Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The genetics of the Tuatha Dé Danann

I want to link directly over to Razib Khan's "Gene Expression" comments on the Lara Cassidy paper on ancient Ireland.  Lots of interesting topics...

see below

 the "Tuatha Dé Danann"

The genetics of the Tuatha Dé Danann: The power of ancient DNA in terms of human evolution at this point is to a large extent the ability to understand the arc of human cultural history as reflected in our genealogies. Archaeologists h…


  1. One topic I'm not too knowledgeable about is, consanguinity and Down's Syndrome. This doesn't seem to be a one off in the case of this tomb.

    The thing that is so bizarre is that we are talking Neolithic bodies, not a legend and then copy cat behavior. So this once again focuses attention on the Irish legends and their (probable) validity. Stunning.

  2. The Tuatha De Danann were the direct predecessors on the island to the Gaels from Hispania, per Book of Invasions. Are we assuming that beaker-Atlantic Bronze Age-Gaelic period is to just be “streamlined” in this manner? Just wrapping my noggin around this...

    1. I assume that any semi-historical legend is going to have points of accuracy and areas that have become muddled or conflated overtime. So I wouldn't focus too much on assigning identities with great accuracy. The broader scheme seems to have some validity

  3. Fabulous paper. I wonder if the Atlantic megalithic people were the ones who spoke the Proto Semitic language that was mentioned some days ago. After all, if there's a genetic closeness between the Newgrange people and the Spain/Portugal people, maybe there was a North African (Proto Semitic speaking) population that crossed to Portugal and... ok, I am rambling

    1. Absolutely. It was a crazy rambling of Theo Venneman thirty years ago, but I think the genetic results are giving adding a little capital to the British substrate hypothesis. It would very interesting if the Megalithic superstate was indeed Semitic. The similarity of the oculos cult images between Syria and Southern Iberia are striking. These images (the seeing eyes) are found on many of the megalithic monuments.

    2. Do we have any dates on the oculos cult images, both in Syria and Iberia?

      I think there must have been various Syrianish influences on Megalithic Western Europe. In addition to occasional Levantine admixture in Chacolithic Iberia and Funnel Beaker, it can also be found during the Cardial period. Predictably, the sample demonstrating it best (I0411) was excluded from detailed analysis in the original study on the grounds that it was deemed too closely related to another sample at the same site. To my knowledge, if correct, its y-DNA (F*) is today found only in Arabia.

      The region from which these Neolithic and Chalcolithic migrations occurred looks to have been a multi-ethnic melting pot. The degree to which a Middle Eastern strand was influential culturally and linguistically is perhaps uncertain, but it certainly appears influential in Chalcolithic Varna, whose 'King' had a clear Middle Eastern genetic profile.

      To go back to Irish legend, the Fomorians who were said to pre-date the Tuatha De Danann in Ireland were described as 'dark' and 'inhabitants of Africa'. It would surely not be surprising if these people spoke or were lingusitically influenced by Afroasiatic language and/or culture, and we are told that some had offspring by Tuatha women.

      Indeed, curiously, the father of the first Tuathan king of Ireland was said to be the son of a Fomorian who had a large eye that wreaked magical power. A manifestation of the Syro-Iberian oculus cult perhaps?

    3. There's a few papers by Thomas Schumacher that I would highly recommend regarding the similarities between Iberian and Syrian cult plaques. They're not just similar, they're effectively part of some kind of common religion that connected Southern and Western Iberia to Syria in the Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic. Certainly trade existed between the two, such as West Asian elephant tusks. Exactly what that means in terms of familial connection or aristocracy, who knows.

    4. bellbeakerblogger,

      Danube/Balkan farmers had slight Levant ancestry (5-10%). Anatolian Neolithic samples have more than they did. And, the West European Neolithic has less Levant Neolithic ancestry than Danube/Balkan farmers did. Actually, West European farmers might have had 0% Levant Neolithic ancestry.

      The archaeological claim that Cardiel culture of Early Neolithic West Europe comes from Syria holds no water considering there's no evidence of Levant ancestry in West European farmers.

      This makes the idea West European Neolithic spoke Semitic also unlikely.

    5. This is true as a generalisation, on average.

      However, some individual Danube/Balkan farmers had less than 5-10% Levant ancestry, and some had significantly more. If one of the farmers who had significantly more Levant ancestry were an influential alpha male (as appears to be the case in Varna), then it is not unlikely that features of a Levantine language might have had some influence on the local language.

      If there were some Levant ancestry in Anatolia and the Danube/Balkans, and people from here were migrating to Western Europe with the Cardial culture, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that some of these migrants had Levant ancestry. There is also the secondary potential route of Levantine DNA along the coast of North Africa; it is only a short hop from Morocco to Western Europe - a transfer of some DNA and/or some linguistic attributes is not out of the question.

      I'm not sure that we are talking about the Cardial culture of the Early Neolithic in any case. bellbeakerblogger was referencing cultural similarities between Western Iberia and Syria at a later point - in the Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic period.

    6. "If one of the farmers who had significantly more Levant ancestry were an influential alpha male (as appears to be the case in Varna)"

      What Levant ancestry did he have? According to Mathieson 2018 the Varna samples were Balkans Neolithic plus additional European hunter-gatherer ancestry and Yamnaya ancestry.

    7. Mathieson found Varna was an admixture of Anatolian Neolithic, WHG, EHG and Yamnaya Samara, because these are the ancestries that he tested for. If he had tested for Levant, he would have found it.

    8. can you show me something which supports your claim?

    9. I believe there is a published run on the Genetiker website that shows an analysis of admixture between a larger number of source variables. The 'Varna King' is the fourth of the five samples analysed.

      If you are aware of any data to refute this finding, I would be interested to see it.

    10. I googled Genetiker and Varna and only got an article which says that one of the Varna samples has a significant amount of 'Eastern European' ancestry.


    12. If you go to the main site and scroll a long way down, you will find a mass of detailed admixture runs. The Varna sample that you found described as having significant 'East European' ancestry is presumably the first (ANI163), and the one with significant Levantine ancestry is the fourth (ANI152) - this is the one found buried with a huge stash of gold.

      Sorry to diverge a bit off the topic of the post, but this is to demonstrate how alpha males with Levantine ancestry could have significantly influenced populations without necessarily leaving much of a genetic legacy.

    13. I can't find the Schumacher papers BBB mentions, but if there were oculos stelae along the coast of North Africa, Levant admixture in Varna would be irrelevant. I prefer the hypothesis of Levant migration along northern African coasts, either by land or by sea, and the hop Morocco/Spain

    14. I am with you on this as the most likely route (given the genetic profiles, my suggestion is principally Greece>Italy>Tunisia>Morocco>Iberia>NW Europe), although I think Varna is a manifestation of the the same phenomenon - people of mixed ethnicity including Levantine origin joining a westward migration.

