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Prehistoric Human Migrations

Jokodo

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The stories told by travelers are not evidence of a migration. A story can be transmitted by a single person. If you want to talk about evidence of migration, you will have to provide other evidence.

I don't think the Greeks would have accepted for fact one single guy's story of a place were the sun never sets.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence - or at least several independent witness accounts corraborating each other.
 

Sarpedon

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Ummm, I don't think I need to provide evidence that people will accept uncorroborated stories. It happens all the time. If you don't think that people won't believe a well-told story, you really haven't been paying attention. I also don't think the average people follow the "extraordinary claims" aphorism. Remember, that in Herodotus' History, he included the bit about the people with the faces in their torsos.
 

lpetrich

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It would likely be several travelers describing a place where the Sun does not set -- not just one.

Politesse's link titled: Ancient DNA testing solves 100-year-old controversy in Southeast Asian prehistory
It links to
The prehistoric peopling of Southeast Asia | Science
Comparisons with present-day populations suggest two waves of mixing between resident populations. The first mix was between local hunter-gatherers and incoming farmers associated with the Neolithic spreading from South China. A second event resulted in an additional pulse of genetic material from China to Southeast Asia associated with a Bronze Age migration. McColl et al. sequenced 26 ancient genomes from Southeast Asia and Japan spanning from the late Neolithic to the Iron Age. They found that present-day populations are the result of mixing among four ancient populations, including multiple waves of genetic material from more northern East Asian populations.
 

lpetrich

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Returning to The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia | bioRxiv it identified seven ancestral populations of the people whose genes were compared:
  • “Anatolian agriculturalist-related”: represented by 7th millennium BCE western Anatolian agriculturalists
  • “Western European Hunter-Gatherer (WHG)-related”: represented by Mesolithic western Europeans
  • “Iranian agriculturalist-related”: represented by 8th millennium BCE pastoralists from the 197 Zagros Mountains of Iran
  • “Eastern European Hunter-Gatherer (EHG)-related”: represented by hunter-gatherers from 199 diverse sites in Eastern Europe
  • “West Siberian Hunter-Gatherer (West_Siberian_HG)-related”: a newly documented deep source of Eurasian ancestry represented here by three samples
  • “East Asian-related”: represented in this study by Han Chinese
  • “Ancient Ancestral South Indian (AASI)-related”: a hypothesized South Asian Hunter-Gatherer lineage related deeply to present-day indigenous Andaman Islanders
Our results also shed light on the question of the origins of the subset of Indo-European languages spoken in India and Europe (45). It is striking that the great majority of Indo-European speakers today living in both Europe and South Asia harbor large fractions of ancestry related to Yamnaya Steppe pastoralists (corresponding genetically to the Steppe_EMBA cluster), suggesting that “Late Proto-Indo-European”—the language ancestral to all modern Indo- European languages—was the language of the Yamnaya (46). While ancient DNA studies have documented westward movements of peoples from the Steppe that plausibly spread this ancestry to Europe (5, 31), there has not been ancient DNA evidence of the chain 488 of transmission to South Asia. Our documentation of a large-scale genetic pressure from Steppe_MLBA groups in the 2nd millennium BCE provides a prime candidate, a finding that is consistent with archaeological evidence of connections between material culture in the Kazakh middle-to-late Bronze Age Steppe and early Vedic culture in India (46).
Late Proto-Indo-European was the ancestor of all the attested Indo-European languages except for the Anatolian family. Its speakers left the Indo-European homeland in an earlier migration.

We finally highlight a remarkable parallel between the prehistory of two sub-continents of Eurasia: South Asia and Europe. In both regions, West Asian agricultural technology spread from an origin in the Near East in the 7th and 6th millennia BCE (Fig. 4). In South Asia this occurred via the Iranian plateau, and in Europe via western Anatolia, with the technological spreads mediated in both cases by movements of people. An admixed population was then formed by the mixing of incoming agriculturalists and resident hunter-gatherers—in South Asia eventually giving rise to the Indus_Periphery and ASI and in Europe the Middle Neolithic genetic cluster Europe_MN. In both Europe and South Asia, populations related to the Yamnaya Steppe pastoralists arrived after this agriculturalist and hunter-gatherer admixture took place, interacting with local populations to produce mixed groups, which then mixed further with already resident agriculturalist populations to produce genetic groupings such as those found associated with Corded Ware and central European Bell Beaker artifacts in much of Europe, and the ANI genetic cluster in South Asia. These mixed groups then mixed further to produce the major gradients of ancestry in both regions. Future studies of populations from South Asia and the linguistically related Iranian world will extend and add nuance to the model presented here.
So both Europe and India had three migrations:
  1. Early hunter-gatherers
  2. Western Anatolia farmers
  3. Yamnaya steppe Indo-European speakers
 

lpetrich

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Parallel paleogenomic transects reveal complex genetic history of early European farmers | bioRxiv published as Parallel palaeogenomic transects reveal complex genetic history of early European farmers | Nature -- the basic outline is correct, farmers spreading outward and interbreeding with local hunter-gatherers, but the details can be complicated.

Ancient mitogenomes of Phoenicians from Sardinia and Lebanon: A story of settlement, integration, and female mobility
The Phoenicians emerged in the Northern Levant around 1800 BCE and by the 9th century BCE had spread their culture across the Mediterranean Basin, establishing trading posts, and settlements in various European Mediterranean and North African locations. Despite their widespread influence, what is known of the Phoenicians comes from what was written about them by the Greeks and Egyptians. In this study, we investigate the extent of Phoenician integration with the Sardinian communities they settled. We present 14 new ancient mitogenome sequences from pre-Phoenician (~1800 BCE) and Phoenician (~700–400 BCE) samples from Lebanon (n = 4) and Sardinia (n = 10) and compare these with 87 new complete mitogenomes from modern Lebanese and 21 recently published pre-Phoenician ancient mitogenomes from Sardinia to investigate the population dynamics of the Phoenician (Punic) site of Monte Sirai, in southern Sardinia.
So later Sardinians are descended from both earlier ones and Phoenician colonists.
 

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How ancient DNA is transforming our view of the past - BBC News
Looking to the future, Prof Reich sees huge potential for uncovering as yet unknown human movements and gene exchange in different parts of the world.

"I think Africa is a place that's deeply under-represented. There are maybe only 20 genome sequences in what is the most diverse place in the world - the place with the deepest and most complex human history," said Prof Reich.

