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The theory presented here offers an alternative population expansion model that seems to better fit the recent genetic research (involving ancient as well as modern DNA investigations) with mainstream archaeological, anthropological and linguistic models.

Linguistic models of Indo-European (IE) dialectal differentiation based on comparative grammar and internal reconstruction (Figure 1) will be used to illustrate this theory, most of which currently follow the mainstream three-stage migration model (Meid 1975). The most common nomenclature of Early, Middle, and Late Proto-Indo-European periods is used (Dunkel 1997).

Such linguistic models consider Proto-Indo-European (PIE) as the product of a long historical development, formed gradually – like most natural languages –, and having thus stages of development (Lehmann 1992). This theory is therefore in contrast with the ‘constellation analogy’ (Clackson 2007, 2013) and similar negations of a concrete community of speakers – defined in time and space – of PIE or any of its later dialects. Historical linguistics can only provide a relative historical framework for individual Indo-European languages and proto-languages, though (Mallory and Adams 2007).

Archaeology works with the concept of culture, and as such it is able to determine timelines. When these timelines complement linguistics beautifully both are able to provide a contextualized historical explanation of linguistic frameworks (Vander Linden 2015; Hänsel and Zimmer 1994). The model set forth by Marija Gimbutas (1953), impressively expanded recently by Anthony (Anthony 2007; Anthony and Brown 2011; Anthony 2013), of potential cultures where Indo-European was spoken, is used in this paper as the basic framework for the potential expansion of Indo-European peoples.

Example of diagram of expansion and relationships of Indo-European languages, based solely on linguistic considerations. Adapted from Adrados (1998).

Example of diagram of expansion and relationships of Indo-European languages, based solely on linguistic considerations. Adapted from Adrados (1998).

Even though Anthony links his theory to a linguistic model developed by phylogenetics (Anthony and Ringe 2015; Ringe, Warnow, and Taylor 2002), it seems more reasonable to avoid such methods, due to their controversial nature and labile results (Pereltsvaig and Lewis 2015).

The theory laid in this paper takes dialectal evolution – lying at the core of any IE expansion model – as its stable framework, and uses genetic investigation (of ancient and modern DNA samples) and its potential relationship with archaeological cultures to establish an expansion model step by step, taking into account that there are complex problems found in correlations of languages with archaeological cultures (Meier-Brügger 2003) and human genetics (Campbell 2015).

Ancestry of any selected population is likely to be a mixture of several ancient groups, which is reflected on the genetic structure (Haak et al. 2010; Skoglund et al. 2012; Malmström et al. 2009; Lazaridis et al. 2014). However, the genetic landscape for ancient populations is limited by the number of ancient DNA samples and ancient populations studied (Hellenthal et al. 2014). For simplicity purposes, results of published papers will be taken into account in this study, including admixture analyses and SNPs of ancient and modern Y-DNA samples only, since mtDNA samples involve a more complex analysis in demic diffusion models – where the paternal lineage of the invaded territory is believed to be replaced or displaced to a certain extent.

Y-DNA haplogroups and subclades will also be referred to as lineage (and standard names from ISOGG will be used), whereas common admixture groups defined in recent papers will be referred to as ancestry.

For the sake of consistency, YFull estimates for year formed and time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of each subclade have been used unless other sources are expressly stated. Also for the sake of consistency, YBP dates have been approximated to BC.

Public data from FTDNA-associated groups R1b, R1b-U106, R1b-P312, R1b-DF27, and R1b-U152 were used in assessing haplogroup distribution in modern populations. Modern physical maps are used to illustrate potential expansion routes of ancient cultures, peoples, and languages, even though they pose a significant danger to the development of a sound model, since they almost invariably involve “a concatenation of weakly supported links that corporately form an ‘arrow’ of dispersion” (Mallory 2014). Map routes are only depicted as a visual help to add movement to the otherwise stationary maps of ancient cultures, peoples, languages, and ancient DNA obtained from scattered burials.


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