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Monday, August 15, 2016

A few mito genomes from Maikop (or Maykop)

The mtDNA haplogroup list below is from a new paper at the Journal of Archaeological Science. I can't remember seeing mt-hgs M52, U8 or V7 in any of the results to date from the Bronze Age steppe. So perhaps we can tentatively say that Maikop-Novosvobodnaya populations didn't have an important impact on the maternal ancestry of early steppe pastoralists?

- Krasnodar Krai, Maikop burial, 4000-3000 BCE, mt-hg U8b1a2

- Krasnodar Krai, Maikop burial, 3700-3300 BCE mt-hg U8b1a2

- Republic of Adygea, Maikop burial, 3700-3300 BCE mt-hg M52

- Republic of Adygea, Novosvobodnaya burial, 3700-3300 BCE mt-hg V7

- Krasnodar Krai, unknown burial, 3700-3300 BCE mt-hg N1b1

- Republic of Adygea, unknown burial, 3700-3300 BCE mt-hg T2b

Also, interestingly, the Novosvobodnaya individual suffered from Bang's disease. You get that from drinking unpasteurized milk.


Sokolov et al., Six complete mitochondrial genomes from Early Bronze Age humans in the North Caucasus, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 73, September 2016, Pages 138–144, doi:10.1016/j.jas.2016.07.017

See also...

Big deal of 2018: Yamnaya not related to Maykop

Genetic borders are usually linguistic borders too

On the genetic prehistory of the Greater Caucasus (Wang et al. 2018 preprint)


ArtemisVentus said...

Barcin has U8b

postneo said...

I have said earlier that differential immunity to measles and brucellosis etc would have a far more lasting impact demographic impact then rushing about on horses.

Rob said...

So Majkop looks very Near Eastern/ West Asian
We need pre-Majkop genomes from north Caucasus

rozenblatt said...

>Ancient DNA was extracted from bone powder in the aDNA facilities from the Centre for Geogenetics (University of Copenhagen, Natural History Museum of Denmark), following the methodology described in Orlando et al., 2013.

>We would like to thank Dr Ludovic Orlando for allowing the use of the laboratory infrastructure for aDNA manipulations and also for his careful reading of the manuscript and his valuable suggestions.

So they used Danish lab. I hope there would be followup study where they will get full genomes.

Rob said...

marvellous. Hopefully, it'll be in the "Bronze Age extravaganza" paper due soon (?)

Samuel Andrews said...

"So Majkop looks very Near Eastern/ West Asian'

Nothing can be concluded with a few mtdna genomes.

Rob said...


Jaydeep said...

"We identified T2b, N1b1 and V7 haplogroups, all widely spread in Neolithic Europe. In addition, we identified the Paleolithic Eurasian U8b1a2 and M52 haplogroups, which are frequent in modern South Asia, particularly in modern India."

So we have 3 samples with mtDNA which is common in South Asia. This is in addition to the 3 ydna L1a samples from Armenia roughly dating to the same period, which are also most common in South Asia.

It seems there is some sort of South Asian connection here. Was there a movement of some South Asian groups into the Caucasus in the pre-Maikop period ?

ArtemisVentus said...

N1b was found in Natufian and also Neolithic Europe

T2b has 36 examples from Neolithic Europe.

U8b 2 examples from Neolithic Europe and Barcin Central Anatolia(meso/neolithic?).

Seems to imply Maikop had strong links to Anatolian farmers.

Also interesting to learn about the Novosvobodnaya culture and the Megaliths in the Urals. Never knew there were Megaliths in the Urals until today...

Nirjhar007 said...


Uh well for Majkop , the connection was there with Archaeological data -


Good point.

Davidski said...

There's no evidence of any population movements from South Asia to Europe apart from that of the Roma/Gypsies during the Middle Ages.

Nirjhar007 said...

I am not sure since I don't have the S Asian aDNA so far , so I can compare .

But on Eurasian pre-history, we must think of plenty of back and forth movements between every two points of the area.

Davidski said...

That's nonsense. South Asians have significant ancestry from Neolithic Iran and Bronze Age Eastern Europe, but there's hardly any South Asian admixture in Iran, and none in Eastern Europe.

You guys need to stop and think a bit, because you're acting crazy, especially Jaydeep.

capra internetensis said...

These results were leaked a while back, weren't they?


I don't think U8b1a is actually South Asian; I can't find any reference to it even existing there, much less originating there. M52 is Indian though.

