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Thread: Oldest Steppe Bell Beakers: Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

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    Oldest Steppe Bell Beakers: Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

    We now have confirmation that there was a genetic distinction between Steppe Bell Beaker and Iberian Bell Beaker, with only the former having steppe ancestry and belonging almost entirely to haplogroup R1b-L11. A tip of the cap to posters "Alan" and "rms" for insisting on that point for many years. One of the major distinguishing factors between the two groups has always been the difference in burial rites. Steppe Bell Beaker buried their dead in single graves while Iberian Bell Beaker continued the Neolithic practice of collective burials. In September 2015 I postulated that if there was a difference between the two populations (we had none from Iberia), radiocarbon dating of single graves may lead us to some important information about the origin of L11. Since we now have radiocarbon dates of single grave Steppe Bell Beaker R1b-P312 samples, I pulled together all Bell Beaker dates from single graves that used bone/collagen samples and avoided charcoal samples affected by what called the “old wood” effect. To my delight, some new radiocarbon dates have come to light and are likely to drastically alter our view of Steppe Bell Beaker. Without a doubt, the oldest dates come from the area of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. See the spreadsheet below:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

    After throwing out two Dutch dates that Lanting classified as “too old” possibly due to contamination, and two French dates because of very large standard deviations (130+ years), the top eight oldest dates are from three sites in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Of note is the sample from Bleckendorf. Some publications classify him as Yamnaya and some as Bell Beaker. This is what Harrison and Heyd had to say about this burial:

    In this transformation, under the impact of ideas
    originating in the Yamnaya culture, different processes
    were taking place together, and their mutual interactions
    are more complicated than one might expect. It is
    obvious that cultural assimilation by indigenous people
    of an ideological ‘Package’ was important; but so too
    was the arrival of individual people from the steppes
    and Pontic area. Their significance derives from their
    social rank, and the archetype is the single burial from
    Bleckendorf, Lkr. Aschersleben-Staßfurt (Saxony-Anhalt)
    in Germany (Behrens 1952) (Fig. 49). We do not
    know if this man journeyed farther to the west than
    anyone else, yet his equipment and burial rite was
    typical for the Yamnaya culture. An early tanged knife,
    a copper awl, bone hammerhead pin, and a decorated
    beaker accompanied the skeleton in a deep pit. The
    radiocarbon determination places it around the 27th
    century BC (14C: 4080±20 bp [KIA-162]; 1-Sigma:
    2850–2500 BC: J. Müller 1999). The nearest parallels
    are found in Moldavia at the Dnestr River and in the
    Ukraine.


    Yes, this sample had a Corded Ware beaker, but if we consider pottery making as a female craft, his wife could very well have been a Corded Ware woman. His male prestige item is a copper dagger in the Yamnaya/Bell Beaker style instead of a Corded Ware axe. The Yamnaya/Bell Beaker classification puts him squarely in the L23 conversation. This is not very far-fetched when you consider that twenty miles away and, one or two generations later we have the ninth oldest date… none other than the Kromsdorf R-M343 sample! The Kromsdorf cemetery also had an R-M269 sample that was not radiocarbon dated. Since individual SNPs were called, not much more is known about their genetics. Saxony-Anhalt samples continue to dominate until we get to our eighteenth oldest sample RISE563. He is our oldest R-P312 (and R-U152) and also the first sample found south of the Danube.

    While this does not mean that Saxony-Anhalt is the “ground zero” expansion point for L11, it would help explain a lot of what we know about L11 so far, namely:

    1. Steppe Bell Beaker’s non-steppe ancestry needs a population with Western Hunter-Gatherer (WHG) matching that of Globular Amphora Culture (GAC) or the Funnelbeaker Culture.
    2. Bell Beaker samples from Rhenish Bell Beaker (Netherlands and Britain) have more steppe ancestry than other Steppe Bell Beaker samples.
    3. The great diversity of Y-DNA groups in Csepel and Vucedol, both in the form of L23 and non-R1b. If L11 took this route, some may have stayed behind while the rest kept moving. Perhaps an early escape from the Great Hungarian Plain can be traced through tumuli as far west as Slovakia and the Austrian Burgenland. Tracing Lockenringe is another option.
    4. The founder effects (L2 in the Bell Beaker East Group and L21 in Britain) almost calls for a centralized P312 or L11-only group with no other haplogroups, namely Z2103 nor R1a and certainly not non-R haplogroups.
    5. A place where U106 was not too far to the east, at least not far enough so that it could not appear (without R1a) meaningful numbers just as the Bell Beaker Culture was starting to fade.
    6. The lack of R1b in Corded Ware samples. These early dates make it so that R1b is not needed in Corded Ware.

