Saturday, March 25, 2017

Karakol Culture?

Bernard posted another study on Siberian mtdna.  Along with a previous study, Chikisheva, 2010?, Karakol folk are ~80 haplogroup H, albiet HVR1 only.  Contemporary with Afanasievo and Beaker on the Eastern end of Kazakhstan, probably all R1b as well.
Something? Nothing?


  1. What does it mean? Can you explain for those of us who don't know much about DNA.

    1. Beakers seem to have had high levels of mtdna H. They have have also been exclusively R1b in the paternal line. Autosomally similar to Afanasievo. Just some odd coincidences here to Karakol.

    2. Siberia has oscillated between being predominantly W. Eurasian and predominantly E. Eurasian over the course of history and prehistory. Now, there's a gradual cline of admixed E. Eurasian and W. Eurasian along the Silk Road the lines southern Siberia which is more E. Eurasian in the east and more W. Eurasian in the west, a situation that probably arose between O CE and 1400 CE as Turkic pastoralists, and then Mongolian pastoralists successively expanded from homelands NW of China to E. Europe and W. Asia. This was probably the source of the Huns ca. 0 CE attested in Roman histories. A wave of this expansion ca. 8th cent. CE caused Anatolia to go from mostly speaking an Indo-European languages (Kurds are the main remnants now) to Turkish which has ultimate origins near the Altai.

      Ancient DNA data in this report suggests that the Karakol folk in E. Kazakstan in the early Bronze Age (EBA) were predominantly W. Eurasian in DNA , a period of a near maximal extent of W. Eurasian population expansion.

      The Afanasievo people were an EBA steppe people, a few hundred miles west of the Karakol folk, who lived at the same time and had Y-DNA R1b. All Bell Beaker people (of EBA W. and Central Europe) whose ancient Y-DNA has been recovered were Y-DNA R1b. But Y-DNA R1b was virtually absent in Europe before the Bell Beakers.

      The Y-DNA link between contemporaneous Eurasian peoples suggests that they derive from one community with a common culture and language, which is plausible because horse domestication just before the EBA greatly expanded mobility in the European and Central Asian steppe.

      The W. Eurasian genetic affinity is discernible even though only a small portion of ancient mtDNA from the HVR1 (for "highly variable region one") was recovered. HVR mtDNA is quite diagnostic of broad mtDNA type. But HVR1 is not good for determining mtDNA subtypes. The HVR region mtDNA is the easiest to get from ancient DNA so often only it is available.

      mtDNA passes from mom to child. mtDNA H is distinctively W. Eurasian. In this study, Karakol folk were approximately 80% mtDNA H - suggesting W. Eurasian near replacement of pre-existing genetically E. Eurasian folk rather than a expansion of men marrying local women. Pre-EBA, mtDNA H was present in low frequencies in an early Neolithic European in a mix of many mtDNA types. Starting in the EBA, mtDNA H swiftly became the plurality mtDNA type in most of Europe. mtDNA H is present, albeit on a spotty basis, in Mesolithic hunter-gathers (HGs) in the Med. basin, who probably expanded from W. Asia after the Younger Dryas ice age (most European HGs were mtDNA U). So, mtDNA H, unlike Y-DNA R, probably has W. Eurasian deep origins.

      Y-DNA passes from dad to son. European HGs were prob. mostly Y-DNA I1. First wave Neolithic farmers in Europe were mostly Y-DNA G2. Y-DNA R1 has been found in pre-Bronze Age HGs on the European steppe and also in the Bronze Age steppe (roughly speaking R1a in the North and R1b in the South) and is now predominant in Europe (roughly R1b in the West, R1a in the East). Ancient DNA reveals that the early Indo-European Corded Ware culture basically in Eastern Europe, was R1a, as were some of the archaeological cultures that followed the R1b Afanasievo culture in the European steppe, such as the Sintashta culture. The earlier steppe Yamanya culture was R1b. Ancient Y-DNA sample from the Altai Mountain area of Siberia (Maalta) from not long after the last major ice age was a very basal Y-DNA R. This suggests that even though Y-DNA R is now predominantly West Eurasian that pre-EBA, Y-DNA R was predominantly in Siberia and the European Steppe until it expanded in the EBA with Corded War expansion in the East and the Bell Beakers in the West.

    3. It's a odd correspondence and within a triangle of the Samara Oblast, Western Khazakstan, and Afanasievo of similar age.

    4. @ andrew,
      Thanks for the info! Much appreciated! Determining the subtype of mtDNA H is important because H has what, about 100 clades. Some of these clades are more common in Eastern Europe & Central Asia. My H6a is one of those. H6a expanded with yDNA R in EBA with the CWC expansion. H6a hasn't been found in BBC but that could change.

  2. Bell beaker... Nothing awkward. Especially if H2 and H13. For instance I think that south caucasus 5th millennia BC moving to steppe were loaded with those two haplotypes. And there will be a day of reckoning...when it will be obvious to everybody that r1b in steppe barely moved west at all. Jut east really east like these ones.

  3. H2, H13 AND H6! H6 was found in the Andronovo Culture AND H6a1b was found in the Okunev Culture.