June 09, 2008

The human settlement in Eurasia: The mountainous Central Asia and the Sub-Himalayan piedmonts

Of interest:
Face à une telle dispersion dans le temps et l’espace, la présence du torus angularis sur des crânes néolithiques indiens peut difficilement s’expliquer autrement que par une parenté génétique avec des Homo erectus indiens. Une origine asiatique de l’Homo sapiens est tout à fait vraisemblable. Cette étude devrait se compléter de la comparaison des populations harappéennes entreposées à Calcutta (civilisation chalcolithique de l’Indus). Il serait intéressant de vérifier si le torus angularis est également présent sur les crânes néolithiques de Merghar (Pakistan) et sur le crâne de Pahiyangala découvert dans une grotte au Sri Lanka et daté de 37 000 ans.

L'Anthropologie doi:10.1016/j.anthro.2008.04.008

Le peuplement humain en Eurasie : l’Asie centrale montagneuse et les piémonts sous-himalayens du Plio-Pléistocène à l’Holocène, origines, évolution humaine et migrations

Anne Dambricourt Malassé

Abstract

During the years 1996 and 1997, a team of the Laboratory of Prehistory, National Museum of Natural History, Paris, and of the Departments of Archaeology, Karachi and Peshawar University, Pakistan, leads the first prehistoric field investigation in the District of Chitral, Hindu Kush, close to the Wakhan Corridor (the Amu Daria course in the Pamir). Problematics are the origins and the becoming of the Epipaleolithic/Neolithic hunters-gatherers known in the Pamir Plateau and the Gissar Range, the lithics tradition of which share common roots with the Sub-Himalayan Soanian tradition (Mode 1). A second field investigation has been conduced in the North West India, where Soan developed from Early Pleistocene, in the Frontal Range of the Siwaliks and Himachal Pradesh during the years 2003, 2005 and 2006 in cooperation with the Department of Archaeology and Museums of Punjab, India. New discoveries in both countries support new hypothesis for the understanding of human evolution in Asia and Homo sapiens origins.

Link

30 comments:

Joe said...

Ooops!
Another possible slap in the face of OOA model?

South Central Haplo said...

and support for OOI model?.

Maju said...

In Neolithic? Impossible, IMO.

Craniometry is a very inexact science. Give me genetics or leave me alone.

And genetics so far doesn't seem to support any meaningful admixture, neither in India nor anywhere else.

Antigonos said...

Maju genetics is not an inexact science?
How do you explain then the very often changes in the phylogeography, identity and affinities of the various haplogoups?
Also haven't you ever heard about the very big tendency of the non recombining part of our DNA (mtDNA, Y-DNA) to be affected by natural selection (i.e. positive selection)?

Maju said...

Genetics is still much more precise than all craniometry put together.

Your latter objection may be valid or not. This is under consideration and unstable loci are generally disregarded as reliable markers. A too lineal "positive selection" might happen hypothetically but I find it very unlikely.

Human haplogroups do seem to show clear patterns of divergence and expansion, patterns that don't seem to be related with any selection (other than maybe socio-cultural, i.e. not directly connected to the haplogroup/haplotype). Of course some populations may have some genes that are better fit for certain circumstances (better or worse is relative, not absolute, see the case of falciform anemia that protects from malaria) but these genes are likely not related with specific haplogroups in them and their selection seems to follow introgression patterns, not replacement ones.

The shape of skulls instead changes a lot, often (not always, of course) disconected from any genetic possible reason. Attributing a minor trait to admixture with archaics, where no evident admixture is apparent otherwise is extremely speculative, IMO.

Dienekes said...

Craniometry is the only tool that we have to study population affinities in prehistoric populations where recovery of DNA is likely to be impossible or limited.

Craniofacial variation reflects both ancestry, selection, and environmental factors. The trick is to untangle these various factors. What is certain is that with a very large number of traits, and a modern algorithm, populations segregate into familiar ethno-racial groups just as they do using STRUCTURE or similar problems and hundreds of thousands of SNPs.

The bad rap of craniometry is more due to the fact that earlier researchers used a limited number of variables/skulls and didn't have the computing power to do multivariate analyses over them.

Antigonos said...

First of all Genetics IS NOT much more reliable than anthropology for the reason that Geneticists are showing a tendency to OVERSHADOW sciences like Anthropology, History, Anatomy, Taxonomy, etc.
Geneticists for example support that the chimp is closer to Humans than the Gorilla because they show common patterns of DNA sequences and distribution.
Thus, we and the chimps differ more compared to any other animal than among us.
Hence they say the diagrams of anatomy and taxonomy that situated chimps closer to gorillas and the other apes should be altered to show us and the chimps closer as beings!
Really?
Do you accept that AS A BEING the chimp is closer to us or to the rest of the apes?
Behaviorally, psychologically, rationally, neurologically, etc. is it closer or more distant?
For Heavens' name man, it's just a beast!
Having common DNA history or common gene lines IS NOT A VERIFICATION OF TAUTOLOGY!!!
It's not only what genes you do have but also what do these genes produce (in terms of proteins for example), what is their frequency and more important in Nature there is a thing called ALLOTROPY!
What is allotropy?
Allotropy is when you have the same contents with another physical form, the same frequency and number of determinants BUT you produce a completely different kind of physical identity!
Example?
Phosphorus!
P4 phosphorus can be totally different in terms of qualities, properties and characteristics in its various IDENTICAL forms.
E.g. scarlet phosphorus and violet phosphorus are different physically, but they have an identical chemical base!
Another example:
Sulfur!
Rhombic sulfur and monoclinic sulfur have the same chemical stock but they differ in form and properties!
Thus dear Maju genetics can't tell us much about identity or affinities ON ITS OWN.
Anatomy, anthropology, taxonomy also must be taken under account!
I agree with you most certainly that craniometry in the past and generally forensic anthropology was inaccurate!
BUT, we have to acknowledge the lack of mathematical and statistical formulas and equations that scientists have in their "weaponry" nowadays!
If anthropologists use in their researches the Penrose distance, the first principal component, etc. they will produce more accurate results and will avoid errors of the past!
Finally, the shape of the skull is not so unreliable as you said.
It has features that can be altered by nutrition, weather environment, etc. like the cranial width, the thickening of the bones etc. but it also has features unaltered by external conditions like the cranial length, the root of the nose, etc.


