Skip to comments.Scandinavian Ancestry -- Tracing Roots to Azerbaijan
Posted on 12/15/2001 2:43:28 PM PST by spycatcher
Above: Heyerdahl's route that he made with a balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki in 1947 to prove that early transoceanic migrations were possible. Source: "Thor Heyerdahl, the Explorer", Oslo: J.M. Stenersens Forlag, 1994.
Above: In the ancient caves of Gobustan which date back at least 5,000 years, cave drawings depict two different kinds of boats that were used for early navigation. Heyerdahl is convinced that people living in the area now known as Azerbaijan settled in Scandinavia around 100 AD. Gobustan is located about 30 miles southwest of Baku.
We'll get FReeper LostTribe's take on this.
See his profile page for your answer.
On a quick read I don't have any problem with Heyerdahls premise. (Have printed it out for more careful reading.) The headline sounds right on target, as this where the LostTribes disappeared and the Celts appeared. But the people who lived there THEN are not the people who live there NOW, as the Celts were just passing though. I'll get back after I've studied it more carefully.
Wrongo. Click on the Profile for more info.
From THE ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS by Jordanes
(The United Goths)
"IV (25) Now from this island of Scandza, as from a hive of races or a womb of nations, the Goths are said to have come forth long ago under their king, Berig by name. As soon as they disembarked from their ships and set foot on the land, they straightway gave their name to the place. And even to-day it is said to be called Gothiscandza. (26) Soon they moved from here to the abodes of the Ulmerugi, who then dwelt on the shores of Ocean, where they pitched camp, joined battle with them and drove them from their homes. Then they subdued their neighbors, the Vandals, and thus added to their victories. But when the number of the people increased greatly and Filimer, son of Gadaric, reigned as king--about the fifth since Berig--he decided that the army of the Goths with their families should move from that region. (27) In search of suitable homes and pleasant places they came to the land of Scythia, called Oium in that tongue. Here they were delighted with the great richness of the country, and it is said that when half the army had been brought over, the bridge whereby they had crossed the river fell in utter ruin, nor could anyone thereafter pass to or fro. For the place is said to be surrounded by quaking bogs and an encircling abyss, so that by this double obstacle nature has made it inaccessible. And even to-day one may hear in that neighborhood the lowing of cattle and may find traces of men, if we are to believe the stories of travellers, although we must grant that they hear these things from afar.
(28) This part of the Goths, which is said to have crossed the river and entered with Filimer into the country of Oium, came into possession of the desired land, and there they soon came upon the race of the Spali, joined battle with them and won the victory. Thence the victors hastened to the farthest part of Scythia, which is near the sea of Pontus; for so the story is generally told in their early songs, in almost historic fashion. Ablabius also, a famous chronicler of the Gothic race, confirms this in his most trustworthy account. (29) Some of the ancient writers also agree with the tale. Among these we may mention Josephus, a most reliable relator of annals, who everywhere follows the rule of truth and unravels from the beginning the origin of causes;--but why he has omitted the beginnings of the race of the Goths, of which I have spoken, I do not know. He barely mentions Magog of that stock, and says they were Scythians by race and were called so by name.
Before we enter on our history, we must describe the boundaries of this land, as it lies.
