November 6, 2010

Chimps and humans diverged some eight million years ago

I have said that several times. So I'm not going to miss the opportunity of saying it once more: the 5 million year figure for the Pan-Homo divergence is a total nonsense: it's more like 8-10 million years. Even the less exaggerated hunch (not sure on what is based) of 7 million years is too short.

New research, using mathematical-statistic analysis with not one but several cross-references, produces an older figure: some 8 million years.


Abstract

Estimation of divergence times is usually done using either the fossil record or sequence data from modern species. We provide an integrated analysis of palaeontological and molecular data to give estimates of primate divergence times that utilize both sources of information. The number of preserved primate species discovered in the fossil record, along with their geological age distribution, is combined with the number of extant primate species to provide initial estimates of the primate and anthropoid divergence times. This is done by using a stochastic forwards-modeling approach where speciation and fossil preservation and discovery are simulated forward in time. We use the posterior distribution from the fossil analysis as a prior distribution on node ages in a molecular analysis. Sequence data from two genomic regions (CFTR on human chromosome 7 and the CYP7A1 region on chromosome 8) from 15 primate species are used with the birth–death model implemented in mcmctree in PAML to infer the posterior distribution of the ages of 14 nodes in the primate tree. We find that these age estimates are older than previously reported dates for all but one of these nodes. To perform the inference, a new approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) algorithm is introduced, where the structure of the model can be exploited in an ABC-within-Gibbs algorithm to provide a more efficient analysis. 

Press article at Science Daily.

A central issue is that fossils are seldom preserved and discovered, so fossil evidence can well be five or 5.5 million years old and the divergence be in fact older.

But combining fossil and genetic data it is possible to refine the equation and get to much more accurate estimates. That's what the authors have done in what should be celebrated as a the convergence of genetics and archaeology (paleontology in this particular case), a convergence much needed indeed. 

Toumaï
One of the particular fossils which find new room into the potential Human ancestry is Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Toumaï, which fits well in the evolutionary line of Homo sp. but was earlier thought by many as too old for that.

Another aspect vindicated by this study is that primates lived in the late era of the dinosaurs, what really allows them to have reached South America without need of swimming across an ocean which did not actually exist yet. 

This was actually addressed by the same team in 2002 but its obvious implications in human evolution were ignored. So they have now decided to address the matter themselves, what is very much appreciated, because they must be damn right.

Related posts (also from my old blog Leherensuge):

42 comments:

  1. That'd put H.sapiens-neandertal divergence at 1.000.000 of years or so, right?

    That's quite puzzling and would have also implications for modern human origins, because mtDNA/ Y-chromosome tell us a different history.

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  2. With the data managed in Green's paper yes, more or less.

    "That's quite puzzling and would have also implications for modern human origins, because mtDNA/ Y-chromosome tell us a different history".

    Not to me. In fact I have been suspecting this kind of stuff largely because of the need to make sense of H. sapiens genetic history. This kind of timeline fits much better with what I would expect, other models need of complex population replacements, often leaving no trace of the pre-existing population, which is most strange to say the least, this timeline allows for deeper ages and hence for more stable demographic models without such crazy population replacements.

    Most lineages are where they are (more or less) since the earliest colonizations or other processes that make sense (like the post-LGM re-expansions), not, as Dienekes claims, since yesterday at 12 am. Poking fun here, of course, but that's almost what you get with his hyper-recentist line of thought - I think it's because he feels the need to be descendant by patrilineage from some Trojan War hero or something and not a mere anonymous peasant.

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  3. "Not to me. In fact I have been suspecting this kind of stuff largely because of the need to make sense of H. sapiens genetic history. This kind of timeline fits much better with what I would expect, other models need of complex population replacements, often leaving no trace of the pre-existing population, which is most strange to say the least, this timeline allows for deeper ages and hence for more stable demographic models without such crazy population replacements."

    Large replacements in Europe during the Neolithic have been proposed.
    Personally, I don't think all hunter gatherers became extinct, that sounds unrealistic, but for example, it seems that the earliest Europeans didn't resemble a lot present day Europeans:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_TFdF--fOnx8/S2Jf2DfcbSI/AAAAAAAAAfw
    /Xq08H7allbY/s320/Cro-Magnon.jpg

    On the other hand, modern humans such as Cromagnon 1, dated a bit less than 30.000 years old, likely didn't become completely extinct, but most present day Europeans likely are mostly descended from newer waves.

    mtDNAs aren't useful at all to tell you whether these Europeans left descendants or not, because some lines can easily become extinct (it's the case for neandertal mtDNAs). It seems that 99% of modern Europeans are descended from just only 7 women!!!

    Neolithic peoples likely came in much larger groups than hunter gatherers (that's the meaning of agriculture and farming). Possibly many hunter-gatherers were replaced. It's not rare at all: native americans in north America and Australian Aborigines were also largely replaced by the new incomers. I don't mean that was the case for these ancient hunter-gatherers, and as I said, I highly doubt they became nearly extinct, but the fact is we don't know yet who were the ancestors of modern Europeans nor when they came into Europe.
    In any case, it's quite clear Europeans are very mixed and descended from more than just one or two groups. I say this because you can find easily within the same town or even in your family, people who resemble most a north African, others resembling a lot skimos, others northern Europeans, etc.

    "Most lineages are where they are (more or less) since the earliest colonizations or other processes that make sense (like the post-LGM re-expansions), not, as Dienekes claims, since yesterday at 12 am. Poking fun here, of course, but that's almost what you get with his hyper-recentist line of thought - I think it's because he feels the need to be descendant by patrilineage from some Trojan War hero or something and not a mere anonymous peasant."

    LOL
    It seems that most (if not all) European lineages came from the Middle East at various times.
    I've seen comments in the Dienekes blog claiming that Europeans have been in Europe for jsut only 5.000 years, that hunter gathers becoming completely extinct, etc.
    I thought Europeans found much more attractive being descended from the earliest European H.sapiens and not from "neolithic" Middle Easterners; Dienekes maybe is an exception...
    What I found quite werid is their theory explaining the findings of the neandertal genome: what we see is not neandertal admixture in the human genome, but on the contrary, human admixture in the human genome. Europeans and Asians retained these ancient lineage just because they'r descended from East Africans, which are the most ancient group on Earth, only because some fossils suggest that H.sapiens originated first in East Africa.

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  4. "human admixture in the human genome."

    I mean human admixture in the neandertal genome, sorry.

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  5. "it seems that the earliest Europeans didn't resemble a lot present day Europeans"...

