Friday, May 26, 2017

Yamnaya Kurgan Origins East of the Tisza River, Hungary

Filling in the background of the general region of  "Identifying Kurgan Graves in Eastern Hungary" from 2012.

There's several key points to take away from this paper.  For one, people moved here from the East.

Secondly, it would seem that the Yamnaya presence in Hungary was entirely peripheral, not a core area in terms of space and density.  Surprisingly, mentioned here and elsewhere, it's estimated that several tens of thousands of kurgans were once present in this area.  It may have been the most dense Yamnaya concentration.  This is discussed by David Anthony in "Horse, Wheel and Language" under the heading "The Yamnaya Migration up The Danube Valley".

A Hungarian Kurgan [via Magyarvarak]
There, he had also suggested an either dependent or predatory nature of Yamnaya groups based on the proximity of cemeteries to foreign population centers.

Since the Yamnaya component may be more direct in the Csepel Beakers, it'll be interesting to see how this shakes out when the analysis comes available.  The highest Steppe ancestry in a Bell Beaker is one of the individuals at Szigetszentmiklós on Csepel Island.  More on this later...

The study site is was of the Tisza, and directly East of Csepel Island.


"Identifying kurgan graves in Eastern Hungary: A burial mound in the light of strontium and oxygen isotope analysis" (2012)
Claudia Gerling, Volker Heyd, Alistair Pike, Eszter Banffy, Janos Dani, Kitti Kohler, Gabriella Kulcsar, Elke Kaiser, Wolfram Schier.  Excellence Cluster 264 TOPOI, based at the Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität in Berlin [Link]

Abstract
Isotopic analyses of human tooth enamel are increasingly applied to provide answers to archaeological questions.  87Sr/86Sr and 18O analyses are used to investigate small- and
large-scale mobility and migration of prehistoric human individuals. Within a pilot study looking into the kurgan graves in the Eastern Carpathian Basin, we analysed the tooth enamel of8 humans from the Early Bronze Age burial mound of Sárrétudvari-O˝ rhalom, Hungary. According to the archaeological record, the kurgan is linked to the Northern Pontic Yamnayaregional groups. Certain foreign burial traditions suggest that the connection is close, or even that the individuals buriedin the mound had migrated from the East into the Great Hungarian Plain. Strontium and oxygen isotope analyses reveal an earlier period of ‘local’ burials, spanning the period3300–2900 BC, followed by burials that postdate 2900 BCthat exhibit ‘nonlocal’ isotopic signatures. The combination of the isotope values and the grave goods associated with the nonlocalburials point to the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains as the nearest location representing a possible childhood originof this nonlocal group.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Anthropological Background of Danubian Budakalász, Szigetszentmiklós, and Surrounds

There is a new archaeogenetic study of Mesolithic Danubian Basin located around Romania.  Significant are the affinity to WHG of Iberia, the greater presence of WHG in the Neolithic, and again Mesolithic R1b Y-lineages, which taken with the Iron Gates and other peninsular sites may be relevant later.

This post, which was written earlier today, is a little further upstream on another part of the Danube around Budapest and the surrounds.  For my own knowledge, I'm reading the anthropological background of this area, which is critical for understanding the personal genetics of specific individuals from  "The Beaker Phenomenon: The genomic transformation of Nortwestern Europe"

So before looking at those specific individuals, here's a little about the anthropology of the Budapest-Csepel area and Lake Balaton to the Southwest.  One of the sites investigated by Olalde et al, 2017 were Beaker individuals from Szigetszentmiklós, Budakalász and Békásmegyer.  Here's a background on the area from "The Copper Age cemetery of Budakalász" edited by Bondar and Raczky, 2009 and cited by Kitti Kohler.

"The anthropology of the Baden culture was first discussed by Nemeskéri in the 1950s, based on the skeletal remains from the Alsónémedi cemetery. His study provided the foundations for the culture’s anthropological characterisation for a very long time.  Nemeskéri distinguished three main groups according to the traditional typology: (a) a meso-hypsicranic group with Mediterranean variants and some Negroid and brachymorph elements arriving from the southwest, (b) a meso-dolicho-hypsicranic, Mediterranean + proto-European (Cro-Magnoid) groups arriving from the north-west, from the Linear Pottery and Corded Ware distribution, and (c) a brachy-hypsicranic, Alpine-Dinaric group reflecting eastern and western ethnic impacts.  The two child burials uncovered at Budapest–Békásmegyer were analysed at roughly the same time.  Together with these finds and the human remains from Budapest–Andor Street, Palotabozsok, Szentes–Nagyhegy and the already analysed burials from Budakalász, Nemeskéri again attempted a characterisation of the culture’s population.  The mean sizes and mean indices of the forty-seven skulls available for study suggested that in addition to the three components distinguished at Alsónémedi (the meso-dolichohypsicranic Mediterranean and the brachy-hypsicranic Alpine element, as well as the meso-hypsicranic element reflecting a local population mix between the two), a fourth, dolicho-hypsicranic group could be identified at Budakalász. Nemeskéri linked this latter to the Atlanto-Mediterranean type. In his view, the culture’s population was dominated by gracile and classical Mediterranean types, which could in part be derived from the local Neolithic Tisza population and in part from new immigrants from the south-east.  Regarding the brachycephalic component, he derived the so-called eastern Alpine type with planoccipital nape profile from the east and the so-called western Alpine type with curvoccipital nape profile from the west.  Nemeskéri published one other study on the anthropology of the Baden population, in which he emphasized that in addition to the dominance of dolichomorphic elements, the proportion of brachymorphic elements was quite significant compared to the preceding Bodrogkeresztúr period.  In his view, the striking presence of brachycephalic components (estimated at 30 to 35 per cent) reflected a change in the anthropological spectrum during the Late Copper Age."

