Wednesday, September 24, 2014

John Koch presentation (Celtic from the West)

Quick presentation by Koch on his theory of the development of Celtic [Link]

Beakers in the world

If I understand correctly, Koch theorizes that Proto-Celtic is partially defined by the kind of errors that a speaker of Proto-Iberian or Proto-Basque* would make when learning Indo-European.  Both languages had similar reduced consonantal systems (p-less) theoretically making IE sound Celtic.

In "Celtic from the West", Cunliffe and Koch theorize that Proto-Celtic was refined in Atlantic Europe in the Middle Bronze Age rather than being an import by warriors riding unicorns from Central Europe.  

Atlantic Celtic has several strong arguments

1)  It is demonstrable that languages spoken in Spain and France, regardless of their inter-relation, had common reduced consonantal systems in their ancient forms and that Celtic happens to be reduced from Indo-European in similar ways. 

2)  On the same token, the sound changes that made Celtic "Celtic" cannot equally be explained on a theoretical basis by any known substrate in Central Europe, that is if we were to assume external factors.   

As mentioned on Genetics (Page 1), we have upper and lower limits for what is possible in the development of Late Western Europe.  It's like burning a candle at both ends.

Linguistically, there aren't a whole lot of plausible options as to what languages Bell Beaker people spoke.  There's really three plausible scenarios:

1 Beakers spoke Vasconic but eventually changed to IE.  The map above doesn't help this scenario.

2 Beakers spoke a mixture of Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic.   If Beakers came from the African Steppe, and particularly Southern Algeria and Morocco, then their IE may have already had a slight Afro-Asiatic substrate. [here]

3 Beakers spoke the very basal Italic and Celtic languages, both being sufficiently detached from further developments/refinements by seclusion in the African steppe, post SPR.

21 comments:

  1. FWIW, I find it quite hard to take either (2) or (3) seriously.

    There was historically, no place where IE and Afro-Asiatic could have produced a hybrid at or prior to the time of the emergence of the Beaker culture in Iberia.

    Likewise, there is no good reason to suspect that the Italic and Celtic languages had a source in the African steppe or were isolated there, or that they even existed as far back as the Beaker culture.

    The map above would seem to help (1) in my mind.

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    1. Likewise, I highly doubt that there is a direct Asiatic substrate in Celtic. I lean toward Beakers speaking a form of early NW European, but am not dogmatic about it.

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  2. Me neither. I do appreciate that you bring the Koch hypothesis to the debate board but I really find it extremely unlikely in all senses.

    First of all, the Koch hypothesis argues for P-Celtic → Q-Celtic, when the reality is probably the opposite: Q-Celtic has two otherwise unrelated known branches: Celtiberian and Goidelic (Gaelic), while P-Celtic apparently makes up one single major branch, indicating a single origin and expansion (mostly within La Tène). In other words: early Celtic was Q-Celtic (or mostly so) and the branch that expanded very early (Urnfields/Hallstatt) into Iberia was of this kind. Then P-Celtic evolved or became more prominent in Central Europe (Rhine basin) and expanded with La Tène, although some Q-Celtic was still there and also did, leaving the Gaelic legacy.

    Alternatively one could imagine a scenario in which "Vasconic" speakers took off the P of a hypothetical original P-Celtic, replacing it by a Q in two separate cases (although an easier more "normal" change seems P→B, as happened in Italic, so to me it is unclear why this P→Q change would happen at all). Not my favorite scenario but this one, like the other, imply expansion of Celtic to the West and not from the West.

    Even if we take Koch's arguments at face value and tentatively agree that the phonetic change in proto-Celtic is the result of Vasconic influence, this could perfectly have happened in Central Europe as well (and the Rhine area seems ideal in this regard). In my current understanding of Vasconic, this family must have been what the early European farmers (mainline groups: Impressed-Cardium and Painted-Linear) brought from their original core in Thessaly. Naturally it would imply two branches of Vasconic or "Old European" but both would be related by origin, much as Indo-Iranian is related to Western IE. Furthermore, the Rhine-Seine area was a region of important complexity in Early Neolithic with not just Linear Pottery but also Cardium-derived La Hoguette pottery and the apparently locally-rooted Limburg pottery.

