Cradle of Civilization

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Archive for the ‘Haplogroups’ Category

Jews, and their history

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 15, 2013

History of Zionism

Zionism as an organized movement is generally considered to have been fathered by Theodor Herzl in 1897; however the history of Zionism began earlier and related to Judaism and Jewish history. The Hovevei Zion, or the Lovers of Zion, were responsible for the creation of 20 new Jewish settlements in Palestine between 1870 and 1897.

Before the Holocaust the movement’s central aims were the creation of a Jewish National Home and cultural centre in Palestine by facilitating Jewish migration. After the Holocaust, the movement focussed on creation of a “Jewish state” (usually defined as a secular state with a Jewish majority), attaining its goal in 1948 with the creation of Israel.

The precedence for Jews to return to their ancestral homeland, motivated by strong divine intervention, first appears in the Torah, and thus later adopted in the Christian Old Testament. After Jacob and his sons had gone down to Egypt to escape a drought, they were enslaved and became a nation. Later, as commanded by God, Moses went before Pharaoh, demanded, “Let my people go!” and foretold severe consequences, if this was not done. Torah describes the story of the plagues and the Exodus from Egypt, which is estimated at about 1400 BCE, and the beginning of the journey of the Jewish People toward the Land of Israel. These are celebrated annually during Passover, and the Passover meal traditionally ends with the words “Next Year in Jerusalem.”

The theme of return to their traditional homeland came up again after the Babylonians conquered Judea in 641 BCE and the Judeans were exiled to Babylon. In the book of Psalms (Psalm 137), Jews lamented their exile while Prophets like Ezekiel foresaw their return. The Bible recounts how, in 538 BCE Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon and issued a proclamation granting the people of Judah their freedom. 50,000 Judeans, led by Zerubbabel returned. A second group of 5000, led by Ezra and Nehemiah, returned to Judea in 456 BCE.

In 1160 David Alroy led a Jewish uprising in Kurdistan that aimed to reconquer the promised land. In 1648 Sabbatai Zevi from modern Turkey claimed he would lead the Jews back to Israel. In 1868 Judah ben Shalom led a large movement of Yemenite Jews to Israel. A dispatch from the British Consulate in Jerusalem in 1839 reported that “the Jews of Algiers and its dependencies, are numerous in Palestine….” There was also significant migration from Central Asia (Bukharan Jews).

In addition to Messianic movements, the population of the Holy Land was slowly bolstered by Jews fleeing Christian persecution especially after the Reconquista of Al-Andalus (the Muslim name of the Iberian Peninsula). Safed became an important center of Kabbalah. Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias also had significant Jewish populations.

Among Jews in the Diaspora Eretz Israel was revered in a religious sense. They thought of a return to it in a future messianic age. Return remained a recurring theme among generations, particularly in Passover and Yom Kippur prayers, which traditionally concluded with “Next year in Jerusalem”, and in the thrice-daily Amidah (Standing prayer).

Jewish daily prayers include many references to “your people Israel”, “your return to Jerusalem” and associate salvation with a restored presence in Israel and Jerusalem (usually accompanied by a Messiah); for example the prayer Uva Letzion (Isaiah 59:20): “And a redeemer shall come to Zion…” Aliyah (immigration to Israel) has always been considered a praiseworthy act for Jews according to Jewish law and some Rabbis consider it one of the core 613 commandments in Judaism.

From the Middle Ages and onwards, many famous rabbis (and often their followers) immigrated to the Land of Israel. These included Nahmanides, Yechiel of Paris with several hundred of his students, Joseph ben Ephraim Karo, Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk and 300 of his followers, and over 500 disciples (and their families) of the Vilna Gaon known as Perushim, among others.

Persecution of Jews played a key role in preserving Jewish identity and keeping Jewish communities transient, it would later provide a key role in inspiring Zionists to reject European forms of identity.

Return to Zion

History of Zionism

List of Zionist figures

Timeline of Zionism

Gathering of Israel

Aliyah

Restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land

Kingdom of Judah

Yehud Medinata

Eber-Nari

History of Israel

Israeli-Arab conflict

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Israeli settlement

Thus, Judaism is a mosaic of culture, religion, ethnicity, and for some, a way of life.  It is an identity that is not quite a nationality, but neither is it a simple ethnic or cultural phenomenon either.  This unusual combination of characteristics, coupled with Jewish resistance over the centuries to assimilation and strong adherence to their religious faith, has contributed to the intense feelings of curiosity, hatred, admiration, attraction and hostility by the rest of the world.

israel-deports-Africans

A sprawling desert prison, for thousands of refugees

Israel confirms plan to deport African migrants to Uganda

Russian-speakers who want to make aliya could need DNA test

The nearly one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union who have come to Israel since 1989 “rescued” the country and should be considered “one of the greatest miracles that happened to the state,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told.

1990s Post-Soviet aliyah

Israelis Re-examine Russian Aliyah

Netanyahu: 20 years after Iron Curtain collapsed, it’s clear Russian-speaking aliya ‘rescued the State of Israel’

Jewish Supremacists in America are 100 percent united in demanding “open borders” and “immigration reform” — but at the same time hypocritically support Israel which now uses DNA tests on potential immigrants in order to keep the Jewish state racially pure.

Finally, Israel has recently announced that it is to start testing immigrants for Jewish DNA before allowing them to settle in Israel. This significant move (because it confirms a biological basis to Judaism) came about because of concern in Israel over suspected non-Jews entering Israel from the former Soviet Union countries.

Israel, therefore, has a completely racially-based immigration policy, and only allows people of biological Jewish descent to immigrate to that nation.

This policy is directly contradictory to the position taken by Jewish groups in America and other European nations—yet these same Jewish organizations will defend Israel to the last.

To put this into perspective: If America, or any nation for that matter, had to adopt racially based immigration policies and check the DNA of potential immigrants before allowing them to settle, these Jewish organizations would be up in arms and screaming “Nazi” and “holocaust” from the rooftops.

Yet Israel can adopt such policies without anyone raising so much as a peep of protest. On the contrary, these same Jewish organizations will fanatically support Israel’s “right to be a Jewish state.”

Israel—which all of these Jewish organizations and individuals quoted above support fanatically—an immigration policy which is the exact opposite is rigorously enforced.

Israel’s “Law of Return” immigration policy is actually based upon the Nazi Nuremburg race laws, which defined a Jew as anyone with two or more Jewish grandparents.

This law of return is not based on religion—because Jewish atheists also qualify for settlement in Israel. They do not have to be believing Jews to come to Israel—all they have to have is biological Jewish ancestry.

Israel Civil Marriage Ban

Israel Civil Marriage Ban Blocks Those Not Considered Jewish From Wedding

Despite being one of the most genetically analysed groups, the origin of European Jews has remained obscure. However, a new study published online January 17 in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution by Dr Eran Elhaik, a geneticist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, argues that the European Jewish genome is a mosaic of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, setting to rest previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. Elhaik’s findings strongly support the Khazarian Hypothesis, as opposed to the Rhineland Hypothesis, of European Jewish origins. This could have a major impact on the ways in which scientists study genetic disorders within the population.

New Study Sheds Light On the Origin of the European Jewish Population

Ashkenazi Jews are probably not descended from the Khazars

The Jewish people’s ultimate treasure hunt

Jews Are Not Descendants of Abraham

“I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the Synagogue of Satan.”

(Revelation 2:9)
“And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land…”

(Genesis 12:7)

Who should possess the land of Israel? Christian evangelicals say it should be the descendants of Abraham. They point to the Old Testament and claim that God gave this land forever to the descendants of Abraham and that God demands they and they alone own the land.

To the Christian evangelical, this means the Jews. Yes, it is the Jews who own this land, and it is their land forever.

Itil, capital of Khazaria
In 2008, Russian archaeologist Dmitry Vasilyev unearthed Itil, the long lost capital of the Kingdom of Khazaria. New DNA science proves that today’s “Jews” come from Khazaria and are not the seed of Abraham.

The Jews, then, according to Christian evangelicals, are the descendants of Abraham, his seed.

DNA Science Confounds the Common Wisdom

There is only one problem. And it is a huge one. Science proves those who call themselves “Jews” are not Jews! DNA Science has confounded the Christian evangelicals by proving conclusively that most of the people in the nation of Israel and in World Jewry are not the descendants of Abraham.

Those living today who profess to be “Jews” are not of the ancient Israelites, and they are not the seed of Abraham. In fact, the new DNA research shows that the Palestinians actually have more Israelite blood than do the “Jews!”

The nation of Israel today is populated with seven and half million imposters.

“Jews” Are Not Descendants of Abraham – Power of Prophecy

The American people are confused about the morality of modern-day Israel, because our schools and churches leave out essential Jewish history.

The European people who were shipped in to occupy Palestine as a Jewish homeland in 1948 are not related to the biblical Hebrews of Jesus’ time.

The biblical Hebrews are symbolized by the Cain and Abel story, brothers who fell out with each other and whose lineage became the two factions we know as Jews and Arabs. But Jews and Arabs are both biologically Semitic people – they are cousins — and despite their “family feud, they are anciently related by blood and culture.

Later on, Jews and Arabs became even more seemingly disparate due to the introduction of Islam. One tribe kept their Judaism, while the other became Muslim, and there is what we’ve perceived as the warring factions of today.

But what has been purposely obscured is a third element that entered and has inflamed the Middle East ever since. It was European Jewish people who were brought in after WWII for the purpose of occupying much of Palestine and resurrecting the ancient name of Israel. This was a political agenda, not a humanitarian intention.

These Europeans had long ago emerged from Khazaria (southern Russia), where their king – for the purpose of greater, unified control – converted them to the Babylonian schools of Judaism in the 8th century. Thus, not only their DNA, but their perspectives are a different reality from the Judean teachings in Jesus’ world.

What we have in modern Israel, then, is an artificially created state dominated by Jews who have no geographic, genetic, nor spiritual connections to biblical Israel or the time of Jesus.

Once this is known — and churches and schools ought to be honest about it — then it’s much easier to understand what many world voices have long cried out: That today’s Israelis who came in from Europe in 1948 did not really have a right to occupy the Palestinian area and re-name it as ancient-days Israel – especially since the Palestinian residents’ families and lands – and even some of their homes that might be still standing – go back over a thousand years.

Modern Israelis simply have no actual connection to the land, to regional traditions, or to the time of Christ. And Christians and Jews who are properly informed – and who are ethical – need to join in the heartfelt objection to the 1948 (and ongoing) usurpation of the Palestinians’ land.

Most especially what is morally required is the cessation of all the cruelties against the Palestinians that have inevitably followed.  As President Harry Truman observed right from the beginning of the creation of this modern, artificial Israel:
August 23, 1947, letter to Eleanor Roosevelt –

“I fear very much that the Jews are like all underdogs. When they get on top, they are just as intolerant and cruel as the people were to them when they were underneath. I regret this situation very much because my sympathy was always on their side.”

Dr Sand’s main argument is that until little more than a century ago, Jews thought of themselves as Jews only because they shared a common religion. At the turn of the 20th century, he said, Zionist Jews challenged this idea and started creating a national history by inventing the idea that Jews existed as a people separate from their religion. Equally, the modern Zionist idea of Jews being obligated to return from exile to the Promised Land was entirely alien to Judaism, he added.

Shlomo Sand: ‘When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?’

How Shlomo Sand Ceased to be a Jew – or Did He?

Book review: Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People

Shlomo Sand – Wikipedia

DNA links prove Jews are a ‘race,’ says genetics expert

Science Feud: Johns Hopkins geneticist Eran Elhaik says his research debunks the long-held theory that Jews are a single race.

Conjuring fear of Nazism and anti-Semitism, Jews recoil from the thought that Judaism might be a race, but medical geneticist Harry Ostrer insists the ‘biological basis of Jewishness’ cannot be ignored. In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature. Considering that the Nazis tried to exterminate Jews based on their supposed racial distinctiveness, such a conclusion might be a cause for concern. But Ostrer sees it as central to Jewish identity.

“Who is a Jew?” has been a poignant question for Jews throughout our history. It evokes a complex tapestry of Jewish identity made up of different strains of religious beliefs, cultural practices and blood ties to ancient Palestine and modern Israel. But the question, with its echoes of genetic determinism, also has a dark side.

Geneticists have long been aware that certain diseases, from breast cancer to Tay-Sachs, disproportionately affect Jews. Ostrer, who is also director of genetic and genomic testing at Montefiore Medical Center, goes further, maintaining that Jews are a homogeneous group with all the scientific trappings of what we used to call a “race.”

Scientists usually don’t call each other “liars” and “frauds.” But that’s how Johns Hopkins University post-doctoral researcher Eran Elhaik describes a group of widely respected geneticists, including Harry Ostrer, professor of pathology and genetics at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of the 2012 book “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People.”

For years now, the findings of Ostrer and several other scientists have stood virtually unchallenged on the genetics of Jews and the story they tell of the common Middle East origins shared by many Jewish populations worldwide. Jews — and Ashkenazim in particular — are indeed one people, Ostrer’s research finds.

It’s a theory that more or less affirms the understanding that many Jews themselves hold of who they are in the world: a people who, though scattered, share an ethnic-racial bond rooted in their common ancestral descent from the indigenous Jews of ancient Judea or Palestine, as the Romans called it after they conquered the Jewish homeland. But now, Elhaik, an Israeli molecular geneticist, has published research that he says debunks this claim. And that has set off a predictable clash.

DNA links prove Jews are a ‘race,’ says genetics expert

Israeli Newspaper Admits: Jews are a Race

‘Jews a Race’ Genetic Theory Comes Under Fierce Attack by DNA Expert

Israeli Researcher Challenges Jewish DNA links to Israel, Calls Those Who Disagree ‘Nazi Sympathizers’

Top Israeli scientist says Ashkenazi Jews came from Khazaria, not Palestine

Genetic Roots of the Ashkenazi Jews

Genetic studies on the Jews

Jews and Race: A Pre-Boasian Perspective

The Taranto-Capouya-Crespin Family History – Sephardic Horizons

A capsule history of the dispersion of the Jews to the distant cities of the earth

Ashkenazi Jews Trace Ancestry To Europe Not The Near East, Ancient Jewish Men ‘Married European Women’

Moment Magazine’s great (Jewish) DNA experiment

https://i0.wp.com/www.jewishproblem.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Pinellas-Jewish-DNA.jpg

Jon Entine author of Abrahams Children: Race, Identity and DNA of the Chosen People

Reviews and Testimonials for Jon’s Keynotes

Jon Entine – Wikipedia

File:Cohanim DNA migration.jpg

The J2 DNA Kohanim Migration

J2 Kohanim haplotype tree

Genetic studies on the Jews are part of population genetics. This discipline is used to better understand the chronology of migration and thus complements the results provided by history, archeology, language or paleontology. The interest of these studies is to investigate the origins of various Jewish populations today. In particular, they investigate whether there is a common genetic heritage among various Jewish populations.

Since the 1970s, many studies have attempted to determine whether, despite the complex history of migrations, common ancestors existed to the present Jewish communities or if the descendants are related instead to the non-Jewish populations where they lived. The earlier studies tried to answer this question using “classic” genetic markers (blood groups, enzymes, etc.).

Contradictory answers were given according to locus used. One explanation for these contradictions is that the variations associated with a locus are influenced by natural selection. Since the late 1980s and especially since the beginning of the century, geneticists have worked on analysis of the Y chromosome (transmitted from father to son) and mitochondrial DNA (transmitted from mother to child), which have the characteristic to be transmitted in full (without recombination).

It is possible to trace the common direct-line ancestral populations of various peoples of the world. Recent studies have been conducted on a large number of genes homologous chromosomes or autosomes (all chromosomes except chromosomes X and Y).. A 2009 study was able to genetically identify individuals with full or partial Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.

Wells identified the haplogroup of the Canaanites as haplogroup J2. The National Geographic Genographic Project linked haplogroup J2 to the site of Jericho, Tel el-Sultan, ca. 8500 BCE and indicated that in modern populations, haplogroup J2 is found in the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe, with especially high distribution among present-day Jewish populations (30%), Southern Italians (20%), and lower frequencies in Southern Spain (10%).

Cruciani in 2007 found E1b1b1a2 (E-V13) [one from Sub Clades of E1b1b1a1 (E-V12)] in high levels (>10% of the male population) in Turkish Cypriot and Druze Arab lineages. Recent genetic clustering analyses of ethnic groups are consistent with the close ancestral relationship between the Druze and Cypriots, and also identified similarity to the general Syrian and Lebanese populations, as well as a variety of Jewish lineages (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Iraqi, and Moroccan) (Behar et al 2010).

A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that “the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population”, and suggested that “most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighbouring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora”. Researchers expressed surprise at the remarkable genetic uniformity they found among modern Jews, no matter where the diaspora has become dispersed around the world.[

Other Y-chromosome findings show that the world’s Jewish communities are closely related to Kurds, Syriacs, Assyrians, Jordanians and Palestinians. Skorecki and colleague wrote that “the extremely close affinity of Jewish and non-Jewish Middle Eastern populations observed … supports the hypothesis of a common Middle Eastern origin”. According to another study of the same year, more than 70% of Jewish men and half of the Arab men (inhabitants of Israel and the occupied territories only) whose DNA was studied inherited their Y-chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors who lived in the region within the last few thousand years.

This research has suggested that, in addition to Israelite male, significant female founder ancestry might also derive from the Middle East-with 40% of Ashkenazim descended from four women lived about 2000–3000 years ago in the Middle East. In addition, Behar (2006) suggested that the rest of Ashkenazi mtDNA is originated from about 150 women, most of those were probably of Middle Eastern origin.

In August 2012, Dr. Harry Ostrer in his book Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People, summarized his and other work in genetics of the last 20 years, and concluded that all major Jewish groups share a common Middle Eastern origin. Ostrer also claimed to have refuted any large-scale genetic contribution from the Turkic Khazars.

Citing Autosomal DNA studies, Nicholas Wade estimates that “Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews have roughly 30 percent European ancestry, with most of the rest from the Middle East.” He further noticed that “The two communities seem very similar to each other genetically, which is unexpected because they have been separated for so long.”

Concerning this relationship he points to Atzmon conclusions that “the shared genetic elements suggest that members of any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City”

Concerning North African Jews, Autosomal genetic analysis in 2012 revealed that North African Jews are genetically close to European Jews. This findings “shows that North African Jews date to biblical-era Israel, and are not largely the descendants of natives who converted to Judaism,”

Y DNA studies examine various paternal lineages of modern Jewish populations. Such studies tend to imply a small number of founders in an old population whose members parted and followed different migration paths.

In most Jewish populations, these male line ancestors appear to have been mainly Middle Eastern. For example, Ashkenazi Jews share more common paternal lineages with other Jewish and Middle Eastern groups than with non-Jewish populations in areas where Jews lived in Eastern Europe, Germany and the French Rhine Valley. This is consistent with Jewish traditions in placing most Jewish paternal origins in the region of the Middle East.

