Friday, April 5, 2019

Marauder Mesetans Take Booty (Olalde et al, 2019)

Welp, in an ironic twist of history, turns out the Castilians destroyed Europe's first castles.  The first castles of Portugal and Southern Spain had one serious design flaw anyway, they all pointed the wrong direction!  I'm being facetious.  That really isn't what the paper says, but we know 1) the genetic outcome in Iberia, 2) genetic data on either side of the Beaker period, 3) and based on profiles of beaker-associated people of this time, Beakers of the interior lands look red-handed in all of this.

I started reading this Olalde 2019 paper yesterday and digging down into the sites and details.  I've got some first impressions but it will take a few posts to sort out.  It's an incredibly big swath of people with a lot of implications, so like Harvard's NW Europe paper, this may take another twenty posts of detailed reading and zooming into the unique burials.

Individuals 1 and 2 of Tumba 4 de Castillejo del Bonete

The once barren innards of Iberia harbored a restless new people that must have been raiding the external civilizations from within.  We see a similar scenario unfold in the Iron Age.  The vast inner interior of Spain is key to all of this.  More coming...

*update 1*

At some point the coastal and riverine pre-castles fell out of fashion.  Some are roasted, but most just kind of go into disrepair.  Mounted warfare may be why.  Raiding threats prior to this time seem to have come from the coasts or along draws and navigable rivers.  These garrisons must have been effective at cutting off these avenues of approach at first, then some unexpected happens.

Now the threat is from the interior.  These aren't seasonal raiding parties.  The threat is constant and local.  Harassment is endless. We can be certain that it is just not Bell Beakers generally, but Marauding Mesetans that are the cause for the disruptions that happened.

Another interesting angle is the relationship between Ciempozuelos and North Africa.  North African beaker pottery is essentially Ciempozuel-bros from what I've seen.

Another interesting thing is how DF27 these people likely are, when they are.  That complicates a complicated story.

*update 2*

Re-defining Ciempozuelos.  (Bueno, Barroso and Balbin-Behrmann, 2017)  Something I'm reading.

Bueno et al, 2017

You'll notice something about Meme Buenos big stroke map here, that is that all of the Bell Beaker zones of Iberia are connected via the Ciempozuelos network, not each other.  Take a good look at it.  Whether its the Tagus or the Duoro, the Ciempozuelos has its hand on all of them, and for people who could move over land quickly, this communicates power.  And a the heart of the Ciempozuelos territory?

Now look at the Olalde paper through this lens.  This is the formation of modern Spain, genetically and culturally.

 *update 2.1*

This map is a template for history to repeat itself in the Iron Age.

*update 3*

Just noticed that commentor FrankN at Eurogenes made an observation about the Castile region's profiles.  Porto-Cogotas and Cogotas I is expected and Cogotas II basically transitions toward Celtic, and while not native, definitely predictable.


  1. Oh Mother of God, the seperatists will say this proves the conquistador stuff is in the genes. lol

  2. You are not misguided, we have 9 cases of R1b-p312 between 2,500-2,100 BC, 8 of them buried with Ciempozuelos-style ceramics, including the oldest-EHU002-2,434 BC. Df27 is overwhelmingly Iberian and the genetic continuity is evident until the iron age. The Castilians have always been the most bellicose of the Spaniards, but I still do not see widespread violence in Iberian BBs burials. It will be interesting to see your posts.

    1. Thank you, Gaska.
      It seems likely that during this time the whole of civilized Iberia along its coasts had continuity in language and culture, but as the Meseta emerges from unimportance to a power center, these Mesetans demand marriage among elite families. It has a snowball effect, especially if this situation lasted hundreds of years.

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  6. Yes, modile raids must explain the rapid shifts we see (3/400 years is 'rapid'' - in geological time scale).

  7. One fascinating thing about Cziempozuelos pottery is that it bears similarities to Schönfeld Group pottery from the Magdeburg area (post GAC-W, unaffected by CW), especially w/r to solar symbols applied to the outer vessel bottom, and also Irish (Scotch) "food vessels". For the latter, the connection to the Magdeburg area is evident (Quedlinburg BB->Rathlin), but the Cziempozuelos link still remains obscure to me. In any case, the Schönfeld Group (from ca. 2900 BC) seems to predate Cziempozuelos, albeit those Schönfelder urns with solar symbols haven't yet been directly AMS-dated.

    1. Frank, you may already be aware of this paper by Savory, 1978:
      "Some Iberian Influences on the Copper Age pottery of the Irish Channel Area"

      It looks like a relationship, what that is I have no idea, but it wouldn't surprise me if a relationship does exist since regional geographies seem to be addicted to repeated history. I'll definitely look closer at the links you mention. Thanks,