Silver Blaze

The recent paper on three ancestral European populations has some truly interesting stuff buried deep in the supplements.   This is not the first time that this has happened: if you read the supplements to their big Neanderthal paper, back in 2010, you could see a strong implication that  Melanesians,  (people in New Guinean, the Solomons, and Australian Aboriginals) had experienced an additional admixture with archaic humans ( as it turned out,  ~5% from Denisovans).  That implication was obscured by an incorrect caption, and in any event it was on page 136…    I’m not sure anyone else noticed.

In this case,  they talk about the third ingredient that moved into Europe.  They conclude that in most parts of Europe, it looks as if modern populations inherited the three  EEF/WHG/ANE groups ( Levantine farmers, West Hunters and Sibermen) via only two proximate ancestral populations.  Europe at the time was almost entirely occupied by Sardinian-like farmers – then another population moved in, one that had about 3 times as much West Hunter as Sibermen.  The hint is that the ratio of WHG to ANE is almost a constant.  They put it this way: a large number of European populations are consistent with descent from identical “Farmer” and “Hunter (= WHG + ANE)” populations. “

Here’s a thought experiment.  Imagine that Mexicans are half Spanish and half Amerindian – then drop them in varying amounts in various Korean provinces. The total  Mexican fraction may vary, but the amount of Amerindian ancestry in a given province will always be the same as the amount of Spanish ancestry.

This means that the WHG fraction you see came with along the ANE guys – it is not a comeback by the descendants of the original hunter-gatherers of central and Western Europe, who were somewhere between much diminished and extinct,  but an invasion (from farther east, probably) by a group that is somewhat related to those original hunter-gatherers and also has a fair amount of ancestry from Sibermen- a population that also contributed to Amerindians.  You could see hints of this in the haplotypes and uniparental lineages – I talked about it earlier.

This also means that the change in ancestry around 3000 BC was not small – it’s much bigger than the ANE fraction.  The suddenly-appearing component accounts for half or more of the ancestry of all the populations of northern Europe, all the way from Belorussia to Scotland.  That population might also have had some EEF, in which case the population replacement factor would be even bigger.

The WHG + ANE fraction is about half in France, lower than that in the South of France.   It’s much lower in southern Europe. The Albanians, Ashkenazi Jews, Greeks, Maltese and Sicilians have essentially no WHG ancestry, while a decent fit is possible for the Basque, French_South, Bergamo, Pais-Vasco, and Sardinians using no Siberian component.    Using another estimation approach you get a nonzero but lower Siberian component in Basques, and almost none in Sardinians.

This last wave can only have come from a region that had both WHG-like and ANE-like ancestry. That rules out the Middle East: they don’t have WHG.  You see quite a lot of ANE in the northeast Caucasus and the northern Near East – the high is in Chechens and Lezgin.

All this is pointing to a big wave of genetic change around 3000 BC,  a wave that did not originate in the Near East (including Anatolia). Perhaps the strongest hint is what they don’t say in this paper.  Although they mentioned such possibilities in an earlier related paper, they make no mention of the Indo-Europeans.  They don’t even use the word language anywhere in the supplement.  All this while they’re clearly working out the origin and scope of the Indo-European invasion!

So they must have a paper in the works – one with strong conclusions, if they’re that worried about someone scooping them.  They were too obvious – they need a course in maskirovka. They have got to be looking at ancient DNA from relevant populations: from Kurgan burials, from Russia north of the Caucasus, Tocharian mummies, etc.  They’re going to need strong evidence, and a baseball bat, to get linguists to pay attention.  Looks to me like we”re going to get at least half of the story (the European end) of  the Indo-European expansion out of this, and probably we’ll learn something about Indo-Aryan end as well.

I will predict this: they’ll pussyfoot about the likely historical process, which undoubtedly was awesomely bloody. The Balkans looks to be where this started, and there a fairly sophisticated agricultural population (with very advanced metallurgy for the time) seems to have been utterly squished.

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421 Responses to Silver Blaze

  1. J.Plenk says:

    http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/11/2012/scythian-warriors-show-genetic-blending-between-europeans-and-asians

    http://arcticculturalgateway.org/altai.html

    Tall blond people that left permafrost-mummies in their Kurgans in the Altai-it should not be too hard to obtain intact genesequences from those, With lactase persistance,horses of ridable size, the stirrup (allowas shooting a bow from horseback) the composite bow and a culture of warfare in their favour ötzis kin ( at least the males) must have had a hard time coming……

    • gcochran9 says:

      The Indo-Europeans entering Europe probably were not anything like this: you’re back-projecting capabilities. Certainly no stirrups.

    • Difference Maker says:

      Greg has answered everything already, but yes: though Indo Europeans seem likely to be the domesticators of the horse, mounted warfare is a comparatively late development, and stirrups an even later development. Post dating the Huns

  2. I had thought a bit farther north than the Balkans – closer to Sochi, come to think of it – on the basis of Cavalli-Sforza and Gimbutas. I think Colin Renfrew puts forward the Indo-European origin in the Balkans, however. Is my info dated or superseded?

    • gcochran9 says:

      Sochi is not impossible: I was referring to where we see the first signs of trouble in Europe, not the urheimat. They’re certainly hinting at that when they talk about the required ingredients: WHG (not the Middle East) plus ANE ( Caucasus) .

    • RS says:

      Refrew put it in Anatolia, and considered it agriculture-driven — and very early (like 10k years ago rather than 5).

      • gcochran9 says:

        Well, he made a mistake.

      • “Well,he made a mistake.”

        Amen. Bellwood, too – see Bellwood’s ‘First Migrants’ section on Indo-European for the ultimate in evidence-avoidance.

      • Paul says:

        Renfrew wasn’t entirely wrong. IE did spread from West Asia, but later with metallurgy.

        http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2012/07/bronze-age-indo-european-invasion-of.html

        The Kurgan/steppe theory was always crazy. Just look who it came from.

      • Renfrew was entirely wrong. IE didn’t come from Anatolia. The lexicon of PIE clearly points to a pastoral economy, wool production, and wheeled vehicles, all found north of the Black Sea in the Chalcolithic, and the sub-divisions of IE and their geographical distribution point to the same area. There’s a lot of other evidence for this.

        Saying that the Pontic-Caspian theory is wrong because Gimbutas was a bit nuts is just an example of the genetic fallacy. She happened to believe some strange things, and her view of ‘Kurgan’ culture was certainly wrong, but she was approximately right in her placing of the IE homeland. No other location fits with the linguistic evidence in any way, and because we’re dealing with the expansion of a language – something that *could* be, but almost certainly isn’t, independent of a movement of people – the linguistic evidence has priority.

      • Paul says:

        You don’t know where IE came from. Nobody knows for sure. There are more than a dozen competing theories. But somewhere in West Asia makes the most sense linguistically, archeologically and genetically. In fact, Renfrew’s Anatolian hypothesis was recently supported in Bouckaert et al. (2012) using Bayesian phylogeographic methods. The steppe theory is wrong because Gimbutas just made it up, and it doesn’t fit most of the evidence.

  3. SD says:

    If it started in the Balkans, did they bypass Greece and Albania altogether?

  4. Toddy Cat says:

    The linguists might go along, as long as it doesn’t validate Joseph Greenberg IN ANY WAY, as we saw in the comments regarding the last post.

    • You seem to have a real hatred for linguists. In fact, the notion that Indo-European began on the Pontic-Caspian steppe finds (or, earlier, found) its strongest support in language, especially in reconstructable terms (for wool, simple metallurgy, wheeled vehicles, wine, cattle, horses, and so on) and also in literature and myth. The Pontic-Caspian theory is a great example of genetics and linguistics singing from the same hymn sheet. Amerind is a great example of shoddy work in the service of the impossible.

      • Toddy Cat says:

        Where on earth would you get the idea that I hate linguists? I just get tired of their refusal to look beyond their own discipline, and then general pigheadedness of some of their number (certainly not you, I’m sure). As for “hate”, I’m not the one who gets worked up every time someone suggests that Joseph Greenberg might not have been the Antichrist. And why is proving the existence of Amerind “impossible”? Maybe you’re right, maybe Greenberg’s work is shoddy, but that certainly doesn’t make the existence of Amerind impossible – based on the genetic and historical evidence, it’s even likely, as you have admitted. Personally, I think that Karl Marx was a shoddy pseudo-scholar, but I’m willing to admit that he got a few things right. Greenberg seems to have gotten African languages more or less right – isn’t it possible that he got the Americas right as well, even if his work isn’t strictly “scientific”?

      • I don’t think Greenberg was the antichrist. And I think it’s plausible that one language was spoken by the first settlers of the Americas. But what’s impossible is demonstrating the genetic relatedness of languages after a period of more than 13,000 years. Long series of phonological changes will have obscured similarities in sound, long series of semantic changes will have obscured similarities in meaning, and borrowing over successive generations will have made it impossible to show what is and what is not original Amerind vocabulary. Languages changes far too quickly, many indigenous American languages were poorly documented if they were documented at all, and 13,000 years is an incredibly long time.

        It’s not impossible that some kind of ‘Amerind’ existed. It is probably impossible to show that it did, however. And Greenberg’s work on the topic was crap.

      • harpend says:

        I don’t see any “hatred” of linguists in this crew. I do think that we do get the impression from many linguists that the keystone of the discipline is fear and loathing of Greenberg and Ruhlen. After all 1965 was half a century ago yet the sputtering about Greenberg just won’t go away. It comes across as a close parallel to the outrage over numerical taxonomy way back then. I did read a book years ago that used “correct” linguistic methods to classify languages of the Americas. The conclusion was that the origin of Amerind languages was Florida.

        Re the Indo-European advantage: consider that Mare’s milk has 190 Calories of fat and protein per kilogram and 250 Calories of lactose. Five kg. per day from one mare feeds two lactose tolerant children with 2200 Calories and fewer than one non-LT child with only 950 Calories. This is a huge nutritional advantage in an occasionally Malthusian ecology. My bet (hypothesis) is that the early IE people were horse people and that instant doubling of the food supply from a new gene was essentially the cause of the IE expansion. You can’t argue with calories.

        Found the book I once read: J. Nichols. Linguistic diversity in space and time. University of Chicago Press, Chicago; London, 1999.

      • Lesser Bull says:

        Not per gram. Per kilogram.

  5. dave chamberlin says:

    “The suddenly-appearing components accounts for half or more of the ancestry of all the populations of northern Europe.”

    Two immediate reactions. Wow and book.

    I’m thinking Greg is in a great spot right now. He has the ability to dig out the important details in this paper and I’m assuming the many more like it to come, and unlike a lot of other scientists he is able to interpret that information without distortion and make it understood to a much wider audience. Bully for Greg. We his blog audience will be doubly entertained not just by important breaking science news but by his having fun running amok through the ivory towers where the phuds (PHD’s} are waiting to have their cherished notions rudely bashed and broken. The geneticists are about to rewrite human prehistory and the old school phuds are going to become quickly outdated.

    • “The geneticists are about to rewrite human prehistory and the old school phuds are going to become quickly outdated.”

      Well, no – the idea that Indo-European expanded out from the Pontic-Caspian steppe in around the fourth millennium BCE is already the most widely accepted view. So it’s not a rewrite so much as (wonderful, fantastic, exhilarating) supporting evidence.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Is it something you could call synergistic, or would that be going into hyperbole?

      • dave chamberlin says:

        It sure doesn’t support your statement in the last post that “the Americas were marginally more static than Afro-Eurasia and there doesn’t seem to be any genetic component to it.” There was a major genetic component to these expansions, why on earth would you think otherwise. Lucky guys on horseback doesn’t cut it. Anyway I don’t want to argue, I defer to your greater expertise than mine in these areas. I however am not sure you can defer to the geneticists when they know more than you and contradict your theories.

      • “Lucky guys on horseback doesn’t cut it.”

        Horses drastically increase mobility, and if you’re the only group with horses, they can give a huge military advantage – see, for example, the Spanish in sixteenth century Mexico. Also, horses are a copyable technology, but to become a proficient rider requires a lot of training (which pastoralists would have simply by dint of being pastoralists), and horses require good pasture to fatten themselves, the best of which is steppe and man-made pasture. If other groups want to copy the horse-riding pastoralists, they have to buy horses from them and then learn how to ride, and I don’t think this is a quick process. It is also one that would further enrich the pastoralists, or put the farmers in a debt relationship with them.

        Anyway, it’s not just ‘lucky guys’.

      • Steve Sailer says:

        The Sioux conquered a huge area to the west of their Minnesota homeland very rapidly after they got horses.

      • dave chamberlin says:

        Hat tip to Harpend’s post that the huge nutritional advantage of lactose tolerance would give the horse culture the “luck” it needed to expand as much as it did. Add to this the huge advantage given the mobility of pastoralists whom could attack and withdraw while the sedentary farmers were stuck in one spot and the reasons become clearer to me as to how this population could roll across Europe as it did. Thanks for the insights AJ on your expertise, I am not interested in contentiously going back and forth with you. There is one key area where these 5000 year old Indo-Europeans compare to the plains Indians. Once the amerinds had horses their expansion into the virtually uninhabited grasslands of North America was very rapid indeed. At least Lewis and Clark said they were pretty much uninhabited when they traveled across them. I can see these Indo-Europeans experiencing a population explosion when the vast herds grazing the Asiatic plains became a giant food locker for bow wielding men on horseback.

  6. Matt says:

    Sidenote: The authors model European Early Farmers as around a 50:50 a combination of West Hunters and Basal Eurasian, a side branch of all other Eurasian samples with lower drift (I have no doubt there may be a catchy “First Men” type name waiting for an appropriate sci fi literary ref for the coining here, if this continues to be backed up).

    This mix might have happened in Europe, or maybe in the Levant.

    If the BE vs WHG elements of EEF are separated, and the West Hunter from “farmer” added to the other West Hunter ancestry (from “hunter”) then an East to West cline in the ratio of West Hunter ancestry compared to Siberman ancestry does emerge.

    This is no contradiction to Europe being almost entirely descended from “hunter” (Indo European?) and “farmer” (Oetzi) populations with only small perhaps leakage from other local WHG.

    But it seems like it does help explain why principal components of European variation distinguishing particularly Southwest from Southeast Europeans map the axis contrasting West Hunter versus Siberman samples, which wouldn’t be the case if all the WHG came through “hunter” (without high local, direct leakage of WHG that would contradict a straightforward “hunter” versus “farmer” mix).

  7. Ziel says:

    I need a scorecard

    • dave chamberlin says:

      How about an ultra violent video game that is historically accurate. You can choose a side and as you move through time you can get weapons and innovation upgrades if the population you represent survives and hybridizes. The game gets harder as you move from Indo-Europeans to outlying remnant hunter gatherers. No one will get upset, after all, it’s just a game.

      • Bob says:

        How will the rape mechanics work?

      • dave chamberlin says:

        At the end of the rape your number of living descendents goes up, that is how you keep score and win the game. Slaughter the men, rape all the women, and eat all the cows while you raise hell moving across Europe 3000 BC. We will make the thugs from Grand Theft Auto look like a bunch of choirboys.

  8. Flinders Petrie says:

    Hmm, maybe this article was right after all (partially):

    Bennett, J.G (1963): “They Hyperborean Origin of the Indo-European Culture.” http://www.systematics.org/journal/vol1-3/SJ1-3c.htm

    Eerily prescient: “When, about 5,000 years ago, this power [Indo-Europeans] met and blended with the powers of the two other cultures, there was an explosion of new life that produced our modern world.”

  9. jb says:

    …it looks as if modern populations inherited the three EEF/WHG/ANE groups ( Levantine farmers, West Hunters and Sibermen)…

    So, do we finally have an explanation for the name of this blog?

  10. SpaghettiMeatball says:

    So, Greg, there is an enormous amount of hinting you have been doing with these last few posts about alleles driving population expansion in Tibetans and early farmers. And now we are getting to the huge expansion of the Indo-Europeans…

    So, what was their “thing”?

    • Weltanschauung says:

      Lactase.

    • gcochran9 says:

      I have wondered about lactase persistence, but it may have been a bit early for that. Although you do see the same mutation in India.

      First you generally need a way of life that is inherently more competitive in some way. Competitive at the group level. Say agriculture, which confers a much higher carrying capacity. Practice it for a while and a population adapts, becomes better at it than someone who has just adopted it. This lets the expansion keep going longer than if were purely cultural: the competitive advantage isn’t all learned, not all easily copyable.