V (30) Now Scythia borders on the land of Germany as far as the source of the river Ister and the expanse of the Morsian Swamp. It reaches even to the rivers Tyra, Danaster and Vagosola, and the great Danaper, extending to the Taurus range--not the mountains in Asia but our own, that is, the Scythian Taurus--all the way to Lake Maeotis. Beyond Lake Maeotis it spreads on the other side of the straits of Bosphorus to the Caucasus Mountains and the river Araxes. Then it bends back to the left behind the Caspian Sea, which comes from the north-eastern ocean in the most distant parts of Asia, and so is formed like a mushroom, at first narrow and then broad and round in shape. It extends as far as the Huns, Albani and Seres. (31) This land, I say,--namely, Scythia, stretching far and spreading wide,--has on the east the Seres, a race that dwelt at the very beginning of their history on the shore of the Caspian Sea. On the west are the Germans and the river Vistula; on the arctic side, namely the north, it is surrounded by Ocean; on the south by Persis, Albania, Hiberia, Pontus and the farthest channel of the Ister, which is called the Danube all the way from mouth to source. (32) But in that region where Scythia touches the Pontic coast it is dotted with towns of no mean fame:--Borysthenis, Olbia, Callipolis, Cherson, Theodosia, Careon, Myrmicion and Trapezus. These towns the wild Scythian tribes allowed the Greeks to build to afford them means of trade. In the midst of Scythia is the place that separates Asia and Europe, I mean the Rhipaeian mountains, from which the mighty Tanais flows. This river enters Maeotis, a marsh having a circuit of one hundred and forty-four miles and never subsiding to a depth of less than eight fathoms.
(33) In the land of Scythia to the westward dwells, first of all, the race of the Gepidae, surrounded by great and famous rivers. For the Tisia flows through it on the north and northwest, and on the southwest is the great Danube. On the east it is cut by the Flutausis, a swiftly eddying stream that sweeps whirling into the Ister's waters. (34) Within these rivers lies Dacia, encircled by the lofty Alps as by a crown. Near their left ridge, which inclines toward the north, and beginning at the source of the Vistula, the populous race of the Venethi dwell, occupying a great expanse of land. Though their names are now dispersed amid various clans and places, yet they are chiefly called Sclaveni and Antes. (35) The abode of the Sclaveni extends from the city of Noviodunum and the lake called Mursianus to the Danaster, and northward as far as the Vistula. They have swamps and forests for their cities. The Antes, who are the bravest of these peoples dwelling in the curve of the sea of Pontus, spread from the Danaster to the Danaper, rivers that are many days' journey apart. (36) But on the shore of Ocean, where the floods of the river Vistula empty from three mouths, the Vidivarii dwell, a people gathered out of various tribes. Beyond them the Aesti, a subject race, likewise hold the shore of Ocean. To the south dwell the Acatziri, a very brave tribe ignorant of agriculture, who subsist on their flocks and by hunting. (37) Farther away and above the Sea of Pontus are the abodes of the Bulgares, well known from the wrongs done to them by reason of our oppression. From this region the Huns, like a fruitful root of bravest races, sprouted into two hordes of people. Some of these are called Altziagiri, others Sabiri; and they have different dwelling places. The Altziagiri are near Cherson, where the avaricious traders bring in the goods of Asia. In summer they range the plains, their broad domains, wherever the pasturage for their cattle invites them, and betake themselves in winter beyond the Sea of Pontus. Now the Hunuguri are known to us from the fact that they trade in marten skins. But they have been cowed by their bolder neighbors.
(38) We read that on their first migration the Goths dwelt in the land of Scythia near Lake Maeotis. On the second migration they went to Moesia, Thrace and Dacia, and after their third they dwelt again in Scythia, above the Sea of Pontus. Nor do we find anywhere in their written records legends which tell of their subjection to slavery in Britain or in some other island, or of their redemption by a certain man at the cost of a single horse. Of course if anyone in our city says that the Goths had an origin different from that I have related, let him object. For myself, I prefer to believe what I have read, rather than put trust in old wives' tales.
(39) To return, then, to my subject. The aforesaid race of which I speak is known to have had Filimer as king while they remained in their first home in Scythia near Maeotis. In their second home, that is in the countries of Dacia, Thrace and Moesia, Zalmoxes reigned, whom many writers of annals mention as a man of remarkable learning in philosophy. Yet even before this they had a learned man Zeuta, and after him Dicineus; and the third was Zalmoxes of whom I have made mention above. Nor did they lack teachers of wisdom. (40) Wherefore the Goths have ever been wiser than other barbarians and were nearly like the Greeks, as Dio relates, who wrote their history and annals with a Greek pen. He says that those of noble birth among them, from whom their kings and priests were appointed, were called first Tarabostesei and then Pilleati. Moreover so highly were the Getae praised that Mars, whom the fables of poets call the god of war, was reputed to have been born among them. Hence Virgil says:
"Father Gradivus rules the Getic fields."
