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Thread: Z220 in ancient DNA from the Tollense battlefield: the North side of the NS Cluster

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    Z220 in ancient DNA from the Tollense battlefield: the North side of the NS Cluster

    We haven't had a new thread, for quite a while, about the branch of DF27 that used to be called "the North-South Cluster," based on a recognizable STR signature (and a few years before DF27 itself was discovered, and named). I have a perspective on the topic that isn't very widely shared, so I feel some obligation to bring several posts together in one thread. I hope I can juggle several urls to do that in a logical way.

    I'll start with a new post, in which one of the Tollense bodies has been identified as Z220+. This comment was not posted in a DF27 forum, but its author ADW_1981 regularly contributes on our threads. https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....l=1#post698321

    I won't belabor that topic, which may continue to be discussed where it appeared. But for the identification of Z220 as the level at which the NS Cluster becomes recognizable, I'll link to an earlier discussion here. I posted this in the context of finding the obituaries of two members of the Zenker family -- who were enormously helpful in getting that part of the DF27 haplotree sorted, six or more years ago. https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....l=1#post556776

    The Tollense Battlefield remains are not early enough to prove much about the origin, or the direction of migration, of our Z220 ancestors. But any aDNA that identifies a subclade of DF27 is interesting, at present. The nature of the DF27 mutation (like that of U152) keeps it from being identified in the targeted testing of highly degraded ancient samples. So, we search a little farther downstream, where we can find Z220 (or L2), and take what we can get.

    Here is some background on Tollense itself. I have yet to study it closely, but as Wikipedia entries go, it is highly informative and current: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tollen...ey_battlefield
    Last edited by razyn; 09-05-2020 at 03:58 AM.

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    This is a very good catch!!!

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    Is there a more granular approach to digging out more informative SNPs than what Yleaf is able to determine? Since we know quite a bit about Z220 and certainly by 1300 BC, many downstream men were roaming around west-central Europe.

    After doing some scanning of other threads when the first paper was released on Tollense, there was some suggesting that it was a major battle between two groups (and some mercenaries), one being local and the other being from central Europe. The R1b results and a central European connection are very plausible now that we see another male is identified under L2+. Both these groups are very common in the central European region.

    Was it a battle over resources? Probably so, but which? This bridge granting access to the amber route?
    Last edited by ADW_1981; 09-05-2020 at 03:41 PM.
    YDNA: R1b-BY50830 Stepney, London, UK George Wood b. 1782 English <-> Bavarian cluster
    m gf YDNA: ?? Gurr, James ~1740, Smarden, Kent, England.
    m gm YDNA: R1b-P311+ Beech, John Richard b. 1780, Lewes, England
    m ggf YDNA R1b-U106 Thomas, Edward b 1854, Sittingbourne, Kent
    p ggf YDNA: R1b-Z17901. Gould, John Somerset England 1800s.
    p ggf YDNA: R1b-L48. Scott, William Hamilton Ireland(?) 1800s

    other:
    Turner: R-U152
    Welch: early 1800s E-M84 Kent, England.

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    Well it seems that the identification of sample WEZ59 as Z220+ (based on the long ISOGG term for it, which I suppose was based on an earlier version of the ISOGG tree and now means something else) was incorrect. Anyway a Z220 negative call has been found in its BAM file. https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....l=1#post698844

    It's still P312* and like many such calls, could well be DF27+ (or anything else downstream of P312 that couldn't be read, or the call wasn't believed). Also, "downstream" may be a poor metaphor when applied to the remains of hundreds of guys whose bodies piled up in a river and were silted over, thereby preserved for 3,000 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by razyn View Post
    Well it seems that the identification of sample WEZ59 as Z220+ (based on the long ISOGG term for it, which I suppose was based on an earlier version of the ISOGG tree and now means something else) was incorrect. Anyway a Z220 negative call has been found in its BAM file. https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....l=1#post698844

