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Anomalous Paleolithic skull from South China

14 Mar
This is sure going to cause some heated debates:
See also the press release (Eureka Alert) and a photo gallery (Live Science).
And this is what is all about:

It’s not the skull of Darth Vader, although I know you thought so as soon as you saw it, but actually that of a person living some 14,000 years ago at Longling cave, known as Longlin 1.
The authors of the paper argue on craniometric grounds that the specimen may not be a modern human, however in all PC analysis the skull falls (oddly enough) within or very close to modern human clusters. Only in the PC3 some differences show up. 
In fact the closest among those skulls analyzed in fig. 8 is Mai Da Nuoc[PDF], an Early Hoabinhian skull from nearby Vietnam, which is claimed to be Australoid (but does not look at all like the Australian skulls I’m familiar with, normally quite broader).
In fact I have been searching and I found at least one skull that looks a lot like Longlin 1: Peñón woman from Mexico:

(Source)
She’s one of a number of Paleoindian skulls that have puzzled prehistorians because they are not quite like most modern Native American skulls. However to my eyes, the Peñuelas skull (Chile) skull is not that different, even if it is also more like modern Native American ones.
Also to my eyes, those very marked cheek bones (regardless of whether they may have been produced by mastication) remind me of one of the most characteristic traits of the so-called Mongoloid type (which is quite unreal and plural in fact): prominent cheekbones that give the face a flat appearance.
But I’ll leave that to the experts. Not worth bumping heads for something that may well be partly epigenetic/environmental for all I know.
What I do not see is any ground for the claims of the authors that it could be a newly found species. They even have worked a fancy reconstruction that makes Longlin 1 to look like a well-known reconstruction (by the same author) of the notorious Hobbit (when the skulls do not look at all similar):

Credit: Peter Schouten (info)
Notice please how any trait that could make him look Mongoloid (East Asian or Native American) has been scrapped from the reconstruction: he has dark brown skin, beard (which could well have been shaven by a professional just yesterday) and a hairy body, a very broad nose that does not fit at all with the small triangular orifice, absolute lack of epicanthic fold – plus very small ears that make him look odd. 
Another analyzed skull from the same area is Maludong 1704, of which only the vault remains. This one overlaps in the analysis (fig. 9) with Crô-Magnon 1, however when more samples are added (fig. 10) some archaic skulls (H. erectus) also show up close, as do again CM1, early African H. sapiens and Nazlet Khater 2. 
For me, with due caution, modern proto-Mongoloid H. sapiens (anomalous) but your call: the debate is served.

Update (Mar 17): I must mention that the excellent anthropological artist Zaender (which I have mentioned before) has also produced his own versions of the Maludong people without most of the exotic fancy of Schouten’s reconstruction:

Credit Zaender

He has another example at his blog: Regional Ancestry Bands.

The ears still look small to me and the nose and lips unnecessarily too wide but it is probably more correct re. eyes and hair.

In any case it makes evident that it’s very difficult to actually reconstruct a face from just a skull when all the expressiveness and even most ethnic traits are in the flesh and skin, being impossible to discern from a mere skull.

 

77 responses to “Anomalous Paleolithic skull from South China

  1. ᧞eandertalerin

    March 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    To me, it's quite clear that it looks much more "modern" than anything, and the comparison with the Mexican lady is very good.The skull could have been deformed, it looks odd. It seems they're anaylizing it's DNA, but it seems very unlikely that erectus survived in the region until 11.000 BP and mixed extensively with modern humans.

     
  2. Argent

    March 15, 2012 at 4:03 am

    I am not convinced that this is a real new type of human. It does seem kind of odd that an unusual type of human was able to maintain a separate existence into such a late period. The skull looks deformed, especially in the upper parts. Very interesting. I hope they are able to get genetic data from it.

     
  3. Joy

    March 15, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Looked at the original paper, a very dense read. I guess we are all in agreement so far. My guess is that these are modern-ish people. Meaning mainly modern with perhaps with more than 4% contribution from an older Asian Homo species. They could have been that and later been replaced by the usual 96 to 99% Hs moderns.

     
  4. zaender

    March 16, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    after drawing it, I completely agree with what you said:http://www.regbands.blogspot.de/

     
  5. Maju

    March 16, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Hello, Zaender. I discovered your work last year, via Neanderthalerin's blog and found it fascinating: drawing every single mtDNA haplogroup ancestor with a style and intuition which at least makes good sense. Thumbs up.Here again I like your drawing of Longlin 1, which I consider much more likely (if nothing else because the result has epicanthic folds and straight hair as modern inhabitants of the area do in most cases. I therefore, if you don't mind, will hotlink to your drawing here (with due attribution and link to your blog). If you have any problem, please tell me and I'll remove it immediately.

     
  6. zaender

    March 17, 2012 at 12:00 am

    no problem, thank you!

     
  7. Maju

    March 17, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Thanks to you as well. 🙂

     
  8. Joy

    March 17, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for the great drawing zaender! I will now forgive you for sticking my U3 archetype down in Dubai with a head scarf. (Just joking) Besten Wünsche nach Köln

     
  9. zaender

    March 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    @Joysince I don't know your face, I can't judge, wether a head scarf would suit you or not!

     
  10. terryt

    March 22, 2012 at 2:25 am

    "In fact the closest among those skulls analyzed in fig. 8 is Mai Da Nuoc[PDF], an Early Hoabinhian skull from nearby Vietnam, which is claimed to be Australoid (but does not look at all like the Australian skulls I'm familiar with, normally quite broader)". The claim of 'Australoid' probably means, in this case, 'Papuan' rather than 'Aborigine'. The reconstruction could be nearly Papuan, while Zaender's reconstruction would definitely look Papuan if it had curly hair rather than long locks. The comparison with the Hoabinhian skull is especially interesting. If they are the same 'species' it would support the idea that the pre-Mongoloid population of South China and SE Asia was very similar to today's New Guinea indigenous people. The original phenotype has been diluted by southward-moving Mongoloids in the time since the Hoabinhian. At 14,000 years it is very likley within the modern haplogroups. Mt-DNA M would be my guess. "Notice please how any trait that could make him look Mongoloid (East Asian or Native American) has been scrapped from the reconstruction: he has dark brown skin, beard (which could well have been shaven by a professional just yesterday) and a hairy body, a very broad nose that does not fit at all with the small triangular orifice, absolute lack of epicanthic fold – plus very small ears that make him look odd". I'm sure that if the authors felt there was any resemblance to Mongoloid people they would have reconstructed the skull in that direction.

     
  11. Maju

    March 22, 2012 at 3:59 am

    It is very easy to collect photos of Papuan skulls, they use them even as pillow. Check them: they have less marked zygomatic bones (cheeks) and much bigger nasal holes.I think that the nose of both Longlin and Mai Da Nuoc have remarkably small triangular nasal holes and neither have the "bridge" of the nose (nasal bone) too prominent. They could well have noses similar to those of modern East Asians: rather flat and small but actually most modern Mongoloids have broader nose holes and these are remarkably small and triangular. I've tried to find comparisons but no luck but they must have got very small noses, probably narrow, as well as very strongly marked cheeks. MDC is close to Mongoloids in that (but he's too longfaced and dolicocephalic to be considered Mongoloid by the usual standards), while Longlin is a dimension of his own, no doubt. As for the reconstruction, it is customary to look to modern inhabitants for references. The skull is not Mongoloid by the usual standards but it may well be proto-Mongoloid and some or most of the secondary fleshy traits of modern Mongoloids be there. It's not Papuan either: one of the closest "relatives" (by measures) is Cro-Magnon 1, which is not exactly like modern Europeans either but is generally considered an ancestor anyhow.In fact LL1 in the PC1-2 plot is between MDC and Combe-Capelle, an Epipaleolithic European (it seems now). But CC has a much bigger nose than the SE Asian specimens. In PC2-3 the closest is again Combe-Capelle (this may well because of the zygomatic bones almost on its own).Its counterpart, Maludong, is most similar to Cro-Magnon 1 and 3. Hence, excepting the cheeks the guys may have got some "European" look, rather than "Australoid" or "Papuan". This would be coincident with my hypothesis of an Australo-Caucasoid continuum of early Eurasian looks, of which Mongoloids are just a peculiar and ill-defined branch, best defined by the fleshy bits and marked cheeks.

     
  12. zaender

    March 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    In a new blog entry at [URL=http://regbands.blogspot.de/]regbands.blogspot.de[/URL] I looked for the frameset of skull reconstruction, taking the famous skull of Homo Mousteriensis Hauseri, found in 1908 by Otto Hauser.I simply played with some artistic ideas and possibilities to show, that we could imagine our famous Hauseri skull both as european or rather african or asian.thought, I should let all of you know! There is more in it.

     
  13. Maju

    March 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Correct link: http://regbands.blogspot.de/2012/03/homo-mousteriensis-hauseri-faces.htmlIf you wish to insert a link in text you must use HTML with the format:[a href=LINK]TEXT[/a]However replace […] for <…> (I did the opposite so you could see the code). I cannot comment in your site, Zaender, not sure why, so I will say that I feel that you misinterpret the nasal width. In the LL1 case you drew a very wide nose yet the nasal hole is tiny, instead in the Neanderthal case you drew a very narrow nose but the nasal holes are always very wide and round in Neanderthals, close to the Negroid archetype (but more prominent).I do not understand why artists don't correlate nasal hole size with nose lateral size, which should be obvious.

     
  14. Maju

    March 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Now I can comment. It was a javascript issue, sorry.

     
  15. zaender

    March 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    sorry, twice I tried in vain to answer. I will have to go in detail for your critic, but that is exactly, what I was heading for. It will take a couple of days, since I'm rather busy now.

     
  16. Maju

    March 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Ah, very interesting, really. The only criticism I can make now is that thick lips are subjective (a feature only sometimes apparent among Papuans and Negritos, and in any case exaggerated in the drawing) and then: are you drawing a female? Do we know that LL1 was a female or have any reason to suspect that. I don't know how to pick apart a female skull from a male one easily but female ones tend to be more gracile and with less irregularities and prominences. My impression has been all the time, also from Schouten's drawing, that LL1 was a male. Of course I may be misled by the paedomorphism of East Asian phenotype that give even males some "feminine" likeness but I think that you're trying to draw a woman in fact, right?In any case, great work, I'm posting-linking it also. Thanks.

     
  17. Maju

    March 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Also, of interest to all, the discussion that Zaender mentions at his blog, by Biological Anthropologist A.P. Van Arsdale is very relevant: the zygomatic bone is the only relevant divergence with modern East Asian metrics and is fractured in several points, possibly distorting the results:https://blogs.wellesley.edu/vanarsdale/2012/03/15/fossils/longlin-fossils/I also included mention to this in the latest update. The "new hominin" will in the end be the first known "Mongoloid" in spite of his (her?) peculiar zygomatic bone.

     
  18. zaender

    March 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    yes, I was heading a woman's face, since I cannot tell apart between too, just looking at skulls and I already had a bunch of own references from my "magenta marias" series. So this time I really tried not to exaggerate!

     
  19. terryt

    March 31, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I aploogise in advance that this is only marginally related to the subject, but I missed this when it came out, and it is close: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/06/present-genetic-variation-is-a-weak-guide-to-past-genetic-variation/#more-12386Seems the population of the Andamans has been shown very definitely not to be a remnant of the OoA, just as I've long been claiming. Quote: "On a final note, if the Andaman Islanders arrived ~20 thousand years before the present from the South Asian mainland they don’t tell us very much about the 'Out of Africa' people. They’re not 'living fossils,' and it was frankly somewhat stupid probably to think they would be". Isn't that exactly what I've been trying to tell you for years? And, here we could have what is, at last, the end of the 'coastal migration' theory: "A reader alerted me to a short paper from this spring which attempts to ascertain the point of origin of the dominant mtDNA haplogroup among the Onge tribe of the Andaman Islanders, M31a1. This is an interesting issue because some researchers proposed, plausibly in the past, that these indigenous people in the Andaman Islands represent the descendants of the first wave 'Out of Africa,' who took the rapid 'beachcomber' path".

     
  20. Maju

    April 1, 2012 at 12:47 am

    I'm not in agreement with that: it's all molecular-clock-o-logy and of the kind I would not use. I already did some molecular-clock-o-logy of MY kind (counting from the root and using archaeologically consistent references) and the Andaman lineages seem quite old, true OoA remnants.