    Your link is broken in two lines and is the farce "reconstruction" of Pestera cu Oase, which is totally arbitrary. A clear clue of how the reconstruction was tendentious is the nose: Pestera skull has a pear-shaped nose, which is typically Eurasian, while they put on it an African nose. Also the choice of skin color is quite fantastical: maybe the lightest variants of pigmentation had not yet evolved but it's not likely either that in such a late date they'd be dark brown, I'd expect a Mediterranean type of skin shade (dark to light beige with wide ability to tan and untan seasonally: those are not even European-specific traits, so they must be old).

    Pestera is not yet modern European but is within the range of Eurasian morphotypes, what I think as the Caucaso-Australoid continuum.

    Anyhow, there's a lot of unknown factors in morphology (epigenetics, nutrition, favoritism for children or potential partners who approach more an aesthetic ideal...) Even Dienekes had to admit recently that change in skull shape in historical Samurais does not fit with pure genetic inheritance and must be have been caused by other factors.

    But in Europe specifically Magdalenian skulls are absolutely normal Nordo-Mediterranean modern ones. They even had impacted wisdom teeth. There's some obsession with the Cro-Magnon type (Gravettian) but a much more clear candidate for a direct ancestor of modern Europeans is Chancelade man and the other Magdalenian skulls, which are totally modern.

    "mtDNAs aren't useful at all to tell you whether these Europeans left descendants or not, because some lines can easily become extinct (it's the case for neandertal mtDNAs)"

    Neanderthals are extinct, so it's logical their mtDNA is too, specially as the admixture event happened, it seems, when the proto-Eurasian population was very small. It's a totally different case.

    It's very difficult for a once common matrilineage to go extinct in an expanding population. And that's the general trend in Eurasia since whenever Homo sapiens landed, and in Europe since at least the LGM (not considering the previous rapid expansion at the early UP). You'd need not just a massive Neolithic expansion, much larger than can be attested, but also a continental-scale modern-style genocide of the natives, most unlikely. At least something must remain.

    Besides I have given a lot of thought in the last many years to this matter and there's no way that there was any meaningful genetic replacement in the Neolithic, except maybe in Central Europe to some extent (but later offset somehow).

    ...

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  6. ...

    "It seems that 99% of modern Europeans are descended from just only 7 women!!!"

    That's an old populist exposition. I count the following (all lineages are shared with West Asia anyhow):

    R0 (incl. HV)
    JT
    U
    N1 (incl. I)
    X
    W

    It's six, as H and V are "sisters".

    But the cool stuff is that this applies to ALL West Eurasia: the founder effects happened in the context of the late Eurasian expansion, when people poured into Neanderthal lands. So it's not like Neolithic flows have altered anything, as these flows would be from West Asia, where the situation is exactly the same (almost so).

    I think that X and W, as well as other downstream clades, are genuine "Neolithic haplogroups" in Europe but they are very rare.

    HV and the various U clades (U5, U4, U8a, etc.) are likely to be Paleolithic founder effects in Europe and some of them are documented in ancient pre-Neolithic DNA. I'm quite convinced that H, the most common haplogroup of all them, must represent the earliest or at least the most important and rapid colonization by Homo sapiens because such a huge star-like structure (signature of a rapid demographic explosion) does not exist in all the human mitochondrial genome, except for macro-haplogroup M, which clearly signals the first Eurasian expansion. If not it should represent the post-LGM expansion but then, how did it arrive to Taforalt (Oranian culture, originated c. 20 Ka ago probably by influence from Iberia Gravetto-Solutrean). The latest H can be is Gravettian, specially as it seems to have expanded first from a Central European core (and Gravettian is the latest demic expansion from Central Europe EVER). This same logic also applies to Y-DNA R1b1b2a1.

    "Neolithic peoples likely came in much larger groups than hunter gatherers"...

    What do you know of Neolithic archaeology in your own country? Cardium Pottery culture, alias Mediterranean Neolithic, is characterized by not being (in most cases) a colonizing culture but adopted by the natives, as illustrated by the tool kit continuity. People kept using epi-Magdalenian knives and other tools until the Metal Ages!

    This is not what happened in Central Europe probably, where the case for a replacement is stronger, but even there, the origin of their Neolithic is in Hungary, then in Greece and then we have no idea (Greek Neolithic is quite old and pretty much unique) - not directly in Syria or whatever you have in mind.

    In any case we cannot extrapolate the Central European case to the rest of Europe because it's very clear that Central Europe is the exception and not the rule. And, by the way, do you think Germans and Poles look Greek or Turkish? Don't worry if you do not, genetics does not either: common sense makes sense here but for that you have to drop the Neolithic replacement hypothesis.

    ...

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  7. ...

    "... the fact is we don't know yet who were the ancestors of modern Europeans nor when they came into Europe".

    Speak for yourself. I know... grosso modo. This may sound arrogant but I've never shied away from arrogance when I thought I had strong reasons to act that way. While you are looking into Neanderthals I've been trying to understand our own past and by now I think I have a quite decent grasp. And that's what I have been trying to address quite centrally in my blogs.

    "In any case, it's quite clear Europeans are very mixed and descended from more than just one or two groups. I say this because you can find easily within the same town or even in your family, people who resemble most a north African, others resembling a lot skimos, others northern Europeans, etc."

    But that diversity of appearance is because we are all humans, they may reflect more preservation of our common heritage than admixture (even if that can exist too). Anyhow Northern Europeans are not much different from Southern Europeans, specially not from SW Europeans. Some traits as blondisms may have evolved to a great extent in Europe itself, and that means by all accounts SW Europe mostly.

    Anyhow, genetically speaking Europeans are one of the most homogeneous continent-sized population on Earth. Maybe only Native Americans are more homogeneous (and more recent in their founder effect probably, and more isolated too historically). This probably reflects founder effects of the early colonization and the homogenizing force of the LGM, when 2/3 of all Europeans lived in the Franco-Cantabrian region, roughly half of modern France.

    "It seems that most (if not all) European lineages came from the Middle East at various times".

    That's a fact. Europeans are essentially a subset of West Asians, almost the same as Eurasians are a subset of Africans. But that was long ago essentially. The haplogroups that are unmistakably or likely Neolithic are rather rare, depending on the specific region (stronger in the southern Balkans for instance, then towards Central Europe and through the Mediterranean coasts). Nowhere they are exclusive, not even in the more volatile Y-DNA.

    "I've seen comments in the Dienekes blog claiming that Europeans have been in Europe for jsut only 5.000 years, that hunter gathers becoming completely extinct, etc."

    But they are wrong. Dienekes believes all is hyper-recent and tries to force the hand to genetics (and archaeology, though it's not his strong point, really) even beyond what most geneticists would agree. It's a whole school but there are also the critics. I am one - but not the only one (I drink on other sources, naturally). Sadly while junk like Balaresque's paper get a lot of attention, good quality papers like that of Morelli do not. It's a fashion but it's very weak scientifically speaking.

    "What I found quite werid is their theory explaining the findings of the neandertal genome: what we see is not neandertal admixture in the human genome, but on the contrary, human admixture in the human genome".

