Antropología·estado español·Euskal Herria·Genética·Prehistoria

Génesis de los pueblos de Iberia

Sé que no he producido mucho en este blog sobre prehistoria; la inmediatez de lo político, social y económico me supera a menudo. Pero es un tema que no quiero dejar desatendido en mi blog en castellano, aunque priorizo siempre mi blog especializado en inglés, que tiene una audiencia global consolidada.

Y recientemente ha aparecido una tesis doctoral muy interesante (autora: Christina Roth, Universidad de Maguncia) que precisamente trata sobre la génesis de los pueblos o poblaciones de la Península Ibérica, entre el Epipaleolítico y la primera Edad de Bronce, tesis que de nuevo he comentado en For What They Were

La tesis de Roth analiza de forma estadística sobre todo, los patrones de ADN mitocondrial antiguo que se conocen en la Península y así mismo los compara con los patrones que vemos en otras partes de Europa, en particular la muy bien estudiada Europa Central.

Este es por ejemplo lo que se conoce del inicio del Neolítico o era agropecuaria en la península en términos de ADNmt:

map-eneo-hgs
Haplogrupos en gris: documentados en el Paleolítico, en colores: documentados sólo a partir del Neolítico.

Vemos para empezar que hay muchos huecos sin datos, muy en particular el sur y sudeste peninsulares, que son importantes en el Neolítico inicial (y también más adelante). Tampoco nos vendría mal tener datos de sus precursores inmediatos en Provenza, Liguria, etc. El problema de los “huecos” no es privativo de la Península: gran parte de Europa es casi desconocida en términos de ADN antiguo;  es necesaria mucha más investigación pero de momento es lo que hay.

También vemos que:

  1. La población del Nordeste (Catalunya y valles fronterizos de Aragón) tenía entonces un porcentaje muy alto de genética que podemos describir como específica o indudablemente “neolítica”, que correspondería a los colonos y colonas (no olvidemos que el ADNmt es de transmisión exclusivamente matrilineal) llegados del Este a lo largo de las costas del Mediterráneo Norte y correspondientes en este caso a la cultura de la Cerámica Cardial (o Impreso-Cardial), que en última instancia viene de la zona del Mar Egeo y que tiene otra ramificación continental que llega hasta Alemania y el Norte de Francia con una genética muy similar. Hoy día la población que mejor preserva esta herencia “neolítica” son los habitantes de Cerdeña, pero este legado es muy importante también en la Península Ibérica, vascos incluidos (aunque con matices).
  2. La población del Oeste (Portugal) era entonces aún muy parecida a los cazadores-recolectores del Epipaleolítico. Es posible que incorporaran muchos linajes venidos del Este, vía Andalucía y quizá incluso el Norte de Marruecos, pero en su gran mayoría no son los linajes específicos que vemos en los primeros agricultores de Catalunya, de Alemania o de Turquía Occidental, sino otros que parecen ser de origen cuando menos europeo, si no local.
  3. La población del Norte (Euskal Herria, Castilla la Vieja y Alto Ebro), con un porcentaje moderado de linajes obviamente “neolíticos”, es sorprendentemente “moderna”, no exactamente como es hoy día pero sin duda ese gráfico de tarta pasaría totalmente desapercibido (o casi) entre los de los europeos modernos, sobre todo los occidentales. El ojo experto quizá detecte que hay demasiado U pero por lo demás es sorprendentemente parecido. Además, hay un yacimiento concreto (Paternabidea, cerca de Pamplona) que ese sí que es uno de las rarísimas muestras del Neolítico Inicial que es totalmente “moderna” (la otra es Gurgy, en Borgoña, apuntad este nombre porque volverá a aparecer más abajo).

Es necesario mencionar que parece haber cierta contradicción entre lo que dicen los linajes uniparentales y el ADN nuclear autosómico (recombinable), ya que éste sugiere (con muestras limitadas) una mayor influencia de lo “neolítico”. Una posible explicación sería quizá que, a medida que avanzaban los primeros agricultores hacia el Oeste, iban incorporando linajes de las gentes aborígenes con quienes se mezclaban, pero no está claro por qué eso no parece afectar tanto al ADN autosómico. En este artículo me centro en el ADNmt, que ya es bastante complejo por sí solo y tiene la ventaja de basarse en muchas más muestras antiguas, sobre todo en el caso de Iberia.