The maternal lineages of Jewish populations, studied by looking at mitochondrial DNA, are generally more heterogeneous. Scholars such as Harry Ostrer and Raphael Falk believe this indicates that many Jewish males found new mates from European and other communities in the places where they migrated in the diaspora after fleeing ancient Israel. Behar et al. in 2008 published evidence suggesting that about 40% of Ashkenazi Jews originate maternally from just four female founders, who were of Middle Eastern origin, while the populations of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish communities “showed no evidence for a narrow founder effect”.

Evidence for female founders has been observed in other Jewish populations. With the exception of Ethiopian and Indian Jews, it has been argued that all of the Jewish populations have mitochondrial genomes that were of Middle Eastern origin.

In 2013, Richards et al. to the contrary published work suggesting that an estimated “80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe, and 8 percent from the Near East, with the rest uncertain”. Apparently, in this case, Jewish males migrated to Europe and took new wives from the local population, and converted them to Judaism.

Studies of autosomal DNA, which look at the entire DNA mixture, have become increasingly important as the technology develops. They show that Jewish populations have tended to form relatively closely related groups in independent communities, with most in a community sharing significant ancestry in common.

For Jewish populations of the diaspora, the genetic composition of Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jewish populations show a predominant amount of shared Middle Eastern ancestry. According to Behar, the most parsimonious explanation for this shared Middle Eastern ancestry is that it is “consistent with the historical formulation of the Jewish people as descending from ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant” and “the dispersion of the people of ancient Israel throughout the Old World”.

North African, Italian and others of Iberian origin show variable frequencies of admixture with non-Jewish historical host populations among the maternal lines. In the case of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews (in particular Moroccan Jews), who are apparently closely related, the non-Jewish component is mainly southern European. Behar et al. have remarked on an especially close relationship to modern Italians.

The studies show that the Bene Israel and Black Cochin Jews of India, Beta Israel of Ethiopia, and a portion of the Lemba people of southern Africa, while more closely resembling the local populations of their native countries, have some ancient Jewish descent.

Jewish diaspora

Jewish people

Genetic studies on Jews

Y-chromosomal Aaron

Falasha

Indian Jews

Y-DNA haplogroups by populations of Near East

Archaeogenetics of the Near East

The “mystery” of Ashkenazic origins

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish genomes

Two major groups of living Jews

Dienekes Population Portrait for West Asians and Jews

Ashkenazi Jewish matrilineages

Ashkenazi Jewish matrilineages mainly of European origin

Posted in Eastern Mediterrean, Haplogroups | Leave a Comment »

Ht35 Y-Chromosome Haplotype in Europe

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 9, 2013

Distribution of haplogroup R1b-ht35 (L23, L11, L51 & Z2103) in Europe

In human genetics, Haplotype 35, also called ht35 or the Armenian Modal Haplotype, is a Y chromosome haplotype of Y-STR microsatellite variations, associated with the Haplogroup R1b. It is characterized by DYS393=12 (as opposed to the Atlantic Modal Haplotype, another R1b haplotype, which is characterized by DYS393=13).

The members of this haplotype are found in high numbers in Anatolia and Armenia, with smaller numbers throughout Central Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucus Mountains, and in Jewish populations. They are also present in Britain in areas that were found to have a high concentration of Haplogroup J, suggesting they arrived together, perhaps through Roman soldiers.

Ht35 is a Y-chromosome haplotype commonly found (21.8%) in male subjects originating from Armenia; that is the reason why it is named “The Armenian haplotype”. This study aims to determine ht35 frequencies in subjects from the various European countries.

A total of 3,524 unrelated subjects originating from 45 countries, regions or towns were tested for the p49/TaqI polymorphism by molecular hybńdízation experiments, An isofrequency map of haplotype ht35 in Europe was realized. The 106 ht35 bearing subjects were analyzed for six Y-STR microsatellite markers.

The distribution 0f ht35 in Europe shows that the highest observed haplotype percentage (23.1%) concerns Calabria, a region located in the South of continental Italy, The isofrequency map shows olher European regions of high ht35 percentages: the Napoli region (14.8%) in Italy, Sicily (7.1%), Albania (14.7%), Greece (13.2%) and Romania (10.3%), The 106 ht35 bearing Subj ects tested for microsatellite markers belong to eleven microsatellite haplotypes, the first one (haplotype l) being the most frequent (76.4%); all the tested Subjects have an allelic value of 12 for the DYS393 microsatel» lite marker.

These results support the hypothesis of an initial focus of ht35 in Armenia and surrounding countries, and a later propagation of ht35 bearing subjects in south European countries during the Holocene.

Ht35 Y Chromosome Haplotype in Europe

The goal of the R1b1b2 (P312- U106-) DNA Project is to investigate the history and distribution of the most upstream (or basal) clades of haplogroup R1b1b2. The project is open to anyone tested to be M269+ U106- P312-.

This project is sometimes called the ht35 project, a legacy of its early history.  The original goal of this project, when it was formed in 2007, was to facilitate the discovery of SNP markers that would help differentiate the old “ht15” type of R1b1b2 found primarily in western Europe from the “ht35” type of R1b1b2 found primarily in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia.

The list of SNPs discovered in members of this project since then (L23, L49, L51, L277, L405, L11, P310, P311, and others) is long. These discoveries have kept us busy, not least in a need to continually update the names we use.

The data in our project demonstrate that haplogroup R1b1b2 is relatively young, with its most recent common ancestor having lived less than 7,000 years ago somewhere in southwestern Asia. Approximately 5,000 years ago R1b1b2 began to spread rapidly across Europe, where it has since gained primacy in many places, and to a lesser extent across SW Asia.

Before the advent of Y-SNP testing, and well before the discovery of detailed knowledge about the structure of haplogroup R1b, TaqI 49a,f haplotypes were used by early population geneticists. These haplotypes were determined using a now-defunct technology called RFLP.

Two particular TaqI 49a,f haplotypes have been found to be associated with what we now know to be haplogroup R1b1b2. The two haplotypes are ht15 and ht35. ht15 is most commonly found in western European R1b1b2, and most likely represents a mesolithic or neolithic population expansion in western Europe.

ht35, the parent haplotype of ht15, is most commonly found in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia. Elevated levels of ht35 have also been observed among Ashkenzi and Sephardic Jewish populations.

You may join our project by clicking this link

R1b1a2 (P312- U106-) DNA Project (aka ht35 Project)- Background

Different genetic perspectives on human history in Europe and in Caucasus

Posted in Europa, Haplogroups | Leave a Comment »

Maps of Neolithic & Bronze Age migrations around Europe

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 9, 2013

Map of early Neolithic cultures in Europe from c. 7,000 to 8,000 years ago

Map of early Neolithic cultures in Europe - Eupedia

Map of Neolithic cultures from c. 5,500 to 6,000 years ago

Map of late Neolithic cultures in Europe - Eupedia

Map of late Neolithic & early Bronze Age cultures from c. 5,000 to 4,500 years ago

Map of early Bronze Age cultures in Europe - Eupedia

Migration map of haplogroup R1a from the Neolithic to the late Bronze Age (c. 1000 BCE)

Migration map of Y-haplogroup R1b from the Neolithic to the late Bronze Age - Eupedia
Click to enlarge.

Migration map of Y-haplogroup R1b from the Paleolithic to the end of the Bronze Age (c. 1000 BCE)

Migration map of Y-haplogroup R1b from the Paleolithic to the end of the Bronze Age - Eupedia

History of R1b from the Ice Age origins until the beginning of the Hallstatt period (1200 BCE)

N.B. : The date under each subclade name is the approximate time of origin of the subclade. The dates on the arrows correspond to the migrations. Note that this map dates from 2009. The above migration map of R1b (2013 version) shows more recent subclades. Right-click to zoom in and navigate

Expansions of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures

Expansions of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age

Maps of Neolithic & Bronze Age migrations around Europe

Posted in Europa, Haplogroups | Leave a Comment »

Bayesian Phylogeography

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 9, 2013

A simple example of a phylogeny is a family tree where the leaves of the tree represent the children in the family and branches represent relationships between parents and children. The tree represents different clans inside a larger family.

Likewise, a language phylogeny is a tree representation of the closeness of various languages. Dutch and Flemish are sister-languages that have a very close common ancestor. English is a cousin language, which is a bit further away from Dutch and Flemish. The Scandinavian languages are far cousins.

The place where lines come together in the language ‘family tree’ represent older languages that gave rise to the child languages in the tree.

Below, an example of a phylogeny for ancient languages (From Ringe).

Bayesian Phylogeography

Posted in Haplogroups, Indo-Europeans | Leave a Comment »

Haplogroup R1b Holocene era founder effect in Central and Western Europe

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 5, 2013

Distribution of haplogroup R1a in Europe

Distribution of haplogroup R1b in Europe

Migration map of Y-haplogroup R1b from the Paleolithic to the end of the Bronze Age - Eupedia

The phylogenetic relationships of numerous branches within the core Y-chromosome haplogroup R-M207 support a West Asian origin of haplogroup R1b, its initial differentiation there followed by a rapid spread of one of its sub-clades carrying the M269 mutation to Europe.

Here, we present phylogeographically resolved data for 2043 M269-derived Y-chromosomes from 118 West Asian and European populations assessed for the M412 SNP that largely separates the majority of Central and West European R1b lineages from those observed in Eastern Europe, the Circum-Uralic region, the Near East, the Caucasus and Pakistan.

Within the M412 dichotomy, the major S116 sub-clade shows a frequency peak in the upper Danube basin and Paris area with declining frequency toward Italy, Iberia, Southern France and British Isles. Although this frequency pattern closely approximates the spread of the Linearbandkeramik (LBK), Neolithic culture, an advent leading to a number of pre-historic cultural developments during the past ≤10 thousand years, more complex pre-Neolithic scenarios remain possible for the L23(xM412) components in Southeast Europe and elsewhere.

A major Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b Holocene era founder effect in Central and Western Europe

The initial arrival of farmers from Southwest Asia to the present-day Greece occurred ca 9000 years BP. Outside of Southeast Europe, two episodes of early farming are attested archeologically.

The first involved a maritime colonization of Crete ca 9000 years BP and Southern Italy ca 8000 years BP and subsequently spread to coastal Mediterranean France and Spain, as exemplified by impressed/cardial pottery.

The second involved a migration to Central Europe, from Hungary to France, characterized by LBK (ca 7500 years BP). Within a 3k-year period, the agricultural economy spread across Europe, terminating in Britain and Scandinavia ∼6000 years BP.

This study has evaluated the spatial and temporal distributions of sub-clades of Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b-M269 in Europe, the Near East, the Circum-Uralic region and the Caucasus, revealing the major M412-defined phylogenetic dichotomy between the Central/Western Europe and more easterly distributed representatives.

In addition, several additional sub-haplogroup varieties, especially those in Central and Western Europe, display patterns with geographic locality and clinality. The enhanced resolution of M412-related lineages permits a finer-grained view of the proposal that R1b-M269 coincides with the arrival and spread of farming into Europe.

A recent analysis of 9 Y-STR loci associated with 840 R1b chromosomes resolved just to the level of M269 concluded that all such chromosomes in Europe reflect a recent genetic heritage that was uniformly introduced by exogenous farmers migrating from Western Anatolia.

Our results implicate complexity in the post-glacial formation and expansion of populations in Europe during the past ca 10 000 years. The narrow temporal window between potential expansions by Mesolithic foragers at the onset of the Holocene (10k years ago) and pioneer farmers from the Near East during the early Neolithic into Central Europe (7.5k years ago) is exceedingly difficult to discern with genetic tools.

The initial arrival of farmers from Southwest Asia to the present-day Greece occurred ca 9000 years BP. Outside of Southeast Europe, two episodes of early farming are attested archeologically. The first involved a maritime colonization of Crete ca 9000 years BP and Southern Italy ca 8000 years BP and subsequently spread to coastal Mediterranean France and Spain, as exemplified by impressed/cardial pottery. The second involved a migration to Central Europe, from Hungary to France, characterized by LBK (ca 7500 years BP). Within a 3k-year period, the agricultural economy spread across Europe, terminating in Britain and Scandinavia ∼6000 years BP.

The phylogenetic relationships of numerous branches within the core Y-chromosome haplogroup R-M207 support a West Asian origin of haplogroup R1b, its initial differentiation there followed by a rapid spread of one of its sub-clades carrying the M269 mutation to Europe. Here, we present phylogeographically resolved data for 2043 M269-derived Y-chromosomes from 118 West Asian and European populations assessed for the M412 SNP that largely separates the majority of Central and West European R1b lineages from those observed in Eastern Europe, the Circum-Uralic region, the Near East, the Caucasus and Pakistan.

Within the M412 dichotomy, the major S116 sub-clade shows a frequency peak in the upper Danube basin and Paris area with declining frequency toward Italy, Iberia, Southern France and British Isles. Although this frequency pattern closely approximates the spread of the Linearbandkeramik (LBK), Neolithic culture, an advent leading to a number of pre-historic cultural developments during the past ≤10 thousand years, more complex pre-Neolithic scenarios remain possible for the L23 (xM412) components in Southeast Europe and elsewhere.

R1b-L23* is relatively frequent in the Middle East (~10% in  Turkey, Iran, Caucasus, Iraq, Syria, Jews and Albania) and dominant haplogroup of Armenians (20-30%) – it is thus called the “Armenian Modal Haplotype”. It is also found on the Balkans, where it has moved around 7000-8000 years ago, with early farmers.

R1b-M269 is by far the most frequent subgroup today, more than half of Western European and (due to the colonization) American males belong to this line, including over 99% of the R1b project members. It is thought to have originated most likely in Anatolia around 8000 years ago(6500-8500 years with confidence). It had a gradual expansion from the Middle East/Anatolia into Europe through the Balkans and the Danube Valley. In its M269* (M269+ L23-) form, it is found rarely around the Mediterranean, Anatolia,the Balkans.

Although human Y chromosomes belonging to haplogroup R1b are quite rare in Africa, being found mainly in Asia and Europe, a group of chromosomes within the paragroup R-P25* are found concentrated in the central-western part of the African continent, where they can be detected at frequencies as high as 95%. R1b1a or R-V88 encompass all the African R-P25* and about half of the few European/west Asian R-P25* chromosomes.

The R-V88 coalescence time was estimated at 9200–5600 kya, in the early mid Holocene. We suggest that R-V88 is a paternal genetic record of the proposed mid-Holocene migration of proto-Chadic Afroasiatic speakers through the Central Sahara into the Lake Chad Basin, and geomorphological evidence is consistent with this view.

A major Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b Holocene era founder effect in Central andWestern Europe

Eurasian Y chromosome R1b in Africa

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Haplogroup T – An ancient Near East haplogroup

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 4, 2013

Haplogroup T originated at least 30,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest haplogroups found in Eurasia, which may explain its vast dispersal around Africa and South Asia. It also makes its place of origin uncertain. T is descended from haplogroup K, the ancestor of most of the Eurasian haplogroups (L, N, O, P, Q, R and T), and whose origins are thought to lie in the Middle ast or in Central Asia.

Haplogroup T-M184 (M193, M272, L206, PAGES129) is found in an insignificant majority of Kurru, Bauris & Lodha in South Asia; and in a significant minority of Rajus and Mahli in South Asia; Somalis, southern Egyptians and Fulbe in north Cameroon; Chian Greeks, Saccensi/Sicilians, Eivissencs / Ibizans and Northeastern Portuguese Jews in Europe and Zoroastrians, Bakhtiaris/Lurs in the Middle East. Its highest density is actually found among the Fulani people of Cameroon (18% of the population).

The maximal worldwide frequency for haplogroup T is observed in East Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania). It is common in northern Somalia and in the Somalis of Ethiopia. It is found in frequency of greater than 10 percent in populations of Kenya Tanzania and Cameroon.

Although haplogroup T is more common today in East Africa than anywhere else, it almost certainly spread from the Fertile Crescent with the rise of agriculture. Indeed, the oldest subclades and the greatest diversity of T is found in the Middle East, especially around the Fertile Crescent. The higher frequency of T in East Africa would be due to a founder effect among Neolithic farmers from the Middle East.

In the Middle East, especially the South Caucasus, southern Iraq, south-west Iran, Oman and southern Egypt, it accounts for approximately 5 to 15% of the male lineages. During the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age haplogroup T would have been an important (though probably not dominant) lineage among ancient peoples such as Sumerians and the Elamites.

Haplogroup T is common in northern Somalia and in the Somalis of Ethiopia. It is found in frequency of greater than 10 percent in populations of Kenya Tanzania and Cameroon. It is notable for being widespread in Tanzania where it is more common than Kenya . It has also been detected in the limba populations of Zimbabwe Malawi and South Africa. The distribution of this haplogroup has been suggested to be associated with mtdna haplogroup M1 as the two tend to be common in the same regions.

It is notable for being widespread in Tanzania where it is more common than Kenya. It has also been detected in the limba populations of Zimbabwe Malawi and South Africa. The distribution of this haplogroup has been suggested to be associated with mtdna haplogroup M1 as the two tend to be common in the same regions.

Haplogroup T-M184 is not associated with the R1, G and J lineages that entered Africa from Eurasia relatively recently. Luis et al. (2004) suggest that the presence of the clade on the African continent may, like R1* representatives, point to an older introduction from Asia. The Levant rather than the Arabian Peninsula appears to have been the main route of entry, as the Egyptian and Turkish haplotypes are considerably older in age (13,700 ybp and 9,000 ybp, respectively) than those found in Oman (only 1,600 ybp).

According to the authors, the spotty modern distribution pattern of haplogroup T-M184 within Africa may therefore represent the traces of a more widespread early local presence of the clade. Later expansions of populations carrying the E1b1b, E1b1a, G and J NRY lineages may have overwhelmed the T-M184 clade-bearers in certain localities.

Possible patterns between Y-chromosome and elite endurance runners were studied in an attempt to find a genetic explanation to the Ethiopian endurance running success. Given the superiority of East African athletes in international distance running over the past four decades, it has been speculated that they are genetically advantaged. Elite marathon runners from Ethiopia were analysed for K*(xP) which according to the previously published Ethiopian studies is attributable to the haplogroup T and specifically to the T1a1a* (old T1a*) subclade, according to further studies.

T1a1a* was found to be proportionately more frequent in the elite marathon runners sample than in the control samples than any other haplogroup, therefore this y-chromosome could play a significant role in determining Ethiopian endurance running success.

Haplogroup T1a1a* was found in 14% of the elite marathon runners sample of whom 43% of this sample are from Arsi province. In addition, haplogroup T1a1a* was found in only 4% of the Ethiopian control sample and only 1% of the Arsi province control sample. T1a1a* is positively associated with aspects of endurance running, whereas E1b1b1 (old E3b1) is negatively associated.