      At first, first couple of thousand years, this would mostly be adaptation based on standing variation, but over a longer time you would also see sweeps and partial sweeps. If we’re talking EEF, not incredibly long since their ancestors first practiced agriculture (compared to today anyhow) but you may also have to consider pre-agricultural days when they were already eating wild grains and somewhat sedentary.

      The Indo-European invasion is a bit unusual in that it is not agriculturalists displacing foragers. More like agro-pastoralists (with an emphasis on pastoralism, probably) displacing straight farmers.

      Raising cattle probably preadapts for warfare through constant rustling. Valuable portable assets.

      • SpaghettiMeatball says:

        Am I understanding you correctly, that you are saying the Indo-europeans were the world’s first wild rodeo meatheads?

      • Flinders Petrie says:

        “More like agro-pastoralists (with an emphasis on pastoralism, probably) displacing straight farmers.”

        Or Aggro-Pastoralists, given the carnage they may have inflicted.

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aggro

      • whatever says:

        Just a bit. (unusual). Same will happen over and over again in the millenia that followed. Militaristic pastoral tribes (or mounted nomads) invading well settled agricultural societies- the Huns of Attila trashing Rome & Mongols of Genghis fall in the same pattern and follow the steps of the indoeuropeans. Would not be surprised if similarities go beyond that. Not sure if it is purely cultural or genetic since it crosses times and nations. Perhaps there could be a bit of Hamiltonian’s mathematics in this unusual pattern – do not defend home ground if attacked, just fly west and attack whoever happens to live there. When Chimerians got attacked from the Scythes the anecdote claims that they said:”Why fight home? Let’s take on neighbors soil instead”; When Goths got attacked by the Huns instead of fighting back moved west and crashed Rome, however improbable it seemed. Hamilton says (in social aptitudes of man) that if all groups follow the same strategy (do not defend home ground at all but go fight to death the neighbor next to you on his ground) it is actually evolutionary stable (ESS). A bit of this seems to play in the Indoeuropean invasion, and all that followed later. Besides the pastoral nomads having an edge on the ancient farmers (be they Linear Pottery Culture, Roman empire or imperial China) all the time due to their militaristic lifestyle and high -protein – low carbohydrate diet which gave them 20 centimeters advantage in height (average height of unearthed Scythian skeletons is 175 cm and for example the average height in agricultural Egypt from the same period is 148-150 cm…). Perhaps the pattern was put to an end by the industrial revolution as late as in 17th century which finally gave the decisive advantage for the farming societies (which is, for British Empire, Russian Empire, USA and the likes..) over the pastoral nomads of the Eurasian steppe (I mean the sultanates of central Asia, the militaristic tribes in Afghanistan, the wandering Buddhist monks in Tibet etc.) . But it looks it has been the other way around before that, including during the times of Indoeuropean invasion.

      • The speakers of proto-Indo-European were *nothing* like later hordes of nomadic conquerors from the steppe. They almost certainly did not have composite bows (I seem to remember that the earliest examples are known from the Andronovo culture, i.e. late Indo-Iranic, but I’m not sure about that), they didn’t fight from horseback, they didn’t have chariots, they didn’t have swords, bronze or otherwise, and they didn’t fight in massive hordes.

    • Their thing was many things, but doubtless horse-riding and the large herds enabled by it; wagon-living, and the mobility enabled by that; patrilineal clans and an ideology of youth going off to raid and fight, and the military power enabled by that; etc. All of this is reconstructable to proto-Indo-European, all of it fits with the evidence from the earliest recorded Indo-European-speaking societies (i.e., Homer, the Vedas, Tacitus on the Germans, Old Irish epic, and so much more), and all of it fits with the archaeology of the Eurasian Chalcolithic. I don’t know about lactase, but you never know.

      “This lets the expansion keep going longer than if were purely cultural: the competitive advantage isn’t all learned, not all easily copyable. ”

      The language is copyable and the expansion of a language family is first and foremost the expansion of a language. There’s nothing about a language expansion that requires it to be enabled by non-copyable traits.

      • gcochran9 says:

        To the extent that a language expansion is powered by a population expansion – which has often been the case – that population expansion can go further if those expanding have a hard-to-copy advantage.

      • Yes. I can agree with that. And I suspect lactase persistence played an important role. Perhaps not the *most* important innovation, though.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Shit, that’s all I was ever saying. Genetic advantage being a possible factor in most or all of the biggest language expansions means that you need to consider it, rather than talk about your Nigerian neighbors speaking English. Everybody knows that – but many of the factors that cause such decorrelation between genes and languages are relatively recent, or much more common in historical times.

          The thing is, if you look at natural selection (theory and experiment), adaptation to a new way of life is A. inevitable and B. rapid enough to matter in the historical process. It has not been considered much.

          I mention lactase tolerance as a possible partial driver because it’s been under incredibly strong selection, exists in the right populations (same mutation in Europe and India), and because parallel developments have occurred in Nilotics, Cushitics, and Bedouins. Also, because I more or less understand how LCT could confer an advantage. That is not necessarily the case for gene X, which we mostly understand less well – which doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.

      • “rather than talk about your Nigerian neighbors speaking English”

        It seems like this struck a chord here – not entirely sure why. But of course, that’s clearly relevant: people can copy language from one another (that’s how more than one person speaks it, after all). Language families expand sometimes because people are moving and sometimes because people are speaking to one another and learning one another’s languages, and linguistic entities are therefore never going to overlap perfectly with genetic ones. It makes a lot of sense to think of language families expanding partly because the speakers have something cool that allows them to overpower their neighbours in some way, and partly because they have something cool that attracts their neighbours to join their group and speak their language.

        “Shit, that’s all I was ever saying.”

        You said a few other things – notably the idea that the comparatively static situation in the Americas was primarily due to a relative lack of genetic diversity, which implies a number of other things about language families, population expansions, and so on. Genetic explanations (understandably, I suppose) seem to be your go-to. When you’re dealing with language, they can’t be your go-to.

        There are also plenty of crazy memes to be found among the commentators here – no cultural innovation without genetic innovations, Indo-Europeans shooting arrows from horseback while drinking milk like Popeye, linguistics being a poor offshoot of genetics. Most of the time, my comments on your other post were directed at those.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Since I never said that the comparatively static situation in the Americas was primarily due to a lack of genetic diversity, I don’t need to apologize for it. I wondered if it might have something to do with it. Key words: guess, and maybe. And it is fact that there is less variation among the Amerindians than any other major population.

      • gcochran9 says:

        I knew about the horse-riding , the wagon-living, the patrilineality, and the wolfish warriors. Interesting parallels in the Nilotic peoples. So when Patterson and company pooh-poohed the idea of a steppe invasion in their earlier work [Ancient Admixture in Human History], I was pretty sure they’d change their tune upon a closer look. As they have.

        When I talked about you missing the boat, I was guessing that you were not delving deep into the genetics. If you’re interested in Indo-European, you should ! You might end up acquiring ‘undying fame’.

      • Bill says:

        Language families expand sometimes because people are moving and sometimes because people are speaking to one another and learning one another’s languages, and linguistic entities are therefore never going to overlap perfectly with genetic ones.

        This makes a lot of sense to me today and for a while into the past. Building a replica airport is a bad way to get cargo, whereas learning English and working in a call center is a good way to get cargo. What’s the mechanism in 3000 BC for language expansion without people moving?

      • Philip Neal says:

        Two questions for Greg Cochran.

        Question one. Do you expect genome-wide studies to shed light on the internal structure of the Indo-European language family after the dispersal of the protolanguage? Will the microscope of ancient DNA reveal genetic population splits which map on to linguistic splits like P-Celtic/Q-Celtic and centum/satem and enable us to date them? Or will it merely confirm what we already know, that at some point in the Bronze Age there was wholesale language replacement in Europe involving migration from northern Asia?

        Question two. You seem to have identified an important new fact since you posted about this result in connection with Basque: that three populations are involved, but that two of them (WHG + ANE) are in a constant proportion if you remove the third (EEF), and presumably merged into a single population long before the intrusion into Europe. This being so, the intrusive population WHG+ANE represents anything up to half the modern gene pool of Europe. My question is what this ratio means in absolute terms: is it possible to determine whether either group underwent an absolute increase or decrease, and did they do so as a result of the contact (probably involving new technology and wholesale slaughter) or because of events (here famine, there new sources of food) which had already taken place?

        • gcochran9 says:

          1. A good chance. Even if more recent population movements have blurred the picture, ancient DNA may tell us. I wouldn’t call it a sure thing.

          2. Obviously Iosif Lazaridis, Nick Patterson, and David Reich are the discoverers. I just noticed what they weren’t talking loudly about… I think we might be able to answer your questions if we can find enough skeletons with useable DNA from the right times and places… Sounds as if you’d need a big sample, though.

          I think we’re talking about the Corded Ware culture. They seem to have been nomadic pastoralists (with some farming), since there are hardly any buildings from this era (unlike their Funnelbeaker predecessors). Pastoralism was more competitive with agriculture back then in Northern Europe than you might think: wheat is not the best crop for that area, but I think that rye and oats were not yet developed. Now if the invaders were lactose tolerant, pastoralism would have been even more competitive.

          Looking at fine details of haplotypes should elucidate what fraction of the ancestry of existing populations comes from the people who lived before this big population transition.

          Personally, I don’t think that all the houses in Germany disappeared because of a fad. If the EEF farmers didn’t have much of a state, they would have been very vulnerable.

      • “What’s the mechanism in 3000 BC for language expansion without people moving?”

        There isn’t one; learning the language and culture of another group seems to involve some movement of people, even today. But it is easily possible for a founding population to acquire more and more followers from other populations as they move, such that the population a couple of thousand kilometres away and a few hundred years later may have only a family relationship to the population that spoke the language in the first place.

        We can even see this in the Vedas, in which there are plenty of so-called ‘Arya’ with distinctly non-Indo-European names. India is a perfect example of this, really; so-called ‘Aryan’ culture is clearly a composite entity, made up of a core of Indo-European heritage with lots of other elements from Austroasiatic-, Dravidian-, and possibly even Sino-Tibetan-speaking populations, and the same goes for all the known Indic languages in India, which show evidence of having changed considerably as originally non-Indic-speaking populations picked them up. There are several non-Indo-European substrates in Sanskrit, for instance, indicating that we shouldn’t assume that the early speakers of Vedic Sanskrit were genetically all that similar even to the people who spoke proto-Indo-Iranian (although there’s bound to be some continuity).

        Obviously you need people to get moving in order for a language and cultural system to propagate itself without the aid of telephones, the internet, and Rosetta Stone, and this means, of course, that there’s going to be some overlap with the picture derived from genetics. But because people can learn new languages and adopt new practices, they can join in the movement and contribute their genetic material to it, and therefore language and genetics are potentially independent.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      It’s a good question Meatball, what was their “thing” their genetic advantage. What is cool is the answer is coming, that is why I’m excited. Lactose tolerance has to be the best guess at this point but we won’t be stuck arguing best guesses for decades like the good old days of academic prehistory. The skeletons are out there and thanks to this rapidly improving science technology the answers are coming soon to a blog near you.

  11. Richard Sharpe says:

    This is from the previous posting, but seems relevant here:

    Cultural innovations aren’t as good as genes at conferring a long-lasting advantage – you can copy them.

    Are there any gene-free cultural innovations?

    That is, apart from language, which the next generation can acquire with relative ease, what else?

  12. vector says:

    Could this be disease driven, I mean Indians weren’t big ranchers and look at them now. also A.J. West’s neighbors are Nigerian so it couldn’t be true.

  13. Sandgroper says:

    After this we’re doing the Chinese and ethnic minorities in China. If you think Europe is difficult…At least the Chinese have pretty decent language records going back a fair way.

    And some time pretty soon we need to start tackling the Australians.

    • Hayrick says:

      Australians including Papuans are just too hard with over 1200 languages and a time depth going back 10s of 1000s of years. Language data is not much help past 10-15,000 years before present according to who you talk to (Pun?). They also moved around a lot (at least the Papuans did) even before 25,000BP. I wonder if they did not get back to mid-east/India/SE Asia – would the Denisovan component be swamped? Small populations in those days with male exploration only measured in 100s at the most.

  14. a very knowing American says:

    According to some of the people who think they can reconstruct Proto-Indo-European social organization, there is evidence for a very early stage in which a bipartite folk (warriors and priests) conquered other folk (herders, cultivators), and established a tripartite ancestral PIE society. This would be somewhere on the steppes, before PIE had begun spreading and differentiating. “The Sredni Stog Culture: Horses and Rituals from the East” is a section heading from David Anthony’s “The Horse, the Wheel, and Language” that might relate to this very early period. Obviously this is hugely speculative. Mallory’s “In Search of the Indo-Europeans” gives a dismissive summary. But it seems possible that the combination of WHG and ANE we’re picking up may have sprung from a scenario like this, probably with ANE as the upper stratum, riding into the western steppe from the East. Is this reflected in Y chromosome vs mtDNA variation? (i.e. is there more ANE Y-DNA than mtDNA among inferred PIE types, and the reverse for WHG Y-DNA and mtDNA? Certainly, to pick up on Cochran’s Mexican-mestizos-in-Korea example, we’d be able to tell from Y vs mt, even if we didn’t know the history, who was dominant in the encounter that led to the formation of the mestizo population.) If I’m allowed to mention Greenberg here — as somebody who provided *evidence*, not *verification*, *demonstration*, or *proof*, regarding language macro families — this would fit very well with his Eurasiatic language family belonging to some stage of ANE, and also with the closest ancestor of Eurasiatic being Amerind.

    A division between patrilineal warrior clans and priest clans, with the two often intermarrying, is common among Nilotic peoples, like the Dinka, as Bruce Lincoln noted (“Priests, Warriors, and Cattle”).

    • gcochran9 says:

      You have just inspired the wackiest idea I’ve had in days.

    • RS says:

      That’s a pretty cool idea itself

    • A2M says:

      The picking up of the third societal component is compatible with the Y-Haplogroup G2a-L141.1, present in all indoeuropean-ruled countries. It is associated with pastoralism and I (probably not the first) suppose belonged to “hired” metal workers from Caucasus, which past existance could explain how a steppe population menaged to develope metal technology (also correlating the miths of dwarves and Ephestus, both described as ugly-looking, grumpy and lesser-but-useful in respect of the pantheon).

      About the ANE Y chromosome vs WHG mtDNA, I think the best area for confrontation is Scandinavia: the ratio of I1 and R1a/R1b combined with the various mtDNA clades associated to WHG and ANE appear useful to test such hypothesis.

      I invite our host Cochran to not be such a tease and share his last wackiness with us. It is the concealed reason that lead some, I as first, to follow this blog.

  15. BAP says:

    Problem with this idea: IE languages are strongly associated with chariot technology. Chariot technology, especially for military application, didn’t develop until after 1700 BC. This is compatible with archaeological evidence from Greece and elsewhere, which shows possibly intrusion around 1600 BC, not earlier. There are linguistic models also that support a very recent expansion. The expansion would have taken place by elite dominance, not through large population movements or displacement.

    So I’m not sure that what gcochran is describing here is the IE expansion. The chariot tech issue alone is a strong argument against such an early expansion.

    • Richard Sharpe says:

      I was in Macau last June. Portuguese is not spoken there at all and yet the elite was Portuguese for a long time.

      • BAP says:

        But elite dominance is known to happen in many cases in history, so this one case you’re bringing up doesn’t prove anything. What about Brazil? What about Portugal itself? Do you think those are Roman colonists in Lusitania?

        If the idea behind all these posts is that language change only happens with large population movements, then there’s nothing to stand on. That’s just wrong. Language can spread in several ways, population movement, diffusion, elite dominance. The evidence in the case of IE is for elite dominance. There’s likely no to very little genetic trace left of the original people who spread IE.

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        That’s different. The linguistic inertia of all those Chinese nearby meant that the Chinese in Macau were never going to convert to Portuguese.

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        But elite dominance is known to happen in many cases in history, so this one case you’re bringing up doesn’t prove anything. What about Brazil? What about Portugal itself? Do you think those are Roman colonists in Lusitania?

        Well, I don’t want to support Richard’s claims, but it seems to me that Elite Dominance would work mostly where they form an administrative class that the dominated people have to interact with, or where their language is viewed as a prestige language.