P.S. Also dear Maju we have no clue when and how natural selection takes place in Y-DNA or mtDNA!
For example as John Hawks has said, the similarity of mtDNA in Neanderthals that spread from Portugal to Siberia indicates a probable positive selection in their mtDNA section.
But while Genetics can't give us a clear picture in the possible Neanderthal admixture to moderns, paleo-anthropology can!
We have skeletons and a full paleontological horizon in cases where Neanderthals and Moderns have mixed!
Generally more and more modern skeletons from 40000 BC and before reflect neandertalian features!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peştera cu Oase

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mladec

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrigo_do_Lagar_Velho

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qafzeh

Kosmo said...

Thanks for the links, Antigonos.

Maju said...

The case is that about the same genes can yield very different phenotypes. Maybe in your family everybody looks the same but that's not true across all families: often two syblings look disparagingly different. One of the maybe most extreme cases was news across the globe a year ago or so: two fraternal syblings: one black and the other blond white.

Craniometry (and other phenotype research) is indicative but not evidence in itself.

I really do not believe that some H. erectus trait was visible as late as Neolithic anywhere. It's much more likely it was a localized independent evolution or even phenotype accident with little or no genetic fundamentals.

Also it could be asked why it's just a minor trait what is visible and not the main traits of these H. erectus, like much lower vault, extreme prognathism, etc. It's always a minor trait that can be perfectly be explained as an archaism, without any need to claim any admixture.

Notice I'm not saying that there could not be any admixture but that the evidence, including this minor trait, with all its hype, that seems more proper of a sensationalist than of a serious research paper, is lacking.

Maju said...

The above was a reply to Dienekes primarily. As for Antigonos:

Geneticists are showing a tendency to OVERSHADOW sciences like Anthropology, History, Anatomy, Taxonomy, etc.

Genetics does not overshadow taxonomy, it improves it.

Genetics does not overshadow Anthropology (a humanistic discipline - not the same as anthropometry) but enriches it.

Genetics does not overshadow Anatomy (again not the same as anthropometry), of course, but can add insight on the why behind it.

And genetics cannot overshadow history or prehistory/archaeology. In fact for some purposes like extremely uncertain age estimates it should be somewhat reliant on archaeological facts. It complements the "bone and stone" findings anyhow, by adding another element of judgement, a "bioarchaeological" one, that, so far, seems to fit very very well with the archaeological record.

When they disagree, probably archaeogenetics is wrong (age estimates are so feeble) but more often that not they tend to agree.

In fact, as I se it, genetics and archaeology are the two pillars of modern prehistory. While archaeology seems generally more solid, often genetics reaches where archaeology can't. Normally they are not contradictory.

P.S. Also dear Maju we have no clue when and how natural selection takes place in Y-DNA or mtDNA!
For example as John Hawks has said, the similarity of mtDNA in Neanderthals that spread from Portugal to Siberia indicates a probable positive selection in their mtDNA section.


Unlikely. First aDNA is always complicated. Second we have very few analysis of Neanderthal aDNA, not the wide samples we have for modern humans. Third, modern humans from Portugal to Siberia are also extremely likely to give very homogeneous mtDNA: obviously all will be L3, most likely (in a small sample) all will be N, pretty likely they will be R and even it's very probable they will be H.

But while Genetics can't give us a clear picture in the possible Neanderthal admixture to moderns, paleo-anthropology can!
We have skeletons and a full paleontological horizon in cases where Neanderthals and Moderns have mixed!


We have some isolated remains that are claimed to show intermediate Neander-Sapiens elements. Most often than not, on second look, they happen to be one or the other.

Of course, admixture may have happened but if it would be so widespread as the hybridationist claim we should clearly see the genetic and even phenotypic remains nowadays. We see them nowhere: West Eurasians don't look like Neanderthals, even if slightly,and there is nowhere the genetic footprint of our ill-fated cousins. They happened to have red hair as some hybridationists had predicted... but the gene causing it happened to be unrelated to the human variant.

It's all like that: when something appears that looks like archaic admixture, it's soon re-evaluated and dismissed. The X chromosome? Oh,my... we forgot to smaple Africa in any meaningful manner: once we did, it was there. And so on.

