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CNV genetic variation in Chinese and others

08 Nov
A rather technical (but surprisingly easy to read) new paper that may have some interest for those interested in global and East Asian population genetics:
Haiyi Lou, Shilin Li et al., A Map of Copy Number Variations in Chinese Populations. PLoS ONE 2011. Open access.
They begin explaining what copy-number variations (CNVs) are:

Copy number variation (CNV) is a type of global genetic variations in human genome, defined as a segment of DNA larger than one kilobase presenting copy-number differences by comparison of two or more genomes. One single or co-effects of multiple genomic rearrangements such as deletion, insertion, duplication and unbalanced translocation are likely to cause CNVs. By changing gene dosage, interrupting coding sequences, and influencing neighboring gene regulation, CNVs can impact on gene expression and phenotypes.

There are several graphics of interest but I have selected this one:

Fig. 4 CNV sharing (click to expand)

Why? Because it highlights how minor racial or stock defining genetics markers are. Even in the ‘three races’ graph (A), the number of specific non-singleton (red) shared elements is very small, with most of the variation being shared across ‘races’ or restricted to individual (singleton) diversity. It is not much more what I share with another European than what I share with an African or Asian.
When you go to more specific ethnic differences (B), the ‘stock’ shared bloc becomes even smaller.
Interestingly, there is no particular intensity of sharing between Europeans and East Asians, each of them sharing more with Africans than with each other. This probably implies that the early Eurasian population that produced both was never truly differentiated from that of Africa.
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43 responses to “CNV genetic variation in Chinese and others

  1. ᧞eandertalerin

    November 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    "This probably implies that the early Eurasian population that produced both was never truly differentiated from that of Africa. "How can we intepret this, if theorically all Eurasians are descended from the same tiny group who left Africa, while Africans were evolving on their way? The Khoisan seem to be much older than any Eurasian population.

     
  2. Maju

    November 9, 2011 at 4:58 am

    I would not interpret too fast: it's just one viewing angle and in order to have the complete multidimensional scanner we need to know and familiarize with many more. Only then we can issue judgment, if at all. My hunch and what I try to suggest with that phrase is that probably the OoA was very fast and that this piece of info appears to contradict other notions that suggest widespread transcontinental admixture in Eurasia during or after the OoA. Rather it was, it seems, a process of rapid divergence into the seeds of modern subcontinental populations. Of course, we have to balance this with other data.

     
  3. Maju

    November 9, 2011 at 5:01 am

    BTW, no Khoisan (nor Pygmies nor Hadza) were sampled, "Africa" here means (I understand) Yoruba and two distinct stocks of Kenyans (Luhya and Maasai). I am not too sure but "Europe" may well include Gujaratis (from Texas, GIH), which cluster with CEU in other graphs. Otherwise just CEU (Anglos from Utah).

     
  4. eurologist

    November 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Or, it goes back to what I have repeatedly tried to stress: for much of the time AMHs would have been in the subcontinent, with just a few short-lived exceptions, until after LGM, there were two distinct and separate niches – the North and Northwest, and the South and Southeast, separated by a large desert ranging from the Thar over much of India.Completely OT, there is an interesting find suggesting perhaps not only (so far missing) cave painting in Central Europe, but also very early occupation after LGM (perhaps indicating a refugium at the upper Rhine or along the Danube).http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108075401.htm

     
  5. Maju

    November 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

    That desert you mention I have never seen it mentioned nor depicted in any material. The Thar desert did exist (though could not exclude some people living at its margins in Rajastan) but it does not divide India in two but rather India from Pakistan (and quite imperfectly so). It's possible that we can argue in India for two populations: one from Gujarat and Maharastra to Bengal via the Narmada-Son route, with extensions to the Ganges, Indus and even West Eurasia and another in the Southern areas (Krishna river route and such). But these two groups were NOT radically distinct at any time (as far as I know) and were always connected at least by the Western coast. In the Center and East however, a jungle zone centered in what are now the tribal areas of Orissa, etc. may have acted as buffer (much like the Congo jungle may have performed in Africa) but not any absolute barrier anyhow. But no desert that I know of. As for the artwork I have it in my to do folder already. Sure it is interesting but I'm having a rather stressful day till now.

     
  6. terryt

    November 11, 2011 at 2:07 am

    "In the Center and East however, a jungle zone centered in what are now the tribal areas of Orissa, etc. may have acted as buffer (much like the Congo jungle may have performed in Africa)" And that same jungle zone buffer originally stretched all along the middle Ganges as well. The lower Ganges was covered in even denser tropical rainforest, which stretches all the way along the SE Asian coastline and through much of Sumatra, Borneo and Java. Much of the remainder of SE asia was covered with much the same type of jungle zone buffer as was Orissa. You can see why I am so sceptical of claims for a Paleolithic 'coastal migration' and a densely populated Paleolithic SE Asia. Such regions became densely populated only with the invention of 'slash and burn' agriculture. "The Thar desert did exist" And fairly much uninhabitable until the invention of irrigation. "it does not divide India in two but rather India from Pakistan (and quite imperfectly so)". But it does suggest that the entry into the subcontinent was not along the coast but via the usual entry: the Kyber Pass. And then to the north of the Thar desert through the Punjab. Where the migration became divided by the densely forested Ganges Basin.

