Origins of the Indo-Europeans: the Uruk expansion and Cucuteni-Trypillian culture

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The history of the Indo-Europeans is relatively clear from the Maykop and Yamna periods onwards, as I have described in the R1b and R1a pages on this site. The biggest question marks in my head at the moment are:

- When did the R1a and R1b lineages arrive in the Pontic Steppe and North Caucasus ?
- Where did they come from before that ?
- What were the influence of older neighbouring cultures, notably on agriculture, cattle and woolly sheep herding, and metal working ?


In his book The Making of Bronze Age Eurasia, Philip L. Kohl claims that the Yamna-era steppe culture originated in the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, and more specifically when the huge towns of the Late Trypillian culture (3500-3000 BCE) in Central Ukraine were abandoned and their inhabitants took up a semi-nomadic lifestyle, herding cattle and moving in wheeled wagons.

Based on the genetic make-up of the Balkans and Carpathians, it is hard to see how the Cucuteni-Trypillian people could have been almost exclusively R1a or R1b people. I had always supported the Kurgan hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas, in which the steppe people destroyed the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture and its people got dispersed around western Ukraine and towards southern Belarus. Like all Neolithic cultures in Europe, the Cucuteni-Trypillian would have been composed essentially of Near Eastern lineages like G2a, E1b, J and T, but probably also of assimilated Mesolithic Europeans (I2a). If they had been the source of semi-nomadic cattle breeders as Kohl believes, the Indo-Europeans would not have been spreading almost exclusively R1a and R1b lineages around Central and South Asia. Another problem is that of the timing, since the Trypillian culture lasted until circa 3000 BCE, over 700 years after the start of the Maykop culture and 500 years after Yamna.

However it is not entirely impossible that the Trypillian settlements in Ukraine were R1a or R1b people descended from the Bug-Dniester culture, a culture that is remarkable in its continuity from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic. Another scenario is that a minority of Cucuteni-Trypillian people belonging to such lineages as G2a3b1 and J2b migrated to the steppe with their cattle and wagons, and been assimilated by the local R1a and R1b tribes. I have long noticed that G2a3b1 and J2b (and perhaps some E1b and T) were minor lineages found alongside the two major Indo-European haplogroups (R1a and R1b). I have not yet resolved whether these G2a and J2b lineages came to the Pontic Steppe from the west (Balkans/Carpathians) or from the south (eastern Anatolia or Mesopotamia) across the Caucasus.

This leads us to the Uruk expansion. From 3700 to 3100 BCE, there appeared to have been a sudden large-scale colonisation of East Anatolia and the Caucasus region by southern Mesopotamians (Sumerians). Recent studies found a level of development at least as high in northern Mesopotamia, so the term of "Uruk" may be misleading. The archaeological culture of this vast region then suddenly collapsed around 3200-3100 BCE when the Bronze-Age Kura-Araxes culture expanded from the South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia).

The Bronze Age, which seems to have started in the Maykop culture circa 3700 BCE, spread to the Kura-Araxes culture around 3500 BCE, and only started in Mesopotamia after the Kura-Araxes expansion, from 3100 BCE.

It has been suggested that the Chalcolithic Uruk expansion was responsible for the establishment of the advanced Maykop culture in the Northwest Caucasus around 3700 BCE. This hypothesis does not rely only on timing, but also clear cultural affinities and the appearance of woolly sheep in both regions at the same time. Kohl explains that the herding of sheep for wool liberated a lot of fertile land that had until then been used to grow flax for clothing, and that this allowed big surpluses in cereal cultivation, which caused a population boom. That is what may have caused the Uruk expansion.

Unfortunately we do not know what haplogroup those Uruk settlers carried, although I would list G2a, J2, T and R1b among the top candidates. One possibility is that the Uruk contingent that founded Maykop (if indeed it was them) belonged primarily to R1b (at least 80%, through a founder effect) and that they were accompanied by G2a3b1, J2b and T lineages. Another possibility is that these Mesopotamian settlers only carried G2a3b1, J2b and T and mixed with R1b people who were already present in the Pontic Steppe and North Caucasus.


