GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-10 > 1162208174
From: "Steven Bird" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Neolithic J2 and E3b in Britain? Maybe not.
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 06:36:14 -0500
Ellen, thank you for your thoughtful response. I will reply below.
>There is very little archaeological evidence
>concerning the transition from Mesolithic culture to
>Neolithic farming in Britain or the impact of
>indigenous acculturation versus colonization by
This is of course the root of the problem.
I don't think colonization, either on a small
>or large scale, can be ruled out.
I think it depends on the time frame; it may be possible to rule out a
significant Balkan and Anatolian *Neolithic* contribution to the modern gene
pool, based on existing archaeological evidence which suggests that this
group never made it as far as Britain.
According to Peter
>Woodman, an archaeologist at University College, Cork,
>there was an appearance of "almost uniform middle
>Neolithic by 5000 BP," in England and therefore "it is
>not surprising that there has been an almost unwritten
>assumption that the beginning of the Neolithic in
>Britain and Ireland was a phenomenon which began
>throughout the whole region within a very short period
That would translate to 3000 B.C., yes? I would expect by then that if
there were Neolithic settlers from southeastern Europe present in Britain,
that there would be some archaeological evidence of their presence, just as
there is in many other parts of Europe, including those regions that feature
a high presence of E3b and J2 (Neolithic farmers) today.
>The problem, however, is assessing how the change took
>place. If there was infiltration by groups of
>farmers, the question would be: How would you be able
>to determine what haplogroups they belonged to?
That is the point of studies such as the one by King and Underhill, that are
attempting to link the archaeological evidence with the genetic
distributions. With his 2006 paper, Cruciani has proved for all intents and
purposes that E3b1a2 is characteristic of a portion of the Balkan population
and that it is geographically identified with that region. All published
evidence suggests that it spread from there to the rest of Europe.
If the Balkan Neolithics did indeed make it to Britain, I would expect to
see archaeological evidence of settlement by the Painted Pottery culture,
the little figurines identifed and described by King and Underhill, the
Linear Pottery culture, the "Musical Note" Linear Pottery group, the
so-called Grey or Monochrome pot culture, pit graves, "ochre" graves,
perhaps even beehive tombs. All of the characteristics of the Balkan
Neolithic, Eneolithic, and Early Bronze age cultures, regardless of
haplotype. The absence of these features suggests that the people(s) who
made them were never there at all.
Here is a website with nice photos of some of the above Neolithic Balkan
items, for those who are interested:
It shows photos of the kinds of pottery, figurines and copper tools that one
would expect to find as a residue of any Balkan Neolithic settlement.
The Windmill Hill and Beaker People cultures have potsherds and even intact
pots that have survived. These are not cultures that are typically
identified as having originated in the Balkans or Anatolia. If the
Neolithic farmers had come to Britain from the Balkans, then where are the
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|Re: [DNA] Neolithic J2 and E3b in Britain? Maybe not. by "Steven Bird" <>|