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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Corded Ware people: more versatile and healthier than Neolithic farmers


Over at West Hunter Greg Cochran argues that late Neolithic farmers in Northern Europe experienced nothing short of genocide at the hands of Corded Ware Culture (CWC) pastoralists, who pushed deep into the continent from somewhere east of present-day Germany around 4,800 years ago.

I think he's exaggerating. My view is that farming populations throughout much of Neolithic Europe began to crash well ahead of any invasions, perhaps as a result of climate change, overpopulation, environmental degradation and bad health. This, I'd say, created a vacuum that attracted groups from the peripheries of the Neolithic world, like the CWC nomads.

If so, it's likely that many of the surviving farmers were killed or marginalized in the process, although their women might have been incorporated on a large scale into the new post-Neolithic societies. This is perhaps why the most common Neolithic Y-chromosome haplogroup, G2a, is now so scarce in Europe, while a wide variety of mitochondrial (mtDNA) lineages frequently found among Neolithic skeletons are still carried by many Europeans today.

Nevertheless, I'm not aware of any evidence of a wholesale slaughter, or even any wars, going on in Europe during the early CWC period.

This new paper at Anthropologie seems to back up my case. The Corded Ware people were simply more versatile and healthier than the Neolithic farmers. No wonder then, that they eventually came out on top.

This study focuses on the changes in the human skeleton that are associated with the transition to agricultural subsistence. Two populations from the territory of contemporary Poland that differ in terms of their subsistence strategies are compared. An agricultural subsistence strategy is represented by a Lengyel Culture population from Oslonki (5690-4950 BP), whilst the Corded Ware populations from Zerniki Gorne and Zlota (c. 4160-3900 BP) represent mixed, agricultural-breeding-pastoral economies supplemented with hunting and gathering. The Corded Ware sample consisted of 62 individuals in total, and the Lengyel sample comprised 68 individuals. Health status was examined through skeletal stress indicators, cribra orbitalia, enamel hypoplasia and Harris lines. The analysis of enamel hypoplasia showed the effect of different adaptive strategies on buffering adverse nutritional factors and diseases. The prevalence and severity of the condition proved significantly higher in the Lengyel sample than in the Corded Ware population (64.7% vs. 43.5%, respectively). It is suggested that agricultural subsistence, associated with a less diversified diet, sedentism, exposure to pathogens, spread of infections and increased population density, caused more frequent and severe stress episodes than the mixed economy of the Corded Ware people. The inverse relationship between enamel hypoplasia and the mean age at death found in the agricultural population clearly shows an effect of adverse living conditions on the biological development of the individuals studied.

Citation...

Krenz-Niedbala M, A biocultural perspective on the transition to agriculture in Central Europe, Anthropologie, 2014/Volume 52/Issue 2/pp. 115-132, ISSN 0323-1119

See also...

Best of 2008: Corded Ware DNA from Germany

Corded Ware Culture linked to the spread of ANE across Europe

38 comments:

spagetiMeatball said...

The CWC people were nomads though right? So logically they probably lived in more open spaces, with their large herd, and probably had more heads of cattle/sheep/goat per capita then the farmers. Also, milk.

Davidski said...

Yes, they were nomads with no permanent settlements, and apparently they consumed a lot of cow meat.

Not sure about the milk, but they did hunt and forage a bit, so they were unlikely to get caught out and left hungry like the Neolithic farmers when their crops failed.

That's probably one of the main reasons why the Corded Ware guys passed on their Y-DNA so successfully, and probably also more than their fair share of autosomal DNA, while the Neolithic farmers and their G2a barely survived, mostly on islands and in the Alps.

Cochran's just talking out of his ass in that post. For some reason the genocide theory really appeals to him. It's likely that many people were killed, because that's just human nature, but there are no signs of any sort of Oetzi holocaust.

spagetiMeatball said...

Well, there's no doubt the corded guys were scrappy, as most nomads and herders are. But was it even logistically possible to pull off such a complete genocide back then? Especially of a settled agricultural set of communities?

About Prof. Cochran: He's a Robert E. Howard fan, so all the Conan the Barbarian stuff really appeals to him.

Eduardo Pinto said...

I think the explanation lies in the difference between pastoral and horticultural societies, which Murray Bookchin in his book, "Ecology of freedom" so well described...