I'm relly bored of speculations that are, when you look at the real evidence, as good as the worst pseudoscience.

I can understand that people scratch their heads when we seem to find no evidence of archaic admixture at all but I cannot understand that they become so fanatic about that issue that any shadow becomes "definitive proof".

No sorry. Let's be serious and keep a scientific attitude of prudence and healthy skepticism.

terryt said...

Maju: "patterns that don't seem to be related with any selection (other than maybe socio-cultural, i.e. not directly connected to the haplogroup/haplotype)".

Now Maju, you know as well as I do that any 'socio-cultural' change is usually associated with some specific haplotype or group of haplotypes. So, therefore, selection for socio-cultural innovations can easily be responsible for the expansion of a particular haplotype. This easily accounts for the fact that Y-chromosome and mtDNA haplotypes are not closely associated with particular phenotypes.

Finally, how would we recognise a pre-modern human gene if we found it? After all any successful ones would be widely distributed through the modern population by now. So any gene that has introgressed from some pre-modern population would be automatically regarded as an ancient shared gene.

Maju said...

Now Maju, you know as well as I do that any 'socio-cultural' change is usually associated with some specific haplotype or group of haplotypes. So, therefore, selection for socio-cultural innovations can easily be responsible for the expansion of a particular haplotype. This easily accounts for the fact that Y-chromosome and mtDNA haplotypes are not closely associated with particular phenotypes.

Assuming that is correct (it's just a possibility for my prone-to-diffusionism mindset) it's still an indirect effect, not the intrinsecal adaptative effect suggested before.

Finally, how would we recognise a pre-modern human gene if we found it? After all any successful ones would be widely distributed through the modern population by now. So any gene that has introgressed from some pre-modern population would be automatically regarded as an ancient shared gene.

There are for sure possibilities:

1. Find it in aDNA of arhcaic hominins: if the Neanderthal redhair gene would have been the same as that of modern Europeans, then we would have good evidence for admixture, certainly. It was not, so it strongly weights against. This is probably the only way for recombining coding parts of the genome or their derived proteins.

2. Find genes that (for the Neanderthal case) either are not present in populations out of West Eurasia or show a pattern of losing diversity out of it. An out-of-Europe gene would be likely be Neanderthal, for instance. Such gene has never been found. The odd X-DNA haplotype was found in Africa as soon as it was sampled minmally and showed no Eurocentric pattern in any case, with highest diversity in Siberia and maximums among Native Americans and Basques. Would it be an archaic clade, it would rather suggest admixture in Central Asia or Siberia (not impossible for Neanderthal admixture certainly) but the finding in Africa of that haplotype suggests it's a sapiens thing. More research should be done in any case (emphasizing Africa and South Asia) but I have heard no news on X-chr since that second study.

So far it looks more like a proto-Aurignacian and/or Y-DNA P related Sapiens haplotype if anything. Considering that the P clan did experience a large expansion, it could well be a founder effect.

But only further X-DNA research will tell for sure. So far this aspect of genetics is in a very "young" stage, unable to tell us much. We all know that haplotype coincidences outside haplogroups are probably meaningless and product of randomness, so until the X-DNA research moves ahead a lot we will not be able to reach anywhere that way.

Antigonos said...

Dear Maju,

On the contrary, Geneticists do try to overshadow Anthropology, Taxonomy, etc.!!!
Look at their suggestions that the affinity tree of our Primates Order should be changed in order to reflect Cladistics' results and not anatomy!
The same thing has been proposed for the Mammals in general. National Geographic, Science Illustrated and other scientific mags have published essays and theses of Geneticists that support these things!
They use the below phony argument to support their claims:

The traditional theory of cetacean evolution was that whales were related to the mesonychids, an extinct order of carnivorous ungulates (hoofed animals), which looked rather like wolves with hooves and were a sister group of artiodactyls. These animals possessed unusual triangular teeth that are similar to those of whales. For this reason, scientists had long believed that whales evolved from a form of mesonychid.

However, since the early 1990s analysis of a wide variety of protein and DNA sequence data consistently indicated that whales should be included among artiodactyls. Most probably they are a sister group of hippopotamids, deeply buried within artiodactyls. The strong evidence for a clade combining cetaceans and artiodactyls is further discussed under the entry Cetartiodactyla.
The recent discovery of Pakicetus, the earliest proto-whale in Pakistan supports the molecular data.

BUT!!!
The paleontological horizon of the whales species was NEVER FULL!!!
Thus anatomists had to judge from the very few things that they had in their disposal!
In Neanderthal/Modern anatomy though THIS IS NOT THE CASE!
We have full Neanderthal skeletons and we have full Early Modern skeletons!
Also we have neanderthal/modern mingled individuals.
The Lapedo Child, the Predmost skeletons, the Skhul and the Dolni Vestonice fossils have given us a lot of inside information about the possibility of mingling.
It can't be coincidence that Oase, Mladec, Predmost, Qafzeh, Es Skhul, Lapedo, etc. all show bone and joints structure of Neanderthalian descend.
But Geneticists CLEARLY BIASED refuse that possibility. Alan Tampleton has used mathematics in order to prove that there is a very very and i mean very improbable possibility that mingling actually DID NOT take place!
Many times Geneticists have overestimated their findings.
For example they say that Mitochondrial Eve was the mother of us all and that we all descend from her!
BUT, the Mungo Man proved them wrong!
Also they have a phony belief that even different species of the same Order can't mix due to differences in chromosome numbers!
Really?
Species with a chromosome mismatch CAN PRODUCE NOT ONLY OFFSPRING BUT A FERTILE OFFSPRING TOO!!!
Example?
Take the Modern horse (64 chromosomes) and Przewalski's Horse (66 chromosomes).
Interbreed them and you get a fertile hybrid with 65 chromosomes.
Hunchback whales with blue whales, African elephants with Asian elephants, camel with lama, etc.

