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Explaining ‘Denisovan’ and also ‘Neanderthal’ admixture: the simplest scenario

25 Dec
I have recently discussed the Denisovan admixture in Melanesians discovered by the Neanderthal Genome Project and I discussed back in its day the Neanderthal admixture in all non-Africans (see here and here).
While the Neanderthal admixture episode may be easy to explain and was thus explained by Green et al. as happening early in the migration out of Africa, probably before arrival to South Asia. The Denisovan admixture in islands far away from Altai is not so easy to understand and has not been satisfactorily explained by anybody I know so far.

What were the Denisovans?
Denisova cave
First of all we have not a very clear idea of what kind of hominin were the Denisovans. Well, actually we know that their tooth clusters with Indonesian H. erectus, H. habilis and australopithecines (but also with the H. sapiens of Pestera cu Oase, quite divergent from the rest in this aspect).
We also know that the Denisovan mtDNA belongs to a branch older than that of H. ergaster and descendants, because it is almost twice older in its divergence from that of Neanderthal and Sapiens mtDNA (both derived from H. ergaster c. one million years ago by all accounts that make any sense). What diverges in the common tree of Humankind (senso lato) almost twice that time? Asian H. erectus, believed to derive from a population represented by H. georgicus.
Nothing else does. Hence the Denisovan mtDNA, found in two different individuals (a finger and a tooth actually) must be that of Asian H. erectus.
However the Denisovan nuclear DNA is not so distant from Neanderthals. What does it mean? Most probably that they were a hybrid Erectus-Neanderthal population, what fits well with their presence in Altai (at the crossroads of known homelands of both species), their use of Mousterian technology (typical of Neanderthals) and the presence of Neanderthals in similar dates at nearby sites.
So my theory about Denisovan identity is this one: they were a hybrid population of Neanderthals and H. erectus, with maternal lineages of the latter species and technology of the former.
Melanesians in Siberia? No way!
blond Melanesians
Quite obviously Melanesian ancestors were never in Siberia. This is not just a matter of the coastal migration model, that also, but specially a matter of pigmentation. The name Melanesia means Islands of the Blacks in modified Greek and, if the ancestors of these peoples would have been in Siberia for any extended period, they would have lost their tropical pigmentation for sure because otherwise they would not be getting enough vitamin D and their children would be extremely unfit for that reason (retarded, schizophrenic, rickety, etc.) And, as the case of Native Americans clearly illustrates, re-evolving black pigmentation, once it is lost, is no easy matter. In maybe 15,000 years tropical native Americans have only got a tan.
So the ancestors of Melanesians and other very dark tropical Asians have definitively not lived in Siberia at any time. Besides, it is totally non-parsimonious in what regards to modern human mtDNA and Y-DNA spread, the tropical route is much more logical and natural.
So they must have admixed with some relative of Denisovans elsewhere, for example in Sundaland, where some Homo erectus are known to have lived in dates that are perfectly compatible with this scenario. An encounter of the first of our species arriving to that area and Homo erectus soloensis is almost sure to have happened.
So we do have a plausible and even likely scenario for this admixture event in the ancestors of Melanesians, not in Altai but in SE Asia.
Admixture detection by proxy… interesting.
Certainly that we can detect admixture happening in Java by studying distant relatives in Altai is interesting. And it makes sense. If you compare a modern French-Vietnamese with French and Altaians it’s likely that he will appear as a mixture of French and Altaians, even if the proportions may not be exactly correct.
I’ll get to this matter of proportions later on because it is relevant too.
What happens if we get the son of an Punjabi and Vietnamese and compare with French and Altaians? He will surely still show up as admixed. A simplistic conclusion might be that he is descendant from French and Altaians. This conclusion would be wrong, even if the confusion is understandable.
The Narmada hominin and “Neanderthal” admixture
Narmada skull
Thinking about this brought me (with some important help from readers – feedback is crucial) to the mysterious Narmada or Hathnora hominin (see here for an open access reference), the oldest of really big-brained humans and possibly a relative of Neanderthals (but not a true Neanderthal, among other reasons because they did not use Mousterian technology but Acheulean). The skeletal record of South Asia is quite scarce but this big-headed hominin is the last people we know about before African-like Middle Paleolithic technology appears c. 120,000 years ago (see here), probably with the first members of our species.
Yes, you read right: 120,000 years ago (more or less), the idea of a much more recent Out of Africa is almost certainly wrong, even if you will surely read such nonsenses for a while: the molecular clock pseudo-science cannot overrule archaeology.
It is at this moment uncertain whether the Narmada specimen and the probably much larger population it belonged to was a descendant of H. erectus or a descendant from H. heidelbergensis (and hence closely related to Neanderthals). Depending on which of these two options is correct, the scenario presented below will make sense or need to be revised.
I will consider, as suggested here by Michael Petraglia, that the Narmada specimen and related Indian population of the Early Paleolithic (which lasted until c. 100,000 years ago) were descendant of H. heidelbergensis, and hence cousins of Neanderthals. Why? Because they had Acheulean technology, which is associated with at least the late H. ergaster.
If this is correct, when we talk (after Green 2010) of Neanderthal admixture at low levels in non-African modern humans we may well be talking of admixture with anything within the broader Neanderthal family, in other words, with its ancestor H. heidelbergensis (cousin of our most direct ancestor H. rhodesiensis) and their descendants (Neanderthals and others, including probably the Narmada hominin and broader Acheulean-using population of South Asia.
A hypothesis strongly consistent with the coastal (or tropical) migration model
And I finally reach here to my hypothesis, to my explanation of the admixture episodes revealed by the Neanderthal Genome Project this eventful year of 2010. And I will do it with few words:
click to expand
The first admixture refers to the general non-African admixture with “Neanderthals”, which would actually have happened with their Indian cousins instead upon arrival to South Asia. This admixture would have affected all non-Africans, but as the case of the Karitiana (who only show some 0.9% of such admixture, much less than the rest) evidence, maybe not all populations exactly in the same amounts.
The second admixture refers to the specifically Melanesian hybridization with “Denisovans”, which would actually have been with their Indonesian pureblood relatives, H. erectus soloensis.
Makes sense? I think so. Of course, it is not set on stone but it seems a good hypothesis and should at least get some people chewing on this.
Special thanks for some key references to Terry T.  and Manju (but in general to all readers who take part in the discussions at the comments sections: keep the flow of ideas vibrant, please). I suspect that Terry will not like my conclusions because they end up in the coastal migration model that he hates so much. But well…
Appendix 1: the real apportion of Melanesian admixture with archaic hominins may be lower than suggested by Reich 2010.
They suggest (supp. info 8) that Melanesians would have as much as 7.4% of admixture with archaic species: 4.8% Denisovan plus 2.5% Neanderthal. But, if Denisovans are hybrids of H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis (as seems most likely, see above), then the real admixture with H. erectus would be an undetermined percentage but always less than 4.8%. As we know that the Neanderthal (or Heidelbergensis) component is 2.5%, it is most likely that the actual Erectus admixture in Melanesians is of only 2.3% or 2.4%, totaling 4.8%.
Appendix 2: very serious inconsistencies in the age estimates derived from nuclear DNA in Reich 2010.
In supp. info. 6, the authors provide data of genetic divergence between various modern populations, Neanderthals and Denisovans, expressed as fractions of the Homo-Pan divergence. They use the wrong time frame for this event (6.5 Ma) but even then the results make no sense.
Using a much more correct (according to modern best scientific understanding) of 8 million years, I get that the age of the migration Out of Africa would have happened between 650,000 and 500,000 years ago. The first figure is the distance between Yorubas and non-Africans and the latter the one between non-Africans.
This is a total nonsense (120,000 years makes sense, add some tens of thousands more if you wish but half a million years is simply not possible) and there must be a critical error somewhere. However I have not been able yet to discover what exactly is wrong. In any case, word of warning about accepting molecular clock age estimates in general and in particular when using nuclear (autosomal) DNA for this purpose.
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112 responses to “Explaining ‘Denisovan’ and also ‘Neanderthal’ admixture: the simplest scenario

  1. David Sánchez

    December 25, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Greetings Maju, In relation to your hypothesis, which I think makes sense, one thing that does not fit me finish. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the archaeological materials of Denisova level 11 can be ascribed not so clearly a Mousterian context. The material culture of this level 11 can be ascribed to an Upper Paleolithic culture, closer to Chatelperronian that Mousterian. While applying logic, your hypothesis erectus and Neanderthal hybrid makes sense, would not be supported by a context typically associated Mousterian Neanderthals. The thing is complicated by the recent doubts about the authorship of culture Chatelperronian by Neanderthals. Then we have to assume that the mix-erectus Neanderthal is able to develop an advanced culture or that Neanderthals have capabilities similar to the material culture sapiens displayed on Level 11. It is unclear why the culture that can aportal erectus is Acheulean. A third hypothesis is that the man of Denisova is actually a distinct species with no mixture of Asians, who share a common ancestor with Neanderthals. But again, correct me if I'm wrong, because I have not read anything about level 11 since last May, and perhaps new data have come about.

