23.postimg.org/4ztqxfocr/Anaszkino_1.png and http://s30.postimg.org/7uf1w47gx/Anashkino_2.png
    Andronovo - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andronovo_culture and http://www.csen.org/BAR%20Book/04%20...Bronze.Int.pdf
    Sintashta - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sintashta_culture
    Karasuk - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karasuk_culture
    Pazyryk - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pazyryk_culture
    Yuezhi - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarim_mummies and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuezhi
    Mezhovskaya - http://www.academia.edu/3742220/Anci...ei_2002_496_pp
    Tagar - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagar_culture
    Tachtyk (Tashtyk) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tashtyk_culture
    Altai Scythian - http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...ns_(700-250_BC
    Xiongnu - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiongnu
    Med (Usedom)- http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/se...ion_Freder.pdf

    *Note: Iron Age refers to another R1a sample from the same region where Zhizhitskaya. Iron Age sample was from Anashkino:

    http://www.mas.ncl.ac.uk/~nas13/AS/2...hanov_etal.pdf




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    Are you sure those Tarim Basin samples are Yuehzi?

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    It is disputed whether they were Tocharian or Iranian, and AFAIK Yuezhi was a Chinese "umbrella-term" for their IE neighbours.

    So I think it's not incorrect to call them Yuezhi.

    Or was Yuezhi only a specific tribe, and not an umbrella-term for all Indo-Europeans bordering the Chinese civilization?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    It is disputed whether they were Tocharian or Iranian, and AFAIK Yuezhi was a Chinese "umbrella-term" for their Indo-European neighbours.

    So I think it's not incorrect to call them Yuezhi.
    The Tarim mummies from Xiahoe had no proven direct connection to Tocharians or Yuezhi except of the location. Maybe they are the ancestors of Yuezhi or even of Tocharians but there are no hard evidences for that yet and there is a huge time gap between them. It is as much if not more likely that neither Yuezhi nor Tocharians are direct descendants of the these people so we better make no claims about their ethnicity
    Last edited by Coldmountains; 07-31-2015 at 09:29 PM.

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    Great work, Tomenable. I'll have to cosign Generalissimo's post though.

    The only publicly released Y-chromosomal aDNA from the Tarim we have so far is Li et al.'s Xiaohe tomb samples. These were found to all be R1a1a, so these are surely the Tarim samples you've plotted.

    These age to around 500 B.C.; the Xiaohe tombs are situated on the east of the Tarim basin underneath Ördek's necropolis. It is quite possible that they're related to the Yuezhi for two reasons;
    1) Agrees with historical record (Yuezhi were driven out of their homes by the Xiongnu, with the Greater Yuezhi settling in Bactria and entering the Western records as Kushans); the Yuezhi appear after the Xiaohe tombs were organised
    2) At least one Ancient Chinese source places the Yuezhi as settling close to Gansu in West-Central China, which is very near to Xiaohe

    However;
    1) There's hardly any archaeological evidence implicating Xiaohe to the Yuezhi; additionally, I don't think a single archaeological culture's ever been linked to the Yuezhi!
    2) Xiaohe apparently shows links to Afanasievo (unsurprisingly) and has been considered a Tocharian-speaking derivative burial area. The linguistic identity of the Yuezhi remains unknown. Tocharians have been implicated, as has East Iranic, among others. The Kushans presided over a remarkably multicultural society when they settled in Bactria and didn't impress their root culture onto the natives (if I recall correctly, the king Kanishka titled himself the "king of kings" in both Iranic and Indic, as well as "king of the heavens" in Sinitic-transliterated Indic). We therefore have little indication materially what the Kushans, and by extension the Yuezhi, were like culturally.
    3) At least one Ancient Chinese scholar has placed them near Gansu, but other sources posit their home was in various locations between there and the Tangri Tagh/Tian Shan area.

    Based on the above, it won't be accurate describing Xiaohe as "Yuezhi". It's possible, but not definitive. "Yuezhi?" would work, or just "Tocharian-related". Though, even then, given the absence of texts at Ördek's necropolis, assigning a language to Xiaohe is itself a speculation exercise anyway.

    Just my two cents. Thanks again for creating this. Very informative.

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    Yes, they are the Tarim samples (Jean M's website has 7 samples, but there were 11 in total):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarim_...#Genetic_links

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarim_...s#cite_note-12

    ^ This wiki article above associates mtDNA C4 with East Asia, but it actually could be Siberian:

    http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...ll=1#post82360

    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M
    The foragers with whom they mixed evidently carried the Siberian mtDNA C4. This C4 input is treated as East Asian in Li 2010.
    ===========================

    As for Yuezhi:

    Now I can see that the Chinese had also other names for other branches of IE peoples, such as for example:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wusun

    So I have to concede that Yuezhi is not necessarily the best description. But how to name them?

    When I insisted in another thread (link below) that they spoke Tocharian, people argued with me that it's not so certain:

    http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...ll=1#post92025

    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX
    The only publicly released Y-chromosomal aDNA from the Tarim we have so far is Li et al.'s Xiaohe tomb samples. These were found to all be R1a1a, so these are surely the Tarim samples you've plotted.
    In 2009 all 7 out of 7 samples were R1a1a, but by 2012 apparently 5 new samples were added, and 11 were R1a1a, while 1 was K*.

    I'm not sure if those 5 additional samples were also from the same cemetery (Xiaohe burial site located near Lop Nur):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lop_Nu...he_Burial_Site
    Last edited by Tomenable; 07-31-2015 at 09:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Now I can see that the Chinese had also other names for other branches of IE peoples, such as for example:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wusun
    This is correct. The steppe societies around that time were highly similar culturally. I believe one historical source stated the Yuezhi were very similar to the Parthians in this respect.

    So I have to concede that Yuezhi is not necessarily the best description. But how to name them?
    "Tocharian?" is probably the best option in my opinion. It recognises both the "Xiaohe = Afanasievo offshoot = Tocharian" link while also recognising that definitively assigning a language to a poorly defined culture, or one in a nexus region/timeframe, is speculative.

    When I insisted on another forum that they spoke Tocharian, people argued with me that it's not so certain.
    I agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    This is correct. The steppe societies around that time were highly similar culturally. I believe one historical source stated the Yuezhi were very similar to the Parthians in this respect.



    "Tocharian?" is probably the best option in my opinion. It recognises both the "Xiaohe = Afanasievo offshoot = Tocharian" link while also recognising that definitively assigning a language to a poorly defined culture, or one in a nexus region/timeframe, is speculative.



    I agree.
    The tanais sample was forgotten about. I wonder if rostov on don scythians are similar.
    These r1a z93- in the tarim could have spoken sothing other than tocharian or iranic. obviously r2a has a lot of lost linguistic diversity because the languages of r1a-z284, r1a-xiahoe, r1a-cts4385 and r1a-z282-a are extinct.

    Also more than just R1a in the tarim, K, C, N and Q have been found too. also samples are from 2000 bc.
    http://eurogenes.blogspot.com.au/201...rom-china.html

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