In the two above hypotheses (Uruk and Cucuteni-Trypillian), it is of course possible that G2a3b1 came from one culture and J2b from the other, while both R1a and R1b had been in the Steppe long before. I would think that J2b came from the Balkans/Carpathians to the Steppe, then was brought by the Indo-Europeans to Central and South Asia. T would be a prime candidate for the Uruk settlers. G2a3b1 could have come from S-E Europe, the Caucasus, Anatolia or even Mesopotamia. Only ancient DNA tests can confirm how things really happened. Let's wait and see.
 
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some anthropological metric and not metric surveys seem confirming this southern not only cultural but also demic influence of southern people North the Caucasus upon steppic population (who were the first I-E'ans ?)
Craniological and dental signatures of Out-of-Armenia


From the paper on the craniological results:
One can see a clear link between the Armenian highlands samples and the Western Europe samples (the Arcvakar sample - 17 close phenetic links are revealed). The samples from the Georgia (Samtavro /Late Bronze Age - II period) and Iran (Tepe Gissar III), Uzbekistan (Sapallitepe) are identified as the samples with closest affinities samples from Ukraine (Shirochanski) and Poland, Germany (Corded Ware culture) in particular (figure 3). This suggests that some of the European genes do actually stem from this area. So, mediterranean connections from Armenian highlands, Georgia and Central Asia are distinctly fixed in Western Europe and in the Middle-Late Bronze Age.
&: erreur ? Eastern Europe ???... non !!! Cordés d' Allemagne !​
If true, it is suggested that the dispersal of the Indo-European languages have been accompanied by migration and some gene flow from the Armenian highlands homeland to the various historical seats of the Indo-European languages. The different rates of genetic drift and external gene flow may have contributed to the morphological differentiation and diversification amongst the different Eurasian populations. Cluster analysis has revealed a craniological series having analogies (on a complex of craniometric, odontologic characters) with representatives of the population of the Armenian highlands, the Caucasus, the Near East and Central Asia. The initial starting area (or one of the intermediate areas), as indicated by the anthropological data, would seem to be the Armenian highlands, and the Caucasus as a whole (Figure 7).

Asian Culture and History Vol. 4, No. 2; July 2012
doi:10.5539/ach.v4n2p48

Bioarchaeological Analysis Mutual Relations of Populations Armenian Highlands and Eurasia Using Craniological and Dental Nonmetric Traits

Anahit Yu. Khudaverdyan1 Institute of Archaeology and Еthnography National Academy of Science, Republic of Armenia
metric surveys estimate a so called "armenian highlands" population (physical componant) were present among the steppic north-Caucasus cultures like Maikop, leaving traces among all I-E population of Western Europe, AND TOO, among the Tripolje-Cucuteni culture settlements

here this abstract from Dienekes blog I think









here an other abstracts (from Dienekes blog I think). June 27, 2013

Analysis of Maikop crania (Kazarnitsky 2010)