     
  2. terryt

    December 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    "Makes sense? I think so". Not quite, although we are definitely moving much closer together. "I suspect that Terry will not like my conclusions because they end up in the coastal migration model that he hates so much. But well…" And that brings us to the problem: "The Denisovan admixture in islands far away from Altai is not so easy to understand and has not been satisfactorily explained by anybody I know so far". And your explanation is not really adequate, although I agree with much of what you wrote. "Quite obviously Melanesian ancestors were never in Siberia". But some 2-4% of their ancestors may have been. And even if the region of their hybridisation is SE Asia that just moves the problem back a step. "So we do have a plausible and even likely scenario for this admixture event in the ancestors of Melanesians, not in Altai but in SE Asia". Yes, but… What is the connection between the Denisovans and SE Asian Homo erectus? They must both have formed part of a single widespread population at some time. The connection is almost certainly not through India where we find a different species, the Narmada. And in your previous post on the subject you mentioned Mongolian 4% and Han Chinese 3.2% Denisovan. What level in India? And I seem to remember someone saying the Denisova level in the Japanese was comparable to the Melanesian and Han Chinese. So the Denisova/SE Asia H. erectus species cannot have spread via the southern coastal route.

     
  3. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 1:01 am

    @David: that's probably the level of H. sapiens colonization, c. 30 Ka ago, right? I'd have to check.Right now I remember that Reich et al. do mention (in one of the sections of the S.I. PDF) that they took radiocarbon dates from several objects from the site. Excepting a hyena bone, all were either "infinite" (>50 Ka, which C-14 cannot measure) or from 30 Ka till present. They said that they believed (cautiously) that the infinite dates corresponded to 'Denisovan' hominins' occupation and that the more recent ones to occupation by H. sapiens. This makes sense and is consistent with the overall chronology generally accepted for the whole area. Denisova is rather to the North of the region but other caves further South have older dates (40 Ka or older) with "Aurignacoid" industries, on top of Mousterian levels (Neanderthal). All the research in the region is relatively new, so there are some uncertainties but this seems to be the basic frame: pre-40 or rather pre-50 Ka Mousterian (Neanderthal and 'Denisovans', till this year believed to be Neanderthals too) and post-50/40 Ka "Aurignacoid" industries eventually also yielding H. sapiens skeletal remains.But I have to check specifically for Denisova cave's "Chatelperronian", which may also be work of H. sapiens (initially it was believed to be the case in Europe too, and Chatelperronian and Gravettian were both known as a single culture: Perigordian, a label now deprecated, because continuity through time could not be demonstrated and Chatelperronian came to be thought eventually as a late Neanderthal industry). "It is unclear why the culture that can aportal erectus is Acheulean".I do not understand well this sentence ("aportal"?) but AFAIK Acheulean never reached Eastern Asia, where the last Erectus are known to have lived. "A third hypothesis is that the man of Denisova is actually a distinct species with no mixture of Asians, who share a common ancestor with Neanderthals".That would not fit the baseline theory by which proto-Neanderthal would have diverged from proto-Sapiens (at the Ergaster stage) with the spread of Acheulean c. 900,000 years ago (or maybe even more). I understand that this one is the correct baseline (though there are other hypothesis around, they lack any clear evidence and are based either on feeble molecular clock hunches or on equally feeble anthropometric speculations). And by the way Denisova is a woman (at least one of the two is, they checked that too).

     
  4. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 1:21 am

    @Terry:"But some 2-4% of their ancestors may have been. And even if the region of their hybridisation is SE Asia that just moves the problem back a step".Re-read please the section in which I ponder about detecting admixture "by proxy". I believe that the problem is easily solved once we understand this. Of course this is a theory that makes a testable prediction: that, when H. erectus in other latitudes has its DNA successfully sequenced, it will be evident, with due analysis, that it is the same source of Melanesian admixture. Only that can prove my theory right or wrong in this aspect. "What is the connection between the Denisovans and SE Asian Homo erectus? They must both have formed part of a single widespread population at some time".Agreed. I am thinking all the time in Asian H. erectus as a species spread (at least by the time of the OoA) only through East Asia. Altai would be then their westernmost (and maybe their northernmost) habitat. And Indonesia would be their southernmost extent. "And in your previous post on the subject you mentioned Mongolian 4% and Han Chinese 3.2% Denisovan".Those are the percentages of Neanderthal admixture (or Heidelbergensis/Narmada). I did mention in small type that it looked like Cambodian, Chinese and French might have also some very minimal admixture with Denisovans/Erectus but it's a doubt I have from the data in SI-8, nothing certain. Probably it is a misunderstanding on my side. "And I seem to remember someone saying the Denisova level in the Japanese was comparable to the Melanesian and Han Chinese". Nobody said that in this blog. "So the Denisova/SE Asia H. erectus species cannot have spread via the southern coastal route".We have very little idea on how H. erectus spread through Asia, at least I do not know. It doesn't matter because we know that before the OoA of H. sapiens they are found in all East Asia (China and Indonesia at least).

     
  5. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 1:28 am

    What I did say of the Japanese (only studied in the previous paper) is that they have somewhat lower Neanderthal (or Heidelbergensis) admixture than Chinese and Europeans. Actually only one Japanese was compared, so this only applies for sure to this individual. I mentioned this fact because of the Karitiana very low levels of Neanderthal admixture (this paper). It may be related (i.e. an unadmixed or low admixture population may have followed the Eastern Asian coasts northwards and later spread to America; the Japanese could have got their "dose" of Neanderthal later, maybe as late as in the Neolithic or Iron Age).

     
  6. David Sánchez

    December 26, 2010 at 8:56 am

    "It is unclear why the culture that can APORTAL – provide – erectus is Acheulean" This sentence is badly expressed, sorry. Sometimes I use the google translator. I wanted to refer to a possible admixture between Neanderthals and erectus, modern culture that erectus can provide for their tradition is the Acheulean culture, compared to a culture Mousterian or Neanderthal Chatelperronian that would bring. We found evidence of Acheulean 800,000 years ago in the Boise Valley, China, East Asia, but then there remains a empty of Acheulean until about 300,000 years, when it already appears more frequently in Asian deposits. There are several theories about this, but in summary are being told that this Acheulean empty exists because erectus used perishable materials like wood.

     
  7. terryt

    December 26, 2010 at 8:59 am

    "Agreed. I am thinking all the time in Asian H. erectus as a species spread (at least by the time of the OoA) only through East Asia. Altai would be then their westernmost (and maybe their northernmost) habitat. And Indonesia would be their southernmost extent". Agreed. This is my take on the situation although I realise you'd rather I started my own blog. But between us I think we are making huge strides. It looks very much as though at the time of the OoA the 'modern' humans encountered two separtae populations of what we might call 'archaic' humans. We have Neanderthal/Narmada people through Europe, SW Asia and in India (at least in some of it), and we have Denisova/SE Asian H. erectus stretching from the Altai through Mongolia and China and thence down to Java. The two types may be associated with some sort of erectus/ergaster ancient separation, with an overlay of H. heidelbergensis through some of the total geographic distribution. Anyway the split fits the old Movius Line reasonably well. As you said, 'AFAIK Acheulean never reached Eastern Asia'; the defining element of the Movius Line. But to me it's reasonable to assume gene flow between the two archaic types, so we probably have a series of clines with the four geographic extremities Dienekes has demonstrated exist in modern humans being the most different: Africa, Europe, East Asia and SE Asia. Into this soup mixture came the African haplogroups and their associated aDNA. They mixed, but the African-derived haplogroups eventually replaced all the older ones in Eurasia, but at least some archaic aDNA remains. And of course eventually humans were able to move well beyond the archaic human geographic range. As the haplogroups moved through the population they diversified into regional varieties. Many of these have since expanded in their own right. But at the margins of haplogroup expansion drift or selection (call it what you will) frequently greatly reduced haplogroup diversity.

     
  8. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 11:44 am

    @David:"Boise valley"? It may be a coincidence of names but when I make a search I always end up in Idaho, USA.It must be Bose basin (found this paper). Bose is in Guangxi-Zhuang, what is just North of Vietnam. This would actually be the evidence that Terry asked for in relation of a possible coastal (or inland but tropical anyhow) migration, if not of H. erectus at least of whoever carried the Acheulean, because it's the oldest and only known site claiming such technology in East Asia. I cannot find any reference to the Acheulean presence in East Asia since c. 300 Ka ago. Can you post a link to your references – either just copy-paste or you can use HTML as follows:Preliminary note: I have to write <…> as […] because otherwise a code error will happen, but you have to replace the square brackets: […] by greater-than/lesser-than signs: <…> when you post a real embedded link. Ok?HTML code is:[a href=LINK]TEXT[/a]This way the LINK shows up as clickable blue TEXT.Btw, if you have problems expressing yourself in English, I understand Spanish perfectly. However many other readers probably do not. I have no particular policy on comments' language, though English is generally preferable.

     
  9. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

    @Terry: I'm sorry but I do not understand this time what you mean or where you want to arrive to.

     
  10. manju

    December 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    The first admixture refers to the general non-African admixture with "Neanderthals", which would actually have happened with their Indian cousins instead upon arrival to South Asia. This admixture would have affected all non-Africans, but as the case of the Karitiana (who only show some 0.9% of such admixture, much less than the rest) evidence, maybe not all populations exactly in the same amounts.The second admixture refers to the specifically Melanesian hybridization with "Denisovans", which would actually have been with their Indonesian pureblood relatives, H. erectus soloensis.Makes sense?Yes, it does. That certainly suggests the potential proof for the coastal migration. But as the things stand today, Neanderthal admixture in Middle East and Denisovan admixture in Siberia, the northern route is the most plausible explanation. Since Melanesians are not light skinned we can certainly infer that they didn't stay there long and moved South. Remember, we are talking about the rapid migration of the early Sapiens.