En el artículo en inglés incluyo más gráficos (y por supuesto la tesis de Roth tiene aún más, leedla) pero aquí me voy a centrar en en los que considero más reveladores, por ejemplo:

clusters-fig17-annotated
Las anotaciones en cursiva son mías. Las “secuencias” de arriba son meros “conceptos” y no deben tomarse literalmente, sobre todo porque nos faltan muchos datos. Los colores que uso en las anotaciones son ayudas para entender la secuencia temporal.

Qué parece decir este análisis de “clusters” (literalmente: “racimos”)? Veamos:

  1. El “racimo” o “grupo” 2a incluye a los cazadores-recolectores ibéricos (HGW), a dos poblaciones del primer Neolítico (oeste o CPE y norte o NSE), así como a una población del neolítico tardío (Euskal Herria y Alto Ebro o EVN). Nótese que en esta última región (básicamente los precursores de la nación vasca) perdemos la pista en este momento, aunque yo la he considerado con más datos en un análisis propio que podéis leer en castellano en Ama Ata y en inglés en For What They Were (la conclusión es que parece haber mucha continuidad hasta el presente, algo que no ocurre ni en Alemania, ni en Portugal)
  2. El otro “racimo” que podemos observar tempranamente es el 1b, que corresponde a la población más extremadamente “colonial” o “neolítica” y que inicialmente vemos en Catalunya (NEE) y el caso extremo de Els Trocs, Aragón, con 100% de linajes “neolíticos” (TROCE). En el Neolítico tardío esta apariencia de población fuertemente “colonial” se aprecia sobre todo en Castilla la Vieja (NMN). También lo vemos en el Calcolítico (Edad del Cobre) de Catalunya (NEC), lo que sugiere que no hubo cambios importantes en esa zona NE en todo este período de varios milenios (una contemporánea del Languedoc es también similar).
  3. El “racimo” 1a es parecido al 1b (primariamente “colono”) pero con más mezcla de las poblaciones aborígenes. Se aprecia primero en el Neolítico tardío de Portugal (CPN), lo que, por contraste con el Neolítico inicial, indicaría la arribada de poblaciones desde el sur o el este peninsular en este período, continuando en el Calcolítico y quizá hasta la actualidad. También se incluye en este grupo el Bronce inicial de ambas mesetas, lo que sería el inicio de la cultura de Cogotas I.
  4. El “racimo” 2b es parecido a 2a pero más “neolitizado”. Incluye el neolítico tardío del Valle de Ambrona (zona de Calatayud), el Calcolítico de las regiones Sur y Sudeste (es decir: todo lo que hay entre Valencia y el Algarve), así como de la Meseta Sur (zona de Madrid-Aranjuez). En el Bronce sabemos que continúa en el Sudeste y se extiende al Nordeste, prefigurando probablemente ya las poblaciones modernas en gran medida.

Nota de periodización: el Neolítico inicial comienza en Iberia entre c. 5700 y 5000 AEC, según la región, el final probablemente se considere a partir de c. 4000 AEC, el Calcolítico comienza c. 3000 AEC y el Bronce c. 1900 AEC (c. 1500 comienza el Bronce medio, que no está cubierto en ninguna región por este estudio).

El patrón general es que inicialmente hay dos poblaciones: una más estrictamente colonial o “neolítica”, que primero vemos en Catalunya (aunque es probable que también existiera en la zona de Valencia-Alacant y Balears, pero nos falta el dato), y otra parecida (pero no idéntica) a los cazadores-recolectores del Epipaleolítico (en norte y oeste al menos). Más tarde la divisoria se diluye algo pero el patrón es irregular y algo contraintuitivo: por un lado el Oeste y la Meseta se “neolitizan” claramente, mientras que Catalunya (y quizá el Sudeste) se “desneolitizan” significativamente. Y aunque seguramente aún se producirán algunos cambios más adelante, este patrón consolidado al inicio de la Edad de los Metales podría en gran parte haberse preservado hasta la actualidad (hoy día el tercio oeste peninsular parece algo más “neolítico”, y norteafricano también, que los dos tercios orientales). Por supuesto que necesitamos más datos para estar seguros pero lo que sabemos hoy por hoy da esta impresión y lo que nos revela el análisis estadístico de esta tesis me parece muy interesante, porque hasta ahora no veía claro como se podría haber producido esta configuración genética moderna y ahora creo que empiezo a entenderlo gracias a la Doctora Roth (espero que le hayan dado el doctorado, se lo merece sin duda).

Y Europa?

Pues mire usted (sic), Sr. Rajoy…

Ah, no, perdón, no creo que el Presidente Terminal lea esto. A él lo que le va es el fúrbol y el grannemano ese, tengo entendido. En fin.