        Take Mexico, for example. There still seems to be lots of Mestizos who do not speak Spanish.

        So, what documented examples of elite dominance from 5,000 years ago can you point to? Hell, even in China during the Yuan and Qing dynasties, the Chinese never converted to speaking Mongolian or Manchurian languages, probably because of the linguistic inertia of all those other Chinese nearby and the different languages/dialects anyway.

      • BAP says:

        Gcochran–
        The trace you’re talking about is happening way too early is the point. Chariot tech, especially for military application (which is how IE expansions happened), wasn’t around until after 1800 BC. There is a lot of evidence that supports IE arrivals in Greece, Italy, etc. around 1600 BC and 1500 BC respectively, and much later in Western Europe. It was a very late and very rapid expansion. How could all the IE languages share common words for chariots (and also parts of chariots) if they had spread as early as 3000 BC?

      • “How could all the IE languages share common words for chariots (and also parts of chariots) if they had spread as early as 3000 BC?”

        This would be a good question if IE languages shared common words for chariots (and also parts of chariots), but they don’t.

      • BAP says:

        AJ West–yes they do. Your ignorance of basic linguistics and history disqualifies you from further comment on this matter, and you should probably quit your job. Although I’m not surprised, since other modern academics are equally ignorant in their own fields.

    • randomdude says:

      “Problem with this idea: IE languages are strongly associated with chariot technology”

      Nope, their common words can also point to wagons and the like.

      “This is compatible with archaeological evidence from Greece and elsewhere, which shows possibly intrusion around 1600 BC, not earlier”

      Then why do you think other archaeologists date the proto-Greek arrival to the Early or Middle Helladic instead? The “military application” of chariots in Greece is also a really funny concept. Are you drawing on Drews here?

      • BAP says:

        No, it points to chariots.
        And yes, Drews is right and has the most convincing explanation for IE expansions. Why are chariots in Greece funny? They were clearly the backbone of the Mycenean states. Stop being gay and snarky.
        The other archaeologists you mention are wrong and their analyses depend on changes in pottery and the like. The destruction layer of 1600 BC is much more thorough, and this used to be the older view btw. Drews deals with these arguments in his book.

      • randomdude says:

        “Stop being gay and snarky”

        Well, stop sucking my cock and giving me excuses then. :-)

        “Drews deals with these arguments in his book.”

        Suuuure he does.

    • Chariots are known archaeologically from the Sintashta-Petrovka culture, appearing c.2000 BCE. These are the earliest known chariots in the world. But S-P is almost certainly associated with speakers of Indo-Iranic, not proto-Indo-European.

      Reconstructed proto-Indo-European has no words for chariots. It has plenty for wagons and animals, though.

      • BAP says:

        No you’re wrong. IE languages have carried words for both assembled and disassembled chariot, not just wagon. Chariot tech is also present in IE myth. Also 2000 BC isn’t the point…the point is when chariots first had military application, which is starting in 1800 BC and picking up around 1600 BC.

      • “IE languages have carried words for both assembled and disassembled chariot, not just wagon”

        Source? They’re certainly not reconstructed to PIE by any authorities and don’t feature in any IE handbook, except as later features after 2000 BCE, so I’m unsure as to where you’re getting this idea. And, btw, there’s every reason to believe that chariots were first used in war when they were first invented, on the steppe, by the Sintashta-Petrovka culture. They may not appear in written documents until 1800 BCE, but what makes you think that they weren’t used before then?

  16. engleberg says:

    >’the likely historical process, which probably was awesomely bloody.’

    Awesomely soggy too? The Black Sea was still figuring out where its shores were then. Highly fertile soil that used to be freshwater sea bottoms, volkwanderings as rising seas drowning whole societies or falling seas taking the drinking water with them, population bottlenecks where everyone who can’t digest milk in the volkwandering dies, etc.

  17. Nanonymous says:

    All this is pointing to a big wave of genetic change around 3000 BC, a wave that did not originate in the Near East (including Anatolia).

    Wouldn’t Greeks, themselves Indo-European, have noticed? They did pay attention to, say, Troy, so it is not very plausible that a large-scale ethnic cleansing went unnoticed. Can your tentative date be 3K earlier?

  18. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    OT, but Trivers suspended for telling students he knew nothing about a class he was assigned to teach:

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/02/rutgers-prof.html

  19. agnostic says:

    I wonder if the ANE are the genetic link to the proposed Dene-Caucasian superfamily of languages. That would bring together the Na-Dene languages of the Americas, Yeniseian in Central Siberia, and the Northern and Northeastern Caucasian languages, including Chechen (but not the Southern ones like Georgian).

    Basque is also thrown into this superfamily for reasons I don’t understand. Here’s another case where genetics could help to rule on a dispute in linguistic classification. If the Dene-Causcasian languages are closely related to the ANE genepool, and Basques are more or less out of that genepool, don’t bother trying to shoe-horn Basque in with Na-Dene, Yeniseian, and N/NE Caucasian languages.

  20. TWS says:

    We say HG but were they really HG? At this point wouldn’t some kind of pastoralism or farming be involved?

    • gcochran9 says:

      Genetically similar to the Mesolithic foragers of Western Europe… Were cowboys when they moved into Europe.

      • TWS says:

        So it’s genetic memory when pine for ‘riding the range’? An interesting question would be to find out what adaptions to disease and pop pressure ‘cowboys’ who never settled as farmers would develop. Kind of like the fisher/whalers in the PNW did in the Americas. Some villages were really big they had plenty of food most times but look at carbs and they develop diabetes etc. Kind of settled meatatarians that didn’t farm anything.

  21. randomdude says:

    How do you explain the ANE/WHG in the Southern Balkans, non-Basque Iberia, Hungary, C. Italy and S. France?

    “and there a fairly sophisticated agricultural population (with very advanced metallurgy for the time) seems to have been utterly squished.”

    Which culture(s) are you referring to?

    Also, why do you think we ended up (according to your model) with more population replacement in Northern than Southern Europe by “Sibermen”?

    • whatever says:

      Roman Empire mediated the transfer of middle eastern genes in Southern Europe and massive population movements from its eastern and North African provinces to its European provinces, which were limited to Southern Europe for most of the time. More so for South-East Europe, since Eastern Roman Empire outlived the Western with 1000 years and had been drawing demographic resources primarily from Anatolia &Middle East. The contemporary differences in ANE/WHG ancestry between northern and southern Europe reflect demographic events from historic times, that reduced this ancestry in the Mediterranean region and reflect the boundaries between the Roman Empire and “barbarian” north. No wander y-chromosome macro-group J is nowhere to be found in European prehistory and bronze epoch (the earlier proponents of the Anatolian origin of Indo-Europeans favored J as the marker of the Indo-Europeans – (for example Cavally Sforza) , had it been introduced to Europe in Roman times. So, not more population replacement in Northern Europe than in Southern Europe by the Sibermen. The other way around and in much later historical times – or so it seems from the results of ancient DNA examination.

      • gcochran9 says:

        Nope. Easy enough to check, looking at ancient DNA from before the Roman Empire. Want to bet?

      • whatever says:

        Will not bet, since Southern Europe had been much more densely populated than Northern (climate &food sources) at the times of Indo-European invasion – hence smaller demographic impact of the invaders there.
        However, nobody has ever checked the ancient DNA from southern Europe from the period *between* Indo-European invasion and the end of Roman republic, so why not. Wait, nobody has ever checked the ancient DNA of the Romans themselves, whatever the reason (can give few guesses about the reason). And wait again, there is one DNA study of remains from classic Greece (5th century BC) – it only attested Mt DNA and it has been U5 and U4, much like Northern European MtDNA from the bronze epoch (and unlike contemporary south-east). Still,there are records of massive demographic movements from Middle East and North Africa to Southern Europe during roman times (which ended as late as 1453 AD in the Levant) and this would have had an inevitable impact on the ANE/WGH ancestry there.

      • randomdude says:

        “The contemporary differences in ANE/WHG ancestry between northern and southern Europe reflect demographic events from historic times”

        How is that possible since the regions you’re referring to have less ANE than those European areas (unless you’re suggesting a scenario where massive demographic resources were drawn from the Caucasus)? I was talking about the ANE/WHG ratio btw, not the total. That’s what I was hoping Cochran could explain under his scenarios.

        “More so for South-East Europe, since Eastern Roman Empire outlived the Western with 1000 years and had been drawing demographic resources primarily from Anatolia &Middle East.”

        The Anatolian-Aegean-South Balkan area was always an interconnected area of population movement so how does that explain anything? Syria-Palestine-Egypt was lost for most of its existence so I assume your generic padding helps you make your points?

        “or so it seems from the results of ancient DNA examination”

        aDNA that we don’t have? Not all arguments from silence are sound.

        “can give few guesses about the reason”

        You’re a conspiracy theorist?

        “Still,there are records of massive demographic movements from Middle East and North Africa to Southern Europe during roman times (which ended as late as 1453 AD in the Levant)”

        Ok, please mention those historically attested *massive* demographic movements that explain what I was referring to in *all* the areas I mentioned.

        “And wait again, there is one DNA study of remains from classic Greece (5th century BC) – it only attested Mt DNA and it has been U5 and U4″

        That’s interesting but you should provide the source. The only aDNA studies from Greece I know are about Minoan and Mycenaean remains where they find mtDNA H, U (of various kinds) and K i.e. what we find today as well.

      • whatever says:

        hey random dude, you are wrong. Ancient mt DNA from Mycenaean Greece (about 12 century BC): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030544030800085X, 3 Mt Haplogroups yield, two U5a1 & one undefined, could be H, HV1, J, U, U3 or U4.
        The population movements I mentioned include the mass relocation of the Mideastern christian population that followed the fall of the eastern provinces in Arab hands, started in 7th century and ended in 12th when the Iranian Christians & Zoroastrians escaped the Seljuk invasion of Persia and were settled by the Byzantines in what is now south-east Europe. You surely do not know it , but these events exist and are recorded. Not to mention the Jewish dispersal in earlier times, the Syrian migration towards Rome in the times of Caracala, the magnitude of slave trade in the region (at most times the ratio free citizens/slaves in ancient Athens was 1/10) or the Arab invasion of Iberian peninsula, that left thousands of moors behind once it ended. The empires are melting pots of the nations and when you have a region with 2000 years of imperial past that kept the regions both north and south of med. sea into a single state, this would have an effect on the genetic make up of the populations included – and this effect would be substantial and inevitable.. Wait for one more thousand years, and you will see same thing happening to the populations of Northern European empires as well. The imperial span of the north European region is simply shorter than the one of the Mediterranean region. No other difference. Of course, you can believe in whatever you want to believe.

      • randomdude says:

        “hey random dude, you are wrong. Ancient mt DNA from Mycenaean Greece (about 12 century BC): ”

        So, I was right rather. Mycenaean and Minoan remains as I said, and not Classical ones as you said. The haplogroups (including from the studies you don’t mention) are the ones I referred to as well and they’re the ones that can still be found in the area in modern times.

        “You surely do not know it , but these events exist and are recorded”

        You aren’t a special snowflake. I’ve read Charanis’ studies on the demography on the area too!

        “the magnitude of slave trade in the region (at most times the ratio free citizens/slaves in ancient Athens was 1/10) ”

        The % of slaves is obviously basically impossible to accurately measure but for Classical and early Hellenistic times the figure you give is simply way off by any estimate (plus you realize that “slave” =/= “non-Greek”, right?). You just threw it out there to sound kewl.

        “The empires are melting pots of the nations and when you have a region with 2000 years of imperial past that kept the regions both north and south of med. sea into a single state, this would have an effect on the genetic make up of the populations included – and this effect would be substantial and inevitable.. Wait for one more thousand years, and you will see same thing happening to the populations of Northern European empires as well. The imperial span of the north European region is simply shorter than the one of the Mediterranean region. No other difference.”

        Gotcha, your bias on the subject is influenced by your current anxieties over the fate of Northern Europe post-multiculturalism.

        “Of course, you can believe in whatever you want to believe”

        This sentence is so unnecessary that I’m willing to call it “the last cry of the crackpot.”

      • Anthony D. says:

        No whatever, you’re wrong about mixing in the Roman Empire.

        http://italianthro.blogspot.com/2011/01/tenney-franks-orientalization-refuted.html

        • gcochran9 says:

          The Romans didn’t do much relocation of peoples, compared to Stalin or the Assyrians. Although they could get pretty irritable after the third rebellion…
          I think that both slaves and cityfolk (including the foreigners in Rome) didn’t leave much genetic trace, typically

      • whatever says:

        They did not have to (relocate anyone). This is not what they did. They gave them citizenship. “The Edict of Caracalla (officially the Constitutio Antoniniana (Latin: “Constitution [or Edict] of Antoninus”) was an edict issued in 212, by the Roman Emperor Caracalla which law declared that all free men in the Roman Empire were to be given full Roman citizenship and all free women in Empire were given the same rights as Roman women were. Before 212, for the most part only inhabitants of Italia held full Roman citizenship. Colonies of Romans established in other provinces, Romans (or their descendants) living in provinces, the inhabitants of various cities throughout the Empire, and small numbers of local nobles (such as kings of client countries) held full citizenship also. Provincials, on the other hand, were usually non-citizens, although some held the Latin Right.”. So they simply moved in shortly after . The citizenship turned nearly 50 million people from Anatolia &Mideast into Romans. Go figure
        .

  22. agnostic says:

    Iconography should be looked into as well. Like the swastika — not as just another cool geometric motif, but as something with greater meaning and sacred symbolism. Was its veneration due to the Sibermen?

    It goes way back among the Indo-Europeans, who via Buddhism introduced it into East / SE Asia.

    It’s widespread among the Nakh peoples (N/NE Caucasians, including Chechens). I didn’t know before following the genetics-inspired hunch, but they’ve got swastikas all over their oldest monuments, sculptures, grave markers, and so on. And importantly, as a higher symbol, representing purification. Under the Wiki article for “Vainakh mythology,” the Nakh national ornament is shown to be a variant on the swastika, mixed with a four-leaf clover and clearly linking them to the Celts? (Only half-kidding…)

    Some Native American groups, particularly the Navajo, who speak a Na-Dene language. It represents the Hopi nation as well, and they are Uto-Aztecan speakers who live next door to the Navajo.

    If the N/NE Caucasus provided the seed for the Indo-Europeans, then perhaps the swastika was part of the package. And if the Caucasians inherited it from the Sibermen, that would explain its separate central role among the Navajo (and maybe from there to the Hopi neighbors).

    That would help to explain its otherwise puzzling and patchy global distribution.

  23. agnostic says:

    Indo-European mythologists tend to gloss over Greek mythology when trying to reconstruct the Proto-mythology because it has too many elements from the Levant, i.e. the EEF heritage (such as Adonis). Of European mythologies, they lean most heavily on Celtic, Norse, and Slavic.

    If myth diffusion was piggy-backing on genetic diffusion, that would explain why the mythologies of Ireland and Norway bear a closer resemblance to the Vedas than does Greek mythology.

    Roman is an odd case — Indo-Europeanists lean on that too, but only somewhat. A lot is pilfered from Greece. But then there’s the founding of the folk by one twin who kills the other, the veneration of wolves, and the fact that the supreme god’s name is Ju Piter — “Father Sky” — instead of the plainer Zeus, which doesn’t include the word for “sky.” In that way, it’s like Dyaus Pita in the Vedic pantheon.

    Roman myth looks more Celto-Germanic than Greco-whatever. And Italo-Celtic is another one of those not-too-controversial groupings within the IE tree. Sticking with genes and myths as a bundle, it makes you wonder if the proto-Romans didn’t wander into Italy from a Celto-Germanic region. It wasn’t from the east, since that was the Greeks and Illyrians / Albanians.

    • The Greeks referred to Zeus often as Zeus the Father, although it never became one word like Yu-Pater (Yu = Zeus). Zeus also = Tiow (after which Tuesday is named).

