137 ancient human genomes from across the Eurasian steppes

Peter De Barros Damgaard, Nina Marchi, Simon Rasmussen, Michaël Peyrot, Gabriel Renaud, Thorfinn Korneliussen, J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar, Mikkel Winther Pedersen, Amy Goldberg, Emma Usmanova, Nurbol Baimukhanov, Valeriy Loman, Lotte Hedeager, Anders Gorm Pedersen, Kasper Nielsen, Gennady Afanasiev, Kunbolot Akmatov, Almaz Aldashev, Ashyk Alpaslan, Gabit BaimbetovVladimir I. Bazaliiskii, Arman Beisenov, Bazartseren Boldbaatar, Bazartseren Boldgiv, Choduraa Dorzhu, Sturla Ellingvag, Diimaajav Erdenebaatar, Rana Dajani, Evgeniy Dmitriev, Valeriy Evdokimov, Karin M. Frei, Andrey Gromov, Alexander Goryachev, Hakon Hakonarson, Tatyana Hegay, Zaruhi Khachatryan, Ruslan Khaskhanov, Egor Kitov, Alina Kolbina, Tabaldiev Kubatbek, Alexey Kukushkin, Igor Kukushkin, Nina Lau, Ashot Margaryan, Inga Merkyte, Ilya V. Mertz, Viktor K. Mertz, Enkhbayar Mijiddorj, Vyacheslav Moiyesev, Gulmira Mukhtarova, Bekmukhanbet Nurmukhanbetov, Z. Orozbekova, Irina Panyushkina, Karol Pieta, Václav Smrčka, Irina Shevnina, Andrey Logvin, Karl Göran Sjögren, Tereza Štolcová, Kadicha Tashbaeva, Alexander Tkachev, Turaly Tulegenov, Dmitriy Voyakin, Levon Yepiskoposyan, Sainbileg Undrakhbold, Victor Varfolomeev, Andrzej Weber, Nikolay Kradin, Morten E. Allentoft, Ludovic Orlando, Rasmus Nielsen, Martin Sikora, Evelyne Heyer, Kristian Kristiansen, Eske Willerslev*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    For thousands of years the Eurasian steppes have been a centre of human migrations and cultural change. Here we sequence the genomes of 137 ancient humans (about 1× average coverage), covering a period of 4,000 years, to understand the population history of the Eurasian steppes after the Bronze Age migrations. We find that the genetics of the Scythian groups that dominated the Eurasian steppes throughout the Iron Age were highly structured, with diverse origins comprising Late Bronze Age herders, European farmers and southern Siberian hunter-gatherers. Later, Scythians admixed with the eastern steppe nomads who formed the Xiongnu confederations, and moved westward in about the second or third century bc, forming the Hun traditions in the fourth-fifth century ad, and carrying with them plague that was basal to the Justinian plague. These nomads were further admixed with East Asian groups during several short-Term khanates in the Medieval period. These historical events transformed the Eurasian steppes from being inhabited by Indo-European speakers of largely West Eurasian ancestry to the mostly Turkic-speaking groups of the present day, who are primarily of East Asian ancestry.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNature
    Volume557
    Pages (from-to)369-374
    ISSN0028-0836
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Cite this

    De Barros Damgaard, P., Marchi, N., Rasmussen, S., Peyrot, M., Renaud, G., Korneliussen, T., Moreno-Mayar, J. V., Pedersen, M. W., Goldberg, A., Usmanova, E., Baimukhanov, N., Loman, V., Hedeager, L., Pedersen, A. G., Nielsen, K., Afanasiev, G., Akmatov, K., Aldashev, A., Alpaslan, A., ... Willerslev, E. (2018). 137 ancient human genomes from across the Eurasian steppes. Nature, 557, 369-374. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0094-2