Saturday, February 7, 2015

Iberian Horse Vessel (footnote)

This horse vessel is from the Iberian Early Chalcolithic.  (before proper Beaker Culture)  It probably came out of the dolmen of Valencia de la Concepcion (?)

Blanco de la Rubia via Valera, Evangelista, Castanheira (2014)

There's several interesting out-takes from the Valera, Evangelista, Castanheira paper on Zoomorphic Figurines of Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic Iberia.  For now, I'll just make a few comments on this horse.

Zoomorphic vessels are not exceedingly abundant in Iberia but several have been taken from funerary contexts, like all other zoomorphic creatures.  The vessels feature birds, pigs, cows and this one horse.

For a wild and free animal, this horse looks cumbersome and burdened.  On it's own merits, it'll never resolve the debate of horse domestication in Iberia much less its own categorization, but it's depiction needs to be remembered as discussion on morphology and genetics continues in Europe.

Chicken Hen?!
Another issue is its presence among the other animals mentioned.  Two of the four are certainly domesticates, cows and pigs.  The fourth is the bird depicted above which comprises the majority of the collection.  What type of bird?

It appears to be a bird from the order of Galliformes.  Is is a native black grouse hen?  or a chicken hen?
It's head shape looks like a grouse, a fat, wild bird used for eggs and meat.  In Iberia, this would probably be the black grouse, a bird distantly related to chickens.
Domesticated chickens (jungle fowl) appear in Europe around this time (West and Zhou (1988, 1989) also (Zlatozar Boev, 2009)  Either way, it looks more like a captive bird than a wild and free bird.

The 'vessel-ization' of these animals seems to me to indicate these animals were viewed as resources for exploitation, not idealizations.



  1. There is very strong data supporting the independent domestication of the horse in Iberia in the Chacolithic. Significant sites are: Castillejos de Montefrío, Almizaraque, Campos, El Barranquete, Tabernas, Cerro del Culantrillo and Cerro de la Virgen de Orce, as well as in Portuguese sites. In some of these sites it already represents a very large number of the animal remains, for example 25% in Orce, while wild hunt does not represent but a residual fraction if present at all.

    Genetics also strongly support a second domestication center for horse in Iberia, although in this case the diversity is highest towards the North of the Peninsula, rather than the South:

    So have no doubt: that horse represented is a domestic animal.

    1. I think that's probably right. A surprising number of wild animals have had attempted but failed domestication attempts - Nubian Water Buffalo or Barbary Sheep as one example. Other animals, like bees an elephants, are either tamable or manageable in their wild state.
      Refined domesticates, like horses, have been under intense artificial selective pressure to give non-wild morphologies which appear much earlier in Iberia than expected, as you mention.

  2. BTW, Reich confirmed today... R1b is from Yamnaya and Indo-Europeans. It is not North African. Late entry into Iberia!

    1. I'll have to read the notes from the conference before commenting on it.

      R1b did immigrate to Africa from the East prior to its Bronze Age. No question about that.
      The question is how Western European R1b came to be in its current location. I favor an African migration route.
      Let's see what the paper says.

    2. Which clade of R1b? It seems impossible to me that M412 would be found in Eastern Europe at any time because today it's practically non-existent. Maybe they found the Chuvash-Uyghur subclade? Let's not mix apples an oranges, ok?

    3. He wasn't cryptic about it at all... R1b came with Indo Europeans. Beakers were very similar to Corded Ware, without sharing parental markers.. no apples and oranges...

    4. Clades will come out... they have to have an air tight case to say so. Cotafeni to Early Mako/Vucedol, to Beaker... the case gets stronger.

    5. I don't know if Reich was cryptic or not (haven't read/heard/watched what he said - where did he make such a claim?) but I know that you, Chad, are being cryptic here and extremely hard to understand.

      "R1b came with Indo Europeans"


      "Beakers were very similar to Corded Ware"...

      The pots? Guess not. Where's the data? Which "beakers"? From East Germany? What about Iberian or Irish Beaker people? All looks very slippery.

      "Clades will come out..."

      Clades are fundamental! Much of the confusion about R1b is because people like Balaresque have preferred to ignore clades, treating all the macro-haplogroup as a single amorphous unity. Can you imagine if we would treat C, for example, in a similar way? People with over-simplistic approaches like you could well then be claiming that Japanese and Australian Aborigines come from Epipaleolithic Iberia... because La Braña carried it. It's not a valid approach.

