October 10, 2013

Ancient central European mtDNA across time (Brandt, Haak et al. and Bollongino et al.)

Two important new papers appeared in Science today. In the first one (Brandt, Haak et al.), researchers compiled mtDNA results from 364 prehistoric central Europeans from the early Neolithic to the early Bronze Age, spanning about four millennia of history. Importantly they uncover not a smooth transition between early Neolithic farmers and modern Europeans, but a punctuated series of haplogroup frequency changes that cannot really be explained by genetic drift in a single European population evolving over time. Hopefully this kind of research can be repeated in other parts of the world, as it provides a way to see evolution and migration as it happens.

Earlier work has disproved the hypothesis that modern Europeans are simply "acculturated" hunter-gatherers, and this newer research disproves the idea that they are simply the descendants of early farmers, little modified since the beginning of the Neolithic.

I am sure that myself and others will spend some time trying to digest the wealth of information present in the paper and its supplementary materials. Yet, one conclusion can already be made, that migrationism is alive and well. Anyone adhering to a "pots not people" paradigm will find difficult to explain the sharp discontinuities found in the genetic record. European foragers contrast with the earliest farmers, who, in turn, contrast with and the Late Neolithic copper cultures that supplanted them a few thousand years later and spawned the Bronze Age world. If pots aren't people, it's strange that archaeological cultures defined largely by pots (right) also appear to mark genetic contrasts.

These discontinuities are most evident in Figure 3 from the paper:


You may follow the grey line to see how central Europe, once populated exclusively by hunter-gatherers, experienced a virtual disappearance of their matrilineages for almost two thousand years after the advent of farming.  Then, between the Middle to Late Neolithic, around five thousand year ago, the hunter-gatherers make their re-appearance before their lineages converge to their modern (minority) frequency. The authors present a model of migration to explain these events, illustrated in a movie in the supplementary material, and also in the figure on the left.

Of particular interest is a set of haplogroups marked by the yellow line (I, U2, T1, R) and are most strongly represented in the Unetice and Corded Ware samples before reverting to a small minority in the present-day. These may be potentially very informative to understand the c. 5,000-year old ago upheaval. I reproduce below three of the genetic distance maps from the supplement for the three latest cultures (CWC: Corded Ware; BBC: Bell Beaker; and UC: Unetice):





I note the European-ness of Bell Beaker (probably due to elevated frequencies of haplogroup H) and the eastern European-ness/west Asian-ness of Corded Ware/Unetice.

Moving on to the next shorter paper by Bollongino et al. which produces evidence for an interesting hypothesis: that hunter-gatherers did not disappear in central Europe after the introduction of farming, but some of their descendants persisted for at least two thousand years afterwards:
In summary, the results of 14C and stable isotope analysis, together with the DNA evidence, suggest that the Blätterhöhle individuals are sampled from three distinct populations: (i) Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, (ii) Neolithic farmers, and (iii) Neolithic fisher-hunter-gatherers (special-izing in freshwater fish). The latter two notably date to the fourth mil-lennium BC, which is around 2000 years after the introduction of farming to Central Europe.
I was reminded of an older paper about first contact between farmers and hunter-gatherers. An important consequence of the second paper is that hunter-gatherer lineages in modern Europeans may have come not only from outlying areas where foragers persisted in greater numbers, but also from within the farming realm itself.

Science 11 October 2013: Vol. 342 no. 6155 pp. 257-261 DOI: 10.1126/science.1241844

Ancient DNA Reveals Key Stages in the Formation of Central European Mitochondrial Genetic Diversity 

Guido Brandt, Wolfgang Haak et al.

The processes that shaped modern European mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation remain unclear. The initial peopling by Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers ~42,000 years ago and the immigration of Neolithic farmers into Europe ~8000 years ago appear to have played important roles but do not explain present-day mtDNA diversity. We generated mtDNA profiles of 364 individuals from prehistoric cultures in Central Europe to perform a chronological study, spanning the Early Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age (5500 to 1550 calibrated years before the common era). We used this transect through time to identify four marked shifts in genetic composition during the Neolithic period, revealing a key role for Late Neolithic cultures in shaping modern Central European genetic diversity.

Link

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1245049

2000 Years of Parallel Societies in Stone Age Central Europe

Ruth Bollongino et al.