    When the Indoeuropeans arrived (Corded Ware), the Rhine area was almost certainly one of the less IE-influenced regions of their new expansion, so, unlike in Eastern Germany, Poland or even Bohemia and Bavaria, the IE language superstrate would have been quite new to them, facilitating phonetic changes. This is of course somewhat speculative but in general I would think that the Danubian and Megalithic substrate was Vasconic-speaking and that you don't need to go to Iberia or Britain to search for such alleged Vasconic influences at all. In fact Germanic languages (proto-Germanic particularly) seems plagued of Basque-like influences, what would make good sense as the Nordic area where it arose was also not deeply influenced by the early IE settlement in East Germany and Poland (Baalberge and successors), being instead heavily influenced by Atlantic Megalithism instead.

    As for Beakers... they spoke nothing: they are pots. The peoples who used them were almost certainly not homogeneous. Most probably still spoke Vasconic but in the Rhine and very especially the Eastern or Danubian province, they had probably already adopted Indoeuropean (early Western IE, later producing Germanic, Celtic, Italic and Balto-Slavic). It's possible that in those times there was already a principle of differentiation between those branches, particularly if we accept Italo-Celtic as real, with proto-Balto-Slavic being the most genuine Western IE, proto-Italo-Celtic a more bastardized Western IE spoken in Western and Southern Germany and proto-Germanic, also heavily bastardized, in the North. Of course there could be even more branches that are now lost.

    Overall I see absolutely no reason to think of Koch's hypothesis as realistic at all, much less convincing. There are many other possibilities. The main problem anyhow is how did the proto-Celtic speakers arrive to Iberia, from where the Bell Beaker phenomenon clearly stems as neo-Megalithic continuity cultural element.

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    1. Thanks for you're detailed response. I agree the pre-IE languages in Europe were probably typologically similar to Basque, although they may have differed from each other considerably. Overall, that makes sense given what is known of the Neolithic languages of the Near East.

      I take a different view on the pots vs. people view on Beakers. At some point actual people changed the genetic profile of Europeans. In the West, I think that is probably Beakerfolk. If not them, then who?

      The first part is an interesting scenario. Is that part of a formal review on the Koch hypothesis?

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    2. "... they may have differed from each other considerably".

      That's of course a serious possibility that only deep linguistic research can clarify to some extent.

      "Overall, that makes sense given what is known of the Neolithic languages of the Near East."

      Notice that the mainline European Neolithic has a single known origin: Thessaly. It is in Thessaly where we find the earliest precursors of both Painted Pottery (Sesklo) and Cardium Pottery (Otzaki). An open question is of course if these two sub-groups spoke different languages but, on one side, they lived close to each other (so they almost certainly had to communicate on regular basis) and, on the other, the known archaeo-genetics of both branches are extremely similar, suggesting a single population (genetic-wise at least) even after expansion.

      " At some point actual people changed the genetic profile of Europeans. In the West, I think that is probably Beakerfolk. If not them, then who?"

      My take is that the Atlantic Neolithic peoples with Megalithic culture were the actual main vector and that Bell Beaker is rather a late derivative of this Atlantic Megalithic phenomenon. There are several reasons:

      1. The Atlantic Neolithic/Megalithic phase is clearly much more dramatic in its demographic influence according to archaeologically-based reconstructions, one of which you mentioned recently. By comparison Corded Ware and Bell Beaker seem much less relevant in their demographic impact.

      2. It is extremely difficult to explain the expansion of Western Indoeuropean (Celtic and Italic in essence) from Central Europe in the Bronze Age on a base of Vasconic-speaking Bell Beaker population, wouldn't you agree? So my interpretation would be that Eastern Bell Beakers mostly spoke Indoeuropean, even if it meant some degree of cultural and social "re-westernization".

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  3. >>>> In my current understanding of Vasconic, this family must have been what the early European farmers (mainline groups: Impressed-Cardium and Painted-Linear) brought from their original core in Thessaly.

    There is no 'must have been' about it, I'm afraid. We don't know the origin of Basque, but it appears to be a Copper Age language, which suggests an origin in the Copper Age cultures of the Balkans. Despite the desperate efforts of a certain linguist to try to prove that Vasconic was once spoken all over Europe, there is no evidence at all that it was.

    >>>>African steppe

    Where does this idea come from? There is no evidence whatsoever for a BB sojourn/origin in the African savanna, or any genetic trail via the savanna to Iberia. The only native Y-DNA R1b in Central Africa is of a different branch entirely from that in Europe.

