- Initial phase (Balcans essentially, roots in Thessaly):
- (1) Thessaly c. 7100 BCE → Sesklo culture
- (2) Hungary c. 6800 BCE → transition between Balcanic and Danubian Neolithic
- Main explosion (with Balcanic roots for both Danubian and Impressed-Cardial cultures but unclear for Megalithism):
- (8) West Iberia c. 5900 BCE → Megalithism (the ref. site, Cha de Carvalhal, is a mamoa or tumulus, cairn, usually with a dolmen inside)
- (6) Liguria c. 5800 BCE → Cardial Pottery Neolithic
- (5) SE France c. 5700 BCE → Cardial Pottery Neolithic
- (3, 4) Bavaria and Luxembourg c. 5400 BCE → Danubian Neolithic
- (7) SE Iberia c. 5300 BCE → Cardial Pottery Neolithic
- Late Atlantic offshoots (Atlantic, North Sea):
- (9) Ireland c. 4600 BCE → Megalithism
- (10) Scotland c. 4100 BCE → Megalithism
Monthly Archives: December 2012
Population genetic studies on European populations have highlighted Italy as one of genetically most diverse regions. This is possibly due to the country’s complex demographic history and large variability in terrain throughout the territory. This is the reason why Italy is enriched for population isolates, Sardinia being the best-known example. As the population isolates have a great potential in disease-causing genetic variants identification, we aimed to genetically characterize a region from northeastern Italy, which is known for isolated communities. Total of 1310 samples, collected from six geographically isolated villages, were genotyped at >145 000 single-nucleotide polymorphism positions. Newly genotyped data were analyzed jointly with the available genome-wide data sets of individuals of European descent, including several population isolates. Despite the linguistic differences and geographical isolation the village populations still show the greatest genetic similarity to other Italian samples. The genetic isolation and small effective population size of the village populations is manifested by higher levels of genomic homozygosity and elevated linkage disequilibrium. These estimates become even more striking when the detected substructure is taken into account. The observed level of genetic isolation in Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is more extreme according to several measures of isolation compared with Sardinians, French Basques and northern Finns, thus proving the status of an isolate.
AbstractMany details surrounding the origins of the peoples of Oceania remain to be resolved, and as a step towards this we report seven new complete mitochondrial genomes from the Q2a haplogroup, from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Kiribati. This brings the total to eleven Q2 genomes now available. The Q haplogroup (that includes Q2) is an old and diverse lineage in Near Oceania, and is reasonably common; within our sample set of 430, 97 are of the Q haplogroup. However, only 8 are Q2, and we report 7 here. The tree with all complete Q genomes is proven to be minimal. The dating estimate for the origin of Q2 (around 35 Kya) reinforces the understanding that humans have been in Near Oceania for tens of thousands of years; nevertheless the Polynesian maternal haplogroups remain distinctive. A major focus now, with regard to Polynesian ancestry, is to address the differences and timing of the ‘Melanesian’ contribution to the maternal and paternal lineages as people moved further and further into Remote Oceania. Input from other fields such as anthropology, history and linguistics is required for a better understanding and interpretation of the genetic data.
|Figure 2. Overview of the Q haplogroup.
The dataset has 36 mitochondrial genomes including all eight Q3 sequences, 17 Q1, three Q2 genomes from Friedlaender et al. , one from Hudjashov et al. ,
together with the seven additional Q2a genomes reported here. The
network has been proved the shortest possible (the minimum number of
mutations) by using the techniques in Pierson et al. . Differences in branching between the four equally parsimonious trees occur in the Q3 subgroup.
See also in this blog:
Ancient DNA… of chickens (Oceanian chickens, that’s it)
We present a hidden Markov model (HMM) for inferring gradual isolation
between two populations during speciation, modelled as a time interval
with restricted gene flow. The HMM describes the history of adjacent
nucleotides in two genomic sequences, such that the nucleotides can be
separated by recombination, can migrate between populations, or can
coalesce at variable time points, all dependent on the parameters of the
model, which are the effective population sizes, splitting times,
recombination rate, and migration rate. We show by extensive simulations
that the HMM can accurately infer all parameters except the
recombination rate, which is biased downwards. Inference is robust to
variation in the mutation rate and the recombination rate over the
sequence and also robust to unknown phase of genomes unless they are
very closely related. We provide a test for whether divergence is
gradual or instantaneous, and we apply the model to three key divergence
processes in great apes: (a) the bonobo and common chimpanzee, (b) the
eastern and western gorilla, and (c) the Sumatran and Bornean
orang-utan. We find that the bonobo and chimpanzee appear to have
undergone a clear split, whereas the divergence processes of the gorilla
and orang-utan species occurred over several hundred thousands years
with gene flow stopping quite recently. We also apply the model to the Homo/Pan speciation event and find that the most likely scenario involves an extended period of gene flow during speciation.
