The 1998/1999 direct dating of two Neandertal specimens from level G1 of Vindija Cave in Croatia to 28,000 and 29,000 radiocarbon (14C) years ago has led to interpretations concerning the late survival of Neandertals in south-central Europe, patterns of interaction between Neandertals and in-dispersing early modern humans in Europe, and complex biocultural scenarios for the earlier phases of the Upper Paleolithic. Given improvements, particularly in sample pretreatment techniques for bone radiocarbon samples, especially ultrafiltration of collagen samples, these Vindija G1 Neandertal fossils are redated to 32,000–33,000 14C years ago and possibly earlier. These results and the recent redating of a number of purportedly old modern human skeletal remains in Europe to younger time periods highlight the importance of fine chronological control when studying this biocultural time period and the tenuous nature of monolithic scenarios for the establishment of modern humans and earlier phases of the Upper Paleolithic in Europe.
The period between 40,000 and 28,000 radiocarbon (14C) years ago (B.P.) in Europe witnessed a complex series of shifts in human biological and behavioral evolution. It saw the cultural transition from late Middle Paleolithic technocomplexes to those of the earlier phases of the Upper Paleolithic, a transition that took place in a temporal and geographical mosaic across the northwestern Old World. The period experienced the dispersal of early modern humans into the region, their probable contemporaneity within Europe with late Neandertal populations, and the eventual disappearance of the Neandertals through geographically variable population processes. As the best documented sequence for the Late Pleistocene archaic to modern human and the Middle to Upper Paleolithic biocultural transition, the European record continues to be the focus of attention, debate, and disagreement over the cultural and biological processes and the biocultural interactions that were involved in the transition. Moreover, because it involved, by its end, the final establishment of humans morphologically similar to and whose cultural behaviors were close to those of ethnohistoric foraging populations, this transition continues to generate interest as the final “event” in the sequence of our predecessors becoming “human.”
Our perceptions of the biocultural processes involved in this transitional period have been deeply affected in the past decade by the application of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating to both late Neandertals and early modern humans. Beginning in the 1990s, several early modern humans have been directly dated to >28,000 B.P. In addition, a suite of purportedly pre-28,000 B.P. modern human remains has been assigned to either later phases of the Upper Paleolithic [Cro-Magnon (France), La Rochette (France), and Konprusy (Czech Republic)] or the Holocene [Engis (Belgium), Hahnöfersand (Germany), St. Prokop (Czech Republic), Velika Peina (Croatia), and Vogelherd (Germany)]. Direct and indirect dating has placed several Neandertal specimens at the beginning and the middle of this chronological period [Arcy-sur-Cure (Grotte du Renne, France), Feldhofer (Germany), Saint-Césaire (France), and Zaskalnaya (Ukraine)] and has placed others toward the more recent end in the cul-de-sac of Iberia [Cabezo Gordo (Spain), Columbeira (Portugal), Figueira Brava (Portugal), and Zafarraya (Spain)]. Moreover, two Neandertals from Vindija Cave in Croatia yielded radiocarbon determinations at the end of this transitional period.
Although revised dating and technological considerations have placed the beginnings of the initial Upper Paleolithic 40,000 B.P. and the emergence of the Aurignacian sensu stricto close to 37,000 B.P, the revised dating of human fossils has removed any clear association of diagnostic human remains with the Aurignacian before 34,000 B.P.; only the French early modern human remains from Brassempouy, La Quina, and Les Rois are securely associated with Aurignacian assemblages, and they are all 28,000 B.P. with direct radiocarbon dates are a fragmentary and undescribed tibia and fibula from Kostenki, Russia, which date 32,000–33,000 B.P., cranial and postcranial remains from Petera Muierii, Romania, which date 30,000 B.P., and the cranium from Petera Cioclovina, Romania, which dates 29,000 B.P. These three specimens are all substantially east of Vindija. The only Central and Western European late Pleistocene modern human fossils that may be contemporaneous with or earlier than the Vindija G1 remains are a couple of the early modern human Brassempouy pieces. The Mlade remains may overlap them in time, depending upon the whether they are indeed older than their current age of 31,000 B.P. and whether the Vindija G1 fossils are indeed close to the 32,000 B.P. minimum age provided by the new dates.
As a consequence of this current status of the European pre-28,000 B.P. early modern human fossil record, it is difficult to argue for the strict contemporaneity of Neandertals and early modern humans within a portion of Europe, despite the temporal overlap between the Oase fossils in the east and Neandertals considerably further to the west. It may, therefore, be possible to maintain a scenario of a time-trangressive replacement of a Neandertal morphology by a morphology of early modern humans (by a variety of population processes) from east to west across Europe, beginning at least 35,000 B.P. in the lower Danube basin and ending 30,000 B.P. in Iberia. However, this leaves open the question of who was responsible for the Aurignacian assemblages known across most of Europe by at least 36,000 B.P. Did modern humans leave it behind, or were Neandertals responsible for much of the earlier Aurignacian?
This situation currently makes it difficult to use an archeological complex, such as the Aurignacian, as a correlate for the spread of modern humans across Europe during this biocultural evolutionary transitional time period. Several factors play into this ambiguity. It is possible that the dating difficulties described above with reference to Vindija may be more widespread than hitherto anticipated, and that the 4,000-year gap between the earliest directly dated modern humans and the earliest Aurignacian is a function of radiocarbon accuracy on the few dated specimens. The gap may be a function of the scarcity of Aurignacian human remains and the low number of dated specimens. Alternatively, it may be a result of semiindependence of the spread of the Aurignacian (a cultural process) and the westward dispersal of early modern humans (a biological population process) .
The 2002 discovery of a robust modern human mandible in the Petera cu Oase, southwestern Romania, provides evidence of early modern humans in the lower Danubian Corridor. Directly accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (14C)-dated to 34,000–36,000 14C years B.P., the Oase 1 mandible is the oldest definite early modern human specimen in Europe and provides perspectives on the emergence and evolution of early modern humans in the northwestern Old World. The moderately long Oase 1 mandible exhibits a prominent tuber symphyseos and overall proportions that place it close to earlier Upper Paleolithic European specimens. Its symmetrical mandibular incisure, medially placed condyle, small superior medial pterygoid tubercle, mesial mental foramen, and narrow corpus place it closer to early modern humans among Late Pleistocene humans. However, its cross-sectional symphyseal orientation is intermediate between late archaic and early modern humans, the ramus is exceptionally wide, and the molars become progressively larger distally with exceptionally large third molars. The molar crowns lack derived Neandertal features but are otherwise morphologically undiagnostic. However, it has unilateral mandibular foramen lingular bridging, an apparently derived Neandertal feature. It therefore presents a mosaic of archaic, early modern human and possibly Neandertal morphological features, emphasizing both the complex population dynamics of modern human dispersal into Europe and the subsequent morphological evolution of European early modern humans.
It has become apparent that the Late Pleistocene emergence of modern human biology in the peninsular northwestern Old World (Europe) was the complex result of the earlier emergence of modern humans in some portion of Africa, their subsequent dispersal over tens of millennia throughout Africa and Eurasia, and the geographically and temporally variable blending of those dispersing early modern human populations with regional groups of late archaic humans. This general scenario is supported by the Late Pleistocene human paleontological record and extant human molecular data. Late Pleistocene mtDNA is compatible with this interpretation and unlikely to refute it. As a consequence, the emphasis in the analysis of modern human emergence in peripheral regions such as Europe is shifting from a debate of polarized positions to more detailed considerations of the regional and temporal nuances of the evolutionary process.
In Europe, data have been accumulating concerning the biology of the latest Neandertals, dating to between 29 and 40 thousand years (ka) B.P., but there remains a dearth of well dated and morphologically diagnostic early modern human remains before 28 ka B.P. The only candidates for diagnostic early modern Europeans older than 28 ka B.P. are from Kent’s Cavern (United Kingdom), Mlade (Czech Republic), La Quina (France), Les Rois (France), and Vogelherd (Germany); all derive from old excavations, and only Kent’s Cavern 4 is directly dated. The recent juvenescence of multiple purported early modern Europeans argues for caution. In the context of this limited knowledge of the biology of the earliest modern Europeans, it is difficult to address the more subtle aspects of the evolutionary emergence of those populations and their subsequent evolution. Moreover, well provenienced and diagnostic early modern human remains from the lower Danubian corridor are absent. The recently discovered Petera cu Oase in southwestern Romania and the Oase 1 human mandible help to fill some of this gap.
From these morphological comparisons, it is evident that the Oase 1 mandible presents a derived early modern human feature (the prominent tuber symphyseos) and aspects that place it closer to early modern humans among Late Pleistocene mandibles [overall proportions, more mesial mental foramen, narrow lateral corpus, retromolar space absence, symmetrical mandibular incisure, lateral incisure crest (or more medial condyle), and small superior medial pterygoid tubercle]. In a European oxygen isotope stage 3 context, these morphological patterns, and especially the tuber symphyseos, are sufficient to identify Oase 1 as an “early modern human.”
At the same time, Oase 1 presents an exceptionally wide ramus, both absolutely and relative to mandibular length. Because total mandible length is well within Late Pleistocene ranges of variation, falling between the means for the Middle and Upper Paleolithic samples, the ramal breadth indicates an unusually broad ramus and, by extension, a long temporal fossa and anterior positioning of the zygomatic bone. This pattern appears among African later archaic and early modern humans; although present among Middle Pleistocene humans, it was variable among them.
The only feature that suggests Neandertal affinities is the lingual bridging of the mandibular foramen, a feature that is currently unknown among humans preceding Oase 1 other than the late Middle and Late Pleistocene members of the Neandertal lineage. It is present among European early modern, but none of them is old enough to represent the ancestral lineage of Oase 1. The etiology of lingual bridging is poorly known, but its pattern of populational distribution suggests a strong genetic component. As previously argued, its presence in moderate frequencies among European early modern humans, now including Oase 1, implies some genetic contribution of the Neandertals to those subsequent populations.
The other unusual aspect of Oase 1 is its distal molar megadontia. The combination of large molar dimensions and the proportions along the tooth row can be considered archaic relative to early modern humans, because they align Oase 1 with both the Neandertals and preceding Middle and Early Pleistocene Homo. Their absence from the Middle Paleolithic Qafzeh-Skhul sample may be taken to suggest Neandertal affinities. However, two north African late Middle Pleistocene archaic humans, BOU-VP-16/1 and Irhoud 3, have at least M1 megadontia even though other and subsequent Late Pleistocene north Africans do not have particularly large molars.
The presence of archaic features in Oase 1, in the context of derived early modern human aspects, argues principally for significant craniofacial change within at least Europe after the establishment of modern humans across most of the region. Similar arguments have been made on the basis of dental dimensions, and the facial proportions of Aurignacian specimens such as Les Rois 1 and Mlade 5 and 8 argue for similar changes. Given its earlier date and more pronounced archaic aspects, the Oase 1 mandible both reinforces and expands the extent to which “modern human” populations continued to evolve after their oxygen isotope stage 3 dispersal into portions of the Old World.
Find Suggests Weaving Preceded Settled Life
SOME 27,000 years ago, an innovative group of hunters and gatherers were in the habit of setting up their summer base camps near a river along the Pavlov Hills in what is now the southeastern Czech Republic. They mixed the fine soil with water and molded it into human and animal figurines and fired them, creating the oldest known fired ceramics. They took the two-and-a-half-million-year-old technology of flaking stone tools a step further by grinding them into smoothly polished pendants and rings, the earliest known examples of ground stone technology in Europe.
And now, at a meeting here last week of the Society for American Archeology, scientists announced that this same group, contemporaries of the earliest cave painters of France and northern Spain, has left the oldest evidence of weaving in the world. The site has yielded clay fragments bearing impressions of textiles or basketry, which according to Dr. James M. Adovasio of Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., and Dr. Olga Soffer of the University of Illinois at Urbana, push back the known origin of these technologies at least 7,000 years, to 27,000 years ago.
It also validates a suggestion long offered by some archeologists that the origin of textile technology by far predates the Neolithic period of plant and animal domestication to which it had traditionally been assigned. Archeologists tended to believe that people did not weave until they abandoned the migratory hunting and gathering way of life and settled into permanent agricultural villages with domesticated plants and animals, a process that was getting under way in many parts of the world by around 8000 B.C. and is known as the Neolithic. Once they were sedentary, the story went, they could develop such technologies as ceramics and weaving.
“I think this will really blow the socks off the Neolithic people because they always think they’ve got the first of everything,” Dr. Soffer said in an interview. “We have this association of fabric and ceramics and ground stone technology with the Neolithic although we’ve known about ceramics from these people at Pavlov for a while, but it was written in Czech or German and it didn’t make an impact.”
Some scholars of the Upper Paleolithic, which in that part of the world stretches from about 40,000 to 12,000 years ago, had predicted that textiles might have been around at that time. “It’s not very unexpected but it’s very important,” said Dr. Anthony Marks, an archeologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Textile specialists, especially, were encouraged by the discovery.
“It indicates how important textile structures are,” said Dr. John Peter Wild, an archeologist at the University of Manchester in England. “You’re way ahead of metals. The only technologies you have to compare it with in sheer brilliance of execution are stone implements. This is the organic technology that matches it.”
Previously, the earliest known basketry dated to no earlier than around 13,000 years ago and the oldest piece of woven cloth was a 9,000-year-old specimen from Cayonu in southern Turkey. The oldest known twisted fibers, which could have been woven into basketry or textiles, were found in Israel and date to about 19,300 years ago.
Because baskets and textiles are made of organic materials, they perish rapidly once deposited, Dr. Adovasio said in an interview. Not surprisingly, the absence of hard evidence for textiles in the Paleolithic molded the theories on the origins and development of weaving technology.
The evidence presented last week consists of four small fragments of fired clay bearing negative impressions of a textile or finely twined basket, Dr. Soffer said. Along with hundreds of thousands of other artifacts at the rich site, they were excavated in 1954 by Dr. Bohuslav Klima, a Moravian archeologist. In the summer of 1990, Dr. Soffer, sorting through about 3,000 clay fragments in an effort to categorize them stylistically, noticed four pieces, about the size of a quarter, with markings on their concave sides.
She photographed them, with the notation “plant fibers?” and the next year showed them to her colleague, Dr. Adovasio, who, she said, went “absolutely ballistic.”
Three radiocarbon dates of ashes at the site ranged from 24,870 to 26,980 years ago, and Dr. Soffer said the fragments could date from anytime between. She said she was entirely confident of the dating because there was no evidence at the site of any human occupation at all after 24,870 years ago, so the pieces could not have come from any other layers deposited later.
Analyzing magnified, high resolution photographs of the fragments, Dr. Adovasio determined that two fragments bore two different weaves and two bore indistinct parallel impressions that might be from warps, the vertical threads of a weave. He could see the alignment of the plant fibrils in the photographs so he knew the fibers were made of plant material, or bast, and not sinew, which can also be woven. Among the plants that could have provided bast were the yew and alder trees or the milkweed and nettle, the researchers said.
The archeologists did not know whether the impressions were made intentionally or accidentally. Many of the fragments were found in ash deposits. Analysis of all four showed that they had been fired at 600 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is consistent with a simple kiln or a bonfire, or even a dwelling burning down, Dr. Soffer said. One possibility is that the woven item was unintentionally pressed into wet clay near a hearth — perhaps by walking on it — and subsequently fired.
Because the fragments are so small and no selvage, or defined edge, is apparent on them, Dr. Adovasio could not determine what they came from. He said the mesh would have been similar to that in a potato sack and might have come from a bag, mat, clothing or a basket. While it would have been possible to make the pieces without some sort of loom, it would have been far easier using one, he said, even if that meant only tying one end of the warp around a tree and the other around one’s waist.