    I don't buy that either, though in this case I feel less knowledgeable (by the moment) and prefer to remain cautious (open-minded, humble) until I make up my mind (which may be never). It's not my main focus of interest either: I've been always more interested in my own species than in extinct relatives (though of course all is related). There's also more information most of the time on H. sapiens, specially European H. sapiens.

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  8. "Your link is broken in two lines "

    Sorry! I don't know how to post a link :(

    "Also the choice of skin color is quite fantastical: maybe the lightest variants of pigmentation had not yet evolved but it's not likely either that in such a late date they'd be dark brown, I'd expect a Mediterranean type of skin shade "

    That's quite sad. I thought it was an imparcial reconstruction, but I'm wrong: there's a subliminal message telling us: your ancestors were black. It's the same when some white racists claiming that Tutankhamun was "white".

    "But that diversity of appearance is because we are all humans, they may reflect more preservation of our common heritage than admixture (even if that can exist too). Anyhow Northern Europeans are not much different from Southern Europeans, specially not from SW Europeans. Some traits as blondisms may have evolved to a great extent in Europe itself, and that means by all accounts SW Europe mostly."

    Huh... I can't agree. Where I live, there are many "rare" individuals that don't resemble the typical European at all.
    On the one hand, you have a few persons with curly black hair, yellowish skin, flat noses and slanted eyes; they're not immigrants nor gypsies, as one would think, but they have been here for centuries.
    On the other hand, you've individuals who look like this Afro-american singer (Ben Harper) but with a less tanned skin:

    http://www.teamworld.it/upload/editor/ben-harper.jpg

    One of my friends looks exactly like him, and he's not an immigrant.

    Then, you have the blonde and blue eyed individuals, which also have been here for centuries.
    Were did these peoples come from? Obviously not from the same group.

    "Neanderthals are extinct, so it's logical their mtDNA is too, specially as the admixture event happened, it seems, when the proto-Eurasian population was very small. It's a totally different case."

    Ozzy, (the Iceman, not the rocker), has also a mtDNA lineage not found in modern people. And he was only 5.000 years old.

    "At least something must remain."

    I agree. But we don't know yet if this "something" was very large or not.

    "In any case we cannot extrapolate the Central European case to the rest of Europe because it's very clear that Central Europe is the exception and not the rule. And, by the way, do you think Germans and Poles look Greek or Turkish? Don't worry if you do not, genetics does not either: common sense makes sense here but for that you have to drop the Neolithic replacement hypothesis."

    I have seen some Turkish people who, in fact, look European. I don't know if it's due to recent admixture or not, but I can assure you some of them would pass by an average European.

    "Besides I have given a lot of thought in the last many years to this matter and there's no way that there was any meaningful genetic replacement in the Neolithic, except maybe in Central Europe to some extent (but later offset somehow). "

    I've read this study, and I don't know what to think, because it concluded that modern Europeans aren't descended from either Paleolithic nor Neolithic migrants.

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  9. "I'm quite convinced that H, the most common haplogroup of all them, must represent the earliest or at least the most important and rapid colonization by Homo sapiens because such a huge star-like structure (signature of a rapid demographic explosion) does not exist in all the human mitochondrial genome, except for macro-haplogroup M, which clearly signals the first Eurasian expansion. If not it should represent the post-LGM expansion but then, how did it arrive to Taforalt (Oranian culture, originated c. 20 Ka ago probably by influence from Iberia Gravetto-Solutrean)."

    A recent study seems to point out that H1 migrated to North Africa less than 9.000 years ago. Likely, there were other movements between southern Europe and North Africa in the last 20.000 years which would be nice to know.

    "Sadly while junk like Balaresque's paper get a lot of attention, good quality papers like that of Morelli do not. It's a fashion but it's very weak scientifically speaking. "

    I've read the Morelli's study (it's open access) and found it very interesting, but I just can't understand how it's possible that two authors can disagree so much with dates and origins of some European haplogroups. At first, it was assumed that R1B was paleolithic, then that it was neolithic and now some studies claim that it's both.
    These constantly disagreements between genetists are quite mad.

    "I don't buy that either, though in this case I feel less knowledgeable (by the moment) and prefer to remain cautious (open-minded, humble) until I make up my mind (which may be never)"

    I think that with our level of knowledge (the divergence times being changed with every study, the dates questioned, the new findings contradicting all we thought we knew) we should remain with open minds with everything related with human genetics, not only neandertals.
    But the Dieneke's theory, if true, seems to imply that Green et al have misinterpreted all the data, and despite their careers, don't know at all how to read a genome via computers.

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  10. "Speak for yourself. I know... grosso modo. This may sound arrogant but I've never shied away from arrogance when I thought I had strong reasons to act that way. While you are looking into Neanderthals I've been trying to understand our own past and by now I think I have a quite decent grasp. And that's what I have been trying to address quite centrally in my blogs."

    OK. So, you know when modern humans came into Europe? I'm asking that because some people think it was 50.000 years ago, while others, only 30-34.000.
    I suppose you also might know when and how many migrations came to Europe, and what haplogroups were carrying with them. Also, which % contributed, every of them, to the European gene pool.

    "What do you know of Neolithic archaeology in your own country? Cardium Pottery culture, alias Mediterranean Neolithic, is characterized by not being (in most cases) a colonizing culture but adopted by the natives, as illustrated by the tool kit continuity. People kept using epi-Magdalenian knives and other tools until the Metal Ages!"

    Practically nothing :(
    But I knew of one study by Carles Lalueza analyzing 5.000 year old neolithic peoples from Catalonia; his conclusions were that these peoples "left traces", but unforntunately, we don't know if they were the incomers or the indigenous peoples already living here. I remember a list of prehistoric haplogroups (I can search for it if you're interested) and apparently they didn't differ a lot from recent people. The same can be said with a study analyzing the mtDNAs of a group of Iberians.

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  11. I'd like to add that cultures (I don't know if the same is true for genes) can change a lot very fastly.

    For example, 2.000 years ago, there were many languages related to Basque being spoken in the Iberian Peninsula. Now, only one of them is of pre-roman origins. The others are descended from the tongue of colonisers (Latin).
    Maybe 1.000 years from now, we'll be speaking some kind of Spanglish with Arab influences.
    Indo-european peoples came to Europe maybe 6-10.000 years ago. Now, nearly all Europeans speak a language derived from the tongue of these peoples.
    We just can't know which language were speaking these hunter-gatherers, because it was replaced, the same with their cultures and beliefs.

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  12. A couple of comments: with the two star structures in R1b in western Europe and in Turkey, and given the high diversity of R in India, it seems pretty clear to me that both R1a and R1b are pre LGM in Europe - as is I (of course I mean the pertinent subclades of these three).

