The First Horse Herders and the Impact of Early Bronze Age Steppe Expansions into Asia
The article investigates the origins of Indo-European languages in Asia by 65 coupling ancient genomics to archaeology and linguistics.
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- 09 May 2018
- Full article in Science
The Yamnaya expansions from the western steppe into Europe and Asia during the 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 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.
Peter de Barros Damgaard, Rui Martiniano, Jack Kamm, J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar, Guus Kroonen, Michaël Peyrot, Gojko Barjamovic, Simon Rasmussen, Claus Zacho, Nurbol Baimukhanov, Victor Zaibert, Victor Merz, Arjun Biddanda, Ilja Merz, Valeriy Loman, Valeriy Evdokimov, Emma Usmanova, Brian Hemphill, Andaine Seguin-Orlando, Fulya Eylem Yediay, Inam Ullah, Karl-Göran Sjögren, Katrine Højholt Iversen, Jeremy Choin, Constanza de la Fuente, Melissa Ilardo, Hannes Schroeder, Vyacheslav Moiseyev, Andrey Gromov, Andrei Polyakov, Sachihiro Omura, Süleyman Yücel Senyurt, Habib Ahmad, Catriona McKenzie, Ashot Margaryan, Abdul Hameed, Abdul Samad, Nazish Gul, Muhammad Hassan Khokhar, O. I. Goriunova, Vladimir I. Bazaliiskii, John Novembre, Andrzej W. Weber, Ludovic Orlando, Morten E. Allentoft, Rasmus Nielsen, Kristian Kristiansen, Martin Sikora, Alan K. Outram, Richard Durbin, Eske Willerslev.