GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-01 > 1263215577
From: Alan R <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] R-L21 possible areas of origin
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 13:12:57 +0000 (GMT)
I would agree that the beaker and corded ware cultures are the closest in date to the MRCA dates and indeed the only widespread enough cultures to be in the frame for transporting y-lines from east to west. However, Corded Ware is a very poor match for R1b1b2's main concentration and I would focus on the beaker culture which is a much better match. However, there are also major problems with the beaker correlation. The main issue against correlating R1b1b2 and beaker culture is that the phylogeny clearly makes the R1b1b2 story as a whole one of a SE to west/north-west movement. In contrast, the latest thinking based on reassessment of radiocarbon dates is that the beaker phenomenon originated in Iberia c. 2800BC and spread north and east from there, all of its spreading being complete before 2000BC. That is a south-west to north and east movement, pretty well the opposite of the south-east to west and north movement implied by R1b1b2
phylogeny. As it stands right now the latest ideas about the beaker culture and R1b1b2 are completely incompatible both in terms of direction of spread and it has to be said that there is still a bit of a difference between an origin and spread period c. 2800-2000BC and the MRCA dates around 1000 years later.
However, interpretation of the beaker phenomenon, its point of origin and its direction of spread is notoriously unstable, with an entirely new view on it appearing about every 10 years. So, I do not consider the latest Iberian origin view as set in stone. The swing back to an Iberian origin in largely based on a reassessment of radiocarbon dates using only the safest short-life materials like bones etc in order to remove 'old wood effect' etc (which can make sites look centuries older than they are). This reassessment meant areas that previous assessments had thought were early in the beaker culture like Holland) were shown not to be. This attachment has three figures. http://www.jungsteinsite.uni-kiel.de/2000_mueller/14c_raum.htm
The first figure shows the old traditional picture of beaker dating before only the 'safer' dates were used. There was a dual peak. One was an area of Iberia, south-west France and Italy while the other was a separate early peak in the Low Countries which was thought by many to be crucial in the evolution and dispersal of the beakers in NW and central Europe. The strange dual peak led to theories such as the reflux theory which saw influences from Iberia from the SW and Corded Ware from the east coalesce in the Low Countries before a major spread of developed beaker culture from the latter area took place.
However,the 2nd figure in the attachment shows the results using only short lived materials, considered 'safe dates'. This figure shows why a SW origin is now the most popular for beaker origins. The removal of the less safe dates meant that the Low Countries peak disappeared while the Iberian/western France one was retained. This is the major basis for the popularity of the Iberian origin theory and the removal of the idea of the Low Countires as an important part of the beaker culture's origins.
However, the downside was that this required an awful lot of RC dates to be thrown away and perhaps may have introduced its own biases towards areas where dating has more traditionally been carried out on bones etc. In an attempt to use a compromise technique that involved throwing out less RC dates, a statistical technique using overlapping multiple RC dates of all types from one site to get the 'true date' was used by the authors of the attachment. The findings were plotted on the third figure on the attachment. It confirms again that Holland is not early in the beaker culture and also confirms that Iberia and SW France were early. However, it also indicates again that north Italy was early and even an area of SE/east-central Europe (I think that might be Hungary) might be early in the beaker phenomenon. That to me (its just a personal view) leaves the door open that a Mediterranean spread in an east-west direction is still a
possible interpretation for the beaker phenomenon. If that is true then a picture of beaker culture spreading from SE Europe-Italy-southern France-Iberia with a move through France to the isles, Rhine, Danube etc would make a rather good match for the phylogeny of R1b1b2 as a whole. The sheer spreed of the spread of beakers would also be a good match for the apparent speed of the expansion of R1b1b2. So, although the Iberia origin is currently popular, I personally would not rule out the possibility that a south-eastern origin will one day come back into fashion. If that was the case then that could also drag beakers back towards closer to likely Indo-European homelands, opening up the possibility of a link with the dispersal of those languages west (which is pretty well impossible to argue with the Iberia beaker origin theory).
It may simply be a case of waiting for new early beaker finds from the east to be made and for the beaker interpretation fashion to change yet again. A great deal would fall into place if beakers had an eastern origin. However, for now, the present orthodoxy is a SW beaker origin and eastwards/northwards spread, which is completely incompatable with the R1b1b2 phylogeny and geography..
I think that you have hit on all of the core questions in your
message below we have been pondering for the past several years. You might
want to go back and review this message I posted to the list last July when
I was doing a review of the ages of the R1b nodes:
73. I think that a key issue here is trying to determine a precise (or at
least reasonably precise) age for R1b1b2 (R-M269). In that message I stated
that various marker sets produced an age of R-M269 somewhere between 4600
and 7100 years old. I suggested an age of R-L21 of between 4100 and 5300
years old. Anatole in his message earlier today suggested an age of R1b1b2
(R-M269) in the Middle East of around 5200 years. If these ages are
correct, then it would make it essentially impossible that R-M269
participated in the early Neolithic expansion into Europe. I am still not
convinced that my ages are correct and I still think it is possible that
R-M269 could have participated in the early Neolithic expansion into Europe.
However, if the above ages are correct, then I think we have to
seriously look at later cultures other than LBK as the source for
disseminating R-M269 throughout Europe. Rich Stevens mentioned the Beaker
Culture as a possibility for having disseminated R-L21 into the British
Isles. I agree that this is a very reasonable theory. However, I think we
should also keep the Corded Ware/Single Grave Culture in mind as a possible
means by which R-M269 was disseminated throughout Europe. Barry Cunliffe in
his book Europe Between the Oceans on p. 167 states that the Corded
Ware/Single Grave Culture is a continuum that originates about 2900 BC and
lasts for about 500 years. He shows a map on p. 168 that shows the Corded
Ware Culture going as far west as the Netherlands. If R-M269 is in the
range of 5000-7000 years old then it is certainly conceivable that it was
brought west by the Corded Ware Culture.
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