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The face of Agamemnon

The genomic history of the Aegean palatial civilizations:

The Cycladic, the Minoan, and the Helladic (Mycenaean) cultures define the Bronze Age (BA) of Greece. Urbanism, complex social structures, craft and agricultural specialization, and the earliest forms of writing characterize this iconic period. We sequenced six Early to Middle BA whole genomes, along with 11 mitochondrial genomes, sampled from the three BA cultures of the Aegean Sea. The Early BA (EBA) genomes are homogeneous and derive most of their ancestry from Neolithic Aegeans, contrary to earlier hypotheses that the Neolithic-EBA cultural transition was due to massive population turnover. EBA Aegeans were shaped by relatively small-scale migration from East of the Aegean, as evidenced by the Caucasus-related ancestry also detected in Anatolians. In contrast, Middle BA (MBA) individuals of northern Greece differ from EBA populations in showing ∼50% Pontic-Caspian Steppe-related ancestry, dated at ca. 2,600-2,000 BCE. Such gene flow events during the MBA contributed toward shaping present-day Greek genomes.

Nothing that surprising, but adds a lot of clarity. Here’s my summation:

1) the main pulse of Indo-Europeans, the proto-Greeks, arrived ~2300 BCE to “mainland Greece” (i.e., the north). This notwithstanding other earlier contacts noted in the text between the Pontic steppe and the Balkans

2) The Minoans and other peoples of the Aegean did not have this ancestry. This is not surprising. But, this works seems to confirm a likely pulse of ancestry into the Aegean ~4000 BCE with roots in eastern Anatolia and/or the Caucasus. This is a minority component, but seems correlated with the arrival of Y chromosomal group haplogroup J2, and has been detected as far west as Sicily.

3) The above component is related to the contributor to about half the ancestry among the Yamnaya samples. But, the Yamnaya samples themselves are about half “Eastern Hunter-Gatherer” (EHG), which itself can be decomposed as 25% “Western Hunter-Gatherer” (WHG) and 75% “Ancient North Eurasian” (ANE). This EHG component was lacking entirely in the Minoans of the Bronze Age and is lacking in modern Cypriots (who are mostly ethnically Greek). In contrast, the EHG component begins to increase in the Balkans during the late Neolithic.

4) There seems to have been a further dilution of the steppe component among the Bronze Age Greeks as they moved from the north to the south. The largest component of Greek ancestry then, and now, remains “Early European Farmer” (EFF), related to and descended from “Anatolian Farmer” (AF).

5) Modern Greek samples have more steppe than late Bronze Age samples (Mycenaeans). I am confident this is due to early medieval Slav tribes, who moved as far south as the Peloponnese in large numbers. I’ve looked at a fair number of Greek samples, and some of them have way less steppe ancestry than others, with the latter matching those labeled “northern Greek” by the Estonian Biocentre dataset. I think many of these former are likely island Greeks from the Aegean or Greeks who descend from early 20th century migrants from Anatolia.

All this has to be placed in the context of the broader Indo-European migrations. David Anthony in The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World mentions that there is a lot of circumstantial cultural evidence of contacts between the proto-Greeks and Indo-Iranians in the Proto-Indo-European urheimat. This would make sense if the proto-Greeks migrated from Russia and the Pontic steppe relatively late, rather than being secondary migrants from the post-Corded Ware zone of northeastern Europe. Look up the R1b and R1a ratios of the Greeks. The former outnumber the latter in the south, and the latter the former in the north. I think this is the impact of later Slavic migrants on top of an earlier R1b bearing centum Indo-European population.


39 thoughts on “The face of Agamemnon

  1. It’s fascinating that pre-Medieval Greeks were still largely EFF rather than steppe, but they’d adopted a lot of the steppe gods.

  2. Are modern Turks mostly descended from Byzantine Greeks and Armenians? And where did the Kurds come from? They didn’t seem to have much presence in Eastern Anatolia during Byzantine times unlike the Armenians.

  3. Hello Razib!

    Sorry to ask a question off topic, but will any works on the genetics of Ancient Egypt and Iran be published in the near future?

