Some anthropology, genetic, prehistory and similar outstanding blog instances from 2010 at For what we are.... and its predecessor, Leherensuge (until September).
In the month of Janus, bifaced god of gates, I did not focus in anything (two faces are too many faces, Janus)
In the month of purification I took some time to refine my view of the Eurasian dispersals:
Lactase persistence more common than genes suggest (things are seldom simple)
In the month of Mars, god of war, I was pretty much focused on Africa, though also had something to say about East Asia (nothing to do with war that I know however, sorry Mars)
Are we overlooking the signature of the Out of Africa migration? (ancient L(xM,N) clades in North Africa and Arabia)
Genetics of the Mlabri (in their East Asian context)
Draft analysis of the HUGO consortium paper
Also a warning on how insignificant can be statistical significance.
In the month of... maybe Venus (nobody seems to know for sure), goddess of love and passion... I kept looking at genetics and their relevance in prehistory. The heat came from the volcanoes, I guess.
Why European R1b1b2a1 cannot be Neolithic (as some people insist on claiming against even their own data)
Was Toba really so bad?
Second look at the HUGO paper
In the month of Maju I did not rest. Well, actually it is the month of Maia goddess of fertility, but Maju may be related to the maypole celebrations traditional in many parts of Europe, not in vain the Basque God Maju or Sugaar and his consort and most Goddess Mari recreate the World every Friday night by means of sex, of which is said that the fertilizing storms are born. Even if the corresponding ritual orgies are not anymore performed, thanks to Christian persecutions, I guess that there is still enough sex through the World to keep the wheel running.
But remember that Basque legend also says that the World will come to its end when crossroads are everywhere. Look around you and despair, ye mortal.
Was I fertile this month of fertility? I'm not sure but we did learn in that date that Neanderthals and our kin were inter-fertile indeed. And this is the likely most important single news of the year, at least in the fields of genetics and prehistory.
Neanderthal gene flow found in modern humans, which I (or others) explored in greater depth here, here, here, here and here
Most genes for eye color are nearly trivial (with one single exception)
Sardinian Neolithic art in danger (Berlusconi cheapskate!)
Artificial bacteria created in vitro
In the month of Juno, jealous Olympian wife, torturer of Io and destroyer of mighty Troy, I was really overwhelmed by the massacre of peace activists on the Mavi Marmara by Zionist commandos. But there was some other materials flowing later in the month as well.
Oddly enough, some were precisely about Jewish genetics:
Jews are Phoenicians, Palestinians are Jews, based on Behar 2010, came to confirm my suspicions about modern Western Jews having originated not in Palestine but in the Hellenistic Diaspora. This is a suspicion I had since long before and that was reignited earlier that month by another paper by Atzmon, discussed in a single article, where I also dealt with Basque genetics.
Another key finding is a foot bone from Philippines, dated to c. 67 Ka ago, which may be that of a modern human (or maybe not).
Paleolithic rock art was found in Romania, near Hungary (left).
I also revisited the historical battle of Noain, where Basques and our Gascon allies were defeated by the huge Castilian army.
Earliest European copper metallurgy found in Serbia c. 7000 years ago.
Discovery of C1d in South America questions the two waves model of American colonization
In the month of Julius Caesar, conqueror of Gaul and then of Rome itself, and great propagandist of himself...
... we discovered that the ancestors of Gauls practiced prime quality surgery already in the Neolithic.
destroyed a whole section of the Vasco-Roman site of Iruña-Veleia with reckless use of a mechanical excavator (more here, here, here, here and here)
Breastfeeding confirmed to increase IQ... a lot.
New paper on human autosomal genetics at global level, also another one on Korean genetics specifically.
We found that a huge meteorite hit Egypt just some 5000 years ago.
I also decided to split Leherensuge in two.
In the month of Octavius Augustus, whose rule falls around the non-existent year zero of the euphemistically called common era (CE)...
We learned something more about ancient Danish mtDNA, specially that haplogroup I has decreased notably since the Viking era.
We were also confirmed that the Strait of Gibraltar was not any absolute barrier to genetic flow, not at all.
On the other hand, our doubts became greater about one of the first mode 4 (or Upper Paleolithic) techno-cultures of Europe: the Chatelperronian, as the Neanderthal adscription of this culture was challenged by two popes of archaeology.
