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Category Archives: dog

33,000 years old dog from Altai is directly related to modern dogs

The 33,000 Ka old dog
Ancient mtDNA from the oldest known dog remains (ref. of its discovery in 2011) places it unmistakably in the dog subspecies. This does not just confirm that domestic dogs existed do far back in time but also that modern domestic dogs have such deep origins.
Anna S. Druzhkova et al., Ancient DNA Analysis Affirms the Canid from Altai as a Primitive Dog. PLoS ONE 2013. Open accessLINK [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057754]

Abstract


The origin of domestic dogs remains controversial, with genetic data indicating a separation between modern dogs and wolves in the Late Pleistocene. However, only a few dog-like fossils are found prior to the Last Glacial Maximum, and it is widely accepted that the dog domestication predates the beginning of agriculture about 10,000 years ago. In order to evaluate the genetic relationship of one of the oldest dogs, we have isolated ancient DNA from the recently described putative 33,000-year old Pleistocene dog from Altai and analysed 413 nucleotides of the mitochondrial control region. Our analyses reveal that the unique haplotype of the Altai dog is more closely related to modern dogs and prehistoric New World canids than it is to contemporary wolves. Further genetic analyses of ancient canids may reveal a more exact date and centre of domestication.

The Altaian Upper Paleolithic dog belongs to clade A, the most common one among modern dogs, including some pre-Columbian lineages from America and such different breeds as the Siberian Husky, the Irish Setter, the Dachshund, the Toy Poodle or the Pug, just to mention a few (see Supp. Table 2 for a longer list).
The authors also compared the lineage with Upper Paleolithic wolf remains from Altai, which are not closely related. 

Figure 2. Consensus Neighbour Joining
tree (1,000 bootstrap steps) built assuming the Tamura-Nei substitution
model, the best fit model for the dataset comprising complete
mitochondrial genomes from coyotes (Coyotes), wolves (OWW, NWW – Old and
New World wolves, respectively) and dogs combined with partial control
region sequences from the Altai specimen (Altai dog) and additional
prehistoric canids (pre-Columbian dogs, eastern Beringian wolves).

We
highlighted all clades containing modern dogs in light blue and
enlarged Clade A for better visibility. The position of the Altai
specimen is marked with a light blue arrow in the enlargement. Bootstrap
values are shown with an asterisk whenever larger than 50.

Surely the presence of four different generic Canis lupus mtDNA clades in modern dogs indicates the domestication of at least four different wolf females, either in the same or different places. 
Gravettian dog with bone (ref)
This finding puts to rest the Neolithic hypothesis of the origin of modern dogs (alleged second domestication, because UP dogs were known) and is at least consistent with my favorite hypothesis of dog domestication in SE Asia (ref 1, ref 2) within the context of the early expansion of Homo sapiens in Eurasia-Australasia in the late Middle Pleistocene, with backflow via South Asia to the West, where dogs may have played a decisive role in the long-term competition with the strong and intelligent Neanderthals.
 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in aDNA, Altai, dog, mtDNA, Upper Paleolithic

 

Some critical Basque linguistics

Zakurra (Great Pyrenean dog)
Just a quick note to mention these two papers (in Spanish language) that philologist Roslyn Frank has made available these days, criticizing some aspects of the claims that the manipulative power-monger Basque academic Joseba Lakarra pretends to pass as canon.
The papers are in Spanish but with an English introduction available at Dr. Frank’s account at Academia.edu (contrary to what I used to believe, you don’t seem to need an account to access in fact: I just did without being logged in without any problem).

Reviewing Joseba Lakarra

The first paper is titled: Repasando a Joseba Lakarra: Observaciones sobre algunas etimologías en euskera a partir de un acercamiento más cognitivo (Reviewing Joseba Lakarra: Considerations on some etymologies in Basque language beginning from a more cognitive approach ··> direct PDF link) deals with terms like hatzaparra (claw, paw) or gai (able in all English usages but also substance, matter) and has the following introduction:

Abstract:

Over the past decade the Basque philologist Joseba Lakarra has published a series of articles in which he puts forward his reconstruction of an entity he calls Pre-Proto-Basque, whose exact referential time frame is still quite unclear. In these articles a large number of new etymologies are introduced along with a particular kind of methodology and theoretical basis for investigating them. While the material published by Lakarra is readily available on the web, there has been little critical discussion of its merits. The present study is an attempt to remedy this situation and at the same time to bring into focus the value of applying a more principled approach to the Basque data, one that derives it methodological and theoretical orientation from the field of cognitive linguistics, and more concretely from the emerging subfield of cultural linguistics, also known as ethnolinguistics.

