July 25, 2013

A review of haplogroup N (Y-DNA)

Haplogroup N (Y-DNA) is spread from the Baltic to the South China Sea being one of those rare genetic links between East and West Eurasia (other than ultimate common ancestry) and one of the two Y-DNA lineages which expanded across the Northern Eurasian continent (the other one being Q).

While it is apparent to me and many others that the lineage originated in East Asia and expanded first Northwards to Siberia and later Westwards to Europe. I have found sometimes reluctance to accept this fact or difficulty understanding why. Some of the data of this paper may be of help in this regard. It is also a good exercise for those learning to understand how haploid genetics can be decoded into a meaningful pattern that reveals key parts of the untold history of peoples. 

Hong Shi et al., Genetic Evidence of an East Asian Origin and Paleolithic Northward Migration of Y-chromosome Haplogroup N. PLoS ONE 2013. Open access → LINK [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066102]

Abstract

The Y-chromosome haplogroup N-M231 (Hg N) is distributed widely in eastern and central Asia, Siberia, as well as in eastern and northern Europe. Previous studies suggested a counterclockwise prehistoric migration of Hg N from eastern Asia to eastern and northern Europe. However, the root of this Y chromosome lineage and its detailed dispersal pattern across eastern Asia are still unclear. We analyzed haplogroup profiles and phylogeographic patterns of 1,570 Hg N individuals from 20,826 males in 359 populations across Eurasia. We first genotyped 6,371 males from 169 populations in China and Cambodia, and generated data of 360 Hg N individuals, and then combined published data on 1,210 Hg N individuals from Japanese, Southeast Asian, Siberian, European and Central Asian populations. The results showed that the sub-haplogroups of Hg N have a distinct geographical distribution. The highest Y-STR diversity of the ancestral Hg N sub-haplogroups was observed in the southern part of mainland East Asia, and further phylogeographic analyses supports an origin of Hg N in southern China. Combined with previous data, we propose that the early northward dispersal of Hg N started from southern China about 21 thousand years ago (kya), expanding into northern China 12–18 kya, and reaching further north to Siberia about 12–14 kya before a population expansion and westward migration into Central Asia and eastern/northern Europe around 8.0–10.0 kya. This northward migration of Hg N likewise coincides with retreating ice sheets after the Last Glacial Maximum (22–18 kya) in mainland East Asia.

Hong Shi has previously produced very interesting materials and this is no exception, however I find the use of chronological guesstimates as if these would be objective findings and treated as part of the central discourse (and not the mere side note where they belong) a bit nauseating and a cause of confusion.

Figure 4. Proposed prehistoric migration routes for Hg N lineage.
(the pattern is correct but the dates are mere hunches, not any sort of objective facts)

Above we can see the reconstructed pattern of expansion of Y-DNA N in three phases. In my understanding the dates are not way off, although I can only imagine that there is still room for improvement, especially regarding the "red" phase. After all NO may have split c. 60 Ka ago and the main branch, O, c. 50 Ka BP - and not the mere 25-30 Ka that Shi calculated (in a previous study but mentioned again here).

But the really interesting part is not molecular-clock-o-logy but this:

Figure 3. Median-joining networks for sub-haplogroups of Hg N lineage using Y-STR alleles.
The diagnostic mutations used to classify the sub-haplogroups are labeled on the tree branches. Each node represents a haplotype and its size is proportional to the haplotype frequency, and the length of a branch is proportional to the mutation steps. The colored areas indicate the geographic origins of the studied populations or language groups.

Here we can appreciate, with the labyrinthine limitations of the use of (too few?) STR markers, the apparent structure of the various haplogroups and paragroups under N. We can also see the STR diversity in numerical terms:

Table 3. Y-STRs diversity of Hg N sub-haplogroups.

Sadly the category "Han Chinese" is almost useless and one wonders why Shi et al. changed from the North/South polarity in the key paragroup N* to such a confusing terminology in N1.

In any case, it is quite evident that N arose in South China, spread, already as N1 to NE Asia and, later, some of that N1 (N1c mostly but also some N1b) spread Westwards reaching to Finland and other Eastern European populations. In the haplotype graph we can appreciate a distinct European-specific branch within N1b.


Update (Jul 28): some new findings (not considered in the study) and updated nomenclature.

See comments' section for greater details. Special thanks to Palamede for his efforts in clarifying the matter.

Commercial testing company FTDNA has recently detected some new markers within haplogroup N1 that alter the phylogeny. A synthesis of these findings can be seen in this graph.

This new nomenclature was adopted by ISOGG but the study discussed here does not include it, using instead a 2011 nomenclature. Hence we must understand that:
  • N* and N1* remain as such
  • "N1a" (M128) is now known as N1c2a
  • "N1b" (P43) is now N1c2b
  • "N1c" (M46/Tat) is now N1c1
Therefore the N1 tree splits as:
  • N1a (new clade, P189)
  • N1b (new clade, L732)
  • N1c (new clade including all previously named subhaplogroups)
    • N1c1 (M46/Tat, former N1c)
    • N1c2 (new clade, L666)
      • N1c2a (M128, former N1a)
      • N1c2b (P43, former N1b)
 
As far as I could gather, N1(xN1c) is so far only clearly represented by two FTDNA-tested singletons: a Slovakian (N1a) and someone of Polish surname (N1b1). However I may be missing some details. Whatever the case it is possible that, unless more samples show up in these groupings the tree may be later reverted to the original state (or something in between) because isolated individuals or families do not haplogroups make. 

Also it is important to understand that commercial DNA testing companies have very unbalanced samples, clearly dominated by people of NW European (and to lesser extent other European) ancestry, what is not too useful when discerning what is where, producing sometimes the false impression of greater European diversity just because of greater number of samples.

On the other, hand the Hong Shi data reported above clearly shows a great number (and diversity) of East Asians within N1*, so the most likely conclusion is that the few Europeans within N1* are mere erratics within clades of East Asian origin, surely brought Westward by the overall N1 tide. 

So in essence the conclusions of the paper remain unchallenged.

77 comments:

  1. Dear Maju,

    Do you think this supports the Dene-Caucasian origin of the Basque language?

    If you elongate the black arrow it cross the north Caucasus and arrives in Iberia.

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    1. No, I don't think so and I have no idea why you would think so. Y-DNA is particularly tied to Finnic and other Uralic peoples, what this study supports (and is no novelty) is the Siberian and ultimately East Asian origin of Uralic peoples (and probably languages), at least in some part.

      "If you elongate the black arrow it cross the north Caucasus and arrives in Iberia".

      If you elongate my penis I could be a porn star... but no luck. ;-)

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    2. Erratum: Y-DNA is particularly tied to Finnic and other Uralic peoples... should read Y-DNA N is particularly tied to Finnic and other Uralic peoples...

      My apologies.

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    3. A migration of 10Kya - 8Kya is compatible with a migration wave from Northern China, when Millet was in the process of domestication. Also, is associated with the Urheimat of Sino Tibetan languages.

      Even though you say it is associated with a particular people, language is not necessarily associated with migrations. But a migration towards a place with a very low population density may have a higher correlation with gene flow.

      The Urals is not too distant from the caucasus. These people might have occupied the caucasus, spread their language there, forming what would become macro-caucasion. From, there, it would spread to Europe, caring the language from demic difusion of the sino caucasian langauge, until it gets to Iberia.

      It`s not that I support Starostin`s dene-caucasian, but I`ve never seen anything that could archeologically or genetically support it, beside what you`ve shown it.

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    4. "... language is not necessarily associated with migrations".

      Either with that or with political-military domination as in, for example, the Roman Empire. Migrations may be of just an elitist minority, sure, but there must be a vector that pushes the majority to abandon their language for another one, something most people does not do for fun, you know, but because of real need. I guess that some times mere persistent contact may be enough but that doesn't work over long distances.

      I'm not at all supporter of "genes and languages" kind of approaches, which are excessively simplistic and unrealistic, but falling to the opposite extreme of totally detaching people and language altogether, as if languages could exist without people, is absurd. And people carry their ancestral genetic marks all around with them.

      "The Urals is not too distant from the caucasus".

      Genetically they are, especially the Northern Urals, where the Finno-Ugric homeland was (and still persists to a large extent). It is in Northernmost Eastern Europe where we find Y-DNA N, not in the Caucasus. The people of the Caucasus (even those from the Northern fringes) are generally closest to West Asians. They also speak a bunch of different languages that have never been satisfactorily grouped together.

      Call me simplistic and shallow if you will, but many years ago I bought some books on Chinese, hoping to learn something and also to understand the mysterious claims about Sino-Caucasian, which supposedly would include Basque, a language I'm quite familiar with. I expected to find something that sounded vaguely familiar, at least the odd word out of a thousand. But nothing: not even a single word seems related at all between Basque and Chinese. Genetics is another obstacle, of course. And then again Prehistory: which shows no relation between West and East Eurasia between the Aurignacian and the Iron Age (excepted this peculiar Siberian flow). Who should I trust a bunch of wacko speculative linguists or the facts I can see with my eyes and understand with my mind?

      We know that Indoeuropean is real because: one-two-three is uno-dos-tres and jedam-dvai-drai, for example. Even a child can see the similitude. When I compare Chinese and Basque I see absolutely nothing.

      Worse: when I compare Basque and NE Caucasian I may see something but less than what I see when I compare Basque and proto-Indoeuropean. To my understanding Basque's closest relation (and not too close: hard to spot) is Indoeuropean and then both are related to NE Caucasian a bit more distantly (for example Basque and PIE share the word for bear but in NE Caucasian it means another animal). Overall they probably descend all them from a single language spoken when West Eurasia was colonized. Surely other West Eurasian families like Kartvelian, NW Caucasian, Elamite (Elamo-Dravidian?), etc. are also descended from that remote ancestor. I don't know but it seems logical. Instead Chinese, etc. should be more remotely connected only and to all them in bulk.

      ...

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    5. ...

      There must be a West Eurasian super-family of languages. I'm almost certain about that. However not being linguist, I am not spending time in researching this matter in any depth. Let the professionals do their work if they can. What I don't know if this ancient super-family left descendants in East Asia, Native America or Africa, where some Early UP Western genetics ended. I don't know either for sure if Uralic is Western or Eastern (or even Eastern of Western Paleolithic derivation), I do not know if Afroasiatic is a deeply rooted African language or "just" an African language of West Eurasian derivation. I don't know many things, nor I expect to ever know them with such an entrenched linguistic academy that only seems to be able to repeat either the isolationist models (many unrelated families) or the old school "Nostratic" and "Sino-Caucasian" nonsense.

      Because it is nonsense from all the viewpoints: genetic, archaeological and linguistic as well. At least as far as I can discern. Just wishing something does not make it true.

      "It`s not that I support Starostin`s dene-caucasian, but I`ve never seen anything that could archeologically or genetically support it, beside what you`ve shown it".

      Effectively. Nothing does and this doesn't either. This could support an East Asian origin of Uralic and nothing else. However it has also to be supported by linguistic data and I do not know anything about that either. Alternatively it's possible that Uralic peoples adopted another language as they expanded Westwards. Such language shifts happen and mere persistent contact may be enough reason.

      If anything it might partly support "Nostratic" but not "Sino-Caucasian". But sincerely I don't see Indoeuropean being part of that (nor Kartvelian either), so most likely not. Still "Nostratic" makes a bit of better sense than "Sino-Caucasian", which seems to be just a catch-all term for everything left out of the former.

      But for me, seriously: the most likely model is a Paleolithic (i.e. very remote) Basque-IE connection, with NE Caucasian (and surely other West Asian languages, extinct or surviving) also joined to them at a higher phylogenetic level.

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    6. Hi Maju,

      I was referring to a geographical distance indeed. One such that that they could adopt agriculture and start a demic cultural wave towards europe, linguistically independent of crescent fertile of middle east, that is, independent of Nostratic.

      For example, there was a cultural wave aligned with the spread of agriculture, cardium pottery, associated with nostratic urheimat:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardium_Pottery

      This wave does seem related to Nostratic and one of its extremities is the close to the actual location of basque.

      But your post seems to give me an idea that something else might had happened. For example, the wave of advance of farming, not listed on wikipedia, trigged by the arrival of people north of the caucasus, and that would advance not along the Mediterranean, but along the black sea and advancing through the Danube until the basque area.

      Concerning chinese, it was very different 3000 years ago. The oldest rhyme poems point out the absence of tonal sounds and consonant clusters. It seemed to have acquired them when it expanded towards the south.



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    7. Uralic Peoples seem to have been originally hunter-gatherers. For example the Nganasan were pure hunter-gatherers before the Soviet regime forced them to become pastoralists, a practice that some have abandoned in the last decades. So probably Uralic Peoples only adopted a semi-Neolithic lifestyle after arrival to Europe. Whatever the case they are clearly subarctic specialists, what does not allow for much of the Neolithic package.

      "For example, there was a cultural wave aligned with the spread of agriculture, cardium pottery, associated with nostratic urheimat:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardium_Pottery"

      I can tell you with guarantee that that map is a shit that confuses destination with origin. The first Impressed-Cardium Pottery is found at Otzaki, Thessaly (Greece), near Painted Pottery sites (Sesklo). Later it became common in the East Adriatic, from where it spread elsewhere.