     
  11. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    It is the explanation that requires less thought but not the most plausible one, IMO. First of all we have not any evidence of MSA in Altai or anywhere along that route and instead we have it in South Asia, very clearly since c. 120 Ka ago. Second, there is the key issue of pigmentation, which makes a northern route extremely unlikely, specially for Melanesians. So the northern route may be ok for a "first thought" but it does not stand a critical "second thought". Q.E.D."Since Melanesians are not light skinned we can certainly infer that they didn't stay there long and moved South"."Not long" may well mean just a few millennia. Rapid is not instantaneous. And for admixture to happen some time should have passed with such introgressing neighbors. In those millennia, barring preliminary pigmentary (and other, technological, such as needles) adaptation, the proto-Melanesians should have died off because of extreme lack of fitness.

     
  12. manju

    December 26, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    First of all we have not any evidence of MSA in Altai or anywhere along that route and instead we have it in South Asia, very clearly since c. 120 Ka ago. Created by H. Heidelbergensis. Homo Sapiens MSA is around 30000 years ago in Karnataka.

     
  13. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    The relevant link arose in the other discussion: there is MSA-like MP in South Asia since c. 120 Ka ago (Petraglia 2010), in Didwana (Pakistan), Patpara (Son valley) and Bhimbetka (Madhya Pradesh), overlapping briefly in time with the last Early Paleolithic of Acheulean nature, which would correspond to the Hathnora hominin (whose age has been pushed forward to c. 160-185 Ka or at most 230 Ka). This is also, roughly, the date of earliest known stone blades, which would eventually become a key feature in some (but not all) of H. sapiens techno-cultures (mode 4).Btw, I thanked (in particular) Terry for input but now I realize that one of the two key links/info, the one explaining that Hathnora is probably derived from H. heidelbergensis, was provided by you. I have expanded my hat-tip paragraph accordingly. But H. heidelbergensis is not associated (nor should be) with MSA. Theirs is the Acheulean culture (in part), at least in principle (and the Indian fossil record agrees here).

     
  14. David Sánchez

    December 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Hola Maju.Te escribo en español, sólo por esta vez,para aclarar lo del valle del Bose. A pesar de mis dificultades con el inglés me intento integrar en las noticias y debates de tu blog, realmente interesantes, y por respeto a quienes no entienden el castellano.Evidentemente, me refería al link que muestras. La cuenca del Bose, al norte de Vietnam. Lo de los 300.000 años tengo que reconocer que ha sido un error de interpretación mío de dos libros diferentes: el primero es Homínidos: Las Primeras ocupaciones de los continentes, página 343.http://books.google.es/books?id=zXbT4aDj-LoC&pg=PA341&lpg=PA341&dq=800ka&source=bl&ots=GqSNRu_2bk&sig=QH2nbtdSc–fDXKNXJKVJF9czRw&hl=es&ei=EksXTbvzD8HLswar0qj6DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=falseEl segundo es Nociones de Prehistoria General, página 176:http://books.google.es/books?id=P1M-bMtQWEkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=nociones+de+prehistoria+general&hl=es&ei=NVEXTfnhOYiPswb985X6DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=falseEspero salgan bien los enlaces :)Estaba intentando dar una hipótesis, basada en la teoría de Hartung&Koeberl,1994, según la cual no aparece tecnología del modo 2 o achelense debido a la escasez de materia prima, y por lo tanto a la utilización de materiales perecederos (resumiendo la teoría completa del impacto de los meteoritos). La hipótesis que te planteba era que si habían aparecido cantos trabajados de cuarcita en la cuenca el río Amur, en los yacimientos de Ulalinka y Filimoshki, con dataciones entre 700.000 y 130.000, tal vez Erectus habitaba esta zona de Siberia en época muy temprana y en base a la anterior teoría no aparecían industrias del Modo 2 por haber utilizado materiales perecederos.No obstante quizás me he enredado yo bastante con fechas, zonas geográficas y conceptos. Espero no te hayas molestado, ya que en ningún caso pretendía cuestionar tu hipótesis, la cual me parece muy interesante.Saludos!!:)

     
  15. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    One possibility is that the tempo of the OoA is a bit later. In fig. 2 it is evident that South Asian MP sites begin c. 120 Ka. but in fig. 4, it is made evident that there is a void between earliest MP and what can be safely considered as MP made by H. sapiens. The void is between c. 100 Ka and c. 80 Ka. and the corresponding Arabian sites only appear to begin c. 90 Ka.So guess it can be argued that successful colonization by H. sapiens only happened since c. 80 Ka. But the fact that there are H. sapiens sites (albeit with Mousterian) in Palestine c. 130 Ka, still allows for a less clear early OoA, which could be supported by East Asian fossils and technologies, dating to more than 100 Ka.But I must declare myself agnostic on which of the two scenarios is the most valid one, because the evidence in favor of a c. 120 Ka OoA is admittedly weak at this stage (but not totally lacking).

     
  16. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Vale, David, entendido. "Estaba intentando dar una hipótesis, basada en la teoría de Hartung&Koeberl,1994, según la cual no aparece tecnología del modo 2 o achelense debido a la escasez de materia prima, y por lo tanto a la utilización de materiales perecederos"…No muy probable, puesto que sí que hay modo 2 en Bose Valley (aunque sea excepcional). "Espero no te hayas molestado, ya que en ningún caso pretendía cuestionar tu hipótesis, la cual me parece muy interesante".No, en absoluto. Me parece bien que me cuestionen, faltaría más. Se propone una hipótesis o teoría, se cuestiona, se saca una más refinada… mi propio pensamiento no está para nada cerrado y si tengo preferencias es porque entiendo que los datos y el sentido común las favorecen (puedo equivocarme en esto también). Synthesis of the Spanish-language discussion: David says that he got confused and that he tried to propose a theory by which mode 2 (Acheulean) did not exist in East Asia for lack of appropriate raw materials. I say that this sounds most unlikely. In any case there seems not to be Acheulean in East Asia excepted the Bose Valley brief incursion.

     
  17. Maria Lluïsa

    December 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Very interesting, Maju!I don't have many time now to discuss, but I'm wondering whether the different % of neandertal admixture is due to different admixture rates betweem different groups or it's just only due to bottlenecks and/or founder effects.The Chinese/Cambodians show the highest %, while the Karitiana shows the lowest, but I highly doubt that there were more than just one interbreeding with neanderthals, if in Europe they were clearly replaced. In figures of the study, it doesn't seem that the Han are more closely related to neanderthals than de French. The same isn't true for Melanesians vs other Non-africans and Denisovans: we can clearly see more affinities with the formers than with the second ones.

     
  18. manju

    December 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    But H. heidelbergensis is not associated (nor should be) with MSA. Theirs is the Acheulean culture (in part), at least in principle (and the Indian fossil record agrees here).I keep my fingers crossed. There are speculations that Aurignacian culture could be Neanderthal too. I guess if we go with that open mind Heidelbergensis and MSA shouldn't surprise us.

     
  19. Maju

    December 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    @ML: That's not easy or maybe even possible to know. Random drift, along with founder effects, such as the ones affecting Native Americans before and after Beringia, can have caused the differences we see. "it doesn't seem that the Han are more closely related to neanderthals than de French".It does seem so: all East Asian groups show levels that are markedly greater (45-70% greater) than those of Europeans or Melanesians. Exceptions: Japanese (previous study) and Karitiana. I already raised an eyebrow on this matter with Green's paper, and Reich's one seems to confirm it. Of course it may be a matter of random events but there it is anyhow. "The same isn't true for Melanesians vs other Non-africans and Denisovans"…This is a yes/no case it seems. It's not a matter of degree but of absolute yes/no.@Manju:"There are speculations that Aurignacian culture could be Neanderthal too".Well there are also recent speculations that Chatelperronian could have been made by H. sapiens. Sure: one should always keep the mind open but also try to follow the threads of patterns. As for Aurignacian being made by Neanderthals, it is most unlikely because Aurignacoid industries are found nearly everywhere in association with H. sapiens fossils. So for me, unless demonstrated otherwise, Aurignacoid industries mean H. sapiens.

     
  20. Maria Lluïsa

    December 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    "It does seem so: all East Asian groups show levels that are markedly greater (45-70% greater) than those of Europeans or Melanesians. Exceptions: Japanese (previous study) and Karitiana. I already raised an eyebrow on this matter with Green's paper, and Reich's one seems to confirm it. "But it's a matter of degrees (it seems so) I don't know if I'm right, but what I understood is that the % are only averages, it's possible to find a French person with more neanderthal DNA than a Han person, but that not true for Denisovans, when you compare a French/Han and a Melanesian person.I don't know whether these studies can detect more interbreeding events or not, but the general line is, as for neanderthal DNA, that all non-Africans have the same amount, at least this was what they said the first time, that there were no significant differences.Anyway it's quite rare, because at the same time Melanesians are more admixed with archaics such as Denisova than East Asians. Maybe they came from different migrations? If Denisovans could intebreed with modern humans, does that mean maybe other hominids such as H. floresiensis could as well? Many time ago I read that near the site where the fossils of that hominid were found, there's a village where people usually are less than 1,40 m tall. Of course, that doesn't mean anything at all, but I'm curious.What I found to be completely unintelligible is that aparently humans mixed with these hominids only in "two" occasions. What does this mean? Maybe they meet each other many times but nothing happened?The Jeffrey Long's study dated these "two" occasions: 60.000 in the case of neandertals and 45.000 in the case of Denisovans (or any other relative). How can this be possible, if modern humans left Africa more than 100.000 years ago, and interacted with neanderthals for a long time? What about the modern human jaw found in China and dated more than 100K? Maybe these dates are wrong?

