Advances in Anthropology
2013. Vol.3, No.2, 101-111
Published Online May 2013 in SciRes (http://www.scirp.org/journal/aa) http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/aa.2013.32014
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 101
DNA Genealogy and Linguistics. Ancient Europe
Anatole A. Klyosov1, Giancarlo T. Tomezzoli2
1The Academy of DNA Genealogy, Newton, USA
2European Patent Office, Munich, Germany
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Received March 19th, 2013; revised April 20th, 2013; accepted April 27th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Anatole A. Klyosov, Giancarlo T. Tomezzoli. This is an open access article distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any
medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This article attempts to merge the data of contemporary linguistics and DNA genealogy in order to de-
scribe the migrations and settlement of peoples and languages in Europe after the last Ice Age. In the new
paradigm, three important groups of players have been identified: —R1a haplogroup bearers, condition-
ally identified as Aryans. They arose around 20,000 years before the present (ybp) in central Asia and the
Altai Mountains; after their migration along the southern route, they arrived in Europe between 10,000 -
9000 ybp, bringing proto-Indo European (PIE) and Indo European (IE) languages. In 4800 ybp they mi-
grated eastward from Europe to the Russian Plane and then to India. About 3000 - 2500 ybp they mi-
grated with their IE languages from the Russian Plain back to central, western, and southern Europe, lay-
ing the genetic groundwork for peoples later called Celts, Germans, Italics, Greeks, Illyrians, and Balto-Slavs.
—E, F, G, J, I, K haplogroup bearers. The dates of their arrival in Europe (sometime before 5000 ybp)
and their migration routes remain obscure. They apparently spoke non-IE languages. —R1b haplogroup
bearers, called the Arbins. They arose about 16,000 ybp in central Asia, and migrated to Europe along a
northern route. They arrived in Europe between 4800 and 4500 ybp bringing with them several non-IE
languages. It seems that the arrival of the Aryans (R1a) in Europe was peaceful. There are no clear indica-
tions that their arrival triggered any sort of violence. However, the migration of the Arbins (R1b) was
marked by an almost complete elimination of the E1b, F, G2a, J, I1, I2, and K haplogroups from Europe.
Our analysis of current linguistic theories in the light of DNA genealogy data demonstrates that: —the
Anatolian theory is generally compatible with DNA genealogy data; —the Vasconic and Afro-asiatic
substratum theory is partially in agreement with DNA genealogy data; —the Kurgan theory and the Pa-
laeolithic Continuity Theory (PCT) appear incompatible with the history of Europe based on haplogroup
data. —the “Out of Africa” theory has questionable validity.
Keywords: Y Chromosome; Mutations; Haplotypes; Haplogroups; SNP; Linguistics; Anatolian Theory;
Vasconic; Kurgan; Palaeolithic Continuity
DNA genealogy is an historical science that allows research-
ers to trace the migration and evolution of populations. DNA
genealogy studies the molecular history of DNA by analyzing
the mutations in the Y chromosome (in males) and in the
mtDNA (in males and females). The haplotypes of the Y chro-
mosome are rather accurate tools; for example, using 111-
marker haplotypes resolves DNA-lineages down to 5-genera-
tion increments; mtDNA is a much cruder tool, and its resolu-
tion stops at a few thousand years.
Many distinct linguistic theories have attempted to pin down
when ancient populations speaking different languages settled
in Europe after the last Ice Age. These theories offer supporting
arguments, discuss the interrelationships with other theories,
and often contest, contradict, or reject aspects of other linguistic
theories concerning the settlement of ancient Europe. In this
paper, we 1) establish a reasonable migration/linguistic/settle-
ment paradigm for ancient Europe from the Paleolithic to the
Common Era, and 2) summarize the major linguistic theories of
the last 120 years. Then, using the tools of DNA genealogy, we
3) compare our results with the hypotheses of the linguistic
Ancient Migrations to, from, and wi thin Europe as
Revealed by DN A Genealogy
The α-haplogroup of the Y-chromosome (cf. Figure 1),
which is present in almost all males living today (except certain
archaic African lineages A0, A00, etc., not shown in Figure 1,
since their dating is still uncertain), arose around 160,000 ybp
(Klyosov & Rozhanskii, 2012a) in a location currently un-
known. Essentially, the α-haplogroup was carried by the com-
mon ancestor of what we think of as anatomically modern man.
We can only conjecture where that common ancestor might
have lived; it seems that he could have lived in the vast triangle
from Central Europe and Ireland to the west, through the Rus-
sian Plain to the east, to the Levant in the south (Klyosov &
Rozhanskii, 2012a). This huge area is defined by the greatest
number of ancient skeletal fragments of anatomically modern
homo sapiens (AMH) found in Europe (dated between 45,000 -
43,000 ybp) (Benazzi et al., 2011; Higham et al., 2011), and in
the Russian Plains of eastern Europe (dated between 40,000 and
A. A. KLYOSOV, G. T. TOMEZZOLI
Haplogroup tree of the H. sapiens Y-chromosome derived from haplotypes
and subclades (Klyosov & Rozhanskii, 2012a). The African branch is on
the left, the non-African one is on the right. The diagram was composed
using 7415 haplotypes from 46 subclades of 17 major haplogroups. The
timescale on the vertical axis shows thousands of years from the common
ancestors of the haplogroups and subclades.
35,000 ybp or even between 45,000 and 42,000 ybp, when op-
tically stimulated luminescence dating of the settlements is used)
(Prat et al., 2011; Anikovich et al., 2007).
Figure 1 shows the estimated dates of the occurrence of hu-
man haplogroups (Klyosov & Rozhanskii, 2012a). To compose
this tree, we analyzed 7415 haplotypes from 46 subclades of 17
major haplogroups. The α-haplogroup, which is ancestral to
both the African and non-African haplogroups, arose about
160,000 ybp. The left branch represents current African hap-
logroups, which arose 160,000 - 140,000 ybp. The non-African
β-branch arose ~64,000 ybp; β and its descendants were not
descendants of the African branch but share a common ancestor.
Haplogroups F through T represent Europeoids (Caucasoids)
who arose ~58,000 ybp (Klyosov & Rozhanskii, 2012a).
Some contemporary Africans are bearers of recently discov-
ered haplogroups A0, A00, etc. which arose some 200,000 -
260,000 years ybp, or even earlier (Mendez et al., 2013). These
might be the only truly African haplogroups. With respect to
mutation, they are very distant from other haplogroup A haplo-
This study concentrates on the haplogroups on the right-hand
side of the diagram in Figure 1. Two of them, R1a and R1b,
descended from the R1 haplogroup, which is shown in Figure 1.
R1a is the group, conditionally called the Aryans, which em-
braces about 50% of the current population of Eastern Europe.