      The arrival of Cardium style pottery to Biblos (not all Amuq-Biblos but only the Biblos facies) is quite late in this context and, as far as I know, it seems only a cultural influence from (probably) Greece. Notice anyhow that Greek pottery is among the oldest of West Eurasia. Whatever the case, Cardium-style pottery in the Biblos group is derived not ancestral. That horrible map keeps confusing people, please someone delete it!

      Anyhow I did not know that Nostratic was claimed to be original of West Asia. Being its core alleged members Indoeuropean, Uralic and Altaic, I'd rather imagined Siberia or Central Asia (logic, right?)

      "For example, the wave of advance of farming, not listed on wikipedia, trigged by the arrival of people north of the caucasus, and that would advance not along the Mediterranean, but along the black sea and advancing through the Danube until the basque area".

      First of all there's no such "wave of advance of farming" in Eastern Europe, at least not in the core Dniepr-Don area: just one day Paleolithic Eastern Europeans began adopting, very gradually, Neolithic advancements, mixed with great deal of hunting and gathering which never really disappeared (Pitted Ware of the Baltic is derived from these Neolithic peoples of the Dniepr-Don). Less clear is what happened in the Indoeuropean homeland of Samara Valley because no diggings have been done under Neolithic levels ever.

      If there was a "Neolithic wave" in Eastern Europe most probably stopped at the North Caucasus, where the populations do in fact have West Asian genetic affinity. That's different of what happened in Mediterranean and Central Europe, where there was a clear wave of advance. However I would contend that it had European admixture since its very Balcanic original stage, as evidenced for example by the presence of Y-DNA I2a among ancient Cardium Pottery farmers (along with G2a and E1b-V13).

      "Concerning chinese, it was very different 3000 years ago. The oldest rhyme poems point out the absence of tonal sounds and consonant clusters. It seemed to have acquired them when it expanded towards the south".

      I do not know. But I still fail to see any phonetic similitude, even if remote (I may try with Tibetan out of curiosity some day but I don't think I'll find anything obvious). IMO it's just a weird speculation in my understanding. The vast majority of linguists nowadays do not accept neither Nostratic nor Sino-Caucasian anyhow but for some strange reason the hypothesis seem to keep their popularity among commoners (and the occasional odd linguist as well). On the other hand Na-Dene has been strongly proven related to Yenisean but that's about it.

      The relatively strongest "evidence" (???) I can find online for Sino-Caucasian concerns only the Western grouping and not at all the Eastern languages, and often only the extremely hypothetical North Caucasian (heavily disputed) and Basque.

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    8. What you mentioned "its core alleged members Indoeuropean, Uralic and Altaic" is Euroasiatic.

      The core of Nostratic is Euroasiatic, Afro-Asiatic, Dravidian and Kartvelian.

      "First of all there's no such "wave of advance of farming" in Eastern Europe, at least not in the core Dniepr-Don area: just one day Paleolithic Eastern Europeans began adopting, very gradually, Neolithic advancements, mixed with great deal of hunting and gathering which never really disappeared (Pitted Ware of the Baltic is derived from these Neolithic peoples of the Dniepr-Don)."

      So, let's see. At some time there's overpopulation at northwest china. But the climate turns colder and drier, probably related to the 8.2ka event, which makes rice production less effective, but to not what is locally cultivated, millet. So, the surplus of population that does not get absorbed into the millet area, moves to central asia eventually arriving at the Diepr-Don and going down the Volga, Black Sea, and arriving at the Balkans.

      These people, which carried a form of East Asian language, acquired the agriculture, but given the Aegian sea, without demic diffusion of a Nostratic related language. These core group expanded towards Iberia, towards central europe through danube and around the black sea, populating the North Caucasus.

      Nice! You are helping Starostin! And I thought there would never be a reasonable way to justify his hypothesis. I never knew about this thing! Maybe he is right after all!

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    9. Most scholars, including Starostin, do not consider Afroasiatic related in fact. In any case Nostratic and Eurasiatic are highly speculative ideas. I simply refuse to take them even half-seriously: lots of talk for many decades and no consensus arises at all. They are most dubious entities: imaginary boxes that difficult free thought, not real stuff.

      What you say about China bears no resemblance with the archaeologically (and genetically) documented reality. The migration of the N1 clan is pre-Neolithic and most likely related to the gradual warming after the Last Glacial Maximum, which ended c. 15 or 13 Ka ago, time in which Magdalenian expanded into Central Europe, for example. Besides of that Siberian flow, there is no meaningful West-East interaction in North Eurasia before the Iron Age (some cultural but not genetic flows in the Bronze Age possibly).

      All the rest is just wild unfounded speculation.

      "Nice! You are helping Starostin!"

      Doubt it. You are just speculating wildly.

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    10. But I was not talking about the inclusion of AfroAsiatic into Nostratic according. That was just a detour to explain the hierarchical situation of macrofamilies according to the majority of Nostraticists.

      I was talking about the inclusion of Macro Caucasian into a Sino-Dene according to Starostin. There is no reason at all to consider that besides that "N1 clan".

      You say there is no bearing with well documented genetic reality. This N1 seems to be the first exception to the rule and to is coincident a time where norther china is colder and dryer. You mentioned that there was no excavation to the deeper layers of the Yanma region. So, perhaps, we also need to complement more the already well documented reality!

      And this is not what I say, it is what Starostin afirms without justification. And I am making up one from the pieces you gave me! Considering that the agriculture expansion began not by a demic diffusion of Anatolian people, but from people of the balkans, whose origins belong to the place where there was an infusion of people from East Asia, you are indeed helping Starostin. At least giving me some pieces that I was not aware of.

      And indeed, a pre neolithic flow is required to allow the existance of a macro caucasian group that is able to arrive in europe before any possible migration from the Middle East. But it must not be too old that it becomes older than the oldest estimate of Neolithic in China.

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    11. This N1 thing has to do with Uralic peoples only. There's almost no N1 outside their historical homeland (in Europe or Asia other than the Far East). Do you want to imagine it has something to do with the proposed "Eurasiatic"? I doubt it but I can't argue against it either. But it can't be related to the wider "Nostratic" conjecture. How do you relate N1 with Dravidian speakers? There's no logic to it.

      "Considering that the agriculture expansion"...

      Look: Afroasiatic is older than agriculture and it is still clearly discernible in its unity. Therefore if there is any seed of truth to "Nostratic" (what I doubt), it must be even quite older. So please stop conflating "Nostratic" with agriculture: if it exists at all, it must be deeply Paleolithic.

      Same for "Macro Caucasian".

      In fact East Asian and Western Neolithic revolutions seem totally unrelated: totally independent processes involving different kinds of cereals and each locally rooted.

      Furthermore, the Siberian N1 flow was for sure a hunter-gatherer thing. And it had no influence in the rest of the World: it is a very restricted sub-Arctic phenomenon.

      As a side note: East Asian Neolithic origins are concentrated along the Yangtze River, what means that they are almost unrelated to Sino-Tibetan (never mind Altaic). Eastern Neolithic was linguistically plural most likely (as was Western one) but only in the Yellow River it becomes Sinitic (Tibeto-Burman peoples were belated hunter-gatherers which adopted Neolithic only at a later time). If you want to speculate with East Asian Neolithic you must think in terms of Austro-Asiatic, Hmong-Mien, Tai-Kradai, etc. (and not Sino-Tibetan, much less Altaic: another marginal group at first).

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    13. In no way I was relating N1 with the supposedly Nostratic speakers, much less Dravidian ones or Eurasiatic. It's just the other way around. I want to exclude any chance of it being involved with the initial wave of agricultural expansion, in the balkans, involving people which supposedly spoke a daughter/sister language of nostratic.

      And then, I'd like to see if there was any influx of N1 to the balkans or at least any kind of cultural exchange with those peole who had that N1, before they adopted agriculture.

      Regarding East Asian neolithic origins. Millet cultivation in Huang He is at least as old as the rice cultivation, and its domestication is likely older.

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    14. "In no way I was relating N1 with the supposedly Nostratic speakers"...

      I thought you were. In fact, for what you say, I think you still are.

      "I want to exclude any chance of it being involved with the initial wave of agricultural expansion, in the balkans, involving people which supposedly spoke a daughter/sister language of nostratic".

      IMO they spoke Vasconic. We can't know for sure but, considering that Iberian is surely Vasconic and that there is a lot of Vasconic substrate not just in West and Central Europe (what could be explained by the Magdalenian model) but also in Italy (which was completely out of Magdalenian) and even to lesser extent in the Balcans surely, and considering that there was probably some important demic changes with Neolithic, even in such a conservative area as the Basque Country (where it's the only apparent major demic change based on archaeo-genetic data, article "in the oven"), I now think that Vasconic was the (main) language family of the European Neolithic.

      If so, it would not be "Nostratic", unless somehow you manage to include Basque in that grouping.

      "I'd like to see if there was any influx of N1 to the balkans"...

      This article includes a good academic map of N1 frequencies: http://vaedhya.blogspot.com/2013/03/y-dna-haplogroup-n-in-india-wayward.html

      You can see it's almost non-existent in the West outside of NE Europe. Surely there must be some erratics here and there but those are not relevant.

      "... or at least any kind of cultural exchange with those peole who had that N1, before they adopted agriculture".

      Not likely: the main neighbor of ancient Uralic peoples were Indoeuropeans (and maybe other Eastern Europeans) by the South. We don't know of any West Asian or Balcanic influence in all that region before (if at all) deep in the Chalcolithic.

      "Regarding East Asian neolithic origins. Millet cultivation in Huang He is at least as old as the rice cultivation, and its domestication is likely older".

      AFAIK not. We have got many discussions in this blog on East Asian Neolithic and at the moment it seems pretty much unquestionable that the Yangtze is the oldest core (with not one but several "cores" along its length). Can't find the reference right now but I remember it clearly. Even the oldest pottery on Earth is from South China we know now, although it is from deep in the Paleolithic.

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    15. No, I am not really trying to relate Basque with Nostratic. I am trying to see if there is any substance to Satarostin inclusion of Basque into Dene-Caucasian.

      Unilike other claims, which have families of languages crossing over and over each other, with a lot of noise, this one has not only has no noise, but I cannot find any way that could support that theory.

      I reread your posts yesterday, and it seems there is nothing supportive. I am sorry.

      Regarding the claims of what is the oldest core, in East Asia it seems that pottery is not correlated with agriculture.

      I also did my research and it seems that rice requires many steps from cultivation to domestication, including the invention of paddies. While the millet cultivation and domestication is straightforward. So, while you could argue for a slightly older core, the surplus of population, tended to come from the north.

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    16. Of course pottery is not directly correlated with agriculture. I just mentioned because it is yet another example of something that was until recently thought to have been invented by Northern Chinese but, in the end, nope.

      "I am trying to see if there is any substance to Satarostin inclusion of Basque into Dene-Caucasian".

      Nah. Basque is a language isolate and it is so because it is the only survivor of a once much more extended family: Vasconic. What is Vasconic related to at deeper level? Nothing clear. My own explorations in mass lexical comparison suggest that Indoeuropean (and I'm not the only one thinking that way, there's even one Occitan linguist who claims that Basque "is Indoeuropean", what is obviously NOT correct).

      Here is a short list of apparent Basque-PIE correlates (from a slightly cut-down, on common sense reasons, Swadesh list of 200 words):
      · suge - *hengwi (snake)
      · hezur - *host- (bone)
      · aho - *hohs (mouth)
      · hortz - *hdonts (tooth)
      · heste - *ehter (intestine)
      · jakin - *ǵneh- (to know)
      · izar - *hsteer- (star)
      · hauts - *hes-no-, *hes-i- (ash)
      · bide - *pent- (path)
      · egu(-n) - *heǵh- (day)
      · bero - *gwher- (heat)
      · zahar - *senhó- (old)
      · -n - *hen (in)
      · izen - *hnéemn (name)

      That's 26 words and I'm only including the most likely ones. For example excluded hiru-*treyes (three) or gu-*wei (we), that seem more dubious but still plausible. I also not included other words that were not in the list originally like "bear" (hartz-**hŕ̥tḱos), which are also very striking.

      Instead comparisons with NE Caucasian and Dravidian scored less. Just six words for NE Caucasian (Archi language, as I could not find a proto-NE-Caucasian Swadesh list). However the list was quite shorter, with about half of the words, so the corrected score could well be something like 12. And just nine with Telugu (my example for Dravidian).

      PIE scored also second to Archi/NE Caucasian (probably somewhat closer than Basque, maybe because of ancient sprachbund), while this one appeared somewhat closer to Telugu/Dravidian. So my reconstructed (and highly provisional) West Eurasian tree is: like

      Root → Caucaso-Dravidian →→ NE Caucasian
      Root → Caucaso-Dravidian →→ Dravidian
      Root →→ European → Basque
      Root →→ European → IE

      What makes some sense also in relation to genetics and prehistory. I presume that Dravidian is related to Elamite via Balochistan Neolithic and IVC, what explains the Caucasus connection, also very apparent in the genetic aspect. Less clear is what connection could IE and Basque have but I can imagine several plausible scenarios. One common trait of Western languages is that all have the sound R in the words for "red", while other languages normally do not (Burmese: ni, Mandarin hóng, Dakota: luta, Igbo: uhie, Japanese: akai, Turkish: kizil, etc.). Finnic and Hebrew also do not share this trait but haven't checked proto-AA (Arabic variants make this case uncertain but I suspect that neither Uralic nor Afroasiatic are derived from that Western Root Language of old).