"That compares to more than 1,000 genomes from Europe right now, which is an important but small corner of the world."

He adds: "There's so much to do."
Like having better tests of hypotheses about  Bantu expansion:
Genetic variation reveals large-scale population expansion and migration during the expansion of Bantu-speaking peoples | Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Bringing together linguistic and genetic evidence to test the Bantu expansion | Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
The Bantu people had expanded from West Africa eastward and southward. Did the eastward and southward ones split early? Or did the southward ones split off from the eastward ones some time later? The authors of these paper decide on a late split, with a trajectory west - east - south.
 

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Two IE phylogenies, three PIE migrations, and four kinds of steppe pastoralism (PDF) by David Anthony, working from Indo‐European and Computational Cladistics - Ringe - 2002 - Transactions of the Philological Society - Wiley Online Library (PDF).

First the IE and Computational Cladistics one. Cladistics is a type of taxonomy first developed by biologists as a way of classifying organisms by way of what inferred common ancestors they have. It has some rather formidable jargon, and I won't go into it hare. Cladistics can be used to classify other entities that come in family trees, like languages. Linguist Don Ringe decided to use cladistics on the Indo-European family, since it is the best-studied of large language families. He used words with different sets of related word forms, and he also used phonological and grammatical features. Like the medio-passive (reflexive + passive-voice) endings. In Anatolian, Tocharian, and the older Italic and Celtic languages, it is -r, while in Greek and the older Germanic and Indo-Iranian languages, it is -i.

He and his colleagues got a good tree if they omitted Germanic:
Anatolian
- Tocharian
- - Albanian
- - - Italo-Celtic
- - - - Greek, Armenian
- - - - - Indo-Iranian
- - - - - Balto-Slavic

But with Germanic, they got
Anatolian
- Tocharian
- - Italo-Celtic
- - - Albanian, Germanic
- - - - Greek, Armenian
- - - - - Indo-Iranian
- - - - - Balto-Slavic

with a lot more inconsistencies. However, the inconsistencies are due to features shared with IE languages in northern and western Europe in the first millennium BCE. That suggests a lot of linguistic crosstalk between early Proto-Germanic speakers and early Proto-Italo-Celtic ones and Proto-Balto-Slavic ones.

How does that fit in with the archeological evidence? David Anthony addresses that issue.
 

lpetrich

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In David Anthony's paper, he links Anatolian, Tocharian, and Italo-Celtic to three migrations.

The first migration was in 4400 - 4200 BCE, and it was out from what's now Ukraine north of the Crimea on the Dneiper River. This migration followed the western shore of the Black Sea southward, with a branch going inland. Large numbers of settlements were abandoned and burned there, some very culturally different people started living there, as the Cernavoda culture. Numerous artifacts from there ended up in the steppe zone from the Dneiper to the lower Volga River, hinting at long-distance trade networks.

Continuing further along the Black Sea coast, they would have ended up in Anatolia, where we find the first recorded Indo-European language: Hittite, one of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European family. Ancestors of Anatolian speakers were the first to split off from the main Indo-European group, and it is evident from archaisms in Hittite, and also from lacking Indo-European wheel-related vocabulary. Their split was before the invention of wheeled vehicles roughly around 3500 BCE.


The second migration was in 3300 - 3000 BCE, and it was far to the east, near the Altai Mountains, forming the Afanasievo culture. Some of them could easily have continued southward from there to the Tarim Basin in what is now Xinjiang in China. They would have then have become the ancestors of the Tocharian speakers, some millennia later.


The third migration was also about then, and it followed the route of the first one, though further inland. David Anthony identifies these migrants as bring the ancestors of the Italo-Celtic group, and possibly also Germanic. There were some additional outward migrations around then, like northwestward to make the Globular Amphora and Corded Ware cultures, and northeastward to make the Sintashta culure.


DA also describes four types of pastoralism (animal herding) that the steppe people had practiced.

1. Around 4500 - 4200 BCE in Khvalynsk, the main food item was fish, with land animals being eaten only on special occasions. It was mostly domesticated ones that were eaten, however.

2. Around 3300 BCE, wheeled vehicles enabled going much longer distances, making it possible to go much further into the steppes. Thus giving rise to the Yamnaya or Yamna culture.

3. Around 1900 BCE, at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age, many of these pastoralists settled down near marshes, likely from the climate becoming cold and arid. Their teeth had little decay, like those of hunter-gatherers, and unlike those of farmers.

4. Around 800 BCE, at the beginning of the Iron Age and continuing all the way into the Middle Ages, agriculture becomes very evident, with the herders also growing crop plants like grains.
 

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Genetic testing reveals that Europe is a melting pot, made of immigrants - "Genetic tests of ancient settlers' remains show that Europe is a melting pot of bloodlines from Africa, the Middle East, and today's Russia." - National Geographic

A good introduction to much of what's been discussed in this thread. Super short summary: Europeans are mutts.

The first modern-human inhabitants of Europe arrived in around 45,000 BP (Before Present). They followed the rivers, like the Danube from the Black Sea to central Europe. Neanderthals were already there, and the two species coexisted for about 5,000 years before the Neanderthals went extinct.

This population had a population bottleneck around 27,000 BP, but recovered. They hunted the numerous large animals, like mammoths, horses, reindeer, and aurochsen (ancestors of domestic bovines), and they made paintings and engravings of their prey. Around 14,000 BP, the continental glaciers melted a bit, and these people moved northward, sometimes settling in "Mesolithic" villages. One of them was at Lepenski Vir, on the Danube, some 9,000 - 7,000 BP. The people there largely ate fish. Much like the Pacific Northwest people, which also lived in settled communities, and which also ate a lot of fish.

Then the Neolithic. Agriculture was first invented in the Fertile Crescent in the Middle east around 11,500 BP or 9,500 BCE, and early farmers spread from there westward into Anatolia (Turkey) and from there to Europe. They arrived in Greece around 6800 BCE, in Spain and central Europe around 5200 BCE, and in Britain and Scandinavia around 4000 BCE. These people created numerous ring structures in central Europe, notably the Goseck Circle for marking out the seasons, and they created passage tombs like Newgrange in Ireland.

Some surviving Neolithic-farmer genetic material has been discovered. It was preserved in a small inner-ear bone called the petrous bone, the densest bone in the body. This discovery has settled a long-argued controversy. Did agriculture spread by farmers bringing it? Did it spread from people learning it from their neighbors? Some mixture? Archeologists like to warn that pots are not people.

