Y-DNA haplogroup N – ancient to contemporary DNA

The common direct paternal ancestor of all men alive today was born in Africa between 300,000 and 150,000 years ago. When humans left Africa, they migrated across the globe in a web of paths that spread out like the branches of a tree, each limb of migration identifiable by a marker in our DNA.

Paternal ancestors to Y-DNA haplogroup N (N-M231 formed +35.000 years before present) made a turn through Central-Asia and South-East Asia. Many from this lineage moved inland and settled in southern Asia. Others moved on and eventually turned west. Early inhabitants of Siberia experienced a population bottleneck where only a few descendant lines survived the harsh living conditions. Around 10,000 years ago, the populations in Siberia began to grow and expand once more. Some from this group then continued west into northeastern Europe but still today, this lineage remains in some East Asian populations.

Ancient DNA

Distribution of Y-DNA hg N from 10.000 ybp to modern times.
Distribution of ancient Y-DNA hg N from 10.000 ybp to modern times (click on image for a slideshow).

The oldest ancient Y-DNA samples N-F2905 and N-Z4871 are close to 10.000 years old and have been found in Shandong, an eastern Chinese province on the Yellow Sea followed by close to 9.000 years old N-CTS6380* found near Lena River west of Lake Baikal. From this point the distribution of haplogroup N spreads in Eastern Asia before it expands towards west through the Asian continent. Samples have been found in northern Kazakhstan (~5.000 ybp), near borders of East European countries (~4.500 ybp), northern coast of Kola Peninsula (~3.800 ybp) , Hungary (~3.000 ybp), Baltic countries (~2.500 ybp) and east coast of Sweden (~1.700 ybp) as shown on this slideshow of ancient Y-DNA hg N >>. Later on haplogroup N spread with the Vikings on their exploration, expansion and settlement established in diverse areas of Scandinavia, eastern Europe and European Russia.

Contemporary DNA

A relative frequency map for Y-DNA hg N by Hunter Provyn and Thomas Krahn (click on image).

Contemporary Y-DNA hg N is found in higher numbers in north-eastern Europe, Finland and Lapland (~50-60%), Baltic countries (~30-40%), northern Russia (~30%) and in lower numbers in eastern Europe and central Russia and countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. Hg N is also found in Uralic speaking ethnicities of the Volga-Ural region and in the Far East; Siberia, China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan, however the frequence of samples is much lower than in Europe which probably depicts a skew distribution of modern Y-DNA hg N towards the west rather than east.

Aberrant haplogroups and samples

The phylogenetic tree of hg N has som sub-branches that have not evolved fully due to low freuquency of samples and thereby providing for somewhat aberrant patterns of phylogeography.

To Be Continued…

Visual DNA