World Families Forums - Some thoughts on recent study of European skulls

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 31, 2014, 05:14:49 AM
Home Help Search Login Register

+  World Families Forums
|-+  General Forums - Note: You must Be Logged In to post. Anyone can browse.
| |-+  R1b General (Moderator: rms2)
| | |-+  Some thoughts on recent study of European skulls
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Some thoughts on recent study of European skulls  (Read 1188 times)
alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« on: November 04, 2012, 10:58:34 AM »

I thought this deserved a bit more discussion

http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=11159.0

 One thing that I think may have been lost in the discussion is obvious to me.  In general Beaker and Corded Ware samples tend to relate (roughly speaking-its not perfect) to the same kind of populations which were in the locality in the preceeding period.  That to me is the best way of making sense of the figure - i.e. a heck of a lot of the skull form is due to the local existing population that was there before beaker or corded ware turned up.  Its not a perfect match so there may well be evidence in this for a minor influx but I think its hard to deny that the local 'natives' were an important (perhaps decisive) element in skull form among local beaker cultures.

BEAKER

In terms of similar roughly contemporary copper and Bronze Age non-beaker populations there seems to be a lot of Italian and to a degree southern French similarities as well as north French and Belgium SOM culture.  In general a Italo-Gallic resemblance seems present.

However, comtemporary cultures do not tell tell us about deeper origins and for that we would have to look for earlier immediate predecessor cultures that show resemblance to beaker skulls.  Portuguese beaker most resembles Cardial and is close to the Neolithic Spain plot too.  This is hardly surprising as the Neolithic people of Portugal were Cardial although it is interesting that Portugese beaker is considerably further from the Late Neolithic Portugal plot which is odd.  

The resemblance to earlier Cardial and local Neolithic groups does not apply elsewhere in the beaker culture.  The bell beakers in Czech, Germany and Spain are off on a limb with no Neolithic or Mesolithic near matches, only other Copper and Bronze Age ones.  The closest (not very close) pre-copper age match for German and Czech beakers are the Danish TRB and Danish late Neolithic groups.   These beaker groups are a huge distance away from the LBK Neolithic groups who were earlier important in the later Rhenish and Danubian beaker areas and nearly as far away from LBK's middle Neolithic successors like Lengyel nad Rossen.  It is also noticeable that Spanish beakers are way off on a limb and nowhere near the Neolithic Spain plot, a sharp contrast to Portugal.  

So there is an arguement that the beaker users in Portugal (allegedly the ealiest users of the pottery) were to a large degree locals BUT that beaker people elsewhere were in the same ballpark in skull form and nothing like Portugese beaker people or indeed much like any Neolithic group in Europe.  

To me this beaker discontinuity (except in Portugal) is not at all as well marked in Corded Ware culture sample.  German and Polish Corded Ware most resemble early-mid Neolithic NW Europeans and are not very far from the late TRB either.  The match is not perfect but it does look to me like they owe a lot to the local pre-Corded Ware Neolithic peoples there.  Corded Ware in Estonia and Russia resembles north-eastern hunter-gatherers with Ukraine closest (although note that the Ukraine sample of similar age to CW is actually very different suggesting it is the hunter aspect rather than the Ukraine aspect that is important).  That again suggests that fairly local Neolithic hunters were important in this NE Corded Ware group.  

