The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Those west Eurasian hunter-gatherers

Earlier we discussed Epipalaeolithic Anatolia (and the Balkans) as a sink for two equal populations, Levantine huntergatherers (who later, back home, became farmers) and West Eurasian huntergathers (who never did get around to farming, before being BTFO by our R1b bronze battle-axes). Iosif the Lazaride, grand strategos of early population genetics, has led his band upcountry to the southern Caucasus - and back in time to 24000 BC, the beginning of the last great ice-cap. A cave in Dzudzuana in modern Georgia, specifically.

Lazaridis et al. find the people here ancestral to early agriculturalists from western Anatolia ~6000 BC. Presumably to one or the other half (or both...? this early, one can't assume much) which subsequently contributed to "AHG", 13500ish BC at the other end of that "White-Walker" span... At any rate they have nothing in common with the hunter-gatherers who would inhabit the Kura valley in the 11000s BC. So that later band, perhaps ancestral to Georgians both Kartveli and Abkhaz today, gave the boot to the Dzudzuana people who'd lived there before.

Dzudzuana went west, far west, and became ancestral to... I-don't-know what. This is long before even the Anatolian / IndoEuropean split. Maybe these were the Hattians, or the Hurrians. Maybe the Lemnians and Etruscans (if we believe Herodotus and Claudius). Maybe even the AfroAsiatics: Lazaridis sees the Dzudzuana genes all over Tamazight North Africa, Nuragic Sardinia, and the preSemitic Levant.

Dzudzuana's own ancestry is itself a mix (they always are). Some of it is Western Hunter-Gatherer, which I guess we can expect in the (already damn frigid) leadup to that last great chill. But some of it is "Basal Eurasian" - the first spinoff from Out Of Africa, before even the Asian / European split. They'd been proposed before, but never actually seen in full (like, much later, Mal'ta Boy (R1 male, associated with X female) proved the existence of Ancestral North Euroasioamerican). So Basal Eurasian still hasn't been found but its trace is constrained to the deeper Pleistocene.

By luck Dzudzuana has yielded two mitochondria from two very different maternal lines. One is U6, Near Easternish ("Ursula", right?); the other is N. These guys despite having such divergent deep-maternities were of similar genetics elsewhere in their genomes.

Lazaridis signed his and his coauthors names to a suspicion that Ancient Basal Eurasian is Near-Eastern. And the U part of U6 is prominent in the old Near East. But U was in the Near East for a long time - AHG's (and my granddad's) K is a U(8) branch, for instance. That N, although also western-ish by contrast with M, is an ancient offshoot of L3; mostly Siberian as of the early Holocene, as noted.

I think N is the Basal Eurasian, or at least that they'd tagged along; and that it was already central Asian. I am not seeing it as Near Eastern yet, not like all those U and K kids.

posted by Zimri on 15:16 | link | 0 comments

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