    10,000 years is sufficient for skull shape to change - look e.g. at Native Americans. So, the changes in Europe between 40K -35K and 30K to 25K could have happened on its own. However, since the trend towards smaller, less prognathic faces and more gracile structures appears almost world-wide, perhaps this is an indication that there indeed were two ooA, where the first migrations into Europe (and E Asia!) were an admixture with a larger fraction of the first one, and a second wave entered later that had a higher composition of the second ooA migration.

    On the flip side, we should not forget that changes in food processing (e.g., more cooked meals, more vegetables) can also affect skull features dramatically.

    As to Europe: I also think its homogeneity can be best explained via a common post-LGM expansion (from perhaps 3-4 distinct sources) and relatively little inflow since then. But its diversity cannot be explained via just the past 5,000 or 7,000 years - that is just not enough time.

    As to the neolithic, my position is that LBK developed from local Danubian (and surrounding) populations - the well known sedentary fishing people, who knew a lot about the local climate and also built wooden structures (unlike the Anatolian stone houses, but more similar to LBK buildings).

    And if you look at autosomal principal component plots today, you find that southern Germany is very, very close to Czechs and even to Hungary - but e.g., not to Poland! So, all three - DNA, history, and language tell us that Germanic speaking people (and their ancestors) did not live close to Slavic peoples (and their ancestors), but that on the other hand a Danubian continuum has been preserved for probably over 8,000 years.

    Also, so much for Germanic tribes replacing Celts. Northern Germany always shows up closer to Denmark and Sweden, as expected, but only a tiny fraction of the total distance. Sweden is so remote in PC plots because in has been, in reality -- for a long time, and its people in actuality had minimal impact on central Europe.

    Even in Dienekes' recent Admixture plots (which IMO need higher central European resolution), you find primarily three components: a SW European one, a N European, and a Caucasian. The latter is only about 10% to 20% for most of Europe - thus it fits the model well that this component represents neolithic admixture from (ancient) Anatolia. And funny enough, not only does that admixture - as expected - become small in the north and northeast, it is ~zero for Basques. As Maju said: 100% native agriculture.

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  13. "this timeline allows for deeper ages and hence for more stable demographic models without such crazy population replacements".

    And also place modern human expansion into a period of warmer climate.

    "what I think as the Caucaso-Australoid continuum".

    Many people see the Ainu as being part of that continuum.

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  14. "Where I live, there are many "rare" individuals that don't resemble the typical European at all.
    On the one hand, you have a few persons with curly black hair, yellowish skin, flat noses and slanted eyes; they're not immigrants nor gypsies, as one would think, but they have been here for centuries".

    Of Moroccan or otherwise Mediterranean origin, I'd say. The description of that phenotype sounds like former tyrant of Morocco Hassan II. This is a very common North African subtype, which seems to have Khoisanid affinities and is more common in the south, around Marrakesh. Again a case of old shared ancestry probably, though if they make up a distinct population, maybe a genetic study is worth the effort.

    "On the other hand, you've individuals who look like this Afro-american singer (Ben Harper) but with a less tanned skin".

    Where are you from exactly? It seems there's a lot of more or less North African types there (though that Harper is almost in my range: he looks more European than African overall). And that's interesting from an anthropological viewpoint. Anyhow it seems you are talking of the amazingly rich Mediterranean phenotype diversity and nothing else (and mostly of African influences in fact).

    "One of my friends looks exactly like him, and he's not an immigrant".

    But I bet his hair is not as thinly curled, which is a most rare trait i Europe. That Harper is more European than anything else by ancestry, I'm 100% sure. He looks typical Med with a North African touch because of some secondary traits: type of the curl, thicker lips than usual... but otherwise he's in my range too and I know people who are even closer in the detail. Not surprising as one can hunch he has at least 75% European ancestry (much whiter than Obama).

    When people reach under 20% of admixture, roughly the exotic traits usually go unnoticed in relation to the main part of his ancestry. What happens in the USA is that because segregation they call Black to anyone who has even the slightest known African ancestry. That does not happen in Brazil or any other place I know of. In Brazil Harper would be considered white or "pardo claro" at most.

    "Then, you have the blonde and blue eyed individuals, which also have been here for centuries.
    Were did these peoples come from? Obviously not from the same group".

    Blondism is a deeply rooted European or West Asian trait. Just that it never became fixated, except in some rare populations like Frisians (and not completely). My purebreed Basque grandfather and great-great grandfather were both blue-eyed blonds and the phenotype is relatively common (though quite random). Today most of my siblings are ash blond with amber eyes. It's just normal: this is Europe.

    However the North African types may be more specific of Iberia, where this influence may be deeply rooted.

    Well, too complex to discuss here in detail but phenotypes often suggest the prehistorical roots by linking each one and populations to some of their ancestors by "family air". But whole ancestry is better checked by genetic means anyhow.

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  15. ...

    "I have seen some Turkish people who, in fact, look European".

    Absolutely (Syrians too): our roots are there: the roots of all Europeans. That's the point of origin of European colonization and most European ancestry is from that source.

    So we can say I guess that Europe is like a suburb of Istanbul... genetically speaking.

    "I've read this study, and I don't know what to think, because it concluded that modern Europeans aren't descended from either Paleolithic nor Neolithic migrants".

    Which paper exactly? I think I know which one you're saying but can't recall).

    Anyhow, that's what happens when you study too much Germany and Poland and too little France and Iberia: you get to the wrong conclusions. I'm not saying these northern areas are not interesting but they are less central than their modern geography could suggest.

    I the case of Elbe Germany (North) specifically, a very sampled place for aDNA, we see exotic haplogroup frequencies until Urnfields, when they become normal (lots of H). But in the case of Iberia we see normal frequencies all the time, since Epipaleolithic, (with just some lesser drifts from whole "normality", as happens also in Denmark (only since Neolithic - no older data there).

    So my guess is that the Elbe area (loosely former RDA) did experience some demographic changes but extrapolating that remote area to all Europe is just pushing things a lot.

    See this 2009 Leherensuge recap for European aDNA.

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  16. @Eurologist: wise comments. I essentially agree with all.

    "Even in Dienekes' recent Admixture plots (which IMO need higher central European resolution)"

    And Southern European resolution too. It's obvious that Sardinians are not a good representative of SW Europeans for instance: they are like Sweden... remote and isolated. Chose of references is unavoidably going to slant the results, so he should be more careful (but he actually means to slant the results, IMO).

    My reference paper for European clustering is Bauchet 2007, which shows at least three clusters in West Europe (Iberians, Basques and Central/NW Europeans), plus two in the East: Finns and Eastern Mediterraneans. There may be more identifiable clusters (still awaiting for an Italian-specific cluster to be found, even in minority, for instance).

