Updated February 1, 2017
BRANCH: M45

AGE: 35,000 YEARS AGO

LOCATION OF ORIGIN: CENTRAL ASIA OR SOUTH ASIA


Another view of the lovely Ural Mountains in Russia, in central Eurasia. Perhaps our forebears swam there.

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This paternal ancestor traveled with groups in the open savannas between Central and South Asia during the Paleolithic. These big game hunters were the parents to two of the most widespread male lineages in modern populations, one that is responsible for the majority of pre-Columbian lineages in the Americas (haplogroup Q) and many others from Asia and Europe. Another one that spread farther into Asia produced the highest frequency lineages in European populations (haplogroup R).

Today, members of this lineage who do not belong to a descendant branch are rare, and geneticists have found them most often in India. These populations include such diverse groups as the Saora (23 percent), the Bhumij (13 percent), and Muslims from Manipur (33 percent).

POINTS OF INTEREST: Known as the Central Asian Clan, this branch gave rise to many distinct lineages that spent the next 30,000 years gradually populating much of the planet. Today India has the highest population of the M45 lineage, whose later offshoots are found in most Native Americans and Europeans.

Some Indian men still carry the gene of the M45 central Asian clan—evidence of a much later population migration from the region. The oldest people of the central Asian clan were geographically isolated by the Hindu Kush and Iran's ice age deserts.

The Upper Paleolithic's Eurasian steppe hunters migrated ceaselessly eastward—until they were stymied by Kazakhstan's Tien Shan Mountains and other high peaks of Central Asia.

The steppes once served as a migration “superhighway” during the Upper Palaeolithic. Grass and game stretched from Mongolia to Iran.

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Copyright © 2017 by Robert Ranger, Wilmington, North Carolina.