     
  21. Maju

    December 27, 2010 at 1:46 am

    "If Denisovans could intebreed with modern humans, does that mean maybe other hominids such as H. floresiensis could as well?"It's difficult to say because there's no agreement on what exactly is H. floresiensis. Probably they were just a pygmy H. erectus variant but some even say they were Australopithecus. I'd say that Australopithecus are too diverged for a realistic chance of hybridization… but who knows?"What I found to be completely unintelligible is that aparently humans mixed with these hominids only in "two" occasions. What does this mean? Maybe they meet each other many times but nothing happened?"I do not know. The low levels of admixture suggest a gradual dilution of the archaic blood, which must have begun with either individuals or populations who were 50/50. I already mentioned with the previous paper that it is likely that there was initially a population or group (or even individual) more intensely admixed, say 50/50, and that these must have been absorbed into a larger "pureblood" population. If there was one initial 50/50 hybrid individual in a population otherwise 100% H. sapiens, this population would have been of c. 20 people (effectively reproducing population). If the initial hybrid population were 20, then the overall population would be 400… and so on. It's only logical that people almost only reproduced with other people like themselves and not with strange hominins. I really see no issue with that, otherwise there would be no H. sapiens in Eurasia – because all would have been absorbed into the archaic populations and multirregionalism would be correct (but Humankind would be very different too). "The Jeffrey Long's study dated these "two" occasions: 60.000 in the case of neandertals and 45.000 in the case of Denisovans (or any other relative)".Sorry but I do not know which is this paper. "How can this be possible, if modern humans left Africa more than 100.000 years ago, and interacted with neanderthals for a long time? What about the modern human jaw found in China and dated more than 100K? Maybe these dates are wrong?"I was just discussing this matter a few comments earlier, if you read Petraglia 2010, there are two possible dates for the OoA (on archaeological grounds): one before 100 Ka, whose evidence is tenuous and controversial and another one that would be more clear since c. 90 Ka in Arabia and c. 80 Ka in South Asia. The fossil evidence so far for SE Asia (other references) could point to c. 70 Ka. This is just another case where archaeology is so far limited in providing clear-cut evidence. One possibility could be that there was a first weak migration that got mixed with the archaics and then another one, much stronger, that did not but absorbed some of those first migrants. Just guessing.

     
  22. terryt

    December 27, 2010 at 8:24 am

    "In any case there seems not to be Acheulean in East Asia excepted the Bose Valley brief incursion". Or SE Asia. The Acheulean didn't make it east or north beyond the Movius Line. The point I was making is that the line holds for more separation than just Acheulean/Oldowan though. In fact it seems to separate the Denisova/Melanesian type from Neanderthal/Narmada and the erectus from ergaster. So it has probably been significant through our whole evolution. "If Denisovans could interbreed with modern humans, does that mean maybe other hominids such as H. floresiensis could as well?" I very strongly suspect that time will tell us that the differences between the various human 'species' has been greatly exaggerated. "The low levels of admixture suggest a gradual dilution of the archaic blood, which must have begun with either individuals or populations who were 50/50". A dilution through more effective incoming culture rather than any inability to form fertile hybrids would be my guess.

     
  23. David Sánchez

    December 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    greetings maju,i try again in english,I've been thinking about your admixture hypothesis between neanderthals and erectus communities. I would like to know your opinion on a hypothesis I want to make, because your knowledge of genetics and prehistory in general.At this point I would like to extrapolate these admixture theories to the emergence of the Neanderthals, perhaps much theorizing starting with my little knowledge about genetics, but at least I can base myself to throw this hypothesis in the cultural behavior of Neanderthals. Today we discuss the phylogeny of Homo antecessor, and it seems that its discoverers are in the line of the view that it is descended from an Asian population a type homo georgicus and then its storyline seems it disappears, or at least they doubt seriously that their lineage comes to the Neanderthals. Both homo antecessor and georgicus had developed olduvai technology or modo 1; in the case of Antecessor presents a behavioral pattern associated with cannibalism, and after European archaeological record, particularly in Atapuerca, seems to reflect a cultural break with the arrival of Homo heidelbergensis, which brings the Acheulean technology or mode 2 to Europe, and it looks like some kind of special treatment to the deceased. Neandertals present cultural patterns common to these two species, and therefore could be the result of a hybridization of both.Regards.

     
  24. Maju

    December 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I just read that idea at your blog precisely. It's an interesting idea (and I think Martinón and Gómez know well what they are talking about, even if, so far, they are less famous than Trinkaus) but I do not think it would change much in regard to the origin of Neanderthals in H. ergaster, via H. heidelbergensis, right? Yet the possibility of hybridization of H. ergaster/heidelbergensis (OoA-2) with H. erectus/georgicus/antecessor (OoA-1) is very intriguing. Obviously this would add another element of uncertainty in regards to our own (OoA-3) minor admixture with Neanderthals and "Denisovans". However, based on mtDNA, I still think that the lineages of Neanderthals belong to OoA-2 (H. ergaster, Acheulean tech) and those of "Denisovans" to OoA-1 (H. georgicus/erectus, Oldowayan tech). So the general outline remains.

     
  25. manju

    December 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Have you seen this?

     
  26. Maju

    December 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Not exactly that article but, yes, I've been reading variants of that story for the last 24 hrs. or more. Wonder why I am not commenting? Because a bunch of ill classified teeth with a nationalist/neo-biblical mediatic hype do not mean much, really. I trust much more mtDNA (and Y-DNA, and a solid fossil record not going beyond 200 Ka, all in Africa).

     
  27. Maria Lluïsa

    December 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    "Sorry but I do not know which is this paper. "http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1268003/Neanderthals-humans-interbred-twice-scientists.html"This is just another case where archaeology is so far limited in providing clear-cut evidence. One possibility could be that there was a first weak migration that got mixed with the archaics and then another one, much stronger, that did not but absorbed some of those first migrants. Just guessing."Sounds quite well, but how can we detect (genetically) the first migration? Apparently, all humans are descended from one migration, right? This doesn't change things a lot if we're talking about getting along with very different people. Were neandertals viewed equally human by the first immigrants, 100.000 years ago, despite being separated by more than 500.000/1.000.000, and perceived very different by the second ones, 70-80.000 years ago? That's in the case of this model being right. Which haplogroups were carrying the first immigrants? Apparently not N/M, maybe L? How could we distinguish them?

     
  28. Maju

    December 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I've been searching and could find no paper for either Jeffrey Long or Sarah Joyce (apparently the lead researcher) with the Neanderthal tag. What I have found is more science-specific publications that mention their research (in Spring this year, before the Green paper) and their intention of publishing something later on. These are an article in Nature and an interview with Long at Science Interviews. I use Eccellio Science to search for specialized materials, for the record.It is interesting that they propose two admixture events, one early on in the migration OoA and another later on in East Asia, before the colonization of Near Oceania. Notice that this is different than what the NGP say, the second admixture event would have affected all East Asians and Oceanians. However, while they say that they could not think of other source for this intrusive component than Neanderthals, it is almost impossible to conceive Neanderthal admixture in East Asia, so maybe is the same as found for Melanesians (remember I mentioned that there was also some much weaker, uncertain, appearance of admixture with "Denisovans" in some East Asians… and the French).Interestingly, unlike the NGP, they did compare "genetic data from 1,983 individuals from 99 populations in Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas", so even if they lacked the raw material of ancient DNA from Neanderthals and "Denisovans", they did make a much more complete analysis of modern humans. "Sounds quite well, but how can we detect (genetically) the first migration?"I do not know. I was not stating a falsifiable hypothesis, just speculating on hard-to-explain archaeological data. "Apparently, all humans are descended from one migration, right?"Via mtDNA yes, I'd say so. Not so clearly from Y-DNA and there's no easy way to know from autosomal DNA."Were neandertals viewed equally human by the first immigrants, 100.000 years ago, despite being separated by more than 500.000/1.000.000, and perceived very different by the second ones, 70-80.000 years ago?"I cannot say. Such perceptions may have been shaped by other factors such as culture (xenophobia and racism are mostly cultural) and the real numbers involved. If the second migration was better armed (for instance) and more numerous, they may have feel less inclined to collaborate with the "natives", so to say. Or inversely: a less well equipped and less numerous population (as would have been the hypothetical first wave) may have been more inclined to deal with the "natives" in equal terms. But just speculating here anyhow. "Which haplogroups were carrying the first immigrants? Apparently not N/M, maybe L? How could we distinguish them?"Totally unsure. We can wonder if Y-DNA CF belongs to the hypothetical first wave but most probably not. Probably no lineages of the first wave have been preserved, if it happened at all and assuming the second wave was much more resolute and expansive.