As they spread over Europe, they did not mix very much with the local population, a rather curious oddity.
 

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About 5,400 years ago, everything changed. All across Europe, thriving Neolithic settlements shrank or disappeared altogether. The dramatic decline has puzzled archaeologists for decades. “There’s less stuff, less material, less people, less sites,” Krause says. “Without some major event, it’s hard to explain.” But there’s no sign of mass conflict or war.

After a 500-year gap, the population seemed to grow again, but something was very different. In southeastern Europe, the villages and egalitarian cemeteries of the Neolithic were replaced by imposing grave mounds covering lone adult men. Farther north, from Russia to the Rhine, a new culture sprang up, called Corded Ware after its pottery, which was decorated by pressing string into wet clay.

...
Corded Ware burials are so recognizable, archaeologists rarely need to bother with radiocarbon dating. Almost invariably, men were buried lying on their right side and women lying on their left, both with their legs curled up and their faces pointed south. In some of the Halle warehouse’s graves, women clutch purses and bags hung with canine teeth from dozens of dogs; men have stone battle-axes. In one grave, neatly contained in a wooden crate on the concrete floor of the warehouse, a woman and child are buried together.
But the people were genetically different. They did not have much Neolithic ancestry. In a big burial mound near the Danube was found
... a rectangular chamber containing the skeleton of a chieftain, lying on his back with his knees bent. Impressions from the reed mats and wood beams that formed the roof of his tomb are still clear in the dark, hard-packed earth.

“It’s a change of burial customs around 2800 B.C.,” Włodarczak says, crouching over the skeleton. “People erected mounds on a massive scale, accenting the individuality of people, accenting the role of men, accenting weapons. That’s something new in Europe.”
These new arrivals were culturally similar to the Yamnaya or Yamna people of western Ukraine, southern European Russia, and eastern Kazakhstan. Those people had horses and wagons, complete with wheels, they had copper and bronze tools and weapons, and they herded cattle. Those arrivals replaced much of the local population in Germany and Britain, and they reached Britain and Spain by 2200 BCE.

Why were they so successful? There is evidence of Yersinia pestis bacteria, organisms that cause the bubonic plague, the Black Death of late medieval Europe. Did the European farmers fall sick and die and get weakened enough to be conquered?
 

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The article then went into the issue of the homeland of the ancestral Indo-European speakers. That has been much debated since the recognition of the Indo-European family in the early 19th cy., with numerous hypotheses proposed.

A little over a century ago, German scholar Gustav Kossinna proposed northern Germany was the IE homeland. German nationalists loved that idea, and the Nazis were extreme German nationalists. "Aryan" is an old Indo-Iranian self-designation, roughly meaning "noble", and that used to be a common synonym for "early Indo-European". With the curious consequence that some of the Nazis' targets, the Roma, had better claim on "Aryan" than they did.

A recent proposal has been Colin Renfrew's proposal that it was Neolithic farmers who brought the IE languages with them. Since they did not mix very much as they spread outward, they would have brought their languages with them as they went. But there are linguistic difficulties with CR's hypothesis, like vocabulary mismatch and a poor match between Neolithic spread and Indo-European dialect relationships.

But the most successful so far has been the Kurgan hypothesis, named after the kurgans or burial mounds associated with Yamnaya and related cultures. It is that the PIE speakers were the Yamnaya people or predecessors of them. It agrees with the linguistic evidence: words for horses and wheels and axles and the like. It also fits in well with the spread of Yamnaya people into Europe.

It's another slap in the face to Nazi ideology, because it's south Russians who are the original "Aryans" in this scenario. The Nazis considered Slavs "untermenschen", subhuman people, and they wanted to conquer territories where Slavs lived, turn them into German colonies complete with German settlers, and pretty much enslave the Slavic inhabitants. Those territories were to become Lebensraum (habitat, living space) for the German people. To quote Adolf Hitler himself, in a speech to his generals just before invading the Soviet Union, "As for the ridiculous hundred million Slavs, we will mould the best of them to the shape that suits us, and we will isolate the rest of them in their own pig-styes; and anyone who talks about cherishing the local inhabitant and civilising him, goes straight off into a concentration camp !" (The Holocaust-Denial Debate)
 

Rhea

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Very interesting reading, Loren, Thanks!
 

aupmanyav

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And where did those people come from: Sub-Arctic regions. Arctic Home in Vedas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Arctic_Home_in_the_Vedas)

Many people might remember my rants on the subject.

5 Reasons: 1. Mention of the dawn extending for one month 2. Mention of a long night extending from 2 months to up to 100 days 3. Mention of seven months of continuous day-light 4. Mention of priests who completed their annual sacrificial cycle in 7 months (Saptagu - Avesta), Nine or ten months (Navagwahas, Dashagwahas - Vedas) 5. Old roman calendar before the correction by Emperor Numa in 7th Century BC had only 304 days. January and February were added later.
 

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(You'll also want a good book on the Indo-European languages, but I'm so cheap I've never replaced Mallory's 1989 book.

I read this one recently, and can recommend it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Horse,_the_Wheel,_and_Language
Seconded.

A few years ago a friend of mine died and left me a cat and that book. She was kind of skittish and I wanted to get her used to the sound of my voice, so I read her the book. She is now the world's greatest cat expert on Ukrainian archaeology. :)
 

lpetrich

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The "Arctic Home" is likely the  Sintashta culture in the steppe zone to the northeast of the Caspian Sea. With its latitude, it would have had long summar days and long winter nights, and that could have been remembered in the Vedas.
 

lpetrich

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This looks like publication of some earlier work on South Asian ancestry that I'd reported on.
Largest-ever ancient-DNA study illuminates millennia of South and Central Asian prehistory -- ScienceDaily
Researchers analyzed the genomes of 524 never before-studied ancient people, including the first genome of an individual from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Insights answer longstanding questions about the origins of farming and the source of Indo-European languages in South and Central Asia. The study increases the worldwide total of published ancient genomes by some 25 percent.
Colin Renfrew's Anatolian hypothesis for the Indo-European homeland? Marija Gimbutas's south-Russian steppe-zone hypothesis?
"We can rule out a large-scale spread of farmers with Anatolian roots into South Asia, the centerpiece of the 'Anatolian hypothesis' that such movement brought farming and Indo-European languages into the region," said Reich, who is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Broad Institute. "Since no substantial movements of people occurred, this is checkmate for the Anatolian hypothesis."
Then the similarities between the Indo-Iranian and the Balto-Slavic branches of Indo-European, despite their speakers being very separated. After moving into Europe, their ancestors moved back into Asia, going into central and southern Asia.
"The finding that Brahmins often have more steppe ancestry than other groups in South Asia, controlling for other factors, provides a fascinating new argument in favor of a steppe origin for Indo-European languages in South Asia," said Reich.
Brahmins = Hindu priestly caste.
The researchers concluded that farming in South Asia was not due to the movement of people from the earlier farming cultures of the west; instead, local foragers adopted it.