(41) Now Mars has always been worshipped by the Goths with cruel rites, and captives were slain as his victims. They thought that he who is the lord of war ought to be appeased by the shedding of human blood. To him they devoted the first share of the spoil, and in his honor arms stripped from the foe were suspended from trees. And they had more than all other races a deep spirit of religion, since the worship of this god seemed to be really bestowed upon their ancestor.
(42) In their third dwelling place, which was above the Sea of Pontus, they had now become more civilized and, as I have said before, were more learned. Then the people were divided under ruling families. The Visigoths served the family of the Balthi and the Ostrogoths served the renowned Amali. (43) They were the first race of men to string the bow with cords, as Lucan, who is more of a historian than a poet, affirms:
"They string Armenian bows with Getic cords."
In earliest times they sang of the deeds of their ancestors in strains of song accompanied by the cithara; chanting of Eterpamara, Hanala, Fritigern, Vidigoia and others whose fame among them is great; such heroes as admiring antiquity scarce proclaims its own to be. (44) Then, as the story goes, Vesosis waged a war disastrous to himself against the Scythians, whom ancient tradition asserts to have been the husbands of the Amazons. Concerning these female warriors Orosius speaks in convincing language. Thus we can clearly prove that Vesosis then fought with the Goths, since we know surely that he waged war with the husbands of the Amazons. They dwelt at that time along a bend of Lake Maeotis, from the river Borysthenes, which the natives call the Danaper, to the stream of the Tanais. (45) By the Tanais I mean the river which flows down from the Rhipaeian mountains and rushes with so swift a current that when the neighboring streams or Lake Maeotis and the Bosphorus are frozen fast, it is the only river that is kept warm by the rugged mountains and is never solidified by the Scythian cold. It is also famous as the boundary of Asia and Europe. For the other Tanais is the one which rises in the mountains of the Chrinni and flows into the Caspian Sea. (46) The Danaper begins in a great marsh and issues from it as from its mother. It is sweet and fit to drink as far as half-way down its course. It also produces fish of a fine flavor and without bones, having only cartilage as the frame-work of their bodies. But as it approaches the Pontus it receives a little spring called Exampaeus, so very bitter that although the river is navigable for the length of a forty days' voyage, it is so altered by the water of this scanty stream as to become tainted and unlike itself, and flows thus tainted into the sea between the Greek towns of Callipidae and Hypanis. At its mouth there is an island named Achilles. Between these two rivers is a vast land filled with forests and treacherous swamps.
VI (47) This was the region where the Goths dwelt when Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, made war upon them. Their king at that time was Tanausis. In a battle at the river Phasis (whence come the birds called pheasants, which are found in abundance at the banquets of the great all over the world) Tanausis, king of the Goths, met Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, and there inflicted a severe defeat upon him, pursuing him even to Egypt. Had he not been restrained by the waters of the impassable Nile and the fortifications which Vesosis had long ago ordered to be made against the raids of the Ethiopians, he would have slain him in his own land. But finding he had no power to injure him there, he returned and conquered almost all Asia and made it subject and tributary to Sornus, king of the Medes, who was then his dear friend. At that time some of his victorious army, seeing that the subdued provinces were rich and fruitful, deserted their companies and of their own accord remained in various parts of Asia.
(48) From their name or race Pompeius Trogus says the stock of the Parthians had its origin. Hence even to-day in the Scythian tongue they are called Parthi, that is, Deserters. And in consequence of their descent they are archers--almost alone among all the nations of Asia--and are very valiant warriors. Now in regard to the name, though I have said they were called Parthi because they were deserters, some have traced the derivation of the word otherwise, saying that they were called Parthi because they fled from their kinsmen. Now when Tanausis, king of the Goths, was dead, his people worshipped him as one of their gods."