      "... the millet cultivation and domestication is straightforward".

      As happened with other cereals in other areas, North Chinese used wild millet long before domesticated. Not sure what you mean by paddles but obviously rowing paddles were known by (at least) Middle Paleolithic people (probably also some basic sails too), while smaller domestic ones were used even by Neanderthals, although I see no straightforward relation to rice cultivation. Do you mean spades? Whatever the case it does not seem any serious obstacle and is just in the realm of speculation whether they had them or used alternative methods.

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    17. I am not aware of inclusions of Caucasian languages and Basque into Nostratic. I was thinking about checking that out.

      Notice that what I mean by Caucasian is North Caucasian. The proto form of South Caucasian languages is called Kartvelian, is related to Dravidian and Elamite, but not North Caucasian, according to the Nostratic Hypothesis.

      You can find the list of proto words of North Caucasian, according to starostin, here:

      http://starling.rinet.ru/downl.php?lan=en#soft

      The introduction is here:

      http://starling.rinet.ru/Texts/caucpref.pdf



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    18. "I am not aware of inclusions of Caucasian languages and Basque into Nostratic".

      Indeed. I've been totally ignoring "Nostratic" since the beginning (it's you who insist). It's an obsolete and unproven hypothesis. When after many trials, a method doesn't work, it's time to try something different, right?

      "Notice that what I mean by Caucasian is North Caucasian."

      North Caucasian remains unproven. NW and NE Caucasian are clear entities but any relation among them other than by sprachbund is hypothetical. Almost certainly, NW Caucasian is Hattic and NE Caucasian is Hurro-Urartean (and possibly related to Sumerian).

      "You can find the list of proto words of North Caucasian, according to starostin, here"...

      I know of that Starling site, thanks. I just don't think there's any North Caucasian, nor Nortratic, nor Dene-Caucasian nor anything like that: it's all a wild speculation, which only loses value with time.

      Delete
    19. Well, I don't see why Nostratic is not working. What it is not working well is starostin with Dene Caucasian.

      It seems Bengtson proposes a variation with Macro Caucasion at one branch and sino tibetan on the other branch. But it would require that Sino Tibetan to be brought by outsiders. Perhaps, a Caucasian group of invaders bringing the horse?


      Delete
    20. What I have read of Bengston doesn't seem to work either. I may be wrong of course.

      Horses were known both in Eastern Europe since before the IE expansion and in Western Europe (independent domestication probably), where they made up much of the meat consumed already at the very beginnings of Chalcolithic (when IEs were just initiating their expansion). It does not seem in any case that there has been any meaningful expansion from the Caucasus (other than the Anatolian branch of IE). Instead this area seems to be a refuge of "fossil" cultures, as often happens with mountain zones.

      I would ask linguists (including aficionados) to try thinking out of those boxes of failed scholasticism. With my hypothesis of a Western superfamily and especially the Basque-IE connection, I am trying to overcome those limitations of pre-packed thought. However I'm not linguist, my main interest is not linguistics, so it's not I who will surely make such a breakthrough. Division of labor according to interests...

      Delete
    21. I don't support Starostin hypothesis. My favorite for Far East are related to van Driem and Lorent Sagart's studies. But its appeal, Starostin, is the lack of support in archaeology in the present. It seems that Central Asia is not well explored, as you said. I couldn't find almost anything about the local cultures before 5000BC.


      But if you have a hypothesis about Basque, let's see! The oldest thing about the Basque it is that they have a high percentage of O blood, and the areas with vasconic coincides with the areas with highest rate of O blood, european megalithism (henges), and also initially with the Cardium Ware and Later with Beaker culture.

      Delete
    22. "It seems that Central Asia is not well explored, as you said. I couldn't find almost anything about the local cultures before 5000BC".

      True to some extent. Sometimes is not that it's not explored but that either the materials are old and are only available in print, and often in specialized libraries, or that, as happens with the Botai culture, a lot of the investigation is semi-withhold behind paywalls and "to be continued"... maybe.

      For what I know, Southern Central Asia was colonized from West Asia (~7000 BCE?) in the Neolithic (old materials, not too detailed) and that further North, in the Kazakh Steppe, the first clearly horse herding (and hence riding) culture of the area (Botai → http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botai_culture) appeared some 5700 years ago, being maybe an important influence (but not the origin, it seems) of subsequent Kurgan (IE) expansion.

      Further North, in West Siberia there is also some knowledge of the matter, for a genetic-centric view see: http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/05/ancient-west-siberian-mtdna.html

      And then Altai is surely the best known region of all North Asia in archaeological terms, from the time of H. erectus onwards. It is the key region between West and East Eurasia by the North. In what regards to H. sapiens, it "belonged" to West Eurasia since day one (~47,000 years ago) until the Iron Age, when East Asian lineages first become apparent. It is probably at the ultimate origin of Native Americans but almost only from the paternal side, much as Finnics have (partly) an East Asian patrilineage. It is also at the origin of Upper Paleolithic (mode 4) in East Asia (which surely expanded by mere cultural diffussion because it left not genetic trace other than the one leading to Native Americans via Siberia).

      "The oldest thing about the Basque it is that they have a high percentage of O blood".

      0 and A and nearly zero B, which surely expanded from Eastern Europe with Indoeuropeans. More importantly maybe are the high percentages of Rh-, Y-DNA R1b, etc. Rh- is a typical European (or less markedly West Eurasian) marker and, as happens with R1b, it also has high frequencies in other Atlantic "refuge" areas like the "Celtic" areas of the NW.

      As for 0 and A they may have evolved several times, so they are not too informative.

      ... "and the areas with vasconic coincides with the areas with highest rate of O blood, european megalithism (henges), and also initially with the Cardium Ware and Later with Beaker culture".

      Not sure if what you say about blood type 0 is correct. But what you say about Cardium is certainly incorrect. First of all the Basque area, as well as most of Atlantic Europe, never had any Cardium Pottery proper (although it is debatable if the local Neolithic varians could be sourced in Cardium Pottery culture in some cases) but, most importantly, you are excluding all the NW areas of Danubian and other influence. Megalithism, which begins soon after Cardium reaches its westernmost limits, and precisely in those limits (Southern Portugal) is one correlate. Bell Beaker also to some extent but BB is an epiphenomenon on other substrate cultures so it can hardly be considered alone. Megalithism does not cover the area well anyhow, because all Central and East Iberia and much of Italy, as well as some parts of Germany, do not fall within that phenomenon, so I am forced to consider an older source: Thessalian Neolithic, from which both Cardium and Danubian derive ultimately. The presence of at least some Vasconic toponyms in the Balcans (Ibar river for example) would support this model. The relative loss of Vasconic in the Balcans early on can be explained by the secondary Vinca-Dimini wave of beige and black pottery (Pelasgic?), c. 7000 years ago.

      Delete
    23. I have a problem in making Vasconic too old, which is making it not a language, or a continuum of languages, but a patchwork of languages. This is a criticism that Trask did to Vennemann.

      I have to agree with it, because a group of people out of a small refugia is similar to people entering the americas for the firt time. Nowadays we have a maze of hydronyms and toponyms without coherence even in small places.

      So, when you mention Thessalian Neolithic, this is where I would ultimately locate the origin of Vasconic.

      I'd say Vasconic is what represented the expansion of agriculture. It would almost completely override the old culture by an extreme demic expansion relative to the original population, even the hydronyms or toponyms. In this aspect, it would be unlike the colonization of the Americas, since, at least here in Brazil, we have plenty of natives which already had domesticated crops, and thus, their population was rather high.

      But, given that both Iberian and Balkanic populations were originated due the Iberian refugia, the cultural change would not be very noticeable.

      Also, as for the change of the non covering enough of the area, because when both branches of Vasconic arrived, they diverged enough so that some culutural differences were noticeable.

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    24. I do not have too clear if there was a single so radical demic expansion as you say.

      ... "it would be unlike the colonization of the Americas, since, at least here in Brazil, we have plenty of natives which already had domesticated crops, and thus, their population was rather high".

      But Brazil was settled with (mostly) Industrial Era technology, what is at least two (or three) technological phases after Neolithic. On the other hand slash-and-burn Early Neolithic peoples were about just "half" a technological phase more advanced than Epipaleolithic hunter-gatherers.

      There was change but it could be quite less dramatic than in Brazil, not the other way around. Never mind that the process lasted thousands of years and not just a few centuries, so the aborigines had enough time to adapt to the new ideas, generation after generation. And there was no bacterian shock, no imperialist slavery, etc.

      We see in present day some of the mt lineages detected in the Late Paleolithic, notably U5, U4 and H. The Neolithic (and later processes) rearranged European populations with some force and brought some West Asian lineages (which did not become majority in the end) but the Paleolithic lineages persisted through the changes. I'll publish by September something on the matter I'm preparing for a Spanish language blog but by now it's clear that:
      · mtDNA H has been located in Paleolithic Iberia at rather high frequencies
      · Neolithic waves like Danubian Neolithic suffered serious setbacks after the Climate Optimum, which may have allowed for expansion of some of the wildest (and more aboriginal) derivatives from the Atlantic and East Europe → http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/06/revisiting-demographics-of-northern-and.html
      · East European Neolithic (at least Dniepr-Don) was clearly rooted in the Paleolithic (with no obvious foreign influence) → http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2011/02/craniometrics-confirms-that-eastern-and.html

      Actually if we follow the example of Latin America, there was very limited replacement in many areas before the 19th century. And IMO what happened in America was much more extreme than what happened in Europe with Neolithic.

      But you do not need a radical population replacement to get a language replacement. Just some elite domination (villages vs. scattered tribes for example) may be enough, as happened with Pygmies and many other tribals through the world, whose ancestral languages are long lost, even if the peoples as such persist.

      ...

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    25. ...

      "But, given that both Iberian and Balkanic populations were originated due the Iberian refugia"...

      I see no reason to think that the Balcanic populations would have originated in SW Europe (not "Iberian refugia" but Franco-Cantabrian Region, mostly North of Iberia, in what is now Southern France: Iberia proper was rather marginal in the Paleolithic), at least for the greatest part, and was for sure not at the origin of any re-expansion (excepted to North Africa surely).

      "Also, as for the change of the non covering enough of the area, because when both branches of Vasconic arrived, they diverged enough so that some culutural differences were noticeable".

      In an oversimplistic world, they should... but the issue is much more complex than just two well defined branches. Cardium proper is almost restricted to the Western Mediterranean shores but Cardium-related groups (Epicardial in the loosest possible sense) is widespread and would include much of Germany (La Hoguette), overlapping with West Danubian. Never mind all Atlantic Neolithic cultures, which are diverse and only in a very forced way (or not at all) can be related with Cardium or Danubian. We see independent Neolithic groups all along the Atlantic: from Portugal (earliest Dolmenic Megalithism) to Denmark, going through the Basque Country, West France, North France, Belgium, etc. Excepted Megalithism (at a later period) neither makes up a single well defined large enough cultural group to be mentioned in the most basic "manuals" but the realistic serious analysis can't ignore them. The humidity of the Oceanic climate probably posed a barrier to straightforward expansion of crops, needing selection, adaption and people already used to the specificities of this climate (it can be great but it's nothing like what you find in West Asia or the Balcans).

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    26. I have to start somewhere. So, the 1st approximation is cardial pottery and beginning from there, it changes. Also together the Vinca related started advancing the danube. But these seem modifications, evolutions, related to a that Tessalonic Neolithic.

      Concerning my country, I mean the other way around. I meant that there were resistance to language change for many centuries, because they were in big numbers. Now, in the case of Europe, the settlers just substituted the old population by overwhelming them in terms of population, not violence. There was no other way, I think, since these people probably did no class divisions.

      How else, other than scenario, I can justify the toponym and hydronym homegnous spread? It should be a very fast spread, 2k years, so that languages did no mutate too much.

      Delete
    27. Vica-Dimini and its Black-Beige pottery is not a variant of Red-White Painted Pottery Neolithic, not at all: it implies some sort of invasion by a new people, also spotted in Anatolia (Can Hassan, not far from Çatal Höyuk). Anthropometrically they appear "Syrian" (possibly related to Tell Halaf, whose pottery is not too different). In many cases Painted Ware sites appear burned down, a clear sign of violent invasion.

      Said that, some of the substrate probably survived because there is continuity in many sites and that is especially true in the Thrace/Bulgaria area most likely, whose culture is more hybrid. That area also "succumbed" later to a Danubian backslash, what may have been based on persistence of First Neolithic traditions/identity. But in the Serbia-Macedon-Thessaly area Vinca-related culture survived until the Mycenaean age, so it's easy to relate them to the semi-mythical Pelasgians.

      "Now, in the case of Europe, the settlers just substituted the old population by overwhelming them in terms of population, not violence".

      We can't exclude violence at all. Western Danubian especially seems to have been quite violent (massacre sites, burial with weapons, use of opium).