    15. @Nicholas Paul

      The only thing I can find on that page is the same article that I quoted above. I can't find any evidence supporting your claim at all.

    16. "I can't find the Schumacher papers"

      Here's one;

    17. @ A "The only thing I can find on that page is the same article that I quoted above. I can't find any evidence supporting your claim at all."

      Go onto the website set at standard 100% zoom and scroll down 85 pages. It is not an article, but a mass of data, presented graphically. You will know you are in the right area when you see all the colours. You will see Varna written on the left side of the screen. To get the clearest view, you will need to zoom in, but this will mean you will have to re-scroll to find the correct place again.

      Sorry if this has become irritating. I'm just trying to help.

    18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    19. ok I found what you're referring to. One of the Varna samples is shown as having some Natufian.

      But it also has some Native American.

      Do you think it has both of those?


    20. I don't have any opinion on whether it has Native American. The data merely indicates that it has a small proportion of DNA that is also found in high concentrations among Native Americans. The same DNA is also found across Russia and the Steppe (unsurprising, if we accept the orthodox explanation that America was colonised from Siberia) - or do you think that Siberia could not possibly share any DNA with North America?

      Do you also think it impossible that some Natufian DNA found in the Turkish Levant might also be found near the North Western Turkish border a few thousand years later?

      And do you think this sample doesn't have any Natufian at all? If so, I would be grateful if you would direct me to any evidence you have to support such a view.

    21. it looks like a low quality sample which might give unreliable results

      Either way at most it's a small amount of possible Natufian ancestry rather than 'a clear Middle Eastern genetic profile. Also his y-DNA T only shows up in the Levant and elsewhere along with Anatolian Neolithic ancestry.

    22. Apparently Genetiker found European admixture in ancient Peruvian mummies.

    23. If Genetiker runs data and finds admixture of a certain kind, what is he supposed to do - erase it and doctor the data, or perhaps ignore it and pretend it wasn't there?

      By low quality sample, do you mean low coverage sample? The data is still valid, it is just that there is less of it.

      Why do you identify 21% Natufian as a small amount? Central European Bell Beakers have less than half this amount of CHG, yet are still claimed to show a clear Steppe signature.

      A best fit shows that the Varna King's most recent ancestry was most likely not a small amount of Natufian, but a large amount of Levant Neolithic (pretty close to 50%). Given its idiosyncratic nature for a Balkan sample, my estimate would be that one of his parents was most likely Levantine. Indeed, this parent was most likely his father, because as you say his yDNA is of a type that shows up with Anatolian Neolithic between the Levant and the Caucasus.

      As it appears there is no data contradicting the existence of this Levantine profile, I think we can assume that it most likely does exist. It is not really unsurprising for there to be a link between this region and Varna, as they are not that far apart (certainly compared to the Neolithic spread from Anatolia to Western fringe Europe), and both were involved in copper metallurgy.

      To return to the point, this is just to demonstrate how it is entirely feasible for influential people from ancient Levant to make a mark (including potentially a cultural or linguistic one) on communities in Europe.

    24. I see you went over this theory before on Eupedia

      "Varna43/ANI152 is a very Low Coverage sample. So the autosomal results are unreliable. The most steppe-like sample from Varna is at the same time the one with the best coverage.

      T-M184 (x T1) is not in anyway a Levantine lineage (this claim is as old as it is the Iberian R1b Paleolithic Refugium).

      This lineage is mostly found above the Alpide line, where this lineage has their highest diversity. Since is found from Himalayas to North European Plain nowadays.

      So, Varna43 T lineage, looks more local than newcomer.

      Also, someone said that Peqi'in cave T lineage is "Levantine", first of all, they are though to be originated North of where they have been found. But They carried the WHG blue/gray eyes alelle. And their lineage belongs to a T branch which most probably originated around the western side of the Black Sea.

      I have updated the map with all ancient samples belonging to T here:"

      Regarding a possible connection with Levantine metallurgy and the Ghassulian culture, the earliest evidence for copper and gold smelting and large scale metallurgical production is in the Balkans, and the Varna 'king' was buried with his hoard of gold about 500 years before the earliest small gold artefacts appear in the Levant. So the relationship, if there is one, would appear to be in the opposite direction to that which you were suggesting.

    25. "Genetiker found European admixture in ancient Peruvian mummies."

      Not a legitimate result. Accepted by no one else.

    26. why isn't it legitimate?

    27. I would rather stick to the topic of the post, but must clarify a few things:
      1. "Low coverage" means not many SNPs can be read; it doesn't mean that the readable SNPS are unreliable. Ancient samples are low coverage compared to modern samples, but this doesn't mean that we should disregard results from all ancient samples as unreliable, does it?
      2. T-M184(xT1) is not a lineage, but represents an indeterminate number of T lineages including all except the T1 lineage. As it arose at least 26,000 years ago, the question of where it arose has no relevance to a sample that is only 6,000 years old.
      3. In examining the genetic profile of one individual, the question of whether gold smelting began in one region rather than another region is also not relevant.

      I had hoped you would answer some of my questions:
      1. Why you consider that 21% Natufian is "a small amount", when you presumably believe that only 8% CHG in Bell Beaker is a clear indicator of Steppe origins?
      2. Do you think it is infeasible for any DNA from the Southern Turkish Levant to appear just North of Turkey a few thousand years later? If so, why?
      3. What evidence do you have to contradict the results of analysis demonstrating that ANI152 had some Levantine or Natufian DNA?

      To return to the questions we were considering - Could some Levantine DNA potentially have moved westwards as is believed the case with Anatolian DNA? Could a person with a non-standard outlier genetic profile and ancestry find themselves in a culturally (and potentially linguistically) influential role within their community? If we accept both of these premises, then there is no reason why we should discount the possibility that a Semitic language might have influenced a West European one.

    28. I don't think it's infeasible for DNA from the 'Southern Turkish Levant' to appear just north of Turkey. I think you create unlikely stories on the basis of very thin, unreliable or nonexistent evidence which you then assert as a fact.

    29. To clarify:
      1. I use the expression 'most likely', and don't assert anything as fact.
      2. These are the stories which look 'unlikely', that - (i) Anatolian DNA spread across the whole of Europe, but managed to isolate itself from having any Levantine DNA in it whatsoever, (ii) 21% Natufian DNA in Varna is 'small', but 8% CHG in Bell Beaker is major, (iii) substantial amounts of Natufian DNA found in samples from the Iberian Neolithic, the Balkan Chalcolithic, the Iberian Chalcolithic, Salzmunde, Northern Funnel Beaker and North Polish Corded Ware are each so 'unreliable' as to make the whole lot of them 'non-existent' (even though no evidence exists to the contrary), (iv) apparent Afro-Asiatic inflections in the Irish language being cursorily dismissed as if it is impossible for them to be related in any way.

