Ancient genomes suggest western Iron Age nomads originate from eastern Pontic-Caspian steppe

Published: 2018-10-08


A team of scientists led by Anders Götherström from Stockholm University has utilized the services of the SciLifeLab National Genomic Infrastructure (NGI) to investigate the demographic dynamics in the Pontic-Caspian steppe – stretching from the northern shores of the Black Sea as far east as the Caspian Sea.

Sequencing of 35 genomes of Bronze Age individuals and Iron Age nomads suggest that, despite genetic links among these peoples, no group can be considered a direct ancestor of the other. The nomadic populations were heterogeneous and carried genetic affinities with populations from several other regions, including the Far East and the southern Urals. The authors found evidence of a stable genetic signature, making the eastern Pontic-Caspian steppe a likely source of western nomadic groups.

Read the full paper in Science Advances