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BIG NEWS! R1b Found in Ancient Bell Beaker Remains!

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  • BIG NEWS! R1b Found in Ancient Bell Beaker Remains!

    Two males from a Bell Beaker burial site near Kromsdorf, Germany, have tested R1b, one of them R-M269+ U106-.

    From Dienekes Anthropology Blog:

    Abstract

    The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture in Europe is associated with demographic changes that may have shifted the human gene pool of the region as a result of an influx of Neolithic farmers from the Near East. However, the genetic composition of populations after the earliest Neolithic, when a diverse mosaic of societies that had been fully engaged in agriculture for some time appeared in central Europe, is poorly known. At this period during the Late Neolithic (ca. 2,800–2,000 BC), regionally distinctive burial patterns associated with two different cultural groups emerge, Bell Beaker and Corded Ware, and may reflect differences in how these societies were organized. Ancient DNA analyses of human remains from the Late Neolithic Bell Beaker site of Kromsdorf, Germany showed distinct mitochondrial haplotypes for six individuals, which were classified under the haplogroups I1, K1, T1, U2, U5, and W5, and two males were identified as belonging to the Y haplogroup R1b. In contrast to other Late Neolithic societies in Europe emphasizing maintenance of biological relatedness in mortuary contexts, the diversity of maternal haplotypes evident at Kromsdorf suggests that burial practices of Bell Beaker communities operated outside of social norms based on shared maternal lineages. Furthermore, our data, along with those from previous studies, indicate that modern U5-lineages may have received little, if any, contribution from the Mesolithic or Neolithic mitochondrial gene pool.
    This is huge news, since the Beaker Folk are thought of as an invasive type in Europe and often seen as conveyors of Indo-European languages.

    Emerging genetic patterns of the european neolithic: Perspectives from a late neolithic bell beaker burial site in Germany†, Esther J. Lee, et al (03 May 2012).
    Last edited by Stevo; 3 May 2012, 06:06 PM.

  • #2
    One of the most famous Beaker Folk finds was that of the Amesbury Archer.

    The Beaker Folk typically buried at least some of their dead in individual round burial mounds known as round barrows. The body would usually be positioned on its side, with the knees flexed. Distinctive bell beaker pots, arrowheads, daggers, wristguards, and sometimes gold jewelry accompanied the body. Some think the wristguards were connected with the Beaker Folk's use of the bow. Others think they were used to protect the forearm for falconry.

    Beaker males tended to be of a different physical type from the earlier Neolithic inhabitants of Europe. They are generally taller, more robust, and brachycephalic (roundheaded).

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    • #3
      interesting! Are these the oldest found R1b's now?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by katerennie4 View Post
        interesting! Are these the oldest found R1b's now?
        Yes, they are. They date to about 2,500 BC. Before this discovery, the oldest R1b was from the Lichtenstein Cave and dated to about 1,300 B.C.

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        • #5
          Shame there is no DNA for the Amesbury Archer.

          As an archer I would not want to wear a slate armguard, especially with only one hole at each end - loose fitting, moving about to much.

          Good quality arrowheads.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jomid59 View Post
            Shame there is no DNA for the Amesbury Archer.

            As an archer I would not want to wear a slate armguard, especially with only one hole at each end - loose fitting, moving about to much.

            Good quality arrowheads.
            I wrote Dr. Fitzpatrick of Wessex Archaeology on that subject two of three years ago. At that time he said they had no plans to try to test the Archer's bones for y-dna or mtDNA. He said it was too expensive, as I recall, and back then he thought it unlikely they could get any testable dna from such old bones.

            Maybe this latest find will cause them to reconsider.

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            • #7
              That news has prompted me to re-read Henri Hubert's 'The Rise of the Celts'. It'll be interesting to see what this 'new' positioning of R1b (U106-) will mean to the composition of tribes found in the British Isles & elsewhere. Will it change perceptions re Picts?
              Cheers
              Bob

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              • #8
                Wow!

                Now we can minimally date R1b at 4512 years old. Is there a published Ht for these two? Have they run snps yet?

                Thanks for posting.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zaru View Post
                  Now we can minimally date R1b at 4512 years old. Is there a published Ht for these two? Have they run snps yet?

                  Thanks for posting.
                  They didn't publish the haplotypes, if they got them. They SNP tested the two males. One was M269+ and U106-, but that's as far as they went. They didn't even test for L23, let alone L11 or P312.

                  The other one was good for M343+, but M269 "failed to amplify", which doesn't mean it wasn't M269+ or a close relative of the other R1b body; they just couldn't get any further with the testing.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stevo View Post
                    They didn't publish the haplotypes, if they got them. They SNP tested the two males. One was M269+ and U106-, but that's as far as they went. They didn't even test for L23, let alone L11 or P312.

                    The other one was good for M343+, but M269 "failed to amplify", which doesn't mean it wasn't M269+ or a close relative of the other R1b body; they just couldn't get any further with the testing.
                    Too bad we couldn't get him into the L21 club!

                    Does this add to or take away from the supposition of western asian origins?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zaru View Post
                      Too bad we couldn't get him into the L21 club!

                      Does this add to or take away from the supposition of western asian origins?
                      I don't think it says much about ultimate origins one way or the other. It just tells us that at least some Beaker males were R1b, which some of us had guessed as of several years ago. It's nice to have that guess confirmed at long last.

                      David Anthony, in his book, The Horse The Wheel and Language, theorizes that the Beaker Folk were responsible for the spread of the Italo-Celtic branch of the Indo-European languages. A number of scholars have attributed the spread of Celtic to Britain to the Beaker Folk.

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                      • #12
                        There is a nice treatment of the Beaker Folk here.

                        The same web site has a really excellent compendium of ancient dna test results here.

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                        • #13
                          That bibliography will keep me busy for a while
                          Thanks Stevo.

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                          • #14
                            Here is an interesting video on firing Beaker pots by a man in England who makes replicas of them.

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                            • #15
                              I wanted to add that just because one of those Beaker males was M269+ U106- doesn't automatically mean he was P312+. He might have been no further up the R tree than R-L11. If so, then it could be that the Beaker Folk fostered both P312 and U106, the two major L11+ European y haplogroups.

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