“This demonstrates an amazing investment of energy,” he said.
Dr. Elizabeth J. W. Barber, a prehistoric textile scholar at Occidental College in Los Angeles, noted that plain, or true weave, involved passing a weft, or horizontal, thread over one warp thread, under the next warp thread, over the next and so one. If a nonflexible stick is woven through the warp like this, then the process can be mechanized halfway. Raising the stick lifts up every other thread of the warp (or whichever warp threads are required for the desired weave) and the weft thread can be speedily pulled through. For the following pass, the position of the separated warp threads must be reversed and that is where a heddle, which individually holds the warp threads of the second group and attaches them to a bar, comes in.
The type of weave in the Pavlov clay fragments is “twining”; though it too can produce a cloth, it cannot be mechanized because the parallel weft threads cross each other. Dr. Barber said twining produced a more stable weave because the weft threads twisted around each other and prevented sliding.
“When you see them switching from twining over to the true weave or plain weave by around 7000 B.C., then they’ve figured out mechanization,” she said. “They’ve given up stability of weave for speed of production.”
Dr. Adovasio noted that twining itself was already a relatively advanced form of weaving technology. He suggested twining might even be as much as 40,000 years old.
“If they’re making this, then they’re making cordage,” said David Hyland, an archeologist at Gannon University in Erie, Pa. Cordage, essentially plant fibers twisted together, includes string and rope.
“And if they can make this, they can make anything in the way of a net, trap or snare,” said Dr. Adovasio, who believes that because of the scarcity of evidence, prehistorians had underestimated the importance of woven materials in early peoples’ lives. Conversely, he said, because of their relative abundance, stone tools have been overemphasized in archeologists’ interpretations of prehistoric economies.
“I don’t buy a lot of the gender studies stuff,” began Dr. Adovasio. “But mostly men have done the analysis of Paleolithic sites and they have in their minds the macho hunter of extinct megafauna. Guys who hunt woolly mammoths are not supposed to be making these.”
The model of the Paleolithic men going off with spears to hunt while the women stayed home and gathered plants around the camp may be too simple, he said.
“Maybe they killed one mammoth every 10 years and never stopped talking about it,” Dr. Soffer said.
At the Pavlov and nearby Dolni Vestonice sites, for example, Dr. Klima unearthed far more bones of smaller animals than of mammoths. While the former may have been hunted with spears, it is more likely that nets were used to capture small animals like rabbits, the archeologists said.
“This tool,” noted Dr. Hyland, of cloth, “represents a much greater level of success where used for hunting than lithic tools.”
Dr. Adovasio, who has been working with textiles for more than 25 years, said he hoped the discovery would inspire archeologists to learn more about how textiles and basketry decayed and to pay more attention to the possibility that textiles or their impressions are preserved on sites.
One mystery is what became of the apparently advanced technologies of these Central European hunters and gatherers after 22,000 years ago, when, as the weather gradually turned colder, the archeological record of their presence in the Pavlov Hills suddenly ceased.
“You’ve got the huge Scandinavian ice sheet coming down from the north and glaciers coming from the Alps and you get this no-man’s land and people get out of there,” Dr. Soffer said.
She suspects that some went east and some southeast. But except for a few random fired ceramics and bits of net or cord in eastern Europe, the technologies themselves remain silent for the next 7,000 to 10,000 years. When they resurface, the skills the Pavlov people employed so fancifully have been converted to practical purpose. The technique of stone grinding, instead of being used in decorative items alone, is now applied to making hoes and axes. Fired clay turns up not in figurines but in cooking and storage vessels.
“It had never dawned on these people that they could make a pot,” Dr. Soffer noted.
Textiles and basketry, too, anchor themselves firmly into the technological landscape.
“It’s like who invented the first flying machine? Leonardo da Vinci,” Dr. Soffer said. “But Boeing didn’t start making them until this century. There has to be a social and economic context for new technology. If you don’t have the context, then it won’t really go anywhere.”
“[Dr. Cavalli-Sforza] finds that after the introduction of agriculture in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago, farmers from there spread at the rate of one kilometer, or five-eighths of a mile, a year, eventually settling throughout Europe. ”
—Louise Levathes, New York Times July 27, 1993
The world generally credits the Sumerians, who lived in the marshlands created by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southern Iraq, with the development of civilization. Although nearly contemporary river valley civilizations also developed in the Nile Valley of Egypt and the Indus Valley of Pakistan, the Sumerians seem to have been the first people to live in cities and to create a system of writing.
Scientists also regard the “fertile crescent,” an arc linking Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel/Palestine, as the site of the earlier “neolithic revolution,” when hunter-gatherers first learned to plant crops, and then created permanent settlements to cultivate, guard and harvest them. The evidence is the fact that wild ancestors of the food crops associated with traditional Middle Eastern and European agriculture are native to the fertile crescent.
Pinpointing the Birth of Agriculture
Now archeologists maintain they have pinpointed the time agriculture was born to just over l0,000 years ago, and the place to within a 100-mile radius of the Dead Sea, between present-day Jordan and Israel. Meanwhile, from unrelated studies, some biological scientists conclude that the agricultural technology developed in that period subsequently spread from the Middle East to northernmost and westernmost Europe not through cultural diffusion, but through actual migrations of the Middle Eastern people who developed it.
According to these scientists, who have examined the genetic makeup of modern populations throughout Europe, agricultural people spread from Turkey as far afield as Finland, Sweden and Ireland, intermarrying with the less numerous hunter-gathering clans they found occupying those lands in a migration that continued for some 6,000 years.
Dr. Frank Hole, an archeologist, and Joy McCoriston, an archeobotanist, both of Yale University, described in American Anthropology in March of 1991 the circumstances under which they believe agriculture was born. Starting around 12,000 BC, they wrote, the summertime climate in the Levant became increasingly hot and dry, reducing the supply of wild game and vegetation and drying up the small lakes upon which foraging people, who already were familiar with wild grain, had depended for water.
Core samples from the ancient lakes indicate the change in climate caused a shift toward Mediterranean-type vegetation, with leathery, water-retaining leaves. Annual grasses, which complete their life cycle in the spring with large seeds in hard cases that will endure through a dry season to germinate with the return of moisture, increasingly replaced perennial vegetation.
The time of this change represented a “convergence” of historical accidents, according to Dr. Hole. “People are ready, they have technology adapted to plant foods,” he explained. “The plants themselves are proliferating. And the climate requires people to overcome long periods when foods are not available.”
No such earlier convergence has been found elsewhere, according to the Yale scientists, who focused their study upon people of the Natufian culture, named after an archeological site in present-day Palestine called Wadi Al-Natuf. At the time of the climate change, the Natufians had developed the flint sickles and stone mortars and pestles needed to harvest and process wild grains and, based upon the seashell badges of rank found in their tombs, had a developed social structure.
They built stone houses and, the two scientists suspect, it was they who exploited a genetic mutation that occurred within the area’s wild einkorn wheat as they began to plant and harvest it. In the wild, most of the wheat stalks shed their grains separately, which made them difficult to collect. Just over 10,000 years ago, however, a mutation had occurred that caused grains in a tiny percentage of the wheat to become fatter and stick more tenaciously to the stalk. The Natufians apparently saved for replanting a portion of the seeds they harvested, and, because the intact heads were less likely to be lost in the fields and more likely to be collected by the Natufians, each year an increasing percentage of the wheat planted was of the new and more nutritious variety.
No such domesticated seeds have yet been found in Natufian sites. Carbonized remains of domesticated grains have been recovered, however, from settlements inhabited by the immediate successors, and biological descendants, of the Natufians. Based upon mathematical calculations, scientists believe the change from wild einkorn wheat to the domestic variety could have been accomplished quite naturally by an agricultural people in as few as 22 years. Hole and McCoristan say the evidence points to the Natufians as the people who carried out this revolution.
Not only did the Natufians begin to live in well-constructed stone houses, but scattered hunting camps they formerly maintained for brief occupancy disappear from the archeological record. The record also shows, right after the end of the Natufian culture, the rapid spread not only of domesticated wheat, but also of barley, peas and beans. Scientists estimate that this first agricultural revolution spread northward into Turkey and Mesopotamia at the rate of about one kilometer per year. Animals were domesticated about 1,000 years later.
This theory of the exact time and place of the domestication of plants is, however, still disputed, as is another relatively new theory that the agriculturists carried the new techniques of agriculture with them as they multiplied and spread out from the scene of its invention. This hypothesis questions the earlier and still widely held theory of cultural diffusion, whereby neighboring hunter-gatherer clans would observe what the agriculturists were doing, and then adopt the techniques themselves.
Early Farmers and the Spread of Languages
The cultural diffusion theory was sharply challenged by the publication in May 1991 in the British journal Nature of an analysis of the genetic make-up of people at some 3,300 sites across Europe. The analysis was undertaken by Dr. Robert R. Sokal, Dr. Neal L. Oden and Chester Wilson of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. It established that, progressing from southern Turkey, near where agriculture originated, toward northern Europe, certain genes become scarcer in the human populations.
These results support the theory that as an original population pressed outward, intermarrying with hunter-gatherer populations in its path, its original genes were only gradually diluted. The present-day biological gradient also correlates with what is known of the spread of agriculture, whose routes and timing have been established from the archeological record.
This record indicates agriculture being practiced in eastern and central Turkey around 10,500 years ago, in western Turkey between 7,500 and 8,000 years ago, in southern Europe between 7,000 and 7,500 years ago, Central Europe 6,000 to 6,500 years ago, France and north Germany 5,500 to 6,000 years ago, Sweden and Russia 5,000 to 5,500 years ago, and in the British Isles and Finland between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago.
The hypothesis that genetic and cultural change moved in tandem from the Middle East through the Balkans as agriculture enabled populations to increase and forced them to seek new land was first proposed several years ago by Dr. Luca L. CavalliSforza and Dr. Robert J. Ammerman at Stanford University. They argued that agriculture was transmitted by the physical movement of people, not by the exchange of information.
Dr. Colin Renfrew, an archeologist at Cambridge University in England, seized upon this hypothesis for his own theory that Indo-European languages were not spread throughout Europe, Iran and northern India by successive waves of warlike conquerors from the area of the present-day Ukraine, but evolved from the language carried with the agriculturists.
This association of Indo-European languages with advancing agricultural people from the Middle East is hotly disputed, however. Archeologist Marija Gimbutas of the University of California at Los Angeles, an exponent of the belief that the Indo-Europeans were conquerers, disputes the idea that their language may have been spread by agricultural migration.
“It is more complicated than that,” Dr. Gimbutas maintains. In some areas of Spain and France as well as in parts of Eastern Europe, she says, farming was successfully transmitted without migration of the farmers themselves. She therefore finds Dr. Renfrew’s hypothesis on the spread of Indo-European languages “not acceptable. ”
In fact, it is the theories of Cavalli Sforza and Gimbutas that are easily reconciled. The former believes that the sole direct survivors of the agriculturists who started spreading from the Middle East 10,000 years ago are the Basques of southwestern France and adjacent areas of Spain. Their language is unrelated to any other spoken in Europe.
This clears the field for Dr. Gimbutas’ hypothesis that between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago, horsemen migrated very rapidly out of the steppes of southwestern Russia, spreading their Kurgan culture and the original Indo-European language across a Europe already occupied by the remnants of hunter-gatherers and by the Middle Eastern agriculturists who had largely replaced them.
Dr. Cavalli-Sforza’s genetic survey supports this incursion. “We discovered an area of population expansion that almost perfectly matched Gimbutas’ projection for the center of Kurgan culture,” he explains.
Commenting imaginatively in Nature on the agricultural migration model of Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza, Dr. J.S. Jones of University College, London, writes that the impact of the migrations of ever-increasing agricultural people on the hunter-gatherers who were in their path must have resembled “a process of gentrification—or even yuppification—from the east.” The evidence gathered by evolutionary biologist Sokal and his colleagues, however, indicates that the hunter-gatherers who survived the meeting of cultures were absorbed into the advancing population of farmers. These studies, Jones writes, demonstrate that in their biological make-up modern Europeans “still reflect the migrations of ancient farmers who spread from the Middle East.”
Archaeologists stumble on sensational find
According to National Museum archaeologist Dušan Šljivar, experts found a “copper chisel and stone ax at a location near Prokuplje in which the foundation has proven to be 7,500 years old, leading us to believe that it was one of the first places in which metal weapons and tools were made in prehistory.”
Archaeologists hope that this find in southern Serbia will prove the
theory that the metal age began a lot earlier than it was believed to have, Šljivar told Beta news agency. He leads the team of
archaeologists that have been investigating the site over the past
Šljivar said that this finding, along with 40 similarly valuable ones
before it, among which there were more parts of metal tools and
weapons, as well as a smelter and furnace, prove that man on this territory began working with metal more than 5,000 years before the new era.
Prokuplje Museum archaeologist Julka Kuzmanović-Cvetković said that the site “shows that the people living on our territory started a civilization that presented the basics of the technological
“We want to prove that the site was a metal works centre in the
central part of the Balkans,” she said. The Ministry of Culture has set aside some EUR 12,500 for this year’s excavation at the site near Prokuplje, called Pločnik.
Šljivar said that these funds have enabled experts to investigate with more detail the 25 square meters and find new specimens.
Pločnik was uncovered accidentally in 1927 while the Niš-Priština
railway was being built and has been actively investigated with great interest since 1996 by Serbian and international experts.
Cro-magnon and Meanderthals coexisted for millenia in Europe. The long hybridization time means that hybridization was unusual, and all hybrids were back-bred into one of the populations. Forming separate hybrid-populations wasn’t possible, since it was very unlikely one hybrid would meet another. For this reason, researchers will never find any populations which are morphological mixes.. After 3-4 generations, a back-bred hybrid offspring will become indistinguishable from other people. Central Asia and later Europe formed the primary hybridization zone. From there both culture and genetic material spread to Far-East Asia, Australia and America. The genetic material did not significantly get back into Africa. The exception to this is the emigration from Europe at the end of the ice-age, the Arabic emigration from Middle East, and the European colonization. Cro-magnon had a high degree of inbreeding, and this is still reflected in a small variation in neutral alleles and mitochondria DNA. This is falsely seen as evidence that Neanderthals and cro-magnon did not mate and produce fertile offspring. The other result of hybridization, larger variation in selective-positive alleles is also seen. Most importantly, many alleles are local, and many of those alleles does not occur in Africa. Another effect of this hybridization is rapid development of technology and art seen in Middle-East and Europe. Later on, the most advanced cultures evolved in the hybridization zone. Archaeological evidence
The cold-adaptations of Hn obviously evolved gradually. They are already seen to some extent one million years ago in Iberia. The 500,000 years divergence of mtDNA lineages between Africa & Neanderthals support the idea of a northern cold-adaptation starting before 0.5 million years ago.
There is evidence for isolated Neanderthal groups and larger social networks of UP modern humans. This evidence consists of long-distance trading of materials, which is usually absent in the Neanderthal culture (see Desolate landscapes). Large social networks is indicative of male aliances. The relative isolation in Neanderthal fits pretty well with a matrilinear, exogamous group structure, which must isolate itself to work.
There are several evidences against the idea that Neanderthal adapted to cool climate with fire and cloth in Eastern Europe
1. The evidence from fires indicates they were not primarily aimed at keeping warm. In UP settings, there is a central fire & evidence of isolated shelters. None of this is seen in Neanderthal’s Mousterian technology. Their fires are usually found at arbitrary locations, and there is no evidence of activity constrained to shelters. The evidence seems to indicate Mousterian sites were indeed “open-air”, and not built with tents & central heating.
2. There is no evidence for new technology as Neanderthals migrated to colder climates. This seems to indicate their adaptations was not cultural, because this would leave traces of innovations in technology, but rather physiological.