In summary, apart from in Portugal (where they seem to be similar to the Cardial Neolithic people), most of the beaker skulls have no obvious ancestry in Neolithic or Mesolithic Europe.  Beaker skull forms of the classic beaker type seem to have appeared in Europe only in the copper age, apparently entering the Italy-France area (and probably others not covered in this study) in that period in pre-beaker copper age cultures.  This is  in line with what Coon said in his Races of Europe.  Corded Ware on the other hand seems to take the form of the Neolithic farmer or hunter natives of the general area and seems to me owe a lot to the locals of each area it is found (although probably with a small outsider input).  That does seem to suggest to me that Corded Ware does indeed (as archaeologists have long argued) is a more generalised cultural phenomenon which had a large local Neolithic component.  However, there really does seem to have been a major change in skull type both in beaker groups and also in other slightly older copper age groups in and around Italy, France, Cyprus etc with no obvious origin point in Europe.  The nearest pre-copper age groups to the German beaker group are the nieghbouring Danish TRB and Late Neolithic groups which is perhaps a hint that a local component was in central European beaker too but its not a close match by any means.  However, it would have been more conclusive if beaker and corded ware samples from more areas had been available  I also recall in Coon (and this study seems to confirm) that this type only arrived in Anatolia in the copper age too so Anatolia is also not the deeper origin of this skull type.  I still suspect that the beaker type is more of an extended family trait than a racial one but if there is an exteneral component I suspect it entered in the copper age and derived from somewhere that was not within this sample (perhaps the Caucasas or somethere nearby in the uplands of the steppe-SW Asia contact zone.

I have a number of other thoughts  about other aspects of this plot but I will put them into a seperate post as this one is already too large.

.  

 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 04:44:55 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 11:30:08 AM »

The next thing about this plot that stands out for me relate to the whole steppes/old Europe division in eastern Europe.  There are a lot of surprises.

1. Yamanaya and C-Typole are very similar indeed and both sit on the border between Neolithic farmers and Mesolithic groups on this plot just as they did Geographically.  However, this puts a questionmark over the idea that they are of radically different origin genetically with one being hunters who have taken farmer ideas and the other as an intrusion of farmers displacing the hunters.  The general position in the plot indicates they both are a similar mixture of hunter and new farmer or alternatively perhaps the C-Trypole group really does owe a lot genetically to hunters (Bug-Dniester) who had taken on farming. 

2. Yamnaya and Bronze Age Ukraine are nowhere near the Mesolithic Ukraine group which you might think were ancestral. 

3. In terms of looking further back in time, Yamnaya is much closer to the C-Trp and Tisapolgar Neolithic cultures around the Carpathians on the farming side of the farming-steppes divide than it is to Mesolithic cultures.  In macro terms Yamnaya is plotted close to the position of the farming cultures who were entering the forrest steppe area fringing the steppe. This plot position does seem to agree with real geographical-temporal relations too.  Basically Yamanaya seems to have a position on this plot that resembles that of other groups who are usually considered farmers close to the frontier with hunters or nomands but usually interpreted as on the farming side of the frontier.  Yamnaya is thought to look more like hunters taking up farming traits so very much on the hunter side of the frontier.  However, this plot indicate (in terms of skulls anyway) they were more like the famers on the other side.  This suggest to me that both sides of the frontier line were similarly mixed up genetically with each other (always remembering though that skull measuring is a highly questionable technique for making inferences)
Logged
RickA
Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 11:48:51 AM »

I've assumed that the the intrusive beakers were male primarily or exclusively. Can't say much authoritative on skull shape genetics, but the continuity vs discontinuity argument seems to never consider the possibility that the discontinuity was on the female side only. So even if ydna was same from beaker location to location, the differences between the indigenous female 50% of aDNA might produce dissimilarity or intermediate levels of similarity, even between a source population and its immediate colonists.  Perhaps a dark view of human nature, but I'd argue it is realistic.  European yDNA vs mt DNA patterns do at least seem consistent with this type of process.
Logged

R-DF27+ Z196-
MHammers
Old Hand
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 347


« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 12:18:00 PM »

Is there a study for this chart?  

The first Iberian Beakers appear to be late Cardial people which explains the early dates and dental properties.  I see what you're saying about central Beaker being close to the preceeding TRB culture.  If we follow that progression back a little more they are close to the Greek neolithic and Starcevo.  Another study had TRB connected to Starcevo-Koros.  The distinctive broad-headedness may be a result of admixture with foragers over time hence the proximity of central Beaker to late neolithic Denmark (Ertebolle culture).  Without pinning R1b down to smaller regions, the general direction of the SNPs and perhaps some correlation with skull type is SE to W and NW.