    • Zeus Nephelegereta says:

      —-“Indo-European mythologists tend…Celtic, Norse, and Slavic.”
      Source?
      Note: Yes Homer, Hesiod and the rest are hardly Indoeuropean. Nor were there any other IE east of the Greeks; Hittites and Luvians for example were Chinese. Nor was there ever any non-IE cultural admixture to the northern, mid or west- Euroepan IEs.
      —-“If myth diffusion…. than does Greek mythology”.
      Source?
      Note: Yes, Greek mythology is plainly Semitic, Levantine and North-Western European IEs are pure brothers to the Vedic IEs and both are pure like snow, no grain of non IE culture has ever polluted them.There are indisputable metrics proving this.
      —-“Roman is an odd case — the veneration of wolves,”
      Source?
      Note: Yes there was never for example a Greek festival or games called Lykaia and Mount Lykaion is located in Antarctica.
      —-“instead of the plainer Zeus, which doesn’t include the word for “sky.” In that way, it’s like Dyaus Pita in the Vedic pantheon.”
      Source?
      Note: Yes “Zeus” does not include the “Sky God” word. “Zeus” is not an evolved form of the Sky God word. It is not true that Zeus<*Di̯ēus. It is not true that it's the redudant father part that Greek omits, nor, conversly, is it true that "Pater" is a common epithet of Zeus.
      —-"Roman myth looks more Celto-Germanic than Greco-whatever."
      Source?
      Note: Yes it's utterly wrong to say that most of the time it is very difficult to distinguish Roman from Greek mythology (or culture or…) and vice versa while on the other hand the former's resemblance to the Sagas or the Vedas is in comparison remarkable.
      —-"And Italo-Celtic is….Sticking with genes and myths as a bundle… Greeks and Illyrians / Albanians.
      Source?
      Note: Yes those famous aquiline Roman noses are hardly Illyrian. Illyria is in fact light-years away from Rome. And, inter alia et alii, Magna Graecia could hardly have ever influenced Roma in either genes or myths.

      General Note: Yes petitio principii is the best way to prove what one would like to prove. Yes doing some basic googling let alone finding extraordinary evidence, before uttering extraordinary claims, is utterly and extraordinary lame.

  24. agnostic says:

    I meant that Zeus doesn’t include the word for “father” akin to Piter / pater in Latin or Pita in Sanskrit.

  25. agnostic says:

    Last comment. Someone also needs to look into the links among the myths of the Indo-Europeans and the N/NE Caucasus groups, and try to tease out who originated what and who borrowed what from whom.

    “Vainakh mythology” on Wikipedia says that Amjad Jaimoukha has noticed lots of parallels between the N/NE Caucasus myths and Celtic myths, but that the idea is not being widely discussed. Time to start on that.

    John Colarusso has a book on the Nart Sagas of the Ossetians, who speak and I-E language in the Caucasus. Despite a lot of the material being I-E, there are fossils of older Caucasian myth in there, though I haven’t read to book in order to report what they are. Some of those may be seeds that left the P-I-E homeland. Who knows, some of the Ossetian / Sarmatian / Iranian myths that later entered the Caucasus might be a return home!

  26. spandrell says:

    Somebody might care to explain how you “copy” a language? Learning a language requires living closeby with a foreign people, preferrably since infancy. And if you’re learning somebody s language it means their language is better than yours, ergo their people is more powerful than yours.

    How exactly do you live closeby to a strong people and not mix their genes to yours? And if people are mating theres a pattern to that mating. Given enough time the populations will merge with the strong people having disproportionate part of the resulting peoples genepool, at least in the male side.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “How exactly do you live close by to a strong people and not mix their genes to yours?”

      Caste: warriors and priests vs artisans?

    • Caste is one way. But what’s important is not that genes aren’t mixed. It’s that over time, as a greater variety of people learn the language, the original genetic material can end up in a minority. One of the characteristic genetic features of Polynesians, who speak Austronesian languages (of course), is mtDNA haplogroup B4a1a1a. This is not found among speakers of Austronesian languages in Taiwan, the homeland, nor in the Philippines, nor Madagascar. It comes from an almost certainly non-Austronesian-speaking population in eastern Indonesia and reached its highest concentrations in Polynesia due to a series of founder effects.

      Your presumption that the ‘strong people’ will have a ‘disproportionate part of the resulting peoples’ genepool, at least in the male side’, is based on a naive view of population genetics that doesn’t take into account things like founder effects, surfing, and so on. It also presumes that languages spread because of strength, in some way, and that soft power is a recent invention. Which may be right – probably not in all cases, but maybe in some – but it’s a presupposition that isn’t necessarily correct.

      In eastern Indonesia, studies have shown that the greatest amount of Austronesian-associated genetic material among both Austronesian and non-Austronesian speakers is mitochondrial (i.e., passed down the female line). Most people speak Austronesian languages and Austronesian influence was clearly incredibly important (headhunting, weaving, outrigger canoes, and most of the prominent pre-colonial cultivars were introduced by Austronesian spealers), but for a number of reasons, NRY (male-only) DNA associated with Austronesians isn’t prevalent.

      • spandrell says:

        Yes I’m quite sceptic of pre-historic soft power, but I’m open to contrary evidence.

        but for a number of reasons, NRY (male-only) DNA associated with Austronesians isn’t prevalent.

        And what are those reasons? I remember reading up on that but I couldn’t find what the model was. Papuan men taking Austronesian women? Austronesian men migrating but then somehow dying out leaving their women behind?

        Also is their any evidence for pre-historical castes being endogamic?

      • “Also is their any evidence for pre-historical castes being endogamic?”

        I don’t know how we would know this. But I think we may presume that there was something like caste endogamy in some prehistoric societies due to it being found in some historic ones. It’s just hard to tell from linguistics, genetics, and archaeology, so…

        I also don’t know about eastern Indonesian NRY DNA. Perhaps it’s related to the prevailing marriage system on most islands there.

        It’s a fascinating problem: MBD-FZS marriage alliance (a system of marriage where a man must marry his classificatory mother’s brother daughter and a woman must marry her classificatory father’s sister’s son, otherwise known as ‘asymmetric’ or ‘matrilateral’ cross-cousin marriage) is found throughout eastern Indonesia. In such a system, some descent groups are wife-givers and some are wife-takers with respect to one another.

        All descent groups have to take wives, or else they won’t have any children and their lines won’t continue. Wife-givers have higher temporal status, and giving a woman in marriage to a man from another descent group implies a long-standing superior relationship with them. Giving as many wives as possible to as many other clans/lineages as possible is the objective, because it enhances prestige, ritual importance, &c. It’s the equivalent of giving a big and important gift: it creates a(n in theory eternal) alliance and places the wife-takers in debt to the wife-givers.

        The relationships are permanent, one-way, and non-transitive (i.e., clan A may be wife-giver to be B, but B is wife-giver to C, and C is wife-giver to A, such that A is not superior to C despite giving wives to B). It’s a complex system to wrap your head around, but once you do it makes a bit of sense.

        If you give away all your women then you’ll be extremely ritually important and your wife-takers will be bound to you in long-lasting debt relationships. You’ll have a lot of prestige and your wife-takers – who presumably will number a great many – will be obliged to learn your language. You also won’t have any children in your clan, and any genetic material from the male line will dwindle away.

        So this is one possible model for the prevalence of Austronesian mtDNA and the comparative lack of Austronesian NRY DNA. But it depends on the assumption that MBD-FZS marriage goes all the way back to the first Austronesian speakers in eastern Indonesia, which is far from assured.

        Anyway, it definitely shows that there’s more to prehistoric interaction than simply being strong or overwhelming the neighbours.

  27. j3morecharacters says:

    I thought it was common knowledge that the original Gothic speaking people lived near the Sea of Azov, where they were harassed by Siberian nomads and pushed West to the Crimean peninsula (where some can be found even today). The Siberian hunters made such an impression on our Goths that they fought their way and didnt stop till Scandinavia and Morocco.

  28. Greying Wanderer says:

    “This means that the WHG fraction you see came with along the ANE guys – it is not a comeback by the descendants of the original hunter-gatherers of central and Western Europe, who were somewhere between much diminished and extinct”

    Plainly a big wedge of IE came from the NE through Central Europe to the SW and displaced the farmers who had displaced the HGs. You can see it in all the DNA maps. No argument there. However there is also plainly something else that happened specifically in the northwest where I1 had a dramatic population expansion associated with Funnelbeaker in between the farmer expansion and the IE expansion.

    The likely reason being (imo) that the boreal forest zone was further south at the time creating the opportunity for a zone of shifting agriculture similar to that which survived in Finland until recently (a shifting agriculture which would fit Tacitus’ description of the Germans and other evidence like the lack of permanent settlements).

    current boreal zone (retreating north since the end of the LGM)

    shifting agriculture

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shifting_cultivation

    I think the southern edge of the boreal zone in 4000 BC is likely to have aligned neatly with the northern edge of LBK. The shifting agriculture and lack of permanent settlements possibly being why the IE expansion didn’t have quite as flattening an effect as it did in the LBK zone.

    This doesn’t change the main argument about there being a massive IE expansion that squished LBK but as Funnelbeaker immediately preceded the IE expansion i think the two events may be connected somehow.

  29. Greying Wanderer says:

    @a very knowing american

    “But it seems possible that the combination of WHG and ANE we’re picking up may have sprung from a scenario like this, probably with ANE as the upper stratum, riding into the western steppe from the East.

    I think you’re overlapping later groups like the Huns and Mongols. The steppe package didn’t develop in the East. It developed along the north edge of the Black Sea. If the ANE were an upper stratum as you describe then the most likely option imo is they were the ex-wetlands foragers from along the north of the Black Sea who developed a horse-culture because they were adjacent to the steppe and the lower stratum would have been the various forager groups nearby i.e. the wetlands foragers from along the west coast of the Black Sea and/or forest steppe.

    • a very knowing American says:

      Certainly the full steppe package (cavalry, mounted archery, compound bows, etc.) didn’t develop until long after the dispersal of Proto-Indo European. However there is evidence that influences from the east contributed the formation of the Sredni Stog culture in the Dnieper-Donets area, from the early 5th millennium BC. “The origin of the Sredni Stog culture is poorly understood, but people from the east, perhaps from the Volga steppes, apparently played a role.” (David Anthony “The Horse, the Wheel and Language” p. 244). This would have been maybe a very early stage of PIE or pre-PIE, before Anatolian split off for the Balkans (Anatolian in the Balkans is maybe late 5th millennium). It seems to be later on, with the Yamnaya (from about mid-4th millennium), that folks get around to really taking full advantage of nomadic cattle herding pastoralism to exploit deep steppe away from major rivers. Maybe because it took a while for lactase persistence to reach high frequency over large areas of the Western steppe among non-elites? For Yamnaya, think guys in covered wagons, not Mongol hordes.

      On the other hand, there are certainly other scenarios to get ANE/WHG mestizos.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        “However there is evidence that influences from the east contributed the formation of the Sredni Stog culture in the Dnieper-Donets area, from the early 5th millennium BC.”

        Fair enough. I was quibbling as a lot of people seem to imagine the PIE as fully formed early Huns.

  30. RS says:

    > If other groups want to copy the horse-riding pastoralists, they have to buy horses from them and then learn how to ride, and I don’t think this is a quick process.

    didnt the IE expansion take >2,000 years?

  31. Simon in London says:

    I think the most Politically Correct approach would be to not mention Indo-Europeans or language at all, and that’s what we’re seeing. Or ‘no evidence of connection to the Indo-European language family’.
    PC aside, it’s good to see confirmation of what was always the strongest theory; a large scale migration/invasion by PIE-speaking pastoralists from north of the Caucasus entering Europe ca 5,000 years ago. The extent of the genetic replacement in northern Europe is striking but certainly plausible and helps explain the homogeneity of this group – eg why Celts and Teutons are so hard to distinguish genetically.

    • Why would it be ‘PC’ to avoid mentioning Indo-European? Because of its association with the Aryan myth?

      • Bruce says:

        Yes, something like that.

      • Simon in London says:

        Yes. Hitler etc. From what I can tell from the BBC and other Politically Correct sources, the PC narrative is that Europeans are descended from the original post Ice Age settlers, in the UK’s case they came up the coast from Spain ca 8,000 BC, with minimal introgression. PC is strongly “pots not people”.

      • “the PC narrative is that Europeans are descended from the original post Ice Age settlers”

        Really? It also happens to the BNP’s narrative, so make of that what you will (‘the indigenous people of Britain’ – pfft).

    • randomdude says:

      “I think the most Politically Correct approach would be to not mention Indo-Europeans ”

      Why is replacement from the Near East more “PC” than replacement from the Eurasian steppe? You should stop seeing bogeymen everywhere, perhaps.

      • Bruce says:

        He may be right.

      • Simon in London says:

        Mighty sword-wielding Indo-European Conanesque or Teutonic types pouring into Europe from the Steppe is definitely less PC than a peaceful range expansion by swarthy Levantine farmers who mostly just trade their pots.

      • “Mighty sword-wielding Indo-European Conanesque or Teutonic types pouring into Europe from the Steppe is definitely less PC than a peaceful range expansion by swarthy Levantine farmers who mostly just trade their pots.”

        …and it’s at least as untrue. Speakers of proto-Indo-European were neither Teutonic nor ‘Conanesque’, they definitely didn’t wield swords (bronze technology was not advanced enough, I’m afraid), and they didn’t ‘pour into Europe’. They slowly spread across it.

      • randomdude says:

        “Mighty sword-wielding Indo-European Conanesque or Teutonic types pouring into Europe from the Steppe is definitely less PC than a peaceful range expansion by swarthy Levantine farmers who mostly just trade their pots.”

        How is that PC if it’s those types doing the pouring? If anything, it’s confirmation of don’t trust white people because they’ll kill you.

        Of course, it was those swarthy Levantines who whitened up Europe after all so I suppose this could be even worse for European sensibilities. I suppose that depends on whether you believe that “welcome, swarthy gentlemen” is more popular in Europe than “we were always white!” despite even the more liberal Euros’ multicultural sensibilities. I don’t believe that so I disagree.

        Of course the events as you described them never seem to have happened either so maybe, to an extent, just saying, it is a phantom of your own creation, after all.

      • Simon in London says:

        Judging by your ad hominems I seem to be correct re what counts as PC/un-PC.

  32. Matt says:

    Re: “agro pastoralism” versus “aggro pastoralism”, the earliest British Neolithic seems to have wholesale replaced the hunter-gather fishing with a food culture based on dairy – http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1780/20132372.full contra the Baltic where Neolithism retained fishing.

    These Oetzioids *were* “agro pastoralist”, but I guess this wasn’t enough when they were pitted against aggro pastoralists, weaned more on steppe style conflict than milk.

    Still, maybe they were slightly pre-adapted to the Indo-European way of life in a way that made their genetics a little more persistent against it (and maybe more true for the Basques as well, to the extent they didn’t even end up language switching).

  33. Azoo says:

    “All this while they’re clearly working out the origin and scope of the Indo-European invasion!”

    If Iosif Lazaridis is Dienekes Pontikos, as I suspect based on several clues including the UC Irvine IP address he routinely used on a message board back in the early 2000s, then he’ll be reluctant to place the IE homeland anywhere other than the eastern Mediterranean.

  34. Paul Conroy says:

    I think that since the Supplements show that MA1 was related to the modern day Kalash, that it supports my theory that the area of Pakistan/NW India/Afghanistan was the origin of the ANE (and also ANI, as ANI=ANE mostly).
    This is also the origin of cattle domestication of Bos Indicus – at Mehrgarh – and that these people spread North initially, then East and West, bringing Y-DNA R and to a lesser extent Q with them, and their sub-branches with them, but mostly R1a/R1a1a and downstream.
    As a former farm boy and cattle breeder, I know that some of the cattle found in today’s Ukraine/Southern Russia, and later introduced by the Goths into Northern Italy, are partly Bos Indicus. At some point more Bos Taurus cattle replaced the Bos Indicus cattle and became dominant at more northerly latitudes, maybe after the conquering of the Balkans region.

    I think the culture spread rapidly, aided by milk consumption, and cattle-wagons – not horses.

    This would account for the Balochi component found in many admix analyses, which is similar to the Caucasian component, as both are basically the same. These people then overran and mixed with a people who were largely of hunter gatherer stock – from the area of Belorussia/Lithuania – and later this mixed people would conquer most of Northern Europe…

    • “I think the culture spread rapidly, aided by milk consumption, and cattle-wagons – not horses.”

      Then you don’t understand IE culture, which is full to the brim of horses. Horses everywhere: being ridden, drawing wagons, being sacrificed, acting as metaphors. They’re there in early IE literature, they’re reconstructable to proto-Indo-European, and they were clearly domesticated at the right time and in the right place (fifth millennium BCE-ish, north of the Black and Caspian seas). There’s no reason to assume anything else.

