That means that Hepatitis B Virus on the ancient steppes may have been as prevalent as it is in some of the most heavily impacted areas of the world today.
|[Novel genotypes A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H]|
|[Genotypes of Bronze Age and Iron Age]|
One modern strain, genotype A, was previously thought to have emerged in Africa and spread to the Americas and India within the last few centuries via the slave trade. But the researchers found some ancestral strains of type A in people living on the steppe as early as 4,300 years ago: some from the Sintasha culture in what is now southwest Russia, and one in a person from the Scythian culture in what is now Hungary.
That, suggests that it's the other way around, that it came from Europe, but it was introduced to South Asian populations historically recently.
 Mühlemann et al: Ancient hepatitis B viruses from the Bronze Age to the Medieval period in Nature – 2018