As far as Corded-ware, it seems like they were made up of some of the earliest farmers who went NE  and integrated with more dolichocephalic hunter-gatherers.  It will interesting to see which group brought R1a to the mix.

It is intriguing that a Cucuteni-Tripolye sample is very close to a Yamnaya one.  However, the ancient mtdna found in the east is reflective of this with neolithic hg's such as T being found in later cultures of these regions.  I expect if we ever get aYDNA from here it'll be less monolithic than once thought.
Logged

Ydna: R1b-Z253**


Mtdna: T

alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 12:48:42 PM »

My final thoughts on this are about the earlier Neolithic period and the preceding Mesolithic.  

1. The first thing is that jumps out is how different Impressed Ware (I presume this means early Neolithic Impressed/Cardial ware) and LBK early Neolithic populations are on this plot.  This is not entirely surprising to me.  It has general been thought that Impressed Ware may have Levantine roots.  All you can say about impressed ware on this plot is that its only vaguely near Neolithic neighbours are along the Med. and its very far removed from European Mesolithic groups.  Given the sample it doesnt seem too out of place from what archaeologists currently think.

2. LBK is generally traced to the Koros group at the NW end of the Balkans, part of the Starcevo-Cris-Koros early Neolithic tradition of SE Europe. This central Balkans group's roots are not as clear as they are in the western fringes of the Balkans (Impressed Ware) and the alleged Anatolian cultures to the east
http://www.eliznik.org.uk/EastEurope/History/balkans-map/early-neolithic.htm

LBK is plotted closest to east-central and SE European Neolithic cultures (and not hugely distant from Anatolian) which is not unexpected.  It is also close to Lengyel and Rossen which have generally been interpreted as having partly LBK origins.  So LBK's position is not in any way unexpected.

3. Another element that has been interpreted as an part of an Anatolian-Balkans group by some archaeologists, the Boian and Hamangia cultures, do cluster close to each other.  Hamangia may be the culture that brought cattle pastoralism into Europe from NW Anatolia.  It is interesting that Rossen and Lengyel fall in between this group and LBK.  This may be some sort of support for the theory that Rossen and Lengyel were a mix of LBK elements and new pastoral elements from the SE that transformed them as has been suggested by Jean M and myself at times.  I think Coralloid too has pastoralist associations.  Perhaps this is an echo of some sort of secondary thrust from the SE that is connected with the spread of dairy pastoralists.

4. Another thing I find interesting is that the Late Neolithic of Portugal, Atlantic Europe and Denmark all seem to be plotted well to the right of the early Neolithic cultures in the same areas, almost as if the skull shape around the Atlantic fringes was heading in the morphological direction of that of the coming copper age cultures in pre-beaker times and the beaker groups.  I am not sure from this map what they actually mean by late Neolithic and I am assuming this is pre-beaker/corded ware cultures.  The shift of these pre-beaker/pre-corded ware cultures towards the right of the plot where beakers would later be plotted is interesting but has no obvious cause.  It could be due to all sorts of factors including the climatic downturn and emphasis on pastoralism that has been detected in this period in some areas in the period.

5. The plot does seem to confirm a major change is skull shape after the Mesolithic.  Just look for instance at the huge gap between British Meso and Neolithic.  The exception is Mesolithic Muse (what is that??)

6. Regarding the British Neolithic, it is kind of out at an extreme (again something that Coon noted) and it seems to me that that is most likely a founder effect when farmers had to cross the channel.  This is supported by the significant uniformity (with a couple of minor variants) of the isles earliest Neolithic and the likely origins in a relatively limted area along the opposite coasts.  Although a lot of cultures (including the most likely direct originators of the isles Neolithic) are not sampled, the fact that by far the closest group is the similarly dated French Chassee group.  TRB is not so far away either so it does fit with the NW farming expansion period and zone c. 4000BC.  


