This genetic map of EU was created based on the latest Y-DNA data combined with physical and historical evidence. eupedia.com/europe/maps_Y-DNAThe biggest fortification from the Bronze Era in Europe has been discovered in Timiş County. It dates from 3.500 years ago and covers 1.800 hectares. The citadel comprises 4 concentric circles that were made of wooden pillars and stood for the walls of the establishment. They are still visible today, although they have been levelled by intense agriculture. Other discoveries are the ruins of what appears to have been a temple, Sarmatian graves, ceramic workshops and a settlement that dates back to the 3rd or 4th century. But work on the site is not even close to being over. The archeologists working on the project estimate that they will need another 15 to 20 years to study the citadel. The fortification first appeared on a map in the 17th century, but only two of the inner rings had been discovered at the time. In the 19th century, the 3rd circle was discovered and, more recently, in 1973, the 4th one came to light.
This city was in the middle of trade routes linking the Baltic with the Mediterana (amber routes, Morava/Vardar corridor), linking the mines from Transylvania, Alps, Slovacia, Serbia and linking the Pannonian steppes with the N of Black Sea steppes (Danube & Tisa-Dniester). Arheologi din Romania, Germania si Marea Britanie scot la lumina la Cornesti, la 20 km nord de Timisoara, cea mai mare fortificatie din epoca bronzului din intreaga Europa. Nemtii au investitit aproape 1 milion de euro pentru descoperirile din Timis. Desi nu au fost descoperite evidente arheologice care sa indice vreun atac din exterior, sfarsitul fortificatiei este unul violent, fiind incendiata catre 1000BC. „Zidurile acestea sunt 4 la numar, au 1765 de hectare circumscrise in interiorul lor. Practic vorbim despre aproape jumatate din teritoriul Timisoarei. Zidurile, dupa cercetare, s-au dovedit a fi facute in jurul anului 1500BC, fortificatia a functionat aproape 500 de ani, la sfarsitul epocii bronzului, intr-o lume in care iubitorii de istorie stiu ca a functionat Troia, lumea miceniana, imperiul hitit. Deci, este o vreme framantata, cu tulburari, cu multe razboaie, mici, mai mari. Stim cantecele homerice care ne dau dimensiunea reala a conflictului, dar aceasta fortificatie imensa a ridicat probleme pentru toti cercetatorii. E atat de mare incat e imposibil de aparat. Zidurile au 20m latime, vreo 4-5m numai valul de pamant, la care daca adaugi si palisada de 1,5m, obtii deja o inaltime aproximativa de 5-6m, si santul de aparare, de la 2,5 pana la 4,7m adancime.” a declarat seful sectiei de arheologie a Muzeului Banatului, Alexandru Szentmiklosi.
Populaţia acestui sit a utilizat cu două secole înainte de Europa Centrală incinerarea rituală a morţilor. Această comunitate aparţinea unei culturi care s-a răspândit din nord-estul Croaţiei până în sud-vestul României (Cruceni – Belegiš)”, a declarat Szentmiklosi. Destul de mobili, exponenţii ei s-au deplasat de-a lungul Dunării în Moldova de nord-est, unde au format Cultura Chişinău – Corlăteni, dar şi în sud de Morava (sfârşitul celui de-al doilea mileniu î.H.), în lumea mediteraneană. Ei controlau practic orice nod de comunicaţie între lumea mediteraneană şi Europa, inclusiv unul dintre celebrele drumuri ale chihlimbarului.
