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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Late human evolution maps


Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net mentions
this site of a colleague and also his own dedicated page on human fossils. Both are very interesting and, using their data, I made some maps in order to better understand the chronology of recent human evolution in the range between 1.3 million years ago (oldest estimate for Neanderthal-Sapiens divergence, cf. Aida Gómez) and 60,000 years ago, when the expansion of these two species towards Asia was surely already in action.

As Asian fossils, excepted West Asia, are not relevant for my purpose (they are all Homo erectus senso lato with no transition happening there at all) I have used a base map that only includes the Western parts of the Old World.

Note: I used median ages but, when these overlapped too much with two of my arbitrary time frames, I placed them in the two relevant maps (check for safety but they are likely to be the same specimen.


1. 1.3 million years to 800,000 years ago:


While most of the findings are Homo erectus (purple dots), the likely first known individuals in the H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis lines appear already, at the end of the period, at Atapuerca (H. antecessor) and Saldanha Bay (H. rhodesiensis).


2. 800-600,000 years ago:


We can appreciate in this period an expansion of H. rhodesiensis to the Horn of Africa and transition to H. heidelbergensis at Atapuerca (c. 600,000 years ago according to fossilized.org).


3. 600-400,000 years ago:

The expansion of Homo heidelbergensis becomes apparent in this period. Restricted to Europe however. Notice how in spite of these changes there are still many specimens categorized as H. erectus around the Mediterranean.


4. 400-200,000 years ago:


While it looks a dull map on first sight, most significant here is the existence of a fossil that may be transition between H. rhodesiensis and H. sapiens. This one is Lake Eyasi, in Tanzania (red-orange hue, not easy to appreciate possibly), dated to c. 240,000 years ago.


5. 200-60,000 years ago:



Whoa! Everything goes a lot faster now: Neanderthals and Sapiens everywhere! Well, each in their specialized area: Sapiens in and around the tropics, Neanderthals in the fresh regions of the North. Even the map caption becomes small as the earliest Neanderthal and Sapiens fossils (controversial chronology) show up in Central and East Asia respectively. I reflected this with a mere two color-coded arrows.

The oldest uncontroversial fossil of H. sapiens is Omo II (c. 195 Ka ago), followed by Herto (Idaltu) and Jebel Irhoud, in Morocco (both c. 160 Ka ago).

153 comments:

Maria Lluïsa said...

Hi Maju,

In a conference about the neanderthal genome, Carles Lalueza told to us that neanderthals didn't seem to come only from one group of hominids, because looking at their genome(s) they found that they came at least from two different groups, one of them being more closely related to us (modern humans) and the other diverged from our line earlier.
It seems that neanderthals' ancesotrs mixed with other archaic groups when they left Africa, although we don't know when and where.

It is possible that they come mainly from a group who diverged from us about a million of years ago, but then, once in Europe/Asia, these archaic hominids mixed again with another group of hominids more akin to us?

This may explain why neanderthals are anatomically quite different from us, but genetic information tell us another different history.

How does this fit into these models of human evolution?

Maju said...

I think you mean the Denisova hominin, which is a finger bone from Altai (Mousterian context) tested for mtDNA, and producing a sequence that pre-dates by a lot the divergence between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis.

IMO it's a H. erectus sequence, maybe introgressed by admixture into some Neanderthals or maybe part of a genuine "evolved erectus" community.

As I see it, most probably, there were three migrations out of Africa:

1. Homo erectus with Olduwaian (choppers and pebble tools) technology, c. 1.8 Ma.

2. Homo ergaster (sometimes not differentiated from erectus, not in these maps certainly) with Acheulean tech, c. 1.3-0.9 Ma ago, eventually evolving to Neanderthal in Europe.

3. Homo sapiens with LSA tech c. 80 Ka.

But there is also the other theory that proposes a closer relationship between Sapiens and Neanderthals, maybe as little as 600-400 Ka, and relates it archaeologically with the Levallois technique (which is not a techno-culture but just a rather efficient way of flaking stones, producing nice points).

In this context the Denisova hominin results puzzling because then it would produce an age of c. 1.3 Ma and there was no understanding in the short chronology model of any such migration, specially as Acheulean registry in Eurasia only begins c. 900 Ka.

But for me it's just a matter of chosing the right theory, the one that fits best, which would be the long chronology described above.

"It is possible that they come mainly from a group who diverged from us about a million of years ago, but then, once in Europe/Asia, these archaic hominids mixed again with another group of hominids more akin to us?"

Per Paabo's team's findings, Neanderthals do not appear to have any H. sapiens-specific genes, while H. sapiens in Eurasia shows a small amount of Neanderthal genes. This is ongoing research anyhow and we'll know better for sure some years from now.

Maju said...

PS.- FYI, here there are some of my posts on the new discoveries (all from 2010, they are very very fresh):

- Denisova hominin

- Neanderthal genome in H. sapiens. Related: possible scenario, qualified opinions, some curious details of the Neanderthal genome, two contradictory dates in Green's paper, Atapuerca experts defend the divergence some 1 million years ago (see also this news article)

See also in general label Neanderthal. Not my main interest but important anyhow to understand our origins.

Maria Lluïsa said...

'I think you mean the Denisova hominin, which is a finger bone from Altai (Mousterian context) tested for mtDNA, and producing a sequence that pre-dates by a lot the divergence between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis.'

No, Lalueza talked about the neanderthal genome, I'm sure.
He commented on this figure:

http://johnhawks.net/graphics/green-2010-figure-3.jpg

I don't know how to read this figure, but supposedly it tells us many things, such as that non-africans are mixed with neanderthals, and also that neanderthals are mixed with other archaic groups. If one of these archaic groups was akin to the Denisova individual, it's quite possible, although they don't have published anything yet.

I think the Denisova results are still preliminar, because it's only an individual, and they analyzed mostly her mtDNA.

'Per Paabo's team's findings, Neanderthals do not appear to have any H. sapiens-specific genes, while H. sapiens in Eurasia shows a small amount of Neanderthal genes.'

Well, I was saying that I'd be possible, for example, if a group left Africa by 1,3-0,9 MYA, and another by 0,8-0,5 MYA. If the first one represented the ancestors of H. antecessor, and the later the ancestors of H.heidelbergensis, and neanderthals are mainly derived from one of the two, then this would explain the results.
When they said they weren't able to find any modern human admixture in neanderthals, I suppose they were explaining that apparently, no 'recent' (less than 100.000 years) modern human admixture could be detected in the studied neanderthals, but again, they think this has an explanation; the studied neanderthals probably are too old, and there wasn't no modern human in these areas by these times ( >40.000, but these are minimun dates, the fossils are likely to be much older than that).

'This is ongoing research anyhow and we'll know better for sure some years from now.'

I hope so, it'd be very interesting to sequence more genomes from neanderthals and modern humans, but unfortunately the Neanderthal genome project already finished.

http://www.elcomerciodigital.com/v/20100828/cultura/proyecto-genoma-neandertal-concluido-20100828.html

Carles Lalueza is seeking for more neanderthal DNA in El Sidrón, but there's no enough money to start another project :(
http://www.elcomerciodigital.com/v/20100828/cultura/sidron-buscara-financiacion-europea-20100828.html

Maju said...

"No, Lalueza talked about the neanderthal genome, I'm sure.
He commented on this figure..."

Then I can't say what he meant. In that graph all three Neanderthal sequences are from Vindija and are so closely related to each other that the lines almost exactly overlap.

I've read some interesting comments by Lalueza but none in the sense you mention. I have not seen such an idea elsewhere either.

"I don't know how to read this figure, but supposedly it tells us many things, such as that non-africans are mixed with neanderthals, and also that neanderthals are mixed with other archaic groups".

I can't say. That figure alone can't say that much.

"I think the Denisova results are still preliminar, because it's only an individual, and they analyzed mostly her mtDNA".

MtDNA is important: it's much more straightforward to read than autosomal DNA. Denisova hominin is not a matrilineal descendant of the common 'grandmother' (MRCA) of Neanderthal and Sapiens (H. ergaster), it is descendant of an older shared 'great-grandmother' (H. erectus senso stricto).

Either the finger represents some sort of dwelling of some H. erectus from East Asia, either among Neanderthals or near them (or Sapiens?) - or even as prisoner or whatever. Or is a trophy/amulet and the individual never lived in the cave or is food (same case).

"Well, I was saying that I'd be possible, for example, if a group left Africa by 1,3-0,9 MYA, and another by 0,8-0,5 MYA. If the first one represented the ancestors of H. antecessor, and the later the ancestors of H.heidelbergensis, and neanderthals are mainly derived from one of the two, then this would explain the results".

Yes. It's possible in theory. However I'd like to know what is Lalueza talking about exactly before I can say anything. I've been re-reading Green 2010 and doesn't say anything of the like but maybe there's stuff that cannot be discerned easily. We should see more info in the next months/years.

"the studied neanderthals probably are too old"...

Actually the Vindija individuals (which are the core of the Neanderthal genome research) are quite recent. They are among the latest survivors of the Neanderthal species (less than 38,000 years BP). They are so recent that they do not appear in the maps in this post (the dot in Croatia is actually another site: Krapina).

"... the Neanderthal genome project already finished".

I do not think it is. Green 2010 is (per the title) "a draft". The final paper is not yet published. And, in any case, the analysis of the implications of the findings (like the comparison with 1000 modern humans as Lalueza suggested) is still open to research. Additionally it'd be nice to study West and Central Asian Neanderthals for improved understanding, as well as, if possible some H. erectus/ergaster, at least for a reference.

Maria Lluïsa said...

'PS.- FYI, here there are some of my posts on the new discoveries (all from 2010, they are very very fresh):

- Denisova hominin

- Neanderthal genome in H. sapiens. Related: possible scenario, qualified opinions, some curious details of the Neanderthal genome, two contradictory dates in Green's paper, Atapuerca experts defend the divergence some 1 million years ago (see also this news article)

See also in general label Neanderthal. Not my main interest but important anyhow to understand our origins.'

Thanks, I've already read it all, I know you're also interested in human evolution and write interesting posts about it in this blog :)

My comment wasn't published because it was too long... luckly you could read it.

'Either the finger represents some sort of dwelling of some H. erectus from East Asia, either among Neanderthals or near them (or Sapiens?) - or even as prisoner or whatever. Or is a trophy/amulet and the individual never lived in the cave or is food (same case). '

I read they're (the Max Planck genetists) sequencing her nuclear genome. We'll hear news about her soon.

'Actually the Vindija individuals (which are the core of the Neanderthal genome research) are quite recent. They are among the latest survivors of the Neanderthal species (less than 38,000 years BP). They are so recent that they do not appear in the maps in this post (the dot in Croatia is actually another site: Krapina).'

Yes, but considering they're 38.000 years old, by these dates maybe modern humans weren't in the zone. In an interview between the anthropologist Richard Klein and E.Green, they told that these were minimun dates, and the fossils are likely to be older. In any case, I don't find it normal, because when two groups meet, the genetic flux is always bidirectional. Neanderthals should also got some modern human DNA; if they didn't, it's because something is wrong.

'The final paper is not yet published. And, in any case, the analysis of the implications of the findings (like the comparison with 1000 modern humans as Lalueza suggested) is still open to research.'

I hope so. Lalueza also told us we should compare the neanderthal genome with 1000 human genomes. He said these genomes will be published by the end of 2010. I'm seeing lots of papers talking about sequenced human genomes in 2010, from Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia...
Carles Lalueza is trying to get neandertal nuclear DNA from el Sidrón and start a new project called "Proyecto de Diversidad Neandertal".

Maju said...

This is strange, Maria Lluisa: not only here but in another thread, posters' comments have not shown up, even if I read them as if posted. Blogger is doing freaky things. :(

Your second comment was (for the record):

'I think you mean the Denisova hominin, which is a finger bone from Altai (Mousterian context) tested for mtDNA, and producing a sequence that pre-dates by a lot the divergence between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis.'

No, Lalueza talked about the neanderthal genome, I'm sure.
He commented on this figure:

http://johnhawks.net/graphics/green-2010-figure-3.jpg

I don't know how to read this figure, but supposedly it tells us many things, such as that non-africans are mixed with neanderthals, and also that neanderthals are mixed with other archaic groups. If one of these archaic groups was akin to the Denisova individual, it's quite possible, although they don't have published anything yet.

I think the Denisova results are still preliminar, because it's only an individual, and they analyzed mostly her mtDNA.

'Per Paabo's team's findings, Neanderthals do not appear to have any H. sapiens-specific genes, while H. sapiens in Eurasia shows a small amount of Neanderthal genes.'

Well, I was saying that I'd be possible, for example, if a group left Africa by 1,3-0,9 MYA, and another by 0,8-0,5 MYA. If the first one represented the ancestors of H. antecessor, and the later the ancestors of H.heidelbergensis, and neanderthals are mainly derived from one of the two, then this would explain the results.
When they said they weren't able to find any modern human admixture in neanderthals, I suppose they were explaining that apparently, no 'recent' (less than 100.000 years) modern human admixture could be detected in the studied neanderthals, but again, they think this has an explanation; the studied neanderthals probably are too old, and there wasn't no modern human in these areas by these times ( >40.000, but these are minimun dates, the fossils are likely to be much older than that).

'This is ongoing research anyhow and we'll know better for sure some years from now.'

I hope so, it'd be very interesting to sequence more genomes from neanderthals and modern humans, but unfortunately the Neanderthal genome project already finished.

http://www.elcomerciodigital.com/v/20100828/cultura/proyecto-genoma-neandertal-concluido-20100828.html

Carles Lalueza is seeking for more neanderthal DNA in El Sidrón, but there's no enough money to start another project :(
http://www.elcomerciodigital.com/v/20100828/cultura/sidron-buscara-financiacion-europea-20100828.html

Maju said...

They are not "too long" as you can see. Your latest comment was:

'PS.- FYI, here there are some of my posts on the new discoveries (all from 2010, they are very very fresh):

- Denisova hominin

- Neanderthal genome in H. sapiens. Related: possible scenario, qualified opinions, some curious details of the Neanderthal genome, two contradictory dates in Green's paper, Atapuerca experts defend the divergence some 1 million years ago (see also this news article)

See also in general label Neanderthal. Not my main interest but important anyhow to understand our origins.'

Thanks, I've already read it all, I know you're also interested in human evolution and write interesting posts about it in this blog :)

My comment wasn't published because it was too long... luckly you could read it.

'Either the finger represents some sort of dwelling of some H. erectus from East Asia, either among Neanderthals or near them (or Sapiens?) - or even as prisoner or whatever. Or is a trophy/amulet and the individual never lived in the cave or is food (same case). '

I read they're (the Max Planck genetists) sequencing her nuclear genome. We'll hear news about her soon.

'Actually the Vindija individuals (which are the core of the Neanderthal genome research) are quite recent. They are among the latest survivors of the Neanderthal species (less than 38,000 years BP). They are so recent that they do not appear in the maps in this post (the dot in Croatia is actually another site: Krapina).'

Yes, but considering they're 38.000 years old, by these dates maybe modern humans weren't in the zone. In an interview between the anthropologist Richard Klein and E.Green, they told that these were minimun dates, and the fossils are likely to be older. In any case, I don't find it normal, because when two groups meet, the genetic flux is always bidirectional. Neanderthals should also got some modern human DNA; if they didn't, it's because something is wrong.

'The final paper is not yet published. And, in any case, the analysis of the implications of the findings (like the comparison with 1000 modern humans as Lalueza suggested) is still open to research.'

I hope so. Lalueza also told us we should compare the neanderthal genome with 1000 human genomes. He said these genomes will be published by the end of 2010. I'm seeing lots of papers talking about sequenced human genomes in 2010, from Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia...
Carles Lalueza is trying to get neandertal nuclear DNA from el Sidrón and start a new project called "Proyecto de Diversidad Neandertal".

Maju said...

"Neanderthals should also got some modern human DNA; if they didn't, it's because something is wrong".

I don't know. It's very possible that the minor admixture episode happened in West Asia, before H. sapiens expanded into Asia. If so, European Neanderthals were like African Sapiens, who remained apart from this episode.

Then maybe there's some parallel evidence among Asian Neanderthals but so far has gone undetected.

But it's also possible that the N-S hybrids were only assimilated in Sapiens societies for whatever reason (maybe their mothers' community). We do not know how large was the founder Eurasian population at that time but probably from very small to just small.

One or few cases of successful hybridation in such a small population would have been enough to cause the effect we see now after it was amplified by the Eurasian expansion of Homo sapiens.

As Neanderthals did not expand from West/Central Asia to anywhere, we would only see the mirror impact in these areas if anywhere. It could be invisible if the event happened at the edge of Neanderthal expansion and not at a core of an expansion, as happened with Homo sapiens.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"I don't know. It's very possible that the minor admixture episode happened in West Asia, before H. sapiens expanded into Asia. If so, European Neanderthals were like African Sapiens, who remained apart from this episode."

Yes, that's quite likely. But I can't imagine they only met once. These scientits think we mix with them about 60.000 years ago, while neanderthals gone extinct by 30.000 B.C. That gives us more than 30.000 years of possible coexistence. Also, there were many groups of neanderthals and modern humans living in different places. It's likely they interbred in many varied places at different times, but for some reason, we aren't able to detect this yet.

"But it's also possible that the N-S hybrids were only assimilated in Sapiens societies for whatever reason (maybe their mothers' community). We do not know how large was the founder Eurasian population at that time but probably from very small to just small. "

I think that's quite unlikely. If you have two different human populations, the genetic flux tend to be directional. There were very few neanderthals living by that time, only 7.000 or even less, and about 3.500 fertile females.

"One or few cases of successful hybridation in such a small population would have been enough to cause the effect we see now after it was amplified by the Eurasian expansion of Homo sapiens. "

I disagree completely with "one or few cases". Well, it's obvious that apparently, the admixture wasn't too high, but if that's true, then the original population who left Africa were less than 50 individuals, I don't see this to be too realistic, if we consider that the two populations coexisted by a long time, and modern humans were a growing population.

"As Neanderthals did not expand from West/Central Asia to anywhere, we would only see the mirror impact in these areas if anywhere. It could be invisible if the event happened at the edge of Neanderthal expansion and not at a core of an expansion, as happened with Homo sapiens."

That's quite logical, but, again: what happened in Europe and other areas where neanderthals lived, like Central Asia? They never met there?

Maju said...

"if that's true, then the original population who left Africa were less than 50 individuals, I don't see this to be too realistic"...

It's difficult to estimate. The only thing very apparent is at least five people: two women and three men. That may mean in reality anything from 50 to 5000 people. But I think the second figure is simply too high for what West Asia would seem able to support with a forager economy (and that would be difficult to explain in the context of an expanding population: there should be more founder lineages).

The case is even stronger for low figures if the coastal migration through Yemen-Oman can be confirmed (and I think it can). In this case the Neanderthal admixture episode surely happened at Iran, before arrival to South Asia, where expansion began.

So I think we are safer in the low numbers but maybe 500 or 1000 is low enough? In 500 individuals 2.5% means 25 first generation (50-50) hybrids. In 200, it means just 10. For one hybrid it'd be 20 individuals, which is like the absolutely minimal possible size for the founder Eurasian group (a single band).

My hunch is 100-200 people but has a lot of uncertainty. One possibility I have considered is that some more heavily admixed individuals from a different band were absorbed into a larger "purebreed" Sapiens one.

"what happened in Europe and other areas where neanderthals lived, like Central Asia? They never met there?"

In principle they did meet. But maybe by then the attitudes had changed (call it "racism" or whatever). In any case it seems there was no further admixture because the apportions are homogeneous among Eurasians from all three regions (East Asia, New Guinea and Europe). East Asians and specially Papuans should have been unrelated with Neanderthals after entering South Asia and Eastern Eurasia. West Eurasians had a more intense interaction as they expanded westward but there is no evidence at all of further admixture.

I also have considered that maybe conception or birth was difficult because of the relatively high divergence between both species. So maybe there were many more instances of sex but they left no descendants.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"My hunch is 100-200 people but has a lot of uncertainty. One possibility I have considered is that some more heavily admixed individuals from a different band were absorbed into a larger "purebreed" Sapiens one."

That is a very interesting possibility. There's evidence modern humans inhabited the middle east around 100.000 yrs ago (Skhul, Qafzeh), but another wave of humans left Africa by only 60.000 B.C.
This newer wave may have interbred with the admixed population(s), and then populated all Eurasia and Americas. This would explain why the percentages of admixture are so homogeneous among very distinct populations, although the admixture happened quite recently, and I'm not sure if 100.000 is recent enough, they said between 50 and 80.000 years ago, although this can vary.
Interestingly, many anthropologists such as Richard Klein claimed that by 60.000 the two groups didn't coexist in space and time, but they did by 100.000. Maybe when the second wave reached the Middle East, found a mixed population, not pure neanderthals.

"In principle they did meet. But maybe by then the attitudes had changed (call it "racism" or whatever). In any case it seems there was no further admixture because the apportions are homogeneous among Eurasians from all three regions (East Asia, New Guinea and Europe)."

Most say they met in Europe, but in my opinion, there's no solid evidence. Racism doesn't seem a good explanation, because there are many cases of racism in modern society, but people still have sex.

They don't say there was no sex in Europe, but that it was "undetectable" with current methods. Maybe it was very low because modern human populations were already very large, and the neanderthals nearly extinct.

"I also have considered that maybe conception or birth was difficult because of the relatively high divergence between both species. So maybe there were many more instances of sex but they left no descendants."

I'm not too sure on this. There are cases of interbreeding between species more distantly related than neanderthals and modern humans without too many problems, and after all, neanderthals fall within human variation, according to their nuclear DNA.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"My hunch is 100-200 people but has a lot of uncertainty. One possibility I have considered is that some more heavily admixed individuals from a different band were absorbed into a larger "purebreed" Sapiens one."

That is a very interesting possibility. There's evidence modern humans inhabited the middle east around 100.000 yrs ago (Skhul, Qafzeh), but another wave of humans left Africa by only 60.000 B.C.
This newer wave may have interbred with the admixed population(s), and then populated all Eurasia and Americas. This would explain why the percentages of admixture are so homogeneous among very distinct populations, although the admixture happened quite recently, and I'm not sure if 100.000 is recent enough, they said between 50 and 80.000 years ago, although this can vary.
Interestingly, many anthropologists such as Richard Klein claimed that by 60.000 the two groups didn't coexist in space and time, but they did by 100.000. Maybe when the second wave reached the Middle East, found a mixed population, not pure neanderthals.

"In principle they did meet. But maybe by then the attitudes had changed (call it "racism" or whatever). In any case it seems there was no further admixture because the apportions are homogeneous among Eurasians from all three regions (East Asia, New Guinea and Europe)."

Most say they met in Europe, but in my opinion, there's no solid evidence. Racism doesn't seem a good explanation, because there are many cases of racism in modern society, but people still have sex.

They don't say there was no sex in Europe, but that it was "undetectable" with current methods. Maybe it was very low because modern human populations were already very large, and the neanderthals nearly extinct.

"I also have considered that maybe conception or birth was difficult because of the relatively high divergence between both species. So maybe there were many more instances of sex but they left no descendants."

I'm not too sure on this. There are cases of interbreeding between species more distantly related than neanderthals and modern humans without too many problems, and after all, neanderthals fall within human variation, according to their nuclear DNA.

eurologist said...

"Homo ergaster (sometimes not differentiated from erectus, not in these maps certainly)."

Aah, that explains it. I was wondering where all those recent erectus fossils came from, all-of-a-sudden. That distinction is incredibly important, of course, based on the immense cultural differences between the two.

Well, I was saying that I'd be possible, for example, if a group left Africa by 1,3-0,9 MYA, and another by 0,8-0,5 MYA. If the first one represented the ancestors of H. antecessor, and the later the ancestors of H.heidelbergensis, and neanderthals are mainly derived from one of the two, then this would explain the results.

I am of the opinion that there is little if any difference between antecessor and (early) heidelbergensis. Ergaster's arrival to Europe marks the difference to erectus. After that, there were numerous opportunities for genetic exchange between Europe/ MidEast and Africa, at least every 100,000 (if not 50,000) years, based on climatic variations that periodically increased rainfall and the density of grazing animals on all sides of the Mediterranean. Sometimes the Europeans would get there first, sometimes the Africans - but I am convinced of successful and important mixture episodes until about 400,000 years ago. After that, Neanderthals clearly diverge both in anatomy and from what little genetic information we have.

There is some evidence that ergaster/Heidelbergensis was able to spread to Asia (and all the way to China, BTW) very early on. My bet is that Denisova is from just that group - not from erectus.

These are exciting times, and we will know a lot more just over the next decades.

terryt said...

"there were numerous opportunities for genetic exchange between Europe/ MidEast and Africa, at least every 100,000 (if not 50,000) years, based on climatic variations that periodically increased rainfall and the density of grazing animals on all sides of the Mediterranean".

I'm sure you are correct there.

Maju said...

@Maria Lluisa:

"Most say they met in Europe, but in my opinion, there's no solid evidence".

True. "Solid" evidence of that kind is hard to find. Not just in Europe but elsewhere.

We know however that Palestine (and later Egypt) Homo sapiens adopted Mousterian, what looks a clear Neanderthal influence.

We know also that some Neanderthals adopted Chatelperronian, which is an industry that has many affinities to some other industries that are attested to be made by Homo sapiens, before and after Chatelperronian.

But it's impossible to get beyond this kind of indirect evidence, I believe.

"Racism doesn't seem a good explanation, because there are many cases of racism in modern society, but people still have sex".

True but people meet because today's densities are extremely higher.

With or without prejudice, truth is that unless they really lived side by side, the opportunities for mating (or meeting at all) were surely rare. Almost for sure that Neanderthals and Sapiens made up two (or more) different social units anywhere (tribes, bands). Normally people "marry" (form more or less stable sexual-reproductive couples) within their expanded communities.

I tend to see Neanderthal-Sapiens interactions more as cultural and technical (and potentially fight) than sexual. We don't know how attractive either species was to the other, not just by appearance but also smell and such. Several of the differences between both species affect the sense of smell specifically.

We don't know also how viable were hybrids in the respective wombs and birth canals. If minor differences within H. sapiens can cause some incompatibilities (Rh, narrow hips vs. big size, etc.) go figure with a species that had been evolving separately for maybe five times that.

In any case, I'm just "ranting" because we can't know much unless the dream of all prehistorians and most historians becomes true: a time machine to film it all. :)

"They don't say there was no sex in Europe, but that it was "undetectable" with current methods".

Sex is undetectable unless it has an effect. There is no effect: Europeans are as Neanderthal as Chinese or Papuans. Unless you believe all Europeans arrived from outside in Neolithic (what I don't believe for a moment) or that a second wave wiped off all hybrids, then there was no meaningful admixture. Same for West Asia, which is after all the source of almost all European genetics.

But maybe there are some surprises in the ocean of human diversity. I don't expect big ones anyhow but maybe after many different genomes have been compared we see a small cline. So far I could only detect such potential "extra Neanderthal admixture" in Chinese, not Europeans. But it's likely to be a fluke.

"There are cases of interbreeding between species more distantly related than neanderthals and modern humans without too many problems"...

Not in the wild. Lions and tigers, or leopards and lions, may successfully breed (not all hybrids are equally viable though) but in Nature they simply would not. One of the reasons is important differences in mating behavior. Those hybrids exist only in captivity.

"... and after all, neanderthals fall within human variation, according to their nuclear DNA".

They fall outside of H. sapiens variation. Close but clearly distinct. I don't see any reason for this claim to stand.

Maju said...

@Eurologist

Traditionally there was no distinction between H. erectus and H. ergaster. And still many prehistorians find it easier to just use H. erectus, sometimes with the added label "senso lato" (loose meaning).

It's not my main focus, so I admit I would not be able to take apart an Erectus from an Ergaster skull, really. Similarly I find hard to take apart a Heidelbergensis from a Rhodesiensis and either from "evolved Erectus" sometimes.

You mention "cultural differences". Not sure which ones (Acheulean?) but these should not define a species, the same you don't draw a species line between Bushmen and New York city dwellers.

"I am of the opinion that there is little if any difference between antecessor and (early) heidelbergensis".

Possibly. However many sites tend to place antecessor as "erectus" or "ergaster". It's pretty clear in any case that it is a transitional taxon. I made a small color-coding effort in reflecting this transition fact.

"After that, there were numerous opportunities for genetic exchange between Europe/ MidEast and Africa, at least every 100,000 (if not 50,000) years, based on climatic variations that periodically increased rainfall and the density of grazing animals on all sides of the Mediterranean. Sometimes the Europeans would get there first, sometimes the Africans - but I am convinced of successful and important mixture episodes until about 400,000 years ago".

I don't see any evidence for all this. It's possible that there were some exchanges (importantly maybe the Levallois technique) but I fail to see any clear evidence of migrations of any sort and hence of meaningful genetic exchange (if there's no migration, there is no admixture - because the spaces are separated).

"There is some evidence that ergaster/Heidelbergensis was able to spread to Asia (and all the way to China, BTW) very early on. My bet is that Denisova is from just that group - not from erectus".

I have not found that evidence. In general East Asian Homo are labelled as "erectus" or at best "evolved erectus". Technologically I am not aware of Acheulean arriving to East Asia either, which would be the cultural mark of Homo ergaster.

As you know, I am highly distrusting of molecular clock hunches (and tend to think nearly all is older than they say) and IMO Denisova's mtDNA belongs to the H. erectus lineages. This in turn pushes the Neanderthal-Sapiens divergence to its "correct" time frame of the second Out-of-Africa with Homo ergaster and Acheulean.

One thing I find interesting in these maps is that there was an H. erectus (H. ergaster) buffer between Heidelbergensis and Rhodesiensis before 200 Ka ago (grosso modo). Both diverging lines do not seem to have meet again until the Neanderthal/Sapiens stage.

So a totally separate evolution of both species makes good sense.

"These are exciting times, and we will know a lot more just over the next decades".

Years, months... I hope. :)

Maria Lluïsa said...

"I tend to see Neanderthal-Sapiens interactions more as cultural and technical (and potentially fight) than sexual. We don't know how attractive either species was to the other, not just by appearance but also smell and such. Several of the differences between both species affect the sense of smell specifically."

I'm not sure if that's true at all for modern h. sapiens. I know people who has sex with dogs, there are many cases reported. Compared with a dog, a horse or a sheep, neanderthals weren't different at all, and having sex with a "different" human may sound desirable to many people, but perhaps they never lived side-to-side.

"But maybe there are some surprises in the ocean of human diversity. I don't expect big ones anyhow but maybe after many different genomes have been compared we see a small cline. So far I could only detect such potential "extra Neanderthal admixture" in Chinese, not Europeans. But it's likely to be a fluke."

That is not what they said, and Chinese means only "from China", it's not a race, and the country nor civilization didn't exist until a few millenia ago.
They compared 24 Han Chinese individuals to neanderthals, and no apparent difference was found respect to a sample of 24 Europeans:

http://genome.ucsc.edu/cgi-bin/hgTrackUi?db=hg18&c=chr10&position=chr10:69713986-69714099&g=ntOoaHaplo

"Not in the wild. Lions and tigers, or leopards and lions, may successfully breed (not all hybrids are equally viable though) but in Nature they simply would not. One of the reasons is important differences in mating behavior. Those hybrids exist only in captivity. "

Lions and tigers have been separated by at least 5 million of years, that is, much longer than that of neanderthals and modern humans. Horses and donkeys aren't an useful case either, because the two have a different number of chromosomes (neanderthals likely had 46 chromosomes, like us)and have been separated by a lot of time (5-10 million?).
Bonobos and chimps have been separated by 1-2 million of years, a bit more than what is accepted for the split of neanderthals-modern humans.
Bonobos and chimps don't reproduce in the wild because they live in separated environments. However, if you put a group of bonobos and another of chimps in a zoo, they usually reproduce and have fertile offspring.

"They fall outside of H. sapiens variation. Close but clearly distinct. I don't see any reason for this claim to stand."