  4. Yes, it looks like the given chronology and legends of the Tuatha De Danann tie up fairly well with the early Bronze Age immigrants to Ireland. They were said to rule Ireland between 1,897 BC and 1,287 BC, having returned there from the North, i.e. perhaps their R1b-L21 moving back to Ireland with plenty of Baltic/North European admixture.

    Perhaps it was these Beaker-derived people, rather than Neolithics, who were considered demi-gods by later Gaelic colonists?

  5. Linguistic, textual, genetic and archaeological evidence for the Out of India Theory of Indo European Languages
    To:you Details
    Baghpat Chariots, Weapons and the Horse in the Harappan Civilization - Dr. BK Manjul

    Findings from the latest genetic study conducted by ASI in collaboration withe Reich Lab at Harvard using the ancient DNA from Rakhigarhi

    slides at 29:00 mark

    Here are the tribes that spread the Indo European languages from South Asia to West Asia, Central Asia and to Europe

    Avestan) Afghanistan: Proto-Iranian: Sairima (Śimyu), Dahi (Dāsa).
    NE Afghanistan: Proto-Iranian: Nuristani/Piśācin (Viṣāṇin).
    Pakhtoonistan (NW Pakistan), South Afghanistan: Iranian: Pakhtoon/Pashtu (Paktha).
    Baluchistan (SW Pakistan), SE Iran: Iranian: Bolan/Baluchi (Bhalāna).
    NE Iran: Iranian: Parthian/Parthava (Pṛthu/Pārthava).
    SW Iran: Iranian: Parsua/Persian (Parśu/Parśava).
    NW Iran: Iranian: Madai/Mede (Madra).
    Uzbekistan: Iranian: Khiva/Khwarezmian (Śiva).
    W. Turkmenistan: Iranian: Dahae (Dāsa).
    Ukraine, S, Russia: Iranian: Alan (Alina), Sarmatian (Śimyu).
    Turkey: Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian: Phryge/Phrygian (Bhṛgu).
    Romania, Bulgaria: Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian: Dacian (Dāsa).
    Greece: Greek: Hellene (Alina).
    Albania: Albanian: Sirmio (Śimyu).

    Shrikant Gangadhar Talageri

    Five waves of Indo-European expansion: a preliminary model (2018)
    Igor A Tonoyan-Belyayev
    I. Tonoyan-Belyayev

  6. Dyaus Pitar (Vedic), Zeus Pater (Greek), Jupiter (Roman), Dei Patrous (Illyrian), Dievs (Baltic).
    Uṣas (Vedic), Eos (Greek), Aurora (Roman), Aushrine (Baltic).
    Varuṇa (Vedic), Odinn/Wodan (Germanic), Ouranous (Greek), Velinas (Baltic).
    Asura (Vedic), Aesir (Germanic), Ahura (Avestan).
    Marut (Vedic), Ares (Greek), Mars (Roman).
    Parjanya (Vedic), Perkunas (Baltic), Perunu (Slavic), Fjorgyn (Germanic).
    Traitana (Vedic), Thraetaona (Avestan), Triton (Greek).
    Aryaman (Vedic), Airyaman (Avestan), Ariomanus/Eremon (Celtic).
    Saramā/Sārameya (Vedic), Hermes (Greek).
    Pūṣan, Paṇi (Vedic), Pan (Greek), Vanir (Germanic).
    Rudra (Vedic), Ruglu (Slavic).
    Danu (Vedic), Danu (Irish).
    Indra (Vedic), Indra (Avestan), Inara (Hittite).
    Śarvara (Vedic), Kerberos (Greek).
    Śrī (Vedic), Ceres (Greek), Freyr/Freya (Germanic).
    Bhaga (Vedic), Baga (Avestan), Bog (Slavic).
    Apām Napāt (Vedic), Apām Napāt (Avestan), Neptunus (Roman), Nechtain (Celtic).
    Ṛbhu (Vedic), Elbe (Germanic).
    Yama (Vedic), Yima (Avestan), Ymir (Germanic).

  7. Brand new presentation by geneticist Dr.Gyneshwar Chaubey. Facebook login required to access

  8. Could there be any Afro-Asiatic/Syrian roots to names of the legendary Afro-Irish mariners who were said to have clashed and occasionally inter-marrried with the Tuatha?

    I am thinking particularly of Balor, who is associated with a similar oculus cult to that found in Syria and Iberia. His father and grandfather are named as Dod and Net.

    Other Afro-Irish/Fomorian names given are Alatrom, Dub, Mell, Dubros, Tethra, Febair, Conand, Dela, Morc and Indech. The matriarch of these people is said to be Domnu, and their earliest leader Cichol.

    Are these purely Gaelic names, or could they be celticised versions of names that perhaps had Berber or Levantine origins?

  9. I am reminded of the “fact” (or consistent observation) that Irish people seem to often score minor MENA points on 23andme, with some broken down into Broadly Arab, Egyptian l, Levantine , my own father being an example of that (we have moderate/minor Irish descent) Scores nearly a full point MENA with some in the prior mentioned category. I am also reminded of the legend that has Gaels descending from Egyptian royalty/Scotia. Also interesting is the slightly elevated observed mtdna N1b1 in the Irish (it’s my mtdna haplogroup, thus I have interest. My branch settled in Slavic lands). N1b/N1b1/N1b1b always struck me as being more Levantine/Arab/Deeper in Mesopotamia than the perhaps more westward and Anatolian N1a. I digress greatly now, however.

    Fascinating thread!

  10. Another striking thing from this study is the similarity between Bell Beaker's R1b dominance and the prior Neolithic's I2a dominance. In both cases, there is heavy G2a-like Anatolian farmer autosomal DNA, but the G2a itself has disappeared. The G2a men appear to have lost out during the Neolithic just as much as they and I2a lost out during the Bell Beaker and Bronze Ages.

    Irish legend provides an amusing story to suggest what happened. The first arrivals during the Bell Beaker era were said to be a party of 4 men and anywhere between 49 and 150 women. The women apparently hailed from all over the place (Germany, Britain, Spain and South Eastern Europe), and the men must have rued taking on so many of them, as we are told they all either died of exhaustion or jumped into the sea and fled.

    1. It's interesting that the Irish legends speak of successive groups that were wiped out and the genetic data tells us of waves of population replacements, too

    2. Yes, these legends suggest that population replacements were frequent and occurred for a whole host of reasons - conflict, natural disasters, the transportation of large numbers of females, and most commonly of all pandemic disease. And the genetic data suggests that these population replacements went back to the Neolithic too.