3. Many sites were abondonded by Neanderthals when climate got worse. It’s possible this reflect that Neanderthal cold adaptations wasn’t enough to cope with the changes.
4. Side-scrapers might have been used for hide preparation, although there is more evidence they were used for wood-working in Western Europe. Furs without advanced sewing techniques would be insufficient for cold adaptation, and there is no compelling evidence for Neanderthals sewing in Eastern Europe.
5. According to micro-wear studies, the predominant use of stone tools was not as weapons, rather wood-working. “Desolate landscapes” also presents compelling evidence that Neanderthals “prey” were in their best age, something that is definitely not normal in a carnevorious species. The mammals they “hunted” were frequently now domestic or domesticable animals (horse, bison (bovine), goat and sheep). Wolf remains are found at a majority of the sites. Small animals are infrequent.
In fact, all the ingrediences of modern pastoral practises are found:
1. Wood-working for shelters and fences
2. Rodeo-type injuries from wrestling large animals
3. Flutes and whistles for calling upon animals
4. Animals killed & eaten at the top of their usability
5. Many of the bones are of currently domestic species, and several of these “speciated” during the Neanderthal era
6. High-protein diet of Neanderthals
The East European archeological record tells us a lot about the origin of the Aurignacian industry, as well as of West European Cro-magnons. According to the origin of Cro-magnon is not in Middle East, rather South Asia. If this is correct, we should find the origin of the Aurignacian industry in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “Desolate landscapes” definitely supports this idea. Unlike in Europe, modern humans in Eastern Europe didn’t start out with UP technology. They started out with Mousterian industries (Neanderthal technology). There are several sites that resembles the European Szeletian industry believed to be originated by Neanderthals. Only in Eastern Europe, these industries evolved into UP industries gradually, and there is little doubt that the final industry was practised by Hss.
Could Neanderthals really be a true species?
Researchers claim modern man and Neanderthals were isolated for 700,000 years. Coyotes and wolves have been isolated for 1 million years, and far more generations, but can still produce fertile offspring. Similar finding exists between tiger and lions that can interbreed after 5 million years of separation. The main reason there were so little interbreeding that it’s no long detectable is that it happened by introgression. Introgression is a plausible explanation for current human diversity. Reinforcement is a resistance against hybrids that develops during introgression that is driven by selection. This resistance is not tied to hybrids being impossible, rather to hybrids being negative for the individual. Often females in the rare species develops this resistance first. If you count with both this effect, and the less fitness of most offspring, advantageous hybrid offspring would be rare. Theoretically, a single hybrid offspring which could reproduce would be enough to transfer positive alleles from Neanderthals to modern humans. Because of this, it’s no longer possible to trace hybrids with mitochondria-DNA analysis or origin of neutral alleles. Several studies show that Neanderthals contributed to the modern human genome. There are two different claims of hybrids in Portugal and Romania. Hybrid vigor is an important concept in biology, and could also be important in human evolution. Bacteria and lower organisms are evolving through symbiosis and gene-transfer between species.
An ancient bone flute segment, estimated at about 43,ooo up to 82,ooo years old, was found recently at a Neanderthal campsite by Dr. Ivan Turk, a paleontologist at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences in Ljubljana. It’s the first flute ever to be associated with Neanderthals and its confirmed age makes it the oldest known musical instrument.
Primitive Europeans of the Glacial and Inter-glacial Periods
THE system which obtains among modern scientists, of dividing the history of the earth into geological epochs and the pre-history of man into cultural periods, was anticipated by the priestly theorists of ancient civilizations, who established the doctrine of the mythical Ages of the World. These early teachers were:, no doubt, as greatly concerned about justifying their own pretensions and the tenets of their cults as in gratifying the growing thirst for knowledge among the educated classes. When they undertook to reveal the process of creation and throw light on the origin and purpose of mankind, they exalted local deities in opposition to those regarded supreme at rival centres of culture and political influence. Many rival systems of a national religion were thus perpetuated. But the various city priesthoods of a particular country found it necessary to deal also with problems of common concern. Among other things, they had to account for the various races of whom they had knowledge and to give divine sanction to existing social conditions; nor could they overlook the accidental discoveries which were occasionally made of the relics of elder and unknown peoples and the bones of extinct animals.
These mythology-makers, of course, possessed but meagre knowledge of their country’s past, and were accordingly compelled to draw freely upon their imaginations; but they should not be regarded on that account as merely dreamers of dreams and inventors of miraculous stories. Indications are forthcoming which show that they were not wholly devoid of the scientific spirit. They were close observers of natural phenomena, and sometimes made deductions which, considering the narrowness of areas available to them for investigation, were not unworthy of thinking men. It seemed perfectly reasonable to the Babylonian and Egyptian scientists, who saw land growing from accumulations of river-borne silt, and desert wastes rendered cultivable by irrigation, to conclude, for instance, that water was the primary element and the source of all that existed.
This doctrine, which holds that the Universe is derived from one particular form of matter, has been called “Materialistic Monism”. Ultimately, when mind was exalted above matter, the belief obtained that the inanimate forces of nature were subject to the control of the supreme Mind, which was the First Cause. This later doctrine is known as “Idealistic Monism”. It was embraced by various cults in Babylonia, India, and Egypt. In the latter country, for instance, the great god of Memphis was addressed:
Ptah, the great, is the mind and tongue of the gods. . . .
It (the mind) is the one which bringeth forth every successful issue. . . .
It was the fashioner of all gods.
At a time when every divine word
Came into existence by the thought of the mind
And the command of the tongue.
In Egypt and Babylonia, where inundations of river valleys were of periodic occurrence, and where, at rare intervals, floods of excessive volume caused great destruction and loss of life, and even brought about political changes, it was concluded that the old Ages were ended and new Ages inaugurated by world-devastating deluges.
The deductions of the early scientists in northern Europe were similarly drawn from the evidence afforded by environment, and similarly influenced by persistent modes of thought. They saw shoals formed and beaches overlaid by sand washed up by the sea from, as it appeared, some sand-creating source, and conceived that on the floor of ocean there stood a great “World Mill” propelled by giantesses, which ground the bodies of primeval world-giants into earth meal.
In the Elder Edda the god of the mill, who appears to be identical with Frey and the original Hamlet, is called Mundlefore, “the handle-mover”:
The Mover of the Handle is father of Moon
And the father eke of Sun.
This “World Mill” caused the heavens to revolve round a fixed point marked by the polar star, which was called veraldar nagli, the “world-spike”.
Believing that sun and moon rose from the ocean, and that therefore light came from darkness, they concluded that winter preceded summer at the beginning.
Untold winters ere Earth was fashioned
Roaring Bergelm was born;
His father was Thrudgelm of Mighty Voice,
Loud-sounding Ymer his grandsire.
In the north it was observed also that growth was promoted when the ice melted, and the teachers reasoned that the first being, Ymer, came into existence when sparks from the southland, or “poison drops from the sea”, fell upon the primeval icebergs, and caused drops of trickling water to fertilize the clay.
From Stormy-billow sprang poison drops
Which waxed into Jotun form.
The Babylonians, on the other hand, who were familiar with the part played by reeds in accumulating mud and binding river-banks, taught that-
Marduk (Merodach) laid a reed upon the face of the waters.
He formed dust and poured it out beside the reed. . . .
He formed mankind.
It may be, too, that the ancient teachers, who framed creation myths and expounded local forms of the doctrine of the World’s Ages, mingled at times with their pseudoscientific deductions and brilliant imaginings dim and confused racial traditions of early migrations and varied experiences in different areas of settlement. Some of these traditions may have had origin before the dawn of the Neolithic or Late Stone Age. As will be shown, certain customs, which are familiar to students of ancient civilizations, were prevalent among primitive peoples in the vast Palæolithic or Early Stone Age. With these customs may have survived in localities legends associated with or based upon them. The possibility remains, therefore, that in Persian mythology there are memories not only of an area of settlement among the mountains where severe winters were as greatly dreaded as exceptional floods in river valleys, but even of one of the last recurring phases of the Ice Age. A poetic narrative relates that the patriarch Yima, who afterwards became Lord of the Dead, constructed a shelter to afford safe protection for mankind and their domesticated animals during the “evil winter”, with its “hard, killing frost”. He had been forwarned of this approaching world-disaster by the supreme god Ahura Mazda (Ormuzd). Perhaps the “shelter” was a southern valley to which the proto-Persians were compelled to migrate on account of the growing severity of successive winters and the lowering of the perpetual snow-line around mountain-fringed plateaus they were accustomed to inhabit. It is related in the Avesta, one of the Persian sacred books, that “before the winter the land had meadows. . . . The water was wont to flow over it and the snow to melt.” A similar prolonged winter is foretold in Icelandic mythology. According to the Prose Edda, which is apatchwork of fragmentary legends of uncertain origin and antiquity, it will precede the destruction of the universe by the giants of frost and fire (lightning). “In the first place will come the winter, called Fimbul winter, during which snow will fall from the four corners of the world; the frosts will be very severe, the wind piercing, the weather tempestuous, and the sun impart no gladness.”
Various accounts of universal cataclysms come from the New World. Representative of these are the legends of the Arawaks of North Brazil regarding periods of flood, storm, and darkness, and those of the Mexicans, which deal with the destruction of early races by deluges caused by several succeeding suns perishing from lack of sustenance.
The most highly developed doctrinal systems of World Ages which have survived from antiquity are found, however, in the Mythologies of India, Greece, and Ireland. There is more than one account in Aryo-Indian literature of the periodic Ages called Yugas. These are embraced in longer Ages of sufficient duration to satisfy the requirements of modern geologists. Four Yugas extend over a period of “divine years” equal to 4,320,000 years of mortals, and a thousand of the combined Yugas comprise a “Day of Brahma”, the individualized “World Soul”. The Yugas begin with the Krita or Perfect Age, which is White, and decline from that to the Treta, which is Red, and the Dwápara, which is Yellow, to Kali Yuga, “the Black or Iron Age”.
Hesiod, in his Work and Days, begins the Greek system with the perfect Golden Age, which is followed by the Silver and Bronze Ages, and the two Ages of Heroes and Iron, which may have been local subdivisions of the fourth Age, represented in India by Kali Yuga.
Both in India and Greece, man it will be noted, was believed to have relapsed from a primitive state of perfection. The system found in Ireland, which was probably imported from Gaul with the doctrine of transmigration of souls and the custom of widow-burning or slaying, follows, on the other hand, an evolutionary process. The first Irish Age, that of Partholon and his race, is an Age of folly. It is followed by Nemed’s Age, which was distinguished for cruelty, and the Age of the Fir Bolgs, in which the power of evil was supreme. Then comes the Danann Age of benevolent deities and heroes, who are the reputed “ancestors of the men of learning in Erin”. The last Age is the Milesian, and during it St. Patrick reached Ireland and preached Christianity.
This ancient doctrine of the World’s Ages, which may be traced in Egypt and Babylonia, where certain gods lived for periods upon earth as human. kings, was adapted to suit the needs of different cults in different areas of localization. In India the four great castes were each connected with a Yuga: the Brahmans had origin in the White Age, the Kshatriyas (military aristocrats) in the Red Age, the Vaisyas (traders and agriculturists) in the Yellow Age, and the Sudras (Dravidians and pre-Dravidians) in the Black Age. In Greece an Age was devoted to the Trojan heroes, and in Ireland the Fir Bolgs, Dananns, and Milesians were identified with existing racial types whom St. Patrick found there.
One of the versions of the Indian legend of Mythical Ages is related by the deathless sage Markandeya, who lived through all the Yugas, and was protected during the Deluge by the child-god Narayana. The Irish account was put into the mouth of Tuan MacCarell. He had been a contemporary of Partholon, and afterwards existed for periods as a stag, a boar, a vulture or eagle, and a salmon. In the end his salmon form was devoured by the wife of King Carell, with the result that he was reborn as her son. Another sage of this class is the famous Mágus of the Icelandic Bragda Mágus saga, who renewed his youth periodically by casting his skin. He also figures in the Charlemagne romances.
If the ancient teachers, who professed to have received revelations from sages like the “Wandering Jew”, had been acquainted with the scientific data which is now available, their narratives of past Ages would have described greater changes than ever they conceived of. Nor would these be lacking either in picturesqueness or imaginative appeal. The contemporaries of man in the Pleistocene Age, the hairy mammoths, bulky with fat and fur, the fierce woolly rhinoceroses, the huge cave-bears, and the immense sabre-toothed tigers. No ancient legend of fabled monsters surpasses the modern scientist’s account of extinct gigantic fauna. Nor can the creation-myths on Egyptian papyri, Babylonian bricks, or Indian palm-leaf books approach in grandness and charm the dramatic story of the four great geological Ages of the World.
European Inter glacial:
1. The Chellean, in the Second Inter-glacial Period.
2. The Acheulian, a late phase of the Chellean.
3. The Mousterian, in the Third Glacial Period and later.
4. The Aurignacian, in the Third Inter-glacial Period and later.
5. The Solutrean, in the late Third Inter-glacial Period and later.
6. The Magdalenian, in the Fourth Glacial Period.
Some archæologists place before the Chellean, Stage 1 the Mesvinian, and 2, the Strepyan, but others regard them as earlier phases of the Chellean. A still earlier stage, called the Mafflian, with which the Galley Hill (Kent) skeleton and implements were associated, has been taken down to the Strepyan Period of Chellean man. The various stages have been subdivided into Upper, Middle, and Lower Periods. Of late years certain scientists have sought to establish a pre-Palæolithic Age called the Eolithic. They thus place the appearance of man in the geological Tertiary system, not only in the Pliocene Age, which preceded the Pleistocene, but also back through the Miocene and Oligocene Ages to the Eocene. The Tertiary stages of culture are called Reutelian, and are as follows:–
1. Eocene Age, Duan (Reutelian).
2. Oligocene Age, Fagnian (Reutelian).
3. Miocene Age, Cantalian (Reutelian).
4. Pliocene Age, Kentian (Reutelian).
5. Early Pleistocene, Thames basin (Reutelian).
Then follow the Mesvinian and Strepyan phases of early Chellean culture. Professor James Geikie confesses he is “staggered” by the theory that man existed in the Tertiary system of Ages. “Since the Eocene Period, which must date back”, he says, “several millions of years, the whole mammalian fauna has undergone modifications and changes, continuous evolution having resulted in the more or less complete transformation of numerous types, while many others have long been extinct. And yet, if we accept the eoliths as proofs of man’s existence in Eocene and Oligocene times, we must admit that in this case–and in this case alone–evolution must have been at a standstill during a prodigiously extended period. For it must be understood that the eoliths of the older Tertiary formations cannot be distinguished from those met with in the Miocene, Pliocene, and even Pleistocene deposits. These “eoliths” are chipped flints which were either flaked by man or by natural causes–the movements of strata settling under pressure or the action of water. The problem is a difficult one. “The unprejudiced”, says Professor Duckworth, “will maintain an open mind, pending the advent of more conclusive evidence than has been adduced hitherto.”Professor Sollas, on the other hand, is convinced that not a trace of unquestionable evidence of man’s existence has been found in strata admittedly older than the Pleistocene. Estimates of the approximate duration of the Pleistocene Age vary considerably. Geikie, following Penck, gives 620,000 years as a minimum; Rutot confines it to 139,000 years, and thus reduces greatly the age of his “eoliths”, while Sturge estimates that a single period of it lasted for 700,000 years. The majority of leading scientists, however, have of late inclined to favour Penck’s system of dating, and to allow 400,000 years as a minimum for the Palæolithic or Early Stone Age, which begins with the first stages of Chellean culture. The dawn of the Neolithic, or Late Stone Age, is dated in southern Europe and Palestine at roughly 10,000 B.C.