      "There was no other way, I think, since these people probably did no class divisions".

      You don't need class divisions for violence. This is a complex matter but anyone familiar with, for example, Native American historical anthropology knows that classless societies, notably Neolithic ones, can be very aggressive (best known example: the Iroquois). Land ownership even if still collective is a clear source of inter-group conflict. Said that, adoption of defeated peoples or casual allies was always a possibility, so it does not need to lead to outright replacement, but a more mixed result surely. But when the defeated people would not agree to join the Iroquois confederation they were expelled altogether from their ancestral lands.

      This surely happened in Europe as well, with whatever variants.

      "How else, other than scenario, I can justify the toponym and hydronym homegnous spread? It should be a very fast spread, 2k years, so that languages did no mutate too much".

      Actually fast expansion cause fast mutation rates in languages. Staying put slows down linguistic change a lot instead. This is largely because newly incorporated adults learn the new language poorly at first, introducing substrate elements and (mostly regular) phonetic changes. Instead an isolated non-expanding language only experiences random fluctuations. Good examples of these may be Lithuanian (the most conservative Indoeuropean alive) or Icelandic, while a clear example of fast-pace changing (and grammar simplifying) language is English or also Vulgar Latin (→ Romances), both of which reflect very intense processes of creolization product of quick expansion (and in the English case: complex and conflicting influences such as that of Norman French).

      But you are right that the process of Neolithic expansion, at least in its core forms (Balcano-Danubian and Impressed-Cardium), was relatively fast:
      · Sesklo proper (not proto- and pre-Sesklo, which are older): c. 6900 BCE
      · Impressed Pottery of Epirus: c. 6400 BCE
      · Starcevo: c. 6200 BCE
      · Impressed Pottery in Albania, Dalmatia and South-Central Italy: c. 6000 BCE
      · Cardium Pottery in the West Mediterranean: c. 5700-5500 BCE
      · Danubian (LBK): c. 5500 BCE

      So we are indeed talking of about 1000 or 1500 years for this time-frame. However Atlantic Neolithic is in many cases much more recent, especially in Britain and Denmark (c. 4000 BCE). The whole process therefore takes more than 2000 years. On the other hand the core of the Neolithic expansion is rather fast: some seven centuries between Starcevo and West Danubian/West Cardium.

      Now compare with Indoeuropean: it took some 3-4000 years or so to reach all its Old World extension. So the Neolithic (presumably Vasconic) expansion was faster in fact.

      Delete
    28. The conquest of the Inca and Brazilian litoral was done with the method "Iran-Contra" to stimulate enemies to fight so that the empire could divide and conquer. But this is a kind of perverted violence, where the conquered would be an underclass. The case of neolithic people, it's more a case of life or starvation.

      But, in the case of agriculture, the surplus in food was big, so the absorption of other people would be more likely than by violence. As I said before, overwhelmed by population. So, this big population advance would suffer less mutation due the higher tendency since most people would just have to live among themselves, and not outsiders.

      Yes, you are right that the IE was slow in comparison. They had to advance through a population that had a high density. So, displacing or changing their language by the imposition of an elite was a slow process. More over, this new elite was not technologically more advanced, which made matters worse. Like in India. The IE invaders imposed a system of caste, but the language imposition was never completed.

      Delete
    29. In terms of Atlantic or Norway, it was the case of population explosion with agriculture, although slow due cold weather. But the advance in overall technology made the advance wave more conservative, because it was more resilient.

      Delete
  2. ^^^ Is there 'N' west of Central Europe?

    At any rate, I agree that the age estimates are just that, and anything close to LGM always raises my brows. In particular, the diversity of the Altai and European sub-groups should be noted; in particular, that of N1c. That alone lets me believe in a deeper time line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Is there 'N' west of Central Europe?"

      Not that I know of. At least not in any meaningful frequency.

      I did not include the haplogroup frequency maps but you can find them in the paper easily.

      Delete
  3. This paper doesn't take into account new SNP discoveries within N1, and there is at least one cracking discovery let me tell you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you document that "cracking discovery" you talk about. A relevant link maybe? Some details?

      Delete
    2. Take a look at some of the online chatter about N1 mutations P189.2 and L732.

      You can see where they fall on the N1 tree at ISOGG.

      http://www.isogg.org/tree/ISOGG_HapgrpN.html

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  4. The sybilline messages by Davidsky would seem relating to 2 posts by Igmayka (Lawrence Mayka, a responsible people to maintain ISOGG.

    http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?127-European-N1*-clades-marked-by-L732-and-P189-2

    http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?1087-An-East-Asian-Origin-for-Y-Haplogroup-N&p=9572#post9572

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A nice tree design for haplogroup N in

      http://www.familytreedna.com/public/N%20Russia%20%20DNA%20Project/?vgroup=N+Russia++DNA+Project

      Delete
    2. Thanks a lot, Palamede, I would have never known with the cryptic "tweets" by David.

      From the tree, I see just two individuals within N1* in Europe, as well as one within N1b. All the rest are within N1c. What is said in the comments seems to confirm that European N1 (confusingly mentioned as "N1*") is part of N1a and N1b. When talking of N1a, they say: "No potential Asian source population for this clade has been identified", however in this study is clear that N1a is well represented in East Asia, with importance among Tibeto-Burmans.

      In another post they say:

      Q: "Has anyone ever really tested a southeast Chinese population for P189.2 or L732?"

      A: "Probably not. The significance of P189.2 and L732 was discovered too recently (last year) to appear in peer-reviewed academic publications yet--even if there were lively academic interest, which there apparently is not".

      I don't make any sense of this answer unless this study was not known to the chatters: these are the markers of N1a and N1b respectively. If anything, it seems that this study is the answer because it does test for both such markers among East Asians (and specifically South China).

      Am I still missing something?

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    3. In ISOGG-2011 there was
      N M231/Page91, Page56
      • N* -
      • N1 LLY22g_1, LLY22g_2
      • • N1* -
      • • N1a M128
      • • N1b P43
      • • • N1b* -
      • • • N1b1 P63
      • • N1c M46/Page70/Tat, P105

      Now,
      the old N1a-L128 is N1c2a-L128 under the new N1c2-L666,
      the old N1b-P43 is N1c2b-P43 under the new N1c2-L666.

      The studies made reference to the 2011 version and not the recent one.
      Until the sibylline cryptic messages, I had also been confused between the versions.

      Therefore, there has only one asiatic reference (Korean for L732), but probably if not found yet, it is because the discovery new markers are too recent.

      In August 2012, Lawrence Mayka said:

      "European N1* clades marked by L732 and P189.2
      SNP results so far suggest that European N1* divides into two clades:

      - L732 was found in the WTY of kit N25315, and 224763 has also tested L732+ . 217892 is then almost certainly L732+ also. All three have ancestry from the Poland-Belarus region. A Korean near-match (distance 4 on 25 markers) is also probably L732+ but has not responded to emails.

      - P189.2 was found in the 23andMe results of kit N14100, and 144471 has also tested P189+ . N84884, 176094, and 127574 are then almost certainly P189+ , and probably N15634 as well. Even Ysearch 9C49E may be P189+ . Ancestries include Italy, Slovakia, and the Balkans. No potential Asian source population for this clade has been identified.

      In order to add these to the haplotree, we must show them to be disjoint from (mutually exclusive of) N1c, N1b, and N1a. WTYs have shown N1c to be L732- and P189- , and N1b to be P189- . We need an N1b to test L732, and an N1a to test both L732 and P189."

      Delete
    4. M128 and not L128 in the below message :
      "the old N1a-M128 is now N1c2a-M128 under the new N1c2-L666,

      Delete
    5. Aha. Thanks a lot for explaining this to me, Palamede. I did not realize the difference in nomenclature: now the "coughs" make much better sense.

      "Therefore, there has only one asiatic reference (Korean for L732), but probably if not found yet, it is because the discovery new markers are too recent".

      Indeed, seeing all the N1* in East Asia as reported by Hong Shi, it seems probable that there is quite a bit of N1(xN1c) diversity but that testing for these new markers will have to wait. I guess that a very dedicated person could work with STR haplotypes in order to discern the greatest likelihoods of ascription to the new phylogenetic levels but it's a lot of work and never 100% certain.

      Delete
  5. Can someone translate this gibberish into English?

    I have no idea what is going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just means that at least some N1 in Europe can't be of Asian origin, at least based on current sampling of the new SNPs.

      I think it's a sign that there was a Mesolithic population in Europe with N1.

      Delete
    2. Sorry for my gibberish, I was the worst student if my high school for English, I was the despair of my teachers and I am not gifted without hope although a lot of tremendous efforts since my young age.

      For me, Davidski is wrong. The new SNPS (L732 and P189.2)are certainly in the N1*-LLY22g of the study with not neglictible percentages 4,55% in East Chinese Altaï, 5,52% in Tibetans 7,38% in Tibeto-burmans.

      In more, the study shows the existance of N*M231+LLY22g- : therefore, still oldest branch(es)
      0,53 % West Chinese Altaï, 1,26% Southern Han, 0,62% Tibeto-Burmans.

      http://www.familytreedna.com/public/N%20Russia%20%20DNA%20Project/?vgroup=N+Russia++DNA+Project

      A more interesting question is to know fromt what node of the tree, the N haplogroup was introduced in European populations, probably ib a time and region with a very weak population during any cold phases. probably some relation with the marker L226 before East European branche and West Siberian branch. This hasn't prevented from some mixing with east-asiatic people from this time , for instance mixing of the european Komis and Kansi with the east-asiactic Nenets, this can be numbered with the proportion of the east-asiatic Nenets N1c2b-P43 (old N1b-P43) in this population.

      Delete
    3. "It just means that at least some N1 in Europe can't be of Asian origin, at least based on current sampling of the new SNPs".

      But the "current sampling" is FTDNA-based, what implies an extreme bias for European ancestry. We can't reach that conclusion until systematic scientific sampling and testing for the new markers is performed, especially in East Asia and Siberia, where FTDNA has almost no customers.

      In fact, as I was just saying above, the great numbers and diversity of East Asian samples in Hong Shi 2013 for N1(xM128, P43, M46/Tat) does suggest that the origin of the newly discovered upstream layers is also in East Asia and that the two FTDNA-detected European individuals (Slovakia and Poland?) are mere erratics.

      "I think it's a sign that there was a Mesolithic population in Europe with N1."

      Mesolithic (or rather Epipaleolithic) there was surely one: proto-Fino-Ugrians in the Volga-Ural region. But that's precisely what Shi is saying (and I with my tendency to expand age estimates towards the past can't but support). If you imply in other parts of Europe, then you are probably wrong. These Central-European N1* erratics are surely just that: minor lineages brought from Eastern Europe or Siberia with whichever of the many steppe-origin migrations such as early Indoeuropeans, Scythians, Huns, etc. (or maybe also slave trade or Jewish interactions).

      Delete
    4. "Sorry for my gibberish, I was the worst student if my high school for English, I was the despair of my teachers and I am not gifted without hope although a lot of tremendous efforts since my young age".

      Judging on your writing, you are being unfair with yourself, Palamede. I can understand your English very well and I see no obvious errors.

      Another thing is explaining the details of the matter, for which you did a pretty good job as well. It's difficult to explain anyhow.

      I'll make sure there is an update explaining this issue because, even if it does not seem to challenge the basic findings, it does add some nuances. Thanks again for your effort.

      Delete
  6. Palamede,

    I apologize for my rudeness. I think my difficulty understanding you was as much impacted by me being tired and impatient, as well as the complexity of the nomenclature and subject matter. Thank you for your contribution.

    Maju,

    Thanks for your clarifying update.

    In the end, I find it interesting that better sampling and drilling down deeper into haplogroups still often leaves such big questions. It almost seems that diffusion alone (let alone periodic migrations) can occur at about the same time as mutations, such that expected, abrupt time horizons are washed out almost beyond recognition.

    I also felt that way in the recent ancient European mt-DNA H discussion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "It almost seems that diffusion alone (let alone periodic migrations) can occur at about the same time as mutations, such that expected, abrupt time horizons are washed out almost beyond recognition".

      In Y-DNA (but not at all in the much shorter mtDNA) novel SNPs should form every generation, however the vast majority goes undetected because of the current practical limitations of research methods. When one "patriarch" has such a founder effect success, usually by leading (he or his descendants) the colonization of new lands with little or no previous population (or maybe by the genocide of the previous inhabitants) then a lineage expands and leaves its legacy in the form of a distinctive haplogroup (known already or to be discovered in the future).

      For practical reasons we usually know the marker of a common ancestor of a once-time colonist population because these colonists would have as many SNP-defined lineages as men in the colonist group... but typically they would have previously been a small group where a single lineage drifted to fixation or near-fixation. So the SNP we discern is surely that of the common ancestor of the population before the expansion. If that ancestor (or an upstream ancestor of him) left also other legacies, even if these had no expansions, we should also see other individuals with the same or closely related haplogroups out of the colonized area and surely closer to the ancestral homeland of the lineage. That's why numbers do not matter much but it is properly sorted diversity which does: diversity indicates origin and numbers alone indicate expansion area.

      Some day geneticists will be able to pinpoint SNP-based phylogeny generation by generation and this will become much more clear, I hope.

