Two recent palaeogenetic studies have identified a movement of Yamnaya peoples from the Eurasian steppe to Central Europe in the third millennium BC. Their findings are reminiscent of Gustaf Kossinna's equation of ethnic identification with archaeological culture. Rather than a single genetic transmission from Yamnaya to the Central European Corded Ware Culture, there is considerable evidence for centuries of connections and interactions across the continent, as far as Iberia. The author concludes that although genetics has much to offer archaeology, there is also much to be learned in the other direction. This article should be read in conjunction with that by Kristiansen et al. (2017), also in this issue.