Racos Middle Bronze Age Settlement in Transylvania, 16th century BC, Noua, Ocna Mures. To our surprise, while searching for the extension of civilian within the fortified acropolis, we uncovered several Wietenberg (Middle Bronze Age) Culture houses, dating from ca. 1600BC. Transylvanian swords were found in Homeric Troy, Transylvanian bronzes sank with the Uluburum and at the same time, Minoan symbols are found on Late Bronze Age Transylvanian cast bronze swords. The highly developed Classical Middle Bronze Age cultures – Wietenberg, Monteoru, Tei – were very quickly replaced, without any major signs of conflict by a cultural group, the Noua, coming from the East as part of the very extensive Noua-Sabatinovka-Coslogeni complex. The incineration rituals of the Middle Bronze Age were completely replaced by elaborate and standardized inhumation burials, the large settlements of disappeared, ceramic technology regressed and almost all decoration disappeared. At the same time, there is a very clear evolution and intensification of metalworking, reaching an apotheosis with the end of the Late Bronze Age, when very large and elaborate bronze deposits were made. Metal, fire, water, salt, mountains, forests… That is the environment of the mysterious Noua culture bearing people we are going to excavate, in central Transylvania, near Ocna Mures – a very large salt geological formation, about 70m south of Cluj-Napoca. Early 20th century, the three largest bronze deposits in the world were found there, in or on the shores of an old , dried up lake, less than 500m apart. The largest one, measuring several tons was smelted by the Austrians and turned into canons. The other two are still preserved, over 7000 pieces of bronze. All the tools of the time could be found, in working condition, some of them still very sharp. We have hundreds of tools for quarrying salt, working wood, forging metal, plowing fields, harvesting crops, working leather and pelts, not counting jewelry, clothing implements, weapons…
Vinca and Cucuteni are the roots, with I2a common Y-DNA. Here 2 Cucuteni “cities”.
Talianki estimated total area – 450 ha, on the assumption that it had a rectangular plan. Extrapolating from this and the density of houses in the surveyed portions of the site, M. Videiko estimated that Talianki contained approximately 2,700 structures and, at its height, could have been occupied by over 15,000 inhabitants. Recently Kruts’ figure has been revised by Thomas K. Harper, who used a geomagnetic plan of the site to put its area at 335 ha. This implies Videiko’s figure for the peak population of the site is also an overestimation, with Harper suggesting 6,300–11,000 as a more likely range, favouring the lower end. But other estimates are much larger with a population of around 15,000 as the most cited, and adding the numbers for the satellite towns the total population were up to 25,000 – 30,000 people within its cluster.
Gelonus – maybe was the largest area city in the world at that time! Strategically situated on the exact boundary between the steppe and forest-steppe. The archeological site around Belsk, including necropolis, comprises about 80 km², and the fortifications enclose some 40 km². The north-south axis, along the Vorskla River is 17 km long. The remains of walls up to 12 metres are visible today and stretch over the horizon. The total length of the ramparts is 33 km. Inside the fortification, lay three “keeps”, 150,000 m², 650,000 m², and 720,000 m² in area, surrounded by eroded earth walls still up to 16 metres high. Nebelivka, or Nebelovka, in Ukraine, is the site of an ancient mega-settlement dating to 4000 B.C. belonging to the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture. The settlement was for the time huge, covering an area of 260-300 hectares and home to perhaps 17,000 people.www.academia.edu/Early_Eneolithic_in_the_Pontic_Steppe
During the period A of the Tripolye culture (about 5450-4750 BC) the Tripolye influence was the most intensive. In caused the acquaintance of the Sredniy Stog and Azov-Dnieper population with the first metal. It is necessary to note, that the influence of the steppe traditions on the Tripolye culture was minimal during that period. Taking into account data of the Early Eneolithic cemeteries of the steppe zone, where the first imported metal artifacts were found, I can suggest the existence of prestigious exchange, which played an important role in the relations of Tripolye and steppe population during that period. The Azov-Dnieper and Sredniy Stog population took part in it. The Tripolye population could provide its neighbors with metal (copper and gold) or metal artifacts (the Nikolskiy cemetery of the Azov-Dnieper culture and the Sredniy Stog burials of Mariupol cemetery), bracelets from Spondylus shell (the Lysogorskiy cemetery of the Azov-Dnieper culture) and sea shells with holes (Krivoy Rog).
During the period of Tripolye B I the main influence of Tripolye population is fixed on the metalworking of steppe inhabitants and reflected only lightly in its ceramics.
