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Guus Kroonen publishes article in Science Magazine

Alongside several other authors, Guus Kroonen, University Lecturer in Linguistics, published an article in the well-renowned academic journal Science Magazine. The article, "The First Horse Herders and the Impact of Early Bronze Age Steppe Expansions into Asia", appeared in today's issue and also contains contributions by Leiden University researcher Michaƫl Peyrot. The authors investigate the origins of Indo-European languages in Asia by 65 coupling ancient genomics to archaeology and linguistics.

The Yamnaya expansions from the western steppe into Europe and Asia during the 55 Early Bronze Age (~3000 BCE) are believed to have brought with them Indo-European languages and possibly horse husbandry. We analyze 74 ancient whole-genome sequences from across Inner Asia and Anatolia and show that the Botai people associated with the earliest horse husbandry derived from a hunter-gatherer population deeply diverged from the Yamnaya. Our results also suggest distinct migrations bringing West Eurasian ancestry into South Asia before 60 and after but not at the time of Yamnaya culture. We find no evidence of steppe ancestry in Bronze Age Anatolia from when Indo-European languages are attested there. Thus, in contrast to Europe, Early Bronze Age Yamnaya-related migrations had limited direct genetic impact in Asia.

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