There's more there concerning later studies
Kohler again from the same paper:

"The welcome increase in the Late Copper Age anthropological material enabled a new Penrose distance analysis using three Boleráz/Baden series based on samples from the Budapest area, the Balatonregion, and various other areas. The results of this analysis confirmed earlier findings, according to which the Baden groups differed markedly from other Neolithic and Copper Age series in the Carpathian Basin and exhibited a significant relationship with the early populations of Anatolia, Greece and the eastern Balkans."
"The proportion of brachycranial individuals was relatively high in the Budakalász cemetery (17 per cent)and even higher at Alsónémedi (25 percent)...This suggests a significantchange in the Baden culture’s anthropological composition or the arrival of a new population to the Carpathian Basin."
"Nemeskéri identified four individuals with a planoccipital nape profile at Alsónémedi, but his attribution has been seriously challenged.73 The appearance of this type in the Carpathian Basin is generally dated to a later period and associated with the the appearance of the Beaker population in the Early Bronze Age"



From "Life and Death: Mortuary Rituals of the Baden Culture at Lake Balaton (Transdanubia)" by Tunde Horvath and Kitti Kohler:
"Considering the entirety of the Baden culture, the population is defined by the dolichocran Mediterranean element, more closely by the dominancy of the gracile-Mediterranean type component. At the same time, the proportion of the Nordoids and Cro-magnoids, which were determinative beside the Mediterranean types in the earlier era, is negligible. This change in the anthropological features in the Late Copper Age, with the increased presence of the brachycran individuals (so-called Alpine type) may denote the arrival of a new population into the Carpathian Basin. While in the preceding Bodrogkeresztúr culture (Middle Copper Age) the proportion of this component was below 5% (Zoffmann 1992), in the Late Copper Age it approaches 20% (in the Budakalász cemetery it is 17%, at Alsónémedi [Kom. Pest] it is 25%), demonstrable – in a much smaller proportion – in the series of the Lake Balaton region (Nemeskéri 1951a; 1951b; 1956; Zoffmann 1992; 2004b; 2006; Köhler 2008)"
"...This modification of types and type-variants also marks the arrival of a new ethnical component in the Carpathian Basin (Zoffmann 2006)."

HARANG ALAKÚ EDÉNYEK NÉPE SZIGETSZENTMIKLÓSFELSŐ-ÜRGE HEGYI DŰLŐ LELŐHELYEN FELTÁRTTEMETŐJÉNEK EMBERTANI VIZSGÁLATI EREDMÉNYEI
Köhler, Kitti.  Anthrop. Közl. 52; 55 76. (2011)  [Link]

"Köhler, K.: Anthropological examination of the Bell Beaker cemetery at Szigetszentmiklós-Felső-Ürge-hegyi dűlő. The archaeological remains of the Early Bronze Age Bell Beaker culture, known from all around West-Europe, are present in Hungary along the Danube down to the Csepel Island. In this paper we present the results of the physical anthropological analysis of the cemetery found at Szigetszentmiklós, excavated by Róbert Patay, between 2006 and 2007. During
the examination 100 inhumation and 74 cremations were analysed. Based on the results of the metrical and morphological examination we may establish that we can for the first time demonstrate the presence of the brachycranial, so called (“Glockenbecher”) Taurid type in the Bell Beaker populations from the Carpathian Basin. Previously, the presence of this anthropological component in this region could be demonstrated only indirectly, through its appearance among human remains of somewhat later Bronze Age cultures.
Keywords: Early Bronze Age; Bell Beaker cemetery; Demographical, metrical, morphological and pathological analysis."

To summarize, the 'Alpine' headed Beakers are intrusive from the East or West.  Baden and it's groups, or part of it from the Southeast.  Corded WareLBK-esque influence from the Northeast.
Other Neolithics were already there, Yamnaya in the Western Plain at a different time.
Pecking away piece by piece.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beakers of "Another Island"

A quick study of the nearly 50 kilometer-long Csepel Island (shay-pell) has helped me understand its significance in the Beaker Universe.  Conversely, the island and the adjacent banks say a lot about Bell Beakers.

Whether a natural fortress or a canalizing feature, it is the most significant terrain in the region and of the Danube.  The county of Pest lie on either side of its northern convergence and form a choke point with opportunities for fording [Endrodi, 2011]; this location having been a reoccurring strategic objective of invading and occupying militaries since time immemorial.  [See The battle of Budapest]

Although the graphic doesn't show it, the large purple area (Budapest) is bounded by another split in the Danube above the metro area that forms another large island.  So the fording zone limits east-west movement while north-south navigation can be controlled in a very large area.

Csepel Island (pronounced "Shaypell") commons
Control of Csepel Island area has historically amounted to operational and economic control on the region.  Leaving north on the river and around the bend, boatsmen will find themselves near the sources of the Beaker highways:  Rhine, Rhone and Danube. Leaving to the south, they'll pass through Serbia, the Iron Gates, through Romania and to the Black Sea.

I'll continue with some profiles, and while there is a lot of material, I'm having trouble finding a few things so I may jump around a bit with posts in between posts.  All this continuing from "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107

The cemeteries in from this paper are Budakalász, Békásmegyer, and Szigetszentmiklós on the northern and opposite banks although there are other significant sites further down. 



Sunday, May 21, 2017

"A Bell Beaker textile from the Czech Republic" (Grömer, Fojtík, Rudelics, Kroh, 2017)

Here is an extremely rare find of tabby linen presented in "Offering with textile wrapping from a Bell Beaker sanctuary in Brodek u Prostějova, Czech Republic".


While the Czechs have been improving their highway system, a number of spectacular archaeological finds have surfaced, particularly of the Bell Beaker culture.  One of the motorway sites discovered was in Prostějov County, in which are very bizarre ritual center was discovered.  Two parallel rows of pits had 'offerings' of exotic and status items of the beaker culture including the beaker containers themselves.  These offerings appear to have been part of foundation rituals for the placement of gigantic wooden columns that would have supported some kind of ritual center.