    If you are thinking of Koch's attempts to link Celtic and the Semitic branch of Afro-Asiatic, this is based on certain features of the Insular Celtic languages only, chiefly the word order. These features do not appear in the Continental Celtic languages. Therefore the logical deduction would be that these features arose in the British Isles, possibly from substrate i.e. the language(s) of the existing farners there. These language(s) need not have been even related to Semitic. The problem is that we have lost almost all trace of the European farming languages, so linguists are stuck with making comparisons to languagues they do know about. Semitic is so thoroughly known and familar, it is an easy one to pick on. There is no way that these features could have arisen in Iberia from contact with Phoenicians (as Koch proposes) and then shot straight to the Isles while leaving no trace in Iberia. It is just a red herring.

    Koch is attempting to link Celtic with Iberian in preference to Proto-Basque, presumably because he knows that the latter barely entered Iberia until the Post-Roman period. But Iberian is no use for his purposes either because it appears to have arrived in Iberia (from the Near East?) long after IE, and to have taken over the Mediterranian coast from Ligurian speakers in the last centuries BC.



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    1. I think it is unlikely that there is an A/A substrate in Celtic or part of it. Just putting it out there as one possibility.

      As for Bell Beaker emerging in Africa, in varying degrees, African influence is suggested in the typology of the earliest beaker pottery. That isn't a codified, universally accepted truth, but I know that the importation/co-mingling of typologies in SW Iberia is viewed favorably.

      Genetically, I will address the people argument in more detail within the genetics pages (hopefully up soon)

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    2. "We don't know the origin of Basque, but it appears to be a Copper Age language".

      Either we don't know or we have an idea but not both. Anyhow I have not at ant moment spoken of Basque but of Vasconic, i.e. the largely extinct family of languages to which Basque belongs.

      In any case no idea why you would imagine that Basque as such as an origin in the Copper Ager. Almost certainly Basque was part of much wider and complex dialectal continuum which shrank as the Indoeuropeans marched westwards. So in a sense we can't talk of Basque before the Late Roman Period, when an influential relative, Iberian is erased and Basque becomes the only known survivor of that family.

      In any case what I see is that the Basque genetic pool seems quite stable since Neolithic until present, what is in sharp contrast with what we see elsewhere, be it Germany or Portugal.

      Portugal can indeed have been the source of the "modernization" (lots of mtDNA H) of Central European genetic pool but it is not anymore like that, so we cannot associate historical Celto-Lusitanians or modern Portuguese with the ancient Chalcolithic Portuguese of Megalithism and Bell Beaker. Those Celtic invasions are in fact responsible, almost certainly, of the reduction in mtDNA H (and associated markers like Y-DNA R1b) in Portugal particularly.

      "Koch is attempting to link Celtic with Iberian in preference to Proto-Basque, presumably because he knows that the latter barely entered Iberia until the Post-Roman period".

      This is an absolutely ridiculous claim and if Koch believes that then he is to be even more discredited. First of all Iberian is a very clear relative of Basque and is very well documented in Iberia since much earlier. Second of all there is plenty of Roman era evidence of Basque language in its current area (Iruña-Veleia) and even further south in areas often claimed to be "Celtiberian" (La Rioja and Soria Basque slabs). Finally if you consider the toponimy in an unprejudiced light you can't but find LOTS of Basque-like toponyms in all Iberia, as well as in many other areas of Europe.

      All these claims about Basque being a newcomer are just last ditch Spanish nationalist pseudo-historical narrative with a horribly strong bias and absolutely no evidence. Notice that the French nationalist pseudo-historical narrative says exactly the opposite, so if we would have to believe them all, Basques landed from outer space and conquered their whole historical area in 409, not a year earlier (Romans still present), not a year later (Basque independent territory already established).

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    3. "Koch's attempts to link Celtic and the Semitic branch of Afro-Asiatic, this is based on certain features of the Insular Celtic languages only".

      Yes. I also don't give much for the alleged "Semitic" link of Celtic, which Venneman also spouses (but only for what he calls "Atlantic" substrate in the islands).

      All this could be easier explained if (and I'm talking very tentatively here) what is said "Semitic" would actually be just a reflex of Neolithic West Asian or otherwise Eastern Mediterranean origins, which has also persisted in Semitic (and other languages like Turkish apparently).

      It is almost impossible that Semitic as such had expanded by the time the West Asian (and somewhat African-like) Neolithic flows arrived to Thessaly. However it is possible that a precursor of Semitic was somehow involved in the European Neolithic genesis. With this idea in mind I have briefly dived in mass-lexical-comparing Basque, which is the only surviving mainline Neolithic language of Europe, and Semitic/Afroasiatic with zero success. However when I compared with Nubian languages (which have been in close contact with the Afroasiatic ones since time immemorable precisely in the area where such African influence must originate: Nubia/Sudan) I surprised myself finding some 20% of very striking apparent cognates.