     
  21. terryt

    April 1, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Hmmm … So Razib doesn't know what he's talking about?

     
  22. Maju

    April 1, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Captious question.Do you know what you are talking about? This is a matter of opinion about molecular-clock-o-logy, the same as when we may discuss with someone else on the existence of God. You, Razib and me are going to agree on the later, at least in principle but obviously not on the former. Yet IMNSHO molecular-clock-o-logy is akin to God: a myth, an elusive legend that explains nothing and confuses a lot.

     
  23. terryt

    April 2, 2012 at 4:21 am

    "This is a matter of opinion about molecular-clock-o-logy" The 'molecular clock' is not the sole piece of evidence, Maju. I'll explain: "You, Razib and me are going to agree on the later, at least in principle but obviously not on the former". You're out-voted then. I agree with Razib. Your claim of Andaman M13 being part of the original M expansion is another example of your having decided in advance what you want the evidence to say. Take another look at Phylotree and the distribution of the various M31 subclades. For a start basal M31 is 4 mutations from basal M so it suffered a period of drift. It looks, like many other M haplogroups, to have coalesced in northeast India, presumably east of the Ganges. At this 4 mutation level M31 splits into M31a and M31b'c. The two haplogroups within the second clade are combined by a single control region mutation. Both M31b and M31c are centred on northeast India. M31b even reached Nepal and Tibet. Now to the clades in the first haplogroup: Following a further 3 mutations from the M31a/M31b'c split M31a split into M31a1 and M31a2. M31a2 is also a northeast Indian haplogroup that managed to spread south into Orissa and even to Sri Lanka. In the other direction M31a1 can therefore only have arrived in the Andamans no earlier than 7 mutations from basal M. M31a1 and M31a2 are the product of a coastal migration that went round the Bay of Bengal from the Ganges Delta in opposite directions. But that 'southern coastal migration' is long after basal M's spread, or the OoA. Of course M31's arrival in the Andamans is even more recent if you're going to claim that M31a1 developed its long stem of a further 7 mutations while moving from northeast India east around the Bay of Bengal.

     
  24. Maju

    April 2, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Knowledge is not "democratic" (i.e. "outvoted"), mind you. Otherwise God would be "science". "Take another look at Phylotree and the distribution of the various M31 subclades".What Bout M32 (100% Andamanese)? It is just one coding region mutation away from the basal M node.Even if you could imagine M31 belonging to a second wave into the Andamans, maybe 10 or 15 Ka after the Great Eurasian Expansion (phase 1 or M) or OoA (phase-2), you still have to agree that M32 is as old as the Great Eurasian Expansion itself. And so is M29'Q in Melanesia (at least). Btw, welcome to the Wiki.

     
  25. terryt

    April 3, 2012 at 4:37 am

    "What Bout M32 (100% Andamanese)?" What about it? We're talking about M31 here. And don't forget that M32 is part of M32'56. M56, like members of M31, is Indian. So who's trying to change the subject now? "Even if you could imagine M31 belonging to a second wave into the Andamans, maybe 10 or 15 Ka after the Great Eurasian Expansion (phase 1 or M) or OoA (phase-2)" Possible. But not usually considered as being the case. "you still have to agree that M32 is as old as the Great Eurasian Expansion itself. And so is M29'Q in Melanesia (at least)". Not necessarily. While a long 'stem' is indicative of a period of drift a short stem is not necessarily indicative of no, or a negligible, period of drift. A long stem is formed when 'daughter' haplogroups replace 'parent' haplogroups. But there is no reason to assume that replacement is regular, or has a sort of 'half-life'.

     
  26. Maju

    April 3, 2012 at 5:41 am

    You're telling me that the Andamanese people can't be a leftover from the OoA/Great Eurasian Expansion and I'm saying that they totally look like they are, at least per the M32 mtDNA lineage. "And don't forget that M32 is part of M32'56. M56, like members of M31, is Indian".Sure but still M32 is only one coding region mutation away from M-root (because what describes M32 as different from basal M32'56 are two HVS-I transitions, less reliable and important (the transition at 16319 is found in other 12 lineages only in that same M(xD) page of PhyloTree, 16526 is "only" found in another one however)."… there is no reason to assume that replacement is regular, or has a sort of 'half-life'".Whatever. It is common sense, although of course nothing that can be proven beyond the stubborn doubt of someone who knows where he wants to arrive but not how.

     
  27. terryt

    April 4, 2012 at 4:42 am

    "Whatever. It is common sense, although of course nothing that can be proven beyond the stubborn doubt of someone who knows where he wants to arrive but not how". On the contrary it is you who is demonstrating yet another example of your deciding in advance what it is you want the evidence to say. Yoyr inconsistency is breath-taking. Just a few days ago you wrote: "This is a matter of opinion about molecular-clock-o-logy" But now you're taking the molecular clock as Gospel. "Sure but still M32 is only one coding region mutation away from M-root (because what describes M32 as different from basal M32'56 are two HVS-I transitions, less reliable and important (the transition at 16319 is found in other 12 lineages only in that same M(xD) page of PhyloTree, 16526 is 'only' found in another one however)". And that immediately introduces a problem for you. M32a and M32c are combined only because of those two 'unreliable' control region mutations yet, as far as I'm aware, M32c is found only on Madagascar (M32c is called 'M46' in the paper, according to Phylotree): http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.3378/027.081.0407But M32c can have arrived in Madagascar no more than some 2000 years ago. That makes a complete mockery of any 'molecular clock' you might wish to apply to the haplogroup M32'56. We have no real way of knowing how long M32 and M56 remained together before separating into the two existing subclades Besides which, if we're going to assume M31 and M32 arrived in the Andamans together, we are left with the certainty that both originated in north or northeast India and arrived in the Andamans some time after the basal M expansion. But, of course, you have quite consistently been quite prepared to accept the molecular clock when it fits your belief but completely dissmissive when it fails to do so.

     
  28. Maju

    April 4, 2012 at 7:48 am

    "But now you're taking the molecular clock as Gospel". I'm not. You are tendentious. It was you who raised this "molecular-clock-o-logy" matter, I'm just reversing your logic by transferring your reasoning from M31 to M32. Quod erat debunkatum."And that immediately introduces a problem for you. M32a and M32c are combined only because of those two 'unreliable' control region mutations yet, as far as I'm aware, M32c is found only on Madagascar (M32c is called 'M46' in the paper, according to Phylotree)"Interesting, I was unaware. It's not a problem for me at all, as all what I just said keep applying to M32a. "But M32c can have arrived in Madagascar no more than some 2000 years ago".It's probable indeed but first we'd need to locate where in Asia originated M32c (probably Indonesia but not necessarily). By the moment the whole lineage is described as proposed (cursive in the mutation list). It's even possible that the lineage was picked in Andaman, although I'd rather bet for Indonesia or nearby areas.Whatever the case the triple M32'56 clade looks like coalesced also right after the Great Eurasian Expansion, one of its branches being now only found in Andaman."if we're going to assume M31 and M32 arrived in the Andamans together"…No reason to assume that. "we are left with the certainty that both originated in north or northeast India and arrived in the Andamans some time after the basal M expansion".We can't determine at the moment where M32'56 coalesced, the fact that M32c is an Austronesian lineage rather points towards SE Asia, at least in that branch, so the overall coalescence point could be anywhere between India and Indonesia most likely. Similarly we can't determine where M31 coalesced, right? If 1/2 branch is Indian and the other from SE Asia (Andaman), then there is a 50-50 uncertainty.Whatever the case: you are way off topic. Write your own blog.

     
  29. terryt

    April 5, 2012 at 12:29 am

    "It was you who raised this 'molecular-clock-o-logy' matter" Your memory is defective. You raised it response to a comment I made concerning M31 that you misinterpreted as being based on the molecular clock. It wasn't based on the clock at all. "I'm just reversing your logic by transferring your reasoning from M31 to M32". I repeat (because your comprehension seems defective as well) my comments concerning M31 had not a single thing to do with a molecular clock of any kind. The comments were based solely on the phylogeny, which is independent of any 'molecular clock'. "Interesting, I was unaware. It's not a problem for me at all, as all what I just said keep applying to M32a". It is still a huge problem for your molecular clock. M32c developed a stem of three mutations (9269 14152 15935) in just two thousand years. Other haplogroups appear not to have developed a stem longer than one mutation in tens of thousands of years. Your molecular clock is completely useless. "Whatever the case the triple M32'56 clade looks like coalesced also right after the Great Eurasian Expansion, one of its branches being now only found in Andaman". But that, on its own (disregarding problems concerning the molecular clock), tells us nothing about when the lineage reached the Andamans. "Similarly we can't determine where M31 coalesced, right?" Wrong. The phylogeny tells us a great deal about where it coalesced. For any other haplogroup you would have immediately willingly accept the evidence of the phylogeny, but in this case that phylogeny fails to fit your prefered scenario, so you dismiss it immediately. "If 1/2 branch [M31] is Indian and the other from SE Asia (Andaman), then there is a 50-50 uncertainty". Wrong. Have another look at the phylogeny. M31 split first into M31a and M31b'c. Haplogroups M31b and M31c are both centred on northeast India. I agree that that is 50% of the M31 phylogeny, but that is just half the story. M31a split into M31a1 and M31a2, the second of which is a northeast Indian haplogroup. So we have 75% Northeast Indian and 25% Andaman. And if we disregard the control region mutations (16093 16136) we have three basal M31 haplogroups, reducing the proportion of Andaman members considerably. Surely your belief that 'basal diversity = origin' should lead inexorably to the conclusion of a northeast India origin for the haplogroup as a whole.

     
  30. terryt

    April 5, 2012 at 12:30 am

    "No reason to assume that [M31 and M32 arrived in the Andamans together]". There is far more reason to assume it so than there is to deny it. "We can't determine at the moment where M32'56 coalesced" We can come to a very informed conclusion though, if we're prepared to consider ALL the data. I've been trying to tell you for ages that the bulk of evidence points to an arrival in the Andamans no more than about 15,000 years ago. The phylogeny of M31 is further support for that conclusion. The only evidence you can offer in contradiction is your 'belief' that the Andamans were settled by the first wave of M haplogroup OoA humans: an assumption that is surely past its 'use by' date. "the overall coalescence point could be anywhere between India and Indonesia most likely". Probably correct, but it almost certainly did not coalesce in, and expand from, the Andamans. Its arrival there is certainly not necessarily part of the 'great southern coastal migration from Africa'. It arrived later, from the nearby mainland. "Whatever the case: you are way off topic. Write your own blog". The topic is, 'Anomalous Paleolithic skull from South China'. The hill country of Northeast India/South China/Burma looks to have been a single ecological region for early human inhabitation of the East. Something like half the M haplogroups look to have coalesced and spread from there. Similar humans to the one that is the topic of this post were probaly found right through the region, although this particular individual could be a late survivor.

     
  31. Maju

    April 5, 2012 at 6:41 am

    "M32c developed a stem of [at least] three mutations (9269 14152 15935) in just two thousand years".Actually in some 80 thousand years (assuming that's the age of M). Here we have a clear example of haplogroup which has wandered far away, whose origins are lost (by the moment at least) but that has not been at destination (Madagascar) for all its history but just a small fragment of it. "Other haplogroups appear not to have developed a stem longer than one mutation in tens of thousands of years".You know my cannibal mum hypothesis by which the dominant clade "drifts out" the rest (or at least keeps them small) in relatively large stable populations, right?"M31a split into M31a1 and M31a2, the second of which is a northeast Indian haplogroup. So we have 75% Northeast Indian and 25% Andaman".Alright. Except that my list of populations actually point to Central-East India and not NE India (i.e. West of Bangladesh and in that country and not East of it): "Bengal, Munda, Orissa, Saharia". Bengal and Orissa, together with some other states make up Eastern India according to common regional terminology in India itself. The Munda also live there, in East India (and not NE India), while the Saharia are from Central or North India. "an arrival in the Andamans no more than about 15,000 years ago"How good and extensive is the underwater archaeological survey? I mean: seriously!You're just trying to pull the ember to your sardine… not fair. And you do that once and again…..And you know so well that you are off topic that you even apologized when you introduced this diversion:"I aploogise in advance that this is only marginally related to the subject"…You have stated your point well beyond that, please do not hijack the thread. You have many other spaces (such as forums, other blogs, your own blog…) to write on the matter publicly. Pushing it beyond common sense and my patience only makes you a troll. Don't be a troll, please.

