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Thread: New Samples from Migration Era and Early Medieval Moravia

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    Quote Originally Posted by leonardo View Post
    Those small and quick populations may have been at work. I read somewhere, but can't find the source, that the early West Slav movement in Poland involved clans who would carve out arable land from the forest, but that each clan would leave a patch of forest or woods to separate them - for safety presumably, but perhaps also for growth? Eventually, the clans formed tribes, the tribes noted in the Early Middle Ages.
    Apparently Balts had same practice.
    In Baltic (East and West languages forest term Latvian mežs, Prussian median, Lithuanian medis “tree” comes from PIE term for ‘between’, cognate to Latin median (from which modern median) «between” and Slavic term (i.e. Russian между “between”).
    Interesting that Proto-Finnics borrowed that term for forest as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    Good you mentioned this, because it was about Han Chinese clans colonising newly conquered or culturally Sinicised territories. So it was pretty similar to Corded Ware and it even started in prehistorical times, before the Chinese state and high culture.
    Basically the Chinese never stopped steamrolling from their demographic centres along the Hwangho.
    This was part of the reason why Rome fell apart, but China did not.
    But this is not really true, AFAIK data we have on the southern kingdoms during the Zhou period suggests the emerging states spoke languages that weren't Sinitic(Wu,Yue,Chu) and places like Sichuan spoke very divergent Sinitic languages. There was nothing to suggests the Northern Sinitic populations would have colonized and dominated the south without the power of a united Chinese state. And if "clan colonization" can happen within a state society then I don't see how we can meaningful talk about the role of egalitarian vs specialized societies anyway.

    Right, the others were contracting while they expanded. But part of this was that their self-sufficient clan units were not as vulnerable with their simpler and less complex society, both plagues and economic downfall wasnt as much of a problem to them.
    The plague doesn't really care how a society is structure, the main reason the Slavs were potentially less affected was them being either lucky or simply more geographically isolated(I believe we saw the same pattern during the black death, it had to come from West and not from the Steppe where it first arrived)

    Also, once such clans meet higher cultured and settled people in great numbers, they often form a top layer. That's not ob equal terms, like clan vs clan people.
    This says more about the region they conquer than the people conquering it, given that a poor unurbanized region being colonized by more complex societies can result in the colonists bringing people from outside to kickstart new economical niches or systems.
    The Germans during the eastwards expansion of the HRE were colonists on all layers of society and in some places Slavic rulers remained instead where otherwise linguistic and ethnic Germanization was quite strong(Mecklenburg)

    The subjugated people usually occupy niches the conquerors either can't or don’t want to fill. Take miners, metal workers and specialised agriculturalists, like for vine, as sn example. They also might have a lot of more cultivated and attractive women and so on.
    But it doesn't really matter if they are indeed just "niches", it's more important what the bulk of the population does and whether the newcomers infiltrate or take over those systems.

    The Slavs didn't have to intentionally destroy Greek cities to have the demographic effect they had anyway, they lived alongside them(at least the southern ones that survived the wars) which in theory should be exactly what supposedly leads to non-egalitarian societies to have less of an impact, this argument also extends to the survival of Romanians and Albanians among Slavs, those people also fit a niche of pastoralism.
    But ultimately it doesn't matter whether cities(at least those that remained under Byzantine control) and pastoralism was taken by other peoples, the important part IMHO is that the Slavs took the good agricultural land and the bulk of the food production in their own hands, whether the Byzantines held onto their own declining cities didn't necessarily matter if the "sea" surrounding those cities was Slavic.

    That's why no pastoralist and agro-pastoralist conquest, or almost none, had completely changed the Balkans and Carparthians for example.
    As I said above, Vlachs were pastoralists and AFAIK Albanians too. They might not have conquered as much of the Balkans but respectively they did carve out sizeable lands for themselves without having the opportunity the Slavs initially had.

    But in general before the Roman era we don't exactly have such a large sample size of events to say that only certain types of societies could have the impact Slavs did.