      While uncertain, I am nowadays pondering seriously the possibility of seed European Neolithic of Thessaly, being the product, partially, of a coastal wave from Palestine, which would have been already influenced by NE African genetics (as it is now). Of course, en route and also once in Thessaly, they would have incorporated other peoples, other genetics and other vocabulary (including "paleo-European" of IE affinity) but the seed group could well be "Natufian/PPNA", maybe migrating under pressure of PPNB expansion.

      We can reasonably track the origins of Semitic in the hunter-pastoralist Harifian → Circum-Arabian Complex of the semi-desert but what did the bulk of the Palestinian transitional Neolithic peoples speak? A possibility I'm now considering is that some sort of Nilo-Saharan of the Nubian branch. I know it sounds weird on first read but so far I'm finding only support for this hypothesis.

      Of course it needs a lot more work.

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  4. > African influence is suggested in the typology of the earliest beaker pottery.

    That is just Jan Turek's idea about Neolithic Moroccan pottery. Northern Morocco is nowhere near the savanna, which is what I presume you meant by 'African steppe'. I certainly feel Turek is right in thinking that BB pottery is a mixture of influences from outside Portugal, but he has just picked a place near(ish) to Portugal which has pottery with some features vaguely similar. The problem is that features vaguely similar can be found all over the place. They are not restricted to Morocco or North Africa. The closest parallels are actually on the European steppe and Carpathians.

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    1. By African Steppe, I am referring to the Sahel, although its current position is much deeper since the end of the Neolithic Sub-pluvial.

      I agree that typology can be a house of mirrors, especially with SPR populations, however African influence is noted by pottery specialists, Humphrey Case and others.

      The heavy importation of African commodities (mainly from the Sahel via Western Morocco) was likely the entire basis of the Late Neolithic Portuguese economy and the fort building campaigns of SW Iberia in the late 4th millennium. I think it can be demonstrated that this had a "wicking effect" and the development of proper Beaker culture was an African superstrate over an Iberian one.

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  5. Jean, you can't just dismiss the North African influence on the earliest Bell Beakers as some sort of over enthusiastic interpretation of similarities between pottery styles by Jan Turek. As I already showed you, Jan Czebreszuk has very similar views.

    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=qKSVAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA15&lpg=PA15&dq=Bell+Beaker+North+Africa+copper&source=bl&ots=0ePtX9sxqT&sig=7-Eg1D2sTNjaEeSyUXiMUq1wDWM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RbAkVOHQCNCC8gWVpIH4Bg&ved=0CEgQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Bell%20Beaker%20North%20Africa%20copper&f=false

    And there are signals of a migration from Northwest Africa to Portugal during the Copper Age in dental trait data.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018442X13001613

    By the way, it looks like Koch took a leaf out of your book, quite literally, with that whole Kemi-Oba to Copper Age Portugal stelae trail.

    I'm still skeptical there's anything in that, because the similarities between the stelae across southern Europe from the Black Sea to the Atlantic might be the result of a fashion spreading with maritime trading contacts. But I guess we'll see when we finally get some Y-DNA from Kemi-Oba and early Bell Beaker remains.

    In the end it might turn out that the Bell Beakers were a mixture of Eastern European, Iberian and North African groups, which would be very cool.

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    1. It's very weak evidence:

      "no population replacement occurred between the Middle Neolithic and Late Neolithic/Copper Age. However, at Bolores there is some indication that there may have been demographic exchanges between southern Iberian and North African populations during the Late Neolithic/Copper Age".

      Basically it suggests that in one site there may have been some NW African immigrants, what I'd think absolutely normal and does not imply a migration but more likely a trickle.

      Otherwise I agree with what you say, although I remain neutral on possible African influences on the development of Bell Beaker.

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  6. "FWIW, I find it quite hard to take either (2) or (3) seriously".

    Agreed, Andrew. Sorry Maju, it's me. But I also agree with you here:

    " In other words: early Celtic was Q-Celtic (or mostly so) and the branch that expanded very early (Urnfields/Hallstatt) into Iberia was of this kind. Then P-Celtic evolved or became more prominent in Central Europe (Rhine basin) and expanded with La Tène, although some Q-Celtic was still there and also did, leaving the Gaelic legacy".