  11. As far as I understand the Irish R1b Ancestors came from somewhere near the Don River. There is apparently also a link with the Moscow area....anyway. I think the Neolithic population at best maybe spoke a language related to Basque and sofar I can tell Basque is not related to Semitic.

    Gaelic seems more like a Shorthand Poetic version of Late-Indo-European. The VSO wordorder also occur in some Germanic Languages usually related to Poetic use.

    1. The Don and Moscow are presumably a reference to legendary sources?
      Legend might suggest that extant Irish R1b went to such places and returned, rather than necessarily originating there.

      I see Basque as most likely a Chalcolithic, rather than Neolithic, language.

      Poetic inflection is often a throwback to a more archaic form of language. Perhaps the Irish used VSO as a comforting reminder of what existed in their pre-Gaelic tongue?

    2. Nope not legendary sources. Archaeology and Genetic Samples of Ancients. Striking resemblance of a burial near Moscow with a burial at Veluwe (Netherlands)....etc. And no they clearly originated near the Don and Moscow because there was no R1b in Ireland between 5000-6000 years ago...

    3. And there is hords of Bards/Warrior Poets in Irish Myths and Legends...Amergin, Lugh etc...

    4. Agreed, we know of no R1b in Ireland 5,000-6,000 years ago.

      Let's look at the legendary Tuatha De Danann more recently than that. According to chronology in the Annals of the Four Masters, their ancestors arrive in Ireland 2,350 BC (around the time of the Bell Beakers), vacate it for Northern lands 2,134 BC (all male), stay in these Northern lands until 1,897 BC (presumably partnering women they come across there), and return to Ireland 237 years later during the Bronze Age. Their descendants 8 or 9 generations later are not going to look the same genetically as they did. Autosomally, these descendants would look Baltic, if that's where their ancestors went. Their ancestors might for the most part have originated somewhere near Moscow, although this doesn't mean that their paternal lines necessarily did.

    5. Nicolas, I can think of no specific reason why Bronze Age Irish would have migrated to all the way to Moscow. The climate is extreme compared to Ireland and Most Northwestern European Countries. I think some maybe migrated to France and the Lowlands but nothing as extreme as all the way to Moscow. Remember Moscow is still a significant distance from the Baltic Coast. So no need to go as far as Moscow to acquire Amber. The Single Grave people probably acquired Amber on their way to the West. The puzzling thing is the Migration Route from plus/minus Moscow to Ireland. Did they go through Belarus and through Northern Central Poland and Germany or take a Maritime route from the Baltic Coast to Denmark and the Netherlands etc.

    6. Someone must have wanted to live in Moscow, because (as you say) a burial was discovered there. There are possible reasons for being there - conflict, for one; although I only referred to Moscow in particular because you mentioned it.

      There is no necessity to assume that people moved from Ireland direct to Moscow or from Moscow
      direct to Ireland. My reading of the genetic profiles is that the resulting admixture probably mostly arose at a variety of intermediate locations - Saxony, Poland, Sweden and the Baltic states.

  12. Excerpted from Laura Cassidy's (2015) dissertation about Celtic lanauges.

    "At this juncture it is important to note that the search for the origins of a language family and those of its speakers are not necessarily one and the same. Indeed, while linguistic change does tend to involve some level of population movement, the spread of proto-Celtic may not have necessitated substantial population turnover, and alternative vectors, such as trade or imperialism, can also be hypothesised. Indeed, in avoidance of the simplistic and circular cross-disciplinary reasoning that led to earlier invasionist models, contemporary archaeological and linguistic thought is cautious in any endeavours to link together language, cultures and peoples. It is stressed that language can spread without a severe break in culture, while many historical cultural and societal shifts may not have induced language change. Crucially, neither field requires that population migration be the main catalyst for either type of change, though most concede a mass migration event, if demonstrable, would induce both.

    Recently, ancient DNA research has brought migrationist theories firmly back into the limelight (Gamba et al. 2014; Lazaridis et al. 2014; Skoglund et al. 2014; Haak et al. 2015), with large scale movements into many regions apparent, but studies have up to this point neglected the northwest of the continent. Moreover, a number of regions have demonstrated continuity across the transition (Jones et al. 2017), calling into question the universality of such models.
    Despite, or perhaps in part due to this progress in demographic understanding for both the agricultural and metallurgical transitions in Europe, the linguistic debate remains as lively as ever, though opinion is gradually shifting towards the Kurgan hypothesis, at least when considering the major northern and western European branches of IndoEuropean.
    From a lingustic perspective, the key The Takings of Ireland 35 question across these periods is whether any evidence for migration into the island exists that could provide an avenue for Celtic language entry. However, as the Bronze Age progresses, persistent and intense interactions between Ireland and Britain, and to a lesser extent the continent, make clear windows for such a specific event hard to define.
    The earliest language, that of the Mesolithic peoples of Ireland, was in all likelihood a pre-Indo-European tongue. Furthermore, even if the popular Kurgan hypothesis is only partially accepted (i.e. sub-branches of the family entering the continent via steppe migration) we would expect that by the Early Bronze Age at least some occupants of the island were speaking an IndoEuropean tongue.
    In any case, whatever the temporal and geographic origins of the Celtic language family may be, the clear signal of continuity between Irish Early Bronze Age and modern populations, suggests that any introduction or evolution of Celtic language on the island after this point was mediated for the most part by the local population.
    Strikingly, the main genetic influx into the Pontic-Caspian steppe over the course of the Chalcolithic did not come from the southwest, but from the southeast. This is indicated by the large increase in Caucasus/Iranian-type HG ancestry seen in later populations of the region (E. R. Jones et al. 2015), which would eventually reverberate through the European continent (See Figs. 1.2 and 1.3 for visualisation).
    The third stream of Irish ancestry came through the Caucasus isthmus, merging with hunter-gatherer groups of the Pontic steppe. From this region a new and prolific form of mobile pastoralism emerged, which gave this ancestry access to western Europe through mass migrations across the northern European and Carpathian plains, carrying with it Indo-European languages and new ideologies."

    1. The problem is that CHG already entered the Steppe much earlier than the Chalcolithic. The other problem is CHG formed due to admixture from the Steppe and the Chalcolithic population in the Steppe already had significant CHG Ancestry and most were basically Hunter Gatherers. So the probability is high that CHG-like ancestry already admixed into Steppe groups near the Lower Don during the Mesolithic...

      My personal view is that a Caucasus population migrated as far as the Lower Don River to plus/minus Kammenaya Balka during the Late Upper Paleolithic where they eventually met a R1 population who migrated from the Middle Volga/Southern Urals area....

