Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hepititis B-eaker (Muhleman et al, 2018)

The Dailymail reports:

"Strain of hepatitis B found on a 4,500-year-old skeleton is the oldest human virus ever to be discovered"   .

As promised by David Reich, research into ancient remains is yielding information that may help conquer some of our most deadly diseases.

Glockenbechergrab ORF.

Although HBV is now known to be millions of years old, scientists are trying to understand how and when it started infecting mammals and finally humans.  Some theories suggest it was party to the OOA exodus, others say it may be more recent.

The infected Bell Beaker man was RISE563 from the cemetery of Osterhofen-Altenmarkt, Germany.  In addition RISE386 from the Sintashta Culture in Russia and a number of other Scythian related groups of Asia have HBV infections of different variants.

The Bell Beaker and a few other individuals belong to a HBV sister clade of the Chimpanzee-Gorilla node, which these scientists points to a more recent infection from Africa spreading into Eurasia.  But a cluster HBV clades in Asian steppe pastoral cultures point to some variants having a deeper history in Eurasia, however deep.

The position taken in this paper is that HBV diversity in moderns is not that informative in light of the high mobility seen in these samples and in recent papers.  (In fact, this grave at Altenmarkt was shown by Douglas Price et al years ago to belong to a high mobility isotopic group)  With that and the extinction of this old clade, the scientist claim that HBV may be overwriting its geographic positions and that the only way to formulate a hypothesis of its human relationship is through direct evidence on ancient human remains.

* News outlets are reporting that the oldest sample is 7,000 years old.  That's because they cut and paste each other without reading the paper.  RISE563 is the oldest reported in this paper.

"Ancient hepatitis B viruses from the Bronze AGe to the Medieval period"
Nature 2018.  Muhlemann, Willerslev et al. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0097-z 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Bear Claw to LPIE

A lot of fur has been flying in the PIE debate recently which has been brought about by the addition of the most recent Near East genomes.  Enjoy the wonder while you can.

I'm now going to take a big bear claw to the notion that PIE can exist without EHG.  A number of the chief Harvard scientists are essentially suggesting this possibility, Lararidis, 2018.  As a consequence, LPIE becomes a chapter in a kaleidoscope narrative.  I'm all about some Gordon Whitakker Proto-Euphratean, but that's a separate topic.  This is about PIE, exterior day 1.

I'll offer a short narrative below to mete out where I think the stronger points can be found to dispel a southern, one half of itself origin.  Maybe I'll expand on these later.

"Strange Wives Part 1"

1.  Proto-Indo-European was the inevitable development of a world-system seeking to gain access to patrilocal, riverine communities in its periphery.  Traders cemented their interests with these fisher-woodsmen around the northern half and western inlets of the two seas the old fashioned way - by making them cousins.  Look no further than academia or entertainment to see what factors drive marriage decisions (and to see how quickly they dissolve when nepotic incentives dry up).  For incipient IE, this had to have happened at leadership levels and perhaps on a more massive scale involving women.

Since these rather small riverine villages were strongly patrilocal, the issues of trade - protection, passage and privilege - could be cultivated by the marriage of a southern-speaking daughter to the foreign lord, with loyalties and shared interests being nursed and expanded generation after generation.  There was an incentive for southern outfits in this global economy to develop these relationships, if for no other reason than to crowd out competing interests.

Make no mistake, the contribution of southern ancestry in PIE (the steppe) originates from this sophisticated world-system on a continuous basis, not some well-positioned archaeological culture in the northern reaches.  These northern and southern ancestries combined to create PIE.

The development of PIE at its most fundamental level requires interaction between these two spheres.  In all likelihood, a global trade language emanating from the Southern Caucasus/Northern Euphrates was widely understood in the basins of both seas, its river villages, and - apparently in many northern homes.  Perhaps a dynamic was in place for hundreds and hundreds of years in which very fertile crescenters overwhelmed the men of renown.

"Strange Wives Part 2"

2.  What is Late Proto-Indo-European?  What should it be?

LPIE is the Corded Ware-ization of the surviving IE groups, excluding Anatolian, Tocharian and Euphratean (if that exists, which I think it does).  That means all surviving IE cultures, to which I would include the Bell Beakers, have significant CW ancestry by different means.  In the case of the Beakers, it is strangely female-mediated over a short segment of time.

Am I wrong about those points?

One point worth considering is the similar but different situation at transitioning Lepenski Vir.  A similar bridal arrangement tamed these patrilocal barbarians, except the stream of ladies is coming from Western Anatolia it seems.  You can see the social process is similar, and necessary.  What this shows is that the situation was the rule, not the exception.

It's exceedingly difficult to see IE developing south of the seas.  The social and linguistic ingredients just aren't there.  Well, half of it is.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Iberian After All (Alberto's Runs)

Let's look at a Szigetzentmiklos Bell Beaker with zero Steppe ancestry, grave 49, I2741.

Previously, I had wondered if this guy was a Spaniard.  I'm pasting what Eurogenes Alberto came up with, although I don't know what methodology or tool he's using (otherwise I'd comment on everything)


Iberia_Southwest_CA 48.44%
Czech_MN 28.91%
Baden_LCA 6.25%
Tisza_LN 4.69%
Wales_N 3.91%
Globular_Amphora 3.12%
Koros_HG:I4971 3.12%
Ukraine_Eneolithic:I4110 1.56%
Distance 1.875%

Everything looks pretty square for a guy from Budapest...... except for the Iberia_Southwest_CA 48.44%!
How about another one.

Grave 2 Beaker, (Moslein, 2005)

This is one of two brothers that have the same mother in Alburg, Bavaria, Germany.  Maternally H1e1a.  Since CWC is excluded from these analysis (which is fine), we get inflated Yamnaya, Ukraine and Sweden MN, since it wants to find a big chunk of CW that isn't there.  This small cemetery is described by Heyd as belonging to the later begleitkeramik phase, so we should have a trickle of weird Balkanesque stuff that became increasingly prominent in those Csepel communities early on.  Check.

Again in this example, we're poking around at SW Europe in the mid to low teens.  And what is the inspiration for a decoration such as this?


Sweden_MN 33.59%
Yamnaya_Samara 33.59%
Ukraine_Eneolithic:I6561 14.06%
Iberia_Central_CA 11.72%
LBKT_MN 5.47%
Greece_N 1.56%

Distance 2.3907%

Most of these folks are within a few generations of being mixed so it's especially important to look at individuals and context.

Anyhow, Iberian (or wherever) is all over the place, albeit very unevenly distributed if real.  Hopefully someone can try Hegenheim again.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Beaker G25 Ancestry Runs (Rocca)

I thought I'd cut and paste some of R. Rocca's early Beaker ancestry runs from Anthrogenica.
Check out his comments.

I'd have preferred to do this myself, but I just don't have time for anything at the moment.  But Rocca's runs are plenty for some commentary, so I'll highlight some of his observations and add a few more with snips from his post.

The first thing he does is take the oldest, directly-dated Bell Beakers and sees what they prefer among Neolithic European populations.  Makes sense.  Here's a snip from the oldest Beaker, a Dutchman.

================================================== ====
>> Beaker_The_Netherlands:I5748
>> 2579–2233 calBCE (3945±55 BP, GrN-6650C)
>>> P312+
================================================== ====
[1] "distance%=2.2331"


Comment #1.  You can see that like almost all Bell Beakers, the Dutchman has a very strong affinity for the Corded Ware people, either the German CWC or the Baltic CWC in various proportions.  Except in the Dutchman's case using this measure, it is a whopping 80%.