Family Tree DNA, a commercial genetic genealogy company, has displayed a map that shows a relatively high frequency of haplogroup T-M184 in some Australian aborigines. Probably the populations coincide with those previously reported in several studies as K*(M9), with a frequency near to 30% in Northern Australia. According to Family Tree DNA, the defining SNP for haplogroup T-M184 is M184, while M70 defines T1.

Finally, the moderately high frequency (∼18%) of T1b* chromosomes in the Lembas, theorized to have a Jewish origin on the basis of its possessing the 6-marker Cohen Modal Haplotype within haplogroup J, of southern Africa supports the hypothesis of a Near Eastern, but not necessarily a Jewish, origin for their paternal line.

The distribution of haplogroup T-M184 in most parts of Europe is patchy or regionalized; for example, haplogroup T-M184 was found in 1.7% (10/591) of a pool of six samples of males from southwestern Russia, but it was completely absent from a pool of eight samples totalling 637 individuals from the northern half of European Russia.

These subclades probably represent one of the Neolithic migration from the Fertile Crescent to Southeast Europe. They would then have spread around central and Eastern Europe, as far north as the eastern Baltic.

Haplogroup T is a fairly rare lineage in Europe. It makes up only 1% of the population on most of the continent, except in Greece, Macedonia and Italy where it exceeds 4%, and in Iberia where it reaches 2.5%, peaking at 10% in Cadiz and over 15% in Ibiza.

The occurrence in Europe of lineages belonging to both T1a1 (old T1a) and T1a2 (old T1b) subclades probably reflects multiple episodes of gene flow. T1a1* haplogroups in Europe likely reflect older gene flow.

While almost all subclades of T are found in the Middle East, most Europeans outside the Mediterranean belong to the subclades T1a2 (L131) and T1a1a1a (P77), who are also found in Anatolia.

T1a2 has been found as far east as the Volga-Ural region of Russia and Xinjiang in north-west China. This branch probably penetrated into the Pontic-Caspian Steppe during the Neolithic (perhaps alongside G2a3b1 and J2b2) and became integrated to the indigenous R1a peoples before their expansion to Central Asia during the Bronze Age.

Autosomal DNA tests have also identified unusually high percentages of Southwest Asian admixtures among the Finns (1 to 2.5%) and Lithuanians (1.5%), who otherwise lack West Asian or Caucasian admixture and possess hardly any Middle Eastern Y-DNA. This Southwest Asian admixture could be the trace of T lineages absorbed during the Neolithic.

Haplogroup T has been found at a relatively high frequency among the Tatars (5%) and Maris (2%) of the Volga-Ural region as well as in north-west Russia (3%) and Estonia (3.5%) suggesting that it may have been one of the principal lineages bringing the Neolithic to Uralic-speaking population.

The modern distribution T in Europe strongly correlates with a the Neolithic colonisation of Mediterranean Europe by Near-Eastern farmers, notably the Cardium Pottery culture (5000-1500 BCE).

The higher than average frequencies of haplogroup T in places like Cyprus, Sicily, Tunisia, Ibiza, Andalusia and the northern tip of Morocco suggest that haplogroup T could have been dispersed around the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians (1200-800 BCE), and that ancient Phoenicia seemingly had a higher incidence of T than Lebanon does today (5%).

Besides these regions and Europe, T is found in isolated pockets as far as Central Asia, India, Cameroon, Zambia and South Africa.

Posted in Haplogroups, The Fertile Crescent | Leave a Comment »

Indo-European Homeland and the Indo-Europeans

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 3, 2013

Indo-European Homeland

Modern linguists have placed the Proto-Indo-European homeland in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, a distinct geographic and archeological region extending from the Danube estuary to the Ural mountains to the east and North Caucasus to the south.

The Neolithic, Eneolithic and early Bronze Age cultures in Pontic-Caspian steppe has been called the Kurgan culture (7000-2200 BCE) by Marija Gimbutas, due to the lasting practice of burying the deads under mounds (“kurgan”) among the succession of cultures in that region. It is now known that kurgan-type burials only date from the 4th millenium BCE and almost certainly originated south of the Caucasus.

Horses were first domesticated around 4600 BCE in the Caspian Steppe, perhaps somewhere around the Don or the lower Volga, and soon became a defining element of steppe culture. Nevertheless it is unlikely that R1b was already present in the eastern steppes at the time, so the domestication of the horse should be attributed to the indigenous R1a people.

Haplogroup R-M17, sometimes referred to as R-M198, is particularly common in a large region extending from South Asia and Southern Siberia to Central Europe and Scandinavia. It is the most common subclade within the family of Y DNA lineages referred to as R1a or R-M420, which share in common the M420 SNP mutation, and before the discovery of M420, R-M17 was itself referred to as R1a.

The decade-long debate as to which Eurasian region possessed the most diverse, hence oldest, STR values within R-M17, has been effectively put to an end with the discovery of R-M17 sub-clades. SNPs offer a clearer and more robust resolution than STRs. They shows that all their tested Indian R-M17 samples belong to the Z-93 sub-clade, which is a derivative, “daughter” branch of R-M17.

Exactly when and where R-M17 arose requires further elucidation. The major limitations precluding an equivocal conclusion include the need for: (i) greater population sampling (ii) more ancient DNA data, and (iii) more robust and consistent methodology in estimating haplogroup ages and their phylogeographic relationships. The observed data currently suggests that haplogroup R1a likely differentiated in the region between Eastern Europe and South Asia.

In contrast, Eastern European populations belong to different daughter branches of R-M17, namely Z- 280 and M-458. The former is widely distributed over south-eastern, central-eastern and eastern Europe, and as far as Central Asia. Indeed, Central Asia is an overlap zone for the R1a1-Z280 and R1a1-Z93″, being found in Mongol and Uzbek populations. On the other hand, M-458 is more geographically restricted to central-eastern Europe.

Furthermore, the undifferentiated, parental M-198 existed in the European populations, but was not found in the Indian groups. This pattern implies that an early differentiation zone of R1a1-M198 conceivably occurred somewhere within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and Caucasus region as they lie between South Asia and Eastern Europe, from where South Asian Z-93 and European Z-283 sub-clades differentiated and spread in opposite directions.

Nearly all samples from Bronze and Iron Age graves in the Krasnoyarsk area in south Siberia belonged to R-M17 and appeared to represent an eastward migration from Europe. In central Europe, Corded Ware period human remains at Eulau from which Y-DNA was extracted appear to be R-M17(xM458) (which they found most similar to the modern German R-M17* haplotype.

Haplogroup R1b STR variance in Europe forms a cline from east to west, which is more consistent with an entry into Europe from Western Asia with the spread of farming. The proposal of a southeastern origin of R1b were supported by three detailed studies based on large datasets published in 2010. These detected that the earliest subclades of R1b are found in western Asia and the most recent in western Europe.

While age estimates in these articles are all more recent than the Last Glacial Maximum, all mention the Neolithic, when farming was introduced to Europe from the Middle East as a possible candidate period. The exact dating of the migration or migrations responsible for this distribution is unclear, not ruling out migrations as early as the Mesolithic or as late as Hallstatt, but more probably Late Neolithic.

Ancient DNA of human remains from the Late Neolithic Bell Beaker site of Kromsdorf, Germany, belong to the Y haplogroup R1b. However, analysis of ancient Y DNA from the remains of populations derived from early Neolithic settlements such as the Mediterranean Cardium and Central and North European LBK settlements have found an absence of males belonging to haplogroup R1b.

The Paleolithic origins of R1b are not entirely clear to this day. Haplogroup R1* and R2* might have originated in southern Central Asia (between the Caspian depression and the Hindu Kush). A branch of R1 would have developed into R1b, then R1b1 and R1b1a in the northern part of the Middle East around the time of the Last Glacial Maximum (circa 20,000 years ago), while R1a migrated north to Siberia. Some of the oldest forms of R1b are found around the Caucasus, in Iran and in southern Central Asia, a vast region where could have roamed the nomadic R1b hunter-gatherers during the Ice Age.

R1b1a presumptively moved to northern Anatolia and across the Caucasus during the Neolithic, where it split into R1b1a1 (M73) and R1b1a2 (M269). The Near Eastern leftovers evolved into R1b1c (V88), now found at low frequencies among the Lebanese, the Druze, and the Jews. The Phoenicians (who came from modern day Lebanon) spread this R1b1c to their colonies, notably Sardinia and the Maghreb.

R1b1a2 (the most common form in Europe) and R1b1a1 is closely associated with the diffusion of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times, from the Atlantic coast of Europe to the Indian subcontinent, including almost all Europe (except Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina), Anatolia, Armenia, European Russia, southern Siberia, many pockets around Central Asia (notably Xinjiang, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan), without forgetting Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal. The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others.

The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from 3400 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end, but it may have disappeared as early as 2600 or 2700 BC. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain; thence it spread to Georgia by 3000 BC (but never reaching Colchis), and during the next millennium it proceeded westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, and to the southeast into an area below the Urmia basin and Lake Van, and finally down to the borders of present day Syria. Altogether, the early Trans-Caucasian culture, at its greatest spread, enveloped a vast area approximately 1,000 km by 500 km.

Inhumation practices are mixed. Flat graves are found, but so are substantial kurgan burials, the latter of which may be surrounded by cromlechs. This points to a heterogeneous ethno-linguistic population (see section below).

Late in the history of this culture, its people built kurgans of greatly varying sizes, containing greatly varying amounts and types of metalwork, with larger, wealthier kurgans surrounded by smaller kurgans containing less wealth. They are also remarkable for the production of wheeled vehicles (wagons and carts), which were sometimes included in burial kurgans. This trend suggests the eventual emergence of a marked social hierarchy.

The culture is closely linked to the approximately contemporaneous Maykop culture of Transcaucasia. The Kura-Araxes culture was contiguous, and had mutual influences, with the Maikop culture in the Northwest Caucasus. Similarities between some features and objects of the Maikop and Kura-Araxes cultures, such as large square graves, the bold-relief curvilinear ornamentation of pottery, ochre-coloured ceramics, earthen hearth props with horn projections, flint arrowheads, stone axes and copper pitchforks are indicative of a cultural unity that pervaded the Caucasus in the Neolithic Age.

Hurrian and Urartian elements are quite probable, as are Northeast Caucasian ones. Some authors subsume Hurrians and Urartians under Northeast Caucasian as well as part of the Alarodian theory. The presence of Kartvelian languages was also highly probable. Influences of Semitic languages and Indo-European languages are also highly possible, though the presence of the languages on the lands of the Kura–Araxes culture is more controversial. In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages.

The Anatolian branch is generally considered the earliest to split from the Proto-Indo-European language, from a stage referred to either as Indo-Hittite or “Middle PIE”; typically a date in the mid-4th millennium BC is assumed. Statistical research by Quentin Atkinson and others using Bayesian inference and glottochronological markers favors an Indo-European origin in Anatolia, though the method’s validity and accuracy are subject to debate.

The oldest Indo-European language is Anatolian. Luwian (or, to English speakers, Luvian) may well have been the language of Homer’s Troy, destroyed ca. 1250 BC. Hittite, the oldest and most richly attested of these languages, was spoken in Central Anatolia by historical Hittite kings (ca. 1650-1180 BC) and, before that, probably as early as 2000 BC at Kanesh (Kultepe).

The Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken by the Armenians, shows a large percentage of loans from Iranian languages, something that initially led linguists to erroneously classify Armenian as an Iranian language. The distinctness of Armenian was only recognized when Hübschmann (1875) used the comparative method to distinguish two layers of Iranian loans from the older Armenian vocabulary.

W. M. Austin (1942) concluded that there was an early contact between Armenian and Anatolian languages, based on what he considered common archaisms, such as the lack of a feminine and the absence of inherited long vowels. However, unlike shared innovations (or synapomorphies), the common retention of archaisms (or symplesiomorphy) is not necessarily considered evidence of a period of common isolated development.

Soviet linguist Igor Diakonov (1985) noted the presence in Old Armenian of what he calls a Caucasian substratum, identified by earlier scholars, consisting of loans from the Kartvelian and Northeast Caucasian languages such as Udi. Noting that the Hurro-Urartian peoples inhabited the Armenian homeland in the second millennium b.c., Diakonov identifies in Armenian a Hurro-Urartian substratum of social, cultural, and animal and plant terms such as ałaxin “slave girl” (< Hurr. al(l)a(e)ḫḫenne), cov “sea” (< Urart. ṣûǝ “(inland) sea”), ułt “camel” (< Hurr. uḷtu), and xnjor “apple(tree)” (< Hurr. ḫinzuri).

Some of the terms he gives admittedly have an Akkadian or Sumerian provenance, but he suggests they were borrowed through Hurrian or Urartian. Given that these borrowings do not undergo sound changes characteristic of the development of Armenian from Proto-Indo-European, he dates their borrowing to a time before the written record but after the Proto-Armenian language stage.

Graeco-Aryan (or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan) is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language, the Armenian language, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid 3rd millennium BC. The Phrygian language would also be included. Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been located between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, consistent with the fact that Armenian shares certain features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

Graeco-Armeno-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Indo-European Homeland to be located in the Armenian Highland. Early and strong evidence was given by Euler’s 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection.

Used in tandem with the Graeco-Armeno-Aryan hypothesis, the Armenian language would also be included under the label Aryano-Greco-Armenic, splitting into proto-Greek/Phrygian and “Armeno-Aryan” (ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian).

In the context of the Kurgan hypothesis, Greco-Aryan is also known as “Late PIE” or “Late Indo-European” (LIE), suggesting that Greco-Aryan forms a dialect group which corresponds to the latest stage of linguistic unity in the Indo-European homeland in the early part of the 3rd millennium BC. By 2500 BC, Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had separated, moving westward and eastward from the Pontic Steppe, respectively.

If Graeco-Aryan is a valid group, Grassmann’s law may have a common origin in Greek and Sanskrit. (Note, however, that Grassmann’s law in Greek postdates certain sound changes that happened only in Greek and not Sanskrit, which suggests that it cannot strictly be an inheritance from a common Graeco-Aryan stage. Rather, it is more likely an areal feature that spread across a then-contiguous Graeco-Aryan-speaking area after early Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had developed into separate dialects but before they ceased being in geographic contact.)

The Yamna culture is identified with the late Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE) in the Kurgan hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas. It is the strongest candidate for the Urheimat (homeland) of the Proto-Indo-European language, along with the preceding Sredny Stog culture, now that archaeological evidence of the culture and its migrations has been closely tied to the evidence from linguistics.

Pavel Dolukhanov argues that the emergence of the Pit-Grave culture represents a social development of various local Bronze Age cultures, representing “an expression of social stratification and the emergence of chiefdom-type nomadic social structures”, which in turn intensified inter-group contacts between essentially heterogeneous social groups.

The linguistic composition of the Catacomb culture is unclear. Within the context of the Kurgan hypothesis expounded by Marija Gimbutas, an Indo-European component is hard to deny, particularly in the later stages. Placing the ancestors of the Greek, Armenian and Paleo-Balkan dialects here is tempting, as it would neatly explain certain shared features.

More recently, the Ukrainian archaeologist V. Kulbaka has argued that the Late Yamna cultures of ca. 3200–2800 BC, esp. the Budzhak, Starosilsk, and Novotitarovka groups, might represent the Greek-Armenian-“Aryan”(=Indo-Iranian) ancestors (Graeco-Aryan, Graeco-Armenian), and the Catacomb culture that of the “unified” (to ca. 2500 BC) and then “differentiated” Indo-Iranians.

Grigoryev’s (1998) version of the Armenian hypothesis connects Catacomb culture with Indo-Aryans, because catacomb burial ritual had roots in South-Western Turkmenistan from the early 4th millennium (Parkhai cemetery). The same opinion is supported by Leo Klejn in his various publications.

Little is known about the arrival of Proto-Greek speakers. The Mycenaean culture commenced circa 1650 BCE and is clearly an imported steppe culture. The close relationship between Mycenaean and Proto-Indo-Iranian languages suggest that they split fairly late, some time between 2500 and 2000 BCE.

Mycenaeans rose in prominence ca. 1600 BC and stayed in control of Greece until about 1100 BC. Evidence shows that they spoke an early form of Greek. They took control of Crete ca. 1450 BC. An abundance of Mycenaean pottery is found in Italy and Sicily, suggesting that they were in contact and traded with the Mycenaeans. Due to the influence of Minoan Crete the further south the site, the more the pottery is influenced by Minoan styles.

Mycenaean Greek, named after Mycenae, one of the major centres of Mycenaean Greece, is the most ancient attested form of the Greek language, spoken on the Greek mainland, Crete and Cyprus in the 16th to 12th centuries BC, before the hypothesised Dorian invasion which was often cited as the terminus post quem for the coming of the Greek language to Greece.

The language is preserved in inscriptions in Linear B, a script first attested on Crete before the 14th century BC. Most instances of these inscriptions are on clay tablets found in Knossos in central Crete, and in Pylos in the southwest of the Peloponnese. Other tablets have been found at Mycenae itself, Tiryns and Thebes and at Chania in Western Crete.

The tablets remained long undeciphered, and every conceivable language was suggested for them, until Michael Ventris deciphered the script in 1952 and by a preponderance of evidence proved the language to be an early form of Greek.

Compared with later Ancient Greek, Mycenaean preserves a number of archaic features of its Indo-European heritage. It also preserves PIE forms. This means that determining the actual pronunciation of written words is often difficult, and makes use of a combination of the PIE etymology of a word, its form in later Greek, and inconsistent spelling. Even so, for some words the pronunciation is not known exactly, esp. when the meaning is unclear from context or the word has no descendants in the later dialects.

The Dorian invasion is a concept devised by historians of Ancient Greece to explain the replacement of pre-classical dialects and traditions in southern Greece by the ones that prevailed in Classical Greece. The latter were named Dorian by the ancient Greek writers after the historical population that owned them, the Dorians.

Despite nearly 200 years of investigation, the historicity of the Dorian invasion has never been established. The meaning of the concept has become to some degree amorphous. The work done on it has mainly served to rule out various speculations. The possibility of a real Dorian invasion remains open.

Armenian Modal Haplotype, also known in the literature as Haplotype 35 (ht35), as opposed to the Western European ‘haplotype 15’, which comprises the Proto-Italo-Celtic P312/S116 and the Proto-Germanic U106/S21. It is associated with R1b1b2 characterized by DYS393=12.

This branch of R1b was the first that emerged from the Pontic Steppe. Greek and Anatolian branches of Indo-European people, including the Hittites, Lydians, Phrygians and Armenians, is included in the group. The Trojans also probably belonged to this group.

It includes R1b-L23/S141, its subclade L51/M412/S167, and its two subclades L11/S127/L151 (in central an northern Europe) and Z2103 (in Anatolia and Assyria). Altogether they are known as ‘haplotype 35’ (ht35)

Haplogroup R1b and R1a

It is not yet entirely clear when R1b crossed over from eastern Anatolia to the Pontic-Caspian steppe. This could have happened during or just after the Neolithic, or both. The genetic diversity of R1b being greater around the Caucasus it is hard to deny that R1b evolved there before entering the steppe world. It is possible that a first R1b migration from Anatolia in the 5th or even 6th millennium BCE introduced sheep into the steppe, an animal whose wool would play an important role in Celtic and Germanic (R1b branches of the Indo-Europeans) clothing traditions up to this day.