Well, this was what they said in 2006: "Neanderthal genetic differences to humans must therefore be interpreted within the context of human diversity"

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7117/full/nature05336.html

After reading all comments they have done on the neanderthal genome between 2006-2010, it seems to me that neanderthals maybe were somewhat different from us, but "not a lot", and that more differences can be found between two different modern humans.

Maju said...

"I know people who has sex with dogs"...

Great phrase! Should attract a random reader or two to this discussion. :D

Now that I have your attention...

There are 7 billion people on Earth, you don't know (probably) those people personally.

Sex is a powerful driving force indeed but there is no reason to think that the other species was more readily available to you than your own. Surely nothing comparable.

Also in real life (not in the Internet) hunter-gatherers form couples, which may be more or less stable. Serial possibly loose monogamy is the real life rule. The default rule at least. We also see that in our modern "decodified" Western societies.

99% of real life hunter-gatherers in 99% of the real life circumstances they get involved would have sex with his/her own species (and "tribe" or ethnicity), with one individual of that species specifically at any given period. So the circumstances needed for admixture to happen seem difficult to find.

However, to my surprise, some noticeable admixture happened, what makes me think of the small size of the population in which that happened and which are our ancestors.

"That is not what they said"...

They did not discuss that but I could see in their data. If there is any tendency (the differences are small and surely not statistically significant) it showed the Chinese (but not the Japanese) as "slightly more Neanderthal". It can be and probably is a fluke - I admit that. I only mention it as counter-evidence for greater admixture in Europeans or West Asians.

"and Chinese means only "from China", it's not a race, and the country nor civilization didn't exist until a few millenia ago".

But we know (I know at least) that East Asians are relatively homogeneous genetically. Japanese and NE Asians may be somewhat distinct (not too much at the global or even Eurasian scale) but Chinese (Han and even Chinese in general) are quite homogeneous. There's a S-N cline and surely also E-W one but no abrupt barrier. Two random Chinese should represent well at least the Han and, together with the Japanese, they give a fair impression of the East Asian ranges.

"However, if you put a group of bonobos and another of chimps in a zoo, they usually reproduce and have fertile offspring".

No idea. Do you have a link? I'd think their psychologies and sexual cycles are so different that they would at least have difficulties. But I may be wrong.

"Well, this was what they said in 2006: "Neanderthal genetic differences to humans must therefore be interpreted within the context of human diversity""

It means nothing to me, just that Neanderthal genomes must be interpreted in the context of human diversity - pretty logical, right? What does this sentence mean to you?

"it seems to me that neanderthals maybe were somewhat different from us, but "not a lot""

Not a lot when compared with chimpanzee or bonobo but still something. It'd be more if we could compare with H. erectus, maybe just half of the road together. That's what you get when you interpret the Denisova finger as an Homo erectus and not an imaginary unknown species.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"There are 7 billion people on Earth, you don't know (probably) those people personally. "

No, not personally (fortunately), but there are lots of zoophilic videos and images. Sex between humans and animals usually only occurs when the human lives alone and have a very close relationship with her/his pet.

"99% of real life hunter-gatherers in 99% of the real life circumstances they get involved would have sex with his/her own species (and "tribe" or ethnicity), with one individual of that species specifically at any given period. So the circumstances needed for admixture to happen seem difficult to find. "

Yes but we shouldn't forget when neanderthals met modern humans, they didn't carry a poster saying "Hey, I'm from another species, be careful", and likely there were noticeable differences, but when two human groups meet, usually interbreeding always happen (and also fights and acculturation) if they're not too different, like chimps and humans are. Neanderthals likely were able to talk, walk upright, express emotions...

"They did not discuss that but I could see in their data. If there is any tendency (the differences are small and surely not statistically significant) it showed the Chinese (but not the Japanese) as "slightly more Neanderthal". It can be and probably is a fluke - I admit that. I only mention it as counter-evidence for greater admixture in Europeans or West Asians."

If that's true (I find it quite unlikely, though) then implies that the ancestors of the Han were already a separated population from those of the Japanese, by about 40-50.000 yrs ago.

"No idea. Do you have a link? I'd think their psychologies and sexual cycles are so different that they would at least have difficulties. But I may be wrong. "

I read it a few time ago, but I only could find this:

http://johnhawks.net/weblog/topics/phylogeny/speciation.html
In "Speciation as a hypothesis"

http://www.publico.es/ciencias/303444/adn/cambiael/pasado/d/l/especie/humana
In: "El principio del fin de las especies".

"It means nothing to me, just that Neanderthal genomes must be interpreted in the context of human diversity - pretty logical, right? What does this sentence mean to you?"

It means to me that if you consider by "human diversity" Homo sapiens diversity, then normally two H. sapiens individuals are more closely related to each other than neither is to a neanderthal, but sometimes, it's also possible to find two humans who are more distantly related (genetically) to each other than neanderthals are.

"Not a lot when compared with chimpanzee or bonobo but still something. It'd be more if we could compare with H. erectus, maybe just half of the road together. That's what you get when you interpret the Denisova finger as an Homo erectus and not an imaginary unknown species."

I get the point. In the conference, Carles Lalueza told us they expected to find about 2.000 genes unique to humans, and not shared with neanderthals, yet they only found 80. This means they're less different than originally thought.
I agree, the DNA of Densisova individual would be of great interest to understand better modern/neanderthal divergence times.

Maju said...

Well, thanks for the links. I searched Wikipedia, which should state such oddity if documented, and could only find references to hybridation between geladas and the Hamadryras baboons, two species of gibbons and possibly some macaques. Nothing about great ape hybrids neither in captivity nor the wild.

It seems to me that Krause and Hawks have gone a bit too far with unsupported claims.

"Neanderthals likely were able to talk, walk upright, express emotions..."

Of course (actually bonobos do that too and male bonobos look very "human", hairy though, when seen from the distance - females not because of hair, small boobs, narrow hips and dilated vulva). I would expect Neanderthals to be much like us but still clearly different. It is even possible they were furry though I'm unsure.

What is important is to understand that mating preferences and behavior could have been rather different (same as with chimpanzee and bonobos) and mating opportunities too would have been very rare.

"If that's true (I find it quite unlikely, though) then implies that the ancestors of the Han were already a separated population from those of the Japanese, by about 40-50.000 yrs ago".

Not sure why but it's clear that Japanese are a special population in the East Asian context. This is noticeable, for instance in their high apportions of Y-DNA D, suggestive of a very old persistent substrate even through the volatile male lineages. The other half of their male ancestry is more "continental" (haplogroup O) but most of it is still of a distinct branch (O2b) to the main Chinese haplogroup (O3a). In mtDNA there are also some indications of a very old somewhat distinct substrate.

Not all ancestors were different but some (many in the Japanese case) were probably.

However I insist that my little review of that minor Neanderthal input variation cannot be taken as positive evidence of anything, just a hint. We must await for comparisons with larger samples to see if this makes any sense of is merely a fluke.

"It means to me that if you consider by "human diversity" Homo sapiens diversity, then normally two H. sapiens individuals are more closely related to each other than neither is to a neanderthal, but sometimes, it's also possible to find two humans who are more distantly related (genetically) to each other than neanderthals are".

That is not correct. They just mean that we must compare Neanderthals with modern humans as a whole, considering not just, say, Europeans but all humankind in their diversity.

You are reading too much in too little.

"Carles Lalueza told us they expected to find about 2.000 genes unique to humans, and not shared with neanderthals, yet they only found 80".

Hmmm. What they found was 78 genes fixated in the Chimpanzee (ancestral) allele in Neanderthals and not in modern humans. This means that these specific alleles have not evolved until after the Neandertal-Human divergence but they are for sure not the only different ones.

Among the other genes, they mention the HARs (human specific rapid evolution regions of the genome, which should give a good impression of Neanderthal "humanity"). 98.3% are shared but 1.7% are not. However these do not describe the overall genetic distance just their distance in the human-specific rapid evolution regions, many (most?) of which would have evolved already by the formation of the genus Homo and that of Homo ergaster (the last safe shared ancestor).

I think Lalueza, who is not a geneticist, is reading this shallowly. The authors never say that.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"Of course (actually bonobos do that too and male bonobos look very "human", hairy though, when seen from the distance - females not because of hair, small boobs, narrow hips and dilated vulva). I would expect Neanderthals to be much like us but still clearly different. It is even possible they were furry though I'm unsure. "

Well, there are some good reconstructions where they don't look ape-like at all:

http://smithsonianscience.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/homo_neanderthalensis.jpg
http://johnhawks.net/graphics/neander_nhm_2007.jpg
http://www.thekipper.co.uk/Neanderthal.jpg

Of course you can argue that these reconstructions are wrong and you can disagree with them, but so are others like this:
http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2009/09/17/1225776/131604-dtthumb-neanderthal.jpg

This reconstruction has been portrayed as being "forensic" by one site called themandus.org. After a close examination, I think it's all crap, but unfortunately, many people still believe neanderthals looked this way.

I get mad when I read comments like "humans had sex with these monsters" or others made by black racists like "europeans are not fully human".

Furriness can vary a lot between humans. I remember one of these genes specific to humans that was involved in hair, but I'm not too sure, and I don't think they were as hairy as chimps/bonobos. If that was the case, then why did they wear clothes?

"What is important is to understand that mating preferences and behavior could have been rather different (same as with chimpanzee and bonobos) and mating opportunities too would have been very rare."

It's possible but I'm not too sure. Unlike other animals, humans don't seem to prefer any specific conditions nor time to have sex. They have sex all the month and all the year.

"Hmmm. What they found was 78 genes fixated in the Chimpanzee (ancestral) allele in Neanderthals and not in modern humans. This means that these specific alleles have not evolved until after the Neandertal-Human divergence but they are for sure not the only different ones. "

Lalueza told us that maybe new alleles specific to us may be found by decoding more genome. It's likely to find about 200 different alleles between neanderthals and modern humans, although this is not too much (according to him) and even it's possible to find some of the ancestral alleles in modern humans when we analyze more human genomes.
This was what Joao Zilhao said.

"Among the other genes, they mention the HARs (human specific rapid evolution regions of the genome, which should give a good impression of Neanderthal "humanity"). 98.3% are shared but 1.7% are not. However these do not describe the overall genetic distance just their distance in the human-specific rapid evolution regions, many (most?) of which would have evolved already by the formation of the genus Homo and that of Homo ergaster (the last safe shared ancestor). "

I understand that 1,7% is not too much. The Denisova individual perhaps would give us more information on this.

"I think Lalueza, who is not a geneticist, is reading this shallowly. The authors never say that."

It's possible, yet he participated in the neanderthal genome project and is a recognized geneticist.

Maju said...

Google has been nuts: I could not contact any Google service in more than 3 hours! Your last post did not make in either. You said:

"Of course (actually bonobos do that too and male bonobos look very "human", hairy though, when seen from the distance - females not because of hair, small boobs, narrow hips and dilated vulva). I would expect Neanderthals to be much like us but still clearly different. It is even possible they were furry though I'm unsure. "

Well, there are some good reconstructions where they don't look ape-like at all:

http://smithsonianscience.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/homo_neanderthalensis.jpg
http://johnhawks.net/graphics/neander_nhm_2007.jpg
http://www.thekipper.co.uk/Neanderthal.jpg

Of course you can argue that these reconstructions are wrong and you can disagree with them, but so are others like this:
http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2009/09/17/1225776/131604-dtthumb-neanderthal.jpg

This reconstruction has been portrayed as being "forensic" by one site called themandus.org. After a close examination, I think it's all crap, but unfortunately, many people still believe neanderthals looked this way.

I get mad when I read comments like "humans had sex with these monsters" or others made by black racists like "europeans are not fully human".

Furriness can vary a lot between humans. I remember one of these genes specific to humans that was involved in hair, but I'm not too sure, and I don't think they were as hairy as chimps/bonobos. If that was the case, then why did they wear clothes?

"What is important is to understand that mating preferences and behavior could have been rather different (same as with chimpanzee and bonobos) and mating opportunities too would have been very rare."

It's possible but I'm not too sure. Unlike other animals, humans don't seem to prefer any specific conditions nor time to have sex. They have sex all the month and all the year.

"Hmmm. What they found was 78 genes fixated in the Chimpanzee (ancestral) allele in Neanderthals and not in modern humans. This means that these specific alleles have not evolved until after the Neandertal-Human divergence but they are for sure not the only different ones. "

Lalueza told us that maybe new alleles specific to us may be found by decoding more genome. It's likely to find about 200 different alleles between neanderthals and modern humans, although this is not too much (according to him) and even it's possible to find some of the ancestral alleles in modern humans when we analyze more human genomes.
This was what Joao Zilhao said.

"Among the other genes, they mention the HARs (human specific rapid evolution regions of the genome, which should give a good impression of Neanderthal "humanity"). 98.3% are shared but 1.7% are not. However these do not describe the overall genetic distance just their distance in the human-specific rapid evolution regions, many (most?) of which would have evolved already by the formation of the genus Homo and that of Homo ergaster (the last safe shared ancestor). "

I understand that 1,7% is not too much. The Denisova individual perhaps would give us more information on this.

"I think Lalueza, who is not a geneticist, is reading this shallowly. The authors never say that."

It's possible, yet he participated in the neanderthal genome project and is a recognized geneticist.


I just hope this downtime has served to solve the posting problems. :/

Maju said...

"This reconstruction has been portrayed as being "forensic""...

LOL, there was someone trying to sell me that 'cannibal gorilla with red snake eyes' junk in this blog and I got him censored. I did so on the grounds of racism (which he practiced also in other contexts btw - I was pretty much tired of him).

However it is a fact that we do not know if Neanderthals had fur or not. Body hair is thought to have been lost some 1.2 million years ago (others say 2 million), which is just in time for proto-Neanderthals to have kept it in the cold reaches of Ice Age Europe.

I don't think Neanderthals were ape-ish (not more than us) but they could be furry (you can think of a furry intelligent human, can't you?). I also think that the usual reconstructions give them a 'Caucasoid' nose and they should have more like a 'Negroid' nose because that's the kind of nose hole we see in their skulls (your avatar is pretty good in this aspect though also makes the Neanderthal look brutish because of the expression). And the usual reconstructions do not clearly show the comparatively low forehead of Neanderthals (compensated in size by the extremely dolicocephalous large skull). The usual reconstructions also assume they were hairless but considering their likely subarctic evolution this doesn't seem too justified.

After all reconstructions only take the skull shape (and sometimes not even that) and all the rest is petty much imagination.

All this has nothing to do with their intelligence, sensibility and humanity. It's obvious that they were the closest thing to us without being 100% us.

But we do not know everything about them. Not yet and probably never without the frustratingly missing time machine.

"If that was the case, then why did they wear clothes?"

Do we have any evidence that they wore clothes? If so, and assuming furriness (just a hypothesis so far), they might have used them in the coldest times of the year or to sleep by night. After all the common ancestor was tropical, even if maybe furry, not so long ago.

...

Maju said...

...

"Unlike other animals, humans don't seem to prefer any specific conditions nor time to have sex. They have sex all the month and all the year".

Unlike other animals except bonobos.

And except when they have headaches, don't like the potential partner, etc. It's not like everyone has sex all the time with everybody and the reality in actual forager societies is generally, as I said before, of serial monogamy.

The less formal/codified of all African hunter-gatherers are the Hadza (also the closest ones to Eurasians). They are so informal and presentist that don't even bother burying or otherwise honoring their dead. The Hadza form couples (marriage) by merely sleeping man and woman by the same fire. These couples are easily dissolved (in other ethnicities may last longer, even for life). But there is a caveat: a man cannot get married (i.e. have sex with a woman) unless he has killed five baboons first, so very poor hunters or immature lovers get selected against.

It's not like they are having sex with every other person all the time. There are preferences and bonds - and even some social rules, like that one of the five baboons. And there are more or less stable couples in every hunter-gatherer society.

We can't know for sure if this applied to Neanderthals but certainly applies to all modern humankind (H. sapiens) in the hunter-gatherer stage (with whatever local variations).

In any case, not even in the highly flexible Hadza society, individuals do not live in a vacuum. People form part of a society and normally (99.9% of the time in pre-modern societies) marry and have offspring within it.

So the Neanderthal admixture episode implies some special level of proximity at some moment. Alternatively it may be a case of rape or other sort of random "deviant" or abnormal activity but I'm for favoring a period in which at least one Sapiens and one Neanderthal community had very close relationships. This possibly did not directly imply all the migrant proto-Eurasian population in my view but just a fraction. This would also fit well with the period and region of adoption of Neanderthal techno-culture (Mousterian) by some Homo sapiens (Palestine, later Egypt too).

"The Denisova individual perhaps would give us more information on this".

Only mtDNA was researched in this case.

(Fifth time I try to post this)

Maria Lluïsa said...

"LOL, there was someone trying to sell me that 'cannibal gorilla with red snake eyes' junk in this blog and I got him censored. I did so on the grounds of racism (which he practiced also in other contexts btw - I was pretty much tired of him)."

Uhh... that's pretty awful, much like that "forensic" reconstruction haha.

"I also think that the usual reconstructions give them a 'Caucasoid' nose and they should have more like a 'Negroid' nose because that's the kind of nose hole we see in their skulls (your avatar is pretty good in this aspect though also makes the Neanderthal look brutish because of the expression). And the usual reconstructions do not clearly show the comparatively low forehead of Neanderthals (compensated in size by the extremely dolicocephalous large skull). The usual reconstructions also assume they were hairless but considering their likely subarctic evolution this doesn't seem too justified."

I personally hate these "europecised" reconstructions, with neanderthals usually having european noses (i.e. tiny and narrow) small mouth, blue eyes (when there's no evidence on this, blue eyes are quite recent to my knowledge) a narrow jaw, etc.

http://images.thetimes.co.uk/TGD/picture/0,,309950,00.jpg

I just can't understand why they look at europeans when they try to reconstruct neanderthals, if everyone knows that europeans are anatomically very different from neanderthals. The group most closely related to them are Africans in my opinion, yet this may sound weird, because we know that genetically Eurasians are closer to neanders than sub-saharan Africans.

My Avatar is from a reconstruction of the woman of Gibraltar by the Kennis brothers. They also reconstructed the two most famous neanderthals, a male and a female which you can visit at the Neanderthal Museum (Germany).
Do you think she looks brutish? She's smiling :), but possibly you can't appreciate this because the picture is too small.

http://www.kenniskennis.com/rec-humans/3d/10L.html

"Do we have any evidence that they wore clothes? If so, and assuming furriness (just a hypothesis so far), they might have used them in the coldest times of the year or to sleep by night. After all the common ancestor was tropical, even if maybe furry, not so long ago. "

Yes, they made them with animal's skin, or at least there's evidence they had enough sophisticated tools to do it. They likely used clothes much like present day hunther-gatherers who live in cold environments do. I can't imagine neanderthals surviving all the glaciations and living in Europe without clothing.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"It's not like they are having sex with every other person all the time. There are preferences and bonds - and even some social rules, like that one of the five baboons. And there are more or less stable couples in every hunter-gatherer society."

As you said, most people follow the rules and date within their ethnic groups, but there are many exceptions. For example, if you've watched some films like "The white maasai" it seems obvious that this isn't always the rule (specially for men).
I don't know if neanderthals would look attractive to us or not, but what I mean is that often some people want to 'taste' something different, and it doesn't matter at all if he/she is a bit hairier or has a wide nose, unless the differences are too huge. That's what I have observed that happens in most first world societies.

"Alternatively it may be a case of rape or other sort of random "deviant" or abnormal activity but I'm for favoring a period in which at least one Sapiens and one Neanderthal community had very close relationships."

Rape? Oh no, please... I read this and I got very annoyed:

http://www.daylife.com/article/04694sKd3aa0V?q=neanderthal

"This possibly did not directly imply all the migrant proto-Eurasian population in my view but just a fraction. This would also fit well with the period and region of adoption of Neanderthal techno-culture (Mousterian) by some Homo sapiens (Palestine, later Egypt too)."

There were likely different populations of 10-20 hunther-gatherers. Probably some of them found a group of neanderthals and mated with them, while others didn't. But in any case they "united" because all modern eurasians are descendent from a population who had 1-4% of neanderthal genes, not from different ones.


"(Fifth time I try to post this)"

Thank you very much :)

Maju said...

"The group most closely related to them are Africans in my opinion, yet this may sound weird, because we know that genetically Eurasians are closer to neanders than sub-saharan Africans".

In appearance they may be more conservative and, ironically this can be because of their greater diversity (hard to explain but has to do with founder effects limiting the basic types to melt, not sure if I explain correctly or even if I'm right at all).

"She's smiling"...

Yah but it's a "brutish" or "apeish" smile (maybe the mouth is too rigid?). As she is in the 'uncanny resemblance' zone (which experimentally scares human and other primates), this makes her look very strange. But some traits at least are very well reproduced. Maybe they even looked like that.

"there's evidence they had enough sophisticated tools to do it".

They did not have needles; these appear first with H. sapiens at Kostenki. Without needles you can't make good clothes for the cold zone. They probably had scrappers to work skins but maybe they used them only for capes, carpets and blankets. I can't say exactly. Maybe they made funny hats... :)

"... if you've watched some films like "The white maasai" it seems obvious that this isn't always the rule (specially for men)".

Maasai are or rather were until recently in the Iron Age. It's totally different. Focus: hunter-gatherers. Not just because some people is comparatively "primitive" or "wild" that makes them hunter-gatherers. Maasai, AFAIK, are Patriarchal pastoralists.

Anyhow I don't mean that a foreigner cannot be adopted by some ethnic group, that in fact happens sometimes. What I say is that unless such kind of very close relationship happened the opportunities for admixture were slim.

"Rape? Oh no, please... I read this and I got very annoyed"...

That article looks totally stupid. But it's not impossible that there was "inter-species" rape some times. We just can't know. AFAIK rape is very rare or totally undocumented among foragers but I don't see any reason why it can't happen.

"There were likely different populations of 10-20 hunther-gatherers".

That would be a band. A population (a more or less endogamous group, a "tribe" or ethnicity or regional population) must have been quite larger. At least one hundred (what less than 3-5 bands of 20-30 people?), probably more like one thousand. The Hadza are a good example, as they are in such numbers (about 1000, some 300-400 still purely hunter-gatherers) even if they live in a small area of Northern Tanzania.

"But in any case they "united" because all modern eurasians are descendent from a population who had 1-4% of neanderthal genes, not from different ones".

Yes, that is very clear.

eurologist said...

@Maju: "You mention "cultural differences". Not sure which ones (Acheulean?) but these should not define a species" (H. erectus vs. H. ergaster/heidelbergensis)

If several cultural developments persist as distinct for a million years or longer, I'd say that indicates that the underlying hominids have likely significantly diverged from each other. It makes much sense to think of ergaster/antecessor/heildelbergensis as a second development out of habilis/rudolfensis, after early erectus:

1. Erectus, after arriving (very early on) in Asia, substantially never changed, there.

2. Ergaster instead further developed in Africa in conjunction with Acheulean technology; east Asian erectus, on the other hand, never used that technology, and did not start using slightly more complicated tools until much later (~200,000 years ago) and that was geographically confined - indicating a second wave of immigration (of heidelbergensis: Xujiayao, Jinniushan, Dali), instead.

3. (African) ergaster and (Asian) erectus were spatially separated for about 1.0 to 1.5 million years(!).

4. Antecessor/heidelbergensis are straightforward developments from Africa, and likely with bidirectional gene flow between Europe/Middle East and Africa - but do not derive from Asian erectus. There is ample evidence for the controlled use of fire at that time and in the corresponding regions around the Mediterranen. There is zero evidence of controlled use of fire for Asian erectus. Also, heidelbergensis constructed tents or similar structures in an organized fashion, and routinely hunted large animals (~60%; Bilzingsleben site).

eurologist said...

@Maju, II: "I don't see any evidence for all this." (numerous opportunities for contact)

There was ample opportunity for bidirectional gene flow over a long period of time - and simply little reason to think it did not happen. And then there is indirect evidence: the closeness of anatomical development between African and European fossils over the time frame from 1.4 million to ~300,000 years ago (e.g., Bodo, Ndutu, Kabwe, rhodesiensis), and the first evidence of controlled use of fire in the overlapping regions. And of course, European heidelbergensis - like similar African fossils - has a significantly increased brain case volume.

Additional indirect evidence is that heidelbergensis only started to diverge in Europe, forming neanderthalensis, when climate truly isolated the area from Africa. Note that until then, central Europe had a climate almost as mild as Mediterranean - just with slightly more rainfall (e.g., forest elephant and rhinoceros, macaque monkeys).

One can discuss nomenclature until the cows come home, but in my opinion, separation in space and time, especially if ongoing for 500,000 years or longer, should always be strongly considered.

"I have not found that evidence." (heidelbergensis in China)

See above (and http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/olcweb/cgi/pluginpop.cgi?it=swf::600::365::/sites/dl/free/0767425944/22585/map11_2.swf::Map%20of%20Major%20Homo%20antecessor%20and%20Homo%20heidelbergensis%20Sites)

Maju said...

@Ebizur: You make a very good point. Probably from the strictly biological viewpoint too these two were eventually different species, even if it's often hard to take them apart only from skulls. You do have some good reason, I don't question that.

But I am 42, and the usage of this difference, not always accepted in practice by prehistorians, is relatively recent. When I first learned all this it was H. habilis (pretty much anecdotal), H. erectus for almost two million years, and then H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens.

Also the source I used called them "erectus" all the time.

"It makes much sense to think of ergaster/antecessor/heildelbergensis as a second development out of habilis/rudolfensis, after early erectus"...

I'm not knowledgeable enough to discuss this. What I read (maybe 10 or 20 years ago) is more like H. erectus is the common ancestor of all human species and that H. habilis was at best antecessor of erectus or even that it was a failed branch.

But all this may have been revised recently. I have to take your word on this.

And what you say is very interesting in any case.

"Antecessor/heidelbergensis are straightforward developments from Africa, and likely with bidirectional gene flow between Europe/Middle East and Africa - but do not derive from Asian erectus".

Yes, they derive from African H. heidelbergensis and they may even have crossed to Europe by Gibraltar Strait (Iberia has the record on the oldest Eurasian Acheulean and also a good transitional record later at Atapuerca). I am uncertain why do you suggest bidirectional flow though, do you have any indication of it?

Maria Lluïsa said...

In appearance they may be more conservative and, ironically this can be because of their greater diversity (hard to explain but has to do with founder effects limiting the basic types to melt, not sure if I explain correctly or even if I'm right at all).

I agree. It seems like neanderthals didn't affect our appearance at all.

"They did not have needles; these appear first with H. sapiens at Kostenki. Without needles you can't make good clothes for the cold zone. They probably had scrappers to work skins but maybe they used them only for capes, carpets and blankets. I can't say exactly. Maybe they made funny hats... :)"

Modern humans dated 60.000 years old also hadn't needles but many people must agree they wear something, and much more recent sites in Europe and all world (Kostenki is located in eastern Russia and dated around 30.000 years old) also didn't seem to have used needles. Australian aborigines don't use them either, and they also wear more or less sophisticated clothes; they use other ways to make them. Neanderthals maybe wore the animal skins like "ponchos". Here's a good reconstruction:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Fy2huEwdALY/S8ufUb-GHBI/AAAAAAAAAcg/4iXin0J6he4/s1600/neander_3.jpg

"We just can't know. AFAIK rape is very rare or totally undocumented among foragers but I don't see any reason why it can't happen"

Yes it can happen, of course, but I'm sure rape isn't the explanation for this small amount of neanderthal DNA we see in Eurasians. Otherwise, it sounds like a King Kong movie.

" "But in any case they "united" because all modern eurasians are descendent from a population who had 1-4% of neanderthal genes, not from different ones".

Yes, that is very clear."

What I don't understand is why they had sex in the Middle East when they left Africa but apparently not in other places, and that all Eurasians seem to come from this single population. Maybe they had it but at some point a larger population of modern humans "barried" all other populations (either from west Asia or Europe) and homogenized it all, so we can't detect it now?

Maju said...

"Modern humans dated 60.000 years old also hadn't needles but many people must agree they wear something"...

Who knows? In any case they could not have tightly closed, possibly multi-layered clothes for the cold climates and were with all likelihood restricted to tropical and subtropical reasons for that reason. Similarly you probably need some good kind of tailoring technology in order to make decent tents, like the tepee type so common in the subarctic zones from Europe to America.

We see H. sapiens advancing northwards and soon after we do see some needles. I can't say more but I don't think it needs to be said either.

"Australian aborigines don't use them either, and they also wear more or less sophisticated clothes"...

I'm not aware of that, I mean historically (now they use commercial clothes). AFAIK historical Australian Aborigines used little more than loincloths.

"Neanderthals maybe wore the animal skins like "ponchos". Here's a good reconstruction"...

I believe the poncho but I disbelieve the pants that accompany it. You need tailoring, needles, for that.

"... but I'm sure rape isn't the explanation for this small amount of neanderthal DNA we see in Eurasians. Otherwise, it sounds like a King Kong movie".

We can't know. I also believe that it means a more steady period of intense inter-species community but we just don't know.

"What I don't understand is why they had sex in the Middle East when they left Africa but apparently not in other places, and that all Eurasians seem to come from this single population".

Well, that all Eurasians come from a single founder population is nothing new.

As for why they had intense relations at one moment and not later, is very difficult if not impossible at all to discern.

My best guess is that inter-species reproduction was already difficult, both for biological and sociological reasons, and hence what is "surprising" is that there was some admixture after all. This leads me to consider some intense interaction in the "Palestinian period" (Shkull, Qahfez) leading to a semi-hybrid population that was still mostly H. sapiens (and maybe 10-20% Neanderthal). Some of these later would join the main migrant group in Iran or Arabia, before the Eurasian Expansion (explosion) happened upon arrival to Pakistan and India.

That's my best guess but it's just a guess anyhow.

...

Maju said...

...

"Maybe they had it but at some point a larger population of modern humans "barried" all other populations (either from west Asia or Europe) and homogenized it all, so we can't detect it now?"

I think that the expansion on West Eurasia implies some degree of genocide, willing or accidental. Earlier too maybe (H. erectus?) but this is not clear as H. erectus really had already vanished from the record (excepting H. floresiensis) when H. sapiens expanded in South and East Asia and Near Oceania. But in the expansion westward there must have been competence with the Neanderthals who were there before, including Altai.

Also I have reasons to suspect that the "second wave" of expansion in Eurasia, also affecting East Asia and New Guinea but probably not Australia directly, best described by the spread of mtDNA R (accompanied by Y-DNA MNOPS in the East and a wider IJK clade in the West) was also 'aggressive' towards other Homo sapiens populations. Enough to push them around a bit and carve a big niches for itself.

The exact motivations and methods of this 'aggressiveness' are difficult to ascertain but for me they can include several factors:

1. Larger extension of the Sapiens hunting grounds (documented, cf. Clive Gamble 2001), which IMO are probably the result of anatomical differences (longer legs, light build of our species).

2. Possible social or technological advantages, such as the famous atlatls (quite demonstrated that Neanderthals did not hurl spears normally, while Sapiens, Cro-Magnons specifically, did often).

3. Possible greater flexibility of H. sapiens in exploiting the resources at hand (for instance fish, hares).

It's difficult to evaluate but there must have been some competition, though there was probably also some punctual or sustained interaction. This interaction of the MP-UP transitional period is not as intense as the one we see in the "Palestinian period", at least at the Sapiens end of the deal. While in the "Palestinian period" our species borrowed Neanderthal technology, in the MP-UP transitional period, it was probably Neanderthals who borrowed Sapiens tech, what suggests a very different kind of dynamics.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"Similarly you probably need some good kind of tailoring technology in order to make decent tents, like the tepee type so common in the subarctic zones from Europe to America. "

Likely they had some kind of tailoring techonology, despite the fact they probably never used needles, or alternatively they used branches with leaves to dress their tents.

"We can't know. I also believe that it means a more steady period of intense inter-species community but we just don't know."

I agree. Unfortunately we'll never be able to know what happened exactly.