      Whatever the case the migrating populations may and will in most cases bring other lineages with them because the process of fixation is almost never complete and also expansion process are usually complex, implying many interactions (incl. "adoptions") with other groups. These lineages can therefore be relatives or not. For all these reasons, rare lineages, erratics, cannot be considered important, much less in oversampled populations (in undersampled populations singletons may still be the tip of an "iceberg").

      "I also felt that way in the recent ancient European mt-DNA H discussion".

      MtDNA has different issues than Y-DNA for the simpler reason that it is a lot shorter. In fact (control region) mutations seem to accumulate only at rates of more than a thousand years (dozens of generations). This will never allow us to perceive the generation-level change but only the millennial one. Also it allows, I understand, for highly irregular mutation rates depending on demographic factors and possibly flukes.

      Haplogroup H (or HV) is probably the best example: if we count CR mutations from the shared root R, it is of similar age as U (HV is one mutation "older" and H one mutation "younger"). However if we use the standard method (whose usefulness I dispute) of counting from present day, then H (and HV) appear much "younger" than U. In my understanding this tell us that the HV/H branch was somehow "frozen" in time at one or several points in the past and I believe it has something to do with its several large star-like structures, indicating major expansions. A relatively large population could "freeze" effective mutations by mere drift, as each time a novel mutation takes place it is just one among many and chances are that it will soon be "drifted out" - and chances of takeover by mere drift are absolutely negligible, unlike what happens in a smaller population tending to Ne→2.

      Delete
  7. "being maybe an important influence (but not the origin, it seems) of subsequent Kurgan (IE) expansion."

    Well, maybe you should prepare yourself to change your paradigms about this matter, because the Kurgan theory seem harder and harder to reconcile with the facts.

    - Agricultural vocabulary in PIE (not only about cereals and this kind of stuff, but also about agricultural "technology", e.g. latin aratrum "plough", Tocharian A & B āre "plough" (-> http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C4%81re#Tocharian_A). It doesn't fit well with Afanasevo or the Pontic steppes)

    - tracks of IE loanwords in Sumerian (whitaker's work: "The case for Euphratic" -> http://www.academia.edu/1869616/The_Case_for_Euphratic).

    - Earliest IE language located in Asia minor (Anatolian languages)

    - Plenty of laryngeals in PIE fitting better with west Asia (-> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laryngeal_theory).

    - The appearance of a previously absent west Asian component in European aDNA in autosomal data after neolithic, throughout Europe.

    - some cultural clues (like the swastika (first known appearance in Iraq about 5,000 BCE IIRC), or a thundering god antagonist of a giant evil snake found throughout the IE world (Indra/Vritra, Thor and Jörmungandr, and so on) but also the semitic world and even more revealing, around 3,000 BCE upper Egypt with Set and Apopis, first known tracks of these deities apparently, etc...

    I probably forgot some stuff.

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    1. Not again! XD

      I mean that now and then someone comes and tells me that the Kurgan theory is wrong and that whatever they think (Anatolian hypothesis, European Paleolithic Continuity hypothesis, Indian Paleolithic Continuity hypothesis or whatever else) is correct. I have been thinking for some time to get a dedicated page on the matter but never really got to it, sorry.

      "Agricultural vocabulary in PIE"...

      As far as I can see, IE languages share no or almost no agricultural vocabulary. Your example of aratrum - plough is a great example because it is obvious that such closely related languages as are Latin and Germanic diverge in this, as do many others. That does not mean that on occasion they may not share a word or two but that's because they are all part of the West Eurasian macro-cultural area.

      In fact we see two main roots: the one of aratrum (Latin, Breton, Finnic, Greek, Latvian but not Lithuanian) and the one of plough (Germanic, Slavic, Albanian, Gaelic, Romanian, Tocharian). Indo-Iranian languages have their own unrelated words (xis in Persian, hal in Hindi, etc.) The presence of the *ara word in Finnic is quite interesting btw and a clear sign of sprachbund. The division of the two main areas seems to be something like continental vs. Mediterranean (but Tocharian and Finnic/Latvian are exceptional here).

      "tracks of IE loanwords in Sumerian"

      That's most unlikely. Much more likely is that it'd be the other way around: that Sumerian (or otherwise West Asian Neolithic) words are loanwords into IE. It's possible that both share loanwords from NE Caucasian-Hurro-Urartean. Many of the words I see in that paper do not seem justified, while others like IGI (eye) also correlate with Basque (begi), one of those cases of apparent Basque-IE cognate.

      "Earliest IE language located in Asia minor"...

      The fact that Anatolian is very divergent within IE does not make it at the origin, just early divergent. AFAIK nearly everybody accepts that neither in Anatolia and nearby areas (include some Anatolian "colonies" like Crete, the Balcans and Etruria) there were other languages totally unrelated to Indoeuropean.

      "Plenty of laryngeals in PIE fitting better with west Asia"...

      From the text, curiously: "These sounds have disappeared in all present-day Indo-European languages [in all of them?, what a coincidence!], but some laryngeals are believed to have existed in Hittite and other Anatolian languages" Which nobody can confirm and would not matter because, even if real, it could well be a substrate influence in this particular sub-family.

      "The appearance of a previously absent west Asian component in European aDNA in autosomal data after neolithic, throughout Europe".

      There's no way to connect that fact with Indoeuropean expansion. In fact, what we see in Central Europe is that the Danubian layer all but vanished in the Chalcolithic, when waves from the West (Megalithism) and East (Indoeuropeans) arrived. There is no dominant continuity in most areas, notably not in Central Europe, between Neolithic and present day: there were clear demic changes later on, precisely when Danubian culture collapsed, according to archaeological data.

      "some cultural clues (like the swastika"...

      The Svastika is clearly a pre-IE element, found mostly in pre-IE areas like Dravidian megaliths, East Asia and even Native America. The swastika is first found in Gravettian contexts AFAIK and arises again, along with other cross-like symbols in Neolithic West Asia, notably Samarra, as you correctly recall, precursor of Sumerian culture.

      "I probably forgot some stuff".

      Keep it coming. All you said is nothing of weight.

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    2. Now for what really matters: the Kurgan model is totally consistent with archaeological data (barring the occasional question mark, of course). If you know your Chalcolithic (and Metal Ages) archaeology of Europe you know that Kurgan is as solid as it can get: we see them expanding from Samara first to Ukraine, then to the Eastern Balcans and Central Europe, we see them even briefly recede after that, only to get reinforced at the late Chalcolithic with the Corded Ware explosion. We see them expanding to Altai (proto-Tocharian) and to Anatolia via the Caucasus (Anatolian branch). Etcetera, etcetera.

      We also see the Danubian Neolithic collapse: first on its own weight after the Climate Optimum (demographic collapse) and then on external pressures (Megalithism and Kurgan peoples). We see that happens even in the genetic aspect, with clearly no strong continuity between Danubian Neolithic and present day (or even Chalcolithic) Germany data.

      We also see many non-IE languages in West Asia: from Hattic to Sumerian, from Hurrite to Eteocretan, from Eteocypriot to Kartvelian, from Semitic to Elamite... The apparent Asian offshoots in Europe such as Pelasgic or Etruscan (and maybe also Vasconic at an older date) are also not IE at all.

      It's possible that PIE derivates from some ancient West Asian language, arrived to Samara maybe via Central Asia. Or it may be an aboriginal European language. We can only find out the plausibility of either model by digging the pre-Neolithic levels at Samara, something still to be done. It's probable that, like many other languages it has West Asian Neolithic loanwords, the same that we all say something like "telephone" or "Internet" today, regardless of language, but that does not make PIE a West Asian language, the same that the word "hiri" in Basque (ili, uli in Iberian, compare with Latin urbs, Sumerian uru, and even Iriko and Irisalem in Palestine) does not automatically link with Ilion-Troy in a wider linguistic sense: it is a mere wanderwort extending from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. There are probably others like Basque burdin (iron), which may be of Phoenician origins.

      I seriously recommend people like you to do your Prehistory homework before jumping to judgment.

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  8. Maju: "As far as I can see, IE languages share no or almost no agricultural vocabulary."

    Not everyone would agree with that:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-Europeans#Culture

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:List_of_Proto-Indo-European_nouns#Vegetable_food

    as you can see above, some are not only shared between European IE languages but also with Asian IE languages sometimes.

    "Your example of aratrum - plough is a great example because it is obvious that such closely related languages as are Latin and Germanic diverge in this, as do many others. That does not mean that on occasion they may not share a word or two but that's because they are all part of the West Eurasian macro-cultural area."

    Anyway it's not rare to find several different words for the same thing in PIE.
    There were two words for "water" and two words for "fire" in pIE, even though it likely refered originally to two different states of these things.
    There are even more words for "wheel" (at least three, IIRC).


    "In fact we see two main roots: the one of aratrum (Latin, Breton, Finnic, Greek, Latvian but not Lithuanian) (...) clear sign of sprachbund. The division of the two main areas seems to be something like continental vs. Mediterranean (but Tocharian and Finnic/Latvian are exceptional here)."


    For the Aratrum-like words? Latvian and Finnish but not Lithuanian? Strange for an areal loanword.

    The mere fact that Latin and TOCHARIAN share a word for such a thing as the plough is enough to severely hinder the Kurgan theory. A word for PLOUGH in TOCHARIAN?! Latin (central Italy/mediterranean sea) and Tocharian (north western China, between Tibet and Altai) shared a word for plough? How so?
    Your theory is that it is a loanword that wasn't present in PIE and that somehow they picked it up from west Asian agricultural populations, right?
    When? where? You think the proto-Tocharians went from the pontic steppes to Afanasevo, right?
    It had to happen after the proto-Tocharians left the Pontic steppes otherwise it was part of PIE and if it was part of PIE, then the PIE populations were at least partly farmers.
    It is difficult to imagine these people borrowing a word for plough with what we know of them. How are Afanasevo and agriculture related?

    I can grant you that the Loulan Beauty was burried with a wheat basket and she's from around 1,800 BCE, and that a genetic study had concluded that some early Tarim Basin people had a genetic link with south Siberia and the Altai (meaning ultimately Afanasevo).
    But what's the correlation between Afanasevo and wheat? Besides this mummy also had a bronze knife and no bronze is known from Afanasevo, only copper objects... so...


    "tracks of IE loanwords in Sumerian" "That's most unlikely. Much more likely is that it'd be the other way around: that Sumerian (or otherwise West Asian Neolithic) words are loanwords into IE."

    Loanwords in both directions is not excludable. It makes an origin of PIE/pre-PIE in west Asia even more likely actually.


    "It's possible that both share loanwords from NE Caucasian-Hurro-Urartean. "

    Difficult to believe, especially for this type of loanwords IMHO.

    More below.

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    1. Have you tried to double check the claims made in that list. Many words can't mean what they are claimed to be (what is claimed as "flour" is chaff in fact, "spelt" is anything from flour to barley, "beer" means in fact bitter at least in one language) but the most normal case is words that are not at all pan-IE but restricted to some geographic areas like the Scythian influence one, or the Eastern Mediterranean or the Baltic area. Among these I find notorious the Med-Atlantic one alleged *h₁eregwo- (pea), which in fact I'd reconstruct as something like "orbain" or "orban" instead, which in fact means "speck" in Basque today. Surely a coincidence [sarcasm intended]. Similarly the word for "beer" (or rather "bitter") is similar to the word for vagina in Basque (alu), yes surely just a coincidence...

      In other words some authors find words that are more or less widespread in some areas and they imagine them being PIE just because. They may well have other origins and in most cases I'd say it is the case.

      Instead for example the words for "salt" or "grain" ("corn") seem genuinely Indoeuropean. But, among crop words, they are exceptions, not the rule.

      It's quite ironical also the many roots for goat, some of which remind to Basque ahuntz and the male form aker, especially if we assume some common origin like ayk or auk (-er bein maybe just male: (h)ar). The "only" root for ram seems to produce way too different words, so probably several roots in fact. Some of these words, notably Greek aries or Tocharian yriye, are similar to Basque ahari (which in turn is similar to billy goat: aker, especially assuming the common k←→h change).

      En fin...

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    2. "Anyway it's not rare to find several different words for the same thing in PIE".

      Precisely. They may be in some cases two genuine dialectal variants of PIE but in most cases they just borrowed one or both from another source. Just because it is shared by SOME IE languages that does not make a word genuinely PIE.

      "Latvian and Finnish but not Lithuanian? Strange for an areal loanword".

      Makes sense if the origin in the North is Finnic, after all much of Latvia was once Finnic-speaking (all the North in historical times, maybe all the country in earlier times). That's not the case of Lithuania. We also see similar differences between Brythonic and Gaelic, Romanian and Western Romances...

      "The mere fact that Latin and TOCHARIAN share a word for such a thing as the plough is enough to severely hinder the Kurgan theory".

      Not if the word has a West Asian but non-IE origin. How's plough in Etruscan? In Hattic? In Pelasgic? Eteocretan? Sumerian? Semitic? I don't know but Arabic miħrāθ resembles the *ara form.

      It's not enough that a word is shared by some IE languages, even if distant, to be originally IE. There are other possibilities like a similar origin of borrowings. And that similar origin of borrowings is usually in West Asia, not just for IE but for other languages (I already mentioned the iri-uri-uru-ili-uli wanderwort, which goes from the Bay of Biscay to the Bay of Bengal, including some IE languages and some non-IE ones, like Basque, Sumerian or Dravidian).