Geographical Environment of Mesolithic Carpathia
The analysis of the geographical environment where the human society developed during the Mesolithic age shows us that there were three main regions where the process took place:
• The Peri-Mediterranean area – covering the insular part and the coast of Greece, of Albania and of the countries of former Yugoslavia.
• The Balkanic area, consisting of the mountainous peninsular region of Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. This second area was separated from the third area, the area of Carpathians by the Danube Gorge in the region of Iron Gates.
• The eastern part of the Danube basin.
The entire Mesolithic evolution is closely connected to the extension of a warmer climate towards the western, central and north-eastern Europe. The key for the real understanding of this process is (in what concerns Romania and Yugoslavia) the Iron Gates region. This is the region housing the main part of the discoveries. The Iron Gates had a mild Sub-Mediterranean climate, a rich economic potential, specific flora and fauna, cultural and behavioural traditions, the shelter of a generous landscape, in a word, all that the river had to offer.
Pathways of penetration. Areas of diffusion
The elements of the cultural dynamics had three main areas of spreading, if we consider the historical evolution:
• The sea coast – advancing through the western regions of the continent;
• The corridor of the Danube basin – the direction of diffusion pointing towards central and northern Europe;
• The eastern part of the Danube basin, having as direction of diffusion the central and eastern Europe. In this last case, the phenomenon took place through the Prut, Siret and Dniester, all three being rivers tributary to the Danube.
The last two areas were connected through the genetic structure of the relief, having in between the Carpathian mountains.
They all exploited the economic potentials and cultural traditions adding a particular colouring feature to the process of development and diffusion of the specific lifestyle during the Mesolithic period. The influence and the communication between the sea stream and the Danubian one took place through a network of rivers flowing on the coast regions but also through the rivers tributary to the Danube, most of them collected by Drava, Sava and Morava on the right side of the Danube, Tisa and Olt on the left one.
A short glance upon these directions of spreading shows that each of them had its own dynamics of invention. This means that where favourable climate conditions, economic and human potentials existed, the human communities changed from the state of hunter and gatherer to the one of harvester and then of farmer, and from hunting animals to domesticating and breeding them. The change to a domestic economy had as a consequence the sedentation, the birth of a rural agricultural community, while all the other communities that did not fulfil the ‘conditions’ continued their old ways of living of hunting animals and gathering food. The appearance and diffusion of these first ‘germs’ encouraged the generalisation of the new way of production. Owing to the climate conditions of the Atlantic period it was imposed the generalisation of an agricultural way of production – called the Neolithic age. Under these circumstances, the Mesolithic (or Epi-Palaeolithic as called by other specialists) appears to be a time when based on observations and experiments, humans stepped from a behaviour specific to a society based on the consumption of items that nature was offering – both as food and materials for processing the tools and weapons – to a society based on invested labour.
The only way of a thoroughly understanding of the process of formation and diffusion of the European Mesolithic, is not considering it separate from the one that took place in the Near and Middle East. The warm postglaciar climate, the potential of flora and fauna in the Near and Middle East, Anatolia and the basin of the Aegean sea presented common features, encouraging thus the adaptation process of the human race. We do not insist now upon this fact, well known from various other studies. The new factor is that recent archaeological and environmental research revealed a genetic link between these cultural aspects. The historical dynamics is closely connected to the optimum conditions for the development of the human spirit. For the territory we are discussing about was proved the existence of micro-climates that through specific features encouraged the appearance of ‘germs’ that pushed the human civilisation upwards on the ascendant line of the historical becoming. The micro-climates influenced one another and the new developed ideas circulated confronting the realities among them. The existing conditions lead to a new way of thinking, to a new behaviour of the species. This is how we explain the fact that the geographical regions that expanded the last, had the human experience started on the process of transformation later, and borrowed from the first ones the new discoveries, adapting them to their specific conditions. It was not the great number of individuals that produced the change, but the circulation of the new ideas. And then appeared the required factor of progress, the emulation.
Compared to the Palaeolithic, the existence of micro-climates generated a restriction of the area where the human activities were taking place. The phenomenon, noticed by several specialists, was named ‘segregation’ or ‘regional specialisation’. The phenomenon became stronger as the climate got warmer. During the same period of time, the food diet changed, the consumption of meat decreased while the consumption of vegetal food increased. This is closely connected to the extinction of certain species of animals, like the mammoth, the cave bear and reindeer. The species specific to the new climate extended, with the domination of Capra ibex, Rupicapra rupicapra, Cervus elaphus, Sus scrofa. The deciduous forests spread to the prejudice of the conifers. The change on the climate had also as a consequence an incrementation on the area of lakes and ponds, therefore an increasing number of fish and birds. The humans directed their attention and activities towards them. A new toolkit for hunting and fishing was required then, attracting into the economic circuit other raw materials locally available or resulted from the food consumption, as bone, horn, wild boar teeth. New tools, weapons, means of catching the game and fish were invented. The activities of gathering and harvesting improved. But new problems appeared: the storage of food, the introduction of new kinds of meat in the food diet. Clothes made of vegetal fibres, looser and more adequate to a warmer climate replaced the clothing made of furs.
Considerations on the general evolution of the Epi-Palaeolithic/Mesolithic in the area
We must say from the very beginning, that we consider the Balkans and the Iron Gates region of the Danube (the ‘Clisura’) as fit into the large geographic area where a series of special discoveries were made. We consider worth mentioning that between the Balkans and the Iron Gates region on one side and the rest of Romania, on the other side, in what concerned the three ways of diffusion of the Mesolithic, there was a time delay, materialised in the inventory of artefacts discovered so far. We expect future discoveries to fill the existent gaps. This appeared because of the dynamics of invention, more accelerate in this part of the continent, owing to the favourable climatic conditions (a lot milder here during the last glaciation) and to the existence of cultural traditions that allowed the humans to start from a more advanced level, compared to the one on the rest of the continent. Apart from these, there is another cause that apparently was overlooked or neglected by the specialists and we would like to discuss now.
The Black Sea, because of its warm water streams, also favoured the development of a milder climate. It was present on the coast (the Bosphorus, the Dobrudja, the south of Caucasian mountains, south of Moldavia and Ukraine). As the most recent discoveries proved, in all these regions were exposed complexes having related features to the ones that benefited by the Peri-Mediterranean climate. The existent flora and fauna support the idea. And this is also our argument for the third way of diffusion of the Epi-Palaeolithic/Mesolithic on the European area. We presume that the process of diffusion had also an opposite sense of penetration; the same ways of advance were used by the cultural syntheses present in the cultural complexes in the west, centre and east part of the continent to advance towards the south-eastern regions. This continued during the Neolithic age, too.
During the same period of time as the Sub-Atlantic climatic period, the Euro-Asian civilisation seemed to have passed into a new age. The change was also correlated, of course, with other climatic factors and also with the socio-historical cultural dynamics. Another problem that we would like to bring into discussion is the one of the warm water streams of the Canary Islands, coming from the west and the north of the continent from tropical regions. They have influenced the existing populations during the historical period we are dealing with. In no other way can we explain the presence of Maglemoisian type complexes on both sides of the British channel. They developed owing to the thermic balance of the Earth and spread in a tight connection with the level variations of the planetary ocean. This problem must remain in focus for further research.
The Peri-Mediterranean area was dominated during the end of the Upper Palaeolithic by Epi-Gravettian features and it was perfectly normal to continue that tradition during the Epi-Palaeolithic. Within the Balkanic region the situation appeared to be similar. It is not clear yet what happened within the Carpathian area, as because of the relief and the thermic climate this has always functioned like a ‘revolving plate’ between the two areas mentioned above and other two: the alpine central European region and the eastern one, areas much different, due to the presence of the Black and the Baltic seas.
From the research completed so far, in the Iron Gates region we can distinguish two different stages. The first one is the one that continues the Epi-Gravettian cultural tradition. The change towards the “segregation/ regionalization” took place gradually. The blade technique was little by little abandoned and flaking technique is adopted. The flint and other rocks, locally available, were used as raw materials, but bone and horn were also in an intense usage. The second stage corresponds to the moment of reduction in size of the area withwhere the humans were activating and also to the moment of a rare use of flint in the bladelet technique and the usage mainly of quartz and quartzitic rocks in making the tools. The processing of bone, horn and wild boar tusk became more common. The same for flaking the quartzite rocks and flint. Culturally we were able to tell three categories of complexes, linked together in a genetic and causative chain.
• Final Epi-Gravettian – or Proto-Clisurean (Proto-Romanellian) as we call it;
• Late Epi-Gravettian – Clisurean (Romanellian) (Al. Paunescu names it Romanello-Azillian). It comprises at his turn four stages of development:
o Climente Cave II
o Cuina Turcului I
o Cuina Turcului II
o Ostrovul Banului I-III a
• The cultural complex Schela-Cladovei-Lepenski Vir, also with four stages: an early one, two middle ones and a late one. In order to establish this periodization we have taken into account quantitative studies (the quantity of rocks used: flint, quartz, quartzitic rocks), qualitative e being the one of the Danube Gorge in Clisura region, between Bazias and Gura Vaii and the second being the open space following the Danube’s exit from the Gorge, between Gura Vaii and Ostrovul Mare. Between the two zones there are differences in terms of quantity and quality of the toolkit, in the typology of stone, horn and bone artefacts, in the frequency of appearance of various animal species.
The succession of the three complexes in the Iron Gates region
From the climatic point of view the three complexes developed between Lascaux Interstadial Age (the early arid pine phase by Em. Pop & collab., the climatic Romanian oscillation by M. Carciumaru) and the beginning of the Atlantic (mid-‘spruce mixed with hazelnut and oak’ phase after Em. Pop and the end of ‘spruce & oak’ s phase, after M. Carciumaru). Chronologically, it took place between 14,500 BC and 5,600 BC. We must pay a great attention to this chronological framing, as we agree with E. Pop, N. Boscaiu and M. Carciumaru that the ‘classic’ Pre-Boreal might have appeared a lot earlier than in the central Europe, that is about 2000 years before. Alexandra Bolomey, who studied the local fauna also noticed this fact, as well as E. Kessler, who studied the avifauna.
The final Epi-Gravettian. The Proto-Clisurean
This stage was identified in 1965 and 1968 in just one site, at Pestera Climente I, situated in Cazanele Mari region, Dubova village, Mehedinti county. The layer occurred at a depth of 140 to 190 cm. It was rich in ‘cryoclasts’, containing fireplaces and faunal remains ( forest and euritherm species): Sorex araneus, Pippistrellus pippistrellus, Spalax leucodon, Cricetus cricetus, Microtus arvalis, Ocotona pusilla, Ursus spelaeus, Crocuta spelaea, Mustela nivalis, Rupicapra rupicapra, Capra ibex etc. Among the 157 pieces of the lithic inventory were identified scrapers made of the end of blades, points and micro-points with a flat side, roundly retouched points, micro-gravettes, ‘a cran’ pieces, ‘encoche’ blades, backed blades, Dufour blades, segments of circles, a few burins, etc. To complete the list we would also like to mention a bone spear made of a ‘penial’ bone of Ursus spelaeus and a piercer. Similar finds were found at La Gravette, Willendorf, Moravany, Asprochaliko.
Late Epi-Gravettian. Clisurean (Romanello-Azillian)
It is a local aspect of the Romanellian, being also related to the Valourguian and Azillian. Stage I – Climente I cave, Cazanele Mari region, Dubova village, Mehedinti county. It was identified and studied in 1968,1969. The layer was between 65-90 cm. It presented ‘cryoclasts’ and fireplaces. The fauna consisted of Ursus spelaeus, Sus scrofa, Cervus elaphus, etc. The lithic inventory contained: circular, subcircular and ogival scrapers made of flakes, microburins, roundly retouched points (Romanellian), Gravettian pieces with a flat side (Climente I type), triangular points,’a cran’ pieces, ‘a esquillee’, segments of circles, backed blades, truncated backed blades presenting dentils, Dufour bladelets, etc. The inventory comprised 752 pieces, all published. We also found artefacts made on bone, deer antler, a fragmented harpoon, awls, borers, throwing points. A few of the bone pieces were ornamented with incised geometric patterns or small circular hallows executed presumably with a well sharpened burin. Some of the teeth had been used as pendants. The river boulders, occasionally painted with red ochre, were used for grinding bones and seeds or in the case of the ones presenting hallows – to transform the ochre in powder. In the same layer was also found a human skeleton, lying on one side, spread with red ochre, hands under the head. The skull was fragmentary and only the lower jaw was present.
Stages II and III were found in two neighbouring sites in Cazanele Mari region, Dubova village, Mehedinti county. Stage II in the first layer at Cuina Turcului and Veterani Cave. Both were sites excavated in 1964 by C.S. Nicolaescu-Plopsor, M. Davidescu, P. Roman and V. Boroneant. Between 1965-1969 at Cuina Turcului the excavations were resumed by Al. Paunescu and at Veterani cave by Dinu Rosetti and V. Boroneant between 1966-1968. The fauna of both sites consisted predominantly of Sus scrofa, Capra ibex, Rupicapra rupicapra, Bos primigenius, Cervus elaphus, Alces alces, Equus cabalus, Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Ursus aorctus, Putorius putorius, Castor fiber and various species of birds. Flint industry was extremely well represented: we had 1518 processed finds for the first layer and 2345 for the second one. End-scrapers made of flakes were dominant, like in Climente II cave, but all the other types specific to the Clisurean/Romanellian were also to be noticed: circular segmented points, micro-gravettes, backed bladelets, burins, ‘a cran’ pieces, truncated bladelets, Dufour bladelets. Compared to Climente II cave the new elements were represented by trapeze shaped pieces and also triangular ones. Overall, the variation in the types of tools and the variation of their percentage was hardly noticeable between the layers.
A third site belonging to the Clisurean was found outside the Iron Gates region, in the karst of Cerna Valley, at Baile Herculane, in a cave named Pestera Hotilor (‘the Thieves’ Cave’). But its inventory was considerably poorer. Cuina Turcului offered a rich bone inventory, consisting of awls, piercers, throwing points, all shaped differently from the ones in Climente I cave. Some of them presented abstract geometric patterns, resembling to the ones belonging to the Romanellian (V. Boroneant, paper at the VIII section, XV colloquium). Personal ornamentation objects made of bone, horn, teeth and snail shells were also to be found. River boulders painted with red ochre were still present. Stage IV was discovered on an island, Ostrovul Banului-Gura Vaii, Mehedinti county, situated at the exit of the Danube from the Gorge.
Three layers of habitation were identified. The fauna included mainly Sus scrofa and Cervus elaphus but also a large variety of fish, among which the best represented were Acipense ruthenus, Huso huso, Leucicus chephalus, Abramis brama, Ciprinus carpio, Selurus glanis, Styzostedion lucioperca, all species that had been previously identified in the other sites. The end-scrapers dominated the flint industry. The toolkit also included typical Clisurean points, micro-points, La Gravette and triangular points, segments of circles, atypical ‘a cran’ pieces, truncated, backed and Dufour blades, finely retouched flakes and blades. For the first level we had 101 pieces, 81 for the second level and 127 for the III a level. No ornamented bone tools were found but the presence of river boulders painted with ochre was noted. As a general observation we would like to underline the increasing rate of microlithization, the high percentage of bladelets, the fast decline in number of the segments of circles and the presence of the backed blades down to the lowest level. It is also worth mentioning the increasing number of the ‘ecaillee’ pieces, especially of the end-scrapers, and the lessening in number of the abruptly and semi-abruptly retouched end-scrapers.