     
  7. dalouh

    November 11, 2011 at 4:06 am

    off topic please check out this link from DNA-forums thread :http://dna-forums.org/index.php?/topic/16271-haplogroup-de/page__pid__276058#entry276058

     
  8. Maju

    November 11, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Hey, I'm offering an alternative to Eurologist's impossible desert: there is negative archaeological evidence (i.e. lack of evidence, nothing really big) and arguably some positive genetic evidence in favor of some buffer of such kind. There should also have been a weak buffer towards East Asia around not so much the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta but the hill country east of it. Both buffers, not identical in any case, may have been reinforced as demic pressure grew, however the two South Asian regions never stopped being in contact at least by the West Coast, while South and East Asia did effectively stop demic flows since c. 50 Ka., when these are diverted to the Neanderthal and subarctic periphery of Paleolithic Asia. "And fairly much uninhabitable until the invention of irrigation". There are MP and UP (and maybe even LP) archaeological sites in the Thar desert, probably in what was its less extreme eastern margin. It was not any absolute barrier (nor is large enough to constitute a real barrier, as can be surrounded by south or north)."But it does suggest that the entry into the subcontinent was not along the coast but via the usual entry: the Kyber Pass".In your fantasy world it may be that way. In my more scientifically-minded one it is not. There are several reasons, among others that Central Asia was then (it seems) inhabited by Neanderthals and not H. sapiens but also mere "less effort" simulations, as the one I mentioned here.Genetics, archaelogy and mere geography all conflate against your preconceived ideas, which you insist in reminding us once and again, as if it'd be the proverbial dead horse. Dead horse fresh meat is delicious but this one is quite rotten by now. So spare us, please.

     
  9. Maju

    November 11, 2011 at 6:00 am

    That was for Terry. Dalouh: that may well be a rare D erratic in Syria arrived via the Silk Road/Turks/Mongols. Some clades of D are somewhat common in Central Asia Default reasoning unless you have more clear information, that is. Try comparing the haplotype with the China or Central Asia projects, you'd probably find some matches.

     
  10. terryt

    November 12, 2011 at 8:14 am

    "There should also have been a weak buffer towards East Asia around not so much the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta but the hill country east of it". The dense tropical jungle of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta would have been a more formidable barrier than would have been the occasionally more sparsely vegetated hill country east of it. "the two South Asian regions never stopped being in contact at least by the West Coast" Agreed. But not necessarily via the Thar Desert. Perhaps through the more open jungle in the coastal region. "South and East Asia did effectively stop demic flows since c. 50 Ka" Interestingly there has always been a distinction between South Asian and SE/East Asian technologies, implying a long standing difficulty of movement between the two regions. "There are MP and UP (and maybe even LP) archaeological sites in the Thar desert, probably in what was its less extreme eastern margin". During times of lesser aridity. At such times the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta region would become even more inpenetrable.

     
  11. Maju

    November 12, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I must clarify that the Thar Desert hypothesis is not mine and does not fit with the distribution of the two SA theorized populations. The Thar Desert separates (partly) India and Pakistan, while the genetic division seems to be further Southeast, hence I'm hinting to some buffer in the Deccan Plateau. I guessed jungle, because I know that at the NE extreme there is jungle, but I may be wrong. In fact, now that I check it may rather be aridity, instead of jungle what acted as barrier. From Wikipedia:"The Deccan Plateau lies south of the Indo-Gangetic plain. The Western Ghats Mountain Range is tall and blocks the moisture from the southwest monsoon from reaching the Deccan Plateau, so the region receives very little rainfall.[5][6] The eastern Deccan Plateau is at a lower elevation spanning the southeastern coast of India. Its forests are also relatively dry but serve to retain the rain to form streams that feed into rivers that flow into basins and then into the Bay of Bengal".My best hunch. Personally I do not think that the Ganges Delta was so much of a barrier because what you perceive as hostile jungle and impassable rivers and swamps I rather suspect as lust jungle providing lots of food and protection and waterways that allow easier and faster movement instead. Also I do not perceive the barrier or buffer being so much there but rather in the hill region NE of it, much less populated today as well.

     
  12. terryt

    November 13, 2011 at 8:11 am

    "I rather suspect as lust jungle providing lots of food and protection and waterways that allow easier and faster movement instead". You've obviously never set foot in a tropical jungle river or not. Jungles may be very biodiverse but they are not very productive for human exploitation. "I do not perceive the barrier or buffer being so much there but rather in the hill region NE of it, much less populated today as well". The hill region has probably always been sparsely populated but the Ganges Delta is now one of the most heavily populated regions on earth. But that is entirely a product of agriculture, a product of drainage and felling of the forest.

     
  13. terryt

    November 13, 2011 at 8:17 am

    "The Thar Desert separates (partly) India and Pakistan, while the genetic division seems to be further Southeast" I agree. "hence I'm hinting to some buffer in the Deccan Plateau". Possibly, but I think you're on the wrong track. India's population seems to derive from two sources: the northwest and the east. The eastern element is probably a reflection of the westward-moving Y-hap P and mtDNA R from SE Asia. They spread up the ganges River and along the Orissa coast. So it is not 'aridity' or 'jungle' that separates the two Indian populations. They have a separate origin. "The eastern Deccan Plateau is at a lower elevation spanning the southeastern coast of India. Its forests are also relatively dry but serve to retain the rain to form streams that feed into rivers that flow into basins and then into the Bay of Bengal". Dry forest. Ideal human habitat.