  4. I totally agree with the OP analysis which is more or less exactly what I expected.

    A key corollary of this is that it argues against the Indo-European Anatolian languages emerging much earlier than Indo-European Greek languages did, supporting my hypothesis that the Anatolian languages are divergent due to different substrate influences rather than due to greater time depth.

  5. How do these pops tie into the Philistine Ashkelon samples from a few years back?


  6. The assertion the paper makes regarding present-day Greek (90% continuity with Logkas samples) is, frankly, embarrassingly uninformed.

    You’re of course correct, Razib, to assign the excess Northern Euro ancestry in Greeks to Slavs. The drift we see in modern mainland Greeks is clearly of the Balto-Slavic type seen in Poles, Ukrainians, etc. It’s NOT just Steppe MLBA ancestry like what we see in the Logkas ladies.

    If there was a Slavic migration, then the question asks itself: what did the pre-Migration period people of Byzantine-era mainland Greece look like genetically? Probably not like Mycenaeans. There’s still a lot of Anatolian BA-type admixture in mainland Greeks, even Macedonians, that must be accounted for. This has yet to be addressed by any paper. Nobody knows how it got there yet, but considering the trends in the Roman paper, Hellenistic era gene flow from Anatolia into Greece seems very plausible. We’ll have to see. Either way, 90% continuity is just fucking laughable.

  7. Who were indigenous people in today’s Greece before their arrival? Where they came from, from Egypt and Middle East? Their language was NOT sc. Indo-European, it became after adopting the language from indigenous people. Who were Brigians (i.e. Phrygians)? Who was Homer? How Greeks had Olympian mythology during the Trojan war if they did not reach Mt Olympus in the following 900 years? The term ‘Greek’ was first mentioned by Aristotle and widely used after Roman conquering, who gave this name? The term ‘Hellenic’ also is not Greek. What Agamemnon, etc, Greeks never had states nor kingdoms, they had only cities-polises. The first Greek state is from 1829 AC. Who consisted Alexnader’s army in battles with Persians and who fought in Persian army (battle at river Granik)? How Greek polises without army, economy, agriculture, horses, fertile land could rule Macedonia which conquered the world? What’s happened during the ‘dark Ages’, where Greeks disappeared and why they did not build anything for several hundreds of years? How could (future) Greeks organise Olympic games when they officially entered the history if they haven’t seen Mt Olympus in the following 500 years? Why Greeks haven’t participated in the Roman Army and why they did not give any Roman Emperor? What’s happened with Thracians for whom Herodotus said that they were the biggest nation in the world after Indians? Approximately, 150-250 K Turks came to the East Roman Empire (sc. Byzantium) which had 6 million people. Why today’s Turks looks more like Europeans and less as Kazakhs? Why none says that Sea People were Greeks? Who were Philistines, who came from Greece, but they were not (future) Greeks? There is NOT one document, account or anything else that prove the alleged medieval migration (7th cAC) of sc ‘Slavs’ (i.e. Serbs) to Balkan (and Greece) except one falsification in 1611 AC, attributed to Porphyrogenite and backdated to 900AC which would be still 300 years after this alleged migration. This is the cornerstone of the world history falsifications which is also, one of the reasons why sc. Aryan issue cannot be finally resolved, so as sc. ‘Indo-European people and languages’. There are so many other questions.

  8. Hi Razib, can you please explain why the 3 tested Aeagans in that paper were predicted as most likely dark despite carrying both depigmentation genes SLC24A5 and SLC45A2? And what does “dark-skinned mean here- light brown/beige, olive complexion or reddish/ chestnut brown? As far as I can remember the Minoans and Mycenaeans from the Lazardis study were predicted as light-skinned.

  9. “Who was Alexander the Great?”

    Um – taking a wild guess…was he a Serb, by any chance?

  10. Some of the assumptions re;EBA continuity a little questionable too. Distal models with CHG/Iran_EN both from 8000 BCE, not samples from Anatolia closer the time? Perhaps a limitation of samples. We have a big paper on Anatolia last year ( These samples not really used to test proximal turnover.

