Middle Neolithic. France.
This paper includes the HVS-1 profiles of nearly three hundred ancient Iberians. Rather than summarize the paper, let me ignore everything else and zero in on a single point. The enigma of H1 and H3.
Multiple streams of evidence are starting to illuminate something that happened in the MN, possibly moving out of France. From the Paris Basin
to Paris Street
, to barbarian Blatterhohleans and belligerent Baalbergers
we see something that is curiously steeped in WHG-rich ancestry, high haplogroup H frequency, and the curious presence of R1b. I call them the Violet Volken after the Fregel et al, 2017 K=8
|Studied Area. Snip from Fig 1|
Before delving into this study, let's question the basis of a particular narrative. It is that the rebound of WHG-related ancestry in the Middle Neolithic is the result of a slow process by which hunter communities were civilized and absorbed into the general farming population. Does that even work mathematically based on population estimates?
But at gory Gougenheim (Beau et al, 2017) the maternal profiles don't support a situation in which shy hunters slowly grafted into the settled mainstream. Instead, like Blatterhohle Cave we see what amounts to a 'deeply segregated society' based on the data available so far. It's pretty clear who ruled the school in Gougenheim. What if the spike in HG-related ancestry isn't local, shy hunters? Let me answer that for you, it's probably not.
This study possibly adds more full to that fire. Maybe in the strictest terms Olalde et al, 2017 is right that Maritime Iberian Beakers contributed little ancestry to Continental Beakers, but it may be more complex than that. And this offers an intriguing thread to pull:
"...the proportion of haplogroup H is higher in the Iberian Early
Neolithic (EN) (22.2%; n = 27) than in Central Europe (15%; n = 160),
while the frequency of N1a is very low (3.7% compared to 9.4% in Central
Europe). Another difference with regards to Central Europe is the
occurrence of haplogroup N* in Neolithic NEI group"
Hervella et al, 2015 made a nearly identical comment
concerning the Neolithic Balkans. I'll revisit the Hervella "H" hypothesis in a moment.
|Snip of Fig 2|
It's unlikely that the high rate of H1 and H3 can be explained by a founder effect of the Danube farmers. Just not enough time for a patriocally, high female-mobility-oriented culture to pile up only H1's in some remote pocket of Southern France. That reasonably leaves the Cardial/epi-Cardial/Impressa or whatever tradition which can explain the Mediterranean littorals; or alternatively, as Hervella et al suggested, a third Neolithic expansion (more on this).
"The largest proportion of the H
individuals belongs to the subhaplogroup H1 (65.1%), and the second
largest group is subhaplogroup H3 (14%)...
H3 is detected in Chalcolithic individuals from central, southeast and
southwest Iberia. H1 is observed in each period and region, but more
frequently in the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age than in the
Neolithic. .... However it becomes
apparent from our results that the H diversity in prehistoric Iberia is
different from the H diversity of Central Europe, and more similar to the Neolithic populations in France. Notably, common Central European subhaplogroups H5 and H7 have not yet been observed in Southwest Europe."
The below hints at what I've already suspected, that a large portion of the Steppe-related ancestry in Beakers of the North European Plain is owed to the Corded Ware Culture that it subsumed, probably from a combination of wife-buying and destruction.
"Interestingly, we also do not find evidence for influx in the East to
West direction, as none of the investigated Chalcolithic individuals
show ‘steppe ancestry’, which seen in contemporaneous Central European
Corded Ware and Bell Beaker groups, suggesting that eastern influxes did
not reach the Iberian Peninsula until later periods."
What this means is that the rapid rise of haplogroup H in Iberia is not connected to Steppe-related ancestry, at least before the regular Bronze Age. This is an important and subtle point. It means that Iberia was experiencing a surge-of-something that was also affecting other parts of Europe hundreds of years before the Beaker phenomenon.
Finally to the Hervella "H" Hypothesis which is an attempt to explain the extreme rise in the haplogroup H right before the Late Neolithic. Brotherton et al, 2013 postulated that this rise reasonably came from Southwest Europe into Central Europe with the Bell Beaker Culture. But the Hervella team found that explanation not suitable after examining a similar mito-phenomenon in the much earlier Neolithic and Metal Age of the Balkan Peninsula. Clearly there were farmer-like maternal profiles and then the exploding H-people. This is what Hervella wrote
in response to Brotherton in 2015:
"...none of the models studied to date have taken into consideration another
possible and obvious explanation, namely a new wave of Neolithic
migration into Europe through the ‘traditional route’ of the Balkan
Peninsula. This new wave of Neolithic migrations are represented by
Vinča and Dudeşti cultures (5500–5000 BC), that trace their origin in
North-West Anatolia on the basis of ceramics features . The Boian,
Zau and Gumelniţa cultures from Middle-Late Neolithic (M_NEO) from
Romania are the direct continuation of this cultural complex; the M_NEO
group from Romania displayed differences in haplotype (S5 Fig) and
haplogroup distributions (S4 Fig) with the Middle Neolithic from Central
That would put a 3rd Neolithic behind the Iron Gates, in the Wallachian Plains cultures that also gave rise to the Boian encrusters
, who are nearly contemporary with cultural changes in the North of France and Germany around 4300.
What if that is the source of excess WHG in the Middle Neolithic in the West of Europe?