  13. The Celtic Vedic connection

    The Relation of Hindu and Celtic Culture: Kevin Strom

  14. I think the Parthelonians and Nemedians could maybe have been related to the Neolithic peoples in Ireland. The epidemics which struck them could have been because they came from Southern Europe and were not used to the Northern European climate and diseases. Bell Beakers were probably the Fir Bolg (Early Bronze Age) and Tautha Dé Danann (Middle Bronze Age)....etc.

    I doubt that there were any significant migrations to Ireland during the Iron Age just like there were no significant demographics changes in France during the Late Bronze/Iron Age. If anything the Bronze Age Collapse would rather have favoured migrations from West to East (From the Isles to the Continent)...

    1. Yes, legend seems to suggest that Neolithic populations and indeed early Beaker populations struggled largely with pandemic disease, and either died out or evacuated, leaving space for subsequent settlers.

      I also suspect these legendary groups (including Milesians) were all representations of competing Beakerish R1b-L21 populations, who returned with plenty of different admixture from the places they ventured to. Genetic profiles would seem to support this, with e.g. the Middle Bronze Agers having the kind of Baltic admixture that the Tuatha De Danann would have picked up had they ventured North.

      I estimate there probably was an Iron Age migration that mixed into (rather than displacing) the indigenous population, and that it was relatively small scale.

      What would be interesting to see is full genetic profiles of some of the earlier Irish beakers like Pollnagollum. Samples in Bronze Age Ireland post 2,000 BC probably tell us little about Beaker genetics, as they were most likely already so admixed with people from elsewhere by then.

    2. The thing is that most people from elsewhere in Northwest Continental Europe most probably did not look very different from Early Irish Bell Beakers probably well into the Iron Age...We see British and Irish Beaker connection all the way to the Alps and to Germany, Denmark and Northern France. So a huge territory with related peoples. If the Celtic epicenter was in Hallstatt it is strange that we do not see any major demographic change even in France during this period. So Gaulish and Insular Celtic most probably originated during the Bronze Age.

      I seriously doubt that France which probably had a population of close to a Million people during the Late Bronze Age would have changed their language for no significant reason.

      We have to remember that fullscale adoption of another language only comes with significant pressure especially to a large population. Although English are understood in most countries it does not necessarily mean that those people have forsaken their Mother Tongue.

    3. That's the issue - we don't really know what the early Irish Bell Beakers looked like genetically. We are told in legend that the male descendants of these people spread over different parts of Europe and took up with local women before returning. We only really know what these heavily admixed people looked like, as the only samples that we see in any detail are Bronze Age (post-Bell Beaker).

      I suspect that language is more fluid than most think, and don't have any clear views on the matter.

    4. Well we do know that the Rathlin guys were not related to the Neolithic Women who was sampled. Instead they looked more related to Central Europeans. And as far as I understood Kerry was like a last refuge for Neolithic Ancestry which makes sense when you see how forested and rough the terrain is in the Ring of Kerry...

    5. I would associate the Rathlin guys with the Tuatha de Danann. Rathlin 1 looks to have heavy Central European (Bohemian/Polish?) admixture - perhaps partly Muscovite ancestrally. Rathlin 2 and 3 look related to each other, and I would say more Saxonic/Eastern Baltic autosomally.

      My view is that they all mainly stem from the collapse/destruction of Corded Ware at the end of the 3rd millennium BC.

      The important thing to notice is that the paternal lines of all three are not Corded Ware (these were nearly all wiped out), but Irish Bell Beaker, just as the Tuatha de Danann legend would appear to indicate.

  15. A Shared Spiritual Origin in Celtic Europe and Indo-Aryan India? Metal Gala

    Check out the pictures.
    Pashupati Seal-Gundstrup Cauldron

  16. Out of India - By Land or by Sea? - A Paradigm Shift in Ancient Migration Theories: Wim J. Borsboom

    1. I think the nearest thing to "Out of India" could have been +- 55000 years ago, Haplogroup K. Still very important but not relevant to much Later Proto-Indo-European origins.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Assuming genetics is the only game in town.

      "More importantly, regarding any of the R1a clades as a PIE marker is tantamount to postulating that PIE originated in the steppe-an idea contradicted by all the available evidence. The distribution of these clades in modern Europe does not warrant the use of any of them as an IE marker (Belanovsky 2015: 71-72, 80-92, 107). According to Belanovsky et. al. (2013:30) "the Indo European MARKER DOES NOT EXIST, simply because the first population to speak Proto-Indo-European must have possessed a spectrum of haplogroups which were shared (or identical ) with its sister or neighbor populations that spoke other languages" (Kozintsev, 2019) emphasis added."

      "There is mounting evidence that the most probable location of both the PIE and Uralic is the area east of the Caspian Sea. The former can be associated with the early farming cultures of Turkmenistan and northern Iran. the latter with the Keltiminar culture (Kozintsev 2019).

    4. I just look at current up to date evidence and build my theories around that. You can really believe what you choose to believe. I don't care.

    5. Good advice for the Greeks too.

      "Lazaridis 2017

      The Minoans and Mycenaeans, sampled from different sites in Crete and mainland Greece, were homogeneous, supporting the genetic coherency of these two groups. Differences between them were modest,viewed against their broad overall similarity to each other and to the southwestern Anatolians, sharing in both the ‘local’ Anatolian Neolithic like farmer ancestry and the ‘eastern’ Caucasus-related admixture. Two key questions remain to be addressed by future studies. First, when did the common ‘eastern’ ancestry of both Minoans and Mycenaeans arrive in the Aegean? Second, is the ‘northern’ ancestry in Mycenaeans due to sporadic infiltration of Greece, or to a rapid migration as in Central Europe? Such a migration would support the idea that proto-Greek speakers formed the southern wing of a steppe intrusion of Indo-European speakers. Yet, the absence of ‘northern’ ancestry in the Bronze Age samples from Pisidia, where Indo-European languages were attested in antiquity, casts doubt on this genetic–linguistic association, with further sampling of ancient Anatolian speakers needed. Whatever the answer to these questions, the discovery of at least two migration events into the Aegean in addition to the first farming dispersal before the Bronze Age, and of additional population change since that time, supports the view that the Greeks did not emerge fully formed from the depths of prehistory, but were, indeed, a people ‘ever in the process of becoming’.