"My best guess is that inter-species reproduction was already difficult, both for biological and sociological reasons, and hence what is "surprising" is that there was some admixture after all. This leads me to consider some intense interaction in the "Palestinian period" (Shkull, Qahfez) leading to a semi-hybrid population that was still mostly H. sapiens (and maybe 10-20% Neanderthal). Some of these later would join the main migrant group in Iran or Arabia, before the Eurasian Expansion (explosion) happened upon arrival to Pakistan and India."

I agree in part. But then why they didn't seem to left descendants in Europe? There was for sure an interaction, mostly cultural relationships between the two groups, that if we accept that Aurignacian was made by modern humans and Chatelporrian by "acculturated" neanderthals, but not everyone agree with that model, because it's not clear who made the Aurginacian. Some even purpose that neanderthals made the Aurignacian because they received cultural influences from modern humans.

If taht's true then this means neanderthals weren't indiferent to new incomers. They could ignore each other, like a monkey or a wolf ignore a group of humans, but this wasn't the case, so there was some interaction also, although these are only theories, there's no strong evidence they coexisted in Europe, although recent dates from Esquilleu point out that neanderthals likely lived there until 25.000 yrs ago. By this time, modern humans were already in south-western Europe, so they likely met at some point.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"I think that the expansion on West Eurasia implies some degree of genocide, willing or accidental. Earlier too maybe (H. erectus?) but this is not clear as H. erectus really had already vanished from the record (excepting H. floresiensis) when H. sapiens expanded in South and East Asia and Near Oceania. But in the expansion westward there must have been competence with the Neanderthals who were there before, including Altai. "

I don't understand, if they (neanderthals and moderns) were fertile in the Middle East, then why not in other places?

In April, I read news from a paper by Jeffrey Long claiming that humans interbred twice with archaic humans: in the Middle East 60.000 yrs ago and in East Asia by 45.000.
The second group likely mated with H. erectus or another species from genus Homo, not neanderthals.
This study will come in November.

"1. Larger extension of the Sapiens hunting grounds (documented, cf. Clive Gamble 2001), which IMO are probably the result of anatomical differences (longer legs, light build of our species). "

I've already heard this before. Nothing to say.

"2. Possible social or technological advantages, such as the famous atlatls (quite demonstrated that Neanderthals did not hurl spears normally, while Sapiens, Cro-Magnons specifically, did often). "

I read that Shanidar 3 die because a "modern human" killed him with one of these atlatls, although we shouldn't forget there were many different "bands" of modern humans, and not necessarily all of them behaved in the same way towards neanderthals. Also, there's no evidence of a massive genocide, and it seems illogical to me, large genocides are basically an invention of colonialism, and colonialism is much more recent.

"3. Possible greater flexibility of H. sapiens in exploiting the resources at hand (for instance fish, hares). "

Not sure. It has been purposed that modern humans were "better" at all but neanderthals seem to be quite versatile, they also ate fish and basically all comestible food they can got.

"While in the "Palestinian period" our species borrowed Neanderthal technology, in the MP-UP transitional period, it was probably Neanderthals who borrowed Sapiens tech, what suggests a very different kind of dynamics."

This demonstrates neanderthals were already an advanced population, not inferior to us, and that they considered each other to be human.
Probably, when they met again in Europe, there were very few neanderthals, so moderns humans were able to took the land (but that doesn't imply they had a nationalistic view of it, that came much later).

Maju said...

My point was that, maybe, if in the "Palestinian period" it was Neanderthals who influenced us (no indication of the opposite AFAIK) and also who left their genetic legacy in us, but in the MP-UP transition in West Eurasia probably it was the other way around, so maybe it was us who left a genetic legacy in their ranks, as might be suggested by some ambiguous Neanderthal individuals, like the woman from Catalonia (?) whose blond reconstruction was so famous a few months ago. As the whole species went extinct eventually, that legacy can't be found.

Unsure but my best guess anyhow.

I don't think that wolves or monkeys meeting humans ignore them, not always at least. Certainly they need to know about us because we are potential danger, they can also in some circumstances befriend us (they are not insects: they are nearly identical to us and vice versa). But somehow experience and tradition (they also have some degree of culture) makes them distrust us (rather than just ignore). Similarly Neanderthals and Sapiens could have grow to distrust each other in certain cases, or to befriend each other in other circumstances.

None of us has ever seen a Neanderthal, much less a Neanderthal community. Hence we can know something about our range of behaviors but hardly that of our cousins. Were they aggressive like chimpanzees or sensitive like bonobos. Or a bit of each. The same questions we ponder on us but in this case without knowing the answer nor being able to re-formulate this question in terms that either genetics or archaeology can solve.

Maju said...

"I don't understand, if they (neanderthals and moderns) were fertile in the Middle East, then why not in other places?"

Fertility is not a white and black simple issue. There's a grey zone where fertility is possible but clearly weaker than within the species.

I suspect that the small degree of effective fertility in the migration period means that there was a lot of interaction for a long time, what overcome the incomplete barriers raised by speciation (separate evolution for a long time). It's just my hypothesis. In the colonization of West Eurasia, later on, the interaction was not as intense probably.

In a possible scenario, the migrating period contact may have gone through something like 40,000 years (between 120 Ka for the Gallilean settlements to the most common date for the Out of Africa migration, c. 80 or 70 Ka). Instead the colonization of West Eurasia took some 18 Ka from Altai to Gibraltar (assuming Aurignacian is Sapiens-made, what I think is correct). It's less than half of the time and less than a quarter if we exclude the last Neanderthal refuges in Iberia and wherever (Croatia I think). Also the territory involved was much larger and the dynamism shown by the dominant party was much stronger too.

By the was there was recently a paper proposing that Chatelperronian might not have been the work of Neanderthals but Sapiens. Not sure what to think.

"In April, I read news from a paper by Jeffrey Long claiming that humans interbred twice with archaic humans: in the Middle East 60.000 yrs ago and in East Asia by 45.000".

On what grounds?

"it seems illogical to me, large genocides are basically an invention of colonialism, and colonialism is much more recent".

My usage of "genocide" is possible less circumscribed than yours. Anyhow, in any case, what I mean is that at times there would have been hostility because H. sapiens wanted more lands and these lands were Neanderthal territories. The genocide I'm thinking of is more of a land-grabbing process which eventually dooms the losers to extinction (or more modernly submission and slave work sometimes). It's not something planned but a dynamic, whose accumulative effects would lead to effective genocide.

"It has been purposed that modern humans were "better" at all but neanderthals seem to be quite versatile, they also ate fish and basically all comestible food they can got".

Sapiens were not better at close fight, that's for sure. And they were not better probably in whatever adaptations Neanderthals had evolved to deal with cold climates. What is argued is that they could be more flexible minded, more agile and comparatively able to exploit larger areas.

There's also some evidence that Sapiens ate much more fish than Neanderthals. I had a very good link but lost it in time. Can't recall the author. Other evidence also points to much more common lesser game. Overall this made our species probably less dependent on climatic variations and other ecological uncertainties. I'm not sure at what stage is exactly the debate now but there was some major evidence deduced from bones.

You mention that Neanders ate fish but all I have read is that in the latest period, in Gibraltar they ate sea mammals. This might have been a copied strategy or in any case less common that would be needed for both species' strategies to be even.

...

Maju said...

...

"This demonstrates neanderthals were already an advanced population, not inferior to us"...

I don't say they were "inferior". Though from the strict point of the evolutionary competition they were because they are not around anymore and we are. But I think that this word usage is essentially wrong: they were probably "superior" in some stuff and very equal in most, just that in the long run and overall they were not as efficient as our ancestors.

I just don't think that superior/inferior are valid categories unless you can effectively measure the attributes you want to define as such. For example we have measured pretty well strength and Neanderthals were much stronger, so I guess they were superior... in this aspect.

But as overall species these term make no sense. I don't think I we can say we are "superior" to cockroaches, for instance: they have been around for much long than us and will probably be here when we are gone. Who's the "superior" one? I don't think we are superior to bonobos: I think they live much happier and full lives than most of us. However they may well go extinct 'tomorrow' because their economic intensity is low and we are perfectly able to take their land and trees from them.

"... there were very few neanderthals, so moderns humans were able to took the land (but that doesn't imply they had a nationalistic view of it, that came much later)".

There were probably as many Neanderthals in Europe in the Late Mousterian as Cromagnons in the Gravettian. The real demographic explosion only began after the LGM and we still don't know why.

We used the land very much the same and we used almost all the available land, logically. And by "we" I mean both Sapiens and Neanderthals.

So we hushed them away somehow. It would seem we had the "help" from some super-volcano in Italy (specifically in relation to the Franco-Cantabrian region) but the effect was bad for all, so it's more like we just took the opportunity before they could.

Of course there was no nationalist view but there could well be a tribalist view, what is about the same. Hunter-gatherers typically identify with their ethnic community, the rest are sometimes not even considered humans. This is the same as in nationalism, which is after all just an expansion, a modernization of very deeply running ethnic identities. Foragers are often very open (not always, the Onge are very hostile for instance and will spear any boat or plane approaching their island) but that doesn't mean they do not know the difference between "we" and the rest, because this difference is what builds up any identity and any roots and is critical in the formation of the human psyche and its understanding of one's place in the world, in life.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“My point was that, maybe, if in the "Palestinian period" it was Neanderthals who influenced us (no indication of the opposite AFAIK) and also who left their genetic legacy in us, but in the MP-UP transition in West Eurasia probably it was the other way around, so maybe it was us who left a genetic legacy in their ranks, as might be suggested by some ambiguous Neanderthal individuals, like the woman from Catalonia (?) whose blond reconstruction was so famous a few months ago. As the whole species went extinct eventually, that legacy can't be found.”

The woman from Catalonia? I’ve never heard of her. No neanderthal woman has been found ever in Catalonia (to my knowledge) only a few mandibles, but if you have more information on this, you can explain who is this woman, I’m very curious, this sound interesting :).

A few years ago, some neanderthal specimens were found in Murcia (Sima de las Palomas) the most recent ones (35-40.000) show some affinities with modern humans not present in older specimens. The authors think the most likely explanation is some kind of admixture with the earliest modern humans, but of course, there are other explanations. However, it’s very suspicious that the later neanderthals show more affinities with modern humans than the older ones. Of course, a genetic test could clarify this.

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/52/20631.full

I don’t accept an exclusively unidirectional way for gene flow, although many significative differences between the amount of admixture in the two groups (conditionated by their “social” status) may explain why we don’t see any neanderthal admixture in europeans but at the same time why some neanderthals show modern features.

“I don't think that wolves or monkeys meeting humans ignore them, not always at least. Certainly they need to know about us because we are potential danger, they can also in some circumstances befriend us (they are not insects: they are nearly identical to us and vice versa). But somehow experience and tradition (they also have some degree of culture) makes them distrust us (rather than just ignore). Similarly Neanderthals and Sapiens could have grow to distrust each other in certain cases, or to befriend each other in other circumstances.”

Well, yeah, of course. Wolves and monkeys can see humans as their potential enemies (or friends), but what I mean is that monkeys nor wolves exchange their “cultures” with humans, nor adopt their behavior, like neanderthals presumable did, nor they leave any influence in human cultures. Neanderthals (and humans) possibly imitated each other and exchanged their knowledge.

“Were they aggressive like chimpanzees or sensitive like bonobos. Or a bit of each.”

There’s evidence they were violent, for example, Saint-Cesaire 1 skull show injuries. But also caring. They took care of their elders and disabled people.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“In a possible scenario, the migrating period contact may have gone through something like 40,000 years (between 120 Ka for the Gallilean settlements to the most common date for the Out of Africa migration, c. 80 or 70 Ka). Instead the colonization of West Eurasia took some 18 Ka from Altai to Gibraltar (assuming Aurignacian is Sapiens-made, what I think is correct). It's less than half of the time and less than a quarter if we exclude the last Neanderthal refuges in Iberia and wherever (Croatia I think). Also the territory involved was much larger and the dynamism shown by the dominant party was much stronger too.”

Do you mean neanderthals needed 40.000 years to left a small imprint in our genome? That’s very hard! If true, barriers must have been very strong, much like those between lions and tigers (they went separated ways by 5 mya). But I think it’s more likely to think neanderthals lived in a very small and sparce groups and they rarely met. As you said, the area involved was large, and the bands quite small (only 10-20 individuals per band). Another problem is that neanderthals gone extinct by about 60.000 ybp in the Middle East.

“By the was there was recently a paper proposing that Chatelperronian might not have been the work of Neanderthals but Sapiens. Not sure what to think.”

There are many hypothesis. Some people think the Aurignacian was made by neanderthals, because no modern human skeleton associated with this industry has been found so far.

“On what grounds?”

They analyzed a sample of 2.000 people from all the world. The paper isn’t published yet, and this study received a lot of criticism, yet they said they found the same as observed by the team of the neanderthal genome.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100420/full/news.2010.194.html

“There's also some evidence that Sapiens ate much more fish than Neanderthals. I had a very good link but lost it in time. Can't recall the author. Other evidence also points to much more common lesser game. Overall this made our species probably less dependent on climatic variations and other ecological uncertainties. I'm not sure at what stage is exactly the debate now but there was some major evidence deduced from bones.”

Neanderthals were intelligent and well adapted to their environment, that’s for sure. I think it’s quite weird they were replaced by a group of African incomers. Many even argue that modern humans had nothing to do with neanderthal extinction.

“You mention that Neanders ate fish but all I have read is that in the latest period, in Gibraltar they ate sea mammals. This might have been a copied strategy or in any case less common that would be needed for both species' strategies to be even.”

What is quite claer is they ate a lot of meat (>80%). I don’t think it was a copied strategy, because there’s no evidence they coexisted in Gibraltar. Neanderthals lived in a very varied environments, maybe some groups didn’t eat fish while others did. It’s hard to believe to me they weren’t able to fish.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“I don't say they were "inferior". Though from the strict point of the evolutionary competition they were because they are not around anymore and we are. But I think that this word usage is essentially wrong: they were probably "superior" in some stuff and very equal in most, just that in the long run and overall they were not as efficient as our ancestors.”

I suppose this can also be applied to some human groups, mostly hunter-gatherers, who have gone extinct due to more or less natural causes.

“So we hushed them away somehow. It would seem we had the "help" from some super-volcano in Italy (specifically in relation to the Franco-Cantabrian region) but the effect was bad for all, so it's more like we just took the opportunity before they could.”

Quite logical. But another question: do you think all modern humans viewed each other as “we” opposed to neanderthals, who were “they”? Maybe modern human groups also had some fights and rivality, and it's not clear if neanderthal extinction was due to the arrival of modern humans at all. Maybe it was just one more factor.

“Of course there was no nationalist view but there could well be a tribalist view, what is about the same. Hunter-gatherers typically identify with their ethnic community, the rest are sometimes not even considered humans. This is the same as in nationalism, which is after all just an expansion, a modernization of very deeply running ethnic identities. Foragers are often very open (not always, the Onge are very hostile for instance and will spear any boat or plane approaching their island) but that doesn't mean they do not know the difference between "we" and the rest, because this difference is what builds up any identity and any roots and is critical in the formation of the human psyche and its understanding of one's place in the world, in life.”

Very nice. I mostly agree. But we should remember that “ethnic group” doesn’t mean species.

terryt said...

"AFAIK historical Australian Aborigines used little more than loincloths".

They had some method of stitching 'possum skins together.

"H. erectus really had already vanished from the record (excepting H. floresiensis) when H. sapiens expanded in South and East Asia and Near Oceania".

Dates for survival of H. erectus in Java are now given as 35,000 years ago. Certainly they survived in Java long after people had reached Australia.

"I read news from a paper by Jeffrey Long claiming that humans interbred twice with archaic humans: in the Middle East 60.000 yrs ago and in East Asia by 45.000".

That makes complete sense to me. In fact I have long suspected it to be so. Probably SE Asia specifically.

"On what grounds?"

I guess we'll find out when the paper comes out in November.

Maju said...

This woman.

Murcia is not Catalonia? Ok, just kidding. Somehow I got the places mixed up. Mediterranean Iberia in any case.

"The authors think the most likely explanation is some kind of admixture with the earliest modern humans, but of course, there are other explanations. However, it’s very suspicious that the later neanderthals show more affinities with modern humans than the older ones. Of course, a genetic test could clarify this".

Yes. Thanks for the link. I agree that it's strange that the last Neanderthals are the most "human-looking" ones.

I think it's from an older layer but I'm pretty sure that it's this cave also the one, the only one, that has produced ochre and perforated shells associated with Neanderthals.

While you probably disagree, this is issue of decoration and specifically perforating shells has been argued by some to be a characteristic of H. sapiens behavior (not something genetic but clearly cultural). Whatever the case it's giving us some sort of clues about the transition period in West Eurasia, even if we are not yet able to understand them in full.

"I don’t accept an exclusively unidirectional way for gene flow"...

There are some reasons why that may happen. Specially if a population is expanding and the other one receding.

It's for instance possible that the expanding population had several, maybe many waves (each one with their distinct culture or sub-culture, specially as we are considering very long periods). The members of the first waves would be the ones having the most intense contact and maybe even eventually merging with the natives... and sharing their ultimate fate.

Anyhow, we do not know exactly why Neanderthals died off. For instance in Iberia proper (south of the Ebro roughly), the latest Neanderthal (Mousterian) toolkits have datations of c. 32,000 BP and the first Aurignacian ones of c. 29,000 BP (correct me if wrong, please). What happened in those 3000 years? And not just to Neanderthals but also the possible hybrids. What happened to them? Was there an epidemic or what?

Maju said...

"Do you mean neanderthals needed 40.000 years to left a small imprint in our genome?"

So to say, yes (possibly). Maybe the timeline was shorter but in any case I mean that it was a very intense interaction in which we were pupils rather than teachers.

Alternatively it could be some sort of random interaction but I think the percentage is strong enough to suggest more than a single hybridation, probably many. This would not be easy with the social and biological constraints I have already commented. It's of course my opinion and nothing else.

"If true, barriers must have been very strong, much like those between lions and tigers (they went separated ways by 5 mya)".

I'm thinking in that kind of barriers indeed.

"If true, barriers must have been very strong, much like those between lions and tigers (they went separated ways by 5 mya)".

According to Tree of Life, only 3.7 Ma. It's still more than our species but we don't know the exact mechanisms in play.

If we were to compare linearly with other genera, humans and chimpanzees would be somewhat inter-fertile because horse and donkey are separated by 10 Ma and they have sterile but otherwise fully viable hybrids (mules). The factors for each species' pair may be different and there are also more subtle factors like mating preferences, which are not just biological but also cultural.

You say tigers and lions but they won't ever mate in the wild. Male lions will find female tigers confusing and give up easily. This is not the scenario where hybridization can happen, not easily at least.

In order to have 2.5% (1%-4%) of Neanderthal genes in us, the rate of successful hybridization must have been that high. That means 1 of each 40 surviving (and fertile) newborns was a hybrid. It's a lot considering how different we were and that both species did not probably ever lived in mixed communities.

IDK, "hybridization fans" seem to find this admixture easy to happen. "Sex happens" they say happily without pondering at all the circumstances in which effective reproduction, and even recreational sex actually happens in real hunter-gatherer lifes. I find it rather hard to see it that way and would expect near-zero admixture overall, as at least 99% of newborns in each community would not be hybrid (hybrids would be very exceptional, even in neighboring communities). So finding 1-4% is already a lot, something unexpected for me (however real). I would have expected anything between 0% and 1%, not more.

And considering that there's no reason to think that the migrant population expanded yet in the "Palestinian period" and that the migrant population in South Asia seems clearly related to MSA and not Mousterian industries (Petraglia 2007 and 2010), it means to me that, probably, there were groups in West Asia at the time of the definitive OoA migration that were much more heavily admixed, maybe 20-25%, some of which were absorbed by the main migrant group.

This core migrant population probably had very limited, if any, contact with Neanderthals directly (they probably went through South Arabia and found the mixed populations in Iran possibly).

"But I think it’s more likely to think neanderthals lived in a very small and sparce groups and they rarely met".

Certainly we know of no back-migration of Asian Neanderthals into Europe. But the sparsity was similar for both species. It was the migrations and the speed at which these happened what made the difference. And this I associate specially with leg length and physical constitution in general, as well as maybe other psycho-cultural factors hard to discern.

...

Maju said...

...

"As you said, the area involved was large, and the bands quite small (only 10-20 individuals per band)".

But bands are operative socio-economic units. This is not the community of a hunter-gatherer, which must be larger of the order of hundreds, maybe thousands, normally. The ethnic community would probably occupy a large region however and some of its members may never meet in person at all.

I'd draw the typical hunter-gatherer society as this:

- Band (20-30) operative group, camp. Easily gathered and disbanded.

- Local community (approx. 100-150), operates in a relatively large, self-sufficient, defined territory (a district or larger) is stable and at least partly exogamous.

- Ethnic group (500 to several thousands), united by language, traditions, culture... and also by intermarriage and maybe seasonal meetings.

Of course the exact sizes may have varied and in some cases a community and ethnicity would have been the same. But I would not think of actual stable social units as smaller than 100 people normally.

"Another problem is that neanderthals gone extinct by about 60.000 ybp in the Middle East".

I'm not so sure about that. Actually c. 60 Ka is when they begin thriving in the area (excepted a Syrian site all skulls are of that recent age or later). The transition in Palestine and Altai is confuse (continuity of layers between Mousterian and UP industries but with clear population replacement in both cases because of bone evidence) but the impression I have is that the presence of H. sapiens in Palestine cannot be dated to before 48 Ka and in Altai probably 40 Ka or so. So Neanderthals should have survived at least to those dates (roughly). 60 Ka is more like the Neanderthal apogee than their demise.

"Some people think the Aurignacian was made by neanderthals, because no modern human skeleton associated with this industry has been found so far".

This is not positive evidence of any sort.

Hoffecker argues (following others) that, as the conceptual source of Aurignacian, proto-Aurignacian and Bohunician is quite clearly the early Palestinian UP industries, which are unmistakably associated with our species, these must be a product of H. sapiens with all likelihood. This is indirectly supported by the specimen of Pestera cu Oase, who, even if not directly associated to any industry, lived at the Bohunician and Aurignacian core area of the Danubian plains.

For the time being and until positive evidence is provided, I'll consider at least Aurignacian as signature of the expansion of H. sapiens. The presence of H. sapiens in association with other "Aurignacoid" industries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, etc. supports this view pretty much. Not to mention that Magdalenian is (indirect?) product of the last Aurignacian remnants in Northern Europe.

"The paper isn’t published yet, and this study received a lot of criticism, yet they said they found the same as observed by the team of the neanderthal genome.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100420/full/news.2010.194.html"

Interesting. I had not heard of this. I'll remain cautious until I get more info because, while it makes sense, the talk of "subtle deviations" sounds like catching elusive ghosts. We should know much more soon, I'm sure.

...

Maju said...

...

"Neanderthals were intelligent and well adapted to their environment, that’s for sure. I think it’s quite weird they were replaced by a group of African incomers".

Yes. It's weird. What calls for these African immigrants having some type of advantages or, rather, developed them with time (as the first encounters did not hurt Neanderthal vitality at all) in cultural and technological ways.

"Many even argue that modern humans had nothing to do with neanderthal extinction".

Hard to believe, honestly. William E. Banks showed quite convincingly that Neanderthals could and should have recovered after the IE4 (cold period caused by the Campania super-volcano c. 40 Ka ago). But they did not, they went extinct instead some thousand years later in fact. This can only be explained because our species grabbed the land and resources before they could.

Hence the competitive pressure by H. sapiens was almost without doubt decisive in Neanderthal decline and eventual extinction. Probably the same is true at an earlier date for H. erectus in Asia (if they survived Toba at all), even if in this case the differences were larger.

"I don’t think it was a copied strategy, because there’s no evidence they coexisted in Gibraltar".

Sure but it's just some 1500 km to Port Bou. The strategy may have been adopted in, say Catalonia and spread along the coast. Even if Neanderthals were slow walkers, some hundred kilometers is not a huge distance, specially in long millennial periods of time.

Also we have the mystery of Proto-Aurignacian. Some 48 Ka ago, there was people (which species?) manufacturing something close to Aurignacian and similarly derived from the Palestinian technologies of Homo sapiens. The oldest PA is in Cantabria and Northern Catalonia, what is puzzling to say the least.

A possibility could be that a vanguard of H. sapiens arrived to these areas (via Italy?, Central Europe?), facilitating the absorption of techno-cultural aspects (and possibly genes) by Iberian and in general West European Neanderthals. Of course, it's slippery terrain but we should not ignore Proto-Aurignacian nor the other "transitional" (earliest UP) cultures in Europe, even if they were all replaced by "true Aurignacian" eventually.

What they say quite clearly is that from 48 to 40 Ka there was an irregular but widespread process of change in Europe. One in which our species was no doubt involved. How exactly that is more difficult to unravel. For Hoffecker all "transitional" cultures except Chatelperronian-Szeletian were made probably by H. sapiens but, of course, this is arguable.

Maju said...

"Quite logical. But another question: do you think all modern humans viewed each other as “we” opposed to neanderthals, who were “they”? Maybe modern human groups also had some fights and rivality, and it's not clear if neanderthal extinction was due to the arrival of modern humans at all. Maybe it was just one more factor".

Well, I have already explained above that there are many arguments to consider that our competitive pressure was decisive in Neanderthal extinction. Not that we physically killed to extinction (or even at all) them but we took their lands, their resources. No species or population can survive without that.

"They" were any others. I imagine that the ethnic barrier would be easier to cross the closer the other population involved. Some groups would have similar appearance, customs and maybe their language still kept some minimal intelligibility, reminiscent of an earlier divergence. These would be easier to adopt as us than those with very different appearance, customs and language (we see that even today). In the extreme of 'alienness' would be Neanderthals typically (or us for them).

"But we should remember that “ethnic group” doesn’t mean species".

Are you suggesting that there were ethnic groups across the species borderline? I would think that hybrids would be part of this or that species' communities, maybe even at some point there could be a distinct (but minor in size) hybrid-specific ethnicity but I don't see how the two species could converge up to the point of forming a single ethnic group without prior intense hybridization.

Maju said...

@Terry:

"They had some method of stitching 'possum skins together".

It's possible but can't be a quality work. You'd use strings (leather or vegetable thin ropes) but these would hardly be water or cold proof.

Still I can't say because I've worked with leather in the past and you can do some very nice work and will never use a needle. Maybe this is a wrong assumption and should be tested experimentally before reaching to conclusions.

"Dates for survival of H. erectus in Java are now given as 35,000 years ago".

Really? Interesting indeed.

Maju said...

I must correct something of what I said: Proto-Aurignacian dates in Cantabria and Catalunya are NOT 48 Ka old but 38-39 Ka BP (C-14 uncalibrated). After calibration it comes to be something like 43 Ka ago, not more.

So, please, disregard all what I said associated to this wrong claim. Sorry.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“This woman.”

No way! She’s a recent reconstruction made by the Kennis brothers. From what I heard, they used bones from a male to reconstruct her (...). She has nothing to do with Catalonia, nor Murcia.

“I think it's from an older layer but I'm pretty sure that it's this cave also the one, the only one, that has produced ochre and perforated shells associated with Neanderthals.”

I think you’re wrong, if you’re talking about this study:

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/1023.full

Yes, the cave is also located in Murcia, but it’s not the same one. That is called “Cueva de los aviones”, although in Sima de las Palomas they also found interesting things, like intentionally buried neanderthals.

“While you probably disagree, this is issue of decoration and specifically perforating shells has been argued by some to be a characteristic of H. sapiens behavior (not something genetic but clearly cultural). Whatever the case it's giving us some sort of clues about the transition period in West Eurasia, even if we are not yet able to understand them in full.”

I disagree in this case for two reasons:
1-The shells have been dated at 50 Ka. Assuming these dates are correct, by this time there were no modern humans living in the peninsula, nor in Europe.
2- Neanderthals seemed to be somewhat “curious” towards shells and snails. They likely collect them. Moreover, there’s evidence from various neanderthal sites that they used corporal pigments/tints like ochre to decorate themselves. With all this evidence, I think it’s not too “difficult” to paint these shells and use them for simbolic purposes.

Of course, if for example, they’d have found a 50.000 year old painting much like those os Lascaux, dated no more than 15.000 years in a neanderthal site, It’d be hard for me to believe.

“Anyhow, we do not know exactly why Neanderthals died off. For instance in Iberia proper (south of the Ebro roughly), the latest Neanderthal (Mousterian) toolkits have datations of c. 32,000 BP and the first Aurignacian ones of c. 29,000 BP (correct me if wrong, please). What happened in those 3000 years? And not just to Neanderthals but also the possible hybrids. What happened to them? Was there an epidemic or what?”

-In El Esquilleu they have found mousterian tools dated to 25-26 Ka only although these dates are still preliminary. The first Aurignacian found in the Iberian peninsula is older than 29 Ka, and nearly 40 Ka, although we don’t know who made these archaic Aurignacian. In Cova Gran (Lleida, Catalonia) they found mousterian levels at 38 Ka and aurignacian? ones at 32 Ka. Their conclusions is that the two groups likely didn’t meet. I don’t know, but it’s rare that neanderthals/ hybrids gone extinct 3.000 years before modern humans arrived giving the fact they lived in Europe more than 230.000 years although it’s possibly the best explanation respect neanderthal extinction.

What is quite clear to me is that not all neanderthals gone extinct at the same time.

http://terraeantiqvae.com/group/prehistoria/forum/topics/el-esquilleu-un-dormitorio-de?xg_source=activity

Maria Lluïsa said...

“If we were to compare linearly with other genera, humans and chimpanzees would be somewhat inter-fertile because horse and donkey are separated by 10 Ma and they have sterile but otherwise fully viable hybrids (mules). The factors for each species' pair may be different and there are also more subtle factors like mating preferences, which are not just biological but also cultural.”

Yes but to date no human/chimp hybrid has been found so far, although some scientits wanted to do experiments that consisted in introduce chimp sperm into a human female. Apparently they didn’t get pregnant or the experiments were forbidden.

“IDK, "hybridization fans" seem to find this admixture easy to happen. "Sex happens" they say happily without pondering at all the circumstances in which effective reproduction, and even recreational sex actually happens in real hunter-gatherer lifes. I find it rather hard to see it that way and would expect near-zero admixture overall, as at least 99% of newborns in each community would not be hybrid (hybrids would be very exceptional, even in neighboring communities). So finding 1-4% is already a lot, something unexpected for me (however real). I would have expected anything between 0% and 1%, not more.”

What’s even more surprising is what Erik Trinkaus (a recognized anthropologist expert on neanderthals) said:

“The fact that they found it across the board says that the evidence must be very widespread across modern humans," says Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., who has long argued that the human fossils he has studied in France, Romania, the Czech Republic and other places show mixed ancestry. "If you can find evidence [of Neanderthals] after 30,000 years of [human] genetic shifting, then it must have been pretty important or prominent then." Trinkaus speculates that the genetic flow between Neanderthals and early modern humans might have been as high as 10% to 20%.”

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1987568-2,00.html

I don’t agree with him. Maybe it has diminished a bit over time, but I don’t think it was as high as 10-20%, maybe just a 5%.

“And considering that there's no reason to think that the migrant population expanded yet in the "Palestinian period" and that the migrant population in South Asia seems clearly related to MSA and not Mousterian industries (Petraglia 2007 and 2010), it means to me that, probably, there were groups in West Asia at the time of the definitive OoA migration that were much more heavily admixed, maybe 20-25%, some of which were absorbed by the main migrant group.”

Well, that’s quite a lot. If they were 20-25% neanderthal then maybe they weren’t as different as we suspect? Or maybe the newer wave of H.sapiens were much more “straight”? I think it’s a quite good model, because there were humans showing anatomical affinities with our ancestors and living in the Middle East by 100 Ka, and in many cases it’s quite difficult to say if they belonged to one species or another, and Middle Eastern neanderthals are often classified as “progressive” unlike the european ones, who are “classic” or more heavily built.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“I'm not so sure about that. Actually c. 60 Ka is when they begin thriving in the area (excepted a Syrian site all skulls are of that recent age or later). The transition in Palestine and Altai is confuse (continuity of layers between Mousterian and UP industries but with clear population replacement in both cases because of bone evidence) but the impression I have is that the presence of H. sapiens in Palestine cannot be dated to before 48 Ka and in Altai probably 40 Ka or so. So Neanderthals should have survived at least to those dates (roughly). 60 Ka is more like the Neanderthal apogee than their demise.”