Among the beaker globlets in these pits was a large amphora and two jugs.  The amphora was wrapped in this medium fine linen which was about 15 cm thread count.  I don't know what this comes out to in Imperial, but just note that the image below is highly magnified.

The thread is a spliced linen which the authors believe would have been white at the time and that the reddish hue is only from the iron content of the local soil.  In fact they appear to eliminate the possibility that the fabric was red-dyed based on their analysis.

Generally the find seems congruent with other fabric counts and techniques in Central Europe from the Late Neolithic to the Bronze Age.  They make a compelling case that the wrapping of the amphora was part of a broader religious habit that persisted in Europe and the Near East up until the historical era and beyond.


More research into Central European textiles -Katherine Gromer [Link]



"Offering with textile wrapping from a Bell Beaker sanctuary in Brodek u Prostějova, Czech Republic" Karina Grömer, Pavel Fojtík, Angelika Rudelics & Andreas Kroh
Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, Serie A, 119 47–67 Wien, 15 Feb. 2017 [Link]


Abstract

"A group of four rectangular pits in front of a large building (possibly a sanctuary) supported by two rows of nine massive wooden posts excavated near the town Brodek u Prostějova (Prostějov County, Moravia, Czech Republic) delivered a number of vessels, wristguards and stone arrow heads dated to the Bell Beaker Culture (c. 2500–2200 BC). The goods appear to have been intentionally deposited, possibly as a ritual offering, as indicated by the lack of human remains in the pits and signs of intentional breakage of some objects. One of the vessels, an amphora, differed from the others (mainly Bell Beakers) in its coarser material and lack of ornament. Textile fragments adhering to the outside of the amphora indicate that it was wrapped in cloth at time of deposition. This wrapping could possibly have served as decorative element, enhancing the appearance of the – compared to the others – rather crude vessel. An alternative explanation could be wrapping as part of ritual activities – such as inferred for the common practice of wrapping of grave goods in Bronze and Iron Age burials.

The textile remains themselves, albeit fragmentary, are astonishingly well preserved. SEM analysis of the fibres identified the material as crudely processed flax, which exhibits incompletely separated fibres. The technique used for fibre processing was splicing, which is well known from contemporary sites in the Eastern Mediterranean and Ancient Egypt. Compared with other (rare) finds of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age textiles it is relatively fine."

Friday, May 19, 2017

Maritime Style Observation



It appears Beakers associated with the more conservative Maritime derived styles tend to have less or zero of the East European steppe ancestry in and out of Iberia.  This is true of the Boscombe representative (1/7 pots), Paris Street (more on this later), Maritime Mama of Central Europe, Meseta Mama (ciempozuelos).  I suspect this is true in two or three other places with derived styles but can't look now (Netherlands may be an exception). In Iberia, the only two individuals with steppe ancestry thus far are in an area of relative proximity to where Peninsular Cord beakers are sometimes found.  Hopefully I can put up some more profiles this weekend, and BTW, the blogger app is total trash.  





Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"Les archers d'alsace" (I1390) & (I1389)

Two Beaker brothers and well-equipped archers, or as I call them, "Les archers d'alsace", are the next two profiles.  Since they are brothers, they are both R1b1a1a2a1a2 and both X2b4a.

P312 is as far as we can go with these brother archers, but X2b4a is rather specific to the Atlantic Neolithic, so we may surmise a maternal history that is more Atlantic-like, but a cultural history that is clearly Central European.  Also, I1390 may align slightly closer to the heterogeneous cluster of Central Europeans.

After examining the bodies, Vergnaud wrote that "...the two men shared a discrete trait whose origin may be genetic", which is now confirmed by their brotherhood.

Grave 68 (I1390) and Grave 69 (I1389), male (L. Vergnaud), Antea Archéologie, "Current researches on Bell Beakers"
These brothers probably didn't die at the same time.  The archer on the left may have outlived his brother by a decade or so before he was buried in a wooden casket.  The calibrated averages seem to support this conclusion, so they may have been close in age during their adolescence.  Above the mound would have been a small timber circle to enclose the grave and then these sorts of structures were topped with a small shrine or maybe a totem to commemorate the dead.  The post holes give some indication of a super-structure.

Both bodies were laid facing the sunrise, however their orientation is looking very slightly to the Northeast, so we might guess that both had died in the summer, or possibly there is a religious significance attached to the summer solstice in their mythology.

The brother on the right (I1389) appears to have had a quiver attached to his belt on the left hip, which of course means that he was right-handed.  A peculiar oddity is that four arrowheads were concave bases and three were barb-and-tangs.  Despite the view that this is an East-West lithic tradition, I suspect this could also be a functional distinction.  Vergnaud comments on a lone weirdo arrowhead as well - javelin head?  Not enough information on it.  Beaker brother I1390 seems to have had a full quiver like his brother, but at least in the paper below the position is not discussed.

Both have some interesting personal gear, much of it and the burial manners suggestive of a more Central European direction, as Vergnaud writes, particularly "Bavaria, Moravia, Bohemia and Austria..." but "...links with the Western area, however, are noticeable, especially through the presence of barbed and tanged arrowheads."

Now contrast "Les archers d'alsace" with the much more ancient "Maritime Mama" (I1392) from the same Alsace region.  She's the first orange from the top.
Fig S1 of Olalde et al, 2017
Check out Bernard's blog entries on the Alsace cemetery.


And here's their biographies from "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107.  The archaeology paper is at the bottom.

