|Click to enlarge|
Monthly Archives: May 2012
|UP dog with mammoth bone from Premosti|
Domesticating dogs clearly improves humans’ hunting success and
efficiency—whether the game (or the dog) is large or small. The same
must have been true in the Paleolithic. If Neandertals did not have
domestic dogs and anatomically modern humans did, these hunting
companions could have made all the difference in the modern
Update (May 19): Millán mentions in the comments section that there are some studies from a century ago that claim that Neanderthals might have domesticated dogs first:
It is not clear however if these claims can withstand the passing of time, they are after all from the time of Pitdown Man, when Archaeology was still a bit confused and confusing – but also when the pillars of modern Prehistoric understanding were first laid.
The Cham People and why the genetic structure of SE Asia is mostly not the product of Austronesian expansion
Cham people are the major Austronesian speakers of Mainland Southeast
Asia (MSEA) and the reconstruction of the Cham population history can
provide insights into their diffusion. In this study, we analyzed
non-recombining region of the Y chromosome markers of 177 unrelated
males from four populations in MSEA, including 59 Cham, 76 Kinh, 25 Lao,
and 17 Thai individuals. Incorporating published data from
mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), our results indicated that, in general, the
Chams are an indigenous Southeast Asian population. The origin of the
Cham people involves the genetic admixture of the Austronesian
immigrants from Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) with the local populations
in MSEA. Discordance between the overall patterns of Y chromosome and
mtDNA in the Chams is evidenced by the presence of some Y chromosome
lineages that prevail in South Asians. Our results suggest that
male-mediated dispersals via the spread of religions and business trade
might play an important role in shaping the patrilineal gene pool of the
|Fig. 5 (click for the original)|
- P(xO) is all actually R and better observed in fig. 6, where it becomes obvious that it’s all linked to South Asia (R1a1a and R2a).
- C is mostly C3-P217 but there is also one individual with C* (C2?). It seems mostly related to Mainland SE Asia (MSEA) rather than ISEA, as seems logical for a lineage with the greatest concentration in far NE Asia. The C* single case is probably of Austronesian origin.
- F(xK) is found in two Cham individuals and some others. One of them is H, which is surely also of “recent” arrival from South Asia (Hindu and Muslim religion, trade).
- K(xNO,P) is found in 10% of the surveyed Cham men. It may have arrived from ISEA and most is concentrated in a single haplotype among the Cham (further reinforcing the idea of a possible Austronesian founder effect).
- O* (P191): found in one Cham and obviously from MSEA
- O1a (M119): found in 3 Cham and I’d say that related to South China (2) and MSEA (1).
- O2a1* (M95): this paragroup is way too common in MSEA for all branches to have anything to do with Austronesians (Cham: 30.5%, what is a major component)
- O2a1a (M88): this lineage is not found at all in ISEA but only MSEA and South China (Cham 8.5%).
- O3a* (P200): the Cham individuals are clearly haplotypes as their MSEA neighbors (Cham: 6.8%).
- O3a2b (M7): it also looks very much MSEA (Cham: 5.1%)
- O3a2c1 (M134): a single Cham man sits on a branch derived from South China.
- MSEA & South China: 67.9% (all O and C3)
- ISEA (likely Austronesian): 13.6% (K*, C* and F*)
- Taiwan & Philippines (core Austronesian): nothing at all
- South Asia (Hindu/Muslim historical networks): 18.7% (R, H)
|Fig. 3 – Principal Component analysis based on Y-DNA haplogroups|
|Fig. 7 – haplogroup apportions in two populations from Vietnam|
M71, M72, M73, and M77; N* includes N21 and N23; R* includes R22 and R23. I had not noticed this before (h/t Terry).
