Saturday, April 4, 2015

Wolfgang Haak [AKA Davidski] and David Anthony: Their Evolving Story

I noticed this evening on the Eurogenes blog, the stealth blog of Wolfgang Haak, Mr. Bronze Age Mass Migration from the Steppe, that he is now receiving emails from David Anthony (The Horse, The Wheel, and Language) to the effect that a "teal" autosomal admixture component "might be from a Mesolithic population from the Southern Steppe and/or north Caucasus".  (See "Comment from the "Teal People" post", below.)

If you have a look at the Admixture data in Davidski's post, it is apparent that in addition to "teal" rich populations in the Southern Steppe, the "teal" component appears in the Mal'ta ancient DNA from Lake Baikal during the Upper Paleolithic, and in the 7,000 year old Karelia Hunter Gatherer Northwest Russia sample. 

Karelia (with R1a ydna) is not in the Southern Steppe.  Lake Baikal Mal'ta (with R1 ydna) is not in the Southern Steppe.  So, that should be a hint that the "teal" component is not confined only to the Southern Steppe.  Not during the Upper Paleolithic and not during the Mesolithic.

This is a map of the Republic of Karelia, in red, next to Finland:

As you can see, there is nothing southern about Karelia.  In fact, the Republic of Karelia is about as far from the Southern Steppe as it is from Central Europe.

I am not the only one to have noticed the wide distribution of the "teal" component.  A number of other bloggers have also mentioned it.

Why the interest in the "teal" admixture component?  The interest stems from the fact that it is one of three major components that appear among Europeans of today.  The "teal" component is the only one of three components that did not appear in the Mesolithic ancient DNA of France (Loschbour sample) or Iberia (La Braña).  So this "teal" component has to have been introduced into France and Iberia from somewhere else since then.

The problem is that, based on ancient DNA results so far, it could have been introduced into parts of Europe much earlier than Haak and Anthony have suggested, much earlier than the Bronze Age.

For as long as possible, Wolfgang Haak and David Anthony will likely continue on with their story, but sooner or later, with more ancient DNA data, the reality of the Upper Paleolithic/Mesolithic widely distributed "teal" component is going to arrive.    Broader sampling of this "teal" component likely won't support a nicely confined Southern Steppe Bronze Age origin for Indo-European languages.

Will we see a retraction of Haak's paper?  Probably not. 

Comment from the "Teal People" post:

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