    The competition on the flat land between clanish tribes on equal terms was usually much harder, because they occupied the same niche and letting the defeated live, if there was no desperate need for more men, was always more dangerous and less profitable. It wasn't just about numbers, but decisions.
    But the Slavs didn't really massacre the locals and we do know some of the Germans were given "thirds" of lands(or in some places tax revenue) from the Romans, which is comparably a lot of land.

    The Germanics, especially the already in a kingship living East Germanics wanted just to take control and probably the best strips of land, otherwise the Romans to work on, for them.
    The Germanics encountered a much more robust aristocratic, urban and religious network in the territories they settled and in places like Italy and North Africa they were also reconquered relatively soon(and later arrivals like the Lombards weren't exactly super-successful).
    The difference is also that the Visigoths had to migrated through Roman lands to settle to a place the Romans choose for them while not having as much opportunity to grow in size as the Slavs, it was harder for further migrations to feed into the Visigothic ranks.
    For people such as the Franks the early conversion to Catholicism and also their stabilization of the frontier(conquest of Alemannia) didn't exactly favour further migrations and demographic impact into Gaul(while in the Balkans there were multiple waves).

    One might argue that some of those things were possible only because the Germanic tribes were complex enough, but on the other side if they weren't they wouldn't necessarily have been able to take-over Roman lands to begin with. One cannot really imagine Slavic-like Germans settling through Western Roman lands like the Slavs did in the Balkans, Gaul alone had more people than all of the Balkans and Eastern Danube lands combined and at least Gaul+Northern Italy+Britain would have had IMHO more land than everything between the Elbe-Venice line and Prussia-Moldavia and this is comparing roughly the 400 CE situation, not 400 CE Western Rome to 550-650 CE Central Europe.
    Levels of density were very different.

    Also its no closed case how big their genetic impact really was. Lot of open questions. But surely the Slavs had a better ratio in their core territories.
    The evidence is a bit bit contradictory, on one side by 1000 CE there was no real Celtic speaking population left in most of England outside of Cornwall and Cumbria, same goes for Latin speaking population on the Southern bank of the Danube or on the left bank of the Rhine, on the other hand the Slavs left many more Greek, Romanian and Albanian minorities in their midst(despite evidently them having a lot of Slavic ancestry) which all 3 had at some point some resurgence and assimilated Slavs back(which I guess is how they partially goth the Slavic ancestry)

    So the Slavs might have had more genetic impact but at the same time they also didn't assimilate people as quickly and as thoroughly as the Germanic migratory groups did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    If you were a farmer in Late Antiquity / Early Middle Ages, you wanted to have 15 (as many as possible) children because children were considered workforce at that time. Children helped farmers in their work from young age. Soldiers in Roman legions, barbarian warriors, etc., did not have many children, they did not even have time for that, and they did not even want to have so many. Slavs probably reproduced the most because they were the most reliant on agriculture out of all those groups.

    Just because you are a Hunnic chieftain who has access to many wifes/concubines & can have many children, does not mean that you want to have them!

    Of course contraception was not nearly as advanced back then as now, but abortions and throwing away newborn babies were common practices!

    On the other hand - a typical farmer always wanted to raise many children because kids were economically beneficial as additional farm workforce.

    I know it all sounds harsh for modern moral etc. standards, but the "Dark Ages" were not a paradise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Already Augustus complained that Roman elites did not want to reproduce and were getting extinct.

    Why would it necessarily be different for barbarian elites? Especially after conquering Rome and adopting Roman ways?

    Maybe children were just an obstacle in their lavish, exciting, adventurous lifestyles. Just like today.

    Today the main difference is that contraception is more effective, so the elites reproduce even less.

    However for a farmer, children were assets - so a farmer's thinking is different. Also a rich farmer's.
    Most Germanic settlers were not kings and upper nobles, they had an hierarchy among themselves too and they demanded land as well and clearly the bulk of their army must have been made by freemen soldiers that likely weren't large landowners themselves(given their relatively sizeable numbers and given the survival of good portions of the Roman aristocracy in places like Italy, southern Gaul and so on)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granary View Post
    But this is not really true, AFAIK data we have on the southern kingdoms during the Zhou period suggests the emerging states spoke languages that weren't Sinitic(Wu,Yue,Chu) and places like Sichuan spoke very divergent Sinitic languages. There was nothing to suggests the Northern Sinitic populations would have colonized and dominated the south without the power of a united Chinese state. And if "clan colonization" can happen within a state society then I don't see how we can meaningful talk about the role of egalitarian vs specialized societies anyway.
    Yes, you are right. Its more about the general culture of a people and whether they have that spirit and ideology, rather than whether they are egalitarian or not. However, within the families, within the Chinese system, we had all those elements with or without the state. In later Rome or Christian Medieval societies, much less so. Early Rome had ancestor worship and house gods pretty similar to the Chinese, but these elements of their culture and society waned, being replaced by other social customs and ideas, focused on material wealth and gains.