      • Paul Conroy says:

        I’m referring to the ANE people, the original IE speakers, using cattle-wagons, they would have met horses, domesticated or wild on the Steppes, and incorporated them into their cultural package…

      • Paul Conroy says:

        Also, look at some of the names in “Helmand” province, Afghanistan and you might think you were in some Germanic speaking land…
        Then there is the fact that tartan cloth is a native fabric in Karachi, Pakistan.
        Then Lithuanian is the language closest to Sanskrit, among non-Aryan languages.

      • In what way are they ‘the original IE speakers’? Proto-Indo-European is associated with the Yamnaya archaeological culture north of the Black Sea, and pre-proto-Indo-European, the language from which Anatolian split, is associated with the Sredny Stog culture, also north of the Black Sea. Do you mean to say that pre-pre-proto-Indo-European, a language we have no indication of, was spoken by cattle-herding, milk-drinking people from northwestern South Asia?

      • “Then Lithuanian is the language closest to Sanskrit, among non-Aryan languages.”

        That’s not true. Lithuanian is a conservative Indo-European language, and so is Sanskrit, but that doesn’t mean that they’re particularly close otherwise. The closest non-Indic (‘Aryan’) language to Sanskrit is undoubtedly something extinct and Iranic; Sanskrit is an Indic language, and going up the family tree it looks a bit like this: Sanskrit – Indic (‘Indo-Aryan’) – Indo-Iranic – Indo-European. Lithuanian is related to Sanskrit through their shared origin in Indo-European. It is possible that Armenian or Hellenic are more closely related to Sanskrit (Indic) through various hypotheses, like Graeco-Aryan, etc.

        Also, words sort of looking like Germanic isn’t indicative of very much, because Germanic has never really been spoken in Afghanistan (aside from modern English, that is). It also seems crazy to bring this up as an argument for the origin of IE in the area thousands and thousands of years ago.

        Moreover, there are tartan-ish cloths in (probably) Tocharian burials in western China, so it’s possible that in some sense this tartan-ish thing does go back to PIE.

      • BAP says:

        There’s nothing about being ridden in IE myth. Horses figure therein because they were used in chariots. Chariot tech developed a long time BEFORE you could ride horses. The archaeological record is clear on this, but Indo-Europeanists don’t know anything about military history. There wasn’t any horse-riding before 1000 BC, at least not military horse-riding.

      • It seems like military historians – if that’s what you are – know nothing about horses, Indo-European, or chariotry. It is hard to tell when horses were first ridden, but it is clear from wear on teeth that they were in use by the late fifth millennium BCE. It is also clear that chariots are a very late development in IE, and coincide with Sintashta-Petrovka (early Indo-Iranic). You seem to think that if a thing isn’t documented in a written historical source then it simply didn’t occur, and that’s not the right way to approach a prehistoric topic like IE.

        I have a feeling you don’t have a particularly well-developed understanding of IE topics.

      • BAP says:

        Actually no, that’s the point. There’s no evidence of wear on teeth, bits, or any other archaelogical or any evidence for horse-riding before 1000 BC. Drews covers all the evidence you’re referring to in “Early Riders.” No evidence of horses being ridden that early on the steppe, they were raised for meat.

  35. Paul Conroy says:

    See page 56/57 of the Supplements – where it says:

    K=14 shows the appearance of a component that is maximized in the Kalash and that is widely
    distributed in South Asia, the Caucasus, the Near East, and in diminishing strength in Europe. It is
    absent in Sardinians, Basques, and all ancient Europeans, although it is present in MA1. This
    component also does not appear in North and East Africa where other West Eurasian admixture is observed. This is consistent with MA1 having contributed some ancestry to present-day Europeans not accounted for by West Eurasian Hunter Gatherers and Early European Farmers. The presence of this component in the Near East contrasts with its absence in Stuttgart, consistent with the widely shared negative f3(Near East; Stuttgart, MA1) statistics (Table 1) indicating that present-day Near Easterners have been affected by gene flow not present in early Near Eastern migrants into Europe.

  36. Michael says:

    Cattle and horses eat plants; lots of plants. Technologically strong nomadic herders with enormous herds of cattle rustled by horse riding cowboys could easily starve farmers simply by passing through their land. They didn’t need composite bows, chariots and stirrups. They could drink the farmer’s crops through their own animals’ milk.

    This was a problem until the invention of barbed wire in the 1860s. Hedgerows take decades before they are effective, and you would have to know that you even needed them to begin with.

    • RS says:

      Nice insight. Likely to apply to reality in some respect, I think, if lactase truly was part of what happened.

      However, the rate of expansion was a plodding ~1 km a year, so I assume they had to fight hard all the way.

    • Michael says:

      I have been educated. So, replace “rustled by horse riding cowboys” with “accompanied by slow, horse pulled wagons”.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Or move the slow, horse pulled wagons to within c. 20 miles of a sedentary population, ride bareback close to a settlement at night, raid them on foot for some cattle or other self-portable loot, ride away again i.e. more like American Indian raids than Hun hordes.

      • Michael says:

        I have now been re-educated. I think they rode horses.

      • dave chamberlin says:

        I like your reasoning grey wanderer. Let me add to it how their population grew to a point where they over exploited their resources and pushed the sedentary farmers all the way across Europe. When Lewis and Clark crossed the Great Plains of North America they suffered great hardship by going a long distance without meeting anyone. The Amerinds were horseless so they didn’t live there. Once the Souix got there horses it quickly became populated as they now had a vastly easier means to kill Buffalo. These Indo-Europeans would have grown in population very quickly once they had learned to ride horses and make the killing of the vast populations of meat on the hoof feeding off the grassland far easier. Once their population expanded to the point that they had over hunted the steppe they turned their eyes to the lush land of the sedentary farmers. Where and when the gene for lactose tolerance took off I don’t know but it probably is a large factor in this push.

  37. Eread says:

    I leave open the possibility that I might not be very bright, but looking at the graph posted in an earlier post (basques) , it seems to me the ANE component is quite stable in Europe, whereas the WHG gets stronger the further west and north you go. That makes it look like the IEs were rather pure ANE to me. And looking further east to Iran and India, they have very little WHG but lots of ANE. Makes you wonder if those out of India folks are on to something after all….

    • Matt says:

      If we’re looking at the same graph, then the pink (WHG?) component isn’t highest in the West, but in Lithuanians.

      Bear in mind, as I say upthread, one of the (admittedly shakier) findings of the paper that Greg hasn’t reproduced was that the EEF were admixed between WHG (West Hunters) and another population, probably Levantine in origin. EEF seems to be slightly majority “West Hunter” so far, but quite as not as “West Hunter” as “hunter” (Indo European pace Cochran).

      This WHG might not necessarily be WHG from Europe, but a similar population in the Middle East, however, this is more speculative, at the moment it looks as if it is Mesolithic European admixture.

      This being the case, the EEF WHG should team up with the “hunter” WHG to give generally higher levels relative to the “Siberman”* ANE in the West, particularly in the Southwest, where EEF influence remains strongest. But not as high WHG in absolute terms as Lithuania (as “pure” “hunter” will have absolutely more WHG than “pure” EEF).

      In Southeastern Europe there is probably also gene flow from Siberman+Levantine hybrids that seem to dominate in the Middle East.

      However, yes, it’s still puzzling for an Indo-European interpretation of “hunter” that there appears to be no WHG in non-European Indo-European populations.

      *Although I think the “Sibermen” may not necessarily have been that North Asian, more Central Asian, but North Asia’s just where we have them well preserved.

  38. BAP says:

    I see there’s some confusion and you need to be educated! I mean with respect to horse-riding. There’s no evidence the IE or anyone else rode horses on the steppe at that time. Horse-riding is a very late military tech, developing around 1000 BC and after, in the Iron Age. Before that, horses were used in chariots. Ubiquity of horses in IE myth and language is because of chariots, which also figure prominently.

    See Robert Drews’ books on these matters. Ignorance of military history (on the part of Indo-Europeanists, like AJ West in this thread, who believes IE spread too early for chariot tech but not too early for horse-riding, when the latter developed well AFTER chariots were used) and of chronology, in the case of Cochran, who doesn’t know of a technology in IE languages that is too late for the genetic change he is describing. They would have had to spread after 1600 BC.

    Here’s the prediction, you won’t find a real genetic trace of them. They formed a small military upper class in Europe and elsewhere, which slowly disappeared through interbreeding and through revolutions.

    Actually this used to be the older view of Aryan expansions, but after WW2 it was discarded as incorrect. The Gimbutas Volkerwanderung large-population movements/kurgan model is actually the politically correct model which was adopted to avoid Nazi associations. Which is why you have AJ West defending it here. Cochran is working within a PC frame without knowing it. Look to older, early 20th century and 19th century models for Aryan expansions, before PC.

    • No, I’m not defending it because of anything politically correct. I’m defending it because it’s clearly true: horse-riding developed before we see any chariots archaeologically. We know this because of wear on horses’ teeth from riding bits. David Anthony led a number of studies showing this. Horse-riding is probably post-wagon but definitely pre-chariot. The idea that IE spread with chariots is not tenable.

      It’s especially untenable because of the names of the rulers of Mitanni. Mitanni’s rulers have Indic names; they are demonstrably and almost undeniably Indic, and closely relate to Sanskrit. They seem to have arrived with chariotry and their reigns begin c.1500 BCE, with every ruler, and even the capital city and chariotry terms, having a clearly Indic (‘Indo-Aryan’) origin. You’re expecting us to believe that PIE differentiated within a couple of hundred years such that not only had Indo-Iranic broken away, but so had Indic *from* Indo-Iranic? Hmm, no dice.

      • BAP says:

        Evidence from wear on horses’ teeth is, again, not there, and neither is the use of bits. I refer you to the early chapters of Drews’ book “Early Riders,” in which he deals with the evidence now available, inlcuding Anthony’s studies, which don’t hold any water.

        It’s so obvious that horse-riding developed AFTER chariots. Otherwise, why would they have even used chariots? Which is inferior to horse-riding. And why were early chariots driven by a horse with a ring in the nose, instead of a bit, if they already had a bit?

        Regarding Mitanni, it’s a complicated matter and I refer you to middle chapters of “The Coming of the Greeks,” which deals with just this problem, but yes, the Mitanni evidence is some of the best evidence that PIE spread because of the new military chariot tech.; PIE differentiated very fast and very late, indeed.

  39. BAP says:

    Not at all. There’s no evidence for bits or for wear on horses’ teeth before 1000 BC. Robert Drews covers this in “Early Riders,” and addresses the evidence you’re talking about. No archaeological or physical evidence for military horse riding as early as you say.

    Early chariots were driven by horses with a ring through the nose, for example. If bits were already present, why would they have used a ring through the nose? Anyway this is just a small point…but you need to reconsider the evidence on bits and such, because there really is none.

    As for the Mitanni, yes that’s exactly what I’m saying. PIE differentiated very fast, within a few centuries. Beckwith has a theory about this that’s pretty good, but so does Drews and so does Don Rindge.

    I’d say there probably was no differentiation of PIE prior to expansions. The different IE languages are creoles.

    Drews deals extensively with the Mitanni example by the way, and it proves his case, not yours.

    On main point: horse-riding is not pre-chariot. All the archaeological and other evidence points in other direction. Horse-riding is superior to chariotry. If what you’re saying were true, you wouldn’t have had the entire Bronze Age be dominated by chariot elites.

    Clear parallel to IE expansions were Kassites taking over Mesopotamia (probably neighbors of the IE to begin with) and Hyksos taking over Egypt. News spread fast about chariots–a small population could subdue a much larger one.

    • a very knowing American says:

      “There’s no evidence for bits or for wear on horses’ teeth before 1000 BC.”

      This is debatable, to put it mildly.

      The Secondary Products Revolution, Horse-Riding, and Mounted Warfare
      David W. Anthony, Dorcas R. Brown
      Journal of World Prehistory
      September 2011, Volume 24, Issue 2-3, pp 131-160

      Andrew Sherratt included horseback riding and chariotry in his conception of the Secondary Products Revolution, but his emphasis on the role of horses in warfare and on a Near Eastern influence in the earliest episode of horse domestication is viewed here as as an important shortcoming in his understanding of the process of horse domestication. Current evidence indicates that horses were domesticated in the steppes of Kazakhstan and Russia, certainly by 3500 BC and possibly by 4500 BC. Tribal raiding on horseback could be almost that old, but organized cavalry appeared only after 1000 BC. Riding might initially have been more important for increasing the productivity and efficiency of sheep and cattle pastoralism in the western Eurasian steppes. The earliest (so far) direct evidence for riding consists of pathologies on the teeth and jaw associated with bitting, found at Botai and Kozhai 1. Recent developments and debates in the study of bit-related pathologies are reviewed and the reliability of bit wear as a diagnostic indicator of riding and driving is defended.

      • BAP says:

        This evidence is dealt with in Drews’ book “Early Riders,” if you want to see why it doesn’t work….very few data points, and dubiously interpreted. Plus very strong evidence that bit tech wasn’t really known or useful until much later.

        Without military use of horses this just becomes so much hand-waving about “oh they were important because they used them to control herds.” But horses and chariotry figure very prominently in PIE myth. Horses were important because of chariot tech, not because they used them to control herds.

    • *facepalm*

      Okay, let’s deal with the linguistic issues first.

      – Creoles display certain characteristics. The different branches of Indo-European do not show these characteristics. Some show the presence of very clear non-Indo-European substrates (Germanic, Armenian), but a substrate is not the same as a creole. And even creoles don’t develop as quickly as you claim IE did.

      – Here’s a snippet of William Dampier’s A New Voyage Around the World, written at the end of the seventeenth century:

      “I first set out of England on this voyage at the beginning of the year 1679, in the Loyal Merchant of London, bound for Jamaica, Captain Knapman Commander. I went a passenger, designing when I came thither to go from thence to the Bay of Campeachy in the Gulf of Mexico, to cut log-wood: where in a former voyage I had spent about three years in that employ; and so was well acquainted with the place and the work.”

      Can you read it? Of course you can. Despite three centuries of massive changes to English, seventeenth century English is still intelligible.

      What you’re asking us to believe is that not only did proto-Indo-European develop into mutually unintelligible languages within the time it took for Dampier’s English to develop into modern English, but that the level of change was equivalent to that between proto-Germanic and modern English. This is absurd. It is a level of change that no language has ever undergone in anything like such a short length of time, and it defies all of the linguistic evidence and all of what is known about human language. Only someone entirely ignorant of linguistics could accept it.

      There’s no way Mitanni can ‘prove’ the case that PIE started at the beginning of the second millennium BCE and spread with chariots. It’s beyond absurd. It’s so ridiculous that I’m going to facepalm again.

      Now, horses. David Anthony showed that horses were being ridden on the steppe by 4000 BCE. This is clear: it is about as clear as it gets when looking at something like horse-riding in prehistory. But Anthony never claimed, as you’re having him do, that these riders on the steppe were riding into battle. In fact, he explicitly states that they did not. It is not a cornerstone of the standard PIE hypothesis that horses were ridden into battle, only that they were ridden to control large herds of cattle, and possibly to ride to the fight, which would be fought on foot. And let’s be clear: Drews’ book is about cavalry and horses being used in warfare. It is not a book about when horses were first ridden or for what purpose.

      It is true that cavalry is an Iron Age invention, but it is not true that horses were not ridden before this. And there are very good reasons – especially wear from bits, which you discount without having read Anthony’s work (this much is clear) – for believing that the riding of horses antedated the invention of the chariot, and for believing that this invention of the chariot is much too late for the dispersal of PIE.

      Finally, chariots make much more sense in the context of the standard view of Sintashta-Petrovka, which correlates with Indo-Iranic language. In this view, chariots were an innovation that enabled Indo-Iranic speakers centred on the steppe to migrate into and in some cases conquer large parts of Eurasia.

      And again, words for chariots and chariotry cannot be reconstructed to proto-Indo-European.

      • randomdude says:

        Interestingly enough, I’ve seen proponents of Neolithic PIE argue in a similar manner about horses and how that affects certain theories.

        Welp, that’s it. BAP is working in a PC framework without realizing it.