     
  14. Maju

    November 13, 2011 at 9:33 am

    "Jungles may be very biodiverse but they are not very productive for human exploitation". Really?Water? Guaranteed.Temperature: good, near optimal.Yummy stuff: fish, monkeys, birds, all kind of fruits, roots, caymans, snakes, insects, spiders, some land mammals/big birds…Notice that most of this food is made up of small animals, which are very productive often enough. Also it varies so much from jungle to jungle that I can't be more precise. Whatever the case, fish and invertebrates alone are able to guarantee a good living – but no reason to restrict ourselves to fish, right? Not in such a highly diverse biome. "But that is entirely a product of agriculture, a product of drainage and felling of the forest". I understand that except for the word "entirely". But in fact, highly productive agriculture itself is a product of the river and rains and temperature and, before agriculture, those same phenomenons fed the wild plants instead, these the wild animals and all together the wild humans who were lucky enough to live there.

     
  15. terryt

    November 14, 2011 at 2:14 am

    "Really? Water? Guaranteed. Temperature: good, near optimal. Yummy stuff: fish, monkeys, birds, all kind of fruits, roots, caymans, snakes, insects, spiders, some land mammals/big birds… Notice that most of this food is made up of small animals, which are very productive often enough". You've proved once again that you don't know what you're talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_rainforestQuote: "According to some scientists tropical rainforests are unable to support human life.[13] Food resources within the forest are extremely dispersed due to the high biological diversity and what food does exist is largely restricted to the canopy and requires considerable energy to obtain". So actually finding or catching your 'Yummy stuff' is a considerable problem. Further: "Some groups of hunter-gatherers have exploited rainforest on a seasonal basis but dwelt primarily in adjacent savanna and open forest environments where food is much more abundant". So savanna, or 'Dry forest' as refered to earlier, is the ideal human habitat. Not rainforest. And: "Other peoples described as rainforest dwellers are hunter-gatherers who subsist in large part by trading high value forest products such as hides, feathers, and honey with agricultural people living outside the forest". Such groups would not have survived in the forest until farmers moved to the nearby margins. And: "With the invention of agriculture, humans were able to clear sections of rainforest to produce crops, converting it to open farmland. Such people, however, obtain their food primarily from farm plots cleared from the forest [13][14] and hunt and forage within the forest to supplement this". That takes care of your 'belief'. But still you say: "But in fact, highly productive agriculture itself is a product of the river and rains and temperature and, before agriculture, those same phenomenons fed the wild plants instead, these the wild animals and all together the wild humans who were lucky enough to live there". 'The very few who were unfortunate enough to have been forced into the rainforest' is what you really should be saying. Wiki again: "Agriculture on formerly forested land is not without difficulties. Rainforest soils are often thin and leached of many minerals, and the heavy rainfall can quickly leach nutrients from area cleared for cultivation. People such as the Yanomamo of the Amazon, utilise slash-and-burn agriculture to overcome these limitations and enable them to push deep into what were previously rainforest environments. However, these are not rainforest dwellers, rather they are dwellers in cleared farmland[13][14] that make forays into the rainforest. Up to 90% of the typical Yanamomo diet comes from farmed plants".

     
  16. terryt

    November 14, 2011 at 2:22 am

    You may find this paper interesting, concerning the changes in the rainforest in New Guinea with the development of agriculture: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2311426/

     
  17. Maju

    November 14, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I am in radical disagreement with your "some scientists" (Bailey et al. 1989). Notably they do not seem to mention riverine ecosystems, which are the natural place to be. Fishing, fishing, fishing and gathering seafood!Of course, anyone who has watched documentaries KNOWS that monkeys and birds are edible and can be caught with relative ease using (usually poisoned) blowgun darts or bow-propelled arrows, for which the animals have no defense. Similarly forest peoples often fish in small streams using narcotics, as well as in larger streams with other means (piranhas yummy). There is an obsession of certain people with big game, which is indeed easier to find and catch in the open but if you do not base your economy on big game and master the rogue arts of darts and poison, then the jungle is a rather nice place. Jungle might have been a barrier for less multi-purpose species in our line (H. erectus? Australopithecines?) but definitely not for the radical creativity of H. sapiens. I do not know what you think we are but I'm sure that we are so extremely adaptive that we can survive even rats (we'd eat them). We are one of the great survivor species together with rats, seagulls, roaches…Our main risk is ourselves. Of course overcoming freezing weather was a major challenge but we eventually made that too. Thanks for the link for New Guinea rainforests. I'll read it. But we do have clear evidence that people not only lived in the Papuan rainforests 50 Ka ago (they would not have ever reached the highlands otherwise) but that they live in them today. The Asmat a are a purely forager people from the swamps of the New Guinea jungle. They do not typically depend on any trades, or at least they did not traditionally.

     
  18. terryt

    November 16, 2011 at 1:07 am

    "I am in radical disagreement with your 'some scientists'" Of course you are. I was already aware of the fact that you are an expert on the subject of tropical rainforests.

