Scythian warriors show genetic blending between Europeans and Asians
2012 11 27
Evidence of the potential genetic blending between Europeans and Asians has been discovered by a team of researchers led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) within the remains of Scythian warriors living over 2,000 years ago in the Altai region of Mongolia.
Tracing the lineage routes
The Scythians were already documented as the first large Eurasian culture, but were believed to be the product of migration from Europe. The researchers now suggest that the genetic blending is actually a result of the expansion of Scythian culture over the mountains.
Studies on ancient mitochondrial DNA of this region suggest that the Altai Mountains played the role of a geographical barrier between West and East Eurasian lineages until the beginning of the Iron Age.
After the 7th century BC, coinciding with Scythian expansion across the Eurasian steppes, a gradual influx of East Eurasian sequences in Western steppes is detected. However, the underlying events behind the genetic admixture in Altai during the Iron Age are still unresolved: 1) whether it was a result of migratory events (eastward firstly, westward secondly), or 2) whether it was a result of a local demographic expansion in a ‘contact zone’ between European and East Asian people.
The Altai is a mountain range in Central Asia occupying territories of Russia and Kazakhstan to the west, and of Mongolia and China to the east. Historically, the Central Asian steppes have been a corridor for Asian and European populations, resulting in the region’s large diversity in population today. In ancient times however the Altai Mountains, located in the middle of the steppes, represented an important barrier for the coexistence and mixture of the populations living on each side. And so they lived isolated during millennia: Europeans on the western side and Asians on the eastern side.
A. Geographical location of Pazyryk culture sites in the Altai regions of South Siberia, Kazakhstan and Western Mongolia. B. Pazyryk burial from Baga Turgen Gol site, Bayan-Ölgiy province, Western Mongolia
Extracted DNA tells the story
Research conducted by the UAB, the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology has shed new light on when and how this Eurasian genetic blending took place.
The team extracted and analysed mitochondrial DNA (inherited from the mother, it allows us to trace our ancestors) from the bones and teeth of 19 Pazyryk skeletons dating to the Bronze Age (7th to 10th century BCE) and from the Iron Age (2nd to 7th century BCE) from the Mongolian Altai Mountains.
The remains were extracted from the tombs discovered seven years ago, in which the skeletons of Scythian warriors were discovered and represented the first scientific evidence of this culture in East Asia.
A perfect mix
The results obtained demonstrate that the population from the Iron Age, corresponding to the time when the Scythian culture resided in the Altai Mountains, had a perfect 50/50 mix of European and Asian mitochondrial DNA lineages or sequences, while previous populations showed no signs of this lineage mixture: the DNA analysed in the tombs located in Russia and Kazakhstan belong to European lineages, whereas DNA from the eastern part, in Mongolia, contained Asian lineages.
Spatial frequency distribution maps of East Eurasian lineages
A- Pre-Iron Age period; B- Iron Age period. Frequency values and detailed information for populations 1–8 are shown in table 3. 1- Mongolia (Altai), 2- Gorny Altai, 3- West Kazakhstan, 4- Central Kazakhstan, 5- South Kazakhstan, 6- East Kazakhstan, 7- SW Siberia, 8- Mongolia (Egyin Gol)
“The results provide exceptionally valuable information about how and when the population diversity found today in Central Asian steppes appeared. They point to the possibility that this occurred in Altai over 2,000 years ago between the local population on both sides of the mountain range, coinciding with the expansion of the Scythian culture, which came from the west”, explains Assumpció Malgosa, professor of Biological Anthropology at UAB and coordinator of the research.
Studies conducted until now on ancient DNA samples from the Altai region already indicated that the Scythians were the first large population to be a mixture between Europeans and Asians. However, the only populations to be studied were those on the western part of the Eurasian steppes, suggesting that this mixture was due to population migrations from Europe to the east.
Read the full article at: pasthorizonspr.com
Scythians - Wikipedia
RedIceRadio: Michael Tsarion - Sorcerers and Magicians: Amenists, Atonists, Druids and Scythians
Top 10 Interesting Facts about the Scythians
Latest News from our Front Page
Nigel Farage (UKIP) Speech on the EU, UK & Mass Immigration
2014 03 08
UKIP Nigel Farage Spring Conference speech - 2014
Red Ice Radio:
Nigel Farage MEP - The State of the EU & The Undemocratic Treaty of Lisbon
Labour wins UK by-election as Ukip trumps Tories
The ruling coalition in the UK was dealt a blow in the latest by-election test, as the UK Independence party pushed the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats into third and fourth ...
Pentagon studying Putin’s body language to predict his behavior
2014 03 07
The Pentagon has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years so that researchers can study the body movements of foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in hopes of predicting future behavior.
An article published by USA Today reporter Ray Locker on Thursday and corroborated by documents discovered by RT provides rare insight into a scarcely-discussed military effort that ...
Pentagon Claims That Climate Change ‘Enables Terrorism’
2014 03 07
In it’s latest Quadrennial Defense Review the Pentagon has said that climate change and ’erratic’ climate will cause increased terrorist activity.
The four yearly reports highlight threats that face civilization and this years homed in on climate change causing an increase in terrorism.
It also mentioned that rises in sea levels and other issues associated with a warming planet will lead ...
Scientists Control Tiny Mechanical Probes Inside Human Cells
2014 03 07
Nanotechnology doesn’t get as much attention these days as genetic and stem cell approaches to medicine, but all three aim to target the causes of illness with greater precision and less collateral damage in the rest of the body than conventional approaches.
Nanotech breakthroughs have come more slowly than many had hoped, but a recent success shows progress toward the goal ...
Fukushima: The Ticking Nuclear Bomb. Over 800 Tons of Radioactive Material Pouring into Pacific Ocean
2014 03 07
First published by GR in October 2013
In August this column ran a piece claiming that the Pacific Ocean was being poisoned by radioactive material escaping from Fukushima, two years after the devastating tsunami and meltdown at the Japanese nuclear facility. Three months later, shocking evidence points towards a calamity situation.
Silence from the corporate media.
There is growing evidence coming from ...
|More News » |