Strange as it may seem, the Tripolye population was more interested in contacts, than the steppe inhabitants. They were newcomers, which gradually moved to the east through the forest-steppe area, occupying lands, which were settled by the Bug-Dniester and Kievo-Cherkassy Neolithic population. The Tripolye population needed allies and peaceful relations with the neighbors, especially with those, whose territories were unnecessary for them. Among such neighbors were the bearers of Azov-Dnieper and Sredniy Stog cultures, who occupied other natural-climatic zone, which was useless for the Tripolye population during the Early Eneolithic. Even during the Later Eneolithic and Early Bronze Age they occupied only the steppes in the South Bug basin and to the west of it, staying out of the territories of the Sredniy Stog descendants. Steppe inhabitants were interested in those contacts, first of all, because it received the copper and tools from them. That metal was obtained through the mediation of Tripolye population and as the result of immediate visits to centers of metallurgy and metalworking of the Balkan-Carpathian metallurgical province. The Dniester basin was the important region and the route of the exchange expeditions of steppe population, which went to the Lower Danube or Transylvania for the metal. In the period B I-II of the Tripolye culture the necessity of contacts with the Tripolye population of Dniester basin become stronger, because in that time metal began to arrive from the Transylvanian and Hungarian mines. The growing of quantity of the ceramics with shell inclusions at the settlements of Dniester basin also testifies the strengthening of ties between the Sredniy Stog and Tripolye cultures. All features of steppe and Tripolye interaction, which were mentioned above, testify the peaceful co-existence and tight contacts of these groups. The coarse ceramics of Tripolye, which had the Sredniy Stog features, was made mainly at the Tripolye settlements, and steppe traditions were reproduced in the Tripolye style. It was impossible if there was any war situation.
There is a point of view about mutually beneficial cooperation. It is possible, that the distribution of ceramics with the steppe traces in the Tripolye culture was related to the marriages with the Sredniy Stog women. Those women continued making their usual vessels, adapting them to the Tripolye economy (for example, making the flat bottom and stocky proportions). This suggestion explains the singleness of ceramics with shell inclusions in the period A and gradual increase of its quantity during period B I with the prevailing of typical Tripolye pottery on the settlements. Perhaps, the numbers of Sredniy Stog women and their descendants in the Tripolye communities during period A were very small and gradually increased during B I and B I-II periods. According to the prevailing of coarse pottery with shell inclusions in the southernmost Tripolye settlements, I can suggest, that the greatest number of the Sredniy Stog women lived there.
.. data testify the assumption about the existence of mixed Tripolye-Sredniy Stog marriages.. It is interesting to trace the dynamics of contacts of the steppe and Tripolye population. They began immediately after the appearance of Tripolye population in Dniester basin (the beginning of period A of the Tripolye culture), when the Late Azov-Dnieper and Early Sredniy Stog population began to interact with it.
The Cruceni-Belegis¸culture is part of the south-east European Urnﬁeld culture, with a distribution similar tothe preceding Vatina group in Oltenia, Banat and eastern Hungary. In terms of relativechronology, it is situated between the Middle Bronze Age Vatina culture and the Early Iron Age Gornea-Kalakaˇca culture. The absolute chronology places the group between the ﬁfteenth and eleventh centuries BC (Szentmiklosi2009)
The size of Cornesti fortifications/city was possible because of fertile land on special location, in the center/controlling important trade routes: N-S/E-W, between Baltic and Mediterana, very important trade routes with salt from Transylvania to Pannonian basin. Other trade routes along Mures,Tisa & Dniester went E to the steppes N of Black Sea.Fortifications, concentrations happened also because of warfare and hierarchical ‘‘chiefs’’ in the Neolithic (e.g., Renfrew 1974). All that linked to “kurgan” R1A/R1B migrations. From the perspective of the longue dure´e, enclosures and fortiﬁcations began toappear during the Neolithic (c. 6500–3000 B.C.; see Figs. 1, 2). The variability intheir spatial distribution and form, however, decreased considerably by the end ofthe Bronze Age (c. 1000 B.C.). Corneşti “Dealul Cornet = Cornet” and other nearby settlements predate the Cornesti fortifications.
Timis 30000 Î.HR. – 9 Î.HR
30000 î.Hr. Descoperire singulară în satul Visag, comuna Victor Vlad Delamarina, a unei unelte de piatră cioplită aparţinând unui facies musterian tardiv sau aurignacian timpuriu din paleoliticul superior.*
28000 î.Hr. Aşezare din paleoliticul superior, aurignacian, descoperită în satul Româneşti, comuna Tomeşti, în punctul Dumbrăviţa. Aşezarea este formată din 6 nivele de locuire paleolitice, atestate prin inventar litic, fără a fi descoperite vetre de foc sau vestigii faunistice. De asemenea, vestigii ale unor aşezări aparţinând aurignacianului bănăţean mijlociu provin din comuna Curtea, din siturile arheologice de pe Dealu Viei şi Dealu Pământ.
22000 î.Hr. Vestigii paleolitice din etapa aurignacian dezvoltat sunt atestate în satul Coşava, comuna Curtea, pe dealul Cuca, printr-un sit arheologic format din trei nivele de locuire atestate prin unelte litice, şi în satul Româneşti, punctul Dumbrăviţa.