Thanks for this info, I was confused because neanderthals seem to gone extinct long? before in the Middle East than in Europe.

“Hoffecker argues (following others) that, as the conceptual source of Aurignacian, proto-Aurignacian and Bohunician is quite clearly the early Palestinian UP industries, which are unmistakably associated with our species, these must be a product of H. sapiens with all likelihood. This is indirectly supported by the specimen of Pestera cu Oase, who, even if not directly associated to any industry, lived at the Bohunician and Aurignacian core area of the Danubian plains.”

A study with teeth points out that Aurignacian was lilely made by modern humans and not neanderthals, although some still disagree. I think that probably we have no (still) unambigously proof that Aurignacian was made by new incomers, although we have even much less proofs that neanderthals had something to do with this industry.

“Sure but it's just some 1500 km to Port Bou. The strategy may have been adopted in, say Catalonia and spread along the coast. Even if Neanderthals were slow walkers, some hundred kilometers is not a huge distance, specially in long millennial periods of time.”

Hmm... but neanderthals seemed to take the most of all they found. They not only ate meat, but also turtles, snails, etc. If they were able to hunt a horse or a deer, then why not fish?

“Also we have the mystery of Proto-Aurignacian. Some 48 Ka ago, there was people (which species?) manufacturing something close to Aurignacian and similarly derived from the Palestinian technologies of Homo sapiens. The oldest PA is in Cantabria and Northern Catalonia, what is puzzling to say the least.”

Yes, it seems that oldest proto-aurginacian was made in l’Arbreda, Abric Romaní (Catalonia), El Castillo (Cantabria) and dated 38-40 Ka. As you said, it’s quite puzzling because the oldest proto-aurginacian? French sites are actually more recent than that, at about 30-34 Ka. If modern humans arrived from the east, then why do we find the oldest sites in the Iberian peninsula, which is located in south-western Europe? Alternatively, these proto-aurignacian was made by acculturated neanderthals. Some even argue that these sites are not as old as claimed, but this doesn’t seem to be entirely correct. They likely made this comment because these dates don’t fit well with the arrival of our ancestors in Europe.

http://arqueologiacognitiva.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html

“A possibility could be that a vanguard of H. sapiens arrived to these areas (via Italy?, Central Europe?), facilitating the absorption of techno-cultural aspects (and possibly genes) by Iberian and in general West European Neanderthals. Of course, it's slippery terrain but we should not ignore Proto-Aurignacian nor the other "transitional" (earliest UP) cultures in Europe, even if they were all replaced by "true Aurignacian" eventually.”

That’s quite likely. Or maybe is it possible that some H. sapiens groups arrived from Africa via the Gibraltar strait and Sicily?

Maria Lluïsa said...

“Are you suggesting that there were ethnic groups across the species borderline? I would think that hybrids would be part of this or that species' communities, maybe even at some point there could be a distinct (but minor in size) hybrid-specific ethnicity but I don't see how the two species could converge up to the point of forming a single ethnic group without prior intense hybridization.”

“Hybrids” likely grew in H.sapiens bands as well as in neanderthal bands. Probably they look something “rare” but quite normal within their bands, as they were able to pass their genes to the next generation.
Some people think that the flux was from neanderthal men to modern human women (sporadical contacts) yet this doesn’t make sense to me, because usually this flux is always bidirectional, (i.e. from modern men to neanderthal women). It’s also possible for some neanderthal women being adopted by modern human groups and vice-versa (modern human women being adopted by neanderthal groups).
Of course “pure” neanderthal and H.sapiens bands likely viewed each other as aliens, if we consider what usually tend to happen between two different ethnic groups. Probably as more different are two populations, more likely is they view each other as strangers or even non-humans (so, it’s more difficult to converge).

"I must correct something of what I said: Proto-Aurignacian dates in Cantabria and Catalunya are NOT 48 Ka old but 38-39 Ka BP (C-14 uncalibrated). After calibration it comes to be something like 43 Ka ago, not more.

So, please, disregard all what I said associated to this wrong claim. Sorry."

No problem :) This 38-39 Ka fits quite well with the arrival of modern humans into Europe, yet in East, not in West Europe.

Maju said...

ML: three of your four posts did not make it. I'd suggest you make sure in the future they did.

Post 1:

Maria Lluïsa has left a new comment on the post "Late human evolution maps":

“This woman.”

No way! She’s a recent reconstruction made by the Kennis brothers. From what I heard, they used bones from a male to reconstruct her (...). She has nothing to do with Catalonia, nor Murcia.

“I think it's from an older layer but I'm pretty sure that it's this cave also the one, the only one, that has produced ochre and perforated shells associated with Neanderthals.”

I think you’re wrong, if you’re talking about this study:

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/1023.full

Yes, the cave is also located in Murcia, but it’s not the same one. That is called “Cueva de los aviones”, although in Sima de las Palomas they also found interesting things, like intentionally buried neanderthals.

“While you probably disagree, this is issue of decoration and specifically perforating shells has been argued by some to be a characteristic of H. sapiens behavior (not something genetic but clearly cultural). Whatever the case it's giving us some sort of clues about the transition period in West Eurasia, even if we are not yet able to understand them in full.”

I disagree in this case for two reasons:
1-The shells have been dated at 50 Ka. Assuming these dates are correct, by this time there were no modern humans living in the peninsula, nor in Europe.
2- Neanderthals seemed to be somewhat “curious” towards shells and snails. They likely collect them. Moreover, there’s evidence from various neanderthal sites that they used corporal pigments/tints like ochre to decorate themselves. With all this evidence, I think it’s not too “difficult” to paint these shells and use them for simbolic purposes.

Of course, if for example, they’d have found a 50.000 year old painting much like those os Lascaux, dated no more than 15.000 years in a neanderthal site, It’d be hard for me to believe.

“Anyhow, we do not know exactly why Neanderthals died off. For instance in Iberia proper (south of the Ebro roughly), the latest Neanderthal (Mousterian) toolkits have datations of c. 32,000 BP and the first Aurignacian ones of c. 29,000 BP (correct me if wrong, please). What happened in those 3000 years? And not just to Neanderthals but also the possible hybrids. What happened to them? Was there an epidemic or what?”

-In El Esquilleu they have found mousterian tools dated to 25-26 Ka only although these dates are still preliminary. The first Aurignacian found in the Iberian peninsula is older than 29 Ka, and nearly 40 Ka, although we don’t know who made these archaic Aurignacian. In Cova Gran (Lleida, Catalonia) they found mousterian levels at 38 Ka and aurignacian? ones at 32 Ka. Their conclusions is that the two groups likely didn’t meet. I don’t know, but it’s rare that neanderthals/ hybrids gone extinct 3.000 years before modern humans arrived giving the fact they lived in Europe more than 230.000 years although it’s possibly the best explanation respect neanderthal extinction.

What is quite clear to me is that not all neanderthals gone extinct at the same time.

http://terraeantiqvae.com/group/prehistoria/forum/topics/el-esquilleu-un-dormitorio-de?xg_source=activity

Maju said...

Post 2:

“If we were to compare linearly with other genera, humans and chimpanzees would be somewhat inter-fertile because horse and donkey are separated by 10 Ma and they have sterile but otherwise fully viable hybrids (mules). The factors for each species' pair may be different and there are also more subtle factors like mating preferences, which are not just biological but also cultural.”

Yes but to date no human/chimp hybrid has been found so far, although some scientits wanted to do experiments that consisted in introduce chimp sperm into a human female. Apparently they didn’t get pregnant or the experiments were forbidden.

“IDK, "hybridization fans" seem to find this admixture easy to happen. "Sex happens" they say happily without pondering at all the circumstances in which effective reproduction, and even recreational sex actually happens in real hunter-gatherer lifes. I find it rather hard to see it that way and would expect near-zero admixture overall, as at least 99% of newborns in each community would not be hybrid (hybrids would be very exceptional, even in neighboring communities). So finding 1-4% is already a lot, something unexpected for me (however real). I would have expected anything between 0% and 1%, not more.”

What’s even more surprising is what Erik Trinkaus (a recognized anthropologist expert on neanderthals) said:

“The fact that they found it across the board says that the evidence must be very widespread across modern humans," says Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., who has long argued that the human fossils he has studied in France, Romania, the Czech Republic and other places show mixed ancestry. "If you can find evidence [of Neanderthals] after 30,000 years of [human] genetic shifting, then it must have been pretty important or prominent then." Trinkaus speculates that the genetic flow between Neanderthals and early modern humans might have been as high as 10% to 20%.”

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1987568-2,00.html

I don’t agree with him. Maybe it has diminished a bit over time, but I don’t think it was as high as 10-20%, maybe just a 5%.

“And considering that there's no reason to think that the migrant population expanded yet in the "Palestinian period" and that the migrant population in South Asia seems clearly related to MSA and not Mousterian industries (Petraglia 2007 and 2010), it means to me that, probably, there were groups in West Asia at the time of the definitive OoA migration that were much more heavily admixed, maybe 20-25%, some of which were absorbed by the main migrant group.”

Well, that’s quite a lot. If they were 20-25% neanderthal then maybe they weren’t as different as we suspect? Or maybe the newer wave of H.sapiens were much more “straight”? I think it’s a quite good model, because there were humans showing anatomical affinities with our ancestors and living in the Middle East by 100 Ka, and in many cases it’s quite difficult to say if they belonged to one species or another, and Middle Eastern neanderthals are often classified as “progressive” unlike the european ones, who are “classic” or more heavily built.

Maju said...

Post 3:

“I'm not so sure about that. Actually c. 60 Ka is when they begin thriving in the area (excepted a Syrian site all skulls are of that recent age or later). The transition in Palestine and Altai is confuse (continuity of layers between Mousterian and UP industries but with clear population replacement in both cases because of bone evidence) but the impression I have is that the presence of H. sapiens in Palestine cannot be dated to before 48 Ka and in Altai probably 40 Ka or so. So Neanderthals should have survived at least to those dates (roughly). 60 Ka is more like the Neanderthal apogee than their demise.”

Thanks for this info, I was confused because neanderthals seem to gone extinct long? before in the Middle East than in Europe.

“Hoffecker argues (following others) that, as the conceptual source of Aurignacian, proto-Aurignacian and Bohunician is quite clearly the early Palestinian UP industries, which are unmistakably associated with our species, these must be a product of H. sapiens with all likelihood. This is indirectly supported by the specimen of Pestera cu Oase, who, even if not directly associated to any industry, lived at the Bohunician and Aurignacian core area of the Danubian plains.”

A study with teeth points out that Aurignacian was lilely made by modern humans and not neanderthals, although some still disagree. I think that probably we have no (still) unambigously proof that Aurignacian was made by new incomers, although we have even much less proofs that neanderthals had something to do with this industry.

“Sure but it's just some 1500 km to Port Bou. The strategy may have been adopted in, say Catalonia and spread along the coast. Even if Neanderthals were slow walkers, some hundred kilometers is not a huge distance, specially in long millennial periods of time.”

Hmm... but neanderthals seemed to take the most of all they found. They not only ate meat, but also turtles, snails, etc. If they were able to hunt a horse or a deer, then why not fish?

“Also we have the mystery of Proto-Aurignacian. Some 48 Ka ago, there was people (which species?) manufacturing something close to Aurignacian and similarly derived from the Palestinian technologies of Homo sapiens. The oldest PA is in Cantabria and Northern Catalonia, what is puzzling to say the least.”

Yes, it seems that oldest proto-aurginacian was made in l’Arbreda, Abric Romaní (Catalonia), El Castillo (Cantabria) and dated 38-40 Ka. As you said, it’s quite puzzling because the oldest proto-aurginacian? French sites are actually more recent than that, at about 30-34 Ka. If modern humans arrived from the east, then why do we find the oldest sites in the Iberian peninsula, which is located in south-western Europe? Alternatively, these proto-aurignacian was made by acculturated neanderthals. Some even argue that these sites are not as old as claimed, but this doesn’t seem to be entirely correct. They likely made this comment because these dates don’t fit well with the arrival of our ancestors in Europe.

http://arqueologiacognitiva.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html

“A possibility could be that a vanguard of H. sapiens arrived to these areas (via Italy?, Central Europe?), facilitating the absorption of techno-cultural aspects (and possibly genes) by Iberian and in general West European Neanderthals. Of course, it's slippery terrain but we should not ignore Proto-Aurignacian nor the other "transitional" (earliest UP) cultures in Europe, even if they were all replaced by "true Aurignacian" eventually.”

That’s quite likely. Or maybe is it possible that some H. sapiens groups arrived from Africa via the Gibraltar strait and Sicily?


Post 4 did make it.

Maju said...

Replies now:

"No way! She’s a recent reconstruction made by the Kennis brothers. From what I heard, they used bones from a male to reconstruct her (...). She has nothing to do with Catalonia, nor Murcia".

They used bones of a male? WTF!

I think I got that idea from Mathilda's Anthropology Blog (rather inactive as of late). She says nothing about the origins of the remains but she does say that:

"Later (transitional) Neanderthals picked up modern human traits like chins and more complex burial rituals, and a few sets of remains do look hybrid. If you look at the more recent reconstructions such as ‘Wilma’ (from Nat geo), they don’t look massively different to modern humans".

"Wilma" is the woman I was talking about. If she's not from Iberia, where is she from? Germany?

I may be totally wrong but it's clear that these reconstructions show individuals with strong modern human looks in many cases, what can't only be attributed to the artists' bias (or can it?)

"1-The shells have been dated at 50 Ka. Assuming these dates are correct, by this time there were no modern humans living in the peninsula, nor in Europe."

Yes, you are probably right. They were living in North Africa though. And shell piercing and use of ochre in North Africa is dated to at least 90 Ka., one of the oldest worldwide.

"2- Neanderthals seemed to be somewhat “curious” towards shells and snails. They likely collect them. Moreover, there’s evidence from various neanderthal sites that they used corporal pigments/tints like ochre to decorate themselves. With all this evidence, I think it’s not too “difficult” to paint these shells and use them for simbolic purposes".

Yes, they used manganese and, at least in Chatelperronian contexts, they used shells for decoration (without holes). They are not reported to have used ochre elsewhere nor practiced holes, however I think that Julien Riel-Salvatore argued in a discussion at his blog that the holes were not artificial.

"The first Aurignacian found in the Iberian peninsula is older than 29 Ka, and nearly 40 Ka"...

Not south of the Ebro. Anyhow, here there are two different date types side by side 29 Ka (for Mediterranean Iberia) is BP (uncalibrated) and 40 Ka (for Cantabria) is BP-calibrated or real years. The first date represents in fact some 33 Ka ago after calibration.

The Iberian Paleolithic province does not include the Cantabrian strip, which is almost invariably much closer culturally to Southern France than to the rest of the peninsula and should be hence considered in the context of the Franco-Cantabrian province instead, not the Iberian one. North Catalonia is more intermediate and the usual transit zone (though in some cases, notably Solutrean, the cold plateau may have served for cultural/demic transit too).

"Their conclusions is that the two groups likely didn’t meet".

Probably.

"I don’t know, but it’s rare that neanderthals/ hybrids gone extinct 3.000 years before modern humans arrived giving the fact they lived in Europe more than 230.000 years although it’s possibly the best explanation respect neanderthal extinction".

It puzzles me too. And it's not one site: it's all them in Iberia proper (and, according to Zilhao, that also applies to the Chatelperron-Aurignacian transition - Mellars disagrees).

"What is quite clear to me is that not all neanderthals gone extinct at the same time.

http://terraeantiqvae.com/group/prehistoria/forum/topics/el-esquilleu-un-dormitorio-de?xg_source=activity"

Ok. Hopefully this will help us to understand the transition better.

Maju said...

"Yes but to date no human/chimp hybrid has been found so far"...

Sure. But we don't know of any real humans or chimps having sex with each other regularly, in spite of the happy claims of "sex happens". In this case, sex does not happen what means that the inter-species barrier is acting at a pre-conception level: chimps don't feel sexually attracted to humans nor vice versa.

But if you look up equids, with a similar genetic distance, sex does happen. So comparisons have some limits.

"I don’t agree with him".

Me neither. I find Trinkaus to be arrogant and misleading.

"I think it’s a quite good model, because there were humans showing anatomical affinities with our ancestors and living in the Middle East by 100 Ka, and in many cases it’s quite difficult to say if they belonged to one species or another, and Middle Eastern neanderthals are often classified as “progressive” unlike the european ones, who are “classic” or more heavily built".

Yeah, that's also part of my reasoning. I don't want to bet too much on the anatomical conjectures because they can be very misleading but it's part of the background of my reasoning indeed.

Maju said...

"I was confused because neanderthals seem to gone extinct long? before in the Middle East than in Europe".

Earlier maybe but not much earlier, specially if we disregard the "last refuges". The process of colonization of West Eurasia (and subsequent demise of Neanderthals) was probably a single one between 48 and 40 Ka, roughly.

"A study with teeth points out that Aurignacian was lilely made by modern humans and not neanderthals, although some still disagree".

Nice to know. Mozota is a 'Neanderfan' bordering fanatic. He writes a lot of interesting things but he has a clearly strong bias for everything being Neanderthal without any real support.

"I think that probably we have no (still) unambigously proof that Aurignacian was made by new incomers"...

It certainly spread very fast (in a period of less than one millennium) from Central Europe to the West and Italy (and with variants to East Europe too). This was favored without doubt by the IE4 event but also indicates a swift demographic expansion like no other in Paleolithic Europe.

We do have some strong indirect evidence, plus the teeth you mention which are a strong evidence too. I consider Aurignacian to be made by Homo sapiens until proven otherwise.

"Hmm... but neanderthals seemed to take the most of all they found. They not only ate meat, but also turtles, snails, etc. If they were able to hunt a horse or a deer, then why not fish?"

IDK. You have already agreed that they had a meat-strong diet. This stuff looks cultural rather than biological but it's clear that our species has a very long history of exploiting coasts and rivers, while Neanders seem to have been more inland and big prey oriented.

"If modern humans arrived from the east, then why do we find the oldest sites in the Iberian peninsula, which is located in south-western Europe?"

No idea. Looks like a group or two crossed Neanderthal areas somehow. Even if Neanderthal-made, the technology made apparently that crossing.

"That’s quite likely. Or maybe is it possible that some H. sapiens groups arrived from Africa via the Gibraltar strait and Sicily?"

Not impossible but: (1) the evidence for PA in Italy is not older than for France for instance and Sicily only shows a shallow true Aurignacian occupation at a later date; (2) similar problems we'd have to explain for crossing through a Mousterian and Neanderthal Iberia, not to mention that the Aurignacoid industries of North Africa (Dabban industry) are poorly documented (AFAIK not found yet West of Lybia) and may have no particular relation with PA (unsure).

So I'm inclined to rather think of a rapid migration from the Balcans/Central Europe.

Maju said...

"No problem :) This 38-39 Ka fits quite well with the arrival of modern humans into Europe, yet in East, not in West Europe".

Hmmm. Doesn't exclude the possibility of some avant-guard groups already. Uluzzian also seems to be Sapiens-made or at least immigrant (cf. Riel-Salvatore, PDF links in this post towards the end).

PA dates in Central Europe are maybe slightly older (or contemporary) than in SW Europe (ref. Hoffecker'09). However not much attention has been paid to PA in Central Europe, where so many 'transitional' (early UP) industries thrived at that time (also because it's somewhat difficult to take it apart from other Aurignacoid industries like Bohunician).

The same seems to be the case for North Italy (again following Hoffecker here). If so, we'd be with a PA expansion c. 44 Ka ago (calibrated) with the Cantabrian and Catalan sites being the westernmost offshoots. This would make some good sense indeed and would place the Neanderthal-Sapiens interaction in the West by those dates, rather than only at c. 40 Ka (calibrated).

Maria Lluïsa said...

“ML: three of your four posts did not make it. I'd suggest you make sure in the future they did.”

I’m sorry, I thought they did, because after I posted them I received this message: “el comentari s’ha desat” which means “the comment has been saved”, but when I post the fourth, the other three disappeared :P

"Later (transitional) Neanderthals picked up modern human traits like chins and more complex burial rituals, and a few sets of remains do look hybrid. If you look at the more recent reconstructions such as ‘Wilma’ (from Nat geo), they don’t look massively different to modern humans".

Chins? Did she said that because she was thinking in Saint Césaire 1? It has a small chin, but it’s a bit different than those of modern humans, and most anthropologists don’t think S.C. is an hybrid.

"Wilma" is the woman I was talking about. If she's not from Iberia, where is she from? Germany?
From what I know, Wilma is not based on any known neanderthal skeleton. It’s a completely invented work. The paleoartists likely looked at some neanderthal skulls to construct her, but there’s no neanderthal specimen called “Wilma”. They also made a male neanderthal.

“I may be totally wrong but it's clear that these reconstructions show individuals with strong modern human looks in many cases, what can't only be attributed to the artists' bias (or can it?)”
Of course! They look at Europeans when they reconstruct neanderthals. That’s because neanderthals have blonde hair and blue eyes, a nose shape like that of Europeans, etc. Unfortunately for these artists Europeans are quite different from neanderthals.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“Yes, you are probably right. They were living in North Africa though. And shell piercing and use of ochre in North Africa is dated to at least 90 Ka., one of the oldest worldwide.”

If that’s true, then these Africans could have influenced culturally Iberian neanderthals, which were geographically quite close.

“In this case, sex does not happen what means that the inter-species barrier is acting at a pre-conception level: chimps don't feel sexually attracted to humans nor vice versa.”

It has been claimed that AIDS was passed down from monkeys to humans because an human had sex with an infected chimp.

“Yeah, that's also part of my reasoning. I don't want to bet too much on the anatomical conjectures because they can be very misleading but it's part of the background of my reasoning indeed.”

Some anthropologists think neanderthals envolved in southern Europe, and then migrated to north Europe and the Middle East. If that’s the case, then why some neanderthals from the Middle East became less robust?

“Nice to know. Mozota is a 'Neanderfan' bordering fanatic. He writes a lot of interesting things but he has a clearly strong bias for everything being Neanderthal without any real support.”

I’m also a “Neanderfan” although I accept neanderthals as they are (were). I think all of us have somewhat biased views, either because some consider neanderthals like us and others consider them completely different. The first ones want to see that neanderthals behaved in the same way as modern humans, there were no differences, only prejudices. Personally, I don’t care if they didn’t make that or that other industry, or showed less interest in symbolism, although I get annoyed when some people insult them or treat them like nasty animals.

“We do have some strong indirect evidence, plus the teeth you mention which are a strong evidence too. I consider Aurignacian to be made by Homo sapiens until proven otherwise.”

Yes, that’s the most logical I think.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“In this case, sex does not happen what means that the inter-species barrier is acting at a pre-conception level: chimps don't feel sexually attracted to humans nor vice versa.”

It has been claimed that AIDS was passed down from monkeys to humans because an human had sex with an infected chimp.

“Yeah, that's also part of my reasoning. I don't want to bet too much on the anatomical conjectures because they can be very misleading but it's part of the background of my reasoning indeed.”

Some anthropologists think neanderthals envolved in southern Europe, and then migrated to north Europe and the Middle East. If that’s the case, then why some neanderthals from the Middle East became less robust?

“Nice to know. Mozota is a 'Neanderfan' bordering fanatic. He writes a lot of interesting things but he has a clearly strong bias for everything being Neanderthal without any real support.”

I’m also a “Neanderfan” although I accept neanderthals as they are (were). I think all of us have somewhat biased views, either because some consider neanderthals like us and others consider them completely different. The first ones want to see that neanderthals behaved in the same way as modern humans, there were no differences, only prejudices. Personally, I don’t care if they didn’t make that or that other industry, or showed less interest in symbolism, although I get annoyed when some people insult them or treat them like nasty animals.

“We do have some strong indirect evidence, plus the teeth you mention which are a strong evidence too. I consider Aurignacian to be made by Homo sapiens until proven otherwise.”

Yes, that’s the most logical I think.

Maria Lluïsa said...

"PA dates in Central Europe are maybe slightly older (or contemporary) than in SW Europe (ref. Hoffecker'09). However not much attention has been paid to PA in Central Europe, where so many 'transitional' (early UP) industries thrived at that time (also because it's somewhat difficult to take it apart from other Aurignacoid industries like Bohunician)."

That makes more sense. But Chatelporrian doesn't seem now to be made by neanderthals? That's quite puzzling but expected giving the fact that the evidence for a neanderthal autorship was quite scarce. Interesting oldest Chatelporrian tools are only 35 Ka. I'd expect older dates to be an exclusively neanderthal industry.

Maju said...

Now I hope all comments are in. It seems the latest Blogger "feature": they call it "spam filter" and some 28 comments were hidden in some spam folder which I did not know it even existed at all.

My apologies.

Maju said...

"From what I know, Wilma is not based on any known neanderthal skeleton. It’s a completely invented work. The paleoartists likely looked at some neanderthal skulls to construct her, but there’s no neanderthal specimen called “Wilma”".

LOL, that's funny. Everybody, me included, believing that Wilma was "real" (at least based on some individual) and is just a conjecture!

"Chins? Did she said that because she was thinking in Saint Césaire 1?"

Ask her. I really don't know. She's pretty much an expert in this kind of stuff.

"Unfortunately for these artists Europeans are quite different from neanderthals".

Totally in agreement. It's sad how art and its mediatic projection is distorting the facts of prehistory.

"If that’s true, then these Africans could have influenced culturally Iberian neanderthals, which were geographically quite close".

It's just a possibility I'm throwing here. I have no particular reason to suspect trans-mediterranean contacts at that time. Another idea I discussed in that post was that maybe they were just splashed by a wave of cultural interaction, which would be "decodifying" (mind-opening) coming from West Asia.

"It has been claimed that AIDS was passed down from monkeys to humans because an human had sex with an infected chimp".

Technically chimps are not monkeys because they do not have tail. :)

Anyhow this sounds to me as an urban myth. It was rather argued that it was eating chimps (a relatively common practice in some parts of Africa) what caused the propagation. Yet others will rather believe it's a lab virus and yet others that there is not such thing as HIV-caused AIDS (I've read retrovirus experts claim that). Nothing that can support what you say, I fear.

"But Chatelporrian doesn't seem now to be made by neanderthals?"

What I said is that there's been a paper (by Bar Yosef and Bordes, two big names) that casts doubt because of the location of the two relevant skulls. They argue that the skull from Grotte du Renne would have been dug in prehistoric times from a Mousterian layer when preparing the cave for habitation. The case for St. Cesaire is less conclusive anyhow but it seems to be the only known Neanderthal secondary burial, so it is at least intriguing because the skull was reburied. More at A Very Remote Period Indeed, which is a great blog by a professional archaeologist.

terryt said...

Interesting discussion on Iberian Neanderthal/modern transition you two. Thanks.

"However, it’s very suspicious that the later neanderthals show more affinities with modern humans than the older ones".

I have always found that a rather significant argument in favour of hybridization.

"horse and donkey are separated by 10 Ma"

Where did you get that figure from? I understand that even the emergence of three-toed horses from America is more recent than that (5-7 million years). The Equus genus didn't emerge from America until just 2-3 million years ago and so must have diversified in Eurasia and Africa more recently than that date. So it's no surprise that many of them produce 'fully viable hybrids'.

"According to Tree of Life, only 3.7 Ma. It's still more than our species but we don't know the exact mechanisms in play".

To me it's quite possible that humans have been a single, continually evolving species since H. erectus first left Africa some 2,000,000 years ago. Some ancient genes survive, others have become extinct. The only surviving haplogroups are recently derived from Africa, but that in no way negates the possible survival of older genes that arose in other regions.

"Really? Interesting indeed".

A couple of links:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/274/5294/1870?ijkey=18ad8bf61b2318074e3de1b24dc319766753bdd0&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

Quote:

"Electron spin resonance (ESR) and mass spectrometric U-series dating of fossil bovid teeth collected from the hominid-bearing levels at these sites gave mean ages of 27 ± 2 to 53.3 ± 4 thousand years ago; the range in ages reflects uncertainties in uranium migration histories ... The new ages raise the possibility that H. erectus overlapped in time with anatomically modern humans (H. sapiens) in Southeast Asia".

And this extract from a book:

http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=SopsLRo1QyUC&pg=PA190&lpg=PA190&dq=ngangdong+lewin&source=bl&ots=1OLrczHiPX&sig=NnzER7HWOl4dwBqblCuhgTJLD5w&hl=en&ei=BdaWTODhEIqosAPxrKjACg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Maju said...

"Where did you get that figure from?"

From this site. You enter two animals's common or scientific name in the search tab and you get a results with sources and everything.

For instance, chimpanzee-human returns results ranging from 2.7 to 13.7 Ma.

In this case it's based in mtDNA and the various sources range from 6.4 to 12.7 Ma. The largest figure is also the most recent one (and vice versa).

"I understand that even the emergence of three-toed horses from America is more recent than that (5-7 million years). The Equus genus didn't emerge from America until just 2-3 million years ago and so must have diversified in Eurasia and Africa more recently than that date".

Discuss with them, ok? It's obvious that the molecular clock method has some 'large uncertainties' to put it mildly.

And thanks for the links on Ngandong.

terryt said...

"It's obvious that the molecular clock method has some 'large uncertainties' to put it mildly".

Obvious. From the most easily accessible link, Wikipedia, the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_horse#Modern_horses

Quote:

"According to these results, it appears that the genus Equus evolved [in America] from a Dinohippus-like ancestor ~4-7 mya. It rapidly spread into the Old World and there diversified into the various species of asses and zebras. A North American lineage of the subgenus E. (Equus) evolved into the New World stilt-legged horse (NWSLH). Subsequently, populations of this species entered South America as part of the Great American Interchange shortly after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama and evolved into the form currently referred to as 'Hippidion' ~2.5 million years ago".

Earlier in the article:

"Molecular phylogenies indicate that the most recent common ancestor of all modern equids (members of the genus Equus) lived ~5.6 (3.9-7.8) mya. The oldest divergencies are the Asian hemiones (subgenus E. (Asinus), including the Kulan, Onager, and Kiang), followed by the African zebras (subgenera E. (Dolichohippus), and E. (Hippotigris)). All other modern forms including the domesticated horse (and many fossil Pliocene and Pleistocene forms) belong to the subgenus E. (Equus) which diverged ~4.8 (3.2-6.5) million years ago".

That puts the earliest possible divergence of horse, zebra and donkey at ~4-7 mya, most probably the later end of that period. So, longer ago than Australopithecus existed but still able to form hybrids, fertile occasionally.

eurologist said...

Maju,

Today's story on BBC probably interests you in this context:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11327442

Maju said...

Read it already, thanks. Could not contextualize the article however (were Petraglia's (and Stringer's) declarations made in an interview, press release, chatting at a cafeteria?) so I just let it go.

In any case, I am glad that he is now clearly saying that archaeology strongly suggests an older OoA date than the one Stringer and others so arrogantly claim based on nothing but algorithmic speculations. In fact many geneticists have been pushing backward that date he claims so secure in the last many years, while others have just been more cautious about adventuring any specific date at all.

What I do not in principle agree with Petraglia is about discarding so fast the coastal pattern of the migration. As he admits, there are yet only a handful of sites known in all the region, and also there was a very important sea level rise at the end of the Ice Age, which should have hidden any direct evidence of coastal flow. Additionally, Petraglia himself associated Jwalapuram to Southern African MSA, what does not seem related at all with the Mousterian industries we see in West Asia, also among H. sapiens.

Finally, as far as I know, the pattern of MP (and also UP) settlements in India does follow largely the Western coast, however the Eastern coast shows large blanks and the pattern of settlements eastward mostly goes along the Narmada-Son-Ganges riverine route (North) and also the Krishna River in the South. Both appear to be initiated near modern Gujarat and Mumbai and are consistent with the minimal effort migration patterns predicted by computers (a third route would be along the now submerged coast).

Maria Lluïsa said...