Maykop was linked to trade routes that ran all the way to Afghanistan and Northwest India. This is way before the Mature Harappan civilization of course but already the Early Harappan cultures were in contact with Central Asia (Namazga/Geoksyur), so could well be traders moving all over the place at this time.

Davidski said...

Looks like there were some South Asians in Mesopotamia, so some of them may have moved from there to Maikop sites.

Tamil Merchant in Ancient Mesopotamia

Not exactly Out-of-India.

Aram said...

Would we be very surprised to see Y DNA L in Maykop? After all there is a mysterious L-M317 Pontic cluster in that region.

Aram said...

I don't remember any V7 in Near East Neolithic context. It is probably from Caucasus that moved to North (Finland) and West. Or it came from Crown Eurasian side to Caucasus.

Olympus Mons said...

And Barcin also has T1b (actually 2 of them). So Barcin has U8b and T2. Plus the incoming M52 that came probably with those L1a samples found in Chalcolithic Armenia (?).

On the other hand, T2b was much more common in carpatho-Balkan in neolithic, was it not? a lot more. As so was U8b. I always thought of Maykop as the result of heavy infiltration of the later stage of cultures like Cucuteni-Trypillian, because of the heavy metal work and ostentatious way of life.

Rob Yes. More samples from Svobodnoe and all the Zakubanye from the Kuban river...

Rob said...

These 'surprising but not really surprising' lineages could be "old", ie Mesolithic or Neolithic
So yeah - need pre-Majkop samples

Davidski said...

Y-HGs J, G, L, H, and R1b are all possible for Maikop. Having said that, I was pretty sure that Maikop would be very similar to the Chalcolithic and EBA Armenians from Laz et al. But these are their mtDNA haplogroups.


No matches with the North Caucasian results. Not one. So maybe get ready for something fairly unexpected, like the ancient South and North Caucasians not having a lot in common, and basically showing a similar sort of divide between them as nowadays.

Rob said...

# off topic
Why don't you talk of maritime movements to southern Iberia ? Wouldn't that make more sense ?
(Although , sorry, I see the enclosures as just agglomeration of "native" Chalcolithic Iberians. )

Olympus Mons said...

"Like the ancient South and North Caucasians not having a lot in common"

I M P O S S I B L E.

Unless you are a big fan of "Pots not people"...

Davidski said...

I'm a big fan of analyzing DNA and actually understanding the results. You don't seem to be a fan of that, since you don't understand much in this area.

Olympus Mons said...

The best analogy for the Adna interpretation we currently undergo is like a kid playing with those drawings were o need to connect the dots with a line... Currently we manage to connect a couple dots out of many, many. So you are saying that the drawing looks like a Cat.
Well it can be a Cat, A lion, a Tiger, wolverine, a Puma.... and you know what? It really was reported Pumas and wolverines all along in there so lets connect a little more dots , shall we? Because it sure does not make sense to be a Cat!

Davidski said...

You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Olympus Mons said...

I only really made my mind when I saw Katie Mannings work.

at the end there is an MP4 animation. See from 6,000bp to 5000bp. That disappearing people from North Egypt and over all northwest Africa.
I refuse to believe that they died, when actually at exactly the same dates you see an upsurge of people in south Iberia. Not east. South and southwest at the same time. So would that people die instead of crossing Gibraltar strait in what would look to them an Heaven on earth?
Not in real live with real people.

Olympus Mons said...

That is a reply of "figure of authority".
To which I couldn't care less. No offense. :)

That is what a priest would say not a inquisitive mind.

Kristiina said...

I checked the mtDNA haplogroups of the North Caucasian groups living in that area today and found out that U8 has a higher frequency in Cherkessians and is also found in Kabardins. Of course, Indian M52 seem to be non-existent in the area today. As for Novosvobodnaya mtDNA, N1b is found in Daghestan and also in Kabardins and Balkars, but the highest frequency is in Chechens. T2b is very frequent in the area today. On the basis of Ian Logan site, V7 is found in Caucasus, although this haplotype is much more frequent in northern Europe.

Today, Maikop U8b1a2 has been detected at least in Algerians, in a Basque and in an Ashkenazi Jew. In general, one centre of U8b is on the Pontic Steppe north of the Black Sea. T2b also has its centre of the highest frequency on the Pontic Steppe from where it radiates to Caucasus and also to the north and west. V7 is not frequent in Caucasus. The highest V7 frequency seems to be in Northern Europe. Novosvobodnaya N1b should have its origin in Levant as it is still very frequent there and has been found in one Natufian.

I agree that part of North Caucasian ancient mtDNA haplotypes, such as U8b1 and T2b, and even N1b and V7, could be found in the Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture or other Neolithic cultures north of the Black Sea.