Sierentz - Les Villas d'Aurèle 232 (Haut-Rhin, France)

Contact person: Luc Vergnaud

"Villas d’Aurèle site is located in the municipality of Sierentz, on the left bank of the Rhine, 14 km away from the town of Mulhouse. The site is located on the summit of the Rhine river upper terrace. It was the subject of an emergency excavation in 2010, when the remnants of numerous structures from the Neolithic to the early Iron Age were uncovered. Four Bell Beaker burials, comprising a small funerary area of 55 m of length in a northwest-to-southeast axis were excavated 26,27.
Burial 68 (I1390): This well-preserved burial had a quadrangular shape with rounded corners, measuring 2.30 meters long by 1.80 meters wide. The walls were sub-vertical and the bottom was flat. Traces of lines of dark material and fragments of wood stakes, indicate that it originally contained wood, probably a structure around the body. The individual is an adult male, aged 30-59 years. He was lying of his left side, in a hyper-flexed position following a northwest-southwest axis (the head facing northwest). The body was accompanied with two decorated vessels, eight flint elements (three of them arrow points of concave base), a grooved sandstone, a stone wristguard, and a fragment of a wild boar tusk. The two vessels are beakers with an S-profile, of a beige colour and decorated with geometric, horizontal lines produced by a comb and with a cord. One vessel alternates bands of short horizontal and vertical lines with bands of incised diamonds while the other alternates oblique incised bands with herringbone patterns.  The style of the pottery indicates a medium Bell Beaker phase, although the arrow points seem to suggest an Oriental tradition of the European Bell Beakers. There are two radiocarbon dates from this skeleton and we used the union for analyses:
I1390/11-Grave68: 2566–2299 calBCE [2566–2524 calBCE (3910±35 BP, Poz-41227); 2489–2299 calBCE (3875±35 BP, Poz-41226)]
Burial 69 (I1389): This burial is well preserved, similar to burial 68. The shape of the grave is quadrangular with rounded corners, and measures 2.25 m long by 1.70 m wide.  The remnants indicate a now-missing wooden structure around the body. The individual is a male with an age around 17-19 years. He was left lying at the center of the pit, in a flexed position over the left side of the body, along a northwest-to-southeast axis (the head facing northwest). Genetic data indicate that this individual is a first degree relative of individual I1390. They share both mitochondrial and Y-chromosome haplogroups, which points to a sibling relationship 264 (brothers). The funerary goods consist of two decorated vessels, thirteen flint elements (eight of them arrow points), a grooved sandstone, a fragment of marcasite and a pendant made of bone. The two beakers are very similar to those from burial 68, although the decorations are different. The style of
the pottery also indicates a medium Bell Beaker phase. There are two radiocarbon dates from this skeleton and we used the union for analyses:
I1389/10-Grave69: 2468–2278 calBCE [2481–2289 calBCE (3935±35 BP, Poz-41229); 2468–2278 calBCE (3925±30 BP, Poz-41228)]"

Here's the original archaeology paper:

 "The Bell Beaker funeral group from Sierentz "Les Villas d’Aurèle" (Haut-Rhin, France)"
Vergnaud, Luc (from "Current Researches on Bell Beakers") [Link]

Abstract
"The site of Sierentz, Les Villas d’Aurèle Alsace, France, excavated within the framework of a salvage archeology project in 2010, is part of the recent data renewal on Bell Beaker culture in the south of the Upper Rhine plain. Four graves were found, each containing at least two decorated bell beakers. In one of these graves, which was uncommonly well preserved, some signs of a wooden structure were discovered.  This element makes this site one of the richest burial assemblages of the region."

Parma's "Papà Po" (I2478)

Continuing profiles with a representative Bell Beaker man of Parma, Italy, working from "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107.  

From Fig 2 "Via Guidorossi, tomba 1: inumazioni e 'casa mortuaria'"
Man and Woman, the man R1b1a1a2a1a2 - K1a2a
Bernabo, Mazzieri (2013)
In tomb 1 is a forty year old man (I2478) who was buried with a twenty-something woman (a true Italiano!).  His uniparental information is R1b1a1a2a1a2 - K1a2a. The dislocation of his remains suggested he was buried in an open space, meaning a wooden box. Beakers in this area are intrusive, perhaps destructive.

Now for a closer look, and a big triangle.

So far we have looked at "The Fare Frenchman" of the Rhône-Ouvèze group in Folcalquier, Southern France who has the highest East European steppe admixture of the French Beakers.  (Also, notice his beaker decoration)  Then there was the "Maritime Mama" on the Upper Rhine near Basal, Switzerland (also in France) and the "Mesetan Mama" of Central Spain, the two women lacking steppe admixture.




Fig. 3 "Re rinvenuti nella tomba 1 di via Guidorossi"

The culture of the Ciempozuelos Mesetaña foreshadow apparent connections and genesis of the Rhodano-Provençal group in Southern France (Lermercier), and maybe a few quirky connections of the Beakers of Northern Italy.  

Now I understand that most will find the various subgroups are confusing, but most anyone would be confused! A picture of mixture will start to develop of this region and then we'll slowly zoom out over the panoply of Europe with more profiles.

From Historical Model of Settling and Spread of Bell Beaker Culture in the Mediterranean France.  Oliver Lemercier (Aix-en-Provence, France)  [regarding Beakers of Southern France]
"Their origin must be located in the south western area (iberic peninsula, maybe atlantic coast).  Standardized pots are spread from these sites towards the inland populations.  This first diffusion goes beyond the South East of France, following the Rhone river.  The development of a regional stylistic group, called "rhodano-provencal" like the "pyreneen" group, squares with a phase of acculturation of the local population under iberic influence.  As this acculturation goes, new elements from the north east area appear, showing that the south east area has become a relay in an important road for communication and exchanges.  The apparition of the 'barbele style' may be the result of the arrival of new people from Italy in the country (at work).  Both artifacts and sites data show that Bell Beaker culture should be considered, buring this first phase of apparition in the maditerranean and atlantic Europe, not as a simple diffusion of a fashion, a rite or even of objects, but as a cultural spread with its phases of exploration, settling and acculturation of the local populations.  From the iberic origin (Portugal?) of this first phenomenon to its spread until the far eastern parts of Europe, great lines of communication appear; they will permit numerous multipolar exchanges of ideas, artifacts and populations"
I snipped a map of these locations, Folcalquier, Parma and Balsal from Google.  It means most of nothing until the the river highways are considered.  Consider the approximate circumcenter of these three sites.