"So far I could only detect such potential "extra Neanderthal admixture" in Chinese, not Europeans. But it's likely to be a fluke. "

I've been looking to one of your posts about the neanderthal genome, and I think that all 7 non-africans show differences (if you compare two 'europeans' they don't show the same amount of neanderthal DNA either) and possibly more differences will be found if we take more samples.

http://leherensuge.blogspot.com/2010/05/on-some-details-of-neanderthal-genome.html

I have a doubt: they said the percentages are between 1 and 4% yet in the figure from these page, most percentages are at or above 4%.

"LOL, that's funny. Everybody, me included, believing that Wilma was "real" (at least based on some individual) and is just a conjecture!"

If you don't believe it, you can look at this site:

http://blogs.ngm.com/blog_central/2009/08/oh-the-lengths-we-go.html

"New research suggested that female Neanderthals were hunting along with males, so Shreeve and Velasco decided to make the model female. To feminize the BoneClones skeleton, the Kennis brothers shaved a millimeter off each rib and vertebra, replaced the male pelvis with a female one from Israel, and added female skull parts from Belgium and Gibraltar. "It was an incredibly laborious process," says Velasco."

It's a male skeleton + parts from three different neanderthal women. Wilma is like a machomanized neanderthal frankenstein.

I'll ask her (Mathilda), but judging from the skeletons, I don't think Saint Césaire 1 nor most "late" neanderthals look more modern as a norm. Maybe there are some cases, but most were still full classic neanderthals.

"Another idea I discussed in that post was that maybe they were just splashed by a wave of cultural interaction, which would be "decodifying" (mind-opening) coming from West Asia. "

That's likely, contact between different groups is always positive to incorporate new tendencies.

"Technically chimps are not monkeys because they do not have tail. :)"
Sorry! I get confused easily with the terms monkey, ape and chimp.

"Anyhow this sounds to me as an urban myth. It was rather argued that it was eating chimps (a relatively common practice in some parts of Africa) what caused the propagation. Yet others will rather believe it's a lab virus and yet others that there is not such thing as HIV-caused AIDS (I've read retrovirus experts claim that). Nothing that can support what you say, I fear."

You know HIV (the virus) can only infect via contact between blood of an infected person and a healthy one, or via sexual relations.
Giving this facts, HIV could be passed down from chimps to humans because an human had a very intimate contact (details apart) with an infected chimp.

"What I said is that there's been a paper (by Bar Yosef and Bordes, two big names) that casts doubt because of the location of the two relevant skulls. They argue that the skull from Grotte du Renne would have been dug in prehistoric times from a Mousterian layer when preparing the cave for habitation. The case for St. Cesaire is less conclusive anyhow but it seems to be the only known Neanderthal secondary burial, so it is at least intriguing because the skull was reburied."

Hmmm it seems that the only indisputable neanderthal industry was mousterian. We have different industries in Europe dated 29-48 Ka and presumable made by modern humans (Uluzzian, PA, Aurignacian, etc) and even possibly Chatelporrian. Why did modern humans invent so many industries in less than 10.000 years? That's quite puzzling. It seems no one is sure about what happened in Europe by these times, we only know how it finished: neanderthals are extinct.

Maju said...

"... all 7 non-africans show differences (if you compare two 'europeans' they don't show the same amount of neanderthal DNA either) and possibly more differences will be found if we take more samples".

Yes, but the differences are minor. (2.9-5.8) and the sample is also very small, so it's not really a reliable for any kind of detailed analysis. Also such minor regional variations may have been caused by random genealogical accidents (drift, founder effects) rather than reflect different origins.

"I have a doubt: they said the percentages are between 1 and 4% yet in the figure from these page, most percentages are at or above 4%".

Yes. I understand that the figures in table 4 (which I averaged because the same Eurasian individual is compared with several Africans) are "raw" and must be corrected. Some of the African-African comparisons show as much as 1.5% differences (plus/minus 0.7 error margin). So this should be removed from the raw figures unless you think that a substantial amount of Neanderthal ancestry back-migrated to Tropical Africa.

The smallest Eurasian-African "raw" value is 2.7, minus 1.5 equals to 1.2%. This would be the minimal amount of Neanderthal admixture.

The largest such value is 5.8, minus 1.5 equals to 4.3%. This would be the maximum value.

So in the end you have, roughly the 1-4% they said.

Not sure if they did these exact calculations but must have been something like that. They are in the end considering that some of the apparent matching with Neanderthals, the fraction found when comparing Africans to Africans is only because of our species variation.

However this does pose the question of whether the apparent greater matching of Eurasians with Neanderthals is not because of Neanderthal admixture but a founder effect accident. Probably not (I don't think so) but the possibility may exist.

Maju said...

"You know HIV (the virus) can only infect via contact between blood of an infected person and a healthy one, or via sexual relations".

But we usually do not practice cannibalism anymore, so the do not eat anyone is not listed in the medical prevention adverts.

In principle the virus propagates very poorly and requires as you say blood contact or equivalent. It's a lot easier that a man passes HIV to a woman in unprotected sex than vice versa, though both can happen. It's also a lot easier to get the virus in anal coitus if you are the "passive" partner, not just because you are the one receiving the fluids but also because anal penetration tends to break small blood vessels. That's why it was more epidemic among homosexuals than other groups.

But you should not share your tooth brush or shaving machine either for exactly the same reasons. If you eat poorly cooked infected meat you could also catch the virus.

Anyhow, I just stumbled yesterday on this article on simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), of which HIV is just a variant, and there are still many open questions, specially as the SIV seems to be extremely old.

"Something happened in the 20th century to change this relatively benign monkey virus into something that was much more potent and could start the epidemic. We don't know what that flashpoint was, but there had to be one".

(Or maybe it's not the damn virus after all, as some have proposed since long ago, as it's the only retrovirus that causes illness. Or maybe it was bio-engineered with mischievous intentions. Or who knows?)

"Why did modern humans invent so many industries in less than 10.000 years? That's quite puzzling".

They are related industries. More intriguing are in fact the flake industries of the East (why did they not use blades? did they use bamboo instead?). But sure, we are clearly an inventive bunch. I'd be surprised if we kept doing just the same kind of trick all the time, that would be unnatural.

Mousterian is anyhow a loose term. There seems to be a lot of different Mousterian industries (related as well but different). And I would not bet much for Chatelperronian not being Neanderthal at this stage of research, really.

"It seems no one is sure about what happened in Europe by these times, we only know how it finished: neanderthals are extinct".

Yes, pretty much that's it.

terryt said...

Thanks for the link Eurologist.

"What I do not in principle agree with Petraglia is about discarding so fast the coastal pattern of the migration".

I'm not surprised at all that he has discarded it. The coastal route has always had too many difficulties. From the link:

"Most of the tools are from far inland - hundreds of kilometres from the coasts. This means it was more likely humans migrated by land than in boats, he said. The tools are found in areas that are often very inhospitable now, but which at the time would have been much more conducive to migration".

Coincides remarkably with what I guessed all along.

terryt said...

"So this should be removed from the raw figures unless you think that a substantial amount of Neanderthal ancestry back-migrated to Tropical Africa".

I think it's quite likely there was 'a substantial amount of Neanderthal ancestry back-migrated to Tropical Africa', especially if you're prepared to consider the possibility that Y-hap E is an immigrant to that continent. We can be fairly sure that various mtDNAs represent back movement.

If there was a substantial amount of back migration the admixture level could have been far higher than 4%. That 4% is simply the difference between the African and extra-Africa Neanderthal contributions. Perhaps the difference between 46% and 50%.

Maju said...

Terry: Jwalapuram is by a river: the Jurreru river, a tributary of the Krisha river, which I mentioned before. As I said before the whole pattern of settlement in MP and UP India goes along these two riverine routes (Narmada-Son-Gages and Krishna) and the Western Indian coast as well. The patterns of mtDNA, in my understanding, also seem to fit pretty well with these routes.

This is something I have said from long ago: that the "coastal route" was not strictly coastal, that riverine routes (and in rarer cases pure inland offshoots) were also involved. This is transparent for anyone with a basic knowledge of Indian prehistory, which surely does not include some geneticists (those who read only their algorithms without the proper reality check).

But the obvious route from the Mumbai area to Karnataka, from where they took downstream beginning by the sources of the Krishna, is coastal and is dotted of many sites.

Whether the people from India arrived to SEA via the Narmada-Son-Ganges route or the southern coastal (purely coastal or almost so via the Krishna river) route, or both, is not fully clear. Even if "inland" Jwalapuram is at the "coastal route": they did not arrive there through Central India, where sites are non-existent as far as I know, but via the Western coast.

Maju said...

"I think it's quite likely there was 'a substantial amount of Neanderthal ancestry back-migrated to Tropical Africa', especially if you're prepared to consider the possibility that Y-hap E is an immigrant to that continent".

I am not prepared for that nor will be in my life. Not at all. Y-DNA E is a clearly African haplogroup.

In doubt, look at mtDNA.

"Perhaps the difference between 46% and 50%".

That's a total rant. You like to embrace the most impossible of ideas: the weirder, the better.

Maju said...

By the way, Terry, do you think that Petraglia would be researching in India, would it not be because Genetics is saying that there is where the homeland of Eurasians is? Where a key step in the expansion of modern humankind happened?

Maju said...

This book looks very interesting for the OoA part of the discussion. Sadly it costs 100 euros...

But look at some of the chapters' titles, specially in the part dedicated to Pleistocene Archaeology:

"A Middle Paleolithic Assemblage from Jebel Barakah, Coastal Abu Dhabi Emirate"

"Paleolithic stone tool assemblages from Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates"

"The Middle Paleolithic of Arabia: The View from the Hadramawt Region, Yemen"

I'd like to find out more on these sites (all coastal), specially dating and techno-cultural affinities.

And also look at this image (from Petraglia 2007, found here). Jwalapuram industry does NOT cluster at all with the industries used at Palestine or North Africa but Southern Africa.

I think that either Petraglia has been misquoted or he is contradicting his own work.

Maju said...

And I have also to say that I found that book via Petraglia's team's blog, upon which I stumbled accidentally (nice discovery): http://www.ancientindianocean.blogspot.com/

Maju said...

Sorry for posting yet again. I am posting as I think, as I read, as I find stuff. The blog is not specific of Petraglia's team but he is a conrtibutor. It seems a rather new blog with posts only since May.

In the first post , Michael Petraglia refers to his latest paper (pay per view). The authors argue that:

We suggest that modern humans were present in Arabia and South Asia earlier than currently believed, and probably coincident with the presence of Homo sapiens in the Levant between ca 130 and 70 000 years ago.

Fully agreed on my side.

As no Homo sapiens remains are known from Arabia Peninsula, I understand that the identification comes from industries, distinct from the Mousterian styled in Palestine, which would be alone rather inconclusive.

These should be MSA-related industries, the same as with Jwalapuram industry. It looks like an important paper that nevertheless has gone rather unnoticed.

It also seems to be the background of that BBC article.
They continue:

We show that climatic and environmental fluctuations during the Late Pleistocene would have had significant demographic effects on Arabian and South Asian populations, though indigenous populations would have responded in different ways. Based on a review of the current genetic, archaeological and environmental data, we indicate that demographic patterns in Arabia and South Asia are more interesting and complex than surmised to date.

This last looks most interesting but it is just outlined in the abstract. It may well relate (broadly) to what I argued in March: are we overlooking the genetic signature of the OoA by pretending it's all product of the slave trade? Is not the evidence of a most ancient flow from Africa quite apparent in Peninsular Arabia (rather than the Fertile Crescent)?

And, if so, how come can this not support the coastal migration, in the broad sense? Sure, the dates may be older than the usual geneticists' hunches but that is also what I have been suspecting all along and, alone, does not invalidate the coastal migration model, as long as we can understand in broadly and not narrowly to the letter of how it was first stated in 2006 (if my memory is correct).

Maria Lluïsa said...

“Not sure if they did these exact calculations but must have been something like that. They are in the end considering that some of the apparent matching with Neanderthals, the fraction found when comparing Africans to Africans is only because of our species variation.”

As it can be seen, the amount of neanderthal DNA vary a lot between two closely related non-Africans. If they only analyzed 7 non-african genomes, it’s still quite possible we can find non-Africans with a 10% and others with a 0,5%. I think they should have sampled more people, because there are 5-6 billions of non-Africans; 7 individuals maybe aren’t representative at all, and the study can be partially invalidated by newer studies with bigger samples.

“However this does pose the question of whether the apparent greater matching of Eurasians with Neanderthals is not because of Neanderthal admixture but a founder effect accident. Probably not (I don't think so) but the possibility may exist.”

No one is sure of anything; the only we can say is that apparently, non-africans are 1-4% MORE neanderthal than Africans. How could we detect if that was neanderthal admixture or a founder effect? It’s basically because of divergence times. If this 1-4% was already present in Africans, who diverged from neanderthals +300.000 years ago, then we should expect more “changes” between the shared sequences of neanderthals and non-africans; but it seems that the number of changes, apparently very few, are consistent with less than 100.000 years of divergence between neanderthals and non-africans, which can be only explained by admixture, because these two populations diverged more than 400.000 yrs ago.
John Hawks explained it very well in his blog:

http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/neandertals/neandertal_dna/african-population-structure-neandertal-mixture-2010.html

What about other Africans, such as East-africans? The authors only sampled Yorubans and San. It could be possible for some Africans to have some neanderthal DNA? If that’s true, then the scenario of admixture could be challenged. But , although no one said anything about East-africans, it seems that’s not the case. Jeffrey Long (study not published yet) sampled 2.000 individuals from all the world (possibly also different African populations) and they reached the same conclusions as Green et al.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“Or maybe it's not the damn virus after all, as some have proposed since long ago, as it's the only retrovirus that causes illness. Or maybe it was bio-engineered with mischievous intentions. Or who knows?”

The same has been proposed with H1N1. People like to think that there are evil persons who want to kill a lot of humans because there are too many people in the world. I don’t find it to be too realistic, but it’s my opinion.

“Mousterian is anyhow a loose term. There seems to be a lot of different Mousterian industries (related as well but different). And I would not bet much for Chatelperronian not being Neanderthal at this stage of research, really.”

That’s true too.

“If there was a substantial amount of back migration the admixture level could have been far higher than 4%. That 4% is simply the difference between the African and extra-Africa Neanderthal contributions. Perhaps the difference between 46% and 50%.”

I think it’s very unlikely. If Africans are about 40% neanderthal, their genomes would be much closer to those of neanderthals than is observed. Also, some if not many neanderthal mtDNA/Y-chromosome linages would have survived, yet what is observed is that they’re completely extinct, and diverged from those of humans more than 500.000 ybp. There are also significant anatomical differences between Africans and neanderthals, because the two have been isolated by a long time. Also, there’s no evidence that neanderthals lived in Africa, where H.sapiens originated.

Maju said...

"there are 5-6 billions of non-Africans"

Yes but all them descend by all (or nearly all) lines from the same small migrant population. This is something that has been pretty much clarified before.

"7 individuals maybe aren’t representative at all"

They are representative of non-Africans almost for sure. It's not like they are all cousins from the same town.

Of course, it will be interesting to test the results in a wider sample, see what happens in Australia, India, America or the Basque Country, in other Chinese and French, in Ethiopians, Arabs, the Aeta... but this sample is still representative.

"... and the study can be partially invalidated by newer studies with bigger samples".

It can be expanded, enriched, but I doubt that it will be invalidated at all because that would mean that seven different random people from three different continents and five different ethnic groups are extraordinarily unrepresentative of the common basic genetics.

What you are saying asks for a huge, statistically near-impossible, fluke. A practical impossibility.

Still it should be interesting to see the overall comparisons, specially in the Africa-Eurasia transition zone and in key areas and populations not yet sampled.

Anyhow, they are comparing whole genomes, what is resource-costly. Many of such genomes are already available in databases such as HapMap but the comparison is no doubt costly in terms of processing power.

The paper is anyhow entitled "a draft" what means that another more complete paper is coming soon. I think you are asking for way too much and way too soon.

"No one is sure of anything; the only we can say is that apparently, non-africans are 1-4% MORE neanderthal than Africans. How could we detect if that was neanderthal admixture or a founder effect?"

There's something called likelihood, parsimony, Occam's razor. But sure, the research and debate will continue. There's never a final stop in science.

I think that the conclusions are correct. They look correct and consistent.

"It’s basically because of divergence times".

It has nothing to do with divergence times. Only with divergence but regardless of time.

...

Maju said...

...

"If this 1-4% was already present in Africans"...

We should be able to detect it today. We do not. But it's true that nobody has yet compared with East Africans. Good references could be the hunter-gatherers of this area: the Hadza and several tribes of SW Ethiopia.

Some have argued (without any concrete evidence) that it may represent a Neanderthal or Heidelbergensis admixture in NE Africa and not in West Asia but that should not be a major difference in the overall facts.

"John Hawks explained it very well"...

Hawks like to take always a challenging approach. It's interesting but he's not always right.

In science you have to consider all possible scenarios for explaining any facts but you also need to consider the likelihood of such scenarios.

In this case, the use of two different African populations is very important. Because the Yoruba, like other West Africans, are not really distant from the proto-Eurasian population and they have many lineages shared with Eurasians: L3 in the mtDNA count and DE in the Y-DNA one.

Instead Bushmen, the other comparison point, had already diverged in full when the OoA happened.

The fact that both populations show the same values in relation to Neanderthals is a clear indication that there was no structure in Africa prior to the OoA in the sense of looking closer or more distant to Neanderthals.

This is important. Humankind is not split phylogenetically between Africans and non-Africans but between Africans and Africans and then again Africans and Africans and only then Eurasians show up as different branch.

If Bushmen and Yoruba coincide in some genetic fact as this, and Eurasians do not, it means we are onto something very specific to non-Africans.

Hawks is just ranting here. He makes some weird claims in bold type that are misleading, based on a very partial interpretation of the data and confusing terminology ("human reference genome" instead of the real thing: Pan-Homo MRCA, what is not "human" in the contemporary sense of the word).

While Hawks has better article, there're some reasons why I do not follow him. However, for good or bad, he's very popular.

"It could be possible for some Africans to have some neanderthal DNA? If that’s true, then the scenario of admixture could be challenged".

No. It would be just expanded or slightly modified. Yorubas are anyhow largely "East African" by origin (at such time depths).

"... it seems that’s not the case. Jeffrey Long (study not published yet) sampled 2.000 individuals from all the world (possibly also different African populations) and they reached the same conclusions as Green et al. "

As expected. Green's paper has some pieces that are confuse re. the timelines but the core of the research seems very solid, specially for a "draft".

It'll be interesting to see if there is some residual structure in the admixture as Green's data seemed to suggest anyhow. It should be something minor anyhow.

Maju said...

"The same has been proposed with H1N1. People like to think that there are evil persons who want to kill a lot of humans because there are too many people in the world".

There's a medical current that does not acknowledge viruses as cause of any illness but as mere symptoms or at most as triggers of an illness that was already there (stressed body and sometimes mind too). This is particularly striking for retroviruses, all of which except HIV, are trivial (they are effectively part of our DNA and cause no illnesses).

Also the Pharmaceutic industry needs illnesses to sell its products. This was very obvious in the Swine Flu scandal (billions of medicines preventively bought by scared governments for a most mild flu and eventually wasted).

But the issue is too complicated and much off-topic. I'm dropping the discussion here. I just meant that you can't reach to any conclusions based on viruses.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“They are representative of non-Africans almost for sure. It's not like they are all cousins from the same town.”

Possibly. But if in the sample one Chinese has a 4,3% of neanderthal DNA, and the other a 3,8% , maybe a third Chinese can show a 5%. The same the other groups. Maybe I’ve exagerated the percentages, but the % can vary a bit. Of course an individual with a 10% would be very difficult and unlikely to find.

“Of course, it will be interesting to test the results in a wider sample, see what happens in Australia, India, America or the Basque Country, in other Chinese and French, in Ethiopians, Arabs, the Aeta... but this sample is still representative.”

Yeah! If any population can show significant differences I guess it must be from the Middle East, Australia, North Africa or India. I don’t think there’d be significant differences between European regions.

“There's something called likelihood, parsimony, Occam's razor. But sure, the research and debate will continue. There's never a final stop in science.”
Yes, Occam’s razor. Despite that, I’ve seen (maybe in Dieneke’s blog) lots of comments claiming extremely complicated and nearly ridiculous models.

“We should be able to detect it today. We do not. But it's true that nobody has yet compared with East Africans. Good references could be the hunter-gatherers of this area: the Hadza and several tribes of SW Ethiopia.”

Apparently East Africans are more closely related to non-Africans, but they are an offshot of more ancient African clades (west and south Africans) not a different ones, which would be expected if there was a structure within Africa, with the East Africans + non-Africans being more closely related to neanderthals than other Africans:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/08/genetic-variation-within-africa-and-the-world/

“This is important. Humankind is not split phylogenetically between Africans and non-Africans but between Africans and Africans and then again Africans and Africans and only then Eurasians show up as different branch.”

I think that’s genetically quite clear in my opinion.

Maria Lluïsa said...

“While Hawks has better article, there're some reasons why I do not follow him. However, for good or bad, he's very popular.”

I follow him because I find his views interesting, but I recognize he sometimes can be biased, because he’s a multirregionalist, much like M. Wolpoff. For example, he calimed as evidence for interbeeding with neanderthals the microcephalin allele and a TAU H2 haplotype. Now we know these two alleles don’t come from neanderthals.

“It'll be interesting to see if there is some residual structure in the admixture as Green's data seemed to suggest anyhow. It should be something minor anyhow.”

And also I’d be very interesting to know if all these neanderthal DNA found in non-Africans came from the same source and it’s the same in all non-africans, or on the contrary, the DNA varies between individuals and can serve to reconstruct a neanderthal genome.

“Also the Pharmaceutic industry needs illnesses to sell its products. This was very obvious in the Swine Flu scandal (billions of medicines preventively bought by scared governments for a most mild flu and eventually wasted).”

I agree 100%. The virus maybe came from pigs, but WHO clearly got benified. I heard that many WHO labs earned a lot of money with that scandal. Really sad.

Maju said...

"if there was a structure within Africa"

There's some structure in Africa but it is diluted since early on probably, even from before the OoA. The main exceptions are residual hunter-gatherers, specially the Khoisan, who do keep a more marked and also older distinction.

Being highly over-simplistic, it can be said that L0 corresponds to Southern Africa, L1 to Central Africa, L2 to to Sahel-West Africa and L3'4 to East Africa. But in reality these clades are very much criss-crossed in reality: there is always and exception (or several) to this outline.

"I recognize [Hawks] sometimes can be biased, because he’s a multirregionalist, much like M. Wolpoff. For example, he claimed as evidence for interbreeding with neanderthals the microcephalin allele and a TAU H2 haplotype. Now we know these two alleles don’t come from neanderthals".

Pretty much that. Preconceptions and "burning nails". A common fault anyhow.

"And also I’d be very interesting to know if all these neanderthal DNA found in non-Africans came from the same source and it’s the same in all non-africans, or on the contrary, the DNA varies between individuals and can serve to reconstruct a neanderthal genome".

I understand what you mean. This should be fine threading. However I think, considering all the details provided so far, that is not likely to be the case at all: that a single shared founder effect is at play.

terryt said...

"This is something I have said from long ago: that the 'coastal route' was not strictly coastal"

Why on earth was it ever called the 'coastal route' in the first place then?

"Is not the evidence of a most ancient flow from Africa quite apparent in Peninsular Arabia (rather than the Fertile Crescent)?"

And I keep telling you it's not ancient. Haplogroups on either side of the Red Sea have not diverged anywhere near as much as they would have if the divide goes back to the Paleolithic.

"I am not prepared for that nor will be in my life. Not at all".

Like most things biological it's extremely unlikely that the real explanation for our evolution is simple. One of your quotes even says, 'demographic patterns in Arabia and South Asia are more interesting and complex than surmised to date'. As would be genetic ones. We've already noted in the comments here that the eastern Neanderthals became more 'modern-looking' than did the western ones. Parallel evolution is very unlikely to be the explanation for this divergence. If it were so why would only the eastern Neanderthals have begun approaching modernity? Gene flow is surely the most likely explanation.

If we accept this explanation we can then see that the spread of modern human haplogroups is not the simple single mark of modern human evolution, but part of the process of evolution towards modernity. This evolution invloved gene flow. So we cannot assume that modern humans are simply the product of the expansion of a single small group of Africans.

terryt said...

"And also look at this image (from Petraglia 2007, found here). Jwalapuram industry does NOT cluster at all with the industries used at Palestine or North Africa but Southern Africa".

It doesn't cluster with the East African ones either, which is surely what one would expect if they'd crossed the Red Sea. Perhaps they took an aeroplane. And a quote from the link:

"Our study, centering on archaeological sites across South Asia, and including new field research in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh, finds that microlithic technologies are much earlier than assumed, and go back to at least 35,000 years ago".

What? Thirty-five thousand years ago? That's hardly convincing evidence that humans reached Australia via India.

Maju said...

"Why on earth was it ever called the 'coastal route' in the first place then?"

There are several reasons:

1. First and foremost to differentiate it from the classical (but surely wrong) idea of migration via Central Asia (the 'continental' or 'inland' route).

2. Because it implies that the migration happened by South Arabia and not the Fertile Crescent, relying to at least some extent in coastal resources (beachcombing and such).

3. Because some peculiarities of East Eurasian genetics suggest a very rapid expansion eastwards from South Asia, which many believe was aided by the use of boats and exploiting coastal resources, at least in some areas (from Bengal to the East in particular but possibly also around India, in parallel to other routes).

But there were for sure also inland routes, riverine or otherwise (however not the inland route though the Central Asian steppary corridor, too cold and inhospitable for the tropical newcomers). The Narmada-Son-Ganges shortcut cannot be said to be coastal certainly and is for real. Some of the same can be said about the Krishna river route, even if this one does at least imply a route southwards by the Western Indian coast (well attested archaeologically, as far as I can tell).

Maju said...

"Haplogroups on either side of the Red Sea have not diverged anywhere near as much as they would have if the divide goes back to the Paleolithic".

More than in the Fertile Crescent and comparable to what we see in North Africa at least. I may go over this again eventually after I inaugurate my new blog A (still just a draft).

"We've already noted in the comments here that the eastern Neanderthals became more 'modern-looking' than did the western ones".

It may mean admixture (?) and it may even be the seed of the residual admixture we see in us. But I have already proposed that, possibly, a few from the Crescent Fertile population were absorbed by the main proto-Eurasian one, maybe at what now is the Persian Gulf, many generations before the arrival to South Asia and rapid expansion (with enough time to dilute the Neanderthal input homogeneously).

"... we can then see that the spread of modern human haplogroups is not the simple single mark of modern human evolution, but part of the process of evolution towards modernity".

While evolution never stops, it often goes in "sudden" jumps. Punctuated equilibrium is called.

Otherwise it'd seem that you are saying that people like Bushmen or the Hadza, or maybe most Africans (or who knows what you may be implying) are not "fully modern", i.e. fully human. That's ridiculous and seems to be easily dispelled by Anthropology (not to confuse with Anthropometry).

Similarly to the Hadza or anybody, the Homo sapiens of the past were in all or nearly all like we are now. Of course things have changed very fast in the last few millennia and specially in the last one or two centuries but this change is cultural and technological, not biological.

There's no such thing as "modernity" in a biological sense: there is a species called Homo sapiens and there is a genus called Homo. And we all belong to these categories equally, presently and in the past. "Modernity" (a category I deeply dislike) is if anything a cultural category because after all most of what we are is because we learn (or even "absorb") it, specially in childhood.

Maju said...

"It doesn't cluster with the East African ones either"...

Yes, and that is very interesting, don't you think? It's only two sites anyhow the ones representing East African MSA, what I find lacking (where are the Sudan or Kenya sites? Ethiopia, Eritrea?) Maybe a better understanding (or analysis?) of MSA would help us to comprehend not just this matter but also the mysteries regarding several L0 sublineages, spread to Southern Africa but also to the Upper Nile and South Arabia more or less at the time of the OoA.

"What? Thirty-five thousand years ago?"

That's another project or at least layer, please! I am unaware that Indian or any other microlithic industry ever reached Australia. But I am very aware that the Jwalapuram "MSA" is from pre-Toba dates. And there may be other sites pointing to even older human presence in South Asia (stone blades as early as 103,000 BP, the oldest ever).

Anyhow, this research, which appears to show that the oldest microlithism evolved in India, some 10 or 15 thousand years after the migrations to West Eurasia, clearly outlines the importance of the subcontinent in the technological and cultural developments in the whole Eurasia and probably the whole Old World eventually, as both key technological advances (blades, hallmark of mode 4, and microliths, hallmark of Epipaleolithic/Mesolithic) appeared there first of all, and it seems that a lot earlier than anywhere else.

Maria Lluïsa said...

Maju, do you have read this?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921171412.htm

"My conclusion is that if the Uluzzian is a Neanderthal culture it suggests that contacts with modern humans are not necessary to explain the origin of this new behavior. This stands in contrast to the ideas of the past 50 years that Neanderthals had to be acculturated to humans to come up with this technology," he said. "When we show Neanderthals could innovate on their own it casts them in a new light. It `humanizes' them if you will."

Maju said...

Had not read that yet. And he was never that specific about who made the Uluzzian in his blog or the two papers linked in it.

In fact he talks of Uluzzian being an outsider, immigrant culture, and of Mousterian surviving in Central Italy and acting as buffer between Uluzzian and Proto-Aurignacian. This of course can be interpreted as both cultures being of H. sapiens creation, as Hoffecker argues. But well... unless bones, preferably skulls, are found we are not going to find out.

This would be important to understand but neither Riel-Salvatore nor Hoffecker nor anybody else seems to be able to answer properly. But as far as I can tell, Hoffecker has a slightly stronger case (perforated shell ornaments in Uluzzian as in other Sapiens cultures - inconclusive anyhow).

I'd bring this part of the discussion to Julien's blog, specifically where he discusses/mentions the counter-argumentation on the contermporary Chatelperronian maybe not being Neanderthal after all.

This is something I have always wondered about because the main site in my family's ancestral district, Santimamiñe, has a very complete archaeological record of from Chatelperronian to the Iron Age. But there is no Mousterian layer- Mousterian is in fact very rare in the Basque Country, while Chatelperronian is common. Why? Maybe there was an ecological difference associated?

However in other parts of the Franco-Cantabrian region there is some Mousterian (and fossil Neanderthal) presence indeed.

So I don't really know what to think. Time machine, where are you?! :)

terryt said...

"There are several reasons"

None of which make sense.

"Y-DNA E is a clearly African haplogroup".

I can't see how you can be so certain of that. The belief demands that you next accept either that Y-hap CF remained in Africa until DE split off, or that Y-hap CF moved out of Africa on its own, leaving no descendants in that continent or along the way. If C and F remained in Africa until D had formed we still have the situation where not one of these three haplogroups left any survivors in Africa or along the way. Apart from some F-derived haplogroups their descendants are found only way, way off to the east.

So what happens if we're prepared to accept the apparently unacceptable hypothesis that E is an immigrant to Africa? For a start it's now easy to envisage a region where all four haplogroups might have developed in isolation as part of a single population. The region may have been extensive, but it wasn't centred on Africa. But we now have no need to postulate long-distance migration which left no descendants along the way.

When we turn to the evidence of Y-hap E itself we see that the surviving haplogroups basically form two clusters: one concentrated along the eastern and northern coast of Africa, including the Horn (E1b1b), the other through the rest of Africa (E1b1a). When we look more deeply into E's origins we find E1b's relation, E1a, concentrated in West Africa and E2, like E1b as a whole, spread through much of Africa.

Surely it's quite easy to envisage a scenario where Y-hap E entered Africa, either via the Levant or across the Bab al Mandab, and then spread rapidly all through Africa leaving near its entrance the version of E1 that would become E1b1b.

The most likely scenario is that E had developed in, and eventually spread from, the southeast margin of a region the descendants of CT had occupied for some time. As I said, the region may have been extensive, but it wasn't centred in Africa.