Each stage of the Clisurean brought a strengthening of the microlithization. The prismatic and pyramidal cores are also to be found more and more seldom. Yet, the bipolar ones are somewhat more frequent. Samples for C14 dating were taken for each stage, but only the results obtained for Cuina Turcului were relevant. They read 10650ą120 and 10100ą120 BC for the first layer and 8175ą200 and 8175ą200 for the second one. The tests were made by the Berlin Laboratory. The results are given in non-calibrated years. On the Yugoslav bank, similar discoveries appeared only at Padina and Vlasac. Chronologically they are contemporary to stages II and III a from Ostrovul Mare and presented the closest resemblance with ours, in what concerned the entire evolution of the process, starting with the Proto-Clisurean (final Epi-Gravettian) up to the end of this evolution. The similarities concerned the typology of the flint toolkit, the processing technique of bone and horn, the artistic aspect of the ornamental objects.
It is only the percentages and the slight variations in the tool types that distinguish the complexes in the Danube valley from the ones at Grotta Romanelli, Grotta delle Mura, Grotta del Cavallo, Grotta di Uluzzo, Grotta Azzura di Samotorza, etc. This in what concerns the classic Romanellian and the following stages to the Epi-Romanellian. Close analogies can also be made to the Valourguian in the south of France (named at the beginning Romanello-Azillian). Yet, direct links with these cultural complexes could not have existed. Between the Iron Gates region, eastern Yugoslavia and the Adriatic sea there are the Dinaric mountains. Yet, the excavations at Crvena Stijena, Odmut and Medena Stijena seem to indicate a certain road of advance of the cultural relations. The process was born in the Danube Valley and then spread along the Sava river and its tributary, Drina, and then, over the Adriatic (that had a very low level during that age) within the Italian peninsula. Another branch of the cultural trend followed the Sava river to the springs, through Slovenia (Ovca Jama, Babija Jama) maybe over the heights of the Alps, pointing westwards. The complexes on the sea coast (Franchthi IV-VI, Asprochaliko 1-5) (the Slovanian group, as considered by White-Kozlowski) present common features, yet slightly different to the ones in the Iron Gates and southern and western Italy. The penetration through the Iron Gates Gorge happened during the early stage of Cuina Turcului II. We believe that from a historical behaviour point of view the Clisurean marked the presedentation period.
The Schela Cladovei-Lepenski Vir cultural complex
This last stage had a sudden development, though in steps. It occurred when changing from the Clisurean complexes, based mainly on flint exploitation from the local resources, to a lessening of this activity and a change to an intensive processing of the river boulders and other types of rocks. Predilection was shown to locally exploited quartz ( seldom obtain from natural deposits, more often from the rocks available on the beach). Climatically, the process corresponds to the Boreal and beginning of Atlantic period, after the end of the Pinus phase. During this stage the landscape suffered a great change. It involved the warming of the climate, the stabilisation of the Danube course( first at a lower level than the present one, then reaching the one existent nowadays). Man gradually descended from the caves situated on the upper levels of the karst (Climente II cave (178m) to Climente I cave (62m) and the shelter under the rock at Cuina Turcului (60m)). During the period of time when Schela Cladovei-Lepenski Vir culture flourished, the Danube had the lowest level. It only happened twice ever since, between III-I centuries BC and IX-XIII centuries AD. In terms of archaeological sites, this period frames between the habitation at Ostrovul Banului (end of IX millennium) and Alibeg, Icoana (mid-VI millennium). During the first stage at Veterani Terasa the flint toolkit still preserved Clisurean flint tools that later on will be quite rare or absent.
The eastern part of the Danube Valley
It was specific to the communities of hunters-fishermen-gatherers. The rate of the dynamics of invention is lower, owing to the traditions formed within the geographic area of the Pontic central Carpathian basin. Inside it are to be remarked contradictory evolutions, springing from a late Epi-Gravettian (as proved by M. Brudiu through his excavations in the Subcarpathians and in the Moldavian field, and by Al. Paunescu in the Carpathians). This late Epi-Gravettian developed towards what we call Tardenoisian complexes in the area but are in fact just a local evolution specific to the age. Another evolution, started due to a southern impulse, materialised into the discoveries at Soroca-Trifauti on the Prut river. It might have been influenced by the new changes taking place in the southern parts and in the Iron Gates area. The deer antler and bone industries must be correlated to the Epi-Gravettian tradition at Cotu lui Niculint. They fit into the local lithic industry. In the eastern range of the Carpathians, to the north, around the Ceahlau mountains, we noticed the existence of a late Swiderian characterised by peduncular points, that might have penetrated from the northern regions. We do not insist upon these kind of complexes, being a special subject for some other time.
The Mesolithic – Neolithic Transition
The Mesolithic – Neolithic transition is seen as an acculturation resulting from the interaction between an autochthonous Mesolithic population and the non-local bearers of the agricultural economy. Acculturation supposedly occurred between the Starčevo -Körös-Criş (Starcevo-Koros-Cris populations along the Tisza River and Mesolithic sites located to the north or north west.Indeed, a few Mesolithic sites are found to the north/west of the Köros site distribution. One such small area of high density of Mesolithic sites is near the confluence of the Zagyva and Tarna Rivers of northern Hungary.
It is argued that climate or the autochthonous Mesolithic population of hunter-gatherers (or both) halted the expansion of farming in eastern and southernmost Hungary, until farming techniques adapted to the Central European conditions. Kalicz and Makkay (1977) proposed that the Szatmár group developed from Körös, giving rise to the Bandkeramik. The eastern Hungarian Bankeramik is said to have no direct affinities with Körös. Nevertheless, this eastern Bandkeramik, known as the Alföldi Vonaldíszes Kerámica (AVK) or Alföld Linear Pottery, occupies the old Körös territory in the south, but also extends much farther north along the Upper Tisza and its tributaries (Map), into the former Mesolithic territory.
Unfortunately, the chronology of the Mesolithic at Jászság in northern Hungary is delineated by only three C14 dates from Jászberény They date the Mesolithic only indirectly. Still, the dates suggest coexistence with the Earliest North Balkan Neolithic/Early Körös.
The Lepenski Vir series has significant contacts only with the
series of the Ukrainian Neolithic Dniepro-Doniets culture.
Accordingly, the Protonordic-Cro-Magnoid type bearers of the
culture must have been surviving post-Gravettian populational
groups of eastern origin. The Penrose data does not indicate the
local survival of the population in the later periods of the Neolithic. The Penrose contacts of the mostly Gracile Mediterranian Körös + Cris population indicate eastern contacts, the Penrose identity of their series with the late groups of the ALP suggests either the local survival of some K (S) C populational groups or perhaps the common origin of a component of the K (S) C and the ALP populations. The K (S) C has no contact with any other series in the Carpathian Basin, while the Starcevo series cannot be linked with any of the cca 120 series included in the analysis, which may either be caused by the errors of the sample (uncertain dating, finds indicating strong brachycephalisation from the Vinca site), or points to a different origin of the Starcevo population (the anthropological composition of the Neolithic population within the Western and Central Balkan is absolutely unknown). The contacts of the Protonordic-Cro-Magnoid, later gradually gracilised ALP populations point outside the eastern Carpathians, disregarding the above mentioned Penrose contacts to the K (S) C, referring to the direction of the place of the formation of the population. In agreement with the archaeological data, the ALP population displayed no Penrose contacts with Central European or Bohemian and German populational groups of the Linear Pottery Culture, so they must have had a different origin. There is no significant Penrose result between the series of the so-called Central European Linear Pottery
population and the Western Linear Pottery population (except for the Bruchstedt series which is totally different from the former), there seems to be an identity, however, with the contemporary Bohemian Linear Pottery series. The origin of these two Central European populations of the Linear Pottery entity must have been, the only possible interpretation deduced rom the Penrose data, a local predecessorunknown to us, since this is the only way we can explain their detachment from the populations of both the Alföld and the Western Linear Pottery cultures.
Each of the populational groups of the later Neolithic cultures included in the analysis can be related to these two Central European Linear Pottery populational groups. All the three series representing the Southern Transdanubian lengyel population (Aszód, Mórágy-B.1 and the combined south Transdanubian series, while the Lower Austrian Lengyel series demonstrating south-eastern contacts stands apart from this block), the Tisza culture in the Hungarian Plain and the Sirmium populational group of the Vinca culture are connected with significant Penrose values and form, accordingly, an isolated, closed up block in the Carpathian Basin within the Neolithic of Central and Eastern Europe, the population of which did not mix with the neighbouring populational groups, at least it cannot be proved with Penrose values, but lived undisturbed in one place, seemingly without any significant outer influence, probably from before the Neolithic until the end of the Neolithic. Within the populational groups belonging to this autochtonous block, the robust and the gracile leptodolichomorphous varieties dominate, while the proportion of the Cro-Magnoid component is lo w. There are no Penrose data to prove the survival of the autochtonous population in the Early Copper Age for lack of series with sufficient item numbers. In the Tiszapolgár population, which is considered to be the direct follower of the Neolithic Tisza culture according to archaeological finds, a taxonomically demonstrable change occurred. The increase of the proportion of the Cro-Magnoid type suggests an outer influence. Although according to archaeological data the invasion of the Pit Grave people of robust Cro-Magnoid type in the Carpathian Basin happened somewhat later, the anthropological data certainly indicate an earlier infiltration during the Early Copper Age. The mixture of the Pit Grave and the local populations is proved again by taxonomic analyses, in contradiction to archaeological suppositions (the occurrence of gracile Mediterranian type in Pit Grave burials).
In the following period, the high proportion of the Cro-Magnoid type cannot be demonstrated any more in the population of the Middle Copper Age Bodrogkeresztúr culture. The alien component, accordingly, had partly assimilated or disappeared from the region. The Penrose contacts of the series representing the Bodrogkeresztúr populational group also indicate that at least a part of the original autochtonous population survived in the region and took part in the formation of the Middle Copper Age culture in the Hungarian Plain. According to the Penrose analysis, a new, alien population arrived in the Carpathian Basin after the Middle Copper Age, which is in harmony with the archaeological data. The Late Copper Age population, the so-called Baden population (its related cultures were the Kostolac in the South and the Cotofeni in Transylvania) had strong southern/south-eastern components according to the Penrose contacts, which is again in harmony with archaeological theories. The animal breeding populational groups flooded the whole of the Carpathian Basin, while the cultivating (archaeologically latent?) autochtonous populations seem to have survived the invasion. Namely, the series from the cemeteries of the Maros-Perjámos population that developed in the early Bronze Age and flourished during the Middle Bronze Age in the southern part of the Hungarian Plain testify with their Penrose data that, beside certain southern/south-eastern components, both the Middle Copper Age Bodrogkeresztúr population marking the continuity of the autochtonous population and the Baden population immigrating during the Late Copper Age took part in the formation of the new Bronze Age culture. In a biological sense, accordingly, the survival of the autochtonous population of the Carpathian Basin probably going back to Mesolithic roots can be demonstrated even in the Middle Bronze Age.
Contrary to the continuity of autochtonous populations in the southern part of the Hungarian Plain, new, alien populational groups appeared in the central and western parts of the Carpathian Basin. The people of the so-called Bell-beaker culture occupied a large part of Europe, while in the Carpathian Basin they lived within a limited territory for a short time and did not mix with the local population, according to archaeology. Although there are very few evaluable anthropo logical finds from the biritual cemeteries of the Bell-beakers in the Carpathian Basin, the appearance of the characteristic planoccipital Taurid type, unknown until then from the Carpathian Basin, in the populations of some later cultures (e.g. Kisapostag and Gáta-Wieselburg cultures) suggests a mixture with the local population against the archaeological theories. According to archaeology, the populational groups of the Bell-beakers also took part in the formation of the Gáta-Wieselburg culture on the western fringes of the Carpathian Basin, which is also attested to by the Penrose identities between the Gáta-Wieselburg and the Bell-beaker series in Moravia and Germany. Another bronze Age series involved in the Penrose analysis from the western part of the Carpathian Basin represents the population of the Hurbanovo culture. According to the results, the population of this culture cannot be related to the autochtonous block living on the territory of the Basin, since the Penrose values link it to the lengyel population group in Lower Austria bearing southern/south-eastern traits and to the Zlota-Tripolje-Hamangia entity outside the Carpathian Basin. As the low item numbers of the series of the Chlopice-Veselé and the Nitra cultures, which are the territorial predecessors of the culture, have not allowed so far a Penrose-analysis, the Penrose results concerning the Hurbanovo populational groups need further precision.
The survival of the autochtonous elements in Transdanubia cannot be followed in the Middle and the Late Bronze Age either by taxonomy or by Penrose analysis due to the custom of cremational burial at the newly developed archaeological cultures (Incrusted Pottery, Tumulus culture, Urnfield culture). The few male skeletons in a sacrificial pit unearthed in a settlement of the Urnfield culture is an exception at the time of cremational burials. According to the taxonomic analyses the finds represent a robust Cro-Magnoid type, which was characteristic in the Carpathian Basin of the Pit Grave population during the Middle Copper Age, and which could not be observed since then in the region. The appearance in Western Transdanubia of a type characteristic of Eastern Europe in the case of men thrown into a sacrificial pit, who certainly suffered a violent death, means that the Urnfield populational group must have “buried” the slain members of some outer enemy, who, as suggested by historical and archaeological data, could have been members of the Cimmerian people who had invaded the Carpathian Basin from the east.
THE GREAT COLONIZATIONS – THE NEOLITHIC
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) in Palestine dated of -8500 to -7600 BC, first defined at Jericho. It is derived from the
Natufian culture, making use of and developing Natufian architecture (round houses). It offers evidence of first attempts at
agriculture in the near East, though still in a hunting context: pure Mesolithic culture.
In the Near East two big areas of incipient agriculture appeared (Mesolithic): Natufian, which would be related to Proto-Afroasiatic,
and the other center around Zagros. Calculated that Proto-Afroasiatic splitted in the major branches around this time.
(Proto-Semitic till -4300, Berber at -5400).
The Zagros area would have expanded the Caucasian family of languages then ?
The Natufian Culture is located in the eastern Mediterranean in Lebanon and Israel.
Neolithism can expand by copiying it to Neolithic neighbours, but when it becomes fully capable to mantain the population
develops and increases the Neolithic population, so that it leads to territorial expansion to acquire new lands to cultivate;
but that would mean that some neighbour Neolithic cultures would suffer the same process, and from there the consequent
migrations would carry different languages in each direction depending on the number of Neolithic cultures developed
in the original area.
Near East Neolithic cultures can be grouped: those of Syria that expanded towards the Taurus and Palestine, and those
of the Zagros Ranges with ramifications towards Anatolia. Curiously these two main areas were already differentiated
in Mesolitic periods (Natufian Culture in Syria-Palestine), and Zarzi Culture in the Zagros.
Dual domestication of Cattle, Sheep, Water Buffalo and Pig has been suggested as their gene tests display a sharp double branching, so that it has been though even that such animals were domesticated at the same time in different distant regions.
But that also would fit for a population that has not reached the stage of Neolithic saturation and where other neighbour
culture copied the system (cultural diffussion), then such cultures after reaching both Neolithic saturation after a giving period would
expand each one in a different direction as to don’t fight for the SAME lands (no because they were pacifists, but rather because
nobody by then was ready to risk its life…).
From Renfew and Cavali-Sforza theory: from the Near East three languages spread, Indoeuropean northwards,
Afroasiatic southwards, and Elamo-Dravidian eastwards.
Collin Renfrew: Neolithics expanded Afroasiatic tongues to N. Africa and Arabia from Israel-Syria; Dravidian speakers introduced agriculture and Dravidian from the Zagros Mountains to Iran, Central Asia and India; and from Anatolia the IE expanded
all over Europe. Fact that would be attested by genetic maps.
a possible way to adapt/adopt local hunter-gatherers to the alocton Neolithics would be in times of scarcity, as per example
in a period of coldness, where the unique reserve of foods would be in the Neolithic setlements.