     
  29. Maria Lluïsa

    December 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    "What I have found is more science-specific publications that mention their research (in Spring this year, before the Green paper) and their intention of publishing something later on. These are an article in Nature and an interview with Long at Science Interviews. I use Eccellio Science to search for specialized materials, for the record."Thanks for the Eccellio, I didn't know it. I use mainly google scholar and google news to find new articles. But you're right, this work hasn't been published yet. Dienekes commented on it (me too) because it appeared on ASHG 2010 abstracts, but nothing more."Notice that this is different than what the NGP say, the second admixture event would have affected all East Asians and Oceanians. However, while they say that they could not think of other source for this intrusive component than Neanderthals, it is almost impossible to conceive Neanderthal admixture in East Asia, so maybe is the same as found for Melanesians (remember I mentioned that there was also some much weaker, uncertain, appearance of admixture with "Denisovans" in some East Asians… and the French)."No, they never said that these admixture events involved neandertals, just archaic hominids living in Eurasia, which of course, include neandertals. I found it very interesting because independent studies found (nearly) the same they predicted.I can't tell you anything more about this, because I don't know. I hope we'll hear more news in the next year about this. This work is based on microsatellite data (…) and I don't know if they can detect all interbreeding events or just only the most important ones."Totally unsure. We can wonder if Y-DNA CF belongs to the hypothetical first wave but most probably not. Probably no lineages of the first wave have been preserved, if it happened at all and assuming the second wave was much more resolute and expansive."mtDNA/Y-chromosome lineages could be lost, much like what happened with the neanderthal ones, but in autosomal DNA, if your model is correct, we'd expect to find at least 2,5% of autosomal DNA from the first wave, but if human DNA is so similar it might be very difficult to detect.

     
  30. Maria Lluïsa

    December 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    "What I have found is more science-specific publications that mention their research (in Spring this year, before the Green paper) and their intention of publishing something later on. These are an article in Nature and an interview with Long at Science Interviews. I use Eccellio Science to search for specialized materials, for the record."Thanks for the Eccellio, I didn't know it. I use mainly google scholar and google news to find new articles. But you're right, this work hasn't been published yet. Dienekes commented on it (me too) because it appeared on ASHG 2010 abstracts, but nothing more."Notice that this is different than what the NGP say, the second admixture event would have affected all East Asians and Oceanians. However, while they say that they could not think of other source for this intrusive component than Neanderthals, it is almost impossible to conceive Neanderthal admixture in East Asia, so maybe is the same as found for Melanesians (remember I mentioned that there was also some much weaker, uncertain, appearance of admixture with "Denisovans" in some East Asians… and the French)."No, they never said that these admixture events involved neandertals, just archaic hominids living in Eurasia, which of course, include neandertals. I found it very interesting because independent studies found (nearly) the same they predicted.I can't tell you anything more about this, because I don't know. I hope we'll hear more news in the next year about this. This work is based on microsatellite data (…) and I don't know if they can detect all interbreeding events or just only the most important ones."Totally unsure. We can wonder if Y-DNA CF belongs to the hypothetical first wave but most probably not. Probably no lineages of the first wave have been preserved, if it happened at all and assuming the second wave was much more resolute and expansive."mtDNA/Y-chromosome lineages could be lost, much like what happened with the neanderthal ones, but in autosomal DNA, if your model is correct, we'd expect to find at least 2,5% of autosomal DNA from the first wave, but if human DNA is so similar it might be very difficult to detect.

     
  31. Maria Lluïsa

    December 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    "I use Eccellio Science to search for specialized materials, for the record."Thanks for the Eccellio, I didn't know it. I use mainly google scholar and google news to find new articles. But you're right, this work hasn't been published yet. Dienekes commented on it (me too) because it appeared on ASHG 2010 abstracts, but nothing more."Notice that this is different than what the NGP say, the second admixture event would have affected all East Asians and Oceanians. However, while they say that they could not think of other source for this intrusive component than Neanderthals, it is almost impossible to conceive Neanderthal admixture in East Asia, so maybe is the same as found for Melanesians"No, they never said that these admixture events involved neandertals, just archaic hominids living in Eurasia, which of course, include neandertals. I found it very interesting because independent studies found (nearly) the same they predicted.I can't tell you anything more about this, because I don't know. I hope we'll hear more news in the next year about this. This work is based on microsatellite data (…) and I don't know if they can detect all interbreeding events or just only the most important ones."Totally unsure. We can wonder if Y-DNA CF belongs to the hypothetical first wave but most probably not. Probably no lineages of the first wave have been preserved, if it happened at all and assuming the second wave was much more resolute and expansive."mtDNA/Y-chromosome lineages could be lost, much like what happened with the neanderthal ones, but in autosomal DNA, if your model is correct, we'd expect to find at least 2,5% of autosomal DNA from the first wave, but if human DNA is so similar it might be very difficult to detect.

     
  32. Maju

    December 28, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    In your link, Sarah Joyce is mentioned as follows:"She found that the best explanation was if there were two periods of interbreeding between modern humans and another human species – and that Neanderthals were the only likely candidate.One period of interbreeding occurred around 60,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean, the other around 45,000 years ago in eastern Asia.However in the interview Long gives a different version, acknowledging that there are other candidates. "… in autosomal DNA, if your model is correct, we'd expect to find at least 2,5% of autosomal DNA from the first wave, but if human DNA is so similar it might be very difficult to detect".Exactly. It would be almost impossible, if not plainly impossible, to detect the genetic "cargo" of two waves spawning from the same population with "so little" difference of time (just a few dozen thousand years". That is unless… there was a preserved lineage. And while it seems that Y-DNA and mtDNA do not preserve anything from that hypothetical event, I recall research in X-DNA (from 2006 or 2007) which detected a haplotype (B006 if I recall correctly, most common among Basques and Native Americans, but most diverse around Mongolia) that was only seldom found in Africa and looked older than the main Eurasian branch. It could be also a borrowing from archaic Eurasian humans or it could be just a randomly "amplified" African lineage (Africa was poorly sampled and South Asia was not really surveyed, as often happens). But it's something intriguing that was spotted in two consecutive researches. Then the matter was not further researched, sadly.

     
  33. Maria Lluïsa

    December 28, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    "She found that the best explanation was if there were two periods of interbreeding between modern humans and another human species – and that Neanderthals were the only likely candidate."As you said, Long gives a different explanation. It was completely impossible to discover if the archaics with whom modern humans admixed were neandertals or not, because when they published? the study, the neanderthal genome wasn't sequenced. "That is unless… there was a preserved lineage. And while it seems that Y-DNA and mtDNA do not preserve anything from that hypothetical event, I recall research in X-DNA (from 2006 or 2007) which detected a haplotype (B006 if I recall correctly, most common among Basques and Native Americans, but most diverse around Mongolia) that was only seldom found in Africa and looked older than the main Eurasian branch. How interesting! Many studies have analyzed modern human DNA and have found indeed signals for admixture with archaic humans (like the one from Wall & Plagnol, in 2006). It's a very interesting issue, I hope more studies will do more research.Another interesting haplotype was TAU H2, very european-specific, but apparently it has nothing to do with neandertals.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820164/

     
  34. terryt

    December 30, 2010 at 1:35 am

    "So they must have admixed with some relative of Denisovans elsewhere, for example in Sundaland, where some Homo erectus are known to have lived in dates that are perfectly compatible with this scenario". Your theory on how Denisovan aDNA managed to appear in New Guinea is pure speculation. There's no evidence at all that SE Asian H. soloensis possessed those genes. Onthe other hand a migration of mtDNA N from somewhere near the region of Denisova across Asia towards Japan and then down the east Eurasian coast to New Guinea/Australia fits perfectly. Of course under that scenarion the Australian Aborigines would have more Denisovan aDNA than would Papuans but, as far as I know, no Aborigines were tested. "So the ancestors of Melanesians and other very dark tropical Asians have definitively not lived in Siberia at any time". They could easily have done so. For a start it only involved a small percentage of their ancestry. And Y-hap R, for example, has its deep origin in SE Asia yet most men who have it do not look at all like SE Asians, past or present.

     
  35. Maju

    December 30, 2010 at 2:23 am

    "Your theory on how Denisovan aDNA managed to appear in New Guinea is pure speculation. There's no evidence at all that SE Asian H. soloensis possessed those genes".By elimination: Denisovans are not by mtDNA Sapiens nor Neanderthal (hence not even Ergaster). So logically it should be Erectus, what else? Homo floresiensis? Australopithecus robustus?So if the Denisovans are at least partly H. erectus, as their mtDNA quite clearly indicates to anyone familiar with the relevant archaeology and palaeoanthropology, the we can conclude easily that "their" autosomal DNA in Melanesians represents autosomal DNA from H. erectus, maybe from both H. erectus and Neanderthal (overlapping with the general Neanderthal admixture). That's my theory and I am making a falsifiable prediction in it: go extract and sequence Erectus DNA and prove me wrong (or right). That's how science works. "Of course under that scenarion the Australian Aborigines would have more Denisovan aDNA than would Papuans"… and Europeans too, which are 99% mtDNA N. There's no population in the World more N than West Eurasians, not even Australian Aborigines.Get real. "For a start it only involved a small percentage of their ancestry".So are you telling me that some random humans went to Altai, admixed with Denisovans (but not anymore with the Neanderthals who were also there), left no archaeological record we can see anywhere, left no genetic record either in modern populations in the area (or anywhere else) and then went to New Guinea and got extremely diluted among Melanesians, who, I imagine were already there waiting… I think it's easier to get all billiard balls in their holes in the first shoot, so convoluted your claim is. I tell you: go to Java or whatever museum Solo man is, extract the DNA and prove me wrong. Guess that any other Asian Erectus would do (Pekin man, Bodo, Dali…)

