The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Stone Age Anatolia

I define "the Holocene" as an interglacial within our true period, the Pleistocene. It is like the Eemian. Our interglacial began with the "Late Glacial Interstadial" around, what, 12700 BC? Anthropologists term the general period, the Epipalaeolithic - "upon the old stone [age]", if my Greek isn't failing me. ("Stone Age" is a lonnnng time; I get the impression they'd rather restrict this age later in the Holocene, between the Younger Dryas and the first copper smelters.)

Michal Feldman and his crew have now published some genetic results from Anatolia. The first is from Pınarbaşı - even before any reasonable definition of the Holocene: 13642-13073 BC. (Got this one from HBDChick. She was on fine form last night; if I hadn't already been posting content I'd have mentioned this then.)

The stiff in question had been a hunter-gatherer all his life, which I guess they can tell based on the stone gear around him. Feldman accordingly calls this population, AHG. Being a dude, our boy had a Y-chromosome: C1a2. And his mum was a K like my mother's father's mother, but a K2b which is rare these days. (We "Katrines" are K1. And I think we'd migrate to southern Europe from the Near East, later on.)

AHG is not a direct hybrid himself (like, you know, my mom; or like poor dead Denny here) but a previously unknown population descended from hybrids. Feldman &co. say: AHG derives around half of his ancestry from a Neolithic Levantine-related (sic) gene pool (48.0 ± 4.5 %; estimate ± 1 SE) and the rest from the [Mesolithic western European hunter-gatherers]-related one. Of course the Neolithic and even the Mesolithic wouldn't start for several more millennia yet, so those populations themselves must have roots long before 13642 BC.

The researchers sampled some later Anatolians: starting from "Aceramic Neolithic", the "no-pottery new stone age". Here at Boncuklu they found remains one of which they could date, directly dated to 8269-8210 cal BCE. These derive most of their ancestry (89.7 ± 3.9 %) from a population related to AHG. Accounting for that other 10%, in the five millennia in between, they had taken on some genetics from Iran. One of these samples is a Katrine: K1a. Also found here for the first time is the rs12193832 gene, for grey eyes, up to that point found only in Europe. Even that Epipalaeolithic Pınarbaşı halfEuropean had dark eyes.

These are some impressive constraints. And they allow for knock-on findings in the surrounding area, like the Balkans.

I think that before Feldman's paper, scholars had some notion of Anatolia being the collision-point between the Near East, Iran, and Europe. And to be sure, all that is still there. But Anatolia wasn't a collision point between European hunter gatherers and Near Eastern farmers. The Near Easterners who'd met the Europeans in Anatolia were all hunter gatherers at that time, the 13000s BC (or before!). Farming was introduced, much later, to a population already well-settled-in and, by then, amalgamated. I doubt the Anatolians even remembered their origins.

When Near Easterners came to Europe later on, by contrast, these came with the farming toolkit and simply booted the hunter-gatherers into the great German forest.

posted by Zimri on 11:24 | link | 0 comments

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