Basques closer to earliest European agriculturalists

The Basques are the closest genetic relatives to eight human skeletons from El Portalón in Atapuerca, northern Spain dating from 3,500 and 5,500 years ago. Sardinians have similiar genetic makeup, but lack the additional hunter-gatherer contribution from a yet earlier population that the Basques have. Apparently Estonians and Lithuanians have the highest contribution of that hunter-gatherer population, at maximum 30%.

War of the Haplogroup H Variants

For a few days, I’ve been struggling to find something clever to say about the story of Europeans mysteriously disappearing 4,500 years ago instead of just tossing a sentence with a link. A lot of remains have been found that had people with a certain variant of haplogroup H, which is now uncommon in Europe. They were replaced around that time by people with a different variant of haplogroup H. Then I noticed the article is from 2013. Whoops. I’ve not been paying attention again and have been losing the thread.

Now there’s a new study that points to large scale, violent event during that period, in which large groups of people were massacred. This is when the haplogroup H people of that certain variant were largely wiped out in Europe, right?


Out of the Americas?

Anthropogenesis breaks down the recent papers on how the Americas were populated. It introduces more papers than I’m used to on proposing a European connection (via Eurasia) but the “Ancient Northern European” theory mentioned has cited papers, not entirely wild speculation, although it seems Ancient Northern Eurasians would be more accurate.

The wilder aspect is the Out of Americas theory. I’ve not seen anyone else mentioning back migrations from the Americas into Eurasia. The only back migrations that I’m aware of would be in Africa and that’s yet to be untangled. It seems like a fringe idea but I’m compelled to read more.

descendants of population y in the Amazon

So the story that the Americas were populated in a single wave of people no earlier than 23,000 years ago was trotted out31 living Native Americans genomes were compared to 23 ancient Native American genomes. Yep, yep, yep. See? No one was displaced from the Americas until the Europeans showed up. Until then it was one big happy family in the New World.

Except that there is a new paper published in Nature titled ‘Ghost population’ hints at long-lost migration to the Americas.

the Suruí and the Karitiana, are more closely related to Papua New Guineans and Aboriginal Australians than other Native Americans are to these Australasian  groups.

That’s more like it. Destroy that one wave theory.

There’s still hope from Monte Verde and Topper Site.

Nubian cores in Arabia and South Africa

Here’s a nice piece on how the implications of Nubian cores found in Arabia and South Africa explain the dispersal of Homo sapiens.

Do these Nubian artefacts reflect a great migration of north-east Africans to the continent’s southern tip? Or are they the result of convergence in the face of finite possibilities?

For several reasons, we think that they reflect convergence. First, we could find no evidence of Nubian-like cores in the 6000 km between the classic Nubian belt and south-west Africa. If there was a great migration, it is one that left no evidence in the intervening space. Second, our artefacts likely occur some 15,000 to 60,000 years too late for the typical Nubian.

To put that in perspective, it would require people to maintain the same technology across 750 to 3000 generations, all the while moving from the Sahara across central Africa and down into the temperate zones of southern Africa.


Convergence, eh? I might be dissuaded of my uninformed, fanciful ideas soon.

Kennewick Man’s closest living relatives are Native Americans

Moriori and Ainu are ruled out. Kennewick Man’s closest living relatives are Native Americans. However, he’s not strongly linked to any specific group or tribe as there have been insufficient genetic studies.

Though they were not able to directly link the Kennewick Man to any specific modern tribe, the researchers argue that the Colville people may be more closely related to Kennewick Man than other Native Americans. Two possible scenarios emerge from the analysis. First, around 9,200 years ago, an ancient population of humans in North America split into two branches. One produced Kennewick Man a few hundred years later, and one gave rise to modern Native Americans, including the Colville. In the second scenario, Kennewick Man could be a direct ancestor of the Colville, and over time, an influx of DNA from other groups could have made that connection hard to distinguish.

It’s about heritage. We cannot possibly understand.

To be honest… no, I don’t respect every desire of every culture. Reverence for nature and for ancestors makes sense, but willfully to choose ignorance of human origins is annoying. The arguments for not studying who Kennewick Man is sound as convincing as the arguments of anti-vaxxers and homeopaths.