Para el resto, para el precariado más o menos educado que sí que tiene interés en las cosas importantes de la vida, tengo que decir que en Europa, o al menos en Alemania, es distinto.

Comienza igual: con la arribada de colonos y colonas agricultoras, con una genética casi idéntica a la que vemos en la Catalunya neolítica, que se rastrea perfectamente hasta el Neolítico de Turquía Occidental. Allí llevan otra cultura, léase: otro diseño cerámico (LBK por sus siglas alemanas), pero son básicamente la misma gente y seguramente hablaban un idioma muy parecido (lenguas vascónicas probablemente), ya que sólo habían pasado unos mil años desde que sus rutas se separaron en los Balcanes.

pca-europe-annotated
Fig. 23, anotada por mí.

El gráfico de arriba es un “análisis de componentes principales” (PCA) que nos viene muy bien para entender qué pasa en Europa Central y en Iberia, siempre desde la perspectiva del ADNmt, en este período formativo de las poblaciones europeas.

Se aprecia por un lado lo que sería la “polaridad neolítica” (Neolithic polarity) ubicada a la izquierda tirando algo para abajo, representada por Els Trocs (TROCE), el Neolítico inicial de Catalunya (NEC) y de Alemania (LBK), así como alguna otra población centroeuropea posterior. Vemos también dos polaridades “paleolíticas” o “aborígenes” bastante distintas: por un lado los cazadores-recolectores de Iberia (HGW), hacia arriba, y por otro los de Europa Central (HGC) y Oriental (HGE), a la derecha y más bien hacia arriba. De nuevo Roth usa el color gris para representar a las poblaciones pre-neolíticas. Finalmente, no anotada, vemos una cuarta polaridad hacia abajo, representada por la cultura de Unetice (Calcolítico final centroeuropeo, UC) que creo que debería asociarse a las invasiones indoeuropeas o tendencia equivalente hacia el neolítico de Europa Oriental (no representado aquí pero conocido por otros estudios).

Lo más importante es quizá que vemos dos diferentes zonas de mestizaje: una afectando sobre todo a Iberia y la otra diferente a casi toda Europa Central. Este proceso es algo que revela por vez primera esta tesis y que hasta ahora no se entendía nada bien, ya que no se ve distinción clara entre cazadores-recolectores de Iberia y Centroeuropa en los estudios de tipo autosómico, quizá por la escasez de muestras. Son las diferencias en el ADNmt entre estas dos poblaciones pre-neolíticas precisamente las que causan las diferencias en las “zonas de mezcla”, correspondiendo increíblemente bien a la geografía.

Es decir: los primeros agricultores europeos, venidos del Egeo, se mezclaron con poblaciones aborígenes algo diferentes en Iberia y Europa Central y este patrón es claro para prácticamente todos los casos. Ahora bien, hay una excepción muy notoria: Blätterhölle (BLA), un yacimiento de Westfalia en el que se documentó la convivencia de granjeros y cazadores-recolectores.

Por qué Blätterhölle es excepcional? Qué implicaciones tiene?

Aún no lo sé con certeza pero:

  1. BLA encaja con el conjunto de poblaciones tempranamente “modernas” (Paternabidea, Gurgy, etc.) o “hiper-mordernas” por exceso del haplogrupo H (Neolítico inicial de Portugal), de hecho se agrupa con ellas en el análisis de racimos, que no muestro aquí (fig. 24). Sobre todo se agrupa con HGW, es decir: los aborígenes pre-neolíticos de Iberia, pero sus siguientes “parientes” no son los cazadores-recolectores de Europa Central sino las poblaciones neolíticas de iberia que tienen primariamente linajes “aborígenes” (CPE, NSE y EVN, mencionadas antes). Es decir: tenemos una población en la Westfalia del Neolítico tardío que no se parece a los agricultores de allá ni tampoco demasiado a los cazadores-recolectores de esa región, sino a los cazadores-recolectores de Iberia y algunos de los primeros agricultores de estos lares. Sorprendente sin duda, pero es que de lo que hay entre medias, primariamente Francia, no sabemos casi nada, sólo tenemos un dato: Gurgy, que sin duda encaja demasiado bien.
  2. La sensación que da es que es esa gigantesca región casi inexplorada entre el Alto Ebro y el Bajo Rin (o Wesser o incluso Bajo Elba quizá) de donde podría emanar esa “modernidad genética” que sabemos con certeza que no se explica ni por los colonos neolíticos venidos del sudeste, ni por los invasores indoeuropeos venidos del nordeste. Otro punto de referencia a mencionar aquí, por su relevancia, es que los primeros agricultores de Suecia eran muy parecidos genéticamente a las poblaciones actuales de Iberia, particularmente los vascos.
  3. Westfalia es próxima a la zona de origen de la cultura de Michelsberg (Calcolítico temprano), que sabemos que desplazó a los primeros agricultores (LBK) de Alemania, el Norte de Francia, Países Bajos y Suiza. Y a pesar de ser una cultura clave y de estar centrada en Alemania (la región mejor estudiada de Europa sin duda), no tenemos muestras de ADN antiguo suyo. Se que no es cierto pero es que parece que lo hacen adrede porque es difícil fallar tanto. En el caso de Francia es una cuestión de pura hostilidad política, legal y burocrática hacia la genética de poblaciones, pero en el caso de Alemania tiene que ser mala suerte pura, porque es que prácticamente todas las demás culturas están secuenciadas pero Michelsberg no, aún no.