But back to the possible introduction of Asian genes into Africa. We are yet to consider Y-hap R1b or mtDNAs M2, N1/I, N2, U etc. I'll grant these became nowhere near as widespread as Y-hap E, but they certainly introduced Asian genes into Africa. The study is not able to distinguish these genes from the more ancient genes shared from before the OoA.

terryt said...

"The most likely scenario is that E had developed in, and eventually spread from, the southeast margin"

Silly me. Southwest margin of course.

Maju said...

"I can't see how you can be so certain of that".

I am pretty sure I have discussed the origins of E and DE before with you.

"The belief demands that you next accept either that Y-hap CF remained in Africa until DE split off, or that Y-hap CF moved out of Africa on its own, leaving no descendants in that continent or along the way".

I am of the second opinion. E is and would have been without the OoA migration the main descendant of CDEF or Y(xA,B). In fact there would be no CF nor D without the OoA because the carriers would have been drifted out by the E-carrying majority, as happened in fact in Africa and happens with other haplogroups.

Your argument on "no descendants" is trivial and absurd and only shows your lack of comprehension of the mechanisms of genetic drift. Most lineages just don't leave any unilineal descendant in the long run, only a few do and these are typically the ones which have the largest numbers to begin with (mere probabilistic maths).

CF and D (or pre-D DE*) are founder effects, founder effects that could only thrive (disregarding flukes) after emigration to a new promising land. E is in any case clearly most diverse (by large) in Africa and is only found in Eurasia, almost only in West Eurasia, as very derived lineages and in small numbers.

Additionally DE* has been found in more diverse populations in Africa as well, in spite of the very poor sampling of that region, specially of Sudan.

And additionally there is all the mtDNA and the archaeological registry which do not support any important back-migration to Africa other than the North and to a much lesser extent The Horn.

"If C and F remained in Africa until D had formed"...

That should not be the case for two reasons:

1. Some DE* has also been found in Tibet, quite clearly saying that D did not evolve in Africa but in East Asia.

2. CF surely coalesced (from CDEF) in West Asia in the OoA migration process, which may have taken many millennia. Then F, of course, coalesced in South Asia and C in SE Asia already in the Eurasian expansion process.

So the OoA migration included two Y-DNA lineages (at least): CF and DE (most of the surviving DE in Eurasia is D, what is trivial information if you can swim well in the waters of genetics and their drift).

So what we are seeing here is that the early OoA, the migration to Arabia, included possibly two waves:

1. CDEF carriers coalescing into CF (in Africa into DE)

2. DE carriers when the migration was already about to jump to South and East Asia, coalescing eventually into D (in Africa into E).

The survival of D in Eurasia (and of C really too) can only be explained by a fast migration from Arabia to SE Asia, which is best explained probably by the coastal migration model senso stricto. In fact it was the first genetic argument in favor of the rapid coastal model. This allowed the two haplogroups (sequentially or jointly) to establish themselves as the oldest male founder lineages in East Asia, being some time later overwhelmed in part by the dominant clade F (in East Asia mostly MNOPS) but not to the point of extinction because they had already consolidated their existence.

In many senses, C and D are comparable in Eurasia to A and B in Africa (though the former are more recent than the latter): peripheral founder effect haplogroups later displaced by the respective continental dominant clades: F in Eurasia and E in Africa. Both F and E coalesced precisely in the key regions of human expansion: South Asia and East Africa (Nile area surely), which were particularly dynamic and exuberant for whichever reason (richer ecology/economy probably), being able to send offshoot after offshoot to "dominate the World".

Maju said...

"So what happens if we're prepared to accept the apparently unacceptable hypothesis that E is an immigrant to Africa?"

That we lack the corresponding mtDNA anywhere, that we lack the corresponding archaeological record, that we lack everything that could support such idea including a potential homeland for E outside Africa, where it'd be most diverse.

"For a start it's now easy to envisage a region where all four haplogroups might have developed in isolation as part of a single population".

There's no such thing as "four haplogroups" at time of the OoA: there is two (CF and DE) or three (C, F and DE). D clearly only coalesced from a probably very accidental founder effect once in East Asia. The finding of DE* in Tibet, as well as in Africa, clearly tells of DE being the migrant, not D yet.

"E2, like E1b as a whole, spread through much of Africa".

I am not aware of E2 existing in North Africa, much less outside of Africa. Wikipedia: "E2 (M75) is present throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, in East Africa, Southern Africa, Central Africa, and West Africa". No mention of North Africa nor anywhere outside Africa.

... "E1a, concentrated in West Africa"... "two clusters: one concentrated along the eastern and northern coast of Africa, including the Horn (E1b1b), the other through the rest of Africa (E1b1a)"...

Sorry to reverse the order of your sentence but you are looking at E upside down, so it was very much needed.

The correct approach is:

> E*
> E1
>> E1*
>> E1a
>>> E1a subclades (several)
>> E1b
>>> E1b*
>>> E1b1
>>>>> E1b1*
>>>>> E1b1a
>>>>> E1b1b
>>>>> E1b1b2
> E2
>> E2a
>> E2b
>>> E2b subclades (several)

Only very derived branches (E1b1a and E1b1b) corresponds with your "two clusters" of E, which are in fact two cluster of a very derived branch: E1b1, three phylogenetic steps downstream of E. It may seem little to you but it is not, because all that branched out between E and E1b1 is only found in Africa South of the Sahara.

This alone confirms that E is an African haplogroup and all the rest is wasting my time.

"As I said, the region may have been extensive, but it wasn't centred in Africa".

The region of spread of E is clearly centered in Africa. The most likely origin of E is at Upper Nile. This is also the most likely origin of the mtDNA that can be associated to the expansion of E: L3'4. The other haplogroup associated to E, L2 surely coalesced a little bit more to the West, in the Chad area but in Africa in any case.

"But back to the possible introduction of Asian genes into Africa. We are yet to consider Y-hap R1b or mtDNAs M2, N1/I, N2, U etc. I'll grant these became nowhere near as widespread as Y-hap E, but they certainly introduced Asian genes into Africa".

They obviously reflect another process: one (or maybe several) with very limited impact. Most of the mtDNA lineages you mention are not found (or are extremely rare) in Africa South of the Sahara. Only M1 (not M2) is found there at some frequencies but almost only in East Africa with very limited presence anyhow outside The Horn.

"The study is not able to distinguish these genes from the more ancient genes shared from before the OoA".

What study?

Maria Lluïsa said...

"This is something I have always wondered about because the main site in my family's ancestral district, Santimamiñe, has a very complete archaeological record of from Chatelperronian to the Iron Age. But there is no Mousterian layer- Mousterian is in fact very rare in the Basque Country, while Chatelperronian is common. Why? Maybe there was an ecological difference associated?"

This may be used as evidence against a neanderthal origin for Chatelperronian. If patterns of occupation differ greatly between Mousterian and Chatelperronian, it's a clear indication to me that these two industries were made by different peoples.
It's also somewhat suprising that neanderthals, despite using Chatelperronian by most of their existence (about 200.000 years), invented another industry when they were nearly extinct. It's quite suspicious, that if Chatelperronian is of neanderthal origin, then it has some relationship with the arrival of modern humans in Europe. If not, why didn't neanderthals invent this industry much earlier?

After all, it's also possible that Chatelperronian is just a variation within Mousterian, as not all Mousterian is uniform and can vary quite a lot between different sites and times.

Maju said...

"If patterns of occupation differ greatly between Mousterian and Chatelperronian, it's a clear indication to me that these two industries were made by different peoples".

Sure. But, as I said, there are other areas on which there may be better "continuity". I cannot judge this really at my current level of knowledge.

Also one could imagine Neanderthal migrations or cultural processes triggering expansions. For instance the Chatelperronian might be an offshoot of Szeletian, implying an UP Neanderthal migration (on whatever correlation with pre-existant local Neanderthals) from Central Europe. Of course the Szeletian might also be an offshoot of Chatelperronian (I can't judge this matter right now because I have not studied it the least).

One could even argue for UP Neanderthals having migrating from West Asia, maybe fleeing Sapiens pressure with the new mode 4 technologies. Again I cannot judge how solid might be this conjecture, just brainstorming a bit.

The matter probably deserves a good research but I am not aware of it being done. If you know of any such study...

"It's also somewhat suprising that neanderthals, despite using Chatelperronian [Mousterian, right?] by most of their existence (about 200.000 years), invented another industry when they were nearly extinct".

Well, this could be explained by the very expansion of Sapiens westward with mode 4 (blade) tech. Neanderthals would have then just adopted a (presumably and arguably) more effective tech, what is something people do all the time. Earlier they would not have felt the need or maybe not even knew of stone blades (though there's one brief stage in Palestinian Mousterian, with Neanderthal, that includes some blades along with very rustic tools some 60 Ka ago, Amoudian I think it's called).

Very difficult to judge, specially not being a professional prehistorian or otherwise having researched the matter in great depth and detail.

"After all, it's also possible that Chatelperronian is just a variation within Mousterian"...

No. There is technical qualitative jump between mode 3 (Mousterian and other) and mode 4 (blade technologies), much more than between mode 4 and mode 5 (microliths, which are mostly a reduction in size of mode 4 tools). See here for Clark's modes. Also, mode 4 evolved, it seems, first in South Asia (at least pre-Toba probably c. 105 Ka ago) and probably relates to the expansion of H. sapiens. But notice that East Eurasian cultures took some time before adopting it, (oldest may be Hoabinhian, which may be dated 30-35 Ka ago, then some Mongolia sites are known c. 20 Ka), so H. sapiens first expansion eastward happened before mode 4 became generalized even in South Asia. However the expansion westward, which is clearly more recent, was strictly associated to blade technology, from Altai to North Africa, from Palestine to Europe.

The question remains open on Neanderthals adopting it at least in some cases. Chatelperronian and the mentioned Amoudian are the most clear cases but neither one is 100% clear.

"... why didn't neanderthals invent this industry much earlier?"

Technology does not appear alone, it follows a process. Sometimes an invention is made but is mostly useless until other circumstances change and make it useful. For instance steam power was known from antiquity and some Greek even invented a machine... which was never put to any use. Many centuries later that same concept changed the whole economy and society worldwide.

In any case Neanderthals surely did not invent mode 4, they probably adopted it (if they did) from H. sapiens. And they probably did for a very pragmatic reason: efficiency in the context of a changing reality.

terryt said...

"I am of the second opinion" [that Y-hap CF moved out of Africa on its own, leaving no descendants in that continent or along the way].

That seems pretty unlikely to me.

"Your argument on 'no descendants' is trivial and absurd and only shows your lack of comprehension of the mechanisms of genetic drift".

But once you're prepared to use 'drift' as an excuse to explain inconvenient evidence you can justify any belief, such as that humans evolved in America. Try looking at the evidence without invoking drift.

"Additionally DE* has been found in more diverse populations in Africa as well"

Which merely suggests the migration happened soon after the formation of D and E as separate haplogroups. Memebrs of DE were carried along.

"Some DE* has also been found in Tibet, quite clearly saying that D did not evolve in Africa but in East Asia".

And, using the same line of argument, it's clearly saying that DE did not evolve in Africa either. So quite possibly CF didn't either.

"CF surely coalesced (from CDEF) in West Asia in the OoA migration process"

Probably after the OoA migration process.

"So the OoA migration included two Y-DNA lineages (at least)"

I disagree. Most likely it involved just one Y-DNA lineage: CT.

"The survival of D in Eurasia (and of C really too) can only be explained by a fast migration from Arabia to SE Asia, which is best explained probably by the coastal migration model senso stricto. In fact it was the first genetic argument in favor of the rapid coastal model".

Only needs to be 'explained' if you insist on inventing such a migration. And that's where I can agree with your one of your earlier arguments supporting the name 'southern coastal migration':

"Because some peculiarities of East Eurasian genetics suggest a very rapid expansion eastwards from South Asia, which many believe was aided by the use of boats and exploiting coastal resources".

The 'southern coastal migration theory' was invented precisely to explain how modern humans could have left Africa (originally 45,000 years ago, now stretched back a little) yet have reached Australia by as much as 60,000 years ago. Spencer Wells invented the theory, and then he set out to find the evidence, which he has failed to do. With the evidence these days that modern humans probably left Africa much more than 60,000 years ago the 'southern coastal migration theory' is now redundant.

(continued)

terryt said...

"That we lack the corresponding mtDNA anywhere"

Why must it have involved mtDNA?

"we lack the corresponding archaeological record"

I was certainly under the impression that there was plenty of evidence for Neolithic and pre-Neolthic movenment into Africa, especially north of the Sahara.

"The finding of DE* in Tibet, as well as in Africa, clearly tells of DE being the migrant, not D yet".

And clearly tells of DE being the migrant into Africa, not E yet.

"There's no such thing as 'four haplogroups' at time of the OoA: there is two (CF and DE) or three (C, F and DE)".

I keep telling you there was only one at the time of the OoA.

"No mention of North Africa nor anywhere outside Africa".

What I actually said was, 'spread through much of Africa'. Exactly as Wiki has it.

"Only very derived branches (E1b1a and E1b1b) corresponds with your 'two clusters' of E, which are in fact two cluster of a very derived branch: E1b1, three phylogenetic steps downstream of E".

And they were probably separated when DE and members of E spread through Africa. The less-derived branches also spread at the same time.

"all that branched out between E and E1b1 is only found in Africa South of the Sahara".

That could support the idea that DE/E entered via the Bab al Mandab. I'm fairly sure that E* is found in the Horn and E2 is found in both east and west Africa south of the Sahara.

"What study?"

The one claiming non-Africans have 4% autosomal DNA from outside Africa.

"But, as I said, there are other areas on which there may be better 'continuity'".

In fact there is a surprising level of continuity between modern humans and several earlier species such as Neanderthals, especially if we're going to insist on calling them different species.

Maju said...

You are altering what I said, I believe, by adding a long bracketed interpretation to a very short quote:

"I am of the second opinion" [that Y-hap CF moved out of Africa on its own, leaving no descendants in that continent or along the way].

It was CDEF which probably migrated, before neither CF nor DE had yet coalesced.

Then, when the CF branch was already consolidated in South Arabia, DE joined the party with smaller numbers and the migration continued Eastward, with CF coalescing into F in South Asia and into C probably in SE Asia, the same area more or less where DE coalesced into D.

"But once you're prepared to use 'drift' as an excuse"...

Drift is not any excuse. You just seem unable to understand the demographics of small populations through huge time spans, as is what we are analyzing here.

When you do your homework re. drift, you'll be in condition to understand better the genetics of Prehistory (drift is negligible today but was the dominant force in that time because of the huge difference in population size).

"Which merely suggests the migration happened soon after the formation of D and E as separate haplogroups. Memebrs of DE were carried along".

Rather not because:

1. If the population remained stable, drift would eventually wipe out all minor lineages. And eventually means a lot earlier than today.

2. If the population grew, as was the case in general, then we should see much more DE* (which would be known as some named subhaplogroup/s).

"And, using the same line of argument, it's clearly saying that DE did not evolve in Africa either".

No. There's more and more scattered DE* in Africa. In Asia it's restricted to Tibet.

Because of its rarity nobody has yet been able to make a haplotype tree of DE* in both continents (or either one), which would illustrate the problem, but in the Tibetan case it is with all likelihood a single DE sublineage (say DE1), while this is not probably the case in Africa (could be DE2, DE3, etc. based on scatter and lack of research).

Anyhow, what you are proposing could only match if CDEF migrated or even coalesced from B'CDEF out of Africa (where?), and then DE back-migrated to Africa, coalescing there into DE and, quite incredibly, replacing nearly all African native lineages but showing only limited diversity at the root. Your scenario would need not one but several massive replacements and still E would have coalesced in Africa anyhow.

There's nothing suggesting this scenario, not even in the pure Y-DNA consideration.

Maju said...

"I disagree. Most likely [the OoA] it involved just one Y-DNA lineage: CT".

What do you call "CT"? If you mean CF, as in the ancestor of both C and F, then it makes no sense. You must then mean CDEF (or CF'DE, what ISOGG calls CF, quite confusingly).

The problem from this point does not anymore Y-DNA but other types of evidence, such as archaeology or mtDNA.

"Only needs to be 'explained' if you insist on inventing such a migration".

I can't understand this. Even if CDEF as whole coalesced in West Asia, DE and C still needed to reach East Asia quickly in order to survive the homogenizing pressure by F.

You really don't seem to understand how haplogroups coalesced, what makes the whole discussion very difficult, because, even if you disagree with appealing to drift, you offer no alternative mechanism.

That's why I think that you should start your own blog, where to explain your strange conjectures and posit models that could support your beliefs, instead of merely reacting opinionatedly to what others say (you may have reactions from others however).

"The 'southern coastal migration theory' was invented precisely to explain how modern humans could have left Africa (originally 45,000 years ago, now stretched back a little) yet have reached Australia by as much as 60,000 years ago".

Well, as far as it refers to me, the coastal migration was conceived around 2006 in what was a key paper back then that found the need to explain Y-DNA haplogroup C specifically. However there may have been other reasons and precursors.

Whatever its origins, the overall pattern does explain well what we see in genetics, both in the Y-DNA and the mtDNA phylogenies, which, believe it or not, go pretty much in parallel (not a simple and obvious parallel however). I have dealt with both and this parallel before in the blog somewhere.

"With the evidence these days that modern humans probably left Africa much more than 60,000 years ago the 'southern coastal migration theory' is now redundant".

Not at all. We still need to explain why the major lineages coalescing in East Asia (Y-DNA C and D, mtDNA N) are not derived of those in West or South Asia. That gap can only be explained by some sort of rapid migration: i.e. they were "rushing" to the East while the main lineages, Y-DNA F and mtDNA M were expanding in South Asia and also towards the East.

So a very reasonable possibility is that the Eastern lineages represent a rapid coastal migratory avant-guard, while F and M represent the somewhat slower expansion in South Asia and maybe migrated, at least partly, by other routes.

Maju said...

"Why must it have involved mtDNA?"

Because the anthropological evident from hunter-gatherers worldwide is that they normally marry and reproduce within their ethnic group and even local community. They are not strictly but pretty much endogamous. For that reason each localized population should tend to have one (or very few) lineages from each gender. In fact, barring extinct or near-extinct groups (whose lineages would have been drifted out), we can surely track in great detail the past migrations that way.

Using mtDNA for comparison is double checking, something always good to do.

"What I actually said was, 'spread through much of Africa'. Exactly as Wiki has it".

Playing with words, manipulating the facts. Unworthy of a scientific discussion. :(

"The [study] claiming non-Africans have 4% autosomal DNA from outside Africa".

Ah! The paper on Neanderthal DNA! Green 2010! It's actually 1-4%, not 4%, btw.

In fact this paper is great evidence against your back-migration hypothesis because Khoisan show the same degree of non-admixture as Yorubas and Yorubas are like 90% Y-DNA E, while Khoisans only have that haplogroup in small apportions.

You would have to argue that somehow the admixture event happened only after DE (leading to E) backmigrated. In any case, another piece of evidence against your far-fetched obstinate conjecture.

Maju said...

Note on the inter-species hybridization barriers: this 2009 news item is interesting because it points to a curious rapidly evolving gene in fruit fies that has made hybridization very difficult (albeit not totally impossible). The fetus generally dies.

I mention because the accidents of evolution may have also caused some of that in Homo sp. and/or other genera. There's no strict pattern on how speciation should happen.

terryt said...

"You are altering what I said, I believe, by adding a long bracketed interpretation to a very short quote"

Rubbish. The bit I placed in square brackets is what I'd originally written as my second option. You claimed to agree with it, so I put it in (insquare brackets) so we'd both know what we were refering to.

"It was CDEF which probably migrated, before neither CF nor DE had yet coalesced".

Ah. Yes. It was CDEF that migrated out of Africa. DE later moved back, probably accompanied by E*.

"In Asia it's restricted to Tibet".

Tibet? Not SE Asia? Doesn't that rather argue against an SE Asian centre of spread for D?

"Anyhow, what you are proposing could only match if CDEF migrated or even coalesced from B'CDEF out of Africa (where?)"

That's exactly what I'm proposing. As to 'where' we have yet to find out. Perhaps northern India, but more likely somewhere to the west of that, or over the whole region between Northern India and northeast Africa.

"quite incredibly, replacing nearly all African native lineages but showing only limited diversity at the root".

I doubt that you could call it 'quite incredibly'. And by the time the haplogroup expanded through Africa it could well have already contained the haplogroups DE*, E*, E2, E1a and E1b. It may well have consisted only of DE* and E* when it entered Africa.

"Playing with words, manipulating the facts".

Maju. That is exactly what you have been doing. You have consistently misquoted me. Insisting I've said something other than what I've actually said, as in this particular example. The quote you provided from Wiki agrees totally with what I actually said, not with what you pretended I'd said.

"I mention because the accidents of evolution may have also caused some of that in Homo sp. and/or other genera. There's no strict pattern on how speciation should happen".

Maju. You didn't even read your own link:

"When we cross two species of fruit fly, which had split from one another 3 million years ago, some of the hybrid offspring die,"

Note. Three million years. That's longer ago than Australopithecus. So I'd hardly call it 'rapidly evolving gene'. And genes such as the ones they mention cannot possibly arise abruptly and create two species from one. Any individual with a mutation that led to incompatability would have no-one to mate with to form the first generation of the new species.

terryt said...

"Yorubas are like 90% Y-DNA E, while Khoisans only have that haplogroup in small apportions".

Not according to this:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1181965/table/TB1/

That table has Khoisan at 65.6% Y-hap E of various sorts. I'll grant less than Yoruba, but still substantial. The table is from this 2004 paper:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1181965/

Maju said...

"That's exactly what I'm proposing. As to 'where' we have yet to find out. Perhaps northern India, but more likely somewhere to the west of that, or over the whole region between Northern India and northeast Africa".

An area that shows no remains of all that haplogroup except what has arrived later from other areas (E and F highly derived haplogroups). Of course, after claiming that, you have to claim that all the locals were wiped out and replaced, at least in what regards to Y-DNA. You could have said Seychelles or the Arctic for what matters.

The only Y-DNA haplogroups with clear antiquity in all that area west of India and north of the Sahara are IJ (4 phylogenetic steps under CDEF), G (3) and E1b1b (6). You don't see in all the Greater Middle East anything of the like of a potential urheimat for DE nor F nor C, so you must argue for a total extinction of the ancestral population, or at least the male lineages (but I don't see you supporting your claims with mtDNA either - nor archaeology of any sort).

You just made all that up and you are not able to posit even a single piece of evidence. I'd believe that as much as a claim that fairies do exist.

It's ridiculously unscientific!

"You have consistently misquoted me... as in this particular example".

But there is no example nor you have complained before. What's your problem?

"Maju. You didn't even read your own link:

"When we cross two species of fruit fly, which had split from one another 3 million years ago, some of the hybrid offspring die,"

Note. Three million years. That's longer ago than Australopithecus".

Alright. In this particular case you are right. I went over that very fast and was mislead by the phrase "rapidly evolving". 3 Ma for insects is like many times more for large animals like us (though they are also much less subject to drift because of much larger population sizes). The article actually sucks. My bad.

Maju said...

"That table has Khoisan at 65.6% Y-hap E of various sorts. I'll grant less than Yoruba, but still substantial".

Argiedude's compilation on African Y-DNA (many studies, 2009) gives Khoisans only 43% E (42% A, 15% B2b), while West Africans are 98% (1% DE*, 1% R1b).

Regardless, they should not have the same apportions of Neanderthal genetic input, unless both are zero.

Otherwise you'd expect Yorubas to be doubly 'Neanderthal' than Khoisan. A nope: that is not what the Green 2010 data says. The Neanderthal input data is clear evidence against your hypothesis (and I'm still waiting for you to post even a single piece of evidence backing it).

Q.E.D. Your hypothesis is wrong.

Maju said...

Also notice please the strong DE(xE1a, E1b1a, V32, M293, E2) percentages in the Upper Nile: 17-36% in the most striking regions (Sudan-Ethiopia). This is not seen anywhere else. Granted that most of it is E* but still weights a lot against your speculations on the origins of E and DE.

Ebizur said...

Maju said,

"Also notice please the strong DE(xE1a, E1b1a, V32, M293, E2) percentages in the Upper Nile: 17-36% in the most striking regions (Sudan-Ethiopia). This is not seen anywhere else. Granted that most of it is E* but still weights a lot against your speculations on the origins of E and DE."

Oh dear, Maju, are you serious? DE(xE1a, E1b1a, V32, M293, E2) Y-DNA in the Upper Nile region is many times more likely to belong to E1b1b1-M35(xE1b1b1a1b-V32, E1b1b1g-M293) than it is likely to belong to E*.

Ebizur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maju said...

Alright. You are surely right. I overlooked that because the nomenclature used and choice of haplogroups is somewhat confusing. Some Tropical E1b1b1 is excluded anyhow.

Now can you please, give me a hand debunking Terry's nonsense hypothesis on DE originating in West Asia or North India?

Ebizur said...

Khoisan (Underhill et al. 2000)
5/39 = 12.8% A2-M6/M14/M23/M29/M49/M71/M135/M141(xA2a-M114)
1/39 = 2.6% A2a-M114
6/39 = 15.4% A2 total

11/39 = 28.2% A3b1-M51
17/39 = 43.6% A total

11/39 = 28.2% B2b-M112(xB2b2-M115/M169, B2b3-M30/M129)

28/39 = 71.8% Y(xCFDE-M168) total

7/39 = 17.9% E1b1a-M2(xE1b1a1-M58, E1b1a2-M116, E1b1a3-M149, E1b1a4-M154, E1b1a5-M155, E1b1a6-M10/M66/M156)
4/39 = 10.3% E1b1b1-M35(xE1b1b1a-M78, E1b1b1b-M81, E1b1b1c-M123)
11/39 = 28.2% E1b1 total

!Kung/South Africa (Cruciani et al. 2002)
3/64 = 4.7% A2-M14/PN3/M71(xA2a-M114)
2/64 = 3.1% A2a-M114
5/64 = 7.8% A2 total

18/64 = 28.1% A3b1-M51
23/64 = 35.9% A total

5/64 = 7.8% B2b-M112(xB2b2-M115, B2b3-M30, B2b4b-M211)

28/64 = 43.8% Y(xCFDE-M168) total

10/64 = 15.6% E1b1a7-M191
15/64 = 23.4% E1b1a-DYS271(xE1b1a1-M58, E1b1a2-M116, E1b1a3-M149, E1b1a4-M154, E1b1a5-M155, E1b1a6-M10, E1b1a7-M191)
25/64 = 39.1% E1b1a total

7/64 = 10.9% E1b1b1-M35(xE1b1b1a-M78, E1b1b1b-M81, E1b1b1c-M123)
32/64 = 50.0% E1b1 total

4/64 = 6.3% E2b1-M85(xE2b1a-M200)

Khwe/South Africa (Cruciani et al. 2002)
3/26 = 11.5% A3b1-M51

13/26 = 50.0% E1b1a-DYS271(xE1b1a1-M58, E1b1a2-M116, E1b1a3-M149, E1b1a4-M154, E1b1a5-M155, E1b1a6-M10, E1b1a7-M191)
1/26 = 3.8% E1b1a4-M154
14/26 = 53.8% E1b1a total

8/26 = 30.8% E1b1b1-M35(xE1b1b1a-M78, E1b1b1b-M81, E1b1b1c-M123)
22/26 = 84.6% E1b1 total

1/26 = 3.8% E2b1-M85(xE2b1a-M200)

"The impact of the Bantu expansion on pre-existing hunter-gatherer communities was also appreciable. The contribution of Bantu-speaking peoples to the male-specific gene pool of the Pygmies is >50%, and a similar degree of admixture is detected also in the Khoisan-speaking !Kung (45%) and Khwe (58%). These Y-chromosome data agree with mtDNA data showing a higher“Bantu component”in the Khwe than in the !Kung (Chen et al. 2000), and they also correlate with the physical appearance of the former (Hiernaux 1974). However, the impact of the Bantu on the hunter-gatherer communities could have been less extreme in other southern African regions, as is possibly indicated by the 17% of Bantu chromosomes observed in the composite Khoisan sample analyzed by Underhill et al. (2000)." [Cruciani et al. 2002 have ascribed all E1b1a-DYS271 and E2b1-M85 Y-DNA in their Khoisan samples from South Africa to gene flow from Bantus. The 45% and 58% figures are derived from the total of E1b1a + E2b1 Y-DNA in each of their Khoisan
samples.]

Ebizur said...

!Kung-Sekele/Namibia (Wood et al. 2005)
5/32 = 15.6% A2-P3(xA2b-P28)
3/32 = 9.4% A2b-P28
8/32 = 25.0% A2-P3 total

7/32 = 21.9% A3b1-M51
15/32 = 46.9% A-M91 total

1/32 = 3.1% B2b1-P6
2/32 = 6.3% B2b4-P7
3/32 = 9.4% B2b-50f2(P) total

18/32 = 56.3% Y(xCFDE-M168) total

6/32 = 18.8% E1b1a-P1(xE1b1a7-M191)
4/32 = 12.5% E1b1a7-M191
10/32 = 31.3% E1b1a-P1 total

4/32 = 12.5% E1b1b1-M35(xE1b1b1a-M78, E1b1b1b-M81)
14/32 = 43.8% E1b1-P2 total

Tsumkwe San/Namibia (Wood et al. 2005)
8/29 = 27.6% A2-P3(xA2b-P28)
5/29 = 17.2% A2b-P28
13/29 = 44.8% A2-P3 total

6/29 = 20.7% A3b1-M51
19/29 = 65.5% A-M91 total

7/29 = 24.1% B2b1-P6
2/29 = 6.9% B2b4-P7
9/29 = 31.0% B2b-50f2(P) total

28/29 = 96.6% Y(xCFDE-M168) total

1/29 = 3.4% E1b1b1-M35(xE1b1b1a-M78, E1b1b1b-M81)

Dama/Namibia (Wood et al. 2005)
1/18 = 5.6% A2b-P28
1/18 = 5.6% A3b1-M51
2/18 = 11.1% A-M91 total

1/18 = 5.6% B2-M182(xB2a-M150, B2b-50f2(P))

1/18 = 5.6% E-SRY4064(xE1a-M33, E2-M75, E1b1-P2)

1/18 = 5.6% E2*-M75(xE2a-M41, E2b-M54)
1/18 = 5.6% E2b-M54
2/18 = 11.1% E2-M75 total

6/18 = 33.3% E1b1a-P1(xE1b1a7-M191)
4/18 = 22.2% E1b1a7-M191
10/18 = 55.6% E1b1a-P1 total

1/18 = 5.6% J-12f2

1/18 = 5.6% R1b1b2-M269

Nama/Namibia (Wood et al. 2005)
1/11 A2b-P28
6/11 A3b1-M51
7/11 = 63.6% A-M91 total

1/11 E1b1a-P1(xE1b1a7-M191)
1/11 E1b1a7-M191
2/11 = 18.2% E1b1a-P1 total

1/11 E1b1b1-M35(xE1b1b1a-M78, E1b1b1b-M81)
3/11 = 27.3% E1b1-P2 total

1/11 R1b1b2-M269

As expected, the frequency of derivatives of Y-DNA haplogroup E is much greater in the Khoikhoi and Dama than in other Khoisan-speaking populations.
These two groups have long been noted for their exhibiting certain peculiar Khoisan characteristics less frequently or less distinctly than the
San/Bushmen. The Tsumkwe San sample from Namibia that has been analyzed by Wood et al. 2005 consists almost entirely of Y(xCFDE-M168) Y-DNA (specifically
A2-P3, A3b1-M51, and B2b-50f2(P)), which suggests that at least the San might have been devoid of Y-DNA haplogroup E derivatives until very recent times.
Some Y-DNA haplogroup E was probably introduced into the Khoisan-inhabited regions of Africa by the pastoralists who greatly influenced the culture of the Khoikhoi;
the rest was probably introduced by the avant-garde of the expanding Negroid population, reflected by the phenotypically Negroid but linguistically
Khoisan Damara, and in modern times through admixture with the Bantu-speaking majority populations of Southern Africa. R1b1b2-M269 and J-12f2 in Khoisan-speaking
populations of Namibia may reflect the influence of that country's White minority, which is the second-greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa after that of South Africa.