    So we have a very early Yamnaya/Bell Beaker man in Bleckendorf, Saxony-Anhalt, we have a very early R-M343+ man in Kromsdorf, Saxony-Anhalt and we have two later L11+ Bell Beaker samples from Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt (I0805 and I0806). So, that raises the question... was Saxony-Anhalt the main expansion area for L11 and/or P312?
    Last edited by R.Rocca; 03-27-2018 at 07:25 PM.
    Paternal: R1b-U152+ L2+ ZZ48+ FGC10543+, Pietro della Rocca, b. 1559, Agira, Sicily, Italy
    Maternal: Haplogroup H4a1-T152C!, Maria Coto, b. ~1864, Asturias, Spain
    Mother's Paternal: Haplogroup J1+ FGC4745/FGC4766+ PF5019+, Gerardo Caprio, b. 1879, Caposele, Avellino, Campania, Italy
    Father's Maternal: Haplogroup T2b-C150T, Francisca Santa Cruz, b.1916, Garganchon, Burgos, Spain

    Avatar: Bell Beaker East Group Warrior circa 2500 BC. (after Heyd 2000; drawing B. Richter)

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  3. #2
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    I wish we had that Bleckendorf man's genome. Certainly is a strange burial, so far west, yet so Yamnaya-like. The CW beaker bothers me a little, but he wasn't buried CW style, and there is that dagger rather than the usual CW stone battle axe.
     


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    Quote Originally Posted by R.Rocca View Post
    . . .


    . . .
    That beaker looks a lot like late Single Grave CW and something like early Bell Beaker (like 2Ib) in the picture below.

    Beakers_Corded Ware and Bell Beaker beakers_ Fokkens p. 17 w Maritime note and red lines.jpg

    Glad to see use of the term Steppe Bell Beaker to differentiate what I've been calling Kurgan Bell Beaker (same thing) from the Neolithic, collective tomb, gracile-Mediterranean-skeleton, non-R1b-M269 Bell Beaker. We need something like that for ease of understanding and brevity of communication. Either term, Steppe Bell Beaker or Kurgan Bell Beaker, is fine with me. (I like the little tip-of-the-hat to Gimbutas, but either way is good.)
    Last edited by rms2; 03-28-2018 at 12:03 AM.
     


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    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1

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    I know I have posted this elsewhere, but I want to suggest that maybe the Yamnaya subgroup Budzhak came up from its home territory near the NW coast of the Black Sea, went up the Prut River valley and came via the north slopes of the Carpathians and Malopolska into central Europe, and that Budzhak is the mysterious pre-Beaker culture.

    This is from page 113 of Svitlana Ivanova, Baltic-Pontic Studies vol. 18: 2013, 86-120 PL ISSN 1231-0344, "Connections Between the Budzhak Culture and Central European Groups of the Corded Ware Culture":

    Quote Originally Posted by Svitlana Ivanova
    Probably, the Budzhak population migrated westwards to central Europe across Malopolska and northern slopes of the Carpathians. The evidence of such connections could be found in the presence of Yamnaya graves in the central European area (Fig . 15), as well as in the similarity of individual shapes of pottery and ornamental motifs (Fig. 11, 12, 18-20).
    Budzhak buried its important males crouched on their left sides like Steppe Bell Beaker men, sometimes in stone-lined cists (like many SBB burials), and with archery equipment(!). Budzhak also had some beakers that were a lot like Steppe Bell Beaker beakers.