    It's still P312* and like many such calls, could well be DF27+ (or anything else downstream of P312 that couldn't be read, or the call wasn't believed). Also, "downstream" may be a poor metaphor when applied to the remains of hundreds of guys whose bodies piled up in a river and were silted over, thereby preserved for 3,000 years.
    I think it was due to a Z274+ call? I am not aware of any Z274+ Z220- person living today so it could be a dead branch? Just like this guy, perhaps dead with no descendants. I agree it's a bit disappointing.
    YDNA: R1b-BY50830 Stepney, London, UK George Wood b. 1782 English <-> Bavarian cluster
    m gf YDNA: ?? Gurr, James ~1740, Smarden, Kent, England.
    m gm YDNA: R1b-P311+ Beech, John Richard b. 1780, Lewes, England
    m ggf YDNA R1b-U106 Thomas, Edward b 1854, Sittingbourne, Kent
    p ggf YDNA: R1b-Z17901. Gould, John Somerset England 1800s.
    p ggf YDNA: R1b-L48. Scott, William Hamilton Ireland(?) 1800s

    other:
    Turner: R-U152
    Welch: early 1800s E-M84 Kent, England.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADW_1981 View Post
    I think it was due to a Z274+ call? I am not aware of any Z274+ Z220- person living today so it could be a dead branch? Just like this guy, perhaps dead with no descendants. I agree it's a bit disappointing.
    DF17 is below Z274/Z272 also, as it is Z220/Z209's brother. I went through the whole FTDNA project , just in case something has changed in the last year or so, but you are correct as in there is no Z274* to be found.

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    I havent really read anything much about the battle, the remains etc. No more than what ive seen in basic summaries in magazines etc. I am a bit too busy and I suspect to have a good crack at understanding it may take me down a rabbit hole I dont have time for. But I will make a couple of basic comments now.

    I dont know the details of the geography/physical site but battles at fords etc are thought to have been common. Fords being the natural gate into a territory.

    Secondly, it seems that the bodies were part strewn on the shore and part deep enough in the water so they couldnt strip the bodies in the latter area. That pattern would to me seem to be a natural post-battle one and tends to rule out the idea that the dead warriors were a ritual deposit to some water god.

    As regards who fought in the battle, there is clearly not enough data to be sure what the opponents were politically. One possibility I would raise is that they were simply neighbouring v similar tribes but that one of them had the protection of a more southerly group (by being their clients). Part of such clientship deals were that the tribe you were a client of had to protect you. Sort of protection racket style. So, it is possible IMO that the battle was between two fairly local tribes, one of whom was a client/had the protection of a powerful more southerly group. Perhaps because there was some strong trade relationship. Just one possibility among several.

    The fact the bodies were left as they fell, even the ones that did not sink, and the fact that the accessible ones were stripped does suggest that the remains are the remains of the defeated. It also suggests that nobody who cared about the dead men ever got access to the area again. The most likely explanation is obviously that the locals won and let the invading army rot. However, its also not impossible that the locals (and a foreign element who they were clients of/protected by) were defeated so badly that remnants of their fighters and and non-combatants fled never to return or were enslaved and sold and their lands taken. I have not read into it in depth but there are a lot of scenarios possible IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    The fact the bodies were left as they fell, even the ones that did not sink, and the fact that the accessible ones were stripped does suggest that the remains are the remains of the defeated. It also suggests that nobody who cared about the dead men ever got access to the area again. The most likely explanation is obviously that the locals won and let the invading army rot. However, its also not impossible that the locals (and a foreign element who they were clients of/protected by) were defeated so badly that remnants of their fighters and and non-combatants fled never to return or were enslaved and sold and their lands taken. I have not read into it in depth but there are a lot of scenarios possible IMO.
    I'm going to assume that wherever the "local winners" lived, it probably wasn't immediately downstream where all the bodies collected in the water.
    R1b>M269>L23>L51>L11>P312>DF19>DF88>FGC11833 >S4281>S4268>Z17112>BY44243

    Ancestors: Francis Cooke (M223/I2a2a) b1583; Hester Mahieu (Cooke) (J1c2 mtDNA) b.1584; Richard Warren (E-M35) b1578; Elizabeth Walker (Warren) (H1j mtDNA) b1583;
    John Mead (I2a1/P37.2) b1634; Rev. Joseph Hull (I1, L1301+ L1302-) b1595; Benjamin Harrington (M223/I2a2a-Y5729) b1618; Joshua Griffith (L21>DF13) b1593;
    John Wing (U106) b1584; Thomas Gunn (DF19) b1605; Hermann Wilhelm (DF19) b1635

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    I havent really read anything much about the battle, the remains etc. No more than what ive seen in basic summaries in magazines etc. I am a bit too busy and I suspect to have a good crack at understanding it may take me down a rabbit hole I dont have time for. But I will make a couple of basic comments now.

    I dont know the details of the geography/physical site but battles at fords etc are thought to have been common. Fords being the natural gate into a territory.

    Secondly, it seems that the bodies were part strewn on the shore and part deep enough in the water so they couldnt strip the bodies in the latter area. That pattern would to me seem to be a natural post-battle one and tends to rule out the idea that the dead warriors were a ritual deposit to some water god.

    As regards who fought in the battle, there is clearly not enough data to be sure what the opponents were politically. One possibility I would raise is that they were simply neighbouring v similar tribes but that one of them had the protection of a more southerly group (by being their clients). Part of such clientship deals were that the tribe you were a client of had to protect you. Sort of protection racket style. So, it is possible IMO that the battle was between two fairly local tribes, one of whom was a client/had the protection of a powerful more southerly group. Perhaps because there was some strong trade relationship. Just one possibility among several.

    The fact the bodies were left as they fell, even the ones that did not sink, and the fact that the accessible ones were stripped does suggest that the remains are the remains of the defeated. It also suggests that nobody who cared about the dead men ever got access to the area again. The most likely explanation is obviously that the locals won and let the invading army rot. However, its also not impossible that the locals (and a foreign element who they were clients of/protected by) were defeated so badly that remnants of their fighters and and non-combatants fled never to return or were enslaved and sold and their lands taken. I have not read into it in depth but there are a lot of scenarios possible IMO.
    I came largely to similar conclusions, like expressed in another thread and this post in particular:
    https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....l=1#post699065

    Two things to add which are important on its own: The only outlier with R1a/North Eastern shift was one of those which ended up in deeper water, so probably its just a single warrior or from a small group, or from a larger tribe or ally which participated, but they were the winners and took most other bodies away.

    The other is that without testing local warrior burials, we don't know the profile of the locals - its even possible alliances met at this battlefield of which almost nobody was "truly local", even though I don't think that's likely.

    Another one is that the main paternal haplotypes found so far are all not what you would expect of a Pre-Germanic group, nor were they particularly successful even in the wider region, not even to the relative South. So it seems to me we deal with an unknown people which were somehow related to Celts possibly, but were largely replaced later. They made, as a group, no big lasting impression on the macro-region. I guess that some of the lineages were at that time much wider spread and its clear to me that at that point in time, we deal with big alliances of clans, chieftains and tribes, so no strict distinction by haplogroups possible any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewsloth View Post
    I'm going to assume that wherever the "local winners" lived, it probably wasn't immediately downstream where all the bodies collected in the water.
    Considering the population density of the time, the numbers of warriors, the elaborated equipment and so on, we don't deal with locals even if I sometimes wrote about "locals", but rather about major alliances which mustered troops from far away, over wide regional groupings. This was, like some authors put it, no brawl between neighbouring peasants. I'm pretty sure we still have only a very small fraction of all the dead and many won't be recovered at all, because their remains have rotten completely on the surface. This was a huge war effort for that time and a big, irreplaceable loss. Like the losers might have been defeated for long, probably forever.
    But, at some point archaeologists might be lucky, because if at least some renowned warriors were put to rest with all honours by their kinsmen and allies, they might appear somewhere. Like groups of young warriors were buried just in the region of the battlefield, some spoke about "brotherhoods". But the fallen warriors would have the same dating and similar wounds, probably someone makes a lucky find of that kind which can be connected to the battlefield. However, considering how many remains are lost or will never be found, this would be like the lucky punch for archaeologists.

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    looks like the majority of the retrived deaths were locals
    https://www.academia.edu/34119122/Mu...theast_Germany

    maybe the wrong thread
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