Maju said...

That's very helpful in clarifying the different reports of generic Khoisan Y-DNA pools.

"Some Y-DNA haplogroup E was probably introduced into the Khoisan-inhabited regions of Africa by the pastoralists who greatly influenced the culture of the Khoikhoi; the rest was probably introduced by the avant-garde of the expanding Negroid population, reflected by the phenotypically Negroid but linguistically Khoisan Damara, and in modern times through admixture with the Bantu-speaking majority populations of Southern Africa".

I don't keep record but I do remember reading about this or a similar paper years ago. If my memory is correct, it argued for a pre-Bantu Neolithic minor influx in Southern Africa, possibly from the Nilo-Saharan area, bringing pastoralism, which we know was practiced by the Khoikhoi (Hottentots) upon European arrival, which is roughly contemporary with Bantu arrival.

In any case, re-centering the argumentation I tried to make above, the case is that we have two different African populations with very different levels of haplogroup E in general but the same levels of Neanderthal admixture, or rather non-admixture. If there was a post-Neanderthal-admixture-event backflow into Africa associated with Y-DNA E, as Terry argued, then Yorubas should display clearly more Neanderthal admixture levels than Khoisan, what they do not.

terryt said...

Thanks, as usual, for your information Ebizur.

"Now can you please, give me a hand debunking Terry's nonsense hypothesis on DE originating in West Asia or North India?"

It seems Ebizur is uncommitted either way at present. Ebizur wrote:

"the impact of the Bantu on the hunter-gatherer communities could have been less extreme in other southern African regions, as is possibly indicated by the 17% of Bantu chromosomes observed in the composite Khoisan sample analyzed by Underhill et al. (2000)".

Surely this suggests a southerly movement for Y-hap E through at least that region. Do you (Maju) consider that Y-hap E had been stationary for thousands of years before that southward movement?

"Argiedude's compilation on African Y-DNA (many studies, 2009) gives Khoisans only 43% E"

OK. So where's the corresponding mtDNA line? Or is it possible that Y-hap E replaced some earlier Y-hap without bringing in any women. Impossible, according to you. Ebizur did say, 'These Y-chromosome data agree with mtDNA data showing a higher “Bantu component” in the Khwe than in the !Kung (Chen et al. 2000)'. But I doubt the ratios of mtDNA and Y-hap would be identical.

"That gap can only be explained by some sort of rapid migration: i.e. they were 'rushing' to the East while the main lineages, Y-DNA F and mtDNA M were expanding in South Asia and also towards the East".

A most implausible explanation.

"You just made all that up and you are not able to posit even a single piece of evidence".

How about this comment of yours then?

"Then, when the CF branch was already consolidated in South Arabia, DE joined the party with smaller numbers and the migration continued Eastward, with CF coalescing into F in South Asia and into C probably in SE Asia, the same area more or less where DE coalesced into D".

Can you provide any evidence at all for this statement or are you just making it up? You really are in love with the belief of a 'single' migration of recently evolved Homo sapiens, aren't you.

"The only Y-DNA haplogroups with clear antiquity in all that area west of India and north of the Sahara are IJ (4 phylogenetic steps under CDEF), G (3) and E1b1b (6)".

And, except for E, they are F-derived. Doesn't that suggest that F was early through the region and has been replaced by its descendants (by drift if you insist). Y-hap C had coalesced somewhere nearby, as had DE.

"The article actually sucks".

Why do you say that? I found it quite interesting regarding the formation of two species from one. The authors obviously consider three million years to be relatively recent.

"Granted that most of it is E* but still weights a lot against your speculations on the origins of E and DE".

No it doesn't. We still have DE in Tibet (not SE Asia, note).

"If there was a post-Neanderthal-admixture-event backflow into Africa associated with Y-DNA E, as Terry argued, then Yorubas should display clearly more Neanderthal admixture levels than Khoisan"

Not necessarily so. Genes don't only travel with haplogroups, I hope you realise. After all incoming men (or women) breed with the locals in many cases. The local haplogrouops can then carry introduced genes. Advantageous genes can travel well ahead of haplogroups.

Returning to one of Maju's earlier comments:

"Drift is not any excuse".

But it is often used as such when the evidence fails to fit a particular theory.

Maju said...

"Do you (Maju) consider that Y-hap E had been stationary for thousands of years before that southward movement?"

Stationary? I understand that Y-DNA E (at least E1b1a) only arrived to Southern Africa late (from Neolithic onwards) but it was dynamic much earlier further North. Surely haplotype structure would show that.

IMO Y-DNA E spread with mtDNA haplogroups L3'4 and L2. But, while I have made some work on the Eurasian correspondence between mtDNA and Y-DNA patterns, I have not yet worked that in the context of Africa. Whatever the case I do think that Y-DNA E should be as old as the Out of Africa migration more or less.

"Or is it possible that Y-hap E replaced some earlier Y-hap without bringing in any women. Impossible, according to you".

In a hunter-gatherer context is a practical impossibility, I understand, but there may be changes of the dominant co-lineage as a haplogroup expands (founder effects). This is not unusual at all. I have in the past argued for mtDNA N back-migrating to South Asia with Y-DNA C but its descendants, mostly from mtDNA R, expanding with Y-DNA IJK from South Asia instead.

"A most implausible explanation".

Because you say so. Meh!

"Can you provide any evidence at all for this statement or are you just making it up?"

Parsimony. We know that F coalesced in SA, C and D in SEA and E in Africa. We even have some remnants of DE other than D and E.

So CF (C+F) must have coalesced in Asia, not in Africa (where not a single derived branch is found until back-migration in the WEA colonization process). Instead the DE patterns suggest that DE (and in any case E) coalesced in Africa, so I derive my hypothesis from these facts looking for maximum parsimony.

"You really are in love with the belief of a 'single' migration of recently evolved Homo sapiens, aren't you".

It does not need to be strictly single (several groups must have existed at any time) but a single process yes. Also because of the Neanderthal homogeneous founder effect input as well. The Neanderthal input is in fact very supportive of a single process rather than several unconnected ones. I see nothing supporting several distinct flows: just one.

But I'm still waiting for any evidence or even meaningful reasoning from you other than "I believe..." and "you believe..." Please, argue your hypothesis: it doesn't just stand as obvious, really it does not.

"And, except for E, they are F-derived. Doesn't that suggest that F was early through the region [WEA] and has been replaced by its descendants (by drift if you insist)".

Hmmm... The problem is that diversity patterns rather support a SA coalescence for F, than a WEA one. G and IJ may have coalesced in West Asia already, yes, but IJ is not a direct descendant from F but from IJK, which is too deeply involved in East and South Asia to be of Western origin. So we do have only one basal F subclade in WEA: G.

And again what do we see in mtDNA? Nothing too deep in WEA. So, hehe, maybe the conjectural WEA F males reproduced by cloning or something? Or maybe they were invaded by a tribe of fiery amazons who killed all the local women and replaced them? How do you put all these contradictions together in a meaningful hypothesis? I can't see it.

You agree that in general mtDNA is more stable, if anything, than Y-DNA. So how in this case it's exactly the opposite?

"Y-hap C had coalesced somewhere nearby, as had DE".

All in West Asia? No women anywhere?

No, sorry, no way.

Maju said...

"No it doesn't. We still have DE in Tibet (not SE Asia, note)".

I understand that Tibet should be considered for prehistorical population considerations within SEA, as well as South China, from where Tibetans originated as far as I can tell (Yunnan, Sichuan). Also the research in Y-DNA D has quite conclusively shown a SEA origin for this clade.

"Not necessarily so. Genes don't only travel with haplogroups, I hope you realise. After all incoming men (or women) breed with the locals in many cases. The local haplogrouops can then carry introduced genes. Advantageous genes can travel well ahead of haplogroups".

Positive selection is not my favorite genetic myth, as you should know by now. In any case it is not the null hypothesis nor makes sense with what I know of genetics, where neutrality is the norm except for deleterious genes, which are suppressed quickly for obvious reasons.

Anyhow, even if you'd be right in this, it still could not explain how Y-DNA E could spread in Africa without spreading Neanderthal genes with it, if it (or DE) had coalesced in Asia after the Neanderthal admixture episode.

So wherever DE and E coalesced, it was before the Neanderthal admixture episode. What strongly weights for it happening in Africa.

"But [Drift] is often used as such when the evidence fails to fit a particular theory".

No. You just shield behind that excuse of yours (i.e. "drift is an excuse") to defend the undefensible.

Most of your arguments are not positive (i.e. this or that fact supports what I say) but negative, sometimes bordering personal attacks (i.e. "you believe", "you say", "you ..."). Assume your responsibility for your own hypothesis and provide them with some positive backing... or drop them.

I'd like to discuss YOUR arguments but all you do, instead of providing arguments is attacking my own arguments, often without reason, and even the supposed motivations behind my theories. What you do is not scientific debate but petty lawyering or politicking.

And it gets tiresome.

terryt said...

"negative, sometimes bordering personal attacks"

As I remember it you got negative and personal long before I did.

"All in West Asia? No women anywhere?"

Not exactly true. We have possible candidates in N1/N6/I, N2/W, M1, M6 and possibly A and X.

"We know that F coalesced in SA, C and D in SEA and E in Africa".

We don't 'know' that. Those regions have been assumed, to make the evidence fit a particular theory. 'Diversity' does not equal 'origin'.

"I understand that Tibet should be considered for prehistorical population considerations within SEA, as well as South China, from where Tibetans originated as far as I can tell"

You already claim that in Paleolithic times drift was a bigger factor than it is today. Strange, then, that DE survives in Tibet but not in SE Asia, where surely diversity would be far more easily maintained.

"G and IJ may have coalesced in West Asia already, yes, but IJ is not a direct descendant from F but from IJK, which is too deeply involved in East and South Asia to be of Western origin".

If you're prepared to consider the possibility that Y-hap IJK had already formed by the time F was able to enter India all the ducks line up. G in the west, probably Anatolia. IJ east of it, possibly in the Caucasus or in the Zagros. L, T, H, F1, F4 and perhaps K1 through India. F2 in East Asia. KMNOPS in SE Asia, some of which eventually crossed Wallacea in the form of K2, K3, K4 and M. There's your southern migration for you. But it doesn't go along the South Arabian coast, so you could hardly call it coastal.

Are you asking us to believe that Y-haps C and DE had been pushed ahead of this rapid Y-hap F expansion from Anatolia to Wallacea? And that they have been later drifted out along the route? That replacement is more extreme even than that of E's Iron-Age expansion through regions occupied by Y-haps A and B.

So we may have Y-hap F spread from Anatolia to at least Northern India at a reasonably early stage of its expansion. It should be quite easy to now visualise a population containing Y-haps C, DE and F where individual haplogroups in that population coalesced in different regions within the overall distribution. So at what margins of that expansion might C, D and E have coalesced? E is obviously somewhere to the southwest of F's spread, which gives us most of Arabia or even Northeast Africa to choose from. And C and D are probably north of F's spread. DE* finished up in both Tibet and Nigeria so perhaps the population's geographic spread was considerable.

With that in mind we can now line up the Y-hap Cs like ducks too, but connected along a curve. C5 in Northern India and Pakistan, C3 across Central Asia (although the argument is made that it originated in NE Asia, but Y-hap D fits somewhere through that region anyway), C1 in Japan (with D), C* around the South China Sea, C2 in Southern Wallacea and C4 in Australia. Seeing we now have no C6 in New guinea we can see that Y-hap C didn't get there, a situation K was able to take advantage of. Y-hap D's arrival in the Andamans is a later event, possibly associated with the spread of the early Hoabinhian. It is certainly not evidence for a southern coastal migration.

terryt said...

"negative, sometimes bordering personal attacks"

As I remember it you got negative and personal long before I did.

"All in West Asia? No women anywhere?"

Not exactly true. We have possible candidates in N1/N6/I, N2/W, M1, M6 and possibly A and X.

"We know that F coalesced in SA, C and D in SEA and E in Africa".

We don't 'know' that. Those regions have been assumed, to make the evidence fit a particular theory. 'Diversity' does not equal 'origin'.

"I understand that Tibet should be considered for prehistorical population considerations within SEA, as well as South China, from where Tibetans originated as far as I can tell"

You already claim that in Paleolithic times drift was a bigger factor than it is today. Strange, then, that DE survives in Tibet but not in SE Asia, where surely diversity would be far more easily maintained.

"G and IJ may have coalesced in West Asia already, yes, but IJ is not a direct descendant from F but from IJK, which is too deeply involved in East and South Asia to be of Western origin".

If you're prepared to consider the possibility that Y-hap IJK had already formed by the time F was able to enter India all the ducks line up. G in the west, probably Anatolia. IJ east of it, possibly in the Caucasus or in the Zagros. L, T, H, F1, F4 and perhaps K1 through India. F2 in East Asia. KMNOPS in SE Asia, some of which eventually crossed Wallacea in the form of K2, K3, K4 and M. There's your southern migration for you. But it doesn't go along the South Arabian coast, so you could hardly call it coastal.

Are you asking us to believe that Y-haps C and DE had been pushed ahead of this rapid Y-hap F expansion from Anatolia to Wallacea? And that they have been later drifted out along the route? That replacement is more extreme even than that of E's Iron-Age expansion through regions occupied by Y-haps A and B.

So we may have Y-hap F spread from Anatolia to at least Northern India at a reasonably early stage of its expansion. It should be quite easy to now visualise a population containing Y-haps C, DE and F where individual haplogroups in that population coalesced in different regions within the overall distribution. So at what margins of that expansion might C, D and E have coalesced? E is obviously somewhere to the southwest of F's spread, which gives us most of Arabia or even Northeast Africa to choose from. And C and D are probably north of F's spread. DE* finished up in both Tibet and Nigeria so perhaps the population's geographic spread was considerable.

With that in mind we can now line up the Y-hap Cs like ducks too, but connected along a curve. C5 in Northern India and Pakistan, C3 across Central Asia (although the argument is made that it originated in NE Asia, but Y-hap D fits somewhere through that region anyway), C1 in Japan (with D), C* around the South China Sea, C2 in Southern Wallacea and C4 in Australia. Seeing we now have no C6 in New guinea we can see that Y-hap C didn't get there, a situation K was able to take advantage of. Y-hap D's arrival in the Andamans is a later event, possibly associated with the spread of the early Hoabinhian. It is certainly not evidence for a southern coastal migration.

Maju said...

"As I remember it you got negative and personal long before I did".

At least when I write in the blog, and largely in the comments too, I try to provide positive theorizations and positive evidence. I don't define myself nor my opinions in opposition to anyone or anything but rather in a position that I understand and I can argue for.

And while I can get angry at times, and commit errors as well, I make a huge effort for being pedagogic.

In this case I must ask you to be the one making positive theorizations and positive argumentations. Because you obviously have another conceptualization but you don't even understand it well, nor are able to defend it consistently.

That's what some religious people call "faith": a magic word that essentially explains that they do not need to make any sense... and, oddly enough, they are not even called delusional and sent to the psychiatrist for that.

I know you are not religious but, in this, you often act like one, positing ideas you only defend rationally when pushed hard to do it (and not even always) and instead attacking others' argumentations in a persistent "nay-saying" strategy, what is exactly what those pseudoscientists opposed to evolution do: bomb you with anecdotes and asking you to explain them in molecular and fossil detail... when they are not even able to demonstrate Yaveh nor the holiness or truth of the Bible (or whatever other toilet paper - oops, I meant 'holy paper'... or smoking paper or not really sure).

So now you have been pushed to put forward some argumentation of your own, let's see what sense it makes.

Maju said...

"We have possible candidates in N1/N6/I, N2/W, M1, M6 and possibly A and X".

I'm not aware of the existence of any haplogroup N6, you must mean N5, the Indian sister of N1 I'm not aware of the presence of A or M6 in West Eurasia.

In any case, all those lineages should have arrived from further East, right? I am pretty sure that you have in the past agreed that haplogroup N must have coalesced in East Asia, right? And that haplogroup M did the same in South Asia or between South and East Asia.

Even if N1'5, M1, N2 (incl. W) and X would have coalesced in West Asia, they are not African-derived lineages such as the CDEF Y-DNA bunch, so we are in an "Amazon scenario" as described earlier: lots of women migrating from the East and meeting the only guys known to have existed in Eurasia ever.

As I see it, this demands too much imagination.

"We don't 'know' that". [colaescence of major Eurasian haplogroups in South and SE Asia]

I do. I am positive about that. You'll need strong positive counter-evidence to move me from there because there is a lot of evidence supporting that.

"Those regions have been assumed, to make the evidence fit a particular theory".

In my case at least, those regions have naturally emerged from the distribution patterns of haplogroups. I don't like to put the cart before the horses: I have researched the matter in depth, as you know, and I could only arrive to such conclusions. If the evidence would have been supportive of a WEA origin, I would have said so - but it is not, not at all.

"'Diversity' does not equal 'origin'".

Diversity in general may be misleading but phylogenetically sorted diversity is very strong evidence: as good as you can get with genetics. If macro-haplogroup M has some 20 or 30 basal sublineages in South Asia, some 10 or 20 in East Asia and only one in West Eurasia, it is clear that it did not coalesce in the West.

Conclusion on this first bloc:

1. You mention some rather irrelevant data as "potentially supportive" of your pre-conception. But there is no reasoning why this random data would be supportive of this hypothesis of you in contrast to any other.

2. You make accusations of putting the cart before the horses but do not go in any depth with them. I find those accusations (forcing the data into a pre-conceived hypothesis) rather insulting and I am sure I have not done that. I have all the time tried to read in the data and draw conclusions from the data and not the other way around. I'm sorry if the data does not fit your preferences but that's what the data says as far as I can tell.

3. You finally throw in a negative statement picked somewhere (possibly my own words in another context) that would render, if such context and meaning migration would be valid, all reconstruction of the past based on genetics impossible, allowing anything, maybe even "Out of America" or whatever. But the context and meaning has been destroyed. Diversity, considered in the phylogenetic hierarchy does indicate origin.

Maju said...

"You already claim that in Paleolithic times drift was a bigger factor than it is today".

Not just I do, everybody does. Drift is only non-negligible in small populations, specially those not expanding, not growing. When you get to large populations such as ours, drift is nearly zero.

It also "benefits" from long time spans. So it's essentially something that happened in the Paleolithic: a very long period with small populations.

"Strange, then, that DE survives in Tibet but not in SE Asia, where surely diversity would be far more easily maintained".

DE survived in SEA, as far as we know: it's called D. We do not know yet if DE* (notice the asterisk) has survived in SEA because the region is not homogeneously sampled (for example we have no data on Burma, a key country, specially for DE). The finding of two, surely closely related, individuals in Tibet with DE* can well be a fluke, or it may be part of a small but more extended DE sublineage, which may still exist or not (drift 'harms' small lineages particularly) elsewhere.

There is no particular reason to think Indochina or South China would keep better the diversity. We know from other areas (Caucasus for instance) that mountain regions often act as refuge for rare lineages, languages and ethnicities. In the case of Tibet it is clear that they have retained a large fraction of the overall D diversity, so it makes sense that they have also kept a small related DE-other residual lineage.

But the only alternative for a SEA origin would be a Tibetan plateau origin, which is not really acceptable because the plateau was only colonized after the lowlands, even if its fringes were colonized rather soon for what I have read (30 Ka?)

Maju said...

"If you're prepared to consider the possibility that Y-hap IJK had already formed by the time F was able to enter India all the ducks line up".

F coalesced in SA almost for sure. All F-number lineages are from SA or further East. Only G looks clearly western: 1/7 lineages (plus F*, which is also from Pakistan eastwards).

And again there is the mtDNA issue.

"IJ east of it, possibly in the Caucasus or in the Zagros... KMNOPS in SE Asia".

The 'logical' road from Tehran to Bangkok is via a magic portal, not South Asia. What about IJK as a whole?

If IJ and K would be unrelated, I'd say what you say (while still keeping the origin of F in South Asia) but they are close relatives (IJK) and we cannot ignore that fact.

"There's your southern migration for you. But it doesn't go along the South Arabian coast, so you could hardly call it coastal".

I won't bother fighting for the word "coastal". The Arabian coast or otherwise Arabian peninsula migration is a previous stage.

"Are you asking us to believe that Y-haps C and DE had been pushed ahead of this rapid Y-hap F expansion from Anatolia to Wallacea?"

Why Anatolia?

Never mind. I understand indeed that C and D arrived to SEA (and hence to NEA and Near Oceania) before F (or maybe with minor F, as there's some F* in that area too). That they certainly arrived before IJK, that is: K, that is: MNOPS (for Eastern Eurasia). That MNOPS represents a second migration eastwards, surely associated to mtDNA R.

I don't ask you to "believe" anything, just to look at the evidence and see how it does very clearly support this scenario. There's no IJK nor K in Eastern Eurasia, it seems, that is not part of MNOPS, which is three phylogenetic steps under F and hence also under (in parallel) C and D. MNOPS is the phylogenetic equivalent of C2a1 or D2a1. Of course it might be older or younger (probably older) but that's the equivalence anyhow.

So talking of F when you mean MNOPS is highly misleading. No wonder you are so confused.

"And that they have been later drifted out along the route?"

In the East Asian case I am inclined to think of active pressure by the MNOPS/R people. C and D remain in SEA and middle EA, in high diversity and at least D in high phylogenetic position, but, excepting the peripheral "refuge" areas of Japan and Tibet, they are not numerous.

They were not drifted out (they are still there), just overwhelmed in numbers by the new arrivals, and possibly actively pushed to the margins (NEA, Japan, Tibet, Andaman, Near Oceania), where they still are the largest lineages in most cases.

At some point in Prehistory, early/middle Upper Paleolithic surely, a population with Y-DNA MNOPS (NO in mainland East Asia) and mtDNA R (though other matrilineages were also co-opted) actively displaced the older C/D layer. That's what I see and is very clear.

"That replacement is more extreme even than that of E's Iron-Age expansion through regions occupied by Y-haps A and B".

Not sure if you are correct in this comparison but it's not a total replacement in any case because meaningful remnants of both C and D, retaining high diversity and high positions in the phylogeny, survived till present day. It was however a massive colonization indeed.

The same happened (with roughly the same original expansive population) in West Eurasia. Just that here the victims were Neanderthals and were not co-opted nor absorbed in any way (apparently), unlike what happened to the first East Eurasians.

This is a most intriguing story certainly but that is what I see in the genetic data, both Y-DNA and mtDNA. It's also possible, probable, that a more localized and less dramatic expansion also happened within South Asia, where mtDNA R has some scattered importance as well. Here however only Y-DNA P/R can be associated under IJK (and under MNOPS) as far as I can tell.

Maju said...

"So we may have Y-hap F spread from Anatolia to at least Northern India at a reasonably early stage of its expansion".

That is not what the data says: it says South Asia with derived projection to West Eurasia (only G and parts of IJK) and Eastern Eurasia (MNOPS and some F*) While I would postulate a NW South Asian origin for F, probably upon arrival of the migrant population from Africa/Arabia, I cannot place it further West before 50 Ka. This suggests a somewhat more recent date for the MNOPS expansion eastwards, or maybe a similar one (because of the role of P (Q+R), specially R, in West Eurasia, Central Asia and South Asia itself.

A possible (not certain) scenario might be:

1. c. 50 Ka, IJ and G begin the Westward colonization with mtDNA N subclades, such as N1 and X, as well a M1.

2. K begins expanding in both E/W directions with mtDNA R: MNOPS eastwards and T westwards (some role for L maybe too).

3. An MNOPS branch (P) flows back westwards and joins the colonization of WEA, with special role in Central Asia but also in Europe (c. 40 Ka ago?)

That's it. Step 2 can be together with 1 or 3 or intermediate or both. Hard to tell as it's not the key one, obviously. Minor changes can be considered, such as associating M1 with T rather than IJ/G and Western mtDNA R specially with P or even Y-DNA R. The fine detail is hard to work out.

Maybe there was only one overall westward flow c. 48 Ka ago, with some geographic stratification rather than temporal, if so the MNOPS flow eastwards would be c. 50 Ka.

"C5 in Northern India and Pakistan"...

That is not what the data says. C5 is mostly Indian and shows a spread consistent with a coastal backflow possibly. It is found in South India in rather great numbers in any case. (Ebizur: care to document?)

"C3 across Central Asia"...

Again that is not what the data says but NE Asia instead.

"although the argument is made that it originated in NE Asia, but Y-hap D fits somewhere through that region anyway"

Depends on your concept of NE Asia. C3 is found essentially North of Beijing, while D is found at more southernly region (Tibet-China-Japan-Indochina-Andaman). D is not found in NEA senso stricto (Mongolia, Manchuria, Siberia) in any case: it is clearly not a Far North haplogroup, as are C3, N and Q. In fact there is a better argument for D being somehow related to Central Asia from old than C3, as far as I can tell (but there is also a strong case for an Indochina-South China origin too).

"Seeing we now have no C6 in New guinea we can see that Y-hap C didn't get there, a situation K was able to take advantage of."

Hmm... the McDonald's maps list a 25% C in "Irian Jaya Highlands" (West Papua Highlands). It may all be a recent arrival from Wallacea? I have a hard time accepting that the M sublineages we find in Near Melanesia (incl. Papua), and nowhere else, arrived there only with MNOPS. However I do not know enough to make a clear judgment.

"Y-hap D's arrival in the Andamans is a later event, possibly associated with the spread of the early Hoabinhian".

No way! Is there even any evidence of any Hoabinhian ever in Andaman? Remember also that one of the two M subclades in Andaman is closely related to a South Asian (and not SEA) one, what makes the relation with Hoabinhian even less likely. Even if it'd be the case, you'd still would need to explain the high phylogenetic position of Indochina samples.

terryt said...

I promise this will be my last comment here. But I'll be interested in your replies.

"That is not what the data says"

What data?

"This suggests a somewhat more recent date for the MNOPS expansion eastwards"

So you agree that members of MNOPS arrived in New Guinea long after people were already present in Australia.

"(Ebizur: care to document?)"

Last time he provided the relevant data he showed that C5 was definitely not 'consistent with a coastal backflow'.

"Even if N1'5, M1, N2 (incl. W) and X would have coalesced in West Asia, they are not African-derived lineages"

Surely they are early branches of whatever L3 emerged from Africa.

"In the case of Tibet it is clear that they have retained a large fraction of the overall D diversity, so it makes sense that they have also kept a small related DE-other residual lineage".

But it doesn't make sense that SE Asia, if it is the region of expansion for D, has failed to retain such diversity. The population of that region should have been far less subject to drift than the population in the harsher climate of Tibet.

"Drift is only non-negligible in small populations"

Agreed. And would have been much greater during the Paleolithic.

"MNOPS is the phylogenetic equivalent of C2a1 or D2a1".

So we have three haplogroups that presumably coalesced in different regions. How could it be that they all originated in India?

"So talking of F when you mean MNOPS is highly misleading. No wonder you are so confused".

MNOPS is a subset of F. It is certainly not part of C or D.

"They were not drifted out (they are still there)"

D is not found in India, so it has been 'drifted out' there, unless you can come up with another explanation.

"At some point in Prehistory, early/middle Upper Paleolithic surely, a population with Y-DNA MNOPS (NO in mainland East Asia) and mtDNA R (though other matrilineages were also co-opted) actively displaced the older C/D layer".

And you're certain that the older C/D layer also moved east via India?

"Hmm... the McDonald's maps list a 25% C in 'Irian Jaya Highlands'"

I don't see any percentage figure mentioned, but what I do see in the pie graphs is a very small amount of C (undefined) in what he calls 'Papua New Guinea Highlands'. And it's almost certainly a recent arrival from Wallacea.

"I have a hard time accepting that the M sublineages we find in Near Melanesia (incl. Papua), and nowhere else, arrived there only with MNOPS".

I think that is almost certainly the case.

"Is there even any evidence of any Hoabinhian ever in Andaman?"

The earliest archeological evidence for humans on the Andamans is Toalean, a sort of pre-Hoabinhian. And it is not particularly ancient.

http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/chapter25/text25.htm#toalean

Maju said...

"What data?"

The data on distribution and phylogenetically considered diversity in the several haplogroups you made brutally unwarranted claims about. Make your homework or ask more specific questions, please.

"So you agree that members of MNOPS arrived in New Guinea long after people were already present in Australia".

And probably also New Guinea and maybe even Near Melanesia too probably. However I would not use the word "long after" but just "after" - it depends of what you consider "long" anyhow.

"Surely they are early branches of whatever L3 emerged from Africa".

Early branches of L3 in Eurasia are M, N and maybe L3i. The haplogroups you mention are all subclades of N and M and these clearly coalesced further East. So your lineages represent a migration from East to West, not directly from Africa.

"But it doesn't make sense that SE Asia, if it is the region of expansion for D, has failed to retain such diversity".

It does keep the diversity what it does not keep is the numbers.

"So we have three haplogroups that presumably coalesced in different regions. How could it be that they all originated in India?"

Your question uses very confusing terminology. I understand that you talk of C, D and F but it cannot be that they coalesced and originated in different places: those words are practical synonyms. There was no C before C coalesced. It was just CF (or C'F). Similarly there was no D before D coalesced but DE.

Care to reformulate?

"MNOPS is a subset of F".

But of the phylogenetic level of H1a or G2a or T or L. MNOPS is not a basal sublineage of F but a very derived one. Intermediate stages are IJK and K.

You could then say, "but MNOPS is a subset of IJK/K, not of H or G/T or L". And, of course you'd be right but I would be equally right. My point is what is its place in the phylogenetic hierarchy? How does it compare to other lineages? MNOPS cannot be directly compared with C or D but with C2a1 or whatever of that level.

That doesn't mean age, just a correspondence in the hierarchy. If F is a 'general', C and D are too... but MNOPS is a mere 'captain', several ranks lower in the hierarchy, just as C2a1 or H1a or L. You can perfectly understand that, don't pretend to be dumb, because I know you are smarter than that.

"D is not found in India, so it has been 'drifted out' there".

Probably D as such never existed in South Asia, however its ancestor DE must have crossed the subcontinent somehow in its way East, so it was DE the 'drifted out' one. Anyhow migrant DE, like C, was probably too small in that period to resist such drift and only where it caused a founder effect (East Eurasia) on its own survived (as D mostly).

Sadly, because of the extreme rarity of DE(xD,E) in both Africa and Asia it is probably not possible (or very hard at least) to analyze the phylogenetic structure even at haplotype level.

Maju said...

"And you're certain that the older C/D layer also moved east via India?"

As certain as one can be. The quite apparent coalescence of these two haplogroups in SE Asia leaves no other option, much less if they had to migrate "very fast" in order to cause the founder effects they effectively caused before the main South Asian group (F) colonized the area. There was no time for them to adapt to the northern climates, which anyhow we know from archaeology that only happened much later.

Boating or walking, they went through the south.

"I don't see any percentage figure mentioned"...

Care to use an angle measuring tool? It is blatantly obviously an exact quarter of the circle, what means 25%.

"but what I do see in the pie graphs is a very small amount of C (undefined) in what he calls 'Papua New Guinea Highlands'".

West of that one. The one labeled IJ, which the legend describes as "Irian Jaya Highlands" (Irian Jaya was the old Indonesian-imposed name for West Papua).

"The earliest archeological evidence for humans on the Andamans is Toalean, a sort of pre-Hoabinhian".

I had forgotten about Toalean, thanks for reminding me. As we often say, 'lack of evidence is not evidence of lack'. The mtDNA evidence points in my understanding to a much earlier colonization, so Toalean must have been a late cultural (but apparently not genetic) input, maybe related to the arrival of Austroasiatic languages to nearby Nicobar islands, which must be somewhat "recent".

"Last time he provided the relevant data he showed that C5 was definitely not 'consistent with a coastal backflow'".

Well, it's clear that we remember different things about that discussion. I recall that the relatively 'high' levels of C5 an C* in India are restricted to the coastal states or almost so, including southern ones.

Ebizur said...

"Well, it's clear that we remember different things about that discussion. I recall that the relatively 'high' levels of C5 an C* in India are restricted to the coastal states or almost so, including southern ones."