20000 î.Hr. Descoperiri ale unor nivele de locuire gravetiene în aşezările multistratificate din satul Coşava, deal Cuca, nivel II-III şi respectiv satul Româneşti, situl arheologic Dumbrăviţa, nivel VI.
* Preistoria şi antichitatea în judeţul Timiş vor fi tratate in extenso într-un volum ulterior.
4900 î.Hr. Primele grupuri de crescători de animale şi agricultori sosesc în zona Banatului central şi vestic, din direcţia malului Dunării şi de asemenea urcând pe râurile interne ale Banatului, dinspre Tisa. Aceste populaţii neolitice aparţinând fazei a II-a a culturii Starčevo-Criş ocupă spaţiile fertile şi bogate în faună de pe terasele râurilor. O dată cu sosirea lor apar şi primele vase de ceramică în aşezările preistorice din judeţ. Cercetări arheologice au fost efectuate pe râul Timiş la Parţa, Foeni şi Timişoara-Fratelia, iar în zona Mureşului la Dudeştii Vechi. Aceste comunităţi se extind treptat pe tot teritoriul Banatului, în faza Starčevo-Criş III. Influenţele sudice balcano-anatoliene introduse de migraţia purtătorilor culturii Vinča vor determina ruperea unităţii culturale a neoliticului timpuriu şi geneza unor variante locale ale fenomenului neolitic.
4500 î.Hr. Pătrunderea comunităţilor neolticului dezvoltat, reprezentate de purtătorii culturii Vinča, faza A, în Banatul mijlociu şinord-vestic. În judeţul nostru, cercetări arheologice au fost efectuate în aşezările de la Timişoara-Fratelia şi Satchinez. Cultura Vinča, faza B, în Banat este marcată de dezvoltarea fenomenelor locale, apărute ca rezultat al schimburilor intertribale. Cea mai importantă cercetare arheologică este cea de la Parţa tell I, soldată cu recuperarea sanctuarului neolitic, parte a unei aşezări fortificate masive, formată din locuinţe de suprafaţă cu plan complex.
4000 î.Hr. Sunt atestate în Banat comunităţi aparţinând culturii Vinča, faza C. Este perioada realizării celor mai spectaculoase construcţii neolitice, a unor aşezări de mari dimensiuni, cu sisteme defensive elaborate şi distribuţie organizată a spaţiului locuit al aşezării. Cercetări relevante au fost efectuate în satul Uivar, situl Gomilă, dar şi la Parţa, Chişoda Veche, Hodoni şi Sânandrei. Faza C a culturii Vinča se încheie prin pătrunderea în Banat a purtătorilor culturii Petreşti, grup Foeni, conform cercetărilor de la Parţa tell II, Foeni şi Chişoda. În nordul Banatului, la Hodoni şi Sânandrei, cultura Vinča este suprapusă de locuiri ale culturii Tisa.
3700-2500 î.Hr. Eneoliticul este reprezentat în judeţul Timiş de evoluţia fazelor culturilor Tiszapolgar şi apoi Bodrogkeresztur, cărora le sunt atribuite aşezări în judeţ, la Uivar, Cruceni, Satchinez, confirmate şi prin topoarele de cupru de la Ciacova, Satchinez, Sânpetru German, Chişoda. De asemenea şi cultura ceramicii cu toarte pastilate este atestată la Honorici, comuna Victor Vlad Delamarina şi Homojdia, comuna Curtea. Cultura Coţofeni caracterizează eneoliticul final din Banat, semnificativă fiind prezenţa obiectelor din cupru în faza a II-a a culturii. Aceasta îşi încheie evoluţia înainte de mijlocul mileniului III î.Hr., în judeţul Timiş fiind atestate materialele târzii din peştera de la Româneşti, cu influenţe Kostolac şi Vučedol.
2300-1700 î.Hr. Apariţia primelor grupe etno-culturale ale epocii timpurii a bronzului sunt generate de penetraţia unor valuri ale purtătorilor mormintelor tumulare cu ocru, atestate în judeţul Timiş în satul Bodo. Debutul bronzului timpuriu are loc în Banat la sfârşitul evoluţiei culturii Coţofeni şi este un proces istoric şi cultural relativ îndelungat. Între primele aşezări cercetate pot fi menţionate siturile de la Foeni, Parţa, Periam şi Stamora-Moraviţa, cu inventar ceramic de tip Mako. Tot în bronzul timpuriu se încadrează şi aşezările cu materiale ceramice cu ornamente în formă de scoarţă de copac şi imprimeu textil, întâlnite la Foeni şi Giroc.