     
  36. terryt

    December 30, 2010 at 8:52 am

    "So logically it should be Erectus, what else?" How about Denisovans? Were they definitely erectus? And even if they are were can you assume they were genetically the same as the population that existed in SE Asia? "go extract and sequence Erectus DNA and prove me wrong (or right). That's how science works". Yes. And I'm betting that SE Asia H. erectus is different genetically from the Denisovans. Prove me wrong. "and Europeans too, which are 99% mtDNA N". You know as well as I do the European N is almost completely R. Are you really claiming that a single small population can migrate a massive distance and maintain its genetic purity? Get real. Isn't that taking that 'exclusive mania' I mentioned you suffer from a little far? Talk about racist. "So are you telling me that some random humans went to Altai, admixed with Denisovans" The evidence points strongly in that direction. "(but not anymore with the Neanderthals who were also there)" I'm sure you were claiming that they show Neanderthal admixture too. "left no archaeological record we can see anywhere" There's plenty of evidence for human presence across Central Asia. It's just that, once more as a product of your 'exclusive mania', you claim the fact they didn't possess an 'Upper Paleolithic' culture proves they're not 'Modern Humans'. "left no genetic record either in modern populations in the area" Basal haplogroups of both mtDNA N and Y-hap C are widespread across the region. "then went to New Guinea and got extremely diluted among Melanesians" Were already diluted obviously, and became more so as time passed, especially once members of mtDNA M and Y-hap KMNOPS entered the region. "Guess that any other Asian Erectus would do (Pekin man, Bodo, Dali…)" I would guess that H. erectus varied regionally as much as, or perhaps more than, we do today. So we'd have to sample a wide regional variety of them to trace exactly what genes entered the modern human genome, and where from.

     
  37. Maju

    December 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    "How about Denisovans? Were they definitely erectus?"That's what I'm saying: half Erectus half Neanderthal. Their mtDNA is Erectus and their autosomal DNA is half Neanderthal."And I'm betting that SE Asia H. erectus is different genetically from the Denisovans".Everybody is different genetically to some extent. Said that way it's trivial. What I'm saying is that there was a population spanning from Indonesia to North (and NE) China that we call "Asian H. erectus" and which is descended from the migrations c. 1.8 Ma or maybe a little later with Olduwayan technologies. This species is attested archaeologically in many sites (key supporting evidence already existant) and diverged from us and Neanderthals maybe 1.8 times or 1.5 earlier than proto-Neanderthals did (arguably). Compared to H. ergaster (Neanderthals and us) they were a clearly distinct population (species, superspecies, whatever) with distinct genetics branching out earlier, confirmed in Denisovan mtDNA. Can you understand all this? "Prove me wrong". I was first and I do have a consistent theory: you have nothing. In any case this will be settled when H. erectus DNA is researched and I bet Chinese geneticists are already considering and even pulling threads to do such a research, before Westerners do. Let's wait a few years and we'll know for sure."European N is almost completely R".R is N. And there's also several N(xR) clades. "Are you really claiming that a single small population can migrate a massive distance and maintain its genetic purity?"If they come from Altai as you claim, Europe and Arabia are closer than Australia. "Isn't that taking that 'exclusive mania' I mentioned you suffer from a little far? Talk about racist".I do not understand this and if you're going to make such grave accusations (racism) you better be more clear about what the heck you're talking about. …

     
  38. Maju

    December 30, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    "There's plenty of evidence for human presence across Central Asia".Human in what sense and in what chronological frame. Human can mean Homo sp. in general or Homo sapiens. The chronology seems to support a layered presence of the different species, whit modern humans only present after the others (true Neanderthals and Neanderthal-Erectus hybrids of Denisova and Okladnikov caves) were gone. In the case of Denisova there seems to be a gap of more than 10 Ka. "Basal haplogroups of both mtDNA N and Y-hap C are widespread across the region".Really? I do not think so. Maybe there is C5 (not a Melanesian clade) and maybe some mtDNA A or X, derived from East Asia and West Asia respectively. You are trying to force-bend the evidence to your preconceptions (again). It gets boring, honestly and the bent evidence is already broken of so much bending.Besides Papuans are not even strongly mtDNA N(xR) nor Y-DNA C, so what the heck are you ranting about? Papuans are essentially mtDNA R and M and Y-DNA MNOPS. They are very much like Europeans in all this, but with some "other" stuff. I'd make more sense of the theories of some Iranian-Swedish guy argued that West Eurasians are some sort of depigmented Papuans. I'm not subscribing to that but he made better sense than you do anyhow. "I would guess that H. erectus varied regionally as much as, or perhaps more than, we do today".Of course. But we have no more DNA evidence of the whole species than these sequences from Denisova. "So we'd have to sample a wide regional variety of them to trace exactly what genes entered the modern human genome, and where from".Not really because, as I said in my little essay, you can find admixture by proxy. We know of Neanderthal admixture in Asia using European Neanderthal sequences for example. With all likelihood, neither the Vindija specimens nor any other European Neanderthal directly took part in the admixture process – but we can still detect admixture, with great precision, comparing with them.

     
  39. terryt

    December 31, 2010 at 3:10 am

    "Of course. But we have no more DNA evidence of the whole species than these sequences from Denisova". Specifically Denisova, note. Not from SE Asian H. erectus. And it's very likely that SE Asian H. erectus shared far fewer aDNA with Denisovans than with Neanderthals. "Not really because, as I said in my little essay, you can find admixture by proxy". And that essay is full of 'possiblys' and 'maybes', and is unlikely to account for the evidence in this case. "Besides Papuans are not even strongly mtDNA N(xR) nor Y-DNA C, so what the heck are you ranting about? Papuans are essentially mtDNA R and M and Y-DNA MNOPS". Exactly. Hence my comment about Aborigines probaly having more of the Denisova aDNA, and my comment, 'Were already diluted obviously, and became more so as time passed, especially once members of mtDNA M and Y-hap KMNOPS entered the region'. "I'd make more sense of the theories of some Iranian-Swedish guy argued that West Eurasians are some sort of depigmented Papuans. I'm not subscribing to that but he made better sense than you do anyhow". That seems to be exactly the parallel you're drawing when you deny any possibility of Papuans having passed through Denisova territory yet conceding European haplogroups come from SE Asia. "Human in what sense and in what chronological frame. Human can mean Homo sp. in general or Homo sapiens". Doesn't the present evidence support the concept that these different human 'species' interbred? In which case it's irrelevant which Homo sp. lived across Central Asia. "Really? I do not think so. Maybe there is C5 (not a Melanesian clade)" Why do you ignore C3 and C1? "maybe some mtDNA A or X, derived from East Asia and West Asia respectively". So you're claiming different rules for haplogroup M and haplogroup N. The fact that M haplogroups are spread in a continuity across southern Asia is proof they expanded together but the fact that N haplogroups are spread in a continuity across central Asia is proof they entered from two separate regions.

     
  40. terryt

    December 31, 2010 at 3:26 am

    "Everybody is different genetically to some extent. Said that way it's trivial". Try not to be stupid Maju. You are very well aware that humans vary regionally as well as individually. "What I'm saying is that there was a population spanning from Indonesia to North (and NE) China that we call 'Asian H. erectus' and which is descended from the migrations c. 1.8 Ma or maybe a little later with Olduwayan technologies". Agreed, although the Chinese and SE Asians eventually diversified to quite an extent. "and diverged from us and Neanderthals maybe 1.8 times or 1.5 earlier than proto-Neanderthals did (arguably)". And certainly from the Denisovans. "I was first and I do have a consistent theory" But it doesn't make sense. You're postulating a common gene pool all the way from the Altai into China and down to SE Asia. Extremely unlikely. "R is N. And there's also several N(xR) clades". Yes, but N(xR) clades are a very small minority and R definitely emerged from SE Asia. R's expansion is very likely to have been independent of basal N's expansion despite your beliefs to the contrary. "If they come from Altai as you claim, Europe and Arabia are closer than Australia". It's you who is claiming the maintenance of 'genetic purity' over huge migrations. Part of your 'exclusivity mania'? "I do not understand this and if you're going to make such grave accusations (racism) you better be more clear about what the heck you're talking about". You see absolute separation between species and cultures etc., denying any mixing whatsoever. You see thing as absolutely black and white. As I said, we cannot view the world in any way other than what we are. And what we are is a product of our upbringing, especially our very early expariences.

     
  41. Maju

    December 31, 2010 at 4:51 am

    The mtDNA of Denisovans, which is consistent across individuals, is pre-Ergaster, hence Denisovans are not (most probably) an unknown species akin to Neanderthals, as the nuclear DNA could suggest, but a hybrid of a (known) species of Homo which diverged earlier. This one can only be H. erectus, which (we know from the fossil record) lived in East Asia at least until 200 Ka ago and in Indonesia at least until 50 Ka ago. Most probably is not "possibly" or "maybe". "my comment about Aborigines probaly having more of the Denisova aDNA"…This is a "possibly" which we do not know. "Doesn't the present evidence support the concept that these different human 'species' interbred? In which case it's irrelevant which Homo sp. lived across Central Asia".It is most relevant. It is not the same Homo erectus than Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens. They are clearly distinct populations, regardless if you wish to call them subspecies or keep the species concept. At the current mainstream standards occasional inter-fertility does not make two species one – but that is not the issue anyhow. "Why do you ignore C3 and C1?" Because they are from NE Asia, towards the coast. Whatever there is in Central Asia arrived from further East. I'll slightly correct your tonight's first post's last sentence (corrections in bold type) so you get what I claim in fact (and that you do not understand it yet makes me doubt about your intelligence or honesty):"The fact that M basal haplogroups are spread in a continuity across southern Asia is proof they expanded together but the fact that N highly derived haplogroups are spread in a continuity across central Asia is proof they entered from two separate regions". Basal sublineages are not the same as highly derived sublineages with clear origins in regions that are not Central Asia. You do not want to make a fool of yourself trying to prove that X or A coalesced in Altai, do you? Because I challenge you to try it.

