S1194: Origins and Migration History

S1194: Origins and Migration History - 2021

Created Mar 2018. Last updated Feb 2020 :-

(This is a work-in-progress and will continue to change as more data becomes available. It includes some ideas that are merely exploratory as to how the future might unfold).

This paper explores current ideas as to how S1194 got to the various places it is found today. Our research thus far has our ancient origin near Kazan/Samara Russia i.e. just above Volgograd (Stalingrad). The people emerging in this area included the Steppes Nomads we often refer to as the Yamnaya peoples (Yamna is Russian for 'Pit Grave'). The available (today) evidence shows both R1a & R1b burials at Samara and 7,200 ybp.

In recent times (past year) growing evidence suggests that the Yamnaya Culture was not as broadly based as we had all come to believe. In fact the only evidence from ancient burials todate shows only R1b-L23-Z2103 burials + I2 burials showing up in the Yamnaya graves and locations. No one has yet found R1b-L23-L51 in a Yamnaya setting. But it is understood that European L51 decendants have a strong admixture with R1b-L23-Z2103 and for that reason many researchers assumed that L51 decendants (L11 P310 L151) must have originated in the same place where Z2103 were found. It is believed (15 Mar 2020) that new papers will be published in the early part of 2020 that finally show R1b-L51 ancient burials have been found between Kazan & the Baltic, in central Russia. Kazan is on the Volga river, not too far up from Samara. R1b-Z2103 have been found at Samara (Khvalynsk) and also all along the Volga to the Caspian then Black seas. If a find of R1b-L51 at Sakhtysh Russia, is confirmed as expected, it opens the door to R1b-L51 having moved up the Volga, on past the Oka river that branches west towards Moscow from the town of Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod) and on over Moscow to the Baltic coast rather than R1b-L51 travelling with R1b-Z2103 down the Volga from Samara to the Pontic Caspian Steppes.
This matter is thus still speculative until new papers identifying R1b-L51 finds at Sakhtysh which is 1/3 the way from Kazan to the Baltic.
Here is a link to the Sakhtysh burials that are expected to include R1b-L51. Sakhtysh Russia Burials

Among these people around Kazan & Samara are other sub-clades of R1, both R1a *and* R1b. The parent R+ line is believed to be around 25K years old based on the Mal'ta ancient DNA burial discovery at Mal'ta Siberia Russia.
Because of the time period and other DNA finds, we know there were migrations to many other areas by both R1a and R1b groups. For reasons yet to be explained, there doesn't *seem* to have been any notable even mixing between R1a & R1b until they shared the East & South Baltic and parts of southern Scandinavia.

Of the Steppes Nomad groups, The mostly R1a northern Steppes people are now found in eastern Europe and the eastern Steppes groups are found from China (Uyghurs) to Iran and to north India (Arrayans). The European group are mostly associated with Slavic and Baltic peoples and are most dominant today in the Baltic states, a pocket in central Poland and then in much of eastern Europe including Russia, and in parts of the Balkans.

The Steppes Nomads are believed to be among the 1st peoples to have domesticate horses plus they had developed wheels and wagons which gave them great mobility. In terms of mobility, they were well advanced compared to other cultures.

So, there are two migrations from central Russia that included key R1b sub-clades. One was into the Pontic Caspian Steppes (Yamnaya) and the other into to northern Russia & Europe and this second migration potentially involves R1b-L51-P310-L11-L151 and R1b-S1194.

There is still (as at Feb 2020) considerable uncertainty as to if R1b-L11 existed in central Russia before migrations from Kazan/Samara. It seems more likely that R1b-L11 emerged later near the East Baltic & South Baltic.

No signs of R1b-L11 ancient DNA have turned up other than near Bohemia (Unetice Culture). If this remains the case then there can really only be one migration path for R1b-L11 (and thus R1b-P312/R1b-U106/R1b-S1194). If there was only one migration, it will either be north of, or South of, the Carpathian mountains. So, if R1b-L11 shows up at some future time in the Steppes, then there could well have been 2 migration paths for R1b-L11. If the latter turned out to be true then the hunt will be on to find out if R1b-P312 went the lower southern route and R1b-U106 (and S1194) took the upper northern route.