At this moment, I'll end this post with the references and the narratives of the Olalde paper.  I believe the Olalde and Reich authors are challenging us in this pre-print.

"Population discontinuity in northern Italy Our Beaker Complex individual from Parma is slightly shifted towards populations with steppe ancestry in the PCA (Fig 1b). We tested for symmetry between BB_Italy_Par and Remedello_CA3 (Table S2), a culture preceding the Beaker Complex in northern Italy. Several steppe-like populations such as EHG (Z=4.6) or Yamnaya_Samara (Z=3.9) share more alleles with BB_Italy_Par than with Remedello_CA, indicating that our Italian Beaker Complex individual harbors a steppe-related ancestry component not present in the previous Remedello culture."

Via Guidorossi (Parma, Italy)
Contact person: Maria Bernabò-Brea
"The site of Via Guidorossi at Parma, in the Po plain, was excavated in 2009 and corresponds to an advanced Bell Beaker period, dated to 2200–1930 years calBCE36. Tomb number 1 contained two skeletons, labelled individuals A (US-8) and B (US-9). Both were placed into an excavated structure of about 2.2 x 2.2 meters, with an opening
at the northeast corner. Individual A was a ~30-year-old woman placed in a south-north orientation, while individual B (I2478), the best preserved of both and the one successfully analysed in this study, was a 30-40-year-old male. This skeleton was placed with flexed legs on his left side, with his left arm also flexed and the right one extended. He was oriented north-south, with the head pointing north and the face looking to the easteast. Two Bell Beaker vessels, one decorated with incised triangles in a central band and the other undecorated, were placed at his feet, while two additional vessels were located close to the opening of the funerary structure. The decorated pottery is similar to objects found in other Bell Beaker Italian sites such as Rubiera (Reggio Emilia). Some lithic implements, including a remarkable knife, were found between the legs of individual B. The only similar lithic knife in a Bell Beaker context has been found at Fosso Conicchio near Viterbo. The radiocarbon date for individual B is:
I2478/Tomb1, ind B: 2200–1930 calBCE (3671±40 BP, LTL-5035A)"
"three more skeletons, labelled A (US-12), B (US-13) and C (U-14), all of them placed in flexed position. Individuals A and C were 60 and 50 year-old males, respectively, while individual B, who was lying between them and in inverted orientation (north-south), was a 15- to 18- year-old young female. Several decorated Bell Beaker vessels were located within this second grave. The bipolar orientation of the Guidorossi burials – south-north for females and north-south for males, all facing to the east – points to traditions found in central European Bell Beaker sites, such as those from lower Austria and Moravia.
Via Guidorossi, tomba 2: inumazioni e 'casa mortuaria'" Bernabo, Mazzieri (2013)


Here's the paper on the burials:
"Nuovi dai sul campaniforme in Emilia"  Maria Bernabo Brea, Paola Mazzieri [Link]

FERRARI, A. and DAL SANTO, N. - Non-Bell Beaker, Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age 2 in Eastern Emilia. Conference Proceedings - Bronze Age Italian Meeting (BAIM) 2012, November 16th-17th, Parma (Italy)  [Link]

"Bell Beaker in Eastern Emilia (Northern Italy)"
From "Around the Petit-Chasseur Site in Sion (Valais, Switzerland) and New Approaches to the Bell Beaker Culture" Proceedings of the International Conference (Sion, Switzerland - October 27th - 30th 2011) edited by Marie Besse, Archaeopress 2014
Nicola Dal Santo, Alessandro Ferrari, Gabriella Morico and Giuliana Steffe." [Link]

1961 -2011: fifty years of discoveries and scientific studies around the site of Petit-Chasseur at Sion
Marie Besse, Curdy, Desideri, Gallay, Wible.
Proceedings of the International Conference "Around the Petit-Chasseur Site"  Sion, Switzerland, 2010 [Link]

Le Campaniforme et l’Europe à la fin du Néolithique
La Préhistoire de l’Europe occidentale : un bilan des connaissances à l’aube du 3e millénaire

Monday, May 15, 2017

Another Profile Shortly, But First...

Here's a simple and straightforward question:

How much Corded Ware ancestry do Bell Beakers of Northern and Central Europe have?


Shouldn't they have more steppe ancestry than the previous Corded Ware if they are descended from the same meta-population?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Real Mesetan Mama (I4245/RISE695)

Continuing with the profiles from "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107.   This was the live breaking post if you missed it.

Part of what's interesting about the Camino de Yeseras archaeological site (Central Spain) is that 1) it's freaking huge 2) gross inequality among its inhabitants.  As you will see in the Olalde narrative below, the Beakers at this site are notable for gigantism and deformed heads.

I wrote about this site and this woman previously in this post.

Liesau, Blasco, Rios, Flores, 2015
Right now I4245 is the single individual of the Iberian test group that is without question a 'real' Bell Beaker, at least in my opinion. Oddly enough, her maternal haplogroup is not common to Europe, being L1b1a, which we already knew from the previous RISE study. Genetically, she is a Neolithic European.  For that reason, she's a good candidate for connections between the Meseta and Morocco/Algeria.  When her genome is released and later as the Moroccan Beakers at Stanford are published, maybe we'll learn more about these connections.



Wiki commons

Her head is clearly deformed, which I wrote about several times, so that makes it more likely that she was a Beaker baby, not just the wife of a Beaker.  In other words, she was raised with Beaker infant practices.  Also, as the archaeologists had noted in that first post, her life was much easier than the other women where she lived.

