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Thread: Genetic Genealogy & Ancient DNA in the News (DISCUSSION ONLY)

  1. #2721
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    PIE south of the Caucasus is not the consensus, but it was/is still a popular theory among certain academics, much like the "pots not people" hypothesis was a few years ago. In order to have a robust account of steppe origins for PIE, these old academic alternatives should be considered and disproven. That's not neo-Marxism, it's exactly what we want.
    Last edited by Michalis Moriopoulos; 08-04-2019 at 06:11 PM.
    Ελευθερία ή θάνατος.

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  3. #2722
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    Alright so I've read Anthony's paper. I find his proposal of a migration from the South Caspian to the Volga estuary to be quite convincing, it is an elegant solution to a complex problem. The model envisioned here looks like this:



    But no matter how likely this scenario is, we can only suspect for now. Beyond some of the less relevant mistakes in his text (such as Anatolian farmer ancestry coming from Western Anatolia, while in fact the HG from Pinarbasi and the Boncuklu samples make it clear that Central Anatolia is a more likely candidate), I would say that if his model turned out to be the right one, it would do nothing to validate Bomhard's theory. Quite the contrary, Anthony himself seems to be keenly aware of this as he says the following:

    "Of course another, final, possibility, consistent with the
    archaeological and genetic evidence presented here, is that
    there were two phases of interference from Caucasian
    languages in two periods. The first, perhaps responsible for
    some of the basic morphological and phonological traits
    Bomhard detected, could have occurred in the fifth millennium
    BC and involved very archaic eastern Caucasian languages that
    had moved to the lower Volga steppes with CHG people, where
    they intermarried with Samara-based EHG pre-Uralic people to
    create early PIE and the Khvalynsk culture and a new
    EHG/CHG genetic admixture
    ; and the second phase, which left
    a Northwest Caucasian imprint over late PIE, perhaps more
    superficial (lexical) than the earlier interference, could have
    been during the Maikop period, but without a major genetic
    exchange between Maikop and Yamnaya."


    The reason why I find the above unbelievable (and more to the point, a form of special pleading) is because it can be disproven using the results from Wang et al. 2018. The theory of an early Northeast Caucasian foray into the Steppe is unfeasible precisely because we have a J1-Z1842 sample from Velikent. This might not seem like much, but it is actually a game changer.

    Satsurblia belonged to the most basal branch of J1: F1614 (TMRCA ~15,000 yBP). This branch is also one of the rarest (if not the rarest). It is extremely likely to be the branch the two J1 Karelian HGs carried, as it is found in present-day Finland. If the model supported by Anthony were to be validated, this is also the branch of J1 that is likely to have been present in the hunter-fishing camps around the lower Volga. Most of the J1 in the Caucasus today however is not F1614, in fact this branch seems to be more or less absent from the Caucasus nowadays, instead Z1828 and Z1842 in particular account for over 90% of the J1 in the area. It is heavily correlated with populations speaking Northeast Caucasian languages. This family now widespread in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan is usually thought to have arrived during the Early Bronze Age but its origin is hotly dispused (with the foremost specialists placing its origins in the Fertile Crescent). Velikent is an Early Bronze Age site affiliated to the larger Kura-Araxes horizon:



    The appearance of J1-Z1842 in this context enables us not only to place the arrival of NEC speakers in the Caucasus during the Early Bronze Age but also to anchor Proto-NEC in Kura-Araxes and therefore to direct the search for its closest relatives towards the languages that later appear in the territory K-A occupied (some, such as Starostin, have already suggested a link to Hurro-Urartian in the form of "Alarodian", while likely this theory suffers from poor methodology, more on that below). So there is no way that a language family that arrived in the Caucasus only during the Bronze Age could have left archaic relatives in the North Caspian during the Mesolithic.

    This omission from Anthony's part could have been easily avoided had he decided to pay more attention to elements that do not appear to be directly relevant to IE origins (but which, by extension, really are). The myopic focus on Maykop is partly to blame. What I really see though is disregard for the non-IE side of the (proto-hi)story, which is a shame because I can assure you we are not going to learn anything new by paying attention only to PIE (which has been researched to death anyway). Forgive the rant, but I find this to be deeply frustrating when I see the lack of attention given to other language families.