Researchers are continuing to look at ancient DNA from the various migration path regions to try to answer this question. Today the ancient DNA evidence doesn't exist. We do know that the northern Yamnaya migrations passed through Russia/Ukraine/Belorus/Poland, to the Baltic states plus the South Baltic area. These people are seen as originators of the Cordedware Culture. Some other researchers believe that R1b-L11 only emerged after a southern Yamnaya migration, up the Danube from the Black Sea, through the Hungarian Plains, then over the Carpathian mountains and on into Bohemia. This issue still requires more research and data to resolve it one way or the other. If R1b-L11 DNA can be found in the Hungarian Plains then the Southern migration gains greater support, but by the same token the reverse could be true if R1b-L11 is found in Ukraine or Belorus or Russia. This issue will remain a mystery until much more supporting ancient DNA is found which could include L11 being found back in the Steppes.

About 4,700 ybp the Yamnaya swept into Europe. Possibly in one sweep or maybe in waves. But, the R1b-L11 clades quickly came to dominate in Western Europe. The dominance happened in a startlingly short period (i.e. 200-300 years). We believe our ancient forbears were initially part of a Western Cordedware Culture and probably located near today's Czech Republic (Bohemia). Cordedware was then, in time, replaced by the Unetice Culture in this same region.

One hypothesis suggests that in or around Bohemia (Czech Republic) the Unetice culture which might be thought of as the origin of R1b-L11, gave birth to three main branches of R1b-L11. These being R1b-P312 (often called Celtic), R1b-U106 (associated with Scandinavia and north Germanic Tribes) and R1b-S1194 who we believe were closely linked to and part of, the R1b-U106 tribes located near the south Baltic, however this hypothesis still requires more research and DNA evidence.

As already mentioned, an alternative hypothesis is that R1b-L11 was already in existence back in the pre-migration Steppes and that the northern Yamnaya migration included R1a plus R1b-U106 + R1b-S1194 while the southern Yamnaya migration via the Danube & Hungarian Plains, included R1b and particularly R1b-P312 peoples. If this were to be proven it could explain the great differences in PIE (Proto Indo-European) language between the R1b-P312 (Celtic) languages and the R1b-U106 (Scandinavian / Germanic) languages. If we look at the research into when Celtic & Germnic PIE split, some experts argue that the Germanic variants of PIE are older than Celic variants of PIE. Other experts try to argue (with difficulty) that Germanic is the newer. That argument gets trapped in the issue of Germanic & Baltic-Slavic Variants of PIE having a distinctly close affinity and that Baltic variants of PIE are accepted as older. Again more ancient DNA finds are required for proofs and until such proofs emerge anything remains possible.

The link just below provides some very interesting perspectives on the possibility that Proto-Celtic PIE arrived south of the Carpathians (via the Danube) and that Proto-Germanic arrived north (east) of the Carpathians via the Ukraine. This fosters the enigmatic question of did R1b-P312 & R1b-U106 travel by the different routes to Germany and if they did then R1b-L11 must have existed in the Steppes before both those R1b sub-clades formed. Restated, R1b-L11-P312 & R1b-L11-U106 may already have been in the Steppes and formed two seperate migrations into Europe. We now need more ancient DNA to validate or refute this idea.


It is accepted history that the bulk of R1b-P312 (so called Celts etc) were part of the culture called Urnfield in today's Germany/Poland/Czech etc: areas plus the later Hallstatt & La Tene cultures in Switzerland and Austria. Then sub-clades of these peoples moved into northern Italy, into France/Spain and on into & the UK. The R1b-U106 branch showed up in Scandinavia in both Sweden & south Jutland, plus later the north Netherlands & north parts of Germany. We believe R1b-S1194 were integrated with the R1b-U106 tribes that had settled around the south Baltic (as indicated in the home page map).