      Skourtanioti 2020

      Overall, our large-scale genomic analysis reveals two major genetic events. First, during the Late Neolithic, gene pools across
      Anatolia and the Southern Caucasus mixed, resulting in an
      admixture cline. Second, during the Early Bronze Age, Northern
      Levant populations experienced gene flow in a process that
      likely involved yet to-be-sampled neighboring populations from
      Mesopotamia. Even though we could detect subtle and transient
      gene flow in Arslantepe, we acknowledge that disentangling
      questions related to local-scale population dynamics within the
      homogeneous Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Anatolian gene
      pool might be beyond the resolution of current analytical tools.
      Furthermore, while our sampling expands in number and
      geographic range on previous studies, the critical area of Mesopotamia remains unsampled; thus, although our picture of the
      genetic landscape of the Near East is highly suggestive, it remains incomplete. Nevertheless, the cumulative genetic dataset
      of Anatolia, the Southern Caucasus, and the Northern Levant between the Early and Late Bronze Age indicates that, following the
      genetic events of the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, there
      was no intrusion of genetically distinct populations in this region.
      This conclusion is of great importance with respect to our understanding of the formation of complex Bronze Age socio-political

  17. Silver trade on the western route out of South Asia as demonstrated by:

    Indic rajata
    Avestan arazata
    Armenian arstath
    Latin argentum
    Celtic argat
    Greek argyros
    Anatolian Harki (meaning white)

    Pointedly Tocharian , Balto Slavic, and Germanic who took the northern route do not have these silver isoglosses.

    Insights courtesy of Igor TB

  18. The Tuatha de Danann were likely to have been heavily admixed with people they encountered in their cities to the North, so might the genetics of their Beakerish brothers tell us more about early Beaker?
    1. The Britons, who were said to have crossed to Wales - what information do we have about them?
    2. The Fir Bolg, who were said to have retreated to where they originated (Iberia, Northern Greece) before later returning to Ireland again.

    The names of the Bolg people seem to give indications of where they might possibly have gone or originated - Belgae (North Western France), Beltza (Spain/South Western France - black in Basque, as they are suspected of being related to the 'dark' Fomorians), Braga (Northern Portugal), even perhaps Bulgar (Greece). Some are said to have remained in Connacht (Connand was a Fomorian name). Their two branches were the Domnann (Domnu was a Fomorian name, the Dumnoni were Brythonic from Cornwall/Devon/Western France, the Damnoni were from Scotland) and the Gailioin (Walloons, Gauls, Gaels, Galicians). I suspect the Milesians/Gaels might have been descendants of the Bolg returning again from the South.

    I also wonder whether Rathlin might provide a window into Fir Bolg and Irish Beaker genetics. Rathlin 1 looks distinct from Rathlin 2 and 3. Rathlin 2 and 3 are perhaps what you would expect if British Beaker men had heavily admixed with Baltic/Northern people (Tuatha?). Rathlin 1 is perhaps what you would expect if British Beaker men were Balkan steppic-related people mixed with Central Europeans (Fir Bolg?). Just a hypothesis to consider, maybe?

  19. Nicolas I think the Myths must be thoroughly sifted because there are clearly some more recent maybe political and religious admixtures. For example the Breogans Tower from which Ireland supposedly could be seen from Spain. Even if this tower was as high as Mount Everest they would not have been able to see Ireland from Spain because of the curvature of the Earth combined with the distance. This idea was probably introduced by a monk looking at a Map...So Archaeologicy and Genetics should be used to clarify what within the Myths and Legends could be trusted.

  20. I agree, these legends are embellished in all sorts of ways, and cannot be taken literally.
    What gives me a degree of confidence that there is some kind of historical basis to them is how closely they and their given chronology mirror archaeological and genetic evidence that wasn't there when they were written.

    I don't know whether there is any detailed genetic data on early Beaker folk in Wales?

    Nor whether others (as I do) detect a genetic association between Irish beakers and Atlantic Bronze Age Iberians?

    And I can see why Rathlin 1 might have picked up heavy admixture from Central European Corded Ware, as we see women with this CW-like profile appearing in Bavarian Bell Beaker communities a few centuries previously. But it is hard to explain why the autosomals otherwise look so similar to archaic Chacolithic Bulgaria, rather than contemporaneous Bulgaria?

    1. It is not surprising seeing a genetic association between Irish Beakers and Bronze Age Iberians since R1b reached both Britain and Spain at roughly the same time most probably from a common ancestral population who split up somewhere along the Rhine River.

    2. Also remember that the Amerbury Archer most probably grew up in or near the Alps...

  21. Yes, similar R1b split and turned up in both places, although almost certainly earlier than I was suggesting. What I estimate is that some Irish-like Bronze Age DNA (early 2nd millennium BC) arrives in Iberia at some point before the middle of the millennium, and that Iberian-like Bronze Age DNA (mid 2nd millennium BC) arrives in Ireland at some point subsequently. Reminiscent of the Bolg leaving, admixing in Iberia and perhaps returning as Gaels.

    1. Nicholas yes could be, however I think the Irish just jumped between Ireland and the Helversum and Wessex Cultures. Do not see why they would have traveled 1400 kms just to return later. And there should be some kind of trail...

  22. I think people travelled all over the place over the centuries. The Irish-like DNA that I trace to Iberia is a fairly minor adjunct to Iberian. And what looks to have returned several centuries later is not the same as what left, but a blend with other Southern Bronze Age populations.

    I'm grateful to Bell Beaker Blogger for introducing me to the Irish legends, as they help provide reasonable explanations for some of the genetic data I'm seeing. I suspect they have more of a basis in history than many realise - history as interpreted by fairly primitive minds and embellished by millennia of retelling and attempts to fill in gaps.

    I am becoming more confident that they are essentially the tales of R1b Beaker folk arriving in Ireland and their descendant factions, and the given chronology and the genetics seem to bear this out. If we put to one side the diverse female samples and later samples skewed by admixture with these females, the genetic picture gets clearer -
    1. The earliest sample with a R1b-L51 call (ATP3) is in Iberia, and I estimate its best ancestral fit as 89% South Balkan/Northern Greek.
    2. The earliest detailed R1b-L51 samples in the Isles (Amesbury), I estimate as 60% South Balkan, mixed with NW European continental Neolithic (Danish/Dutch) and a slither of Iberian Bell Beaker.
    3. The earliest detailed R1b-51 sample in Ireland (Rathlin 1, Bronze Age), I estimate as 36% South Balkan, mixed mainly with Central European DNA of a kind that R1b-L51 Bavarian Beakers would have derived from Corded Ware mothers.
    4. This is similar to late Beaker and Bronze Age R1b-L51 samples in Britain, where the early Beaker DNA is mixed with a sizeable chunk of Corded Ware/Yamnayan-like DNA, presumably derived from Corded Ware mothers.

    This whole genetic picture (and given chronology) ties up remarkably well with the legends of Irish ancestors colonising Western Europe from the vicinity of Northern Greece in several waves via Iberia, and then spreading out admixing with the various other peoples they met there.

    The steppic element was present firstly because it was already there in the Balkans (albeit fairly CHG-light) before these people migrated over, and secondly because lots more was acquired from Corded Ware/Yamnaya-descendant females on the collapse of Corded Ware at the beginning of the Bronze Age.