     
  19. terryt

    November 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

    "The Asmat a are a purely forager people from the swamps of the New Guinea jungle". why did you not bother to read the article? The Asmat are a coastal people, not rainforest dwellers. "But we do have clear evidence that people not only lived in the Papuan rainforests 50 Ka ago (they would not have ever reached the highlands otherwise)" You forget that during the ice age the tree level would be much lower and rainfall would be much reduced. There is no need at all for people to have moved through rainforest to reach the Highlands. "I am in radical disagreement with your 'some scientists' (Bailey et al. 1989). Notably they do not seem to mention riverine ecosystems, which are the natural place to be". Could you please inform me of how many Pygmy groups in Africa or Negrito groups in SE Asia spend any time at all fishing. Or even live along major river systems. "Jungle might have been a barrier for less multi-purpose species in our line (H. erectus? Australopithecines?) but definitely not for the radical creativity of H. sapiens". and yet no members of the L3 mtDNA haplogroup entered the rainforest, except as farmers. So the rainforest is obviously not 'a rather nice place'. "I do not know what you think we are but I'm sure that we are so extremely adaptive that we can survive even rats (we'd eat them). We are one of the great survivor species together with rats, seagulls, roaches…" You are very much a romantic, not a realist.

     
  20. Maju

    November 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    "Why did you not bother to read the article? The Asmat are a coastal people"…Because I already knew better than that: the Asmat country is as "coastal" as Germany (sure: it has some coast but also extends a lot to the interior):http://www.indopacific.org/gll.asphttp://library.wichita.edu/colldev/asmat/introduction.htmAhem!"… during the ice age the tree level would be much lower and rainfall would be much reduced".Where's the evidence for that. I think that the tropics were not so much influenced by the Ice Age. But maybe you can find some factual information?"Could you please inform me of how many Pygmy groups in Africa or Negrito groups in SE Asia spend any time at all fishing". I can tell you about the Asmat: the Asmat do that. They also hunt something on land but mostly they fish (actually the women fish and the men guard them). In the Amazon jungle fish also make up a significant part of the diet. Granted that most peoples are semi-agriculturalist (mostly yucca and banana) but I think that there are a few exceptions like the Zoé (I saw them at fishing, monkey hunting, collecting herbs – don't recall any farming – very healthy and nice people). The Inuit also rely (relied traditionally) almost exclusively on what they could forage from the sea. But that's of course. "You are very much a romantic, not a realist". I do not think that comparing humans to rats and roaches is "romantic" at all. Yet our versatility and expansiveness has very few other comparisons. In Nature, in the long run, the hyper-specialists fail and the "swiss knives" succeed (and often evolve into hyper-specialists who fail again). Our species, like rats, are true "swiss knives", apt for almost everything. That's not romantic at all: it's a quite objective recognition of our very obvious versatility, perseverance and success. Success that may get us all killed… but it'll be dying of pure success. I do not think that successful people who die drowned in their own crap is romantic. Losers are romantic, not winners.

     
  21. Maju

    November 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Btw, FYI, I just saw in a documentary a guy paddling with a long thin pole. Granted he was a westerner who could not almost stand on the canoe but the funny thing is that he actually moved (probably because in spite of the tiny contact surface, the lever effect was very big and resistance almost zero. It's incredible how many things you can do with limited means.

     
  22. terryt

    November 21, 2011 at 1:30 am

    "Where's the evidence for that. I think that the tropics were not so much influenced by the Ice Age. But maybe you can find some factual information?" I'm completely surprised by that comment. Do you really believe that a general climate cooling would have no effect in the tropics? http://www.anthro.utah.edu/PDFs/joc/32o_conn.pdfRead the last paragraph before 'Arrival Date'. "Asmat country is as 'coastal' as Germany (sure: it has some coast but also extends a lot to the interior)" Rubbish. You have not read any of the links. From your previous one: "Due to the daily flooding which occurs in many parts of their land, Asmat dwellings have typically been built two or more meters above the ground, raised on wooden posts". It either rains a lot every day, yet the floodwater recede rapidly, or the region they live in is tidal. I agree the article does say they exploit elements of the rainforest, but their habitat is given as: "The Asmat inhabit a region on the island's southwestern coast bordering the Arafura Sea, with lands totaling approximately 19,000 km2 (7,336 mi2) and consisting of mangrove, tidal swamp, freshwater swamp, and lowland rainforest". So the 'lowland rainforest' is swamp forest. It is very unlikely they have lived in the region since the Paleolithic. From the first of your two recent links: "The Asmat subregion of the GLL overlaps with the Lorentz Park boundaries, and consists of approximately 1.9 million ha of mangrove, freshwater swamp, and lowland rainforest". From the maps in the link you can see their region is all tidal swamp forest. From the second link: "The Asmat people live on the southwestern coast of New Guinea; the region is an isolated, swampy area" So they are boating people who live in swamps. They are not 'rainforest people'. "I can tell you about the Asmat: the Asmat do that. They also hunt something on land but mostly they fish (actually the women fish and the men guard them)". The Asmat are primarily fishing and boating people. Not rainforest dwelling. "In the Amazon jungle fish also make up a significant part of the diet. Granted that most peoples are semi-agriculturalist" And so are the Asmat to quite an extent. They harvest the sago palm. "The Inuit also rely (relied traditionally) almost exclusively on what they could forage from the sea. But that's of course. Way off course. Even the Aasmat are fairly well off course. You have been unable to show any obligate rainforest dwellers use fishing as part of their subsistence. "I just saw in a documentary a guy paddling with a long thin pole. Granted he was a westerner who could not almost stand on the canoe but the funny thing is that he actually moved (probably because in spite of the tiny contact surface, the lever effect was very big and resistance almost zero". So? Is that relevant?

