Saturday, October 12, 2019

Taubertal (update)

Source for Beaker male lineages?

This grave is classified as part of the Corded Ware Culture in the Taubertal, and two paternal lineages are what we have come to expect as the near-exclusive Bell Beaker lineage M269.

That we'd see Beaker lineages in a Corded Ware communities is not surprising; they married well and often.  But to have no meaningful ancestry in line with most Beakers and at this age certainly raises the eyebrows.  Actually, a few things raise the eyebrows.  Apparently, more L51 lineages are on the way that are further East and pretty early.  We'll see.

Update, adding this "Das schnurkeramische Gräberfeld von Lauda-Königshofen im Taubertal"

See Deutschordensmuseum Bad Mergentheim

"Althäuser Hockergrab" from Althausen'

We've seen a lot of jumping to conclusions with previous ancient individuals where there was obvious cultural and genetic admixture.  But if it turns out that we begin seeing more of this in the right contexts and much earlier, then one of the oldest questions regarding the origin of the Beaker phenomenon may have an answer pretty soon. 

(Holger Uwe Schmitt)

See also
"Diet and Mobility in the Corded Ware of Central Europe" Sjogren, Price, Kristiansen, 2015

"The Stone Age Plague and Its Persistence in Eurasia:"



  1. There's only R1b from the Taubertal site, and it's probably R1b-P310, and hence also R1b-L51.

    Anyway, thoughts?

  2. Taubertal M269 is likely not only L51 and P310, but also U152 and perhaps even L2 - i.e. from the same limited downstream branch of L51 that spawned other Eastern samples. L51 per se looks much older, likely developing between the Balkans and Iberia.
    The core DNA of mainstream R1a Corded Ware populations looks to have already formed to the North/North East of L51 long before the CW culture developed.

  3. @Nicolas Paul

    You're not making much sense there, because it should be obvious that the core DNA of mainstream R1a Corded Ware populations came from the North Pontic steppe.

    I mean, where have you been for the last few years? At least read this and try and understand it...

  4. This is pretty much what I was suggesting - the North Pontic Steppe is North/North East of the Balkans.
    The point I was making is that Taubertal Corded Ware seems too recent to be a prime candidate for the original development location of the L51 pre-Beaker people.

    1. Yes, it is too early, but I'm referring to what might be a trend if rumors of older and more easterly lineages are discovered, especially if they have no detectable West European ancestry

  5. @BBB, reference to "two paternal lineages" doesn't seem quite right, unless I'm misreading you.

    Only one R1b, from a male child (sample ALT_4, cal BC 2570-2458, aged 6-7 years). "The man of about 30 years' arms were placed around the body of a 6-7 year old child who is facing him". The male child shares an mtdna U5a1a1 with the male (ALT_1). The adult male could not be typed. The male could not in fact even be clarified as male by genotype, but I doubt that the archaeology and anthropology got it wrong.

    There is also a female adult aged 40-50 (possibly unlikely to be a bride of the 30 year old male, jumping to conclusions from age range), ALT_2, who is facing a female child ALT_3 aged 9-11 years. This pair also share the same mtdna, K1b2b.

    Both children were wrongly sexed by phys anth and anthropology, originally, and only the genotypes cleared it up.

    1. Wow, thanks for adding that. The likely maternal correspondences leaves a lot to ponder.

  6. So about 2500 BCE +/- half a century. Also trepanation in one person's skull. The adult and child sharing mtDNA is tricky and not what you'd expect naively, if they are indeed, also father and son, although not shocking either. The shared mtDNA would at least tend to favor, for example, a cousin marriage over a foreign bride, if they are indeed father and son, which would means that the Y-DNA in the child has to have entered the community at least a generation or two earlier. The female adult and female child as mother and daughter does seem plausible. But the adult female couldn't be a full blood sister or mother-in-law of the adult male. If the bodies were buried not at the same time, however, the relationships are less rigidly bound. The boy could be a child of a first marriage, and the adult women could be a widowed second wife with a daughter from the same man.

    It is a little hard to tell what the anthropology says about the relative times of burial for the four individuals.

  7. New book about Bell Beakers in France: Les cabanes campaniformes des Calades (Orgon - Bouches-du-Rhône), 2019
    See the following link:

  8. The timing of the stone age black plague bacteria is about right to be a driver of LP evolution.