Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Scandinavian Ancestry -- Tracing Roots to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan International ^ | Summer 2000 | Thor Heyerdahl

Posted on 12/15/2001 2:43:28 PM PST by spycatcher


 Azerbaijan International

Summer 2000 (8.2)

Scandinavian Ancestry
Tracing Roots to Azerbaijan

by Thor Heyerdahl

Thor Heyerdahl with Peruvian children

Above: Thor Heyerdahl with Peruvian children who still construct traditional boats made of reeds, the principle material that enabled early migrations on trans-oceanic voyages. Courtesy: Thor Heyerdahl.

Archeologist and historian Thor Heyerdahl, 85, has visited Azerbaijan on several occasions during the past two decades. Each time, he garners more evidence to prove his tantalizing theory - that Scandinavian ancestry can be traced to the region now known as Azerbaijan.

Heyerdahl first began forming this hypothesis after visiting Gobustan, an ancient cave dwelling found 30 miles west of Baku, which is famous for its rock carvings. The sketches of sickle-shaped boats carved into these rocks closely resemble rock carvings found in his own native Norway.

Thor Heyerdahl and Ra 2

Above: Determined to prove that early man could have crossed the ocean in reed boats, Thor Heyerdahl sailed a reed boat named Ra 2 for 3,270 sea miles (6,100 kilometers) in 57 days in 1970. Courtesy: Thor Heyerdahl

Years later, the explorer stumbled upon another correlation between Norway and Azerbaijan. Norwegian mythology tells that the Scandinavian god Odin moved with his people to Norway from a land called Aser, in order to avoid Roman occupation. A 13th-century historian's description of Aser's origination matches that of Azerbaijan: east of the Caucasus mountains and the Black Sea.

Is this story mythology or history? During his most recent visit to Azerbaijan in May 1999, Heyerdahl elaborated his point of view at a public forum. Here is his speech with personal notations added by Heyerdahl himself just prior to our going to press.

Ocean Currents that enabled early man to migrant oceans

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.

I think as science advances, it will become more and more evident that we have more in common with each other than any of us realized a few decades ago. This afternoon I visited the Gobustan caves. From the first time I saw the carvings out there [several years ago], I was attracted to the petroglyphs that feature reed ships. On the way back from Gobustan, I was told that I was supposed to speak tonight. I was told that I should speak about my relationship with Azerbaijan and how it began. I had barely half an hour to prepare myself for this topic, but I hope you will give me half an hour so I can tell you what I've been thinking.

The first time I came to Azerbaijan was in 1981 [He also visited in 1994, 1997 and 1999]. There weren't very many visitors from outside the Iron Curtain who came here back in those days. My invitation came from Azerbaijan's Academy of Sciences. I started thinking about why the Academy of Sciences in Azerbaijan would invite me and it dawned on me that I was in a very unique situation at the time because I was both a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and had received an Honorary Doctorate from the Soviet Academy of Sciences. I didn't believe in barriers between nations. I believed in people, not political parties.

Gobustan Rock Paintings -  near Baku Azerbaijan

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.

At that time I was fighting with scientists all over the world - both in the East and the West - because I believed that there had been peaceful contact between nations much longer than we, who consider ourselves civilized, ever realized. I believe there was contact by ships along the rivers and oceans long before civilization began. Earlier this century, nobody believed that people could navigate with the kinds of vessels that men were using 5,000 years ago. So I was fighting with scientists from all over the world - on both sides of the Iron Curtain - for my theory of ocean migration. I spent most of my time answering attacks in scientific publications. I had friends in Russia who sent me translations of these attacks. I answered back and my defense was published in Russian. Of course, it took quite a bit of time.

Roman inscriptions at Gobustan near Baku

Above: Roman inscription at Gobustan indicating that Roman troops were in the region around 97 AD.

One day I received a very surprising letter from Professor Keldish, President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He was quite famous on both sides of the Iron Curtain as he had sent the first Sputnik into space. He invited me to come to Moscow and defend my own theory in front of the Soviet scientists. I accepted the invitation and went alone to Moscow. It was a great moment for me to address the entire Academy, in a part of the world that was not very popular in my part of the world at that time.

Thor Heyerdahl at Gobustan rock carvings - 1994President Keldish himself organized the questions and it was a very fair and honest discussion. Before I left, I was given an Honorary Doctor's Degree from Lomonosov University in Moscow. Doctor Keldish asked me: "Why don't you collaborate with Russia and people from the Soviet part of the world in some of your expeditions in the future?"

Left: Thor Heyerdahl in 1994 at the Gobustan caves in Azerbaijan. Courtesy: Statoil

Now let me explain my own background as a scientist, because it wasn't everyone that President Keldish invited to come to Moscow. The reason was boats like those carved on the cave walls in Gobustan.