    I also agree that there must be a cline of some type between Ireland and Poland/Russia. These populations are not identical, even if the differences are very much clinal and all share ancestry in the Paleolithic Rhine-Danube region.

    "And if you look at autosomal principal component plots today, you find that southern Germany is very, very close to Czechs and even to Hungary - but e.g., not to Poland!"

    I haven't seen that one. Looks interesting (link?).

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  17. @Terry:

    "And also place modern human expansion into a period of warmer climate".

    They should definitively be a better support for the Abbasia Pluvial migration model, indeed.

    "Many people see the Ainu as being part of that continuum".

    Yes, when I use "Australoid" in this context I do in the burry classical sense of "diverse ill classified peoples who look archaic in general". Otherwise Australian Aborigines, Papuans, Island Melanesians, the various Negrito groups, Ainu and the pseudo-Australoid affinities in India are distinct ancestral clusters, just that none is large enough to warrant being considered in parity with the large three classical "races".

    They are the "other" category but a very interesting category IMO.

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  18. "I don't know how to post a link".

    No big deal. Use the following HTML code but change "[...]" by "<...>":

    [a href=LINK]TEXT[/a]

    I think the "a" refers to text and the "href" to the hyperlink. It's the most complex HTML I ever use. :)

    Boldface: [b]TEXT[/b]
    Italic: [i]TEXT[/i]

    Images (not allowed in comments): [img src=LINK /]

    Cheers. :)

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  19. "I haven't seen that one. Looks interesting (link?)"

    I think [a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0005472"]one of them[/a] has been frequently circulating around here:

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0005472

    That one places Hungarians as a subset straight in the middle of Southern Germans, Czechs towards (but inside) the "east" of the German range, and Poles east of all three of them.

    Of course, Poles themselves also have an old Baltic component in the sense of Lithuania and Latvia - which in 2 PC plots gets intermixed with their common Slavic component.

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  20. I guess if I had used <> instead of [], my link experiment would have worked... ;)

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  21. "I guess if I had used <> instead of [], my link experiment would have worked... ;)"

    Yeah, feel free to use this thread as "sand box" a bit ;)

    Thanks for the link in any case.

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  22. I see what you mean now. The "divide" between Germans and Poles is very thin anyhow: they do not overlap (with one exception) but they are adjacent.

    Anyhow, that paper has some limitations because it is extremely centered in Estonia (1090 samples, 1/3 of all). It's surely great to understand and contextualize Estonians but less good to understand overall European structure.

    The whole PC2 is "kidnapped" by the Finland-Latvia/Lithuania dichotomy, which is surely irrelevant for Europe overall, so the rest of Europeans appear as a linear cline between the East Baltic and South Italy (excepting Swedes, because they tend towards Finland).

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  23. I agree- we need better visualizations of multi-dimensional plots.

    Just for Central Europe, we need to at least distinguish the following ancient contributions:

    - SW Europe
    - Italian
    - Central Europe / LBK
    - ancient Scandinavian
    - ancient Baltic
    - Finnish
    - Slavo-Baltic
    - recent Slavic from East of mainstream Ukraine
    - old Ukraine
    - Caucasian
    - SE European/old Balkan
    - Levantine (which may be a mixture of several groups - such as Arabian/ South Mediterranean/ Ethiopian) - but that difference matters little for Europe

    That's about a dozen, or so...

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  24. "Of Moroccan or otherwise Mediterranean origin, I'd say. The description of that phenotype sounds like former tyrant of Morocco Hassan II. This is a very common North African subtype, which seems to have Khoisanid affinities and is more common in the south, around Marrakesh. Again a case of old shared ancestry probably, though if they make up a distinct population, maybe a genetic study is worth the effort."

    Wow, very interesting!!
    In fact, I've seen some Berbers who look like the persons I mention. They're quite different (phenotyphically) from the "common" European, in my opinion, and yes, they resemble Chinese people sometimes, or better, Khoisanids (I heard they have some affinities with East Asians). They're like remmants of an old substrate, because yellowish skin, flat noses, etc, are quite rare where I live. Most people look like "normal" southern Europeans, so I wonder how and when these Moroccan peoples reached the Iberian peninsula (if most studies seem to point out that there was no major gene flow across the Gibraltar strait), and also North Africa, if they appear to share some affinities with Khoisanids.

    "Where are you from exactly? It seems there's a lot of more or less North African types there (though that Harper is almost in my range: he looks more European than African overall). And that's interesting from an anthropological viewpoint. Anyhow it seems you are talking of the amazingly rich Mediterranean phenotype diversity and nothing else (and mostly of African influences in fact)."

    I'm from Anoia which is located in Central-Eastern Catalonia, near the coast. It's all very interesting, but I wonder, that if most studies seem to claim that Europeans are a very homogeneous population, how these north African/African peoples got to southern Europe? Apparently they're genetically European, and not rare at all in the Mediterranean, but I'm sure that an English or Polish person would never classify as European these Khoisanid-looking Catalans.


    "But I bet his hair is not as thinly curled, which is a most rare trait i Europe"

    You're right, I forget to mention that his hair is curly but not so much.

    "but otherwise he's in my range too and I know people who are even closer in the detail. Not surprising as one can hunch he has at least 75% European ancestry (much whiter than Obama)"

    It seems that there are lots of North Africans in the Iberian Peninsula :)
    As you mention Obama, I have to add that I know a guy who looks exactly like him (he has tanned skin, also), but he's fully Spanish/Catalan.

    "However the North African types may be more specific of Iberia, where this influence may be deeply rooted. "

    Yes, it seems that the relationship between the two have been very complex, although most studies I've read don't seem to conclude this.

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  25. "Which paper exactly? I think I know which one you're saying but can't recall). "

    It's a very famous paper, I'm sure you've read it:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1176869

    "See this 2009 Leherensuge recap for European aDNA."

    Very amazing maps, thank you. It appears that haplogroup U/U5 was very common in central/northern Europe.

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  26. "if most studies seem to point out that there was no major gene flow across the Gibraltar strait"

    Not major but minor indeed.

    A key issue seems to be anyhow that North African markers in Iberia, notably Y-DNA E1b1b1b (M81), are concentrated not in the South but in the West (Portugal and surroundings). This for me is suggestive of a Paleolithic (or at most Neolithic) founder effect, and not the over-simplistic explanation of Islamic presence.

    But anyhow there can be localized remnants of Berber colonies from the Muslim period too.

    "I'm from Anoia"...

    Looks like a bit way to the North for such an African colonization but who knows? Unless the people you are telling are recent arrivals from Andalusia... but then you said they have been there for centuries.

    Anyhow, I think I have spotted also similar a "transmediterranean" type in Occitania occasionally. Who knows? Maybe even colonies of legionaries or slaves from the Roman Empire...

