Leland Rogers - Postdoctoral Associate in East Asian Studies and Lecturer in Anthropology
This presentation examines data from my dissertation concerning the mtDNA of 28 ancient human samples from the Bronze age and Eneolithic of the Mongol Steppe, considering matrilineal population affinities and regional continuity patterns. The data support a substantial “western” mtDNA component in the Bronze Age population (>40%), which was “introduced” to the region at least by the beginning of the Eneolithic (~5000BCE). The data support hypotheses that link a western population movement across the Eurasian Steppe with the arrival of pastoralism and certain metallurgical technologies, and do not refute hypotheses linking this “expansion” to the dissemination of a Proto-Indo- European language (PIE); although they do not “prove” these hypotheses either. This “western” component is still found to a limited degree in modern Mongolian populations. While the data do not provide a conclusive theory, they suggest strongly that early human migration patterns in Eurasia are poorly understood and could be significantly improved using ancient DNA analyses.
Dr. Leland Rogers is a postdoctoral researcher at the Yale Council on East Asian Studies, having received his PhD at Indiana University. His research focuses on aDNA and population genetics.