Maikop U8b1a2 is interesting because mtDNA K is U8b2, i.e. a parallel branch to U8b1. To date, U8b1b1 has been detected in a Neolithic context in Barcin, proto-Lengyel and Schöningen. The closest ancient match to Maikop U8b1a1 seems to be U8b1a1 from Unetice Culture.

Davidski said...

By the way, I posted the answers in the K7 puzzle post...

Rob said...

Yes its interesting. A handful of C-T samples are mtDNA: H, HV, T4, J. Seem different to those found in Anatolia

The Dnieper Mesolithic-Neolithic had some kind of T, C, and U.

Throwing in these Majkop genomes, it looks like the Carpatho-Pontic region was rather structured, at least in the Neolithic. Of course, we can only tell with more samples and full genomes.

Nirjhar007 said...

Y-HGs J, G, L, H, and R1b are all possible for Maikop.

You forget R1a-M417. If its there, it will solve the CWC R1a situation , although I am sure you think its already solved..

Davidski said...

You forget R1a-M417. If its there, it will solve the CWC R1a situation.

The term clutching at straws to describe this would be a massive understatement.

Maikop shows no relationship to CWC archaeologically or genetically, and no really ancient R1a has been located in or anywhere near the Caucasus.

Nirjhar007 said...

When it comes up ( I hope it does) , I will make you and others aware of the hypothesis . Its from a veteran French scholar.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is confusing. When David posted the results from this study almost a year ago, the authors said the M52 was found in Novosvobodnaya. See p.83/166 of their original published article where they say "by a object from a Staniza Novosvobodnayan grave, we also found haplogroup M52". Refer to page 83 of their report, where they say: "Bei einem Objekt aus einem Grab bei der Staniza Novosvobodnaja fanden wir auch die Haplogruppe М52."

But now V7 is found in Novosvobodnaya and from Kristiina's comment, N1b is found there too, yet M52 is now found in a Maykop burial. It's the same authors though.

So does this mean they found multiple instances of all these haplogroups all over Maykop and Novosvobodnaya? Or what's going on, that they've changed where they found what?

Also it's 2016. Why are we just getting mtdna and not full genomes (or even Y)? In the one year since they first published the results of their research, they got no further information from their genomes. Just the same old mtdna?

Kristiina said...

According to the paper:
1. Klady, Kurgan 11, Grave 4, near Novosvobodnaya settlement, Republic of Adygea; Burial without archaeological artifacts, T2b

2. Klady, Kurgan 25, Grave 1, near Novosvobodnaya settlement, Republic of Adygea; Burial with Maikop culture artifacts, M52

3. Klady Kurgan 23, Grave 1, near Novosvobodnaya settlement, Republic of Adygea; Novosvobodnaya site, with specific Novosvobodnaya artifacts, V7

4. Kurgan 2, Burial 1, Natukhaevskaya-3, near Novorossiysk city, Krasnodar Krai, Burial with Maikop culture artifacts, U8b1a2

5. Katusvina Krivitsa-2, near Novorossiysk city, Krasnodar Krai, Burial without archaeological artifacts, N1b

6. Chekon, near Anapa city, Krasnodar Krai, Burial with Maikop culture artifacts, U8b1a2

Olympus Mons said...

Makes sense. All that metal work was a trait of Balkans from 4000bc onward, and having so much copper from the Balkans in that black sea region, made me guess it should be the origin of Maykop and all "later" cultures near the north and northeastern shores of the Black sea.

On the other hand, they did kicked Slobodnoe and Meshoko (all the Kuban river guys) out. So... bad people they were. :)

Kristiina said...

So that mtDNA N1b is probably related to the Maikop Culture as it is explained that "An additional burial was discovered in 2013, while excavating the Maikop culture settlement Katusvina Krivitsa-2 (Sample ID: 5) also dated to the Early Bronze Age. ... Funeral inventory was not recorded.".

Kristiina said...

Six samples are not so many, but there seems to be a difference between Maikop and Novosvobodnaya burials, i.e. Novosvobodnaya mtDNA, T2b and V7, have a more northern distribution pattern while Maikop mtDNA, U8b1a2, M52 and N1b have a more southern distribution pattern. One could also presume that these groups spoke a different language.

FrankN said...