    I otherwise agree with his take on Suvorovo-Cernavoda reflecting early Anatolian speakers. I'm much less sure about Khvalynsk being Archaic PIE, I would normally vouch for Sredny Stog, but I have no preference and Khvalynsk is just as likely a contender to be perfectly honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by epoch View Post
    Please outline the problems with Bomhard's theory. BTW, Kortlandt supports this as well IIRC.
    There are major problems with Bomhard's (and Kortlandt's) theory, but first I will list the pros:

    • If we are to view Indo-Uralic as a phylogenetic reality (somewhat likely in my view but I'm neutral on this), this theory provides a great explanation for PIE's phonology which is quite complex in comparison to its presumed relatives. For instance, I would interpret the laryngeals in the following way: *h₁ as a glottal stop /ˀ/ in a majority of cases, *h₂ as a pharyngeal fricative /ħ/ in early stages and an uvular fricative /χ/ in later ones and finally *h₃ as a pharyngeal fricative with lip rounding /ˁʷ/. I'm sure this sounds like gibberish to a lot of posters here, so I'll tell you what this means in more human terms... What this means is that if you were to hear a recording of what PIE sounded like, you would manage to pick up a word here and there (provided that you have some degree of familiarity with PIE, knowledge of Greek and Latin would prove helpful too) but overall you'd get the impression that you're listening to a Near Eastern language. That's because the values I assigned to the laryngeals (the most likely ones in my view) are found in similar combinations within the phonemic inventory of most Semitic languages (such as Arabic). They are also found in a slew of North Caucasian languages, both Northeast and Northwest Caucasian. A hypothetical Proto-Indo-Uralic language is unlikely to have had such phonemes, so contact with a language characterised by that kind of guttural phonology is a very enticing solution to this issue that arises when PIU is taken to be a real language.

    • It makes great geographical sense. PIE is bound to have been spoken between the Urals and the Caucasus, some degree of affiliation to the languages found around both mountain chains would be realistic... What's not to like? In fact that's the standard view of the Leiden school on this subject.

    • Last but not least, it seemingly fits with the genetic data.


    Now here come the cons:

    • Nostratic: Bomhard's theory is but a detail in the high-level relationship he has in mind for PIE. Bomhard is a proponent of the Nostratic macro-family, ironically enough this is a dubious theory even less supported than the crazier Dené-Caucasian macro-family (which is why I like to describe Nostratic as "Dené-Caucasian's retarded sibling"). One of the issues here is that this comprises language families that are not only unlikely to be related to PIE in any way, shape or form (such as Afroasiatic), but that it even includes language families that do not exist, such as Altaic. Here's Bomhard's placement of Indo-European within Nostratic:



      I'll be honest, while I more generally find myself on the side of the "splitters" as opposed to that of the "lumpers" in this field, I am not necessarily opposed to higher-level relationships, but what prevents me from taking theories like this seriously is...

    • Flawed methodology: A recurring theme among the "lumpers". The right way to establish a relationship is to find affinity between several families' reconstructed antecedents. So for example we know for certain that Welsh, Russian and Latin are related not because someone noticed a few obvious similarities, but because the affinity is even more blatant and intricate when comparing Proto-Celtic, Proto-Slavic and Proto-Italic. This is how divergence from a common source works, the more you go back in time, the more similar these languages should be to each other. If there are no relatives available (think of Basque) internal reconstruction is the only viable solution within the parameters of the comparative method. But that's not how Nostraticists work. They are perfectly content with using a proto-language and a contemporary language in the same breath. This is understandable because for many of the families they are lumping into the same bag there has been very little progress in reconstructing the proto-language. Nostraticists interpret this as a carte blanche for using discrete languages within specific families instead. John Colarusso does this as well, which brings us to the next problem...

    • Pontic languages: Bomhard's theory relies quite heavily on John Colarusso's proposed relationship between Proto-Indo-European and Northwest Caucasian. Ultimately, he does not endorse it because he seeks only a NWC substrate and favours a genetic relationship with Uralic (which is on more solid ground). This substrate would in theory explain some odd morphological, typological and phonological elements in PIE. I am not going to address the morphology and the typology here (keep in mind I'm trying to simplify a complex topic), but what I am about to say for the phonology also counts for the morphology and typology. John Colarusso's reconstruction of PIE's (or rather what he calls "Fortified PIE") phonemic inventory is just too similar to his reconstruction of PNWC's phonemic inventory, there is no way PIE had 11 laryngeals (which is outlandish), the reconstruction is just too convenient to be true. More importantly, the near-identical phonemic inventories imply nearly half a dozen ejectives, which brings us to an even greater issue...

    • Glottalic theory: Don't get me wrong, I really like this theory. I understand the logic behind it, namely to provide a phonemic system that is more symmetrical than the one reconstructed for PIE. But this theory has been invalidated a long time ago, and the arguments against it just keep piling up. PIE had no ejectives. Bomhard is naturally aware of this, which is why he tends to focus so much on Armenian (one of the few IE languages with ejectives), but this is really a waste of time and effort. The reason why the glottalic theory is wrong is that the "traditional" system as Bomhard calls it makes perfect sense in a diachronic context, that is to say that this type of unstable and asymmetrical phonemic inventory tends to "fix" itself and therefore the unstable nature of this system is exactly what causes several of the sound changes in rapid succession.


