Ancient North Eurasian

In archaeogenetics, the term Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) is the name given to an ancestral component that represents descent from the people similar to the Mal'ta–Buret' culture or a population closely related to them.[1]

Genetic studies

The ANE lineage is defined by association with MA-1, or "Mal'ta boy", the remains of an individual who lived during the Last Glacial Maximum, 24,000 years ago in central Siberia, discovered in the 1920s.

The ANE population has been described as having been "basal to modern day western Eurasians" but not especially related to east Asians, and is suggested to have perhaps originated in Europe or Western Asia.[2][3] According to Lazaridis et al. 2014, the common ancestor of ANEs and WHGs (western European hunter-gatherers) separated from eastern Eurasians around 40,000 BC, and ANEs split from WHGs around 22,000 BC[4] (ANE is also described as a lineage "which is deeply related to Paleolithic/Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in Europe...").[5] According to a study by Kanazawa-Kiriyama et al. (2017), MA-1/Mal'ta also carried an East Eurasian-related component (contributing around 21% of his ancestry), with the rest being west Eurasian-related.[6]

Populations genetically similar to MA-1 were an important genetic contributor to Native Americans, Europeans, Central Asians, South Asians, and some East Asians, in order of significance.[7] Lazaridis et al. (2016:10) note "a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia."[7] Flegontov et al. (2016) found that the global maximum of ANE ancestry occurs in modern-day Native Americans, Kets and Selkup.[1] Additionally it has been reported in ancient Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures.[8] According to Lazaridis between 14% and 38% of Native American ancestry may originate from gene flow from the Mal'ta–Buret' people (ANE). This difference is caused by the penetration of posterior Siberian migrations into the Americas, with the lowest percentages of ANE ancestry found in Eskimos and Alaskan Natives, as these groups are the result of migrations into the Americas roughly 5,000 years ago.[9] Other estimates for ANE ancestry among first wave Native Americans show higher percentages,[10] such as those belonging to the Andean region in South America.[10] The other gene flow in Native Americans (the remainder of their ancestry) appears to have an East Asian origin.[2] Gene sequencing of another south-central Siberian people (Afontova Gora-2) dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures to that of Mal'ta boy-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum.[2]

Genomic studies also indicate that ANE was introduced to Western Europe by way of the Yamnaya culture, long after the Paleolithic.[8][1] The ANE genetic component is visible in tests of the Yamnaya people, and seems to make up 50% of their ancestry indirectly.[8][1] It is also reported in modern-day Europeans (7%–25% ANE admixture directly from Yamnaya), but not of Europeans predating the Bronze Age.[8][1] Additional ANE ancestry is found in European populations through paleolithic interactions with Eastern Hunter-Gatherers, which resulted in populations such as Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers.[11]

Groups partially derived from the Ancient North Eurasians

Eastern European Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) is a lineage derived predominantly (75%) from ANE.[7] It is represented by two individuals from Karelia, one of Y-haplogroup R1a-M417, dated c. 8.4 kya, the other of Y-haplogroup J, dated c. 7.2 kya; and one individual from Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297, dated c. 7.6 kya. This lineage is closely related to the ANE sample from Afontova Gora, dated c. 18 kya. After the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, the Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) and EHG lineages merged in Eastern Europe, accounting for early presence of ANE-derived ancestry in Mesolithic Europe. Evidence suggests that as Ancient North Eurasians migrated West from Eastern Siberia, they absorbed Western Hunter-Gatherers and other West Eurasian populations as well.[12]

Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer (CHG) is represented by the Satsurblia individual dated ~13 kya (from the Satsurblia cave in Georgia), and carried 36% ANE-derived admixture.[13] While the rest of their ancestry is derived from the Dzudzuana cave individual dated ~26 kya, which lacked ANE-admixture,[13] Dzudzuana affinity in the Caucasus decreased with the arrival of ANE at ~13 kya Satsurblia.[13]