     
  32. terryt

    April 10, 2012 at 12:53 am

    "Here we have a clear example of haplogroup which has wandered far away, whose origins are lost (by the moment at least) but that has not been at destination (Madagascar) for all its history but just a small fragment of it". Only in your immagination. That's complete rubbish, Maju. M32c has not been found anywhere other than Madagascar and it could quite easily have developed its stem there. I'll grant it probably comes from somewhere between NE India and the Andamans but it certainly developed its stem after it had separated from either of them. It seems incredibkle that it could have become common enough to last until Madagascar was settled the suddenly have dissappeared completely in its region of origin. Unless you're claiming genocide as an explanation yet again. "You know my cannibal mum hypothesis by which the dominant clade 'drifts out' the rest (or at least keeps them small) in relatively large stable populations, right?" Exactly. There is absolutely no reason at all why displacement of haplogroups within a particuler region should obey a molecular clock of any kind. What we actually often seem to find is that 'successful' haplogroups are the ones who have moved away from their region of origin. "Except that my list of populations actually point to Central-East India and not NE India (i.e. West of Bangladesh and in that country and not East of it)" I have no problem with that. It explains quite a bit. M31 moved from NE India into the Bay of Bengal and M32 moved into the Bay of Bengal from further south. Both apppear to have been the culmination of the spread of boating along the coast between SE Asia and Eastern India. We even have haplogroups shared between the Philippines and East India. At this stage we have no way of determining the direction of movement. "The Munda also live there, in East India (and not NE India)" And speak and early Austro-Asiatic language and so most likely came from even further east. "How good and extensive is the underwater archaeological survey? I mean: seriously!" I realise religious fundamentalists often raise the argument, 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence', but surely any theory relies on the presence of evidence. Otherwise it's possible to claim almost anything. "And you know so well that you are off topic that you even apologized when you introduced this diversion" But it is very relevant in our attempt to unravel the threads of human expansion. The paper on mt-DNA P is even more relevant but I'll refrain from introducing that topic here. You'll find it very interesting to study the paper I linked to elsewhere though.

     
  33. Maju

    April 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Again: none of them is in "NE India"!!!"I realise religious fundamentalists often raise the argument, 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'"It's not a religious argument but a scientific one. Argh!This is specially true when we have reasons to think that it is statistically likely that our survey of the potential evidence is very poor. For example we have no direct evidence of life outside Earth (yet) but we realize that our evidence is very limited and we have come to gradually understand that life can exist in so many different econiches that it's most likely that there is life outside earth. We have no direct evidence of black holes but all the indirect evidence and cosmological theories point to their existence. Etc. The weight of existing evidence is always in relation to the extent and intensity of the data mining process, of the quality of the overall survey.

     
  34. terryt

    April 10, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    "Again: none of them is in 'NE India'!!!" M31 is in 'Northeast India'. Your 'list of populations' is probably incorrect. I got my information from this paper, although it was free at that time: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1673852711000324"It's not a religious argument but a scientific one. Argh!" It's an argument I've heard used far more often by religious fundamentalists than by any scientist. And your claim in this case is far more closely related to 'religious fundamentalist' than it is to 'scientist'. "This is specially true when we have reasons to think that it is statistically likely that our survey of the potential evidence is very poor". But in this case the evidence is not too bad, except if you have already made up your mind what the situation is and the evidence does not actually fit that belief. "For example we have no direct evidence of life outside Earth (yet) but we realize that our evidence is very limited and we have come to gradually understand that life can exist in so many different econiches that it's most likely that there is life outside earth". Who is moving off topic now?

     
  35. Maju

    April 11, 2012 at 8:33 am

    "It's an argument I've heard used far more often by religious fundamentalists than by any scientist".You seem to be more interested on fundamentalists than scientists. Lack of evidence being different from evidence of lack is just obvious. You are denying possibilities without sufficient research and that's not acceptable: it is dogmatic instead. "But in this case the evidence is not too bad"…In SE Asian archeology the evidence is generally too bad: we know almost nothing. Between India and Australia there's a huge gap of archaeological knowledge! "Who is moving off topic now?"It's my blog: my diary, "my home". I was just explaining you why lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. Otherwise there'd be no life outside earth and, almost for sure, there is (but no direct evidence as of yet).

     
  36. terryt

    April 13, 2012 at 12:24 am

    "Lack of evidence being different from evidence of lack is just obvious. You are denying possibilities without sufficient research and that's not acceptable" And you're making up possibilities just to fit your beliefs. At least I'm relying on the evidence as we have it. "In SE Asian archeology the evidence is generally too bad: we know almost nothing. Between India and Australia there's a huge gap of archaeological knowledge!" Maybe for you there is because you are not so interested in the region. Anyway, even if the evidence is incomplete you are still not entitled to make stuff up that doesn't actually fit the evidence as we have it. Once you start doing that you can come up with almost any theory you wish, such as an American origin for humans. Or that the Andaman Islanders represent a relict population from a great southern coastal migration.

     
  37. Maju

    April 13, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I am very interested in MP and UP archaeology in SE Asia. There's just not much. I am entitled, because it is for real, to say that the almost nil archaeological data from the region does not allow us to reconstruct what happened in the OoA/Great Eurasian Expansion as of now. We have to infer from nearby regions, very specially Sahul (because in order to go there people MUST have gone through SE Asia) but also Mid-East Asia and South Asia.

     
  38. terryt

    April 14, 2012 at 9:31 am

    "the almost nil archaeological data from the region does not allow us to reconstruct what happened in the OoA/Great Eurasian Expansion as of now". There is actually rather a lot of 'archaeological data' but much less genetic data. Much of the data is pre world wide web so available only in papers and books, but I'll see what I can find. I have been following developments in the region since the early-80s, if not before. I recall that you have consistently dismissed Peter Bellwood as an authority, although he is considered an expert on the region in these parts.

     
  39. neoanthropus

    June 6, 2015 at 7:57 am

    The part of the “cheekbone” seems misplaced in that assembly, it doesn’t fit quite right withe the eye orbit! If it’s just slightly readjusted I think much of the weirdness may go away.

     
  40. pithecanthropus sapiens

    July 29, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I think the reconstructed part exaggerates its “abnormality”. According with an analisis, it’s even “more sapiens” than UC1:

    http://www.indiana.edu/~orsa/Zhoukoudian_upper_cave_details.html

    BTW, the comment system doesn’t let comment with the twitter account, asking to fill name and e-mail.

     
  41. MNOPS

    June 7, 2021 at 6:15 am

    I know this post was from 9 years ago, but I still wanna leave my thoughts here.

    I actually agree more with the first reconstruction by Peter Schouten rather than the second one by Zaender, and for several reasons:

    1. Nothing indicates that 14,000 years ago Mongoloids had already appeared in Southern China. In fact according to a study by McColl et al. in 2018, typical Mongoloid haplogroups like N and O only appeared in Southeast Asia around 4,000 years ago, before that time Southeast Asia and the adjacent parts of Southern China were dominated by Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers, which had haplogroups C* and D*, and were closely related to populations like Onge, Jehai, and Papuans, so terryt wasn’t wrong when he said that Longlin might have affinities with Papuans or Australian aborigines.

    2. According to another paper published by Fu Qiaomei et al. in 2020, the Longlin specimen had mitochondrial haplogroup M71d, with mutations 6257A and 11518A, and only a few present-day Southeast Asians samples are found to carry such mutations, whereas East Asians samples don’t. Hence there’s nothing suggests that Longlin should be typically Mongoloid or East Asian looking.

    3. Based on the above two points, we can safely say that Peter Schouten’s reconstruction is more plausible. The strong epicanthic folds and very thick lips are just Zaender’s subjective representations of how he thinks a typical Southern Mongoloid person ought to look like. Yet nothing indicates that Longlin was Mongoloid, chances are high that he/she was affiliated to Papuans and Aborigines, and might carry some extra amounts of Denisovan genes than modern humans which could explain his/her somewhat weird features. And even if he/she was, many Southern Mongoloid people from that region of Southern China and SE Asia today don’t really have such strong epicanthic folds, their folds are much more attenuated compared to their northern brethren. And thick lips are also very subjective, even Papuans and Andamanese don’t have such exaggerated lips, let alone Southern Mongoloids. Zaender’s reconstruction is ridiculous and borderline racist in my honest opinion.

     
    • Maju

      June 7, 2021 at 1:09 pm

      First of all, I must mention that this was an attempt to make a backup in WP a blog originally in Blogger. The original version of this entry is: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2012/03/anomalous-paleolithic-skull-from-south.html

      I eventually discontinued that blog as well in 2018 but here (WP version) I could not just update as I originally wanted, so this backup is not as complete in terms of time as the original. Also most of the comments come from the original Blogger version (so they won’t get an email with your comment unless you also post in the Blogger entry). Maybe I should delete this failed backup but never really got to it, my apologies.

      Now, to the substance of your comment: it’s interesting what you say about SE Asian M71d (mtDNA), however I don’t understand why you would consider SE Asian “not Mongoloid”. I know it may be a controversial term, some people may even prefer “Sinoid” (as Mongols are arguably slightly less archetypal) but it refers to the East Asian distinctive human branch and its phenotype range, including most SE Asians (exceptions are very old distinct branches like Andamanese, Orang Asli and Filipino Negritos, probably also the “Papuan” populations of “Wallacea” / Eastern Indonesia, and of course the Ainu of Northern Japan).

      I’m unsure about the fine detail of how the population changed (as it seems it did) in SE Asia (south of China) but my impression is that it probably happened with the Neolithic (and secondarily later migrations, all them from what is now Southern China). The first wave would have been the Austroasiatics, which reached even to Eastern India and almost certainly carried rice as main crop, followed later by other waves, notably the Austronesians (but also Daic and Tibeto-Burman, these also reaching to India and Nepal via the Hymalayan foothills). More research is needed in SE Asia proper to be certain of the detail but the general impression I get from both archaeology and genetics is this one.

      All the other “non-Mongoloid” East Asian populations mentioned before seem to stem from East Asian diversification in times we can label as “pre-racial”, i.e. in the early expansion of Humankind in Asia, which I have addressed in some depth in this entry: http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/06/synthesis-of-early-colonization-of-asia.html

      Notice that nowadays I think that (largely based on the archaeological record but also my “heterodox” interpretation of the genetic “molecular clock” and in general the patterns of genetic distribution) that the out of Africa migration happened between c. 125 Ka ago (Arabia, Palestine) and c. 100 Ka ago (India, probably also SE Asia, incl. South China), and that SE Asia must have been a secondary hub for human (Asian+ branch) expansion after the Toba catastrophe (c. 74 Ka BP), leading to Australia (attested since at least 64 Ka BP) NE Asia (maybe 60 or 50 Ka BP) and West Eurasia (c. 50 Ka BP, after matrilocal admixture with South Asians, incorporating Y-DNA IJ, G and T), incl. a branch to NE Africa (Egypt, Cyrenaica, maybe The Horn to some extent) and also a branch to Altai (c. 47 Ka BP) that would later produce (after heavy patrilocal admixture with East Asians, retaining thus “Western” Y-DNA Q as their main patrilineage but incorporating East Asian mtDNA massively) the core Native American population of Beringia.

      The “Mongoloid” or “Sinoid” type would thus be a development that happened mostly in China and that spread around with Neolithic primarily, although more ancient (but not that old) migrants like the original Native Americans or “Paleoindians” would have some of it already but not the finished type, leading to the diversity of types we actually see in Native America: some very similar to “Mongoloids” (although generally darker in skin color and maybe more similar to SE Asian variants), others with unusual traits like the characterstic Andean big narrow noses that seem rather “Caucasoid” instead, etc. They are “pre-racial” in terms of being easy to classify with our simplistic modern “racial” classifications, which may more or less work for most human groups but not for all (many small peculiar branches don’t fit in, nor do admixed populations as the “Paleoindians” were). Categorization is a tricky business and Nature often rebels against it.