    Yes. Q-Celtic is dominant in Ireland while P-Celtic was spoken through most of Britain (possibly including Pictish), and is considered related to languages spoken in Gaul. That would fit an early arrival of Q-Celtic which was later replaced in more accessible regions by P-Celtic. However:

    "if we take Koch's arguments at face value and tentatively agree that the phonetic change in proto-Celtic is the result of Vasconic influence, this could perfectly have happened in Central Europe as well"

    But it is quite possible that the 'Celtic' language did not enter Western Europe fully formed. Y-DNA R1b1a2a1a has become so complicate I can't work it out but under the previous phylogeny R1b1a2a1a1b-P312 is especially common in both the Irish and the Basques. That surely indicates an early connection between the two regions, probably including linguistic. Points 1 and 2 in Bellbeakerblogger's post indicate IE overlies an earlier, non-IE substrate:

    "It is demonstrable that languages spoken in Spain and France, regardless of their inter-relation, had common reduced consonantal systems in their ancient forms and that Celtic happens to be reduced from Indo-European in similar ways".

    Presumably indicating a widespread similar language group, probably in Ireland as well.

    "On the same token, the sound changes that made Celtic 'Celtic' cannot equally be explained on a theoretical basis by any known substrate in Central Europe, that is if we were to assume external factors".

    Indicating that Celtic developed in situ from the interaction of an IE language over some reasonably widespred substrate language. It is quite possible that Basque is the only modern survivor of that substrate language group. What is obvious under that scenario is that the arrival of the Indo-Europeans language did not alter the genetics very much at all.

    "There's really three plausible scenarios"

    I agree with Andrew: 'The map above would seem to help (1) in my mind'. To me also there is only one possibility:

    "Beakers spoke Vasconic but eventually changed to IE".

    Western and southern Beaker folk anyway. Unlike haplogroupos and genetic change generally languages do not necessarily originate within a very limited region. The map fits that scenario if we accept a linguistic expansion over a substrate with minimal genetic change.

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  7. >> Jean, you can't just dismiss the North African influence on the earliest Bell Beakers as some sort of over enthusiastic interpretation of similarities between pottery styles by Jan Turek. As I already showed you, Jan Czebreszuk has very similar views.

    Bell Beaker contact with North Africa is an absolute fact. There is BB pottery there, quite apart from bits of ivory in BB contexts in Iberia. This is not disputed. It is right there in the map of BB distribution on page 159 of Ancestral Journeys. I understand perfectly why Turek was tempted to look there for the pottery influence. I understand perfectly why the good professor who is an expert in Corded Ware looked there, but also to CW for the pottery inspirations. (There has been a long history of scholars thinking that CW gave birth to BB.) But neither Turek nor Czebreszuk is actually saying that BB came from North Africa, or that the people who made it arrived in Portugal from North Africa. On the contrary they both accept that BB was invented in Portugal and was intrusive in Morocco. It is not Turek who is guilty of over enthusiastic interpretation, but those who have read his article and imagined that this means that the trail to BB lay through North Africa. :)

    Perhaps I had better be explicit. Even if Turek was actually right (which I don't agree) this still would not make the trail to BB arrive via North Africa.

    >>By the way, it looks like Koch took a leaf out of your book, quite literally, with that whole Kemi-Oba to Copper Age Portugal stelae trail.

    I was hoping people would grab some of my ideas and run with them. Several hypotheses were laid out temptingly in AJ with an invitation to test them, preferably with ancient DNA. Koch is saying that we need some closer comparisons between stelae, which I would be happy to see as well. It is a topic that could generate a raft of research projects.

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  8. Like Jean, I see the Iberia to Morocco direction, rather than the Morocco to Iberia direction more plausible.

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  9. My take on BB (an amalgamation of various other people's ideas) and with reference to some of the points mentioned in the comments.

    I think BB were originally part of a trade network from a source population around the Black Sea / Balkans (stelae?) which was later trashed by PIE leaving them as a kind of orphaned remnant of that source population.

    The differences between the central European and maritime BB stem from the trade network originally being split into a Danubian river branch and a maritime branch.

    When it connected with the the Atlantic megalith maritime network centered in Portugal the maritime BB spread very rapidly by sea to all the Atlantic megalith settlements leading to its seeming origin in Portugal after the original source population disappears - so a Balkan orphan in Iberia ends up looking like an outgrowth of Atlantic megalith.