1700-1400 î.Hr. Grupul cultural de tip Corneşti – Crvenka defineşte epoca mijlocie a bronzului din Banat, atestat prin situri arheologice la Foeni, Corneşti, Ciuta. Mai sunt de menţionat şi descoperirile de tip Balta Sărată de la Susani şi Româneşti – Peştera cu Apă, precum şi descoperirile aparţinând culturii Mureş din zona Dudeştii Vechi-Cheglevici, în nord-vestul Banatului.
1400-1100 î.Hr. Fazele de final ale epocii bronzului în judeţul Timiş sunt reprezentate de evoluţia culturii Cruceni-Belegiœ, răspândită pe un spaţiu larg, în numeroase situri, precum cele de la Cruceni, Checea, Jimbolia, Deta, Parţa, Peciu Nou, Voiteg, Timişoara – Parcul Central şi Pădurea Verde etc. Finalul acesteia marchează practic şi debutul epocii fierului în Banat.
1100-800 î.Hr. Prima epocă a fierului este atestată în judeţul Timiş prin marea aşezare de la Susani, precum şi prin situl de la Corneşti. Cercetări sistematice au fost efectuate în aşezarea de la Remetea Mare, formată din locuinţe de suprafaţă şi ateliere pentru turnarea şi prelucrarea obiectelor din bronz, confirmând astfel nivelul ridicat al culturii materiale aparţinătoare tracilor bănăţeni.
800-650 î.Hr. Se răspândesc în Banat purtătorii culturii Basarabi, prezenţi pe o arie largă în România, dar şi la sudul Dunării. Cultura materială conservă elemente ale epocii bronzului, dar unitatea sa culturală este distinctă. Elementul dominant al acestei culturi este format din populaţiile daco-getice. Mărturii ale prezenţei acestor populaţii pe teritoriul judeţului nostru provin din aşezarea de la Visag. O necropolă a acestei culturi a fost descoperită la Susani, în judeţul Timiş.
109-106 î.Hr. Generalul roman M. Minucius Rufus se confruntă la Dunăre cu o coaliţie scordisco – dacică (foarte probabil dacii din zona Banatului) şi reuşeşte să se impună în mai multe confruntări directe. Această acţiune s-a soldat, după cum susţin autorii antici, cu o primă trecere a Dunării din partea armatei romane, probabil pe undeva prin zona Banatului.
82-44 î.Hr. Domnia regelui dac Burebista, întemeietorul statului centralizat geto-dac, care cuprinde şi teritoriul Banatului.
75-73 î.Hr. Armata romană, condusă de generalul Caius Scribonius Curio, controlează malul bănăţean al Dunării, fără a pătrunde în desimea codrilor întunecoşi din inima Banatului.
10-9 î.Hr. Expediţia romană a generalului Marcus Vinucius pe Tisa şi Mureş.
În şantierul arheologic de la Sântana, s-a descoperit cea mai mare cetate hallstattiana din Europa – Neoliticului Mijlociu, 5.300 – 4.800 î.Hh. Cercetarile efectuate au stabilit existenta unei necropole ce apartine primei parti a epocii cuprului (cultura Tiszapolgar, cca. 4000 i.Hr.), a unei asezari datate la sfarsitul epocii bronzului (cca. 1200 i.Hr.) si a fortificatiei, ridicate la inceputul primei epoci a fierului, fiind unul dintre cele mai mari complexe fortificate din aceasta parte a Europei, suprafata fortificatiei, de forma aproximativ ovala, depaseste 78 ha. Prospectiile magnetometrice au permis identificarea unor structuri preistorice, cum ar fi primele doua valuri, santuri si palisade (structura defensiva a fortificatiei), un drum situat in interiorul fortificatiei si numeroase constructii din lemn. Unul dintre cele mai importante vestigii descoperite pe acest teritoriu a fost un schelet uman ce este vechi de 5.500 de ani.