      As for M71 (mtDNA), I found that it’s quite characteristic of Southern China, notably Yunnan.

      “haplogroup M71 shows restricted distribution to the populations residing in southern China, including those with recorded origins from the ancient Di-Qiang tribe that once resided in northwest China about 3,000–5,000 years ago (…) For example, two M71 haplotypes (…) are observed in Pumi, Naxi, Lahu, and Mosuo people. Because these four ethnic populations reside specifically in Yunnan Province (southwest China) at the present time and no M71 lineage is observed elsewhere, especially in the populations from northwest China—the homeland of the Di-Qiang tribe, it is then apparent that the presence of M71 in these populations was most likely attributed to gene flow from local residents during the southward migration of Di-Qiang people and/or after their settlement in southwest China”. >> https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/28/1/513/983341

      I would probably disagree with the conclusions of this study, which to me rather suggests a northwards migration to Sichuan, if we accept that Longlin is loosely ancestral, or a very old distribution between Yunnan, Western Guangxi-Zhuang and Sichuan (and maybe other nearby areas in Indochina Peninsula), but I was looking for the distribution of M17 and it suggests that it is not characteristically SE Asian unless you include South China in it. So we are back to the apparent pattern of colonization southwards from South China since the Neolithic period.

       
      • MNOPS

        June 7, 2021 at 2:54 pm

        It’s not just any M71, looking at other branches of M71 won’t help, it’s M71d with mutations 6257A and 11518A, which according to the original authors of that paper (Fu et al.) is only found in present-day SE Asian samples and is associated with Austronesians. I understand that the Far South and the Southwest corners of China retain a few M71, but apparently they aren’t the same as the one found on Longlin.

        SE Asians are definitely Mongoloid I don’t deny that, but they aren’t the same as typical Mongoloids from the north. Facial features are different, eye features different, complexion different, and even dental shape is different (SE Asians are mostly Sundadonty instead of Sinodonty).

        Secondly I think most people (not just you but many Chinese also) don’t realize the size and diversity of Southern China. The Far South corners of China (Guangxi and Yunnan) where Longlin was found is actually quite far away from the Yangtse River Delta where rice cultivation first started, like around 2,000 KM. And in Late Paleolithic and Early Neolithic times the Far South corner of China and the Yangtse River Delta belonged to different archaeological traditions, with the former belonging to Hoabinhian (or borderline Hoabinhian depending on how you define it), and the later shared more in common with cultures found in Central or even Northern China (like for instance microlith had been discovered in Jiangsu dating back to 10,000 years ago). And according to recent archaeological evidences, rice cultivation only spread to the Far South corners of China at around 5,000 to 4,500 years ago, far later than its origin in the Yangtse River Delta around 10,000 to 8,200 years ago.

        And not to mention that the earliest Hoabinhian cultural site was actually found in Yunnan, dating back to around 41,500 years before present. Hence we have ample evidence to believe that Longlin was more similar to Hoabinhian, and not some stereotypical Mongoloid looking individual from the north.

         
      • MNOPS

        June 7, 2021 at 3:24 pm

        Far South China (Guangxi and Yunnan) was originally Hoabinhian or quasi-Hoabinhian in Early Neolithic, and rice agriculture only spread there around 5,000 to 4,500 years ago. They were on the receiving end of the spread of agriculture, not the origin of agriculture. Rice agriculture originated from the Yangtse River Delta or perhaps even slightly to the north of that in between the Huai and Yangtse rivers at around 10,000 to 8,200 years ago, which although can be labelled as “Southern China” (practically anywhere south of the Huai river can be labelled as such) but I preferred to call it “Central or Eastern China” instead to avoid any confusion.

        And rice wasn’t the only crop spreading southward from Central/Eastern China. By 4,000 years ago millet, a crop first cultivated in Northern China some 10,000 years ago, also reached Far South China and SE Asia.

        Hence based on the above evidence, we can say with certainty that Mongoloids (or typical/classical Mongoloids) first originated somewhere in Central or maybe Northern China, and then developed agriculture around 10,000 years ago, with millet in Northern China and rice in Central/Eastern China, and around 5,000 to 4,000 years ago they spread southward en masse, brought rice and millet to Far South China and SE Asia, and displaced the Hoabinhian hunter-gathers who were there before. Mongoloids definitely came from the north, not the south.

        And there are evidences even further back which might shed us some light on the ultimate origin of Mongoloids. Ust-Ishim, an individual from Siberia who lived 45,000 years ago, carried haplogroup K2a, which is ancestral to N and O. Oase, an individual from Romania who lived around 40,000 to 37,000 years ago, also carried K2a. A very recent paper from 2020 (Jean-Jacques Hublin et al.) about the archaeological site of Bacho Kiro in Bulgaria also states that

        “An international research team has sequenced the genomes of the oldest securely dated modern humans in Europe who lived around 45,000 years ago in Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria. By comparing their genomes to the genomes of people who lived later in Europe and in Asia the researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, show that this early human group in Europe contributed genes to later people, particularly present-day East Asians. The researchers also identified large stretches of Neandertal DNA in the genomes of the Bacho Kiro Cave people, showing that they had Neandertal ancestors about five to seven generations back in their family histories.”

        Bacho Kiro cave individuals were found to be carrying Y-haplogroups C1* and F, and contributed genes to later people, particularly East Asians. They also had large stretches of Neanderal DNA, which could explain the strange yet interesting fact that present-day Mongoloids or East Asians carry slightly more Neandertal DNA than present-day Europeans.

        Hence the pre-proto Mongoloids likely formed somewhere between Eastern Europe or Central Siberia, and later either due to pressures from other populations or due to the cold climate, moved to the east to Northern China and eventually became modern Mongoloids.

        The southern migration hypothesis is outdated and is being challenged more and more by recent discoveries.

         
      • Maju

        June 8, 2021 at 1:24 pm

        MNOPS: M71d is not listed in PhyloTree. Based on what you say (“only associated with Austronesians”) it could also have expanded from China southwards but by a maritime route. There’s good reason to think the original Austronesians were from the Shanghai region, where they survived until Chinese conquest, at the very least the Neolithic population of that area were very high in Y-DNA O1 (see: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/12/ancient-east-asian-y-dna-maps.html ), which is typically associated with Austronesians (also their culture all the way to the Chinese conquest is consistent with Austronesian one, incl. body and face tattoos and sea-/river-faring activities).

        You have a point re. the size and (pre-)historical diversity of South China, no doubt but clearly people were in those times migrating large distances (very especially the Iron Age Austronesians, who got a world record prior to European colonial expansion, spanning from Madagascar to Rapa Nui, and even Brazil judging on aDNA, and from Hawaii to Aotearoa/NZ) so maybe it’s you who is misjudging the size not of the region but of what people actually travelled in some periods and cultural contexts. By all accounts modern SE Asians (Indochina and Malay Archipelago) do not represent pre-Neolithic SE Asians except to a minor extent (unless we’re talking of smaller “relic” populations, which do indeed exist) but rather represent southwards Neolithic (and later) migrants from what is now South China (roughly). A similar situation is seen in Japan, where a lot of the genetics and almost certainly the (Yayoi) language and ethnicity, arrived from Korea, with the aboriginal populations (Jomon, Ainu) being marginalized in the far north.

        Granted that there is often some complexity and admixture in all that, I recently exchanged with a Moluccan man who was (logically) very intriguid about his ancestry and the role of his people in the Austronesian expansion and, while the matter requires more research, we agreed that it’s plausible that North Moluccas played a pivotal role in Austronesian (specifically Polynesian) expansion contributing local genetics of the Y-DNA type (C-something, used to be C2 years ago but now is under C1, can’t recall which subclade).

        You mention Hoabhinian but the distance in time between 42 Ka and 17 Ka is way too massive to allow for any conclusion, really.

        You also say that rice agriculture would come from the Yantze “delta” (sic) however I understand that it originated further upstream in the area of Hunan, with the Pengtoushan culture (which may be ancestral to Miao-Yao): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pengtoushan_culture

        Re. SE Asians and the “Mongoloid” type, I recall an interesting mini-study by Greek anthro-blogger Dienekes many years ago, in which the alignment of skull metrics resulted in Chinese and SE Asians clustering very tightly in a single type, while Mongols and other “Mongoloid outliers” (incl. Polynesians, Siberians, etc.) formed their own clusters instead. This was the time when I began using “Sinoid” instead. In that same study all Caucasoid people clustered together very tightly instead, from Egypt to Norway. It’s of course only one analysis and skull metrics have only some value (genetics is much more important and less prone to errors) but well… for the record. The main differences N/S among “Mongoloids” are skin tone and the issue of sinodontia vs sundadontia, none of which seem very important, much less considering that SE Asians are quite light in skin color relative to their latitude (suggesting that, like in Europe, lighter skin shades are strongly associated to Neolithic migrations and their lack of nutritional vitamin D, which comes basically from fish) and that sinodontia is somewhat common in Northern or NE Europe (surely owing to the Uralic Mesolithic migration, and the Uralic/EHG substrate in the Indoeuropean genesis, much as the partial epicanthic fold and even straight hair is more common in those areas as well).

        You mention European C1, which is indeed an intriguing lineage (notably because of its relation to Japanese C1), but one that seems to have been present since the early Upper Paleolithic (but declining to almost extinction in Europe at present). I believe that the most reasonable West -> East genetic influence should be related to the proto-Amerinds, which spread eastwards from Altai, surely carrying Y-DNA Q (which is most basally diverse in West Asia, only Q1 is characteristic of Native Americans and some Siberians) and mtDNA X2 (also very obviously coalesced in West Asia). Their archaeological track is apparent in Mongolia and North China and they should be the only “Northern specialists” of their time, at least in Asia. However, if C1 originated in Europe, as your ref. paper suggests (it may have West/Central Asian origins as well, just not documented yet), a possible secondary flow could be in the Gravettian culture, which influenced also that area of Central Siberia in a second moment of the early Upper Paleolithic, notably the famous site of Ma’lta (just north of modern Mongolia) and is tentatively associated rather with Y-DNA R (the available evidence can’t tell us everything about which haplogroups were present).

        I’m however much more intrigued about Y-DNA I (especially I2), which seems to be fairly common in Sudan (and also appears, along with R1b) in the Guanche mummies of the pre-colonial Canary Islands. This lineage is by all archaeogenetic accounts very typical Paleo-European, so I wonder how it reached Africa, very especially Sudan.

         
      • Maju

        June 8, 2021 at 1:56 pm

        PS – I absolutely disagree with your claim of “the pre-proto Mongoloids likely formed somewhere between Eastern Europe or Central Siberia”. First, it’s hard to clearly define what is “Mongoloid”, let alone “proto-Mongoloid” but the prehistory of East Asia clearly suggests the type or types is native to the region and associated to haplogroups like Y-DNA NO (also C2, etc. but NO is the most remarkable).

        As Native American, Hoabinhian and other remains (and even living sub-types) suggest, the type was not consolidated prior to the Neolithic, when it almost certainly expanded from what is now China in various directions. It’s clearly NOT a European or West Asian type and whatever there is of it in the West it can be safely attributed to East -> West migrations, notably the Uralic one. North Asian populations (Siberian, Mongol, etc.) are somewhat distinct re. the “Sinoid” type: their ancestry is mostly East Asian (NE Asian to be specific) but the region has other roots, in some cases Western but notably old local “Paleo-Siberian” ancestry which has its own trends in terms of looks. They very typically cluster distinctively and forming clines between East Asia, Native Americans and West Eurasians, even if the East Asian element dominates nowadays (not necessarily in the past). See for example the image (fig. 1b or the referenced study) in this entry: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-malta-adna-findings.html

        To me it’s quite clear that the North Asian settlement has three phases:

        1. West Eurasian rooted and proto-Amerind before the LGM (it may be divided into two sub-periods: early or “Aurignacoid” and late or Gravettian). Proto-Amerinds heavily admixed with other East Asians (not related to the West in any way) but in a patrilocal pattern, retaining Western Y-DNA Q1 but massively incorporating East Asian mtDNA (A, B, C and D haplogroups) prior to migration to Beringia.