      • BAP says:

        Again talking out of your ass. You say “Drews’ book is about cavalry and horses being used in warfare. It is not a book about when horses were first ridden or for what purpose.” …this isn’t true. Drews deals with Anthony’s arguments and evidence in his book and finds it lacking. There’s no evidence of horses being ridden 4000 BC. No evidence from bits or from wear on horses’ teeth. The bits matter is especially relevant here. If you had read Drews’ book you’d know he does deal exactly with this matter in the first chapters, including when and why horses were first domesticated. They were used for meat, not for riding. And they wouldn’t figure in the PIE language so much if they were just used as an accessory for controlling herds.

        Until you actually read Drews’ book and become familiar with the arguments I’m referring to, you can’t really talk about this. Middle of his book is basically about the Mitanni and is the strongest evidence that PIE spread through the military use of chariots.

        Similarly, for languages. Don Rindge has some articles on the speed of language change in preliterate societies. It’s much faster than in literate societies. Many linguistic models are based on outdated models…once language is written down it changes much more quickly. If IE languages had diverged and expanded so early, they would have already differentiated into different language families by historical times. What we see at dawn of written history in Europe is a very recent expansion. Probably IE didn’t even reach Britain until 500 BC.

        Regarding Creolization, Beckwith made this argument and it solves certain problems in PIE linguistics that currently can’t be solved.

      • BAP says:

        Mistyped, meant to say, once language is written down it changes much more slowly.

      • Roland says:

        David Anthony says the following about Indo-Europeans riding into battle:

        “Although I do see evidence for mounted raiding in the Eneolithic, I do not believe that any Eneolithic army of pitiless nomads ever lined up on the horizon mounted on shaggy ponies, waiting for the command of their bloodthirsty general.”

        He only denies the existence of mounted archers.

      • “once language is written down it changes much more slowly.”

        There is pretty much no evidence for this theory. And it’s almost certainly untrue; if you look at Polynesia, where nothing was written down until the late eighteenth century, you find a slow rate of change (in fact, this is true of Austronesia as a whole, which was largely non-literate for most of its history and yet changed very slowly). You have to use some absurd special pleading to get this to work for IE. What you are claiming is linguistically almost impossible and, yet again, there is no word for chariot in proto-Indo-European.

        Perhaps you need to read Anthony’s article (citation and abstract above), which is more recent than Drews’ book and defends against his claims. Otherwise, you’ll keep on claiming that there’s no evidence for horse-riding on the steppe on the basis of someone else’s authority and we’ll get nowhere.

        Horses feature in Indo-European myth as fleet steeds (Sleipnir, Rhiannon’s white horse) and as sacrificial animals (asvamedha, the inauguration of Blot-Sweyn). When you say that they wouldn’t feature so heavily in myth and lore if they weren’t used in battle, that’s quite close to saying that cars weren’t an important invention, or worthy of mythologising, until the invention of the tank.

        You know, when someone accuses someone else of being motivated by political considerations, it is reason enough to suspect them of being politically motivated. But I wonder what political outlook could possibly involve this pseudo-scientific meddling in prehistory.

      • BAP says:

        Of course the asvamedha ritual, and the parallel ritual in Rome, are both CHARIOT horse sacrifices. The left horse on the chariot in both cases.

        We’re both using someone else’s authority. You Anthony in this case, who is the only one you’ve read (and as Roland shows above, you’re lying about him), and I’m also using Drews, who you haven’t read.

        I’m actually not aware of mythologizing involving cars, so I don’t know where that’s from.

        You seem to be also unaware of Don Rindge’s work on rate of language change in preliterate societies:

        http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=980

        Which supports a similar timeline to the one I’m suggesting (1600 BC and after).

      • “Which supports a similar timeline to the one I’m suggesting (1600 BC and after).”

        Uh, no, it doesn’t. Partly because it says this:

        “Exactly when and where PIE was spoken will probably be debated forever, but David Anthony presents an overwhelmingly strong case that it must have been somewhere in the steppes north of the Black and Caspian Seas around 4000 BCE (Anthony 2007; see also Mallory 1989).”

        And partly because you’re not suggesting a plausible rate of change by any standard. Chariots first appear on the scene c.2000 BCE in southern Russia. Mitanni Indic appears in Syria in 1500 BCE. To be charitable to you – and assuming that you aren’t really claiming that PIE had developed into Indic in the span of a single century, which would be beyond moronic – you are claiming that, in five hundred years, proto-Indo-European had differentiated not only into Indo-Iranian, but even into Indic. Nobody with any knowledge of linguistics could even begin to believe this.

        Combine this with the absence of a word for ‘chariot’ in PIE and your entire claim looks about as plausible as ancient astronaut theory.

        And in what way did I ‘lie’ about what Anthony wrote? Never mind that it’s a long book and that I read it a couple of years ago, and that it isn’t lying to forget a paragraph or two from it. But actually what I said is pretty much how Anthony hedges; he says that there is opposition to the idea of mounted warfare on the steppe in the fourth millennium BCE, and doesn’t vehemently push the claim that mounted raiding, as opposed to riding up and fighting on foot, was commonplace. Either way, it isn’t a cornerstone of the standard IE model.

        Moreover, there is evidence of horses being ridden on the steppe by the time of the proposed Indo-European expansion. You haven’t bothered to back up your claim or say how Drews deals with it. All you’ve done is claim that he has entirely refuted the idea, which simply isn’t true.

        “Of course the asvamedha ritual, and the parallel ritual in Rome, are both CHARIOT horse sacrifices. The left horse on the chariot in both cases.”

        This is true, and it’s intriguing. It may point to something interesting in the expansion of IE, but I’m afraid it isn’t strong enough to invalidate the enormous amount of linguistic and archaeological evidence putting PIE on the steppe in the fourth millennium BCE, especially when you consider that the Irish and Swedish variants do not involve chariot horses, and that ridden horses are fairly common in IE myth.

    • Flinders Petrie says:

      Re: no clear evidence for horse riding before 1,000 B.C.:

      There is plenty of evidence for domesticated horses, horse riding, and even actual chariots before 1000 B.C. The chariot burials of the Sintashta culture date to 2,000 B.C. There is also clear evidence that horseback riding occurred before chariots.
      The book you’re citing – “Early Riders”- was published in 2004. Anthony and Brown’s 2011 article (quoted above by User ‘a very knowing American’) cites evidence for early horse domestication from studies more recent than 2004.

      There is plenty of evidence for domesticated horses, horse riding, and even actual chariots before 1000 B.C. The chariot burials of the Sintashta culture date to 2,000 B.C. There is also clear evidence that horseback riding occurred before chariots.
      The evidence is unequivocal that horses were domesticated (and ridden) before 5,000 years ago.

      Horseback riding has many advantages beyond herd control. One of the more convincing lines of evidence for the earliest horse domestication for riding purposes is the rapid spread of horses into areas previously inhabited by foragers. It’s impossible for foragers on foot to compete with horseback riders:

      “Nathaniel Wyeth, a fur trader in the northern American Plains, observed in 1851 (Ewers 1955, p. 305): ‘Men on foot cannot live, even in the best game countries, in the same camp with those who have horses. The latter reach the game, secure what they want, and drive it beyond the reach of the former.’”

      There is a clear increase in the importance of horses from the Caucasus to the Danube valley, Poland and Germany about 3500–3000 BC. The advantages of riding horses would have been great along the northern Kazakh steppes, and it’s here that you see the Botai and Tersek cultures expanding into the northern steppe zone with their horses between 3600 and 3000 BC, replacing steppe forager cultures. These people – especially the Botai – were clearly still eating horses (horse fat residue in pots), but they were just as clearly domesticating them (as indicated by horse dung layers in stables), and riding them (as revealed through bit-wear on teeth).

      Anthony and Brown deal extensively with the bit-wear naysayers such as Drews, Levine, and Olson. These critics used some very dubious evidence to suggest that natural wear could be mistaken for bit wear, using two “Pleistocene” horse skulls with supposed bit wear found by miners in the Canadian Yukon in the early 1900’s, one of which was subsequently radiocarbon dated to 400 years old (in 2010, after Drews’ book).

      There are some unambiguous examples of bit wear at two Botai-Tersek sites, providing very compelling evidence that domesticated horses were ridden before 5,000 years ago.

  40. pseudoerasmus says:

    I can understand that Italy and the Balkans should have a north-south gradient with respect to WHG+ANE if it was a signal of IE migrations. But why on earth should Scotland and Norway have about the same breakdown of EEF, WHG and ANE as Ukraine, Belarus and Estonia ?

    A Polish blogger (who’s always complaining about the underrepresentation of Eastern Europe) found the choice of populations in Lazaridis et al. a little odd, so he constructed this ( http://eng.molgen.org/viewtopic.php?p=19432#p19432 ) :

  41. pseudoerasmus says:

    A question for GCochran. I can understand that France, Italy and the Balkans would have a north-south gradient when it comes to WHG+ANE, but why on earth should Scotland and Norway have about the same amount of WHG+ANE as Eastern Europe ? Shouldn’t there be an east-west gradient as well if WHG+ANE was an IE marker ? A Polish blogger came up with this http://eng.molgen.org/viewtopic.php?p=19432#p19432 and it shows the concentration of ANE correlates best with proximity to present-day Uralic speakers. What you said about Lezgins and Chechens would fit with that.

  42. Nick says:

    Based on this paper would you say that Dienekes argument about the “womb of nations” is basically correct? That Indo Europeans came from the area near the caucuses/mesopotamia/eastern anatolia around the dawn of the Neolithic?

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2011/12/womb-of-nations-how-west-eurasians-came.html?m=1

    • gcochran9 says:

      It looks as if the EEF came from the Middle East, possibly the Levant, while the next big population movement, very likely the Indo-Europeans came from somewhere north of the Caucasus.

      Not exactly what Dienekes was saying, I think.

  43. SpaghettiMeatball says:

    Guys, can somebody explain to me where this execrable personal computer having all these indo-european narratives is? Why are personal computers even bothering with arcania like this, shouldn’t they be busy crunching numbers.

  44. Richard Sharpe says:

    I am told that this paper:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/323/5919/1332

    contains evidence of domestication of horses and bit wear their teeth dating to 3500BC.

  45. JayMan says:

    Szopeno made an observation that I think is worth getting out there:

    Across Europe, there is a rough southwest-northeast cline in average lifespan and cardiovascular health:

    HBD is Life and Death | JayMan’s Blog

    Interestingly, this seems to correspond to the degree of descent from the various waves of European settlers, particularly the Levantine Farmers vs the Indo-European component. Sardinia, the place with perhaps the most EEF ancestry, is also renown for the longevity of its people. Of course, lame-stream scientists appear only now to be catching on to the genetic aspect, but the area of longest lifespans seem to follow a belt all along southwestern Europe, perhaps reversing a bit in the very south (perhaps due to Arab/Maghrebi admixture). Szopeno noted that the descendants of the EEF’s would have been most adapted to agriculture, so may be most acclimated to any toxic effects. The few “successes” with lifestyle interventions were on Southern Europeans (Spaniards) with the “Mediterranean diet”, to which they’re presumably most adapted. Of course, lame-stream scientists often assume (likely wrongly) that copying the diet would have similar effect for other peoples.

    On the flip side, we have the Slavs, who presumably have the shortest history with agriculture here, and the shortest lifespans and highest cardiovascular mortality rates. One may be tempted to assume that this may stem from the mismatch between present-day and the “adapted” diet, but did Russians even live longer back in the day? I’m more tempted to say this may just be an issue with the metabolic adaptations Northern/Eastern Europeans developed in general.

    Of course, I’d imagine that once most people get wind of this, they’ll only want to know what we can do to “fix” these problems the Indo-European groups seem to have. The answer may be there isn’t any way to fix this, at least not for now.

    Needless to say, I have been following along the commentary on this and the previous post on these fascinating discoveries.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      yes

    • Matt says:

      There difference in the graph you’ve post seems significant between Slavs and others. Comparing EEF levels (or at least as much early agriculturalist descent), the Balkan Slavs have about as much EEF as French , while Poles have about the same EEF as Icelanders, Norwegians or Brits. So it would be difficult to see why Balkan Slavs would have a hard time matching lifespans with French or why Poles would not be able to match Norwegians, if EEF is the limiting variable.

      There are some Aussies data on these that might be useful, as unlike the Yanks they tend to disaggregate their Australian born Anglo-Celtic (who are more British than American Whites) and Southern Europeans (mostly Greek and Italian, and more recent migrants than in the USA) in health studies of childhood obesity, heart disease, etc.

      I generally don’t think they find any Southern European for Australian born Southern Europeans advantage when they do so (certainly on obesity, CVD seems more difficult to measure due to cohort issues).

      • JayMan says:

        @Matt:

        “There difference in the graph you’ve post seems significant between Slavs and others. Comparing EEF levels (or at least as much early agriculturalist descent), the Balkan Slavs have about as much EEF as French , while Poles have about the same EEF as Icelanders, Norwegians or Brits. So it would be difficult to see why Balkan Slavs would have a hard time matching lifespans with French or why Poles would not be able to match Norwegians, if EEF is the limiting variable.”

        The idea is that the EEF component is likely one variable (favoring longer life) and the Indo-European component is the other variable (favoring shorter life). Likely, evolution even more recent than these population movements is involved, so the situation may be more fine-grained.

        “There are some Aussies data on these that might be useful, as unlike the Yanks they tend to disaggregate their Australian born Anglo-Celtic (who are more British than American Whites) and Southern Europeans (mostly Greek and Italian, and more recent migrants than in the USA) in health studies of childhood obesity, heart disease, etc.”

        That sounds like something to look at.

        Overall, Australia has much less death from cardiovascular disease than the rest of the Anglosphere.

    • a very knowing American says:

      How much of the gap in life expectancies is down to Mediterraneans consuming (and being adapted to consume) wine in moderation with meals, versus binge drinking in northern, especially northeastern Europe (especially of hard liquor, which nobody is very well adapted to)? Would good diet advice for northern, especially northeastern Europeans be (1) stay off hard liquor, stick to beer, in moderation, (2) otherwise don’t go overboard on grains, and (3) drink milk?

      • JayMan says:

        @a very knowing American:

        Good questions. I’d be inclined to answer that the answers are likely no –or at best, perhaps marginally better. But since I haven’t seen dietary RCTs that were done on Slavic populations, I can’t say for sure.

  46. A question for GCochran. I can understand that France, Italy and the Balkans would have a north-south gradient when it comes to WHG+ANE, but why on earth should Scotland and Norway have about the same amount of WHG+ANE as Eastern Europe ? Shouldn’t there be an east-west gradient as well if WHG+ANE was an IE marker ?

    • This is a good question that I hope Greg answers.

    • Bruce says:

      My (completely uneducated) guess is that it has to do with the equally low population densities in the northeast and the northwest.

      • pseudoerasmus says:

        Yes, that could be it. The northern latitudes just had fewer people and were less dense than the southern latitudes in Europe, so you just have more intrusive WHG+ANE in the north than in the south. (But I would still expect an east-west gradient.)

        Another possibility is that Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers (SHG, as represented by 3 ancient specimens) are probably responsible for the high ANE in present-day Northwest Europe. SHGs were already high in ANE, and they date from about 8000 years ago — well, before the introduction of the WHG+ANE that GCochran is talking about.

        By the way, the density issue could bear on the question of conquest, as well. Just as in the historical examples of Mesoamerica & the Andes (fairly dense) vs Australia, North America, etc. (not very dense), the prehistorical regions that already had high population density experienced less genetic replacement than regions with low density.

        That puts in perspective the AJWest v. GCochran row from the previous blog entry on Amerind. West kept on arguing against Cochran re the possible genetic advantages of migrants by saying things like (I paraphrase) “…but Timor has a lot of forager genes” or “a lot of Khoisan genes in Bantu-speakers” or “the fact that Tibetans have a lot of proto-Sherpa genes hasn’t made Cochran rethink his bizarre idea”. But a genetic advantage doesn’t necessarily translate to total genetic replacement — as I’m sure GCochran would agree.

  47. Greying Wanderer says:

    Bunch of points

    1. The PIE were hunting horses for a long time so being important in mythology could have started before cavalry/chariotry.

    2. You don’t need bits, saddles and stirrups to ride horses. You might not be able to *fight* effectively on horseback without them but maybe they didn’t need to.

    3. Given the above arguments on cavalry/chariotry i am wondering if maybe the Copper Age Attila version doesn’t add up. However maybe it doesn’t need to.