Cercetările efectuate în 1963 au stabilit existenţa a două faze de construcţie pentru val care, la ora actuală, are înălţimea de 4 – 6 m şi este lat de 25 m; în faţă are două şanţuri de apărare late de 3,5 m, respectiv 10 m şi adâncime de 3 m, respectiv 4 m; în interiorul fortificaţiei au fost descoperite locuinţe de suprafaţă de mare întindere, cu un bogat material arheologic (ceramică, obiecte de bronz etc.); la baza valului a fost descoperit un mormânt de inhumaţie în poziţie chiricită din al cărui inventar făceau parte două vase hallstattiene şi un pandantiv din bronz.
Primul strat de locuire din cetate aparţine culturii Otomani III şi fazei târzii a culturii Pecica, datând de la sfârşitul epocii bronzului; al doilea strat este de la începutul epocii fierului – perioada Hallstatt. În partea de Sud-Est a aşezării se află o movilă cu diametrul de 50 m şi înălţimea de cca 10 m; materialul cules de aici aparţine epocii bronzului (culturile Otomani şi Pecica), fiind expuse în cadrul Complexului Muzeal Arad; în 1888, cu ocazia lucrărilor de terasament la calea ferată Arad – Oradea, a fost descoperit, în primul şanţ din faţa valului, un vas din pastă grosieră, cu oseminte omeneşti şi un tezaur compus din 23 de piese de aur (12 plăci în formă de barcă, legate câte trei, două brăţări de aur, trei bucăţi de sârmă şi cinci verigi, toate de aur, datând de la sfârşitul epocii bronzului şi începutul epocii fierului); în imediata vecinătate a mai fost descoperit un mormânt de inhumaţie chircită, fără inventar.
Ion de la Anina found in a cave in Banat is the oldest homo sapiens found in Europe 40.000 years old. 6-9% of his DNA is Neanderthal! In the same cave Vasile was also found – 26.000 years old – a complete skull.
romanianhistoryandculture.com/thraciansintroy R1a is thought to have been the dominant haplogroup among the northern and eastern Indo-European speakers who evolved into the Indo-Iranian, Mycenaean Greek, Thracian, Baltic and Slavic branches. The Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in the Yamna culture (3300-2500 BCE), in the Pontic-Caspian steppe between modern Ukraine and south-west Russia. Their expansion is linked to the domestication of horses in the Eurasian steppes, and the invention of the chariot (see R1b above). The eastern part of the Pontic-Caspian steppes is strongly associated with the Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic branches of Indo-European languages. Based on archeological, linguistic and genetic data, it is possible to say that the pastoralist nomads who lived in the northern Russian steppes and forest-steppes 5,000 years ago carried predominantly R1a paternal lineages. Nowadays, high frequencies of R1a are found in Poland (56% of the population), Ukraine (50 to 65%), European Russia (45 to 65%), Belarus (45%), Slovakia (40%), Latvia (40%), Lithuania (38%), the Czech Republic (34%), Hungary (32%), Croatia (29%), Norway (28%), Austria (26%), Sweden (24%), north-east Germany (23%) and Romania (22%).
The Germanic branch
The first expansion of R1a took place with the westward propagation of the Corded Ware (or Battle Axe) culture (3200-1800 BCE) from the Yamna homeland. This was the first wave of R1a into Europe, one that is responsible for the presence of this haplogroup in Scandinavia, Germany, and a portion of the R1a in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary or Poland. The high prevalence of R1a in Balto-Slavic countries nowadays is not only due to the Corded Ware expansion, but also to a long succession of later migrations from Russia, the last of which took place from the 5th to the 1th century CE.
The Germanic branch of Indo-European languages probably evolved from a merger of Corded-Ware R1a (Proto-Slavic language) and the later arrival of Italo-Celtic R1b from Central Europe. This is supported by the fact that Germanic people are hybrid R1a-R1b, that these two haplogroups came via separate routes at different times, and also on the linguistics of Proto-Germanic language, which shares similarities with Italic, Celtic and Slavic languages. The Corded Ware R1a people would have mixed with the pre-Germanic I1 aborigines to create the Nordic Bronze Age (1800-500 BCE). R1b presumably reached Scandinavia later as a northward migration from the contemporary Hallstatt culture (1200-500 BCE). The first genuine Germanic tongue has been estimated by linguists to have come into existence around (or after) 500 BCE. This would confirm that it emerged as a blend of Hallstatt Proto-Celtic and the Corded-Ware Proto-Slavic. The uniqueness of some of the Germanic vocabulary points at borrowing from native pre-Indo-European languages. Celtic language itself is known to have borrowed from Afro-Asiatic languages spoken by Near-Eastern immigrants to Central Europe. The fact that present-day Scandinavia is composed of roughly 40% of I1, 20% of R1a and 40% of R1b reinforces the idea that Germanic ethnicity and language had acquired a tri-hybrid character by the Iron Age.