     
  42. Maju

    December 31, 2010 at 5:19 am

    "And certainly from the Denisovans".You have no fucking idea what the Denisovans are (were). Why do you claim a totally different and new species when there is absolutely no evidence for such thing? "You're postulating a common gene pool all the way from the Altai into China and down to SE Asia. Extremely unlikely".I'm postulating that, yes. Because they were descendants from the first OoA, that of H. erectus with chopper industries. There is a quite large consensus about this. This gene pool, originating maybe 800 or 1000 Ka before the proto-Neanderthal migration with Acheulean, must have created (and retained in Eastern Asia) a gene pool very distinct from that of the populations derived from African H. ergaster (i.e. Neanderthals and us). That is what the Denisova mtDNA confirms."Yes, but N(xR) clades are a very small minority"…Also among Papuans, AFAIK. "R's expansion is very likely to have been independent of basal N's expansion despite your beliefs to the contrary".Since you demonstrated that R must have coalesced in SEA (novel data from this year), it is clear that R must have migrated with some minor N westward. More clear than before. "It's you who is claiming the maintenance of 'genetic purity' over huge migrations".WTF?!Which genetic purity and which huge migrations? Generalizations are pointless rhetorical acrobatics, we need to be specific. This "huge migration" may be totally different from that other "huge migration" and this genetic pool may be purer than that other genetic pool. Let's be specific. Spanish saying for someone who speaks clearly: he/she "calls the bread bread and the wine wine". You don't: you say "bread" when you mean wine just to keep the discussion going and going in circles. I understand that is abusive, insincere, mischievous, malevolent. That's not the kind of non-debate I want to have. Alternatively it can be idiotic but I do not want to think you are a fool. So please do not try to fool me with silly rhetoric exercises, science is not the same as politics. "You see absolute separation between species and cultures etc., denying any mixing whatsoever".Not sure. Which cases? Farmers and foragers maybe? Erectus and Neanderthals maybe? I'm willing to go through each case but I cannot argue on generalities. "You see thing as absolutely black and white".No."… we cannot view the world in any way other than what we are".That is your belief. Instead I think we can see the world with many eyes, it just requires some open-mindedness (some drugs may help, in some cases, I guess to open the mind). Of course, I will never have the life experiences of a Hadza, for example, but I can try to understand their point of view. And as we all are essentially foragers in modern clothing, this is easier than seeing the point of view of a farmer, even if I have some more experience with gardening and working the land than with hunting. At least for me: one of the reasons I am interested in anthropology is because I do feel particularly identified with huntergatherer cultures (it's just too easy to understand their way of life, easier than modern life often). "And what we are is a product of our upbringing, especially our very early expariences".Yes but not so much (here for instance you see in B&W and I am seeing in technicolor and even 3D resolution with odorama). We make choices and we can sabotage our learning. I do not know how much effort have you put on that but you can believe me when I say that I have. And for a reason: I want to be free, not a slave of the chains of my parents. And to a large extent I think I have achieved it, keeping the best and throwing away the worst, the useless, the parasitic policeman inside.

     
  43. terryt

    January 3, 2011 at 8:05 am

    "That is what the Denisova mtDNA confirms". It confirms it for the Denisovans but says nothing about SE Asian H. erectus. "It is most relevant. It is not the same Homo erectus than Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens. They are clearly distinct populations" As, presumably, were the SE Asian H. erectus. Are you denying genetic drift in the H. erectus population? That's a stupid stance. "You have no fucking idea what the Denisovans are (were). Why do you claim a totally different and new species when there is absolutely no evidence for such thing?" And you're claiming complete genetic continuity from Denisovans to SE Asian H. erectus over a period of close to a million years. Even modern humans have diversified regionally over just 100,000 years or so. Obviously you have no fucking idea of genetic drift. "Which genetic purity and which huge migrations?" You appear to be claiming that H. erectus changed not one little bit after it left Africa. That's 'genetic purity' surely. "Basal sublineages are not the same as highly derived sublineages" N lineages are as basal as the M ones. The difference is that M diversifies after three mutations and N diversifies after five. So why do you claim one set as 'basal' and the other as 'highly derived'? "Since you demonstrated that R must have coalesced in SEA (novel data from this year), it is clear that R must have migrated with some minor N westward. More clear than before". Why with any N, let alone 'minor? And I'd remind you adopted the same arrogant refusla to consider the evidence whenever I suggested mtDNA R had expanded from SE Asia. And whenever I suggested the ancestor of Y-hap R had done so too. How about pulling your arrogant head in occasionally.

     
  44. Maju

    January 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I am not talking specifically of the H. erectus of SE Asia but of all the archaic humankind that left Africa c. 1,8 Ma ago. That's what the Denisova mtDNA is. If the non-Neanderthal part of Denisovans and the other Asian H. erectus derive from that migration, as seems to be correct (and if you think otherwise, please explain why), their DNA overall must be related, just like ours and Neanderthals' is. "You appear to be claiming that H. erectus changed not one little bit after it left Africa".Not at all. But the genetic pool from which it drew remained the same one, more or less. If there were other instances of Heidlebergensis or Neanderthal admixture other than the ones obvious in Altai, they should be demonstrated. My general impression from the fossil record is that the second OoA wave (to which Heidelberg/Neanderthal belong) never made many inroads East of Bengal. So the East Asian genetic pool remained essentially that of the first wave. "N lineages are as basal as the M ones".Are you pretending to be dumb? X2 is not a basal lineage of N. It is a basal lineage of X, which in turn is a basal lineage of N. We know anyhow that both X and X2 coalesced in West Asia, not in Altai. The only thing that the presence of X2-derived clades in Northern Asia and America show is some sort of migration from West Asia (which is confirmed by Y-DNA Q, for example). Same for A-derived lineages but in regards to East Asia. Altai is a place of encounter between West and East Eurasia, a "silk road" of the Paleolithic. "Why with any N, let alone 'minor?"Because if both N and R (separated by a single control region mutation) coalesced in East Asia and are found in West Asia, they must have migrated westwards roughly in the same dates. Besides most of these N basal sublineages show presence in South Asia (X being the only exception), what confirms their southern route also in Westward direction. In this sense also, all the archaeology leading to West Eurasian Upper Paleolithic (mode 4), directly related to the colonization by our species, is in South Asia (earliest use of stone blades), not in East Asia, where such technology only arrives later. "… you adopted the same arrogant refusla to consider the evidence whenever I suggested mtDNA R had expanded from SE Asia".You did not provide any evidence. You just made a claim without any support. If I recall correctly, I had to look for the evidence myself. If you had bothered providing evidence (new data bout Eastern R basal sublineages), I would have accepted it. Even if I am politely attributing you some help in finding out this, actually you were not too helpful, because you did not provide clear evidence at any moment and I had to find it on my own. You were making such claims even before any evidence was available at all, so it's more of a case of the donkey who played the flute by chance. Instead of arguing and arguing, you should bother taking your time to ponder the evidence, sharing it if you find something but specially pondering it dispassionately, without preconceptions, open to all options.

     
  45. terryt

    January 5, 2011 at 12:48 am

    "Even if I am politely attributing you some help in finding out this, actually you were not too helpful, because you did not provide clear evidence at any moment" I kept providing explanations and evidence as to why I believed it to be so. However you were blinded by your absolutely unquestioning acceptance that all Eurasian haplogroups coalesced in India. "you should bother taking your time to ponder the evidence" And that's exactly how I came to the conclusion that both mtDNA R and the ancestor of Y-hap R (which at the time was called 'K' but is now MNOPS) had originated somewhere in SE Asia. I was able to do this because I looked at the evidence (the distribution of haplogroups) and then looked for an explanation. I didn't work in reverse, as you do: adopt a theory and then look at the evidence from the perspective of supporting that theory. "pondering it dispassionately, without preconceptions, open to all options". That's exactly what I did while you seemed unable to do so. "You were making such claims even before any evidence was available at all, so it's more of a case of the donkey who played the flute by chance". There was any amount of evidence. It's just that you were blinded by your theory. "I am not talking specifically of the H. erectus of SE Asia but of all the archaic humankind that left Africa c. 1,8 Ma ago. That's what the Denisova mtDNA is". And there's another thing you were arrogantly dismissive of. You scoffed whenever I claimed that 'modern humans' were able to breed with any earlier ones. I'm pleased to see you now accept my position. "their DNA overall must be related, just like ours and Neanderthals' is". And the Denisove DNA is almost certainly much more closely related to Neanderthal than it is to any SE Asian conemporary population. Because: "If there were other instances of Heidlebergensis or Neanderthal admixture other than the ones obvious in Altai, they should be demonstrated". Such movements would have served to increase the genetic distance between SE Asian populations and all the other Eurasian populations, including the Denisovans. "Because if both N and R (separated by a single control region mutation) coalesced in East Asia and are found in West Asia" That's a huge IF as far as N is concerned. In fact you make that assumption to enable you to make the evidence fit your theory. "X2 is not a basal lineage of N. It is a basal lineage of X, which in turn is a basal lineage of N. We know anyhow that both X and X2 coalesced in West Asia" And neither X nor its ancestors were ever anywhere near SE Asia. "Besides most of these N basal sublineages show presence in South Asia" None of the 'basal' lineages actually appear in India, only downstream ones. That makes it difficult to argue a route through India for any N haplogroups other than R. "all the archaeology leading to West Eurasian Upper Paleolithic (mode 4), directly related to the colonization by our species, is in South Asia (earliest use of stone blades)" I agree 100%. If you're going to confine your perspective to Europe you will inevitably assume an India origin, which is exactly the mistake you made originally. "not in East Asia, where such technology only arrives later". Exactly. Long after mtDNA R and Y-hap MNOPS had formed there, and even after they had left. As I keep trying to get through to you, the 'Upper Paleolithic' is not the defining characteristic of the first 'modern' humans. Presumably it was develeoped by them, and possibly in India, but they didn't emerge from Africa with a fully developed Upper Paleolithic.