Similar genetic evidence might be helpful in evaluating his latest theory.
See The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes.
Excuse me, by anyone of the stature of Thor? The value of genetic testing has been grossly overrated by those whose purpose it serves, much like carbon dating. See the recent squabble about genetic linking of Jews and Palestinians, and whose "evidence" matches up with which sponsoring organizations.
The single disconnect is the date he places on the Chinese mummies. It is about a thousand years earlier than the 620 BC date when the Celts (as we know them) first appeared in recorded history in northern Iraq, west of the Caspian Sea, and all around the Black sea. There are 2 obvious possible explanations for the disparity.
(1) The Chinese carbon dating is wrong. This always has to be considered. According to my Jewish Biblical Archeology professor at Oxford who managed digs in Palestine, a swing of a thousand years in carbon dating thereabouts is not at all unusual. From his extensive real-life dig experience he was always skeptical of carbon dates.
(2) If the dates are correct, these "blond haired Vikings" could be Israelites from the first bail-out of their Egyptian captivity. The Bible documents that following Josephs rein, when political conditions began to sour, one of Judahs sons plus members of the Tribes of Judah, Dan, and ASHER bailed out of Egypt by sea. Egyptian leaders from "upper" Egypt were coming down (northward) and taking over what Joseph had created, bringing about the bad times for the Israelites which are documented in such great detail in the OT.
These "early leaver" Israelites sailed first to the Eastern Med, then Westward to form settlements in Spain, then on to Ireland. Perhaps some of them stayed behind in the East and went northward into China? The dates and peoples do seem to match. If true, the "Vikings" in China would not be from the Lost Tribes of Israel as we think of them, but their much earlier cousins direct from Egypt.
In terms of the Norwegians, since Thor is dating them from Azerbaijan in early AD, just after the time of Christ, they could well be from either the earlier "Vikings" direct from Egypt, or from the Lost Tribes who appeared in that same region much later.
That's my first pass at it. What do you think?
I did and it appears as if you are an adherant to at least some form of British Israelism. Not that I have any problem with that.
This is Luzia, she died at the age of 24, 11,500 years ago in Brazil.
They must be the earlier cousins. I've read a number of books on the Chinese mummies, ("The Mummies Of Urumchi" and "The Tarim Basin Mummies") to name two, I believe the dates.
I believe they were the victims of that flood and their ancestors.
Hmmm... make that "Celtic Israelism" and it would be closer. ~ggg~
In the time I spent in England/Europe I discovered the definition of "Celt" varied widely from place to place, meaning it didn't have much meaning at all. It was what you wanted it to be. For example, in Ireland I asked the question "What is a Celt", and the answer often came back "A Catholic", as in the Holy Celtic Church.
In England, they thought the Celts were the smaller darker people who lived in Cornwall and Wales. In France they thought it was the smaller darker people who lived in Brittany, etc. In fact, these shorter darker people are simply the mixed offspring of the survivors of the MANY shipwrecks over history from trading with the Med, both before and after the Roman Empire.
Similarly, there many fine coffe table books about the Celts, full of grand photos, but the narratives are just hacks from various authors and sources of dubious repute, all quite provincial. From all of that I became convinced that too many authors were missing the forest for the trees, and later research seems to be bearing that out.
After 20+ years of research and travel and PostDoctoral work at several major European Universities, it is my carefully considered opinion that the Celts are indeed the rootstalk of most of Northern and Western Europe (not just Britain). Furthur, the Celts are none other than the Lost Tribes of Israel. (See my Profile for some of the rationale.)
>It all seems plausible, one thing about the Chinese mummies, it looks from what I previously read that they predate the era of Abraham by quite a bit, in fact the oldest assumptions put them before Adam.
We're back to the uncertainty of carbon dating. To the extent Thor uses the date "5000 years ago" you could be right. I believe he dates the Chinese mummies after the time of Abraham, who lived after 2000 BC, only 4000 years ago.
> Not too sure about that, but I believe the Tarim basin was the area where the flood of Noah occured
Yes, its beginning to look like it
> based on the close proximity of a very likely Eden location that is now the Pamir plateau, this area was an inland sea from about 2300 bc to the time of Christ, IIRC, and so the discovery of these mummies lends support to this theory since they are obviously Adamic in lineage. I believe they were the victims of that flood and their ancestors.
Could be. So you would think the Norwegians came direct from the "Mother Stock"?
Thanks for the link. It is interesting, but like most traditional authors they got the Celtic migrations wrong because their premise was defective. They assumed the Celts somehow magically BEGAN in the region of Hallstadt Austria and LeTennes Switzerland (I have been to both places) and migrated outward from there. In fact, these were only major way stations in the Celtic migration westward and northward from the Caucasus.
I thought it fascinating that Thor linked the Irish to the Norse, not from later Viking times (which is clearly valid) but the Norse from Azerbaijan. This matches nicely with the Irish from the small early Egyptian diaspora.
Also, Thor talks about the Land of Aser. How much closer can you get to the Tribe of Asher, part of which was also part of the earlier Egyptian diaspora?
"Mass migrations during the Bronze Age scattered many peoples across Europe and Asia ..."
it triggers in me the response, "but these were the CELTS!"
If you start out in the Caucasus with 5 MILLION Lost Tribe/Celts in the year 620 BC and they were last seen headed West, you can have a LOT of these little "mass migrations" happening at the same time, but too many academics can't seem to connect them together. Can't see the forest for all those trees in the way. My contention is that if we look at the similarities of these apparently random groups of people drifting in waves mostly northwestward across the countryside, we may find that they are just different clans or tribes of the same people.
(But academic careers are not made by finding answers, they are made by learning more and more about less and less until one knows everything about nothing. Then one is called wise, and if not rocking any boats along they way by doing truly independent thinking, obtains tenure.)
Will put this on the list.
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I agree. Why were they migrating, weather/climate?
I read this study and found it very interesting.
Have never seen anyone specifically address that question. In the absence of better information would have to speculate that it was "for the usual reasons".
But Dr. Iben Brownings thesis that changes in climate due to unreported volcanic activity was one of the biggest reasons for migrations makes sense to me, in both ancient and modern history. (The Little Ice Ages in Europe as a prime example.)
Jacob was Joseph's father, not his son.
> Jacob or Israel was descended from Joseph, so the twelve tribes of Israel were descended from Joseph, but not all of Joseph's decedents are Jewish.
That's correct, except Jacob was descended from Abraham, not Joseph.
>The first dispersion of the Jewish people occurred because of the defeat of Israel by the Assyrians, who deported the Jews to other parts of their kingdom.
Close, but it was the NORTHERN Kingdom which was deported by the Assyrians. The Jews remained behind in the Southern Kingdom.
>The second dispersion of the Jews occurred when Judah fell to the Babylonians (sp?) which is modern day Iraq. Jerusalem fell and the Temple was destroyed. The Jews were carried off to Babylon (Baghdad?). When they were finally released, not all the Jews returned to Jerusalem, some stayed in Iraq and surrounding areas. Some of those folks kept their religion, some did not.
Essentially accurate, but this was the FIRST dispersion of the Jews.
>By the birth of Christ, the twelve tribes of Israel were scattered though out the known world.
Well, the 10 Northern Tribes were certainly scattered, at least throughout much of Europe, and Corinth, Phillipi, Ephesus, Galatia, etc. at that time. But the Jewish Tribes had returned from the Babylonian captivity after only 70 years or so, and mostly remained in Palestine.
>With Christ's ministry many Jews
Make that SOME of the Jews who were in Palestine and ministered to by James.
>...followed "The Way" and were later called "Christians"..
but the major impact of especially the Apostle Paul, and some other Apostles was to the "Lost Tribes of Israel" found in Galatia, Corinth, etc........