Nirjhar above referenced to a Dieneckes post, which in turn was based on a German language article on the roots of Maikop:

For those of you who don't understand German, I sum up the evidence discussed there and the main conclusions. In the following, I will first list Maikop-related traits, then the earliest evidence of these traits outside Maikop as per that article. For the locations of the sites listed, refer to the article's Abb. [Fig.] 10:

1. Maikop metalurgy:
- Casting in lost wax forms: Mehrgarh 5M BC
- Arsenic Bronze w. Nickel traces: Tall-i-Iblis, SE Iran, early 5M BC
- Gold casting & hammering: Tepe Borj n. Nishapur, NE Iran (Namazga I), during the early 4M BC spread between N. Mesopotamia, Susa, Azerbaijan, W. Iran and Turkmenistan (contemporarily also hammered silver spread across the same area).
- Arsenic Bronze daggers w. solid handle: Tall-i-Bakun, Fars, 4200-4000 BC [contemporary/ later Syro-Anatolian daggers have rivetted handles].
- Broad flat axes: W. Iran (e.g. Susa I), late 5M BC [4-3 M BC Syro-Anatolian flat axes are narrow and elongated].
- Copper hoe: Mundigak/ Sistan, early 4M BC.
- Shaft-hole Copper axes: Susa (undated), Mundigak III. Not present in 4M BC Syro-Anatolia.

2. Semi-precious stones:
- Lapis-Lazuli (single finds): NE Afghanistan
- Carneol beads (>1200 pcs.): Mehrgarh, 5-4M BC [CA/EBA Carneol bead finds in the E. Med. are generally interpreted as IVC imports].
- Turquoise beads (50 pcs., single find): Kyzylkum/ UZB 6M BC, largest Eurasian occurrence near Nishapur/ NE Iran. Not present in Ubaid and Uruk contexts.

3. Others:
- Woven wool/cotton cloth (Novosvobodnaja): Cotton domesticated in Pakistan, earliest cotton thread from Merhgarh 7M BC.
- Häckselware [chaff-meagered ceramics]: No local predecessors, but identical to Leyla Tepe ware (Lower & Middle Kura, Armenia, Lake Van, late 4m BC, pre-decessor of Kura-Araxes), also found in late CA Amuq F (Antakya Plain) and Middle Uruk (ca. 3600 BC)
- Wheel-thrown pottery: Origin unclear, possibly Mehrgarh
- "Kurgans": Parallels to Azerbaijan (Leyla-Tepe) and Urmia Lake.

4. General Interpretation:
a.) No signs of a significant Mesopotamian (Uruk) and Syro-Anatolian role in the mid 4M BC innovation processes in the Cauacasus. Instead:
b.) During the early 4M BC (Namazga II) establishment of a far-reaching trade & innovation exchange network between Central Asia, the Iranian Plateau and W. Pakistan (Sistan, Mehrgarh). This network may have been initiated from the Kopet Dag (Sarazm II, SW Tajikistan, w. finds of Lapis Lazuli, Indian Ocean shells, and wheel-thrown pottery);
c.) Urmia Lake as possible interface between Iranian/CA and E. Caucasian exchange networks, resulting in the creation of a gigantic interaction zone North and East of Mesopotamia. [IIRC, contemporarily with the spread of metalurgical innovationms out of Belochistan, we are seeing sheep husbandry and cereal agriculture spreading into CA].
d.) Based on local traditions ("Häckselware"), and enhanced by Iranian/CA innovations, formation of the Leyla Tepe culture in the E. Caucasus.
d.)Maikop as spread of Leyla Tepe across the Central Caucasus passes into the northern Caucasian foothills.

Olympus Mons said...

This is interesting. We really should savor the adna results and be prepared for those to keep on turning the tables.
So, If that paper is right:
You know I am all for the Shulaveri-shomu world. To me they were the Kicked out guys.
So, by 5000/4900bc someone kicked them literally out. And some of them retreat to the Kuban river in the eastern shores of the black sea, so settlements known as the Zakubanye cultures.
Following what you just posted, and linking them to the Leyla-tepe… it just means that the disappearance of the Slobodnoe, Mehosko and all by 4000bc, was still the same guys coming from lake Urmia into basin of Kura river and still chasing the Shulaveri populations out of the Kuban river area to what was shortly known as the Maykop. Pushed north into what some like to call “yamnaya”. Anyway…. Ouch. Those guys never stopped kicking others out. If one finds a large percentage of Maykop to be Y L1a then its “them”. No wonder the M52 and N1b1 moms with them.
See when I asked were the L1a found in chalcolithic Armenia could come from, I was pointed to places like north India and Pakistan. Also, I always blamed the Ubaid from “Iraq” (I thought J1 and j2) for kicking the Shulaveri out, but I am having serious doubts these days because some of the characteristics of the Uruk and even Ubaid and overall Mesopotamia is starting to look not so local a bit to the Indian/Pakistan side…! Strange.