This group has the same DNA as the legendary Aryans, who
arrived to India around 3500 ybp. Currently, approximately 72%
of the some upper Indian castes belong to the R1a haplogroup
(Sharma et al., 2009).
Haplogroup R1a apparently arose about 20,000 ybp (Klyosov
& Rozhanskii, 2012b) in central Asia and possibly in the
southern Siberia region of the Altai Mountains. Its ancient sub-
clade M17 is observed in north China (Klyosov, 2009). R1a
bearers migrated from central Asia across Tibet, Hindustan, the
Iranian Plateau, and Anatolia between 12,000 and 10,000 ybp.
Their downstream subclade, M417, crossed Asia Minor and en-
tered the Balkans between 10,000 and 8000 ybp. It is appar-
ently their arrival in the Balkans which strontium isotope mea-
surements dated at 8200 ybp (Boric & Price, 2013). The M417
subclade spread all over Europe sometime between 9000 and
5000 ybp. Around 5700 ybp, the recently discovered Z645
branch of haplogroup R1a developed. In 4900 ybp (Rozhanskii
& Klyosov, 2012), we find a Eurasian branch, Z283, and its
South-Eastern branch Z93, along with the downstream branch
Z342.2/Z94 and the central Eurasian branch Z280. The central
Eurasian branch R1a-Z280 embraces about half of all contem-
porary east European males, and the Aryan branch R1a-Z94 is
currently observed in Russians, Ukrainians, and in southern
Asian populations in like the Kyrgyz, the Kazakh, and the Tajik
peoples. This branch also exists in Iran, India, in the Middle
East, and along the ancient migration route from the Russian
Plain to the Middle East, particularly in Armenia and Turkey.
The R1a haplotypes which were excavated in the Andronovo
archaeological sites east of the Ural Mountains, and which have
been dated at between 3800 and 3400 ybp (Keyser et al., 2009),
probably belong to the Z94-L657 subclade (Klyosov, 2013).
It seems that only two subclades, Z94 and L657, can be con-
sidered descendants of the Aryans in the traditional sense.
These subclades match the history, archaeology, and languages
of the steppe people. They rode chariots and, in the middle of
the 2nd millennium BC, arrived in India (Indo-Aryans), Iran
(Avesta Aryans), and Mesopotamia (Mitanni Aryans) (Klyosov
& Rozhanskii, 2012b).
R1b bearers, called the Arbins, comprise about 60% of the
current population of western and central Europe. R1b appa-
rently arose around 16,000 ybp (Klyosov, 2012b) in central
Asia, perhaps in the Altai region. Its subclade, M73, is ob-
served in Siberia and central Asia; subclade M269 is found in
Bashkortostan near the South Urals; between 6200 and 5500
ybp, subclade L23 and its downstream subclade Z2105 can be
found on the Russian Plain, in the Caucasus, and in Mesopota-
mia; between 5500 and 5000 ybp subclades L51 and L11 are
found on the migration route between the Middle East and the
Pyrenees. R1b-U106 and P312 arose in Iberia around 4800 ybp
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
A. A. KLYOSOV, G. T. TOMEZZOLI
and apparently became the initial population of the Bell Beaker
culture of continental Europe. L21 apparently arose in the south
of France about 4000 ybp and moved to England and Ireland
sometime later. A common ancestor of nearly 25% of the cur-
rent Irish population, who lived around 1500 ybp (Klyosov,
2012b), belonged to M222, a subclade downstream of L21.
In addition to R1a bearers, since ~9000 ybp in Europe, and
R1b bearers, since ~4800 ybp in Europe, ancient Europe was
inhabited by bearers of other haplogroups, among them E1b,
G2a, F, I1, I2, J2, K. Their migration routes and dates of arrival
in Europe remain obscure. Haplogroups E1b and J2 apparently
moved to Europe from North Africa or from the Middle East.
Haplogroup G2a moved apparently from the Near Asia, proba-
bly from the Iranian Plateau. Haplogroups I1 and I2 might have
moved westward from the Russian Plain, as had haplogroups
IJK (see Figure 1), between 45,000 and 40,000 ybp. The arrival
of haplogroups F and K in Europe has not been dated.
Recently, ancient bones in Spain dated as 7000 ybp (Lacan et
al., 2011) have been shown to belong to E1b-V13. Strikingly
enough, present day bearers of E1b-V13 haplotypes all coalesce
to a common ancestor who lived only 3600 ybp. In other words,
the contemporary V13 haplotypes reveal a gap between 7000
and 3600 ybp. The same gap pattern is observed in almost all
the haplotypes of ancient Europe—except haplogroup R1b,
which apparently played an important role not only in the set-
tlement of, but also in the replacement of other haplogroups in
It seems that the arrival of the Aryans (R1a) in Europe had
been peaceful; there are no indications that it might have been
genetically or otherwise violent. However, the arrival of the
Arbins (R1b) was marked by almost complete elimination of
the autochthonous haplogroups from Europe; E1b-V13 prac-
tically disappeared, and started to proliferate only around 3600
ybp; G2a fled to the Asia Minor and to Mesopotamia and Cau-
casus; R1a fled to the Russian Plain; I1 nearly disappeared and
started to proliferate only around 3600 ybp; I2 fled to England,
Ireland, and to the Russian Plain. I2 started to proliferate in
Eastern Europe only around 2300 ybp. Only R1b itself has
proliferated without pause from approximately 4200 ybp; a gap
between 4800 and 4200 ybp is not filled with their common
ancestors as yet.
This brief historical outline of the settlement of Europe pro-
vides the basis for our consideration of the movement of peo-
ples and languages in Europe from about 9000 to the beginning
of the Common Era (2000 ybp).
How Haplogroups and Languages Are Connected
DNA genealogy allows us to trace the migrations of ancient
tribes and peoples, but, to date, it has not helped us to unambi-
guously trace languages. Neither haplogroups nor languages
stay the same in the course of migrations: haplogroups can
disappear as a result of extermination, epidemics, and ecologi-
cal catastrophes; in such cases the languages spoken by the
haplogroup bearers typically disappear. On occasion, however,
the languages are adopted by other tribes. In some cases the
invaders adopt the language of the conquered people—when,
for example, the women of a conquered people continue to
teach their own language to their children, or when a conquered
people has a more advanced civilization than its conquerors.
Even if the haplogroup maintains itself during the course of
long migrations, languages evolve following the rules of glot-
tochronology and the natural dynamics of linguistic evolution.
However, in some cases, a language can migrate and evolve
along with the migration and evolution of haplogroups over
long periods of time and over large distances. There are several
conditions that must be met if our study of these cases is to be
productive: 1) the connection between the haplogroups and
languages has to be verified by linguistics, DNA, and archae-
ology, 2) the languages must have evolved in time and distance,
3) the languages can be adopted by bearers of different hap-
logroups in certain cases.