    This picture is from the aforementioned Ivanova Budzhak paper:

    Budzhak burial and arrowheads_Svitlana Ivanova.jpg

    Budzhak beakers vs. NE Scottish Steppe Bell Beakers:

    Beakers_Budzhak and NE Scottish Bell Beakers compared.jpg

    Danube_Rhine rivers showing Mikhailovka-Kemi Oba and Budzhak cultures.jpg
     


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    Here's a Budzhak burial in a stone-lined cist in which the posture is very much like that of the Bleckendorf man in Rich's original post.

    Budzhak burial in stone cist_Ivanova p. 92.jpg
    Last edited by rms2; 03-28-2018 at 01:25 AM.
     


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    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
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    A central date of c 2675BC works because he still post-dates the large R1a CW wave that has even reached Switzerland by 2750BC (dendro dates). It fits a pattern also noted of south Poland that other steppe groups and influences from Ukraine, Moldova etc were leaking into part of the CW zone in the century or two after the big wave west of CW.

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    Sorry to keep rattling on, but there's this, from page 119 of Ivanova's Budzhak article (note the mention of contact with GAC):

    Quote Originally Posted by Svitlana Ivanova
    A specific feature of the cultural – historical genesis of the North-Western Pontic Region at the turn of the 4th to the 3rd mill. BC is manifested by relations of its population with a foreign cultural environment. This concerns, first and foremost, the Budzhak culture that is a component of the Yamnaya cultural-historical region. The Budzhak culture represents connections with the Carpathian and Danube, the Corded Ware and the Globular Amphora cultures. The contacts were reflected in two aspects: imports, imitations and parallels in the Budzhak pottery and the occurrence of the Yamnaya burials found in other territories. Some forms of pottery and elements of its décor are rather surprisingly similar to central European groups of the Corded Ware culture. The analysis of the mainland culture of the Budzhak population enables us to assume the existence of contacts with the Corded Ware culture circle as early as in the first half of the 3rd mill. BC.
    Last edited by rms2; 03-28-2018 at 01:51 AM.
     


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    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
    rs182549 TT (22018 AA)

    Red Hair Carrier:
    Arg160Trp+ (rs1805008 T) aka R160W

    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1

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    Here is something interesting because it mentions Bleckendorf, Saxony-Anhalt, from page 98 of Ivanova's Budzhak article:

    Quote Originally Posted by Svitlana Ivanova
    The Yamnaya population moves far westwards, Yamnaya graves bearing local features (Vucedol) are known in Gönyü in the West of Hungary, Neusiedl-am-See in eastern Austria; Essling near Vienna and Bleckendorf, Saxony-Anhalt [Harrison, Heyd 2007; Heyd 2011].
     


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    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
    rs182549 TT (22018 AA)

    Red Hair Carrier:
    Arg160Trp+ (rs1805008 T) aka R160W

    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1

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    FWIW, Sashen-Anhalt does fit well with my rough estimate of the geographic midpoints for the minor L11 subclades and Iain McDonald's estimate that U106 originated between Prague and the Baltic

    -DF100/S1200 (Armenia, Scandinavia, Hungary, Germany) comes out in western Ukraine near the Polish border. If you remove Armenia then it's near near the Oder River (mid point on the German/Polish border...half way between the Baltic and Prague)

    -L238 (Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Austria) comes out near the Oder River (mid point on the German/Polish border) very close to DF100 pt above

    -A8039/S1194(Germany, Scandinavia, Armenia) comes out in NW Ukraine. If you remove Armenia it comes out on the German Baltic coast.

    These sites that Rich identified in Sachen-Anhalt (Egeln Nord, Hettstedt, Alberstedt, Wetzendory) are about 125 miles west of these minor subclade midpoints.


    https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....987#post364987

    Quote Originally Posted by R.Rocca View Post
    ..."The nearest parallels are found in Moldavia at the Dnestr River and in the Ukraine
    As rms2 mentioned this is the same area as the Yamnaya Budzhak culture.
    Last edited by MitchellSince1893; 03-28-2018 at 04:21 AM.
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    Where does R1b-Z36 fit into this scenario.

    Was it a Bell Beaker subclade and from which geographical zone of the Bell Beaker culture?
    Last edited by Cascio; 03-28-2018 at 08:03 AM.

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