See, my post

Anyway, I am still not convinced. Lots of metal (copper) in Maykop afaik has been traced to the Balkans… so… not sure.

Nirjhar007 said...

Thanks Frank.

Olympus Mons said...

I think I didn’t really answer your OT regarding Bell beakers.
I don’t know if you know this. But when someone talks about Bell beaker I assume they do know. If they don’t…
One of the most important, if not the most important study regarding bell beaker while we do not have vast adna…. Was actually done by the University of Geneva by J Desideri, using more than 2000 tooth by analyzing non_metric characteristics. So pretty solid.

1. The results showed that only two places local population have actually contribute to BB. First was the BB in Iberia were it showed no population replacement from Final neolithic and Chalcolithic, so 3300 onwards, then it showed that in south France, Switzerland and Hungary BB replaced the local population.
2. The second place were locals have also contributed to BB population was… Czech Republic, so the Bohemian BB sites, quite near Germany. Here, clearly there is influences of Corded Ware population into formation of bell beaker people and linked to later Unetice culture men and women.
3. What connects all this 3 pops (BB, CWC, UN) in the bohemia, the only other place where others added to BB substratum, are actually the CWC men, although women seem to be shared amongst them. And so, apparently the CWC there took a lot of BB women and then pass it on to Unetice culture (that is why one finds so much H in Unetice?)
4. Also, there seems to be a movement of BB people from Iberia, france, swiss hungary, then most likely Hungary BB went to Czech and no movement of pop from say Czech or Hungary to Iberia.

So, It makes no sense the GOT talk of Rob stark and John snow and boats taking Copper smelters from the East by sea into westerner part of Portugal to make the Bell beakers. Rubbish.

Now, it does not mean that BB in Iberia were R1b… that is another story , right? What I have just written allows for a different story, doesn’t it? :--)

Alberto said...


Thanks for the great summary. It's good to take a closer look at all that area later called Ariana, especially now that we know that even it's westernmost border in the Zagros was very ANE-rich and had R2.

Didn't Marija Gimbutas referred to the second wave of IE invasions ca. 3500 BC "The Maykop people"? And relates it to the Globular Amphora culture?

Hopefully before the year's end we'll get Maykop and Globular Amphora DNA, so we'll see how that possible connection turns out.

For the king said...

Lol, U8b1a2 is not found in south Asia. Not even U8b, heck even U8 is not found in south Asia. U8b1a1 is found in Uzbek from Northern Afghanistan, while U8b was found in 2 Pamiri samples from Tajikistan. Some late Neolithic age samples from Hungary were U8b1a1, also 2 samples from Germany Unetice culture.

From GenBank:


The distribution of U8b in general looks European-west Asian.

M52 has been found in some parts of west/east eurasia. Some subclades look strictly south east Asian.

For the king said...

Chalcolithic Armenians have no south Asian. Basically proving the non south Asian origin of Y-DNA L. L is much more diverse outside of south Asia, it's only common in certain parts of south Asia due to founder effects.

Olympus Mons said...

@for the king.
Probably. But hell, everybody has an opinion about everything and nobody is laying down a proper hypotheses for l1a if these guys showed up in the region by end 6th millennia? It does not need to be a good one. Just any:)

For the king said...

I'd guess that L is probably of Iran neolithic origin, or from a closely related population (Iran HG or CHG).

Dude Manbro said...

@For the king,

Wasn't the Chalcolithic Armenian Y-DNA L1a guys more European-like than the later Armenian samples and also lacked South Asian admixture? This alone doesn't mean Y-DNA L wasn't present in Neolithic Iran, but if I remember correctly, the Chalcolithic Armenian samples do not support a migration of Neolithic Iranian men into Armenia.

Azarov Dmitry said...

Y-HGs J, G, L, H, and R1b are all possible for Maikop.

You forget R1a-M417. If its there, it will solve the CWC R1a situation , although I am sure you think its already solved..