Y esto es todo. Espero que, a pesar del austericidio, pronto tengamos más información que nos permita precisar más aún ese “de dónde venimos” que tanto nos despierta la curiosidad. Pero de momento parece que, por un lado hubo poblaciones más “mediterráneas” (tipo sardo) avanzando por el sur (?) de Iberia hacia el oeste y el interior, y, por otro, poblaciones más atlánticas o “mestizas” (tipo vasco?) avanzando en el continente y reemplazando a esos primeros colonos del Neolítico inicial. Esa es la sensación que los datos disponibles me dan.

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17 comentarios sobre “Génesis de los pueblos de Iberia

  1. «algo que no ocurre ni en Alemania, ni en Portugal)»

    That´s not true, at least, for Portugal.

    Here it is what is mentioned on the original reference that you are using:

    «We see some but not-so-radical changes with the arrival of Neolithic: some apparent decrease of U (halved) and L(xR), a +33% growth of H and first detection of HV0 (probably V). However these changes seem to have been partly countered by Chalcolithic, plausibly by means of blending between first farmers and more purely aboriginal populations. Overall I am very much tempted to think that the arrival of Neolithic to (South and Central) Portugal only caused mild demic changes.»

    Also Western Iberians seem to have different mtDNA components than Basques and a somewhat different pre-historic origin, again from the source that you are using (for what they were we are):

    «See for example: http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2011/04/guest-post-by-argiedude-west-east-y-dna.html

    This can be interpreted in Neolithic or Paleolithic terms but certainly not in the context of later processes such as the Muslim period, which should have affected other areas (would be a S-N gradient not a W-E one). I personally favor a Solutrean era founder effect related to the genesis of Oranian in North Africa. At that time the core of settlement in non-Cantabrian Iberia was the SE (from Valencia to Gibraltar) but the area of Lisbon and some scattered settlements elsewhere were also inhabited. The North African Oranian being partly of South Iberian Gravetto-Solutrean origin explains the high incidence of SW European mtDNA lineages in North Africa (H1, H3, H4, H7 and V) but there was probably also some backflow in the opposite direction, maybe bringing the concept of winglets in projectile points, which I believe was introduced back then in Europe and has a long tradition in North African Aterian instead. This backflow may have impacted more intensely into the Atlantic facade, otherwise similar to the Mediterranean one. In turn, Asturian Solutrean, unlike the rest of the Cantabrian cornice (which was rather related to Aquitaine), owes its origins to Southern Iberian one (probably from Portugal via Salamanca). Later in Magdalenian we see a division between the Basque and the Cantabrian-Asturian facies, what may have been the occasion for the Asturian or otherwise West Iberian North African influences and other peculiarities to have expanded to that area.

    This is my favorite interpretation but I’m of course uncertain about it being actually correct.»

    Basques are not more Iberians, than other Iberians.
    If we present bone studies (teeth, adult left femora, skull comparisons), this should become even more evident.

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    1. “Basques are not more Iberians, than other Iberians.”

      At no moment I meant than anybody is “more Iberian” than anybody else, that’s not something we can judge six thousand years after the changes that this thesis appear to show did happen. What it seems (from other data) is that today’s Portuguese seem “less paleolithic” or “less hunter-gatherer” or “less aboriginal” (in that sense of the Neolithic divide) than some other populations, certainly Basques but also early Neolithic Central Portuguese, and that this change happened around the late Neolithic, something I did not expect until I saw this study. I rather expected that the change or some of those changes would have happened at a later time, maybe with the Celtic invasions c. 700 BCE or maybe with the expansion northwards of the Bronze Age SW “horizons”. With this data on hand, now I can say that the change seems to be older, from the late Neolithic in the case of Central Portugal and it’d be interesting to wonder which cultural changes, if any, may herald it in the archaeological record. It’d also be interesting to have some more data for that western third (for example Galicia or Asturias, or a wider record for Southern Portugal or Extremadura) but so far we will have to wait.