From the paper, first a survey of other studies:
The Maikop cranium from Mandzhikiny I in Kalmykia was measured by A.A. Khokhlov. In his view, it resembles the previously published Maikop and Novosvobodnaya specimens. Khokhlov pointed to certain features common to the Maikop and Novosvobodnaya people and opposing them to the Pit Grave people. He questioned the resemblance between the Maikop crania from Evdyk I and those from Syezzheye and Zadono-Avilovsky; and he believed the former to resemble crania from the Caucasus, the Near East, and Southwestern Central Asia, being closest to those from Samtavro, Georgia, and Ginchi, Dagestan (Khokhlov, 2002).
In a brief note, M.M Gerasimova, D.V. Pezhemsky, and L.T. Yablonsky (2002) described several Maikop crania from burial grounds on the Kalaus River in the Stavropol Region. The series is diverse and, judging by the results of multivariate analysis, is closest to the Chalcolithic group from Khvalynsk in the Samara Region.
T.I. Alekseyeva (2004) measured a male skull from mound 13 burial 5 at Nezhinskaya near Kislovodsk (the plastic reconstruction of this individual’s appearance was made by L.T. Yablonsky), as well as two crania (male and female) from mound 70 burial 1 at Zamankul in Northern Ossetia. All these crania came from “Maikop– Novosvobodnaya” burials and were attributed to the Mediterranean variety of the Southern Caucasoid type which was distributed in Armenia, Georgia, Iran, and Mesopotamia during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age. The heterogeneity of the Maikop group in Alexeyeva’s opinion may be due to individual variability, but also to admixture with the natives of the southeastern European steppes (Alekseyeva, 2004).​
Later, Gerasimova, Pezhemsky, and Yablonsky (2007) published a large article where crania from burial grounds on the Kalaus River were described in detail. They noted that the Maikop series is heterogeneous but on average it represented the Eastern Mediterranean trait combination. The latter is quite dissimilar to the Cromagnoid combination typical of certain Bronze Age groups of the Eastern European steppes. The idea that at least some Maikop people were descendants of immigrants from the Near East was deemed probable; however the role of the steppe admixture, possibly accounting for a somewhat greater robustness of Maikop crania compared to Mediterranean ones, was not excluded either.
And the author's own conclusions:
In sum, the results of the multivariate analysis suggest that Maikop people are distinct from all the contemporary and later Eastern European groups of the steppe and forest-steppe zones. This provides an additional argument in favor of the hypothesis that Maikop burials in Kalmykia attest not merely to the cultural impact of the Maikop community on the steppe tribes (Munchaev, 1994: 168); rather, they were left by a separate group which
 
The history of the Indo-Europeans is relatively clear from the Maykop and Yamna periods onwards, as I have described in the R1b and R1a pages on this site. The biggest question marks in my head at the moment are:

- When did the R1a and R1b lineages arrive in the Pontic Steppe and North Caucasus ?
- Where did they come from before that ?
- What were the influence of older neighbouring cultures, notably on agriculture, cattle and woolly sheep herding, and metal working ?


In his book The Making of Bronze Age Eurasia, Philip L. Kohl claims that the Yamna-era steppe culture originated in the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, and more specifically when the huge towns of the Late Trypillian culture (3500-3000 BCE) in Central Ukraine were abandoned and their inhabitants took up a semi-nomadic lifestyle, herding cattle and moving in wheeled wagons.

Based on the genetic make-up of the Balkans and Carpathians, it is hard to see how the Cucuteni-Trypillian people could have been almost exclusively R1a or R1b people. I had always supported the Kurgan hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas, in which the steppe people destroyed the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture and its people got dispersed around western Ukraine and towards southern Belarus. Like all Neolithic cultures in Europe, the Cucuteni-Trypillian would have been composed essentially of Near Eastern lineages like G2a, E1b, J and T, but probably also of assimilated Mesolithic Europeans (I2a). If they had been the source of semi-nomadic cattle breeders as Kohl believes, the Indo-Europeans would not have been spreading almost exclusively R1a and R1b lineages around Central and South Asia. Another problem is that of the timing, since the Trypillian culture lasted until circa 3000 BCE, over 700 years after the start of the Maykop culture and 500 years after Yamna.

However it is not entirely impossible that the Trypillian settlements in Ukraine were R1a or R1b people descended from the Bug-Dniester culture, a culture that is remarkable in its continuity from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic. Another scenario is that a minority of Cucuteni-Trypillian people belonging to such lineages as G2a3b1 and J2b migrated to the steppe with their cattle and wagons, and been assimilated by the local R1a and R1b tribes. I have long noticed that G2a3b1 and J2b (and perhaps some E1b and T) were minor lineages found alongside the two major Indo-European haplogroups (R1a and R1b). I have not yet resolved whether these G2a and J2b lineages came to the Pontic Steppe from the west (Balkans/Carpathians) or from the south (eastern Anatolia or Mesopotamia) across the Caucasus.

This leads us to the Uruk expansion. From 3700 to 3200 BCE, there appeared to have been a sudden large-scale colonisation of North Mesopotamia, East Anatolia and the Caucasus region by Southern Mesopotamians (Sumerians). The archeological culture of this vast region then suddenly collapsed around 3200 BCE when the Bronze-Age Kura-Araxes culture expanded from the South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia).