"Prior to the arrival of steppe pastoralists bringing their Indo-European languages about 4,000 years ago, we find no evidence of large-scale movements of people into South Asia," said Reich.
From Anatolia, some early farmers spread into nearby Iran, and then some local people learned how to farm and then spread into the Indian subcontinent.
 

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Ancient DNA suggests that some Northern Europeans got their languages from Siberia -- ScienceDaily
Most Europeans descend from a combination of European hunter-gatherers, Anatolian early farmers, and Steppe herders. But only European speakers of Uralic languages like Estonian and Finnish also have DNA from ancient Siberians. Now, with the help of ancient DNA samples, researchers suggest that these languages may have arrived from Siberia by the beginning of the Iron Age, about 2,500 years ago, rather than evolving in Northern Europe.

...
"Since the transition from Bronze to Iron Age coincides with the diversification and arrival time of Finnic languages in the Eastern Baltic proposed by linguists, it is plausible that the people who brought Siberian ancestry to the region also brought Uralic languages with them," says Lehti Saag of University of Tartu, Estonia.

...
The Bronze Age individuals from the Eastern Baltic show an increase in hunter-gatherer ancestry compared to Late Neolithic people and also in the frequency of light eyes, hair, and skin and lactose tolerance," Tambets says, noting that those characteristics continue amongst present-day Northern Europeans.
Another Uralic language, Hungarian, was brought to Central Europe from the Ural Mountains in the Middle Ages.

The Arrival of Siberian Ancestry Connecting the Eastern Baltic to Uralic Speakers further East: Current Biology
 

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Ancient DNA reveals the Biblical-era Philistines originated in Europe | Science News
Hard-won genetic clues from the bones of Philistines, a people known from the Old Testament for their battles with Israelites, have taken some of the mystery out of their hazy origins.

DNA extracted from the remains of 10 individuals buried at Ashkelon, an ancient Philistine port city in Israel, displays molecular links to ancient and modern populations in the eastern Mediterranean, archaeogeneticist Michal Feldman and her colleagues report. Ashkelon residents carried that southern European genetic signature between around 3,400 and 3,150 years ago, but it disappeared rapidly as mating increased with locals, the researchers conclude in a paper published online July 3 in Science Advances.
noting Ancient DNA sheds light on the genetic origins of early Iron Age Philistines | Science Advances

Around 1200 - 1150 BCE was the  Late Bronze Age collapse. This was a period of great strife in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Mycenaean Greek kingdoms were destroyed, their palaces burned down. But their burning baked some clay tablets with accounting records, and those tablets were rediscovered over the last century. The writing on them, Linear B, is the first written record of the Greek language. But Linear B disappeared with the palaces, and Greeks had to learn to write a second time. But that second time has survived to this day as the Greek alphabet.

The Hittite kingdom of central Anatolia was also destroyed, and rediscovered only in the last century.

There was also a lot of strife in the Levant, the land on the east end of the Mediterranean, and Egypt fought off invaders in the Nile Delta. Though they bragged about their success in doing so, they did not mention that they lost their New-Kingdom Levantine empire. Giving their brags a Baghdad-Bob quality.


This most recent work shows that east-coast cities like Ashkelon were invaded by southern Europeans, but it is hard to go much further than that. But it seems like those Greeks who destroyed the Mycenaean palaces.
 

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Is this a conflation of events or are you intentionally covering two different things? My understanding is that the Philistines and their battles are fairly well understood. However, the Late Bronze Age Collapse is blamed on some peoples who are largely unknown, only referred to as the "Sea Peoples". You could do a search for, "Bronze Age Sea Peoples" and see how little is known of this assumed group or movement or whatever it was.

ETA:
As usual, Wiki would offer only poor, surface only, information but a great deal of research into these peoples have been done by historians and archaeologists that can be found with a bit deeper search.
 
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Is this a conflation of events or are you intentionally covering two different things? My understanding is that the Philistines and their battles are fairly well understood. However, the Late Bronze Age Collapse is blamed on some peoples who are largely unknown, only referred to as the "Sea Peoples". You could do a search for, "Bronze Age Sea Peoples" and see how little is known of this assumed group or movement or whatever it was.

ETA:
As usual, Wiki would offer only poor, surface only, information but a great deal of research into these peoples have been done by historians and archaeologists that can be found with a bit deeper search.

Have you any links to this "great deal of research"?
 

skepticalbip

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Is this a conflation of events or are you intentionally covering two different things? My understanding is that the Philistines and their battles are fairly well understood. However, the Late Bronze Age Collapse is blamed on some peoples who are largely unknown, only referred to as the "Sea Peoples". You could do a search for, "Bronze Age Sea Peoples" and see how little is known of this assumed group or movement or whatever it was.

ETA:
As usual, Wiki would offer only poor, surface only, information but a great deal of research into these peoples have been done by historians and archaeologists that can be found with a bit deeper search.

Have you any links to this "great deal of research"?

I have read several research articles and papers but I don't keep bookmarks of such things. You could do a search yourself and google scholar will give you several papers. As a starting point, here's what one search of papers came up with that you can read through, you can try different search terms:

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C11&q=bronze+age+collapse+sea+people&btnG=

Of course, all the papers linked will not be about the Sea Peoples but you can cull out the ones that don't address the topic you want.
 

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lpetrich, delayed reply. I somehow do not visit TFT very frequently. Potapovka, Abashevo, Fatyanovo and Afanasevo cultures lie much north of Sintashta, but they all, including Sintashta, were returning northward movements of IE people after the ice-age was over. Perhaps IE came to Yamanaya region during the ice-age from Siberia.
 

