November 04, 2011

Sardinian snails got around

Interesting, in the context of my recent musings.

PLoS ONE 6(6): e20734. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020734

Phylogeography of a Land Snail Suggests Trans-Mediterranean Neolithic Transport

Ruth Jesse et al.

Fragmented distribution ranges of species with little active dispersal capacity raise the question about their place of origin and the processes and timing of either range fragmentation or dispersal. The peculiar distribution of the land snail Tudorella sulcata s. str. in Southern France, Sardinia and Algeria is such a challenging case.

Statistical phylogeographic analyses with mitochondrial COI and nuclear hsp70 haplotypes were used to answer the questions of the species' origin, sequence and timing of dispersal. The origin of the species was on Sardinia. Starting from there, a first expansion to Algeria and then to France took place. Abiotic and zoochorous dispersal could be excluded by considering the species' life style, leaving only anthropogenic translocation as parsimonious explanation. The geographic expansion could be dated to approximately 8,000 years before present with a 95% confidence interval of 10,000 to 3,000 years before present.

This period coincides with the Neolithic expansion in the Western Mediterranean, suggesting a role of these settlers as vectors. Our findings thus propose that non-domesticated animals and plants may give hints on the direction and timing of early human expansion routes.



terryt said...

"This period coincides with the Neolithic expansion in the Western Mediterranean, suggesting a role of these settlers as vectors".

So that places the arrival of those mysterious Y-haps E1b1b1a*-V68 and E1b1b1b*-V287 in Sardinia as being no earlier than 'approximately 8,000 years before present'.

mooreisbetter said...

I believe further research will reveal a period, however brief, of a W Mediterranean based very successful yet non-literate society. Whether these Sardinians were exceedingly wealthy obsidian traders, the warrior/elite Megalith Builders postulated by Cavalli Sforza, or the Sea Peoples (or some combo thereof) is ayone's guess.

There is ample evidence for a Sardinia based obsidian trade to far off locales. But the spread of M26, located wherever a megalith made be found in W Europe, is tantalizing too. The fact that so many Sea Peoples called themselves Sardana/Sharda/Sardis, etc is interesting.

Geneticists have been frequent visitors, but it is a shame that archaeologists have not studied Sardinia much. There are structures and tombs there older than the pyramids, unexcavated.

terryt said...

"There are structures and tombs there older than the pyramids, unexcavated".

The Neolithic is much older than the pyramids too. The 'Sea People' are more recent than the pyramids.

Pascvaks said...

There may have been another vector to the great dispersal -

Subject: Snails Survive Being Eaten and Excreted by Birds [LiveScience 2011-07-17]

Anonymous said...

I think Sardinians have nothing to to with sea peoples, but they were really obsidian traders, Sardinian obsidian was found in France and in Catalunia, so sardinans had mani commercial exange with other people. I do not know if something was found in Algeria, but I think it was easier have obsidian fron Sicily, island of Lipari.
But who know?