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Thread: Pre-Beaker R1b in the Isles - can we rule it out?

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    Pre-Beaker R1b in the Isles - can we rule it out?

    On the "R1b and its sibling R1a possible route(s) into Europe" thread I mentioned some still outstanding "post Haak 2015" issues.

    I would like to elaborate on three of them in this new thread: 1 cremation; 2 later Neolithic Megalithic monuments; and 3 Neolithic meso/brachycephal remains.

    1. a cremation trail?
    Background -
    When I look at L21, U152 and, to a lesser extent, DF27 in the Bronze Age I see people who are steeped in a cremation tradition. This seems odd because our P312 Beakers were steeped in the single grave tradition - very closely related to Corded traditions.

    The Neolithic Cremation 'trail'
    For example, we can find cremation documented in the Tisza-Polgar culture and Baden culture. Kosco and Videiko (1995 - Origin of Neolithic and Eneolithic Cremation Rites in Europe) talk of the Northern Model of cremation and movement of cremation south into the Danube and into the Balkans.

    Childe (1950 Prehistoric Migrations in Europe) links the origins of cremation back to eastern Turkey. he also makes links to copper prospectors. On page 114/5 he states about Baden settlements "On the other hand several cases of cremation have been reported. ....Accordingly, Baden societies may have contained Anatolian prospectors attracted by the ores of central Europe They may even be constituted by a northward extension of that early macedonian migration across the Balkans that we envisaged in chapter V."
    So who were the people spreading cremation rituals in central/western Europe during the Neolithic / chalcolithic? Did they come from the North, or the Steppe or from Anatolia? Can we rule out R1b?

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    [QUOTE=Net Down G5L;74674]On the "I would like to elaborate on three of them in this new thread: 1 cremation; 2 later Neolithic Megalithic monuments; and 3 Neolithic meso/brachycephal remains.

    2. Megalithic - 're-arrangement 3000BCE'
    I find it very difficult to pin down an accurately dated sequence for Megalithic monuments. The literature is just too contradictory - menhirs, passage graves, gallery graves, dolmens etc.
    I will start with just one sub-issue. Who "re-arranged the monuments" at about 3000BCE?
    I attended the Prehistoric Society conference in London earlier this month. Alison Sheridon, Colin Richards and Josh Pollard made interesting comments about re-arranged monuments. Alison talked briefly about the Orkney elite introducing solar aligned monuments in Orkney c 3200-2900. Colin referred to La Hougue Bie on jersey as a composite monument made up of dismantled earlier monuments brought together to make a new monument about 3000BCE. He also described the Ring of brodgar, Stenness circle and Maeshowe as amalgams of earlier monuments on Orkney. Josh Pollard talked of 'renewed monument building' at Stonehenge c. 3000BCE and also cremation burials at the same time.
    So who were the Neolithic people who rearranged older monuments, possibly worshiped a sun god and possibly practiced cremation rituals. Can we rule out R1b?

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    [QUOTE=Net Down G5L;74675]
    Quote Originally Posted by Net Down G5L View Post
    On the "I would like to elaborate on three of them in this new thread: 1 cremation; 2 later Neolithic Megalithic monuments; and 3 Neolithic meso/brachycephal remains.
    3. Coon - Neolithic mesocephalic and brachycephalic remains
    I can hear some of you groaning. However, I think we have a lot to learn from Abercrombie, Vere Gorden Childe, Daniel, Hawkes, Coon etc - as well as Gimbutas. They were not afraid to talk about cultures and migrations, and i believe a lot of their hypotheses will be proven to be partly true by our analysis of DNA.
    Abercrombie (1912 Bronze Age Pottery) linked the work of Ripley on skull types to his analysis of pottery and described brachycephal people moving north west from the alps (Alpine types) to Borreby.
    Coon 1939 (The Races of Europe) thought the Alpine and Borreby brachycephals to be 'Mesolithic remnants'. Coon did however plot the route of a 'new migration of "Armenoid" brachycephal, sub-brachycephal and mesocephal people in the Neolithic. He traces their movement through the Mediterranean from Cyprus to Crete and through to cist graves in Sweden and Denmark.
    Here is a sample extract from page 146:
    " The evidence of the racial composition of the Copper Age sailors who reached Italy and the Italian islands is simple and direct. The moderately tall, long-headed, and narrow-nosed Megalithic people who were implanted, during the Late Neolithic, upon the smaller Mediterranean type which had preceded them, were followed, during the Aeneolithic, by others of the same kind, in the company of equally tall brachycephals. The latter resembled the people of the same Dinaric head form in Cyprus, Crete, and the Aegean, and without doubt formed a westward extension of the same movement."

    So, who were the 'Anatolian' brachycephals and mesocephals? Can we rule out R1b?
    Last edited by Net Down G5L; 03-17-2015 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Net Down G5L View Post
    On the "I would like to elaborate on three of them in this new thread: 1 cremation; 2 later Neolithic Megalithic monuments; and 3 Neolithic meso/brachycephal remains.