      “again from the source that you are using (for what they were we are)”

      That’s my English-language blog, not sure if you are aware. I wrote those paragraphs myself. And I do not see any contradiction between then and now, just that now we do have some more data, which seems to point to a population change in Central Portugal very specifically at the late Neolithic. That’s the news here.

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      1. Well there was change on the Late Neolithic, but most of the native mtDNA, keeps being the same, actually even until modern times. I don´t see the same for Germany, though.

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      2. It´s normal that some pre-neolithic cultures and people could have lived until the Neolithic, I suppose. There are mentions about the same happening here (until surprisingly late times) and in many other places.

        I honestly think that´s way to soon to evaluate definitely how Paleolithic or Mesolithic, the Portuguese are (I guess you mean about genes, not phenotypes). At least, hundreds of ancient and modern samples would need to be analyzed (not only from Iberia, but also from countries that are situated close to it) and we would have to good look on the villages and rural peoples (mainly those with known history of continuity), the ones that more likely represent better the native population.
        Even if what you say, is true, that doesn´t mean that they are less paleolithic overall.

        Phenotypically speaking, by reading the papers that I had access, the examples that are posted on the web, the Basques that I saw in real life (while I was in Basque country), I would dare to say (without great hesitation), that the Portuguese look overall, more «Paleolithic» than Basques.

        Is what you read in some places on the web… Basques claiming being the original Iberians and sometimes, even Europeans… I know that´s absurd!

        And many thanks for your references on the autosomal DNA data. You have been very helpful.

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      3. I see you all the time on the defensive: as if whether being more or less genetically-Neolithic would make any difference on what you are now, personally and collectively as nation. It does not as far as I can tell.

        Also, if that serves you as consolation of sorts, notice that much of the “HG” component in modern Europeans is also intrusive from Eastern Europe (via the Indoeuropean conquerors). There has been mix and remix and, as Western European, I don’t see much of a difference if settlers and conquerors came from what is now Turkey or Russia, really, both are at about the same distance.

        But in any case it’s a matter of facts, not wishes.

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      4. Well, I didn´t claimed to be more or less Epipaleolithic, that subject was introduced by you (both in your blog and here) and I replied accordingly.

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      5. Those are facts, or at the very least apparent facts based on the data available (always subject to revision, as everything in science). What bothers me is that you seem to take it as something personal, emotional. I know this may be difficult if you begin with some other idea but anyhow it does surprise me somewhat when the traditional opinion of Portuguese academics like Zilhao (often in conflict with his Spanish peers) is that there was a large demographic replacement with Neolithic.

        Actually, if you read Chandler, Sykes & Zilhao 2005, it argues (against their own evidence) that there was replacement, what I always felt was a discursive concesion to Zilhao’s pro-replacement ideas. Naturally I, Roth and others eventually stick to the data set and ignore that “conclusion”, reaching to rather the opposite conclusion: that even if there was maybe a partial replacement, the replacers were in essence former hunter-gatherers (in terms genetic).

        However, on light of Roth’s data and analysis, this only applies to the Early Neolithic and it is in the Late Neolithic when we see a rather clear replacement. That there was some sort of replacement is no news: we knew that there is a very marked difference in the genetic pool (mtDNA) between Neolithic and modern Portuguese (notably lots of H first vs rather low H now), what we did not know was when did that change happen; just a few months, maybe just weeks, ago I was suggesting “probably the Celts” did it — well, seems I was wrong: it seems now that the change happened earlier, with the Late Neolithic.

        And that is a quite interesting thing to know. Also, in the emotional plane it could satisfy a less demanding Portuguese person because it seems to show that there was genetic and demographic continuity in the region since quite early, much earlier than in Germany for instance, or Catalonia as well. Your roots are deep: relax.

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      6. I´m just commenting what is available to me, forget about the emotional part and I´m fine with what I am (whatever is). Even if I´m genetically 500 years old (which is impossible, I know) and everyone else here in my country is 500 years old as well, I´m perfectly fine with it.