I had been educated in Oslo University in biology. As a student, I went on an archeological expedition to an island in the middle of the Pacific called Fatu-Hiva in Polynesia. I was to study how life had arrived at this island, which had come straight up from the bottom of the ocean. Millions of years ago the island had just been boiling lava. But when the first European explorers came, there were all sorts of plants and animals and even human beings. Of course, the study of zoology includes human beings as well. This was back in 1938.

It caused me to wonder: how did early people travel across the ocean? Europeans never discovered a single uninhabited island in any ocean. Every single island that could have been inhabited already was. All the thousands of islands in the Pacific and also all those in the Indian Ocean were populated. The islands in the Atlantic - the Canary Islands and the Caribbean Islands - were also populated. And so this is how I became interested in early navigation.

Doubting the Historians

Thor Heyerdahl and Jacqueline BeersScientists at that time insisted that no American Indian could have left America before Columbus, and no people could have reached America before Columbus except via the Bering Straits in the Arctic. This is where I learned how important it is for scientists to collaborate across different branches of science. I had my university training in biology, geography and physical anthropology. I had biological proof that someone must have brought certain plants from South America to Polynesia - for instance, the sweet potato, which only grew in South America. It could not have drifted alone across the ocean without the help of man.

Left: Thor Heyerdahl and wife Jacqueline Beers looking at book about antiquities in Azerbaijan at the Academy of Science during their 1999 visit to Azerbaijan. Courtesy: Statoil

Historians and anthropologists told me that in South America they had only rafts before the Europeans came. And so that's how I decided to construct a raft like I imagined the South American Indians had done, and sail with friends from Peru to Polynesia. This voyage on the "Kon Tiki" in 1947 was my first experience with a small vessel on the open ocean. From then on, I began organizing archeological excavations. My first was in 1952 to the Galapagos Islands. The next was to Easter Island in 1955-56. That was the first time I saw carvings of those large sickle-shaped ships. They were the same type as those in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. I started to suspect that people of early civilizations in North Africa might have been able to cross the Atlantic long before Columbus did.

We Europeans usually think that we have discovered everything, but that's not correct. We're realizing that everywhere there were people who came before us. My anthropological training has made me understand more and more how much alike people are, regardless of nationality, race or physical features.

I've also come to the conclusion that we err if we believe that we are much different from people who lived 5,000 years ago. I think that we can say with assurance that we are born with the same genes as people 5,000 years ago were. We start at zero for each new generation. We accumulate technical knowledge, but our intelligence or mental characteristics don't change.

With this in mind, I came to the conclusion that the Egyptians who built the pyramids left behind art and technology of an incredibly high level. They would not have continued to build boats made of reeds if they had considered such vessels to be primitive and ineffective. So, I decided that there must be something wrong with our scientific theories. All the literature that I had read at the university had said that boats made of balsam wood would absorb water and sink.

So I went on to prove that these scientific theories were wrong. The Kon Tiki raft kept afloat for 101 days until we arrived in Polynesia. In Egypt it was said at the Papyrus Institute that papyrus reed would absorb water and sink after two weeks. Again, I decided to trust the ancient pharaohs more than modern scientists who have never even seen a papyrus ship. That's how I came to build my first reed boat. Together, with an international crew of seven people, we sailed for two months. The reed boat was still afloat.

The Buduma fishermen from Lake Chad in Central Africa, who built this reed ship, were not used to ocean waves. The rope lashings busted and we started losing reeds. The problem was that half of the reeds were not floating with the rest of the ship. We were sitting there watching the reeds float behind us. When we arrived off the coast of the U.S., I decided that we should not take any risks with human life, but we should try again. For one month we had been swimming underneath the vessel and trying to tie it back together with ropes. In the end we had 17 sharks swimming alongside us, so we had to discontinue our repairs. So I told my men, "Are you going to come? We'll start again next year."

So we attempted to make the trip again and crossed the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados in 1970, with the papyrus ship Ra II and with all the same crew, plus a Japanese cameraman.

On both these Atlantic trips, I experimented not only with the vessel, but also with the crew. I mixed people - black as black as you can get, with yellow and white - along with representatives of all the existing main religions, including atheism. There was one person from North America and one from Soviet Russia, one Arab and one Jew.

We lived together so well that they all came with me again when I sailed another reed ship in the Indian Ocean in 1977-78. That reed ship, the Tigris, was larger, which made room for more nationalities. We sailed down the river Tigris up to the Persian Gulf, up to Pakistan, the Indus Valley, then reversed our direction and sailed across the Indian Ocean and came back to the entrance of the Red Sea, where we could meet the modern world. The 11 of us were from 11 nations, from all different political inclinations, all major religions, and we all lived together in peace for five months in the tight quarters of a reed ship.