New archaeogenetic research for our delight or confusion, we’ll see:
- Grave 1 – 18-21 y.o. man – no DNA reported – laying on his left side, w/ cup
- Grave 2 – 17-20 y.o. woman – no DNA reported – laying on her left side, w/ bowl and bone needle
- Grave 3 – c. 35 y.o. man – mtDNA reported as U2e – laying on his right side, no grave goods
- Grave 4 – a couple:
- 4a – 21-25 y.o. woman – mtDNA reported as W5a – w/ chert flake.
- 4b – a man – no DNA reported – no grave goods
- Grave 5 – 35-50 y.o. man – mtDNA reported as I1, Y-DNA reported as R1b1b2 – no grave goods
- Grave 6 – 6-12 y.o. child (gender unknown) – no DNA reported – no grave goods
- Grave 8 – 21-26 y.o. man – mtDNA reported as K1, Y-DNA reported as R1b – w/ cup and flake
- Grave 9 – a couple:
- 9a – 25-45 y.o. woman – mtDNA reported as U5a1 – w/ loom weights
- 9b – 45-55 y.o. man – mtDNA reported as T1a – no grave goods reported
- It began just slightly before these burials, c. 2700 BCE. However it is true that the mainstream theories suggest a very nearby origin in Bohemia.
- They used a very standardized set of grave goods which consisted in most cases of: bell beaker, bone ornaments, V-pierced buttons, moon-shaped collars, flint arrow points, archer’s bracelet, triangular copper knife and gold spiral (money equivalent possibly).
- They used to bury their men on their left side and their women on the right side (not 100% predictable but most common), while Corded Ware did the opposite. Burials in fetal position are typical of the region since Neolithic times (this does not change).
|Demographic chronologies of Central and Northern Europe
with Bell Beaker and Corded Ware time-frames annotated.
Lowest graph is Great Britain.
(From a previous entry at Leherensuge).
|Bell Beaker grave goods from Valencian Country (source)|
|Bell Beaker grave goods from Zamora, Spain (source)|
|Four Bell Beaker burials from Bohemia (source): 1-fem, 2 male, 3-child, 4-male|
Update (May5): Where is the mtDNA H?
A big part of the mystery surrounding ancient DNA is about mtDNA haplogroup H and variants. H today makes up some 40% of Western and Northern European genetic pools, but, excepted Atlantic parts of Iberia (and some arguable cases here and there: Neolithic Alps, Gravettian Russia, Oranian Rif, etc.), it has been reluctant to show up in the research in sufficiently high numbers to account for modern genetic pools.
As I say, Western Iberian and Basque genetic pools appear normalized very early in the Neolithic (or even before), with levels of H above 40%, while in Central Europe getting even 20% is rare and elusive. In this case even such low figures are missing.
This unlike what happens just some journeys downstream the river some 1500 years later at Liechtenstein Cave (Dorste, Low Saxony), when we get a quite modern mtDNA pool with plenty of H and no ultra-rare clades like N1a or U2e. The Y-DNA pool in this case leans heavily towards the regionally important I2a1b but this can be justified on grounds of patrilocality, arguing that the deceased were all close relatives (the haplotypes are actually identical or closely related).
So where is all the H? While this site is more recent than Megalithism in the area, it is also from a non-Megalithic zone. It is possible (but would have to be demonstrated) that genetic pools were already close to normal in Low and High Germany (Megalithic areas) but not in Middle Germany (non-Megalthic), homogenizing only later with Urnfields or something like that. However a lot remains to be clarified and the answer may well be different or more complex.
Naturally blond hair is rare in humans and found almost exclusively in Europe and Oceania. Here, we identify an arginine-to-cysteine change at a highly conserved residue in tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1) as a major determinant of blond hair in Solomon Islanders. This missense mutation is predicted to affect catalytic activity of TYRP1 and causes blond hair through a recessive mode of inheritance. The mutation is at a frequency of 26% in the Solomon Islands, is absent outside of Oceania, represents a strong common genetic effect on a complex human phenotype, and highlights the importance of examining genetic associations worldwide.