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Haplogroup R* originated in North Asia just before the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500-19,000 years ago).
This haplogroup has been identified in the remains of a 24,000 year-old boy from the Altai region, in south-central Siberia (Raghavan et al. This individual belonged to a tribe of mammoth hunters that may have roamed across Siberia and parts of Europe during the Paleolithic.
The oldest known R1b-V88 sample in Europe is a 6,200 year-old farmer/herder from Catalonia tested by Haak et al. Autosomally this individual was a typical Near Eastern farmer, possessing just a little bit of Mesolithic West European admixture.
After reaching the Maghreb, R1b-V88 cattle herders could have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Iberia, probably accompanied by G2 farmers, J1 and T1a goat herders.
Both branches of R1b probably split soon after cattle were domesticated, approximately 10,500 years ago (8,500 BCE).
R1b-V88 migrated south towards the Levant and Egypt.
The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others.
Like its northern counterpart (R1b-M269), R1b-V88 is associated with the domestication of cattle in northern Mesopotamia.
Some painting dating from around 3000 BCE depict fair-skinned and blond or auburn haired women riding on cows.One branch (M335) remained in Anatolia, but judging from its extreme rarity today wasn't very successful, perhaps due to the heavy competition with other Neolithic populations in Anatolia, or to the scarcity of pastures in this mountainous environment.A second branch migrated south to the Levant, where it became the V88 branch.They split into two factions: R1b1a1 (M73), which went east along the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and R1b1a2 (M269), which at first remained in the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe between the Dnieper and the Volga.It is not yet clear whether M73 actually migrated across the Caucasus and reached Central Asia via Kazakhstan, or if it went south through Iran and Turkmenistan.