    4. Raiding. If one population is able to hit and run with impunity e.g. Saxon raids, Viking raids, Moorish slavers etc then that’s effectively a guerrilla war. This is likely to have two effects: 1) the raided population tries to move away either in small groups or en masse – this is historically attested many times – and 2) the raided population weakens, partly as a result of (1), possibly allowing an eventual easy conquest of the remaining population.

    .

    @RS
    “However, the rate of expansion was a plodding ~1 km a year, so I assume they had to fight hard all the way.”

    Alternatively they sat and raided an adjacent population for 100 years or so until the target population was greatly weakened and succumbed so:

    sit & raid -> quick expand -> sit & raid -> quick expand etc

    Also, again historically attested many times, raiders **invited** to settle in the depopulated zone they had been raiding to protect it against other raiders and then turning around and biting the hand that fed them.

    .

    If the raiding version is correct – at least for the earliest expansions – then the advantage from riding horses could simply be for the getaway, not the actual fighting.

    .

    @Eread
    “looking at the graph posted in an earlier post (basques) , it seems to me the ANE component is quite stable in Europe, whereas the WHG gets stronger the further west and north you go. That makes it look like the IEs were rather pure ANE to me.”

    If you look at a map from the general time of the LGM and after then you can see there are two broad zones effecting Europe: the southern forest zone and the mammoth steppe (extending all the way to Siberia). I think the name Ancient North Eurasian is apt but people are misreading the population as Siberian instead of Hyperborean i.e. the mammoth steppe population extending all the way from France to Siberia.

    If correct and for the sake of argument you assume the WHG were the closely related but distinct southern forest zone people you can see the southern forest zone doesn’t extend as far to the east as the mammoth steppe does. If so then when the ice retreated the initial repopulation of northern Eurasia to the west of the Black Sea might have involved a mixture of WHG/ANE people while the repopulation of the area east of the Black Sea might have been all ANE.

    However if correct there would still be a number of possibilities that fit a higher WHG percentage in the north and west because all you need is for the IE to have consistent proportions not necessarily which proportions:

    1. The IE were pure ANE.
    2. The IE were pure ANE but they conquered a mixed WHG/ANE population on the edge of the steppe before moving on as a mixed group.
    3. The IE were pure ANE and they attacked their mixed WHG/ANE northwestern and southwestern neighbors who in turn attacked westwards to get away from the IE so more of a domino effect than a single sweep.

    .

    @AJWest

    “Your presumption that the ‘strong people’ will have a ‘disproportionate part of the resulting peoples’ genepool, at least in the male side’, is based on a naive view of population genetics that doesn’t take into account things like founder effects, surfing, and so on. It also presumes that languages spread because of strength, in some way, and that soft power is a recent invention. Which may be right – probably not in all cases, but maybe in some – but it’s a presupposition that isn’t necessarily correct.”

    Nope. It takes one option as a premise – which may not be true in every case as you say – and follows that premise logically. Invasion as an option doesn’t take into account surfing and/or founder effects because it’s the invasion option. The invasion option has its own set of logical corollaries. Other options have other corollaries.

    .

    Anyway i’m currently thinking the most likely version is:
    1. IE raid their western (possibly very closely related) non-steppe neighbors who in turn move west by either the northern or southern route.
    2. IE minority elite conquest of the weakened raid target or full expansion if raid target moved away en masse.
    3. Rinse and repeat.

    This would make sense of the clear east/west split in R1b/R1a distribution.

  48. Jim says:

    A. J. West – I certainly never intended any offense. I admire the work of linguists.

  49. Jim says:

    Greg – Yeah, I was thinking that the Comanches took to riding horses pretty quickly without much need for instruction from others. However the Apaches took a long time to try riding horses instead of eating them.

  50. RS-1 says:

    Having trouble posting. No links,.. maybe my post is just too long. But I’ve had problems with many a wordpress site.

  51. RS-1 says:

    Can’t even post 20 lines. I’ll try later or whatever.

  52. RS-1 says:

    > Alternatively they sat and raided an adjacent population for 100 years or so until the target population was greatly weakened and succumbed

    Fascinating. Your own idea, or much-discussed?

    > Also, again historically attested many times, raiders **invited** to settle in the depopulated zone

    Would you name any, just for my education? I guess post-Roman England isn’t really one of them?

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “Fascinating. Your own idea, or much-discussed?”

      dunno. I’m thinking mounted raiders vs unmounted populations would work the same way as historical examples of seaborne raiding.

      .

      “Would you name any, just for my education?”

      Saxons settled along the Saxon Shore in post-Roman Britain, Normans in Normandy, German Foederates in the Roman Empire and Byzantium. IIRC there are a lot of other examples in the historical period of similar processes around the steppe e.g.Cumans

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumans

  53. RS-1 says:

    > If the raiding version is correct – at least for the earliest expansions – then the advantage from riding horses could simply be for the getaway, not the actual fighting.

    Still, how is it an advantage once indigenes figure out what’s happening, which should take less than 2,500 years. Of course, when early nomads raided China, Han couldn’t copy their stuff (except in a way, vide infra) because they were stuck in one place growing rice, and nomads show up spontaneously = huge advantage. Hence the Wall I guess, also the Han ‘nomad army’ of Han trying to enjoy the tent life and preemptively harass ‘real’ nomads.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “Still, how is it an advantage once indigenes figure out what’s happening, which should take less than 2,500 years.”

      from starting point
      – raid adjacent group -> weaken -> conquer
      from new starting point
      – raid *next* adjacent group -> weaken -> conquer
      from new starting point
      – raid *next* adjacent group -> weaken -> conquer
      etc
      the indigenes are taken out in bite-sized chunks so the ones that get to learn how it’s done are the previously conquered ones who have become absorbed into the raider tribe

      over a long enough distance you could imagine the initial raider population becoming a smaller and smaller proportion of the total dna but the culture transmitting anyway e.g.
      1) 100% raider tribe does a raid & expand on an adjacent indigene tribe and the composite population becomes 80% raider, 20% indigene but with 100% raider culture
      2) composite population does a raid & expand on the next adjacent population ending up as a 60:40 composite population with the raider culture
      3) new composite population repeats the same thing on the next adjacent indigene tribe ending up with a 40:60 raider/indigene population but still 100% raider culture
      4) 20:80 composite with 100% raider culture
      5) 1%:99% raider:indigene composite population with only the raider y dna remaining but still 100% raider culture.

  54. RS-1 says:

    > Alternatively they sat and raided an adjacent population for 100 years or so until the target population was greatly weakened and succumbed

    100 years sounds about right: weren’t later Nordish tribes/polities like 30,000 people or something IIRC? So diameter maybe 40 miles?

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      I don’t know about the size of the blocks but that’s sort of how i imagine it – at least in the early stage before the full horse archer / chariot archer type package – a block of squares starting with Block A north of the Black Sea and either the conquests going:

      1) Block A does a raid & expand on block B then the composite AB population does a raid & expand on Block C then the composite ABC population does a raid and expand on Block D etc

      or

      2) Block A attacks Block B so the people in B move to C the people in C move to D, the tribe in D move to E etc and there’s only a big fight at the *end* of the chain when the last two groups have only one block left between them and nowhere to retreat to. Meanwhile population A who started it all simply waltz into the vacated Block B.

  55. RS-1 says:

    > the indigenes are taken out in bite-sized chunks so the ones that get to learn how it’s done are the previously conquered ones who have become absorbed into the raider tribe

    I just can’t see that, the tribes around year zero were small artless illiterate but not dumb and they traded and talked. Well before zero, Celts attacked Hellas, though they lost. I could see their IQ as maybe 90+. In the front of Caesar’s book, some tribe is rather sophisticatedly plotting and scheming for a Wanderung, dissatisfied with where they are.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “I just can’t see that”

      Fair enough. The domino version doesn’t require that – simply that the people nearest the horse raiders have the most incentive to move away creating the possibility of a chain reaction.

      .

      “In the front of Caesar’s book, some tribe is rather sophisticatedly plotting and scheming for a Wanderung,”

      And often because they were being raided e.g. the Belgae who according to Caesar were originally Celts from the German border who moved west for a quieter life.

    • RS-1 says:

      Hold the phone: I’m talking about post-incursion, IE-admixed people in trying to convince you of what pre-incursion indigenes were like. Talk about incoherent. No more posting drunk!

  56. kaganovitch says:

    Dr. Harpending you need to correct your info here “Re the Indo-European advantage: consider that Mare’s milk has 190 Calories of fat and protein per gram and 250 Calories of lactose. Five kg. per day from one mare feeds two lactose tolerant children with 2200 Calories and fewer than one non-LT child with only 950 Calories.” The numbers dont add up nor are there that many calories in a gram.

  57. Nick says:

    How would the Saami fit into all of this?

    • pseudoerasmus says:

      The Saami must be a high ANE population. Proto-Uralics and Proto-Indo-Europeans were probably very closely related, and this probably confounds some of the ANE frequencies you see in northern Europe.

    • Bruce says:

      For what it’s worth, if you look at pictures of them, some of them look like blond Scandinavians, some look like Native Americans and some look like blond Native Americans.

  58. Greying Wanderer says:

    Methinks the 3000 BC PIE were more like Comanche raiders than Hun hordes

    and didn’t necessarily need bits, reins, saddles or stirrups

    although it’s probably a lot easier to ride without those things if you had spent half your life on a horse from age 10

    skin color debatable :)

  59. Bruce says:

    The chariot-riding first idea is fascinating. PIE wagon to chariot does seem like an easy and logical transition. Isn’t a chariot just a single-axel wagon?

    • BAP says:

      Please see Drews’ book “The Coming of the Greeks” for extensive evidence on this. People like AJ West and Indo-Europeanists reject this idea because it threatens their livelihood, but the evidence from military history is decisive, that chariotry precedes cavalry.

      • “the evidence from military history is decisive, that chariotry precedes cavalry.”

        No, it isn’t. Evidence from language is decisive because IE is a primarily linguistic phenomenon. IE linguistics completely destroys your claim and renders it absurd.

  60. Nick says:

    So the EEFs are descended from Levantine migrants, and they basically conquered all of Europe to the point that there were no other people living there. Then came a group of ANE /WHG mixed ancestry which began conquering and mixing with the EEFs.

    The ANE came from siberia, where did the WHG come from, somewhere in the caucuses-ish?

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      There will be multiple views on this but i think by far the most likely is:

      “So the EEFs are descended from Levantine migrants, and they basically conquered all of Europe to the point that there were no other people living there.”

      No, there were large numbers of WHG in northern Europe due to a dramatic population expansion around the time of Funnelbeaker. Also EEF were themselves an admixed group that was 1/2 WHG.

      .

      “Then came a group of ANE /WHG mixed ancestry which began conquering and mixing with the EEFs.”

      No, the incoming ANE/WHG conquered the EEF and completely replaced all the Levantine male dna. However the farmer female dna made a big comeback over the following centuries probably because of advantages like the SLC genes which greatly boosted the percentage of EEF in modern Europeans.

      .

      “The ANE came from siberia,”

      No, the ANE came from the mammoth steppe which extended from France through to Siberia.

      .

      “where did the WHG come from, somewhere in the caucuses-ish?”

      Everywhere in Europe.

  61. RS-1 says:

    (This was part of the long post I had trouble with:)

    It’s true that the Brits held a technical edge at sea for some time, and crushingly obsoleted a very expensive new German fleet toward the end of the belle epoque. But you cannot maintain that kind of technical edge for 2,500 years in a world hundreds of times less technically progressive.

    I have no archeology, and would most humbly inquire what is the archaeology of the area behind the IE ‘front’? On the indigenous side, I mean. Once the expansion got hot, I would predict that horses would ‘immediately’ have been traded far back behind the front, along with all things & ideas good and sweet and IE. Unless there were certain things that indigenes didn’t want, or that couldn’t be picked up on a battlefield. Though trade might also happen ; I doubt the two groups were remotely organized and solidary enough to embargo each other much.

  62. Jim says:

    steve Sailer – Who did the Sioux conquer or drive out in their westward expansion?

  63. Paul Conroy says:

    If we’re looking for the name of just one culture, North of the Black Sea, probably high in WHG ancestry, that mixed with another culture high in ANE ancestry, then I’d suggest:

    Khvalynsk culture – as they seem to be in the right place at the right time.

  64. Paul Conroy says:

    Greg,

    Based on this new website:

    http://admixturemap.paintmychromosomes.com/

    There is 23.1% Scottish-like ancestry in the Kalash – per Full Analysis: First Event

    Also 11.9% Scottish-like ancestry – per Central Asian Analysis: First Event

    Also 3.7% Scottish-like ancestry – per Central Asian Analysis: Second Event

    What do you make of this?

  65. rec1man says:

    Zoom-In of R1A paternal Y marker

    http://www.familytreedna.com/public/r1a/default.aspx

    M17 is present all over India, very common in upper castes, but also in some tribal lower caste communities, who have never been in contact with Indo-Aryans, such as Chenchu tribals of South India

    The white Euro clade is Z283, totally absent in India

  66. Paul Conroy says:

    @rec1man,
    Trouble is that R1a1a in India is almost exclusively Z93, just one sub-lineage…

    So it would seem to me that the ANE got their start in NW India/Pakistan/Afghanistan, then moved West (Northern Iran, Northern Middle East, Caucasus), North (Central Asia), then West (Eastern Europe) and East (Siberia)… but much later they were the recipient of a back-migration spearheaded by R1a-Z93…

  67. a very knowing American says:

    Assuming the latest genetic work pans out, this story looks like a great vindication for a century-plus-old tradition of comparative linguistics reconstructing prehistoric cultures. It seems increasingly bizarre that a lot of the New Archeology of the past few generations basically turned its back on what comparative linguistics has to offer, in favor of bloodless generic theoretical models of “processualism,” “peer-polity interaction,” and “pots not people.” So bravo to the linguists who kept up an older tradition.

    “Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
    When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones”

  68. rec1man says:

    @Paul Conroy
    Z93 is very common among Kashmiris and Punjabis and Afghans

    However, the basal M17 is spread all over India, the most interesting group of M17
    is with the Chenchu, a dalit ( untouchable ) / forest tribal group from South India, that has had no contact with Indo-Aryans. The Chenchu look visibly Dravidian and cant be mistaken for Indo-Aryan

    Among upper castes, the common markers are R1A ( 40% ), and R2 ( 15% ) ( which is also found in Europe ) and J2 ( 15% ), in North West India, R1A is over 60%

    North Indian lower caste marker is H1 ( also found among Roma / Gypsy )

    South Indian Dravidian marker is L1

    In recorded Indian history, there have been invasions of White Huns ( 500 AD ), Scythians ( 100 BC ) and Tocharians ( 100 AD ), which entered through North-west India and likely back-migration with Z93

  69. Paul Conroy says:

    @rec1man,

    Upper castes are basically of Pakistan/Afghanistan/NW Indians descent (variants of R1a) or are of West Asian/Iranian descent (variants of J2). The spread of these upper castes into the rest of India as Brahmins or otherwise, is a fairly recent phenomenon – last 1,500 – 2,000 years.
    But one thing is certain to me, that the NW India area is the home of R, R1 (R1b, R1a) and R2, and since some of these account for the bulk of West European Y-DNA, then they must have represented the male component of the Indo-Europeans, and since NW Indians have little WHG ancestry, but a lot of ANE ancestry, they must be the ultimate source of this ANE ancestry in extant Europeans. Of course that doesn’t rule out a proximate source, from somewhere in Central Asia.
    It’s interesting about the White Hun invasion of India in 500AD. As my mother (Irish) is related to a Kazakh man, who is a direct male line descendant of the founder of the White Huns, whose paternal ancestry is from around the area of the NE Caucasus. The NE Caucasus is home to the Lezgins, and she shows about 4% Lezgin-like ancestry, as do I, and shows Native American ancestry – similar to Athabascan – and also Chukchi-like ancestry. Both my father and mother, like all Irish people show Balochi-type ancestry. My father (Irish) does not show this Lezgin type ancestry, but does show Selkup-like ancestry, and has distant relatives in India.

  70. Paul Conroy says:

    My theory is that the ANE (ANI) split into mostly R1a and R1b, with the latter split off fairly early and followed a path across Northern Iran, Armenia, Syria and there they hit the water, and leap-frogged across the Mediterranean, via Sicily and Corsica and made an inroad around Liguria/NE Spain, from where they spread. They would be carrying quite a bit of EEF ancestry at that point.
    Then they later spread as the Bell Beakers all over the Atlantic zone, then carry R1b East towards Central Europe.