Another migration across the Caucasus happened shortly before 3700 BCE, when the Maykop culture, the world’s first Bronze Age society, appeared apparently out of nowhere in the north-west Caucasus. The origins of Maykop are still uncertain, but archeologists have linked it to contemporary Chalcolithic cultures in Assyria and western Iran.

Archeology also shows a clear diffusion of bronze working and kurgan-type burials from the Maykop culture to the Pontic Steppe, where the Yamna culture developed soon afterwards (from 3500 BCE). Kurgan (a.k.a. tumulus) burials would become a dominant feature of ancient Indo-European societies and were widely used by the Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes, and Scythians, among others.

Middle Eastern R1b people had been living and blending to some extent with the local R1a foragers and herders at the steppes for over a millennium, perhaps even two or three. The close cultural contact and interactions between R1a and R1b people all over the Pontic-Caspian Steppe resulted in the creation of a common vernacular, a new lingua franca, which linguists have called Proto-Indo-European (PIE).

Linguistic similarities exist between PIE and Caucasian and Hurrian languages in the Middle East on the one hand, and Uralic languages in the Volga-Ural region on the other hand, which makes the Pontic Steppe the perfect intermediary region.

During the Yamna period cattle and sheep herders adopted wagons to transport their food and tents, which allowed them to move deeper into the steppe, giving rise to a new mobile lifestyle that would eventually lead to the great Indo-European migrations. This type of mass migration in which whole tribes moved with the help of wagons was still common in Gaul at the time of Julius Caesar, and among Germanic peoples in the late Antiquity.

The Yamna horizon was not a single, unified culture. In the south, along the northern shores of the Black Sea coast until the the north-west Caucasus, was a region of open steppe, expanding eastward until the Caspian Sea, Siberia and Mongolia (the Eurasian Steppe).

The western section, between the Don and Dniester Rivers (and later the Danube), was the one most densely settled by R1b people, with only a minority of R1a people (5-10%). The eastern section, in the Volga basin until the Ural mountains, was inhabited by R1a people with a substantial minority of R1b people (whose descendants can be found among the Bashkirs, Turkmans, Uyghurs and Hazaras, among others).

The northern part of the Yamna horizon was forest-steppe occupied by R1a people, also joined by a small minority of R1b (judging from modern Russians and Belarussians, the frequency of R1b was from seven to nine times less lower than R1a).

The western branch would migrate to the Balkans and Greece, then to central and Western Europe, and back to their ancestral Anatolia in successive waves (Hittites, Phrygians, Armenians, etc.). The eastern branch would migrate to Central Asia, Xinjiang, Siberia, and South Asia (Iran, Pakistan, India). The northern branch would evolve into the Corded Ware culture and disperse around the Baltic, Poland, Germany and Scandinavia.

Recent studies suggest that haplogroup R1b1a2-M269, which is the most common lineage in the European populations, was spread with first farmers via Anatolia to Europe during the Neolithic transition. These studies, however, did not include indigenous populations from the Armenian plateau, though it has played a key role in the ancient human migrations since early Paleolithic.

Y-chromosomal data collected in three Armenian geographic groups from eastern and western parts of the Armenian plateau, and comparative datasets of various European populations used to assess the genetic contribution of the region, shows that the frequency of haplogroup R1b1a2-M269 in eastern Armenian populations is higher compared with eastern European populations (including Anatolia) and lower than in Western Europe.

The rate of the variance and age of the R1b1a2-M269 is the highest in western Armenian population among all datasets considered, and that this haplogroup has been spread of north- and westward. In addition, there is a strong correlation between the genetic and geographic distances of the populations studied thus reflecting the directions of pre-Neolithic and Neolithic migrations from the Near East.

The origins of R1b are not entirely clear to this day. Some of the oldest forms of R1b are found in the Near East and around the Caucasus. Haplogroup R1* and R2* might have originated in southern Central Asia (between the Caspian and the Hindu Kush). A branch of R1 would have developed into R1b* then R1b1* in the northern part of the Middle East during the Ice Age.

Whereas R1b1 is found is such places as the Levant or Cameroon, R1b1b mostly likely originated in north-eastern Anatolia. It presumptively moved to northern Anatolia and across the Caucasus during the early Neolithic, where it became R1b1b.

The Near Eastern leftovers evolved into R1b1a (M18), now found at low frequencies among the Lebanese and the Druze.The Phoenicians (who came from modern day Lebanon) spread this R1b1a and R1b1* to their colonies, notably Sardinia and the Maghreb.

The subclades R1b1b1 and R1b1b2 (the most common form in Europe) are closely associated with the spread of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times, from the Atlantic coast of Europe to the Indian subcontinent, including almost all Europe (except Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina), Anatolia, Armenia, Europan Russia, southern Siberia, many pockets around Central Asia (notably Xinjiang, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan), without forgetting Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal.

The R1b branch of the Indo-Europeans is thought to have originated in the southern Yamna culture (northern shores of the Black Sea). It was the first one to move from the steppes to Europe, invading the Danube delta around 4200 BCE, then making its way around the Balkans and the Hungarian plain in the 4th millennium BCE.

These cultures from the late Neolithic and into the Iron Age, with specific traits such as Kurgan burials and horse domestication, have been associated with the dispersal of Indo-European languages across Eurasia.

The dramatic expansion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans was possible thanks to an early adoption of bronze weapons and the domestication of the horse in the Eurasian steppes (circa 4000-3500 BCE). Archaeologists recognize a complex of inter-related and relatively mobile cultures living on the Eurasian steppe, part of which protrudes into Europe as far west as Ukraine.

The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others. While the southern Steppe culture is believed to have carried predominantly R1b (M269 and M73) lineages, the northern forest-steppe culture would have been essentially R1a-dominant.

Haplogroup R1a probably branched off from R1* around the time of the Last Glacial Maximum (19,000 to 26,000 years before present). Little is know for certain about its place of origin. Some think it might have originated in the Balkans or around Pakistan and Northwest India, due to the greater genetic diversity found in these regions.

The diversity can be explained by other factors though. The Balkans have been subject to 5000 years of migrations from the Eurasian Steppes, each bringing new varieties of R1a.

South Asia has had a much bigger population than any other parts of the world (occasionally equalled by China) for at least 10,000 years, and larger population bring about more genetic diversity. The most likely place of origin of R1a is Central Asia or southern Russia/Siberia.

The first forays of steppe people into the Balkans happened between 4200 BCE and 3900 BCE, when horse riders crossed the Dniester and Danube and apparently destroyed the towns of the Gumelnita, Varna and Karanovo VI cultures in Eastern Romania and Bulgaria.

A climatic change resulting in colder winters during this exact period probably pushed steppe herders to seek milder pastures for their stock, while failed crops would have led to famine and internal disturbance within the Danubian and Balkanic communities.

The ensuing Cernavoda culture (Copper Age, 4000-3200 BCE), Coțofeni culture (Copper to Bronze Age, 3500-2500 BCE) and Ezero culture (Bronze Age, 3300-2700 BCE), in modern Romania, seems to have had a mixed population of steppe immigrants and people from the old tell settlements. These steppe immigrants were likely a mixture of both R1a and R1b lineages, with a probably higher percentage of R1a than later Yamna-era invasions.

The steppe invaders would have forced many Danubian farmers to migrate to the Cucuteni-Trypillian towns in the eastern Carpathians, causing a population boom and a north-eastward expansion until the Dnieper valley, bringing Y-haplogroups G2a, I2a1 (probably the dominant lineage of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture), E1b1b, J and T in what is now central Ukraine.

This precocious Indo-European advance westward was fairly limited, due to the absence of Bronze weapons and organised army at the time, and was indeed only possible thanks to climatic catastrophes which reduced the defences of the towns of Old Europe. The Carphatian, Danubian, and Balkanic cultures were too densely populated and technologically advanced to allow for a massive migration.

In comparison the forest-steppe R1a people successfully penetrated into the heart of Europe with little hindrance, due to the absence of developed agrarian societies around Poland and the Baltic. The Corded Ware (Battle Axe) culture (3200-1800 BCE) was a natural western expansion of the Yamna culture, reaching as far west as Germany and as far north as Sweden and Norway.

DNA analysis from the Corded Ware culture site of Eulau confirms the presence of R1a (but not R1b) in central Germany around 2600 BCE. The Corded Ware tribes expanded from the northern fringe of the Yamna culture where R1a lineages were prevalent over R1b ones.

The expansion of R1b people into Old Europe was slower, but proved inevitable. In 2800 BCE, by the time the Corded Ware had already reached Scandinavia, the Bronze Age R1b cultures had barely moved into the Pannonian steppe.

They established major settlements in the Great Hungarian Plain, the most similar habitat to their ancestral Pontic Steppes. Around 2500 BCE, the western branch of Indo-European R1b were poised for their next major expansion into modern Germany and Western Europe.

By that time, the R1b immigrants had blended to a great extent with the indigenous Mesolithic and Neolithic populations of the Danubian basin, where they had now lived for 1,700 years.

The strongly partriarchal Indo-European elite remained almost exclusively R1b on the paternal side, but absorbed a high proportion of non-Indo-European maternal lineages. Hybridised, the new Proto-Indo-European R1b people would have lost most of their remaining Proto-Europoid or Mongolid features inherited from their Caspian origins (which were still clearly visible in numerous individuals from the Yamna period). Their light hair, eye and skin pigmentation, once interbred with the darker inhabitants of Old Europe, became more like that of modern Southern Europeans.

The Indo-Europeans’s bronze weapons and horses would have given them a tremendous advantage over the autochthonous inhabitants of Europe, namely the native haplogroup I (descendant of Cro-Magnon), and the early Neolithic herders and farmers (G2a, J, E1b1b and T). This allowed R1a and R1b to replace most of the native male lineages, although female lineages seem to have been less affected.

A comparison with the Indo-Iranian invasion of South Asia shows that 40% of the male linages of northern India are R1a, but less than 10% of the female lineages could be of Indo-European origin. The impact of the Indo-Europeans was more severe in Europe because European society 4,000 years ago was less developed in terms of agriculture, technology (no bronze weapons) and population density than that of the Indus Valley civilization. This is particularly true of the native Western European cultures where farming arrived much later than in the Balkans or Central Europe.

Greece, the Balkans and the Carpathians were the most advanced of European societies at the time and were the least affected in terms of haplogroup replacement. Native European Y-DNA haplogroups (I1, I2) also survived better in regions that were more difficult to reach or less hospitable, like Scandinavia, southern Switzerland, Sardinia or the Dinaric Alps.

The R1a people of the Corded Ware culture would come across far less populous societies in Northern Europe, mostly descended from the lighter Mesolithic population (haplogroup I1 and I2), and therefore retain more of their original pigmentation (although facial traits evolved considerably in Scandinavia, where the I1 inhabitants were strongly dolicocephalic and long-faced, as opposed to the brachycephalic and broad-faced steppe people).

The forest-steppe origin of this culture is obvious from the introduction of corded pottery and the abundant use of polished battle axes, the two most prominent features of the Corded Ware culture.

The migration of the R1b people to central and Western Europe left a vacuum for R1a people in the southern steppe around the time of the Catacomb culture (2800-2200 BCE). The first expansion of the forest-steppe people occured with the Corded Ware Culture.

This is also probably when the satemisation process of the Indo-European languages began since the Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian language groups belong to the same Satem isogloss and both appear to have evolved from the the Catacomb culture.

Ancient DNA testing has confirmed the presence of haplogroup R1a1a in samples from the Corded Ware culture in Germany (2600 BCE), from Tocharian mummies (2000 BCE) in Northwest China, from Kurgan burials (circa 1600 BCE) from the Andronovo culture in southern Russia and southern Siberia, as well as from a variety of Iron-age sites from Russia, Siberia, Mongolia and Central Asia.

The first major expansion of R1a, thought to have been the dominant haplogroup among the northern and eastern Proto-Indo-European language speakers, that evolved into the Indo-Iranian, Thracian, Baltic and Slavic branches, took place with the westward propagation of the Corded Ware culture from the northern forest-steppe in the Yamna homeland. This was the first wave of R1a into Europe, the one that brought the Z283 subclade to Germany and the Netherlands, and Z284 to Scandinavia.

The Corded Ware R1a people would have mixed with the pre-Germanic I1 and I2 aborigines, which resulted in the first Indo-European culture in Germany and Scandinavia, although that culture could not be considered Proto-Germanic – it was simply Proto-Indo-European at that stage, or perhaps or Proto-Balto-Slavic.

Proto-Germanic language probably developed as a blend of two branches of Indo-European languages, namely the Proto-Balto-Slavic language of the Corded-Ware culture (R1a-Z283) and the later arrival of Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic people from the Unetice culture (R1b-L11).

This is supported by the fact that Germanic people are a R1a-R1b hybrid, that these two haplogroups came via separate routes at different times, and that Proto-Germanic language is closest to Proto-Italo-Celtic, but also shares similarities with Proto-Slavic. Germanic languages probably did not appear before the Nordic Bronze Age (1800-500 BCE).

It is likely that a minority of R1a people accompanied this R1b migration. Those R1a men would have belonged to the L664 subclade, the first to split from the Yamna core. These early steppe invaders were not a homogeneous group, but a cluster of tribes.

It is possible that the R1a-L664 people were one or several separate tribes of their own, or that they mixed with some R1b lineages, notably R1b-U106, which would become the main Germanic lineage many centuries later.

The R1b conquest of Europe happened in two phases. For nearly two millennia, starting from circa 4200 BCE, steppe people limited their conquest to the rich Chalcolithic civilisations of the Carpathians and the Balkans. These societies possessed the world’s largest towns, notably the tell settlements of the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture.

Nothing incited the R1b conquerors to move further into Western Europe at such an early stage, because most of the land north and west of the Alps was still sparsely populated woodland. The Neolithic did not reach the British Isles and Scandinavia before circa 4000 BCE. Even northern France and most of the Alpine region had been farming or herding for less than a millennium and were still quite primitive compared to Southeast Europe and the Middle East.

North-west Europe remained a tribal society of hunter-gatherers practising only limited agriculture for centuries after the conquest of the Balkans by the Indo-Europeans. Why would our R1b “conquistadors” leave the comfort of the wealthy and populous Danubian civilisations for the harsh living conditions that lie beyond ? Bronze Age people coveted tin, copper, and gold, of which the Balkans had plenty, but that no one had yet discovered in Western Europe.

R1b-L51 is thought to have arrived in Central Europe (Hungary, Austria, Bohemia) around 2500 BCE, approximately two millennia after the shift to the Neolithic in these regions. Agrarian towns had started to develop. Gold and copper had begun to be mined. The prospects of a conquest were now far more appealing.

The archeological and genetic evidence (distribution of R1b subclades) point at several consecutive waves towards eastern and central Germany between 2800 BCE and 2300 BCE. The R1b-R1a contingent moved up the Danube to the Panonian plain around 2800 BCE, brought to an end the local Bell Beaker (circa 2200 BCE) and Corded Ware (c. 2400 BCE) cultures in Central Europe, and set up the Unetice culture (2300-1600 BCE) around Bohemia and eastern Germany. Unetice can be seen as the source of future Germanic, Celtic and Italic cultures, and is associated with the L11 subclade of R1b.

The Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic R1b people had settled in what is now Germany by 2300 BCE, where they founded the Unetice culture, probably the first culture in which R1b-L11 lineages played a major role.

It is interesting to note that the Unetice period happen to correspond to the end of the Maykop (2500 BCE) and Kemi Oba (2200 BCE) cultures on the northern shores of the Black Sea, and their replacement by cultures descended from the northern steppes. It can therefore be envisaged that the (mostly) R1b population from the northern half of the Black Sea migrated westward due to pressure from other Indo-European people (R1a) from the north, for example that of the burgeoning Proto-Indo-Iranian branch, linked to the contemporary Poltavka and Abashevo cultures.

Judging from the propagation of bronze working to Western Europe, those first Indo-Europeans reached France and the Low Countries by 2200 BCE, Britain by 2100 BCE and Ireland by 2000 BCE, and Iberia by 1800 BCE.

It is doubtful that the Bell Beaker culture (2800-1900 BCE) in Western Europe was already Indo-European because its attributes are in perfect continuity with the native Megalithic cultures. The Beaker phenomenon started during the Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic in Portugal and propagated to the north-east towards Germany.

During the same period Bronze Age steppe cultures spread from Germany in the opposite direction towards Iberia, France and Britain. It is more likely that the beakers and horses found across Western Europe during that period were the result of trade with neighbouring Indo-European cultures, including the first wave of R1b into Central Europe.

It is equally possible that the Beaker people were R1b merchants or explorers who travelled across Western Europe and brought back tales of riches poorly defended by Stone Age people and waiting to be conquered by the more advanced Indo-Europeans, with their bronze weapons and horses.

What is undeniable is that the following Unetice (2300-1600 BCE), Tumulus (1600-1200 BCE), Urnfield (1300-1200 BCE) and Hallstatt (1200-750 BCE) cultures were linked to the diffusion of R1b to Europe, as they abruptly introduce new technologies and a radically different lifestyle.

This first wave of R1b presumably carried R1b-L21 lineages in great number (perhaps because of a founder effect), as these are found everywhere in western, northern and Central Europe. The early split of L21 from the main Proto-Celtic branch around Germany would explain why the Q-Celtic languages (Goidelic and Hispano-Celtic) diverged so much from the P-Celtic branch (La Tène, Gaulish, Brythonic), which appears to have expanded from the later Urnfield and Hallstat cultures.

Some L21 lineages from the Netherlands and northern Germany later entered Scandinavia (from 1700 BCE) with the dominant subclade of the region, R1b-S21/U106 (see below). The stronger presence of L21 in Norway and Iceland can be attributed to the Norwegian Vikings, who had colonised parts of Scotland and Ireland and taken slaves among the native Celtic populations, whom they brought to their new colony of Iceland and back to Norway. Nowadays about 20% of all Icelandic male lineages are R1b-L21 of Scottish or Irish origin.

In France, R1b-L21 is mainly present in historical Brittany (including Mayenne and Vendée) and in Lower Normandy. This region was repopulated by massive immigration of insular Britons in the 5th century due to pressure from the invading Anglo-Saxons. However, it is possible that L21 was present in Armorica since the Bronze age or the Iron age given that the tribes of the Armorican Confederation of ancient Gaul already had a distinct identity from the other Gauls and had maintained close ties with the British Isles at least since the Atlantic Bronze Age.

The late Unetice culture expanded to Scandinavia, founding the Nordic Bronze Age. R1a-L664 and R1b (L11 and U106) presumably reached Scandinavia at this time. People from the Nordic Bronze Age probably spoke a Proto-Germanic language, which for over a thousand years acquired vocabulary from the indigenous Corded Ware language, itself a mixture of Proto-Balto-Slavic and non-IE pre-Germanic.