    The plague doesn't really care how a society is structure, the main reason the Slavs were potentially less affected was them being either lucky or simply more geographically isolated(I believe we saw the same pattern during the black death, it had to come from West and not from the Steppe where it first arrived)
    If you have rather wide distances between the settlements, not that much communication and trade, being almost or even truly self-sufficient, we have exactly what you need to be safer from a plague, you have much reduced contacts and reduced contacts mean reduced risk of getting infected. I think it should be obvious that especially the large urban agglomerations, but even the larger and more diverse East Germanic settlements, should all have been hit much harder than the Slavic farmers in the woods, living together with a couple of other families of a clan, all related, and having under normal circumstances only rare contacts to the outer world, mostly transmitted by intermediaries, like Germanic and Slavic merchants.

    But it doesn't really matter if they are indeed just "niches", it's more important what the bulk of the population does and whether the newcomers infiltrate or take over those systems.
    No people would, if not being stupid, just closed and ruined the Carpathian mines for example. Even if they would have killed most of the farmers around, if possible, they would have tried to keep the specialists for the task - most of the time. That's my best guess how my own haplogroup, E-V13, survived the Indoeuropean conquest among the earliest Western steppe people, because they knew each other and they even came to the region because of its riches. Killing the specialists would just have made it harder to profit from it, even as a more egalitarian clanspeople.

    The Slavs didn't have to intentionally destroy Greek cities to have the demographic effect they had anyway, they lived alongside them(at least the southern ones that survived the wars) which in theory should be exactly what supposedly leads to non-egalitarian societies to have less of an impact, this argument also extends to the survival of Romanians and Albanians among Slavs, those people also fit a niche of pastoralism.
    I disagree especially on the second part. Because Vlachs and Albanians, from my point of view, didn't survive just because they occupied a niche, because it wasn't a particularly valuable one for the Slavs, but because they were as or even more self-sufficient. So after breakdown of the complex, economically developed society, it was these Albanian and Vlach pastoralists which could evade the Slavs and survive on their own, even defend their ground against the Slavs in the hilly territories they occupied, to which the Slavs were not used to. The biggest Slavic contributions all around Europe being in the flat land, open lands, not the hilly and mountainous zones, to which self-sufficient locals could retreat to and even coming back from. The Vlachs and Albanians therefore did what the Slavs did, formed self-sufficient clan units and began to re-take territory. That way they in turn assimilated Slavs which feel under their dominance, which explains the Slavic genetic contribution to Romanians and Albanians.

    But ultimately it doesn't matter whether cities(at least those that remained under Byzantine control) and pastoralism was taken by other peoples, the important part IMHO is that the Slavs took the good agricultural land and the bulk of the food production in their own hands, whether the Byzantines held onto their own declining cities didn't necessarily matter if the "sea" surrounding those cities was Slavic.
    Yes, absolutely. The point is still though, that this Slavic sea was all around sprinkled with smaller and larger groups of local pastoralists, towns and urban folks of non-Slavic origin. Whereas in the North the Slavs swept over the country and such strongholds of the local population rarely made it.

    As I said above, Vlachs were pastoralists and AFAIK Albanians too. They might not have conquered as much of the Balkans but respectively they did carve out sizeable lands for themselves without having the opportunity the Slavs initially had.
    Like explained above, they switched roles. The Slavs became the more settled down and cultured inhabitants, getting under pressure from the still more clanish pastoralists from the hills. But these were culturally not the civilised and urban Romans or Greeks any more, even if they would have directly descendend from them, what is one of those questions only genetics can answer in the future.