    A good place to explore these matters and discuss these issues may be the blogs of Heraus (Anthroeurope, Anthrofrance, etc. - check in the right bar's blogroll), who is doing a great job documenting European (mainly) phenotype diversity.

    "It seems that there are lots of North Africans in the Iberian Peninsula :)"

    Psah... Notice that North Africans are at least 25% (maybe as much as 50%) European by mtDNA. And this Afroamerican guy does not look particularly like North Africans, just that some traits, which are Tropical African in fact, make him look that way a bit. He looks much more European than North African but his Tropical African side makes him look falsely North African (somewhat).

    Anyhow, the North-African specific markers in Iberia, while real, are very small, even where they are most notable, as in Portugal.

    "It's a very famous paper, I'm sure you've read it:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1176869"

    Bramanti. I haven't read it because it's pay per view and I'm poor. But I know the results, thanks to Jean Manco's excellent compilation of aDNA (see links in the side bar).

    The research by this team, including previous work by Haak, which Bramanti recycles, is interesting, as provides some nice data. However most of the "hunter-gatherer" aDNA comes from groups of very peripheral zones at the Baltic, often even from populations well in the Neolithic Age (though they may have been semi-foragers). Out of that area all relies on a small sample from Swabia, which is supportive but not conclusive. Also U5/U4 are still very important haplogroups in the Baltic and in all Eastern Europe even into Siberia.

    But the main lacking is happily extrapolating results to the rest of Europe. That cannot be done, specially when we know that the haplogroup changes apparently introduced by the Neolithic populations in Central Europe, did not stay, but were replaced again later on... from the West, it seems.

    So it's a paper that has some interest but the conclusions must be criticized a lot.

    "It appears that haplogroup U/U5 was very common in central/northern Europe".

    Seems so. It still is to some extent, even if it may have been displaced towards the NE somewhat.

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  27. "A key issue seems to be anyhow that North African markers in Iberia, notably Y-DNA E1b1b1b (M81), are concentrated not in the South but in the West (Portugal and surroundings). This for me is suggestive of a Paleolithic (or at most Neolithic) founder effect, and not the over-simplistic explanation of Islamic presence."

    I agree.

    "Looks like a bit way to the North for such an African colonization but who knows? Unless the people you are telling are recent arrivals from Andalusia... but then you said they have been there for centuries."

    No, they're not Andalusians. Moreover, I've never seen an Andalusian who looked like them.

    "Anyhow, I think I have spotted also similar a "transmediterranean" type in Occitania occasionally. Who knows? Maybe even colonies of legionaries or slaves from the Roman Empire... "

    Hmm... I noticed that these traits aren't so rare after all. Many catalans also have slanted eyes and yellowish skin to a various degrees. See for example Artur Mas, a catalan politician:

    http://s01.s3c.es/imag/_v2/ecodiario/espana/225x250/artur-mas3.jpg

    I think that the population of legionaries and slaves had to be very large to explain what we see. No one knows, but I've seen some portraits of ancient Iberians who also resemble these people a lot.
    It was proposed that Iberians were a North African culture who migrated through the strait, and that has been noted by some linguistic similarities between Iberian, Basque and ancient Berber languages, although that's very controversial, and genetics don't seem to support this.
    I read a theory purposing that some ancient tribes migrated from north Africa to southern Europe less than 9.000 years ago, which would explain some similarities, but again, genetic evidence don't support any large contribution.

    "But the main lacking is happily extrapolating results to the rest of Europe. That cannot be done, specially when we know that the haplogroup changes apparently introduced by the Neolithic populations in Central Europe, did not stay, but were replaced again later on... from the West, it seems."


    "Seems so. It still is to some extent, even if it may have been displaced towards the NE somewhat."

    But not in southern Europe. Maybe these hunter gatherers came from different places?

    It seems to me that population movements across Europe and between Europe and West Asia/ North Africa have been very complex in the last 10.000 years.

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  28. I would not say that Mas is exotic for Europe, nor that he has "yellowish skin".

    Based on Heraus' photo-composites I tried to figure out if there were patterns of pigmentation in Europe (as it was as easy as to pick the color and measure the hue and such) but, while I did find some variability I could not find any organization to such patterns. I did measure red-yellow variation (actually oscilating between around a much whitened red-orange median hue) but it seems to be chaotically distributed.

    Excepting the many that were not notable at all, the "yellow" (actually orangeish) skins might predominate in the North/Eastern Iberian peninsula (Basques, Soria, Murcia) and SW France but also in several districts of Britain which seems the hotspot of reddishness at the same time (along Galicia and NE France). Other yellowish groups are Frisians, South Italians and Poles, while other reddish trends have been detected in Macedonia.

    I could not find any clear pattern really and the apparent patterns may be caused by mere randomness. Also a blond "yellowish" Frisian looks very different than a brunet "yellowish" Murciano. Same for blond and brunet "reddish" cases. However these trends of pigmentation might hypothetically be related with blond/red hair variance, where dominant black hair does not hide it.

    I say because blond/red hair are defined by different pigments: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is more common in general (hence blond hair is more common than red hair) but in Europe and some parts of Africa pheomelanin may be somewhat dominant or at least present in some populations.

    It's difficult to say because pigmentation in East Asians has not been researched much yet but it seems that their yellow tinge is caused by a pigment that protects against skin cancer. How extended is that out of East Asia? No idea but I imagine that at least somewhat. After all it's likely it's just a gene taken from the ancestral African pool and established by founder effect (plus mild adaptive effect maybe).

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  29. "It was proposed that Iberians were a North African culture who migrated through the strait, and that has been noted by some linguistic similarities between Iberian, Basque and ancient Berber languages"...

    People has confused what really happened: North Africans are much more Iberian than Iberians are North African. Even if both flows are most likely extremely old and related (bidirectional but not equal flow). Also I think that Neolithic influence in Mediterranean Iberia, which may be some 20% (at least in Valencia), and seems to originate in the Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Anatolia, Cyprus...) may be confused with North African elements.

    But the typical Iberian face is I think a European one essentially, albeit a regionally distinct one.

    Also there's no apparent relation between Berber and Iberian/Basque - though there may be some words that have crossed the strait (either are Oranian substrate in Berber or traveled in the Megalithic Era). In the first case, that would support Vasco-Iberian being a Paleolithic language family. In the second at least means Neolithic origin for the hypothetical family.

    "I read a theory purposing that some ancient tribes migrated from north Africa to southern Europe less than 9.000 years ago"...

    "Chorradas". I have read such idiocies and are nothing but pseudoscience. There's absolutely no archaeological evidence for any such migration.

    However, there was some speculation that Andlusian Neolithic was older than Cardium Pottery in Iberia and had no known origin, what might suggest an unknown North African source (or whatever else). But Zilhao dismantled that idea, according to him it's just Epicardial that has been ill-dated.

