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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gravettians belonged to haplogroup H


At least in Italy.
A new paper by D. Caramelli confirms that the 28,000 years old individual known as Paglicci 23 carried the Cambridge Reference Sequence, or, in other words, a common variant of mtDNA haplogroup H.

It is a most important finding, specially as it confirms quite directly the mainstream conceptions about modern Europeans being descendant mostly from Paleolithic ones.

If I don't understand it wrongly, the individual should be one of the earliest belonging to the Gravettian techno-complex (or culture), as Julien Riel-Salvatore mentioned in 2006 that Paglicci Cave has some of the oldest Gravettian remains of Italy dated to c. 28,000 BP (uncalibrated).

Paglicci Cave (Gargano, Apulia, Italy) is a most important archaeological site, that has yielded some 45,000 remains of different types, including mural and portable art. Yet it is at imminent risk of collapse and, as far as I know, the requests of archeologists for funds to prevent this disaster have been ignored.

(Thanks to Dienekes for pointing me to this little jewel).

2 comments:

Manjunat said...

specially as it confirms quite directly the mainstream conceptions about modern Europeans being descendant mostly from Paleolithic ones.

Come on, Maju. Europeans from historical times have been patrilineal. Now don't claim convenient matriliny.

Maju said...

LOL. What a reasoning! Patrilineality doesn't mean that children are born without mothers. (And we don't really know for sure how were European clans and families before the Indo-European invasions).

I have always believed that, if any, mtDNA tends to give a more accurate description of overall ancestry. A good example are North Africans, autosomally basically West Eurasian but almost 100% African by Y-DNA. North African mtDNA is also mostly West Eurasian. There are exceptions but Y-DNA is more prone to sex-biased drift.

Anyhow I am persuaded that R1b is parallel to H in its arrival and spread. Its very similar distribution, its almost identical starlike structure... all points to the same process. We just need to wait for some aDNA testing in this sense to reach the same level of certainty.

But meanwhile we can now finally be 100% sure that Europeans, at least matrilinealy, are descendants (for the most part) of local Paleolithic peoples.