>A further corruption of the twelve tribes happened around 800AD, when the Kasars, Kyzars (sp?) were converted to Judaism.
No, this had little if any effect on the CELTS, who were the 10 Lost Tribes, and who were not Jewish.
>So, the bottom line is that who is descended from the twelve tribes and who is not is rather fuzzy.
See the many other entries in this thread, and click on my Profile below.
>They must be the earlier cousins.
I would bet with you on this one. But then, maybe they were just on Vacation from Ireland, heading for Japan, and their camel train got caught in a blizzard. ~ggg~. It's hard to tell from a few mummies whether they were alone or there were thousands of them, the rest eaten by whatever. That is one of the great dilemmas of all Archeology/Anthropology.
What a useless post. Is school out today?
That's what I was looking for, being a catastrophist and such. Hee, hee. Give me an exact date and I'll find something. lol.
I've noticed that. ~ggg~. Can be very useful...
I saw Prof. Browning speak several times before his death. He was a spellbinder, in his own quiet way. Brought a lot of solid science to the table while upsetting some traditionalists and their stale lecture notes. My kind of guy.
Since I messed up this thread with one long post, I'll do it again -- the source is password protected anyway. Note that the date of Neolithic diffusion from the Middle East into Europe is a very long time before the Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom about 722 BC.
Science Magazine, 10 November 2000
EVOLUTIONARY GENETICS: Europeans Trace Ancestry to Paleolithic People
Y chromosome data show that living Europeans have deep roots in the region--and researchers say genetic markers may be linked to archaeological cultures known from archaeology
About 8000 years ago, the people living in Franchthi Cave in southern Greece experienced a dramatic change of lifestyle. On the floor of the cave where hunter-gatherers had been dropping stone tools and fishbones for thousands of years, the remains of a new kind of feast appear: traces of wheat, barley, sheep, and goat, which can only be the result of farming and herding animals. Within the next 3000 years, the same abrupt transition ripples through archaeological sites along the shoreline of the Mediterranean, eventually reaching Europe, where settled villages of mud-brick houses appear. "The consequences of the transition were fundamental--village settlement, new beliefs, different social structure," says archaeologist Colin Renfrew of the University of Cambridge in England. "A behavioral revolution took place." But which people made that revolutionary European transition? Did farmers move into Europe from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, or did local hunter-gatherers learn to trade and farm themselves? And if Neolithic newcomers brought farming technology, did they replace most of the locals, or did those Paleolithic locals survive and become the primary ancestors of modern Europeans?
Now, after years of debate, these questions are being answered not only by ancient remains but also by the genes of living Europeans. In a report on page 1155, an international team reports that a wealth of data from the Y chromosome show that it was the local hunter-gatherers who passed on more of their genes. More than 80% of European men have inherited their Y chromosomes--which are transmitted only from father to son--from Paleolithic ancestors who lived 25,000 to 40,000 years ago. Only 20% of Europeans trace their Y chromosome ancestry to Neolithic farmers. Thus, the genetic template for European men was set as early as 40,000 years ago, then modified--but not recast--by the Neolithic farmers about 10,000 years ago.
These Y chromosome data are "strikingly similar" to new findings on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is inherited maternally, notes evolutionary geneticist Martin Richards of the University of Huddersfield in England, who led a mtDNA study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics. "A consensus is emerging on what the genetic data are telling us," says Richards. "After all the debate, this is very exciting and encouraging."
The data from both genetic lineages not only enable researchers to trace the movements of the first farmers, they also paint a remarkably detailed picture of the identity and movements of ancient Europeans. The Y chromosome team, led by geneticists Ornella Semino of the University of Pavia in Italy and Giuseppe Passarino of Stanford University, also took the bold step of explicitly connecting genetic and archaeological data--a move that is already drawing some fire. The researchers link two early migrations recorded by the Y chromosome to two Paleolithic cultures, the Aurignacian and Gravettian, each famous for their spectacular art and artifacts (see map). "This paper shows us that molecular genetics is beginning to show us which genetic markers are coordinated with climatic events and population dispersals," says Renfrew.