Jericho, was a walled city dated to the eighth millennium BC, and with recognized Natufian origin. Extended for 10-15 hectares,
and shows evidences of agriculture and domesticated animals.
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) dated of -7600 to -6000 BC, and first defined at Jericho. It originated in Syria and is
characterized by rectangular buildings with lime-coated or plastered floors, by the cultivation of cereal crops, and by the
beginnings of small-animal husbandry. Toward the end, it saw the first expansion of agriculture and the spread of Neolithic
culture beyond its semi-arid zone towards the temperature coastal regions of Syria (Ras Shamra) and the desert oases.
Pottery began to appear sporadically.
Whole inventories of cultural symbols (including the religious) coincide among the first Anatolian Neolithic cultures and Halaf:
that would be consequence of a migration.
-6500/-5600: Çatal Hüyük (in southern Turkey) becomes a farming and trading center.
First remains of a possible nomad and reinderer society: Palestine-Jordania by -6000
Semites that afterwards expanded southwards, to the Arabian Peninsula ?
During the 5th millennium BC a people known as the Ubaidians established the first Neolithic settlements in the region known later as Sumer; these settlements gradually developed into the chief Sumerian cities, namely Adab, Eridu, Isin, Kish, Kullab, Lagash, Larsa, Nippur, and Ur.
The Proto-Sumeria word ùr meaning both roof and entrance, as well as the word ub meaning corner, suggests that they lived in the close-packed, rectangular houses entered through holes in the roof found in Western Iran at sites like Ganj Dareh as well as in Anatolia at sites like Çatal Hüyük. Proto-Sumerian includes words for domesticated animals such as dog (ur), goat (ùz), cow (áb), and sheep (us5).
Simple agriculture is indicated by the words for grain (še), irrigation ditch (ég), and digging stick (al). The indications are that the proto-Sumerians invented their language at the start of the Near Eastern Neolithic, approximately ten thousand years ago.
In northern Afghanistan and the bordering parts of the Soviet Union, in the regions called Margiana and Bactria in antiquity, burials and setlements, fortresses and cult places have been excavated in recent years. These contain elements betraying contact with civilizations in the interior and on the northwest margin of the Iranian Plateau,and has been stressed an Elamian component. On the other hand, affinities to India, to Harappa, and to contemporary cultures as well as later ones cannot be overlooked.
There are many agricultural settlements in northeastern Iran. Among them is Tepe Hessar located on the southeastern
coast of the Caspian Sea. In the second half of the third millennium BC, peoples migrated from Tepe Hessar to Namazga-Tepe to the Geoksyr group. They lived there half a thousand years and then the group at Geoksyr disappeared.
Geoksyr typifies the culture of the eastern Anau group of tribes that displays connections with Elam.
The Indoiranian languages of Iran have a Dravidian substrate.
Central Asia: Neolithic appears with Djeitun Culture at -4500, clearly coming from Iraq and Iran, from -2000 develops a true urbanism
in its daughter cultures, but suddenly at -1600 everything decays, and appear there previously unknown svastikas and other materials belonging to Indoeuropean steppe peoples (Iranian branch).
Present evidence is far from conclusive but suggests that food-producing cultures of the ‘Middle Eastern type’ may have spread
from southern Turkmenia to the borders of Xinjiang (China) as early as the third millennium B.C. and may have provided the
backdrop for the exchange of materials, such as silk and metals, between two major culture areas.
no more “natural” or demic Neolithic expansion in China: Chinese Neolithic in the east, and no productive land in the north.
Agriculture came from the west to India (wheat and barley), along domesticated animals: cattle, sheeps, pig…
Varieties of wheat and other cereals of Fertile Crescent origin appear in India about -7000 (?), that could have been carried there by a Neolithic culture that also would have spread its language (Elamite – Dravidic); such arrival of Caucasians, along the permanence of Australoid indigenous populations in the area (that can be seen even today among India’s most unreached tribals) would have led to the present racial mix, helped
some 4000 years ago with the Aryan invasions of Caucasoids. This picture has a paralel in Mexico where there is a mix of Caucasian populations (originally Spaniards) with Native Amarican Mongoloids that can be appreciated nowadays: mestizos, but also islands of tribals or “Indians”.
Dravidian “islands”: Malto language in the border India – Bangla Desh, and Kurux dialect in Nepal.
if the unreadable Harappan script would be linked to Dravidian or Brahui (a Dravidian language spoken in the mountains
of Pakistan), it would show a Dravidian continuity all over the Indian subcontinent.
ANATOLIAN AND TRANSCAUCASIAN SPREAD
Hatti was a no-Indoeuropean language of Central Turkey spoken before the Hittite invasion (-2000); is an isolated language,
but in the other side some scholars relate it to Abkhaz and Kartvel (Caucasian languages).
In North Turkey (over the Black Sea coasts), Caucasian languages related to Laz were once common (Colchian).
The Hurrian are regarded as having been the people responsible for the Transcaucasian Eneolithic Culture (or Kura-Arax culture).
This was a cultural unity which pervaded Transcaucasia and the Armenian Plateau from -3250 to -1750.
The Urartian (East Turkey) language known from cuneiform inscriptions is related to Hurrian (East Turkey) according
to Arutiunov, and yet both are related to Dagestanic (North Caucasian).
and even there was territorial continuity between all these Caucasic languages: before that the Turkish Azaris or Azerbadjanis occupied their actual area, it was inhabited by the Caucasian Albanians, a people related to the actual Uti, which speak a language that belongs to the North Caucasian sub-family. That would link Caucasian to the Zagros (Neolithic homeland).
Khaldi was the first god among Urartians and also among Armenians; the second god most worshipped among Armenians was Tesiheba.
That would proof that the Indoeuropean Armenians accepted and adapted the native Urartian pantheon, and that as the Armenian Tesiheba and the Hatti Teshub are similar, it would point that there was a common original non-IE Anatolian religion shared by Hurrians and the non-Indoeuropean Hatti, pointing to a common religion and a common proto-language also.
EXPANSION IN EUROPE
Cultural areas colonized by Neolithic Anatolians in Europe: Balkans including Greece, Italy, and western spearheads in
coastal areas of France and Spain.
There is a certain degree of uniformity in the first Neolithic ceramics from the Middle Danube till the Aegean Sea, and even Anatolia.
The votive figures found in Çatal Hüyük resemble those of Cyprus, Hissarlik, Crete, and the Cyclades; even the sacral horns were given recognition.
The direct Neolithic expansion into Europe originated in Anatolia would have resulted in an unified language family, as for
Neolithic Dravidians in the east, Afroasiatics in the south, Austronesians in the Pacific, Bantu peoples, etc.
The Starcevo culture (-6000 to -5000) is the earliest Neolithic culture of the western Balkans, named for a settlement site near Belgrade. It is part of a broad complex of cultures that includes Karanovo I, Kremikovci, Körös, Maritza, and Cris. [Such cultures were of Anatolian origin]. It developed into the Vinca culture.
THE MESOLITHIC ROOTS OF THE BALKAN NEOLITHIC
By the beginning of the Boreal period (c. 8000 B.C.), the environment of the Balkans was similar to that of today. The region was populated with hunter-gatherer groups, but while their presence in central and northern Europe is well documented, only a thin settlement pattern is observable in the Balkans. Mesolithic sites are unequally distributed throughout the region, and some clusters are reported along the Aegean seacoast as well in Thessaly, the Dinaric Alps in the Adriatic, the Ionian hinterland, and along the Danube in the northern Balkans. It has been hypothesized that the Mesolithic social system comprised exogamous and territorial bands economically based on common access to resources. Indeed, the conclusion often drawn is that large parts of the region were completely uninhabited during the Early Postglacial period, and the absence of Mesolithic habitation from many areas has been accepted as a fact by numerous scholars.
The initial appearance of Neolithic communities, characterized by tell type sites in Thessaly, therefore was linked to the farming communities that were believed to have migrated from the Near East and colonized the southern Balkans. It became broadly accepted that immigrating farmers brought all the knowledge and skills of farming, with cultivation removing many of the risks and uncertainties, allowing accumulation and redistribution and thus making sharing undesirable.
In this orthodox model, the transition to farming in the Balkans was related to intrusive agricultural communities originally from Anatolia that established Neolithic settlements, from which they gradually colonized the entire region. Thus, the microregion settled first by Anatolian migrants, and identified as the primary center of “Neolithization” in Europe, corresponds with the distribution of “preceramic” and “monochrome” pottery occupations in the active floodplains of Thessaly on the southern tip of the Balkans. The colonization of the entire region is believed to relate to a subsequent wave of northward migration that was recognized in the dispersal of pottery with white or red painted decoration in the northern and eastern Balkans and of Cardial-Impresso pottery along the Adriatic coast.
The prevailing assumption of many archaeologists has been that fully formed Neolithic communities spread northward along a dynamic agricultural frontier zone. This model suggests a steady expansion of people into Europe, driven by population growth resulting from agricultural surpluses and the displacement or absorption of the sparse hunter-gatherer populations. Archaeologists often have drawn maps of the distribution of Early Neolithic sites and dates that have depicted a continuously moving Neolithic frontier in which there was no prolonged chronological overlap between hunter-gatherers and the onset of early farming. The lack of evidence of hunter-gatherer sites in the Balkans led to speculation that an extremely sparse Mesolithic population would have allowed farmers to expand and colonize the region rapidly.
It is evident, however, that the present distribution of Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic sites has been very much affected by long-term and catastrophic processes that restructured the geomorphologic features and reshaped the relief of the Balkans in the Holocene. In plotting sites on a general map of southeastern Europe and in hypothesizing spatial discontinuity between Mesolithic and Neolithic settlements, we must take into consideration the fact that the patterns available to research are the outcomes of consecutive cycles of alluviation, erosion, and sedimentation; the rise in Mediterranean sea level; and modern anthropogenic impacts on the landscape. Many coastal and riverside sites still remain unavailable, and others have been erased entirely from the surface as the result of intensive present-day agricultural activities. The distinction between Neolithic and Mesolithic sites also has been based on general typological categorizations that were used to define the cultural sequences of hunter-gatherers and farmers. This dichotomy maintains the perception that farming practices could be embedded only in typologically determined Neolithic “cultural” contexts. From this point of view it is impossible to ignore the fact that the spatial distribution of Early Neolithic settlements may not reflect the actual spread of farming practices and changes in subsistence strategies.
The idea that early farming in southeastern Europe spread through its adoption by local foragers, rather than through migration, is still not accepted widely. The Balkans often are excluded as an area of primary domestication of wild einkorn (Triticum boeoticum), although on the tip of the Balkan Peninsula present-day habitats for wild einkorn exist. Among the archaeobotanical remains collected from the Mesolithic deposits in the Theopetra cave in Greece, wild einkorn wheat has been reported. Although einkorn wheat appears to be less common than two other founder cereals, emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) in the Levantine Neolithic, this is certainly not the case in the Balkans, where much richer remains of einkorn wheat are available. Einkorn prevails over emmer wheat in the number of pure hoards, retaining its principal role throughout the Neolithic and even later periods. In emphasizing the importance of new subsistence practices introduced by first farmers, such as replacement of collected seeds by cultivated cereals, we should not overlook that the Neolithic pollen records in the Balkans do not reflect forest clearing and the creation of patches of cultivated land. Thus, we should not exclude the possibility that indigenous foragers were more involved in the establishment of farming communities in the Balkans than archaeologists admit.
THE “NEOLITHIZATION” OF THE BALKANS
A revolution in cuisine occurred when Neolithic villagers started to use pottery. Since V. Gordon Childe put forward the idea that pot making is a virtually universal characteristic of Neolithic communities as well an indicator of its cultural identity and origin, the appearance of pottery in the Balkans has been considered to mark the dispersal of Early Neolithic cultures from Anatolia. In the absence of precise dating evidence and without the retrieval of botanical and faunal remains, the assessment of any particular site in the Balkans as being of Neolithic age traditionally has been made on the presence of pottery fragments.
From this perspective, after the Anatolian immigrants, who either did not use pottery or made monochrome pottery, gained their initial toehold on the floodplains of Thessaly, subsequent northward expansions were correlated with regional pottery distributions assumed to reflect two streams of migrating farmers. The first was defined by the dispersal of white or red painted pottery that marked the inland migration toward the southern Carpathian Basin, which eventually became the Starčevo-Körös-Criş complex of Neolithic cultures. The second migration was linked to the Cardial-Impresso pottery dispersal, restricted to the eastern Adriatic and Ionian coastal area. In one microregion recognized in the central Balkans in Bosnia, the two streams overlapped. The combination of painted and Cardial-Impresso pottery identified in the Early Neolithic settlement deposits at Obre was interpreted as a composite Starčevo-Impresso culture.
The validity of this model of northward migration and colonization by farmers has been questioned. Emphasis has been laid on the growing evidence of pottery deposited in the so-called aceramic settlement layers, which strongly contradicts the concept of a Pre-Pottery Neolithic in Greece. Some researchers, however, continue to interpret the transition to farming in Greece as having taken place through the arrival of the first occupants, bringing with them the full Neolithic “package” of domesticated plants and animals but not pottery. The idea of a demographic explosion in the floodplains of the rivers and lakes in Thessaly first occupied by immigrant farmers and a subsequent rapid migration toward the northern Balkans also remains speculative. Indeed, it took twelve hundred years to colonize the nearest floodplains in Macedonia and another three hundred years to reach the Danube in the northern Balkans.
The traditional concept of white painted ware as the earliest Neolithic pottery of the central and eastern Balkans also has been called into question. Several clusters of well-stratified sites exist, where layers of unpainted pottery-with monochrome and Impresso decoration-are separated stratigraphically from those of white painted ceramics. Such monochrome and Impresso assemblages in Poljanica, Orlovec, Koprivec, and Obhodov in the eastern Balkans have been related contextually to microliths, trapezes, and rudimentary agriculture. In the central and northern Balkans forty-six sites with early ceramics have been identified. Essentially, archaeologists found that the monochrome and Impresso pottery at these sites is embedded contextually in semisedentary or sedentary hunter-gatherer occupations in the region, such as at Lepenski Vir and Padina in the Danube gorges. The pottery assemblages consist principally of monochrome ceramics of simple forms and limited Impresso techniques. Ninety percent of the pots are undecorated, and the decorations on the rest consist of impressed ornaments, shaped by fingertips and fingernails, the edges of freshwater shells, and awls.
Unfortunately, most of the Iron Gates pottery assemblages are still scantily published. In interpreting the Mesolithic cultural phases at the Lepenski Vir I and II sites, the excavator pointed out that monochrome pottery fragments had been found lying on the floors of fifteen Mesolithic trapezoidal buildings. In the initial reports, the Lepenski Vir pottery was discussed out of its context, owing to its presumed inconsistency with a model of hunter-gatherer technology that excluded ceramic manufacture; instead, it was attributed to vertical displacement of Neolithic artifacts and postdepositional disturbance. Later research confirmed, however, that the pottery indeed was associated with the famous stone statues and other decorated sculptures, altars, and artifacts ornamented with various symbols and deposited on the floors of the same buildings.
Most intriguing is the correlation of complete pots found in situ, stone statues and sculptures, and groups of newborns and children buried below the floors in the rear of certain buildings. A remarkable symbolic structure was preserved in centrally positioned trapezoidal building 54. A pot with spiral ornaments, illustrating local decorative principles and symbolism, was placed deliberately in what was identified some years ago as the sanctuary of a sun deity. It was associated with the burials of two newborns, red and black sculptures, and an altar.
