As you may know a general strike has been called in the Basque Country and Galicia, and later another parallel one was also called in Spain by different unions.
Monthly Archives: March 2012
Afghanistan has held a strategic position throughout history. It has been inhabited since the Paleolithic and later became a crossroad for expanding civilizations and empires. Afghanistan’s location, history, and diverse ethnic groups present a unique opportunity to explore how nations and ethnic groups emerged, and how major cultural evolutions and technological developments in human history have influenced modern population structures. In this study we have analyzed, for the first time, the four major ethnic groups in present-day Afghanistan: Hazara, Pashtun, Tajik, and Uzbek, using 52 binary markers and 19 short tandem repeats on the non-recombinant segment of the Y-chromosome. A total of 204 Afghan samples were investigated along with more than 8,500 samples from surrounding populations important to Afghanistan’s history through migrations and conquests, including Iranians, Greeks, Indians, Middle Easterners, East Europeans, and East Asians. Our results suggest that all current Afghans largely share a heritage derived from a common unstructured ancestral population that could have emerged during the Neolithic revolution and the formation of the first farming communities. Our results also indicate that inter-Afghan differentiation started during the Bronze Age, probably driven by the formation of the first civilizations in the region. Later migrations and invasions into the region have been assimilated differentially among the ethnic groups, increasing inter-population genetic differences, and giving the Afghans a unique genetic diversity in Central Asia.
|Fig. 1 – PCA derived from Y-chromosomal haplogroup frequencies|
- Hazara (n=60): 20 C3 (33%), 10 J2a* (17%), 6 J2a5 (10%), 4 R1a1a (7%), 3 B (5%), 3 E1b1b1c1 (5%),
- Tajik (n=56): 17 R1a1a (30%) 9 J2a (14%), 5 O (9%), 3 H1a (5%)
- Pashtun (n=49): 25 R1a1a (51%), 9 Q (18%), 6 L1c (12%), 3 G2c(6%)
- Uzbek (n=17): 7 C3 (41%), 3 R1a1a (18%), 2 R1b1a2 (12%)
- Baluch (n=13): 8 L1a (61%), 2 R2a (15%)
- Norestani (n=5): 3 R1a1a, 1 R2a, 1 J2a*
- Arab (n=3): 2 L1a, 1 R2a
- Turkmen (n=1): 1 R1a1a
|The Hazara Country (source) is the center of Afghanistan|
AbstractThere is a dearth of diagnostic human remains securely associated with the Early Aurignacian of western Europe, despite the presence of similarly aged early modern human remains from further east. One small and fragmentary sample of such remains consists of the two partial immature mandibles plus teeth from the Early Aurignacian of La Quina-Aval, Charente, France. The La Quina-Aval 4 mandible exhibits a prominent anterior symphyseal tuber symphyseos on a vertical symphysis and a narrow anterior dental arcade, both features of early modern humans. The dental remains from La Quina-Aval 1 to 4 (a dm1, 2 dm2, a P4 and a P4) are unexceptional in size and present occlusal configurations that combine early modern human features with a few retained ancestral ones. Securely dated to ∼33 ka 14C BP (∼38 ka cal BP), these remains serve to confirm the association of early modern humans with the Early Aurignacian in western Europe.
Found via Neanderfollia[cat].
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages of macro-haplogroup L (excluding the derived L3 branches M and N) represent the majority of the typical sub-Saharan mtDNA variability. In Europe, these mtDNAs account for <1% of the total but, when analyzed at the level of control region, they show no signals of having evolved within the European continent, an observation that is compatible with a recent arrival from the African continent. To further evaluate this issue, we analyzed 69 mitochondrial genomes belonging to various L sublineages from a wide range of European populations. Phylogeographic analyses showed that ∼65% of the European L lineages most likely arrived in rather recent historical times, including the Romanization period, the Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily, and during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. However, the remaining 35% of L mtDNAs form European-specific subclades, revealing that there was gene flow from sub-Saharan Africa toward Europe as early as 11,000 yr ago.
