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Author Topic: L11 clades and the middle Neolithic expansion  (Read 1791 times)
alan trowel hands.
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« on: January 21, 2011, 04:41:37 PM »

I had a bit of a eureka moment yesterday.  I have known for a long time that R1b1b2 (basically L11) frequency is a very poor match for the early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik (LBK) or Cardial cultures culture sin geographical terms.  Indeed R1b1b2 seems to be especially strong in many areas that were not settled i the early Neolithic of western Europe.  A number of years ago before the phylogeny, variance etc had been worked out 2 and 2 were put together as 6 i.e. this was interpreted as something to do with hunter-gatherer genes surviving in those areas. Clearly this is not longer possible.  

However it suddenly struck me yesterday that R1b1b2 is elevated in the areas that were not settled in the early Neolithic (LBK or Cardial) but were first settled by Neolithic farmers in the middle Neolithic.  The area of western Europe not settled in the early Neolithic but settled in the middle Neolithic included the isles, the NW  of France, the inland centre of France, the Low Countries, inland and north-east Iberia, parts of north Italy, the Alpine areas and Denmark.   That seems to me to have a strong correlation with higher levels of R1b1b2.  It may be that R1b1b2 found virgin territory (in farming terms) in those area and therefore huge expansion opportunities.  These opportunities may have been more limited elsewhere.  

France seems to have been an important area in the middle Neolithic.  Its a difficult subject to get to know but one thing that is interesting is that the Chasseen middle Neolithic French culture spread not only into previously unsettled areas (in terms of fully developed farming cultures) like north-west and central France but it also came to cover both former LBK and former Cardial areas of France.  I also understand there were related cultures in Italy and Soain while the isles Neolithic is also thought to derive from middle Neolithic northern France.  Its something that is very hard to find accessible English language publications relating to.   I dont have the answers but I certainly think there are arguements in favour of  looking at the middle Neolithic in terms of the origin of the L11 clades and this is pretty well in line with what Myres et al seem to be suggesting.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 04:45:32 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 05:20:29 PM »

Relevant bit from Myres:

''Archeologically, there are two attested phases regarding the geographic spread of the Linearbandkeramik (LBK). The ?rst phase extended to the upper Danube river near Munich. The second phase extended further to the Paris basin. Furthermore, there is evidence of several post-LBK Neolithic expansions, ca 6000 years BP from the Paris basin region toward Northern Italy, Southern France and Iberia, characterized by the Chasseen horizon, as well as to England.”

However, although I have heard (somewhere, I cannot recall) before about some sort of Chasseen influence extending beyond France into Spain etc, I do not know anything about it and have struggled to find anything readily available on it.  I am sure info does exist but its not easy to find easily accessible resources on the French (and adjacent) middle Neolithic in the English language.  Generalist books on European prehistory largely obsess with the early Neolithic.  The only book on the French Neolithic I have been able to purchase is 'Ancient France' by Christopher Scarre which is over 25 years old.    
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 07:24:20 AM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 07:18:42 AM »

continuing this monologue lol, I had a read of Scarre's book last night.  It is very good but being 28 years old is a big problem in terms of archaeology books. More useful data and analysis has probably been uncovered in the last 20 years than in the previous 100. For example, when Scarre wrote, the idea that Cardial was some sort of hunter gatherer copying of farming still existed.  In fact it was only in the last 15-20 years that this has changed due to new finds and it is now clear that it was a migration wave of some sort.  So, although it has not been replaced by a similar book in the English language, it has to be in the 'handle with care' category.  An updated version of that book would be wonderful.

One other thing that jumps out in Scarre's book are the maps.  Both LBK and Cadial in the early Neolithic and Beaker in the copper age are very restricted in distribution in France.  In some ways they are far too restricted to literally be able to explain R1b1b2 in France.  The one advantage with a middle Neolithic model focussed on Chassee (and possibly Michelsberg, Rossen cultures) is that that period saw a massive expansion onto huge areas of land that had not been touched in the early Neolithic.  Some maps of LBK/Cardial give a slightly false impression of how strong they were.  They were extremely choosy and pretty well restricted themselves to Loess and Gravel lands, completely ignoring the vast majority of the ground.  In contrast, in the middle Neolithic they were much more adaptable and expanded into most types of land.  That clearly would have allowed a population explosion of some sort.

The huge question from a DNA point of view is what is the origin of Chassee (and elated cultures).  In Scarre's book he indicates that there is a mixture of views including a strong one that Chassee had roots in Cardial.  However, he also seems to indicate roots in LBK in some area and other stuff I read years ago certainly pointed to LBK roots in a lot of middle Neolithic cultures in NW Europe.  

I am not saying by any means this is the answer but I think it is again worth noting that a lot of the big middle Neolithic expansion took place c. 4000BC while the earliest beakers in Iberia were c. 3000BC. So, that is a choice of 5 or 6 thousand years ago, a difference I am not convinced is big enough to strongly favour one or the other as a match for R1b1b2 (or L11 or just S116).
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 07:23:26 AM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
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