     
  46. Maju

    January 5, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Terry: we can keep discussing in circles, as long as you do not present evidence and keep throwing empty accusations. For example, you say:"That's a huge IF as far as N is concerned. In fact you make that assumption to enable you to make the evidence fit your theory".No evidence and an accusation of partiality, bias and prejudice.Yet, I have made as clear as I can why I do "believe", think that N coalesced in SE Asia. As with every other clade, I have mapped the basal sublineages and estimated a center of gravity. This center of gravity falls in SE Asia. 6 out of 12 (50%) basal sublineages are exclusive of SE Eurasia (SEA+Near Oceania), the rest are R (agreed to coalesced in SEA), two East Asian clades and three West/South Asian ones. The conclusion is self-evident for anyone who looks at it dispassionately. Not you, of course. Yet you accuse me of bias and prejudice but provide not a single piece of evidence against this model. And it's almost always the same. So it's only logical that I'm annoyed."None of the 'basal' lineages actually appear in India, only downstream ones. That makes it difficult to argue a route through India for any N haplogroups other than R".N2a, W and N5 appear in South Asia, as well as a host of R sublineages. Still you might have a point that the SA route westward is not clearly proven but that says nothing against the origin of N in SEA. If anything it may suggest a possible alternative route (equally unproven or rather less logical by all measures) through Siberia/Central Asia, but in westward direction if anything. "If you're going to confine your perspective to Europe you will inevitably assume an India origin"…First, I do not restrict myself to Europe, though the archaeological record over here is pretty good and therefore an unavoidable reference. But most importantly I do not consider Europe as distinct from West Asia and other parts of Western Eurasia. It is all West Eurasia which displays a quite clear South Asian origin and connection. Well, actually all Eurasia and annex areas do but this is even more clear and recent in the case of West Eurasia. "… the 'Upper Paleolithic' is not the defining characteristic of the first 'modern' humans".I know that perfectly well, please. In West Eurasia however there is a quite lineal connection.

     
  47. terryt

    January 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

    "N2a, W and N5 appear in South Asia, as well as a host of R sublineages". We've agreed that R originated in SE Asia, so let's look at the other two (it's really N2a/W). N5 is no more basal than is N1, found in Central Eurasia, so we have no way of knowing whether N1 moved out of India or N5 moved into it from the west. In fact it's more likely to be the latter because N5 is far less diverse than is N1. It is also difficult to mount a convincing argument for N2/W having either moved out of India or into it from the west, although W's highest concentration is evidently in Northern Pakistan, sort of borderland between SW Asia and South Asia. "Yet, I have made as clear as I can why I do 'believe', think that N coalesced in SE Asia. As with every other clade, I have mapped the basal sublineages and estimated a center of gravity. This center of gravity falls in SE Asia. 6 out of 12 (50%) basal sublineages are exclusive of SE Eurasia (SEA+Near Oceania)" OK. Let's accept that N moved from Africa to SE Asia leaving no descendants along the way. That leaves open the option of considering mtDNA M in a similar manner. M spread from India, correct? But India is a big place. But when we look at the haplogroup we see that something like half of all the basal M haplogroups are found in the region stretching from Bangla Desh, the Khasi Hills, Assam and into Yunan. Many other Indian M haplogroups are found down the east coast, in Anhra Pradesh. I think we've agreed that D and M8/CZ moved from somewhere round the North Burma/Yunan region. So M probably spread from that region. This would certainly explain easily the basal Ms in the Andamans. So that leaves M too spreading from SE Asia, slightly to the west of where N spread from: the region between the malay Peninsular, Vietnam and Kwangsi. But it says nothing about either haplogroups' route there.

     
  48. terryt

    January 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Another thing: Your idea of an nancient connection between the Denisovans and SE Asian H. erectus leads inexorably to consideration of the Movius Line. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the concept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movius_Line"Movius had noticed that assemblages of palaeolithic stone tools from sites east of northern India never contained handaxes and tended to be characterised by less formal implements known as chopping tools. These were sometimes as extensively worked as the Acheulean tools from further west but could not be described as true handaxes. Movius then drew a line on a map of India to show where the difference occurred, dividing the tools of Africa, Europe and Western and Southern Asia from those of Eastern and Southeastern Asia". You can see that the line follows the Himalayas and the SE Asian mountains, or the Ganges/Brahmaputra delta depending on where you care to draw the line at the eatern end. "Fossil evidence also suggests a difference in the evolutionary development of the people who made the two different tool types across the Movius Line and it has remained in use as a convenient distinction between the two traditions". Suggests somewhat the distinction between H. erectus and H. eragster. But you can see how the line does suggest a connection between the region of the Denisova fossils and SE Asia, in contrast to Africa, South Asia and Europe. However the line speaks against the connection being via India, or any 'southern route'. A reasonable recent analysis of the Movius Line: http://replicatedtypo.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/the-movius-line-represents-the-crossing-of-a-demographic-threshold/

     
  49. Maju

    January 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    "N5 is no more basal than is N1, found in Central Eurasia, so we have no way of knowing whether N1 moved out of India or N5 moved into it from the west".Technically this is true."In fact it's more likely to be the latter because N5 is far less diverse than is N1".This is wrong instead: it is trivial which sublineage is more diverse. Obviously N1 had much better chances of expansion in the West than N5 in already populated South Asia. "It is also difficult to mount a convincing argument for N2/W having either moved out of India or into it from the west"…Agreed. "… although W's highest concentration is evidently in Northern Pakistan, sort of borderland between SW Asia and South Asia".It is a hint in favor of my thesis but we'd need to look at the structure and local diversity of W. My point is however that:1. There's nothing of this in Central Asia/Siberia. Weighting a lot against this conjectural route.2. Besides the presence of these two haplogroups in South Asia, we also have clear evidence that their more clear "sister" R has greater basal diversity in the subcontinent. This is oblique support, but still some support, for a route via South Asia. So I have to choose between a southern route with some support and a northern route with no support at all. So I cannot but choose the southern route. "OK. Let's accept that N moved from Africa to SE Asia leaving no descendants along the way".I can only wish this acceptance is stable. "That leaves open the option of considering mtDNA M in a similar manner".Absolutely. The difference is that in this case we are before greatest basal diversity in South Asia (by quite a bit). "M spread from India, correct? But India is a big place".Yes but most M sublineages are widespread through the subcontinent (or vast stretches of it) and often look like most diverse towards the NW if anything. I have tried to discern within India but the information available is limited and the subcontinent looks largely unstructured. With enough data, we should be able to discern something but I have not been able to gather such resolution so far. "I think we've agreed that D and M8/CZ moved from somewhere round the North Burma/Yunan region".I do not have this too clear but maybe it is just my ignorance of the fine details. I do suspect that the Burma-Yunnan corridor played a role in the early colonization but other routes such as the coast and the other major rivers or the area cannot be discarded and were probably complementary. With enough resolution of data we should be able to best-guess the most likely routes but at the moment I cannot take a strong stand."So M probably spread from that region".From Burma? I do not think so. On of my first guesses was the Bengal area (in order to accommodate the many Eastern lineages) but, as I say, most SA M sublineages appear to have a NW origin, say the Sindh-Gujarat-Mumbay arch, or nearby zones like the Narmada basin, the Punjabs or the West Indian coast. I guess that a correction towards the ancestor's origin (after finding out the geometrical/geographical centroid of the basal sublineages) is appropriate. In the cases of M and N it'd be towards L3. So my best hunch for N is Burma and my best hunch for M is NW South Asia, near the Arabian Sea coasts probably. But I reckon this is arguable and we'd also need much more clear samples to be able to discern with clarity, South Asia for M and SEA for N are good enough for me as of now.

     
  50. Maju

    January 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    "… consideration of the Movius Line"…I was not familiar with the idea until recently but it makes some good sense. Just that Central Asia (Altai specially) must fall to the west of the line (unlike what the Wikipedia map suggests). Notice that the concept is from 1948 and since then there have been some major advances in the knowledge of the area. I would also say that the line keeps some meaning after the Eurasian expansion of H. sapiens, with blade-based industries to the West and flake-based industries to the East (at least for some time). But again Altai and Central Asia fall in the Western half.

     

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