Debate on the ancestry of Europeans centers on the interplay between Mesolithic foragers and Neolithic farmers. Foragers are generally believed to have disappeared shortly after the arrival of agriculture. To investigate the relation between foragers and farmers, we examined Mesolithic and Neolithic samples from the Blätterhöhle site. Mesolithic mitochondrial DNA sequences were typical of European foragers, whereas the Neolithic sample included additional lineages that are associated with early farmers. However, isotope analyses separate the Neolithic sample into two groups: one with an agriculturalist diet and one with a forager and freshwater fish diet, the latter carrying mitochondrial DNA sequences typical of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. This indicates that the descendants of Mesolithic people maintained a foraging lifestyle in Central Europe for more than 2000 years after the arrival of farming societies.

34 comments:

Colin Welling said...

so out of Corded Ware, Bell Beaker, and Unetice, Bell Beaker is the most European Specific. Very interesting!

Lathdrinor said...

The wealth of new data is welcome, but again is short on paternal data. Thus, the assumption that maternal and paternal patterns converge goes again without challenge. Are we that sure of the interchangeability of men and women when it comes to migration and survival?

barakobama said...

I am very sick of people wording it the hunter gathers descendants did persist into the Neolithic. Or basing the genetics of an entire culture based on 50 mtDNA samples usually less. I think you should change the wording to direct materal lineages because that is what it really is. Austomal DNA of these U(U5, U4, and U2) dominted European hunter gathers from Neloithic and Mesolithic ages. Show they are actually more European than any modern ones. For example in globe13 the only group that is pretty much only in Europe is called North Euro and is over 71% in all the hunter gather samples so far. While Meditreaen is dominate in the farmer samples 59% or more and Med took up the rest of the hunter gathers austomal DNA if you don't count Native American, Oceania, and sub sharan African groups which most likely mean nothing. North Euro may have been 100% in Europeans before farming spread. I have noticed it shows very close connection with distribution of fair hair and eyes in Europe the areas of Europe were farming spread last or never did in the Neolithic have the highest North Euro and fair hair and eyes(Baltic sea and Scandinavia). I think European palness comes from the hunter gathers that is why Europeans with the most North Euro are the palest but it is probably a lot more complicated. Since pale skin dominates Europe it makes sense Europeans or at least most mainly descend from pre Neolithic Europeans not Near eastern farmers.

I have looked a lot at ancient Eurasian DNA and put it in percentages(I have no idea how they get the results though). And basicalley I see that there really is almost no difference between Neolithic-iron age European mtDNa and modern. H is around 35%+, U(mainly U5, U4, and U2) 5-20%, J, T, and K can be anywhere from 5-15%, I,W,X,and V can be from 1%<-5%. Even the subclades H1 and H3 take up the same percentages or more as they do with modern Europeans which is much more popular than in the mid east. Almost all T were they found the subclade is under T2 then T2b like modern Europeans and not like any other modern people.

Plus percentages of haplogroup subclades are different across Europe we can generalize European mtDNA. I don't really dont care if from 18 mtDNA samples from Bell Beaker culture in Germany that 11 had H that is not nearly enough to say anything about the origin of mtDNA H in Europe. If you take away LBK culture Neolithic German mtDNA out of 35 samples 17 had H. Also there is a H1e from Bell Beaker three H1e's have been found in Neolithic German(pre Bell Beaker) including one from LBK. Why would the women from bell Beaker culture reproduce and not the already farmers in Germany is there any evidence Bell Beaker culture could have had a kill of of native maternal lineages.

There are only 21 mtDNA samples from Unetice culture and 18 from Corded ware. Don't start making claims about the entire percentage of mtDNA haplogroups for those entire cultures that's crazy. It is not like suddenly mtDNA U2, I, R, and T1 suddenly became less popular WE ONLY HAVE 21 FROM UNETICE AND 18 FROM CORDED WARE. It is not enough to really say anything. your miss leading people to believe this actually happened.If Bell Bealer had 60% mtDNA H that is not very modern European were it is 40-50%. Ur not just suppose to look for a lot of H ur suppose to look for exact percentages

barakobama said...