     
  23. Maju

    November 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I do not think that it does not affect the tropics but it does less so and in a more irregular manner. So rather than guiding ourselves by the glacial periods we should use as reference the pluvial ones. These are loosely related to the interglacials but only so much (now we live in an interglacial and is also an arid period in the tropics). People arrived to New Guinea and Australia most likely (per archaeological evidence) in the Mousterian Pluvial, when conditions were more humid than today. It's surely an open matter but I don't think you can argue your jungle-phobia position, really. That's a pre-packed unrealistic idea that is almost for sure wrong. "Read the last paragraph before 'Arrival Date'".Read it: very unspecific. It should not apply for the pluvial period but only for the deep glacial ones, yet the axes we find in the Highlands are from the Pluvial. Also "glacial and peri-glacial" climate in NG highlands would have scared and not attracted humans. "Rubbish. You have not read any of the links".I've looked at the maps. Not specifically coastal. "So the 'lowland rainforest' is swamp forest".Yet's it is very muddy and wet. Your most hated habitat, no doubt. Yet with a canoe and adaption… "It is very unlikely they have lived in the region since the Paleolithic".They are still in the Paleolithic. "… their region is all tidal swamp forest". I don't think it's "tidal". I think it's rainforest, swampy indeed but not tidal. I've watched documentaries (you should do that more) and the vegetation is not typically mangrove but regular jungle. "… boating people who live in swamps. They are not 'rainforest people'". Rainforest is almost fully swamped in the rain season, which seems to be all year long in this particular region. In any case your caveats are like: you can't throw that one meter because you threw it to five meters… All the conditions of the Asmat are even more difficult than regular rainforest and seem to gather all your phobias: jungle, swamp, rivers and coast. I can assure you one thing: there is no savanna in the Asmat Country. "The Asmat are primarily fishing and boating people".Which is what I argued would be the preferential way of life in the jungle or at least one of the main options. You're going in circles: that's not my tail but your own which you're trying to bite."They harvest the sago palm".No news that they plant or care for it at all, other than harvesting. If they harvest coconuts would that make them farmers as well? They do not have domestic animals, not even dogs, and they do not tend any orchards of any sort. "So? Is that relevant?"Eppur si muove! Yes, guess it's relevant.

     
  24. terryt

    November 23, 2011 at 2:29 am

    "It's surely an open matter but I don't think you can argue your jungle-phobia position, really. That's a pre-packed unrealistic idea that is almost for sure wrong". Maju. It is your wishful thinking and romantic ideas concerning ancient humans that is wrong. "Also 'glacial and peri-glacial' climate in NG highlands would have scared and not attracted humans". Quite possibly. But it would have made the lowlands much more habitable. People would simply have move to higher altitudes as the next pluvial developed. "Yet's it is very muddy and wet. Your most hated habitat, no doubt. Yet with a canoe and adaption…" But only habitable once the appropriate canoe was invented. Almost certainly not occupied immediately after humans first arrived in Sundaland. "They are still in the Paleolithic". They are no more 'Paleolithic' than were pre-European Maori. "I don't think it's 'tidal'. I think it's rainforest, swampy indeed but not tidal". How come the water rises daily then? Be sensible for a change. "I've watched documentaries (you should do that more) and the vegetation is not typically mangrove but regular jungle". Documentaries on the Asmat? Which documentaries? "All the conditions of the Asmat are even more difficult than regular rainforest and seem to gather all your phobias: jungle, swamp, rivers and coast". All of which argues they have not lived in the region since the Paleolithic. "Which is what I argued would be the preferential way of life in the jungle or at least one of the main options"' The Asmat are obviously a special case, so you are stuck with them. No other rainforest people are known to use boats at all. "You're going in circles: that's not my tail but your own which you're trying to bite". I'm forced to go round in circles because you are an immoveable object with no understanding of ecology at all.

     
  25. Maju

    November 23, 2011 at 8:55 am

    "They are no more 'Paleolithic' than were pre-European Maori". Maoris did not farm, had no poultry nor pigs? I'm a bit surprised but maybe they had lost all that in their travels becoming not "Paleolithic" (you don't go back in history) but retrograde Neolithic such as the Pitted Ware peoples of the ancient Baltic. "How come the water rises daily then?"In all the length of the rivers? Not credible. The author probably described certain specific area and not the whole country. It can't be flatter than the Netherlands, can it? If so, it'd be mapped not as mere rivers but as lagoons and marshes and islands and, considered the tropical climate it'd be all mangrove, what I have already stated is not the case. Who are you going to believe: me or a random line in a Wikipedia text with no citation?Be sensible. Or are you so extremely knowledgeable as to teach me something. Last time I checked you did not even know anything about the Asmat. "Which documentaries?" No idea: it's nearly all I watch on TV: documentaries (we have two documentary channels at home). But I don't keep track of titles nor authors. "All of which argues they have not lived in the region since the Paleolithic".Hahaha! So if they live in Paleolithic conditions today in an enviroment you consider particularly hostile (and maybe with some reason, I really dislike the all-pervading mud of the Asmat Country), then they do not live. Denial!Facts like the Asmat prove that your econiche conjectures are just wild speculations. F.A.C.T.S. FACTS STCAF !!!"The Asmat are obviously a special case"…You only need one special case to prove the "norm" wrong. It's like saying that gays are a special case in order to argue for normative heterosexuality or that the coelacanth is a special case in order to argue for creationism! "No other rainforest people are known to use boats at all".In the Amazon they do. Maybe it varies, I won't pretend to be any expert in jungle peoples worldwide but, if you live in a riverine jungle environment you DO use boats (or maybe originally rafts). However many such riverine niches have been captured by farmers today. "I'm forced to go round in circles because you are an immoveable object with no understanding of ecology at all". Your "ecology" theory is junk. I know of ecology at least as much as you do and I know that you just use that as a pretext. Otherwise why would you place the "naked ape" in Siberia before the tropics: the first parameter of any econiche is temperature!