    I think it’s interesting that they got passing models for the Log women with Steppe_MLBA and Aegean_EBA, not just Aegean_EN.

    Re; R1b-R1a stuff, is idea that a population with Steppe-EMBA like y-dna hanging out on Steppe until late migration to Greece/Armenia (e.g. “Catacomb”), so R1b+basal language divergence and contact with Iranic languages?

  11. Deep dove on some of your old articles and read a couple of the bio papers. The Italian and British historians and anthropologists and philologists were convinced the ‘NonAfrican’ part of us (40-50%) Northern Ethiopians was from Yemen or Saudi Arabia, but we’re more Minoan-like (or even Tunisian Jew), which is made interesting by lack of Steppe blood that you confirm here.

  12. Very well JayeM, another plus from me. I wander if anyone had a different wild guess. I bet – no. Can you make another wild guess, not far from previous – can you (or any other ‘plus’ guy) tell us the origin/meaning of the name ‘Europe’? You (or someone else) will get a bottle of red from Razib on my behalf. A hint: at one moment in time, the name of Teheran was – Europe (no wiki please).There are so many questions, but no one gives answers.

  13. Pass. But my mtDNA is U5 – do I get half a point for that?

    Hint: Proffering bottles of red wine to someone who was born in Margaret River is like taking coals to Newcastle.

  14. You are getting a half of bottle for this, but you should check if your other half is from Vinca, too, to get a full bottle. The bottle is actually a Croesus from MR. Speaking about this Merlot there is another award question – who was Croesus? And, what’s happened with ‘Europe’? Any takers?

    The fact is that Serbs are officially the tallest people in the world, but this is on average. There is even a wiki reference written by Razib about this. We should check all members of the 500 years long AtG dynasty if there was any non-Serb (but, they all definitely were non-Greeks).

  15. The same people now and then, the iron fist of the Roman Empire. How tall was the Emperor Maximinus Thrax? 8 feet?…
    And, don’t forget the monster swell at MR Pro tomorrow! Croesus?

  16. No, height has varied a lot over time.

    Yeah, well don’t forget the monster Great Whites at MR either. Or that I currently live in China – it’s quite far to go to see some people get their legs bitten off.

    Loved Ivanovic, hate Djokovic, admired Tesla.

  17. In this case you can find on the spot who lived in Xinjiang for 2000 years before Chinese and Uyghurs came. I can give you few hundreds of toponyms to make your research easier. Also, if ‘Europe’ is too far and difficult, you can try with the name of ‘Asia’.

  18. Well, it was the Dzungar Khanate until the Qing genocided them. But some people just really ask to be genocided, right? Serbs know that.

  19. Wrong period, the question is related to the period btw cca 2000BC-6th c.AC.

  20. @ Henok Elias,

    It’s been a long time, but my recollection of Horner genetics is there is strong evidence of not one, but two migrations from West Eurasia.

    The more modern one is really only found among Habesha groups, and is similar to Arabs. Almost certainly reflects the migration of Semites to the region in the near historic period.

    The second, and older one, is widely found across East Africa. It is not just found among the Habesha, but in Cushite groups (including the Somalis) and even as a minor component in the Maasai and Khoisan, along with some ancient DNA (such as from an individual from Tanzania who was about 1/3rd this component). This admixture (call it “Cushite” if you like) is from a Neolithic migration of farmers and pastoralists out of the Near East, which probably introduced Afro-Asiatic languages to Africa (there is more diversity there today, but this is possibly because the later Semitic expansion erased earlier diversity). It seems more linked to the Minoans and the like than modern Arabs because there was a later mixing between the “western” and “eastern” components of the modern Near East which these early Afro-Asiatic speakers missed out on, having left so early. We’re still really not sure what caused this great intermixing. Maybe something to do with the rise of Uruk? It seems to have happened before the start of recorded history.

  21. Yes, thank you! The first seems to be ~50,000 years and the second ~3-15,000 which are huge ranges and I have no clue what to say about what this all means.