THe U2e and high amount of U5b specifcalley U5b2 does not surprise me at all based on mtDNA of hunter gather so far even if some were farmers with hunter gather lineages. I have argued that U2e originated in Europe it is in northeastern Russia from 7,500ybp now central Europe around 9,000ybp. It is popular in India but that can be explained by Indo Aryan invasion. Ancestral language of Indo Iranian would have been spoken in Yamna culture in Russia and started to move east about 5,000ybp. The R1a1a1b2 Z93 in Indo Iranians and 4-8% North Euro in globe13 is more evidence of this. Y DNA of suspected early Indo Iranians show they had R1a1 and were very pale with a lot of light hair and eyes obviously European even though they were in Siberia and central asia. THeir mtDNA had a mixture of typical lineages for Mesolithic and Neloithic European hunter gathers and of Neloithic-iron age farmers. I counted it up out of 83 samples 29(35%) had U. with 16 U5 and any subclade found under that was U5a then U5a1 like Mesolithic northeastern Russia and Pitted ware Gotland(4,800-4,000ybp). They also had four U4's and 5 U2's any subclade found under U2 was U2e. Another thing that surprised me is almost all subclades of T was T1 over 10% overall out of 83 samples very different from Neolithic-Iron age European T which is almost all under T2.

I think the U2 in 37,985 year old hunter gather in Russia may be more evidence U2e originated in Europe. U2e, U4, and U5 the main lineages of Neolithic and Mesolithic hunter gathers may have all originated in Europe. U2 and U5 have already been found in over 30,000 year old European mtDNA samples their lineages may have arrived 40,000-60,000 years ago from the Near east.

Another thing I have noticed is most Mesolithic U5 subclades in Europe except Pitted ware(gotland Sweden) and Russia are under U5b after that mainly U5b2. But in Neolithic-Iron age I noticed mainly U5a I have to look at it more and get real percentages and there is not enough samples to make big conclusions. But I am saying it is a possibility the U5 lineages in Neolithic-Iron age Europe(mainly western and central) may have not come from the hunter gathers in those areas. But from hunter gathers the farmers inter married with in eastern Europe.

Dr Rob said...

"Anyone adhering to a "pots not people" paradigm will find difficult to explain the sharp discontinuities found in the genetic record. "

Untrue. The fact is, this is now the established paradigm amongst any nuanced, Anglophone scholar of archaeology with an even half-decent understanding of antrhopology. THis genetic data does not disprove it in any way. So perhaps it is best that genetic enthusiasts with limited knowledge of archaeology not cast blanket aspersions.

Kurti said...

@Collin Welling

I would say rather the most similar to modern Europeans.
CWC and UC share probably more recent ancestry with West Asia, late Neolithic and Bronze age (Indo European signal)? Who knows.

eurologist said...

"This marked shift suggests a rapid transition process, with the comparative analyses indicating a fenetic influx from the Near East, Anatolia, and the Caucasus."

While I truly like Haak's general work, I still don't know why he uses such circular arguments, wrong reference frames, and flawed logic.

(i) we know - now even more [Bollongino et al.], that HGs and neolithic folks lived side-by-side for thousands of years. So, Haak's sample is not that of the-then population, but of those he could get a sample from - which happened to be agriculturalists, and later those agriculturalists who did not practice cremation.

(ii) The current Near East and Caucasus are horrible representations of of how the haplogroups looked like, there, 7,500 ya. They very likely underwent even more changes than lowly CE. CE at the beginning of the Neolithic most likely represents the Balkans and a mix of further encountered and incorporated haplogroups along the way, as has been amply demonstrated.

(iii) The association of novel haplogroups at very tenuous levels with Kurgan invasions is simply redicoulous; if anything, this points to an Eastward expansion that incorporated and brought home novel groups from there, at a very modest level.

Grey said...

"Neolithic fisher-hunter-gatherers (special-izing in freshwater fish"

I think there's a possible explanation if it turns out that freshwater fishing is a key factor.

I worked on a valley farm many years ago and without drainage ditches everywhere it would have been wetlands. I wonder if a lot of river valleys back then would have been the same except in certain areas with particularly good natural drainage.

(loess soils?)

The question about wetlands / swamps / marshes is as well as being very bad for farmers (until they were drained) were wetlands particularly good for hunter-gatherers?