I agree with you that Anthropometry, Taxonomy, Anatomy, etc. can't ALONE be a confident scientific tool!
BUT NEITHER DOES GENETICS!
Only with a combination of sciences we can HOPE to come close to the truth. And i say HOPE and CLOSE because even if you prove something in your laboratory or textbook it ain't 100% sure that it is correct!
Proof?
The Euclidean Geometry!
This geometry was used till the 19th century and it worked fine in our plans. We could prove its properties, predict correctly outcomes by using it, BUT, when we tried to use it in space and stellar objects BOOM!!!
Nothing worked!
That's why we use the Riemann Geometry now and that happens in Physics too, where Newtonian Physics have been limited and quantophysics had gained the first role!
You see dear Maju, in order to have a healthy skepticism and produce a realistic attitude YOU HAVE TO JUDGE EVERYTHING!
Even Scientific methodology!
Otherwise you go to the so called "Scientificism" or "Scientific Determinism" as it is called in Philosophy, where everything that we can't prove wrong should be accepted and everything that we can't prove right should immediately be rejected!
Thus we result in a some kind of logical positivism and to a scientific fundamentalism which really isn't a lot different than political or religious fundamentalism!
And i'm sorry friend but Geneticists have given me signs of that behavior!!!
Behavior that has medieval and authoritarian attributes!
If you want to follow it, be my guest, but i won't follow!
I want to judge everything and have my mind open for everything.

Maju said...

The recent discovery of Pakicetus, the earliest proto-whale in Pakistan supports the molecular data.

So does or does not genetics work well?

BUT!!!
The paleontological horizon of the whales species was NEVER FULL!!!
Thus anatomists had to judge from the very few things that they had in their disposal!
In Neanderthal/Modern anatomy though THIS IS NOT THE CASE!
We have full Neanderthal skeletons and we have full Early Modern skeletons!
Also we have neanderthal/modern mingled individuals.


Do we? Most often than not those hybrids are nothing but wishful thinking of some. Look at the last case mentioned here: what is there after all? A handful of teeth. Thats not a hybrid: it's just some teeth.

If all the once-supposed Neander-Sapiens hybrids would be real (they may be like most of all early possible Sapiens related specimens out of Africa), we should certainly find today clear genetic signs of admixture. We do not, sorry.

We should also find clear anthropometric signs too, not just minor speculative elements but real half-Neanders in living populations. Again we do not.

Admixture may have happened, this part is hard to determine... but it was not very succesful clearly. And anthropometry has something to say about that certainly: we don't see 50% nor 30% nor even 10% Neanderthal anatomy in modern humans. We see zero evidence (arguably a tiny 0.01% maybe, if the introgresion models have some truth to them) of Neanderthal ancestry in us.

Hybrid populations may have existed in frontier areas in the distant past? Maybe. Have they significatively influenced our genome or phenotype? Not really.

The Lapedo Child, the Predmost skeletons, the Skhul and the Dolni Vestonice fossils have given us a lot of inside information about the possibility of mingling.

Sorry, only the Lapedo (Lagar Velho) specimen can be argued about. Predmost-3 is typical H. sapiens archaic, very similar to other early European skulls, like Combe-Capelle. Skuhl is also H. sapiens very clearly (and consensually), in fact Neanderthals seem to have arrived to the area long after them. I don't know what Dolni Vestonice remains are you talking about but AFAIK, Dolni Vestonice is a typical Cro-Magnon Gravettian site - nothing else.

See what I mean when I talk of wishful thinking. The Lagar velho kid (from memory) has a Nender head on a Sapiens body (or is it viceversa?). Personally I strongly suspect it's an anomalous burial of two different people, as an hybrid should be more intermediate for both parts. It is AFAIK the only arguable hybrid - not enough to build anything, specially as he (if he was one single person) died young and without descendance.

terryt said...

Maju. Regarding the introgression of Y-chromosome and mtDNA haplogroups you wrote: "it's still an indirect effect, not the intrinsecal adaptative effect suggested before". The adaptive element would already be present in the pre-existing population. Merely the new haplogroup would be introduced. Say a man with a new technology moved some distance away from home and had children with members of a different-looking population. His children would have only half his autosomal DNA but his sons would retain his Y-chromosome. His grandsons would have roughly one quarter of his autosomal DNA but still have his Y-chromosome and so on. Therefore we cannot assume particular mtDNA and Y-haps are at all linked to any particular phenotype.

"an hybrid should be more intermediate for both parts". Exactly. So why would we expect to see "real half-Neanders in living populations". Surely any surviving Neanderthal genes would be thoroughly mixed with 'modern' human genes in any population they happen to survive in.