      "Loanwords in both directions is not excludable. It makes an origin of PIE/pre-PIE in west Asia even more likely actually".

      West Asia irradiated a lot in Neolithic and also later in the Bronze Age. We should expect many West Asian wanderworts everywhere from Finisterre to the Brahmaputra. Samara valley or even more remote lands like the Finnic Countries would be no exceptions.

      Delete
  9. "Many of the words I see in that paper do not seem justified"

    Well, some definitely seem credible, even convincing I would say.
    Also it's striking to see how a similar stem for "pig" is present throughout Eurasia - and that means Sumerian too - including in PIE, while all the Chalcolithic Russia knew was the wild boar. Obviously it couldn't designate the wild animal in PIE in this context. Why would Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from the middle Volga would have borrowed it during contacts with far away west Asian neolithic communities' members, as they didn't have any domesticated pigs.
    BTW, this stem is present in Tocharian languages and they did have domesticated pigs.

    I can't help noticing that not only there might be some IE loanwords in Sumerian but that some sound of some of the early sumerian cuneiform caracters seem to correspond to an IE sound instead of a Sumerian one (e.g. a character representing an animal is pronounced like this animal in IE and not in Sumerian if I understood correctly Whittaker) as if this writing system had been (partly?) borrowed from some IE people.
    If I say so, it's because some famous inscriptions from Neolithic Romania (the Tartaria tablets), almost 1,000 years before the first known cuneiform inscriptions, look suspiciously similar to archaic cuneiform. I'm not implying that the origin of cuneiform is in Romania, that would be a bit of a stretch, but we can still imagine an Indo-european-speaking source in Asia minor that would be the source for both, after all the populations from ancient south-east europe (like Varna or Vinca for instance) could have been partly derived from migrations coming from Asia Minor.

    "Plenty of laryngeals in PIE fitting better with west Asia"... "From the text, curiously: "These sounds have disappeared in all present-day Indo-European languages [in all of them?, what a coincidence!],"

    Not a coincidence. A change in the population speading the languages through the time. A minority of West Asian individuals transmitting their language to a majority from a population being not used to this "throat efforts", we can understand that after a while most of the H's vanished.

    It could have been present in a stage anterior to the general break-up of this PIE community (Anatolian in west Asia) but losing it soon after it reached certain populations (all the ancient west Asian languages don't necessarily imply many laryngeals, it's just that the fact that PIE has got so much of them would point rather towards this region than Europe).


    "but some laryngeals are believed to have existed in Hittite and other Anatolian languages Which nobody can confirm and would not matter because, even if real, it could well be a substrate influence in this particular sub-family."

    To be precise the Laryngeal theory is accepted by an overwhelming number of specialists, the critics are the tiny minority here.
    Do you know how it came to be? Saussure predicted it just by studying IE languages before the first Hittite texts showed up. When these texts were discovered, they proved posteriorly his theory to be correct. H's were there, where they were supposed to be.
    No, not a Fluke.


    "The appearance of a previously absent west Asian component in European aDNA in autosomal data after neolithic, throughout Europe". "There's no way to connect that fact with Indoeuropean expansion. "

    And what could it be then? How to explain its presence everywhere, especially in similar percentage - with an absence in populations speaking non-IE languages - while the neolithic European aDNA we've got now don't have any in sizable percentages...

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    1. "... all the Chalcolithic Russia knew was the wild boar".

      Not true, gratuitous claim. And even if it'd be the case, it would be no excuse because words for boar and pig are often exchangeable in many languages even today. F.e. Basque: urde (pig, boar), basurde (wild pig or wild boar, literally). Archaeologically it's very difficult to discern boars from pigs: they were (and still are in many cases) virtually identical but it's generally accepted that domestic pigs were widespread since the Initial Neolithic.

      "... some famous inscriptions from Neolithic Romania (the Tartaria tablets), almost 1,000 years before the first known cuneiform inscriptions, look suspiciously similar to archaic cuneiform".

      They do not look cuneiform at all! Nobody knows if they are a script or just symbolic drawings. The area was Danubian and that culture (Karanovo-Gumelnita) was precisely destroyed by IE invasions, which mark the most clear cultural change in that part of the World ever. The new culture (Ezero) surely led directly to Thracians (and hence to Phrygians and Armenians, and a bit more obliquely Greeks as well).

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    2. I think that laryngeals are linguists' mental wanking and nothing else: a rabbit they pulled out of the hat. It does not look serious to me, nope.

      "And what could it be then?"

      Other languages, maybe Vasconic.

      "How to explain its presence everywhere, especially in similar percentage"...

      Actually there's nothing like a similar percentage everywhere in the Neolithic. I'm working right now with three of the best studied areas: Central Europe, Basque Country and Portugal and we see striking differences:

      1. The Basque area remained pretty much stable since Neolithic.
      2. Central Europe suffered radical changes until some time in the Bronze Age. It's Neolithic pool was not at all modern-like.
      3. Portugal remained stable with the highest frequencies of mtDNA H ever (> 80%) until at least Chalcolithic. Today however has one of the lowest mtDNA H frequencies in West Europe, what indicates changes in the Metal Ages, precisely when archaeology suggests them to happen. Chalcolithic Portugal is the leading candidate for the spread of much of mtDNA in Western and Central Europe, probably within Megalithism.

      If you provide me with an email, I can send you my working sheet with all the data, and even some preliminary graphs. Else you will have to wait some weeks yet.

      Delete
  10. "The Svastika is clearly a pre-IE element, found mostly in pre-IE areas like Dravidian megaliths, East Asia and even Native America. The swastika is first found in Gravettian contexts AFAIK and arises again, along with other cross-like symbols in Neolithic West Asia, notably Samarra, as you correctly recall, precursor of Sumerian culture."

    So we would be talking of an old Eurasian symbol having its origin in depth of paleolithic? hmmm... OK.
    Is there any evidences of this European paleolithic presence of the swastika (a link would be great)? I'd like to read it by myself. Anyway I guess that the Russian PIE populations could have taken the swastika at the same time they picked pastoralism from their neighbors.

    I also guess the thundering god and the giant evil snake might also have an ancient paleolithic origin as well, I don't know. Maybe linked with the spreading of some early Y-DNA R1s (after all there is a slightly higher percentage of R1b-v88 in the south of Egypt than in the north of Egypt and some early R1a might have bring it in south russia, who knows. No apparent mythological link with the R1b Basques though).
    But I digress on a highly flimsy ground.

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    1. "Is there any evidences of this European paleolithic presence of the swastika"...

      I read in books. Ukrainian Gravettian context. It may refer to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezine, not sure. Long time since I read that.

      Notice that Eastern European Epigravettian may have been influential on the Zagros Mesolithic (again stuff I read long ago).

      This map: http://www.euskomedia.org/ImgsAuna/23046401.gif, locates the use of the swastika worldwide, as you can see it includes sites in four continents and is absent in the early IE (later Scythian) area of the steppes. It's possible that in Asia and parts of Africa it spread in relation with late Megalithism but its use in Native America or West Africa does not fit any such explanation.

      ... "the thundering god and the giant evil snake might also have an ancient paleolithic origin"...

      I cite Hesiodos from memory: At the beginning it was Chaos and from it arose Gaia and Eros. This is probably the old Neolithic religion preserved until recently among Basques (Mari and Sugaar, alias Maju) and among some Hindu sects (Shakti and Shiva), as well as in, more abstract from in Daoism (Yin and Yang). It is characterized by a dualist monotheism in which the female and the male half converge (sexually, and it was ritualized also sexually, orgiastically) to fertilize the World with their seed, incarnated as rains and storms (Odei in the Basque mythology).

      Gaia is Mother Earth (Basque gai(-a): substance, matter, but also potency, capability), while Sugaar is the snake or dragon, which Apollo or later Christian saints kill. It's not "evil" at all, just the legend justifies that way the change imposed by the IE invaders onto the cosmic order. Even in the late Middle Ages the mythical ancestry of Sugaar was used to justify the Lordship of Biscay.

      Later came Uranos, son and new lover of Gaia. Uranos is surely Basque Urtzi (Ost), the personification of the Sky, and probably the same known as Atlas. It has no preserved mythology but names several weekdays and meteorological phenomena and even in the Middle Ages, a pilgrim said of Basques: "et Deus vocant Urcia". His reign represents the change from a cthonic mythology to a celestial one with emphasis in astronomy. It's the time of Stonehenge and similar temples.

      The Kronos stage never reached the West. Kronos is usually associated to the Sumerian god Enki and maybe even has some oblique relationship with the Jewish Yaveh (or whatever). Possibly in Greece it can be related to Vinca-Dimini (Pelasgians) or maybe to the Cretan or Trojan hegemonies (different origin probably).

      And only then came Zeus (Indra, etc.) with its Indoeuropean court, notably Apollo-Vishnu. In Greece even Hades was taken from the hands of Gaia but in Nordic mythology it remains in her hands as Hel (now demonized).

      It's all reflected in Greek mythology (and others as well).

      Delete
  11. Maju: "Now for what really matters: the Kurgan model is totally consistent with archaeological data (barring the occasional question mark, of course). If you know your Chalcolithic (and Metal Ages) archaeology of Europe you know that Kurgan is as solid as it can get (...) and to Anatolia via the Caucasus (Anatolian branch). Etcetera, etcetera."

    I'm not denying the spreading of the cultural "Kurgan" influence (although some stuff is less clear than you allege. AFAIK the exact relation of Corded ware with the steppes is disputed, and the Kurgan practice might actually come from the Caucasus region, not from the Steppes (see the paragraph below)). It doesn't mean that it's THEIR language that spreaded in these prehistorical dynamics. Only a little percentage of their language might have seeped in the local languages.

    -> "the revised dating for the Maikop culture means that the earliest kurgans occur in the northwestern and southern Caucasus and precede by several centuries those of the Pit-Grave (Yamnaya) cultures of the western Eurasian steppes (cf. Chernykh and Orlovskaya 2004a and b). The calibrated radiocarbon dates suggest that the Maikop ‘culture’ seems to have had a formative influence on steppe kurgan burial rituals and what now appears to be the later development of the Pit-Grave (Yamnaya) culture on the Eurasian steppes (Chernykh and Orlovskaya 2004a: 97)"

    from "Origins, Homelands and Migrations: Situating the Kura-Araxes Early Transcaucasian ‘Culture’ within the History of Bronze Age Eurasia" Philip L. Kohl - Tel Aviv vol. 36, 2009 241–265 (-> http://kura-arax.tau.ac.il/system/files/Kohl.pdf)


    In 911 AD, old Norse-speaking Vikings settled in what became Normandy (their name named this region and yet...) they were in no way weaker than the then weak king of France (they were legally vassals but in the reality they were actually stronger than the King, like several other French vassals, and didn't respect his autority) and yet, 150 years later, that's French dialect, socio-political system and culture that they spreaded in Great Britain.
    It's not rare that the rough powerful pragmatical "barbarians" became accultured to their conquered people, only to influence moderately or little the local substrate (which is also what happened after the völkerwanderung, except in the UK but the place was not very populated and there might have been huge human losses in the Romano-briton population in what became England, so the percentage of Germanic migrants might have been important in comparison to the other European regions).

    The Cucuteni would have been culturally superior and they might have influenced the Steppes warriors more than the contrary in this domain. Isn't it what is seen in archeology with hybrid cultures appearing rapidly after the first violent steppic populations' incursions in east/south-east Europe?


    "We see them expanding to Altai (proto-Tocharian) and to Anatolia via the Caucasus (Anatolian branch)"

    You see Anatolian arriving in Asia Minor from the Caucasus? The Anatolian languages are distributed in the west and center of Turkey. And we also know that the east of Asia Minor had well-established non-IE languages (Hattic, Hurrian, Urartian and so on), later and thus most-likely previously to.
    Hittite had borrowed a lot to Hattic (easter) but not Luwian (that might have borrowed to other ancient local languages though).

    I could understand if you'd associate Anatolian with the first movements of the steppic "Kurgan" populations in south-east Europe, but from the Caucasus? But anyway I don't think there is anything explaining how bronze age south-east europan peoples would have conquered at least half of what is now Turkey and supporting in archeological data. No strong tracks anyway.

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    1. It's taking me hours to reply...sigh!

      Corded Ware derives from Baalberge via several cultures (more notable Luboń and Globular Amphora). However it has a surely decisive Catacomb influence, which is maybe what you link to the Caucasus (Maikop). The connection to the steppes, from which Maikop itself is not far away, is anyhow clear for anyone tracking the Kurgan to its oldest manifestations. Both Baalberge and Maikop derive from Samara-Khvalynsk, so it's very clear.

      "It doesn't mean that it's THEIR language that spreaded in these prehistorical dynamics."

      Surely the Turkic peoples also spread without leaving their language anywhere...

      In your dreams, that's what I mean.

      The process of Kurgan expansion is clear and very strong and it is the only thing that fits with Indoeuropean expansion from the origins to the end in every single case (with the only possible doubt of Albanian, whose origins are a bit obscure). I can detail you with very few doubts (none of them important) the trail of each other IE language from Samara to present day.