  22. @Henok Elias,

    More likely the first wave happened some time between 12,000 years ago (the start of the Neolithic in the Levant) and 8,000 years ago (the first evidence of the expansion of animal husbandry into Egypt). The second wave happened prior to the rise of Axum but it may have begun only a handful of centuries prior to that or a thousand years earlier. I don’t think it’s much more than 3,000 years old however.

  23. @Razib

    “and is lacking in modern Cypriots ”

    They get working models with Minoan (probably not the best starting point for Cypriots of course), CHG and WHG for them but what sense does it make for Cypriots to show the more European-constrained WHG-related ancestry and not the ubiquitous EHG/steppe-related one, anyway? Other analyses point toward them having EHG/steppe-related ancestry and I’d say it’s clear that they have some, like every other population in the region and that’s where that small WHG-related part mostly comes from. Modern Cypriots weren’t exactly the focus of the paper though so I don’t blame them.

    Btw, I’m curious where you’ve seen a Kurdish-Isaurian connection suggested. The language of the area seems to have been Luwian-descended before the shift to Greek considering the continued usage of certain onomastics, based on what I’ve read. I notice that wiki actually has an article on it (always surprised how you can find something about every niche issue on there…) that pretty much repeats that scenario. Kurds themselves seem like a more eastern population/Iran_N-rich genetically anyway, and their more westward expansion seems relatively recent.


    Care to expand on that? I don’t see how it follows from these results…On that topic, their archaeological/linguistic supplement on the period is very extensive and a great read but we don’t have to grant the apparent suggestion that pre-Greek was likely IE Anatolian, considering other views on the issue which they also mention. Much more likely to me is that that “pre-Greek” is a non-IE language (or closely-related languages) of the CHG-rich populations expanding to the west from Anatolia.

    @ Michael

    I think the Log samples, especially Log02, do seem to be showing some of that “Balto-Slavic” drift (sensible enough name considering its peak in the eastern Baltic BA populations but might be more properly called “eastern European” since we can see appreciable amounts of it even in seemingly non, at least exclusively, Balto-Slavic-related individuals/populations in the more eastern parts of Europe), though expectedly at lower levels than moderns, even the more southern mainlanders. They can latch on to it when it’s used in addition to basic distal sources, unlike say some contemporaneous populations of similar or higher steppe ancestry from western Europe. Log02 in particular grabs onto some Balto-Slavic related samples, when using more proximal (and of course anachronistic) sources. Basically, to me it looks like there might be something of what causes that “Balto-Slavic” peak in BA northeastern Europe in them as well (while there isn’t for example in the fellow southerner IA Italics, except apparently for the Balkan-like Proto-Vilanovan individual).

    Incidentally, the MA2197 Hellenistic Anatolian sample (though low_res in the Eurogenes datasheet so with plenty of caution about everything) looks like a more EEF-shifted version of the Log individuals and also shows some of that “Balto-Slavic” drift and comes from a period where we would have seen northern Greek migration towards Anatolia. I wouldn’t be completely surprised if there’s a bit of an Iron Age cline with only the more southern Greek parts being (currently sampled) Mycenaean-like and the more northern ones retaining a more Log-like profile with a shift towards less CHG-rich northern Greek EBA populations, so creating a more western/EEF-rich cline that parallels the modern Greek one.

    Btw, you should also check out the N=3 models in the supplements for both ancients and moderns. The best model for the modern mainland Greek population there for example is Log02 + EHG + Cypriot which dovetails with what you mentioned.

    @the eyes of the tiger

    Looking at the supplements, the studied ones (the EBA Kou01, Pta08 and MBA Log02) are AA on rs1426654 (SLC24A5) but CC and CG (overwhelmingly GG in contemporary Europeans) on rsrs16891982 (SLC45A2). But they checked other alleles that contribute to pigmentation as well, which the HIrisPLex model is based on. Check the Nuclear capture part of the supplement for more information. Either way, I believe that category implies dark-skinned by contemporary pan-European standards, obviously not by global standards.

    @ Matt

    “I think it’s interesting that they got passing models for the Log women with Steppe_MLBA and Aegean_EBA, not just Aegean_EN.”