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lpetrich, delayed reply. I somehow do not visit TFT very frequently. Potapovka, Abashevo, Fatyanovo and Afanasevo cultures lie much north of Sintashta, but they all, including Sintashta, were returning northward movements of IE people after the ice-age was over. Perhaps IE came to Yamanaya region during the ice-age from Siberia.
Be careful about chronology. The last Ice Age ended at around 12,000 years ago, and that's how the beginning of the Holocene epoch, our one, is defined. Sintashta and similar are about halfway into the Holocene relative to the present.

The Yamnaya culture did have predecessors, like Sredny Stog, in eastern Ukraine and nearby south Russia.
 

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Be careful about chronology. The last Ice Age ended at around 12,000 years ago, and that's how the beginning of the Holocene epoch, our one, is defined. Sintashta and similar are about halfway into the Holocene relative to the present.

The Yamnaya culture did have predecessors, like Sredny Stog, in eastern Ukraine and nearby south Russia.
Seroglazovka culture near Astrakhan is 7,000 BCE and is considered IE. Where from did these people come?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seroglazovka_culture
 

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Be careful about chronology. The last Ice Age ended at around 12,000 years ago, and that's how the beginning of the Holocene epoch, our one, is defined. Sintashta and similar are about halfway into the Holocene relative to the present.

The Yamnaya culture did have predecessors, like Sredny Stog, in eastern Ukraine and nearby south Russia.
Seroglazovka culture near Astrakhan is 7,000 BCE and is considered IE. Where from did these people come?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seroglazovka_culture

On what basis does anyone take the confidence to consider a culture of 9000 years ago either IE or not IE? What possible evidence, even incidental, could there be either way?
 

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I suppose that it is followed by more distinctly IE culture without an apparent break. More information will only be with the experts.
 

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Be careful about chronology. The last Ice Age ended at around 12,000 years ago, and that's how the beginning of the Holocene epoch, our one, is defined. Sintashta and similar are about halfway into the Holocene relative to the present.

The Yamnaya culture did have predecessors, like Sredny Stog, in eastern Ukraine and nearby south Russia.
Seroglazovka culture near Astrakhan is 7,000 BCE and is considered IE. Where from did these people come?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seroglazovka_culture

On what basis does anyone take the confidence to consider a culture of 9000 years ago either IE or not IE? What possible evidence, even incidental, could there be either way?
I'm sure that the  Seroglazovka culture is pre-Indo-European. That is because of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary.

One can reconstruct a sizable amount of PIE phonology (speech sounds) and grammar, though there are plenty of differences of opinion about them, and there was likely some dialect variation. One can also reconstruct a sizable amount of vocabulary, though the most successfully-recovered vocabulary is not very culturally informative. Having words for the Sun and the Moon and fire and water doesn't tell us very much.

But one can make some cultural inferences. For instance, PIE had words for 1 to 10, and also 100, though I'm not sure about 1000. That means that the PIE speakers had a sizable amount of stuff that they had to count.

They had several domestic animals: dog, cow, sheep, pig, horse. Dogs are late Paleolithic, cows, sheep, and pigs early Neolithic Middle East, and horses around 4000 BCE in the Eurasian steppe zone: eastern Ukraine - southern European Russia - Kazakhstan

They also had wheels, axles, yokes, yoke poles, and a word for carry or transport, especially by vehicle, *wegh- It has descendants like English "wagon" and "way", Latin "via" (road, way) and "vehere" (to carry, transport), etc.

Wheeled vehicles were invented somewhere around the eastern Mediterranean around 3500 BCE, and this technology spread rapidly, so we don't know for sure where this technology was invented.
 

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Joey Siraata Yracheta, MS Pharmaceutics on Twitter: "PC Plot of Europeans, Africans and Native Americans, with admixed Latino Groups https://t.co/rHr9Qnlqzs" / Twitter
[PDF] Colloquium paper: genome-wide patterns of population structure and admixture among Hispanic/Latino populations. | Semantic Scholar
8 Genome-wide Patterns of Population Structure and Admixture Among Hispanic/Latino Populations--Katarzyna Bryc, Christopher Velez, Tatiana Karafet, Andres Moreno-Estrada, Andy Reynolds, Adam Auton, Michael Hammer, Carlos D. Bustamante, and Harry Ostrer | In the Light of Evolution: Volume IV: The Human Condition | The National Academies Press

These populations have three source populations: European, African, and Native American. The European one is mostly southwest Europe - the Iberian Peninsula - and the African one mostly West African. Reading off the diagrams,
  • American blacks are African / European with 40% - 100% African.
  • Mexicans are 20% - 80% NA, with only a little bit African
  • Dominican-Republic people are 20% - 80% African, with only a little bit NA
  • Puerto Ricans are 0% - 40% African and 20% NA
  • Colombians are 0% - 40% Africa and 0% - 20% NA
  • Ecuadorians are 20% - 80% NA with only a little bit African
 

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Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome | PNAS
The first ancient whole genomes from Ireland, including two at high coverage, demonstrate that large-scale genetic shifts accompanied both transitions. We also observe a strong signal of continuity between modern day Irish populations and the Bronze Age individuals, one of whom is a carrier for the C282Y hemochromatosis mutation, which has its highest frequencies in Ireland today.

The Neolithic and Bronze Age transitions were profound cultural shifts catalyzed in parts of Europe by migrations, first of early farmers from the Near East and then Bronze Age herders from the Pontic Steppe. However, a decades-long, unresolved controversy is whether population change or cultural adoption occurred at the Atlantic edge, within the British Isles. We address this issue by using the first whole genome data from prehistoric Irish individuals. A Neolithic woman (3343–3020 cal BC) from a megalithic burial (10.3× coverage) possessed a genome of predominantly Near Eastern origin. She had some hunter–gatherer ancestry but belonged to a population of large effective size, suggesting a substantial influx of early farmers to the island. Three Bronze Age individuals from Rathlin Island (2026–1534 cal BC), including one high coverage (10.5×) genome, showed substantial Steppe genetic heritage indicating that the European population upheavals of the third millennium manifested all of the way from southern Siberia to the western ocean. This turnover invites the possibility of accompanying introduction of Indo-European, perhaps early Celtic, language. Irish Bronze Age haplotypic similarity is strongest within modern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh populations, and several important genetic variants that today show maximal or very high frequencies in Ireland appear at this horizon. These include those coding for lactase persistence, blue eye color, Y chromosome R1b haplotypes, and the hemochromatosis C282Y allele; to our knowledge, the first detection of a known Mendelian disease variant in prehistory. These findings together suggest the establishment of central attributes of the Irish genome 4,000 y ago.
So the people of Ireland are much like the rest of Europe's human populations, an overlay of Paleolithic, Neolithic, and steppe migrants, with not much change since then.
 

