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mtDNA of nomads of Eurasian steppes?

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  • mtDNA of nomads of Eurasian steppes?

    On the PBS series SECRETS OF THE DEAD, a program called Amazon Warrior Women showed ancient female burials at Prokhorovka in the Eurasian steppes. The researcher said mtDNA studies were done to match a living blonde Mongol girl to the 2,300 year old skeleton. What Haplogroup were these nomads, described as Sauromatians?

  • #2
    That PBS show was on again tonight, on WLRN. They never said what the mtdna haplogroup was, only that the girl matched it. I had been googling for it and haven't found anything.
    Does anyone know what it is?

    I'm wondering if it was faked. If there really was an mtdna match afterall. Or, if it really was a match, then why hasn't it been revealed?
    Last edited by rainbow; 10 June 2008, 11:06 PM.

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    • #3
      who were the males in her clan?

      Y-DNA R1a(1) is found in Altai Siberia (next to Mongolia) & even Siberia in general. I'm distantly related to a couple of them, according to my Y-haplogroup section at my FTDNA page. The girl in question may be haplogroup U (I'm just speculating).

      R1a1 & U5b2

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      • #4
        I don't know about the males. The PBS show wasn't about males. All the warriors that were dna tested turned out to be female. The show was about the women warriors/Amazons that lived and died on the steppes over 2,000 years ago. They said the mtdna matched the dna of a living girl in western Mongolia.
        http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/prev...zon/clues.html
        It says the DNA sequences are identical, but doesn't say what they are.
        The 'clues and evidence' section is blank.
        Last edited by rainbow; 10 June 2008, 11:52 PM.

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        • #5
          East Asian Mongols took a lot of slaves. The blonde could have been a dscendant from such a mix. There is also speculation amongst some members that Genghis Khan had red hair. I highly dispute this as he is portrayed in historical paintings as being asiatic, but if he did somehow have red hair it could also been due to Mongols taking white women as slaves after killing off the menfolk.
          I also highly disupute that the Huns were somehow Caucasian which is what some members speculate. Historical documents by romans describe the huns as asiatic. NOT caucasian. It reminds me of those who say Jesus was black.

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          • #6
            things that no one discuses is how poeple have been mixed from the begining ...
            you have never seen any blond asian types ? lots of them in finland and central asia .. it does not mean they were ever in Europe. blond and fair is not exclusive to Europe. it never was . no mater what they tell you . blond is only as europian as our stereotypes are ..

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            • #7
              All I wanted to know is what the mtdna is. What are the sequences?

              The PBS show included info that one Egyptian artifact was found in the warriors grave, but didn't say what the mtdna was. I realize that the average tv viewer wouldn't understand certain details and maybe it was left out for that reason, but it is a very important detail. In my opinion (my curiosity), the mtdna should be made public.

              It isn't about 'blondes'. They looked for a blonde because old myths about the Amazons said the Amazons were tall blondes.

              Forensic reconstruction '272' was brunette. Just like Xena. lol

              Back to the point....what is the mtdna?
              Last edited by rainbow; 11 June 2008, 08:52 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PDHOTLEN
                Y-DNA R1a(1) is found in Altai Siberia (next to Mongolia) & even Siberia in general. I'm distantly related to a couple of them, according to my Y-haplogroup section at my FTDNA page. The girl in question may be haplogroup U (I'm just speculating).

                R1a1 & U5b2

                Thanks for offering some insight.
                I tend to think of mtdna U as Greek-ish, so it could be U. Legends say they fought the Greeks, so they were in the same vicinity.
                I have no idea what the males were. Since the girls family was so far out East..in western Mongolia...I suppose the present-day ydna would be Asian. I think the girls biological father may have been a blond Russian, or whatever. They said on the show that she looked nothing like her siblings (was she the only blonde?) and her mom had dark hair.

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                • #9
                  DNA--Amazon Warrior Women

                  HI; Ive e-mailed the PBS ? site & asked for Haplogroup & mutations on the young blonde girl- - will see if there are any responses --KAT.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kat
                    HI; Ive e-mailed the PBS ? site & asked for Haplogroup & mutations on the young blonde girl- - will see if there are any responses --KAT.
                    Thank you

                    edit: http://i28.tinypic.com/ws8ak1.gif
                    Last edited by rainbow; 11 June 2008, 09:43 PM.

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                    • #11
                      my vague view...

                      Western ("Caucasian") peoples expanded toward the east before the Mongol/Turks expanded westward. That's my general impression. So the males would have been accompanied by their respective female counterparts (not counting slave raids). All of that following the domestication of the horse, I would guess.

                      In my case (Y-haplogroup section of my FTDNA page), there was an Altai-Siberian and a "native" Siberian. I assume the latter means that he was not from the gulags (prisoners from Europe).