        2. Uralic dominated, East to West migration after the LGM. This is also the period when the proto-Amerinds migrated to America proper (Beringian settlement may be older, we just don’t know yet). This Uralic westward migration is clearly associated to the spread of Y-DNA N1, mtDNA C (both documented among Epipaleolithic EHG/SHG Europeans, but not the more archetypal WHG) and pottery (first Western pottery is no doubt Uralic and came from the East, where it was first developed in North China, long before Neolithic). See this for Uralic post-LGM expansion: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/07/a-review-of-haplogroup-n-y-dna.html

        3. Other NE Asian (mostly Altaic) settlement, beginning as early as the Seima-Turbino culture (Siberian Bronze Age, see: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/05/ancient-west-siberian-mtdna.html ), which I tentatively associate with Tungusic peoples (later also Turkic peoples would become important, but that’s rather Iron Age).

        The result is, as shown in the graph, a triangular spread of genetic affinities between East Asians proper (tight cluster) Native Americans and (more weakly but not negligible) West Eurasians.

         
  42. MNOPS

    June 9, 2021 at 12:38 am

    “Based on what you say (“only associated with Austronesians”) it could also have expanded from China southwards but by a maritime route. There’s good reason to think the original Austronesians were from the Shanghai region, where they survived until Chinese conquest, at the very least the Neolithic population of that area were very high in Y-DNA O1”

    I think Austronesians most likely originated further south, like in Fujian or Guangdong rather than in Shanghai, according to more recent studies (Fu et al. 2020).

    Despite modern-day people from the Yangtse Delta region (Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang) carry significant frequencies of O1, their O1 mostly belong to the O1-F492 branch, which is different from the O1-M110 and O1-M50 branches commonly found in Austronesian populations. So far there’s not enough evidence to say that O1-F492 came from Austronesians. It could very well come from early Sinitic populations.

     
    • Maju

      June 9, 2021 at 9:45 am

      I grant that Fujian at least does seem associated to Austronesian origins, less certain about Guangzhou, which may fall rather in the Austroasiatic or other category instead. I already provided archaeogenetic evidence of the Shanghai area being genetically akin to Austronesians, Fujian is just south of it and was home up to historical times of the Yue state, which does not just bear the generic Chinese name for “southern barbarians” but also has material culture such as tatoos and seafaring that seem to relate to Austronesians. However Wu state (north of Shanghai) could also be in that Austronesian original homeland (again they sported tatoos before being absorbed by China).

      So I stand by the idea that (other than Taiwan) Austronesians originated in Eastern-central China around Shanghai, all seems to support that notion.

      However the Austronesian expansion necessarily had founder effects (linguistically is very clear and I’d say that it’s also clear in terms genetic) and may be more directly related to Taiwan at the origin than to what is now mainland China. At some point anyhow, it was the Philippines and nearby islands which became the real Austronesian hub, just before the split between Malay and Polynesian branches.

       
      • MNOPS

        June 9, 2021 at 10:51 pm

        According to recent papers such as Fu and Al. 2020 and Larena and Al. 2021, Fujian and Guangdong/Guangxi are more likely to be the ancestral homes of Austronesians rather than Shanghai or Jiangsu. Here’s a link to the Larena paper where she discussed the origins of the Luzon Cordillerans (an Austronesian population) and he placed the ancestral home of Cordillerans in the Far South of China rather than in Shanghai/Jiangsu.

        https://www.pnas.org/content/118/13/e2026132118

        Tattoos are an Austronesian feature but it wasn’t exclusive to them, Native Americans had tattoos, and some Tibeto-Burman tribes like the Dulong also had tattoos. I would say it’s a pan Asia-Pacific feature rather than strictly Austronesian.

        I don’t exclude the idea that Shanghai or Jiangsu might be Austronesian in the Early Neolithic, but we just don’t have enough evidence for that, unlike Fujian where we do have some evidences (Liangdao, Tanshishan, Xitoucun Neolithic samples).

         
      • Maju

        June 11, 2021 at 3:31 pm

        That paper is extremely interesting, thank you for bringing it forward. However the Liangdao (Liang Island) aDNA reference is not related to Guangzhou but to much further north in Fujian, not far from Zheijang (i.e. it rather backs my concept of the proto-Austronesian homeland than yours).

        I never meant that tatoos are the definitive evidence of anything (they were also typical of other peoples than those you mentioned, like North African Berbers and are also documented in Chalcolithic Italy, Ötzi, although with alleged medical purpose) but it’s a strong circumstantial evidence that, together with other stronger evidence, notably Y-DNA O1 but also their boater tradition (again circumstantial evidence) converges to the same ur-Austronesian conclusion.

        You say we don’t have evidence, I say we do have it. And it’s not just the Early Neolithic because Wu was not fully incorporated to China (and thus more or less forcibly sincized) until 473 BCE, while Yue’s sinicization happened since 306 BCE. We’re talking thus of peoples/nations that existed all the way to the historical era, even if by then were growingly under the influence of China.

         
      • MNOPS

        June 12, 2021 at 10:59 pm

        “However the Liangdao (Liang Island) aDNA reference is not related to Guangzhou but to much further north in Fujian, not far from Zheijang”

        Liangdao is actually a small island located just off the coast of southern Fujian, it’s quite close to Taiwan and Guangdong, but not really to Zhejiang. And in his paper Larena (2021) included Guangdong and Guangxi as the possible ancestral homeland of Luzon Cordillerans, so you shouldn’t disregard them as potential Austronesian homeland.

        “but it’s a strong circumstantial evidence that, together with other stronger evidence, notably Y-DNA O1 but also their boater tradition (again circumstantial evidence) converges to the same ur-Austronesian conclusion.”

        Well, I’m not so sure about that, there’re many other peoples with tattoos in the world, it seems to be a practice we inherited from the first OOA migrants, rather than strictly Austronesian. And also not all O1 are that strongly correlated with Austronesian, only O1a2-M50 and O1a2-M110 are, whereas O1-F492 found on the mainland isn’t.

        “You say we don’t have evidence, I say we do have it. And it’s not just the Early Neolithic because Wu was not fully incorporated to China (and thus more or less forcibly sincized) until 473 BCE, while Yue’s sinicization happened since 306 BCE.”

        Non-Sinitic doesn’t necessarily mean Austronesian, they were many other Non-Sinitic ethnic groups in Southern China at that time, such as Hmong-Mien, Austroasiatic, and Kradai. And it could even be an extinct family, who knows. You sound as if we already confirmed Wu and Yue were Austronesian, but in fact that’s far from the case.

         
      • Maju

        June 15, 2021 at 4:47 pm

        Liangdao is in NE Fujian, just look it up in Wikipedia or Google Maps, please. It’s not “near Taiwan” (island) at all but it’s one of two small island groups that somehow the so-called “Republic of China” (Taiwan) retains off the coast of Fujian.

        You may be confusing it with the other islands that the Taiwan polity controls but you are clearly mistaken: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liang_Island

         
      • Maju

        June 15, 2021 at 4:50 pm

        Re. tatoos, I already agreed that it’s not exclusive of the Austronesians but it’s very characteristic of their culture (unlike other SE Asian or East Asian macro-ethnic groups, especially facial and whole body tatooing). It’s in any case just one piece of evidence, there are others: ancient DNA notably, seafaring/boater culture.

         
  43. MNOPS

    June 9, 2021 at 12:44 am

    “You have a point re. the size and (pre-)historical diversity of South China, no doubt but clearly people were in those times migrating large distances (very especially the Iron Age Austronesians, who got a world record prior to European colonial expansion, spanning from Madagascar to Rapa Nui, and even Brazil judging on aDNA, and from Hawaii to Aotearoa/NZ) so maybe it’s you who is misjudging the size not of the region but of what people actually travelled in some periods and cultural contexts.”

    True, never denied human’s ability to migrate.

    But in the case of Early Neolithic Southern China, the Far South and the Southwest of China clearly belonged to a completely different cultural sphere from the Yangtse Delta region. Such differences cannot be simply negated. Even today these two regions are still rather distinct from one another, let alone at that time.

     
    • Maju

      June 9, 2021 at 9:57 am

      What do you mean by “the far South of China” exactly? I’d say there are two regions: the Pearl River region and then Yunnan, which do not seem very much related to each other (one is more related to Vietnam and the lower Yangtze, the other to Burma and Tibet-Sichuan).

      I grant you that they are distinct but I’m not even trying to detail way too much the exact ethnic composition of South China and Inochina-Indonesia at any point, which I realize was always somewhat complex. However there are reasons to think that the first Neolithic expansion southwards (and into East India) was Austroasiatic and other ethnicities would only arrive later (although all seem to stem from that complex ethnic landscape of South China. Partial exception may be made of the Tibeto-Burmans, whose origins seem to be in the Sichuan area, and are more closely related to Chinese proper, as per the linguistics.

      A very tentative reconstruction might imply that early rice Neolithic corresponds primarily to the Miao-Yao (Hmongic) peoples, with Austroasiatics expanding it southwards from an unknown location (but genetically not fully native to Indochina, let alone the Malay Archipelago or East India, so from somewhere in South China surely). Later Daics and Tibeto-Burmans also expanded southwards, as well as the Austronesians by the sea. And then atop of them happened the Chinese expansion from further north. Feel free to adjust this rough draft to your understanding.

       
      • MNOPS

        June 9, 2021 at 11:16 pm

        By the “Far South of China” I mean Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and southern Yunnan. In the Early Neolithic these regions were Hoabinhian (or quasi-Hoabinhian depending on how you define it) and they were clearly different from the Lower Yangtse but much closer to the cultures of SE Asia. There’s a tool that can prove such a relation, and that’s the shouldered stone adze (有肩石斧 in Chinese). According to this Taiwanese source (link below) the shouldered stone adze was a typical tool of early Neolithic SE Asia that was also commonly found in Far South China and Taiwan, and its distribution diminished drastically as we move north along the coast, disappearing by Central China.

        https://nrch.culture.tw/twpedia.aspx?id=6426 (not translated into English)

        Granted there’s still much to be understood regarding the exact ethnic composition / cultural spheres of Early Neolithic Southern China and SE Asia. But even with a basic understanding I would say they’re much more diverse than you think, even within Southern China the diversity was quite high and it’s clear that at this period Far South China was quite distinct from Lower Yangtse, cause for 1 Far South China entered agricultural age much later than Lower Yangtse, and for 2 some tools found in Far South China bearing stronger resemblances to SE Asia than to Lower Yangtse, as the example I’ve given with the 有肩石斧 or shouldered stone adze.

        Rice was brought to the south by whoever was living in the Middle and Lower reaches of the Yangtse at that time, however whether they were Miao-Yao is debatable. The Miao-Yao ethnolinguistic group seems to have been formed rather late, no earlier than 2,500 to 3,000 years ago according to some studies.

         
      • Maju

        June 11, 2021 at 3:38 pm

        If you think the Miao-Yao or Hmong-Mien linguistic family is so recent, then what is it related to? It is one of the worlds primary linguistic families in any case, so, regardless of the antiquity of the current Miao-Yao languages, the overall family (incl. extinct relatives) must be older, probably older than 10 Ka, which is roughly the limit to clearly discern linguistic affinities. For example Afroasiatic is around that age but its sub-family Berber/Amazigh, even if almost certainly only slightly more recent (must correspond to the Capsian culture) appears to be much younger what implies that it has gone through some process of homogeneization or local linguistic replacement of some (extinct) branches by others. Probably a comparable process happened to Miao-Yao.

         
      • MNOPS

        June 12, 2021 at 11:06 pm

        “If you think the Miao-Yao or Hmong-Mien linguistic family is so recent, then what is it related to?”

        AFAIK, it seems to be a fusion between Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan.

         
      • Maju

        June 15, 2021 at 4:15 pm

        I find hard to believe that Hmong-Mien is a “fusion” as you suggest. I would need some serious linguistic backing to be convinced and, in any case, such “fusions” don’t really exist: while vocabulary can easily migrate from one family to another, grammar tends to be strongly anchored on either one and that’s the key feature linguists use in their classification. Example: Indoeuropean and Uralic seem to have influenced each other at the early stages but they remain two very different branches and “Indo-Uralic” is generally considered sprachbund rather than a true super-family (IMO Uralic was partly substrate to Indoeuropean anyhow, but still Indoeuropean has a different root).

        If linguistic consensus is that Hmong-Mien is a major linguistic family, I’ll go with it rather than with your opinion, which you don’t even substantiate, sorry.