The first genuine Germanic tongue has been estimated by linguists to have come into existence around (or after) 500 BCE, just as the Nordic Bronze Age came to an end, giving way to the Pre-Roman Iron Age.

The uniqueness of some of the Germanic vocabulary points at borrowing from native pre-Indo-European languages (Germanic substrate theory). The Celtic language itself is known to have borrowed from Afro-Asiatic languages spoken by Near-Eastern immigrants to Central Europe. The fact that present-day Scandinavia is composed of roughly 40% of I1, 20% of R1a and 40% of R1b reinforces the idea that the Germanic ethnicity and language had acquired a tri-hybrid character by the Iron Age.

The Bronze Age did not appear in Iberia until 1800 BCE, and was mostly confined to the cultures of El Argar and Los Millares in south-east Spain, with sporadic sites showing up in Castile by 1700 BCE and in Extremadura and southern Portugal by 1500 BCE.

These Early Bronze Age sites typically did not have more than some bronze daggers or axes and cannot be considered proper Bronze Age societies, but rather Copper Age societies with occasional bronze artefacts (perhaps imported).

These cultures might have been founded by small groups of R1b adventurers looking for easy conquests in parts of Europe that did not yet have bronze weapons. They would have become a small ruling elite, would have had children with local women, and within a few generations their Indo-European language would have been lost, absorbed by the indigenous languages.

Iberia did not become a fully-fledged Bronze Age society until the 13th century BCE, when the Urnfield culture (1300-1200 BCE) expanded from Germany to Catalonia via southern France, then the ensuing Hallstatt culture (1200-750 BCE) spread throughout most of the peninsula (especially the western half). This period belongs to the wider Atlantic Bronze Age (1300-700 BCE), when Iberia was connected to the rest of Western Europe through a complex trade network.

It is hard to say when exactly DF27 entered Iberia. Considering its overwhelming presence in the peninsula and in south-west France, it is likely that DF27 arrived early, during the 1800 to 1300 BCE period, and perhaps even earlier, if R1b adventurers penetrated the Bell Beaker culture, as they appear to have done all over Western Europe from 2300 BCE to 1800 BCE. The Atlantic Bronze Age could correspond to the period when DF27 radiated more evenly around Iberia and ended up, following Atlantic trade routes, all the way to the British Isles, the Netherlands and western Norway (where M153 and SRY2728 make up about 1% of the population).

Posted in Europa, Haplogroups, Indo-Europeans | Leave a Comment »

News on Armenian Haplogroups

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 3, 2013

(Written by Tibor Fehér: Please note that the data below is my synthesis of what has been achieved by numerous professional and amateur genetic researchers, among whom there is no consensus on several aspects of the R1b history. Therefore, for everything written below, I take the responsibility when someone is in disagreement. Plus, all these should be treated as “the best what we can say know”, not as “unquestionable facts forever”.)

Armenian DNA Project – News

Posted in Armenia, Haplogroups | Leave a Comment »

The spread of haplogroup G2a in Europe

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 2, 2013

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/European_Late_Neolithic.gif

https://i0.wp.com/thewaythetruthandthelife.net/index/2_background/2-3_biological/2-3-9_peopling-europe/BellBeaker.gif

The Cardium Pottery or Cardial Ware culture is connected with haplogroup G2,

the same as Linear Pottery Group, the first neolithic culture into Europe via Balkan, and Bell-Beaker culture.

Cardium Pottery or Cardial Ware

The Neolithic began in Sardinia in the 4th millennium BC with the Cardium Pottery Culture or Cardial Culture, or Impressed Ware Culture, which eventually extended from the Adriatic sea to the Atlantic coasts of Portugal and south to Morocco.

Cardium Pottery or Cardial Ware is a Neolithic decorative style that gets its name from the imprinting of the clay with the shell of the cockle, an edible marine mollusk, formerly Cardium edulis, now Cerastoderma edule. These forms of pottery are in turn used to define the Neolithic culture which produced and spread them, mostly commonly called the “Cardial Culture”.

The alternative name Impressed Ware is given by some archaeologists to define this culture, because impressions can be with sharp objects other than cockle shell, such as a nail or comb. Impressed pottery is much more widespread than the Cardial. Impressed Ware is found in the zone “covering Italy to the Ligurian coast” as distinct from the more western Cardial extending from Provence to western Portugal.

The sequence in Western Europe has traditionally been supposed to start with widespread Cardial Ware, and then to develop other methods of impression locally, termed “epi-Cardial”. However the widespread Cardial and Impressa pattern types overlap and are now considered more likely to be contemporary.

This pottery style gives its name to the main culture of the Mediterranean Neolithic: Cardium Pottery Culture or Cardial Culture, or Impressed Ware Culture, which eventually extended from the Adriatic sea to the Atlantic coasts of Portugal and south to Morocco.

The earliest Impressed Ware sites, dating to 6400-6200 BC, are in Epirus and Corfu. Settlements then appear in Albania and Dalmatia on the eastern Adriatic coast dating to between 6100 and 5900 BC. The earliest date in Italy comes from Coppa Nevigata on the Adriatic coast of southern Italy, perhaps as early as 6000 cal B.C.

Also during Su Carroppu civilization in Sardinia, already in its early stages (low strata into Su Coloru cave, c. 6000 BC) early examples of cardial pottery appear. Northward and westward all secure radiocarbon dates are identical to those for Iberia c. 5500 cal B.C., which indicates a rapid spread of Cardial and related cultures: 2,000 km from the gulf of Genoa to the estuary of the Mondego in probably no more than 100–200 years. This suggests a seafaring expansion by planting colonies along the coast.

Older Neolithic cultures existed already at this time in eastern Greece and Crete, apparently having arrived from the Levant, but they appear distinct from the Cardial or Impressed Ware culture. The ceramic tradition in the central Balkans also remained distinct from that along the Adriatic coastline in both style and manufacturing techniques for almost 1,000 years from the 6th millennium BC.

Early Neolithic impressed pottery is found in the Levant, and certain parts of Anatolia, including Mezraa-Teleilat, and in North Africa at Tunus-Redeyef, Tunisia. So the first Cardial settlers in the Adriatic may have come directly from the Levant. Of course it might equally well have come directly from North Africa, and impressed-pottery also appears in Egypt. Along the East Mediterranean coast Impressed Ware has been found in North Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.

Haplogroup G2a

Haplogroup G is believed to have originated around the Middle East during the late Paleolithic, possibly as early as 30,000 years ago. At that time humans would all have been hunter-gatherers, and in most cases living in small nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes. Members of this haplogroup appear to have been closely linked to the development of early agriculture in the Levant part of the Fertile Crescent, starting 11,500 years before present.

There has so far been ancient Y-DNA analysis from only four Neolithic cultures (LBK in Germany, Remedello in Italy and Cardium Pottery in south-west France and Spain), and all sites yielded G2a individuals, which is the strongest evidence at present that farming originated with and was disseminated by members of haplogroup G (although probably in collaboration with other haplogroups such as E1b1b, J, R1b and T).

Ötzi the Iceman, the mummy of a man who lived in the Italian Alps during the Chalcolithic, about 3,300 BC, and were found on the Alps in 1991, belonged to haplogroup G2a2a2 (L91), a relatively rare subclade found nowadays in the Middle East, southern Europe (especially Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica) and North Africa. the mummy of a man who lived about 3,300 BC, found on the Alps in 1991

G2a2 (PF3146) is otherwise found at low frequencies all the way from the Levant to Western Europe. In conclusion, Neolithic farmers in Europe would have belonged to G2a, G2a2 (+ subclades) and G2a3 (and at least the M406 subclade).

So far, the only G2a people negative for subclades downstream of P15 or L149.1 have all been found in the South Caucasus region. The highest genetic diversity within haplogroup G is found between the Levant and the Caucasus, in the Fertile Crescent, which is another good indicator of its region of origin.

Various estimated dates and locations have been proposed for the origin of Haplogroup G. The National Geographic Society places haplogroup G origins in the Middle East 30,000 years ago and presumes that people carrying the haplogroup took part in the spread of the Neolithic. Two scholarly papers have also suggested an origin in the Middle East, while differing on the date. Semino et al. (2000) suggested 17,000 years ago. Cinnioglu et al. (2004) suggested the mutation took place only 9,500 years ago.

Haplogroup G2a(SNP P15+) has been identified in neolithic human remains in Europe dating between 5000-3000BC. Furthermore, the majority of all the male skeletons from the European Neolithic period have so far yielded Y-DNA belonging to this haplogroup. The oldest skeletons confirmed by ancient DNA testing as carrying haplogroup G2a were five found in the Avellaner cave burial site for farmers in northeastern Spain and were dated by radiocarbon dating to about 7000 years ago.

Men who belong to G2a3 but are negative for all its subgroups represent a small number today. Together with its several subgroups seem most commonly found in Turkey and the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean where it can constitute up to 50% of haplogroup G samples.

G2a3a is more common in southern Europe than northern Europe. In Europe, except in Italy, G2a3a constitutes less than 20% of G samples. G2a3a so far has seldom surfaced in northern Africa or southern Asia, but represents a small percentage of the G population in the Caucasus Mountains region and in Iran.

G2a3a has two known subgroups. Both are relatively common among G2a3a persons. A relatively high percentage of G2a3a persons have a value of 21 at STR marker DYS390. The DYS391 marker has mostly a value of 10, but sometimes 11, in G2a3a persons, and DYS392 is almost always 11. If a sample meets the criteria indicated for these three markers, it is likely the sample is G2a3a.

This haplogroup was found in a Neolithic skeleton from around 5000 BC, in the Neolithic cemetery of Derenburg Meerenstieg II of north central Germany, with burial artifacts belonging to the Linear Pottery culture, known in German as Linearbandkeramik (LBK), but was not tested for G2a3 subgroups. This skeleton could not be dated by radiocarbon dating, but other skeletons there were dated to between 5,100 and 6,100 years old.

The most detailed SNP mutation identified was S126 (L30), which defines G2a3. G2a was found also in 20 out of 22 samples of ancient Y-DNA from Treilles, the type-site of a Late Neolithic group of farmers in the South of France, dated to about 5000 years ago. The fourth site also from the same period is the Ötztal of the Italian Alps where the mummified remains of Ötzi the Iceman were discovered.

Haplogroup G2a2b is a rare group today in Europe. The authors of the Spanish study indicated that the Avellaner men had rare marker values in testing of their short tandem repeat (STR) markers.

Two men found in a high-status burial at Ergolding in present-day Bavaria, southern Germany, of the Merovingian dynasty period (7th century), were found to belong to haplogroup G2a (P15+).

It has now been proven by the testing of Neolithic remains in various parts of Europe that early Neolithic farmers and herders carrying haplogroup G2a expanded from the Levant and Mesopotamia westwards to Anatolia and Europe, eastwards to South Asia, and southwards to the Arabian peninsula and North and East Africa between 9,000 and 6,000 years ago.

In this scenario migrants from the eastern Mediterranean would have brought with them sheep and goats, which were domesticated south of the Caucasus about 12,000 years ago. This would explain why haplogroup G is more common in mountainous areas, be it in Europe or in Asia.

The domestication of goats and cows first took place in the mountainous region of eastern Anatolia, including the Caucasus and Zagros. This is probably where the roots of haplogroup G2a (and perhaps of all haplogroup G) are to be found.

The geographic continuity of G2a from Anatolia to Thessaly to the Italian peninsula, Sardinia, south-central France and Iberia already suggested that G2a could be connected to the Printed-Cardium Pottery culture (5000-1500 BCE).

Whilst such studies are insightful, even if the dates postulated by authors are correct, they do not necessarily imply that the spread of a particular genetic marker represents a distinct population, ‘tribe’ or language group.

Authors often take for granted that the expansion of a lineage is related to real demography rather than other evolutionary events, such as random genetic drift or natural selection. Moreover, they overlook detailed analyses of the archaeological record which demonstrate the genesis of cultural phenomena representing multiple, complex lines of interaction criss-crossing far-flung regions rathern than simple ‘folk migrations’.

As such, ‘genetic studies’ have often drawn criticisms not only from archaeologists and cultural anthropologists, but also from fellow population geneticists.

However, studies of the ancient Y-DNA from the earlier Neolithic cave burials of Cardium pottery culture men shows they were mainly haplogroup G2a. These ‘Neolithic lineages’ accounted for 22% of the total European Y chromosome gene pool, and were predominantly found in Mediterranean regions of Europe (Greece, Italy, southeastern Bulgaria, southeastern Iberia).

Ancient DNA tests conducted on skeletons from a LBK site in Germany (who were L30+) as well as Printed-Cardium Pottery sites from Languedoc-Roussilon in southern France and from Catalonia in Spain all confirmed that Neolithic farmers in Europe belonged primarily to haplogroup G2a. Other haplogroups found so far in Neolithic Europe include E-V13, F and I2a1 (P37.2).

Nowadays haplogroup G is found all the way from Western Europe and Northwest Africa to Central Asia, India and East Africa, although everywhere at low frequencies (generally between 1 and 10% of the population). The only exceptions are the Caucasus region, central and southern Italy and Sardinia, where frequencies typically range from 15% to 30% of male lineages.

Haplogroup G2a nowadays is found mostly in mountainous regions of Europe, for example, in the Apennine mountains (15 to 25%) and Sardinia (12%) in Italy, Cantabria (10%) and Asturias (8%) in northern Spain, Austria (8%), Auvergne (8%) and Provence (7%) in south-east France, Switzerland (7.5%), the mountainous parts of Bohemia (5 to 10%), Romania (6.5%) and Greece (6.5%).

It may be because Caucasian farmers sought hilly terrain similar to their original homeland, perhaps well suited to the raising of goats. But it is more likely that G2a farmers escaped from Bronze-Age invaders, such as the Indo-Europeans and found shelter into the mountains. For example, G2a3a (M406) is found at relatively high frequencies in the southern Balkans, the Apennines and the Alps, in contrast with G2a3b (L141.1), which is found everywhere in Europe.

About 42% of the Sardinians belong to Y-chromosome haplogroup I, which is otherwise frequently encountered only in Scandinavia, Northern Germany and the Croatia-Bosnia-Montenegro-Serbia area. The second-most common Y-chromosome haplogroup among the Sardinian male population is the haplogroup R1b (22% of the total population) mainly present in the northern part of the island.

Sardinia also has a relatively high distribution of Y-chromosome haplogroup G (11%), which is also found mainly in the Caucasus. The Sardinian subtype of the Haplogroup G is closer to that one still present today in the Alps region, in particular the Tyrol area. Ötzi the Iceman was discovered recently to be closely related genetically to modern Sardinians.

LBK

The Linear Pottery culture (also known as the Linear Band Ware, Linear Ware, Linear Ceramics or Incised Ware culture, ca. 5500–4500 BC) is a major archaeological horizon of the European Neolithic. It is abbreviated as LBK (from German: Linearbandkeramik), and falls within the Danubian I culture of V. Gordon Childe.

The densest evidence for the culture is on the middle Danube, the upper and middle Elbe, and the upper and middle Rhine. It represents a major event in the initial spread of agriculture in Europe. The pottery after which it was named consists of simple cups, bowls, vases and jugs, without handles, but in a later phase with lugs or pierced lugs, bases and necks. They were obviously designed as kitchen dishes, or for the immediate or local transport of food and liquids.

Important sites include Nitra in Slovakia; Bylany in the Czech Republic; Langweiler and Zwenkau in Germany; Brunn am Gebirge in Austria; Elsloo, Sittard, Köln-Lindenthal, Aldenhoven, Flomborn and Rixheim on the Rhine; Lautereck and Hienheim on the upper Danube; Rössen and Sonderhausen on the middle Elbe.

Excavations at Oslonki in Poland revealed a large fortified settlement (dating to 4300 BC, i. e., Late LBK), covering an area of 4,000 m². Nearly thirty trapezoidal longhouses and over eighty graves make it one of the richest such settlements in archaeological finds from all of central Europe. The rectangular longhouses were between 7 and 45 meters long and between 5 and 7 meters wide. They were built of massive timber posts chinked with wattle and daub mortar.

Two variants of the early Linear Pottery culture are recognized:

  • The Early or Western Linear Pottery Culture developed on the middle Danube, including western Hungary, and was carried down the Rhine, Elbe, Oder and Vistula.
  • The Eastern Linear Pottery Culture flourished in eastern Hungary.

Middle and late phases are also defined. In the middle phase, the Early Linear Pottery Culture intruded upon the Bug-Dniester culture and began to manufacture Musical note pottery. In the late phase, the Stroked Pottery Culture moved down the Vistula and Elbe.

A number of cultures ultimately replaced the Linear Pottery culture over its range, but there is no one-to-one correspondence between its variants and the replacing cultures. The culture map instead is complex. Some of the successor cultures are the Hinkelstein, Großgartach, Rössen, Lengyel, Cucuteni-Trypillian, and Boian-Maritza.

Funnel(-neck-)beaker culture

While the Funnel(-neck-)beaker culture (short TRB or TBK from (German) Trichter(-rand-)becherkultur, ca 4300 – 2800 BC), an archaeological culture in north-central Europe, isn’t exactly the LBK, the TRB origins have to be sought rather in the central European LBK than in the Mediterranean Cardium pottery. According to a craniometrical cluster analysis by Ilse Schwidetzky, the Swedish neolithic is very similar to the central European middle neolithic Rössen culture, and both are close to LBK.

The main difference between the Danubian cultures and the Cardium derived cultures is that the latter seem more strongly dominated by haplogroup G, which in turn seems to imply a stronger presence of the (Southern part of the) Caucasus component, while the former may have had more haplogoup I and Haplogroup R1b3.

Early papers publishing results on European-wide Y-DNA marker frequencies, such as those of Semino (2000) and Rosser (2000), correlated haplogroup R1b-M269 with the earliest episodes of European colonization by Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH). The peak frequencies of M269 in Iberia (especially the Basque region) and the Atlantic façade were postulated to represent signatures of re-colonization of the European West following the Last Glacial Maximum.

However, even prior to recent criticisms and refinements, the idea that Iberian R1b carrying males repopulated most of western Europe was not consistent with findings which revealed that Italian M269 lineages are not derivative of Iberian ones. More recently, data and calculations from Myres (2011), Cruciani (2010), Arredi (2007) and Belaresque (2010) suggest a Late Neolithic entry of M269 into Europe.

These hypotheses appear to be corroborated by more direct evidence from ancient DNA. For example, Early Neolithic Y-DNA from Spain did not reveal any R1b, but rather E-V13 and G2a, whilst a similar study from a French pre-Beaker Neolithic site revealed haplgroup G2a and I-P37. It is only later, from a German Bell Beaker site dated to the third millennium BCE, that the first evidence for R1b is detected. Ancient Y-DNA results for the remains of Beaker people from Iberia have yet to be obtained.