I'm no expert on that but my gut feel is probably yes - i imagine the combination of water-food and land-food plus birds may have given wetlands a higher than average forager population thereby allowing a stronger defence.

So, less immediately attractive terrain combined with a stronger than average defensive ability leading to a river valley with foragers and farmers interspersed along the river with farmers settled along the well-drained stretchs of the river and the foragers in the swampy stretchs.

The other thing about that theory is if the forager settlements were in the swampy parts there'd be less record of them - at least above water.

(Like Atlantis they'd be buried under silt at the bottom of a Portuguese river :) )

Annie Mouse said...

I have no idea how this paper got published. It is based on almost no data for the early years. It is a gross over-interpretation of very little data.

Plus the big swings in matrilinear descent in the neolithic/bronze age are very hard to digest anthropologically. Based on more data but possibly still not enough.
Curious that the balance of groups reported for the late neolithic is so similar to the data today.

I think this is all just bad maths, and should not have made it out of internal seminar discussions until there was more data.

Davidski said...

Some of you guys are really hardcore. Still holding out no matter what.

Wait for the Y-DNA from these samples. That should be an eye opener.

Kurti said...

I previously said the CWC and Near Eastern connection might be an Indo European signal but I also have the hypothesis that West Asian, Ani and North European autosomal DNA has ancient common roots in Iran or Central Asia.

GailT said...

[i]Annie Mouse said...I have no idea how this paper got published.
[/i]

For the last 4 years every study of ancient DNA has shown a consistent story of repeated migrations, yet you find a way to dismiss every one of those studies. It seems that no amount of data will convince you that your anti-migration position might simply be wrong.

meika said...

If you eat oats in the rain there will be a strong selection for less pigmented skin. Regardless of where the less pigmentation allelles arose. (high carbo diets deplete Vitamin D). Meat eating hunters don't have this strong selection pressure. The Tasmanian Aboriginals were very dark.

terryt said...

"Thus, the assumption that maternal and paternal patterns converge goes again without challenge. Are we that sure of the interchangeability of men and women when it comes to migration and survival?"

Agreed. A totally unjustifiable assumption. That same assumption has led to confusion around the Austronesian expansion in island SE Asia for most people as well.

"Some of you guys are really hardcore. Still holding out no matter what".

Yes. Although I agree with Annie that the paper 'is based on almost no data for the early years' that data is the best we currently have. In many fields conclusions based on even less data have subsequently been shown correct though.

"I worked on a valley farm many years ago and without drainage ditches everywhere it would have been wetlands. I wonder if a lot of river valleys back then would have been the same except in certain areas with particularly good natural drainage".

Any region with any sort of good natural drainage would not be a wetland, by definition. I am sure that wetlands were absolutely useless for human habitation until just before the Neolithic, with the invention of efficient canoes.

Raimo Kangasniemi said...

When it comes to hunter-gatherers and wetlands question, the answer is yes, they are good for hunter-gatherers but...

What I find a bit odd is that as some women moved from hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists, if this would have been done in amicable circumstances you would expect some amount of trade between them and trade in food which we often find elsewhere in similar circumstances. So, one would expect the agriculturalists especially to seek out fish through trade and to also acquire extra food through hunting and fishing themselves, as the agricultural lifestyle would have been precarious and in need of suplementary food sources when harvest failed. What I mean is that a diet to appear as such a strong signal between populations is a bit odd.

dix13 said...

"It seems that no amount of data will convince you that your anti-migration position might simply be wrong."

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/genes-predispose-some-people-to-focus-on-the-negative.html

Genes Predispose Some People to Focus on the Negative

"The gene in question is the ADRA2b deletion variant, which influences the hormone and neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Previously found to play a role in the formation of emotional memories, the new study shows that the ADRA2b deletion variant also plays a role in real-time perception."

Grey said...

@terryt

"Any region with any sort of good natural drainage would not be a wetland, by definition."

Yeah, that's what I said - but if they *didn't* have good natural drainage they they would be wetlands and so i'm wondering what percentage of valley farmland needs drainage ditchs to not be swamp e.g. how much of the Po or Rhone valleys would be swamp without drainage ditchs and do settlement sites map onto good drainage sites?

I don't know - maybe not a lot, maybe a lot.

.

