Indo-European demic diffusion model


The core problem addressed by this project is the apparent inconsistency found between the previously prevalent theories on Proto-Indo-European migration routes and the most recent research on the genetic make-up of peoples from the Pontic-Caspian steppe.

Careful cross-disciplinary investigation of ancient DNA samples recently published supports a demic diffusion model for the expansion of Indo-European-speaking peoples linked to the expansion of peoples of haplogroup R1b1a1a2-M269 in Eurasia.

More specifically, the Indo-European demic diffusion model advances the theory that Late Indo-European dialects spread directly into central and western Europe through the evolution of western Yamna migrants into the classical Bell Beaker culture, whose East group is the most likely homeland of North-West Indo-European, challenging previous archaeological and linguistic theories based on the expansion through the Corded Ware culture.

Potential consequences of this new model in archaeological and linguistic investigation are outlined in the paper, among them the development of a stable framework of time and space for Indo-European dialectal classification, allowing for a more precise dating of Indo-European branches and their splits and expansions, and why and how they might have occurred.


Introduction.- Previous archaeological and linguistic theories have based the expansion of some Indo-European proto-languages on the spread of the Corded Ware cultures, under the influence of the Yamna horizon.

Materials and Methods.- Investigation of human ancestry of ancient and modern DNA samples have been used together with recent archaeological and linguistic data to obtain a more precise general picture of the evolution of Eurasian cultures, peoples, and languages related to Indo-European languages.

Results.- The Indo-European demic diffusion model proposed advances the theory that the expansion of Indo-European languages from the steppe was linked to the expansion of R1b1a1a2-M269 lineages Eurasia. A North-West Indo-European group most likely expanded directly with western Yamna migrants into the East Bell Beaker culture, and the Corded Ware culture was probably not associated with the expansion of Indo-European languages. That challenges previous archaeological and linguistic theories concerning the dialectal evolution of Late Proto-Indo-European.

pca5_mapa.png Phyisical map of Eurasia overlaid by PCA analysis of free datasets, including Minoans and Mycenaeans[Lazaridis et al. 2017], and Scythian and Sarmatian[Unterländer et al. 2017] samples. PC2 vs. PC1. The graphic has been arranged so that ancestries and samples are located in geographically friendly axes similar to north-south (Y), east-west(X). Symbols are used, in a simplified manner, in accordance with symbols for Y-DNA haplogroups used in the maps. Labels have been used for simplification. Areas are drawn surrounding Yamna/Poltavka, Corded Ware (including samples from Estonia, Battle Axe, and Poltavka outlier), and succeeding Sintashta and Potapovka cultures, as well as Bell Beaker. Corded Ware sample I0104, from Erperstedt, has also been labelled.