In a broad sense, the term cultural linguistics refers to linguistic research that explores the relationship between language and culture, bringing the sociocultural embedding and entrenchment of language into view and consequently charting the interactions of speakers of the language with their ever changing environment, the latter understood in the amplest sense of the term. Thus, cultural linguistics has a diachronic dimension as it attempts to understand language as a subsystem of culture and to examine how various language features reflect and embody culture over time. ‘Culture’ here is meant in the anthropological sense; that is, as a system of collective beliefs, worldviews, customs, traditions, social practices, as well as the values and norms shared by the members of the cultural group.

Until very recently, there has been a dearth of research on the Basque language and culture that embraces the methodological and theoretical premises of the field of cognitive linguistics and the related sub-discipline of cultural linguistics. Outstanding exceptions have been the investigations carried out by Iraide Ibarretxe Antuñano (1). In short, very little research has been done on Euskera which takes into consideration the fact that the relationship between language and culture has significant implications for diachronic studies of the language: that language is a not only a system firmly grounded in culture, it is a macro-level system that through the individual choices of its agents at the micro-level, changes across time, dynamically. It functions therefore as a complex adaptive system (CAS) (2).
This article is the first in a series in which the methodology and theoretical approaches utilized by Lakarra to develop his etymologies are examined and contrasted with the more cognitively oriented approaches operating today to structure research in cultural linguistics. I argue that these approaches can bring new insights into the role of human cognition and individual speaker choices, most especially when applied to diachronic studies of the Basque language (3).

(1) Cf. http://unizar.academia.edu/IraideIbarretxeAntu%C3%B1ano.

(2) For further reading on the application of theoretical model of language as a complex adaptive system, cf. Roslyn M. Frank and Nathalie Gontier. 2010. On constructing a research model for historical cognitive linguistics (HCL): Some theoretical considerations. In: Heli Tissari, Paivi Koivisto-Alanko, Kathyren I. Allan y Margaret Winter (eds.), Historical Cognitive Linguistics, 31-69. Berlin y New York: Mouton de Gruyter. http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/446528/On_constructing_a_research_model_for_historical_cognitive_linguistics_HCL_Some_theoretical_considerations.

(3) There are other papers available on Academia.edu which explore the application of this CAS approach to the Basque language as well as to other European languages. These papers, especially when read in the following order, also provide an overview of the possible significance of such studies for the recuperation of aspects of European cultural and linguistic (pre-)history and identity which have not been detected previously:

a) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/344519/The_language-organism-species_analogy_A_complex_adaptive_systems_approach_to_shifting_perspectives_on_language_ ;

b) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/355424/Shifting_Identities_Metaphors_of_discourse_evolution ;

c) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/471942/A_single_document_containing_three_published_articles_1_Recovering_European_ritual_bear_hunts_A_comparative_study_of_Basque_and_Sardinian_ursine_carnival_performances_2_Evidence_in_Favor_of_the_Palaeolithic_Continuity_Refugium_Theory_PCRT_Hamalau_and_its_linguistic_and_cultural_relatives_Part_1_3_Evidence_in_Favor_of_the_Palaeolithic_Continuity_Refugium_Theory_PCRT_Hamalau_and_its_linguistic_and_cultural_relatives_Part._2._ ;

d) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/471751/Shifting_identities_A_comparative_study_of_Basque_and_Western_cultural_conceptualizations ;
e) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/1193145/Palaeolithic_Continuity_Refugium_Theory_A_New_Approach_to_the_Linguistic_Prehistory_of_Europe._Azken_Glaziazio_Handiko_Babeslekua_eta_Euskara._Bergara_2011-10-19