    The African connection is simply via the Atlantic megalith culture whose trade network went north to Scandinavia, east to the Med and south to NW Africa. Atlantic megalith absorbed some NW African influences and genetics (possibly related for example to the high level of E1b in parts of North Wales) and so maritime BB absorbed those influences or was influenced by them as part of becoming becoming an artisan/mercantile overlay within the megalith culture zone (similar to Jewish groups in Europe in the the middle ages).

    Possibly they bring LP and cattle with them and so although in Iberia and central and southern Europe they remain an artisan minority in the Isles and along the Atlantic coast they experience a dramatic population expansion centered originally on the Atlantic megalith coastal settlements.

    This creates the tri-partite BB split: maritime BB centered on Iberia, Central European river BB and the originally maritime BB turned into Atlantic cowboys of the Isles and Atlantic coast up as far as Holland.

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    1. That's Jean Manco's hypothesis but there's no obvious archaeological connection and the migration route to the Hesperides would be hardly understandable at all. I don't grasp well this Art Historian's reasoning behind the alleged connection but her categories (such as diffuse "stelae groups") are not generally accepted archaeological cultures nor the alleged connection can be made as far as I understand. Never mind the problem of opposite geographical cores within Europe and that nothing so far in Eastern Europe can support the genetic pool of studied Bell Beaker sites in Germany, which is ultra-Western instead, with extremely high frequencies of mtDNA H only documented in Iberia prior to them (particularly in Neolithic Southern Portugal, which is central and probably ancestral to some extent to both Dolmenic and Bell Beaker phenomena).

      Once established (within what the evidence reasonably supports right now) that the origin of these phenomena seems to be in Iberia, a Northwest African connection (direct or oblique) can easily be made as well. After all Morocco and Algeria are just across a narrow sea from the Iberian Peninsula and trade between both areas is documented (at the very least ostrich egg materials, possibly also ivory, although some of it is known now to come from West Asia).

      Another issue is weather the Iberian civilizations that arose in the Chalcolithic are purely native developments or have some foreign inputs (if so from West Asia, Cyprus and/or the Cyclades). This is an old debate: although the purely "colonial" theory seems most unlikely in any case, less overwhelming Oriental influences (more cultural and less colonial) can't be absolutely discarded. In this sense it's also interesting to ponder the role that the Megalithic civilization of Malta might have played as key intermediate location).

      But nothing of all this points to the Pontic steppes at all.

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    2. "the Iberian civilizations that arose in the Chalcolithic are purely native developments"

      Yes I'm thinking maritime BB as simply a strand/extension within Atlantic Megalith except maybe along that middle stretch of the Atlantic coast / Britain / Ireland where there was an unexploited niche between the Megalith coastal settlements and the more inland LBK type farmers.

      I remember thinking one of your HG mdna maps (U something I think?) having an odd (to me) distribution along the Atlantic coast which made me wonder if the gap between LBK and the coast was something to do with climate leading to a HG no man's land between interior LBK and coastal megalith. That niche might then be rapidly filled by people who developed a method of exploiting that niche (dairying imo).

      So not maritime BB as a whole but an extension out of it in one particular region.

      "But nothing of all this points to the Pontic steppes at all."

      Sure, the main point is whether the rapid settling along the Atlantic coast may have come about via maritime BB either as simply an extension of the megalith culture or as an intrusive element within atlantic megalith culture.

      An ultimate steppe origin is a separate issue based (in my case) purely on the wandering copper miners idea i like.)

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    3. "and the migration route to the Hesperides would be hardly understandable at all"

      Just to stress I'm not thinking mass migration here, I'm thinking coppersmith / copper miner sized groups like the African blacksmith clans mostly settling in pre-existing settlements along the major trade networks. If the idea was correct then in most places they would remain a small minority. They'd only expand to large numbers if they fetched up in a region with an under unexploited niche e.g. Ireland.

      As soon as a group like that hit the eastern end of the atlantic megaltith trade network (Malta?) they'd have access to the whole network.

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  10. By age, these people were contemporaries of the Phoenicians .. were the syllabic. I have found on the Rio Grand Texas the word of two syllables .. Pe-pegas water supply Greek and Cos- Kosmekos mundane or desert .. King David consortium going up river to the New Mex. ten commandment boulder. Chisos broken basket mountains .. tur.lingua the languages of explorers and merchants .. taken from Strong's Concordance of Greek Hebrew .. one Greek letter in the Hebrew ten commandments?

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