We have said above that haplogroup R1a migrated across
Anatolia to the Balkans between 10,000 and 8000 ybp; the
group spread throughout Europe, moved east to the Russian
Plain, and then went to India. The first date is supported by the
fact that we find PIE in Anatolia between 10,000 and 9000 ybp
(Gray & Atkinson, 2003; Bouckaert et al., 2012). PIE could
have been formed and evolved during the long migration from
the Altai Mountains to Anatolia. Then, the language migrated
with the same R1a haplogroup to the Balkans and across
Europe, where around 6000 ybp it split into branches; members
of haplogroup R1a arrived around 4800 - 4600 ybp on the Rus-
sian Plain as speakers of Indo-European language(s). DNA
genealogy has confirmed that haplogroup R1a arrived in India
as the legendary Aryans around 3500 ybp; even today nearly
72% of some Indian upper castes are R1a bearers (Sharma et al.,
Therefore, it seems that it was indeed haplogroup R1a carried
PIE from about 20,000 to 10,000 ybp, and IE (or some kind of
proto- or pre-IE languages from about 10,000 to 3500 ybp. The
facts that 1) the peoples of the Russian Plain continue to speak
IE languages, and 2) up to 63% of Russians today belong to
haplogroup R1a, and 3) there are marked similarities between
the Slavic languages and Sanskrit, permit us to conclude that
the migration of bearers of haplogroup R1a were also bearers of
Proto Indo European and Indo European languages.
We can add to our earlier description of haplogroup R1b’s
(the Arbin’s) migratory route the following points: around 6500
- 6000 ybp, on its way from the Russian Plain south over the
Caucasus and probably—concurrently—along the eastern side
of the Caspian Sea and Eastern Iran, it moved to the Middle
East, the Tigris and Euphrates basin; between 6000 and 5000
ybp it apparently established the Sumerian civilization; between
4800 and 4500 ybp it moved to Europe following several routes.
One route brought the Arbins through Northern Africa to the
Pyrenees. Between 4800 and 4500 ybp, they arrived in conti-
nental Europe as bearers of the Bell-Beaker culture; another
route brought the Arbins to Europe through the Mediterranean
islands and the Apennines; around 4500 ybp, yet another route
brought the Arbins to Europe via the Pontic steppes.
In the first part of their migration, along the northern Eura-
sian route, the Arbins crossed territories, populated at least for
the last two millennia (and very probably also much earlier), by
speakers of Turkic languages, such as Chuvashes, Bashkirs,
Tatars. We can conclude that the Arbins might have carried
languages which were proto-Turkic, or Dene-Caucasian, or
Sino-Tibetan. We tentatively call these languages Arbin, or R1b,
or Non Indo European (NIE) agglutinative languages. In the
Caucasus, the Arbins left the northern Caucasian group of lan-
guages, together with a characteristic vigesimal counting sys-
tem. Two thousand years later, the Arbins brought the same
base-20 counting system to the Pyrenees. The R1b bearers
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A. A. KLYOSOV, G. T. TOMEZZOLI
brought their Arbin language(s) first to Mesopotamia, then to
the Sumer state (Assyrians, the likely descendants of the
Sumerians, today are largely R1b bearers, which is unusual for
the Middle East [Klyosov, 2012b]), then to Iberia, where the
present day Basques, 87% - 93% of whom belong to hap-
logroup R1b, also employ the vigesimal counting system. As
Bell Beaker tribes the Arbins moved north to continental
Europe, and brought their agglutinative NIE languages, which
apparently were spoken in Europe between 4500 and 3500 -
3000 ybp, and up into the Common Era (e.g., probably, Picts)
and to the present (Basques).
During the period of 3000 - 2300 ybp many R1a tribes mi-
grated with their IE languages from the Russian Plain to central,
western and southern Europe bringing to Europe the peoples
later called Germans, Italics, Greeks, Illyrians, Balto-Slavs, and
Celts (the Hallstatt and La Tene cultures flourished between
2600 and 2400 ybp). We posit that some Arbin peoples adopted
the IE languages from the R1a bearers and, in exchange, intro-
duced NIE loan words and grammatical structures. One group
of Arbins were forebears of the Basques in the Pyrenees and the
South of France, as well as the Picts in northern Scotland, and,
possibly, the Etruscans in Tuscany.
Linguistic Theories Regarding the Ancient
Let us move now to current linguistic theories about ancient
European settlements, and compare their notions with those of
The Vasconic and Afro-Asiatic Substratum Theory:
The Linguistic View
The Vasconic and Afro-asiatic substratum theory of Venne-
mann (2003) proposes that several millennia after the end of the
last Ice Age, when the glaciers receded (around 10,000 ybp),
NIE peoples started to settle in southern Europe. These peoples
were responsible for many European toponyms, hydronyms,
and floral and faunal names, some of which have survived up to
our times. Krahe (1954, 1964) believed that many of these
toponyms and hydronyms were Indo European, but Vennemann
was convinced that they contained NIE roots. Krahe argued that
hydronyms from the Atlantic were imposed on the Baltic shore
areas before 3500 ybp, and preceded the formation of the IE
Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Illyrian, Venetic and Italic language
groups. Because of their similarities, Krahe concluded that the
toponyms and hydronyms descended from a common language
system he named Old European (OE). According to him, Old
European constituted a language layer intermediate between
PIE and the IE Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Illyrian, Venetic and
Italic language groups.
Schmid (1987, 2001) extended Krahe’s OE concept by in-
cluding the Eastern Slavic languages. Vasconic is what Ven-
nemann called the language family of the NIE populations
which imposed the toponyms and hydronyms. The Basque
language would be the only surviving language of this family.
Another argument in support of the Vasconic theory is the per-
sistence in modern languages of traces of the base 20 counting
system that would be a relic of the Vasconic culture.
Vennemann (2003) also observed that on the Atlantic shore
area of Europe there are toponyms that are neither Vasconic nor
IE. He named the languages responsible of these toponyms Se-
mitidic. According to Vennemann, these languages were related
to the Mediterranean Hamito-Semitic languages, and were spo-
ken along the Atlantic shore between 7000 and 3000 ybp. The
Semitidic languages influenced IE superstratically (i.e., loaning
terms for animals, advanced cattle breeding, buildings, warfare,
and social organization—especially among the Germans of
northern Europe) and substratically (i.e. contributing loan terms
for plants, animals and herding, especially among the insular
Celts). From about 7000 ybp onward, the Semitidic peoples—
thought to be builders of megaliths—moved north along the
Atlantic coast, reaching Great Britain and Ireland about 6000
ybp and Sweden about 5000 ybp.
According to Baldi et al. (2006) there are several weak points
in this theory: no megaliths have been dated before the Bronze
Age (3500 - 2800 ybp); contrary to the traditionally accepted
evidence that the Celts settled the Britain and Ireland no earlier
than 4000 ybp, Vennemann’s theory requires a Celtic presence
in England and Ireland about 7000 ybp; the building of mega-
liths by Semitidic settlers is opposed by Renfrew and other ar-
chaeologists; finally, Vennemann (2003) assumed that the Picts
of northern Scotland were an Atlantic population or at least a
population speaking an Atlantic language. A similar hypothesis,
according to which the Picts were a NIE people, was set out by
Zimmer (1898) on the basis of the Pictish customs of tattooing
and their matrilineal social organization.
Vennemann assumes no genetic connection between IE lan-
guages and Vasconic and Semitidic languages. The expansion
of the OE toward north Europe was restricted by the expansion
of IE populations which adopted the Vasconic toponyms, hy-
dronyms, and other lexical items related to the natural envi-
ronment. The Basques, now living in a restricted region be-
tween France and Spain, speak the only descendant language of
OE or, according to Trask (1995, 1997), a patchwork of NIE
languages is uncertain.
Kuzmenko (2011) has reviewed the lexical borrowings made
by the Indo-European languages of Europe from an “unknown
substrate.” In his opinion, most linguists of the last century
agree that an unknown substrate contributed not only to Ger-
man languages but to all European IE languages. Kuzmenko
finds merit in Vennemann’s hypothesis (2003) that the Basque
language is the only surviving representative of the unknown
The Vasconic and Afro-Asiatic Substratum Theory:
The View of DNA Genealogy
The Vasconic and Afro-asiatic substratum (VAAS) theory is
partially confirmed by DNA genealogy.
DNA genealogy does not support the assumption of the
VAAS theory that NIE populations began their European set-
tlement in southern Europe after the end of the last Ice Age
(about 10,000 ybp). Instead, it reveals that between 4800 and
4500 ybp (Klyosov, 2012b) the Arbins (R1b) moved into
Europe using several routes (Northern Africa and the Pyrenees;
the Mediterranean and the Apennines; the Pontic steppes).
There were no speakers of Vasconic in Europe before 4800
However, the notion that Vasconic is a descendant of the an-
cient Arbin language is in agreement with DNA genealogy data.
Concerning the European toponyms, hydronyms, and the names
of flora and fauna which have survived to the present, Venne-
man’s hypothesis—that they are NIE—is acceptable, provided
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
A. A. KLYOSOV, G. T. TOMEZZOLI
that his temporal estimate (10,000 ybp) be adjusted to 4800 ybp
or later. DNA genealogy is in general agreement with the hy-
pothesis of Krahe—that the languages are OE because, accord-
ing to DNA genealogy, the Arbins (R1b) and their NIE lan-
guages migrated as bearers of the Bell-Beaker culture (mainly
R1b) and apparently dominated Europe between 4500 and 3000
ybp. Krahe (1954, 1964) appears to be correct in assuming that
the Vasconic toponyms and hydronyms were imposed before
According to DNA genealogy, the Vasconic language family
is nothing other than an alternate name for the NIE languages
of the Arbins (R1b). In other words, the NIE language of the
contemporary Basques (R1b haplogroup) is probably a surviv-
ing descendent language of the NIE languages of the ancient
Arbins (R1b). A common ancestor of present day Basques,
most of whom belong to haplogroup R1b, lived around 3700
ybp, which reflects a population bottleneck of the Arbins who
arrived in Europe 4800 years ago (Klyosov, 2012b).
The vigesimal counting system used both by the Basques and
by the people of the Caucasus is supported by DNA genealogy
data as a characteristic suggesting a connection between the
ancient Arbins (R1b) (who migrated along the Northern route
across the Caucasus, the Mediterranean islands, and northern
Africa to Central Europe) and the isolated ancestors of the
Basques in the Pyrenees region.
Concerning the Semitidic, or Atlantic group of languages
postulated by Vennemann (2003), they might indeed have sur-
vived into the Common Era, and could have been spoken by the
Picts of northern Scotland. The haplogroup of the Picts is un-
known at present, but it might have been I1 or I2, because both
haplogroups can be found in Britain today, and their common
ancestor lived more than 15,000 ybp (Klyosov, 2010; see also
Figure 1). The majority of the population of England and Ire-
land carry the R1b haplogroup, which came to Britain and Ire-
land after 4200 ybp. Indo European apparently belonged to the
Aryan tribes (R1a); Non Indo European belonged to the Arbin
tribes; Semitidic belonged to haplotypes I1, I2, and G2. The
three linguistic communities had a common ancestor who lived
around 55,000 ybp (Klyosov & Rozhanskii, 2012a). Therefore,
Vennemann’s suggestion that there were no genetic connec-
tions between IE languages, Vasconic languages, and Semi-
tidic/Atlantic languages seems to be justified.
The Anatolian Theory: The Linguistic View
Renfrew (2001), in summarizing the Anatolian theory, af-
firms that PIE, or the PIE family of languages, or the pre-PIE
languages (Diakonov, 1984), were formed in central Anatolia
during the Neolithic (about 9000 ybp), and that the PIE or IE
languages were diffused throughout Europe from West Anato-
lia along with the diffusion of the agriculture, which was Phase
I of the PIE.
According to Renfrew (2001), reliable radiocarbon datings
indicate that the domestication of plants and animals from West
Anatolia reached Greece and Crete around 8500 ybp. Linguistic
changes in Greece and in the Danube and Balkan areas were
due mainly to demic migrations during the 9th and 7th millennia
ybp. It is possible that around 3500 ybp the diffusion of agri-
culture east of what is now Ukraine could have brought speak-
ers of Tocharian to the Chinese Sinkiang/Xinjiang.
On the basis of their study of 87 languages and 2449 lexical
items, Gray and Atkinson (2003) and Gray et al. (2011), sug-
gest that an initial IE divergence occurred between 11,800 and
9800 ybp, allegedly in Anatolia. This is consistent with the
separation of archaic PIE from pre-PIE; Ryder and Nicholls
(2011) indicate a unimodal posterior distribution for PIE at
about 10,400 ybp, which supports the Anatolian theory; other
linguistic studies by Sturtevant (1962), Dolgopolsky (1987,
1993), Gamkrelidze and Ivanov (1984, 1995), Pringle (2012)
and Bouckaert et al. (2012) also support the Anatolian theory.
Interestingly, Bouckaert’s study is based on a model of spatial
diffusion of infectious diseases. Renfrew (2001) affirms that a
first linguistic advergence area was formed in the Balkan region
between 7000 and 5000 ybp, which was Phase II of PIE.
Some linguistic characteristics of the Celtic and Tocharian
languages indicate that they were not part of the Balkan lin-
guistic advergence area. The disaggregation of the Balkan ad-
vergence linguistic area, which occurred at around 5000 ybp,
indicates the end of Phase II of PIE, and the separation of
proto-Greek from proto-Thracian, proto-Dacian, proto-Phrygian
and others. At about the same time, there was a separation of
the proto-Indo-Iranian spoken in the northern area of the Black
Sea from its diffused form on the Iranian plateau and in India.