I guess Maikop guys will be mostly carriers of R1a-M417 subclades (something like R1a-Z645) while majority of CWC R1a guys will be from R1a-YP1272 subclades. For a while the best model for R1a folks expansion is a 3-wave migration from the Iranian Plateau:

1-st wave – R1a-YP1272 folks, migration rout: Iranian Plateau->Caucasus Mountains, affiliated cultures: Sredny Stog, Cernavodă, Ezero, Yamnaya (Western part), Baden, CWC, Fatyanovo, Abashevo;

2-nd wave – R1a-M417 folks, migration rout: Iranian Plateau -> Mesopotamia -> Caucasus Mountains, affiliated cultures: Hassuna, Halaf (transition), Maikop, Catacomb, CWC, Trialeti, Andronovo, Srubna, Trzciniec, Tumulus. I believe R1a-M417 folks (Maikop -> Catacomb cultures) pushed R1a-YP1272 and R1b-Z2103 folks from territory of Yamnaya culture.

3-rd wave – R1a-YP1051 folks, migration rout: Iranian Plateau -> Mesopotamia ->Anatolia -> Balkans, affiliated cultures: Ezero and Western Anatolian cultures.

Map of migration routs for R1a folks from the Iranian Plateau:

Olympus Mons said...

@for the King,
Yes, Iran would work. But I am curious, such a "quite" neolithic guys really created Havoc in Levant and Caucasus after 5500 bc? What kick started them...?
Were they Ubaid or just the guys that went from Zagros to Lake Urmia up until Azerbaijan (leyle-tepe)? mysteries!

FrankN said...

@OM: While I am not sure that I would republish it again in the same form (I now have significant doubts about the Iberian origin of the BB phenomenon), you might nevertheless be interested in my following, older post about late 4M BC Levantine-Tyrrhenian Sea-Iberian connections, more specifically the South Italian Diana Culture, with a distribution closely mirroring export of Lipari Obsidian, and ceramics reminiscent of Jericho Ware.

Davidski said...

@Azarov Dmitry

LOL bullshit

Olympus Mons said...

Doubting Bell beakers origin in North Portugal, at this days and age borders madness.

If, with all the arch proofs (see for instance my coment above to ROB) one still doubts then what archaeological concept you consider validate? None?

Bell beaker arise in north portugal near the douro river, it moved to Galiza at the same time it moved to Tagus estuary. From Galiza moved to basque, to southern france, britanny, to Switzland, to Hungary.
The Hungary group moved to Czech republic where it mingled with CWC. So we are in 2500 bc... From here after it becomes more murky.

What in heavens name would be an alternative story??!

Olympus Mons said...

have you read what I comment to Rob? which part do you contest?

FrankN said...

OM: Firstly, I feel that some coastal Iberian AMS datings may require review as concerns possible reservoir effects.
More important, however, is the following:
a.) The "beaker" concept itself is of CE origin, and sets forth Funnelbeaker and CWC traditions of "we all drink from the same beaker";
a1.) More specifically, Northern German non-CWC cultures provide early examples of Bell Beakers. Check out, e.g., Table 56, Fig. 7 from the following link. The Schönfeld Culture in question was located along the Upper Middle Elbe between Magdeburg and Hamburg. Similar BB-like forms are also present in the Dutch/German Upper Rhineland during the early 3rd mill. BC.,d.bGg
b.) A major element that sets apart BB from preceding cultures is the replacement of axes in male burials by daggesrs and archery-related goods. The "axe burial" tradition can be traced back to LBK, continues in FB and GAC, and culminates with Battle Axes. "Dagger and archery" burials make their entrance into Central Europe with Lesser Polish CWC, seemingly an autochtonous development with little "steppe" parallels. I am not very familiar with Iberia in this respect, though, so you may be able to convince me that the "dagger & archery" BB element is of Iberian origin. But, for the time being, the most parsimonious explanation for the "Beaker package" seems to be cross-fertilisation of Upper Middle Elbe Schönfeld Culture and Lesser Polish CWC elements.
c.) As I have posted elsewhere (would need to look up the references again), a main feature of (Atlantic) BB was the establishment of amber beads as quasi-currency, and North Iberian BB coincides with the earliest finds of Baltic Amber there. Geographically, the traces point back to the Curonian Lagoon (East Prussia/ Lithuania); culturally (expansioon of amber trade) to FB and Globular Amphora (GAC).

Having said that, I don't think we are talking a one-way road here. There is quite some Iberian mtDNA showing up for the first time with German CWC and BB. Rather, I feel that - on top of the more terrestrial CWC phenomenon - during the early 3rd mill. BC we have the establishment of a maritime network that spreads between Iberia and the Eastern Baltics [Alberto has earlier demonstrated Estonian CWC to look quite "western" - say "Netherlands-like"]. Plus - at the same time Iberia appears via the Mediterranean to be connected to the Levante, so your Ubaid People may have also played their role in such maritime networks. We will need more aDNA to decipher these processes, but I in generally feel that the BB phenomenon is more about maritime interaction zones and mechanisms than about "homelands".