"I am sure that wetlands were absolutely useless for human habitation until just before the Neolithic, with the invention of efficient canoes."

Yeah but we are talking about the neolithic so...

Annie Mouse said...

@Gail

I am old enough to have seen what the force of personality of a few key researchers can do to our perceptions of facts. Often these guys have to die before alternative views of the data can emerge, their strangleholds are so strong. It has happened before even in this field when antimigrationism held the upper hand. Neanderthal interbreeding. Clovis is another case. I prefer to look at the actual facts and draw my own opinions. Which incidentally do, and have, changed, if the facts convince me otherwise.

This paper is just a rehash of stuff I previously found unconvincing. Nothing much here is new. It is just re-presented in an integrated form. Sloppily, mathematically speaking.

Fap Tastisch said...

"Like Atlantis they'd be buried under silt at the bottom of a Portuguese river."

In the Netherlands great finds of a campsite of the Vlaardingeculture has been found, with a large amount of fishbones and waterfowl remains found. also 7 fish-traps were found. Quite intact and not unlike the ones currently used to catch eel.

http://www.rmo.nl/tijdbalk/afb/_350/001.jpg

" I am sure that wetlands were absolutely useless for human habitation until just before the Neolithic, with the invention of efficient canoes. "

Also in the Netherlands a mesolithic canoe has been found. Not state of the art, but usable.

http://www.bootvanpesse.com/

terryt said...

"When it comes to hunter-gatherers and wetlands question, the answer is yes, they are good for hunter-gatherers"

I don't think so, unless there is a ceretain amount of open water in the wetland and those hunter-gatherers have boats.

"Also in the Netherlands a mesolithic canoe has been found".

The age given in the paper:

"we now know that the boat must have been sometime between 8040 BC and 7510 years BC"

That is certainly after humans had managed to reach the islands in the Mediterranean. That fits exactly what I wrote: 'just before the Neolithic'.

"i'm wondering what percentage of valley farmland needs drainage ditchs to not be swamp"

Any sort of decent wetland is virtually impassable except by boat. It is sometimes possible to wade some of it if you're prepared to put up with water up to your chest for long periods.

"do settlement sites map onto good drainage sites?"

Settlement sites require adequate drainage, otherwise you'd be sleeping in water.

"how much of the Po or Rhone valleys would be swamp without drainage ditchs"

I'm not familiar with those regions specifically. Perhaps someone knows an hydrologist who can help out?

Fanty said...

Thats a freaking hollow tree thingy.
Neanderthals build nore advanded things (not boats) than that.

Why shouldnt boats like that not exist 10 or 20K years ago? Its just like with every other thing from those ages: 99.9999% of everything is rotten and only a fraction of the 0.0001% of the non-rotten things is dugg up the ground.

apostateimpressions said...

Heads up:

The new Brandt, Haak et al. study published in _Science_ finds that metalurgy diffused from Germany.


Most detailed ancient European gene profile announced (Video)

http://www.examiner.com/article/most-detailed-ancient-european-gene-profile-announced

quote:

A collaboration between scientists from the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) at the University of Adelaide, researchers from the University of Mainz, the State Heritage Museum in Halle (Germany), and National Geographic Society's Genographic Project has produced the most detailed ancient European genetic profile ever produced according to an article in the Oct. 10, 2013, edition of the journal Science.

The extraction and examination of DNA from 364 prehistoric human skeletons from the Mittelelbe-Saale region of Germany are the most extensive mitochondrial DNA investigation ever attempted and elucidates European ancestry from 7,500 to 3,500 years ago. The DNA represents people from the early Neolithic Era and the Early Bronze Age. The analysis took eight years to complete and correlate.

The genetic information was correlated with known l artifacts that are representative of the cultures, people, and cultural developments that are represented by the DNA analysis.

[...]

Transfer of culture and interbreeding occurred between early Europeans and peoples from Africa and Asia. There was also a huge transfer of DNA and knowledge between ancient Germans and people from Spain, England, Italy, Greece, Russia, and Scandinavia. The African and Asian influence had been the accepted and preferential route of culture transfer prior to this new analysis.

metalurgy diffusion map:

http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_content_width/hash/97/ad/97ada4f4af56d2171cf781ae2b2e8b40.png

apostateimpressions said...