NB I am very wary of skull shape being used as evidence of migration and am aware that averaging population will be blurring out distinct (possibly very distinct) elements within the populations.  However, they do demonstrate what a mixed bag they were if this is true.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:27:03 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 01:17:26 PM »

Its a shame the Corded and Beaker samples are from only a few areas.  However, I do get the impression that CW has a strong tendency to plot close to the pre-CW people in the same general area where it is found (CW is such a huge horizon its heterogenius nature is not surprising).  

There is a slight hint too that skulls were moving in the general beaker direction in the late Neolithic.  In general Atlantic and North Sea fringe late Neolithic pre-beaker groups in Europe do seem to be trending towards the beaker direction.  Then  the pre-beaker copper age groups around Italy, France etc seem to move quite close to the beaker form which I suppose could tie in with the Stelae People concept or something akin.  The general trend though does make me wonder if a climatic - economic trend could not be part of this.  The period c. 3400BC (give or take a century) did see a downturn in settlement, a deterioration of climate and in some peoples opinions a move towards more mobile pastoralism by the natives.  

 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 01:36:33 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 04:39:10 PM »

Finally found the source.  Was on this site right under my nose!  Thought it  was not discussed as much as you would think at the time.  Oh dear my memory isnt getting any better!  Seems it was Richard Rocha who improved the original map.  Come to think of it it was his U152 site's name in the link

http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=11159.0
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:29:18 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
princenuadha
Old Hand
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 115


« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2012, 04:53:19 PM »

Quote from: alan trowel hands.
In summary, apart from in Portugal (where they seem to be similar to the Cardial Neolithic people), most of the beaker skulls have no obvious ancestry in Neolithic or Mesolithic Europe.

I disagree with you there. The first dimension, left-right, seems to be hugely predicted by time, while the second dimension is largely predicted by space. You can easily see that the left of the map is mesolithic and early neolithic, while the right of the map is metal age. You can also see that the top of the map tends to be Near Eastern and Southern European while the bottom of the map tends to be Northern Europe.

The simplest explanation is that there was a good degree of racial continuity in space, even if there were migrations. Note that if you wanted to say that racial continuity was predicted by time (that the first dimension predicts race) then you would have to come up with some odd senario explaining the "3 races", left to right, that consistently produced the same division of Southern and Northern Europe.

BTW, I think time, the first dimension, produces different skull types because of changes in substance and internal evolution and what not.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 04:56:41 PM by princenuadha » Logged
alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2012, 06:09:03 PM »

Quote from: alan trowel hands.
In summary, apart from in Portugal (where they seem to be similar to the Cardial Neolithic people), most of the beaker skulls have no obvious ancestry in Neolithic or Mesolithic Europe.

I disagree with you there. The first dimension, left-right, seems to be hugely predicted by time, while the second dimension is largely predicted by space. You can easily see that the left of the map is mesolithic and early neolithic, while the right of the map is metal age. You can also see that the top of the map tends to be Near Eastern and Southern European while the bottom of the map tends to be Northern Europe.

The simplest explanation is that there was a good degree of racial continuity in space, even if there were migrations. Note that if you wanted to say that racial continuity was predicted by time (that the first dimension predicts race) then you would have to come up with some odd senario explaining the "3 races", left to right, that consistently produced the same division of Southern and Northern Europe.

BTW, I think time, the first dimension, produces different skull types because of changes in substance and internal evolution and what not.

I dont really see that left-right is largely down to time.  There is an element of that in that most of the far right end of the plot is beaker and copper age groups but look at the incredible different between the British (Irish have been shown to be basically identical BTW) group on the left.  The Cardial group is way to the right of the northern and central European early and mid Neolithic groups.  Cardial are even miles away from the Catul Hayuk Anatolian farmers too who are closer to the rest.  Cardial people seem to have been very distinct to all their contemporaries in the early Neolithic.  It is only much later that the some late Neolithic groups are a little closer to them to the right, probably part of a gradual head broadening that seems to sweep a lot of Europe in the period and IMO is not likely due to migration.  This is not surprising anyway as Cardial ware is essentially a Med., Adriatic  and Atlantic Iberian culture with a small offshoot in the mid Atlantic region of France and is unknown elsewhere.  