"In largely food-gathering societies, the community seems to be
essentially matricentric in culture and temperament; so, too, in early
horticultural societies. On the other hand, in predominantly hunting
and pastoral societies, a patricentric culture and temperament seems to
predominate."

"These pastoral nomads, separated from agriculture by climatic changes or by population pressures on the land, are an expelled, ever ­wandering, and restless people...As herds­men, they are a people who live mainly among domestic beasts, each of which is an alienable quantum; the mere number of animals the patriarch owns is a measure of his wealth and prestige. Power and fortune can be determined with numerical exactness: by the size of one's herds and the number of one's sons...a new epistemol­ogy of rule and a new deity will emerge, based on the infinite, the harsh expression of male will, and the often cruel negation of nature."



Organised religion and the military are power structures which were developed in the course of the hierarchisation of society. There was little hiearchical division in early neolithic cultures whereas chalcolithic/bronze age pastoral ones as described above where highly militarised and eager to plunder everything in their way.

barakobama said...

Reconstructed proto-Indo European language spoken.

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/30479-Listen-to-an-audio-reconstruction-of-Proto-Indo-European-language

spagetiMeatball said...

R1b? R1a is now definitely the indo-european haplogroup for sure. Btw, it's just a reconstruction so the phonetics might be wrong. I always thought proto-indo-european would have sounds more similar to those in slavic and indo-iranian languages so lot's of variance in the "sh" and "ch" sounds. Not so much throaty stuff.

barakobama said...

Maciamo says he hasn't been able to do any research lately, and so he must not be updated on R1b. A few months ago most people thought I1 was pretty much non-existent before a massive expansion starting ~5,000YBP, then I1 is found in a small sample set of Y DNA from central Europe's first farmers. The same could happen with R1b-L51. I haven't been able to do much research lately either, but I think the Indo European theory pushed by Maciamo may be to simple.

Maciamo's argument has some validity though because there really does seem to be post-Neolithic west European specific ancestry. East and west Europe are split in Davidski's admixtures, surprisingly though in mostly WHG components, because that would mean some Indo Europeans were largly WHG. There's also Gedorsia(high in ANE) in K12b, which would support the idea that proto-Germans and proto-Italo Celts were like Davidski's synthetic Indo European.

The south-north trend of west European-specific ancestry, could be Neolithic-Indo European. The most southern(Stuttgart-like) are Sardinians, then Iberians(Basque are a little more WHG than northern French with less ANE), and as you go into France aka Gaul it slowly gets more northern(Big difference between south and north French), then it peaks in Ireland(Insular Celts). Italians also obviously have northwest European-like admixture, which could probably be explained by Italians and Celts. So, we know at least Italo-Celts in the end of the bronze age had this west European-specific type ancestry not found in Neolithic west Europeans.

Germans in central Europe also follow this trend but are obviously a mixture of French(Gauls),Scandinavians(proto-Germans), and Slavs. Scandinavians score in western-centered components about as much as Irish do, but their ancestry is defiantly not only Gok2+western Indo European, Corded ware is also involved, and so it's probably just because they have alot of WHG and ANE.

But anyways how do we explain Gok2 and Otzi like farmers in west Europe just 5,000 years ago. Who caused the change? R1b-L11 being a major paternal lineage in Celts, Italians, and Germans, it's absence from pre-3,000BC Y DNA from west Europe, and the arrival of Indo European cultures 1,000 years or so after Otzi-Gok2 is decent evidence.

Gok2 and Otzi-like farmers mixing with hunter gatherers and somehow becoming over 50% WHG(Gok2 would probably score just over 20%, and Otzi was close t0 0%) right before Indo Europeans arrived is hard to believe. It seems to just be an attempt to get around that problem because of the evidence pointing to Indo Europeans having little WHG. I'm sure we'll learn in October that never happened in at least central Europe. If anything it seems post-Neolithic people movements in west Europe were heavy in WHG not just ANE.

barakobama said...

Someone needs to talk to Geneticker. He stubbornly sticks to his Upper Palaeolithic theory of R1b-a in Europe even though all evidence goes against it(He says La Brana-1 and Loschbour are recent unmixed immigrants from the Balkans). He assumes humanity is split in a clean cut and unmixed way(Mongoloid, Caucasoid, etc.) without even looking at DNA.

http://genetiker.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/analyses-of-the-loschbour-genome/

I don't mean to offend him at all I just think he's miss guided.

Davidski said...

Genetiker's a complete and utter fucktard.

barakobama said...

"Genetiker's a complete and utter fucktard."

I see your point. Sometimes telling people off and not respecting them is the right thing to do. You got to at least give him the respect of a human being though, it's not like he's the devil just some of his views are stubborn, arrogant, and false. There are plenty of people who are the same way about other issues.

Michael Thomas said...

"yes, they were nomads with no permanent settlements, and apparently they consumed a lot of cow meat."

Err, not quite. Firstly , there was considerable diversity in economy from region to region, and between individual settlements. Secondly, sure, during the Bronze Age there was a shift to more dispersed settlement with less intensive, more agropastroal strategies, but this wasnt "nomadism".

"My view is that farming populations throughout much of Neolithic Europe began to crash well ahead of any invasions, perhaps as a result of climate change, overpopulation, environmental degradation and bad health."

Although there were individual, local-regional instances of population decline after the initial Neolithic, this was not a Europe wide phenomenon. There were *some* regions where there was a population decline, but this was filled in from adjacent landscapes with relative population surplus, and not due to a sweeping migration from one focal point (eg the Pontic steppe).

Davidski said...

So who was talking about the Bronze Age?

I was obviously referring to the Chalcolithic period (aka. Copper Age), because that's when the Corded Ware nomads lived.

They probably didn't come directly from the Pontic Caspian steppe, but, as I said, from somewhere east of present-day Germany.

The Bronze Age doesn't really start until after the Corded Ware period, when copper was alloyed with tin.

And obviously you're not familiar with the recent data showing massive demographic crashes all over Europe just before and during the Chalcolithic. Here you go...

http://bellbeakerblogger.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/neolithic-population-busts-study.html

Mike Thomas said...

Actually, in strictu sensu, there is no “Copper Age” in northern -central Europe, going straight from Late Neolithic (3500 – 2300) to EBA (2300-1500). Terminology aside….

There were no “nomads” in north- central Europe. Yes there were major shifts in settlement and subsistence, and yes it included greater reliance on animals, their 2’ products, wheeled transport, more dispersed settlements, and greater mobility, but this is not true nomadism. Despite its apparent complexity, it’s a basic distinction which any scholar who has at least half-attempted to read widely can realize.

Finally, there is no evidence to privilege the land ‘east of Germany’ in any special way. To quote from Shennan’s excellent summary of Central Europe of this period:
“As we have already seen, there is every reason to believe that there were population density variations between different regions in LN Central Europe and that some regions were expanding while others were declining (cf. Lewthwaite, 1987), so the existence of population flows is extremely probable. However, it seems unlikely that such flows can account for the appearance of a phenomenon which stretches for a distance of over 1500 miles east-west in an environment which was not conducive to long-distance movement, unlike the steppe zone to the southeast. The same problem is faced by arguments that the widespread uniformity in material culture was associated with the need to establish new modes of social integration as settlement expanded and units of settlement became smaller; the scale of the uniformity is much larger than needs for social integration and risk minimization would require.”

Finally, you claim “And obviously you're not familiar with the recent data showing massive demographic crashes all over Europe just before and during the Chalcolithic. Here you go...”
Yes, but this was still within local-regional spheres. Eg whilst there might have been decline in say the Upper Danube, there was continuity and growth in nearby Slovakia and the Carpathian basin. Again, something you’d know if you actually have bothered to obtain your ‘knowledge’ from specialists rather than your fellow bloggers.

Davidski said...

This quote is funny...

"However, it seems unlikely that such flows can account for the appearance of a phenomenon which stretches for a distance of over 1500 miles east-west in an environment which was not conducive to long-distance movement, unlike the steppe zone to the southeast."

That's like a blast from the past to a time when migration wasn't in vogue. See the thing is that whether something's in vogue or not with archeologists, if it actually happened, then it happened. And I can tell you that there were very long range migrations and massive population turnovers across Europe from the late Neolithic onwards.

Ancient DNA will show this very clearly over the next 12 months or so. And I'm sure you'll come round eventually.

Btw, note that my fellow blogger is actually talking about a formal paper in that blog entry.

Mike Thomas said...

Davidski, you are burying your head in the sand, and making straw -man arguements.

I never claimed, nor have any of the archaeological scholars, that migration did not happen. Im sure you can read, so am at a loss why you're misinterpreting what I wrote or quoted.

I clearly state that migration did happen, but this was more regionally confined, incorporating a complex mosaic of local migrations and not some unilinear mass-migration from Poland, or the Pontic steppe, or wherever, to the rest of Europe.

You cannot argue against this. There is *no evidence* for the "out of Poland" scenario which you hold so dear in your heart. Quite simply, there is nothing special about the Vistla-Oder region which makes it stand apart as a putative source for populations, or Corded Ware cultural models.

Contrary to what you claim as "they were nomads with no permanent settlements" there are actually hundreds of corded ware era settlements in eastern and central Europe which have been dated with pretty darn good precision. Moreover, I have already pointed out above that you have little insight about the specifics of the LN/ EB economy, which was certainly not 'nomadic'.

So you can massage the 'genetic' evidence' all you want, running a million rolls-off , etc; that will never change what archaeologists have known for decades already.

Yes, likely there was significant demographic change *and* genetic change also in this critical period, but the almost certainly not in the way your simplistic model envisions. Apart from having little to no understanding of the evidence 'from the ground', even your explanations of genetic evidence are simplistic, taking genetic change as a straighforward marker as population replacement. In reality, other phenomena can account for this.

with all shortcoming combined, your hypotheses are mere science fiction. Sound like you have a very ideologically slanted desire to concoct a particular point of view.

Davidski said...

I think a major problem here is that you're completely unaware of how very different the ancient genomes of Neolithic Europeans are from those of modern Europeans.

At some point you'll learn that a major genetic shift happened in most of Europe during the late Neolithic and Bronze Age. You'll also realize that this genetic shift can't be explained by anything except a series of sizable migrations from well outside of Central Europe.

It's very difficult for me to explain why exactly in a few paragraphs here, so you might have to go and do some reading on this. But suffice to say that the end of the Neolithic saw the introduction of a very well defined genome-wide genetic component into Central Europe that couldn't have been hiding in caves, up on trees, or even just across the river Vistula in what is now Poland.

It came from a long way away and in such a rush that there's no way any of your complicated models will ever be able to account for it. It was an invasion, and you'll have to deal with this sooner or later. Probably sooner actually, because we have tens, if not hundreds, of ancient genomes coming from late Neolithic/early Bronze Age Europe over the next 12 months or so.

And I'm really not a big fan of Rolloff. Not sure where you got that idea?

Mike Thomas said...

Perhaps . Of course , R1a must have come from the east, and sure there is the "ANE" to be accounted for .

However, it still remains to be demonstrated exactly from where in the east and when R1a came from. At the minute , there is little evidence from Neolithic CE/ EE to exclude the possibility that , say , R1a was *already* there.

And I reiterate , you cannot simply overlook clear archaeological evidence on the basis of still presumptive and rather speculative genetic evidence .

When u take that there was indeed a population crash , with resulting drift, localised founder effects , selection and new patterns of admixture and outbreeding , then the apparent "dramatic" genetic change can easily be explained . And your forgetting that there has been constant genetic evolution Of Europeans. Even compared to late antiquity, we are different . What's more , your simplistically treating the "Bronze age", the "Neolithic" as clear-cut, punctuated events .

I'm not saying all this coz I'm some lefty "immobilist".

Davidski said...

Forget it, genetic drift and evolution can't explain the changes, which were sudden and profound.

New populations streamed into Central Europe. Some of these groups had to have come far Eastern Europe, near the Urals and present-day Kazakhstan. That's the only thing that makes sense based on the data we have from across space and time.

And like I said, more ancient DNA is on the way.

Mike Thomas said...

Yes. Maybe
But then, let's hope for your sake that some 4000 year old genome from the Vistula , or the Balkans, doesn't turn out to be r1

Mike Thomas said...

I meant 4000BC (6kya)

Davidski said...

That seems rather unlikely, considering that R1a and R1b are more than 20,000 years old based on full sequence data and Mal'ta boy's R*.