      What you say about Maikop having the oldest Kurgans makes little sense to me: Samara began c. 5500, while Maikop only c. 3700 BCE. It is true that Samara culture only has proto-kurgans and not yet true kurgans but its successor Khvalynsk culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khvalynsk_culture) already has them and it begins a thousand years before Maikop.

      That Maikop and Kura-Araxes precede Yamnaya is no wonder because Yamnaya is NOT the origin of the Kurgan phenomenon but a relatively late manifestation. If Anatolian, which derives from these is more diverged than others it is precisely because Maikop is one of the first expansions of the Kurgan Peoples. When Yamnaya began, IEs were already raiding the Balcans and creating an offshoot realm at the Elbe, and of course they had reached Altai as well.

      That is part of the problem, I guess: people do not really understand the origins and patterns of Kurgan expansion as they should but have many misconceptions like this Yamnaya fetish.

      ...

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    2. ...

      "It's not rare that the rough powerful pragmatical "barbarians" became accultured to their conquered people"...

      I don't say it does not happen (we know a couple of examples, both with very advanced conquered peoples: Sumerians and Romans) but we know many other examples where linguistic change happened instead (even Sumerians ended up speaking Semitic eventually, while many Roman and Greek speakers had to give up their language to Germanic, Slavic, Arabic or Turkish). Probably the main reason why Romances survive are the Catholic Church and the fact that Frankish were very romanized themselves (Saxons weren't and look what happened to Britain), while in general the Germanic kingdoms' legitimacy derived from becoming heirs of Rome (first as allies, later as successors). But whatever the case, these are exceptions, not the rule. The Cordoba Caliphate was much more advanced than Castile but the Andalusians now speak Castilian Spanish, Byzantium was much more advanced than the Turks but what is spoken in Istanbul now?

      And Danubians were not much more advanced, if at all, than the Kurgan steppe riders. These had everything Danubians had and something more: horses. Just being a farmer does not make you "more advanced", you need something else like cities, literature and an overwhelming prestige, preferably of religious nature. Some is left to random factors, like the incidental failure of Norman French in England (almost but not quite, still about 50% of English vocabulary is French).

      "You see Anatolian arriving in Asia Minor from the Caucasus?"

      Yes: Maikop → Kura-Araxes → Hittites.

      "The Anatolian languages are distributed in the west and center of Turkey".

      Center-East of Anatolia peninsula. The late expansion of Luwian to the West → Lydian) is something that happened under the Hittite Empire, much as the expansion of Thracian to the East (→ Armenian) happened under Phrygian rule.

      "I could understand if you'd associate Anatolian with the first movements of the steppic "Kurgan" populations in south-east Europe, but from the Caucasus?"

      Those are proto-Thracians (Ezero) and proto-Greeks (probably Cotofeni, maybe Vucedol). There are some doubts about which is which in the mosaic of Kurgan-created cultures in that area but they can't be Anatolians, first because their origin is East of the Halys (Luwian also), second because there are no known invasions of Anatolia from the West before Phrygians (Troy stood as guard for almost 2000 years: it may be a major cause, because Troy was very influential in the Balcans). When the Hittites arrived the area spoke what are probably North Caucasian languages (Hattic and Hurrian), these left a strong substrate impact in Hittite.

      "But anyway I don't think there is anything explaining how bronze age south-east europan peoples would have conquered at least half of what is now Turkey and supporting in archeological data".

      Nah. Not at all. Only after the Hittite collapse: Tracians → Phrygians → Armenians and also Greeks in the coasts and finally that mercenary Celtic offshoot of Galatia.

      Delete
  12. "We also see the Danubian Neolithic collapse: first on its own weight after the Climate Optimum (demographic collapse) and then on external pressures (Megalithism and Kurgan peoples). We see that happens even in the genetic aspect, with clearly no strong continuity between Danubian Neolithic and present day (or even Chalcolithic) Germany data."

    Is this really contradicting my remark?


    "We also see many non-IE languages in West Asia: from Hattic to Sumerian, from Hurrite to Eteocretan, from Eteocypriot to Kartvelian, from Semitic to Elamite... The apparent Asian offshoots in Europe such as Pelasgic or Etruscan (and maybe also Vasconic at an older date) are also not IE at all."

    So what? There is still room in a big chunk of Asia minor. Namely west and central Turkey. The other languages you mentionned weren't related to each other either and yet they were there, side by side.


    "It's probable that, like many other languages it has West Asian Neolithic loanwords"

    It's even a certitude. One can wonder how several Semitic loanwords (including figures, maybe several ones) got into PIE, a language supposedly spoken by peoples derived from Russian mesolithic hunter-gatherers as north as Samara (somehow already knowing potteries, mind you. But this might have something to do with the east Asian admixture there).


    "the same that we all say something like "telephone" (...) it is a mere wanderwort extending from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean."

    And yet they seem to have their own word for wheel, metal, wool, ovine and bovine (except for * (s)tawr- that is apprently from Semitic), as if they had been powerful enough and innovators themselves and only neighbors of semitic populations, explaining the moderate numbers of loanwords for things that they should have borrowed to more "advanced" peoples.

    Sorry for having been so long.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "Is this really contradicting my remark?"

      If the Danubian genetic pool is clearly not modern, if they collapsed in demographic terms prior to the Megalithic and Kurgan expansions... the scenario of no continuity is clearly very strong.

      "So what? There is still room in a big chunk of Asia minor".

      Etruscans should have originated in West Turkey. According to some historical references Lydia itself, what would confirm (if accepted) that West Anatolia did not speak Anatolian IE before the Hittite expansion, at least not widely so. A quasi-Etruscan language is also attested historically in the island of Lemnos, not far from where Troy once stood. IMO it was Tyrsenian (maybe the same as Pelasgian) what was spoken in West Anatolia in the Bronze Age (prior to Hittite expansion).

      Eteocretans also originated in Western Anatolia, as did Cycladic peoples.

      The real issue to me would be to see if these languages can be related to NW Caucasian / Hattic or they really form a different family or families. Hard to find out, I know.

      "One can wonder how several Semitic loanwords (including figures, maybe several ones) got into PIE"...

      I do not think possible that Semitic influenced PIE. It may have influenced some languages, especially via Phoenicians, Assyrians, etc. but not PIE. If words are truly coincident between Semitic and PIE roots, then they are probably shared loans from third languages, especially if those are Semitic-specific and not general Afrasian words. Notice that Semitic is also intrusive in West Asia, although from much much earlier than IE, being surely already forming in the PPNA and PPNB contexts.

      "* (s)tawr- that is apprently from Semitic"

      Can't it be Hattic, for example? Georgian at the very least also shares that word (/χɑrɪ/), although the form seems more divergent than Semitic and IE variants. Ugaritic also shares the same word (ṯr). It seems clear to me that the term is generic West Asian, unknown ultimate source.

      Delete
  13. MAJU: "Many words can't mean what they are claimed to be (what is claimed as "flour" is chaff in fact, "spelt" is anything from flour to barley, "beer" means in fact bitter at least in one language) but the most normal case is words that are not at all pan-IE but restricted to some geographic areas like the Scythian influence one, or the Eastern Mediterranean or the Baltic area. "

    Are you telling me that cognates have to have the exact same meaning to be considered valid or did I misunderstood?!
    There are shifts in meanings throughout the millenia, obviously...

    CORN is a good example: "grain," Old English corn, from Proto-Germanic *kurnam "small seed" (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon korn "grain," Middle Dutch coren, German Korn, Old Norse korn, Gothic kaurn), from PIE root *gre-no- "grain" (cf. Old Church Slavonic zruno "grain," Latin granum "seed," Lithuanian žirnis "pea"). The sense of the Old English word was "grain with the seed still in" (e.g. barleycorn) rather than a particular plant.

    Locally understood to denote the leading crop of a district. Restricted to the indigenous "maize" in America (c.1600, originally Indian corn, but the adjective was dropped), usually wheat in England, oats in Scotland and Ireland, while Korn means "rye" in parts of Germany

    (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=corn&searchmode=none)

    I add that "korn" in Swedish generally means "barley".

    So anyway, to sum it up, there are many words linking IE and agriculture and to achieve the demonstration, some are shared by European AND Asian IE languages (including the Tocharian languages that you think came from Afanasevo, who didn't use agriculture for all we know, and still had a word for "plough" that they took at the same source than Latin, that happens to be on the other side of the planet).


    "Latvian and Finnish but not Lithuanian? Strange for an areal loanword". "Makes sense if the origin in the North is Finnic"

    You're... you're proposing that the IE population borrowed a word for plough from Fennic and this word ended up in Latin and Tocharian?.... what a strange extreme concept.
    Finns as the source of technological agricultural technology loanwords in IE? I try to be open-minded but this sounds difficult to believe.


    "Just because it is shared by SOME IE languages that does not make a word genuinely PIE."

    The presomption is very high when the words are shared by several IE languages, especially when some are found both in Europe and in Asia. that's the logical "rule" among experts, rightfully so.

    Somehow you missed my point about "plough" in Tocharian and Latin despite my unabashed insistance...
    HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SUCH DISTANT LANGUAGES (CENTRAL ITALY, XINJIANG. Areal loanword?) CAN SHARE THE SAME WORD FOR "PLOUGH". Who cares if it's a loanword, areal or not, they shouldn't have the same root for this, ESPECIALLY SINCE AFANASEVO has no link AT ALL with AGRICULTURE (neither the steppic population they were an offshoot of) as you should know because you did your homework in prehistory.
    How comes peoples arriving in western China from south Siberia around 2,000 BCE have a word for PLOUGH - a word they share with LATIN a language spoken on the shore of the mediterrean sea!?

    It had to be in PIE. And the people that used it had to be in a community with farmers.
    There is no way around it. Who cares if they borrowed it at the PIE stage, to borrow it, it had to have become part of their environment before Latin and Tocharian separated.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "Are you telling me that cognates have to have the exact same meaning to be considered valid or did I misunderstood?!"

      You misunderstood. I was just pointing out some striking inconsistencies but it's still plausible (research needed and I won't do it).

      As a side note I'll mention that the Basque word for wheat is gari and the one for barley garagar (possibly a composite of gar-), so it's plausible that the Basque proto word for corn was *gar- or something like that, which can be easily related to IE words like "grain" (*gre-no). Whether this is because of shared remote origin of both languages or because they adopted the same word from a third Neolithic group, I can't tell. Notice that "gr" is impossible in Basque (as "br", "tr", etc., so Lat. "librus" → Basque "liburu"), while instead IE languages tend to suppress vowels between these pairs of consonants, so *gre ←→ *gar(-e) is perfectly plausible: a regular phonetic change.

      "You're... you're proposing that the IE population borrowed a word for plough from Fennic and this word ended up in Latin and Tocharian?"

      Not at all. Only for the case of Latvian. What I'm saying is that somehow Finnic languages adopted the same term for plough as Southern IE languages (which may have borrowed it from whatever unknown source) but unlike Northern IE languages. So these do not seem to be at the origin but it's still possible that Finnic borrowed the word from some now extinct IE dialect spoken in the Samara area once upon a time.

      It's generally thought that anyhow the plough was not part of the original Neolithic package but a later (Chalcolithic or Late Neolithic) development.

      In Basque it's "golde", which does not seem to have clear cognates in other languages. The closest I can find is Malayalam "kalappa" but not too obvious.

      "HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SUCH DISTANT LANGUAGES (CENTRAL ITALY, XINJIANG. Areal loanword?) CAN SHARE THE SAME WORD FOR "PLOUGH"".

      There are two obvious possibilities: (1) that it is certainly a PIE word (whatever its ultimate origins) or that (2) it was borrowed from other substrate populations (with origins in West Asia). Only analysis of ancient Mediterranean and West Asian languages can give us clear clues, assuming that the word is documented and identified. So far what I have found is a plausible Arabic cognate: /miħrāθ/, just change mi- with a- and you get arat(-rum). This cognate is strongly suggestive of West Asian origin of the word but more research is needed, indeed.

      "ESPECIALLY SINCE AFANASEVO has no link AT ALL with AGRICULTURE".

      Not just Afanasevo but actually all the Kurgan peoples in general. That's even further reason to consider these words as either borrowings or neologisms, and therefore not PIE.

      I insist that the plough was not known yet at the beginning of the Neolithic, so this word cannot be claimed to have spread with it in any case.

      "Who cares if they borrowed it at the PIE stage"?

      It is central to determine if a word is PIE or not.

      ... "it had to have become part of their environment before Latin and Tocharian separated".

      It can well be a coincidence. Maybe the origin is at, say, Sumerian or Hurrian, spreading simultaneously to the Eastern Med and Central Asia. After all the plough is like the "telephone" of its time: a great invention which spread fast in all directions carrying its name with it across ethnic borders. It explains nothing on its own.

      Delete
  14. "... all the Chalcolithic Russia knew was the wild boar". "Not true, gratuitous claim. And even if it'd be the case, it would be no excuse because words for boar and pig are often exchangeable in many languages even today. F.e. Basque: urde (pig, boar), basurde (wild pig or wild boar, literally). Archaeologically it's very difficult to discern boars from pigs: they were (and still are in many cases) virtually identical"

    The Kurganists disagree with you. Actually I'm pretty sure you're alone on this. For instance, no one will claim that the semi-nomadic Yamnaya people had domesticated pigs (that's for sedentary populations, you know. Farmers).