     
  26. terryt

    November 24, 2011 at 2:15 am

    "Maoris did not farm, had no poultry nor pigs?" They certainly had no poultry or pigs before Europeans arrived. Their farming was confined to sweet potato and gourds (and yams in some regions). "In all the length of the rivers? Not credible. The author probably described certain specific area and not the whole country". Not necessarily tidal the whole way, but certainly swamp. Most of New Guinea south of the main mountain chain is swamp. For example the Digul River is the main one flowing through the Asmat region: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DigulQuote: "For much of its length it travels across a low region of extensive swamps and creates a delta near Dolak (Frederik Hendrik) Island. The river has a length of 525 kilometres (326 mi) and is navigable as far as Tanahmerah". Similar extensive coastal swamp forest exists in Southern Borneo and in Sumatra: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Sumatran_peat_swamp_forests?topic=49597(and notice the map). "Who are you going to believe: me or a random line in a Wikipedia text with no citation?" I've been aware for years that Southern New Guinea is virtually all swamp forest. Nothing to do with Wikipedia. Don't try to disguise your own ignorance. "No idea: it's nearly all I watch on TV: documentaries (we have two documentary channels at home). But I don't keep track of titles nor authors". What I meant was, 'any specifically about the Asmat?'. You are correct that I didn't know about the Asmat, but I have long been very much aware of the geography and ecology of New Guinea. But I doubt that you now know any more about the Asmat than I do. And I certainly know much more about New Guinea than you do. "So if they live in Paleolithic conditions today in an enviroment you consider particularly hostile" Get real Maju. They don't live in 'Paleolithic' conditions. They have dugout canoes, log houses on stilts, etc. You are obviously deeply committed to delude yourself. "You only need one special case to prove the 'norm' wrong". That's a ridiculous statement Maju. If the Asmat have in fact been living the way they do, in the region they now live in, since the Paleolithic it would tend very much to support my idea of years ago that dugout canoes developed somewhere near Wallacea. In fact we could now be reasonably sure they developed in Southern New Guinea. "In the Amazon they do". What on earth has that to do with rainforest people of the Paleolithic? The Amazon has obviously only been occupied from about 10,000 years ago at most. People there are certainly no evidence for ancient rainforest exploitation. You're clutching at straws now. "if you live in a riverine jungle environment you DO use boats (or maybe originally rafts)". But such artifacts are in no way 'Paleolithic'. No rainforest dwellers of long standing possess such technology. "Otherwise why would you place the 'naked ape' in Siberia before the tropics: the first parameter of any econiche is temperature!" Your complete inconsistency is exposed yet again. You're quite happy to place ancient humans in the temperate mountains of Ethiopia yet still claim humans are an obligate tropical living species. What rubbish you write. I'm very tempted to give up on you.

     
  27. Maju

    November 24, 2011 at 2:48 am

    "Get real Maju. They don't live in 'Paleolithic' conditions. They have dugout canoes, log houses on stilts, etc". How is all that not Paleolithic?What is not Paleolithic is farming as the Maoris. But as far as I know the Asmat do not farm at all.Nor have domestic animals such as pig, so widespread in all the rest of the island. The lack of pigs (as well as yams, etc.) is a very radical difference with their Neolithic neighbors. Granted that riverine or coastal Paleolithic focused on fishing is often high production (something that you keep ignoring) and allows a sedentarian lifestyle but it is still a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The jungle is swampy, granted but not because of tides but probably because it rains every day, keeping the ground impregnated of water. It is not mangrove but swampy jungle.

     
  28. terryt

    November 25, 2011 at 4:28 am

    "How is all that not Paleolithic?" Dugout canoes and houses on poles 'Paleolithic'? Get real. "The lack of pigs (as well as yams, etc.) is a very radical difference with their Neolithic neighbors". Pigs would not be easily kept in the swampy jungle. Nor would yams be easily cultivated. The Asmat are most likely a 'Neolithic' people adapted to life in the swamp. "Granted that riverine or coastal Paleolithic focused on fishing is often high production (something that you keep ignoring) and allows a sedentarian lifestyle but it is still a hunter-gatherer lifestyle". You are making a huge leap of faith here. You have found just one example of a people living in tropical rainforest and utilizing primarily waterways. Those people are found in a single isolated region way beyond Wallace's Line and have been able to specialise in life in tropical swamp forest through the adoption of dugout canoes and homes on stilts. To claim that a single, isolated example is evidence that tropical rainforest has been a kind environment for humans through all of the Paleolithic does not stand even the most cursory examination.