It has been suggested that the Uruk expansion was responsible for the establishment of the advanced Maykop culture in the Northwest Caucasus around 3700 BCE. This hypothesis does not rely only on timing, but also clear cultural affinities and the appearance of woolly sheep in both regions at the same time. Kohl explains that the herding of sheep for wool liberated a lot of fertile land that had until then been used to grow flax for clothing, and that this allowed big surpluses in cereal cultivation, which caused a population boom. That is what may have caused the Uruk expansion.

Another paper on the same subject
http://www.science.org.ge/moambe/6-2/153-161 Pitskhelauri.pdf

Unfortunately we do not know what haplogroup those Uruk settlers carried, although I would list G2a, J2, T and R1b among the top candidates. One possibility is that the Uruk contingent that founded Maykop (if indeed it was them) belonged primarily to R1b (at least 80%, through a founder effect) and that they were accompanied by G2a3b1, J2b and T lineages. Another possibility is that these Mesopotamian settlers only carried G2a3b1, J2b and T and mixed with R1b people who were already present in the Pontic Steppe and North Caucasus.


In the two above hypotheses (Uruk and Cucuteni-Trypillian), it is of course possible that G2a3b1 came from one culture and J2b from the other, while both R1a and R1b had been in the Steppe long before. Only ancient DNA tests can confirm how things really happened.

Could this Uruk migration into the north causasus created the R1b mutation once they got there, that is, R1? was already present in the pontic? somewhere in these vast ancient lands R1a and R1b split before moving west into Europe.
 
From the paper on the craniological results:
One can see a clear link between the Armenian highlands samples and the Western Europe samples (the Arcvakar sample - 17 close phenetic links are revealed). The samples from the Georgia (Samtavro /Late Bronze Age - II period) and Iran (Tepe Gissar III), Uzbekistan (Sapallitepe) are identified as the samples with closest affinities samples from Ukraine (Shirochanski) and Poland, Germany (Corded Ware culture) in particular (figure 3). This suggests that some of the European genes do actually stem from this area. So, mediterranean connections from Armenian highlands, Georgia and Central Asia are distinctly fixed in Western Europe and in the Middle-Late Bronze Age.

The R1b connection with the Caucasus is evident since R1b reaches frequencies of 30% in Armenia, 22% among the Lezgins of southern Daghestan, 20% among the Kumyks of eastern Daghestan, and 10% in Georgia and Ossetia (with one reported peak of over 40% in North Ossetia).

But there it isn't obvious at all that R1b came from the Caucasus (as opposed to Mesopotamia or Anatolia) to the Pontic Steppe. My original hunch was that R1b crossed from eastern Anatolia to the steppes a few millennia before Maykop and Yamna. In that scenario, R1b only came to the Caucasus towards the end of the Early Bronze Age and throughout the Middle Bronze Age (c. 2500-1900 BCE), when incursions of steppe cattle herders became increasingly frequent in the region and kurgan burials (e.g. Martkopi, Bedeni, Trialeti, Karashamb) started to replace Kura-Araxes burials. At the same time steppe pottery (grey and incised) and battle-axes made their appearance. The amount of metalwork (bronze, silver and gold) increasingly spectacularly in elite burials, which also included four-wheeled wagons now. Old settlements were abandoned or reduced in size, and new ones became heavily fortified, with "Cyclopean stone architecture, perched on inaccessible, easily defended promontories, or on the steep slopes of mountains", as Kohl explains. Here is an interesting read on the subject.

All this happened first in central and eastern Georgia, then in southern Daghestan (e.g. Velikent), then in the Armenian Highlands - exactly the places where R1b is the most common around the Caucasus. Velikent is located just at the boundary between the areas inhabited by the Kumyks and the Lezgins. Armenia has even higher levels of R1b because of the Proto-Armenian migration from the Balkans to Armenia circa 1200 BCE.

This leaves very little doubt in my eyes that those Middle Bronze Age steppe people who invaded the Caucasus were essentially R1b people (rather than R1a). They might however have been pushed south by the expansion of the Catacomb culture (presumably R1a-dominant) from the forest-steppe into the open steppe.

It is also noteworthy that the Maykop culture was very similar to the contemporaneous steppe cultures in the Kuban and Dnieper-Don region.
 