         
  44. MNOPS

    June 9, 2021 at 12:55 am

    “You mention Hoabhinian but the distance in time between 42 Ka and 17 Ka is way too massive to allow for any conclusion, really.”

    The Jomon period also spanned a huge amount of time from 14 Ka to 300 BC, yet you don’t seem to have any problem with that.

    The thing is Hoabinhian cultural complexes indeed lasted well into the Early Neolithic in Far South / Southwest China and in SE Asia. If you don’t believe me please check McColl’s 2018 paper. It’s only when farmers from Central / Eastern China started to migrate to the south en masse around 5,000 to 4,000 years ago (which coincided with the downfall of the Liangzhu culture and the rise of the Yellow River hegemony over East Asia) that the Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers finally got replaced or displaced.

    “You also say that rice agriculture would come from the Yantze “delta” (sic) however I understand that it originated further upstream in the area of Hunan, with the Pengtoushan culture (which may be ancestral to Miao-Yao)”

    The culture with the earliest evidence of rice cultivation in China is the Shangshan culture in the Yangtse River Delta region (Zhejiang to be more precise), and its age can be dated back to 11 to 9 Ka. On the other hand, the Pengtoushan culture is only 7 to 6 Ka.

     
    • Maju

      June 9, 2021 at 10:22 am

      Well, 14,000 years is almost half of 25,000 years (and no LGM crisis in between, remember that the permafrost reached to Beijing and Budapest in those very cold times). But in any case there’s archaeology to go by, if the actual archaeology of the (very remote and isolated Japanese archipelago) allows for 14,000 years of Jomon continuity, I’m nobody to challenge that. But I just don’t see how there is any evidence for Yunnan being in the Hoabhinian range even. Also Hoabhinian is generally not considered within the “Mongoloid” or “Sinoid” typology (skull metrics) but rather some sort of “Australoid” or “Negritodi”, this poses some problems (but maybe skull metrics are misleading, can’t say for sure).

      I’ve tried my best along the years to understand SE Asian prehistory but the reality (AFAIK) is that way too little is known and much more research is needed. Even in much better understood Europe, we continuously learn new things and we realize now that there was repeated demographic change and hardly any long-term continuity: even if there were no immigrations to Europe between Gravettian and the Neolithic, demographic changes happened internally within Europe itself all the way to the late Epipaleolithic, and even more radical changes happened with the advent of Neolithic and also in later times. A decade-plus ago I was (like many others) quite confident about Basque roots being somehow in the Paleolithic… now I know that my ethnicity did not coalesce or at least consolidate until the Bell Beaker (Chalcolithic) period and that the language is not at all Paleoeuropean but must have originated in Anatolian Neolithic instead. There are still Paleolithic roots in terms genetic (around 40% or a bit less) but the core component, both genetic and cultural is West Asian Neolithic, much as with Indian Dravidians or probably others (Indoeuropeans too, maybe something in Africa even). East Asia had a different, independent, Neolithic but to a large extent it seems to me that parallel process do apply. Believe me: 15 or even 12 years ago I was in denial of all this, I remember some heated discussions on the matter, both relative to Europe and to SE Asia, however now I know better, largely because more research has come by, notably via archaeogenetics, which are very informative about the ancient peoples and thus the roots and biological ancestry of modern and historical ones.

      I can’t find anything re.Shangshan culture right now in Wikipedia, except passing mentions re Anhui and Zheijang (which apparently I was confusing with Fujian in a previous comment about proto-Austronesians and the Yue state, my apologies). I’ll take your word for that therefore and will search a bit more about that.

      I’m not sure why you call the Yangtze estuary a “delta” anyhow, granted that it has a couple of small islands but I never thought it as a “delta” nor I can see that term being used anywhere. But not important, I guess.

       
      • MNOPS

        June 9, 2021 at 11:39 pm

        We’re talking about the south where the climate was warm even in the Last Ice Age, not Budapest (and whether or not Beijing was under permafrost is debatable I’ve seen many reconstructed maps of the LGM yet none showed Beijing under ice cover), hence it’s possible to conceive the continuity of the Hoabinhian culture from Upper Paleolithic to Early Neolithic. And even if you disagree with that, it’s basically what we know about Hoabinhian so far (similar to the case of the long-span of Jomon), and neither you nor me is in a position to challenge that.

        And Yunnan (at least the southern parts of it) was indeed Hoabinhian, with the earliest site dating back to 40 Ka. And nothing suggests that Southern China was Mongoloid in the Upper Paleolithic / Early Neolithic times. Skulls from that period in Southern China (like Liujiang and Zengpiyan for instance) are showing clear similarities with Australoid or Negritoid populations, with one metric study placing Zengpiyan very close to Andamanese. Another metric study also places Liujiang close to Minatogawa (Jomon).

        La368 sample, a 8,000-year-old Hoabinhian sample from Laos (not faraway from Yunnan and Guangxi), had about 40% South Indian, 20% Papuan, and 20% SE Asian in terms of its genomic composition. People in Far South China at that time should be roughly similar.

        It’s true that SE Asia received substantial influences from East Asia (particularly the Yangtse region) in Late Neolithic, but the newly arrived farmers mixed with the natives, and according to McColl 2018 modern-day SE Asians are the result of four ancient populations mixing together.

        Agreed that the prehistory of Far South China and SE Asia is poorly understood now, and it’s too early to make any conclusion.

        There’s a wikipedia page about Shangshan culture in Chinese, unfortunately it hasn’t been translated into English yet

        https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%8A%E5%B1%B1%E9%81%97%E5%9D%80

         
      • Maju

        June 11, 2021 at 3:56 pm

        Not ice cover, but permafrost, which is ice underground that never melts. I can search the source (it’s a book on the Paleolithic I have somewhere in my personal library) but it seems a quite reasonable claim: in Europe the ice sheet covered in the LGM all of Poland and Budapest is just south of it. In East Asia however there was limited ice sheet because of extreme dryness of Siberia, which was still hyper-cold but did not get snow almost ever (so no ice sheet or very limited one). This kind of cold-but-dry ecosystem nowadays is much more rare (some areas of Antarctica and probably also Siberian pockets, unsure) but in the last Ice Age it was a big thing, basically taking over all North Asia, at least around the LGM. That must have massively limited inhabitation of what we now call Siberia, except some privileged areas like Altai or the Pacific Coast.

        In any case, the LGM was with great certainty a divider in the Upper Paleolithic era, at least in what we can call loosely northern Eurasia (but we see it affecting other areas like Iran, it was no joke but a very cold spell of several thousand years). In North Eurasia senso stricto we see a pre-LGM dominated by proto-Amerinds and other West Eurasian related groups (Mal’ta Gravettian) and a post-LGM dominated by proto-Uralics instead, with the remaining proto-Amerinds restricted to the Far East (Beringia at the very least) and pockets still apparent in North China early Neolithic (Q-dominated populations). Not directly related but in Europe we see a pre-LGM dominance of Central Europe (especially Moravia, but also North Hungary and Southern Germany) and a post-LGM dominance of Western Europe, especially Aquitaine (with growing importance of the Low Rhine region as the climate improved but more markedly after the Ice Age probably, in the late Epipaleolithic).

        I’ll take a look at the McColl paper when I can, sounds interesting, available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326216679_The_prehistoric_peopling_of_Southeast_Asia

        Sad that the Shangshan culture has no English entries.

         
      • MNOPS

        June 12, 2021 at 11:13 pm

        “Not ice cover, but permafrost, which is ice underground that never melts. I can search the source (it’s a book on the Paleolithic I have somewhere in my personal library) but it seems a quite reasonable claim: in Europe the ice sheet covered in the LGM all of Poland and Budapest is just south of it. In East Asia however there was limited ice sheet because of extreme dryness of Siberia, which was still hyper-cold but did not get snow almost ever (so no ice sheet or very limited one). This kind of cold-but-dry ecosystem nowadays is much more rare (some areas of Antarctica and probably also Siberian pockets, unsure) but in the last Ice Age it was a big thing, basically taking over all North Asia, at least around the LGM. That must have massively limited inhabitation of what we now call Siberia, except some privileged areas like Altai or the Pacific Coast.”

        Well, regardless whether it was permafrost or not, one thing we’re certain is that Homo Sapiens definitely inhabited Northeast Asia and Siberia in the Last Ice Age. We have many examples, such as Tianyuan and Zhoukoudian in Beijing, Salkhit in Mongolia, Malta in the Baikal region, Yana in Northern Siberia, and Ust-Ishim in Central Siberia.

        In my opinion the ancestors of modern East Asians arose from a Ust-Ishim like or Tianyuan like population inhabiting Northeast Asia at that time. Ust-Ishim and Tianyuan aren’t the direct ancestors of modern East Asians, but they definitely belong to related groups.

         
      • Maju

        June 15, 2021 at 4:40 pm

        “… in the Last Ice Age”

        Well, sorry, but the “last ice age” lasted for some 40 thousand years, with warmer and colder periods. Overall (and very roughly) there was an intial period of cooling (c. 50-21 Ka BP) and one of warming (c. 20-10 Ka BP). In West Eurasia these are called Early and Late Upper Paleolithic, not sure how the term may or not apply to other regions.

        What I was talking about anyhow was not the “last ice age” but a more specific (and extremely cold) period: the LAST GLACIAL MAXIMUM (LGM), c. 21 Ka BP. This is the time when permafrost reached so far south and posed a major challenge to North Eurasian populations, most of which did not survive (or had to migrate southwards). In Europe this ultra-cold snap corresponds to the Solutrean culture particularly and the era of the famous “refugia” (of which the most important one was over here, in the so-called Franco-Cantabrian region). In some cases caves as south as Valencia (now rather warm Mediterranean climate) show signs of freezing. Tree cover was then exclusive of the Mediterranean region (what somehow explains why there are no native autumnal red leaves in Europe, it was so cold that trees did not need the extra protection against parasites that such pigmentation confers, unlike in other regions like East Asia or North America, which extend further south, to warmer climates even in that ultra-cold phase).

        I am very much certain that inhabitation in most of Siberia was then impossible, only Far East coastal regions (Okhost Sea, Beringia) may have allowed for it and even then mostly because specialization in fishing and sea mammal hunting probably. I’m very much in favor of the coastal migration model when it comes to Paleoamericans, really.

        After the LGM, when climate improved, a new Siberian specialist population arose: the proto-Uralics, who migrated westward as mentioned previously, reaching (NE) Europe in the Epipaleolithic and surely forming the EHG archaeogenetic population (Volga basin, Karelia-Finland and largely even Norway, with lesser impact in the Ukraine-Sweden belt: SHG). Notably they were the first people with pottery in West Eurasia, pottery that they brought (as concept) all the way from China, which holds the current record on the antiquity of this technology.

        But prior to the LGM, and regardless that there were maybe some Siberian specialists rooted in East Asia (as seems to be the case of Ust-Ishim), the main North Eurasian specialist group was surely the proto-Amerinds, whose Y-DNA Q1 (and mtDNA X2) strongly supports a Western Asian origin and whose current distribution (along some archaeogenetics and archaeology) strongly backs a general W ···> E migration pattern across Mongolia and nearby regions, strong patrilocal admixture with East Asians and then, as mentioned, re-specialization into (sub-)Arctic coastal inhabitation before moving to America proper c. 17 Ka BP (c. 15 Ka BP for South America probably).

         
  45. MNOPS

    June 9, 2021 at 1:14 am

    “SE Asians and the “Mongoloid” type, I recall an interesting mini-study by Greek anthro-blogger Dienekes many years ago, in which the alignment of skull metrics resulted in Chinese and SE Asians clustering very tightly in a single type, while Mongols and other “Mongoloid outliers” (incl. Polynesians, Siberians, etc.) formed their own clusters instead. This was the time when I began using “Sinoid” instead. In that same study all Caucasoid people clustered together very tightly instead, from Egypt to Norway. It’s of course only one analysis and skull metrics have only some value (genetics is much more important and less prone to errors) but well… for the record. The main differences N/S among “Mongoloids” are skin tone and the issue of sinodontia vs sundadontia, none of which seem very important, much less considering that SE Asians are quite light in skin color relative to their latitude (suggesting that, like in Europe, lighter skin shades are strongly associated to Neolithic migrations and their lack of nutritional vitamin D, which comes basically from fish) and that sinodontia is somewhat common in Northern or NE Europe (surely owing to the Uralic Mesolithic migration, and the Uralic/EHG substrate in the Indoeuropean genesis, much as the partial epicanthic fold and even straight hair is more common in those areas as well).”