        So, just because the «H» haplogroup frequencies changed, I wouldn´t call that a replacement, per si. It could be that «H» became more sucessful, etc… So by what I see from those graphs, most of the pre-neolithic ancestry, is basically the same until modern times. Unless, you got detailed info from the exact «H» haplotypes that were present during all the timelines that we are speaking about and then you can date each one when it arrived (more or less precisely). , I wonder how related it could be a «H» bearer, that, let´s suppose, arrived during the Late Neolithic in Iberia,, from a another refugee area (let´s suppose) France, with a pre-neolithic Iberian hunter-gatherer that has the same mtDNA haplogroup from a period before (let´s suppose Late Mesolithic/Early Neolithic). Maybe it could have a substancial difference, since haplogroups, don´t tell us much about autosomal DNA… The French one could have some Neolithic admixture, but on the other hand, it could have also a substantial amount of shared or non shared hunter-gatherer admixture. Maybe I´m sounding a bit confusing, but I hope that you understand my doubts… These are just few simulated scenarios, there could be several another ones.
        Even if everything is just like it is assumed by some authors, like Roth, I would be very fine with it.

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      7. “So, just because the «H» haplogroup frequencies changed, I wouldn´t call that a replacement, per si. It could be that «H» became more sucessful, etc…”

        Haplogroups as such are not populations, populations (people) do carry haplogroups and not the other way around. So H on its own does nothing: H-carrying populations do (or, in the case of Central Portugal, populations carrying too little H in fact, diluting H frequencies downward). That is unless you want to appeal to highly conjectural and never demonstrated fitness selection affecting haplogroups. Some particular mutations downstream of established haplogroups may be deleterious but consolidated haplogroups as such do not seem to be so.

        A major haplogroup frequencies’ change means that new people with different genetics arrived and became a major part of the new admixed population. Partial replacement, colonization, mestizaje… whatever you want to call it but you won’t change the facts. Furthermore, as we are considering mtDNA here, it means that the carriers of change were people with many women and not mere male-only conquerors, who may go almost unnoticed in this perspective (we can always imagine amazons but historians don’t believe they ever existed as such anywhere, so disregard). So it is almost certain that the change in the Y-DNA side was at least as large as in the mtDNA one.

        “Unless, you got detailed info from the exact «H» haplotypes that were present during all the timelines”…

        That info does exist and Roth deals with it in her thesis (at least for some populations), I just skipped it because it’s too much info and it’s already rather complicated even in the simplified version. Naturally subhaplogroups or haplotypes have a quite lower strict correspondence with those of previous populations (harder to find exact matches, even in two different samples of the same population) but the overall trend is the same, so I understand that the generic trend outlined by upper tier haplogroups is good enough, at least in most cases. Also there is a technical issue when you are using data from different studies, which is not always equally detailed (sometimes the quality of the ancient DNA is not good enough, often the methods are approximative and not the most precise possible, and also often other studies are just plain “old”), so you have to sacrifice precision and fine detail in exchange of comparability.

        This may produce two pools that appear very similar but maybe are not that similar if looked in the finer detail but when two pools are different, they are different no matter how close you look at the details. You can only increase difference with greater detail, never get more similitude, and probably that increase of difference will be roughly the same for all (or at least most) cases.

        “Maybe it could have a substancial difference, since haplogroups, don´t tell us much about autosomal DNA…”

        Actually (in the Old World at least) there is a surprisingly good correspondence between what mtDNA and autosomal DNA say. It’s not 1:1 but it’s quite high anyhow (I’d say that mtDNA pool is predictive of autosomal DNA at around 2:3 or 3:4, 67-75%, that’s my rule of thumb). Y-DNA on the other hand is not as informative because, when populations were smaller, just a few “founder” men could have, in some cases at least, a huge impact in the long run but “losing” autosomal DNA “identity” from the mothers’ die generation after generation (said that, the “Genghis Khan lineage” is a myth, but it can still belong to some other anonymous patriarch from a quite older date, say the Bronze or early Iron Age, much more likely to have been a Turk than a Mongol anyhow).

        We do see often those “patrilocal” populations, in some cases they seem to imply long term conquest by a particular ethnic group, dominated by certain male lineages, in others (far north, low population densities) they just seem to imply repeated sex-biased admixture with their more dense neighbors to the south. An example of the first category is almost certainly the formation of modern NW Africans, with lots E1b and J1 Y-DNA original from the area of Nubia but still lots of mtDNA that are European or otherwise local, examples of the latter type would be proto-Native-Americans when still in NE Asia (retaining dominance of Y-DNA Q1, original from near Iran via Altai, but acquiring lots of East Asian mtDNA: A, B, C and D, and the corresponding autosomal DNA) or more recently the Western Uralic peoples of Finland, Estonia and much of Northern European Russia, which largely retain the Y-DNA dominance of N1 (an East Asian haplogroup, original from China, via Siberia) but are very much European in everything else, be it mtDNA or autosomal DNA. So mtDNA is at least a large fraction of the story and of the autosomal DNA, even in populations, such as those mentioned, in which the genesis is largely (or totally) pre-Neolithic.