The earliest glimpse of European genetic origins came from protein markers; more recently, researchers studied the mtDNA of European women. But the results were divided: One group of researchers that included Stanford geneticist L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, a co-author of the new Y chromosome study, found similar markers in Europeans and Middle Easterners, which declined from east to west and looked like the signature of the Neolithic expansion. But other researchers proposed that several European genetic markers were too old to have been introduced with the Neolithic newcomers.
The obvious way to reconcile the sometimes heated debate was to look at men's genetic history as recorded on the Y chromosome. By comparing the variations, called polymorphisms or markers, at one site on the chromosome, and the frequency at which those variations occur in different populations, geneticists can sort out which populations are most closely related. They can then build a phylogenetic tree that traces the inheritance of the Y chromosome markers in different populations. And by using average mutation rates, researchers can estimate how long ago particular mutations appeared, thus dating various population splits and movements.
Using samples from 1007 European men, the Y chromosome team got clear results: Most of the men could be sorted into 10 different Y chromosome variants or haplotypes. The researchers sorted those haplotypes on a phylogenetic tree and used the geographic distributions of modern markers to trace the evolution and spread of the ancient markers. For example, they found that four modern haplotypes, which account for 80% of European men's Y chromosomes, were descended from two now-vanished haplotypes. One, M173, arose more than 40,000 years ago from an even older marker called M45. Apparently M45 was present in men living in Asia, for other descendants of this haplotype are now seen in Siberians and Native Americans. Meanwhile, the descendants of the M173 marker are found at the highest frequency today in Europe. So the researchers conclude that M173 is an ancient Eurasiatic marker that moved into Europe about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago.
The authors note that this is just the time of the advent of the Aurignacian, an advanced culture that reached its height in Western Europe about 35,000 years ago and is well-known for its sophisticated rock-art paintings and finely crafted tools of antler, bone, and ivory. Archaeologists have hotly debated whether these people originally came from Europe, Asia, or the Middle East. Now the authors propose that haplotype M173 is the "signature of the Aurignacian," and that these people came from central Asia. If the team is right, then half of modern European men still carry the genetic signature of these ancient artists.
Using similar reasoning, the researchers report that the next wave of migration into Europe, marked by a mutation known as M170, occurred about 22,000 years ago from the Middle East. The authors link this wave to the so-called Gravettian culture, known for its Venus figurines and small, delicate blades, which first appeared in the area that is now Austria, the Czech Republic, and the northern Balkans. But archaeologist Alison Brooks of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., warns that there were many cultures in Europe at these times, such as the Solutrean from Iberia, and that it's risky to link genes to a particular culture.
Once in Europe, the timing and geographical distribution of markers suggests that Aurignacian people dominated Western and southern Europe, while the Gravettian people thrived in Eastern and Central Europe. But when the climate worsened during the Last Glacial Maximum 24,000 to 16,000 years ago, people carrying the "Aurignacian" marker apparently concentrated in refuges in the Iberian peninsula and the Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Gravettian people apparently moved to the Balkans. After the glaciers retreated, the geneticists say that these people moved out of the refuges and their populations expanded rapidly. That fast expansion is why these markers now account for such a large proportion--80%--of modern Europeans' Y chromosomes.
Finally, another migration occurred, marked by four new mutations about 9000 years ago, apparently in men coming from the Middle East. But only about 20% of Europeans have these Neolithic markers. The authors tie this migration to the spread of farming out of the Fertile Crescent, as seen in the archaeological record. The distribution of markers even suggests something about the route the ancient farmers took: "There's more Paleolithic [markers] in the north of Europe than the south and more Neolithic in the south," says Cavalli-Sforza. "I believe at least part of the Neolithic people went by boat along the coast."