What you see in these Beakers and other runs are digits for Comb Ware, GAC, Narva or Sweden MN.  This is unquestionably NE European influence coming very directly from the Corded Ware Cultures.  The expansion of CWC in Europe was probably multi-polar, fluid and web-like, so the differences in digits among individuals might reflect the personal genealogies of particular wagon bands.  (being more or less of Swedish Battle Axe, Moravian, Dutch Single Grave, Baltic, etc, etc.)

Culturally this makes a lot of sense to me.  Phenotypically it makes sense.  The very first Mittle-Saale Beaker made sense as being half local CWC and something else.

It's not lost on me that there is a significant presence of R1b in the Narva Baltic where the CWC intruded, but that's a lot late and apparently the wrong stuff, plus we'd be looking at huge chunks of Narva (not the case).

Next, a Z2103 Malopolskan.
================================================== ====
>> Beaker_Poland:I4253
>> Z2103+
>> 2456–2207 calBCE (3850±20 BP, PSUAMS-2339)
================================================== ====
[1] "distance%=2.2247"


Comment #2.  Rocca notes that this Beaker is interesting in that he has a respectable chunk of Vucedol ancestry that his clan and most non-Iberian Beakers lack entirely.  I'm either right or wrong about this (I don't care in the slightest), but I'm pretty sure that a few individuals in Csepel Island, and by extension the Malopolskan region, have direct Yamnaya influence from the Tisza River region and south of this.  In fact, there's cultural influence to suggest this scenario.

I'm not denying the relatedness of the Yamnaya and Beaker Y-chromosomes.  Instead I'm just pointing out that it just ain't that simple, people.  Yes, I'm suggesting Bell Beakers and Yamnaya mixed within an erogenous zone. [cymbal shot]  I mean contact zone.

Now the Italian
================================================== ====
>> Beaker_Northern_Italy:I2478
>> P312+
>> 2194–1939 calBCE (3671±40 BP, LTL-5035A)
================================================== ====
[1] "distance%=2.6952"


Comment #3.  None of the Continental Beakers like them some Remedello, not even the Italian.  But Remedello, Vucedol and SW Iberia seem to have something together not insignificant.  He asks if this is the Stelae Road.  Some-'ems up, don't know what.

================================================== ====
>> Remedello:RISE489
>> I2a-M26
>> 2908-2578 calBCE (4185±70 BP, ETH-12188)
================================================== ====
[1] "distance%=2.3032"


================================================== ====
>> Vucedol:I3499
>> 2884-2666 calBCE (4176±28 BP, BRAMS-1304)
>> R1b1a1a2a2-Z2103
================================================== ====
[1] "distance%=2.2451"


================================================== ====
>> Iberia_SW_Chalcolithic:I6601
>> 2800–2600 BCE (No radiocarbon dates, but only Copper Age Portugese sample)
>> I2
================================================== ====
[1] "distance%=3.2808"


Comment #4  Clearly, Bell Beakers are poking all around at low levels in the Yamnayo-sphere.  What I've seen here and in other runs is something that splits between Kalmykia and Bulgaria.  If we go back to the Dutch Beaker at the top of the page, there isn't a whole lot of clutter.  Basically we have a fairly clean ancestry of 80% Corded Ware 10% France MN/LN and 10% Yamnaya.

I5748 is early enough and clean enough that he could probably tell you about his great-grandparents on his mom and dad's sides.  Would he tell you that his father's side were full-blooded Yamnaya immigrants or is this an indication that we should be more careful in examining early steppe influence in NE France and Germany?

If you got runs, by all means post them.   

Thanks to R. Rocca for posting these at Anthrogenica, I'll put up Alberto's next, then Andrew K's.

Car Boot Beakers

The DailyMail reports on a box of miscellaneous stuff (probably from an old detectorist) that turned-up at a car boot sale.  Inside was a folded-up work of Beaker gold.

The foil has the characteristic points around the edge, certainly Beaker period.  Not sure how long the unfurled foil was, but it looks longer than the description.