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Far East Kingdoms

Early Cultures


Neo-Siberian Culture (Neolithic) (Siberia)
c.9000 - 2000 BC

Cold and remote Siberia in the northern extremes of Asia during the Siberian Palaeolithic provided tough conditions for habitation by the earliest modern human immigrants into the region. Even so, the earliest habitation of the region seems to have taken place around 40,000 BC - and perhaps even a little earlier - by a hardy and only recently uncovered genetically-distinct group of humans who have been dubbed the Ancient North Siberians.

It was East Asians who were largely responsible for the migration into the Americas, but they also mixed with other descendants of Ancient North Siberians to give rise to another group, known as Ancient Palaeo-Siberians, who went on to generally supplant the existing Ancient North Siberians.

That wave of migrating hunter-gatherers was also supplanted in time, by another band of East Asians which headed north from about 9000-8000 BC to give rise to a group which has been dubbed the Neo-Siberians. This gradual influx of Tungusic peoples lasted at least until 2000 BC, supplying an end date for the Neo-Siberian period.

The vast majority of the genetic makeup of present-day Siberians comes from this last push. It is also the reason that there is no very close connection between contemporary - largely Tungusic - Siberians and Native Americans. The Palaeo-Siberian populations became restricted to north-eastern Siberia, as represented by the fading of the Sumnaginsk culture and an individual from Ol'skaya by the name of Magadan (circa 1000 BC), who closely resembles present-day Koryaks and Itelmens.

Kel'teminar tools

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from External Links: Ancient DNA Links Native Americans With Europe, Michael Balter (Science, 25 Oct 2013: Vol 342, Issue 6157, pp409-410), and The Mal'ta - Buret' venuses and culture in Siberia (Don's Maps), and A giant Siberian lake during the last glacial, and From Siberia to the Arctic and the Americas, Douglas Wallace (DNA Learning Center), and Tracking the First Americans, Glenn Hodges (National Geographic), and Ancient Siberia was home to previously unknown humans (The Guardian), and The population history of northeastern Siberia since the Pleistocene (Nature), and Indo-Europeans and Uralic Peoples.)

c.3500 BC

Evidence collected from the Ulchi suggests an initial expansion outwards of Tungusic-speakers from the River Amur region by this time, and possible predating it by a century or two. The Tungusic language can be grouped together with the origins of Turkic and Mongolian under the Altaic banner, although significant differences are introduced along the way.

Map of East Asia and Siberia around 3500 BC
Tungusic migration from around the River Amur towards Lake Baikal and Siberia seems to have begun around 3500 BC, perhaps tentatively at first, and continuing over at least the next two or three millennia (click or tap on map to view full sized)

c.2000 BC

Tungusic-speakers gradually expand towards the west and north-west of the River Amur. Tribes eventually reach Lake Baikal and follow its river system to the River Yenisei which exits into the Kara Sea.

In doing so they largely displace or absorb the languages of the earliest Siberians, the Palaeo-Siberians, as part of the East Asian Neo-Siberian migratory movement into the region. Tungusic peoples form a majority population of today's Siberia, alongside groups of Uralic-speakers.

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