Renfrew (2001) asserts that other IE languages were developed
in advergence areas, where now their descendant languages are
The Anatolian Theory: The View of DNA Genealogy
The Anatolian theory is generally compatible with DNA ge-
nealogy data, although the linguistic theory is silent about the
evolution of PIE before 10,000 - 9000 ybp.
As we discussed above, the proto-Aryans (R1a) migrated
westward across Anatolia around 10,000 - 9000 ybp, which fits
the linguistic estimates of Renfrew—9000 ybp (2001), Diako-
nov—11,800 to 9800 ybp (1984), and Gray et al. (2003, 2011).
Diffusion of agriculture, demic diffusion, and non-demic diffu-
sion are concepts beyond the purview of DNA genealogy,
though migrations of the proto-Aryans (R1a) from Anatolia to
the Balkans about 9000 - 8000 ybp could represent Phase I of
PIE. The later spreading of the Aryans (R1a) along with their
IE languages across Europe about 8000 - 5000 ybp could rep-
resent Phase II of PIE. The migrations eastward of Proto-Ary-
ans to the Russian Plain and their split (about 4500 - 3500 ybp)
into at least four migration routes to the south, southeast, east
southeast, and east toward India could represent Phase III of
The suggestion of the Anatolian hypothesis that Tocharian
languages were not part of the Balkan linguistic advergence
area is conditionally supported by DNA genealogy. According
to Gray and Atkinson (2003), the Tocharian languages were an
archaic branch, which arose around 7900 ybp, and were spoken
by R1a populations in the Tarim basin. Based on the dating of
the Tocharian language and the relatively high linguistic dis-
tance of Tocharian A and B from the other IE languages
(Tomezzoli & Kreutz, 2011), it is unlikely that the proto-
Tocharians migrated westward to Europe and the Russian Plain
with the proto-Aryans (R1a), and then moved back to the Tarim
Basin. It is more likely that the proto-Tocharians migrated from
the Altai region of north China to the nearby Tarim basin and
remained there (never going to Europe), forming the autoch-
thonous R1a peoples of Central Asia. The Anatolian hypothesis
groups these Tocharians rather superficially with Europeans (Li
et al., 2010), without any DNA justification—their haplotypes
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 105
A. A. KLYOSOV, G. T. TOMEZZOLI
were not even reported for a comparison with European R1a
haplotypes. It is not enough to consider Tocharians as Europe-
ans on the basis of their somatic features and their clothing
which, in 4000 ybp, looked like Scottish plaid. In fact, plaiding
techniques could equally well have been brought to Europe by
R1a tribes from the Altai and Central Asia.
Still, there is some room for the Tocharian languages to be
considered as derivatives of the archaic European R1a lan-
guages of the IE family. Tocharian is possibly an ancient Cen-
tum branch. In that case, we have to admit that Gray and At-
kinson’s (2003) estimate of their appearance (7900 ybp) should
be reduced at least to around 6000 ybp. There should also be a
recognition of an earlier migration (between 6000 - 5500 ybp)
of R1a bearers from Europe to the Altai region, and their possi-
ble contributions to the Afanasyevo archaeological culture and
perhaps to the Centum Tocharian languages in the area, includ-
ing the Tarim basin. This concept is verifiable; if Afanasyevo
bones not too far away from the Tarim basin are dated at least
5000 ybp and are shown to belong to the R1a-Z93 subclade, the
case for a migration of R1a from Europe to the Tarim basin will
be well supported.
DNA genealogy data disallows Anatolia as the homeland of
PIE and IE languages. DNA records show that these languages
had no specific homelands—R1a bearers migrated over thou-
sands of miles during the course of thousands of years. No ar-
chaeological site can be possibly identified as a location in
which IE split into branches—the branching of IE was a con-
tinuous process of divergence and convergence over millennia.
According to DNA genealogy data (see Figure 1), the prede-
cessors of those who spoke PIE languages might have migrated
50,000 ybp or earlier from the unknown birthplace of the
β-haplogroup. The birthplace might have been in Europe, the
Russian Plain, or south Siberia (where they arrived between
40,000 - 35,000 ybp). Much later, sometime after 20,000 ybp,
they migrated westward along with the R1a haplogroup via Ana-
tolia, to the Balkans, to the Russian Plain and Pontic steppes, to
the Middle East, Middle Asia, the Iranian plateau, the Ural
mountains, Hindustan, South Siberia (again), North China, and
Mongolia. All of these locations are migrational passing points
and not homelands for the predecessors of the IE languages.
The Kurgan Theory: The Linguistic View
During the Mesolithic and the Neolithic, during the dry and
cold period of the Younger Dryas (12,800 - 11,500 ybp), NIE
and PIE peoples settled along the shores of the Black Sea. Ac-
cording to the Kurgan theory, Proto Indo European formed in
this area. At about 7600 ybp (Ryan et al., 1998), due probably
to a cataclysm, the waters of the Mediterranean Sea entered the
Black Sea through the Bosporus, triggering a rise in the water
level and the submersion of many human settlements. The cata-
clysm caused extensive migrations toward the Balkan region
and Central Europe; it ultimately gave rise to the formation of
the Neolithic cultures of Vinča and the Linearbandkeramic
Marija Gimbutas (1991) defined Ancient Europe as the
European Culture developed between the 9th and the 7th millen-
nia bp in the area of the Balkans, Greece, Adriatic region,
Moldavia and Ukraine before the arrival of the IE bearers. Ear-
lier (1956), she had provided a rather comprehensive descrip-
tion of the cultural level of an ancient Europe characterized by
well organized settlements, mixed orticular economies, high
quality sculpture and ceramics, and elaborate religious tradi-
tions. This materialized in the cultures of Bükk, Butmir, Cu-
cuteni-Trypillia, Dimini, Karanovo, Lengyel, Petreşti, Vinča,
The languages spoken in Ancient Europe were NIE, as indi-
cated by the survival of NIE agricultural, technological and
social terms, toponyms, and personal and tribe names. Between
7500 and 6300 ybp Ancient Europe developed an advanced
civilization, excelling in metallurgy. The Model of the Steppe,
or the Kurgan model, or the Kurgan hypothesis, or the Kurgan
theory was developed mainly by Gimbutas (1994, 1997), (see
the synthesis by Marler ); it proposes the presence, in
about the 7th millennium bp, of territorial, nomadic, pastoral
peoples speaking PIE languages. This Kurgan culture was situ-
ated in the area of the Dnepr and Don basins, the middle and
lower Volga basin, and in the Caucasus and Ural mountains.