Mike Thomas said...

I meant R1 - derived lineages could have arrived into Europe at anytime . Given the absence of ancient DNA from the Baltic to the Balkans (apart from the Carpathian basin), we have not excluded a pre-Bronze Age presence in Europe, at least in its east.

Either way, the yamnaya culture were impoverished cowboys, not conquering, horse riding elites . . .

Davidski said...

Most of Europe moved away genetically from the Near East from the late Neolithic onwards. So these populations that spread across Europe at this time weren't from anywhere south like the Balkans.

Anyway, Samara Valley and Corded Ware groups, which don't resemble much the earlier Central European farmers, have already been implicated via ancient DNA as potential sources of this genetic shift, which means that genetics, archeology and linguistics are all showing basically the same phenomenon.

Whether we're talking about impoverished cowboys or horse riding elites here is another issue. But I don't see why a bunch of impoverished nomads couldn't have pushed into Europe at the time, when there were no organized states to stop them.

barakobama said...

"And I reiterate , you cannot simply overlook clear archaeological evidence on the basis of still presumptive and rather speculative genetic evidence ."

You're preventing yourself from learning and discovering by putting so little faith in genetics. You have to at least consider in the back of your mind that there could be truth behind genetic theories.

All the genetics-related theories you've thrown out are basically opposites of mainstream ones, and that's obviously the only reason you have them. What Davidski's saying is what academics are saying, that makes him reliable. There's practically already ancient DNA prove for the general ideas anyways. Genetics are matching up with archaeology.

Mike Thomas said...

@ Barak
"You're preventing yourself from learning and discovering by putting so little faith in genetics. You have to at least consider in the back of your mind that there could be truth behind genetic theories"

I am not throwing out genetic data. Obviously, all evidence is good evidence, and one needs a multidisciplinary approach . What I am throwing out are the premature, speculative and broad-brushed conclusions reached by bloggers and "academic" population geneticists alike.

"All the genetics-related theories you've thrown out are basically opposites of mainstream ones, and that's obviously the only reason you have them. What Davidski's saying is what academics are saying, that makes him reliable"

No it doesn't precisely becauae these 'academic" geneticists don't know what they're talking about. They cant even agree amongst themselves as to where and when a haplogroup dates to / comes from, often coming up with hopeless confidence intervals in the thousands of years mark, which make their use in reaching any definitive conclusion about as useful as used toilet paper.

Moreover, they employ simplistic views on monogenetic populations roaming around and invading other's territories, as if populations were biologically distinct and mutually exclusive entities, which they are not. Moreover, they have no real knowledge of historical linguistics or archaeology, as they merely parrot what they have read on Wikipedia, making their arguments (to professional archaeologists) sound like primary school -level reasoning.


@ Davidski "Most of Europe moved away genetically from the Near East from the late Neolithic onwards. So these populations that spread across Europe at this time weren't from anywhere south like the Balkans".

The shift away from Neolithic -type ancestry can be explained by many things. As I said, in some cases, *even early medieval populations* show a distinctiveness to their modern descendents, where there has otherwise been population continuity. Let alone 7000 years ago !!

I can understand why simplistic mass invasion scenarios appeal to so many people, including both of you, because they appear to be nice, neat explanations, exciting even. However, you simply are unwilling to recognize that most Bronze Age specialists have rejected such scenarios

You'd be able to see the problem with your genetic conclusions if you actually picked up and read at least ** 1 ** paper written by a specialist in the past decade or so. But you cant and wont, probably because you wont understand it to start with, and secondly, you'd get bored by the subtle explanatione offered and lack of 'war -stories'.

So rather than believing incontrovertible evidence, you'd rather rest your hat on a handful of ancient DNA - far too premature to conclude anything on, as well as numerous plots, graphs and models based on extant DNA which otherwise tell little about demographic specifics from the Late Neolithic, or EBA (being palimpsests of numerous historic events). COmbine this with the fact that even population geneticsts are now starting to admit that haploid markers are next to useless for historical reconstruction, and you'd start to see the problems with most of what has already been written (speculated).

I , on the other hand, will happily place my faith on factual and observable reality , not some fantasy world of PCA plots of genetic noise and the speculative reconstructions of arm-chair pseudo-intellectuals.