Could this Uruk migration into the north causasus created the R1b mutation once they got there, that is, R1? was already present in the pontic? somewhere in these vast ancient lands R1a and R1b split before moving west into Europe.

No, R1a* and R1b* are much too old (15 to 20,000 years) to date from the Uruk expansion.
 
No, R1a* and R1b* are much too old (15 to 20,000 years) to date from the Uruk expansion.

Eupedia quotes the time line for R at about 30,000 ybp and R1b at about 22000 ybp, not to split hairs. But imho scientist have placed far less interest in the transcaucasian region than it deserves. No one has yet identified the birth place of R or its subclades, although must research has been done into the westward movement into the Iberian Peninsula, and eventually the British Isles. R1b has also been found in the Tarim Basin in modern day north west China. And what of the Cumman people from near the Yellow River in China. An ancient people, phenotypically European. Could their ancestors have been the originators of R?
 
Eupedia quotes the time line for R at about 30,000 ybp and R1b at about 22000 ybp, not to split hairs.

I will revise that because the Mal'ta boy was still R* 24,000 years ago, so I doubt that R1b already existed 22,000 years ago as some population geneticists had calculated a few years ago based on STR variances.
 
I will revise that because the Mal'ta boy was still R* 24,000 years ago, so I doubt that R1b already existed 22,000 years ago as some population geneticists had calculated a few years ago based on STR variances.

Is it possible that R1b and R1a came from Mal'ta after LGM?
R1b : mammouth dwellings Ukraïne (as in Mal'ta during LGM) , now redated to 14-15000 years ago
R1a : Khvalynsk, Samara culture , bringing pottery 10000 years ago
Both settled on the Pontic steppe.
 
The R1b connection with the Caucasus is evident since R1b reaches frequencies of 30% in Armenia, 22% among the Lezgins of southern Daghestan, 20% among the Kumyks of eastern Daghestan, and 10% in Georgia and Ossetia (with one reported peak of over 40% in North Ossetia).

But there it isn't obvious at all that R1b came from the Caucasus (as opposed to Mesopotamia or Anatolia) to the Pontic Steppe. My original hunch was that R1b crossed from eastern Anatolia to the steppes a few millennia before Maykop and Yamna. In that scenario, R1b only came to the Caucasus towards the end of the Early Bronze Age and throughout the Middle Bronze Age (c. 2500-1900 BCE), when incursions of steppe cattle herders became increasingly frequent in the region and kurgan burials (e.g. Martkopi, Bedeni, Trialeti, Karashamb) started to replace Kura-Araxes burials. At the same time steppe pottery (grey and incised) and battle-axes made their appearance. The amount of metalwork (bronze, silver and gold) increasingly spectacularly in elite burials, which also included four-wheeled wagons now. Old settlements were abandoned or reduced in size, and new ones became heavily fortified, with "Cyclopean stone architecture, perched on inaccessible, easily defended promontories, or on the steep slopes of mountains", as Kohl explains. Here is an interesting read on the subject.

All this happened first in central and eastern Georgia, then in southern Daghestan (e.g. Velikent), then in the Armenian Highlands - exactly the places where R1b is the most common around the Caucasus. Velikent is located just at the boundary between the areas inhabited by the Kumyks and the Lezgins. Armenia has even higher levels of R1b because of the Proto-Armenian migration from the Balkans to Armenia circa 1200 BCE.

This leaves very little doubt in my eyes that those Middle Bronze Age steppe people who invaded the Caucasus were essentially R1b people (rather than R1a). They might however have been pushed south by the expansion of the Catacomb culture (presumably R1a-dominant) from the forest-steppe into the open steppe.

It is also noteworthy that the Maykop culture was very similar to the contemporaneous steppe cultures in the Kuban and Dnieper-Don region.

I believe R1b moved the other way : from the Pontic steppe to Anatolia and Mesopotamia , during the Maykop period.
They would have been traders, connecting Uruk with Maykop.
Maybe the Gutians, who overran Mesopotamia after the collapse of the Akkadians where descending from them.

Also, later +/- 1100 BCE, the Phrygians came to Anatolia, along with the Armenians. They probably came from the Balkans.
 