    I could go on like this, but these are the main issues I can think of. Another problem is the dating. Proto-NWC is likely to be quite younger than PIE, and if anything the latter is more likely to have had an influence on the former in most cases. I wouldn't outright reject the possibility that there was some interaction between the two, but to make things short the genetic data doesn't support Bomhard's theory.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 08-04-2019 at 10:48 PM.
    מכורותיך ומולדותיך מארץ הכנעני אביך האמורי ואמך חתית
    יחזקאל פרק טז ג-


    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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  5. #2723
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    I have been writing here for several years that we "still" don't have good NGS Y-DNA articles about the specific Iranian haplogroups. J1, J2, R1a, R1b, others - they are completely different and they have different structures and composition from the European, Indian, Anatolian, Levantine and Arabian clusters and they have a long history associated to the Iranian tribes from the Iranian Plateau.
    If we ask the simple question of when our Y-DNA lineage have begun to speak an Indo-European or Indo-Iranian or PIE we can't answer because we don't know when they changed or if they just evolved with the language in the last 5000 or 10000 years.
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  7. #2724
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    So, does anyone have any news about Central and South Asian ancient DNA paper? It's already being on biorxiv for more than a year.

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    So, I have found this today: https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena/data/view/PRJEB32566

    Study: PRJEB32566

    Ancient Rome

    Name Ancient Rome
    Submitting Centre STANFORD SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
    Secondary accession(s) ERP115266

    Description

    Ancient samples collected from Rome and surrounding regions


    But there is only one file and I don't know how to analyze bam-files. Does anyone know what is that? It seems it was uploaded recently, at least if I understand correctly:

    Attributes

    ENA-FIRST-PUBLIC
    2019-07-31
    ENA-LAST-UPDATE
    2019-07-31


    Oh, I am stupid:

    date
    10100 - 9816 calBCE
    description
    DNA extracted from the petrous bone of an individual (sample R11) buried in Grotta Continenza, Italy and dated to 10100-9816calBCE (Mesolithic). The sample was whole genome sequenced to 0.92x. 45.5% of DNA extracted from the sample was human (mapped to hg19).
    geographic location (country and/or sea)
    Italy
    geome_coverage
    0.92
    sex
    Male
    site
    Grotta Continenza
    tissue_type
    petrous bone

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  11. #2726
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    Looks like the Roman paper's been accepted and will be out soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rozenfeld View Post
    So, I have found this today: https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena/data/view/PRJEB32566

    Study: PRJEB32566

    Ancient Rome

    Name Ancient Rome
    Submitting Centre STANFORD SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
    Secondary accession(s) ERP115266

    Description

    Ancient samples collected from Rome and surrounding regions


    But there is only one file and I don't know how to analyze bam-files. Does anyone know what is that? It seems it was uploaded recently, at least if I understand correctly:

    Attributes

    ENA-FIRST-PUBLIC
    2019-07-31
    ENA-LAST-UPDATE
    2019-07-31


    Oh, I am stupid:

    date
    10100 - 9816 calBCE
    description
    DNA extracted from the petrous bone of an individual (sample R11) buried in Grotta Continenza, Italy and dated to 10100-9816calBCE (Mesolithic). The sample was whole genome sequenced to 0.92x. 45.5% of DNA extracted from the sample was human (mapped to hg19).
    geographic location (country and/or sea)
    Italy
    geome_coverage
    0.92
    sex
    Male
    site
    Grotta Continenza
    tissue_type
    petrous bone
    BAM Analysis returns I2a1b or I-CTS8799, equivalent to I-M436. According to Yfull, formed 20800 ybp, TMRCA 17000 ybp.
    "To know nothing of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child" ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

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    Quote Originally Posted by Generalissimo View Post
    Looks like the Roman paper's been accepted and will be out soon.
    Hopefully soon rather than "rakhigarhi-soon"
    YDNA E-Y31991>PF4428>Y134097>Y134104>Y168273>FT17866 (TMRCA ~1100AD) - Domingos Rodrigues, b. circa 1690 Hidden Content , Viana do Castelo, Portugal - Stonemason, miller.
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  17. #2729
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    Quote Originally Posted by rozenfeld View Post
    So, does anyone have any news about Central and South Asian ancient DNA paper? It's already being on biorxiv for more than a year.
    I've wondered when they'd finally publish it with the corrections and additional samples. Seems to be taking forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    I've wondered when they'd finally publish it with the corrections and additional samples. Seems to be taking forever.
    I doubt it is the samples per se that are causing the delay. It is quite possible that what Reich mentioned - that the Indo-Aryan Invasion (or more correctly migration) was female mediated - is controversial.

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