FrankN said...

Edit: Somehow, I have been mixing up "upper" and "lower" when it comes to river basins. So:
- The Schönfeld culture, with early Bell beakers, was on the lower middle Elbe;
- Other early examples of BB-like vessels are from the lower Rhineland (Netherlands/Germany).

Sherri said...

The M52 seems to be the result of local men bringing foreign wives during trading/travelling.
It has been found in Tocharian sites , again due to trade.

@ David , Yamnaya/ North Caucasus EMBA is a better fit than Eastern European/ Corded Ware for South Asians according to the Lazardis paper.

Olympus Mons said...

Makes no sense.
a. Fact usually not “remembered”. To understand Bell beaker culture one must compute the fact that its intensity declines greatly as you MOVE AWAY from the sea coast. So, imagining an origin in central Europe in some river bed… makes no sense.
b. Finding beaker like pottery somewhere and infer from that makes no sense. Bell beaker come from “copos” in Portugal which literally means cup. Anyway you can find copos in so many places that one can phantom the story it better warms is heart. There were small cups In north Africa prior to bell beakers, there were small cups in Merimde Delta Egypt by 4500bc… so, it really has no meaning.
c. AMS needs to be recalibrated, yes. But not for the Dating Cardoso has recently done in the lots, and lots of Bell beakers at huts outside the walls of the heavy military powerhouse of Leceia fortification. And those are 2800 BC. And if anyone even dreams leceia as a soldiering powerhouse would allow any exogenous people to settle near its walls has lost it. There are Inhumations at its steps that nobody even care to bury!
d. Like I showed in the comment above to Rob Dental non_metric analisys is very solid way of looking into populations. Almost as good as DNA. And what J Desideri states (or statistical analysis do) by making more then 250.000 observations states is pretty clear. There are too places where local population contributed to BB. First and foremost in Iberia ( hence the Mtdna H local girls adding to the gene pool) and in Czech republic, near Germany. All other places saw a population replacement and no contributions for BB. Find me a BB later or even close to the 2800 bc in Czech sites…And remember rule one of intensity decrease away from the sea.
e. Those BB we find in Germany most likely were from the bohemia region next door (and moving from Hungary initially), and remember how just a couple weeks Davidksy and Ryu were talking about Iberia chalcolithic in German bell beaker… it fits perfectly in the comment I made to Rob, does it not? Since that is the place were bell beaker meet CWC and were actually exchanging wives ( and apparently marks the importance of male CWC to Unetice… confess didn’t quite get it :- ) ). And Dental analisys show no back flow from those places into Iberia or even Switzerland.
f. BBC is not about “Daggers and Archery”. Its about moving away from life in fortified settlements and continually move with cattle, dogs and Cereals (they loved the resilient spelt that grows everywhere), moving in small groups as a way of maximizing the land resources to their benefit. And regarding the apparatus, In first quartel III millennia in Portugal they had copper, they were continuously making blades, totally fanatic about arrows and they definitely had bone buttons perforated in V, (and test those ivory buttons and I bet some are from elephant from the Nile like in Portugal…long story) The appearance of Chalcolithic in Iberia is known as the “Carinated pottery and arrows” period. So, daggers, copper or not, and archery is like an obsession of chalcolithic Iberia. But going back to Desideri, Its about a different population (lets wait on Adna) but apparently very well integrated with the other as well local chalcolithic and late Neolithic Iberia pops abandoning a settled life after long centuries of war and rushing into the vast lands of places were those fortifications were not common. Smart dudes.

Nirjhar007 said...

Azarov ,
Thank you for the suggestion, its no bullshit. I will think about it .

Davidski said...

It's obviously total bullshit, since ancient R1a has already been recovered from Eastern European foragers and an early pastoralist (Khvalynsk man) with an extremely high level of Eastern European forager admixture.

Corded Ware also have very high levels of Eastern European forager admixture.

Obviously, Eastern European foragers didn't migrate to Eastern Europe during the Bronze Age, Maikop has nothing to do with Corded Ware or modern European R1a, and Maikop remains most likely won't have any R1a.

So Azarov's pet theory is bullshit.

FrankN said...

OM: We seem to agree on two things:
1.) BB is an essentially maritime phenomenon,
2.) 2800 BC (plus-minus) as a more or less ascertained starting point in Iberia (cf. Alberto's links under previous posts), which corresponds to the appearance of BB-like ceramics in the Netherlands and N. Germany (Lower Rhine / Elbe).