    "But not in southern Europe. Maybe these hunter gatherers came from different places?"

    This is not clear. Maybe there were just different fixation events in Central and SW Europe. U5 seems old in SW Europe (attested in Epipaleolithic Portuguese and Neolithic Portuguese and Basques, as well as modern populations) but at rather low frequencies. U4 is lacking and seems to be restricted to Northeastern Europe. More strange is that H is not attested in Central/North Europe before Neolithic but maybe its has not been searched for enough. Between the Elbe and the Pyrenees there's a big gap in aDNA testing (with just some exceptions that clarify little).

    "It seems to me that population movements across Europe and between Europe and West Asia/ North Africa have been very complex in the last 10.000 years".

    IMO not. But some areas (Central Europe) may have seen more than one demic replacement wave.

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  30. Regarding U5 and H, a possibility I have in mind is that maybe H is Aurignacian and U Gravettian. But that would fit poorly with the reality of Iberia and Italy, which had strong Gravettian impact (instead the FC region was rather refractory to Gravettian it seems).

    Also the lack of Paleolithic mtDNA H in Central Europe fits bad with the appearance of H expanding precisely from that area (maybe most diverse).

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  31. Great thread. I'm thankful for all your observations, Maju, on ancient human cultures and fossils. Where I wouldn't know what to think about the argument that paleolithic human fossils are different from modern humans, you clarified the situation very well.

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  32. Based on Heraus' photo-composites "I tried to figure out if there were patterns of pigmentation in Europe (as it was as easy as to pick the color and measure the hue and such) but, while I did find some variability I could not find any organization to such patterns. I did measure red-yellow variation (actually oscilating between around a much whitened red-orange median hue) but it seems to be chaotically distributed. "

    Pigmentation can vary a lot between individuals of the same family (at least in Europe).

    "How extended is that out of East Asia? No idea but I imagine that at least somewhat. After all it's likely it's just a gene taken from the ancestral African pool and established by founder effect (plus mild adaptive effect maybe)."

    White skin appears to be only 8.000 years old. Before that, Europeans had yellowish or brownish skin.

    "People has confused what really happened: North Africans are much more Iberian than Iberians are "North African. Even if both flows are most likely extremely old and related (bidirectional but not equal flow). Also I think that Neolithic influence in Mediterranean Iberia, which may be some 20% (at least in Valencia), and seems to originate in the Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Anatolia, Cyprus...) may be confused with North African elements. "

    Very interesting. It can be also that these "Khoisanid types" originated in Iberia and then migrated to N.Africa, or perhaps originated in West Asia and migrated to both, Europe and N.Africa during the neolithic.

    "But the typical Iberian face is I think a European one essentially, albeit a regionally distinct one."

    I think there are so many "Iberian" faces that it's nearly impossible to tell which looks more European and why.

    "In the second at least means Neolithic origin for the hypothetical family."

    I bet they're of recent origin (less than 7.000 years) because we've seen many linguistic and cultrual replacemtns in the last 2.000 years to accept that a language have been there for 40.000 years, but anyway, no one knows; other links with Caucasian languages have been proposed.

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  33. "A key issue seems to be anyhow that North African markers in Iberia, notably Y-DNA E1b1b1b (M81), are concentrated not in the South but in the West (Portugal and surroundings). This for me is suggestive of a Paleolithic (or at most Neolithic) founder effect, and not the over-simplistic explanation of Islamic presence".

    I certainly doubt it is a product of Islam. However it may be more recent than the Neolithic. Perhaps a product of Phoenician expansion, or some similar previous epxpansion. The so-called 'sea people' allied with Libyans quite often when attacking Egypt, so I presume there was quite a degree of contact between the groups in the Mediterranean at the time. The Atlantic coast may have been too rough to exploit ecologically until boating had reached an adequate level.

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  34. eurologist, do you by some other screename in other genetics/anthropolgy forums?

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  35. "White skin appears to be only 8.000 years old"

    Nooo!!! That's an atrocious misunderstanding. One of many alleles related to pigmentation is said (molecular clock lies) to be around that age (early Holocene). But that does not mean "white skin", which is not white and which is described by so many genes that we only know a few.

    So no. Europeans (and West/Central Asians) must have evolved further the ability to depigment (tan/untan) as part of adaptations to less sunny climates. As people moved north (but notice most movements are actually east/west, with some inclination) they found themselves in situation where the alleles for darker skin tones were sickening (specially for infants and pregnant women, where fish was not the daily diet specially) and were selected against, soon what we call "white skin" (or something very close) must have appeared and I'd dare say that Pestera cu Oase was in that early range because he lived almost as far north as any human in the Ice Age (Romania and Hungary are not a sunny countries and are at the latitude of Paris and Beijing).

    If Oase's clan were "darky", their children would have suffered and often died... unless their diet was very rich in fish (which is about the only way to get vitamin D other than by "photosynthesis" at the skin). The same can be said of people living at Altai, etc. For that reason soon people had to become "white" or live largely on a fish diet (the Palolithic equivalent of modern vit. D supplements). And even in the latter case, there was always an advantage in being whiter, so this trait was no doubt selected for very soon.

    Another thing is maybe the more extreme variants of whiteness: ultrablonds that can barely tan... this is probably the trait that was selected for at the end of the Ice Age (some 10 thousand years ago), as people colonized the Far North in large numbers. Because the vitamin D conditions over there are even harder, demanding such adaptation.

    Vitamin D has driven pigmentation selection. Obviously, this selection pressure is weaker in the sunny Mediterranean than in the cloudy Atlantic and is even much stronger around the North and Baltic seas and places like that. Areas that, would not be because of the Gulf Stream "central heating miracle", would be as thinly populated as Siberia and the Arctic are.

    So I think that "whiteness" is very old in Europe, because the peoples living at the Rhine-Danube area really needed to be quite white, and this is true also for all Europe, specially the Atlantic parts of the Franco-Cantabrian region, which are covered in clouds most of the time, specially in winter.

    Bilbao is at the latitude of New York, while the parallel of Brussels goes through mostly semidesertic areas out of Europe, such as Canada or the Siberian steppe). You really need special adaptations to lack of sun in such high latitudes, specially for a Tropical-evolved species as ours. We may have overcome the need for fur with clothing but about the vitamin D conditionant we could do little but eat a lot of fish... or evolve "whiteness", which by the way is not a European-specific trait (NE Asians are quite white, even if their pigmentation patterns are somewhat different and related genes have evolved largely in parallel).

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  36. "I think there are so many "Iberian" faces"...

    I'm thinking in one type that makes me think of ancient Iberians for some reason. Seems more common in the Eastern coasts and is very much Euro-Med, with emphasis in the Med part of the word. But never mind.