        Also autosomal DNA analysis is not an exact science, as we have discussed elsewhere: the results may change significantly depending on sampling strategy and other factors. Haplogroup identification is not subject to these issues proper of statistical analysis.

        “The French one”…

        Not sure which “French one” (sample, haplogroup, what?) are you talking about here.

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    2. What´s your opinion on the so-called «increase» of a certain hunter-gatherer (HG) ancestry among Central Europeans (after the Neolithic)? I see a strong displacement for Germany, for example, visible until our days, but this data can be also limited and maybe close by , there were Neolithic populations with greater HG ancestry, just that it weren´t sampled yet.
      So I honestly think, that this «apparent» increase may be explained by the lack of samples from the Neolithic period in the area and/or probably the Neolithic samples used were from more recent migrants (from the East) which give a «biased» idea of Neolithic Central Europeans lacking HG ancestry, when compared with modern sequences.
      Anyway, just an idea…

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      1. Well, the Central European ancient DNA data set is quite extensive. There are some intriguing blanks (notably the key Michelsberg culture, which wholly replaced the previous LBK from North to South in Germany, North France, etc., which I suspect a key population that should not be ignored). So you may be onto something but in fact there are a sizable number of “late Neolithic” samples (the main problem being that most are from Eastern Germany and not the maybe more relevant Rhineland). The issues is that so far researchers have failed to find the real (or at least “obvious”) sources of that genetic change that we see unfolding in Germany and nearby areas since the Chalcolithic. There is indeed some degree of extra HG in late Neolithic all around but doesn’t seem enough (it makes them look Iberians or Sardinians not quite Germans yet).

        So there is something else. Part of that something else is the Indoeuropeans arriving from Eastern Europe and bringing a genetic pool that in terms autosomal is roughly 50% Eastern European HG and 50% Highland West Asia (or “Caucasus” or sometimes “Central-South Asia”) Neolithic. But in haploid markers they are clearly not the source of “genetic modernity”: their mtDNA is largely “Neolithic” (with some extra U but not the extra H required) and their Y-DNA lacks the R1b (Western variants) needed to explain the formation of modern Western European populations.

        So there must be something else in addition mere gradual “late Neolithic” incorporation of HG blood and more or less sudden “Chalcolithic” incorporation of Indoeuropean (partly EHG) blood. And that something should be where we haven’t looked, what basically reads “France”. The ancient mtDNA data points of Paternabidea (Navarre) and Gurgy (Burgundy) are quite telling, because they are surprisingly modern — and nothing is known about what genetic pools existed in between them, nor even in many areas farther to the Northwest either.

        The problem with genetic research in France is one of state ideology and laws: they basically put all kind of obstacles to such research so very little is known about the genetic paleohistory of France, even for modern genetics it is quite fragmentary. So researchers have resorted to sample Northern Spain instead (not as much as Germany anyhow) but it’s not the same, clearly not. So we will have to be patient and demanding at the same time, taller walls have fallen.

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  2. Actually the Ibero-Insular subracial type (derived from Magdalenian hunter-gatherers, more precisely the Baumes Chaudes type), is not even dominant in the Basque country, like it is on the rest of the Iberian Peninsula.
    And this is somewhat perplexing (both geographically and genetically (being Basques, closer to France and probably more Magdalenian shifted)), since nearly everyone speaks about Basques as the original Iberians (like we see people sterically explaining it all over the web and particularly in youtube). But even if we exclude this particular hunter-gatherer type and speak about other ones, we´ll confirm the same tendency. It seems that contrary to the popular/internet beliefs, pre-neolithic phenotypes in Iberia, don´t seem to have a special bias towards Basques in particular, but clearly to many Iberian rural communities (whatever are their politics or preferences) mainly those that work with farming and herding, for example. But there could be more regions with it, whatever are their professional activities.
    But this is nothing new and it was in fact discussed before on zetaboards and probably on several other places, before.
    Some people can speak about changes from one generation to the other, or how random people appearance can be, but if we join all the pieces of puzzle and include even more recent skeletal data we can confirm this simple fact… And there are many things more that could be exposed here.
    Though surely overhyped by most people that speak about them, I still think that Basques are very interesting people, since they preserve interesting mtDNA lineages, since they preserve an ancient language and maybe their phenotype variety, may represent a different population movement or who knows, something more relictual, that´s just poorly known … Some people even say that they come from Central Europe… Well, there are many theories and some seem to be really stupid… But stupid things are more frequently said about Iberians, than Basques, that´s for sure.