We got also a rare peek to ancient French mtDNA from the Megalithic period.
The eternal debate about the origins of archery got some evidence supporting its development at least 60,000 years ago.
European R1b1b2a1 was studied in detail.
And the Clovis Impact theory was rejected... but wait, because it was claimed again true a few weeks later.
In the seventh month... oops the ninth, what were Romans thinking when they chose this name? They could count in spite of those horrible Roman numerals, believe me, just that they began the year in March... until they decided to do otherwise.
We got confirmation that the chimpanzee-bonobo split must be moved back to 1.3 million years, what in turn affects the Pan-Homo divergence age, which is of (at least) 8 million years (and not those absurd figures you may read around of 5-7 million years). This has important implications when considering the molecular clock (or as someone said: molecular compass), implications that are often ignored, producing absurd misunderstandings.
I also took some time to ponder in some maps the known chronology of human evolution.
As previously mentioned, Clovis Impact theory was vindicated on new evidence.
A Homer Simpson gene was discovered, seriously. If you think you are dumber than you should, this may be the reason.
News from the promising research on the Neolithic of Western Turkey began flowing with the finding of a seal near Izmir (left).
A Bell Beaker sub-culture boy buried near Stonehenge was revealed to be from further South.
Another West Turkey Neolithic site near Bursa reveals full family execution.
We were informed of the ill-known Neolithic rock art from Somaliland.
I discussed a series of key papers on the coastal Out-of-Africa migration, revealing the importance of the Persian Gulf "oasis" or the riverine corridors of India.
Neolithic genocide fans felt sad as most Danubian ancient mtDNA N1a happens to be European.
I revisited the Eurasian mtDNA macro-haplogroups and the demographic expansion they describe.
It became known that ancient Europeans of Gravettian culture already milled grains and rhizomes to make flour, which they could surely keep and process better.
I revisited, with the help of Dr. Bocquet-Appel, the population densities of European Upper Paleolithic, which have a strong southwestern concentration, specially after the LGM.
Cyprus Neolithic was revealed to be extremely old.
I revisited the explosions within human expansion by pondering the mtDNA star-like structures.
As I had pondered earlier, China jaw aged c. 100 Ka ago may be modern human.
Mutation rate was confirmed to be low (slow)... I laughed mischievously on this.
Solutrean style retouch was already performed 50,000 years earlier in South Africa (in fact it seems typical of MSA technology).
Again we got scientific news (that other scientists insist in ignoring) about the actual age of the Pan-Homo split, which is c. 8 million years ago, not less. This allows Salanthropus Tchadiensis, Toumaï (left), likely to be in our genealogical tree.
New ancient DNA from Elbe Danubians confirms that these Neolithic people are not clearly ancestral to modern Europeans, not even in Central Europe.
I realized that ancient Europeans from Sunghir, Russia, show the earliest unmistakable mtDNA H, c. 25,000 years ago.
I began producing some updated ancient DNA maps for Europe. I promise to complete this task in 2011, this is one of my new year compromises.
This month I also let myself speculate about some linguistic among unrelated (or not clearly related) European and other languages (here and here). A philologist from Iowa came to my help in relation to the widely shared term for bear.
It was modeled how hunter-gatherers probably slowed down farmers' advance upon the arrival of Neolithic to Europe and other densely populated areas.
Early Australians were vindicated as not being the culprits of the many fires recorded in the tinderbox continent of Australia. On the other hand, Maori farmers were declared guilty of widespread deforestation by fire in New Zealand.
We knew of more violent deaths at the Neolithic site of Aktopraklık, near Bursa, Turkey.
A violent injury on a Bronze Age Manchego man (living in the motte-and-bailey of the left) gave me the chance to revisit this most interesting period in the Iberian Peninsula.
In a quite bad week overall, I was for the first time in my almost four year-long history of blogger, suddenly deprived of my Google account altogether. Luckily I could recover it later but all looked pretty bad, automated, impersonal and wrong... so I am considering migrating to Wordpress.
A new paper on mtDNA U6 confirms it to be original from North Africa, probably the westernmost parts.
And finally the other DNA-bomb of the year: besides Neanderthal admixture, Melanesian people also display some input from another group, the so called Denisovans (probably a Neanderthal-Erectus hybrid).