However it is not entirely impossible that the Trypillian settlements in Ukraine were R1a or R1b people descended from the Bug-Dniester culture, a culture that is remarkable in its continuity from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic. Another scenario is that a minority of Cucuteni-Trypillian people belonging to such lineages as G2a3b1 and J2b migrated to the steppe with their cattle and wagons, and been assimilated by the local R1a and R1b tribes. I have long noticed that G2a3b1 and J2b (and perhaps some E1b and T) were minor lineages found alongside the two major Indo-European haplogroups (R1a and R1b). I have not yet resolved whether these G2a and J2b lineages came to the Pontic Steppe from the west (Balkans/Carpathians) or from the south (eastern Anatolia or Mesopotamia) across the Caucasus.

Only ancient DNA tests can confirm how things really happened. Let's wait and see.

That is the theory I would favour.
Indeed the Indo-Europeans were mainly R1a and R1b.
The Neolithic in the Balkans would have started with J2b, later joined by G2a.
They would also have introduced agriculture east of the Carpaths, but the steppe remaind R1a and R1b.
Nalchik culture would be G2a farmers coming from the Carpaths.
Nalchik evolved to Maykop culture.
As for I2a2 , they would have lived in the forests north and northwest of the Pontic steppe.
Their expansions came later with Thracians, Illyrians, Dacians and south-Slavs.

As you say :

Only ancient DNA tests can confirm how things really happened. Let's wait and see.
 
Your I2a theory is incorrect in my opinion, I challenge it. I believe I2a was once found all across Europe with a center of weight/origin in Central Europe before some type of environmental/natural phenomenon pushed them into the Bosnian refuge where they are still most numerous today. Early European cultures such as Aurignacian have been linked to the men of y-DNA I.
 
Your I2a theory is incorrect in my opinion, I challenge it. I believe I2a was once found all across Europe with a center of weight/origin in Central Europe before some type of environmental/natural phenomenon pushed them into the Bosnian refuge where they are still most numerous today. Early European cultures such as Aurignacian have been linked to the men of y-DNA I.

I admit, this is just a guess.
Placing I2a2 in the forests north of the Pontic steppe 5000 years ago and subsequent migrations could explain todays spread of I2a2. My point is, I2a2 was not in the steppe, this was taken by R1a and R1b, and not in Balkan and Moldavia neolithic, this was J2b and G2a.

I agree with you , Aurignacian in Europa was probably I.
The challenge is, which of them did survive the LGM and in what parts of Europe?
I know about survivors in Iberia and southern France. (this was I1)
There were survivors in Italy too.
The Balkans were depopulated, except the southern coast area (like Franchthi cave).
Where other people survived, it is guesswork.
 
Is it possible that R1b and R1a came from Mal'ta after LGM?
R1b : mammouth dwellings Ukraïne (as in Mal'ta during LGM) , now redated to 14-15000 years ago
R1a : Khvalynsk, Samara culture , bringing pottery 10000 years ago
Both settled on the Pontic steppe.

Doubtful since R1b-V88, one of the oldest branches of R1b is found in the Levant and Africa. R1a* is also found in the Middle East. I would say that both R1a and R1b roamed West Asia as small tribes of hunter-gatherers until the end of the last Ice Age, then they moved north to the Pontic Steppe as the climate warmed up. R1a was probably the first to arrive during the Mesolithic (between 10,000 and 7000 BCE). R1b would have followed during the Neolithic or Chalcolithic, some time between 7000 and 3700 BCE.
 
http://www.eupedia.com/europe/neolithic_europe_map.shtml It appears that in the Neolithic, it appears that the R1b tribes came into contact with the Hassuna, Anatolian Neolithic and Caucasian Neolithic. Is there any chance that since the other haplogroups are a minority that the Three Cultures intermingled with eachother?
 