    2. Megalithic - 're-arrangement 3000BCE'
    I find it very difficult to pin down an accurately dated sequence for Megalithic monuments. The literature is just too contradictory - menhirs, passage graves, gallery graves, dolmens etc.
    I will start with just one sub-issue. Who "re-arranged the monuments" at about 3000BCE?
    I attended the Prehistoric Society conference in London earlier this month. Alison Sheridon, Colin Richards and Josh Pollard made interesting comments about re-arranged monuments. Alison talked briefly about the Orkney elite introducing solar aligned monuments in Orkney c 3200-2900. Colin referred to La Hougue Bie on jersey as a composite monument made up of dismantled earlier monuments brought together to make a new monument about 3000BCE. He also described the Ring of brodgar, Stenness circle and Maeshowe as amalgams of earlier monuments on Orkney. Josh Pollard talked of 'renewed monument building' at Stonehenge c. 3000BCE and also cremation burials at the same time.
    So who were the Neolithic people who rearranged older monuments, possibly worshiped a sun god and possibly practiced cremation rituals. Can we rule out R1b?
    The question I would ask is: Is there any real good reason to rule in R1b?

    Honestly, I can't see one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    The question I would ask is: Is there any real good reason to rule in R1b?

    Honestly, I can't see one.
    Well I can see no good reason to rule in any other type of DNA - unless you can give me one. Thats why I asked the question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Net Down G5L View Post
    Well I can see no good reason to rule in any other type of DNA - unless you can give me one. Thats why I asked the question.
    But you offer no good reason to rule in R1b. There are plenty of reasons to rule it out. I cited a number of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Net Down G5L View Post
    Who "re-arranged the monuments" at about 3000BCE?
    Neolithic farmers who were getting worried about the economy. Where the belief system is that the proper kind of worship will bring rewards from the gods, one possible response to natural calamity such as drought or disease is to throw ever more fervour into building more or greater monuments in the hope that supernatural aid will be forthcoming.

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    What would "Pre-Beaker R1b in the Isles" be? Neolithic farmers? Mesolithic hunter-gatherers?

    Anything is possible, I guess, and we are often reminded by those who don't like the way things are going that, until we dig up every last ancient cadaver, we cannot be sure there isn't a 9,000-year-old R1b hidden somewhere in Western Europe to prove the truth of the Iberian Refuge or the Italian Refuge or what not.

    The way I see it, and obviously I could be wrong, there are some pretty evident trends in ancient y-dna that are indicative of the way things were and how they played out. G2a appears to be the default Neolithic farmer y haplogroup, evidently descended from immigrants from the Near East. Y haplogroup I, especially I2a, appears to be native to Europe and to be the main y haplogroup of European hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic and earlier. There are traces of other y haplogroups, like F, C, and E-V13, and even one R1b1-M415 from Neolithic Spain who was probably R1b-V88 and represents a P297- line that left Eurasia for the Near East and Africa long before the rise of the R1b-L23 line that is currently the most frequent form of R1b in Europe.

    No R1b-L23 has been found in Europe older than that belonging to six of the seven Yamnaya remains from the Samara and Orenburg oblasts in Russia from the recent Haak et al paper. The oldest R1b yet found anywhere, about 7,600 years old, was recovered from a hunter-gatherer exhumed near Samara.

    A number of well-respected scholars, David Anthony and James Mallory among them, attribute the spread of Proto-Indo-European to the Yamnaya cultural horizon, and the only Yamnaya y-dna results thus far are all R1b, most of them R1b-L23.

    Some of those same scholars believe the Italo-Celtic branch of the Indo-European languages was spread by the Bell Beaker people, and now, thanks again to Haak et al, we have a Bell Beaker R1b-P312 result from a site near Quedlinburg, Germany, to accompany the two earlier R1bxU106 results (probably P312+, as well) from a site near Kromsdorf, Germany. We know that both the Bell Beaker people and Italo-Celtic languages eventually reached the British Isles and Ireland; it would not be too much of a stretch to infer that they arrived together.

    So, thus far we have no sign whatsoever of R1b-L23 in Europe from Germany west earlier than Bell Beaker in the late third millennium BC, and lots of Neolithic farmer y-dna belonging to y haplogroups that are not R1b. We also have a number of Mesolithic results that are not R1b. And we have a Western Europe that came to be Indo-European speaking somehow. Indo-European has an east-to-west phylogeography and - surprise! - so does R1b.

    In short, I think R1b-L23 arrived in Western Europe with Indo-European languages sometime in the 4th-3rd millennia BC and that there was no R1b in the Isles before the Bell Beaker people (unless some very few R1b-V88 got there in the Neolithic from Spain and left no y lines that survived).
    Last edited by rms2; 03-17-2015 at 11:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    ... even one R1b1-M415 from Neolithic Spain who was probably R1b-V88 and represents a P297- line that left Eurasia for the Near East and Africa long before the rise of the R1b-L23 line
    ? Is this one R1b1-M415 the El Trocs find reported in Haak et al?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy View Post
    ? Is this one R1b1-M415 the El Trocs find reported in Haak et al?
    Yes. The Els Trocs R1b1 was R1b1-M415.

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