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Thousands of horsemen may have swept into Bronze Age Europe, transforming the local population | Science | AAAS
Call it an ancient thousand man march. Early Bronze Age men from the vast grasslands of the Eurasian steppe swept into Europe on horseback about 5000 years ago—and may have left most women behind. This mostly male migration may have persisted for several generations, sending men into the arms of European women who interbred with them, and leaving a lasting impact on the genomes of living Europeans.

"It looks like males migrating in war, with horses and wagons," says lead author and population geneticist Mattias Jakobsson of Uppsala University in Sweden.
noting
Nomadic herders left a strong genetic mark on Europeans and Asians | Science | AAAS
Back to the original article.
Europeans who were alive from before the Yamnaya migration inherited equal amounts of DNA from Anatolian farmers on their X chromosome and their autosomes, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This means roughly equal numbers of men and women took part in the migration of Anatolian farmers into Europe.

But when the researchers looked at the DNA later Europeans inherited from the Yamnaya, they found that Bronze Age Europeans had far less Yamnaya DNA on their X than on their other chromosomes. Using a statistical method developed by graduate student Amy Goldberg in the lab of population geneticist Noah Rosenberg at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, the team calculated that there were perhaps 10 men for every woman in the migration of Yamnaya men to Europe (with a range of five to 14 migrating men for every woman). That ratio is "extreme"—even more lopsided than the mostly male wave of Spanish conquistadores who came by ship to the Americas in the late 1500s, Goldberg says.
 

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Unraveling ancestry, kinship, and violence in a Late Neolithic mass grave | PNAS
We sequenced the genomes of 15 skeletons from a 5,000-y-old mass grave in Poland associated with the Globular Amphora culture. All individuals had been brutally killed by blows to the head, but buried with great care. Genome-wide analyses demonstrate that this was a large extended family and that the people who buried them knew them well: mothers are buried with their children, and siblings next to each other. From a population genetic viewpoint, the individuals are clearly distinct from neighboring Corded Ware groups because of their lack of steppe-related ancestry. Although the reason for the massacre is unknown, it is possible that it was connected with the expansion of Corded Ware groups, which may have resulted in violent conflict.
Oof. I'm at a loss for words.

Genomic Steppe ancestry in skeletons from the Neolithic Single Grave Culture in Denmark
The Gjerrild burial provides the largest and best-preserved assemblage of human skeletal material presently known from the Single Grave Culture (SGC) in Denmark. For generations it has been debated among archaeologists if the appearance of this archaeological complex represents a continuation of the previous Neolithic communities, or was facilitated by incoming migrants. We sampled and analysed five skeletons from the Gjerrild cist, buried over a period of c. 300 years, 2600/2500–2200 cal BCE. Despite poor DNA preservation, we managed to sequence the genome (>1X) of one individual and the partial genomes (0.007X and 0.02X) of another two individuals. Our genetic data document a female (Gjerrild 1) and two males (Gjerrild 5 + 8), harbouring typical Neolithic K2a and HV0 mtDNA haplogroups, but also a rare basal variant of the R1b1 Y-chromosomal haplogroup. Genome-wide analyses demonstrate that these people had a significant Yamnaya-derived (i.e. steppe) ancestry component and a close genetic resemblance to the Corded Ware (and related) groups that were present in large parts of Northern and Central Europe at the time. Assuming that the Gjerrild skeletons are genetically representative of the population of the SGC in broader terms, the transition from the local Neolithic Funnel Beaker Culture (TRB) to SGC is not characterized by demographic continuity. Rather, the emergence of SGC in Denmark was part of the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age population expansion that swept across the European continent in the 3rd millennium BCE, resulting in various degrees of genetic replacement and admixture processes with previous Neolithic populations.
More evidence that northern Europeans are largely descended from Yamnaya people, the third wave of prehistoric human migration into Europe. The previous ones were the Paleolithic and the Neolithic-farmer ones.
 

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A three-population wave-of-advance model for the European early Neolithic
Contains a numerical simulation of the advance of Neolithic farmers. The three populations are the previously-present hunter-gatherers, the initial population of Neolithic farmers in their Anatolian homeland, and hunter-gatherers who learned farming from their farmer neighbors. They get a good fit to what is observed -- farming spreading with farmers moving in -- by finding that the hunter-gatherers did not often learn farming from their farming neighbors.
n order that the model described in this paper apply to the Neolithic transition in Europe, the conversion rate of hunter-gatherers to farming must be low. An ethnological study shows that hunter-gatherers may have profitably coexisted with farmers, for example by trading animal protein and labor for carbohydrates and “luxury” items [38]. An archaeological study of central and western Europe shows that farmers of the Linearbandkeramik culture and hunter-gatherers may have coexisted by spatial exclusion: “People of the LBK settled in exactly those areas only marginally exploited by hunter-gatherers and not … with … more intense hunter-gatherers exploitation” [39]. A definitive study combines information from ancient DNA and dietary stable isotope data to show “persuasive evidence for the prolonged coexistence of genetically distinct hunter-gatherers and farming groups over the course of the Neolithic in Central Europe” [7]. Thus, various lines of evidence argue against the ready conversion of hunter-gatherers to farming. Moreover, Bowles [40] compares the productivity of foraging with early farming and concludes that, if hunter-gatherers converted to farming, they did not do so “because cultivation of crops was simply a better way to make a living.” The motivation for conversion may have been social competition, perhaps for marriage partners [41]. Prolonged coexistence provides opportunities for conversion, but also entails day-to-day competition unless there is active avoidance.

The spatiotemporal spread of human migrations during the European Holocene | PNAS
We present a study to model the spread of ancestry in ancient genomes through time and space and a geostatistical framework for comparing human migrations and land-cover changes, while accounting for changes in climate. We show that the two major migrations during the European Holocene had different spatiotemporal structures and expansion rates. In addition, we find that the Yamnaya expansion had a stronger association with vegetational landscape changes than the earlier Neolithic farmer expansion.