Analysis of Maikop crania (Kazarnitsky 2010)
And the author's own conclusions:
In sum, the results of the multivariate analysis suggest that Maikop people are distinct from all the contemporary and later Eastern European groups of the steppe and forest-steppe zones. This provides an additional argument in favor of the hypothesis that Maikop burials in Kalmykia attest not merely to the cultural impact of the Maikop community on the steppe tribes (Munchaev, 1994: 168); rather, they were left by a separate group which
I'm sorry, I cut the end of the abstract (it changes very few it's true): here:
And the author's own conclusions:
In sum, the results of the multivariate analysis suggest that Maikop people are distinct from all the contemporary and later Eastern European groups of the steppe and forest-steppe zones. This provides an additional argument in favor of the hypothesis that Maikop burials in Kalmykia attest not merely to the cultural impact of the Maikop community on the steppe tribes (Munchaev, 1994: 168); rather, they were left by a separate group which was unrelated to the local Pit Grave population by origin. The Southern Caucasoid trait combination revealed by the Maikop series is somewhat similar to that shown by the contemporaneous groups of the Northern Caucasus and southern Turkmenia. Clearly, this does not imply a direct connection with any of these regions.
The Near Eastern parallels are no less suggestive (Bunak, 1947: 77). Thus, a small series from Al-Ubaid in southern Mesopotamia, dating from the 4th millennium BC, is characterized by dolichocrany (cranial index, 72.6), a high face, medium wide, high and sharply protruding nose, and wide palate (Keith, 1931: 239–241). Regrettably, the number of measurements is too small to warrant a reliable comparison with the Maikop series. However, the isolated position of the Maikop group in Eastern Europe, its vague resemblance to the Southern Caucasoids of the Caucasus and Southwestern Central Asia, and the Near Eastern cultural affinities of Maikop and Novosvobodnaya (Munchaev, 1994: 170) indirectly point to Near Eastern provenance.
 
Doubtful since R1b-V88, one of the oldest branches of R1b is found in the Levant and Africa. R1a* is also found in the Middle East. I would say that both R1a and R1b roamed West Asia as small tribes of hunter-gatherers until the end of the last Ice Age, then they moved north to the Pontic Steppe as the climate warmed up. R1a was probably the first to arrive during the Mesolithic (between 10,000 and 7000 BCE). R1b would have followed during the Neolithic or Chalcolithic, some time between 7000 and 3700 BCE.

I would explain M335 and V88 as the Anatolian branch, splitting from Indo-Europeans 6000 years ago. That would be when Gumelnitça and other cities were burnt.
some 1000 year later this group would have entered Anatolia : Luwians, Hettites etc , the speakers of Anatolian languages.
After the invasion of the Sea Peoples, 1200 BCE there were some Neo-Hittite kingdoms founded along the northern Levant.
They were soon to be threatened by the Assyrians, and maybe they had to flee further.
At the same time others may have joined the Phoenicians, and also some might have gone further into Africa.

The next branch to split went to Bashkortarstan (M73 and some M269)

L11 , the father of the Celtic and the Italic branch is probably not much older than 5000 years
 
Doubtful since R1b-V88, one of the oldest branches of R1b is found in the Levant and Africa. R1a* is also found in the Middle East. I would say that both R1a and R1b roamed West Asia as small tribes of hunter-gatherers until the end of the last Ice Age, then they moved north to the Pontic Steppe as the climate warmed up. R1a was probably the first to arrive during the Mesolithic (between 10,000 and 7000 BCE). R1b would have followed during the Neolithic or Chalcolithic, some time between 7000 and 3700 BCE.


what to think about these mammouth ivory bracelets with some figures described as an early form of swastika, found in a mammoth hunting camp along a tributary of the Dnjepr , 12000 years old :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezine
 
what to think about these mammouth ivory bracelets with some figures described as an early form of swastika, found in a mammoth hunting camp along a tributary of the Dnjepr , 12000 years old :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezine

That's the first time I see that, but if it is indeed a precursor to the Indo-European swastika that would mean that would confirm that cultural traits, and perhaps also linguistics ones, could be transmitted for many millennia even before the development of civilisations. Fascinating.

