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Author Topic: For those who think its easy to intepret the genetics of the steppe Neolithic  (Read 939 times)
alan trowel hands.
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« on: November 30, 2012, 09:25:10 PM »

Read this paper

http://arheologija.ff.uni-lj.si/documenta/pdf36/36_10.pdf

This is the one that finally made me think we really need ancient DNA to ever understand who was where and when in an area so subject to upheaval as the steppes
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MHammers
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 12:06:00 AM »

Interesting paper.  It looks as though southern populations were moving north from eastern Anatolia about the same time early farmers were arriving in Greece.  This explains the later Maikop physical type.  I would like to know the aDNA of the Rakushechny Yar people.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 10:34:32 AM »

The problem I see is on a marginal ecological zone like the steppe people constantly move when the climate changes.  This paper suggests two things

1.  Various inputs from the farming world both east and west at different periods as well as the input of native hunters

2.  That all those groups were displaced, mixed together and displaced again and again due to the impact climate changes have on a marginal area.

...and all of this is what happened before 5000BC and takes no account of the next 2000 years of changes.  So if anyone thinks that it was as simple as R1a hunters in the steppes untouched before pouring into central Europe in the Yamnanya period they really need to do a little more reading.  A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and you often see oversimplifying of this subject in this hobby.  We really need ancient DNA for marginal areas and where displacement is repeated again and again.
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Mike Walsh
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 12:28:09 PM »

Read this paper

http://arheologija.ff.uni-lj.si/documenta/pdf36/36_10.pdf

This is the one that finally made me think we really need ancient DNA to ever understand who was where and when in an area so subject to upheaval as the steppes

Modern populations apparently are not apt to reflect the ancient population of the steppes very well. Since this is large, wide open country that during the PIE timeframe would have had  nomadic "mobile" peoples, that makes it very hard to figure out what types of DNA the PIE people had.  

In this situation, I agree that ancient DNA from the right timeframes is critical. Unfortunately, the Yamnaya Horizon did not consist of a singular, monolithic people or culture ... just some shared cultural features. This means we need an adequate survey of ancient DNA from the steppes, which may be a long time coming.

That leaves us with tracing language developments and associated historical and  archaelogical trails as being our only sources of evidence. This is not much different than what scientists do with atom smashers (super colliders.) They cause the collision but they can not actually see it. They are left with measuring the aftermath, but that is very helpful.

Well, I wonder if there are any correlations of IE language speakers and genetics today?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 12:48:48 PM by Mikewww » Logged

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razyn
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 03:08:21 PM »

One of the more interesting things in the paper, to me, was the evidence that flat bottomed vessels were actually found in earlier horizons than the ones with conical bottoms.  The latter had advantages for fermentation, and probably for many other products and processes in which the settlement of sediments was desired.  Wine, olive oil, muddy drinking water, or whatever.  And I wonder if it was easier to keep rodents out of them?

A few thousand years later, it was considered easier to move a few hundred bushels of grain a few hundred miles downstream if one distilled it, first.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 09:30:16 PM »

All we really have left is the results - R1a is associated with eastern IE languages and R1b with western ones (with Germanic in an odd in between zone).  It seems pretty clear that this state of affairs was under way by 2600BC and almost certainly some centuries earlier.  The process before 3000BC seems to me so uncertain that I think we should really be fairly humble about this one. 

Anthony and others describes a chain of cultures moving from west to east - middle dneiper- Fatyanavo-Abashevo-Sintasha that he linkes to the main saetem languages.  He links these with the ancestors of the Slavs, Balts and Indo-Iranians.  Most papers emphasise the late Uktaine Corded Ware roots of these cultures something that tends to be lost in the Yamnaya obsession in this subject.  All of these languages are R1a associated and the only pre-2600BC sample is from corded ware in SE Germany.  I have very little doubt about the R1a-corded ware link.  However until earlier samples are found on the steppes this chain only really seems to imply that R1a was among Corded Ware and its derivatives located between the Elbe and the Middle Dniester (where all the saetem/R1a related cultures are thought to have fissioned east from) by some time around 3000BC (give or take).  It tells us zero about who was in the steppes before that. The main cultural driver of R1a seems to have been within Corded Ware and its related eastern offshoots cultures.  This make the nature of Corded Ware crucial to understand and in particular is later eastern extension. The oldest Corded Ware dates seem to be from southern Poland.  I It seems to represent some sort of melding of TRB and influences from the steppes.  Either way I  think the sheer importance of this horizon cannot be underestimated. It seems to have been a very very important aspect of the origins of the saetem group in particular.  Its western aspect is less clear and it was heavily culturally mixed and eclipsed by beaker culture from 2600BC which may have had any number of linguistic and DNA impacts. 

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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 10:34:07 AM »

I found this site.  I cant vouch for it but it certainly outlines a lot of ideas about archaeological cultures of the late Neolithic in eastern and central Europe and IE.  It is a fairly intensive cascade of info.  Its rather complicated.  He does seem to believe the saetem cultural chain of middle-Dnieper -Fatyanavo etc.  However having settled for this as an explanation for the saetem spread he looks at the archaeological evidence and has come up with Globular Amphorae as one possible earlier IE spread which he links to centum traits in saetem languages.  I dont think he is saying that this is THE centum smoking gun but one of them and maybe feeding into Baden etc and somehow into the western branches.  I think his argument is essentially that GA was an earlier diffussion that the R1a/saetem linked Corded Ware type cultures and therefore could represent centum elements.   He focusses on eastern Europe and doesnt much deal with the west.  II am not sure if it sound but make your own minds up.  GA culture doesnt seem to get as much discussion as you would think it deserves.

http://www.suduva.com/virdainas/proto.htm
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 10:39:16 AM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
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