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    1. I’m not doing or even attempting to do any sort of anthropometric analysis, just reporting on some genetic data, which may be arguable but certainly quite less arguable than anthropometry, which for me is basically a pseudo-science (Homo sapiens subtypes overlap way too much, only by brutally cherry-picking the evidence one can get defined types or “races”).

      Anyhow, nobody says that Basques are continuous since Paleolithic times, not at all! The continuity seems to begin in the Early Neolithic and even then it’s not straightforward for all cases. I studied and discussed that in 2013 and AFAIK there’s not any significant new data, except for North Burgos province, where we also see some important partial continuity lineage by lineage, along with some change as well.

      “probably more Magdalenian shifted”

      Every single culture that arose in what is now France penetrated all the Iberian peninsula: Solutrean, Magdalenian, Azilian (epipaleolítico microlaminar) and Tardenoisian (geométrico). Maybe there was some Azilian survival in some East Andalusian and Murcian pockets until Neolithic itself but otherwise I understand that the waves of change come one after the other unstopped, and they all reach Central Portugal as well. Another thing is what this means in terms genetic, i.e. do populations themselves change or is rather cultural diffusion among close relatives?

      “nearly everyone speaks about Basques as the original Iberians”

      That’s quite not correct: the “original Iberians” would be archaics like Homo antecessor and such, whose legacy today is nil or negligible. But even if we consider the issue at the Neolithic divide, Basques in the Neolithic and today are clearly showing at least some “colonial” admixture. How much depends maybe on the viewpoint (autosomal DNA, mtDNA, etc.) but there are no “pure remnants” of Palelithic europeans alive today, everybody is admixed and that’s something that Josu, the barman downstairs, understands very well, even if he does not understand almost anything of prehistory or genetics, it’s a matter of common sense.

      “Some people even say that [Basques] come from Central Europe…”

      On light of this and other data, I can say that such claim is clearly WRONG. Not just for Basques but for Iberians in general ancient and modern. Just look at the PCA graph: Central European and Iberian populations form two distinct clusters, excepting the colonist populations of the early Neolithic, which are almost identical, and the peculiar and most interesting case of Blätterhölle (aligning with the most paleolithic-like Iberians and probably also with Gurgy). NEN (Catalan late Neolithic) also seems to align with Central Europeans in the PCA but this appearance of alignment is not replicated in the cluster analysis (fig. 24), so I didn’t consider worth mentioning, more so as NEC (Catalan Chalcolithic) and NEB (Catalan Bronze) don’t follow that pattern at all, nor do modern Catalans either.

      Even in autosomal DNA the evidence for Indoeuropean genetic influence in Iberian is non-zero but very small in any case, and for Basques is effectively zero or just tiny bits in some individuals, depending on the specific analysis. In France (but not Gascons) it is instead much more apparent. See the ADMIXTURE analysis in Alentoft or in Günther & Valdiosera.

      The components affecting Iberians and Basques/Gascons seem more and more clearly to be primarily two: a Paleolithic one (probably local) and a Neolithic one similar to modern Sardinians. On top of that there is just very minor Indoeuropean in the case of Iberians and not even that almost in the case of Basques. However the size of each fraction vary by population and it is very interesting to see how they seem to form through time with the help of this study.

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      1. Not only «look» more Paleolithic which can be personal and a mere opinion, but are very likely more Paleolthic in phenotype as well (at least, according to all the available sources (old more modern) that I have read and comparisons done between modern and pre-historic people).
        Now, you can always opt to ignore, since it seems that physical anthropology is something that you seem to strongly disagree with. My opinion, maybe lays in between (it´s a subject that should be treated with caution, but we can always compare modern with ancient, evaluate which features are «better» inherited and are useful to divide phenotypes, and maybe add some teeth formula and so on…

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      2. “physical anthropology is something that you seem to strongly disagree with”

        It’s slippery terrain, very slippery. It cannot be used as evidence of anything on its own, only if other data converges it may become “supporting anecdotal evidence”. Way too often the anthropometric assessments are obscure and most uncertain, also phenotypes overlap way too much. I’d rather trust genetics, really.

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    2. Well, feel free to delete my last comment above (on the phenotypes), though I agree with what I said, I think
      that´s not necessary to mention it anymore.
      Thanks for the discussion.

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  3. Once we compare modern with ancient bones and once we identify the «trends» we can get on safer terrain, I think. And this the point, where I support my opinion.

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