Like most of the Iberians she has no apparent Steppe admixture.  Personally, I'm nearly 100% certain that steppe admixture is in Iberia from the earliest Bell Beaker, the MBA Iberians show that this will be the case.  But as I had cautioned before, Iberia will take some time to sort out.  4245 is highlighted below.


Fig S1 from Supp 1 Olalde et al, 2017

Footnote.  Today is Mother's Day in the United States so Happy Mother's Day to you mothers! It's a good opportunity to see the humanity in a woman we only know as I4245.  But she had a real name and someone stood at this freshly covered mound personally destroyed.

I4245 was buried with her likely child, from the archaeologists' opinion, at the same exact time as the child based upon the decomposition science.

Sometimes I wonder why Beaker women are buried with (presumably) their children.  Did plague or misfortune strike the house all at once within the day or two of burial?

I suspect in some cases there may have been one final act of sacrifice that took place as the Beaker belief system may have viewed small children as woefully unprepared to navigate the underworld.  It's also worth considering that in some cases the women buried with children were not the mothers, but nurses or slaves.

Hopefully we will see future studies on women and children.


  1. Camino de las Yeseras (San Fernando de Henares, Madrid, Spain)
  2. Contact person: Corina Liesau, Patricia Ríos, Concepción Blasco, Pilar Prieto
  3. Most of our knowledge about this site has been gathered from four excavation campaigns, three of which have been rescue archaeology interventions by different companies. This has conditioned the information available about the site. The site of Camino de las Yeseras is one of the greatest Chalcolithic ditched enclosures (approximately 22ha.) in central Iberia. It is essential to our understanding of the Chalcolithic period: the Pre Beaker burials and the impact that Bell Beaker customs and funerary rituals had on the consolidation of social inequalities among the first metallurgical societies of the Central Iberian Peninsula20,21.Strategically located at the confluence of two important rivers, it was probably a central place located on a suitable and well-communicated landscape comprising two valleys for livestock and farming activities, and close to a rich resource catchment area where flint, salt, and clay are found. From the end of the fourth to the middle of the second millennia cal. BCE it was an important production and exchange centre of raw materials and objects. Since the second half of the third millennium cal. BCE, Bell Beaker burials are documented mainly on the south area of the site, and comprise different types of tombs, contemporaneous to other non-Bell Beaker ones, mainly collective burials with scarce grave goods.
  1. Except for one collective Bell Beaker burial in a pit, three so-called Funerary Areas reveal the intentional delimitation of space and can be placed chronologically between the end of the third millennium and the first centuries of the second millennium cal BCE. Like pantheons, the huts with sunken floors at Camino de las Yeseras have two or more tombs excavated at the bases of their edges, as well as one deep hypogeum and one or several artificial caves. These pantheon-like structures were respected through time and reveal consecutive funerary and commensality activities within them.  Although the sizes of the tombs are independent of the number of individuals buried within them, the hypogea include relevant prestige items such as ornaments in gold and ivory, and the covering of bodies with cinnabar. The artificial caves, on the other hand, include mainly Bell Beaker pottery of the Ciempozuelos incised style. The osteomorphological and size features noted on some of the Bell Beaker individuals suggest they had a peculiar appearance (e.g. gigantism, deformed head) when they were alive.

  2. Sample I4245/RISE659 was obtained from a tomb with a double inhumation in a small artificial cave from Funerary Area 2. A 1–5-year-old child was inhumated at the far end of the cave and was covered by the body of a 20–30-year-old woman, carefully placed in supine position with the head to the left and flexed legs. The woman's head, which rested on a pillow made with a grass fill, revealed an intentional cranial deformation from childhood. Both bodies are known to have decomposed within the infilled space.  In terms of the grave goods, a small decorated cup was found on the child, whereas two bigger decorated inlayed cups had been placed between the breast and left arm of the woman. The child was radiocarbon dated to 1960–1740 calBCE (3525±40 BP, Ua-35021). No date is available for the woman, who was sampled for aDNA analysis, but the context suggests that both were interred at the same time:
  1. I4245/RISE695: 2280–1790 BCE 

Here's the original archaeological paper:

La mujer en el registro funerario campaniforme y su reconocimiento social.  Women in the funerary Bell Beaker record and their social recognition.  TRABAJOS DE PREHISTORIA.  Corina Liesau, Concepción Blasco, Patricia Ríos, Raúl Flores, 72, N.º 1, enero-junio 2015, pp. 105-125, ISSN: 0082-5638.  doi: 10.3989/tp.2015.12146
[Link]

ABSTRACT
The paper analyzes the Bell Beaker graves with female burials from three sites located near one another in the region of Madrid. The study addresses the female presence within contexts that have traditionally been considered mainly male. The variability of their grave goods and burial rituals and their identification in primary and secondary, single or collective inhumations, is also analyzed.  Their associations with male adult individuals and/or children are reviewed, and the social role of women buried with daggers in significant graves is discussed.  Although the sample is quantitatively insufficient, its
variability at least allows us to refute previons claims about the numerical superiority of male graves that have been made without any empirical support. We conclude with a discussion of why there are fewer women in Bell Beaker tombs than in contemporaneous tombs without Bell Beakers.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Maritime Mama?? (I1392/13-Grave9)

This woman is the only Western European individual outside of Iberia without steppe admixture.  She's clearly a cultural Beaker, being someone who lived and communicated within a Beaker community close to Basal, Switzerland, within France.  Her mitogroup is H1+152, which would lend support to her Atlantic heritage.  She would have belonged to the Beaker system that dominated the Rhine.

Here's her original study:
"Une nouvelle sepulture campaniforme a Hegenheim (F-Haut-Rhin) in: Jeunesse C. et Denaire A., dir. [Link]

"The Maritime Mama" (Jeunesse, Billoin, Denaire, Thiol, 2010)

Though I haven't had time to compare the types of beakers with the other graves, this one is notable for having a Maritime decoration, as seen below (hat tip Bernard for pointing out the mixed nature with cording, which you can see if you click on the image).  It's not beyond the realm of possibility that she was a native Iberian, so it will be interesting to see future analysis on how she clusters with other Neolithics.