The tombs, covered by round tumuli named kurgans often con-
tained weapons and other artifacts, suggest a culture that was
patrilineal, pastoral (with rudimentary agriculture), territorial,
and nomadic. The Kurgans had domesticated the horse around
7000 ybp (Bököny, 1997; Gimbutas, 1956).
The Kurgan culture had characteristics different from those
of the cultures of Ancient Europe, indicating to Gimbutas that it
had not developed from the cultures of Ancient Europe.
A first migration of Kurgan peoples, according to Gimbutas’
theory, took place about 6400 - 6300 ybp, as a result of the
progressive drying of the steppes during the 8th and the 7th mil-
lennium bp. The Kurgans moved towards Bulgaria, the Danube
basin, and Central Europe. This migration is given support by
the increasing number of kurgan tombs (discovered between the
egalitarian tombs of the Ancient Europe cultures), the fortifica-
tion of settlements, the damage to the settlements of the Varna,
Karanovo-Gulmeniţa, Vinča, Lengyel and LBK cultures, and
the replacement of some Ancient Europe cultures by new Kur-
gan cultures. The development of IE languages was due to lan-
guage substitution and bilinguism.
A second migration took place around 5500 ybp from the
area north of the Black Sea through Ukraine toward Poland,
and central and east Germany. This migration led to the forma-
tion of hybrid-cultures: the Baden complex in the middle Da-
nube basin (which had the Vinča culture as substrate), the Ez-
ero culture in Bulgaria (which had the Karanovo culture as
substrate), the Globular Amphora culture in Romania, West
Ukraine, Poland, and Germany (which had the Trichterbe-
cherkultur [BK] as substrate). In parallel with the development
of these hybrid-cultures, the fragmentation of PIE into several
IE languages took place.
A third migration, this one from the Volga steppes, took
place between 5000 and 4800 ybp. It was more massive than
the other two as witnessed by the numerous Yamnaya culture
burials in the Balkan region and East Hungary. This migration
caused the displacement of the hybrid cultures of central Europe
toward northern Europe, southern Scandinavia, the Baltic area,
and central Russia. This last migration was followed by a pe-
riod of stability characterized by the formation of cultural
groups (Gimbutas, 1994, 1997) which spoke distinct IE lan-
The Kurgan Theory: The View of DNA Genealogy
DNA genealogy data suggests that the Kurgan theory is
incompatible with the history of Europe.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
A. A. KLYOSOV, G. T. TOMEZZOLI
According to the DNA data, PIE arrived in the Balkans after
a long migration from central Asia. Using strontium isotopic
measurements, Boric and Price (2013) have shown a significant
increase in non-local individuals in the Balkans from ~8200
ybp. This generally coincides with the arrival in the Balkans of
R1a peoples and IE languages. Neither the people nor the lan-
guages came from the Pontic steppes.
DNA genealogy indicates 1) a migration of R1a peoples
eastward from Europe to the Russian Plain between 4800 and
4600 ybp (i.e. a direction opposite to that suggested by the
Kurgan theory), and 2) a migration of R1b peoples from Asia to
the Russian Plain and then southward between 7000 and 5000
ybp, and westward, between 5500 and 4500 ybp. In other words,
the migrations of the Arbins (R1b) and the Aryans (R1a) were
separated in time and went in largely opposite directions. Over-
all, NIE speakers were moving west to Europe and south to the
Caucasus; IE speakers were moving east. The Kurgan theory
posits language migration in the opposite directions. In other
words, the Kurgan theory distorts the whole pattern of what
happened in Europe and the Russian Plain between 5000 and
3000 ybp. Additionally, contrary to what is proposed by the
—PIE speakers and their languages were not settled or
formed along the shores of the Black Sea between 12,800 and
11,500 ybp. At present, we don’t know which haplogroups
were the most affected by the Black Sea cataclysm. The victims
might have been G2a, E1b, F, I1, I2, etc., with survivors mov-
ing westward, to Europe.
—Ancient Europe cannot be considered as having an estab-
lished European culture developed between the 9th - 7th millen-
nia bp in the area of the Balkans, Greece, the Adriatic, Molda-
via, or Ukraine before the arrival of IE. In fact, the IE speakers
(R1a) arrived in the Balkans and further in Europe between the
10th - 8th millennia bp.
—The languages spoken in Gimbutas’ Ancient Europe were
not totally NIE. In fact, the arriving IE speakers (R1a) intro-
duced their IE languages between the 10th - 8th millennia bp.
The survival of NIE agricultural, technological and social terms,
toponyms, and personal and tribe names cannot be considered
an argument supporting a totally NIE Ancient Europe, since
from the 10th millennium on IE and NIE languages co-existed
—Gimbutas’ theory is in error when it proposes the forma-
tion of territorial, nomadic, pastoral populations speaking PIE
languages (collectively named the Kurgan culture), in the 7th
millennium bp in the area of the Dnepr and Don basins, the
middle and lower Volga basin, the Caucasus and the Ural
mountains. In fact, there were no PIEs (R1a) at those times in
those territories. The Kurgan theory apparently has inverted the
roles of the NIE (R1b) and the IE (R1a).
—The Kurgan theory is in error in ascribing kurgans, no-
madism, and the domestication of horses to speakers of IE who
lived around 7000 ybp. Instead, these cultural features should
be ascribed to NIEs (R1b) who migrated westward.
—Gibutas claims that IE speakers migrated to Europe three
times--first, between 6400 and 6300 ybp; second, around 5500
ybp (from the area North of the Black Sea); third, between 5000
and 4800 ybp (allegedly from the Volga steppes). These claims
are unsupportable. There were no IEs (R1a) in the Volga step-
pes between 5000 and 4800 ybp or earlier; they arrived between
4600 and 4300 ybp. Had they been in the steppes, they would
have been moving from Europe eastward. As we suggested
above, there might have been an ancient migration route for
R1a bearers (between 6000 - 5000 ybp). That route has not
been proven as yet. If it is proven, it will most certainly be a
migration to the east rather than the west as Gimbutas alleged.
The Palaeolithic Continuity Theory: The Linguistic
Writing a half century after Gimbutas proposed the Kurgan
theory, Alinei (2001) asserts that a great IE invasion in the
Chalcolithic, triggering a total ethnic and linguistic substitution
on a continental scale, is simply inconceivable. He suggests that
the greater part of the common Neolithic IE lexicon, (i.e. loan
words designating innovative devices like the plow, the yoke,
the wheel, some domesticated animals, plants, and some met-
als), was already diversified in almost all the IE languages dur-
ing the Mesolithic and the Neolithic.
