Both studies (Haak & Allentoft, 2015) have largely confirmed much of what has been expected regarding Corded Ware migration into North-Central Europe but with a severity that surprised most. Although both studies largely avoided Bell Beakers, the little data from several German and Czech Bell Beakers have teasingly supported a few hip-pocket hypotheses, one being that Beakers have so far appeared genetically 'modern' in relation to Western Europeans. Thus, the Bell Beaker saga likely proves the last episode in the genetic transformation and amalgamation of the Western Europe. From this point forward, Western Europe becomes increasingly militarized and genetically insulated.
Consider this. In the last 4,500 years, the Western Continent has succumbed only to a single defeat by a foreign invader and that was Allied Victory over Europe and North Africa in World War II. This resulted in occupation but no colonization and that makes the 3rd millennium all the more interesting.
|A Mittle-Saale Beaker by Karol Schauer|
The fact that the male population of Western Europe has been recently replaced by young founders is well known; what isn't known is the speed to which this happened. If Bell Beaker men continue to be overwhelmingly or exclusively of one lineage, it will mean that they did not integrate other men into their society in a way that was beneficial for those men or their posterity.
Here's a quick run-down and then some quick comments:
- Kromsdorf on the Ilm of Saale
(2) R1b, one of those down to P312+ (graves 5 and 8 - Adults)- Quedlinburg on River Bode
(1) R1b-L51+ (QLB28b I0806 - Adult)- Augsburg on a tributary of the Danube
(1) [possibly R1b-DF27?, M12124+ below "Franco-Iberian" DF27] (RISE560 - Adult) (this result was not published in the Allentoft paper but the SNPs were apparently identified by the Genetiker blog)- Osterhofen-Altenmarkt on the Danube
(2) R1b-U152/S28 (RISE563 F0234 - Adult) (As reported in the Allentoft paper)- Kněževes, Western Prague near the Vltava
R1b-L51+ (RISE564 F0241 - Adult) (this again not reported and not confirmed)
(1) R1b (RISE566 F0521, A01168 - Infant) tested down to P310/L11
At this point we have one of the two major branches of M269 defined in Bell Beaker remains, R-P312. As the the geographical scope begins to increase, we'll eventually see U106/S28 and probably a bunch of stray dogs and cats along with typical Neolithic and Corded lineages.
One thing to remember is that there may be a degree of selection bias in choosing archaeological remains. While these individuals were certainly Bell Beakers, they were buried in cemeteries with certain diagnostics that have certain local interpretations. So what we are beginning to see is not a snapshot of Europe but a snapshot of a specific population/culture within Europe. Where this gets dicey is when there are N-S facing Battle Axe Swedes (one in this paper was R1b and more Western-like) and sometimes E-W Beakers from the NW. Eventually it won't matter as the data piles up.
Quick thoughts before moving on to [Part 2]:
One of the more interesting out-takes, is that German Corded Ware and German Bell Beakers appear to have had starkly different paternal lineages. This seems to indicate that violence was common between the two groups, at least in Germany which is all the more significant.
U152+ this early could have implications for the heritage of the Vulcan-worshiping Eteocretans, see [here], [here] where some genetic components differ in the modern Eastern Mediterranean. At least it's worth looking at again, as I doubt those modern Cretans that are R1b have ever had additional SNPs. There are several papers that look at the Epi-Beaker phenomenon (or rather faint influences) including this one by Volker Heyd (2008) that looks at the influence of various Beaker cultures preceding the Aegean Bronze Age and Crete among other places. For Crete, this is relevant given who settled the Tyrrhenian sphere beginning in the EBA because it was probably by populations in the general proximity of those in Allentoft. This is not to say that Italian Beakers colonized Crete, because that didn't happen. Rather, communication can be demonstrated beginning in the Beaker period and this may have been followed by some migration from Central Italy in the regular Bronze Age.
On that note, it also becomes more difficult to simply dismiss Euroesque clades like U152 on the Barbary Coast as being the leftovers of Vandals or Romans (I imagine with a re-calibrated TMRCA) and again it will be important to dig down into lowest SNPs and get a better understanding of when separation may have occurred. Bell Beakers did in fact inhabit the Oran area and there were several episodes back and forth between the continent long before the Roman Empire.
Finally, for the Y-chromosome, it will be necessary to once and for all tackle the SNPs of Northeastern Bashkirs and try and nail down the exact timeframe Bashkir U152 separated from the rest.
Bronze Age population dynamics, selection, and the formation of Eurasian genetic structure, Allencroft et al. Nature 522, 167–172 (11 June 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14507 [Link]