D, please delete my last comment, I misread the metalurgy map in my excitement, plus the text was too small for me to read clearly. LOL

Simon_W said...

My initial reaction: The Brandt, Haak et al. paper seems highly interesting! The expansion of the CWC/UC markers appears related with the northeast European autosomal component from the Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae project (MDLP)! Their world-22 calculator notabene distinguishes this northeast European component from the mesolithic north-European component which matches the mesolithic foragers from northwestern Spain, and the modern Saami in particular.

Also interesting to see the relations of the CWC with west Asian highland populations to the south of the Caucasus confirmed. I remind you of the Maykop culture which apparently was the source of the Kurgan customs in the Yamnaya and, apparently also CWC! Or rather it was the transmitter, since the ultimate source of Kurganism may well have lied to the south of the Caucasus. If you study the map of the West Asian component from the MDLP carefully, you'll note that there's a link from the Caucasus/Maykop area to the Crimean peninsula and from there into central Ukraine. This was probably the main source of the West Asian component in the Proto-Balto-Slavs, because the more eastern wave of West Asian alleles, which came from southern central Asia around the Caspian Sea, was more Gedrosia-like. Or in other words: Bearing influence of the MDLP's „Indo-Iranian component“. (The name is a little misleading.)

Whether this West Asian influence in the CWC (and probably also Yamnaya culture) was actually the crucial factor which contributed to its Indo-Europeanization, remains dubious however. Because the Maykop culture overlapped very well with north Caucasian languages, and to me it's rather hard to believe that the local Circassians et al. supplanted an originally IE population! Rather the Caucasus is one of the last strongholds of pre-IE languages, at least in a wide perimeter.

As for the second paper, by Bollongino et al.: I see a large temporal gap between the mesolithic foragers and their fishing-foraging relatives from neolithic times. Could it not be the case that the latter were intrusive from the north, having arrived with the slight revival of HG markers in middle neolithic times?

Grey said...

@Raimo Kangasniemi

"When it comes to hunter-gatherers and wetlands question, the answer is yes, they are good for hunter-gatherers but..."

That's what i imagined - high calorie environment for foragers.

.

"What I mean is that a diet to appear as such a strong signal between populations is a bit odd."

The two things might be connected. If wetlands were particularly rich in forager resources then they'd have a higher than average forager population density and therefore more numbers to defend that terriotory. Plus the terrain itself would have defensive advantages - see "Deliverance" or "Southern Comfort" for details.

If you were a neolithic farmer in those circumstances would you want to go hunt in the nearby swamp or the nearby hills?

It fits the general assumption that foragers survived in pockets of marginal terrain. It's just a conceptual jolt to imagine them potentially living adjacent in the local swamp.

.

@Fap Tastich

"In the Netherlands great finds of a campsite of the Vlaardingeculture has been found, with a large amount of fishbones and waterfowl remains found. also 7 fish-traps were found. Quite intact and not unlike the ones currently used to catch eel."

That's what i wonder - wetlands as a major refugium but with most of the settlement evidence underwater.

.

"Also in the Netherlands a mesolithic canoe has been found. Not state of the art, but usable."

Cool.

Grey said...

Just to add, if it's true (and maybe it's not) that before farmers built drainage ditches most of the major river valleys were mostly wetlands except in a few naturally well-drained spots then this would influence farmer settlement patterns all over and not just Europe i.e. fertile crescent, nile, wei valley etc.

The farmers would either settle on particularly well-drained spots or along the *edge* of the flood plain and gradually nibble inwards.

Grey said...

terryt

"Any sort of decent wetland is virtually impassable except by boat."

Yes and we're talking about the neolithic when you accept there were boats so i'm not sure what your point is.

.

"Settlement sites require adequate drainage, otherwise you'd be sleeping in water."

Farmers need good drainage sites for their fields. Wetlands foragers living on a little island in a swamp - natural or man-made - don't.

.

"Perhaps someone knows an hydrologist who can help out?"

Yes that would be fascinating. How much of the Po or Rhone (or Nile or Euphrates) would have been swamp pre-drainage? It might be only a small amount but if was 80% or 90% that might have been a major farmer barrier.

.

@Fanty

"Its just like with every other thing from those ages: 99.9999% of everything is rotten and only a fraction of the 0.0001% of the non-rotten things is dugg up the ground."