f) And then most particularly the later sections of these papers where the etymologies of the terms beguine and charivari are subjected to a diachronic analysis with respect to their cultural and linguistic entrenchment: http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/462898/Euskal_Herriko_Eginkizun_Erligiosoaren_Inguruko_Azterketa_Diakronikoa_Serora_eta_bere_laguntzaileak. (English language translation: A Diachronic Analysis of the Religious Role of the Woman in Basque Culture: The Serora and her Helpers: http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/462178/A_Diachronic_Analysis_of_the_Religious_Role_of_the_Woman_in_Basque_Culture_The_Serora_and_her_Helpers); and 2) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/451548/Singing_Duels_and_Social_Solidarity_The_Case_of_the_Basque_Charivari

All you ever wanted to know about Basque and Pyrenean dogs (txakur, zakur)

The second paper is titled Dos etimologías vascas: Txakur ‘perrito, perro’ y zakur ‘perro’ con un apéndice dedicado al análisis de la etimología de zakur de J. Lakarra (Two Basque etymologies: Txakur ‘doggy, dog’ and zakur ‘dog’ with an appendix dedicated to the etymology of zakur by J. Lakarra ··> direct PDF link) and will teach you all you ever wanted to know about Basque and Pyrenean dogs, not just linguistically.

Abstract:

The following article explores the etymology of
the Basque word zakur ‘dog’ and the palatalized form of the same txakur,
often used today to refer to small dogs and dogs in a generic sense.
Particular attention is paid to the question of the relationship between
the latter term and Romance forms such as cacharro ‘puppy, young dog’.
The study also examines the problems that arise from etymologies put
forward in the past including the most recent one of the Basque
philologist Joseba Lakarra, who derives the term zakur from a compound
form that, according to him, originally meant ‘guardian agazapado’,
i.e., ‘crouching guardian’.

Over the past decade Lakarra has
published a series of articles in which he puts forward his
reconstruction of an entity he calls Pre-Proto-Basque, whose exact
referential time frame is still rather unclear. In these articles a
large number of new etymologies are introduced, including the one he
dedicates to zakur, along with a particular kind of methodology and
theoretical basis for investigating them. While the material published
by Lakarra is readily available on the web, there has been little
critical discussion of its merits. The present study is an attempt to
remedy this situation by examining in detail the etymology of the term
zakur and by doing so, to bring into focus the value of applying a more
principled approach to the Basque data, one that derives it
methodological and theoretical orientation from the field of cognitive
linguistics, and more concretely from the emerging subfield of cultural
linguistics.

In a broad sense, the term cultural linguistics
refers to linguistic research that explores the relationship between
language and culture, bringing the sociocultural embedding and
entrenchment of language into view and consequently charting the
interactions of speakers of the language with their ever changing
environment, the latter understood in the amplest sense of the term.
Thus, cultural linguistics has a diachronic dimension as it attempts to
understand language as a subsystem of culture and to examine how various
language features reflect and embody culture over time. ‘Culture’ here
is meant in the anthropological sense; that is, as a system of
collective beliefs, worldviews, customs, traditions, social practices,
as well as the values and norms shared by the members of the cultural
group.

Until very recently, there has been a dearth of research
on the Basque language and culture that embraces the methodological and
theoretical premises of the field of cognitive linguistics and the
related sub-discipline of cultural linguistics. Outstanding exceptions
have been the investigations carried out by Iraide Ibarretxe Antuñano
(1). In short, very little research has been done on Euskera which takes
into consideration the fact that the relationship between language and
culture has significant implications for diachronic studies of the
language: that language is a not only a system firmly grounded in
culture, it is a macro-level system that through the individual choices
of its agents at the micro-level, changes across time, dynamically. It
functions therefore as a complex adaptive system (CAS) (2).
This
article is the second (3) in a series in which the methodology and
theoretical approaches utilized by Lakarra to develop his etymologies
will be examined and contrasted with the more cognitively oriented
approaches operating today to structure research in cultural
linguistics. I argue that these approaches can bring new insights into
the role of human cognition and individual speaker choices, most
especially when applied to diachronic studies of the Basque language
(4).