I got a copy and some stuff is indeed informative:
|Fig. 1 spread of (a) paragroup L(xM,N) and (b) L1 (crosses mark sampling sites)|
|Fig. 3 apportion of the L(xM,N) lineages and of the probable origin regions|
The most common lineages are L1b and L2a.
Most European L1b appears to have spread from the Iberian peninsula where it is most concentrated in the area of Salamanca, being loosely consistent with other North African genetic presence in the peninsula, generally concentrated in the Western third (and with some even greater frequency in the mountain areas of the old Kingdom of León. Some of these lineages have not been found among a sample of 73 L1b mitogenomes from Africans and African Americans (fig. 2), what brings the authors to consider them potentially local European (or in some cases NW African) developments. These are:
- L1b1a11 (Slovenia, Switzerland and Ireland), its sister lineages are found one in Jordan (unnamed) and another (L1b1a3) among Nigerians, Gabonese, African-Americans and some Portuguese.
- L1b1a6a (Portugal, Spain and Britain): just one branch of several, all the others in L1b1a6 are West African
- L1b1a9 (Spain, Italy, France and Morocco): either European or NW African
- L1b1a13 (Tunisia and Italy): surely Tunisian originally
- L1b1a12 (Tunisia, Spain and Portugal): again surely original from Tunisia
- L1b1a14 (Italy and France)
- L1b1a8 (Spain and Russia)
Another very characteristic and also arguably European-specific lineage is L3d1b1a, which is found only in Italy.
While the authors do not mention it, I think that Chandler 2005 spotted an L3d2 in Epipaleolithic Portugal (originally reported as “N”). However, using only the HVS region, the exact adscription is always somewhat dubious.
Also they performed an Structure analysis (fig. 4) and found that the carriers of the allegedly autochthonous European L lineages displayed very low to zero African affinity (and also near zero East Asian one) while those with the probably recent L lineages had more African and East Asian admixture (East Asian in this case is proxy for Native American most likely, indicating creole origin from America), although the apportions varied from individual to individual. The strength of this test can only be valid for very recent arrivals anyhow, otherwise the African autosomal genetics would be diluted beyond detection in a couple of centuries or so.
This is potentially an important discovery that may affect the chronological frame of the simians (what ultimately include us also).
AbstractThe East African Rift System transects the anomalously high-elevation Ethiopian and East African plateaux that together form part of the 6,000-km-long African superswell structure. Rifting putatively developed as a result of mantle plume activity that initiated under eastern Africa. The mantle activity has caused topographic uplift that has been connected to African Cenozoic climate change and faunal evolution. The rift is traditionally interpreted to be composed of two distinct segments: an older, volcanically active eastern branch and a younger, less volcanic western branch. Here, we show that initiation of rifting in the western branch began more than 14 million years earlier than previously thought, contemporaneously with the eastern branch. We use a combination of detrital zircon geochronology, tephro- and magnetostratigraphy, along with analyses of past river flow recorded in sedimentary rocks from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, to constrain the timing of rifting, magmatism and drainage development in this part of the western branch. We find that rift-related volcanism and lake development had begun by about 25 million years ago. These events were preceded by pediment development and a fluvial drainage reversal that we suggest records the onset of topographic uplift caused by the African superswell. We conclude that uplift of eastern Africa was more widespread and synchronous than previously recognized.
|Research area: Rukwa Rift|
You can also read the press release at Michigan State University (fragment follows):
This study provides new evidence that the two rift segments developed at about the same time, nearly doubling the initiation age of the western branch and the timing of uplift in this region of East Africa.
“A key piece of evidence in this study is the discovery of approximately 25 million-year-old lake and river deposits in the Rukwa Rift that preserve abundant volcanic ash and vertebrate fossils,” Roberts said.