The Baltic branch
The Baltic branch is thought to have evolved from the Fatyanovo culture (3200-2300 BCE), the northeastern extension of the Corded Ware culture. Early Bronze Age R1a nomads from the northern steppes and forest-steppes would have mixed with the indigenous Uralic-speaking inhabitants (N1c1 lineages) of the region. This is supported by a strong presence of both R1a and N1c1 haplogroups from southern Finland to Lithuania and the adjacent part of Russia.
The Slavic branch
The origins of the Slavs goes back to circa 3000 BCE. The Slavic branch differentiated itself when the Corded Ware culture (see Germanic branch above) absorbed the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture(5200-2600 BCE) of western Ukraine and north-eastern Romania, which appears to have been composed primarily of I2a2 lineages descended directly from Paleolithic Europeans, with a small admixture of Near-Eastern immigrants (notably E-V13 and T). Thus emerged the hybrid Globular Amphora culture (3400-2800 BCE) in what is now Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. It is surely during this period that I2a2, E-V13 and T spread (along with R1a) around Poland, Belarus and western Russia, explaining why eastern and northern Slavs (and Lithuanians) have a considerable incidence of haplogroups I2a2 with a bit of E and T. After just a few centuries, this hybridised culture faded away into the dominant Corded Ware culture.
The Corded Ware period was followed by the Trzciniec (1700-1200 BCE), Lusatian (1300-500 BCE), Chernoles (1025-700 BCE) and Milograd (600 BCE-100 CE) cultures in north-east Slavic countries. The last important Slavic migration is thought to have happened in the 6th century CE, from Ukraine to Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, filling the vacuum left by eastern Germanic tribes who invaded the Roman Empire.
Historically, no other part of Europe was invaded a higher number of times by steppe peoples than the Balkans. Chronologically, the first R1a invaders came with the westward expansion of the Corded Ware culture (from about 3200 BCE), then the Mycenaean invasion (1600 BCE), followed by the Thracians (1500 BCE), the Illyrians (around 1200 BCE), the Huns and the Alans (400 CE), the Avars, the Bulgars and the Serbs (all around 600 CE), and the Magyars (900 CE), among others. These peoples originated from different parts of the Eurasian steppes, anywhere between Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which is why such high STR diversity is found within Balkanic R1a nowadays. It is not yet possible to determine the ethnic origin for each variety of R1a, apart from the fact that about any R1a is associated with tribes from Eurasian steppe at one point in history.
The Indo-Iranian branch
Proto-Indo-Iranian speakers, the people who later called themselves ‘Aryans’ in the Rig Veda and the Avesta, originated in the Sintashta-Petrovka culture (2100-1750 BCE), in the Tobol and Ishim valleys, east of the Ural Mountains. It was founded by pastoralist nomads from the Abashevo culture (2500-1900 BCE), ranging from the upper Don-Volga to the Ural Mountains, and the Poltavka culture (2700-2100 BCE), extending from the lower Don-Volga to the Caspian depression. The Sintashta-Petrovka culture was the first Bronze Age advance of the Indo-Europeans west of the Urals, opening the way to the vast plains and deserts of Central Asia to the metal-rich Altai mountains. The Aryans quickly expanded over all Central Asia, from the shores of the Caspian to southern Siberia and the Tian Shan, through trading, seasonal herd migrations, and looting raids.
Horse-drawn war chariots seem to have been invented by Sintashta people around 2100 BCE, and quickly spread to the mining region of Bactria-Margiana (modern border of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan). Copper had been extracted intensively in the Urals, and the Proto-Indo-Iranians from Sintashta-Petrovka were exporting it in huge quantities to the Middle East. They appear to have been attracted by the natural resources of the Zeravshan valley for a Petrovka copper-mining colony was established in Tugai around 1900 BCE, and tin was extracted soon afterwards at Karnab and Mushiston. Tin was an especially valued resource in the late Bronze Age, when weapons were made of copper-tin alloy, stronger than the more primitive arsenical bronze. In the 1700’s BCE, the Indo-Iranians expanded to the lower Amu Darya valley and settled in irrigation farming communities (Tazabagyab culture). By 1600 BCE, the old fortified towns of Margiana-Bactria were abandoned, submerged by the northern steppe migrants. The group of Central Asian cultures under Indo-Iranian influence is known as the Andronovo horizon, and lasted until 800 BCE.
