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From: Alan R <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Age of R1b
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 11:23:45 +0000 (GMT)


As far as I can see, the only real counterargument being given to the new dating/critique of the old dating is the modern distribution, which is probably the least reliable evidence.  
 
As for archaeology. I am a professional archaeologist and I will repeat again that archaeology is notorious for being especially bad at distinguishing between cultural and demic diffusion and subject to huge swings in interpretation depending on fashion.  For instance, if you carefully read the 'Europe's First Farmers' edited by Price etc (one of the most important recent overview books when considering population change), you will notice that the various chapters (by different authors) include completely reverse views on replacement/continuity at the start of the European Neolithic relating to several of the European Neolithic cultures.  There is simply no agreement on this, 
 
One thing I will note though is the suggestion of a burst of branching of R1b lineages suggests some sort of demographic effect.  Now if that is dated to the Early Bronze Age, there is no really  obvious smoking gun such as that at the beginning of the Neolithic a few 1000 years earlier.  Once, the coming of dairying and its ability to support several times greater a population than beef-only cattle would have been cited as a demographic window.  However, very recently, studies of pot residues and other lab based archaeological studies have proved that dairy products (including milk) were being consumed from the inception of the Neolithic from the NW tip of Turkey/Bulgaria to the British Isles.  So that possibility has gone. 
 
I have suggested that the infiltration, perhaps initially welcomed by locals of clans who controlled the procurement, manufacturing and distribution of metal raw sources and finished products may be marked c. 2500BC (or just before) by the arrival of the Beaker culture across Europe from Hungary to Ireland,  This in undoubtedly the best fit archaeological horizon for the new redating of R1b1c being suggested.  Their advantage would initially have been non-overwhelming (copper was really for show and most weapons remained stone/flint) but by the middle Bronze Age, all weapons and much wealth, display and prestige would have been in the gift of those who controlled metal.  Perhaps the locals let useful specialist groups in who would later turn out to be a Trojan horse.  The people who controlled the metal trade were the real stars of mid-late Bronze Age when metalwork was the biggest category of archaeological remains and was apparently the
focus of much of the surplus wealth. This group must also have shared a lingua franca and it seems likely that this was Indo-European and latterly early Celtic or Celto-Italic throughout most of western Europe. 
 
Alan 



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