... We find that the spread of Neolithic farmer ancestry had a two-pronged wavefront, in agreement with similar findings on the cultural spread of farming from radiocarbon-dated archaeological sites. This movement, however, did not have a strong association with changes in the vegetational landscape. In contrast, the Yamnaya migration speed was at least twice as fast and coincided with a reduction in the amount of broad-leaf forest and an increase in the amount of pasture and natural grasslands in the continent.
Remember that correlation != causation. Did the Yamnaya people take advantage of droughts? Or did they clear lots of forests to make fields for their cows and horses to graze in?
 

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Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions | Nature
During the Early Bronze Age, populations of the western Eurasian steppe expanded across an immense area of northern Eurasia. Combined archaeological and genetic evidence supports widespread Early Bronze Age population movements out of the Pontic–Caspian steppe that resulted in gene flow across vast distances, linking populations of Yamnaya pastoralists in Scandinavia with pastoral populations (known as the Afanasievo) far to the east in the Altai Mountains1,2 and Mongolia3. Although some models hold that this expansion was the outcome of a newly mobile pastoral economy characterized by horse traction, bulk wagon transport4,5,6 and regular dietary dependence on meat and milk5, hard evidence for these economic features has not been found. Here we draw on proteomic analysis of dental calculus from individuals from the western Eurasian steppe to demonstrate a major transition in dairying at the start of the Bronze Age. The rapid onset of ubiquitous dairying at a point in time when steppe populations are known to have begun dispersing offers critical insight into a key catalyst of steppe mobility. The identification of horse milk proteins also indicates horse domestication by the Early Bronze Age, which provides support for its role in steppe dispersals. Our results point to a potential epicentre for horse domestication in the Pontic–Caspian steppe by the third millennium bc, and offer strong support for the notion that the novel exploitation of secondary animal products was a key driver of the expansions of Eurasian steppe pastoralists by the Early Bronze Age.
Dental calculus = hard crusty deposits on teeth. These deposits trapped milk proteins, which were analyzed by the researchers. Proteins have amino-acid sequences that can be used to identify the species of their makers, and in this case, the milk proteins were identified as coming from horses. So these people milked horses.

J.P. Mallory in "In Search of the Indo-Europeans" notes that around 1900, many archeologists rather indiscriminately posited migraions. But by 1950, the tide of opinion had turned the other way, to what some archeologists called "immobilism", people staying fixed in place and instead learning things from their neighbors. Pots != people, they warn.

But with genetic evidence, we can test hypotheses of prehistoric migrations, and we find evidence of them. It's like catastrophism in geology. Catastrophist hypotheses were common in early 19th cy. geology, but they were discredited by the mid 19th cy., likely because they were poorly-defined hypotheses. Uniformitarianism became geological orthodoxy, and there was indeed a lot of evidence for uniformity. Catastrophism has made a comeback over the last half-century to last century, because of better ability to test hypotheses of catastrophes, like asteroid impacts. Furthermore, it's not catastrophes vs. uniformity. There continue to be oodles of evidence for approximate uniformity in the geological record.
 

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J.P. Mallory in "In Search of the Indo-Europeans" notes that around 1900, many archeologists rather indiscriminately posited migraions. But by 1950, the tide of opinion had turned the other way, to what some archeologists called "immobilism", people staying fixed in place and instead learning things from their neighbors. Pots != people, they warn.

But with genetic evidence, we can test hypotheses of prehistoric migrations, and we find evidence of them. It's like catastrophism in geology....

There were two major initial migrations into Western Europe of farmers beginning near Greece. The Linear Ware (or Danubian) culture noted for its longhouses, traveled up the Danube beginning about 5500 BC, and then down the Rhine reaching the English Channel about 4500 BC. This was a combination of "pots" and people, with the farmers' DNA gradually diluted with DNA of hunter-gatherers who adopted farming. Y-haplogroup I2, which came to Europe with the Solutreans, was dominant among these people.

The second major influx was Impressed Ware (later Cardial Ware) and followed the (northern) Mediterranean coast from Greece and Italy all the way to Gibraltar and a bit beyond, with dates roughly similar to those of Linear Ware. But rather than traveling over-land, some suppose that these were an adventurous sea-faring people, who hop-scotched along the coast. They may have kept their DNA "purer" than Linear Ware did. One of their main Y-haplogroups was G2a2a-PF3147. This is the haplogroup of Ötzi, the famous 5200 year-old mummy found dead of an arrow wound in the Alps. (Although common among ancient skeletons, that haplogroup is almost missing from Western Europe today except in isolated areas like Sardinia. Most G's in Western Europe today are in G2a2b2 and thought to descend from the Alans who migrated westward as the Roman Empire collapsed.

But the overwhelming majority of Y-chromosomes in Europe today are R1a or R1b, and descend from the Indo-European speakers. Texts that describe Bell Beaker (or Corded Ware) as an invasion of "pots" rather than people, are vividly shown to be false. The rate at which these people (Bell Beaker in particular) multiplied is stupendous. Did these invaders indulge in genocide? Or was the Western European population already decimated by famine or epidemic? (Probably both were involved.) I've attached a clading diagram of the Y-chromosome suggesting the rapidity of the Indo-European expansions. (P312-S116 is Bell Beaker.)

P312 himself — for that mutation did occur in one specific man, presumably a Yamnayan prince whose ancestors had recently moved west — lived about 2500 BC. With the clading diagram now available in great detail, one can ALMOST guess the lineages from P312 to historic Kings like Niall of Ireland, Alfred of England, or Charlemagne.

RQ_clades.jpg
 
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3,000 Years Ago, Britain Got Half Its Genes From France, DNA Study Suggests - The New York Times
"An extensive study of ancient DNA suggests that a wave of newcomers — and perhaps the first Celtic languages — crossed the English Channel three millenniums ago."