Whilst Cruciani, Belaresque and Arredi support a spread of R1b from South-Eastern Europe, Klyosov (2012) postulates that “Western European” R1b-L150 entered Europe from Northern Africa, via Iberia, coincident with the spread of the Bell Beaker culture.

The TRB developed as a technological merger of local neolithic and mesolithic techno-complexes between the lower Elbe and middle Vistula rivers, introducing farming and husbandry as a major source of food to the pottery-using hunter-gatherers north of this line.

Preceded by Lengyel-influenced STK groups/Late Lengyel and Baden-Boleraz in the southeast, Rössen groups in the southwest and the Ertebølle-Ellerbek groups in the north, the TRB techno-complex is divided into a northern group including modern northern eastalbingian Germany and southern Scandinavia (TRB-N, roughly the area that previously belonged to the Ertebølle-Ellerbek complex), a western group between Zuiderzee and lower Elbe, an eastern group centered around the Vistula catchment, roughly ranging from Oder to Bug, and south-central groups (TRB-MES, Altmark) around the middle and upper Elbe and Saale.

Especially in the southern and eastern groups, local sequences of variants emerged. In the late 4th millennium BC, the Globular Amphora culture (KAK) replaced most of the eastern and subsequently also the southern TRB groups, reducing the TRB area to modern northern Germany and southern Scandinavia. The younger TRB in these areas was superseded by the Single Grave culture (EGK) at about 2800 BC.

In the context of the Kurgan hypothesis, the culture is seen as non-Indo-European, representing the culture of what Marija Gimbutas termed Old Europe, the peoples of which were later to be governed by the Indo-European-language-speaking peoples intruding from the east. The political relation between the aboriginal and intrusive cultures resulted in quick and smooth cultural morphosis into Corded Ware culture.

Heterodoxically, Dutch publications mention mixed burials and propose a quick and smooth internal change to Corded Ware within two generations occurring about 2900 BC in Dutch and Danish TRB territory, probably precluded by economic, cultural and religious changes in East Germany, and call the migrationist view of steppe intrusions introducing Indo-European languages obsolete (at least in this part of the world). It is more likely that Indo-European languages were adopted by local populations because they represented a new way of life, bringing with them horses and cattle and the status they represented.

The north-central European megaliths were built primarily during the TRB era. The Funnelbeaker culture marks the appearance of megalithic tombs at the coasts of the Baltic and of the North sea, an example of which are the Sieben Steinhäuser in northern Germany. The megalithic structures of Ireland, France and Portugal are somewhat older and have been connected to earlier archeological cultures of those areas.

Burial practices were varied, depending on region and changed over time. Inhumation seems to have been the rule. The oldest graves consisted of wooden chambered cairns inside long barrows, but were later made in the form of passage graves and dolmens. Originally, the structures were probably covered with a heap of dirt and the entrance was blocked by a stone. The graves were probably not intended for every member of the settlement but for only an elite. At graves, the people sacrificed ceramic vessels that probably contained food, and axes and other flint objects.

The technology was flint-based, of which the deposits found in Belgium and on the island of Rügen as well as deposits in the Kraków area were important. The culture used Battle Axes which were stone versions of Central Europe’s copper axes. The early versions were multi-angled, and the later are called double-edged, although one of the edges is more rounded. It imported copper from Central Europe, especially daggers and axes. Axes and vessels were also deposed in streams and lakes near the farmlands, and virtually all Sweden’s 10,000 flint axes that have been found from this culture were probably sacrificed in water.

One find assigned to the Funnelbeaker culture is the Bronocice pot, which shows the oldest known depiction of a wheeled vehicle (here, a 2-axled, 4-wheeled wagon). The pot dates to approximately 3500 BC.

The picture on the pot symbolically depicts key elements of the prehistoric human environment. The most important component of the decoration are five rudimentary representations of what seems to be a wagon. They represent a vehicle with a shaft for a draught animal, and four wheels. The lines connecting them probably represent axles. The circle in the middle possibly symbolizes a container for harvest. Other images on the pot include a tree, a river and what may be fields intersected by roads/ditches or the layout of a village.

The image on the pot is the oldest well-dated representation of a 4-wheeled vehicle in the world.[2] It suggests the existence of wagons in Central Europe as early as in the 4th millennium BC. They were presumably drawn by aurochs whose remains were found with the pot. Their horns were worn out as if tied with a rope, possibly a result of using a kind of yoke.

It has been suggested that the Funnelbeaker culture was the origin of the gene allowing adults of Northern European descent to digest lactose. It was claimed that in the area formerly inhabited by this culture, prevalence of the gene is virtually universal. A paper published in 2007 by Burger et al. indicated that the genetic variant that causes lactase persistence in most Europeans (-13,910*T) was rare or absent in early farmers from central Europe. A study published by Yuval Itan and colleagues in 2010 clearly shows this.

A study published in 2009, also by Itan et al., suggests that the Linear Pottery culture, which preceded the TRB culture by some 1,500 years, was the culture in which this trait started to co-evolve with the culture of dairying.

Ancient DNA extracted from three individuals ascribed to a TRB horizon in Gökhem, Sweden, were found to possess mtDNA haplogroups H, J, and T.

 Andalusia

In the 6th millennium BC, Andalusia experiences the arrival of the first agriculturalists. Their origin is uncertain (though North Africa is a serious candidate) but they arrive with already developed crops (cereals and legumes). The presence of domestic animals instead is unlikely, as only pig and rabbit remains have been found and these could belong to wild animals. They also consumed large amounts of olives but it’s uncertain too whether this tree was cultivated or merely harvested in its wild form. Their typical artifact is the La Almagra style pottery, quite variegated.

The Andalusian Neolithic also influenced other areas, notably Southern Portugal, where, soon after the arrival of agriculture, the first dolmen tombs begin to be built c. 4800 BC, being possibly the oldest of their kind anywhere.

C. 4700 BC Cardium Pottery Neolithic culture (also known as Mediterranean Neolithic) arrives to Eastern Iberia. While some remains of this culture have been found as far west as Portugal, its distribution is basically Mediterranean (Catalonia, Valencian region, Ebro valley, Balearic islands).

The interior and the northern coastal areas remain largely marginal in this process of spread of agriculture. In most cases it would only arrive in a very late phase or even already in the Chalcolithic age, together with Megalithism.

The Chalcolithic or Copper Age is the earliest phase of metallurgy. Copper, silver and gold started to be worked then, though these soft metals could hardly replace stone tools for most purposes. The Chalcolithic is also a period of increased social complexity and stratification and, in the case of Iberia, that of the rise of the first civilizations and of extense exchange networks that would reach to the Baltic and Africa.

The conventional date for the beginning of Chalcolithic in Iberia is c. 3000 BC. In the following centuries, especially in the south of the peninsula, metal goods, often decorative or ritual, become increasingly common. Additionally there is an increased evidence of exchanges with areas far away: amber from the Baltic and ivory and ostrich-egg products from Northern Africa.

It is also the period of the great expansion of Megalithism, with its associated collective burial practices. In the early Chalcolithic period this cultural phenomenon, maybe of religious undertones, expands along the Atlantic regions and also through the south of the peninsula (additionally it’s also found in virtually all European Atlantic regions). In contrast, most of the interior and the Mediterranean regions remain refractary to this phenomenon.

Another phenomenon found in the early chalcolithic is the development of new types of funerary monuments: tholoi and artificial caves. These are only found in the more developed areas: southern Iberia, from the Tagus estuary to Almería, and SE France.

Eventually, c. 2600 BC, urban communities began to appear, again especially in the south. The most important ones are Los Millares in SE Spain and Zambujal (belonging to Vila Nova de São Pedro culture) in Portuguese Estremadura, that can well be called civilizations, even if they lack of the literary component.

It is very unclear if any cultural influence originated in the Eastern Mediterranean could have sparked these civilizations. On one side the tholos does have a precedent in that area (even if not used yet as tomb) but on the other there is no material evidence of any exchange between the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, in contrast with the abundance of goods imported from Northern Europe and Africa.

Los Millares is the name of a Chalcolithic occupation site 17 km north of Almería, in the municipality of Santa Fe de Mondújar, Andalusia, Spain. The complex was in use from the end of the fourth millennium to the end of the second millennium BC and probably supported somewhere around 1000 people. It was discovered in 1891 during the course of the construction of a railway and was first excavated by Luis Siret in the succeeding years. Further excavation work continues today.

The site covers 2 hectares (4.9 acres) and consists of three concentric lines of stone walls, the outer ring the largest, running more than 650 feet with nineteen ‘bastions’ and a gate guarded by foreworks. The road to the site is guarded by four smaller outlying stone forts. There is an extensive cemetery of eighty passage grave tombs. Radiocarbon dating has established that one wall collapsed and was rebuilt around 3025 BC.

A cluster of simple dwellings lay inside the walls as well as one large building containing evidence of copper smelting. Pottery excavated from the site included plain and decorated wares including symbolkeramik bowls bearing oculus motifs. Similar designs appear on various carved stone idols found at the site.

Although primarily farmers, the inhabitants of Los Millares had crucially also learned metal working, especially the smelting and forming of copper, and the site is considered highly important in understanding the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. The Los Millares culture eventually came to dominate the Iberian peninsula, and to develop into the Bell Beaker culture.

The population of Los Millares has been estimated at approximately 1000 in the timeframe 3200–2300 BC. The labor involved in its construction, The large volume of stones used, its geometric characteristics and sophisticated design all indicate multiple functionality, including defense and power.

Los Millares participated in the continental trends of Megalithism and the Beaker culture. Analysis of occupation material and grave goods from the Los Millares cemetery of 70 tholos tombs with port-hole slabs has led archaeologists to suggest that the people who lived at Los Millares were part of a stratified, unequal society which was often at war with its neighbours.

The Los Millares civilisation was replaced circa 1800 BC, with the arrival of Bronze by the El Argar civilisation, whose successor culture is embodied in the contemporary culture of Vila Nova de São Pedro in nearby Portugal.

Similarities between Los Millares architecture and the step pyramid at Monte d’Accoddi in Sardinia have been noticed. Other Iberian settlements in this region of a similar age to Los Millares include the settlement of Los Silillos and Neolithic finds at Cabrera.

Los Silillos is the site of a Bronze Age prehistoric settlement covering an area of 180,000 square metres. The discovery was made in 2007 during excavation work in constructing the A-45 Motorway on Spain’s Iberian Peninsula. (EFE, 2007)

The site is located approximately nine kilomtres north of the town of Antequera. The discovery includes architectural elements of 52 subterranean structures, which are only a portion of the numerous circular dwellings built by prehistoric peoples here. Farming implements and copper tools found at Los Silillos have been dated to 2500 BC by researchers at Malaga University. It is thought that some of the tools found at Los Silillos may have been employed in constructing dolmen burial mounds at nearby Antequera.

Manuel Romero, the Antequera municipal archaeologist, indicated that only about two percent of the total Los Silillos site has been excavated as of October, 2007. Romero further stated that ongoing research is occurring for the site, including more precise radiocarbon dating in Switzerland. Animal relics retrieved on the site include fossilised ram horns and deer antlers. The Los Silillos site at an elevation of approximately 435 metres is situated in an agricultural valley between Antequera and Cordoba.

REGIONAL PREHISTORY. There is extensive prehistoric settlement in this region of southern Spain, probably linked to the mild climate, rich mineral resources of the Iberian Pyrite Belt (Leistel, 1997) and proximity of the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to Neanderthal presence and the Magdelanian paleolithic era cave painters, other Iberian settlements of the approximate age of Los Silillos in this region include the Chalcolithic settlement of Los Millares and Neolithic finds at Cabrera.

Somewhat to the east of Los Silillos, scientists have recently conducted core drilling to reconstruct the natural history of 1900 BC Argaric settlements. They found that rich deciduous forests once covered much of the region; however, the thriving Bronze Age Argaric peoples stripped the trees to such an extent that the ecology was transformed to an agriculturally unproductive, arid Mediterranean scrub.

While climate change may have played a subordinate role, the Argaric civilisation itself appears to have caused its own demise by unwise resource management. The resulting degradation of soils and appears to have “caused the collapse of agriculture and pastoralism, the foundation of the Argaric economy”, and hence a “massive depopulation”. (BBC, 2007)

Since c. 2150 BC, the Bell Beaker culture intrudes in Chalcolithic Iberia. After the early Corded style beaker, of quite clear Central European origin, the peninsula begins producing its own types of Bell Beaker pottery. Most important is the Maritime or International style that, associated especially with Megalithism, is for some centuries abundant in all the peninsula and southern France.

Since c. 1900, the Bell Beaker phenomenon in Iberia shows a regionalization, with different styles being produced in the various regions: Palmela type in Portugal, Continental type in the plateau and Almerian type in Los Millares, among others.

Like in other parts of Europe, the Bell Beaker phenomenon (speculated to be of trading or maybe religious nature) does not significantly alter the cultures it inserts itself in. Instead the cultural contexts that existed previously continue basically unchanged by its presence.

 Bell Beaker culture

The Bell-Beaker culture (sometimes shortened to Beaker culture, Beaker people, or Beaker folk; German: Glockenbecherkultur, ca. 2800 – 1800 BC), is the term for a widely scattered archaeological culture of prehistoric western Europe starting in the late Neolithic or Chalcolithic and running into the early Bronze Age.

The term was coined by John Abercromby, based on the culture’s distinctive pottery drinking vessels, but is understood not only as a particular pottery type, but as a complete and complex cultural phenomenon involving other artefact styles such as weaponry and ornamentation, as well as shared ideological, cultural and religious ideas.

From the third millennium BC on, comb-impressed Beaker ware, as well as other Beaker material in Ozieri or sub-Ozieri contexts, has been found, demonstrating continuing relationships with the western Mediterranean; it appears likely that Sardinia was the intermediary that brought Beaker materials to Tuscany and Sicily.

Early papers publishing results on European-wide Y-DNA marker frequencies, such as those of Semino (2000) and Rosser (2000), correlated haplogroup R1b-M269 with the earliest episodes of European colonization by Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH).

The peak frequencies of M269 in Iberia (especially the Basque region) and the Atlantic façade were postulated to represent signatures of re-colonization of the European West following the Last Glacial Maximum. However, even prior to recent criticisms and refinements, the idea that Iberian R1b carrying males repopulated most of western Europe was not consistent with findings which revealed that Italian M269 lineages are not derivative of Iberian ones.

More recently, data and calculations from Myres (2011), Cruciani (2010), Arredi (2007) and Belaresque (2010) suggest a Late Neolithic entry of M269 into Europe.

These hypotheses appear to be corroborated by more direct evidence from ancient DNA. For example, Early Neolithic Y-DNA from Spain did not reveal any R1b, but rather E-V13 and G2a, whilst a similar study from a French pre-Beaker Neolithic site revealed haplgroup G2a and I-P37. It is only later, from a German Bell Beaker site dated to the third millennium BCE, that the first evidence for R1b is detected. Ancient Y-DNA results for the remains of Beaker people from Iberia have yet to be obtained.

Whilst Cruciani, Belaresque and Arredi support a spread of R1b from South-Eastern Europe, Klyosov (2012) postulates that “Western European” R1b-L150 entered Europe from Northern Africa, via Iberia, coincident with the spread of the Bell Beaker culture.

From a mitochondrial DNA perspective, mtDNA Hg H, which has high (~ 40%) throughout Europe, has received similar attention. Early studies by Richards et al (2000) purported that it arose 28 – 23,000 years ago (kya), spreading into Europe ~ 20 kya, before then re-expanding from an Iberian glacial refuge ~ 15 kya, calculations subsequently corroborated by Pereira (2004).

However, a larger study by Roostalu (2006), incorporating more data from the Near East, suggested that whilst mtDNA Hg H did begin to expand c. 20 kya, this was limited to the Near East, Caucasus and Southeastern Europe.

Rather its subsequent spread further west occurred later, in the post-glacial period from a postulated South Caucasian refugium. This hypothesis has been supported by a recent ancient DNA analysis study, which links the expansion of mtDNA Hg H in Western Europe with the Bell Beaker phenomenon.

The Bell Beaker period marks a period of unprecedented cultural contact in Atlantic and Western Europe on a scale not seen previously, nor again seen in succeeding periods. This contrasted the situation in Central and Eastern Europe where the slightly earlier Corded Ware Culture had already established wide-ranging contacts within those regions. It lasted until 1800 BC, when the incipient Bronze Age dissolved the beaker phenomenon.

It is important to note that underlying the Bell beaker superstratum existed a wide diversity in local burial styles (including incidences of cremation rather than inhumation), housing styles, economic profile and local coarse ceramic wares which continued to persist.

It has been suggested that the beakers were designed for the consumption of alcohol, and that the introduction of the substance to Europe may have fuelled the beakers’ spread. Beer and mead content have been identified from certain examples.

However, not all Beakers were drinking cups. Some were used as reduction pots to smelt copper ores, others have some organic residues associated with food, and still others were employed as funerary urns. They were used as status display amongst disparate elites.

There are two main Bell Beaker styles: the cord-impressed types, such as the “All Over Corded” (AOC) or “All Over Ornamented” (AOO), and the “Maritime” type, decorated with bands filled with impressions made with a comb or cord. Later, characteristic regional styles developed.

AOO and AOC Beakers appear to have evolved continually from pre-Beaker period in the lower Rhine and North Sea regions, at least for Northern and Central Europe.

Furthermore, the burial ritual which typified Bell Beaker sites was intrusive into Western Europe. Individual burials, often under tumuli burials, with the inclusion of weapons contrast markedly to the preceding Neolithic traditions of often collective, weaponless burials in Atlantic/Western Europe. Such an arrangement is rather derivative of Corded Ware traditions, although instead of ‘battle-axes’, Bell Beaker individuals used copper daggers.

Overall, all these elements (Iberian-derived maritime ceramic styles, AOC and AOO ceramic styles, and ‘eastern’ burial ritual symbolism) appear to have first fused in the Lower Rhine region.

There have been numerous proposals by archaeologists as to the origins of the Bell Beaker culture, and debates continued on for decades. Several regions of origin have been postulated, notably the Iberian peninsula, the Netherlands and Central Europe.

Similarly, scholars have postulated various mechanisms of spread, including migrations of populations (“folk migrations”), smaller warrior groups, individuals (craftsmen), or a diffusion of ideas and object exchange.

Recent analyses have made significant inroads to understanding the Beaker phenomenon, mostly by analysing each of its components separately. They have concluded that the Bell Beaker phenomenon was a synthesis of elements, representing “an idea and style uniting different regions with different cultural traditions and background.”

Radiocarbon dating seems to support that the earliest “Maritime” Bell Beaker design style is encountered in Iberia, specifically in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal around 2800-2700 BC and spread from there to many parts of western Europe. An overview of all available sources from southern Germany concluded that Bell Beaker was a new and independent culture in that area, contemporary with the Corded Ware culture.