    Based on their models, it seems that it’d be hard to know the specifics of what more likely happened even with these newer samples. Like we’ve sorta discussed before, to me in G25-Vahaduo, a Steppe_EBA + Greek_N/Anatolia_N, or perhaps Balkan_N with slight intermediate-HG admixture, seems to be picked up on its own from all (and noting that Lo02 seems shifted even further towards that kind of population compared to Log04, who is shifted towards Steppe_EBA-like populations compared to Log02) but if you use the CHG-rich Aegean EBA samples, naturally the Log individuals overall prefer more “western” steppe populations, so MLBA rather than EBA. The only clear conclusion is the elimation of Armenia_MLBA-like sources, a scenario that always seemed less likely.

    That kind of scenario Razib and you outline with late Yamnaya-derived cultures neighboring CW-derived forest steppe ones would make sense with the current data we have and it’s one I find attractive too. It should be interesting to see those other Yamnaya Balkan samples David Anthony showed in that video and how they differ from the currently sampled Bulgarian one. It might be the case that the current Yamnaya Bulgarian sample is quite preferred by the Log set in Vahaduo/G25 because it’s what an e.g. Catacomb + relatively HG-poor Balkan_N mix would also end up like rather than being the actual immediate ancestor and the mainstream Balkan Yamnaya samples will end up somewhat different/more HG-rich based on PCA position as you noted in the previous discussion. Lots of more specific possibilities still I guess…

    These parts: “”In contrast, among MBA Aegeans, although Log04 has similar amounts of Steppe-like ancestry on the X chromosome and the autosomes, Log02 is inferred to harbor no Steppe-like ancestry on the X chromosome versus 25%–52% Steppe-like ancestry on the autosomes”

    “Log04 had more (twenty-nine versus seven at most) and longer ROH (two ROH above 5 Mb) (Document S1) than other ancient individuals. Different evolutionary/demographic processes (Ceballos et al., 2018; Pemberton et al., 2012), including recent inbreeding (Yengo et al., 2019), could explain the Log04 data; in any case, Log02 does not harbor similarly long ROH””

    are also kinda interesting. Does it just suggest something just about Log04 as an individual or is it possible that there was a more long-standing, closed Log04-like mixed steppe-Balkan population further north, that then further admixed in northern Greece with EEF, in a potentially sex-biased way, to give us Log02-like individuals around the captured time period (who further admixed in southern Greece to give us Mycenaean-like individuals)?

    Also they found mtDNA L in one individual apparently, interesting result.

  24. Very impressive findings, probably based on very scarce data, about migrations almost 50 K (and 15 K) years ago in Africa, Middle East or so. In this context, it is interesting that none can find data, records, accounts of migration of so-called Slavs (i.e. Serbs) to Balkan in the 7th c.AC from local historians, philosophers, writers, poets, government officials, church leaders, army and border units, coincidental bystanders. One serious logistic calculation found that this migration would be a procession of people and carts 1500km long (or 10x150km) which no one noticed. Not even asking, what’s happened with previous population, where they disappeared overnight, leaving their houses and land and taking their cemeteries with them. It is not strange that this Vatican falsification (and current mainstream) many national histories are abandoning. So, it would mean that Serbs were indigenous European people (40% of them have I2 anyway, the only European haplogroup). So, it means that the entire official European (Roman and ‘ancient’ Greek) history needs to be rewritten. So, this mean that after 200 years sc. ‘Indo-European’ (formerly ‘Indo-Germanishe’) issue can be finally resolved, and the sc. Aryan issue can be finalised, too.

  25. @Forgetful,

    thanks a lot. So, that means that the BA Aegans were olive skinned or dark as modern Sardians, and not dark as Middle Easterners, or even Indians or Africans? Correct? The thing is, that 2 samples were predicted with HIrisPLex as very dark. I was puzzled by that since I thought that these two individuals were dark brown when going by the prediction. Besides, the genotypes are not found in the supplements.

  26. @ the eyes of the tiger

    You’d have to look at HIrisPlex studies again to be exactly sure which of their categories modern populations come out as belonging to (and I don’t recall if Sardinians specifically, being outliers and all, are also overwhelmingly GG like basically all modern European populations), which I don’t really recall off the top of my head, but I think even modern Middle Eastern populations are mostly “intermediate”. So certainly, these individuals are predicted as darker than modern Europeans in general, maybe even quite a few Middle Easterns populations too untanned skin-color wise?

