East Hunter-Gatherers

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) ancestry is represented by two individuals from Karelia – one of haplogroup R1a1a1-M417 (ca. 6425 BC) and the other of haplogroup J (ca. 5250 BC) – and one individual from Samara (ca. 5600 BC), of haplogroup R1b1a1a-P297. It has more ANE ancestry than any other ancient or modern population, being close to the sample from Afontova Gora (ca. 15980 BC), to the west of Lake Baikal.

The oldest aDNA sample of R1a-M420 lineage found in east Europe was at Vasylivka, dated ca. 8690 BC, at the same site of a later sample of haplogroup R1b1a2-V88, dated ca. 7250 BC. These and other three Mesolithic samples from Ukraine show an intermediate situation between EHG and Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer ancestry. Later, during the transition of the Mesolithic to Neolithic, a decrease in ANE ancestry and an increase in WHG ancestry is observed.

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EUROPE’S FOUR STRANDS OF HUNTER-GATHERER ANCESTRY

  • Most modern populations in Europe are mixtures of different ancestral strands.
  • By retrieving DNA from ancient fossils, it allows scientists to unpick the genetic melting pot that formed these modern populations.
  • The latest study has identified a fourth group of early Homo sapien hunter gatherers who helped to make up European DNA.
  • First, a group that migrated out of Africa are thought to have travelled through Turkey and into Europe around 45,000 years ago.
  • A second group who had settled in the Levant developed agriculture and then migrated into Europe around 6,000 to 7,000 years ago.
  • The newly identified group who settled in the Caucasus and were isolated from all other groups around 25,000 years ago.
  • They then interbred with other human groups from further east to lead to the Yamnaya culture, who then migrated into Europe around 5,000 years ago.

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