The inspiration for the Maritime Bell Beaker is argued to have been the small and earlier Copoz beakers that have impressed decoration and which are found widely around the Tagus estuary in Portugal.

Turek sees late Neolithic precursors in northern Africa, arguing the Maritime style emerged as a result of seaborne contacts between Iberia and Morocco in the first half of the third millennium BCE. However, radiocarbon dating from North African sites is lacking for the most part.

The Bell Beaker culture

The Bell-Beaker culture (sometimes shortened to Beaker culture, Beaker people, or Beaker folk; German: Glockenbecherkultur, ca. 2800 – 1800 BC), is the term for a widely scattered archaeological culture of prehistoric western Europe starting in the late Neolithic or Chalcolithic and running into the early Bronze Age.

The term was coined by John Abercromby, based on the culture’s distinctive pottery drinking vessels, however, it should not be understood only as a particular pottery type, but as a complete and complex cultural phenomenon involving other artefact styles such as weaponry and ornamentation, as well as shared ideological, cultural and religious ideas.

The Bell Beaker period marks a period of unprecedented cultural contact in Atlantic and Western Europe on a scale not seen previously, nor again seen in succeeding periods. This contrasted the situation in Central and Eastern Europe where the slightly earlier Corded Ware Culture had already established wide-ranging contacts within those regions. It lasted until 1800 BC, when the incipient Bronze Age dissolved the beaker phenomenon.

It is important to note that underlying the Bell beaker superstratum existed a wide diversity in local burial styles (including incidences of cremation rather than inhumation), housing styles, economic profile and local coarse ceramic wares which continued to persist.

Similarly, scholars have postulated various mechanisms of spread, including migrations of populations (“folk migrations”), smaller warrior groups, individuals (craftsmen), or a diffusion of ideas and object exchange.

There are two main Bell Beaker styles: the cord-impressed types, such as the “All Over Corded” (AOC) or “All Over Ornamented” (AOO), and the “Maritime” type, decorated with bands filled with impressions made with a comb or cord. Later, characteristic regional styles developed.

AOO and AOC Beakers appear to have evolved continually from pre-Beaker period in the lower Rhine and North Sea regions, at least for Northern and Central Europe. Overall, all these elements (Iberian-derived maritime ceramic styles, AOC and AOO ceramic styles, and ‘eastern’ burial ritual symbolism) appear to have first fused in the Lower Rhine region.

It has been suggested that the beakers were designed for the consumption of alcohol, and that the introduction of the substance to Europe may have fuelled the beakers’ spread. Beer and mead content have been identified from certain examples.

However, not all Beakers were drinking cups. Some were used as reduction pots to smelt copper ores, others have some organic residues associated with food, and still others were employed as funerary urns. They were used as status display amongst disparate elites.

Recent analyses have made significant inroads to understanding the Beaker phenomenon, mostly by analysing each of its components separately. They have concluded that the Bell Beaker phenomenon was a synthesis of elements, representing “an idea and style uniting different regions with different cultural traditions and background.”

Bell Beaker people took advantage of transport by sea and rivers, creating a cultural spread from Ireland to the Carpathian Basin and south along the Atlantic coast and following the Rhone valley to Portugal, North Africa and Sicily, even penetrating northern and central Italy. Its remains have been found in what is now Portugal, Spain, France (excluding the central massif), Great Britain and Ireland, the Low Countries, and Germany between the Elbe and Rhine, with an extension along the upper Danube into the Vienna basin (Austria), Hungary and the Czech Republic, with Mediterranean outposts on Sardinia and Sicily; there is less certain evidence for direct penetration in the east.

Beaker-type vessels remained in use longest in the British Isles; late beakers in other areas are classified as early Bronze Age (Barbed Wire Beakers in the Netherlands, Giant Beakers (Riesenbecher).

The new international trade routes opened by the Beaker people became firmly established and the culture was succeeded by a number of Bronze Age cultures, among them the Únětice culture in Central Europe, the Elp culture and Hilversum culture in the Netherlands, the Atlantic Bronze Age in the British Isles and the Atlantic coast of Europe, and by the Nordic Bronze Age, a culture of Scandinavia and northernmost Germany-Poland.

However, this is not to suppose that all of these proto-languages actually arose during the period of the Corded Ware horizon, across its whole territory, or exclusively within its confines.

The Indo-Europeans

Archaeologists recognize a complex of inter-related and relatively mobile cultures living on the Eurasian steppe, part of which protrudes into Europe as far west as Ukraine. These cultures from the late Neolithic and into the Iron Age, with specific traits such as Kurgan burials and horse domestication, have been associated with the dispersal of Indo-European languages across Eurasia.

Modern linguists have placed the Proto-Indo-European homeland in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, a distinct geographic and archeological region extending from the Danube estuary to the Ural mountains to the east and North Caucasus to the south.

The Neolithic, Eneolithic and early Bronze Age cultures in Pontic-Caspian steppe has been called the Kurgan culture (7000-2200 BCE) by Marija Gimbutas, due to the lasting practice of burying the deads under mounds (“kurgan”) among the succession of cultures in that region. It is now known that kurgan-type burials only date from the 4th millenium BCE and almost certainly originated south of the Caucasus.

Horses were first domesticated around 4600 BCE in the Caspian Steppe, perhaps somewhere around the Don or the lower Volga, and soon became a defining element of steppe culture. Nevertheless it is unlikely that R1b was already present in the eastern steppes at the time, so the domestication of the horse should be attributed to the indigenous R1a people.

Haplogroup R-M17, sometimes referred to as R-M198, is particularly common in a large region extending from South Asia and Southern Siberia to Central Europe and Scandinavia. It is the most common subclade within the family of Y DNA lineages referred to as R1a or R-M420, which share in common the M420 SNP mutation, and before the discovery of M420, R-M17 was itself referred to as R1a.

The decade-long debate as to which Eurasian region possessed the most diverse, hence oldest, STR values within R-M17, has been effectively put to an end with the discovery of R-M17 sub-clades. SNPs offer a clearer and more robust resolution than STRs. They shows that all their tested Indian R-M17 samples belong to the Z-93 sub-clade, which is a derivative, “daughter” branch of R-M17.

Exactly when and where R-M17 arose requires further elucidation. The major limitations precluding an equivocal conclusion include the need for: (i) greater population sampling (ii) more ancient DNA data, and (iii) more robust and consistent methodology in estimating haplogroup ages and their phylogeographic relationships. The observed data currently suggests that haplogroup R1a likely differentiated in the region between Eastern Europe and South Asia.

In contrast, Eastern European populations belong to different daughter branches of R-M17, namely Z- 280 and M-458. The former is widely distributed over south-eastern, central-eastern and eastern Europe, and as far as Central Asia. Indeed, Central Asia is an overlap zone for the R1a1-Z280 and R1a1-Z93″, being found in Mongol and Uzbek populations. On the other hand, M-458 is more geographically restricted to central-eastern Europe.

Furthermore, the undifferentiated, parental M-198 existed in the European populations, but was not found in the Indian groups. This pattern implies that an early differentiation zone of R1a1-M198 conceivably occurred somewhere within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and Caucasus region as they lie between South Asia and Eastern Europe, from where South Asian Z-93 and European Z-283 sub-clades differentiated and spread in opposite directions.

Nearly all samples from Bronze and Iron Age graves in the Krasnoyarsk area in south Siberia belonged to R-M17 and appeared to represent an eastward migration from Europe. In central Europe, Corded Ware period human remains at Eulau from which Y-DNA was extracted appear to be R-M17(xM458) (which they found most similar to the modern German R-M17* haplotype.

The Proto-Germanic language is often assumed to have been spoken in southern Scandinavia or northern Germany towards the end of the Nordic Bronze Age or at the beginning of the Pre-Roman Iron Age (mid-first millennium BC), and the Proto-Balto-Slavic language and Proto-Celtic language may date only slightly earlier, to the Early Iron Age (early first millennium BC).

Origin of the Bell Beaker

There have been numerous proposals by archaeologists as to the origins of the Bell Beaker culture, and debates continued on for decades. Several regions of origin have been postulated, notably the Iberian peninsula, the Netherlands and Central Europe.

Based on the radiocarbon (C-14) dating of short lived material, the current prevailing view is that Bell Beaker culture originated in Iberia (2900 BC cal.), with an almost concurrent appearance in southern France and northern Italy. The spread of Bell Beaker culture into Northern and Central Europe seems to have occurred somewhat later (~2500 BC).

Radiocarbon dating seems to support that the earliest form of Bell Beaker called the Maritime Bell Beaker design style is encountered in Iberia, specifically in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus, that flows west through the middle of Spain, across Portugal, and out into the Atlantic, estuary in Portugal around 2800-2700 BC. From Tagus it spread to many parts of western Europe.

The initial moves from the Tagus estuary were maritime. A southern move led to the Mediterranean where ‘enclaves’ were established in south-western Spain and southern France around the Golfe du Lion and into the Po valley in Italy probably via ancient western Alpine trade routes used to distribute Jadeite axes. A northern move incorporated the southern coast of Armorica with further, less well defined, contacts extending to Ireland and possibly to central southern Britain.

Vander Linden questioned the use of C-14 dating to find the origins of Bell Beaker culture, mainly on the grounds that most dates fall within a very narrow time-frame. He reinforced instead the Dutch Model, which based on typology and burial data, sees Bell Beaker culture as an evolution of the Corded Ware culture in the lower Rhine.

Limited ancient DNA has failed to provide a male genetic link, however, as Corded Ware skeletons have been found to belong instead to haplogroup R1a1, haplogroup G and possibly haplogroup I.

An overview of all available sources from southern Germany concluded that the Bell Beaker culture was a new and independent culture in that area, contemporary with the Corded Ware culture.

This conclusion was supported by a review of radiocarbon dates for Bell Beaker across Europe, which showed that the earliest dates for Bell Beaker were 2900 BC in Iberia, which makes the style contemporary with Corded Ware, but beginning in a different region of Europe.

The inspiration for the Maritime Bell Beaker is argued to have been the small and earlier Copoz beakers that have impressed decoration and which are found widely around the Tagus, the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, estuary in Portugal.

Turek sees late Neolithic precursors in northern Africa, arguing the Maritime style emerged as a result of seaborne contacts between Iberia and Morocco in the first half of the third millennium BC. However, radiocarbon dating from North African sites is lacking for the most part.

Furthermore, the burial ritual which typified Bell Beaker sites was intrusive into Western Europe. Individual burials, often under tumuli burials, with the inclusion of weapons contrast markedly to the preceding Neolithic traditions of often collective, weaponless burials in Atlantic/Western Europe.

Such an arrangement is rather derivative of Corded Ware traditions (in Middle Europe c. 2900 – 2450/2350 cal. BC), although instead of ‘battle-axes’, Bell Beaker individuals used copper daggers.

Ancient DNA analysis of two male skeletons from the Late Neolithic Bell Beaker site of Kromsdorf, Germany showed they belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1b. More specifically, one skeleton belonged to R1b (M343) with the testing of R1b1a2 (marker M269) having failed and the other skeleton belonged to R1b1a2. Both were ancestral for SNP U106. No other downstream markers were tested.

The find is important because it links the widespread Bell Beaker Phenomenon with the most frequent Y-DNA haplogroup in modern Western European males. It is also important as R1b has not appeared in any Neolithic or pre-Neolithic ancient DNA to date.

Early papers publishing results on European-wide Y-DNA marker frequencies, such as those of Semino (2000) and Rosser (2000), correlated haplogroup R1b-M269 with the earliest episodes of European colonization by Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH).

The peak frequencies of M269 in Iberia (especially the Basque region) and the Atlantic façade were postulated to represent signatures of re-colonization of the European West following the Last Glacial Maximum. However, even prior to recent criticisms and refinements, the idea that Iberian R1b carrying males repopulated most of western Europe was not consistent with findings which revealed that Italian M269 lineages are not derivative of Iberian ones.

More recently, data and calculations from Myres (2011), Cruciani (2010), Arredi (2007) and Belaresque (2010) suggest a Late Neolithic entry of M269 into Europe.

These hypotheses appear to be corroborated by more direct evidence from ancient DNA. For example, Early Neolithic Y-DNA from Spain did not reveal any R1b, but rather E-V13 and G2a, whilst a similar study from a French pre-Beaker Neolithic site revealed haplgroup G2a and I-P37. It is only later, from a German Bell Beaker site dated to the third millennium BCE, that the first evidence for R1b is detected. Ancient Y-DNA results for the remains of Beaker people from Iberia have yet to be obtained.

Whilst Cruciani, Belaresque and Arredi support a spread of R1b from South-Eastern Europe, Klyosov (2012) postulates that “Western European” R1b-L150 entered Europe from Northern Africa, via Iberia, coincident with the spread of the Bell Beaker culture.

From a mitochondrial DNA perspective, mtDNA Hg H, which has high (~ 40%) throughout Europe, has received similar attention. Early studies by Richards et al (2000) purported that it arose 28 – 23,000 years ago (kya), spreading into Europe ~ 20 kya, before then re-expanding from an Iberian glacial refuge ~ 15 kya, calculations subsequently corroborated by Pereira (2004).

However, a larger study by Roostalu (2006), incorporating more data from the Near East, suggested that whilst mtDNA Hg H did begin to expand c. 20 kya, this was limited to the Near East, Caucasus and Southeastern Europe.

Rather its subsequent spread further west occurred later, in the post-glacial period from a postulated South Caucasian refugium. This hypothesis has been supported by a recent ancient DNA analysis study, which links the expansion of mtDNA Hg H in Western Europe with the Bell Beaker phenomenon.

Historical craniometric studies found that the Beaker people appeared to be of a different physical type than those earlier populations in the same geographic areas. They were described as tall, heavy boned and brachycephalic.

The early studies on the Beakers which were based on the analysis of their skeletal remains, were craniometric. This apparent evidence of migration was in line with archaeological discoveries linking Beaker culture to new farming techniques, mortuary practices, copper-working skills, and other cultural innovations.

However, such evidence from skeletal remains was brushed aside as a new movement developed in archaeology from the 1960s, which stressed cultural continuity. Anti-migrationist authors either paid little attention to skeletal evidence or argued that differences could be explained by environmental and cultural influences.

Margaret Cox and Simon Mays sum up the position: “Although it can hardly be said that craniometric data provide an unequivocal answer to the problem of the Beaker folk, the balance of the evidence would at present seem to favour a migration hypothesis.”

Non-metrical research concerning the Beaker people in Britain also cautiously pointed in the direction of immigration. Subsequent studies, such as one concerning the Carpathian Basin, and a non-metrical analysis of skeletons in central-southern Germany, have also identified marked typological differences with the pre-Beaker inhabitants.

Jocelyne Desideri examined the teeth in skeletons from Bell Beaker sites in Northern Spain, Southern France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Examining dental characteristics that have been independently shown to correlate with genetic relatedness, she found that only in Northern Spain and the Czech Republic were there demonstrable links between immediately previous populations and Bell Beaker populations. Elsewhere there was a discontinuity.

Migration vs. Acculturation

Given the unusual form and fabric of Beaker pottery, and its abrupt appearance in the archaeological record, along with a characteristic group of other artefacts, known as the Bell Beaker “package”, the explanation for the Beaker culture until the last decades of the 20th century was to interpret it as a diffusion of one group of people across Europe.

However British and American archaeology since the 1960s had been sceptical about prehistoric migration in general, so the idea of “Bell Beaker Folk” lost ground. A theory of cultural contact de-emphasizing population movement was presented by Colin Burgess and Stephen Shennan in the mid-1970s.

It is now common to see the Beaker culture as a ‘package’ of knowledge (including religious beliefs and copper, bronze and gold working) and artefacts (including copper daggers, v-perforated buttons and stone wrist-guards) adopted and adapted by the indigenous peoples of Europe to varying degrees.

This new knowledge may have come about by any combination of population movements and cultural contact. An example might be as part of a prestige cult related to the production and consumption of beer, or trading links such as those demonstrated by finds made along the seaways of Atlantic Europe. Palynological studies and analysis of pollen, associated with the spread of beakers, certainly suggests increased growing of barley, which may be associated with beer brewing.

Noting the distribution of Beakers was highest in areas of transport routes, including fording sites, river valleys and mountain passes, it was suggested that Beaker ‘folk’ were originally bronze traders, who subsequently settled within local Neolithic or early Chalcolithic cultures creating local styles. Close analysis of the bronze tools associated with beaker use suggests an early Iberian source for the copper, followed subsequently by Central European and Bohemian ores.

Investigations in the Mediterranean and France recently questioned the nature of the phenomenon. Instead of being pictured as a fashion or a simple diffusion of objects and their use, the investigation of over 300 sites showed that human groups actually moved in a process that involved explorations, contacts, settlement, diffusions and acculturation/assimilation.

Some elements show the influence from the north and east, and other elements reveal the south-east of France to be an important cross road on an important route of communication and exchange spreading north. A distinctive barbed wire element is thought to have migrated through central Italy first. The pattern of movements was diverse and complicated, along the Atlantic coast and the northern Mediterranean coast, and sometimes also far inland. The prominent central role of Portugal in the region and the quality of the pottery all across Europe are forwarded as arguments for a new interpretation that denies an ideological dimension.

A Strontium isotope analysis of 86 people from Bell Beaker graves in Bavaria suggests that 18-25% of all graves were occupied by people who came from a considerable distance outside the area. This was true of children as well as adults, indicative of some significant migration wave. Given the similarities with readings from people living on loess soils, the general direction of the local movement according to Price et al., is from the northeast to the southwest.

Corded Ware culture

The Corded Ware cultures (in Middle Europe c. 2900 – 2450/2350 cal. BC), alternatively characterized as the Battle Axe culture or Single Grave culture, an enormous European archaeological horizon that begins in the late Neolithic (Stone Age), flourishes through the Copper Age and culminates in the early Bronze Age, replaced their predecessors and expanded to Danubian and Nordic areas of western Germany around 2400 BC.

It receives its name Corded Ware from the ornamentation of its characteristic pottery, Single Grave from its burial custom, and Battle Axe from its characteristic grave offering to males, a stone battle axe (which was by this time an inefficient weapon but a traditional status symbol).

It encompassed most of continental northern Europe from the Rhine River on the west, to the Volga River in the east, including most of modern-day Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Slovakia, northwestern Romania, northern Ukraine, and the European part of Russia, as well as coastal Norway and the southern portions of Sweden and Finland.

The contemporary Beaker culture overlapped with the western extremity of this culture, west of the Elbe, and may have contributed to the pan-European spread of that culture. Although a similar social organization and settlement pattern to the Beaker were adopted, the Corded Ware group lacked the new refinements made possible through trade and communication by sea and rivers.

