Researchers studied nuclear DNA from the remains of 69 individuals who lived across Europe between 8,000 and 3,000 years ago, and the genome data of another 25 ancient Europeans, has uncovered evidence of a previously unidentified migration of people into Europe from the east.
The team, led by David Reich of Harvard Medical School, discovered that the DNA recovered from the Yamnaya, 5,000-year-old steppe herders that lived in western Russia around 5,000 years ago closely matched that of 4,500-year-old individuals from Germany, who were part of a group known as Germany’s Corded Ware Culture.
The Corded Ware Culture is the name given to a wave of people in the Neolithic period, originating from the Carpathian mountains and the area now called the Baltic States during the Copper Age, and spreading outward into Asia and Europe, beginning about 3000 BC.
Corded Ware Culture is related to Bell Beaker Culture.
These people brought with them innovations in plow farming and pastoralism, contributing to the development of agriculture.
The domestication of horses and the invention of the wheel would have allowed them to travel great distances.
Contemporary northern Europeans, including Norwegians, Scots, and Lithuanians maintain the strongest genetic link to the Yamnaya, but Reich’s research team says it’s possible that the Yamnaya completely replaced populations in what is now Germany.
The data supports the idea that at least part of the Indo-European language family was spread by the steppe herders.
According to a report in Nature News ‘the origin of these languages — which include Germanic, Slavic and Romance languages as well as many of the languages spoken on the South Asian subcontinent — is mired in controversy.’
The researchers’ opinions are divided. Some of them say that the tongues were spread by Middle Eastern farmers around 8,500 years ago.
But Reich and his team support the ‘steppe hypothesis’ favoured by other researchers, according to which herders living around the Black and Caspian Seas spread the languages around 6,000 years ago.
Source : messagetoeagle.com