Regarding the origins of the Irish Neolithic, I recall you once posted that there was Cardial people in Ireland.  As far as I am aware there is not a single sherd of Cardial pottery or indicator of that culture in Ireland, Britain or even in France north of the Loire.  I was at a recent conference that included a very detailed reconsideration of the origins of the Irish Neolithic and refining the dating evidence very carefully using radiocarbon, pollen, certain, you name it and the Irish archaeologists concluded that Ireland did not have an influx of farmers until c. 3700BC.  The general opinion is that the mysterious Ferriter's Cove cattle bone and other more dubious claims of similar were just single bones that had somehow got to Irish shores (I suppose fotsam is possible - dead cows can float for many weeks before they deflate or explode lol) and were curated as curio/magical associations.  I seems telling to me that the few alleged examples do tend to be found on coastal middens. Actually, in terms of this kind of stray bone theory, there is no need to look as far south as Cardial anyway as NW France had been reached by LBK-derived VSG and Cerny cultures by the date of the Ferriter's cove bone and provide a significantly closer possibly origin point for any flotsam.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 07:15:38 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
Richard Rocca
Old Hand
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 523


« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 09:43:15 AM »

...

Yamnaya and Bronze Age Ukraine are nowhere near the Mesolithic Ukraine group which you might think were ancestral.

...


Alan, I think the clearest takeaway from the graphic is that the Yamnaya and the Bronze Age Ukrainians were the same people. It seems almost impossible that R1a arrived in the Ukraine after the Bronze Age. Given the increased likelihood of an R1a/Yamnaya/Ukrainian Bronze Age continuity, I can't see a scenario where Yamnaya is the source for Western European R1b.
Logged

Paternal: R1b-U152+L2*
Maternal: H
alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 05:15:20 PM »

I couldnt disagree with most of that.  I think the most interesting aspects in the skulls study relates to R1a.  The question that I think is still open is whether R1a was in the steppes before the mixing with farmers.  Yamnaya and Cucuteni-Trypole are almost identical in skulls form on this plot, something very different from the recieved wisdom. 

That could of course either mean that Yamanaya peoples had a much bigger farmer component in their genesis or alterantively the modern tendency to see C-T as a replacement of the Bug-Dniester people on the western fringe of the steppes by farmers may be open to question.  Maybe the Bug-Dniester people were very involved in the origin of the C-T culture.  Certainly the idea that Yamanaya are overwhelmingly descendants of Mesolithic steppes hunters seems less likely judging by the lack of match with the Ukraine Meso sample.  On the other hand the Yamnaya group seem to have originaled further east along the steppes.  I must check what culture the Ukraine Meso sample is from.  Regardless I think the lesson is that the steppe-farming blending may have been profound to a point where they became extremely simplar judging from the Yamnaya and C-T matching each other so well. 

 R1a and R1b both or one of them could have been located on either side of that farming divide IMO.  I dont think its a foregone conclusion that either or neither were steppe hunter origin.  My basic feeling is that little is clear and some of the touchstones are in question.  Regarding R1a, I think the possibility that R1a only entered the steppes around 2800BC from a Corded Ware source in the Carpathian area cannot be ruled out.  Corded Ware seems to have been a poweful culture that archaeogists have traced its earliest dates to near the Carpathians in Poland.  Again not terribly far from the area where earlier C-Tryp had evolved on the steppe-farming interface.  If you read Anthony carefully, although he does trace a lot back to Yamnaya etc, he does ultimately trace the cultures that gave rise to Slavic, Baltic and Indo-Iranian to an eastern Corded Ware derived cultural root and he does describe the origins of these specific dialects through what is essentially a west to east chain of cultures that lead back to corded ware.  Now whether we chose to see that as simply a reflux of steppes peoples or as an intrusion by another people who have taken some ideas off of steppes peoples is a matter of taste but it is still not normal to see the Corded Ware culture as an actual steppes people.  Even Anthony doesnt think that.   I actually think it is very odd that Anthony doesnt comment on this himself but the way he sets it out it cannot be ruled out it was the Corded Ware element in that chain of cultures he describes that headed east and he claims as the roots of Slavic, Baltic and Indo-Iranian.  These are the R1a associated part of the IE group, pretty well the Saetem group.  Its very important to separate Anthony's model into two aspects:

1. His placing of PIE in the steppes and movement west from there.
2. His detailed model of the chain cultures that he sees as the roots of the saetem group as a west to east movement which for a signiicant time still showed roots in the corded ware culture as Anthony clearly states. 

This leaves open the question of whether R1a entered those cultures that were the roots of the saetem group through the corded ware culture or through steppes cultures.   

Clearly R1b must have a different story.  Interestingly in Anthony's own model he does describe possibly roots of Celtic in a more out and out steppes migration west kind of way in contrast to the west to east route he gives for the saetem languages (its best to leave Germanic out of the discussion because it has always been a confusing branch whose roots are perhaps mixed).  Obviously it (with the Tocharian exception - whose DNA may not relate to the Tarim Mummies) has to be described in terms of a largely a westwards migration.  He provides a model for Centum languages like Celtic which I suppose we could translate as being a model for R1b but I think its pretty tentative.  I also think that R1b could have been positioned at the crucial time in the melting pot around the Carpathians. 

In general I think the whole IE problem is part of this.  I think its fair to say that PIE must have arisen somewhere between the Carpathians and the Steppes but I really do not know on which side of that divide it arose.  Most of the linguistic arguements for where PIE developed do place it somewhere close to the Black Sea around 4000BC but I really dont see how anyone can say which side of the steppes farming divide they lay on and its becoming pretty clear that the divide was very blurry indeed.  I think we can rule out the first waves of farmers from the likely list of IE sources based on the lingustic evidence for shared late Neolithic vocab but I do not see how this this evidence separates the late farmers around the Carpathians from the steppes peoples of the same period and the cranial and mtDNA evidence seems to be making them even harder to divide.

Logged
alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 06:14:44 PM »

I suppose it all will remain up in the air until we have a range of pre-4000BC ancient yDNA from the whole area from the Carpathians to the Volga.  That is basically all we need.  I do believe that R1a and R1b are two halves of the same story of the spread of IE but I think the details remain totally unclear and will until a good range of ancient yDNA is available.

On thing that struck me about the chain of cultures moving west to east from around the Carpathians is that they seem to have for a good length of their journey gone through the forest steppe rather than the steppe and I think there is little doubt that that involved some sort of different economic model than what had been seen with the true steppes cultures.  Some sort of tranformation and mixing in the steppe-farmer interface around 2800BC occurred, new system emerged  and made that possible but the detail of the composition of the population remains vague to me.   

It is odd that Yamnaya and Bronze Age Ukraine are similar yet both fall among the SE farmers area or where this interfaces with Mesolithic.  Yet Mesolithic Ukraine is fairly well removed from them and Russian and Estonian Corded Ware is very close to the latter.  I think the only way to explain this is that the Yamnaya and the pre-steppe intrusion adjacent farmers were very similar to each other.  You could argue that Cucuteni and Yamnaya were simply always like each other but I would think that the the big distance between Yamnaya and Ukraine Mesolithic would suggest that Yamnaya had a much bigger SE Neolithic component than is currently thought by many.  Put it this way, this mixing was so significant that Yamnaya is right in among the SE European farmers cranially and well removed from the Ukraine. 