    I’m not denying that SE Asians are Mongoloid, but they clearly belong to a different type of Mongoloid from the Classical Mongoloid type found in Northern China and Mongolia. There’re subtypes of Mongoloids, just as there’re subtypes of Caucasoids and Negroids. And by the way I think such racial terms are quite outdated and might be somewhat racist. The neutral way to refer to Mongoloids and related populations would be East Eurasians.

    Metric studies and other studies of the physical anthropology domain surely had their heydays, but nowadays genetic studies are the norm. Physically similar doesn’t necessarily mean genetically similar. You might think that Andamanese and Papuans are closely related to Africans judging by their physical features, but genetic studies indicate that they belong to the broad “East Eurasian” category and are quite distant from Africans.

    Genetic studies indicate that SE Asians indeed have Hoabinhian native and South Asian related elements, so they aren’t the same as East Asians.

    Differences between N/S Mongoloids aren’t limited to just skin color and sinodontia vs sundadontia. There’re other differences as well, such as eye features (N Mongoloids tend to have very strong epicanthic folds and S Mongoloids have attenuated folds or sometimes even no folds), skull features (N Mongoloids tend to have high orbits but a brachy cephalic skull whereas S Mongoloids have low orbits and meso / dolicho cephalic skulls). Such differences, though more subtle than the ones you mentioned, cannot simply be negated.

    And there’re many SE Asian with brownish skin color, in fact the majority of them are like that. The ones with super light skin color are likely to be recent immigrants from China (by recent I mean 100 to 200 years ago). There’re indeed many Chinese diaspora in SE Asia and some of them even hold high positions in the politics and economy of their respective countries.

     
    • Maju

      June 9, 2021 at 10:56 am

      I think you’re going by old school and somewhat arbitrary (and full of “northernist” biases) definitions of the “Mongoloid” type. I don’t see any clear divide between SE Asia and China but I see a more sharp divide between China and Mongolia-Siberia instead.

      Of course such racial terms are at least somewhat outdated and definitely controversial, not enthusiastic about using them but they are part of “the classics” and still somewhat used and convenient. Certainly “East Asians” (first time I read “East Eurasians”) is a more neutral term but that would include non or less clearly Mongoloid/Sinoid groups such as Andamanese, Orang Asli, Negritos. “Wallaceans” (East indonesians of largely Melanesian affinities) or the Ainu, so it’s not necessarily a better term, although they largely overlap.

      I also agree that genetic studies are more informative than skull metrics but this entry was about peculiar skull metrics originally and my logic was that the “Mongoloid” (or “Sinoid”) type was not yet consolidated in those Paleolithic dates and I stand for what I wrote back then. “Races” (types) are product of (pre-)history and not some absolute essences and take time and internal homogeneization (some degree of endogamy) processes to happen. And of course they are sometimes confusing and must be dealt with carefully.

      Genetics-wise, we see a large area in East Asia, roughly equivalent with the “Sinoid” type (or core “Mongoloid”) which is dominated by Y-DNA O, on the other hand we see pockets that are less conforming to this type which are dominated by other haplogroups, such as C or D (or Q, less so modernly but more important prehistorically and also among Native Americans). We see autosomally a tight East Asian cluster (incl. most SE Asians) and a complex cline or gradient in Siberia instead, plus some notable divergence of Native Americans. All that requires some explanations.

      One tentative such explanation could be that Y-DNA D, C and NO represent three different successive waves of expansion from SE Asia (which was a major hub in the Middle Paleolithic, as stated before), however even this does not seem enough to explain the relative genetic homogeneity between China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Indochina and the Malay Archipelago, this seems to require also of Neolithic and/or post-Neolithic expansions from what is now China and Korea, expansions that are extremely plausible judging on genetics and linguistics and that further homogenized the genetics and phenotype of the wider East Asian region (but not of Native Americans and only somewhat of Mongol-Siberians — which also involve the pre-Neolithic Uralic expansion anyhow).

      I will grant you that there are other minor differences between Northern and Southern mainline East Asians but they are still very minor (you forgot the occasional SE Asian hair-blondism, which seems somehow related to Melanesian and Australian Aboriginal blondism, genetically distinct from West Eurasian one probably, but, well, there are many variants, even some East Asians have curly hair and that seems rather a northern trait, maybe associated to Jomon/Ainu). In any case it’s splitting hairs, really. All those details have some significance, granted, but they are very clinal and are not strongly backed by genetics in any way as any major divide. Genetics-wise the divide is, as I said before between the temperate and tropical lands on one side and the cold lands of the far north on the other (plus a distinct grouping for Native Americans). Please look at the Siberian gradient I mentioned in a previous comment (with due link), you’re overemphasizing skin color and, would it be aboriginal, we would expect Indonesians to be quite black (dark brown), which they are not. This almost certainly implies migrations from the North and/or genetic adaptations to a rather fish-less diet (very poor in vitamin D, extremely fundamental for healthy development, and thus an extra driver of lighter skin color, at least in Europe and West Asia). In the Austronesian case, at least where fishing is a major part of the diet, it clearly signals migration from the North, however there are clear genetic signatures backing pre-Austronesian (plausibly Austroasiatic) Neolithic settlement, which I discussed here 11 years ago: http://leherensuge.blogspot.com/2010/04/asian-autosomal-genetics-second-round.html

       
      • MNOPS

        June 10, 2021 at 12:21 am

        From what I’ve read, there’re no sharp divisions between Far South China and SE Asia, however there’re indeed differences as we moved north (though differences between populations tend to be smaller than that in Europe or in Africa). The so-called “Han Chinese” population can be divided into 7 more or less distinct clusters, with Lingnan or Far South Han clustering very closely to southern minorities like Dai and Vietnamese Kinh. I highly suggest you read this paper by Cao and Al. 2020 if you wanna know more about the genetic structure of different Chinese and East Asian populations.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41422-020-0322-9

        I don’t agree with you associating a particular y-chromosome haplogroup with a certain racial type (like “Sinoid” for instance), cause really O or its ancestor K2a can belong to any race. The fact that it’s mostly found in East Asians today it’s more of a coincidence rather than predetermined.

        And I don’t really agree with your “Out-of-SE Asia” hypothesis. Neither genetics nor archaeology proves it. Genetically speaking NO and its ancestor K2a likely originated from somewhere in Siberia, Ust-Ishim and Oase 2 are indeed slightly closer to East Asians and Native Americans, quote from wikipedia: “Oase” 1 shows an affinity for Ice Age Europeans that is not found in “Oase 2”, while “Oase 2″ is closer to Asians and Native Americans”, and another quote “Ust’-Ishim was more closely related to modern East Asians and Oceanians populations than to modern West Eurasian populations, such as the present Europeans.[14][3] Modern West Eurasians are more closely related to other ancient remains.[15] In a 2016 study, modern Tibetans were identified as the modern population that has the most alleles in common with Ust’-Ishim man.[16] According to a 2017 study, “Siberian and East Asian populations shared 38% of their ancestry”[17] with Ust’-Ishim man.”

        And not to mention the 2020 study by Jean-Jacques Hublin and Al. which clearly stated that the Bacho Kiro cave people from Bulgaria 40,000 years ago contributed to present-day East Asians, a fact which you repeated ignored.

        And archaeological-wise the Hoabinhian culture was mostly restricted to Far South China and SE Asia, didn’t really spread any further. If we expect a “Out-of-SE Asia” scenario then we’d expect Hoabinhian culture to spread far and wide across the globe, yet that’s not the case at all.

        The microlith, on the other hand, had spread far and wide to almost all continents, and its ultimate origin lies in the north of Eurasia. Siberia is a desperate and cold place now, but some 40,000 years ago that place was the perfect habitat for large ice-age animals, with a biodiversity reminiscent of the Serengeti grasslands of today. I believe that’s the ultimate Garden of Eden for all Non-Africans.

         
      • Maju

        June 11, 2021 at 4:13 pm

        I’m not saying that Y-DNA O or NO is exclusively related to the Sinoid/Mongoloid type. It’s as obvious as seeing people in Finland or Estonia with Y-DNA N1 and looking for the greatest part as perfectly standard Europeans (or E1b people who are not black, or R1b people who are black, etc.) Haplogroups do not define “races” in any direct way. However what I meant is that MAYBE there was a correlation in the past between the formation of a more homogeneous human type (“Sinoid”?, what’s in a name?) and the spread of this lineage. Maybe! It’s a very tentative proposal and more research would be needed to either confirm or deny it or something in between.

        Because what haplogroups inform us of is of old migrations, and not taken as single lineages but seen as a whole in patterns. And we do see some apparent patterns in East Asia and Australasia of quite possibly (Y-DNA) C pushing D and NO (and other K2 subclades like M and S) pushing C. Alternatively C would be more closely associated to K2 (both share relation with mtDNA N but not with R, which is more tightly related to Y-DNA K2). I’ve studied such patterns for many years, with emphasis on the mtDNA side of things but keeping a close eye to the often (but not all the time) parallel Y-DNA patterns. When they appear to go together, to me it’s clear that there was a generic demographic migration, when they do not, there was an admixture episode instead, one we can describe as matrilocal (incorporation of Y-DNA JT and G to the Westward migration of P1 and mtDNA N/R + M1, incorporation of E1b to a branch of these in or around Egypt soon afterwards) or patrilocal (massive incorporation of local mtDNA pools to the Q1-dominated proto-Amerinds migrating eastwards through NE Asia first and, later, to the N1-dominated proto-Uralics migrating westwards to NE Europe). These are just the most clear examples I can think of but the method applies generally and the NO flow northwards at some point in the Middle Paleolithic (see: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2014/06/y-dna-macro-haplogroup-k-m526.html ) implies almost necessarily demographic changes as well, more so as it is quite tightly related to mtDNA N/R, as is the westward migration of its relative P1 (precursor of R and Q).

        My synthesis, by which I stand today, is this one: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/p/continuing-with-joint-series-in-spanish.html (already mentioned but worth repeating).

         
      • MNOPS

        June 12, 2021 at 11:19 pm

        “Because what haplogroups inform us of is of old migrations, and not taken as single lineages but seen as a whole in patterns. And we do see some apparent patterns in East Asia and Australasia of quite possibly (Y-DNA) C pushing D and NO (and other K2 subclades like M and S) pushing C. Alternatively C would be more closely associated to K2 (both share relation with mtDNA N but not with R, which is more tightly related to Y-DNA K2).”

        Highly unlikely scenario. I don’t think each haplogroup took its own separate migration OOA, the most likely case is that C, D, and K2 were all part of the same “East Eurasian” group. Their descendants went to different parts of the Asia-Pacific region, but they were once part of the same group. That’s the most likely scenario.

         
      • Maju

        June 15, 2021 at 5:26 pm

        The paper you link to is useless to establish or not a relation between Chinese and SE Asians because no (non-Chinese) SE Asians were sampled, sorry.

        I’m not strongly associating Y-DNA with “races” (I already rejected that notion), I’m only tracking the paleo-history of Humankind via Y-DNA and mtDNA (both). This paleohistory has some connection to the formation of phenotype variants we usually call “races” but it’s not any straightforward much less simple connection.

        You say: “I don’t really agree with your “Out-of-SE Asia” hypothesis”. I’m sorry to hear that, I’m very much persuaded of it and I already explained why several times, with links to my own work on the matter and that of Tatiana Karafet (K2). To me the geographic distribution of haplogroups (both patrilineal: D, C and K2) and matrilineal (N and its main descendant R) strongly support a major role for SE Asia in a second phase of Asian+ settlement (not in the primary one, more centered in South Asia instead). It’s not in any case an “out-of-SE-Asia” concept but rather a recognition of Tropical Asia (both South and SE Asia) as the main (and double) area from which our species spread to the rest of the world (Africa mostly excepted). Africa is still the craddle of Humankind but most of modern Humankind derives from an Asian branch (mtDNA M and N most clearly) and that Asian branch first lived in Tropical and Subtropical Asia, as archaeology and the geographic patterns of haplogroups clearly indicate.