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG) is represented by several individuals buried at Motala, Sweden ca. 6000 BC. They were descended from Western Hunter-Gatherers who initially settled Scandinavia from the south, and later populations of EHG who entered Scandinavia from the north through the coast of Norway.[14][8][15][16][17]

Iran Neolithic (Iran_N) individuals dated ~8.5 kya carried 50% ANE-derived admixture and 50% Dzudzuana-related admixture,[13] marking them as different from other Near-Eastern and Anatolian Neolithics who didn't have ANE admixture.[13] Iran Neolithics were later replaced by Iran Chalcolithics, who were a mixture of Iran Neolithic and Near Eastern Levant Neolithic.[7]

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American are specific archaeogenetic lineages, based on the genome of an infant found at the Upward Sun River site (dubbed USR1), dated to 11,500 years ago.[18] The AB lineage diverged from the Ancestral Native American (ANA) lineage about 20,000 years ago.

West Siberian Hunter-Gatherer (WSG) are a specific archaeogenetic lineage, first reported in a genetic study published in Science in September 2019. WSGs were found to be of about 30% EHG ancestry, 50% ANE ancestry, and 20% East Asian ancestry.[19]

Evolution of blond hair

The derived allele of the KITLG SNP rs12821256 is associated with, and likely causal for, blond hair in Europeans.[20] The earliest known individual with this allele is the Siberian ANE individual Afontova Gora 3, which is dated to 16130-15749 BCE.[12] This allele is also present in one hunter-gatherer each from Samara, Motala and Ukraine (I0124, I0014 and I1763), as well as several later individuals with Steppe ancestry.

Geneticist David Reich said that the KITLG gene for blond hair entered continental Europe in a massive population migration from the Eurasian steppe, by a people who had Ancient North Eurasian ancestry.[21]

Comparative mythology

Since the term 'Ancient North Eurasian' refers to a genetic bridge of connected mating networks, scholars of comparative mythology have argued that they probably shared myths and beliefs that could be reconstructed via the comparison of stories attested within cultures that were not in contact for millennia and stretched from the Pontic-Caspian steppe to the American continent.[22]

For instance, the mytheme of the dog guarding the Otherworld possibly stems from an older Ancient North Eurasian belief, as suggested by similar motifs found in Indo-European, Native American and Siberian mythology. In Siouan, Algonquian, Iroquoian, and in Central and South American beliefs, a fierce guard dog was located in the Milky Way, perceived as the path of souls in the afterlife, and getting past it was a test. The Siberian Chukchi and Tungus believed in a guardian-of-the-afterlife dog and a spirit dog that would absorb the dead man's soul and act as a guide in the afterlife. In Indo-European myths, the figure of the dog is embodied by Cerberus, Sarvarā, and Garmr.[22] Anthony and Brown note that it might be one of the oldest mythemes recoverable through comparative mythology.[22]

A second canid-related series of beliefs, myths and rituals connected dogs with healing rather than death. For instance, Ancient Near Eastern and Turkic-Kipchaq myths are prone to associate dogs with healing and generally categorised dogs as impure.[23] A similar myth-pattern is assumed for the Eneolithic site of Botai in Kazakhstan, dated to 3500 BC, which might represent the dog as absorber of illness and guardian of the household against disease and evil.[23] In Mesopotamia, the goddess Nintinugga, associated with healing, was accompanied or symbolized by dogs. Similar absorbent-puppy healing and sacrifice rituals were practiced in Greece and Italy, among the Hittites, again possibly influenced by Near Eastern traditions.[23]