    Check the categories vitamin D and human pigmentation (and this article, which is mislabeled) at Leherensuge for further info on what I just said.

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  37. @argiedude: thanks for your appreciation. I know that the skulls issues is complicated but one has to look at it from all sides, not just emphasizing some stuff like Cro-Magnon 1 or whatever.

    @Terry:

    "I certainly doubt it is a product of Islam. However it may be more recent than the Neolithic. Perhaps a product of Phoenician expansion, or some similar previous expansion".

    No, because these Eastern Mediterranean (and not North African) arrivals were very localized in SE Iberia (modern Cádiz is the westernmost ever Phoenician colony and one of their oldest ones too) and along the coast. If we'd be discussing a small place like Ibiza then you might be right but they could never had an impact in large portions of the Iberian peninsula, much less in areas that show no signs of colonization like Western Iberia.

    Even if late Phoenicians under the Barcids conquered much of the peninsula, that was a one-day flower, earlier they only controlled a handful of towns along the coast. While there are some earlier Eastern Med influences in SE Iberia these do not look like colonizations but more like mere cultural influences on a local substrate, probably caused by trade. They attest (even if often very weakly) the Eastern Med Bronze Age trade connection but little else.

    "The so-called 'sea people' allied with Libyans quite often when attacking Egypt"...

    The so-called Sea Peoples (several) are a complex story and they may have been Iberians or other Megalithic groups (Sardinians? Sicilians?) in some cases. Though most probably they were all peoples from the Aegean, including Greeks, Lycians, etc. Mycenaean Greeks were for sure a bit like "Vikings" of their time, conquering Cyprus, setting colonies in South Italy, destroying Troy, probably founding the Philistine historical ethnicity of Gaza, trading with Iberia and influencing parts of it.

    But simultaneous to that Mediterranean frenzy of the Bronze Age Greeks, or rather some centuries earlier, there was also an expansion of Megalithism into the Western/Central Mediterranean (North Africa, parts of Italy). This I interpret in agreement with the legend of Atlantis, where that area is exactly what is attributed to the Atlantean empire, which the Greeks allegedly fought against. I also place here the legends of Herakles in the Hesperides. A very interesting even if obscure period but one in which Iberia was still not yet a mere colony but an active center of civilization. Excepting the early Modern Age, probably Iberia has never been as important as in the period between 2600 and 1200 BCE. Sadly we only have archaeology an very vague mythical references.

    "The Atlantic coast may have been too rough to exploit ecologically until boating had reached an adequate level".

    What a pain you are with "boating levels". It is obvious that Europeans navigated all along the Atlantic coast since at least 3800 BCE: Megalithism is quite obviously a "sailors' culture" and is first of all an Atlantic culture. Longboats are known in Denmark since Epipaleolithic and Mediterreanean Neolithic, which reached to Portugal, is demonstrated to have practiced open seas navigation, not mere coasting.

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  38. I want to add something about the North African genetic markers in West Iberia: one rather hard to explain fact is that E1b1b1b-M81 (but also other clades such as E1b1b1*) is found at rather high frequencies in Asturias and at least to some extent Cantabria, part of the Franco-Cantabrian Paleolithic region.

    This is very hard to explain by Neolithic or post-Neolithic founder effects, so I have arrived to the hypothesis that it may have been spread by founder effects at the Solutrean genesis, which is related with the Oranian genesis in North Africa.

    As you may know the Solutrean of SE Iberia is almost as old as that of Dordogne but then evolves to an original form known as Gravetto-Solutrean, apparently because Gravettian influence was too strong in the earlier population. This is the techno-culture that probably affected North Africa at the genesis of Oranian culture.

    In the Cantabrian strip this is the only Upper Paleolithic cultural phase where Iberian techno-cultures make an impact but they make it on Asturias and not on the rest, which feed from Aquitanian Solutrean instead. So here is the best founder effect situation I have found to explain E1b1b1 in Asturias.

    The extension to Cantabria may have several explanations, as Asturias and Cantabria have been often linked culturally but my best hunch is that in the subsequent Magdalenian period, when populations were still low enough to allow for such important founder effects easily, we see two facies in the Cantabrian strip and in this period Cantabria and Asturias share one to the exclusion of the Basque area (incl. Eastern Cantabria).

    For whatever is worth.

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  39. aargiedude:

    eurologist, do you by some other screename in other genetics/anthropolgy forums?

    No, and I have hardly time to visit more than a couple of boards occasionally, anyway.

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  40. [About y-dna M81] ... I have arrived to the hypothesis that it may have been spread by founder effects at the Solutrean genesis, which is related with the Oranian genesis in North Africa.

    I got conflicting results on the dates of Solutrean and Oranian. What time exactly are you talking about?

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  41. c. 20 Ka years ago. The exact earliest dates are slightly older.

    The earliest Solutrean in Europe has the following C-14 dates:

    Laugerie Haute (Dordogne): 21,710 BP (+/- 650 years).

    Les Mallaetes (Valencia): 20,890 BP (+/- 300 years).

    These dates come to be c. 25,000 years ago after calibration, just 1000 or 2000 years after the arrival of Gravettian to the area, which is a late phenomenon in comparison with Central Europe and Italy, but seems to have sealed AMH colonization of Mediterranean Iberia in a strongly definitory manner.

    I can't recall the exact details right now for Oranian but, from memory, it is from c. 22-20 Ka in the westernmost sites, which are also the oldest ones.

    A second phase of Iberian Solutrean (full Solutrean) is dated to 20,180 BP, with its later sub-phase defined by back-tipped points, possibly an African influence (back-tipping is typical of North African Paleolithic since Aterian and otherwise unknown in West Eurasian Paleolithic I understand).

    Right after this an sterile layer at Les Mallaetes is defined by geological indicators of extreme cold, signaling the worst of the LGM.

    The later phase (Upper or Evolved Solutrean) is continuous with the previous one (again back-tipped, winged points). It has three sub-phases, the latest being Gravetto-Solutrean.

    Notice that the reference sites for this sequence (Les Mallaetes and nearby Parpalló) are intrusive in an older and contemporary Gravettian context, which eventually shows itself as strong enough to recycle Solutrean into an hybrid form characteristic of the Iberian province.

    It is in this period also when the Iberian region (excluding always the Cantabrian strip) seems to have the greatest population of all the Paleolithic (cf. Bocquet-Appel), probably because the LGM was relatively favorable for the hunter-gatherer ecology in the area.

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  42. A clear clue of how the reconstruction was tendentious is the nose: Pestera skull has a pear-shaped nose, which is typically Eurasian, while they put on it an African nose

    The breadth of the nose aperture is not a clear-cut indicator of the breadth of the external nose. Read about forensic reconstruction and you'll find that the external nose margins are aligned with the upper canine teeth, and that this facial reconstruction is correct according with this criterion.

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