MAJOR CAVEAT is of course that major change in  was also happening at the period netween Ukraine Mesolithic and Yamnaya so skull shape could owe much to that too.  Its far from a safe basis for inference.  What this study has shown though is things were not as previously generally thought with a clear distinction between SE Farmers and Yamnaya.  This seems to have often been reiterated but it doesnt seem that craniology provides any such distinction if this study is sound.   
Logged
alan trowel hands.
Guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2012


« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 08:03:45 PM »

As for beaker people they remain very hard to interpret from this plot.  They are miles away from the early Neolithic peoples as well as Corded Ware.  The only pattern I can see is that the several pre-beaker late Neolithic groups in Atlantic and North Sea Europe seems to have been moving cranially somewhat in the beaker direction on the plot.  Its very hard to see any migratory common denomenator in this and its tempting to see some environmental/dietary factor.  This is after all seem as a period of change among the farmers themselves when weather conditions became poorer in the naturally wetter area and some sort of decline had set in and many people see a decline in the agricultural component and a move towards pastoralism and less visible settlement (all this in pre-corded ware or beaker times) and an obsession with solar matters.  One thing that is confusing too is that wet and dry phases have very different impacts on different areas - a drier period in Atlantic Europe was better for farmers there but disasterous in area is dry area way to the east.  A wetter period was bad for farmers in Atlantic Europe but great for arid areas.  That sounds obvous but it needs to be remembered when looking at really big picture change. 

Then several copper age pre or non beaker groups in and around Italy and France and central Europe also seem to move even closer cranially in the beaker direction too.  A lot of them are not connected to each other in any obvious way so again they are maybe just a similar (and roughly contemporary) movement of cranial form in the same beaker as the late Neolithic peoples of the other areas of Europe were going in and its very hard to see a migratory aspect that links all these pre-beaker European cultures together.  This is however the period where Jean's Stelae People woud be filtering into some of these areas.  Anyway, the thing that stands out for me is that the beaker skull seems to be part of a trend of the period that affects a lot of Europe.  When I look at the plot I think the start of the drift towards the beaker (right) end of the plot begins in the middle Neolithic where the Rossen, Lengyel, Boain and Hamangia cultures of central and SE Europe are significantly to the right of the most of the earlier Neolithic groups in the same area.  Both I and Jean M have at times wondered if the cultural changes in this period that saw the end of LBK and several other earlier Neolithci cultures was in some way related to the spread of pastoralism from Anatolia to the west across the 5th millenium.  Well this chart seems to show that start of the move to the right of the chart where the beaker crania are placed did seem to be when these cultures appeared.  Its hard to say if this was to do with dairying, a spread of new people or both.  Dairying alone as the smoking gun does seem to fail though because farming arrived so late in northern Europe (including the isles) that it cattle dairying was there from the begining YET the Neolithic British skulls (and those of nearby cultures like Michelsberg) are way at the wrong end of the chart.  However, the tempting idea of explaining this alteration of a secondary Neolthic intrusion of cattle pastoralists from Anatolia is tricky to infer from the crania plot given that Neolithic Anatolia seems way to the left among most of the earlier Neolithic groups.  Anatolia only seems to moves in that direction in the Bronze Age.  That reminds me of Coon who stated that Anatolia didnt start to go brachycepahic until after the Neolithic, again seeminly following a general European trend in that direction. 

Clearly Yamnaya and Cuc-Tryp cant be the source of this skull change either judging by position on this plot.  These exceptions are interesting.  Another one is Corded Ware which also began in this kind of period too and clearly did not follow this general trend judging from this study, their crania remaing at the opposite end of the plot (but not very similar to each other).  So, I wonder why a large chunk of central, SE and western Europe went one way while corded ware went another way.

In summary, its complicated and unclear :0(
Logged
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


SEO light theme by © Mustang forums. Powered by SMF 1.1.13 | SMF © 2006-2011, Simple Machines LLC

Page created in 0.141 seconds with 18 queries.