    What do you mean about the last part? Check the Nuclear capture tab in, if you haven’t looked at it.

  27. @Forgetful

    “Care to expand on that? I don’t see how it follows from these results…”


    First wave Anatolian farmer derived mostly from Anatolian HG with a bit of Levantine HG/Farmer.

    Second wave: West Asian highland early metal age brings Hattic related to Minoan related to Kushite probably related to some Caucasian languages too – this is very different from the Anatolian Neolithic farmer language which spread in both Cardial Pottery and LBK Neolithic to Europe as first farmers which is the substrate for vast majority of European IE.

    Third wave (late): IE with Steppe ancestry to Greece, Anatolia, Europe, Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia, Tarim basin. Why does Anatolian look so divergent from European IE? Very different substrate, rather than great time depth (and in general contact effects are underestimated, while time depth impact apart from contact effects are overestimated). Genetics in this study, mirror the underlying migration hypothesis behind the linguistic hypothesis.


    “we don’t have to grant the apparent suggestion that pre-Greek was likely IE Anatolian, considering other views on the issue which they also mention. Much more likely to me is that that “pre-Greek” is a non-IE language (or closely-related languages)”

    Agreed. Minoan probably from the intermediate early metal age migration from West Asia across Anatolia. The data is too thin to say much about the pre-IE substrates elsewhere in Greece, Balkans and Italy to know. There is a fair amount of scholarship on pre-Greek substrate, Etruscan, Limnean, etc., but no one has really managed to connect the dots.

    Likewise Basque and the larger Vasconic family are unlikely to be from an Upper Paleolithic hunter-gather layer with possible exceptions for very local Iberian flora/fauna. But it is hard to say if it is derived from a first farmer macro-family language, or an early metal age highlands language like Minoan and Hattic.

  28. @Forgetful,

    thanks again. Your reply helped me for understanding the supplementary data better. My last question, how reliable are the phenotype prediction of ancient people by HIrisPlex?

  29. “Minoan probably from the intermediate early metal age migration from West Asia across Anatolia. The data is too thin to say much about the pre-IE substrates elsewhere in Greece, Balkans and Italy to know. There is a fair amount of scholarship on pre-Greek substrate, Etruscan, Limnean, etc., but no one has really managed to connect the dots.”

    Good questions, I have also asked some of them. How to find the answers? Definitely not by jumping up and down, back and forth in history and geography. First thing first is to stop using the misleading and meaningless term ‘Indo-European’. Next, go back in time to for e.g. the height of the Ice Age and find out where people lived and in which percentage. It means, go to Vinca (Danube, Iron Gates), the oldest sc. ‘Old Europe’ civilisation where everything started. Not to start from the middle, e.g. from the Corded Ware as many do and when sc. ‘Indo-Europeans’ (Yamnaya) came to Europe while their nostalgic fraction returned back to the steppe homeland which they overshoot and finished unexpectedly as Aryans in future India. It is so unwise to expect that sc. ‘Indo-European’ language was developed in frozen Russian steppes by nomads whose technology and cultural levels were..err..nomadic, and that they came to Europe and spread this language to people with much higher culture in every corner of wooded Europe without tv, Internet, roads and bridges. After that, step by step in space and time, we can finally uncover the real history, without holes, ‘dark ages’ and falsifications.

  30. “Indo-European’ language was developed in frozen Russian steppes by nomads whose technology and cultural levels were..err..nomadic, and that they came to Europe and spread this language to people with much higher culture in every corner of wooded Europe without tv, Internet, roads and bridges.”