    1. Going along with the Irish legends in the Book of Invasions, supposedly the first wave of immmigrants was that of Cessair "who came before the flood" (arrival of Mesolithic population before the submersion of Doggerland?) and the Tuatha de Danaan arrived "in the midst of dark clouds"(some volcano eruption in Iceland?). Just playing with ideas...

    2. Possibly.

      Weren't the dark clouds from their burning boats?

      The second wave of settlers (with Partholon) was said to be related to the Tuatha de Danann and the Fir Bolg - their leaders were family relatives, and were similarly said to come from Northern Greece (Migdonia). I see them as early failed Beaker people - their population reached less than 10% of that of the Fir Bolg and they were said to have all died out from plague. Ireland still seems to have been inhabited by Neolithics at this point; as most of their DNA died out, and the third wave were said to have arrived to find Ireland depopulated, the suspicion is that the Neolithics might have been mostly wiped out by plague too.

      Cessair, I don't know. The arrival date given in the Annals in 2,958 BC. The men died off or fled, the women were said to have come from all over Europe. Perhaps they were the latest wave of Neolithic settlers?

    3. I think the earliest R1b L51 will pop up somewhere near the Lower Don and maybe near Moscow like suggested by some knowledgable people...

    4. And I think the Balkan/Greece idea as origin of the Irish will not work. Maybe some Southeastwards migration from Northwestern Europe with back flowing trade....

    5. Cessair and crew, although said to be ancient, have a curiously enduring legacy. Irish place names (Ard Ladhrann, Sliabh Beatha, Cuil Ceasra) are said to have derived from them, despite they themselves apparently having died out. Fintain is particularly curious, as he is said to have fled but not 'died' until the first millennium AD, fighting on the side of the Bolg, acting as seer to subsequent kings and being the source of the legends. Perhaps these people were connected to the Natufian-infused DNA that appears sporadically in Western Europe in Funnel Beaker and some other pre-Bell Beaker samples dated to around the same time.

      Even one of the people in the second wave of Irish settlers is called Ciochbha, which is strikingly similar to the Hebrew name Kokhba.

      On the question of where the earliest L51 will pop up, this might be far too long ago to be very relevant to Beaker Ireland. yfull estimates L51 as beginning to form in 4,100 BC, and many suspect yfull's dates might be significantly under-estimated. With L51 also being only one of five equivalent SNPs, it could have had a long formation period, and early L51 could pop up in a wide variety of places at any point after about 6,000 BC. Just because we might find it early in one place, that wouldn't mean to say that it or the extant branches of it necessarily originated there.

      On the question of 'the origin' of the Irish, I think there is probably a better way of looking at it. As with most populations, there is no one origin to them. I don't see them as particularly in-bred. The genetic data and legends both suggest they have multiple sources of origin.

      I am suggesting the Balkan/Greek side from the legends is most likely the direct source of one element of their DNA, and in particular their predominant paternal lineages (which may in turn have even earlier Don origins). However, substantial chunks of their autosomal DNA also probably stem from Central and North Eastern Europe (in the late Bell Beaker and early Bronze Ages) and from the South (Gaels and Celts in the late Bronze and Iron ages).

    6. Well the latest French paper mention that there were no major demographic change between the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age. So in my view this suggests that Gaulish developed out of the local at least Middle Bronze Age population. The continuity in Ireland suggests the same. Hallstatt had a more Cultural impact than Genetic. Or Hallstatt Ancestors was also part of the Bell Beaker expansion from the Northwest which could make detection difficult if they were close relatives. However being close relatives could also mean that their Indo-European Dialects were not hugely different from each other which will bring us back to something already Celtic like existing from Ireland to Hallstatt during the latest, Middle Bronze Age.

    7. So dialect leveling events due to Cultural influence looks more like what happened throughout Northern Bell Beaker territory up until contact with Greeks in Southern France, the Roman expansion and Early Germanic expansion.

    8. Agreed, no major demographic change between late Bronze Age and Iron Age, although I estimate:
      1. Subtle change between early Bronze Age and Iron Age (15-25%), albeit brought by a fairly similar incoming population (as in Iberia, potentially enough to affect the population linguistically if the incoming DNA were borne by a colonial elite),
      2. Relatively major change over the course of the late Bell Beaker and early Bronze Age periods. (The earliest R1b-L21 had low CHG, but this changed significantly as substantial Central/NE European admixture spread across Bell Beaker on the collpase of Corded Ware. I would tend to associate this change in Ireland with the legendary return of the Tuatha de Danann. Whether this also brought linguistic change, who knows?)

  23. Iran_N/CHG Ancestry and the Genetic Origins of the Proto-Indo-Europeans

    1. Just a pity that CHG predates Maykop in the Steppe "for now" with more than a,thousand years....this will change and eventually show CHG North of the Caucasus already during the Mesolithic. ..maybe even Proto-CHG near the Lower Don during the Late Upper Paleolithic.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. From the Internet.

      "The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and 12,000 years ago, according to some theories coinciding"

      That is deep into the twilight zone. Incidentally

      As advanced by Mario Alinei in his Origini delle Lingue d’Europa (Origins of the Languages of Europe), published in two volumes in 1996 and 2000,[1] the PCT posits that the advent of Indo-European languages should be linked to the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe, at around 40,000 years ago."

    4. Really don't know what you are talking about. However I was talking about CHG which is not a Language. "Caucasus Hunter Gatherer" Ancestry, Genetics.

    5. Linguists generally don't think that far back. But there is one exception. Mario Alinei Paleolithic Continuity Theory. Link posted above.

    6. "That is deep into the twilight zone."

      This is precisely why the CHG-like population which mixed into Steppe to eventually form PIE can not be equaled to Later Caucasus Languages and Cultures which could only be very distantly related if at all.

      I think there is enough evidence for the Linguists to think like they think. Language can change dramatically in a very short time even without outside influence. This is seen all over. Any Language family ties past 10 000 years is extreme speculation. It doesn't take 2 words to fill a dictionary....

      So whatever the Steppe population spoke after mixing with CHG is in my view to distant to have had any direct influence on the formation of PIE.

  24. The Druyhus never really got along with the rest of the Vedic clans and they left. They are barely mentioned in the Rig Veda and mostly in an inimical context . The great Druhyu migrations out of modern day Afghanistan as evidenced by

    Vedic Druhyu
    Iranian Druj
    Celtic Drui
    Lithuanian Drugas and Russian Drug (meaning friend)
    Gothic druigan (do military service) and ga-drauhts (soldier)
    Old Nors/Icelandic drott
    Old English dryht
    Old German truhth
    English troops.