Her beaker "The Maritime Mama" (Jeunesse, Billoin, Denaire, Thiol, 2010)

And here she is out there in the orange with the other Iberians in relation to steppe admixture, which is not there.  She's also a fairly early Beaker if you split her radiocarbon range.
Fig S1 (supplemental 1) From Olalde et al, 2017.

And her biography from "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107

Hégenheim (Haut-Rhin, France)
Contact person: David Billoin and Anthony Denaire
The Hégenheim site is located at the left bank of the Rhine river, a few kilometers from the town of Basel. It was the focus of an emergency excavation during the summer of 2004, when an individual Bell Beaker burial next to a Merovingian necropolis was uncovered23,24. The burial consists of an oval pit, north-south oriented, 1.80 meters long and 1.30 meters wide. The skeleton was positioned at the bottom of the pit, in lateral decubitus position on the right side, with flexed knees and elbows. The position indicates that the body is in its primary arrangement. There is suggestive evidence that the grave was covered by perishable material (plausibly a wooden structure).

The grave goods are limited to a decorated vessel, placed in 205 a functional position, just behind the head. It is a large beaker of the S profile and flat-bottomed: 24 cm in height and 20 cm in maximum diameter. The external colour grades from reddish to brown; the vessel is polished and decorated both externally and internally. The latter decoration is restricted to the first two centimeters at the edge and consists of four parallel lines impressed with an S-twisted cord. The external decoration covers all of the beaker except for a short, one-and-a-half centimeter band below the edge. It consists of a series of ten strips alternated with oblique impressions with a comb, limited above and below by a line made with a cord. The decoration can be attributed to a mixed maritime style, considered to be an early stage of the Bell Beaker tradition.  The Hégenheim individual (13-Grave9, I1392) is an adult mature individual who is genetically female. The spatial orientation and the grave goods are consistent with a female Bell Beaker burial.

I1392/13-Grave9: 2832–2476 calBCE (4047±29 BP, MAMS-25935)

Snip from Fig 2, Olalde et al, 2017

"The Fare Frenchman" "I2575" (Grave S. 14)

This guy in Southern France has the most steppe ancestry of any of the French Bell Beakers from "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107

I've included some biographical information and background resources for "I2575" (Grave S. 14).  Unfortunately his y-chromosome did not sequence, at least this time.  His mitochondrial grouping is K1c1.  Here's Lermercier's "La Fare" dig site with more photos.  See also Bernard's Blog for more information on the French Beakers, including our very first representation of European R1b-U152.


"The Fare Frenchman" (Lermecier)
Behind the head of this man you can make out a dagger blade.  I believe Lermercier, Müller and Furestier thought he was probably a native with a Beaker ideology.  Perhaps that is why his "Alpine head" is mentioned in the Olalde paper.  I'm interpreting the statement from Fig 5 of Lermercier, 2006.  To some degree this would be true of his native ancestry, however a very large part of his ancestry is now shown to be not local.

This man's home (Lermercier's site)
His pottery decoration was of the Rhône-Ouvèze group, as mentioned in his Olalde biography and the other linked documents.

Fig 7: Gobelet campaniforme de La Fare (Lermercier, 2006)
His biography from Olalde:
"The site of La Fare (Forcalquier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) is located in the south-east
of France, in the Pre-Alps of the south about 80 km north of Marseilles. The site  occupies the top of a vast promontory dominating the neighboring valleys. The site was excavated from 1991 to 1999 under the direction of André Müller, Olivier Lemercier and Robin Furestier.  Burial S14 is located on the margin of a small occupation of the regional Late Neolithic attributable to the Rhone-Ouvèze group. It presents itself as a vast oval pit 2.50m by 2.30m, oriented southeast-northwest and extended in its southern part by a basin of 0.50m long by 0.70m wide, forming an access step to the main pit. 324 The pit accessible by  a step under a monolith was probably covered with a floor, blocks and a mound. The body is placed on the bottom of the pit in the west half. It is strictly oriented north south, head to the north. It is positioned on the left side, the upper and lower limbs flexed. 
La Fare (Forcalquier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) (photo Lemercier) S14/I2575 
The archaeological furniture consists of six objects. A copper dagger blade was placed beside the head behind the skull. A small object in the shape of a bone reel was found on the bottom of the pit in front of the head. In the southern part of the pit, under the "access step", were three ceramic beakers, two of which were inverted in front of a small bench in the substrate and a little higher up in the sediment infiltration mass. One is an early Bell Beaker with mixed decoration (comb and cord), the other two are characteristic beakers of the Rhone-Ouvèze group. Screening of the entire sediment of the structure yielded only one small segmented bone pearl.  The skeleton is that of a man aged between 30 and 40 years, of the so-called "alpine" cranial architectural type, about 1.72m and wounded by inclusion in the olecranon of a fragment of Flint causing ankylosis of the left elbow.   The skeleton is preserved in the Musée de Préhistoire des Gorges du Verdon
(Quinson, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence). The radiocarbon date for this individual is: I2575/Grave S. 14: 2476–2211 calBCE (3895±40 BP, GrA-22988)

La Fare (Forcalquier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) (photo Lemercier) S14/I2575 

Here's more.  This first document has better pictures and more information.  The other two are more detailed:

Olivier Lemercier. "Le Campaniforme et l'Europe a la n du N eolithique." A para^ tre: LEMERCIER O. : Le Campaniforme et l'Europe a la n du N eolithique, in : Actes.. 2006. <halshs-00087402> [Link]

Olivier Lemercier, Jessie Cauliez, Robin Furestier, Christophe Gilabert, Nathalie Lazard, et al.. "Le site n eolithique nal de La Fare (Forcalquier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence). R esultats 1995-1999 et revision chronoculturelle." 5e rencontres m eridionales de Prehistoire recente - Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne et Midi 2002, 2004, Cressensac, France. Prehistoire du Sud-Ouest, Supplement n9, pp.445-455, 2004. <halshs-00087369> [Link]
 
Olivier Lemercier. "Le Campaniforme dans le sud-est de la France. De l'Archéologie à l'Histoire du troisième millénaire avant notre ère." Sciences de l'Homme et Société. Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I, 2002. Français. <tel-00087323>

Rickets Must be the Answer.