     
  29. Maju

    November 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    "Dugout canoes and houses on poles 'Paleolithic'? Get real". I have yet to write the article on prehistoric navigation but there is no major obstacle that I can see. What would you say of Lepenski Vir culture for example who built all those magnificent buildings yet relied only on fish to fuel their sedentary lifestyle.Your reasonings are often just those of a prejudiced prick."Pigs would not be easily kept in the swampy jungle".If we know something about pigs is that they eat all kinds of food and love forested environments. Again you are launching conjectures as if they would be facts, what is a way of lying and being manipulative. "You have found just one example of a people living in tropical rainforest and utilizing primarily waterways".That's what you asked for, right? One sole example! Voilá! We do not have so many hunter-gatherer examples, much less as well preserved as the Asmat. Sorry to tell you but we live in the 21st century, with all that it implies. "To claim that a single, isolated example is evidence"…Much better that your systematic lack of evidence, that does not stop you from challenging any reasonable ideas once and again. If I have no evidence and you do not have it either you cry "no evidence" (it applies both ways, you know), if I have one instance of evidence and you have no evidence you cry that one example is not enough, etc. Your irrationality and lack of self-criticism is astounding.

     
  30. terryt

    November 27, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Sorry, Your comments deserve a reply. "Your reasonings are often just those of a prejudiced prick". You are far more prejudiced than I am. Note: "What would you say of Lepenski Vir culture for example who built all those magnificent buildings yet relied only on fish to fuel their sedentary lifestyle". What does that have to do withthe Paleolithic? The first line in your link says: "Lepenski Vir (Лепенски Вир, Lepen Whirl) is an important Mesolithic archaeological site" Can't you read? Unless it is an example of 'what is a way of lying and being manipulative'. The remainder of you reply is yet another example of how 'Your irrationality and lack of self-criticism is astounding'.

     
  31. Maju

    November 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Epipaleolithic ("Mesolithic") and Paleolithic are essentially the same thing. The only difference is one of time-frame: whether it is post-Glacial or just Glacial. I should not have to explain this… would I be discussing with someone worth debating with.

     
  32. terryt

    November 28, 2011 at 2:34 am

    "Epipaleolithic ('Mesolithic') and Paleolithic are essentially the same thing". What are you smoking Maju? It must be good. Have you any to spare? "The only difference is one of time-frame: whether it is post-Glacial or just Glacial". Are you really claiming there was no change in technology over the whole of the Epipaleolithic and the Paleolithic? It certainly seems that way.

     
  33. Maju

    November 28, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Don't fuck with me, Terry. Epipaleolithic and Paleolithic are exactly the same concept just that after or before the climatic line of c. 10 Ka ago. You don't have a clue or what? Why are you even questioning that? "Are you really claiming there was no change in technology over the whole of the Epipaleolithic and the Paleolithic?"Only at levels that happened also within the Paleolithic or within the Epipaleolithic, nothing particularly defining at all. If you're thinking in microliths, not all Epipaleolithic cultures used microliths and, very specially, microliths date to c. 38 Ka ago in India, which is generally considered almost the beginnings of the Upper Paleolithic. There is less difference between any Epipaleo culture and Upper Paleo than between any of these and the Lower Paleolithic cultures (Olduwayan and such). So what are YOU drinking?, would be the question. I'm sure that drunkards ruin much of the Internet until they fall asleep on their keyboards.

     
  34. terryt

    November 29, 2011 at 2:33 am

    "Epipaleolithic and Paleolithic are exactly the same concept just that after or before the climatic line of c. 10 Ka ago". You just carry right on believeing that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EpipaleolithicQuote: "The Epipaleolithic Age was a period in the development of human technology marked by more advanced stone blades and other tools than the earlier Paleolithic age" And: "Epipalaeolithic hunter-gatherers made relatively advanced tools from small flint or obsidian blades, known as microliths that were hafted in wooden implements". Presumably those advanced hafted tools enabled easier work with timber, such as log houses and dugout canoes. Another interesting comment there: "Epipaleolithic is used for those cultures that were not much affected by the ending of the Ice Age" Fits the Asmat perfectly.

     
  35. Maju

    November 29, 2011 at 3:37 am

    "The Epipaleolithic Age was a period in the development of human technology marked by more advanced stone blades and other tools than the earlier Paleolithic age" That's a capricious statement. Of course that there is always a tendency to improvement and progress but I do not think that there are substantial differences between Magdalenian and its successors like Azilian, Tardenoisian and such (other than apparent abandonment of rock art and settlement of some areas that were previously too cold and hostile). That is not the proper definition. Archaeology Wordsmith describes it as "The final Upper Palaeolithic industries that emerged at the end of the final glaciation; the continuation of Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) cultures after the end of the last Ice Age, followed by Neolithic".You are playing with words. If you knew something about what we are talking you could argue for some specific advance or event, maybe the Magdalenian demographic and cultural explosion, in most of Europe much more meaningful than the quite subtle transition to the Epipaleolithic. But you know little so you have to resort to word games. "Epipalaeolithic hunter-gatherers made relatively advanced tools from small flint or obsidian blades, known as microliths that were hafted in wooden implements". Microlithism is typical of the Epipaleolithic of Europe indeed… but it is much older in West Asia and North Africa and even older in South Asia, where it totally overlaps with almost all that we can call 'the Upper Paleolithic'. "Presumably those advanced hafted tools enabled easier work with timber"…You are imagining stuff again. Some of the most clearly timber-oriented techno-cultures are all but microlithic. Besides this Epipaleolithic macrolithism of the Ebro basin, there is also a parallel macrolithism in Asturias with the Asturian pick-axe, probably used to collect seafood. But notice that the Iberian Epipaleolithic Macrolithic was initially confused with a facies of Mousterian (Neanderthal-made) which also was oriented to timber work (but is from Asturias mostly and of course, more than 30 thousand years older). Their main shared characteristic is stone saws (worked out of a large single piece)."Fits the Asmat perfectly". Sure. But that's why we prefer to use Epipaleolithic and not the sloppy "Mesolithic", so popular in English language: Epi-Paleolithic, where 'epi' means "additional", "extra", in this and other archaeological cases – vide Epigravettian (note: also applied to East Europe, not just Italy) and I also use now and then 'Epimagdalenian' in order to describe in a single word much of the Epipaleolithic of Europe.