      I want to know not about R1b but about M412 specifically and preferably about S116 and U106. That would be informative because there are many kinds of R1b, as there are many kinds of C, O or E1b.

      I bet you that the Yamna R1b is the Chuvash clade (i.e. Central Asian and unrelated to Western European R1b).

  3. V88 is totally different... He said that R1a and R1b came with Indo-Europeans... Bell Beaker remains confirmed it... They are Yamnaya and European Neolithic mix.

    1. I welcome a strong case. I'm not emotionally invested in making a case either way.

      But let me ask you a question...

      How and where do you think Yamnaya and Samarra peoples originate?

    2. Samara is the native hunters, mixed WHG and ANE, then another people from West Asia (also carrying ANE) enter and mix, creating Khvalynsk (abt4500BCE) and then Yamnaya(3300BCE).

    3. It's all pretty complicated. I'm open to times for arrival of R1b, whether it was already in Samara or came in the Neolithic. Either way, it's the one that is ancestral to Europeans. The autosomal make-up of Beaker says a lot.

    4. "How and where do you think Yamnaya and [Samara] peoples originate?"

      Truth is that the genesis is ill researched. Samara culture is the layer where soviet archaeology stopped looking and AFAIK further research still awaits. Judging on the leaked info by Patterson, Yamna are like 50% Epipaleolithic Eastern European Hunter-Gatherers (EHG) and 50% something else that seems to be half Paleosiberian (ANE) and half West Asian. An interesting hint could be the Yangelsk culture of the SE Urals, which seems derived from Jarmo Neolithic. This could explain the ANE+West Asian mix and also the presence of R1a, which may have spread from Kurdistan/Iran in the earliest Neolithic. We'd be talking of a complex ethnogenesis with three different demographic sources: aboriginal Eastern European (EHG, main one), aboriginal Siberian/Central Asian (ANE) and immigrant Neolithic from the Zagros area. There's nothing WHG: that's just another way to call EHG (they are related, probably at Gravettian and Aurignacian shared roots) and is confusing.

    5. @ bellbeakerblogger - "I'm not emotionally invested in making a case either way"

      I've noticed quite a few other people who are though ;-)

      "How and where do you think Yamnaya and Samarra peoples originate?"

      Now this is a very good question!

      @ Chad - "[...]then another people from West Asia (also carrying ANE) enter and mix.."

      So West Asia could be a likely source for gene flow into Africans [Northern & Tropical], plus Iberians, N/W Europeans, and Yamnaya.

      Or Nile Valley is a source for gene flow into Africans [Northern & Tropical] and West Asians [followed by further gene flow from both of these sources into Iberians, N/W Europeans, and Yamnaya].

      "they have to have an air tight case to say so"

      Not necessarily!

      "As I've said.. Africa is impossible"

      As you keep saying repeatedly. Due to lack of evidence is one thing, but I suspect that that might not be the only reason why you continue to insist this.

  4. As I've said.. Africa is impossible... Pontic to Cernavoda.. to Cotafeni and Ezero.. then to Early Mako/Vucedol and then Beaker.. then to Iberia as Bronze Beakers...

  5. I'm simplistic? I called this a long time ago. Only those with their heads in the sand couldn't see the writing on the wall...I've gone over the reasons for a few months at eurogenes.. Posting it all again here won't change the minds of those that refuse to accept and data from the last couple of years.

  6. ALL YAMNAYA males are R1b m269.. so ancestral to us... AHAHAHA! Read it and weep!

  7. I0124 (Samara_HG)
    The hunter-gatherer from Samara belonged to haplogroup R1b1 (L278:18914441C→T), with upstream haplogroup R1b (M343:2887824C→A) also supported. However, he was ancestral for both the downstream haplogroup R1b1a1 (M478:23444054T→C) and R1b1a2 (M269:22739367T→C) and could be designated as R1b1*(xR1b1a1, R1b1a2). Thus, this individual was basal to most west Eurasian R1b individuals which belong to the R-M269 lineage as well as to the related R-M73/M478 lineage that has a predominantly non-European distribution17. The occurrence of chromosomes basal to the most prevalent lineages within haplogroups R1a and R1b in eastern European hunter-gatherers, together with the finding of basal haplogroup R* in the ~24,000-year old Mal’ta (MA1) boy18 suggests the possibility that some of the differentiation of lineages within haplogroup R occurred in north Eurasia, although we note that we do not have ancient DNA data from more southern regions of Eurasia. Irrespective of the more ancient origins of this group of lineages, the occurrence of basal forms of R1a and R1b in eastern European hunter-gatherers provide a geographically plausible source for these lineages in later Europeans where both lineages are prevalent4,17,19.