No offence,

Davidski said...

The shift away from the Near Eastern-like genetic structure across most of Europe over the span of a couple thousand years can't be explained by anything except largescale migrations during the early Indo-European period.

And you, good sir, are surely talking out of your ass when you claim that similar genetic shifts took place in Europe during the middle ages. They most certainly did not.

barakobama said...

"So rather than believing incontrovertible evidence, you'd rather rest your hat on a handful of ancient DNA - far too premature to conclude anything on, as well as numerous plots, graphs and models based on extant DNA which otherwise tell little about demographic specifics from the Late Neolithic, or EBA (being palimpsests of numerous historic events). COmbine this with the fact that even population geneticsts are now starting to admit that haploid markers are next to useless for historical reconstruction, and you'd start to see the problems with most of what has already been written (speculated)."

There were people who said cars were just a fad 100 years ago. Just like how it became common knowledge around the world within a decade or so later that cars are better it'll be common knowledge that DNA can and has revealed alot about human history.

I bet there were people who were very skeptical about what's today standard archaeology in the past. Being able to figure out an the age of old remains sounds pretty crazy.

"They cant even agree amongst themselves as to where and when a haplogroup dates to / comes from, often coming up with hopeless confidence intervals in the thousands of years mark, which make their use in reaching any definitive conclusion about as useful as used toilet paper.

Moreover, they employ simplistic views on monogenetic populations roaming around and invading other's territories, as if populations were biologically distinct and mutually exclusive entities, which they are not. Moreover, they have no real knowledge of historical linguistics or archaeology, ...."

You're exaggerating difficulties and inconsistencies in genetics. If you can't understand their work as well as they do and give valid reasons why they're theories are wrong you shouldn't be so confident that they are. Your arguments are pretty valid and you're entitled to that opinion.

There are plenty of examples of theories made about population based on modern DNA proven with ancient DNA.

I'm always considering all the genetic stuff could be miss-information. That doesn't stop me though from making conclusions from what seems to be the most true. You'll be letting yourself out from alot of fun and you'll be behind the most current knowledge if you mostly ignore genetics as miss information.

barakobama said...

"The shift away from Neolithic -type ancestry can be explained by many things. As I said, in some cases, *even early medieval populations* show a distinctiveness to their modern descendents, where there has otherwise been population continuity. Let alone 7000 years ago !! "

Dude, that's just plan ridiculous. I know you don't have the knowledge to give any good evidence that's true, you're just basing that on doubt. You can't argue population continuum when looking at mtDNA and Y DNA data.

What early medieval populations are you talking about? You're probably twisting the words of a paper that got weak mtDNA and Y DNA results from Medieval Europe, which we can't learn much with. What evidence do you have that mtDNA and Y DNA haplogroups aren't real maternal and paternal lineages?

You're gonna have a big problem trying to prove obvious patterns found are false(like the genetic makeup of Neolithic farmers and Mesolithic foragers).

Neolithic farmers are like Sardinian's twins even though it's been 7,000 years or whatever. Obviously the reason is because Sardinians were barely affected by post-Neolithic migrations to west Europe from mostly the east.

"You'd be able to see the problem with your genetic conclusions if you actually picked up and read at least ** 1 ** paper written by a specialist in the past decade or so. But you cant and wont, probably because you wont understand it to start with, and secondly, you'd get bored by the subtle explanatione offered and lack of 'war -stories'."

When I have the time I like studying archaeology. It's not as complicated as thought it would be, especially because of the internet. I realize reality is much more complex than general stories history books and genetics theories give. But they do get the big picture. If the current main stream theories about the big picture are wrong, then the evidence should show that. But ancient and modern DNA keep telling the same story.

"I , on the other hand, will happily place my faith on factual and observable reality , not some fantasy world of PCA plots of genetic noise and the speculative reconstructions of arm-chair pseudo-intellectuals."

Not everyone on genetics blogs is arrogant.

Mike Thomas said...