        SE Asia seems to have got a major role in that secondary post-Toba catastrophe re-expansion but I think some haplogroups also indicate internal South Asian re-expansion, it’s just less important globally to be discussed here though, but it is clearly there.

        Ancient autosomal DNA is confusing: affinites when studied in depth tend to vanish or become slippery. I’ve seen that before with the famous or infamous “ANE” (Mal’ta based) component, which in the end was, as I observed since early on, not that important and was being confused with Uralic genetics in part. It is still important for a more isolated population: Native Americans because it backs their origin in the Altai-Mongolia area and their relative distinctiveness re. other macro-Asians. We saw the same re. Iberian Epipaleolithic autosomal DNA showing variedly African and Asian “affinites” that in the end were nothing or at least nothing clear.

        So I suggest to take a relaxed approach to such autosomal comparisons: wait and see how further analyses, which I’m sure some people are already doing (the software and the data are generally freely accessible, I’m just not that interested anymore) confirm, deny or just relativize such early comparisons. As some say, “not everything that is published in Nature is necessarily wrong”… nor right either.

        My experience with so ancient autosomal DNA strongly suggests that they are extremely hard to compare to modern populations or even to other ancient DNA. Autosomal DNA is much more useful in more recent timelines because, after all, population densities in the Paleolithic were low and the formation of pre-modern populations was still in its early stages. In Europe, where most data has been collected, we see very little apparent connection between various successive population layers in terms of autosomal DNA, even if we know that between c. 32 Ka BP (Gravettian) and c. 8 Ka BP (Neolithic) there were no immigrations: this means that Paleoeuropeans were gradually or suddenly replacing each other within the subcontinent.

        I don’t think Oase or Bacho-Kiro directly contributed to East Asians. However there are two processes that are rooted in West Eurasia (one of them in Europe, the other in West/Central Asia) that may have actually contributed to East Asian genetics:

        1. The proto-Amerind migration eastwards (with early UP technology, “mode 4”, stone blade tech) from Altai, in turn surely rooted in the Uzbekistan-Iran area.

        2. The Gravettian culture (rooted in Moravia but maybe derived from a West Asian group before that), which in due time did not just homogenize (conquered?) all Europe but also reached as far as Central Siberia, notably the famous Ma’lta site. Therefore when we discuss Ma’lta boy we’re not talking directly of proto-Amerinds anymore but of a mix of proto-Amerinds and Gravettian (Paleoeuropean 2?) genetics. That’s one of the reasons why Ma’lta shows affinities to Europe probably because he had some European roots as well and not just proto-Amerind and maybe East Asian specific ones.

        And that’s alsow why we have to be very careful when dealing with general Northern Eurasian aDNA, because ideally we’d have much more data from Tropical and other warm regions, which are almost certainly truly ancestral but, in reality, it’s much more difficult that organic material and especially DNA is preserved there, more so with good quality. We must treat therefor cold climate aDNA as proxies rather than the real deal.

         
  46. MNOPS

    June 9, 2021 at 1:31 am

    “PS – I absolutely disagree with your claim of “the pre-proto Mongoloids likely formed somewhere between Eastern Europe or Central Siberia”. First, it’s hard to clearly define what is “Mongoloid”, let alone “proto-Mongoloid” but the prehistory of East Asia clearly suggests the type or types is native to the region and associated to haplogroups like Y-DNA NO”

    Well, recent evidences are in support of the northern origin of Mongoloids, at least that’s the way I see things. Ust-Ishim belonged to K2a, which is ancestral to NO. Oase also belonged to K2a. And the authors of the Bacho Kiro cave specifically mentioned that the population of Bacho Kiro contributed to present-day East Asians. Yes you heard it right, not Native Americans or Siberians, but East Asians. The researchers of that paper mostly come from the Max Planck institute, so they certainly know what they’re talking about.

    And Mongoloids / East Asians actually carry higher percentage of Neanderthal genes than West Eurasians, I’m not sure if you’re aware of that or not. That’s another evidence for their northern origin, cause Neanderthal inhabited northern Eurasia at that time.

    Classical or True Mongoloids likely formed somewhere in Northern China or Northeast Asia, that I can agree with you. But their ancestors can be traced back to Siberia and Eastern Europe.

    Curious enough, Ust-Ishim and Oase belonged to K2a (upstream of NO), but the 40,000-year-old Tianyuan Caveman from the outskirts of Beijing belonged to K2b (upstream of PQR). So it’s possible that K2a / NO originated from somewhere further north or further west than present-day China and later moved east and replaced the earlier Tianyuan-like population in East Asia.

     
    • Maju

      June 9, 2021 at 11:38 am

      Ust’-Ishim is anomalous and probably represents an early offshoot of East Asian migration northwards. Oase 1 is even more anomalous and has left no obvious legacy in Europe (or anywhere I know of).

      My take, as mentioned before, is that K2a (NO) spread from SE Asia (probably Indochina) northwards in the 70-50 Ka era, while its “nephew” P1 (derived from K2b, which seems to have coalesced around modern Borneo) spread westward via Northern India, incorporating local Y-DNA matrilocally (mtDNA N/R also seem to stem from SE Asia, as does M1 ultimately) and then expanding further westwards into “the Neanderlands” (West Eurasia) with the help of dogs (also apparently original from SE Asia) and ranged weaponry (else Neanderthals would have been hard to defeat: too brawny and too smart).

      Anyway, there was a large Paleoeuropean DNA survey some years ago: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2016/05/large-paleoeuropean-dna-survey.html and the results were that oldest Y-DNA lineages sequenced were largely C1, I* (or pre-I) and some instances that I interpreted as probably F* (but in one instance seems further derived K2a, as you mention). So there’s a lot of “weird” haplogroups in that early UP of Europe.

      Later we see more “modernity”: first R1b1, more common I* (turning into I2 as Epipaleolithic ensues), and still some C*/C1 and one instance of R1a1*.

      On the Siberian side. R1* was found in Mal’ta and another nearby site, from Gravettian era.

      It’s apparent that some common modern haplogroups like G and J were still confined to West Asia and would only arrive with the Neolithic (G, mostly G2a, also E1b-V13) or even later (J, notably J2, whose expansion to Western Europe is tightly related to Roman colonization).

      “Mongoloids / East Asians actually carry higher percentage of Neanderthal genes than West Eurasians”. — I am aware but the different is small and varies among specific populations (North Chinese can’t be considered representative of all East Asians, Japanese for instance have somewhat less such Neanderthal genetics, again minor variation but worth mentioning). It’s surely a random founder effect, although maybe (just maybe) it could be related to aesthetic selection in favor of straight (vs curly) hair. I strongly suspect that straight hair is one of the main Neanderthal genetic legacies, as keratin-related Neanderthal genes (“alleles” to be technical) have been reasonably demonstrated to have experienced positive selection (keratin influences skin and nails but also hair). I quote: “Regions that harbour a high frequency of Neanderthal alleles are enriched for genes affecting keratin filaments, suggesting that Neanderthal alleles may have helped modern humans to adapt to non-African environments” — see: https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2014/02/more-details-on-neanderthal-legacy-in.html

      Overall the Neanderthal admixture event almost certainly happened some 125 Ka ago when our ancestors migrated out of Africa (but before they migrated to South and SE Asia). Probably Skhul 5 represents quite well that admixture episode (he or she looks very much Neanderthal-admixed). After the end of the Abbassia Pluvial (c. 90 Ka BP) Neanderthals seem to have expanded even further in West and Central Asia (reaching as far as Altai, Yemen and Iran, and totally disconnecting the Asian from the African Homo sapiens populations for many millennia). There are some speculations about a “Basal Eurasian” remnant surviving somewhere in West Asia but IMO this ghost component rather represents NE African genetics from an Egyptian admixture event within the Upper Paleolithic westward expansion (it seems Dinka-related to be frank). This small but very real ancient African admixture in West Eurasians may also drive downwards Neanderthal genetics in the NW region of the Old World.

      So the current Neanderthal admixture very minor rate variations obey almost certainly to local divergence after the common root admixture episode in West Asia more than 100,000 years ago.

       
      • MNOPS

        June 12, 2021 at 11:23 pm

        “My take, as mentioned before, is that K2a (NO) spread from SE Asia (probably Indochina) northwards in the 70-50 Ka era, while its “nephew” P1 (derived from K2b, which seems to have coalesced around modern Borneo)”

        Based on available evidence (Ust-Ishim and Oase 2), K2a likely formed somewhere between Eastern Europe and Siberia, and then migrated to the east to Northern China where it gave rise to N and O.

        The case of K2b is trickier, I would tentatively suggest it formed somewhere in North India, and after its formation the majority of its descendants moved east to Australasia, but there were some that stayed behind and eventually gave rise to P1, Q, and R.

         
      • Maju

        June 15, 2021 at 4:09 pm

        K2 < K < IJK < … < F

        This strongly suggests an origin for the pre-K2 lineages in South Asia or in South/SE Asia as a whole (fuzzy area) in the context of the early colonization of Asia by our species (c. 100-90 Ka BP IMO, excluding West Asia which is a bit older but was taken over by Neanderthals eventually).

        IMO F (and IJK and K itself) seems to be centered in South Asia while Eastern Asia was probably dominated by D and C instead at first. Both are Eastern-centric in their geographic distribution patterns, even if both have Western relatives, some C1 branches in Europe in one case, some D and DE* branches in West Africa on the other. That's why I think it's very plausible that the first colonization of East Asia was defined on the Y-DNA side by either D or D and C, with K only arriving at a later moment, coalescing into K2 in SE Asia, then branching into K2a (NO, probably in Indochina) and migrating northwards, and into K2b (almost certainly in Sundaland) and migrating into two directions: Papua (and to lesser extent Australia) and back to North India (where P1 is most diverse arguably) and to West Eurasia as R and Q (along with some J, G and T).

        On the mtDNA side however it is (IMO) as follows: the first settlement of Asia was absolutely dominated by M, with pre-N leaving no known descendants and only coalescing as N later in SE Asia. N is associated with both C and K2 (Y-DNA) but its main descendant, R, is only strongly associated to K2 however. Hence the first N expansion (from SE Asia) is also a Y-DNA C expansion, while a second N (and crucially R) expansion is associated with Y-DNA K2, both in the K2a/NO branch and in the K2b one.

        Hence the chronology seems to be (Y-DNA+mtDNA in all lines, in this order):

        1. F+M in South Asia, D+M in SE/East Asia (roughly 100-90 Ka BP)
        2. C+N (and some M) in East Asia and Australasia (maybe 70-60 Ka BP, post-Toba)
        3. K2+N/R (and some M) in East Asia, Australasia but also Westward to India and West Eurasia (c. 60-50 Ka BP probably)

        It's, as you can see, a pan-Eurasian reconstruction but it implies a lot of things also re. East Asia, which was (SE Asia) a major hub in the post-Toba era.

        Note: the origin of K2 (incl. both K2a and K2b branches) in SE Asia was quite well determined by Karafet in a study I mentioned previously. The more precise conclusion about K2b coalescing near Borneo (Sundaland) and K2a (NO) further north is my own but based on her data. Other than East Asia only P1 (a rather derived branch of K2b) exists elswhere that cannot be attributed to post-LGM migrations (i.e. excluding NO westward "recent" migrations), so it's pretty clear that while K is South Asian by origin, K2 is SE Asian instead.

        While South and SE/East Asia show some distinction since the beginning of Homo Sapiens settlement, it is clear to me that the demographic barrier (surely a product of relatively high population densities both sides of the Assam+ hilly buffer) was only fully raised after this westward migration of P1+N/R. Afterwards we observe comparatively very few SouthSE Asia exchange but earlier it was a rather permeable “border” instead.

         
      • Maju

        June 15, 2021 at 4:18 pm

        PS – That we have more genetic data from usually frozen Siberia than from warmer latitudes does not mean that Siberia was the source of all things, just where things, typically sourced from warmer and more densely populated places, got better preserved. There’s a strong issue of confirmation bias in all those who imagine Siberia as “ancestral”, when it’s quite clearly a cul-de-sac instead in most cases (excepted the Amerind and Uralic ones, which are clearly true Siberian specialist migrations).

         

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