I don't think there is much point in discussing who was fifty years earlier or later. The important message is that we find a similar kind of ceramics at virtually the same time in Iberia and in the hinterland of the North Sea.

Now, you say that "BBC is not about 'Daggers and Archery'”. Well, it is, because the classical "BB burial package" consists of a dagger, arrowheads, and bracers, in addition to the beaker itself.

You state that "archery is like an obsession of chalcolithic Iberia". May well be. And daggers plus arrowheads are typical for Lesser Polish CWC burials. Leaves us with quite some room for speculation on the origin of the "BB package". The key here seems to be the bracers, absent still from Polish CWC burials. Can you show them (ideally with a publication link) to originate from Iberia? Does anybody else have a clue as concerns their origin? Otherwise, any attempt to localise the origin of the "Beaker package" remains speculative.

"BBC is (..) about moving away from life in fortified settlements and continually move with cattle, dogs and Cereals". Interesting definition, apparently based on your interpretation of the Portuguese archeological record. The same, however, holds true for the Havel-Spree area, with people during the late 4th m BC moving away from the Potsdam enclosure (beyond the Potsdam City Palace), and possibly for various other West Eurasian locations as well. I don't think that argument is of much help in locating the origin of the BB phenomenon.

Finally, you speak a lot about dental-non metric analysis. I`d appreciate a link to the original publication in order to be able to assess its merits and limitations.

Olympus Mons said...

Will chase that study from the Geneva University and post it here...

Olympus Mons said...

Found it. Apparently you can download it for free.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the details. It makes more sense now.

Olympus Mons said...

The author of that study must have found out by now what it costs to reach the wrong conclusions hasn't she?

Azarov Dmitry said...

It's obviously total bullshit, since ancient R1a has already been recovered from Eastern European foragers and an early pastoralist (Khvalynsk man) with an extremely high level of Eastern European forager admixture.

For a while results of aDNA from Eastern Europe (Neolithic and Early Bronze Age) did not show any significant variance of R1a subclades. This fact kinda hints us that Eastern Europe could not be a primary source of R1a folks. The same is fair and for R1b guys. I believe these sister clades came from the same region (Iranian Plateau) and entered Europe in several migration waves.

Migration routs of R1b folks from the Iranian Plateau

Davidski said...

There's no evidence of any migrations from Iran to Eastern Europe.

Your maps are based on pure speculation and in fact contradict the available evidence.

Kristiina said...

I noticed that Maikop mtDNA U8b1a2 has been detected also in one Kabardian:
Supplementary Data 1,

This is interesting because Northwest Caucasian languages have probably been spoken in the same area where Maikop Culture existed in prehistorical times.

Sherri said...

I think R1a is coming from a Forest steppe population but Azarov makes some excellent points.
Calm down boys! No need for expletives.

Davidski said...

Azarov is a stupid troll. Totally out of touch with reality. And we already know where R1a is from.

Obviously you realize that Khvalynsk/Sredny Stog were thought of as Proto-Indo-European decades before the ancient genomes from Khvalynsk came in.

Azarov Dmitry said...


Khvalynsk/Sredny Stog (R1b-Z2103 and R1a-YP1272 folks) is just a first wave of migrants form the Iranian Plateau. The second wave (R1a-M417 folks) from Maikop culture ( Iranian Plateau -> Mesopotamia ->Northern Caucasus) pushed the first wave (R1b-Z2103 and R1a-YP1272 folks) away from circum-Pontic region.

Something like this:

Sredny Stog expansion (4000-3500 bc)

before Maikop expansion (3500 – 3000 bc)

after Maikop expansion (3000-2900 bc)

Catacomb expansion (2900 – 2200 bc)

post Catacomb expansions of R1a-M417 folks (2200 -1600 bc)

Davidski said...

Khvalynsk/Sredny Stog (R1b-Z2103 and R1a-YP1272 folks) is just a first wave of migrants form the Iranian Plateau.

This is bullshit. There was no migration from Iran to Eastern Europe.

You don't understand this because you don't understand any of the ancient data we have. It's like I'm having a debate with a child.

Unknown said...

Good stuff. Thanks for the link.

Unknown said...

The prescence of iranian r1a derivatives in the steppe is well established.

Unknown said...

He's actually extremely reasonable in his analysis. I dont see where your coming from , in contrast.

Davidski said...

Do you read plain English? Try it, see how you go.

Big deal of 2016: the territory of present-day Iran cannot be the Indo-European homeland

And then fuck off until the next big study on ancient steppe DNA comes out. I wanna see what you say when you see the results.