The highest frequencies of C5-M356 have been found in samples from northern parts of South Asia (e.g. Nepal). It also has been detected in some samples from China (Northern Han, Uyghur, and Sibe as I recall). My best guess at this point is that (at least most extant cases of) C5-M356 may be descended from the males of a population that has been assimilated by mainly R1a1-bearing populations (probably Indo-Iranians or Tocharians) as they expanded through Central Asia. It would be nice to know whether that C(xC3) sample from an Andronovo archaeological site exibits the M356 mutation.

Maju said...

Ok, there's a lot of "new" C* and C5 info I did not know it seems, for instance their presence in Arabia.

Intriguingly enough C(xC3, C5) reaches 2% in Oman and is not likely it belongs to any of the other named C subclades, all restricted to Oceania or Japan - it may be related to Dravidian tribal/low caste C* however. That assuming that C* actually means C(xC3,C5) in the Omani case, whose haplogroups tend to strangely concentrate in the "asterisk" area, what may be just sloppy labeling in fact.

I'm dropping my theory therefore. How do you then guys think that mtDNA backmigrated to South Asia to coalesce into R, and other lineages, then? Or do you think it's all better explained with a South Asian or maybe West Asian coalescence of N?

If so, how do you guys explain the presence of N sublineages associated to non-F haplogroups such as C4? Does it mean that Australia was colonized later than I thought, and that C4 is a random founder effect, which could equally have been a MNOPS lineage equally? It doesn't sound right to me, really, but I don't think it's right to found a hypothesis only on Australia peculiarities, which can always be attributed to a random founder effect and alone do not constitute any pattern.

Maju said...

Erratum:

"How do you then guys think that mtDNA backmigrated to South Asia to coalesce into R, and other lineages, then?"

... should read:

"How do you then guys think that mtDNA Nbackmigrated to South Asia to coalesce into R, and other sublineages, then?"

It's not too clear without that key letter-word.

terryt said...

"The data on distribution and phylogenetically considered diversity in the several haplogroups you made brutally unwarranted claims about".

Sorry to break my promise but thanks for the interesting link. Some very interesting comments made supporting the conclusions I had come to independently. Firstly, of course:

"Although rare deep rooting lineages for Y-chromosome haplogroups E and J have been detected, the presence of more basal clades supportive of the southern exit route of modern humans to Eurasian, were not found".

Their evidence seems to favour a Levantine exit. And:

"This model proposes the successful colonization of Eurasia by migration(s) of populations containing precursor Y-chromosome founder macrohaplogroup CDET-M168 and basal mtDNA L3 representatives ... This model would imply that both CF-P143 and the DE-YAP evolved nearby but outside Africa".

Also supports what you have so vehemently opposed.

"It does keep the diversity what it does not keep is the numbers".

Surely 'diversity' is a function on 'numbers'.

"Care to reformulate?".

OK. If you're going to split hairs I'll say the three haplogroups pre-C, pre-F and pre-DE must have coalesced in three different regions within the original geographic range of CDEF.

"Intermediate stages are IJK and K".

But surely you don't imagine that Paleolithic migrations always involved just a single individual haplogroup. We would usually expect a sample of haplogroups from an original population to move together.

"its ancestor DE must have crossed the subcontinent somehow in its way East"

Why 'must it have'? Surely that's an assumption.

"Anyhow migrant DE, like C, was probably too small in that period to resist such drift"

I find it most unlikely that the first immigrants to India could be 'drifted out'. As I've tried to explain to German, when a new species arrives in a new region it has two options. It either expands rapidly, and fills the whole region, or it becomes extinct, and so unable to move further.

"The one labeled IJ, which the legend describes as 'Irian Jaya Highlands'"

Sorry. As you noticed I was looking at New Guinea highlands. Of course Irian Jaya is western New Guinea and so the C is very likely to be C2 introduced from Wallacea, especially as it's so trivial in the eastern highlands.

terryt said...

"so Toalean must have been a late cultural (but apparently not genetic) input"

I don't think so. There is no earlier evidence and, as I said above, the first arrivals tend to expand to saturation point.

"maybe related to the arrival of Austroasiatic languages to nearby Nicobar islands, which must be somewhat 'recent'".

Maybe not. The languages and the haplogroups are very different.

"I recall that the relatively 'high' levels of C5 and C* in India are restricted to the coastal states or almost so, including southern ones".

Recall now?

"Intriguingly enough C(xC3, C5) reaches 2% in Oman and is not likely it belongs to any of the other named C subclades, all restricted to Oceania or Japan - it may be related to Dravidian tribal/low caste C* however".

Which, in turn, may be related to back movement from around the South China Sea.

"How do you then guys think that mtDNA N backmigrated to South Asia to coalesce into R, and other sublineages, then?"

With members of Y-hap MNOPS, specifically R. And mtDNA left N-derived haplogroups P, R11/B and R9/F behind.

"how do you guys explain the presence of N sublineages associated to non-F haplogroups such as C4?"

I think it's actually the other way round. N was originally associated with C. It's the association with F-derived haplogroups that represents the change. That would explain your difficulty concerning Australia. Surely you realise that men and women do not always marry members of their own tribe.

Maju said...

You read the texts, I look at the raw data. Damn lawyers!

"Although rare deep rooting lineages for Y-chromosome haplogroups E and J have been detected, the presence of more basal clades supportive of the southern exit route of modern humans to Eurasia, were not found".

Logically: we are talking of Y-DNA in the Arabian deserts. If any remnant there is, it must be in mtDNA.

"This model proposes the successful colonization of Eurasia by migration(s) of populations containing precursor Y-chromosome founder macrohaplogroup CDET-M168 and basal mtDNA L3 representatives"...

Yes. L3 and other lineages that never made it to South Asia, L0 subclades in particular have old distinct representatives in Arabia, specially Yemen and Oman.

"This model would imply that both CF-P143 and the DE-YAP evolved nearby but outside Africa".

No. It can perfectly imply that CF evolved outside and DE inside Africa. In fact it is what seems to be.

One of the key elements supportive of DE (and E) coalescence in Africa is that we see no evidence of mtDNA flow of any sort into Africa at such stages, unless you are proposing that L3 as a whole also coalesced outside Africa.

Also Arabia and even the Fertile Crescent were not rich enough to support the seed population. They could only do that when there was no resistance at the destiny, and, while that was the case in India, it was for sure not the case in Africa.

Demic pressure pushed eastwards, not westwards.

Maju said...

"Surely 'diversity' is a function on 'numbers'".

No. For instance, R1b is numerically hyper-strong in West Europe but it displays low diversity, crucially low basal diversity, what brings us to think that R1b coalesced in West Asia (or maybe in Italy), where it is much more diverse. In the West European case, nearly all the numbers come from one single subclade: R1b1b2a.

This is very common across the World: high frequency and low basal diversity can perfectly be together (founder effect at play), that is why it is very important to understand the phylogeny as much as we can and to document 'rare' clades too. Otherwise secondary founder effects may and often do hide primary origins.

"If you're going to split hairs"...

Yes, of course! Without detail there is no possible understanding of the whole.

"I'll say the three haplogroups pre-C, pre-F and pre-DE must have coalesced in three different regions within the original geographic range of CDEF".

They are not comparable in principle, DE is comparable to C'F (CF for short and nomenclature homogeneity, ok?) not to C and F separately. I agree that bi-/multifurcations represent more or less strong expansions/divisions of the original population (because of drift tending to homogenize towards a single lineage, unique to each population).

What I see then is:

1. CDEF branched in two: CF and DE. This possibly happened at/after the crossing of the Red Sea (Sinai desert?), as CF seems exclusive of Asia-plus.

2a. CF branched in two: C and F, this possibly happened upon arrival to SA (F) and SEA (C).

2b. DE branched in several lineages: E, D and some other smaller lineages (known collectively as DE*).

This branching out may have happened in Africa, with East Asian DE* and D being in fact a single subclade of DE (let's call it pre-D) or with two subclades of DE migrating eastwards (but then it is very difficult to explain the survival of DE* in Tibet of all places). I am presuming (and is surely correct) that all Tibetan DE* is a single DE sublineage, we can call it DE1. It is possible that the African DE* is also one single lineage (DE2) but it's also possible that it is several (DE2, DE3, etc.) because it's found in several distinct populations, unlike the Tibetan case.

Whatever the case, the logic of demic pressure (a nice case of Occam's razor) clearly supports in principle an African origin for DE as a whole and certainly for E. The comparatively poor sampling of East Africa, specially Sudan and Eritrea (and also Burma in SE Asia) does not help to clarify this matter.

...

Maju said...

...

"But surely you don't imagine that Paleolithic migrations always involved just a single individual haplogroup. We would usually expect a sample of haplogroups from an original population to move together".

Unless the population is involved in a dynamic expansion, the tendency is to coalesce into a single haplogroup. However, there may be two neighbor populations with two different such lineages at any point, I guess.

If there was, as is likely, a long (or at least sufficiently long) period of coalescence in Arabia/West Asia before the main Eurasian expansion upon arrival to South Asia (and beyond), the presence of DE in East Asia certainly seems to point to DE migrating "very fast" between Africa and SE Asia. Otherwise DE should either have vanished completely in Eurasia or left some more clear trail, sign of a consolidated haplogroup, with some people having DE in West Asia and South Asia. South Asia in particular is large and fertile enough to have kept such traces.

That's why I think that the East Asian DE is with all likelihood a branch of 'pre-D' (i.e. it shares some mutations with D but not with E nor African DE*).

"Why 'must it have'? Surely that's an assumption".

Neanderthals in the steppe corridor, extreme cold conditions in the steppe corridor, expansion in East Asia from south to north, lack of any archaeological trail for MSA-like in must-go-by Altai in spite of excellent archaeology along the decades, (comparable to what has been done in Europe)... all that and more clearly say "must" have crossed South Asia or "God made a miracle".

I don't believe in miracles nor in such kind of personalized intervening divinity, so...

"I find it most unlikely that the first immigrants to India could be 'drifted out'. As I've tried to explain to German, when a new species arrives in a new region it has two options. It either expands rapidly, and fills the whole region, or it becomes extinct, and so unable to move further".

We are not talking species here. I don't understand what you say. We are talking several clades of the same species, subspecies and sub-sub-sub-species.

Nobody goes extinct in a drift episode, just haploid lineages. If I have four daughters, my genes persist but my Y-DNA does not. Along time that happens to everybody in a small enough population, to everybody but one. This is specially true for male lineages for rather obvious reasons (men can have more descendants than women, even in monogamy contexts, exaggerating drift, and such tendency has actually been detected by comparing with X-DNA, even if it's probably not too strong).

If, as I understand, the proto-Eurasian population arriving to Sindh/Gujarat, where it could begin expanding seriously, had (at least) two Y-DNA lineages (CF and DE - or pre-D) and two mtDNA lineages (pre-M and pre-N), what is apparent is that the expansion was starred by CF (as F) and pre-M (as M), with the other lineages not being successful at all. At least not in South Asia.

This demands that the F/M bi-lineage was soon (if not since the very beginning) clearly dominant in numbers. CF (pre-C) and DE (pre-D), as well as mtDNA pre-N would exist but only in small and decreasing numbers (because of drift). But somehow they made it to SE Asia (and that probably happened very fast, before they went completely out of the picture). And they made a major impact (founder effects) beyond Bengal, enough to withstand the later expansion of the K-MNOPS/R bi-lineage.

Whether that "somehow" is coastal route, inland riverine route, steppe corridor route or magical teleport does not matter much. The case is that they did 'run' faster than drift could wipe their signature out. So the "fast" part of the "fast coastal" migration model must withstand in any case.

Maju said...

"... the first arrivals tend to expand to saturation point".

Sure. But how does this contradict my claim that Toalean in Andaman must be a mere cultural input. Today Andamanese use t-shirts and steel knives... without any genetic input from outside. Culture is not the same as genes.

"There is no earlier evidence"...

Rewrite as 'we have no idea of what happened earlier', we have not researched enough. This does not only apply to Andaman but to vast regions of the World, some of them much more critical to our understanding of the human migrations.

You cannot hide behind "lack of evidence" unless there is no lack of research to begin with.

"With members of Y-hap MNOPS, specifically R".

Cannot be because MNOPS seems to expand with mtDNA R subclades in East Asia and Melanesia, so R must have coalesced by then already. I had already considered that possibility and makes no sense whatsoever, sorry.

Either N coalesced in South/West Asia, which only caters 4/12 (=1/3) N basal sublineages or it must have somehow backmigrated from the East, which caters all the rest (all but A in SEA and Near Oceania). That's why I hypothesized a backmigration with C but you have challenged this pretty well, so I don't know how to explain.

Maybe N coalesced in the area between Bengal and Burma? That would allow for easier integration in the Ganges-Narmada corridor but it's very difficult to judge.

"And mtDNA left N-derived haplogroups P, R11/B and R9/F behind".

The problem is that all those are R, not basal N haplogroups (homework!) R coalesced before these did and, from diversity, did in South Asia, not East Asia.

N did indeed leave many basal sublineages in the East: N9, N13, N14, N21, N22, A, O and S. This clearly points to an Eastern coalescence of N, which I associate with Y-DNA C and D. However many M sublineages must have also been involved in the C/D expansions. This last poses no problem if we admit that the overall route of migration went through South Asia.

"I think it's actually the other way round. N was originally associated with C. It's the association with F-derived haplogroups that represents the change".

That's my default hypothesis and I see a clear association of Western N, specially R, to IJK, with a branch migrating into Eastern Eurasia as MNOPS.

You have mistaken a sentence after a long IF sequence for my default hypothesis. I'm pondering alternative scenarios, though, in any case, C does seem to have backmigrated westward, though mysteriously so.

terryt said...

This is ridiculous. Definitely my last comment.

"I'm dropping my theory therefore".

No you're not. You're sticking with the same old rubbish.

"No. It can perfectly imply that CF evolved outside and DE inside Africa".

The evidence provided in your link says otherwise. But you're not prepared to accept it because that doesn't suit your belief.

"Logically: we are talking of Y-DNA in the Arabian deserts. If any remnant there is, it must be in mtDNA".

No we're not. Read the article. They postulate the Levant and Anatolia.

"we see no evidence of mtDNA flow of any sort into Africa at such stages"

Why on earth should we necessarily see associated mtDNA?

"I see a clear association of Western N, specially R, to IJK"

True for the west. But a whole lot had happened before then. And in the east the association is different.

"The problem is that all those are R, not basal N haplogroups (homework!)"

So why is that a problem? We're talking about mtDNA R's expansion, not N's at this stage.

"R coalesced before these did and, from diversity, did in South Asia, not East Asia".

'Diversity' is not 'origin'. My guess is mtDNA R coalesced in SE Asia.

"South Asia in particular is large and fertile enough to have kept such traces".

So how come the first haplogroups there weren't able to fill the vacant habitat? You have even agreed with my comment, 'the first arrivals tend to expand to saturation point'.

"This demands that the F/M bi-lineage was soon (if not since the very beginning) clearly dominant in numbers".

As appears to be the case in India.

"We are not talking species here".

You believe that Homo sapiens is not a 'species'?

"lack of any archaeological trail for MSA-like in must-go-by Altai in spite of excellent archaeology along the decades"

I've many times provided links that show archeological evidence for virtually continuous human habitation, right from the Altai to the Amur, over the last 160,000 years. We also know that modern humans outside Africa carry up to 4% non-African genes. Do we need to assume those genes are Neanderthal? I think not, especially as Europeans have no more of those genes than do Papuans.

Maju said...

"No you're not. You're sticking with the same old rubbish".

I am dropping my theory on backmigration of C5 through coastal India. I do, seriously (unless new evidence shows up).

And I am asking for alternatives to how mtDNA N backmigrated from SE Asia to South Asia and beyond. So far no one that makes any sense has been provided.

I will have to see if I can find one of my own. So far nope.

"The evidence provided in your link says otherwise. But you're not prepared to accept it because that doesn't suit your belief".

Meaningless aggressive rhetoric.

"No we're not. Read the article. They postulate the Levant and Anatolia".

They can postulate whatever they want but where is the data that backs it? Remember that Abu Amero is a Saudi Arabian with all the prejudices that it implies. He's doing a good work documenting the peninsula but you don't have to believe every conjecture he throws up. He's probably just being ethnocentric. You too, I suspect.

Anyhow, the Levant and Anatolia were Neanderthal territory most of that time, specially Anatolia and the North Levant. Also Iraq-Iran.

Of course people could just pass by, greet the Neanders and go on... after having some convenient sex to explain the 1-4%. But I think it was not so easy.

"Why on earth should we necessarily see associated mtDNA?"

Because as far as I know, we men cannot have children on our own.

Also mtDNA is more stable.

"True for the west. But a whole lot had happened before then. And in the east the association is different".

Exactly my point. And that is why I am asking, begging, for an alternative Y-DNA haplogroup that might explain the backmigration of N to South or even West Asia, where it'd be picked up by IJK and then back-backmigrate to SE Asia as Y-DNA K-MNOPS with mtDNA R (three subclades).

We need an explanation for the backmigration of N westward. Because as far as I know, before modern technologies, women could not have children alone either. I was ok with a little C5 but you guys have frustrated my hypothesis (I don't blame you for that), so I need, we need, an alternative hypothesis.

I'm asking for ideas but you are not helping the least.

"So why is that a problem? We're talking about mtDNA R's expansion, not N's at this stage".

No. I am talking of N. My problem is how N backmigrated from SEA to SA (or WEA if you wish). What guys went with those chicks? I thought it was C5 but seems I was wrong.

So, any ideas?

Maju said...

"'Diversity' is not 'origin'. My guess is mtDNA R coalesced in SE Asia".

Then we cannot agree. I don't see how can that be possible. A basic premise of my understanding of population genetics is that basal diversity indicates origin, at least approximate.

And it makes sense in all cases I know, so you better start your own blog in order to explain in detail (comments are surely not the best place for that) your original (and unbelievable) theory.

"So how come the first haplogroups there weren't able to fill the vacant habitat?"

They were: the first haplogroups were Y-DNA CF (coalescing at that point into F) and mtDNA pre-M (coalescing at that point into M).

D and C (and mtDNA N) may have been the first haplogroups to succeed in SEA but they are clearly not the ones who triumphed in South Asia.

"You believe that Homo sapiens is not a 'species'?"

A single species. M and N are not two different species.

"I've many times provided links that show archeological evidence for virtually continuous human habitation, right from the Altai to the Amur, over the last 160,000 years".

I don't recall anything about Amur and I believe I was the one who first provided you with the Altai link.

Anyhow, focusing on Altai, the problem is that up to c. 40 Ka (maybe 48 Ka?) it's all Mousterian with Neanderthal and then it's all "Aurignacoid" (even Aurignacian I've read it being called right away - but no bone points) with Homo sapiens.

So you cannot talk of continuity, unless you posit that those H. sapiens are the direct descendants of Neanderthals and that their mode 4 tech is directly derived from mode 3 Mousterian.

The problem of confuse mode 3-mode 4 / Neanderthal-Sapiens transitions happens elsewhere (Palestine for instance) but that seems mostly caused by archaeological discernment failures than because there is any real continuity. And anyhow mode 4 is oldest in India (and mode 5 too).

"We also know that modern humans outside Africa carry up to 4% non-African genes. Do we need to assume those genes are Neanderthal?"

Yes because the genes are not "non-African" Sapiens but specifically Neanderthal. Without comparing with Neanderthals we would have never found out that. What Green 2010 says is not that Africans and Eurasians have some differences, but that some of those differences are specifically in the direction of Neanderthal.

You could maybe argue, I guess, that it is H. erectus and not Neanderthal. But that is harder to believe. And I suspect it is not your point anyhow.

terryt said...

Sorry. A couple more:

"So you cannot talk of continuity, unless you posit that those H. sapiens are the direct descendants of Neanderthals and that their mode 4 tech is directly derived from mode 3 Mousterian".

Ever heard of introgression?

"I don't recall anything about Amur and I believe I was the one who first provided you with the Altai link".

Not so. But you obviously didn't read the link, so it's no use me looking for it again.

"Remember that Abu Amero is a Saudi Arabian with all the prejudices that it implies".

So wouldn't he be looking to show that human presence in Saudi Arabia was ancient? That's what the Chinese were very keen to do (with their Homo erectus origin there), until it was shown all haplogroups come from Africa. Now they're keen to show that Y-hap O is the first to China. And it came from the south already diversified, because they also wish to obscure the obvious southward movement of those haplogroups. That is to placate their neighbours, many of whom are worried about present expansionist possibilities.

"I am asking, begging, for an alternative Y-DNA haplogroup that might explain the backmigration of N to South or even West Asia ... where it'd be picked up by IJK and then back-backmigrate to SE Asia as Y-DNA K-MNOPS with mtDNA R (three subclades). So, any ideas?".

Surely Y-hap MNOPS fits the bill. N had moved south with the C Y-hap that eventually became C2 in Wallacea and C4 in Australia. It's your unwillingness to consider the possibility of an SE Asian origin for Y-DNA K-MNOPS and mtDNA R that is the source of your difficulty. The problem dissappears entirely if you make that connection.

"We need an explanation for the backmigration of N westward. Because as far as I know, before modern technologies, women could not have children alone either".

I've many times offered such an explanation. But as you're so convinced that humans emerged from Africa across the Bab al Mandab in boats you cannot see it as an explanation. To me it's interesting that Y-hap R and many of the mtDNA R-derived haplogroups are spread along the east coast of India and along the Ganges valley.

"I'm asking for ideas but you are not helping the least".

Mainly because yoy refuse to read the links provided. Or consider any other hypothesis but your 'Out of India'.

Maju said...

"Ever heard of introgression?"

Yes and you? Introgression means that there are two large populations, usually different but related species, A and B, which are separated. But there is a small third population C which is hybrid and, logically, does not just import genes from A and B but also exports some to A and B. However, because of drift those genes tend to vanish, unless luck or, more commonly, evolutionary advantage alters the odds. It is a mechanism postulated and observed occasionally for the transmission of genes between species or populations without even direct contact.

How does it relate to the disappearance of Neanderthals and their replacements by Homo sapiens? Beats me!

Do you know what you're talking about?

"Not so. But you obviously didn't read the link, so it's no use me looking for it again".

Meh, that was long ago. My memory is that I provided a link to Altai "Aurignacian" and then you provided another one that suggested an eastward flow of this culture into Mongolia (not Amur) c. 20 Ka ago (that is: 20-30 Ka after it appeared in Altai).

I am not going to look for the papers now either but they were online one or two years ago when we had that debate.

"So wouldn't he be looking to show that human presence in Saudi Arabia was ancient?"

Probably and that's why he seems to be arguing for an Arabian origin of Y-DNA E, more convenient for a racist mind in a Caucasoid body than a Black African origin.

Same in your case. Because I think you have some of those very prejudices and that's why you are so obsessed with denying the self-evident central role of South Asia in the Eurasian expansion. You won't admit but there must be something of that.

"And it came from the south already diversified, because they also wish to obscure the obvious southward movement of those haplogroups. That is to placate their neighbours, many of whom are worried about present expansionist possibilities".

In China like anywhere else there's people of all mentalities. I know Chinese who are adamant of similar ideas to yours and for the same whitocentric (white-centric) unspoken and maybe even unconscious prejudices.

But even pigmentation genetics supports the southern route, regardless that there was later some gene flow through Siberia. It's a lost (and pointless) cause: our ancestors were black because they were tropical.

"Surely Y-hap MNOPS fits the bill".

No. You have to totally alter the very solidly established South Asian coalescence of mtDNA R to do that.

mtDNA simplified sequence for N/R:

1. N coalesces in SE Asia
2. Some N migrates westward
3. R coalesces in South Asia
4. R migrates to East and West

Y-DNA simplified sequence for K/MNOPS

1. K coalesces in South Asia (or West Asia)
2. Some K (pre-MNOPS) migrates to SE Asia
3. MNOPS coalesces in SE Asia and expands around
4. P migrates in western direction

It's almost exactly the opposite kind of flows. I associate easily pre-MNOPS migration to the East with that of R (leading to macro-F, macro-B and P)

So Y-DNA step 2 corresponds with mtDNA step 4. The sequences don't align! I need something that happened earlier.

What about C5 by the Ganges (or even the steppe if you push me) instead of the coast?

Maju said...

"It's your unwillingness to consider the possibility of an SE Asian origin for Y-DNA K-MNOPS and mtDNA R that is the source of your difficulty".

Only for mtDNA R. Just count the basal lineages: most are in South Asia and even West Eurasia has more than all Eastern Eurasia together, including Oceania. MtDNA R is clearly NOT any Eastern lineage by origin.

"The problem dissappears entirely if you make that connection".

But you cannot butcher genetics that way. It's like believing in the afterlife: it may solve some anxiety issues but it's not what facts very strongly suggest. It's a fallacious shortcut to nowhere.

"But as you're so convinced that humans emerged from Africa across the Bab al Mandab in boats you cannot see it as an explanation".

I fail to see the correlation. I am in fact now proposing an inland route (westward) for C5 + some N, as it's the only option I can figure out.

The other alternative is that all macro-haplogroups coalesced in South Asia and most were then drifted out, only surviving in the periphery (East Eurasia). It has been proposed before but I don't like it: it's not sufficiently parsimonious.

"To me it's interesting that Y-hap R and many of the mtDNA R"...

Even for me, that have been pushing for older coalescence ages for Y-DNA R, that association is a brutality.

There is just no comparison: if you put the phylogenetic trees side by side you soon realize that most of the Y-DNA diversity of Eurasia had already been generated by the time that Y-DNA R finally coalesced. Instead mtDNA R is very high in the matrilineal tree.

To simplify: Y-DNA F, C and D correspond with mtDNA M and N, that's obvious. MtDNA R is just one step below N, while Y-DNA R is five steps under F. They just do not compare, specially as mtDNA is more diverse than Y-DNA. MtDNA R is definitively older than Y-DNA R. It correlates in time with the likes of C2, D1, H or IJK. You can push it to the level of K but not really further because the nodes represent actual expansions (no expansion: no node), so the structures must be somewhat parallel. Not to the fine detail (because the stochasticity of mutations and historical accidents) but certainly in the general overview.

"Mainly because yoy refuse to read the links provided".

WTF! I read all links somewhat. All I said is that if you want to make a point, bother quoting or synthesizing it. I cannot read a dozen papers each day in full and you cannot expect me to do that either, much less to find the exact phrase that called your attention if you give no clues other than a link. It's ridiculous! Abusive!

"Or consider any other hypothesis but your 'Out of India'".

I consider everything, I just discard what doesn't make sense.

Anyhow, you sound childish. How old are you, Terry?

terryt said...

Again, I couldn't resist. You've made some stupid comments here.

"Probably and that's why he seems to be arguing for an Arabian origin of Y-DNA E, more convenient for a racist mind in a Caucasoid body than a Black African origin".

The authors seems not to shy away from an African origin other than Y-hap E. They wrote:

"Global male inputs from Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia across Iran, not the Levant, into the Arabian Peninsula have been estimated in this study, as 13.4% and 16.6% from both source areas respectively. Recent mtDNA studies on the same Arabian Peninsula countries [7-9,12] have confirmed a notable female-driven sub-Saharan African input with a mean value around 15% for all the Peninsula, although frequencies as high as 60% have been detected in Hadramawt populations of Yemen [9]. Curiously, the Iranian female flow (18%) was also rather similar to that calculated for Africa. Although a slight ratio excess of Sub-Saharan African female versus male gene flow is detected (1.12) we do not found the strong sexual bias proposed by other authors for Arabian populations and attributed to the peculiarities of the recent slave-trade [12,36]. Without dismissing the role mediated by slavery, the geographical distribution of these sub-Saharan African lineages in the Arabian Peninsula seems to indicate a prehistoric entrance of a noticeable portion of these lineages that participated in the building of the primitive Arabian population".

Back to your comments:

"All I said is that if you want to make a point, bother quoting or synthesizing it. I cannot read a dozen papers each day in full"

OK. But you can't then complain that the extract I provide does not provide evidence to support the conclusion offered if the paper is actually the evidence.

"MtDNA R is just one step below N, while Y-DNA R is five steps under F. They just do not compare, specially as mtDNA is more diverse than Y-DNA. MtDNA R is definitively older than Y-DNA R".

For someone who is very dismissive of the molecular evolutionary rate you seem to place a great deal of weight onto something similar here.

"Only for mtDNA R. Just count the basal lineages: most are in South Asia and even West Eurasia has more than all Eastern Eurasia together, including Oceania. MtDNA R is clearly NOT any Eastern lineage by origin".

I have reservations about your undoubted confidence with that statement. Surely it's quite easy to imagine a scenario where diversity does not equal origin. To me mtDNA R appears to be a continuation of N's expansion, not simultaneous with it. The one basal mutation between N and R could represent as much as 5000 years.

"The other alternative is that all macro-haplogroups coalesced in South Asia and most were then drifted out, only surviving in the periphery (East Eurasia). It has been proposed before but I don't like it: it's not sufficiently parsimonious".

And it's unlikely to be the correct explanation.

"you provided another one that suggested an eastward flow of this culture into Mongolia (not Amur) c. 20 Ka ago (that is: 20-30 Ka after it appeared in Altai)".

The link I provided claimed continuous human presence in the region between the Altai and the Upper Amur River basin from 160,000 years ago.

"Introgression means that there are two large populations, usually different but related species, A and B, which are separated".

I'm relieved you actually know that.

"How does it relate to the disappearance of Neanderthals and their replacements by Homo sapiens? Beats me!"

Does it really? As well as the 0-4% Neanderthal genes in modern humans it seems we have another 2% unaccounted for. How different from Neanderthals do you suppose the humans through the Altai/Amur region were?

Maju said...

Maybe I went too far with my wariness of prejudices. I don't know. Maybe I am myself prejudiced against certain prejudices? Hmm...

Certainly the quote you include emphasizing similar male and female flow rate from Africa is contradictory with the other passages where Abu-Amero argues diffusely for an Arabian origin of Y-DNA E.

Confusing if nothing else.

"But you can't then complain that the extract I provide does not provide evidence to support the conclusion offered if the paper is actually the evidence".

A paper cannot be evidence. Raw data or elements of data analysis in it can be but texts are not evidence, just explanations of or opinions on the data.

"For someone who is very dismissive of the molecular evolutionary rate you seem to place a great deal of weight onto something similar here.

"Only for mtDNA R. Just count the basal lineages: most are in South Asia and even West Eurasia has more than all Eastern Eurasia together, including Oceania. MtDNA R is clearly NOT any Eastern lineage by origin"".

This is not molecular clock at all. This is analysis of the phylogeny, of the genealogical structure of humankind. It has no relation whatsoever. My whole point has always been that phylogeny is most useful in understanding human dispersals while molecular clock hunches are wasting time and often misleading.

The issue is that phylogeny does not provide a time frame. This can only be approximated, preferably using archaeology as reference (but not always available nor sufficiently clear). But elements within the phylogeny, such as the huge star-like structures of mtDNA M and H clearly point, in my understanding, to moments of very rapid expansion, which in these two cases must correspond with the colonization of South Asia (plus...) and Europe (or West Eurasia in general) respectively. These are my main age references but are calibrated via archaeology and archaeology is still a bit uncertain about these two episodes.

"I have reservations about your undoubted confidence with that statement".

Feel free. I have even more reservations about your totally unsupported claim of an Eastern origin for R. It makes no sense whatsoever.

"The link I provided claimed continuous human presence in the region between the Altai and the Upper Amur River basin from 160,000 years ago".

Not Homo sapiens. And other species would be a barrier, not any facilitator.

"How different from Neanderthals do you suppose the humans through the Altai/Amur region were?"

Those 160 Ka ago were either Neanderthals or H. erectus, not humans in the modern sense: not our species.

terryt said...

One last comment on this thread:

"Those 160 Ka ago were either Neanderthals or H. erectus, not humans in the modern sense: not our species".

That's the reason I asked if you'd ever heard of introgression.

Maju said...

And that's why I told you that introgression is not some magical transition between two species, as you seem to believe (unsure because you are not too clear in this aspect, care to clarify?) but a mere minor transmission of some hyper-adaptive genes between them.