     
  36. terryt

    November 30, 2011 at 1:33 am

    "You are playing with words". No Maju. The whole of your reply is nothing but playing with words. "You are imagining stuff again". Maju, intricate wood carving requires microliths. Guess what the Asmat people are renowned for? However it is interesting that the earliest edge-ground axes are found in New Guinea, at least 20,000 years ago I think.

     
  37. terryt

    November 30, 2011 at 1:40 am

    "Some of the most clearly timber-oriented techno-cultures are all but microlithic". But again the cultures you mention in that link are hardly older than 10,000 years. Really all you have shown with all your playing with words is that the change from Upper Paleolithic to epi-Paleolithic to Neolithic was gradual. Even the change from Middle Paleolithic to Upper Paleolithic was almost certainly gradual in most regions. The real point, once we get away from playing with words, is that no 'timber-oriented techno-cultures' can be placed at older than that age. By then hafting had become widespread as had edge-ground axes. Until that time the deep tropical forest (swamp or otherwise) was not ideal human habitat.

     
  38. Maju

    November 30, 2011 at 4:52 am

    "Maju, intricate wood carving requires microliths".Does it? I suspect that you can work with flakes: I know in person of high quality intricate woodcarving done with a mere boxcutter (you don't really need more, except the skill and art), which is barely more sophisticated than a flake (with handle?). You are making associations and claims which are not necessarily correct. And therefore the rest doesn't hold. Same when you claim that you need adzes in order to empty a log and make a log boat, when in fact in most cases this is made by controlled burning almost alone (unrelated: controlled fire was also used in mining and quarrying). "The real point, once we get away from playing with words, is that no 'timber-oriented techno-cultures' can be placed at older than that age. By then hafting had become widespread as had edge-ground axes".What age? Middle Paleolithic? You know that Neanderthals were already master hafters, right? And you know that they created saws (I just mentioned it), right?

     
  39. terryt

    December 2, 2011 at 1:43 am

    "I know in person of high quality intricate woodcarving done with a mere boxcutter" Yes. A boxcutter is a very effective replacement for a hafted microlith. "Same when you claim that you need adzes in order to empty a log and make a log boat, when in fact in most cases this is made by controlled burning almost alone" Evidence? "You know that Neanderthals were already master hafters, right?" No, I didn't know that. Any evidence of their having made timber houses or dugout canoes?

     
  40. Maju

    December 2, 2011 at 3:26 am

    "A boxcutter is a very effective replacement for a hafted microlith". Or a flake.

     
  41. Maju

    December 2, 2011 at 3:27 am

    "No, I didn't know that".Yes you knew: we discussed it two or three years ago.

     
  42. terryt

    December 3, 2011 at 4:10 am

    "Yes you knew: we discussed it two or three years ago.In which case you must have failed to convince me at the time. You evidence was inadquate. "Or a flake". A non-hafted flake? You must be joking. And you failed to produce any evidence for this: "when in fact in most cases this is made by controlled burning almost alone" Burning alone is inadequate. You have to chip out the charred bits with a hafted adze.

     
  43. Maju

    December 3, 2011 at 5:45 am

    "In which case you must have failed to convince me at the time".You just forgot. Look it up via a search engine: Neanderthals were (briefly) first page of science magazines and anthropology forums a few years ago because it was shown that they used certain resin and technique for hafting much as modern equivalents do. "A non-hafted flake?"I did not say non-hafted but I think it could be done as well. I'm just unsure of what is more efficient or easier or what preferences would the carver have to have an opinion on the matter. If non-hafted flakes can be used to cut skin and meat, I don't see why they could not be used to carve wood as well. But maybe hafting is better. It doesn't really matter because they could do either. "And you failed to produce any evidence for this:"when in fact in most cases this is made by controlled burning almost alone"".It is mentioned as a fact in this Spanish-language paper, which I want to discuss before the end of the year. He mentions that pine log boats found in France c. 7000 BCE were produced via controlled combustion ("combustión controlada"). Even felling of the logs was apparently facilitated by the same method, according to the evidence from the European log boats dated from Epipaleolithic onwards. And the words "combustión controlada" are repeated once and again through the paper, boat after boat, for either felling or emptying or both. That's my evidence: loads of boats made that way from Epipaleolithic onwards. "Burning alone is inadequate. You have to chip out the charred bits with a hafted adze".Or with whatever tool you can muster. It's not like the Sumerians stopped short of writing just because the ball pen had not been invented yet. Maybe an adze is ideal but not strictly necessary, not at all, Mr. Nitty-Picky.

     

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