    I0410 (Spain_EN)

    We determined that this individual belonged to haplogroup R1b1 (M415:9170545C→A), with upstream haplogroup R1b (M343:2887824C→A) also supported. However, the individual was ancestral for R1b1a1 (M478:23444054T→C), R1b1a2 (PF6399:2668456C→T, L265:8149348A→G, L150.1:10008791C→T and M269:22739367T→C), R1b1c2 (V35:6812012T→A), and R1b1c3 (V69:18099054C→T), and could thus be designated R1b1*(xR1b1a1, R1b1a2, R1b1c2, R1b1c3). The occurrence of a basal form of haplogroup R1b1 in both western Europe and R1b1a in eastern Europe (I0124 hunter-gatherer from Samara) complicates the interpretation of the origin of this lineage. We are not aware of any other western European R1b lineages reported in the literature before the Bell Beaker period (ref. 2 and this study). It is possible that either (i) the Early Neolithic Spanish individual was a descendant of a Neolithic migrant from the Near East that introduced this lineage to western Europe, or (ii) there was a very sparse distribution of haplogroup R1b in European hunter-gatherers and early farmers, so the lack of its detection in the published literature may reflect its occurrence at very low frequency.

    The occurrence of a basal form of R1b1 in western Europe logically raises the possibility that present day western Europeans (who belong predominantly to haplogroup R1b1a2-M269) may trace their origin to early Neolithic farmers of western Europe. However, we think this is not likely given the existence of R1b1a2-M269 not only in western Europe but also in the Near East; such a distribution implies migrations of M269 males from western Europe to the Near East which do not seem archaeologically plausible. We prefer the explanation that R-M269 originated in the eastern end of its distribution, given its first appearance in the Yamnaya males (below) and in the Near East17.

    1. OK, so we've kind of known for about the last ten that M269 is of an Eastern origin. Not sure I understand the fireworks.

  8. I0439 (Yamnaya) This individual could be assigned to haplogroup R1b1a (P297:18656508G→C), with upstream haplogroup R1 (M173:15026424A→C, M306:22750583C→A) also supported. It was ancestral for haplogroup R1b1a2a1 (L51:8502236G→A) and so could be designated R1b1a*(xR1b1a2a1).

    I0443 (Yamnaya) This individual could only be assigned to haplogroup R1b1a2a (L49.1:2842212T→A, L23:6753511G→A). It could also be assigned to the upstream haplogroups R1b1a2 (PF6399:2668456C→T, L150.1:10008791C→T, L1353:19179540G→A, PF6509:22190371A→G, M269:22739367T→C, CTS12478:28590278G→A). The individual was ancestral for haplogroup R1b1a2a1 (L51/M412:8502236G→A) and, unlike I0231, I0370 and I0438 also for R1b1a2a2 (Z2105:15747432C→A). Thus, it could be designated as R1b1a2a*(xR1b1a2a1, R1b1a2a2)

  9. Look Chad: I've been briefly reading the rumorology in Davidski's blog and the results seem clear: R1b is associated with Bell Beaker folks per the available data. Krefter: "The Iberian and German BB might have R1b. Iberian R1b might even come out P312".

    That pretty much settles it all - unless the rumors are wrong.

    M269* is not "ancestral" it's out of the Euro-clade: it is most probably, as I predicted, part of the Central Asian clade.

    Now, the Spanish sample seems to be within the Euro-clade. And it is the only one.

  10. The Spanish sample is m343. Not our ancestor. We have l23 and z2103 in Samara. L51s father and brother.. Bell beaker is 50% yamnaya.. Put two and two together. You're a smart guy.

  11. The Early Neolithic Spanish R1b is R1b1(xM269, xM73), as is the Mesolithic Samara R1b.

    The Yamnaya Samara R1b is mostly R1b-Z2103, and none is in the West European R1b-L51 clade, while the Bell Beaker R1b is under L51. However, the Yamnaya and Bell Beaker R1b share M269 and L23. Therefore, if the Spanish R1b is ancestral to Bell Beaker R1b, it must *also* be ancestral to Yamnaya R1b.