Especially wooden canoes which by definition are likely to continue being used until ... they sink.

terryt said...

"Why shouldnt boats like that not exist 10 or 20K years ago?"

The ancestors of at least some of the Australian Aborigines had to have used some sort of boat 50 kya. but it seems that such craft did not appear in the Mediterranean until some 10 kya. It is not necessary to find any actual physical evidence of boats to come to that conclusion. Many islands in the Mediterranean would have been far easier to reach than would it have been to reach Australia.

terryt said...

"How much of the Po or Rhone (or Nile or Euphrates) would have been swamp pre-drainage? It might be only a small amount but if was 80% or 90% that might have been a major farmer barrier".

A quick look at Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Po_(river)

Quote:

"Before 1152 the seaward extension of today's delta, about 12 km (7.5 mi), did not exist. The entire region from Ravenna to Chioggia was dense swamps, explaining why the Via Aemilia was constructed between Rimini and Piacenza and did not begin further north".

So, presumably, was mostly uninhabited.

Va_Highlander said...

Simon_W:

"I remind you of the Maykop culture which apparently was the source of the Kurgan customs in the Yamnaya and, apparently also CWC! Or rather it was the transmitter, since the ultimate source of Kurganism may well have lied to the south of the Caucasus."

That seems plausible. Kurgan burials appear to have originated among tribes of the Leylatepe Culture, in Azerbaijan, and Leylatepe seems related to the expansion of the North Ubaid Culture.

Simon_W said...

Also nice to see that in the BBC, even in the east group in central Germany, the eastern European-related component that is so prominent in the CWC, reaches a low point of almost zero. That is hard to reconcile with a Yamnaya origin of the eastern BBC as some had hypothesised it. I still believe, as I did before, that their R1b was part of a „second“, or rather „third“ neolithic wave that came from Anatolia via the Balkans. Presumably together with the day-length non-responsive barley and the slight K12b-Gedrosia/MDLP-W22-Indo-Iranian autosomal admixture. You see in the distance map, there are close matches in Romania and the western Balkans, where the BBC never spread to.

Another observation: Look, already the BAC had a slight presence of the CWC/UC-related component! And the BAC was afaik the earliest culture in central Europe that built graves of a Kurgan-like type.

Grey said...

terryt

"So, presumably, was mostly uninhabited."

Or not.

http://www.nationsonline.org/gallery/Ireland/Crannog-Lake-Dwelling.jpg

Although if they were continuously inhabited by neolithic Cajuns then i think that would imply populations native to those areas (big river valleys) ought to have an above-average level of malaria protection?

Grey said...

Actually this one is more interesting as it gives an idea of the possible scale.

http://www.bartleby.com/86/1602.html

(And obviously if over time a village like that sank into the water there wouldn't neccessarily be much sign left that it was ever there.)

(Also if there was an agricultural collapse / famine at some point in the neolithic then people who lived on fish were more likely to survive.)

Unknown said...

Dienekes, I’m surprised you didn’t comment on the way they handled mtDNA H in that timeline. (figure 3)

What could justify putting H in a category called “Other?”

Regardless of it’s origin, H clearly is everywhere in every “Neolithic” period DNA pretty much throughout most of Europe.

Even the dotted line that stands for H (as the Other category) makes it pretty obvious. H is already heavily represented in LBK and Cardium
ware sites and in the eastern neolithic with Trypillian culture.

If you add the dotted line to the neolithic brown line, this chart actually doesn’t do very much in demonstrating any kind of mass migration after the neolithic.
Haak himself is on co-author with Brotherton on “Neolithic mitochondrial haplogroup H genomes and the genetic origins of Europeans” paper that came out in April that pretty much calls H the marker of the neolithic and Bell Beaker.
Why would they do this? Probably to bump up the EBA which really doesn’t otherwise show much action -- but is supposed to if we keep looking for horses from the steppes. I think this is another case of the Pontic theory skewing representations of what the data actually shows.
The really striking thing about what ancient DNA shows in this region is how diverse the mtDNA in Europe was during this whole period. The map itself shows 17 different mt haplotypes. 

What we DON’T see is a big group of close relatives taking over a continent. Instead we see a lot of different genetic types living together for thousands of years before modern times.