The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe | Nature - from 2018
From around 2750 to 2500 bc, Bell Beaker pottery became widespread across western and central Europe, before it disappeared between 2200 and 1800 bc. The forces that propelled its expansion are a matter of long-standing debate, and there is support for both cultural diffusion and migration having a role in this process. Here we present genome-wide data from 400 Neolithic, Copper Age and Bronze Age Europeans, including 226 individuals associated with Beaker-complex artefacts. We detected limited genetic affinity between Beaker-complex-associated individuals from Iberia and central Europe, and thus exclude migration as an important mechanism of spread between these two regions. However, migration had a key role in the further dissemination of the Beaker complex. We document this phenomenon most clearly in Britain, where the spread of the Beaker complex introduced high levels of steppe-related ancestry and was associated with the replacement of approximately 90% of Britain’s gene pool within a few hundred years, continuing the east-to-west expansion that had brought steppe-related ancestry into central and northern Europe over the previous centuries.
Large-scale migration into Britain during the Middle to Late Bronze Age | Nature - most recently
Present-day people from England and Wales harbour more ancestry derived from Early European Farmers (EEF) than people of the Early Bronze Age1. To understand this, we generated genome-wide data from 793 individuals, increasing data from the Middle to Late Bronze and Iron Age in Britain by 12-fold, and Western and Central Europe by 3.5-fold. Between 1000 and 875 bc, EEF ancestry increased in southern Britain (England and Wales) but not northern Britain (Scotland) due to incorporation of migrants who arrived at this time and over previous centuries, and who were genetically most similar to ancient individuals from France. These migrants contributed about half the ancestry of Iron Age people of England and Wales, thereby creating a plausible vector for the spread of early Celtic languages into Britain. These patterns are part of a broader trend of EEF ancestry becoming more similar across central and western Europe in the Middle to Late Bronze Age, coincident with archaeological evidence of intensified cultural exchange2–6. There was comparatively less gene flow from continental Europe during the Iron Age, and Britain’s independent genetic trajectory is also reflected in the rise of the allele conferring lactase persistence to ~50% by this time compared to ~7% in central Europe where it rose rapidly in frequency only a millennium later. This suggests that dairy products were used in qualitatively different ways in Britain and in central Europe over this period.
 

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Ian Armit, an archaeologist at the University of York who collaborated on the research, noted that archaeologists had long known about the trade and exchanges across the English Channel during the Middle to Late Bronze Age. “But while we may once have thought that long-distance mobility was restricted to a few individuals, such as traders or small bands of warriors,” he said, “the new DNA evidence shows that considerable numbers of people were moving, across the whole spectrum of society.”

Lara Cassidy, a geneticist at Trinity College Dublin who was not involved in the research, described the study as “a triumph. It takes a step back and considers Bronze Age Britain on the macro scale, charting major movements of people over centuries that likely had profound cultural and linguistic consequences.”
Where did the Celts emerge from?
For most of the 20th century, the standard theory, “Celtic from the East,” held that the language started around Austria and southern Germany sometime around 750 B.C. and was taken north and west by Iron Age warriors. An alternative theory, “Celtic from the West,” saw Celtic speakers fanning out from the Atlantic seaboard of Europe, perhaps arising in the Iberian Peninsula or farther north, and settling in Britain by as long ago as 2,500 B.C.

In 2020, Dr. Sims-Williams published a third theory, “Celtic from the Centre,” in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal. His premise was that the Celtic language originated in the general area of France in the Bronze Age, before 1,000 B.C., and then spread across the English Channel to Britain in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.
Did Celtic speakers go to Ireland straight from the mainland? Or did they cross over from Great Britain?

Wherever they originated, they also spread over much of the rest of Europe, though they later disappeared into the local populations of many places.

The closest relative of the Celtic family of Indo-European is the Italic family, though the possible existence of an Italo-Celtic group has been a contentious issue for a long time. Italic's best-known members are Latin and its descendants, the Romance languages. But there were other ancient members of Italic, like Faliscan, Oscan, and Umbrian, spoken in Italy in the 1st millennium BCE.

Finally,
The milk of Neolithic kindness

By leveraging their large data set of ancient DNA, Dr. Reich and his colleagues also found that lactase persistence — the ability of adults to digest the sugar lactose in milk — increased 1,000 years earlier in Britain than in Central Europe. At the dawn of the Iron Age, Dr. Reich said, overall lactase persistence on the island was about 50 percent, compared to less than 10 percent in the region stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic.

Curiously, analysis of the hardened dental plaque coating ancient teeth, and of traces of fat and protein left on ancient pots, showed that dairy products were a dietary staple in Britain thousands of years before lactase persistence became a common genetic trait.

“Either Europeans tolerated stomachaches prior to the genetic changes or, perhaps more likely, they consumed processed dairy products like yogurt or cheese where the lactose content has been significantly reduced through fermentation,” Dr. Reich said.

Paul Pettitt, a Paleolithic archaeologist at Durham University, said, “The results sound fascinating, although in terms of what drink the English adapted to before their continental neighbors, it amazes me that it’s not beer.”
 

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The attested Celtic languages divide roughly into four groups: Q-Celtic [Celtiberian] in Spain, P-Celtic in the Continent east of Spain, Q-Celtic in Ireland (and its Scots colony), and P-Celtic in Britain (and eventually Brittany). Note that the two P- groups are adjacent to each other, as are the two Q's, the two Insulars and the two Continentals.

Some say the uppermost split in Celtic was between Continental and Insular; others that it was between Q and P. Some say the splitting began early in the Bronze Age; others that the splitting was a response to the expansion of the Hallstatt Iron Age more than a millennium later.

I think all four theories are correct!

The Bell Beaker warriors, whose population expanded rapidly a few centuries before the sudden eruption of bronze usage in Western Europe, most probably spoke a language — call it pre-Celtic — ancestral to the Celtic family. These people were fast moving and quickly came to dominate lands they conquered; I've previously mentioned that a man ["Amesbury Archer"] who might be a grandson of P312 himself and who was born near the Alps is buried in a place of honor in pre-Bronze* Stonehenge.

Did these Bell Beaker conquerors have good ocean navigation? I think they traveled across the Bay of Biscay from Spain to Brittany or Ireland. What's the evidence? Did they ride on horseback? They surely had animal-drawn wagons, but archaeological evidence may be meager. Experts? In any event, it seems fair to assume the people, or at least their elites, did much travel during the Bronze Age throughout the large Bell Beaker domains.

Therefore these people, the pre-Celts, frequently came in contact with other pre-Celtic people who spoke either a language intelligible to their own, or which was easily learned. Rather than splitting up along a definite tree model, the pre-Celtic dialects evolved via contact. Just as present-day dialects in Northern England retain traits of Old Norse [cite?], so the Insular language of Ireland retains traits (e.g. the Q sound) from its Bronze Age contacts with Spain.

* - Even Wikipedia doesn't agree with itself about when Britain entered "the Bronze Age." Amesbury Archer's tomb is described as "Early Bronze Age" despite having zero bronze artifacts [cite?]. The discovery of tin in Cornwall may have been 2100 BC but with big error bars. And: Do experts use the term "Bronze Age" to involve something other than the use of bronze?
 
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