Earlier you mentioned that modern Europeans don't look like Neanderthals. The really interesting thing is that, compared to Polynesians for example, they do. The differences between Polynesians and modern Europeans tend to be precisely those present in Neanderthal skulls, although displayed in modern Europeans to a much lesser degree than in Neanderthals.

Maju said...

Ot is an indirect effect, as there's nothing in that Y chromosome intrinsecaly attached to that innovation or whatever. Any other person could learn the same skills and use them to greater advantage. We don't know for sure but it's very possible that Indo-Europeans did not invent horse-riding, yet they benefited from it the most. Also eventually the IEs would not anymore have the founding Y-DNA but that of other "adopted" or forcebly asimilated peoples, the Indo-Europeans that colonized America on those same terrible beasts called horses were not anymore of the R1a clade (for the most part) but of another clade. The next IE expansion could be lead, who knows?, by Jamaicans, who obviously have little of that original IE lineage, or even of the secondary adopted ones.

I don't want to dicuss the specific genetics of IEs, it's just an example. The same could be said for Afroasiatics who may have switched from E3b to J1 as dominant Y clade when Semites began expanding. There's no guarantee that the lineage will be perpetuated. Thought it's possible that we do find traces of those origins.

Another example: Neolithic. While we can see traces of Middle Eastern clades spawning to west and east, in most cases they did not displace the natives but gradually transformed in them by assimlation or mere difussion.

Some people like to think in oversimplistic terms of winners and losers but often it's not so clear cut: if something adds value it's incorporated. It's not like biological evolution: cultural evolution works primarly by memes, not genes. It can be at times associated to genetic elements such as paternal or maternal lineages but it's not necesarily that way.

"an hybrid should be more intermediate for both parts". Exactly. So why would we expect to see "real half-Neanders in living populations". Surely any surviving Neanderthal genes would be thoroughly mixed with 'modern' human genes in any population they happen to survive in.

If there weas as much admixture with archaics as some claim, then we all should be 80% Neanderthal. Every single archaic Sapiens remain is for them hybrid... according to them there was never any half pure Sapiens genetic pool to drink of.

If you take the opposite attitude, then you are with me: admixture might have happened but it was so ridiculously low overall that nothing of Neanderthal ancestry is apparent among us. That is what I am saying: near zero admixture. They are saying: massive admixture, what is totally inconsistent with what we know of both genetics and phenotype.

Earlier you mentioned that modern Europeans don't look like Neanderthals. The really interesting thing is that, compared to Polynesians for example, they do. The differences between Polynesians and modern Europeans tend to be precisely those present in Neanderthal skulls, although displayed in modern Europeans to a much lesser degree than in Neanderthals.

You'll have to explain me what differences specificlaly because I cannot think in anyone: Neanderthals were extremely dolicocephalic (much more than any known human), low vaulted and high faced. Modern Europeans are mesocephalic (less dolicocephalic than Africans and archaic Sapiens skulls) and generally high vaulted and low faced. Neanderthals had big jaws, Europeans have normally them small. Neanderthals were short and extremely robust, with very thick bones, modern Europeans are generally tall and slender with bones like any other Sapiens.

Which are the kind of traits you talk about, may I know?

Also the best comparison would be Africans, maybe Indians, rather than East Asians/Polynesians, I suspect.

Antigonos said...

Maju which exact phrase of my comment you don't understand?

NO!!!
Genetics do not work always!
It is not the "philosopher's stone" as you would like it to be!
The example of whales is used ON THE OPPOSITE of what you understood!
To show that Geneticists use this example to indicate their superiority compared to anatomy, taxonomy, etc.
BUT THAT'S PHONY!
Because the paleontological horizon of Homo is full while that of whales NOT.
Only recently in Pakistan we found fossils of a whale old enough to see its anatomy!
What does this have to do with Homo?
AND AGAIN NO!!!
We don't have just some "Hybrid" teeth.
The Lapedo child, the Mladec, Predmost, Es Skhul, etc. fossils are not mere teeth!
And again you don't listen to what i tell you.
NO YOU WON'T FIND IN Y-DNA OR mtDNA, ARCHAIC CONTRIBUTION BECAUSE THAT HAS BEEN ERASED BY NATURAL SELECTION!
And please stop misusing the word Hybrid.
Hybrid is the Englishized form of the Greek word Υβρίδιον (=Hyvridion). The word means something that is a product of Hybris, Ύβρις in Greek. Hybris means "Insult".
My ancestors used it to characterize the abomination, the abnormal. The mingling of Neanderthals and Moderns is not a Hybris for the reason that they belong to the same genus or even species, the Homo Sapiens!
Archaic, Early or Modern the Sapientes Humans belong to the same degree of nature.
Thus stop calling it a Hybrid.
The English language many times has misused Greek vocabulary!
It's time to stop that.
And something final.
I don't believe that Trinkaus, Volpoff, Hawks, Templeton and others who support the neanderthalian admixture to moderns via the "assimilation model" or other theories do wishful thinking!
Perhaps Wells, Underhill, Cinioglou and other Geneticists do that.
Remember the Mungo man?
Your geneticists were AS SURE AS DEATH that mitochondrial Eve was the mother of all modern humans.
They claimed that Genetics showed the validity of their results as you do now!
And that finding in the distant Australia knocked their teeth out!!!