Neolítico y Europa: expansión, áreas de avance y áreas de contacto (Neolithic and Europe: expansion, advance areas and contact areas).
Neolitización y Migración: ¿qué hay de nuevo? (Neolithization and Migration: what is new?)
Nuevas evidencias del consumo de la leche durante el Neolítico (New evidences of milk consumption in the Neolithic)
The derived proportions of the human hand may provide supportive
buttressing that protects the hand from injury when striking
with a fist. Flexion of digits 2–5 results in
buttressing of the pads of the distal phalanges against the central palm
the palmar pads of the proximal phalanges.
Additionally, adduction of the thenar eminence to abut the dorsal
surface of the
distal phalanges of digits 2 and 3 locks these
digits into a solid configuration that may allow a transfer of energy
the thenar eminence to the wrist. To test the
hypothesis of a performance advantage, we measured: (1) the forces and
of change of acceleration (jerk) from maximum
effort strikes of subjects striking with a fist and an open hand; (2)
stiffness of the second metacarpo-phalangeal (MCP)
joint in buttressed and unbuttressed fist postures; and (3) static force
transfer from digits 2 and 3 to digit 1 also in
buttressed and unbuttressed fist postures. We found that peak forces,
impulses and peak jerk did not differ between the
closed fist and open palm strikes. However, the structure of the human
provides buttressing that increases the stiffness
of the second MCP joint by fourfold and, as a result of force transfer
the thenar eminence, more than doubles the ability
of the proximal phalanges to transmit ‘punching’ force. Thus, the
of the human hand provide a performance advantage
when striking with a fist. We propose that the derived proportions of
hands reflect, in part, sexual selection to improve
|Figure 1. Wooden well constructions and Neolithization.
LBK wells from (A) Eythra 1, (B) Eythra 2, (C) Brodau 1, and (D) Altscherbitz. (E) Central European loess distribution  with the superimposed phases of expansion of the LBK (lines), based on 14C dates ,
and the maximum extension of the LBK (light blue) along with the 12
known early Neolithic wells featuring waterlogged wood preservation.
The European Neolithization ~6000−4000 BC represents a pivotal change in human history when farming spread and the mobile style of life of the hunter-foragers was superseded by the agrarian culture. Permanent settlement structures and agricultural production systems required fundamental innovations in technology, subsistence, and resource utilization. Motivation, course, and timing of this transformation, however, remain debatable. Here we present annually resolved and absolutely dated dendroarchaeological information from four wooden water wells of the early Neolithic period that were excavated in Eastern Germany. A total of 151 oak timbers preserved in a waterlogged environment were dated between 5469 and 5098 BC and reveal unexpectedly refined carpentry skills. The recently discovered water wells enable for the first time a detailed insight into the earliest wood architecture and display the technological capabilities of humans ~7000 years ago. The timbered well constructions made of old oak trees feature an unopened tree-ring archive from which annually resolved and absolutely dated environmental data can be culled. Our results question the principle of continuous evolutionary development in prehistoric technology, and contradict the common belief that metal was necessary for complex timber constructions. Early Neolithic craftsmanship now suggests that the first farmers were also the first carpenters.
This study demonstrates that the first farmers were also the first
carpenters, contradicting the common belief that the invention of metal
woodworking tools more than a thousand years later was imperative for
complex timber constructions. Settlers of the early Neolithic time were
able to build sophisticated corner joints and log constructions, which
fulfilled all of the static requirements of massive water well linings.
Their technical skills further imply the existence of complex
constructions for LBK longhouse architecture .
Figure 5. Basal frame construction of well A.
(A) Wedged tusk tenon joint. (B) 3D laser rendering of the basal frame.
To investigate whether these mammals continued to live beyond the Pleistocene epoch and into the Holocene (the current geological epoch), the team re-examined fossilised elephant teeth discovered in Holocene layers of rock in North China during the 1900s.
Ref. Ji Li et al., The latest straight-tusked elephants (Palaeoloxodon)? “Wild elephants” lived 3000 years ago in North China. Quaternary International 2012. Pay per view → LINK [doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2011.10.039].
Renato Kipnis, a respected archaeologist in São Paulo whom Vale hired to
survey the caves of Carajás, said that Vale had prohibited him from
discussing their archaeological significance, because of a
confidentiality agreement Vale had required him to sign. Later, a Vale
spokeswoman allowed Mr. Kipnis to be interviewed by e-mail, but only if
the company was allowed to vet his replies.
In written replies screened by Vale, he marveled at the importance of the caves.
|NASA image of the already existing Carajás mine|