  25. Some descendants of the Tuatha de Danann who never returned to Ireland?

    Subclades of Irish/British R1b-L21 Beaker clades that now appear exclusive to Northern locations:
    1. BY326 - Latvia/Lithuania/Russia/NW Ukraine (with brother clades found in Denmark and NW Russia) - yfull's estimated formation date 1,800 BC
    2. Y20987 - Sweden/NW Russia - yfull's estimated formation date 1,600 BC
    3. BY2707 (x BY2678) - Iceland - yfull's estimated formation date 1,800 BC
    4. Y23187 (x S6168) - Iceland - yfull's estimated formation date 2,000 BC
    5. L627 (x BY3364) - Sweden - yfull's estimated formation date 1,700 BC

    Rathlin 1 and 2 are both from the same subclade of L21 as SNPs 4 and 5 above. Rathlin 2 looks to have substantial Scandinavian/Baltic autosomal DNA.

    It looks like some L21 migrated from Ireland to Scandinavia, admixed with local aDNA there and returned at the beginning of the second millennium BC, just as the Tuatha de Danann were said to have done.

  26. I find it difficult to associate megalithic people with the Tuatha de Danann, as the study suggests we do:
    1. The given chronology is hugely different, with the megalithics pre-dating the Tuatha by over a thousand years.
    2. There is no sign of what the study shows as the predominant Irish megalithic paternal lineage I-L1195 moving North like the Tuatha, or indeed anywhere outside of the Isles.
    3. L1195's subclades resurge to some degree contemporaneously with basal R1b-L21, according to yfull's estimates, suggesting it was not early Bell Beaker that wiped out the megalithics, but either natural disaster/disease or the Tuatha Bronze Agers themselves (as new L1195 lineages are estimated by yfull to dry up from the start of the Bronze Age until the Celtic or Roman eras).

    To my mind the Tuatha de Danann are more likely the blondies who arrived back from Baltic expedition in the Early Bronze Age.


    "The sub-haplogroup R1a1a7 (mutation M458) is conspicuously more frequent in Poland than in any other part of Europe, and the presence of the haplogroup R1a in Croatia has been interpreted as a sign of migration to the Balkans.
    However, that haplogroup appears not only in eastern Europe but also in India. The migration in question cannot possibly be that of the Slavs, but a much earlier one, most likely of a prehistoric date. In fact, the most recent results of research based on complete mitochondrial genome sequences seem to show a great degree of genetic continuity for several maternal lineages in Central Europe from the Bronze and Iron Ages. The conclusion drawn from that study is that there is no genetic evidence of a (massive) migration of the Slavs to (East)Central European territories, which they presumably occupied after they had been vacated by Germanic tribes."


    "The presence of Slavs in the 6th and 7th centuries in all the other parts of the European continent considered in this book is a matter of scholarly surmise. Slavs were made up essentially on the basis of unwarranted assumptions about ethnicity, migration, and language. Even allowing for the spread of the Slavic language, by whatever mechanism (in itself a matter of conjecture, not a witness from the past), the existence of a Slavic identity remains hard to prove."

  29. If there was no proto Slavic then there could not have been a proto Balto Slavic either. Pretty damning stuff coming from Rutledge.

    1. Unwarranted assumptions about ethnicity doesn't logically destroy the notion of ethnicity. There is a thing called genetic leveling. People have babies through a process called sex, which involves two people in most places. Hopefully, the idea that groups of people are related to each other is not too surprising. Apparently this is shocking in Academia.

      All of the European nations (Celts, Slavs, Germans, Greeks) have complicated identities that were often the reconstructions of the ultra-nationalism of the 19th century. But that's true the planet over. Slavs, of course, vary somewhat between region, but you're unlikely to run into a Slav in the Amazon rainforest unless his plane crashed.

  30. That was Balto Slavic. Here is Garrett writing in 1999

    "The problem is not simply that our list of uniquely Proto—Greek innovations is
    smaller than it used to be; the list is in fact dangerously small. "

    "What is crucial in this model is that at some early date – say, at the beginning of
    the second millennium BCE – the dialects that were to become Celtic, or Italic, or
    Greek, shared no properties that distinguished them uniquely from the other
    dialects. "

    Under such circumstances, the whole IE phylogeny model with branches, and most importantly *real human beings* speaking these languages, spreading over large swaths of Eurasia just falls apart. And now the geneticist have jumped into the fray with this marker and that marker being identified with Balts, Slavs, Indo- Iranians and so forth. Thus stuff is out of control.

    1. Garrett is arguing against a strictly genetic nodal type of tree, but that doesn't mean that the study of linguistics is in a full blown crisis meltdown. What he argues is probably correct and what I have argued before, that during the 2nd Millennium b.c. much of Western Europe was probably speaking LLPIE, or more accurately "Early Western Indo-European", not proto-this or proto-that. Most of the dialects (and probably within the entire Western Europe sphere of post-Beaker were mutually intelligible dialects given some effort. Zones of speech, such as the case in the Aegean converged into language families.

      Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but the Western Dialects, Anatolian and Tocharian are distinguished by their lack of innovation and Garrett's criticism reinforces the lack of innovations that would characterize a "porto-family". In other words, for all intents and purposes Western Europe in the 2nd mil was essentially a cacophony of Late PIE or Post PIE or Early Western IE (or whatever) that began converging regionally in sprachbunds of families.
      Those in the periphery in space or time (Venetic/Mycenaean) did not get the upgrades.

      Boom! 100th comment! Thanks for linking and posting!

    2. I wonder how many dialect leveling events took place after the formation and expansion PIE before people could write ? The dangerously small amounts of innovations and many properties shared by some could be the product of a levelling event that took place not long before the second millennium. When the Cultural similarities spread over large areas is probably when this leveling events occurred. Eg. Bell Beaker, Unetice, Urnfield etc. Maybe this leveling put a brake on some innovations in the making not shared by others within the leveling zone...?

  31. Should read "This stuff is out of control."

  32. Copper age and early Bronze Age maritime trade routes in amber corresponding to legendary history about the origins of Irish metalworkers.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Amber also came from Jutland in Denmark. So ...

  35. Interesting article. Sign of links between the Balkans, Italy, Iberia and the Baltic (maritime route) going back to the Beaker formational period of the early 3rd millennium BC, many centuries before large numbers of Central Europeans arrived during the Bronze Age. And this appears to be reflected in Irish legend (Fomorians, Parthalon, Nemedians, Fir Bolg and Tuatha), Nordic legend (Aesir and Vanir) and DNA (early Steppe-admixed Balkanic DNA appearing in Western fringe Europe with occasional splashes of Levantine).

  36. Obviously Fomorians where the WHG remnants whose DNA imprint is still faintly visible among Orcadians. Partholonians were the EEF folk that died of plague before the Indo-European Nemedians arrived.