We received messages from the United Nations that we shouldn't push any further because there was a war being waged on both sides of the Red Sea, where millennia ago peaceful Sumerians and the people from the Indus Valley had traded with Egyptians. We sent a telegram to the United Nations and recommended that they halt weapons delivery to people who had been fighting only with swords until Westerners had come and were making profit from perpetrating wars more catastrophic than ever.

Visiting Azerbaijan
And so, after those three expeditions on three different oceans, I was invited to visit Azerbaijan. I came here because I had established good contacts with scientists in this country, and I had learned that you had something quite sensational at Gobustan. I came to Azerbaijan as a guest of the Academy of Sciences in Azerbaijan to see the petroglyphs in Gobustan.

The President of the Academy was driving around with me to see this country and its beautiful nature and to meet local people - scientists as well as farmers. I learned about his family connections the day before I left - he was the brother of the President of Azerbaijan. That's how my friendship with your country started.

Due to this friendship that I have with Azerbaijan, when Statoil from Norway came here, I was invited to join the delegation because I knew so many people here. And that's when I became interested in the fact that you have two types of boat petroglyphs in Gobustan.

On my first visit, I came to study the reed ships that are similar to the boats of the ancient Mediterranean. But on my second visit, I learned that the people in Azerbaijan call themselves Azeri. I remembered from my school days that we have legends in Norway woven into Norwegian history in such an intricate way that we don't know where history starts and mythology ends. But the documented history of Norway dates back more than 800 years. Traditions about the original homeland of our ancestors were recorded in the 18th century in Ireland and say that we are descendants of the land of the Aser.

Early Scandinavian History
We learn of the line of royal families in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. But we didn't take these stories about our beginnings seriously because they were so ancient. We thought it was just imagination, just mythology. The actual years for the lineage of historic kings began around the year 800 AD. So we learned all the kings in the 1,000 years that followed and did not interest ourselves in earlier names.

But I remember from my childhood that the mythology started with the god named Odin. From Odin it took 31 generations to reach the first historic king. The record of Odin says that he came to Northern Europe from the land of Aser. I started reading these pages again and saw that this was not mythology at all, but actual history and geography.

Snorre, who recorded these stories, started by describing Europe, Asia and Africa, all with their correct names, Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea with their old Norse names, the Black Sea with the names we use today again, and the river Don with its old Greek name, Tanais. So, I realized that this has nothing to do with the gods who lived with the Thunder god Thor among the clouds.

Snorre said that the homeland of the Asers was east of the Black Sea. He said this was the land that chief Odin had, a big country. He gave the exact description: it was east of the Black Sea, south of a large mountain range on the border between Europe and Asia, and extended southward towards the land of the Turks. This had nothing to do with mythology, it was on this planet, on Earth.

Then came the most significant point. Snorre says: "At that time when Odin lived, the Romans were conquering far and wide in the region. When Odin learned that they were coming towards the land of Asers, he decided that it was best for him to take his priests, chiefs and some of his people and move to the Northern part of Europe."

The Romans are human beings, they are from this planet, they are not mythical figures. Then I remember that when I came to Gobustan, I had seen a stone slab with Roman inscriptions. I contacted the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. I was taken to the place, and I got the exact wording of the inscription.

There's a very logical way of figuring out when this was written. It had to be written after the year 84 AD and before the year 97 AD. If this inscription matched Snorre's record, it would mean that Odin left for Scandinavia during the second half of the 1st century AD. Then I counted the members of the generations of kings, every king up to the grandfather of the king that united Norway into one kingdom, because such information is available - around 830 AD.

In anthropology we reckon 25 years per generation for ruling kings. In modern times, a generation may extend up to 30 years, but on average the length of a generation in early reigns is 25 years. When you multiply 31 generations by 25 years, you come exactly back to the second half of the 1st century AD. So there is proof that these inscriptions carved by the Romans in stone coincide with the written history written almost 1,800 years ago in Iceland.

We all know that the Northern people are called Caucasian. Here is where history, archeology, geography and physical anthropology come together.

The more I research the topic, the more evidence I find that this part of the planet has played a much more significant role than anybody ever suspected. I am working on a book at present together with a colleague, and we are halfway through it describing our observations.

Blond-Haired Mummies
In the meantime we have contacts with the Academies of Sciences in 11 nations. We do not want to leave anything out. The most surprising discovery was when we contacted Communist China. They had discovered blond-haired mummies in the Karim Desert deep inside China, so perfectly preserved in the cold climate and salty earth that you could see the color of the skin and hair. The Chinese archeologists were surprised because these mummies were not Mongoloids at all; they suspected instead that they were Vikings.

But it didn't make sense to me that Vikings should be deep inside the deserts of China. When the Chinese archeologists conducted radio-carbon dating, they determined that the mummies were of Nordic type dating from 1,800 to 1,500 years BC. But the Viking period started around 800 AD. It then became obvious that these mummies were not Vikings who had come to China. Here was a missing link. And again the Caucasus enters into the picture as a mutual migratory center.