    But in general before the Roman era we don't exactly have such a large sample size of events to say that only certain types of societies could have the impact Slavs did.
    Your own examples prove it though, because the impact of the pre-Slavic inhabitants was the biggest where the locals, after the breakdown of civilisation, were self-sufficient, clanish pastoralists themselves. I guess if we ever can quantify it, we will see that the largest portion of what survived of Vlachs, Albanians and Northern Greeks was derived from local pastoralists, which on the long run switched roles and began to badger the now settled Slavs, rather than urban elites and so.
    The Germanics encountered a much more robust aristocratic, urban and religious network in the territories they settled and in places like Italy and North Africa they were also reconquered relatively soon(and later arrivals like the Lombards weren't exactly super-successful).
    The difference is also that the Visigoths had to migrated through Roman lands to settle to a place the Romans choose for them while not having as much opportunity to grow in size as the Slavs, it was harder for further migrations to feed into the Visigothic ranks.
    For people such as the Franks the early conversion to Catholicism and also their stabilization of the frontier(conquest of Alemannia) didn't exactly favour further migrations and demographic impact into Gaul(while in the Balkans there were multiple waves).

    One might argue that some of those things were possible only because the Germanic tribes were complex enough, but on the other side if they weren't they wouldn't necessarily have been able to take-over Roman lands to begin with. One cannot really imagine Slavic-like Germans settling through Western Roman lands like the Slavs did in the Balkans, Gaul alone had more people than all of the Balkans and Eastern Danube lands combined and at least Gaul+Northern Italy+Britain would have had IMHO more land than everything between the Elbe-Venice line and Prussia-Moldavia and this is comparing roughly the 400 CE situation, not 400 CE Western Rome to 550-650 CE Central Europe.
    Levels of density were very different.
    Yes, mostly agree with you. But we have to question whether we know all the genetic diversity the Goths brought in. Like what was a tribal Goth in Italy or Iberia might have been different from the classical Germanic and more admixed. This must be taken into consideration if estimating their total impact. Like if the incoming people were around 50 percent core Germanic, no more, this would instantly double the impact they had on the pensinsula, possibly.

    The evidence is a bit bit contradictory, on one side by 1000 CE there was no real Celtic speaking population left in most of England outside of Cornwall and Cumbria, same goes for Latin speaking population on the Southern bank of the Danube or on the left bank of the Rhine, on the other hand the Slavs left many more Greek, Romanian and Albanian minorities in their midst(despite evidently them having a lot of Slavic ancestry) which all 3 had at some point some resurgence and assimilated Slavs back(which I guess is how they partially goth the Slavic ancestry)
    Yes, agreed again, but this was also because of the different niches they occupied and the Slavs weren't able to subjugate them. Like most of Romania was totally under Slavic control at the beginning, you can also see that because they didn't even care for defences and settled in the most practical spots for daily activities. You can really imagine how they lived fairly carelessly, in a good spot they recently conquered. Their ceramic and other archaeological remains totally dominate the record. However, they were not everywhere and really concentrated along the valleys and rivers. As soon as they settled down and had their confortable life, they lost some of the advantages they had before, when being used to a more mobile and aggressive way of life. You can imagine how slowly but steadily pastoralist Vlach clans from the hill took over, with the Slavic valley people just giving in on their constant harrassment or were just overwhelmed. Really switched roles in comparison to the earlier times. In some cases the Vlach derived people became Slavicised, so it was no clear cut case for whose language got dominant, but practically nowhere in the hilly terrains, they were just subjugated, but most of the time met the Slavs on equal terms it seems. That's because they could resist, on their own, as autonomous units. The Roman provincial farmers and townsfolk could not, which was their doom.

  7. #2555
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uka View Post
    My point was, that R-L1029 & I-Y3120 are often times assumed to be Belarusian/Lithuanian-like, on the basis of medieval samples that post date the earliest ancestor some 1000+ earlier than these finds. There's no guarantee they were exactly alike in the Iron age.

    A large part of your autosomal signature is made up of input largely from generations of mixing/transmission from numerous lines, especially MtDNA. Theres R-L1029 Chinese without any Slavic admixture.