(1) Cf. http://unizar.academia.edu/IraideIbarretxeAntu%C3%B1ano.

(2)
For further reading on the application of theoretical model of language
as a complex adaptive system, cf. Roslyn M. Frank and Nathalie Gontier.
2010. On constructing a research model for historical cognitive
linguistics (HCL): Some theoretical considerations. In: Heli Tissari,
Paivi Koivisto-Alanko, Kathyren I. Allan y Margaret Winter (eds.),
Historical Cognitive Linguistics, 31-69. Berlin y New York: Mouton de
Gruyter. http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/446528/On_constructing_a_research_model_for_historical_cognitive_linguistics_HCL_Some_theoretical_considerations.

(3)
The first paper in the series, “Repasando a Joseba Lakarra:
Observaciones sobre algunas etimologías en euskera a partir de un
acercamiento más cognitivo”, is now available online: http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/1895187/Repasando_a_Joseba_Lakarra_Observaciones_sobre_algunas_etimologias_en_euskera_a_partir_de_un_acercamiento_mas_cognitivo.

(4)
There are other papers available on Academia.edu which explore the
application of this CAS approach to the Basque language as well as to
other European languages. These papers, especially when read in the
following order, also provide an overview of the possible significance
of such studies for the recuperation of aspects of European cultural and
linguistic (pre-)history and identity which have not been detected
previously:

a) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/344519/The_language-organism-species_analogy_A_complex_adaptive_systems_approach_to_shifting_perspectives_on_language_;

b) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/355424/Shifting_Identities_Metaphors_of_discourse_evolution; ;

c) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/471942/A_single_document_containing_three_published_articles_1_Recovering_European_ritual_bear_hunts_A_comparative_study_of_Basque_and_Sardinian_ursine_carnival_performances_2_Evidence_in_Favor_of_the_Palaeolithic_Continuity_Refugium_Theory_PCRT_Hamalau_and_its_linguistic_and_cultural_relatives_Part_1_3_Evidence_in_Favor_of_the_Palaeolithic_Continuity_Refugium_Theory_PCRT_Hamalau_and_its_linguistic_and_cultural_relatives_Part._2._;

d) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/471751/Shifting_identities_A_comparative_study_of_Basque_and_Western_cultural_conceptualizations;

e) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/1193145/Palaeolithic_Continuity_Refugium_Theory_A_New_Approach_to_the_Linguistic_Prehistory_of_Europe._Azken_Glaziazio_Handiko_Babeslekua_eta_Euskara._Bergara_2011-10-19;

f)
And then most particularly the later sections of these papers where the
etymologies of the terms beguine and charivari are subjected to a
diachronic analysis with respect to their cultural and linguistic
entrenchment: http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/462898/Euskal_Herriko_Eginkizun_Erligiosoaren_Inguruko_Azterketa_Diakronikoa_Serora_eta_bere_laguntzaileak. (English translation: A Diachronic Analysis of the Religious Role of the Woman in Basque Culture: The Serora and her Helpers: http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/462178/A_Diachronic_Analysis_of_the_Religious_Role_of_the_Woman_in_Basque_Culture_The_Serora_and_her_Helpers); and 2) http://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank/Papers/451548/Singing_Duels_and_Social_Solidarity_The_Case_of_the_Basque_Charivari.

For some reason the papers themselves are not available in English but I think they are important enough to mention here.
 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Basque language, dog, linguistics

 

Did dogs contribute decisively to our success vs. Neanderthals?

UP dog with mammoth bone from Premosti
That’s the theory proposed, with some archaeological support, by Pat Shipman at American Scientist (found via Pileta). Not only dog skulls have been found in what appear to be farewell rituals (with a bone between the teeth for example) but these findings always correspond to cultural contexts associated with our kin, such as Aurignacian and never with Neanderthals. 
Being allied with dogs certainly offered some key advantages when hunting, argues Shipman, very specially when finding the prey, a skill for which we are not too well prepared, lacking a fine sense of smell, something demonstrated in modern hunt contexts. 

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
human–Neandertal competition.
 

A miscellaneous matter that Shipman considers at the end of the essay is whether the well known ability of communicating silently by looking at each others’ eyes may have helped to this human-dog cooperation. Apparently dogs are also able to follow the direction of the eyes of a human and infer commands or directions from that. This may have been a product of selective breeding but in any case it is something that it’s there and is part of human-dog communication.
See also category: dog in this blog and its predecessor.

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.

 

Echoes from the Past (Jan 9)

Here you have the latest batch of rather interesting links:

Before prehistory
Middle Paleolithic
Aterian tools

Neandertals and bears (John Hawks compares the range and recolonizations of brown bears in the Ice Age with those of human species)
Upper Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic
Neolithic and Metal Ages
Stone Age temple found in Orkney may be more significant than Stonehenge and  Orkney temple predates Stonehenge by 500 years – My apartment mate is often talking about how important the Orkney Megalithic religious complex must have been in its time to what I always reply that it’s quite unexpected because it’s such a remote place… I wonder if it was an important site for cod fishermen from all Western Europe or what.

Reconstruction of the temple complex

Prehistoric buildings hold an overlooked social complexity (a very curious report on the oldest known European stairway and its rather unexpected sophistication for a Neolithic context) 
Temple of Isis found near the theater of Italica[es] (Roman colony near modern Seville, hometown of emperors Trajan and Adrian)
Prehistory in the media
Spanish-speaking readers can now watch at YouTube the documentary/prehistoric fiction film ‘Homo Sapiens: the perfect conquest’ (Discovery Channel prod.): part 1 and part 2. The films contain many misrepresentations but also many actual facts and reasonable speculations and are therefore rather interesting to view (but take some things with great caution or eve total disbelief). Sorry but I do not know at the moment of an English-language version available online.
Genetics

Defining mutations updated: A2c, A2f, A2f1, A2h, A2i, A2p, A2r, A4c, A4d, A5b, B2g, B4g, B5a2, B5a2a, B5b2c, B6, C1b5, C1c1, C1c3, C4a1, C4a3, C7b, D1d, D2b1, D4b1b, D4e1, D4g2, D4g2a1a, D5a3a, D5c1, F1a2, F1a3, F1a4, F1e1, F1e2, F4a, F4a1, F4b, G1a2, G1b, G2a1e, G2b1b, G3b1, H13a2b, H13a2b1, H1c3, H2a5, H2a5a, HV1d, J1b, J1b1b1, J1b3, J1d, J2a1a1a, K1a1, K1a11, K1a1a, K1a1b1a, K1a1b1c, K1a1b2a, K1a3a1b, K1a4c, K1a7, K1a8, K1b1a, K1b1a1, K1b2b, K1c1a, K2a2a, L0a1b, L0a3, L0a’b, L0b, L1b, L1b1, L1b1a4, L1b1a6, L1c3b, L1c3b1, L1c3b2, L1c6, L2a1a2a1, L2a1a3, L2a1c2, L2b1b, L2b2, L2d, L2d, L2d1, L2d1a, L3b2, L3d1a1, L3d1c, L3d1d, L3e2a1b1, L3e2b3, L3e3a, L3f1b1, L3f2, L3h1a1, L3h1a2a, L3h1b1a, L3h2, L3i1, L3i1a, L3i2, L3k, L3x1, L3x2, L3x2a, L3x2a1, L3x2b, L4b, L4b1, L4b2a1, L4b2a2, L4b2b, M10a1, M10a1a, M19, M2, M24, M31b, M31b’c, M33a2a, M39, M6b, M7b, M7b1, M7b1’2’4, M7b2, M80, N2a, N9a2a, R0a2d, R0a2k, R7, R9c1, T1a2, T2a1a3, T2a1b1, T2b3a, T2c1b, T2f, T2g1, U2d, U3a, U3b2, U4b1b, U5a2d, U5a2e, U7, V9a, Z4, Z4a.
Newly added: A2f2, A2f3, A2h1, A2l, A2m, A2o, A2s, A2t, A2u, A2u1, A2w, A2x, A4e, A4e1, A4f, A5a3, A5b1, B2a3, B2c1a, B2c1b, B2c2, B2c2a, B2c2b, B4a1c1a, B4a2b, B4a4, B4b1a3, B4b1c1, B4i, B5a1c1, B5a2a1, B6a, C1b10, C1b11, C1b5a, C1b7, C1b7a, C1b8, C1b8a, C1b9, C1b9a, C1c1a, C1c4, C1c5, C4a1c1a, C4a1c2, C4a3b, C4c1, C4c1a, C4c1b, C4c2, C4d, C7a2, D1g, D1h, D1i, D1j, D4a1a1a, D4a3b1, D4a3b2, D4b1d, D4b2b2a, D4b2b2b, D4b2b2c, D4b2b6, D4e1c, D4e5a, D4e5b, D4g2b1, D4j3a1, D5b1d, D5c2, E1a2a, F1a3a, F1a3a1, F1a4a, F1b1a2, F1c1, F1c1a, F1e1a, F1f, F1g, F2b, F2c, F2d, F3a1, F4a1a, F4a2, G2a1c2, G2a1d1, G2a1d2, G2a1e1, G2b2b, H2a5a1, H2a5a2, H2a5b, HV14, HV4a1a, HV4a2a, HV4c, I6, J1b3a, J1b4, J1c2a, J1c2a1, J1c2c2a, J1c3d, J1c5d, J1c9, J1d1a, K1a13a, K1a14, K1a1b2a1, K1a2b, K1b1a2, K2a2a1, K2a3a, K3, L0a1a1, L0a1a3, L1b1a9, L1b2, L1b3, L1c3a1b, L2a1a3a, L2a1a3b, L2a1c1a, L2a1c2a, L2a1c4a, L2a1i1, L2a1m, L2a1m1, L2a1n, L2c1, L2c1a, L2c2b, L2c3a, L2c4, L2c5, L2e1, L3a1, L3b1a5, L3b1a6, L3b2a, L3d1b3, L3d1c1, L3e1d1, L3e1g, L3e2b1a1, L3f1a1, L3f2a, L3f2a1, L3x1b, M10a1a1, M11c, M2a’b, M2c, M31b1, M31b2, M52b, M6a1, M6a2, M7a1a9, M7b5, M7b6, M7b7, M7b8, M7c1d, M7c2b, M7c2b1, M7c2b2, M8a3a, N9a10a, N9a2a3, N9a4a, N9a4b, N9a7, N9a8, N9a9, O1a, R0a2k1, R7a’b, R9b1a3, R9c1a, T1a2a, T2a1b1a, T2b21, T2b3b, T2b4a, T2b6a, T2h, U1a1a, U3a1a, U3b3, U3c, U5a1g, U5a2c3, U5b1f, U6a3a1, U6d1a, U7a, U7a1, U7a2, U7a3, U7a4, U7b, U7b1, U8a1a1, U8a2, U8b1a, V9a1, W3a1b, W3b, W5a2.
Multiple rearrangements/additions within: B4c1b2, J1b1a, U5a2a.
Relabeled: A2r -> A2v, B5a1c <-> B5a1d, F1a’c -> F1a’c’f, L3j -> L3f2a1, N9a2a’b -> N9a2a, N9a2a -> N9a2a1, N9a2b -> N9a2a2.

 

Phylogenetic Distinctiveness of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian Village Dog Y Chromosomes Illuminates Dog Origins (open access paper on dog’s likely origins in SE Asia; see here for another recent study reaching similar conclusions)

Figure 3. Village and breed dog Y chromosome SNP-STR haplotype networks.

Controversy on open access publication

  
 

Dog domesticated in SE Asia (claims new study)

random SE Asian pariah dog (source)

The authors describe this region as “Asia South of the Yangtze” (ASY) but I usually call it SE Asia, your call.

Z-L Ding et al., Origins of domestic dog in Southern East Asia is supported by analysis of Y-chromosome DNA. Nature 2011. (Fully accessed on Nov 24 as advance online publication).
The region, specially what they call SW ASY (Indochina, Guangxi and Yunnan) hosts the largest Y-DNA diversity for the domestic variant of the wolf but this is not true of East Asia north of the Yangtze, what may have confused researchers in the past. Instead the Fertile Crescent and Siberia hold the second and third largest diversity figures.

Fig. 1

While five haplotypes have been described, the authors suggest that some 14 male founders are likely. 
Food for thought: if this finding stands (there have been other proposals in the past), considering that dog domestication should be ultimately pre-Aurignacian and considering that there appears to have been a particularly successful branch of the Eurasian humankind which may have originated in SE Asia (Y-DNA mostly MNOPS, mtDNA mostly R) and backflowed across South Asia into the West to conquer the whole subcontinental region to those intelligent and strong cousins: the Neanderthals… the key tech that propelled their success may well have been the dog.
 
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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in dog, Genetics, SE Asia, Y-DNA

 

Echoes from the Past (Oct 10)

A lot of stuff that I won’t probably dedicate more time nor space (sadly enough in some cases at least):

Middle Paleolithic:

Mass production of flint flakes at Palestinian Qassem Cave ··> Jerusalem Post, The Media Line, Ron Shimelmitz et al. at Journal of Human Evolution (PPV).


Upper Paleolihic:
Domestic dog with mammoth bone in mouth (left) found in Czech Republic (Gravettian context) ··> Pileta de Prehistoria[es], Discovery News, Journal of Archaeological Science (PPV). 
Australian rock art dated to c. 30 Ka ago in danger because of Rio Tinto mining activities at Burrup Peninsula ··> The Heritage Journal, The Guardian

Children made rock art in Rouffignac ··> The Heritage Journal.
Basque chasm captured sample of late UP animals. The “Kiputz IX trap” near Deba was a death sentence for 48 deer, 23 reindeer and 18 steppe bisons, none of which show any sign of human consumption. The best preserved skull is that of a male bison (right). The site is dated to c. 19-18 Ka ago, in the Solutrean period ··> Gara[es].

20,000 years ago Azrak (Jordan) was a fertile inhabited region and the first one to bury people in crouched position, it seems ··> MENA.

End of war allows dig to recover Paleolithic artifacts at Jaffna Peninsula (Ceylon) ··>  Sri Lanka News.

Neolithic & Metal Ages:

City older than Troy, dated to c. 7000 years ago, found not far away ··> National Turk, Hurriyet, Today’s Zaman.

Kurgan explored with tiny flying drone ··> Live Science.

Elevation reconstruction of the tomb
Girl’s tomb found near henge in Kent ··> The Heritage Journal.

Project to dig islands around Britain to establish origins of Neolithic ··> PhysOrg, Irish Weather Online
Iruña-Veleia: map shows there were two Veleias. Veleia Gori [VIIL(II)I(A) GORI] and Veleia Nova [VIILIII NOVVA.]are mentioned in a stone map of the Basque-Roman town ··> Iruina[es] (also here).

The ‘map’ (click to expand)
I’d speculate that GORI (a word that also appears in other inscriptions) might be goiri (upwards and attested as surname modernly) it could be also goren(a) (of the high, or something like that). Previously it had been supposed to mean gorri (red) because it appeared along with other color names, who knows?

Conservation efforts for Göbekli Tepe ··> Popular Archaeology.

Uncertain period:

Heart-shaped Australian stone ring at Little River (Victoria) could be astronomical observatory ··> BBC.

Human genetics and biology:
Extremely pale people may not be getting enough sun without burning (and hence may benefit from extra fish in the diet or industrial supplements) ··> SD.  
Claim, based on mtDNA, that major population expansion in East Asia is pre-Neolithic ··> Hong-Xiang Zheng et al. at PLoS ONE (open access).


Figure 2. mtDNA Bayesian skyline plot showing the size trend of 4 East Eurasian populations.
Take with a pinch of salt, of course. 
CHB: Chinese Han from Beijing, CHS CH from South China, CHD: CH from Denver, USA, JPT: Japanese from Tokyo. Notice how, whatever the case, CHS have the softest curve, with almost no sudden expansion signatures. 

Proposal to estimate sex bias in gene flow ··> N. Osada at PLoS ONE (open access). 
Jomon Era ancient mtDNA of Hokkaido Japan (includes N9b, D4h2, G1b, and M7a) ··> Dienekes, Noboru Adachi et al. at Physical Anthropology (PPV).
Population genetics conference at Porto, Portugal, on November 23-25 ··> link.

Other science news:

Solar system once had fifth gas planet, but was expelled ··> PhysOrg

Can primordial black holes be the elusive dark matter ··> PhysOrg.

Magic mushrooms (Psylocybe sp.) can impact certain personalities for the better, while being trivial for others ··> Psychedelic Research, SD.

2011 IgNobel prizes:

  • Physiology: no contagious yawning for turtles.
  • Chemistry: wasabi (pungent radish) fire alarm for heavy sleepers.
  • Medicine: people make better and worse decisions when under pressure to go to the loo.
  • Psychology: why do we sigh?
  • Biology: beetles love beer bottles.
  • Physics: why discus throwers get dizzy (and hammer ones do not)?
  • Mathematics: to a long list of doomsayers who predicted the end of the World… and failed.
  • Peace: smashing wrongly parked luxury cars with tanks in Vlinus, Lithuania.
  • Safety: driving while a visor intermittently blocks your sight.

Can neutrinos be faster than light? ··> Nature.

Gonorrhoea becoming resistant to antibiotics ··> BBC.

Special thanks to (see also): Stone Pages’ Archaeo News.

 

Many more interesting short news

Earliest known dog
A lot of them, but not all, come via Stone Pages’ Archaeo News.
Just to get you interested: oldest dog ever, oldest people in America… and the Bubbliverse!
(Not drooling yet?! You’re reading the wrong blog then).
Europe

Spain: Andalusian caves were explored with bee wax lamps (candles) and not animal wax ones (which would have been cumbersome). Exposition on this matter on Aug. 10 in Puente Viesgo, Cantabria. ··> Pileta de Prehistoria[es].
Wales: Tests confirm age of Wales rock art. (Direct communication of Prof. Nash to Stone Pages’ ArchaeoNews).
Scotland: Sainbury site was sort of Epipaleolithic rest stop. ··> BBC.
Bulgaria: Chalcolithic burial found in Pomorie ··> The Sofia Echo.
Sardinia: 300 menhirs (standing stones) found. ··> L’Uninone Sarda[it], Sardegna 24[it].
Italy: early Etruscan holy site, dated c. 1000 BCE, found near Viterbo. ··> ANSA, UPI.
Asia
Siberia: Earliest dog skull found in Altai, dated to 33,000 years ago. It has short snout like dogs but long fangs like wolves. ··> BBC, Daily Mail, PLoS ONE (I may write more later on this).
Japan: Chinese style tools were introduced to Japan c. 25-20,000 years ago. ··> Xinhua.
Jordan: Ancient city of Tell Qarqur could withstand massive drought c. 2000 BCE. ··> Live Science.
India: Sebalpani rock paintings may be from historical period. ··> DNA India.
America
USA: Oldest evidence of human presence in all North America  found near Salado, Texas. The site has been dated to c. 15,500 BP and has yielded some 16,000 artifacts already. ··> WFAA.
Canada: Evidence of human presence c. 10,000 years ago, near Penfield, New Brunswick. A highway’s design has been changed to preserve the site. ··> CBC.
Mexico: Olmec relief 2800 years old found in Chalcatzingo, Morelos ··> Latin American Herald Tribune.
Africa / human evolution
Australopithecus sediba proposed missing link between australopithecines and humans. ··> National Geographic.
Genetics & biology
Alternative splicing to explain mammal brain capabilities. Genes alone cannot account for the improved mammal neural complexity. ··> Science Daily.
Astronomy & cosmology
Multiverse confirmed: our Universe just a bubble among many. Identification in the gamma radiation background by objective computer program adds weight to the idea that other bubble-universes have left their marks on ours. ··> Science Daily.

Welcome to the Bubbliverse, earthlings!