But this is not the end of the story. These mummies were dressed in cloth that had been woven, and the colors and the woven pattern were of a very specific type. The Chinese themselves studied the mummies and then invited American experts to study the clothing who determined that the weave and coloring were typical of the Celts of Ireland. But this made no sense at all. Then we contacted Ireland to get their sagas, and their written saga says that their ancestors were Scythians. So, again, their roots come back here to the Caucasus.

This is only the beginning, because this is as far as we have obtained documentation from the Academies of Sciences with which we are in contact. I will not go into detail further, but I have also found archeological evidence that is so striking that there can no longer be any doubt.

My conclusion is that Azerbaijan has been a very important center, sending people in many directions and attracting people from many directions. You have had metals that made the Romans want to come here. But you have been very central in the evolution of civilization, and more than anything, this is proven by the petroglyphs in Gobustan.

One thing is clear: navigation occurred before civilization. We used to believe that civilization came first, and once people had developed a high enough level of civilization, then they started to build boats. This just isn't true. On the contrary, it was when people built ocean-going vessels - that enabled them to contact each other so that they could trade and learn from each other. It was through contact and peaceful cooperation that civilization developed.

Azerbaijan International (8.2) Summer 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.

Back to Index AI 8.2 (Summer 2000)
AI Home
| Magazine Choice | Topics | Store | Contact us

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: africa; akuaku; antoniotorroni; archaeology; arctic; asia; atlantic; azerbaijan; baku; barbados; blacksea; buduma; canaryislands; caribbean; caucasus; celts; china; denmark; easterisland; egypt; fatuhiva; galapagos; ggg; gibraltar; gobustan; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; history; indianocean; indusvalley; ireland; kontiki; kontiki2; lakechad; mediterranean; mesopotamia; morocco; norway; odin; pakistan; papyrus; persiangulf; peru; polynesia; raexpeditions; redsea; romanempire; russia; sarmatians; scandinavia; scythia; scythian; scythians; sweden; sweetpotato; tanais; thorheyerdahl; tigris; vikings
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-57 last
To: LostTribe
I suppose you also subscribe to the "civilazation was founded by aliens" school of archeological scholarship.
41 posted on 12/16/2001 9:23:32 AM PST by Cacique
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: LostTribe; blam
DNA studies are not supporting the idea that Northern Europeans are descendents of the Lost Tribes of Isreal.

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
Ann Gibbons

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."

42 posted on 12/16/2001 11:21:09 AM PST by Lessismore
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Lessismore
>DNA studies are not supporting the idea that Northern Europeans are descendents of the Lost Tribes of Isreal.

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.

43 posted on 12/16/2001 11:59:43 AM PST by LostTribe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: blam;Ernest_at_the_beach
Thank you for the ping, blam; and Ernest, for the index list. Heyerdahl was one of the truly impressive men of our times.

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, Thor said, we really don't change that much, intellectually...;^)

44 posted on 12/16/2001 4:10:19 PM PST by Le-Roy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Another old one, never pinged or added to GGG. Uh, probably for good reason. But I'm a loose cannon.
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)

45 posted on 05/01/2005 9:48:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Monday, April 11, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LostTribe; AZLiberty
Thor Heyerdahl's theory that Polynesians migrated by boat from South America has been debunked over the last few years by genetic evidence. This evidence shows that the Peruvians were descended from Asians who migrated down the Americas from the North, and that the Polynesians were of nearby Asian origin, not from the Americas.


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.


46 posted on 05/02/2005 7:08:33 AM PDT by Servant of the 9 (Trust Me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

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

47 posted on 05/02/2005 10:20:09 AM PDT by GoLightly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv


48 posted on 05/02/2005 12:44:20 PM PDT by ken21 (if you didn't see it on tv, then it didn't happen. /s)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: GoLightly; ken21

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. ;')

49 posted on 05/03/2005 5:43:15 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Monday, April 11, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

50 posted on 04/16/2006 2:23:49 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·

51 posted on 06/16/2008 2:41:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Hmmm. I miss FReeper ‘LostTribe.’

52 posted on 06/16/2008 5:44:22 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: blam

Each of the archived versions has the error page. Kinda weird.*/

53 posted on 06/16/2008 5:53:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: blam
articles posted by LostTribe looks like it may have some GGG "Blasts from the Past" on it.
54 posted on 06/16/2008 5:59:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: spycatcher

55 posted on 06/16/2008 7:20:20 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

The Caucasian mummies found in China had pointed hats.

56 posted on 06/16/2008 7:40:18 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

57 posted on 06/20/2015 11:56:30 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (What do we want? REGIME CHANGE! When do we want it? NOW)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-57 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson