R1b-M343 and West Hunter-Gatherers
Haplogroup R1b-M343 was deemed to have originated ca. 16400 BC in Western Asia[Karafet et al. 2008], and it was proposed that these lineages survived the Last Glacial Maximum in refugia near the southern Ural Mountains and the Aegean Sea[Lobov 2009]. It was also proposed that its latest westward migration happened during the Late Neolithic[Myres et al. 2011].
However, an Epigravettian individual of haplogroup R1b1a-L754, dated ca. 12030 BC, was found in Villabruna[Fu et al. 2016]. Based on the most recent data of modern populations, an origin of R1b1a-L754 ca. 16900 BC is suggested, with a time to MRCA ca. 15100 BC. Another old European sample classified as R1b-M343 comes from a western hunter-gatherer in Iboussieres.
Hunter-gatherers from the Iron Gates prove the regional continuity of haplogroup R1b1a-L754 (xR1b1a1a-P297, xR1b1a1a2-M269). These samples were probably from branches that have not survived in modern populations, and they cover an extensive period spanning from the first half of the 10th millennium to the first half of the 6th millennium BC, with the latest samples showing already Middle East farmer ancestry[Mathieson et al. 2017][González-Fortes et al. 2017].
More samples possibly related to these ancient branches are found later in Ukraine, Iberia, and central European Neolithic in Quedlinburg as R1b1a-L754 (xR1b1a1a2-M269) ca. 3590 BC[Haak et al. 2015]. These samples, coupled with R-M207 samples found in Ganj Dareh (Iranian Neolithic) in the first half of the 9th millennium might suggest a southern Eurasian migration route for R1b1-L278 lineages, through the Iranian plateau.
The samples of basal R1b-M343* lineage in modern populations of southern Kazakhstan[Myres et al. 2011] and Iran[Grugni et al. 2012] give further support to the southern migration route into Europe. Basal R1b1-L278* lineage was found in five cases out of 5,326 cases studied – 3 Italians, 1 West Asian, 1 East Asian[Cruciani et al. 2010] –, which also point to a potential ancestral migration into Europe.
Mesolithic R1b-M343 lineages from Villabruna (Italy ca. 12000 BC) to the latest south-eastern European hunter-gatherers cluster closely together. Their ancestry is defined as of Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG), which includes hunter-gatherer individuals from Bichon (Switzerland ca. 11700 BC), Loschbour (Luxembourg ca. 6100 BC), as well as samples from La Braña (Iberia ca. 5865 BC), and Koros (Hungary ca. 5710 BC). Ancient individuals from France, Sicily, Croatia, France, and Germany share this ancestry, which suggests that WHG was distributed widely in Europe for at least six thousand years, and probably expanded from a south-eastern European refugium following the last Ice Age ca. 13000 BC[Mathieson et al. 2017].
Diachronic map of Palaeolithic migrations.
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