    "but it's generally accepted that domestic pigs were widespread since the Initial Neolithic."

    NOT IN THE STEPPIC KURGAN SOCIETIES! NOT BEFORE AROUND THE 1,000 BCE IIRC anyway.

    How is it possible that a root for pig (or wild boar for that matter) is shared throughout west Asia (including Sumerian: šáh) and also present around ~4,000 BCE at the middle Volga Samara among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers that just turned to pastoralism (ovine and bovine)? It doesn't make much sense! Even if you put the loanword a bit later, there were no domesticated pigs at all in the Kurgan cultures on the Pontic steppes (only hunted wild boars). There might have some in the western part of Ukraine relatively early (it kind of rings a bell), but then how comes Tocharian (suwo) also have this root also found in west Asia? As previously mentionned, Tocharians had domesticated pigs.


    "... some famous inscriptions from Neolithic Romania (the Tartaria tablets), almost 1,000 years before the first known cuneiform inscriptions, look suspiciously similar to archaic cuneiform". "They do not look cuneiform at all!"

    Not the usual classic cuneiform, but they do look kind of similar to ARCHAIC cuneiform. The origin is obviously what interests us here.


    "I think that laryngeals are linguists' mental wanking and nothing else: a rabbit they pulled out of the hat. It does not look serious to me, nope."

    Good for you. Just know that you are basically alone in your corner about this. An overwhelming majority of experts consider this a fact.
    As for your so-called sleight of hand (rabbit out of a hat!), it's the most famous case of posterior validation in historical linguistics (Saussure is not exactly a looney. You should know his name, he's one of the fathers of modern linguistics, no less).


    "The Anatolian languages are distributed in the west and center of Turkey". "Center-East of Anatolia peninsula. The late expansion of Luwian to the West ? Lydian) is something that happened under the Hittite Empire"

    As I previously said, if it went from east to west, how comes there is no Hattic loanwords in Luwian (source: the famous david W.Anthony) while Hittite is full of it... The Hattic area of influence is in the east of Asia minor.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "How is it possible that a root for pig (or wild boar for that matter) is shared throughout west Asia (including Sumerian: šáh) and also present around ~4,000 BCE at the middle Volga Samara among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers that just turned to pastoralism (ovine and bovine)?"

      If you define the Indo-Europeans as a collection of features and then simplify that feature list down to
      1) language
      2) everything else
      then i don't see why the language couldn't start one place e.g. in some terrain adjacent to and trading with the first farmers but not suitable for arable farming and therefore not wanted by the first farmers, and then spread to a dramatically different environment e.g. the steppe, where that steppe environment provided most of the "everything else."

      In one sense that would make the original region the ur-heimat however in another sense if they got most of the distinctive features that spread over the widest area from the secondary heimat that would be more "ur" in a way.

      So basically i think both sides may be part-right.

      Delete
    2. ... "no one will claim that the semi-nomadic Yamnaya people had domesticated pigs (that's for sedentary populations, you know. Farmers)".

      Maybe but they were not always so extremely nomadic (Samarans did not expand for a long time and they were not the most extremely horse-centric society of their time: that was Botai, further East) or that some of the populations they first conquered in the North Caucasus, Don basin or Ukraine lent them the word. Or simply that they incorporated it from the wild boar terminology, as often happens. The Cherokee also have a word for pig, apparently unrelated to IE languages (siqua), and they did not know the pig before European arrival for sure.

      "NOT BEFORE AROUND THE 1,000 BCE IIRC anyway."

      It seems to me an extremely late date. I question that claim.

      "Just know that you are basically alone in your corner about this".

      As the article you mentioned clearly states at least some linguists question the laryngeal hypothesis. I find it very far fetched myself, sincerely, I like things clean and simple and tend to summon Occam's Razor when they are so convoluted.

      "how comes there is no Hattic loanwords in Luwian"

      No idea. I do not know enough. Maybe Hattic was not spoken that far south?

      Whatever the case it is extremely clear that Luwian was first spoken in Eastern (Central-SE) Anatolia, from Cappadocia eastwards to the Euphrates. After the Hittite collapse, "Luwian continued to be spoken in the Neo-Hittite states of Syria, such as Milid and Carchemish, as well as in the central Anatolian kingdom of Tabal that flourished in the 8th century BC". Not really "central" but SE Anatolian in fact, just south of the Kizil Irmak (Halys).

      Delete
  15. "And only then came Zeus (Indra, etc.) with its Indoeuropean court"

    So, are you rejecting a paleolithic origin for this Thundering deity (often) fighting a giant snake?
    Then it supports a west Asian origin of these cultural elements. How could IE mythology have anything in common with 3,000 BCE upper Egypt, or the bronze age semitic mythology (BAAl the mace-wielding thunderer, god of thunder and rain and fertility (basically a semitic Thor)) if the proto-indo-europeans were descendants of mesolithic hunter-gatherer of the middle Volga?


    "Frankish were very romanized themselves"

    Hmm... I don't think so. For instance at the time of the völkerwanderung they were the only Germanic barbarians that weren't christians, they were still heathen untill around 500 AD, all the others were Arian Christians (making them heretics for the Catholic Church. that's why the king of the Franks, Clovis/Hloddovicus (the guy after who every Lewis/Louis/Ludwig/Ludovico/Lodewijk are named after), decided to be catholic so that he could have the support of the Church in his war against the Burgundians, the Wisigoths, etc...). Some Franks had been livin in the Roman Empire as foederati but the bulk of this federation -the spearhead of the invasion- remained what they used to be, on the other side of the Rhine.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "So, are you rejecting a paleolithic origin for this Thundering deity (often) fighting a giant snake?"

      I guess so. I would think the thundering deity as Indoeuropean or similar (Thor, Zeus, Indra...) but it only seems to fit your description in Nordic mythology, which is a particular case. Other thundering deities may be pre-IE, such as Basque Odei (later assimilated to the Celtic Teutates in some areas) but this one does not fight any snake nor dragon, being his son in fact.

      Other than Thor, I do not know where you get your idea from, really.

      "How could IE mythology have anything in common with 3,000 BCE upper Egypt"...

      They do not AFAIK. You tell me in what they are coincident because it's the first time I read such claim.

      "... or the bronze age semitic mythology (BAAl the mace-wielding thunderer, god of thunder and rain and fertility (basically a semitic Thor)".

      Baal refers to many gods and even mortals, meaning just Lord. You probably mean Hadad or Hadu. I could also compare him with Odei, as rain-bearer, but I don't think that Sugaar the dragon or snake god can compare with El nor all-powerful Mari with the almost unknown goddess Rammayu, his mother. Each mythology has its peculiarities.

      "For instance at the time of the völkerwanderung they were the only Germanic barbarians that weren't christians"...

      Christianity was still weak in the West (being after all an Oriental religion with nothing to take root in this part of the World other than Imperial imposition). Franks, unlike most other Germanic invaders, were a border people who had been for many centuries in contact with Rome. That's probably the secret of their success: that they adapted well to the Romance peoples, unlike Goths, who established ethnic apartheid (but relied on the Catholic administration, quite ironically). I did not mean that Franks were fully romanized, not at all, but they were clearly much more "Roman" than the rest: Goths, Burgundians, Lombards and Vandals, all of which were Eastern Germanics (and hence their socio-political weakness: just too alien to remain in power for long).

      Delete
  16. Dear Maju,

    I think you would be interested in this new paper on aDNA in Northeast China.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/216
    http://www.ranhaer.com/thread-25961-1-1.html

    Y Chromosome analysis of prehistoric human populations in the West Liao River Valley, Northeast China

    Yinqiu Cui etc.

    Abstract
    Background

    The West Liao River valley in Northeast China is an ecologically diverse region, populated in prehistory by human populations with a wide range of cultures and modes of subsistence. To help understand the human evolutionary history of this region, we performed Y chromosome analyses on ancient human remains from archaeological sites ranging in age from 6500 to 2700 BP.
    Results

    47 of the 70 individuals provided reproducible results. They were assigned into five different Y sub-haplogroups using diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms, namely N1 (xN1a, N1c), N1c, C/C3e, O3a (O3a3) and O3a3c. We also used 17 Y short tandem repeat loci in the non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome. There appears to be significant genetic differences between populations of the West Liao River valley and adjacent cultural complexes in the prehistoric period, and these prehistoric populations were shown to carry similar haplotypes as present-day Northeast Asians, but at markedly different frequencies.
    Conclusion

    Our results suggest that the prehistoric cultural transitions were associated with immigration from the Yellow River valley and the northern steppe into the West Liao River valley. They reveal the temporal continuity of Y chromosome lineages in populations of the West Liao River valley over 5000 years, with a concurrent increase in lineage diversity caused by an influx of immigrants from other populations.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/216
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2148-13-216.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got that study in my "to do" list. Just that I'm on blogging vacation right now. :)

      Thanks anyhow.

      Delete
  17. Good to know that you notice this paper! Looing forward to your comments on the paper! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Also see this: http://eurogenes.blogspot.tw/2013/01/lots-of-ancient-y-dna-from-china.html

    Northeast
    Niuheliang, Hongshan Culture, 5000 YBP, 4 N, 1 C*, 1 O
    Halahaigou, Hongshan-Xiaoheyan Culture, 4500 YBP, all N
    Dadianzi, Lower Xiajiadian Culture, 3600 YBP, 3 N, 2 O3
    Dashanqian, Upper Xiajiadian Culture, 3000 YBP, 1 C, 3 N1c, 1 N, 2 O3-M117, 2 O3-M324
    Jinggouzi, 2500 YBP, all C

    Northwest
    Xiaohe, Xinjiang, 3500-4000 YBP, 11 R1a1a, 1 K*
    Tianshan Beilu, Hami, Xinjiang, 3300-4000 YBP, 5 N, 1 C
    Heigouliang, Xinjiang, 2000 YBP, 6 Q1a*, 4 Q1b, 2 Q
    Pengyang, Ningxia, 2500 YBP, all Q1a1-M120
    Taojiazhai, Qinghai, 1500 YBP, all O3-M324

    North
    Miaozigou, Central-South Inner Mongolia, Yangshao Culture, 5500 YBP, all N
    Sanguan site, Yu County, Hebei, Lower Xiajiadian Culture, 3400-3800 YBP, all O3
    Hengbei site, Jiang County, Shanxi, 2800-3000 YBP, 9 Q1a1, 2 O2a-M95, 1 N, 4 O3a2-P201, 2 O3, 4 O*

    ReplyDelete
  19. Another new paper:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.3897
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1310/1310.3897.pdf
    http://www.ranhaer.com/thread-26061-1-1.html

    Y Chromosomes of 40% Chinese Are Descendants of Three Neolithic Super-grandfathers

    Shi Yan, Chuan-Chao Wang, Hong-Xiang Zheng, Wei Wang, Zhen-Dong Qin, Lan-Hai Wei, Yi Wang, Xue-Dong Pan, Wen-Qing Fu, Yun-Gang He, Li-Jun Xiong, Wen-Fei Jin, Shi-Lin Li, Yu An, Hui Li, Li Jin
    (Submitted on 15 Oct 2013)
    Demographic change of human populations is one of the central questions for delving into the past of human beings. To identify major population expansions related to male lineages, we sequenced 78 East Asian Y chromosomes at 3.9 Mbp of the non-recombining region (NRY), discovered >4,000 new SNPs, and identified many new clades. The relative divergence dates can be estimated much more precisely using molecular clock. We found that all the Paleolithic divergences were binary; however, three strong star-like Neolithic expansions at ~6 kya (thousand years ago) (assuming a constant substitution rate of 1e-9/bp/year) indicates that ~40% of modern Chinese are patrilineal descendants of only three super-grandfathers at that time. This observation suggests that the main patrilineal expansion in China occurred in the Neolithic Era and might be related to the development of agriculture.
    Comments: 29 pages of article text including 1 article figure, 9 pages of SI text, and 2 SI figures. 5 SI tables are in a separate ancillary file
    Subjects: Populations and Evolution (q-bio.PE); Genomics (q-bio.GN)
    Cite as: arXiv:1310.3897 [q-bio.PE]
    (or arXiv:1310.3897v1 [q-bio.PE] for this version)
    Submission history
    From: Shi Yan [view email]
    [v1] Tue, 15 Oct 2013 01:52:48 GMT (1245kb)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, so many things! Thank you very much.

    The Eurogenes' entry is very interesting: highlighting how diverse was North China in the Neolithic and Metal Ages. Only some groups are dominated by O3, as happens now, while Q and N used to be much more important just a few millennia ago.

    The other study seems interesting in the sense that they seem to be using full segments of the Y chromosome and not anymore those confusing microsatellites. That's progress. However I have serious problems with their calibration: they claim a 53 Ka date for the CF-DE split, what is totally absurd on light of the archaeological evidence. It must be at least double that date. So the mysterious super-ancestors are not Neolithic (5-7 Ka ago) but Late Paleolithic (10-14 Ka ago at least), assuming everything else is correct.

    ReplyDelete

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