Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

May 12, 2011

Sorbs: relics of the Ostsiedlung

Filed under: Anthroplogy,Genetics,Genomics,Slavs,Sorbs — Razib Khan @ 10:13 pm

Relics of a lost race?

One of the issues which I have been exploring and mulling over the past year and a half on this weblog has been the idea that population movements were much more extensive in the past than we have thought until late. I can say a year and a half because my thinking was clarified and made more urgent by the publication in January of 2010 a paper which totally overturned what we’d thought we’d known about what Y chromosomal phylogeography told us about European prehistory. A very common marker in Western Europe which had been assumed to be diagnostic of roots in Europe in the Pleistocene past was now argued to be a signature of the pulse of farmers out of the Middle East! The extremely high frequency of this marker among the Basques, and the presumption that the Basques were the Paleolithic ur-Europeans, allowed researchers in the early 2000s to peg the proportion of Paleolithic hunter-gatherer ancestry across Europe on the order of ~75%. At this point we don’t have total clarity, though I would argue that we need to lean ever ...

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