These deposits include some of the earliest anthropoid primates yet found in the rift, added Nancy Stevens of Ohio University.
The findings imply that around 25 to 30 million years ago, the broad uplift of East Africa occurred and re-arranged the flow of large rivers such as the Congo and the Nile to create the distinct landscapes and climates that mark Africa today.
Hat tip to Pileta.
|Fig. 1 – PC analysis, color-coded for languages|
|Fig. 3 – click to expand
Red: East Asian, Orange and Yellow: SE Asian, Blue: North Asian, Purple: Native American
See original for full legend
- R9c1 (the sibling of F) is most common in Philippines (3.3–5.7%) and Abor (11%). Frequencies decay as we move northwards.
- F2 is most common in Thailand (2.4–5.4%) and then in China (1.9–3.3%). The Bargut singleton branch is apparently a new clade (F2e proposed)
- N9a is most common in Japan (4.6%), Korea (3.9%), China (2.8%) and Mongolia (2.1%), with less important presence in Island SE Asia and Eastern Europe.
- M10 is a rare East Asian clade with very rare cases in East Europe.
- M11 is also a rare East Asian clade found from Altai to Japan.
- M13 has two branches, one (M13a) most diverse in Tibet (and often found in East Asia) while the other one (M13b) is restricted to Malaysian aboriginal peoples.
- M9 also has two branches: E is found essentially in Island SE Asia and Taiwan aborigines, while M9a’b is apparently also centered in Tibet and scattered through East Asia and Hymalayan parts of South Asia. They propose that M9a1a1 spread to North Asia from South China after the LGM (note: I do not necessarily subscribe this age estimate).
Update (May 23):
In order to illustrate the discussion (see comments) I made this map of the “Evenk cluster” which I suspect was first Evenk-speaker or otherwise ethnically homogeneous before the Turkic expansion (since less than 2000 years ago):
The most notable feature is that it seems to be more northernly or oriented to Central Siberia than the other populations. It’s a Siberian-Taiga specific cluster, while most of the other Altaic populations are steppe dwellers instead. Compare with this map of the taiga:
They overlap very well, right?
Escaping Christian persecution: Norway’s Pagan temple buried before the religious fanatics could destroy it. Now urban developers may flatten it
|Artist rendering (credit: Credit: Preben Rønne, Science Museum/NTNU)|
… a stone-set “sacrificial altar” and also traces of a “pole building” that probably housed idols in the form of sticks with carved faces of Thor, Odin, Frey and Freya. Deceased relatives of high rank were also portrayed in this way and attended. Nearby, the archaeologists also uncovered a procession route.
At first researchers thought it could be some sort of burial mound but they eventually recognized it as a temple.
The members of this community, as attested by historical sources, were probably among the many to flee to Iceland, where there was initially more tolerance. It was in Iceland in fact where many of these sagas were written.
The temple was probably buried under the reign of the first recorded King of Norway, Harald Fairhair (872-930).
The temple may now be destroyed by urban development if something does not stop it quick. Archaeologist Prebben Rønne said:
The location of the [planned] housing could easily be adapted to this unique cultural heritage [site], without anyone losing their residential lots. It could be an attraction for new residents, telling them much about the history of the facility over 1000 years ago. Unfortunately, housing construction is now underway.
It would be indeed a pity and a crime against heritage if the construction is not stopped immediately.
One complication is that traits such as hair color are controlled by multiple genes. To determine the cumulative impact of multiple genes on one trait, the authors assumed they could simply add together the impact of individual genes. The female Neandertal known as Vi33.26, for example, had seven genes for brown eyes, one for “not-brown” eyes, three for blue eyes, and four for “not-blue eyes.” By the researchers’ reckoning, that means a six-gene balance in favor of brown and a negative balance for blue, so Vi33.26’s eyes were probably brown. According to this method, all three Neandertals had a dark complexion and brown eyes, and although one was red-haired, two sported brown locks.