P.S. No, Skhul and Qafzeh were not in Palestine before the Neanderthals. The Tabun Cave gave us a female Neanderthal of 120000 BC.
Qafzeh and Skhul are not older than 90 to 100 thousand years old.

terryt said...

Maju: "You'll have to explain me what differences specificlaly". First of all let's look at the occipital bun:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occipital_bun

From that link, "A greater proportion of early modern Europeans had them, but prominent occipital buns even among Europeans are now relatively infrequent". I've even noticed them in Europeans with the modern fashion of shaving the whole head. Polynesians have an exceptionally straight back of their head.

In their book "In Search of the Neanderthals" Stringer and Gamble claim that Neanderthal skulls have a more rounded profile when viewed from behind than do those of modern humans. But Houghton ("The First New Zealanders") mentions that Polynesian skulls can be distinguished from European because the latter are more rounded. And Stringer and Mckie ("African Exodus") admit the first Europeans had small flat noses but then developed a nose that was 'somewhat similar' to those of Neanderthals.

And here's something I hadn't seen before:

http://www.world-science.net/othernews/061012_neanderthal.htm

Maju said...

@Antigonos:

NO!!!

You don't need to yell, Antigonos. I hear (and read) very well.

Genetics do not work always!
It is not the "philosopher's stone" as you would like it to be!


I never said that. I just said it works pretty well.

In fact I was dicussing with Terry on my blog on haploid genetics and saying that genetics also has limitations (specially in the aspect of age estimates) and that it must be considered always in connection with archaeology - not alone.

Because the paleontological horizon of Homo is full while that of whales NOT.

I would not say that, really. We have aboundance for certain times and places but we lack of evidence for others. For instance South Asian UP skulls are extremely scarce. Much of the same can be said about SE Asia, both crucial regions to understand the dynamics of H. sapiens in Eurasia early on. A lot of remains may just have been lost because of soil acidity (like the Portuguese Megalithic people) or other enviromental conditionants. Even in places and periods as well studied as the UP Franco-Cantabrian region there's a lot of evidence we would like to know and we just lack of. The uncertainties are immense - even in the best documented spacetimes.

The Lapedo child, the Mladec, Predmost, Es Skhul, etc. fossils are not mere teeth!
And again you don't listen to what i tell you.


You must be speaking of different fossils than those I'm more familiar for those sites. Searching I deduced that you mean the Skuhl 9 remain specifically, which to me looks again like Combe-Capelle man, i.e. archaic H. sapiens, with a more marked prognathism than usual maybe.

NO YOU WON'T FIND IN Y-DNA OR mtDNA, ARCHAIC CONTRIBUTION BECAUSE THAT HAS BEEN ERASED BY NATURAL SELECTION!

Unlikely claim (as Eurasian archaics presumably should have been better adapted for their enviroment than African Sapiens) but well... Guess that the corresponding phenotype too has been "erased by natural selection", right? Then it's a ghost of admixture what you are claiming, not any real thing.

Certainly ghosts cannot be proven nor disproven but also are not a matter of scientifical research.

And please stop misusing the word Hybrid.
Hybrid is the Englishized form of the Greek word Υβρίδιον (=Hyvridion). The word means something that is a product of Hybris, Ύβρις in Greek. Hybris means "Insult".


Interesting. But I'm writing in English, not in Greek and any English language dictionary will tell you that "hybrid" means an offspring of two animals or plants of different races, breeds, varieties, species, or genera. Or something like that. And, by the way, the direct origin of the term is Latin: hybrida (same meaning).

P.S. No, Skhul and Qafzeh were not in Palestine before the Neanderthals. The Tabun Cave gave us a female Neanderthal of 120000 BC.
Qafzeh and Skhul are not older than 90 to 100 thousand years old.


AFAIK the datations are old and oscilate between 130-100,000 years but are controversial. I was unaware of that intercalation of Neanderthals and Sapiens in Palestine.

It's often believed that this Palestinian adventure of H.sapiens was interrupted and certainly genetics arguably support this idea. It would be a very intersting matter for discussion, as the North African Aterian sites also seem to support now such old dates for H. sapiens excursions out of Tropical Africa but guess this space doesn't allow for that (way too off-topic surely).

@Terry:

From that link, "A greater proportion of early modern Europeans had them, but prominent occipital buns even among Europeans are now relatively infrequent". I've even noticed them in Europeans with the modern fashion of shaving the whole head. Polynesians have an exceptionally straight back of their head.

That's the anthropometrical difference between dolicocephalic and brachicephalic skulls in modern humans. Many Europeans (mesocephalic Mediterraneans, Nordids, etc.) have it but not all: many types that we could consider "Alpinid" in general terms are clearly brachicephalic and lack of that element. They tend to be more common towards the interior and east of the subcontinent. Most Balcanics for instance are that way, like your polynesians.

But Africans (both northern and ultrasaharan types) are almost always markedly more dolicocephalic than any European. East Asians, many Indians, Negritos and your Polynesians are normally brachicephalic instead, like most Yugoslavians or Lapps. This belongs to the well known internal variation of H. spaiens and has nothing to do with Neanderthal, specially as our African ancestors were also dolicocephalic and so were the archaic AMHs found in West Eurasia. The oddity, in evolutionary terms, is brachicephaly if anything, not the other way around.