    Neither the Samara forager nor the Spanish Cardial farmer had L23 ~7000 years ago. But since we only have a couple of samples, it's possible that it did already exist in both areas and we just happen to have basal lineages. In that case the connection could be earlier than 5000 BC. However, going by SNP counting, L23 is probably not much older than that anyway (and could be younger). So probably we are looking for something that happened before Bell Beaker but not before the Neolithic.

    1. Yes, for what Jean Lohizun has told me in private communication (AFAIK she's the only "online-relevant" person to have been in that conference) the R1b found both in Samara and Aragon is in essence out of the modern European mainline R1b (M412/L51), let alone the two dominant subclades S116 (SW) and U106 (NW). Hence they only evidence presence of the wider R1b lineage in Europe prior to IE but also to Megalthic/BB expansion.

      It'd be interesting to see a drift tree because I bet that those two samples are more derived than the M412, S116 and even U106 nodes, i.e. these nodes already existed back then (or so I think).

      The question: is where were they? My theory says that in Atlantic Europe: S116 in the Portugal-France arch and U106 in the North Sea basin. Neither Oceanic area has been studied well enough, so I await for further data but I do expect confirmation once this ancient Atlantic data begins to show up.

  12. L23 is max age of 4200bce by snp's

    1. Chad:

      L23 max age is 4200 BC? What study is that from? Seems awfully recent.

  13. The Samara valley is just a small area in Yamnaya. It's only maybe 1/4 of the area. L51 could easily and likely dominate another area. Cotafeni should be L51 dominated. Bell Beaker clearly links most European R1b with Yamnaya. There are a few survivors left from that R1b in Spain, but it can't be ancestral to us as snp's can't pop up in two distinct populations. They start in one and spread to another. Everything younger only shows up in east.

  14. That Iberian guy could be v88. Definitely not ancestral to Western Europe... sorry

  15. The study has been pre-published here:

    Most of the Yamnaya R1b is clearly out of the mainline European haplogroup (M412/L51), belonging to the rare: Z2103 sublineage, which is "brother" to M412. So it's totally impossible that Yamnaya R1b is ancestral to Western European R1b (or most other R1b for whatever is worth).

    The first "modern European" R1b (S116, SW clade, i.e. same as Basques or Irish, or most Spanish or French) sequenced to date remains an individual from Kromsdorf (attributed to "Bell Beaker" but not your typical BB burial in any case, rather undefined post-Corded with some BB elements). This individual is not much more recent than Yamna sites, so you can't trace any obvious line from one to the other. Corded Ware has only produced R1a so far.

  16. Jean is wrong. Look at the paper. He is L278. Pre v88.. 11 snp's from L23. Two populations on opposite sides of the continent don't simultaneously undergo the same 11 mutations. You should know that. Everything under L23 is from the east. One Yamnaya was P297, pre m269 and m73. One was straight L23, ancestral to L51.

    1. There's no such thing as "pre-V88":
      → R1b1a (P297/PF6398, L320)
      → R1b1b (M335)
      → R1b1c (PF6279/V88)

      "Pre-V88" would be R1b1 (P25_1, P25_2, P25_3, L278, M415/PF6251), what is as undefined as you can get within this macro-haplogroup.

      All R1b found is either R1b1* (not "ancestral" but private branches!) or part of R1b1a2 (M269) → R1b1a2a (L23/PF6534/S141). Of this, there are two kinds:
      (A) → R1b1a2a1 (L51/M412/PF6536/S167) → R1b1a2a1a (L151/PF6542, P311) →R1b1a2a1a2 (P312/PF6547/S116)
      (B) → R1b1a2a2 (CTS1078/Z2103)

      A is found first in Kromsdorf and then in Bronze Age Germany.
      B is found only in Yamna elite burials (kurgans). It may look strange that they had so little direct patrilineal descendants, considering the massive autosomal influence attributed to them. It seems very apparent that the main patrilineage that can be associated to Kurgan expansion is not R1b but R1a.

      Importantly some of the populations with greatest R1b-P312/S116 are also among the populations with LOWEST Yamna component (Spaniards, Basques, etc.) I guess it can still be argued that its "brother" lineage R1b-U106 might have some sort of relation to Kurgans or its descendants but definitely not S116.

  17. Besides, it's only the Samara Valley. 25% of the Yamnaya area. This isn't rocket science.