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Analysis of ancient mitochondrial DNA gives insights into population movements in the Tarim Basin, China

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Republication from Biomed central

Afanasievo-Tarim

Fig. 1

Map of Eurasia showing the location of the Xiaohe cemetery, the Tarim Basin, the ancient Silk Road routes and the areas occupied by cultures associated with the settlement of the Tarim Basin. This figure is drawn according to literatures

 

https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2Fs12863-015-0237-5/MediaObjects/12863_2015_237_Fig2_HTML.gif

 

Fig. 2

a Fourth layer of the Xiaohe cemetery showing a large number of large phallus and vulva posts; b A well-preserved boat coffin; c Female mummy with European features; d Double-layered coffin excavated from the Xiaohe cemetery

 

Chunxiang Li, Chao Ning, Erika Hagelberg, Hongjie Li, Yongbin Zhao,  Wenying Li, Idelisi Abuduresule, Hong Zhu and Hui Zhou

BMC Genetics201516:78

DOI: 10.1186/s12863-015-0237-5

Abstract

Background

The Tarim Basin in western China, known for its amazingly well-preserved mummies, has been for thousands of years an important crossroad between the eastern and western parts of Eurasia. Despite its key position in communications and migration, and highly diverse peoples, languages and cultures, its prehistory is poorly understood. To shed light on the origin of the populations of the Tarim Basin, we analysed mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms in human skeletal remains excavated from the Xiaohe cemetery, used by the local community between 4000 and 3500 years before present, and possibly representing some of the earliest settlers.

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Admixture history and recent southern origins of Siberian populations

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Republication from BioRxiv

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siberia

Fig.1. Admixture results for K=6 showing the approximate location of the populations  included in this study. The names of the populations are coloured according to their
linguistic affiliation as follows: red = Mongolic, blue = Turkic, dark green = North
Tungusic, light green = South Tungusic (Hezhen) and Manchu (Xibo), brown = Ugric,
orange = Samoyedic, black = Yenisseic, azure = Yukaghirs, maroon = Chukotko-
Kamchatkan, pink = Eskimo-Aleut, purple = Indo-European, teal = Sino-Tibetan and
Japonic. Where two subgroups are from the same geographic location, only one of the subgroups is shown (full results are presented in Fig.S1). Note that for reasons of space the location of the two distinct Yakut subgroups does not correspond to their true location. Each color indicates a different ancestry component referred to in the text as “(light) green” or European, “yellow” or Western Siberian, “blue” or Central Siberian, “pink” or Asian,  “red” or Far Eastern, “dark green” or Eskimo.

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Irina Pugach, Rostislav Matveev, Viktor Spitsyn, Sergey Makarov, Innokentiy Novgorodov, Vladimir Osakovsky, Mark Stoneking, Brigitte Pakendorf

Collateral relatives of Amerindians among the Bronze Age populace of Siberia?

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Republication from Pub Med

siberia map[maps added by the republisher]

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1999 Feb;108(2):193-204.

Abstract

Nonmetric and metric traits were studied in cranial series representing prehistoric and modern populations of America and Siberia. Frequencies of the infraorbital pattern type II (longitudinal infraorbital suture overlaid by the zygomatic bone) are universally lower in Amerindians than in Siberians. The os japonicum posterior trace, too, is much less frequent in America than in Siberia. The only two Siberian groups with an almost Amerindian combination are late third to early second millennium BC populations from Okunev and Sopka, southern Siberia. The multivariate analysis of five nonmetric facial traits and ten facial measurements in 15 cranial series reveals two independent tendencies.

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Massive migration from the steppe as a source for Indo-European languages in Europe

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Republished from  biorxiv

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We estimate mixture proportions using a method that gives unbiased estimates even without an accurate model for the relationships between the test populations and the outgroup populations (Supplementary Information section 9). Population samples are grouped according to chronology (ancient) and Yamnaya ancestry (present-day humans).

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE POLISH HUSSARS (16th-17th cent.): Evolution, weaponry and tactics

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By Periklis Deligiannis

 

harquebus
A short-barreled harquebus (below) and a pistol (above) of the Polish-Lithuanian Hussars (source: kismeta.com).

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Semi-cuirasses and helmets of Polish hussars of the mid-17th century (National Museum, Krakow). The armor in the background is accompanied by the renowned wing-construction.