It has been hypothesized that early ceramics at Lepenski Vir indicate increased interaction between the two social networks, farming communities outside the gorge and the hunter-gatherer community inside, which led to the collapse of the latter group. Alternatively, it is possible that the pots served as containers for foods that appeared in the context of a dietary shift from aquatic resources to terrestrial resources. As stable isotope analyses have shown, terrestrial resources probably included a major agricultural component, despite the fact that domesticates have not been documented in these contexts.
In contrast to the prevailing assumption that pottery is a marker of settled Neolithic life, it is possible to argue to the contrary. We can say instead that the pottery at Lepenski Vir was a new technology and a novel medium used for visual display, whether as serving dishes for the living or in sacrificial rituals to dead children buried beneath the buildings. This pottery acted as an integral part of a set of symbols consisting of standardized settlement architecture, location of burials and burial practices, stone sculptures and statues, and mortars and altars, which, taken together, reflect an ideological integration and define a cultural identity of nonfarming communities in the region.
A similar pattern of early monochrome and Impresso pottery dispersal has been seen in Ionian and Adriatic coastal areas. In some contexts, it was connected with hunter-gatherer stone tool assemblages. This ornamental principle evidently was of long duration, as painted pottery did not exist in coastal regions before the Middle Neolithic. Although no direct evidence of pre-Neolithic pottery production is available in the Balkans, we can take into account the presence of some unbaked clay masses as well as certain associated monochrome, primitive, and slightly baked pottery documented in a Late Mesolithic context in the Theopetra cave. We also have mentioned the typologically and chronologically well grounded hypothesis that Thessalian ceramic techniques were developed on the spot and were not part of the baggage of immigrating farmers.
Not many radiocarbon dates are available for the Balkans, to anchor the irregular distribution of monochrome and Impresso pottery chronologically. The dates we have show the evident contemporaneity of the contexts, whether in the southern or northern Balkans or in Ionian or Adriatic coastal areas. These styles of pottery occurred over a very broad area but in a narrow time span in the Balkan interior and along the Ionian and Adriatic coasts during the second half of the seventh millennium B.C. Probability distributions of the radiocarbon dates from Lepenski Vir, Donja Branjevina, and Poljanica in the northern and eastern Balkans, Sidari on the island of Corfu, and Vela Spilja on the eastern Adriatic coast reflect striking parallels with one another and with early pottery-using levels at Sesklo and Achilleion in the southernmost part of the Balkans. No chronological gap is evident between the first appearances of pottery in Greece and pottery in the Balkans. The contextual attachment of monochrome and Impresso pottery to the hunter-gatherer world and its widespread distribution contradict the traditional models of centers of so-called Neolithization and subsequent migration toward the margins of the Early Neolithic world.
The basic premise of this discussion is that the dispersal of farming in southeastern Europe was embedded in the existing regional, pre-Neolithic social and historical structures. Dispersal was effected by the network of social relationships and contacts and by traditional socially and culturally defined principles of inter-generation and inter-community transmission of knowledge. Through contact in the course of local and regional migrations, people were the agency for such transmissions, for the incorporation of such innovations as domesticates and pottery, and for changing the structural framework of the social context.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF FARMING COMMUNITIES IN THE BALKANS
After these early traces of indigenous ceramic innovation and adoption of Neolithic characteristics by hunter-gatherers, a more robust and consolidated group of Neolithic communities developed in many parts of the Balkans during the final quarter of the seventh millennium and the first part of the sixth millennium B.C. Marked differences exist between the settlements found in the southern Balkans and those in the central and northern Balkans. The former sites are more closely related to contemporaneous sites in Greece, while the latter reflect a clear adaptation to a temperate, Continental environment. Named for type sites and geographical features, the southern complex embraces cultures known as Kremikovci and Karanovo I, while the northern complex comprises the Starčevo-Körös-Criş cultures.
In contrast to the earlier distribution of monochrome and Impresso pottery in both interior and coastal areas, a clear distinction between the Adriatic coast and the Balkan interior emerged at this time. While red or white painted pottery was adopted throughout most of the Balkans, a Cardial-Impresso ornamental technique came into use during the final centuries of the seventh millennium B.C. along the Ionian and Adriatic coasts, in a band that extended 30 kilometers into the Adriatic hinterland. Neither painted pottery technology nor accompanying artifacts arrived on the eastern Adriatic coast. The pattern may suggest selective processes of integration of the “Neolithic package” into existing hunter-gatherer social systems and subsistence strategies.
The Kremikovci-Karanovo I Complex. Starting around 6200 B.C., numerous substantial Neolithic settlements appeared along the rivers of western and southern Bulgaria and adjacent territories. These floodplain communities adopted some, but not all, of the architectural techniques in use in Greece, building houses from timber and clay but without stone foundations or mud bricks. Their sites comprised clusters of small, rectangular, one-room or two-room houses that were repaired and rebuilt over time to form mounds, or tells, of superimposed habitation. Later houses were built in line with the floor plans of earlier ones, indicating continuity of occupation over several centuries.
Two of the most important Early Neolithic sites in this area are found at Chevdar in western Bulgaria and Karanovo in south-central Bulgaria. At both these sites, farming communities chose locations close to good alluvial soils for the cultivation of einkorn and emmer wheat, barley, peas, beans, and vetch. At Chevdar, palaeobotanical analysis of large, homogeneous samples points to a sophisticated crop-processing technique. Among domesticated animals, sheep and goats were the most important, with cattle and pigs in subsidiary roles. In the lowest layer of the Karanovo tell (Karanovo I), rectangular houses were about 7-8 meters on a side and often contained ovens and grindstones.
The pottery of the Kremikovci-Karanovo I complex consists of first white and then red painted ceramics in a variety of vessel forms. In addition to pottery vessels, Neolithic peoples began making figurines and models of human beings, animals, furniture, and buildings. Of greatest importance are the anthropomorphic figurines found from Macedonia north to southern Hungary. Many represent women; others have no recognizable sexual features, although they are seldom explicitly male. Although archaeologists are not certain of the purpose of these figurines, Douglass Bailey has suggested that they were part of the ceremonies by which the social units reflected by the architecture of these settlements were created and maintained.
Burials from Kremikovci-Karanovo I sites are relatively scarce. Many of them are of children or infants. Inhumation burials are found commonly under house floors or close to buildings, sometimes in rubbish pits. It is difficult to generalize about the nature and quantity of grave goods. When grave goods are present, they generally consist of ceramic vessels, bone tools and ornaments, and flint tools.
The Starčevo-Körös-Criş Complex. The earliest Neolithic in the central and northern Balkans is defined by the Neolithic settlements clustered into the Starčevo-Körös-Criş complex. It consists of groups known as “Starčevo” in the central Balkans and “Körös” in the Carpathian Basin. Coarse barbotine (a rough application of clay that then is streaked with a finger or a stick, so that parallel ridges are raised) and impressed wares dominate in both groups. In contrast, red monochrome and painted pottery items are insignificant components in the development of these groups.
Orthodox interpretations of the southeastern European Neolithic transition still maintain that part of the population of these southern Balkan communities migrated northward separately and established the Criş group in enclaves in Transylvania, Romania. The primary Criş colony was recognized at Gura Baciului and defined by red monochrome pottery and white dotted decoration. The concept of a Starčevo culture was introduced in the 1920s when the type site at Starčevo, about 20 kilometers east of Belgrade, was excavated. In the 1930s Harvard University and the American School of Prehistoric Research became involved in research at this site. At the same time, excavations started at the site of Kotacpart in Hungary. Pottery similar to that at Starčevo was found at other sites located along the Körös River in Hungary, representing a group that became known as the Körös culture. A lack of well-stratified sites still favors typological ceramic sequences as a basic tool in establishing the Early Neolithic chronological framework in the region.
This grouping takes into account typological similarity and variation in pottery styles, but it also is driven by the recognition of modern political territorial boundaries. Thus, “Starčevo culture” relates to the Early Neolithic sites in Serbia, whereas “Körös” is applied to those groups located in southeastern Hungary and “Criş” to Early Neolithic sites in Romania. Radiocarbon dating shows that the Starčevo-Körös-Criş complex appeared as early as 6200 B.C. and lasted until the second half of the sixth millennium B.C., indicating a chronological overlap with the Early Neolithic sites of Thessaly, Macedonia, and southern Bulgaria and with the early Linearbandkeramik settlements of the Carpathian Basin.
It is not just pottery distribution that marks the Starčevo-Körös-Criş complex. High-quality “Balkan” flint, also termed “yellow-spotted” flint, represents the most abundant raw material within the complex. Although a clear picture of the source of this raw material is still lacking, there are indications that certain regions of northeastern Bulgaria are the most probable locations for its origin. At other sites, local raw materials were used, particularly in more northern areas. At the Körös site of Endro˝d 39, however, a hoard contained 101 blades made from Bulgarian flint.
The Starčevo agricultural settlements in the valleys are situated on riverbanks or low terraces, set on mounds of alluvial sand and levees that rise above marshes. The settlement patterns are considered to be “tactical” in the sense that locations were occupied according to short-term needs rather than long-term strategies. There is little spatial differentiation within the settlements. Starčevo sites contain rich remains of cultural material and food residues, but with thin stratigraphic layers and enigmatic evidence for permanent structures. Quadrangular houses are reported in the latest phase, but some researchers have claimed that pits that form the main archaeological features at Starčevo sites are pit dwellings or pit huts.
The best example of a Starčevo settlement is the late seventh and early sixth millennia B.C. camp at Divostin in Serbia. The dwellings at Divostin were round or elliptical in plan. Some had concentrations of stones in the middle of their floors, which would have supported posts holding up the roofs of pit houses. In some buildings, small hearths were built. The Divostin pit houses were not very large, measuring no more than 4-5 meters in diameter. They were no deeper than 0.5 meters. A variety of ceramics, flint tools, animal bones, and anthropomorphic figurines were deposited in the dwellings. In the Danube gorges, Starčevo settlements frequently were stratified above Mesolithic habitation layers, and the houses maintained a uniform trapezoidal form and size as well the spatial structure of the settlement. The pattern is in marked contrast to the long-term tell settlements and surface houses found at this time in the southern Balkans.
Emmer and einkorn wheat, six-row barley, and peas have been found at Starčevo settlements, but a lack of attention to seed retrieval has minimized empirical support for hypotheses on the nature of plant exploitation. It is broadly accepted that agricultural practice may have been minimal at this time. There are many Starčevo sites, on the other hand, whose animal bone assemblages have been analyzed in detail. Domesticated sheep and goats prevailed in stockbreeding, but cattle and pigs did not play a significant role in the subsistence patterns of the Starčevo and Körös cultures. The habitats were less well suited for breeding sheep and goats than cattle, as the wild ancestor of the cattle, the aurochs (Bos primigenius), used to live here in large herds. Some researchers have argued that there was local domestication of cattle and pigs, but faunal data are equivocal at best on this point. An alternative pattern of animal use was identified in the Danube gorges sites and on Transylvanian sites. There, a small variety of cattle predominated among the domesticated animals, whereas sheep and goats seemed less important. Pigs were almost entirely absent. At Körös sites in the levee and back swamp habitats of southern Hungary, fish bones are especially common, indicating a substantial aquatic component in the diet.
The burials were dispersed in habitation areas across the region. Skeletons are found in a crouched position, with almost no grave offerings. Anauroch’s head with horn cores is associated with some burials, and various animal bones were placed in others. A large pit dug between the two buried people, with no grave goods and filled with a large amount of bones of dogs and wild horses, may provide indirect evidence of ritual or competitive feasting.
The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture in the Balkans cannot be explained simply in terms of Neolithic immigrants originating in Anatolia and pushing steadily northward and westward, displacing indigenous foragers. Instead, it appears that there was an initial period during which pottery production and incipient agriculture were broadly and rapidly disseminated among pre-Neolithic communities during the second half of the seventh millennium B.C. Subsequently, Early Neolithic communities with strong local roots appeared in the final centuries of the seventh millennium B.C. In the southern Balkans, substantial settlements, such as Chevdar and Karanovo I, showed signs of long-term occupation and a strong commitment to agriculture, whereas in the central and northern Balkans, settlements of the Starčevo-Körös-Criş complex appear to have been shorter-term habitations with a broader spectrum of subsistence resources.
The Korös (Starcevo) and Balkan cultures exerted a great influence on the culture of Asia Minor. We can see the influence of the Tordos-Vinca culture on the Aegean culture. The epigraphic writing on the ceramics found in the legendary Troy is identical to that on the ceramics of the Tordos-Vinca culture. Dr. Titov states that the primitive writing system of the Aegean culture goes back to the fourth millennium B.C. and was influenced by the Balkan and Mesopotamian cultures. Other historians support his conclusions, notably John Dayton and Sir Leonard Woolley.
When observing the process of neolithisation of the Carpathian basin, several basic perspectives in the broader region of the Balkan Peninsula have to be reconsidered in the period between the ninth and the fifth millennium BC.
The first one is the relation between the early and late Mesolithic in the region. Basic differences between the early and the late Mesolithic have to be determineded in terms of strategies for the procurement of raw materials, stone tool production technologies and typologies, bone tool technologies and typologies and most of all in terms of residential mobility.
The second perspective is the relation between the Mesolithic and the Neolithic cultures. The results will enable us to understand why early Mesolithic was replaced by the early Neolithic cultures in the southern and central part of the Balkan Peninsula. The relations between the late Mesolithic and the Early, Middle and Late Neolithic economies and strategies will enable us to understand the processes of neolithisation in a broader region between the Carpathian Basin and the Alps.
The third perspective that has to be considered is the characteristics of the early Neolithic. There are two basic questions – the existence of Neolithic cultures before the Anzabegovo-Vršnik/Starcevo/Koros/Cris complex and the internal (regional and cultural) division of the later complex. And in our opinion, Govrlevo is one of the key – sites.
Govrlevo , Cerje, Cerje-Govrlevo and also Govrljevo are the toponyms which are found in archaeological literature denominating the multi-layer Neolithic settlement, which is located about 15 km southwest from Skopje on a wide fertile terrace on a much higher absolute above sea level (500 m) than the rest of the Neolithic sites in Skopje region. The site was identified during field surveys in 1981. The first campaign of excavation was carried out between 1982 and 1985. The results were very promising, since few houses and other elements of the settlement, as well as aboundance of pottery, were discovered at the time. According to the excavator, the settlement has developed trought six basic phases, the first – Govrlevo I belongs to the Early Neolithic. The phases Govrlevo II – IV represent Middle Neolithic and the phases Govrlevo V and VI are the residues of the Late Neolithic life.
Jacques Cauvin (1978.134; 2000.22–29, 204–205,207–208) has postulated that Levantine ceramic female figurines were markers of the new ‘expansionist’ religion, which became a powerful social force and facilitated at an ideological level the transition to an agricultural way of life. In identifying what he understood was clear evidence for an inter-linked economic and religious transformation he believed that he had also discovered the reason why hunter gatherer people in villages outside the Levant did not develop subsistence production for themselves. He suggested that their failure to move over to the ‘humanisation’ of art and related new divinities could also have prevented them from moving over to a new type of economic practice. According to this interpretative scenario Europe thus could not have become Neolithicised until the ‘wave of advance’ and ceramic female figurines had reached the Balkans.
