If you are new to this and don't really know much about the Beakerfolk or the European Neolithic/Bronze Age transition, I'll only say that this paper is possibly the most significant academic paper on this subject since it was first well-defined.
|Grave 68/I1390, male - Haut-Rhin, France (L. Vergnaud), Antea Archéologie, "Current researches on Bell Beakers" R1b1a1a2a1a2 - X2b4a (see more in update 10 below)|
Bell Beaker pottery spread across western and central Europe beginning around 2750 BCE before disappearing between 2200-1800 BCE. The mechanism of its expansion is a topic of long-standing debate, with support for both cultural diffusion and human migration. We present new genome-wide ancient DNA data from 170 Neolithic, Copper Age and Bronze Age Europeans, including 100 Beaker-associated individuals. In contrast to the Corded Ware Complex, which has previously been identified as arriving in central Europe following migration from the east, we observe limited genetic affinity between Iberian and central European Beaker Complex-associated individuals, and thus exclude migration as a significant mechanism of spread between these two regions. However, human migration did have an important role in the further dissemination of the Beaker Complex, which we document most clearly in Britain using data from 80 newly reported individuals dating to 3900-1200 BCE. British Neolithic farmers were genetically similar to contemporary populations in continental Europe and in particular to Neolithic Iberians, suggesting that a portion of the farmer ancestry in Britain came from the Mediterranean rather than the Danubian route of farming expansion. Beginning with the Beaker period, and continuing through the Bronze Age, all British individuals harboured high proportions of Steppe ancestry and were genetically closely related to Beaker-associated individuals from the Lower Rhine area. We use these observations to show that the spread of the Beaker Complex to Britain was mediated by migration from the continent that replaced >90% of Britain's Neolithic gene pool within a few hundred years, continuing the process that brought Steppe ancestry into central and northern Europe 400 years earlier.
This might be helpful in the meantime.
|Fig 3. Bust and Boom in the Late Neolithic (Shennan et al, 2013)|
- Ok, so I was wrong. Lactase Persistence is very low even in the British Bronze Age!! What!
- They absolutely, positively, unequivocally exclude admixture from Iberia (Neolithic ancestry of Beakers, they say is more similar to LBK populations (actually GAC and TRB).
- Iberian Beakers have zero steppe admixture (except two girls in the North)
- Dutch and British Beakers are identical
- 95% of British Beakers are R1b P312. However, this reduces in the MBA to 75%
- 93.5% population replacement. Wow again. (Keep in mind this may be relative to immigration)
- British Beakers were more vanilla and then became increasingly so.
"In central Europe, Steppe ancestry was widespread and we can exclude a substantial contribution from Iberian Beaker Complex-associated individuals, contradicting initial suggestions of gene flow between these groups based on analysis of mtDNA and dental morphology"It'll be interesting to see how the Dulias paper approaches this problem. H1, H3 and V in British individuals can't be Neolithic native, probably aren't Iberia (AFTER ALL), so what does this mean?
- R1b completely absent in Neolithic British samples n=20
- I2a nearly completely absent in British EBA (which is admittedly biased for diagnostic BC)
- No R1a in NE Scottish Beakers.
I'm looking at the mtdna of Beaker individuals. Excluding the questions traditionally circling H1, H3 and V, a lot of the rest of it looks surprisingly steppe-like.
After reading through the first time and looking at the Balkans paper, several things ranging from 1) effectively proven to 2) more likely with new factual weight being added, now seem possible:
- Beaker appears to have come directly from the Pontic-Caspian steppe while absorbing LBK-like or admixed ancestry. Census estimates and other data supports this.
- Many of their mito-profiles look steppic.
- The Ukraine looks mixed
- Skin, eyes and LP basically identical to Yamnaya, changes over time. (Which I still don't get)
- Not a trickle of people. Waves of immigrants first into Europe, then the isles with massive population increases following (older papers below).
- Areas of Europe less affected initially get theirs in the Bronze Age.
- U106 ~= Veluwe Beakers
Looking a little closer at the Iberian remains/contexts associated with Beaker culture.
First, it should be understood that the remains and contexts are what they are. Plus, even with messy and uncertain contexts, certain ancestry would or wouldn't be there, so this is not a criticism for including these particular remains. I'm bit surprised at how loose the connections seem between people who look like otherwise ordinary Neolithic Iberians and Beaker associated artifacts.
In other words, these are mostly collective tombs and caves with complex and disturbed deposits.