The Indo-Iranian migrations progressed further south across the Hindu Kush. By 1700 BCE, horse-riding pastoralists had penetrated into Balochistan (south-west Pakistan). The Indus valley succumbed circa 1500 BCE, and the northern and central parts of the Indian subcontinent were taken over by 500 BCE. Westward migrations led Old Indic Sanskrit speakers riding war chariots to Assyria, where they became the Mitanni rulers from circa 1500 BCE. The Medes, Parthians and Persians, all Iranian speakers from the Andronovo culture, moved into the Iranian plateau from 800 BCE. Those that stayed in Central Asia are remembered by history as the Scythians, while the Yamna descendants who remained in the Pontic-Caspian steppe became known as the Sarmatians to the ancient Greeks and Romans.
The Indo-Iranian migrations have resulted in high R1a frequencies in southern Central Asia, Iran and the Indian subcontinent. The highest frequency of R1a (about 65%) is reached in a cluster around Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan. In India and Pakistan, R1a ranges from 15 to 50% of the population, depending on the region, ethnic group and caste. R1a is generally stronger is the North-West of the subcontinent, and weakest in the Dravidian-speaking South (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh) and from Bengal eastward. Over 70% of the Brahmins (highest caste in Hindusim) belong to R1a1, due to a founder effect.
Maternal lineages in South Asia are, however, overwhelmingly pre-Indo-European. For instance, India has over 75% of “native” mtDNA M and R lineages and 10% of East Asian lineages. In the residual 15% of haplogroups, approximately half are of Middle Eastern origin. Only about 7 or 8% could be of “Russian” (Pontic-Caspian steppe) origin, mostly in the form of haplogroup U2 and W(although the origin of U2 is still debated). European mtDNA lineages are much more common in Central Asia though, and even in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. This suggests that the Indo-European invasion of India was conducted mostly by men through war, and the first major settlement of women was in northern Pakistan, western India (Punjab to Gujarat) and northern India (Uttar Pradesh), where haplogroups U2 and W are the most common.
Turkic speakers and R1a
The present-day inhabitants of Central Asia, from Xinjiang to Turkey and from the Volga to the Hindu Kush, speak in overwhelming majority Turkic languages. This may be surprising as this corresponds to the region where the Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European speakers expanded, the Bronze-Age Andronovo culture, and the Iron-Age Scythian territory. So why is it that Indo-European languages only survives in Slavic Russia or in the southern part of Central Asia, in places like Tajikistan, Afghanistan or some parts of Turkmenistan ? Why don’t the Uyghurs, Uzbeks, Kazakhs and Kyrgyzs, or the modern Pontic-Caspian steppe people (Crimean Tatars, Nogais, Bashkirs and Chuvashs) speak Indo-European vernaculars ? Genetically these people do carry Indo-European R1a, and to a lesser extent also R1b, lineages. The explanation is that Turkic languages replaced the Iranian tongues of Central Asia between the 4th and 11th century CE.Proto-Turkic originated in Mongolia and southern Siberia with such nomadic tribes as the Xiongnu. It belongs to the Altaic linguistic family, like Mongolian and Manchu (some also include Korean and Japanese, although they share very little vocabulary in common). It is unknown when Proto-Turkic first emerged, but its spread started with the Hunnic migrations westward through the Eurasian steppe and all the way to Europe, only stopped by the boundaries of the Roman Empire.
The Greek branch
Little is known about the arrival of Proto-Greek speakers from the steppes. The Mycenaean culture commenced circa 1650 BCE and is clearly an imported steppe culture. The close relationship between Mycenaean and Proto-Indo-Iranian languages suggest that they split fairly late, some time between 2500 and 2000 BCE. Archeologically, Mycenaean chariots, spearheads, daggers and other bronze objects show striking similarities with the Seima-Turbino culture (c. 1900-1600 BCE) of the northern Russian forest-steppes, known for the great mobility of its nomadic warriors (Seima-Turbino sites were found as far away as Mongolia). It is therefore likely that the Mycenaean descended from Russia to Greece between 1900 and 1650 BCE, where they intermingled with the locals to create a new unique Greek culture.