There have been many different views concerning the origin of the Corded Ware culture. There is broadly a division between archaeologists who see an influence from pastoral societies of the steppes north of the Black Sea and those who think that Corded Ware springs from central Europe. In both camps, there are many differing views. The recent tendency has been to seek a middle way. The distribution of the Corded Ware culture coincides in part with the earlier Funnelbeaker culture, with which it shares a number of features, such as cord impressions on pottery, and the use of horses and wheeled vehicles, that can be ultimately traced to the cultures of the European steppe.

In places a continuity between Funnelbeaker and Corded Ware can be demonstrated, whereas in other areas Corded Ware heralds a new culture and physical type. On most of the immense, continental expanse that it covered, the culture was clearly intrusive, and therefore represents one of the most impressive and revolutionary cultural changes attested by archeology. The degree to which cultural change generally represents immigration is a matter of debate, and such debate has figured strongly in discussions of Corded Ware.

In summary, Corded Ware does not represent a single monolithic entity, but rather a diffusion of technological and cultural innovations of different, contemporaneous peoples, living in close proximity to each other and leaving different archaeological remains.

The people of the Corded Ware is associated with some of the Indo-European family of languages by many scholars and believed to be related to the Catacomb culture. It is generally held that “Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic may possibly be traced back to the Corded Ware horizon of north, central, and eastern Europe. One related branch invaded Denmark and southern Sweden, while the mid-Danubian basin, though showing more continuity, shows also clear traits of new Indo-European elites.

The forest-steppe origin of this culture is obvious from the introduction of corded pottery and the abundant use of polished battle axes, the two most prominent features of the Corded Ware culture.

However, this is not to suppose that all of these proto-languages actually arose during the period of the Corded Ware horizon, across its whole territory, or exclusively within its confines. The Proto-Germanic language is often assumed to have been spoken in southern Scandinavia or northern Germany towards the end of the Nordic Bronze Age or at the beginning of the Pre-Roman Iron Age (mid-first millennium BC), and the Proto-Balto-Slavic language and Proto-Celtic language may date only slightly earlier, to the Early Iron Age (early first millennium BC).

The Eneolithic Vučedol culture (3000 and 2200 BC), centered in Syrmia and eastern Slavonia on the right bank of the Danube river, but possibly spreading throughout the Pannonian plain and western Balkans and southward, was contemporary with the Sumer period in Mesopotamia, the Early Dynastic period in Egypt and the earliest settlements of Troy (Troy I and II).

The early stages of the culture occupied locations not far from mountain ranges, where copper deposits were located, because of their main invention: making tools from arsenical copper in series reusing double, two-part moulds.

One of the major places they occupied is present-day Vučedol (“Wolf’s Valley”), a location six kilometers downstream from the town of Vukovar, Croatia. It is estimated that the site had once been home to about 3,000 inhabitants, making it one of the largest and most important European centers of its time.

The Vučedol culture developed from two older eneolithic cultures: the Baden culture, mainly in the Pannonian plain, and the Kostolac culture in northern Serbia and western Romania, so the primary region of Vučedol development is eastern Croatia and the Syrmia region.

By some authors the Vučedol culture is regarded to be an Indo-European culture. According to Bogdan Brukner, proto-Illyrians descended from this wave of Indo-European settlers. It followed the Baden culture (ca 3600 BC-ca 2800 BC), another wave of perhaps Indo-European speakers came to the banks of the Danube.

In the Kurgan hypothesis espoused by Marija Gimbutas, the Baden culture, an eneolithic culture found in central Europe, seen as being Indo-Europeanized, but the linguistic identity and ethnic self-identification of the people associated with this culture is impossible to ascertain. It may be tempting to put the Italic and Celtic stocks together here at some point, at least in that great European mixing bowl, the plains of Hungary, but this is a speculation lacking any archaeological foundation.

The excavated settlement of Vučedol provides a base for the cultural stratigraphy of the whole culture. No final conclusions about the Vučedol culture population can be made that they were linguistic Indo-Europeans, or to what extent they mixed with native European population, especially in regions of the eastern Adriatic coast, Dalmatia and Herzegovina with some parts of Bosnia as well.

Marija Gimbutas characterized the Bell Beaker culture complex as an amalgam of Vucedol and Yamna culture traditions formed after the incursion of the Yamna people into the milieu of the Vučedol culture, which evolved in the course of the three or four centuries after 3000/2900 BC.

Ancient DNA testing has confirmed the presence of haplogroup R1a1a in samples from the Corded Ware culture in Germany (2600 BCE), from Tocharian mummies (2000 BCE) in Northwest China, from Kurgan burials (circa 1600 BCE) from the Andronovo culture in southern Russia and southern Siberia, as well as from a variety of Iron-age sites from Russia, Siberia, Mongolia and Central Asia.

The Proto-Indo-European expansion was possible thanks to an early adoption of bronze weapons and the domestication of the horse in the Eurasian steppes (circa 4000-3500 BCE). The southern Steppe culture is believed to have carried predominantly R1b (M269 and M73) lineages, while the northern forest-steppe culture would have been essentially R1a-dominant. R1a is thought to have been the dominant haplogroup among the northern and eastern Proto-Indo-European language speakers, that evolved into the Indo-Iranian, Thracian, Baltic and Slavic branches.

The first expansion of the forest-steppe people occured with the Corded Ware Culture. The migration of the R1b people to central and western Europe left a vacuum for R1a people in the southern steppe around the time of the Catacomb culture (2800-2200 BCE). This is also probably when the satemization process of the Indo-European languages began since the Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian language groups belong to the same Satem isogloss and both appear to have evolved from the the Catacomb culture.

The Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic R1b people had settled in what is now Germany by 2300 BC, where they founded the Unetice culture (2300-1600 BC). The following Tumulus (1600-1200 BC), Urnfield (1300-1200 BC) and Hallstatt (1200-750 BC) cultures are linked to the diffusion of R1b to Europe, as they abruptly introduce new technologies and a radically different lifestyle.

Judging from the propagation of bronze working to Western Europe, those first Indo-Europeans reached France and the Low Countries by 2200 BC, Britain by 2100 BCE and Ireland by 2000 BCE, and Iberia by 1800 BCE. This first wave of R1b presumably carried R1b-L21 lineages in great number (perhaps because of a founder effect), as these are found everywhere in western, northern and Central Europe. The early split of L21 from the main Proto-Celtic branch around Germany would explain why the Q-Celtic languages (Goidelic and Hispano-Celtic) diverged so much from the P-Celtic branch (La Tène, Gaulish, Brythonic), which appears to have expanded from the later Urnfield and Hallstat cultures.

Some L21 lineages from the Netherlands and northern Germany later entered Scandinavia (from 1700 BCE) with the dominant subclade of the region, R1b-S21/U106 (see below). The stronger presence of L21 in Norway and Iceland can be attributed to the Norwegian Vikings, who had colonised parts of Scotland and Ireland and taken slaves among the native Celtic populations, whom they brought to their new colony of Iceland and back to Norway. Nowadays about 20% of all Icelandic male lineages are R1b-L21 of Scottish or Irish origin.

In France, R1b-L21 is mainly present in historical Brittany (including Mayenne and Vendée) and in Lower Normandy. This region was repopulated by massive immigration of insular Britons in the 5th century due to pressure from the invading Anglo-Saxons. However, it is possible that L21 was present in Armorica since the Bronze age or the Iron age given that the tribes of the Armorican Confederation of ancient Gaul already had a distinct identity from the other Gauls and had maintained close ties with the British Isles at least since the Atlantic Bronze Age.

The Bronze Age did not appear in Iberia until 1800 BCE, and was mostly confined to the cultures of El Argar and Los Millares in south-east Spain, with sporadic sites showing up in Castile by 1700 BCE and in Extremadura and southern Portugal by 1500 BCE. These Early Bronze Age sites typically did not have more than some bronze daggers or axes and cannot be considered proper Bronze Age societies, but rather Copper Age societies with occasional bronze artefacts (perhaps imported). These cultures might have been founded by small groups of R1b adventurers looking for easy conquests in parts of Europe that did not yet have bronze weapons. They would have become a small ruling elite, would have had children with local women, and within a few generations their Indo-European language would have been lost, absorbed by the indigenous languages.

Iberia did not become a fully-fledged Bronze Age society until the 13th century BCE, when the Urnfield culture (1300-1200 BCE) expanded from Germany to Catalonia via southern France, then the ensuing Hallstatt culture (1200-750 BCE) spread throughout most of the peninsula (especially the western half). This period belongs to the wider Atlantic Bronze Age (1300-700 BCE), when Iberia was connected to the rest of Western Europe through a complex trade network.

It is hard to say when exactly DF27 entered Iberia. Considering its overwhelming presence in the peninsula and in south-west France, it is likely that DF27 arrived early, during the 1800 to 1300 BCE period, and perhaps even earlier, if R1b adventurers penetrated the Bell Beaker culture, as they appear to have done all over Western Europe from 2300 BCE to 1800 BCE. The Atlantic Bronze Age could correspond to the period when DF27 radiated more evenly around Iberia and ended up, following Atlantic trade routes, all the way to the British Isles, the Netherlands and western Norway (where M153 and SRY2728 make up about 1% of the population).

Iberia

The center of Bronze Age technology is in the southeast since c. 1800 BC. There the civilization of Los Millares was followed by that of El Argar, initially with no other discontinuity than the displacement of the main urban center some kilometers to the north, the gradual appearance of true bronze and arsenical bronze tools and some greater geographical extension. The Argarian people lived in rather large fortified towns or cities.

From this center, bronze technology spread to other areas. Most notable are Bronze of Levante in the Land of Valencia, which had smaller towns, but show intense interaction with their neighbours of El Argar, South-Western Iberian Bronze in southern Portugal and SW Spain, which is poorly defined archaeological horizons that show the presence of bronze daggers and an expansive trend in northwards direction, Cogotas I culture (Cogotas II is Iron Age Celtic), which shows that the pastoralist peoples of the plateau become for the first time culturally unified. Their typical artifact is a rough troncoconic pottery.

Some areas like the civilization of Vila Nova seem to have remained apart from the spread of bronze metallurgy remaining technically in the Chalcolithic period for centuries.

El Argar is the type site of an Early Bronze Age culture called the Argaric culture, which flourished from the town of Antas, in what is now the province of Almería, south-east of Spain, between c. 1800 BC and 1300 BC.

The Argaric culture was characterised by its early adoption of bronze, which briefly allowed this tribe local dominance over other, copper age peoples[citation needed]. El Argar also developed sophisticated pottery and ceramic techniques, which they traded with other Mediterranean tribes.

The center of this civilization is displaced to the north and its extension and influence is clearly greater than that of its ancestor. Their mining and metallurgy were quite advanced, with bronze, silver and gold being mined and worked for weapons and jewelry.

Pollen analysis in a peat deposit in the Canada del Gitano basin high in the Sierra de Baza suggests that the Argaric exhausted precious natural resources, helping bring about its own ruin. The deciduous oak forest that covered the region’s slopes were burned off, leaving a tell-tale carbon layer, and replaced by the fire-tolerant, and fire-prone, Mediterranean scrub familiar under the names garrigue and maquis.

The civilization of El Argar extended to all the province of Almería, north onto the central Meseta, to most of the land of (Murcia) and westwards into the provinces of Granada and Jaen. Its cultural and possibly political influence was much wider, clearly influencing eastern and southwestern Iberia (Algarve), and possibly other regions as well. Some authors have suggested that El Argar was a unified state.

The collective burial tradition typical of European Megalithic Culture is abandoned in favor of individual burials. The tholos is abandoned in favour of small cists, either under the homes or outside. This trend seems to come from the Eastern Mediterranean, most likely from Mycenaean Greece (skipping Sicily and Italy, where the collective burial tradition remains for some time yet).

From the Argarian civilization, these new burial customs will gradually and irregularly extend to the rest of Iberia.

In the phase B of this civilization, burial in pithoi (large jars) becomes most frequent (see: Jar-burials). Again this custom (that never reached beyond the Argarian circle) seems to come from Greece, where it was used after. ca 2000 BC.

Las Cogotas, Spanish: Las Cogotas is an archaeological site in Spain in Cardenosa municipality, province of Avila. The site was researched by the Galician archaeologist Juan Cabré in 1920s. It is namesake for two different archaeological cultures known from this site: Cogotas I (pre-Celtic) of the Late Bronze Age and Cogotas II (most probably Celtic) of the Iron Age. The latter is known from the upper layer of Las Cogotas, which represents a classical settlement of Vettones, which inhabited the territory of modern provinces of Avila and Salamanca, as well as parts of Toledo, Zamora, Caseres and Tras-os-Montes in Portugal.

This stage of the Meseta history is the least known, although a series of archeological sites, such as Los Tolmos de Caracena in Soria, Cogeces del Monte in Valladolid, Abia de la Obispalia in Cuenca, and some others, allow to describe Protocogotas culture as a formation stage of Cogotas I culture. This culture, which existed around 1700—1550 BC, is also known as Cogeces horizon, and is based on the Bell Beaker substrate influenced by either El Argar or Atlantic Bronze. Although Protocogotas culture was not represented by finds in La Cogotas, it did have characteristic traits later displayed in Cogotas I.

In the early 1st millennium BC the Iberic peninsula was invaded by the Celts and other Indo-European tribes, which occupied the central and western parts of the peninsula and created new cultures on the ruins of the older ones. One of them were Vettones, most probably tribes of western Hispano-Celtic and Celtiberian origin organized since the 3rd Century BC into a tribal confederacy of undetermined strength.

The Lusitanians (or Lusitani in Latin) were an Indo-European people living in the west of the Iberian Peninsula centuries before it became the Roman province of Lusitania (most of modern Portugal, Extremadura and a small part of the province of Salamanca). Modern Portuguese people see the Lusitanians as their ancestors. The most notable Lusitanian was Viriathus.

They spoke the Lusitanian language, an Indo-European language which might have been heavily influenced by Celtic or was closely related to Celtic, if not a form of archaic Celtic or proto Celtic. The language was spoken in the territory inhabited by Lusitanian tribes, from Douro to the Tagus rivers, territory that nowadays belongs mainly to Portugal, but also to Spain.

Prosper, in his Lusitanian etymologies (2002; 2008), demonstrates that not only does Lusitanian not agree closely with the usual Celtic reflexes but that it is closer to Italic, in which case there were two well-differentiated branches of Indo-European in the Iberian Peninsula before the Romans, with Lusitanian belonging to the non-Celtic branch. Villar and Pedrero (2001), like Prosper, also connect Lusitanian with the Italic languages. They base their finding on parallels in the names of deities and some lexical items, such as the Umbrian gomia, Lusitanian comaiam, and some grammatical elements. Prósper also sees Lusitanian as predating the introduction of Celtic and shows that it retains elements of Old European.

Traditional allies of the Lusitani, the Vettones helped the latter in their struggle against the advancing Carthaginians led by Hasdrubal the Fair and Hannibal in the late 3rd century BC. At first placed under nominal Punic suzerainty by the time of the Second Punic War, the Vettones threw off their yoke soon after 206 BC. At the Lusitanian War of the 2nd century BC they joined once again the Lusitani in their attacks on Baetica, Carpetania, the Cyneticum and the failed incursion on the North African town of Ocilis (modern Asilah, Morocco) in 153 BC.

Although incorporated around 134-133 BC into Hispania Ulterior, the Vettones continued to raid the more romanized regions further south and during the Roman civil wars of the early 1st century BC, they even provided auxiliary troops to Sertorius’ army in 77-76 BC. Crushed by the provincial propraetor Julius Caesar in 61 BC, they later rose in support of the Pompeian faction and fought at the battle of Munda (Montilla – Córdoba) in Baetica.

The Romans promptly began to establish military colonies at Kaisarobriga or Caesarobriga (Talavera de la Reina – Toledo) and Norba Caesarina (near Cáceres), and in around 27-13 BC the Vettones were aggregated to the newly created Roman province of Lusitania with Emerita Augusta (Mérida) as the capital of the new province.

The Atlantic Bronze Age

The Atlantic Bronze Age is a cultural complex of the Bronze Age period of approximately 1300–700 BC that includes different cultures in Portugal, Andalusia, Galicia, Armorica and the British Isles.

The Atlantic Bronze Age is marked by economic and cultural exchange, which led to the high degree of cultural similarity exhibited by the coastal communities from Galicia to Scotland, including the frequent use of stones as chevaux-de-frise, the establishment of cliff castles, or the domestic architecture sometimes characterized by the round houses.

Commercial contacts extended from Sweden and Denmark to the Mediterranean. The period was defined by a number of distinct regional centres of metal production, unified by a regular maritime exchange of some of their products. The major centres were southern England and Ireland, north-western France, and western Iberia.

The items related to this culture are frequently found forming hoards, or they are deposited in ritual areas, usually watery contexts: rivers, lakes and bogs. Among the more noted items belonging to this cultural complex we can count the socketed and double ring bronze axes, sometimes buried forming large hoards in Brittany and Galicia; war gear, as lunate spearheads, V-notched shields, and a variety of bronze swords – among them carp’s-tongue ones – usually found deposited in lakes, rivers or rocky outcrops; and the elites feasting gear: articulated roasting spits, cauldrons, and flesh hooks, found from central Portugal to Scotland.

The origins of the Celts were attributed to this period in 2008 by John T. Koch and supported by Barry Cunliffe, who argued for the past development of Celtic as an Atlantic lingua franca, later spreading into mainland Europe, but this stands in contrast to the more generally accepted view that Celtic origins lie with the Hallstatt culture.

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An updated summary of the Bell Beaker problem in the Southern Meseta of the Iberian Peninsula is presented, following the great increase of new finds resulting from the latest surveys and excavations. Totalling 181sites, this is one of the biggest concentrations of Beaker sites in Europe. High-quality information, however, is still restricted to the one extensivelyexcavated and recently published site, the settlement of El Ventorro (Madrid).The available information is compared with that of the Northern Meseta, and a model is presented of the role Beakers played, as a ritual drinking-set, in thedevelopment of ranked societies in the inner regions of Iberia.

Bell Beakers in the Southern Meseta of the Iberian Peninsula: Socioeconomic Context and New Data

Posted in Europa, Haplogroups, Neolithic | Leave a Comment »

Womb of Nations

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 2, 2013

“Northern European”

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“North Atlantic”

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“Balto-Slavic”

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The genetic distance maps from the supplement for the three latest cultures:         

(CWC: Corded Ware; BBC: Bell Beaker; and UC: Unetice)

Corded Ware

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Bell Beaker

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Unetice

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The womb of nations: how West Eurasians came to be

Six Population Elements in Living Caucasoids

Ancient central European mtDNA across time

A physico-anthropological study of skeletal material from Neolithic age to Hellenistic times in Central Greece and surrounding region

Uruk migrants in the Caucasus

Mediterranean race – Wikipedia

Eurasian (mixed ancestry) – Wikipedia

Genetic history of Europe – Wikipedia

The Bronze Age Indo-European invasion of Europe

The womb of nations: how West Eurasians came to be

A solution to the problem of Indo-Aryan origins

Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India

On Tocharian origins

Posted in Haplogroups | Leave a Comment »

 
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