With respect to the Anatolian hypothesis, Alinei (2001) ob-
serves that limited migrations in the Balkans and Central
Europe from Anatolia, even over a few millennia, are not suffi-
cient explanation for the development and differentiation of IE
languages in Europe. Moreover, these migrations cannot ex-
plain the relatively large number of NIE toponyms in the Ae-
gean area and the NIE words in Greek and other languages in
southern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Spain. These ob-
servations, according to Alinei, support the hypothesis that the
populations coming from Anatolia were NIE speakers and that
the Neolithic in Europe was a period of complex acculturation
and geographical differentiation in which small migrating
groups played a limited role with respect to the populations
already inhabiting Europe.
The fact that the greater portion of the grammatical structure
of Celtic, Germanic, Italic, Greek, Illyrian, and Balto-Slavic is
different from IE grammatical structures indicates that they
could not have been formed in the Chalcolithic or Eneolithic.
Alinei (2001) indicates that that the only possible solution to
the linguistic conundrum is offered by the Palaeolithic Continu-
ity Theory (PCT). PCT is supported by paleoanthropologists
who have concluded that that not only Homo erectus but also
Homo habilis and perhaps even Australopitecus were able to
speak (Tobias, 1996). Some researchers in the cognitive sci-
ences have reached the same conclusion, (i.e., to explain the
innate character of human language it is necessary that Austra-
lopithecus had some capacity for language [Pinker, 1994]).
Thus, the structural portions of all human languages, including
PIE (i.e. words, affixes, syntax) allegedly were formed a long
time ago in Africa as part of human evolution.
Alinei (2001) believes that Neolithic Europe would have
been occupied by IE, NIE and Uralic peoples, though the NIE
speakers would have influenced the IE languages only by con-
tact and adstrates. Although he excludes the possibility of a
massive invasion of Europe during the Chalcolithic or Neolithic,
Alinei (2001) notes that an important hybridization took place
in southern Europe at the beginning of the Neolithic as a result
of the infiltration of NIE populations and the migrations of the
Kurgan peoples during the Chalcolithic. Other hybridizations
took place during the Bronze Age. However, these hybridiza-
tions would have altered the languages and cultures of the IE
populations only superstratically.
Alinei (2001) asserts that Celtic and northCeltic peoples oc-
cupied western Europe, including Brittany and Ireland, before
the retreat of the glaciers, and that they created megalithism and
the TBK cultures. During the Palaeolithic, the Italide or Italoide
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 107
A. A. KLYOSOV, G. T. TOMEZZOLI
ethnolinguistic peoples occupied southern Europe from the
Iberian Peninsula to Dalmatia. During the Neolithic, the Balkan
area was influenced by NIE migrant groups of farmers, who
created the Balkan Sprachbund, (i.e. the Balkan group of lan-
guages: Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Albanese, and
According to Alineli (2001) the Kurgan culture introduced
Turkic, not Iranian, influences to IE languages, and the border
between the Trypillia and the Srednyj Strog cultures is the bor-
der between Slavic and Turkic cultures. In this theory, the late
Combat Axe population were the IE peoples influenced by the
Kurgan culture. Furthermore, according to the Uniformity Prin-
ciple of historical linguistics, the languages of Europe during
the Bronze Age correspond to the languages of modern Europe
(i.e., the areas of Bronze Age civilizations correspond to dia-
lectal language areas, which in turn correspond to each IE lan-
The Palaeolithic Continuity Theory: The View of
The Palaeolithic Continuity Theory appears incompatible
with the history of Europe based on DNA genealogy data.
The PCT places the origin of PIE languages in Europe in the
Upper Palaeolithic (minimum 10,000 ybp), and links it to the
arrival of people in Europe from Africa; it proposes the conti-
nuity of peoples and languages in Europe for the last at least
10,000 ybp. This view is contradicted by DNA genealogy data.
The only parts of the PCT which find support from DNA
—PIE languages arrived in Europe around 10,000 ybp; they
did not, however, arrive from Africa, but from Asia, via Anato-
—Words designating innovative devices, domesticated ani-
mals, plants and some metals, were already diversified in IE
languages, and were not brought by R1b “invaders” who ar-
rived in Europe at the beginning of the 5th millennium bp.
According to DNA genealogy data, genealogical lineages or
haplogroups, and languages in Europe have not shown a con-
tinuous pattern. In fact, according to DNA genealogy data:
—IE (R1a) populations fled from Europe to the Russian
Plain around 4600 ybp. There were at least ten R1a tribes each
with a distinct subclade/SNP and/or branch of haplotypes,
which migrated back to Europe after 3000 ybp.
—Haplogroup G populations were almost completely elimi-
nated in Europe between 4500 and 4000 ybp, apparently by the
arrival of the Arbins (R1b); the survivors fled to Asia Minor,
Mesopotamia and the Caucasus. There are excavated haplo-
types of E-V13 dated 7000 ybp; however, the common ancestor
of contemporary E-V13 bearers lived only 3500 ybp, indicating
a population bottleneck .
—Haplogroup I1 populations were almost completely elimi-
nated in Europe between 4500 and 4000 ybp; they went through
a severe population bottleneck until around 3600 ybp, which
was a new beginning for I1 haplotypes in Europe.
—Haplogroup I2 populations were almost completely exter-
minated in Europe 4500 ybp, and the survivors fled to England
and Ireland, and to eastern Europe. Present day I2 populations
have common ancestors at 4800 ybp and 2300 ybp, respectively
—NIE speakers (R1b) arrived in Europe near the Pyrenees
around 4800 ybp; they arrived at the Apennines and the Bal-
kans from the Pontic steppes, around 4500 ybp. These migra-
tions caused major disruptions in the populations and languages
of Old Europe.
There are other aspects of PCT that are questionable in the
light of DNA genealogy:
—The notion that a few millennia in the Neolithic and a lim-
ited number of migrations to the Balkans and central Europe
from Anatolia were not sufficient for the development and dif-
ferentiation of the IE languages in Europe is questionable. In
fact, IE speakers (R1a) were in Europe from about 10,000 to
about 4500 ybp. Thus, it cannot be assumed that there was a too
short time for “development” and “differentiation” of IE lan-
—The proposal of the PCT that the arrival of IE languages
from Anatolia cannot explain the relatively large number of
NIE toponyms in the Aegean area and the NIE words in Greek
and other languages of South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica
and Spain (see above; Alinei, 2001) is questionable. The IE
speakers (R1a) did not come to an empty Europe, there already
were NIE populations of haplogroups E, F, G, I1, I2, J2, K, etc.
So, IE languages were very likely introduced in a NIE speaking
Europe. Moreover, the PCT assumption that the populations
coming from Anatolia were NIEs (see above) is contradicted by
DNA genealogy data. It might well be, though, that some other
haplogroups/tribes speaking NIE languages also migrated to
Europe about between 10,000 and 9000 ybp; nevertheless, even
if that had happened, it would not change the language land-
scape of ancient Europe.
