Southern Arc Theory held sway with geneticists and linguists for decades

Anthropologists have been debating the origins of Indo-European languages and cultures for centuries. We now have a definitive answer. Esteemed geneticist David Reich of Harvard University has just released a paper with over 40 co-authors, tops in their fields.

A stunning and unexpected conclusion: The origins of Indo-Europeans are largely not south of the Caucuses as originally believed. But rather north of the Caucuses in what is now southern Russia, Ukraine.

This is the end of the so-called Southern Arc Theory of Out of Persia origins. Of course, this is a major blow to woke anthropologists and others pushing dark-skinned origins for Europeans.

As geneticist Razib Khan, friend of David Reich, pointed out on a recent podcast, Yamnaya were mostly “lighter-skinned” with about 25% having blue eyes.

The Yamnaya were also the first confirmed to have used horse drawn carts or chariots.  This facilitated their spread west, Europe-wide.

From The Archaeologist, April 2, 2024,

New Insights into the Roots of Indo-Europeans: How the Caucuses-Lower Volga Cline shaped their genetic and linguistic heritage

David ReichNow, in 2024… exciting exploration with this new research that delves deeper into the Caucasus-Lower Volga (CLV) Cline. This study not only builds upon the previous findings but also expands our understanding of how these dynamic interactions between diverse populations helped shape the genetic and cultural landscapes of Eurasia. By examining a broader array of ancient DNA and correlating it with both material culture and linguistic distributions, we are beginning to see a clearer picture of how the Indo-Europeans spread across continents.

The newest research on the Caucasus-Lower Volga (CLV) Cline shows how important this genetic and cultural corridor was to the development of Eurasian populations. It had a big effect on the Yamnaya culture and the spread of Indo-European languages. Building on the foundations of previous studies, the 2024 research by Lazaridis et al. reveals significant advancements in understanding the genetic origins and linguistic branches of the Indo-European family.

The paper was released on April 18 and includes and impressive array of over 40 co-signers including Harvard geneticist David Reich and famed Caucuses genetics expert Iosif Lazaridis.

The paper is titled,

The Genetic Origin of the Indo-Europeans

From the Abstract:

Tom RowsellThe Yamnaya archaeological complex appeared around 3300BCE across the steppes north of the Black and Caspian Seas, and by 3000BCE reached its maximal extent from Hungary in the west to Kazakhstan in the east. To localize the ancestral and geographical origins of the Yamnaya among the diverse Eneolithic people that preceded them, we studied ancient DNA data from 428 individuals of which 299 are reported for the first time, demonstrating three previously unknown Eneolithic genetic clines.

First, a “Caucasus-Lower Volga” (CLV) Cline suffused with Caucasus hunter-gatherer (CHG) ancestry extended between a Caucasus Neolithic southern end in Neolithic Armenia, and a steppe northern end in Berezhnovka in the Lower Volga.

Key point:

 A “Volga Cline” was formed as Lower Volga people mixed with upriver populations that had more Eastern hunter-gatherer (EHG) ancestry, creating genetically hyper-variable populations as at Khvalynsk in the Middle Volga. A “Dnipro Cline” was formed as CLV people bearing both Caucasus Neolithic and Lower Volga ancestry moved west and acquired Ukraine Neolithic hunter-gatherer (UNHG) ancestry to establish the population of the Serednii Stih culture from which the direct ancestors of the Yamnaya themselves were formed around 4000BCE.

Sredney Stog ancestors of the Yamnaya

In the summary of their conclusion, they state that the new center for the rise of the Yamnaya and later Russia Steppe Beaker population which eventually spread Europe-wide and into central Asia was north of the Caucuses, not south in greater Persia as was originally believed. This conclusion confirms what many in alternative archaeology circles have been suggesting for decades.

Sredney StogWe thus propose that the final unity of the speakers of the “Proto-Indo-Anatolian” ancestral language of both Anatolian and Indo-European languages can be traced to CLV cline people sometime between 4400-4000 BCE.

Tom Rowsell, YouTube ancient Europeans historian, Tweeted out:

Sredney Stog theory has been vindicated as the ancestors of the Yamnaya.  Reich walks back the south of the Caucuses stuff.

Nrken 19, another prominent deep European ancestral historian well-followed on social media remarked:

The biggest take-away is that it changed the Indo-Euro origins position to more north for obvious reasons.

In an accompanying paper, the researchers state:

We thus propose that the final unity of the speakers of the Proto-Indo-Anatolian ancestral language of Indo-European languages can be traced to the Caucuses-Lower Volga cline people sometime between 4,400 BCE and 4,000 BCE.


Author Eric

FSU grad, US Navy Veteran. Houston, Texas

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