Philologist Aleksandar Loma argues that parts of Native American and Indo-European concepts connecting wolves with ritual knowledge and magic may represent a common Ancient North Eurasian heritage. The word mai-coh means both 'wolf' and 'witch' among Navajos, and shunk manita tanka a 'doglike powerful spirit' among Sioux. The Proto-Indo-European root *ṷeid ("knowledge, clairvoyance") designated the wolf in both Hittite (ṷetna) and Old Norse (witnir), and a "werewolf" in Slavic languages (Serbian vjedo-gonja, Slovenian vedanec, Ukrainian viščun).[24] Historian Michael P. Speidel has compared the fighting madness and dancing frenzy of the Aztec Quachics wolf-warriors with the Germanic mad wolf-warriors (Berserks), and has argued that this could be due to shared historical origins–or perhaps a feature common to warrior societies: the more willing a warrior is to attack recklessly, the more useful he may be in battle.[25]

According to comparative mythologist Bernard Sergent, the Lithuanian myth of Eglė the Queen of Serpents shares similar motifs with stories found among Native American peoples (Wayampi, Yahgan and Coos), which may be explained by an inherited Ancient North Eurasian motif featuring a woman marrying an aquatic animal, violating human laws on exogamy and connecting the terrestrial and aquatic worlds. Sergent reminds however that the precise time and place of origin of the myth cannot be settled with certainty.[26]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Flegontov et al. 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Raghavan et al. 2013.
  3. ^ Michael Balter (October 2013). "Ancient DNA Links Native Americans With Europe". Science. 342 (6157): 409–410. Bibcode:2013Sci...342..409B. doi:10.1126/science.342.6157.409. PMID 24159019.
  4. ^ Lazaridis 2014.
  5. ^ Jeong, Choongwon; Balanovsky, Oleg; Lukianova, Elena; et al. (2019). "The genetic history of admixture across inner Eurasia". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 3 (6): 966–976. doi:10.1038/s41559-019-0878-2. PMC 6542712. PMID 31036896.
  6. ^ Kanzawa-Kiriyama, Hideaki; Kryukov, Kirill; Jinam, Timothy A; et al. (February 2017). "A partial nuclear genome of the Jomons who lived 3000 years ago in Fukushima, Japan". Journal of Human Genetics. 62 (2): 213–221. doi:10.1038/jhg.2016.110. PMC 5285490. PMID 27581845.
  7. ^ a b c d Lazaridis et al. 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e Haak et al. 2015.
  9. ^ Moreno-Mayar, J. Víctor; Vinner, Lasse; de Barros Damgaard, Peter; et al. (7 December 2018). "Early human dispersals within the Americas". Science. 362 (6419): eaav2621. Bibcode:2018Sci...362.2621M. doi:10.1126/science.aav2621. PMID 30409807.
  10. ^ a b Wong et al. 2017.
  11. ^ Günther et al. 2018.
  12. ^ a b Mathieson et al. 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d e Lazaridis et al. 2018.
  14. ^ Laziridis 2014.
  15. ^ Mathieson 2015.
  16. ^ Günther 2018.
  17. ^ Mittnik 2018.
  18. ^ Moreno-Mayar, J. Víctor; Potter, Ben A.; Vinner, Lasse; et al. (January 2018). "Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals first founding population of Native Americans" (PDF). Nature. 553 (7687): 203–207. Bibcode:2018Natur.553..203M. doi:10.1038/nature25173. PMID 29323294. S2CID 4454580.
  19. ^ Narasimhan 2019.
  20. ^ Guenther, Catherine A; Tasic, Bosiljka; Luo, Liqun; Bedell, Mary A; Kingsley, David M (1 June 2014). "A molecular basis for classic blond hair color in Europeans". Nature Genetics. 46 (7): 748–752. doi:10.1038/ng.2991. PMC 4704868. PMID 24880339.
  21. ^ Reich, David (2018). Who We are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198821250.
  22. ^ a b c Anthony & Brown 2019, pp. 104–105.
  23. ^ a b c Anthony & Brown 2019, pp. 104–106.
  24. ^ Loma 2019, p. 4.
  25. ^ Speidel 2002, pp. 285–286.
  26. ^ Sergent 1999, pp. 36–37.


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