Here's a few of those and the identifications, the first two bolded are R1b with no steppe admixture, the second two are girls with steppe admixture)
- Galeria da cisterna, tomb (I0839 and I0840)
- Cova da Moura, cave (I4229)
- Paris Steet, Barcelona (I0257, I0258, I0260, I0261, I0262, I0263, I0823, I0825, I0826 and I1553)
- Arroyal I, Burgos (tomb Roy5 (I0462) girl with first steppe admixture in Iberia. Also (I0458, I0459, I0460, I0461)
- Camino de las Yeseras (a flat head woman I4245)
- I4247 (collective inhumation)
- Camino del Molino, Caravaca de la Cruz (I0453)
The Olalde authors made a compelling case that the source of Neolithic admixture in Beakers was largely LBK-based (simply meaning Northern Europe - and actually more close to a mix of Globular Amphora and Funnelbeaker ancestry which may be more directly indicative of significant Corded Ware ancestry of Northern Europe). Very compelling. However, I am not really sure that a single individual, other than the woman from Camino de las Yeseras, was actually a truly diagnostic Beaker.
I'm not saying this picture will change much with more testing, but I do believe steppe ancestry is in Iberia and it may be more elusive.
The authors confirm that the approach to understanding mobility through isotopes is that first generation movers are always going to be few and far between, even when ~93% of a population is immigrant descended. Valuable data, just needs interpretation beyond turtle-level cautious.
This is interesting. The burial of "Rue de Phaffenheim" is of a 30 year old woman (I1391) who was buried in the supine position with legs flexed right, very similar in format to a Yamana burial, although she is from the mature Beaker phase.
A fascinating aspect of her vestment is that many v-perforated buttons dot the right hemithorax. In other words, she wore what appears to have been a right-buttoning sweater, coat or blouse. Before the modern era, the gender-differentiation of button and belts may have been like men for both sexes, because we are right handed. So this may be something to look into later...
I added a picture and a source on the Archer from France (I1390). He's also the very first burial on the burials page at the top of the blog "30 Beaker Burials". He was buried with a quiver of arrows. Genetic testing proved that a young man (I1389) buried near him was a first degree relative, probably his brother, since they both have also have the same mtdna X2b4a.
In fact, the radiocarbon dates may suggest they were closer in age in life, than the time difference in death. (Lines 270 and 271 in Supp. 1)
|La Fare (Forcalquier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) (photo Lemercier) S14/I2575 Y-unsucessful? mtdna - K1c1|
Here's the text: "Le Campaniforme dans le sud-est de la France"
The Italian Beaker from Parma may be described in this document [here] I believe. He was (I2478) R1b1a1a2a1a2 - K1a2a. Other men were present and fairly seasoned 50's and 60's of age.
Another unusual situation where a man has been buried as a woman. You'll remember previously a similar situation in the Allentoft paper concerning Kněževes - grave 8 who was a woman buried as a man, with man gear (genetically confirmed a woman). This has been reported in the CWC as well.
In this case, the man in Grave 1 (line 675 of the Supp. 1) was buried in the female, head-south format with a copper awl, something only Beaker women have been buried with. The other individuals of the cemetery were buried according to normal rites.
Since they did not appear to DNA test grave 1, I'm not sure if the archaeologist's determination was based on skeletal metrics or confirmed through DNA and not published. I'd be cautious in projecting too much here. There's a lot of weird stuff to explore with regard to graves 1) cosmology 2) coming of age 3) married vs. non-married 4) honored and dishonored 5) priestly people and interestingly, 6) noncommunicants, it seems at times.
When looking closer at the Beaker y-chromosomes, the haplogroup frequency becomes more extreme. Here's what I mean:
(I1767) is a young male that is the only British male associated with a non-R1b haplotype in the Beaker period from this study. He's I2a2a1a1a. Besides his radiocarbon date, his grave contains no diagnostics other than he was a single burial, and he and a female were not in a gender direction (which doesn't necessarily mean anything in Britain). Not really relevant but interesting, he was intentionally mummified.
(I2364) was a male from a double grave, head south on the western bank of the Danube around Budapest, Hungary. While he's buried in a large cemetery that contains Beakers, only a small fraction of those graves actually have diagnostic goods, his didn't. He was Y-chromosome H2.
That leaves two more Hungarian Beakers: (I2786) who was definitely a Bell Beaker having I2a2a, and (I3528) who was probably so G2a2a1a2a1. One German Beaker (E09538) G2a2a1a2a1a.
I'm totally excluding the Iberian collective contexts where 8 y-chromosomes were published. I'm just not totally confident that these folks represent people who were ever associated with Beaker cultural materials. Totally shooting from the hip, but a number as extreme a 3/42 BBC males being associated with non-R1b male lines seems possible.
So what is that like anyway, 0.7%? But keep in mind that the non-Iberian Beakers all had steppe admixture, so that would raise that number a little with a more reasonable criteria. Plus, these are just Beakers, not all Western Europeans.
I'm surprised and intrigued by the absence of Corded Ware Culture R1a lineages, especially in Scotland, the Netherlands and Germany. This presents a whopping dilemma. It would seem very reasonable to believe that BBC had CWC ancestry, but I'm not sure that math works.
As soon as the genomes are available, we'll see some improved or alternate models. Also, there's more Beaker genomes coming!
"The Beaker Phenomenon And The Genomic Transformation Of Northwest Europe"