    In much of Europe, Indo-Europeans were the first wave of people who used metal and the first wave of people who used horses, and while the did engage in herding, there is linguistic and archaeological evidence that they farmed as well, although perhaps not exclusively. Indeed, it is a fair guess that Indo-European farming was more sustainable than that of the initial Neolithic first farmers of Europe whose farming collapsed (giving arise to technological regression and increased introgression of relict European hunter-gatherers) almost across the board prior to the rush of Indo-Europeans into the vacuum that this created. Maybe first farmers didn’t rotate crops or employ other properties to maintain top soil health – exactly why it happened isn’t clear but probably only partially due to climate as the collapse generally moved east to west over a long time period. Farming almost completely died, for example, in Ireland, before it was revived by the Bell Beakers (or a culture derived from them).

  31. @ohwilleke

    Ah ok, thanks, I see what you had in mind wrt substrates but I still don’t see how this study necesarily says anything about that aspect either way. Especially since at least an important part of the Greek substrate likely comes from that CHG-rich population and so is shared with Anatolian languages. On that topic, there was a “Greek_LN” individual with steppe-related ancestry in the Wang et al. Steppe Piedmont paper but I don’t think any newer info has surfaced regarding location or specific dating. There’s still the possibility of an earlier wave that’s associated with Anatolian, considering the early Smyadovo individual, potentially this Greek outlier, even some of our early steppe-admixed Tripyllians and so on so I’m still very much in favor of that scenario as well.

    @the eyes of the tiger

    Someone like Razib or Matt should answer that one but either way, without getting into the reliability of specific categories, it looks like that even late 3rd millennium – early 2nd millennium BC European populations show lower frequencies of those than modern ones from the same locations (i.e. both northern and southern ones should be darker on average relative to ones in the same location with something that starts approaching the moderns around the LBA at the earliest) and the relevant researchers think those have been reliably associated with pigmentation, which I don’t have the expertise to comment on.

    I think there’s a similar situation in the Middle East if I go by memory about one study of the BA Levant (e.g. modern Lebanese somewhat more depigmented on average than BA north Levant) but I’d have to look at those parts of the studies again to give you a more reliable answer there. So specifics aside, I’d say that things point towards even relatively recent increased depigmentation going on in general I guess in West Eurasia for whatever actual reasons.

  32. “Especially since at least an important part of the Greek substrate likely comes from that CHG-rich population and so is shared with Anatolian languages”

    To note here, the ss/nd/nt(h) toponyms for example have been argued to show greater density in the southeast than the northwest and we see that so far both the Peloponnese and even Euboea in the new study show decent amounts of the CHG-rich ancestry compared to even the more EEF-rich Log02 in the northern set where it’s rather low at best.

    So for ohwilleke’s point, it could be suggested that it affected Greek only at a later stage of development or more strongly in certain areas where it ended up being spoken and so that’s a difference with Anatolian where the more strongly and generally felt substratal influence would give us this erroneously dated effect under that scenario but, even leaving linguistics aside where an early split seems to still be the majority position, there’s that interesting though scant trail of early individuals all the way to Kumtepe that’s begging to be explored more.

  33. @ohvilleke

    It is incorrect that sc. ‘Indo-Europeans’ (again this meaningless term), probably Yamnaya (?), brought metal to Europe. The oldest metallurgy in the world was in Vinca, thousands of years before Yamnaya came to Europe. They also had agriculture for thousands of years (the creator of Anatolian hypothesis confessed that agriculture so as language were not brought from Anatolia) and it sounds strange that it ‘collapsed’ (?) and people returned to hunting (?). It would be interesting to see how people live urban life within large settlements, with professional tradesmen, metallurgists, where women had jewellery, makeup and mini-skirts, go to hunting in the morning and return to their ancient cities in the evening. And there was not a ‘vacuum’ (why would be, they had high prosperity and did not have wars for couple thousands of years?) in Europe. Yamnaya people (the ancestors of modern ‘westerners’) conducted a genocide on indigenous European people and took their women. These women gave the physiognomy to today’s westerners and more importantly – THE language. This language is actually the language which is for 200 years generally called – Indo-European language.

    Btw. re: some other comment – the original Middle Eastern language of the future Greeks was NOT sc. ‘Indo-European’ and since the term ‘Greek’ (what does it mean?) is used after Roman conquering in the 2nd c.BC, because some other terms, e.g. ‘Minoan Greeks’ are oxymorons.


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