It was suggested recently that the distribution of Neolithic ceramic female figurines appears to have links with human genetic evidence. As Roy King and Peter A. Underhill (2002.707–714) have hypothesised, these figures are perhaps ‘the best genetic predictor’ of Neolithic farmers’ haplogrups and of the (re)population dynamics in Europe and Western Asia. It is due to the postulates that their geographic distribution correlates closely with the southeast-northwest cline of frequencies of Y chromosome markers and associated haplogroup Eu9 (J–M67* and J–M92 according to Semino et al. 2004.1030) in modern populations in Asia Minor and Europe, and, that all appear to originate in the same area of south-central Anatolia. The ceramic female figurines were hypothesized to appear at the same time as the emergence of cereal cultivation in the PPNA of the Levant. Moreover, they were believed to symbolise a series of gender and symbolic attributes that were carried forward with the spread of farming and went on to constitute part of the ‘new materiality’ that defined the key economic and ideological features of the Balkan Neolithic (Gimbuts 1989; Biehl 1996.153–175; Marangou 1996.176–2002; Chapman 2000;Bailey 2005; Hansen 2005.199–200).
However, the introduction of ceramic female statuettes, animal figurines and constructional ceramics were certainly not within the cultural domain of earlier Levantine hunter-gatherer societies, and nor they did not appear only on the ‘eve of the appearance of an agricultural economy’ as Cauvin (2000.25) suggested. The tradition of making figurines can be traced back to Central Europe, across the Russian Plain, into southern Siberia, and ultimately back to the Levant and Northern Africa. It is now clear that the clay figurine tradition was deeply embedded in pre-existing Eurasian hunter-gatherer social and symbolic contexts and that the dates of these figures begins as earlier as 26 000 years BP (Verpoorte 2001; Budja2004.59–81; 2005.53–72). For example, more than 16000 fragments of anthropomorphic figurines, zoomorphic statuettes, pellets, ‘earplugs’, flat fragments and constructional ceramic were recovered from the Central European Palaeolithic sites of Dolní Vestonice, Pavlov, Petrkovice, and Predmostí in Moravia. In the same region poorly preserved fragments of fired clay have also have also been recorded at Krems- Wachtberg, Moravany-Lopata, Jaro”ov, and hypothetically at Ka”ov and Cejkov (Soffer and Vandiver 1997.383–402; Verpoorte 2001) (Figs. 1 and 2), and while some may have been statuettes, their exact form remains unclear. Further to the East, on the Russian Plain, low-temperature-fired clay fragments were reported at Zaraisk and Kostenki Gravettian sites. At the latter, located on the banks of the River Don, more than four hundred fragments were found, contextually associated with marl and ivory Venus figures, and animal statuettes (Iakovleva 1999.125–134; Soffer, Adovasio and Hyland 2000.511–537;Soffer et al. 2000.814). Finally, the most easterly anthropomorphic ceramic figurine was found at an open air site at Maininskaya (Maina), on the left bank of the Yenisei River in Siberia (Vasil’ev 1985.193–196; Maina on-line).
All these early ceramic figurine assemblages can be assigned to the Pavlovian, a local variant of the Eastern Gravettian techno-complex, which dates back to around 26000 BP (Verpoorte 2001.86). For example, the ceramics at Kostenki were embedded in range of contexts, the oldest of which dates to 24 100 BP, and the most recent, to 18 000 BP (Soffer et al. 2000.814). Two dates are available for a ceramic figurine at Mayininskaya: at 16 540±170BP and 16 176±180BP (Vasil’ev 1985.193–196; Vasil’ev et al. 2002.526,Tab. 1). In addition, a lesser known fired ceramic sculpture, possibly representing a wild Barbary sheep (Ovis tragelaphus), was recovered from Tamar Hat Cave in Algeria, in an Ibero-Maurisian context which has been dated to 19 800±500 bp (Saxon 1976.327–329).
These finds point clearly to the fact that knowledge of ceramic technology had become ‘embedded’ into the agency of Eurasian hunter-gatherers many millennia before the appearance of food-producing agricultural societies. We must also note two other facts, first, that the making of ceramic figurines predates the making of pottery, and second, that pottery was not necessarily associated with the emergence of farming, as ceramic vessels were being made before the practice of early agriculture in Eastern Asia, and subsequently in the Levant, and Anatolia in Southwestern Asia.
Currently, the earliest known dates for ceramic vessels are from Southern China, where the direct dating of pottery at Miaoyan and Yuchanyan sites, based on insoluble residues, yield 14C values of 17 200–16 300 calBC (15 220±260 BP [BA94137b]) and 16 150–15 400 calBC respectively (14 390±230 BP [BA95057b]) (Zhao and Wu 2000.236–237; Pearson 2005.823). In the Russian Far East very early pottery found was also produced by hunter gatherer societies at the sites of Gromatukha and Gasya and has been dated to between 14 560–13 070 calBC (13 240 BP±85 [AA–20939] and 14 160–12 530 calBC (12 960±120 BP [LE–1781] (Kuzmin 2002.41,Tab.1; Zhushchikhovsaya 2005.13,17). Kuzmin, on contrary suggests there was an almost simultaneous appearance of pottery in Southern China at c. 13 700–13 300 BP, in Japan at c. 13 500 BP, and in the Russian Far East at c. 13 300 BP (Kuzmin 2006.362–371; see also Keally et al. 2004.349).
The first occurrence of ceramic vessels in Western Eurasia at circa 6900–6800 calBC marks the transition from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C (PPNC) to the Pottery (or Late) Neolithic. The earlier pottery assemblages consist of coarse-wares, which are planttempered and undecorated. Several centuries pass before the emergence of elaborate painted styles and diverse shapes, which suggests that pottery had acquired a much wider significance in wider social contexts (Le Mière et Picon 1999.5–26; Aurenche et al. 2001.1197; Akkermans et al. 2006.123–156; Kozłowski and Aurenche 2005). However, the knowledge of firing clay was older than the first pottery vessels. We see the production of fired ceramic female and animal figurines from the very start of Pre- Pottery Neolithic (PPNA), at about 10 200 calBC onward, although these were being produced alongside ‘white ware’ vessels of carved sandstone, alabaster and marble.
Dabban [southern Aurignacian] migration- 35/40kya, ydna R1, mtdna U & M1.
Capsian migration- 11/10kya, ydna J1, possibly T etc., mtdna H
Neolithic migration- 8kya, ydna R1b, J1, J2
At this time, the “Eastern” wing of macrohaplogroup N (including A, X and B attested in America) was still in the East. South Siberian UP dated around 43,000 YBP/48,000 CAL (statistically identical to 46,000 YBP at Boker-Tachtit [Ahmarian]) is concentrated mostly at two areas in southern Siberia, at the Altai Mountains (Kara-Bom, Kara-Tenesh, Ust’-Karakol, etc.) and the Transbaikal (Tolbaga, Kamenka, etc.). At the same time, some occurrences at the Yenisey, Angara, and Upper Lena River basins witness the occupation of the whole southern Siberia. At Kara-Bom we find all the features of European UP (volumetric flaking, chisel-like burins, blades, scrapers, adornments, etc.) plus continuity traits with Middle Paleolithic.
R1b1a* (V88) is common in Central Africa (0-95.5% depending on the ethnicity), with some presence in North Africa (0-23.7%, this last among Siwa Berbers) and also found in West Asia and the Balcans at very low levels (0.3 and 0.2% respectively of regional composite samples).
Anomalous Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in the Cherokee
Donald N. Yates
ABSTRACT. A sample of 52 individuals who purchased mitochondrial DNA testing to determine their female lineage was assembled after the fact from the customer files of DNA Consultants. All claim matrilineal descent from a Native American woman, usually named as Cherokee. The main criterion for inclusion in the study is that test subjects must have obtained results not placing them in the standard Native American haplogroups A, B, C or D. Hence the use of the word “anomalous” in the title of a paper prepared by chief investigator Donald N. Yates, “Anomalous Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in the Cherokee.”
Most subjects reveal haplotypes that are unmatched anywhere else except among other participants, and there proves to be a high degree of interrelatedness and common ancestral lines. Haplogroup T emerges as the largest lineage, followed by U, X, J and H. Similar proportions of these haplogroups are noted in the populations of Egypt, Israel and other parts of the East Mediterranean (see below).
The Cherokee and Admixture. According to a 2007 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Cherokee are the largest tribal group today, with a population of 331,000 or 15% of all American Indians. Despite their numbers, though, the Cherokee have had few DNA studies conducted on them. I know of only three reports on Cherokee mitochondrial DNA. A total of 60 subjects are involved, all from Oklahoma. Possibly the reason the Cherokee are not recruited for more studies, I would suggest, stems from their being perceived as admixed in comparison with other Indians. Accordingly, they are deemed less worthy of study.
In the past, whenever a geneticist or anthropologist conducting a study of Native Americans has encountered an anomalous haplogroup, that is, a lineage that does not belong to one of the five generally accepted American Indian mitochondrial DNA haplogroups A, B, C, D and X, it has been rejected as an example of admixture and not included in the survey results. This is true of the two examples of H and one of J reported by Cherokee descendants by Schurr (2000:253). Schurr takes these exceptions to prove the rule and regards them as instances of European admixture. The governing logic of population geneticists seems to go as follows:
Lineage A, B, C, D and X are American Indian.
Therefore, all American Indians are lineage A, B, C, D and X.
The fallacy in such reasoning is apparent. It could be restated as: “All men are two-legged creatures; therefore since the skeleton we dug up has two legs, it is human.” It might be a kangaroo.
“The geneticists always seem to cry ‘post-Columbian admixture,'” says Stephen C. Jett, a geographer at the University of California at Davis, “but fail to take into account that there are no plausible post-Columbian sources for the particular genetic mix encountered.”
“Anomalous Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in the Cherokee” concentrates on the “kangaroos”- documented or self-identifying Cherokee descendants whose haplotypes do not fit the current orthodoxy in American Indian population genetics. Here are some highlights, organized by haplogroup.
Haplogroup H. Although this quintessentially European haplogroup would seem to be the most likely suspect if admixture were responsible for the anomalous haplogroups, there are but four cases of it.
Haplogroup X. Haplogroup X is a latecomer to the “pantheon” of Native American haplogroups. Its relative absence in Mongolia and Siberia and a recently proven center of diffusion in Lebanon and Israel (Brown et al. 1998, Malhi and Smith 2002; Smith et al. 1999; Reidla 2003; Shlush et al. 2009) pose problems for the standard account of the peopling of the Americas. DNA Consultants Cherokee-descended customers include seven instances of haplogroup X. David E. Lewis (whose Cherokee name is Wayauwetsi) traces his unmatched X haplotype back to Seyinus, a Cherokee woman of the Wolf Clan born on or near the Qualla Boundary in North Carolina in 1862. Two cases represent descendants (unknown to each other, incidentally) of the Cherokee woman called Polly who was the namesake for the Qualla reservation (the sound p lacking in the Cherokee language and being rendered with qu).
Haplogroup J. Two other cases, both J’s, are related to Polly, tracing their lines back to Betsy Walker, a Cherokee woman born about 1720 in Soco (One-Town). A descendant was the wife or paramour of Col. Will Thomas, the first chief and founder of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians located today on the Qualla Boundary. Views about J are still evolving, but it seems to have originated in present-day Lebanon approximately 10,000 years before present. It is a major Jewish female lineage (Thomas 2002).
Haplogroup U has never been reported in American Indians to my knowledge. In our sample it covers 13 cases or 25% of the total, second in frequency only to haplogroup T. One of the U’s is Mary M. Garrabrant-Brower. She belongs to U5a1a* (all U5a1a not matched or assigned) but has no close matches anywhere. Her great-grandmother was Clarissa Green of the Cherokee Wolf Clan, born 1846. Mary’s mother Mary M. Lounsbury maintained the Cherokee language and rituals. One of the cases of U2e* is my own. This line evidently arose from a Jewish Indian trader and a Cherokee woman. My fifth-great-grandmother was born about 1790 on the northern Georgia and southwestern North Carolina frontier and had a relationship with a trader named Enoch Jordan. The trader’s male line descendants from his white family in North Carolina possess Y chromosomal J, a common Jewish type. Some Jordans, in fact, bear the Cohen Modal Haplotype that has been suggested to be the genetic signature of Old Testament priests (Thomas et al. 1998). Enoch Jordan was born about 1768 in Scotland of forbears from Russia or the Ukraine. My mother, Bessie Cooper, was a double descendant of Cherokee chief Black Fox and was born on Sand Mountain in northeastern Alabama near Black Fox’s former seat at Creek Path (and who was Paint Clan). All U2e* cases appear to have in common the fact that there are underlying Melungeon, Cherokee and Jewish connections.
Haplogroup T. “Tara,” as she was named by Brian Sykes, is believed to have originated in Mesopotamia approximately 10,000 to 12,000 years ago and to have moved northwards through the Caucasus and westwards from Anatolia into Europe. The closer one goes to its origin in the Fertile Crescent the more likely T is to be found in higher frequencies. The haplogroup includes slightly fewer than 10% of modern Europeans, but accounts for 28% of people in the DNA Consultants study. The great-great-grandmother of Linda Burckhalter was Sully Firebush, the daughter of a Cherokee chief who married Solomon Sutton, the stowaway son of a London merchant, in what would seem to be another variation of the “Jewish trader marries chief’s daughter” pattern. Three T1*’s are perfectly matching individuals completely unknown to one another before testing who are clearly descended from the same woman. Two of them claim Melungeon ancestry.
The many interrelationships noted above reinforce the conclusion that this is a faithful cross-section of a population. No such mix could have resulted from post-1492 European gene flow into the Cherokee Nation. So where do our non-European, non-Indian-appearing elements come from? The level of haplogroup T in the Cherokee (26.9%) approximates the percentage for Egypt (25%), one of the only lands where T attains a major position among the various mitochondrial lineages. In Egypt, T is three times what it is in Europe. Haplogroup U in our sample is about the same as the Middle East in general. Its frequency is similar to that of Turkey and Greece. J has a frequency not unlike Europe (a little less than 10%). The only other place on earth where X is found at an elevated level apart from other American Indian groups like the Ojibwe is among the Druze in the Hills of Galilee in northern Israel and Lebanon. The work of Shlush et al. (2009) demonstrates that this region was in fact the center of the worldwide diffusion of haplogroup X.
Phoenicians. On the Y chromosome side of Shlush et al.’s study, male haplogroup K was found to have a relatively high frequency of 11% in the Galilee region (2008:2). K (renamed T in the revised YCC nomenclature) has long been suspected to be the genetic signature of the Phoenicians. A TV show by National Geographic appeared about a year ago titled Who Were the Phoenicians?, in which Spencer Wells of the National Genographic Project, unveiled this theory. Without a doubt it was the Phoenicians, whose name among themselves was Cana’ni or KHNAI ‘Canaanites’, not Phoenikoi ‘red paint people’ (Aubet 2001:9-12; cf. Oxford Classical Dictionary s.v. “Phoenicians” ), who are referenced by James Adair when he observes that “several old American towns are called Kan?ai,” and suggests that the Conoy Indians of Pennsylvania and Maryland were Canaanites and their tribal name a corruption of the word Canaan. The Conoy Indians are the same Indians William Penn around 1700 described as resembling Italians, Jews and Greeks. By about 1735 they had dwindled to a “remnant of a nation, or subdivided tribe, of Indians,” according to Adair (1930:56, 67, 68). One of the oldest Cherokee clans is called Red Paint Clan (Ani-wodi).
So do the two subclades of X and other haplogroups represent Old World and New World branches diverging from each other as long ago as 30,000 years, or do the Native American “anomalous” haplotypes come more recently (but not as late as Columbus) from the same source in the East Mediterranean? The answer probably depends on how open one is to new evidence and revisionary thinking. According to Jett, “The splits may have taken place well before transfer, with one only or both being transferred to a new place and then one dying out in the home area (and the other in the new area, if both were transferred).” The distinction, at any rate, is irrelevant to the Cherokee who exhibit these not-so-rare haplogroups, although to those denied authenticity on the basis of anthropologists’ hardened ideas about the genetic composition of American Indians it is welcome vindication either way.