The new mtDNA data tell much the same tale, says Richards, with 80% of European women having the older Paleolithic markers and 20% having Neolithic markers--although in women, the Neolithic haplotypes are not concentrated along the Mediterranean coastline, a finding that could reflect the different movements of the sexes. But the mtDNA data also suggest the presence of ice age refuges in Iberia and, to a lesser extent, southern Europe. "This fits completely with the mitochondrial data that show an expansion out of Iberia," says Antonio Torroni, a geneticist at the University of Urbino in Italy who proposed the idea of an Iberian refuge in 1998.
The new Y chromosome data enhance the existing picture, says Renfrew. "The mitochondrial work showed us the way, but the Y is making it even more clear," as the Y chromosome data reveal geographical sources of origin more clearly. This is probably because in many societies women move to join their husband's families, while related men cluster more closely geographically. And because some men have many, many children, they leave more offspring with identical Y chromosomes--and a sharp geographical signal.
But those features also mean that there is less diversity in Y chromosome lineages around the world than in mtDNA, notes Cavalli-Sforza. That lack of diversity makes dating the Y chromosome mutations more difficult: In their calculations, researchers assume that low genetic diversity means that less time has passed--but instead, men's mating habits might be creating a pool of very similar DNA and swamping the data. That would cause researchers to underestimate the age of genetic and population events.
Some researchers are particularly wary of connecting these roughly dated markers to cultures known from the archaeological record. Although he praises the basic Y chromosome results, "I don't like attaching genetics to archaeological evidence," says Mark Jobling, a geneticist at the University of Leicester in England who also studies the Y chromosome in Europeans. "It appeals to the imagination, but the mutation rates on the Y [and therefore the dating of genetic events] have wide confidence margins."
Cavalli-Sforza agrees that genetic dates have large margins of error. But because even these preliminary dates from different genetic lineages correspond well with each other and with major migrations suggested by the archaeological record, it is hard to resist making the connections. "Genetic dating is in its infancy," says Cavalli-Sforza. "We have to start somewhere. The future will bring new evidence."
DNA studies are like Carbon Dating studies. The results tend to support the desire of the sponsor.
Look at the current flap about the so-called "Jewish gene". One group, which wants to find it, found it. However, another group finds no substantial difference between Jews and Palestinians. Not am impressive record I'm afraid. Nothing I would bet lunch on without knowing who wanted to prove what.
I am still amused that, after so much success tracing early history through mythology (Heyerdahl's surmises, as evidenced here; Schliemann's unearthing of Troy, etc.), people still offhandedly dismiss something like Atlantis. Ah, well...as Thor said, we really don't change that much, intellectually...;^)
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
Excuse me, by anyone of the stature of Thor? The value of genetic testing has been grossly overrated by those whose purpose it serves, much like carbon dating. See the recent squabble about genetic linking of Jews and Palestinians, and whose "evidence" matches up with which sponsoring organizations.
The theory is debunked as simply as the theory that Europeans or Africans settled the Americas, as opposed to possibly having a few ships stranded there over the millenia.
Polynesians have hogs, therefore they came from Asia, not South America.
Amerinds had no hogs, thus they came here before the domestication of the hog.
Hogs are supremely useful and hardy, they would have been included in any migration after their domestication.
You're a loose cannon? I guess it's a good thing that I keep a lot of my comments to myself. ;o) I mean, anyone around here gonna shoot me for thinking that Neanderthals & Nephilim might be the same? How would early man pass down a verbal tradition of contact with Neanderthals or do you think that would have gone on without any kind of comment?
Anyway, I found this article to be interesting. Like parts of my Norwegian line, I take many things like this with a grain of salt. Still, I couldn't resist plugging a guy with the name Halvdan Den Milde Og Matille Eysteinsøn into my DB, knowing that he was "The Generous & Food Miserly". 31 generations to Odin, eh? This guy would be among the 31. LOL
Thanks for the nice remarks. I realized just now (to my chagrin) that this topic was indeed pinged before, so I guess my "loose cannon" self-analysis stands. ;')
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