Of course, Neanders were much more dolico than any human ever but considering the fossil history of H. sapiens a less extreme (than Nenaderthal) dolicocephaly is only something normal, something to expect and that requires no admixture whatsoever.

And Stringer and Mckie ("African Exodus") admit the first Europeans had small flat noses but then developed a nose that was 'somewhat similar' to those of Neanderthals.

Hmmm. I'm not convinced. The skulls I see of Neanders have rather broad nasal cavities that remind of Africans if anything, though maybe higher. When these are smaller (still big), the shape is more like those of East Asian skulls (like a very regular pear), while that of modern West Eurasians is more like a "conference" pear (narrowing quite suddenly at the middle).

More likely this is Cro-Magnon influence probably, as this type has often a very small triangular nasal cavity.

And here's something I hadn't seen before:

http://www.world-science.net/othernews/061012_neanderthal.htm


And what's your judgement?

I compare those three skulls and all I can see in the Rumanian one is a H. sapiens with a maybe anomalous occipital bun: no (zero!) browridge, very straight high forehead... no Neanderthal traits at all.

In fact if you look at it again it's brachicephalic, even in spite of the anomalous bun. It's proportionally quite smaller from front to rear than the "standard" H. sapiens skull shown below for reference.

Again just wishful thinking, IMO.

terryt said...

Maju. What about a possibility that the promotion of a simplistic interpretation of the genetic evidence, a recent single origin of humans, is yet another example of science being used by those in power to manipulate the population. "If we can convince the masses that The Bible is basically correct we can carry on using it to oppress them."

Maju said...

It would be a really major conspiration. The whole academy, many of them stubborn atheists (or, if theists, likely not Christians, much less literalists), would be involved.

This is way offtopic but actually the case is that religion is not anymore necesary to manipulate the masses: the traditional (brainwashing, indoctrinating and justifying of the powerful) role of the pulpit has been captured by TV.

Single origin certaily is more PC maybe, more convenient for humanistic thought possibly, somewhat inconvenient for racist ideologies. But the case is that it is that what the evidence points to. It doesn't look like wishful thinking but like what actually is there.

Antigonos said...

Maju,

I write in capital letters when i want to give an emphasis on something.
It doesn't have anything to do with yelling or aggressiveness. Don't be predisposing!

The paleontological horizon of the Homo is full!
We have complete skeletons from most of our species. Only Rudolfensis, etc. have given us only skulls, or teeth, etc.
But yet it is enough to reconstruct the Homo line since skulls are the most important feature in the taxonomy of humans. Anyway we can conclude from the fossils that we have the route of our species and genus.
In the case of the Whales we had only some back bones which are not crucial in the taxonomy of the species. That has ended with the discovery of Pakicetus.
In order for the paleontological horizon to be complete it doesn't have to have every last bone from every single human subtype that ever lived on our planet. Be reasonable!!!

Skhul and also Mladec, Brunn and other skulls have Neanderthalian features. The Upper Cave men in Asia have similarities with the modern Mongoloids and some Erectus Asian forms!!!
A coincidence again?
Homo Soloensis have similarities with Wadjak and other Australoid skulls!
Coincidence again?

Until you prove me that natural selection DOES NOT affect Y-DNA or mtDNA i would always laugh at the archaic homo sapientes' Genetics based phylogeography!!!

The word Hybris is Greek and has been loaned to Latin by the reading of Tragedies. The fact that it has been found in Latin doesn't prove that it is a Latin word!!!
The word "bovine" exists in both Latin and English. With your rational we should imply that both Germanic and Italian had that word in their proto-vocabulary.
But that's not the case!
Bovine is a loan from Italian to English during the middle ages. The English and Germanic word for cattle is "cow" from the proto-Indoeuropean word "g(w)ous".
When you want to dive inside sciences you must not simply reproduce things that you hear or learn by the scholars but search it and judge it by yourself!

No, the Skhul and Qafzeh fossils are 90000 years old with maximum 100000 years old dating.
The Tabun is 120000 BP at least.
Greece, in Apidima of Peloponnese gave Neanderthals of 200000 BP of the same type with Tabun. Near East and Southeastern Mediterranean were full of Neanderthals and clearly Early Moderns were intruders in these lands.

Maju said...

I write in capital letters when i want to give an emphasis on something.
It doesn't have anything to do with yelling or aggressiveness. Don't be predisposing!


The rest of us uses HTML code. Capital letters, specially when whole sentences are written in them do look like yelling and most people take them that way.

In order for the paleontological horizon to be complete it doesn't have to have every last bone from every single human subtype that ever lived on our planet. Be reasonable!!!

For our purpose, it seems we don't have enough materials. That's what I meant. The situation is pretty bad in Tropical Eurasia, specially.

Skhul and also Mladec, Brunn and other skulls have Neanderthalian features.

Simply no. That's your wishful thinking and nothing more.

The Upper Cave men in Asia have similarities with the modern Mongoloids and some Erectus Asian forms!!!

I don't agree with that either: they look more like all the rest: vaguely "Australid", like Kenewick Man, like Combe Capelle. It seems that type was once widespread. But certainly it's not Neander, just the good old H. sapiens before the refinement that happened later on apparently.