—The PCT suggestion that the structural portions of all hu-
man languages, formed long ago in Africa in connection with
human evolution (see above) appears erroneous. Nobody can
responsibly exclude the idea that H. habilis and Australopith-
ecus were able to speak; however, DNA genealogy has shown
that non-Africans do not have “African” SNPs on their Y
chromosomes (Klyosov & Rozhanskii, 2012; Klyosov et al.,
2012). Africans and non-Africans have plenty of SNP-muta-
tions from a common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees;
however, non-Africans have apparently, not received them
from the Africans (ibid.). As a consequence of this lack of
DNA data, it is hard to imagine that African languages could
have evolved into PIE languages. Overall, it is highly ques-
tionable that “anatomically modern homo” arose in Africa
(Klyosov & Rozhankii, 2012; Klyosov et al., 2012; Bednarik,
2012, 2013), see also Figure 1.
—The suggestion of the PCT that Celtic and north Celtic
populations occupied Western Europe, including Brittany and
Ireland, as long ago as before the retreat of glaciers appears
erroneous. According to DNA genealogy data, Celtic IE lan-
guages reached England and Ireland in the 3rd millennium bp.
Their languages were imposed on the existing NIEs (R1b). This
explains why Indo European languages are spoken today in
Britain and Ireland by R1b populations (around 90% and above
of today populations) plus a few (singular per cent) of R1a, I1,
I2, and other minor haplogroups populations in Britain and
Earlier Genetic Studies
This section describes a number of erroneous statements
made in the early stages of genetic genealogy (also called
genogeography and/or population genetics), in the 1990s and
2000s. Some of these statements still carry weight in linguistics.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
A. A. KLYOSOV, G. T. TOMEZZOLI
The founding fathers of genetic genealogy claim, for example,
that bearers of R1b lived in Europe 30,000 ybp (Wells et al.,
2001; Wells, 2006), or between 40,000 and 35,000 ybp years
ago (Semino et al., 2000). The main reason for this presumption
is, apparently, that if R1b populations live in Europe now, they
have lived there always. The claim that there were R1b tribes in
Europe about 30,000 ybp, stuck for 15 years and even continues
to be cited in contemporary population genetics literature. The
date has been cross-cited hundreds of times in academic publi-
cations. However, according to DNA genealogy, R1b tribes
arrived to Europe only between 4800 and 4500 ybp (Klyosov,
The founding fathers of genetic genealogy claimed initially
that haplogroup R1a arose in the southern Russian steppes
about 15,000 ybp (Wells et al., 2001). Five years later, the es-
timate date was changed (without explanation) to 10,000 ybp
(Wells, 2006). In fact, both dates were invented. Without offer-
ing any substantiation for the claim, the founders postulated
that the oldest R1a bearers survived the Ice Age in a Ukrainian
refuge (Semino et al., 2000). As a result, R1a was called the
Ukrainian haplogroup (e.g., Wiik, 2008) for years—without
Genetic genealogists claim, without any supporting facts (for
a mini-review see Klyosov et al., 2012) that genetic data show
that man left Africa some 70,000 ybp (or 50,000 or 60,000 ybp).
They make no calculations based on Y chromosome markers.
They base their “Out of Africa” theory on the comparative di-
versity of African haplogroups. However, diversity as a crite-
rion of age is valid only in closed systems. In open systems,
such as Africa in this particular case, diversity is a consequence
of the mixing of bearers of different Y chromosomes. Unfortu-
nately, these erroneous dates have been used in academic lit-
erature from the 1990s to the present time. More recent genome
studies have shown that there is a wide gap between the African
genome exemplified with indigenous hunter-gatherer peoples
(Schustler et al., 2010; Lachance et al., 2012, and ref. therein;
Klyosov et al., 2012), and the non-African genome, as, in fact,
should follow from Figure 1 above. There are no indications
that non-Africans descended from Africans. African SNPs are
absent, for example, in Europeans (Klyosov & Rozhankii, 2012;
Klyosov et al., 2012). Klyosov et al. (2012) have shown that the
stream of SNP mutations from a common ancestor with chim-
panzees goes to the α-haplogroup, from which the African
lineage (haplogroup A) split around 160,000 ybp, and evolved
in a separate Y-chromosomal lineage from the Europeoid line-
age. Another archaic African lineage split even earlier, some
200,000 ybp or perhaps some 350,000 ybp (Mendez et al.,
2013); bearers of this archaic lineage still live in Africa. In
other words, the “Out of Africa” hypothesis has presented a dis-
torted pattern not only of the origin of man but also of the de-
velopment of human languages (Klyosov & Rozhanskii, 2012;
Klyosov et al., 2012; Bednarik, 2012, 2013).
The population geneticists of the 1990s-2000s, have tried,
apparently, to match the historical convictions of those decades
by bending their DNA-based theories. They uncritically con-
sider gradients of frequency (or clines), which can always be
found for whatever reason, including population bottlenecks,
ignoring the existence of downstream subclades. In many stud-
ies (Hammer, 2009; Underhill, 2009; Zhivotovsky, 2004) erro-
neous mutation rates were employed (e.g., population rate con-
stants or Zhivotovsky mutation rates—which increase the ac-
tual number of years to common ancestors by 300% - 400%).
As a result, the dating of populations are inflated by a factor of
3 or 4. Using these measures, Indo Europeans first appeared in
India 14,000 ybp rather than 3500 ybp. There are dozens of
examples of this kind in the literature.
Similarly, Semino et al. (2000) concluded that some Euro-
pean peoples (e.g., the Basques) are genetically different from
others. But the majority of contemporary Basques belong to
haplogroup R1b and share with about 60% of all Europeans the
same arrival-in Europe-date. This conclusion was recently con-
firmed using a genome-wide study of the Basques, according to
which Basques are not genetic outlier among European popula-
tions (Laayouni et al., 2010). In fact, southern Europe has many
Palaeolithic haplogroups, such as E, F, G, K, J, which passed
through a severe population bottleneck around 4500 ybp ap-
parently as a result of the Arbins’ (R1b) arrival in Europe.
Similarly, northern Europe has Palaeolithic haplogroups, such
as I1, which passed the same bottleneck and started to recover
only about 3600 ybp. We do not know their “genetic compo-
nents” before that.
To sum up, early genetic studies of the origin of Europeans
often present superficial conclusions based on scarce data that
has not been subjected to serious scientific scrutiny. DNA ge-
nealogy has not only enabled us to re-construct migration and
settlement patterns in ancient Europe, it has also permitted us to
put the leading linguistic theories under scrutiny. We have been
able to disprove the Kurgan theory and the Palaeolithic Conti-
nuity Theory and bring into question the “Out of Africa” hy-
pothesis. We have also been able to fine tune the Vasconic and
The authors are indebted to Dr. Judith Remy Leder for her
valuable help with the preparation of the manuscript.
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