OK to prevent us going round in circle, I'll await for the following proofs for your 'eastern takeover/ genocide' hypothesis:

- ancient DNA from a number of Neolithic sites throughout central & eastern Europe showing , beyond reasonable doubt, there was no R1a there already

- prof that R1a only arrived in the LN/ Bronze Age, and in substantial numbers causing a dramatic shift in proportions

- proof that the frequency of R1a did not grow gradually over the Late Neolithic to Iron Ages due to other factors, eg exclude selection & drift (to which we all know haploid markers are very liable to) (and your opinion 'forget about it' isnt *proof*); or more recent phenomena, like the repopulation of Poland during the early Middle Ages.

- account for why archaeologists actually see continuity between the Corded Ware culture and preceding Neolithic groups, merely seeing the CWC phase as an adaptive connectivity over much of Europe due to times of stress and mobility rather than mono-focal 'takeovers'

- account for the lack of any evidence for Yamnaya and related groups actually having been equestrian, battle oriented cultures.

Until then, I, as the most of the (real) academic community will continue to look at the "genetic evidence" with suspicion.
And arguements about gravity in the 16th century, or cars, are not analogous. This is not a case of being scared of new evidence; but an apt critique of dubious conclusions by lab-rats without any real knowledge of the humanities. Even careful geneticists warn against genetic evidence.

Davidski said...

There are two ancient DNA papers on the way that will cover this topic in a lot of detail. David Anthony is a co-author on one of them.

https://mcidublin.conference-services.net/reports/template/onetextabstract.xml?xsl=template/onetextabstract.xsl&conferenceID=3958&abstractID=814052

http://www.ashg.org/2014meeting/abstracts/fulltext/f140121091.htm

And keep in mind that the second study includes Corded Ware samples that have already been tested for uniparental markers, and these have produced the earliest R1a found in Europe to date. You can read about that here:

http://eurogenes.blogspot.com.au/2008/12/best-of-2008-corded-ware-dna-from.html

It's already very obvious to anyone who's been following this work what the story is. But I'd expect that you'll have to see the details and then some before you budge from your position.

Mike Thomas said...

Maybe...
Ill happily admit you're right if the weight of evidence suggests this supposed massive genetic shift really comes from the east precisely during the Corded Ware period.

Mike Thomas said...

Not to labour the point, but I present your former discussion on the Dnieper Donets ancient mtDNA

http://eurogenes.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/ancient-mtdna-from-dnieper-donets.html

You state "The fact that Siberian-specific mtDNA lineages are very rare in Ukraine today, means that something must have happened there since the Bronze Age that basically wiped them out."

You apparently do not consider the fact that (i) the said "Siberian specific" lineages (ie mt DNA C) is in fact a broader north Eurasian marker, that was a founder population in Siberia and became fixed (with the small Ne there), whilst it simply drifted out or became extinct in the Black Sea region.

With such explanatory shortcomings, surely you can understand one's severe doubt of your current explanations ?

Davidski said...

The high frequencies of mtDNA C in a couple of the sample sets from prehistoric Ukraine published at the time suggested to me that these lineages couldn't have disappeared through random drift alone.

And I was probably right. There appear to have been several genetic shifts during the metal ages in much of Europe. First there was that wave of ANE-rich populations from the east, but then there was a migration from the west, probably inspired by the Bell Beaker phenomenon, and these eventually combined to create the modern European gene pool.

Mike Thomas said...

I eagerly await the more data, and perhaps more stimulating debates.
Best wishes, Davidski !

barakobama said...

Geneticker has done analyses of all the genomes Laz sampled. He has some differences in Y DNA and mtDNA for the Motala samples. I can't imagine Laz made a mistake getting a U5a1 result for Motala 3, but the U2e1 result Geneticker got also makes sense. Hopefully he'll post SNP calls.

The Y DNA results are very interesting; I2c! If legit that makes adds to an already long list of I clades already found to have existed in central-west-north Euro hunter gatherers.

http://genetiker.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/analyses-of-the-motala-genomes/

Davidski said...

Hopefully the crap he posts doesn't prevent public access to this type of data in the future.

Simon_W said...

Lol @ barakobama: Gene thinker, gene ticker and whatnot? Genetiker is the nickname, i.e. German for geneticist. (Stress on the 2nd syllable.)

paul c said...

Did these "Corded Ware" people have much influence on the Celtic population? They have used many cord designs and significant knots in their artwork.

Could they have been related to the "Beaker Traders"?