    The assumption that Proto-Slavs should look exactly like medieval migration/post migration era samples 1000 years later is wishy washy.

    IBD sharing is probably the most important thing in determining such links. R-L1029 and I-Y3120 could have looked quite different or moderately different from samples in the medieval that are used to make such baseless conclusions.
    What exactly makes the assumption that Proto-Slavs were Belarusian-like wishy washy? Somehow some want to grasp at every straw (mysterious Baltic migration to southeast Czechia/Avar Hungary, Varangians from Kievan Rus in East Germany, AV2 being a Baltic "concubine" from Belarusia,...) to deny that the Belarusian-like profile from Hungary to East Germany in the early medieval period was because of Proto-Slavs. If anything Proto-Slavs were more likely more Baltic-like than AV2 than much less Baltic-like because these samples could technically already be mixed and pick local admix, which definitely not resembled Belarusian/Lithuanians in any genetic dimension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldmountains View Post
    What exactly makes the assumption that Proto-Slavs were Belarusian-like wishy washy? Somehow some want to grasp at every straw (mysterious Baltic migration to southeast Czechia/Avar Hungary, Varangians from Kievan Rus in East Germany, AV2 being a Baltic "concubine" from Belarusia,...) to deny that the Belarusian-like profile from Hungary to East Germany in the early medieval period was because of Proto-Slavs. If anything Proto-Slavs were more likely more Baltic-like than AV2 than much less Baltic-like because these samples could technically already be mixed and pick local admix, which definitely not resembled Belarusian/Lithuanians in any genetic dimension.
    It's wishy washy because we don't have any actual Iron Age samples that can be classified as early Proto-Slavs. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not aware of any. So my point stands. It's still guesswork.

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    Riverman, if several hundred thousand Germans came out of Poland and it succeeded somewhere, we would have their genetic trace somewhere (I1, U106, IBD etc.). Where? If several hundred thousand people gave up their crops, we would have a break in Poland, visible in the palynological record. You can't see anything like that! Several hundred thousand new settlers would have to come to their place. Whence? If a small group of settlers had come and grown rapidly, we would have had a clear genetic trace of this event in genes. Meanwhile, Poles have the largest effective population size in Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambron View Post
    Meanwhile, Poles have the largest effective population size in Europe.
    Based on what? Their Y-DNA diversity is atrociously low to claim that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambron View Post
    Riverman, if several hundred thousand Germans came out of Poland and it succeeded somewhere, we would have their genetic trace somewhere (I1, U106, IBD etc.). Where? If several hundred thousand people gave up their crops, we would have a break in Poland, visible in the palynological record.
    Not all left, just like in parts of Scandinavia or Germany, but a large portion and not just the elite, but many, many commoners and most of the elite together. As for the genetic legacy of people like the Goths, we have to get more material and data, and there is nothing in their later history, which suggests that they were demographically particularly lucky, won't you say? From the brother wars, the massacres of the Huns, the starvation while fleeing into Roman territory, the many times they were on the moves, which always leaves a lot of people dead behind, especially women and children, which are obviously the genetic legacy, to the disastrous defeats and the fact that they entered regions in which they left most of the population untouched and were a minority from the start, even if numbering many thousands of people. They could have entered Italy and Iberia with one million people and still wouldn't have left the same relative genetic legacy behind as 100.000 Slavs in Poland. That's the most important takeaway. Like the Vandals, not as numerous, but a fairly big Germanic folk tribe nevertheless, which virtually disappeared on the African coast and hinterland. What were they supposed to leave behind? The setting was completely different and its exactly the low population density after the Germanic migrations in Poland which allowed the Slavs to have the impact they had, among other things.
    Last edited by Riverman; 07-17-2021 at 06:56 PM.

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    It may not be particularly relevant, but one of the singleton L1029 lines that had hitherto had only Albanian members now has an Estonian according to YFull. One of the admins at the M458 Facebook group is a member of the clade (he is Albanian-American, not the Estonian guy), so I have been aware of it for a time. Our L1029 branch is surely a very complex one, and we all trace back to one guy living during the waning days of the Roman Republic, although most likely not in it, of course.

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