Until you prove me that natural selection DOES NOT affect Y-DNA or mtDNA i would always laugh at the archaic homo sapientes' Genetics based phylogeography!!!

Then why aren't we all the same haplogroups? Certainly it's been argued that some mutations in certain mtDNA clades are "pathogenic", yet those are very common clades. Natural selection has not supressed them certainly. Their harmful effect has not stopped them from succeeding.

In evolution, good or bad, is relative: otherwise there would not be any Rh-, for instance. Certainly the effect of natural selection is not so important, except maye for very specific genes (and often for very specific enviroments, case of pygmentation, for instance).

But certainly you can argue much of the same about craniometry, after all we largely ponder beauty based on heads and faces - sexual selection may certainly have acted against some skull types and favored others, more refined, arguably more beautiful.

We could go like that in circles forever.

The word Hybris is Greek and has been loaned to Latin by the reading of Tragedies.

What I (and anybody with common sense) mean is that "hybrid" is not Greek, whatever its origings. It has a very long history of common use in Latin and related languages of Western Europe (including English, whose vocabulary is almost 50% Latin or Romance) with that meaning of "admixed". If it comes from the Chinese term for "dragon", the Sanskrit name of a demon, the Arabic prayer book or Sumerian cuneiform tablets... it only matters to linguists. It's a common happening to loanwords to alter their meaning somewhat. In fact I often get confused by the English meaning of some Latin-derived words that is very different from those in Spanish or French. Languages are that way.

terryt said...

Maju. My favourite word is 'alcohol'. Some say it's Sumerian. I've heard there may be as many as six Sumerian survivals. Do you know if that's true?

Maju said...

No idea. Alcohol seems to stem from arabic (al-kuhl or al-gawl).

Antigonos said...

Why the rest are writing in block letters Maju is not my concern!
Since you address me, you should at least, ask me why am i doing what i am doing and not trying to correlate attributes of others to me!

Au contraire, for our case which is the comparison of Neanderthals and Moderns and the possibility of admixture, we do have enough skeletons to draw our conclusions!

Mladec, Skhul, Lapedo, etc. DO HAVE Neanderthalian features and it is your political correct based opinion that they don't. An opinion which is opposed by important Anthropologists like Wolpoff, Hawks, Trinkaus, etc.
And yes! The Upper Cave men do resemble both Erectus and Mongoloids. The same goes for Soloensis and the Australoids.

"Then why aren't we all the same haplogroups?"

Because it seems that no current Hg is considered superior compared to the rest by the natural selection's mechanism.

The word hybrid is Greek. It comes from the word Hybris (Ύβρις) and in Greek it is spelled Hyvridio (Υβρίδιο). The word is so clear that only the suffix was changed in Latin and the deepening of v which became b in the Hyv subject.

Maju said...

Upper Cave people might look somewhat like Erectus in the sense that at least one has a low vault and marked browridge - but that's all. Overall they look just archaic H. sapiens. Too dolicocephalic to look Mongoloid and with some resemblance to Kenewick Man and even archaic European types like Combe-Capelle (broader jaw though). My opinion in any case.

But in case you need a second opinion, Peter Brown says:

In comparison to modern East Asians the cranial vault is extremely long and low, with a receding frontal squama and marked angulation in the occipital region. (...) To what extent the oro-facial skeleton and cranial vault of Upper Cave 101 contains either "proto-Mongoloid" or East Asian anatomical characteristics has been the subject of some debate (Kaminga and Wright 1988; Wolpoff et al. 1984; Neves and Pucciarelli 1998). Living East Asians and Native Americans have a facial skeleton characterised by great facial height, a tall nasal aperture, high orbits, limited overall prognathism but often marked subnasal prognathism, only moderate bi-frontal breadth but a relatively broad mid-facial region. The nasal bones are generally flattened rather than pinched, the anterolateral surface of the frontal processes of the malars are rotated forwards and the inferior half of the external surface of the malars tend to be orientated upwards, rather than perpendicular. This suite of features are also found in the early Neolithic sites of Baoji (Yan et al. 1960) and Huaxian (Yan 1962) but they are not a feature of Upper Cave 101.

I'd say they all these relatively similar archaic Eurasian types seem to represent a single most extended type in the early dates of expansion around Eurasia. How they became "us" (by evolution, replacement or both) is intriguing but certainly the first remains of each region seldom if ever seem to represent the evolved local type that we find now.

Antigonos said...

As i said, unless you prove me that natural selection doesn't affect Y-DNA or mtDNA, the effort to suggest me that Neanderthals did not mingle with Moderns based on Genetics is hilarious!!!

Anatomy has given us strong Neanderthalian and generally archaic Homo Sapeientes influences on Early Modern fossils.

terryt said...

And of course our definition of "modern" is to a large extent defined by the ways in which modern humans differ from Neanderthals. Therefore it's not at all surprising we find so little evidence for survivals.

Maju said...

Not only. It's also based in the paleontological record in Africa (and elsewehere). Neanderthals are very different to all Sapiens, archaic or modern, in many things, not just the skulls but also their stocky heavy bodies.

You want to make of a primarily non-Eurasian Sapiens trait such as dolicocephaly a "Neanderthal trait" but it's actually more like a genuine African Sapiens trait in fact.