There are many excellent historical narratives that explain how various Germanic tribes (that would have been dominantly R1b-U106 but also small numbers of others including us R1b-S1194) migrated to parts of Germany (in the post Roman era) and that other R1b-S1194 and R1b-U106 people were included in the heavily documented Danish incursions into England between approx 850 CE and up to 1030 CE.

We are not seeing much evidence to date that suggests R1b-S1194 came to England with the Angles / Saxons & Frisians in the 400 CE-600 CE era. What we already see in England is that R1b-CTS4528/DF100 tend to show up *away* from the Angles / Saxon / Frisian areas i.e. we are not strong at all in the eastern half or the south eastern part of England. Nor is R1b-CTS4528/DF100 strong in the 'Celtic' or R1b-P312 areas of the UK. But, we do show up in *all* the border areas of England as those border areas existed in around 1018 CE. These were the Cornish border, the Welsh border, the Scottish border and also in the area called the Danelaw near York. It is only time and a lot more testing that will allow us to better understand why we show up in the border regions of England however it is a well documeneted and historical fact that King Canute (Knud) in 1018 CE after taking control of England, sent his Danish army (estimated at 30,000-40,000 troops, back to Scandinavia but kept a core of 3000 elite warriors behind and sent groups of them as frontline defenders of the three border areas. This is an interesting historical narrative that might explain why R1b-CTS4528/DF100 show in those areas today. One historical reference claims that the elite warriors kept in England had to win the right to be part of this force. Other accounts write about how in time some of these warriors and decendants became the famous 'Housecarls' of King Harold up to his defeat at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
Link to overview of 'Housecarls'

In the 'great migration' era 0 CE to 1000 CE, it appears our ancestors were parts of the known migrations of tribes from the south Baltic to all the other places that R1b-CTS4528/DF100 are showing up today. What makes this south Baltic story believable is the amount of historical data supporting it vs speculative ideas and some unproven hypothesis that lack a historical narrative. History tends to back an expansion of R1b-S1194 out of the south Baltic region and with the possibility R1b-S1194 had a more ancestral home in the Unetice Culture of Bohemia (today's Czech Republic). This latter idea still needs DNA proofs, but some is already begining to emerge in the reports published by Olalde et al in 2018 as there are some strong hints that R1b-S1194 DNA *might* be among the recent (late 2017 & early 2018 published papers) on ancient DNA in Germany and Bohemia particularly from the recent Bell Beaker Study by Olalde et al.

Another very deep, detailed, well written and infomative description of R1b origins can be found at Eupedia R1b


What can be learned from this research

  • R1b grew into prominence in the West Asian Steppes Region
  • The hub of early R1b/R1a peoples was around Samara Russia
  • The Yamna (Pit Grave Culture) emerged around Samara
  • Yamnaya R1a & R1b tribes migrated to many places incl Europe
  • Yamnaya R1a & some R1b formed the Cordedware Culture
  • R1b-L11 appears to have emerged in Bohemia (today's Czech Republic)
  • P312, U106 & S1194 appeared from the Unetice Culture in Bohemia
  • S1194 appeared as part of some Nth German Sth Baltic tribes
  • S1194 appear to have migrated to many other parts of Europe

Definitions of some terms used

  • Hg = Haplogroup (defined by SNPs), Ht = Haplotype (defined by STRs).
  • Hg R-P310 means Haplogroup R and clade = P310.
  • Hg R-L11 means Haplogroup R and clade L11 (same as P310, but from diff lab)
  • Writing L11/P310 covers both names together (to try to minimise confusion)
  • L11/P310 without an * or +, is a generic name as in a Haplogroup
  • L11*/P310* with an '*' means no known sub-clades
  • L11* and/or P310* can also be referred to as a 'terminal SNP'
  • L11+/P310+ with a '+' means there are known sub-clades

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