What also piqued my interest is that the sub-Saharan African R1b1c (V88) is found essentially among the Fula people, who are nomadic, pastoralist cattle herders, just like Bronze Age Indo-Europeans in the steppe. That is a pretty amazing coincidence since R1b-V88 is thought to have split from the branch of R1b1a (P297, the ancestor of the Proto-Indo-European M269) approximately 15,000 years ago, i.e. a few millennia before the domestication of cattle in the Near East. Now both dates could be wrong. Cattle domestication could have taken place a bit earlier and the split between the two R1b branches could have happened later, in which case it would be possible that the very first people to domesticate and herd cattle were R1b1 (P25) people, who then split in three groups: V88 in the Levant and Africa, M335 in Anatolia, and P297 (M269 + M73) in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe. R1b1-P25 is found around eastern Anatolia and Armenia, where cattle are thought to have been domesticated. It would make perfect sense.
 
That's the first time I see that, but if it is indeed a precursor to the Indo-European swastika that would mean that would confirm that cultural traits, and perhaps also linguistics ones, could be transmitted for many millennia even before the development of civilisations. Fascinating.

What also piqued my interest is that the sub-Saharan African R1b1c (V88) is found essentially among the Fula people, who are nomadic, pastoralist cattle herders, just like Bronze Age Indo-Europeans in the steppe. That is a pretty amazing coincidence since R1b-V88 is thought to have split from the branch of R1b1a (P297, the ancestor of the Proto-Indo-European M269) approximately 15,000 years ago, i.e. a few millennia before the domestication of cattle in the Near East. Now both dates could be wrong. Cattle domestication could have taken place a bit earlier and the split between the two R1b branches could have happened later, in which case it would be possible that the very first people to domesticate and herd cattle were R1b1 (P25) people, who then split in three groups: V88 in the Levant and Africa, M335 in Anatolia, and P297 (M269 + M73) in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe. R1b1-P25 is found around eastern Anatolia and Armenia, where cattle are thought to have been domesticated. It would make perfect sense.

Interestingly there are two types of my people. The classic half nomadic herder(most common), domesticating cattle and sheep/goat by traveling into the hills/mountains, and the "more settled" plantation farmer(second most common).
 
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That's the first time I see that, but if it is indeed a precursor to the Indo-European swastika that would mean that would confirm that cultural traits, and perhaps also linguistics ones, could be transmitted for many millennia even before the development of civilisations. Fascinating.

What also piqued my interest is that the sub-Saharan African R1b1c (V88) is found essentially among the Fula people, who are nomadic, pastoralist cattle herders, just like Bronze Age Indo-Europeans in the steppe. That is a pretty amazing coincidence since R1b-V88 is thought to have split from the branch of R1b1a (P297, the ancestor of the Proto-Indo-European M269) approximately 15,000 years ago, i.e. a few millennia before the domestication of cattle in the Near East. Now both dates could be wrong. Cattle domestication could have taken place a bit earlier and the split between the two R1b branches could have happened later, in which case it would be possible that the very first people to domesticate and herd cattle were R1b1 (P25) people, who then split in three groups: V88 in the Levant and Africa, M335 in Anatolia, and P297 (M269 + M73) in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe. R1b1-P25 is found around eastern Anatolia and Armenia, where cattle are thought to have been domesticated. It would make perfect sense.

Hello Maciamo,

1/ re age estimates of y-DNA , I must admit I know and understand very little about that. But at the same time I'm very sceptical : I see sometimes 2 sources produces completely different age estimates
If V88 is estimated 15000 yo, what is the age estimate for M73 and L11 then?

2/ catlle in Africa :

according to : http://www.amazon.com/After-Ice-Global-History-000-5000/dp/0674019997

there was cattle in the eastern Sahara 11.000 years ago , slightly before Asian cattle
the common ancestor of Asian cattle and this 'Sahara cattle' is some 28000 years old, so they were 2 independant branches
by around 8800 year ago, this cattle arrived in the Acacus (SW-Algeria)

the Sahara became 'wet' from 14000 years ago onwards
the maximum expansion of the wet Sahara was around 9000 years ago
by 5500 years ago the Sahara was as arid as it is now

the 'Asian package' : sheep, goat, Asian cattle, mudbrick building, weaving and spinning arrived very late in Africa (througth the Nile Valley) : only 7800 years ago
the imported Asian cattle would have replaced the 'Sahara' cattle

I've read somewhere else Italian and Iberian cattle contain some DNA from 'African' cattle.
Wether this 'African' cattle is the same like the 'Sahara' cattle is not clear to me.
 

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