A more recent, revised and updated version of this paper has been published (2019)

Uralic and Yukaghir

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The expansion of R1a1a1-M417 lineages may have disrupted the Early Proto-Indo-European R1b1a1a-P297 community thriving in east Europe. In this context, R1a-M417 lineages might have spoken Uralo-Yukaghir languages when arriving in the Forest Zone from the east, and Uralic could therefore be considered a superstratum over a Pre-Indo-European substratum. A Uralo-Yukaghir community spread over Eurasia is supported by the east-west direction of cultural innovations in the region, and by the finding of maximum Ancient North Eurasian ancestry in modern-day Kets, Mansi, Native Americans, Nganasans and Yukaghirs[Flegontov et al. 2016].

On the other hand, R1a1a1-M417 lineages may have brought a Yukaghir superstratum to the Indo-Uralic spoken in the Forest Zone (an equivalent to Early Proto-Indo-European in this macro-family proposal) by R1b1a1a-P297 communities similar to the Narva samples, developing a Proto-Uralic-speaking community.

Given the early sample of R1a-M420 in the Mesolithic north Pontic area – and maybe the rare subclade R1a5-Z645 found in Estonia[Saag et al. 2017] –, it would also be possible, although unlikely given the available archaeological data, to propose that only pottery was adopted from the east, and that the migration of R1a-M420 subclades (including R1a1a1-M417) happened from the north-west Pontic area, with a back-migration of these lineages to the Baikal region.


  • [Flegontov et al. 2016] ^ Flegontov, P., P. Changmai, A. Zidkova, M. D. Logacheva, N. E. Altinisik, O. Flegontova, M. S. Gelfand, E. S. Gerasimov, E. E. Khrameeva, O. P. Konovalova, T. Neretina, Y. V. Nikolsky, G. Starostin, V. V. Stepanova, I. V. Travinsky, M. Triska, P. Triska, and T. V. Tatarinova. 2016. Genomic study of the Ket: a Paleo-Eskimo-related ethnic group with significant ancient North Eurasian ancestry. Sci Rep 6:20768.
  • [Saag et al. 2017] ^ Saag, Lehti, Liivi Varul, Christiana Lyn Scheib, Jesper Stenderup, Morten E Allentoft, Lauri Saag, Luca Pagani, Maere Reidla, Kristiina Tambets, Ene Metspalu, Aivar Kriiska, Eske Willerslev, Toomas Kivisild, and Mait Metspalu. 2017. Extensive farming in Estonia started through a sex-biased migration from the Steppe. bioRxiv.