We learned from "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107 that the derived allele frequency of LCT (rs4988235) was very low in Bell Beaker and Bronze Age Britain and Continental Europe.  In modern Britain it is nearly fixed.

The most common understanding of lactase persistence frequencies is 'the fitness argument', that it is a super-trait that became widespread because of the direct benefits of producing gut lactase as an adult.  This was always problematic and stupid, just look around the world.  Plus, most non-LP people are not necessarily lactose intolerant.

But we've learned several things about the Corded Ware and Bell Beaker populations thus far 1) they tended to be darker skinned 2) had only begun the frequency increase of LP and 3) that those descendants went through a rapid selection process subsequent to the arrival at their new homelands.  In other words, they were in a process of becoming whiter and more lactase persistent.
Fig 5.  Frequency of LCT (rs4988235) (Olalde et al, 2017)

Now, if you have always lived in Northern Europe, or if you've never been to Northern Europe, one thing that is not so obvious is how cloudy, foggy and musty a place like Britain is.  Vegetables are anemic throughout most of Europe.  Even sunny days feel less radiant in the North.

Another thing that we continue to learn is the commonness of rickets.  In fact, one of the Scottish Bronze Age children (I2569) had died, probably because of rickets.  Rickets is returning again to Britain, and the polite British media has so far failed to report that all of those cases are among immigrant children, not British children.

To put another way, there is a combination of traits that work together that include skin color and lactase persistence.  One way to test this hypothesis, is to test children like I2569 and see what derived alleles they have.  On average, probably more of those rickets children did not have these alleles.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

DNA. "The Beaker Phenomenon" Olalde et al, 2017 (Update 15)

Here's a breakdown of "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genomic Transformation of Northwestern Europe".  It's a pre-print at bioRxiv [here].

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)


Abstract
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.

(Update 1)
Reading now...

This might be helpful in the meantime.

Fig 3.  Bust and Boom in the Late Neolithic (Shennan et al, 2013)
Here's the blog link to the second paper by Timson et al, 2014

(Update 2)
  • 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. 
(Update 3)
"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?

(Update 4)
  • 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.
(Update 5)

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.

(Update 6)

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
(Update 7)

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.

(Update 8)

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.

(Update 9)

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...

(Update 10)

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)

(Update 11)

La Fare (Forcalquier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) (photo Lemercier) S14/I2575  Y-unsucessful? mtdna - K1c1
Notice the copper knife behind the ear of this French Bell Beaker of the Rhone-Ouvèze group.  He was about 5.6 feet or 1.72 meters tall and a "so-called "alpine" cranial architectural type".  In other words, he had a big, weird Beaker-head.  More pictures on Burials page 2.
Here's the text:  "Le Campaniforme dans le sud-est de la France"

(Update 12)

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.

(Update 13)

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.

(Update 14)

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.

(Update 15)

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"

Iñigo Olalde, Selina Brace, Morten E. Allentoft, Ian Armit, Kristian Kristiansen, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Thomas Booth, Anna Szécsényi-Nagy, Alissa Mittnik, Eveline Altena, Mark Lipson, Iosif Lazaridis, Nick J. Patterson, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Yoan Diekmann, Zuzana Faltyskova, Daniel M. Fernandes, Matthew Ferry, Eadaoin Harney, Peter de Knijff, Megan Michel, Jonas Oppenheimer, Kristin Stewardson, Alistair Barclay, Kurt W. Alt, Azucena Avilés Fernández, Eszter Bánffy, Maria Bernabò-Brea, David Billoin, Concepción Blasco, Clive Bonsall, Laura Bonsall, Tim Allen, Lindsey Büster, Sophie Carver, Laura Castells Navarro, Oliver Edward Craig, Gordon T. Cook, Barry Cunliffe, Anthony Denaire, Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy, Natasha Dodwell, Michal Ernée, Christopher Evans, Milan Kuchařík, Joan Francès Farré, Harry Fokkens, Chris Fowler, Michiel Gazenbeek, Rafael Garrido Pena, María Haber-Uriarte, Elżbieta Haduch, Gill Hey, Nick Jowett, Timothy Knowles, Ken Massy, Saskia Pfrengle, Philippe Lefranc, Olivier Lemercier, Arnaud Lefebvre, Joaquín Lomba Maurandi, Tona Majó, Jacqueline I. McKinley, Kathleen McSweeney, Mende Balázs Gusztáv, Alessandra Modi, Gabriella Kulcsár, Viktória Kiss, András Czene, Róbert Patay, Anna Endródi, Kitti Köhler, Tamás Hajdu, João Luís Cardoso, Corina Liesau, Michael Parker Pearson, Piotr Włodarczak, T. Douglas Price, Pilar Prieto, Pierre-Jérôme Rey, Patricia Ríos, Roberto Risch, Manuel A. Rojo Guerra, Aurore Schmitt, Joël Serralongue, Ana Maria Silva, Václav Smrčka, Luc Vergnaud, João Zilhão, David Caramelli, Thomas Higham, Volker Heyd, Alison Sheridan, Karl-Göran Sjögren, Mark G. Thomas, Philipp W. Stockhammer, Ron Pinhasi, Johannes Krause, Wolfgang Haak, Ian Barnes, Carles Lalueza-Fox, David Reich