                      R1a1 & U5b2

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PDHOTLEN
                        Western ("Caucasian") peoples expanded toward the east before the Mongol/Turks expanded westward. That's my general impression. So the males would have been accompanied by their respective female counterparts (not counting slave raids). All of that following the domestication of the horse, I would guess.

                        In my case (Y-haplogroup section of my FTDNA page), there was an Altai-Siberian and a "native" Siberian. I assume the latter means that he was not from the gulags (prisoners from Europe).

                        R1a1 & U5b2
                        From what is known nowadays, that seems to be true.
                        The most famous example is the Tocharians mummies. Tocharians were in the east long before the Huns went west.
                        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Asia_001ad.jpg

                        It would be interesting to know whether your R1a1 matches are from those Europeans that lived in Asia thousands of years ago, or from the gulags/prisons.

                        About the Amazon myth. Amazons were supposedly tall & blonde. I had read in a Herul link that the Alans were tall and blond. The map in the link I posted here shows the Alans near the Black Sea (?). My guess is that the Amazons could have been female Alans.

                        Did the Alans cast away their female offspring and only keep the males?
                        The Amazons were known to only keep their female offspring. Maybe there was a war of the sexes? lol
                        Last edited by rainbow; 11 June 2008, 10:41 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Oops. Sorry. Should be 'Caspian Sea', not Black Sea'.
                          I'm not perfect.

                          I recall that in the PBS tv show it was said that the Mongolian girl was a Kazakh living in western Mongolia. Kazakhs were/are from near the Caspian Sea, where the Alans lived.
                          Last edited by rainbow; 11 June 2008, 10:57 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I know that in some people's eyes it isn't politically correct to bring up the subject of blond hair & blue eyes, because some might suspect that those interested in this topic are subscribing to some sort of Aryan theory.

                            But I think it is a scientifically valid question; after all the phenomenon is observed, particularly among Europeans. Blond hair & blue eyes are truly a remarkable phenomenon, when one considers that for countless millenia all people everywhere had black hair & brown-black eyes. Matter of fact, the principle of parsimony suggests that dark features have dominated the human appearance for the last 10 million years or more. I say this because, not only do the vast majority of people have black hair & black eyes, but chimpanzees & gorillas share this feature as well. One could infer that the MRCA had this complexion & all generations in between were overwhelmingly like this, as well.

                            I think it is valid to ask:

                            1. How many times has blond hair come into being? ditto red hair? ditto blue & green eyes? Was there one single occurance? Or has this developed in a number of isolated cases & then diffused among the population?

                            2. In which population(s) did this mutation originally occur?

                            3. Why was this mutation selected? Is there any selective advantage? Or was it just carried along because another feature, with a nearby gene on the chromosome, was advantageous?

                            4. How did this mutation spread to the various ethnic group that contain this feature today?

                            There might be other valid questions as well. My understanding is that the gene for blond hair is located adjacent to a gene that causes lactose tolerance into adulthood. As natural selection increased the number of lactose tolerant people in a dairy consuming population, sooner or later, some of them appeared to be blond. Cattle were domesticated in either Anatolia or Syria. Cattle herders crossed from Anatolia to the Balkans in about 7000 BC. This population was probably NOT proto Indo-European, but may have spoken a Semitic or a Caucasian language. If the lactose tolerance theory is right, then we could presume that blond hair developed in either Anatolia or the Balkans in response to dairy consumption in a NON Indo-European population.

                            I think that PDHOTLEN may have hit the nail on the head when he said that "Horsemen rule!". The proto-Indo-European population almost certainly domesticated the horse, as is demonstrated in "The Horse, The Wheel, and Language", by David Anthony. Most people who ride horses use them for raiding, at least at the onset. The PIE riders on horseback seemed to have plucked anything they wanted from the agriculturalists of Anatolia & the Balkans. Imagine if blond hair, blue-eyed women were at the top of their list. Only a small minority of agricultuiralists may have had this feature, but if the riders selected them & brought them home, blond haired features may have rapidly become concentrated in the PIE gene pool -oddly a form of self-domestication. This may be the story of how a population with Asian origins in the male line (R1a/ R1b) came to have blond features.

                            Perhaps after countless generations, some of the women rebelled. By then, they were no doubt experts at horseback riding & all of them probably had blond hair. This feature could have spread all across the steppes.

                            Timothy Peterman

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                            • #15
                              I just want to know what the mtdna is.

                              All women (and men) around the world today got here because their female and male ancestors were fighters/survivors in one way or another. The Amazon myth just happens to be the most famous. PBS made a whole tv show about it and I can't believe they didn't reveal the haplogroup. That's just annoying. It's like watching a mystery on tv and leaving out the who-done-it part.
                              Last edited by rainbow; 12 June 2008, 03:38 PM.

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