In 1386 the Polish Kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were united on the basis of a personal union under the Lithuanian Jagiellonian monarchs. Ladislaus (Russ. Vladislav) II Jagiello, the duke of Lithuania, married Hedwige, the queen of Poland. The royal couple joined their dominions forming a new strong Roman Catholic kingdom centered on Krakow, which included large Eastern European areas. The new state included Lithuania, modern Belarus, most of modern Poland and Ukraine and parts of modern Russia. The Jagiellonian borders were quite close to the Russian metropolises Moscow, Novgorod and Tver. In 1410 the Polish-Lithuanian forces crushed the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg), ensuring a territorial outlet to the Baltic sea for the binary kingdom. Simultaneously the Lithuanians regained Samogitia from the Teutonic Order. Soon afterwards, the princes of Moldavia and Wallachia became vassals of Ladislaus, thereby the Polish-Lithuanian power reached the Black Sea. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was ruled by a Sejm (parliament) of aristocrats and an elected monarch, who was elected by the Polish nobles among the Lithuanian dukes. In 1413 the Polish and Lithuanian nobles confirmed the Polish-Lithuanian union with a treaty.
The Catholic Commonwealth faced the threat of the Muslim Ottomans on its southern borders and of the Orthodox Russians in the East. Moreover, the majority of its people were of Russian origin (who later mostly evolved to the nations of the Ukrainians and Belarusians). At the same time, Poland-Lithuania followed an expansionist policy against the Germans with whom was bordering in the North and West. Ladislaus III, who was also king of Hungary, tried to stem the Turkish advance at Varna (Bulgaria) but he was defeated (November 1444) and the Commonwealth lost permanently the two Danubian principalities. In contrast, the Poles-Lithuanians achieved major victories over the Germans. In 1454 the former conquered some territories from the Teutonic Knights, thus starting the “Thirteen years’ war.” The war ended in 1466 with the Commonwealth being the winner which imposed its overlordship on the Teutonic Knights and won the districts of Pomerellen and Ermland, and the strategic port of Gdansk (Danzig). The Poles-Lithuanians managed to stop the German counter-attack and the Ottoman attack, but failed to achieve the same against the Russians. Since the mid-15th century, the aggressive Grand Duchy of Muscovy pressed hard Lithuania, managing to capture large areas with Russian population, including the major cities of Smolensk and Chernigov. In 1514 the Poles-Lithuanians overwhelmingly defeated the Muscovite army at the battle of Orsza (1514) and later regained Smolensk, Chernigov and other areas.

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SOME SCENARIOS ON THE OUTCOME OF THE UKRAINIAN CRISIS

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By Periklis Deligiannis

ukraine
Russian-speaking combatants gather ammunition from the place of crash of a Ukrainian fighter aircraft.

Many of us remember the classic book “Clash of Civilizations” (1996) of Samuel Huntington, the main successor to the geopolitical school of the British historian Arnold Toynbee, and his remarks on the bipartition of the cultural identity of Ukraine and Turkey, which is dramatically verified for both of them in the last twelve months. Yet Turkey, despite the dramatic events taking place in the country during the last year, does not wobble as much as Ukraine.
Let’s see how things have developed for the Ukrainian crisis and then some scenarios on its solution. The terms of the recent agreement were not really implemented and the Ukraine is possibly moving towards a more violent confrontation. The “big players” (Russia, U.S., E.U. and China) are rather cautious preferring keep waiting, except the rapid Russian annexation of Crimea.
The Western media have probably overstated the financial dependence of Russia from the Western economies, although the American financial reprisals on her have already been felt in the country. Neither Russia can seriously threaten the U.S. in retaliation, but can push to a certain extent the European Union using energy reprisals. Of course the latter did not have any serious problems of energy supply before the energy agreements with Russia, but it now appears to depend a lot on the inexhaustible Russian gas resources, especially Germany, France and the other Northern European nations.
The Ukrainian crisis is the outcome of the constant attempts of the U.S. and the E.U. to penetrate a geopolitical region which Russia considers exclusively her own since at least 1793. However it seems that they have not anticipated the extent of the internal struggle in Ukraine.

What are the reasons of the current embarrassment of the “major geopolitical players”?

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