    In places like the Netherlands and along the Rhine, they would have met their Indo-European R1a cousins coming from the East.

  71. TAK says:

    Rindge explicitly says that a 3000 BC date is much too early for spread of IE into Europe, which is what I was talking about and what the issue is in this thread. Referring to the situation 2000 years ago, Rindge says that Celtic and German had to have spread “relatively recently.” That’s not 3000 BC.

    The question of when PIE itself was spoken and where is a quite different from when it spread into Europe, which is the problem here. My point was that the 3000 BC date argued for by Cochran is much too early because these languages share words for chariot tech. that didn’t exist at that time.

    Gay J West: mis-quotation of Anthony’s position RE horse warfare is actually decisive, since the model you and Cochran are arguing for depends on cavalry warfare and ridden horses to work. I’ll repeat that there’s no archaeological evidence for cavalry before 1000 BC. If it were true, as you claim, that horse-riders dominated the steppe and then the Balkans in the period 4000-2000 BC, why was horse-riding unknown in the Near East during that time? Why didn’t these horse warriors try to dominate the much richer Near East and instead settled for poor villages in the Balkans? Later military tech. and knowledge spread very fast from the steppe to the Near East, but you believe that somehow horses were being ridden for 1000 years or more on the steppe but not known in the Near East.

    Let me get this right: the IE had superior military tech. (cavalry, or whatever) but instead of heading south for the rich societies of the Near East, they decided they’d rather rule poor villagers in the Balkans? And this advantage in cavalry was totally unknown for over 1000 years in the Near East, despite being dominant just north of the Caucasus mts.?

    No. When the IE really do first appear, e.g. in form of the Hittites (really just upper class in Hatti), they appear in the Near East. That’s where the money was. Europe was a sideshow. And they appear as chariot aristocracy.

    Why was the middle Bronze Age dominated by chariot warfare? It is inferior to cavalry, which you all argue, already existed. So why was cavalry dominant 4000-2000 BC but somehow cavalry disappeared and chariot warfare was dominant everywhere in the 1700-1300 BC? When it’s clear chariots are inferior to ridden horses. So the Greeks arrived in Greece riding horses but for some reason they switched to inferior chariotry as the backbone of the Mycenean states?

    Why were early chariots using nose rings on horses, if effective bits were already known?

    You keep bringing up Mitanni. An early Aryan chariot aristocracy in the Near East. I encourage you again to read Drews’ treatment of this problem. It makes his case, and not yours. The book is online and see pgs. 60-2 (The Coming of the Greeks)

    • gcochran9 says:

      Riding horses is enough to enable raiders: being able to fight effectively on horseback (= cavalry) is not required.

      There is now genetic evidence for massive population replacement in Europe, especially Northern Europe, around 3000 BC. That may not fit your theories: too bad for you. If it makes you unhappy, I suggest you try to sneak into various museums and universities so as to destroy the skeletal evidence. But no, that would be illegal…

      • BAP says:

        I believe there was such replacement if the evidence is there, but not that it had anything to do with IE. You have to make that case somehow. IE could have come later, and not left a genetic trace.

        It’s not an idle argument. If IE spread with chariot technology, with which it always appears associated at its first arrivals in the Near East, then this sets a definite early limit (not before 1800 BC) for its dispersals.

        As for the cavalry issue call it whatever you want. You want to pretend it was dominant, in some form or another (whether “effective” or presumably ineffective raiding or herding, yet still somehow effective enough to conquer a continent) north of the Caucasus, but totally unknown, for another 1000 years, in the Near East. This isn’t possible.

      • Sincere question: why do you think the Near East is so important? Why would the massive but less well-organised – and consequently more easily overrun – settlements of Cucuteni-Tripolye not suffice? Why would pastoralists used to enormous steppelands full of cattle be attracted to the extremely limited and more arid pasture available in Mesopotamia? Why do you think people on the southern Russian steppe would be anything more than passingly aware of cities to their south? Why would people who value cows and horses want to move into an area where there were few giant herds and no domesticated horses?

        When IE speakers appear in the Near East, they show up as speakers of Hittite and, ever-so-slightly later, Indic. These languages are very different indeed and it takes some effort to demonstrate conclusively that they are of the same family. They are certainly not so closely related that a couple of centuries would be enough to account for the differences – a couple of millennia is far more plausible. So the fact that they are coming in with chariots is an aside, and it seems more likely that wagon- and horse-riding people would adapt to chariots quickly, accounting for the distribution of the chariot in the Bronze Age.

        Well, I’m sure there’s not much point in debating this with you, given your tone and rhetoric. (What are you, fifteen? For Christ’s sake…) But you should be aware of just how flimsy and absurd your view appears from the perspectives of linguistics and archaeology. And, as Cochran makes clear, from the perspective of genetics as well.

      • Gordo says:

        No need to destroy skeletal evidence, you just need something like NAGPRA and the corp of engineers and you can legally suppress scientific investigation.

      • BAP says:

        Gay J West: The question was answered above. Contacts between the steppe and Anatolia/the Near East were regular throughout history and technology spread very fast over the Caucasus Mts., which were not an impermeable barrier. Much later when effective bit technology was actually invented, it spread within a few generations from Central Asia to the Near East. It’s not not believable that horse-riding was giving people (IE or whoever) dominance over the area north of the Caucasus for 1000-2000 years, but that it was unknown in the Near East.

        The second point, you ask why would they have gone for the Near East? Because it’s rich, and aggressive powerful tribes want to go where the money is. In fact when we see IE peoples actually first appear in the historical record, they appear in the Near East, as charioteers. Why would they be happy to rule European villagers with their newfound cavalry advantage (I know you try to hedge around this, and say they used horse-riding, but not cavalry, but that doesn’t really make sense; it either gave a decisive advantage or it didn’t).

        I explained this above, though so I’m repeating myself. I explained other things as well, regarding the impossibility of horse-riding existing before charioteering. I am talking to a petulant grown child whose career, as an Indo-Europeanist, depends on obfuscation.
        As for rhetoric, you are the one who began to argue very aggressively and with snarky language, because I was talking about things you didn’t know about, though you should have as a professor in this. Your model for understanding history, through linguistics, is inadequate if it’s not supplemented by actual historical and archaeological knowledge, especially military technology. You might know linguistics, stick to that. But, you don’t know that either. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been so incredulous regarding the Mitanni. My guess is that you’d never heard of A. Kammenhuber’s theories about the Mitanni language, although linguistics is supposedly your specialty.

        Typical modern academic: knows one book, or half a book, lies and misrepresents about its content (as you did above about Anthony), lies about books like Drews’ that you’ve never read, and doesn’t know the main disputes within his own discipline. But spends a lot of time on twitter hunting “Nazis.”

      • “But spends a lot of time on twitter hunting “Nazis.””

        I do?

        “The second point, you ask why would they have gone for the Near East? Because it’s rich”

        No, it’s not, not if you’ve got a heavily pastoral economy. It’s bad land for horses. The Caucasus range is also extremely high and not welcome ground for pastoralists, either. I don’t think you’ve thought about this at all.

        Yes, I have heard of Kammenhuber. But her claims were overturned by later work which showed that the Mitanni elite language was definitely Indic, i.e. after the split between Iranic and Indic. IIRC, Kammenhuber was writing in the 1960s or something, wasn’t she? Do you not think the linguistic picture may have changed somewhat since then?

        “I am talking to a petulant grown child whose career, as an Indo-Europeanist, depends on obfuscation.”

        I don’t know where you got the idea that I am an Indo-Europeanist by career. And you call me petulant? Christ.

        “Why would they be happy to rule European villagers with their newfound cavalry advantage”

        Because those ‘villages’ (in fact some of the largest settlements in the world in their day) were next to and on good pasture, had lots of people, fertile soil, and were right next to them? I’m not quite sure why this is such a mystery to you. Do you really expect the first horse-riding pastoralists on earth to decide to invade a bunch of cities they’ve only barely heard of while divided into clans and dependant on pasture?

        Indo-European didn’t spread with chariots. Horses were being ridden on the steppe certainly by the fourth millennium BCE. The first appearance of something in the historical record is usually not its first appearance in the world. A verb ‘to ride’ and words for ‘wagon’ and ‘horse’ are reconstructable to PIE while a word for ‘chariot’ is not. The time difference is far too short between your proposed origin of PIE and its divided appearance in the historical record (there is simply no way to account for the differences between Hittite and Mitanni Indic in the time span you suggest, and that would be true even if the Mitanni elite language had been a pre-split Indo-Iranian).

        You claim that PIE couldn’t have existed as early as the Eneolithic/Chalcolithic. But in fact it is just about impossible for it to have existed as late as the Middle Bronze Age.

        And that’s all I’ll bother to say about that, I think. There’s no point in debating with a politically-motivated person slinging insults where evading the arguments.

      • BAP says:

        Gamkrelidze and Ivanov place the PIE in a mountainous landscape. Just because they have words for livestock doesn’t mean they were a herding economy. Second, even if they were, nomads have regularly moved from the steppe to take over settled cities in the Near East and elsewhere when they could, including moving through Caucasus. It happens frequently in history; people go where the money is, not just where they can continue a hardscrabble pastoral existence. And in the historical record this is how IE actually first appear. You want to believe that, despite having a massive demographic and military advantage, they chose instead the other direction, although later pastoral peoples frequently raided the Near East, or joined Near Eastern states as mercs. But somehow the horse-riding IE were too good or noble or something to do this. They didn’t want money and women and loot, they wanted to spread their language in European forests or something. Your model depends on the existence of an impermeable barrier between the steppe and the Near East that never existed, the archaeological record shows that military and other knowledge passed both ways very fast, and so did people. Not possible that horse-riding existed in any way that gave a big advantage on one side, but unknown on the other for 2 thousand years. And as for “hearing” of rich cities on the other side, of course they heard of them, and for the same reason. Not to mention that Gamkrelidze and Ivanov actually place the homeland in Transcaucasia.

        I suppose you’ve heard of them as well? But I’ll ask people to see your comments above, and your utterly incredulous reaction about the Mitanni, including “facepalm” and so on, to see if you’d actually known of Kammenhuber. This is a major dissenting point in the debate over the Mitanni, and it’s clear from your reactions that you hadn’t heard of it before I mentioned it. This is an Oxford academic, guys.

        Also see his comments where he talks about Drews’ book Early Riders, and says that it’s not about when and how horse domestication/riding first originated, although first half of the book is about this, and where he lies about the content of Anthony’s book RE cavalry (see Roland’s reply above).

        Hope your students see this, schmuck.

      • None of your claims are contentious, and Kammenhuber’s work is outdated. What you’ve said is pretty much entirely wrong and misrepresents the field of Indo-European studies. You seem to believe that my *facepalm*, which is actually what I did when I saw your moronic posts, is somehow bad, or equivalent your childish insults (‘Gay J West’). You seem to be under the illusion that I’m an Oxford Indo-Europeanist, and I’m not. I’m not worried about anyone seeing what I’ve written here (and that would be true even if I were an Oxford professor).

    • Sandgroper says:

      During WWI, the Australian Light Horse were not cavalry, they were mostly mounted infantry – faster and more mobile getting around, but armed to dismount and fight on the ground.

      Yes, I know they ended up making a cavalry charge at Beersheba, sans swords or lances, and got away with it, pretty much, but that was purely opportunistic and succeeded more because of surprise value than anything. They were not supposed to do that. They had to charge the Turkish guns waving bayonets, which frankly looks a bit absurd and embarrassing.

      Still not sure what it qualifies as, exactly – most of them still dismounted to fight once they had jumped the Turkish trenches. They had to.

      There remained a point to mounted infantry for a while, after cavalry had mostly become a form of ritual suicide.

  72. rec1man says:

    @Conroy
    The Gupta empire was ended around 500 AD, due to invasions of

    Shweta Huna ( white Huns in Sanskrit )

    Their descendants are found among Rajputs, Jats, Gujjars of Punjab

    But they converted to Hinduism and were absorbed as Rajputs

    The Tocharian invasion was around 100AD and Kanishka ruled from Western China to North India

    Nobody objected since they took up Indian religions and brahmin priests will always come up with fake geneology in exchange for gold and accepting their priesthood

    I have seen paintings of Tocharian buddhists and they are blonde and blue eyed

  73. rec1man says:

    Regarding Horses

    In both the Ramayana and Mahabharata ( at least 1500 bc )
    the only mention is of horse drawn chariots ( ratha )used in battle, not bare back horse riders

    In the Ramayana, the father of Rama is king Dasa-Ratha ( 10 chariots )

    In the Mittani, there are several kings named xxx-Ratha ( xxx – chariot )

    Horses were also very very rare and only nobles had them
    Common people rode on ox-wagons

    Adult lactase tolerance is mostly found among upper castes

    Drinking milk was common

    • Paul Conroy says:

      In Irish Gaelic, the word for wheel is ROTHAR, which seems like a cognate of RATHA

    • “In both the Ramayana and Mahabharata ( at least 1500 bc )”

      Neither of these texts is anything like that old. The Mahabharata is conventionally dated to about 400 BCE, but there are references (for instance, to Chinese people as Chīnaḥ, deriving from the name of the state of Qin, which only completed its conquest of China in 221 BCE) which demonstrate that parts of it are somewhat later. And the Ramayana is probably of around the same age, although it’s ambiguous. It’s certainly hard to tell from the texts, as writing in India developed late and the dating of many known texts is already vague. Definitely, though, both are much later than most of the Vedic texts, and they show this in language (which is much later Sanskrit) and in their references to known historical events and peoples.

      Some of the Vedas may date from around 1500 BCE, but the appearance of chariots is hardly surprising, given that it is believed that Indo-Iranian speakers invented them.

    • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      In both the Ramayana and Mahabharata ( at least 1500 bc )
      the only mention is of horse drawn chariots ( ratha )used in battle, not bare back horse riders

      When people write about billionaires these days, do they mention the cars they own or the toilets they use, or do they focus on the planes they own?

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “In both the Ramayana and Mahabharata ( at least 1500 bc ) the only mention is of horse drawn chariots ( ratha )used in battle, not bare back horse riders”

      Battles, sure. I’m not talking about battles though. I’m talking about what the bare minimum might have been when horses were first domesticated i.e. no bits, bridles, saddles, stirrups etc and what limits that would have put on their use as “cavalry.” I’d say using them like viking ships i.e. transport and getaway vehicle for small raids, would have been viable without the full cavalry/chariotry package.

  74. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    Adult lactase tolerance is mostly found among upper castes

    Lactase tolerance is not much use. Lactose tolerance, on the other hand, is useful, as is lactase persistence.

  75. rec1man says:

    Indo-Iranian language split

    The Aryan gene marker is R1A, which is very common in NW India, > 60% ( home of Sanskrit )

    Eastern Iran has 30% R1A and western Iran has 10% R1A. Iran is mainly J2,

    The Mittani is in Turkey and Syria, to the west of Iran and their elite spoke a variant of Sanskrit not a fictional proto Indo-Iranic language.

    Zoraster came from Balkh in Afghanistan, ( R1A zone ), not Iran, and his god Ahura Mazda, shows up in Hindu texts as Asura ( demon )

    There seems to be no trace of proto-Indo-Iranic

    Since J2 is the main Y gene marker in Iran, they probably spoke a middle-eastern language and when they took up an Aryan religion from Zoraster, they took up a variant of Sanskrit, from the elites

  76. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    And then the BBC decided to explain, or not explain, homosexuality.

    • Paul Conroy says:

      @fourth,
      This is probably the wrong discussion for this, but I may have a new theory to explain homesexuality – at least one I’ve never heard/read anyone else ever mention before – as follows:

      1. We know that in families of multiple male births, the younger males are more likely to be homosexual than the older ones
      2. We know that in Hunter Gatherer societies, like !Kung and Mbuti, the prevalence of male homosexuality is extremely low or nil
      3. We know that identical/monozygous male twins have much less than 100% chance of being homosexual, something like 10-20%.

      The question I’ve pondered is what would unite these 3 facts, and especially who would benefit from having a homosexual in the family, and how.

      My conclusion is that, in a society that engaged in wealth transfer to sons – often via primogeniture, where most family wealth passed to the eldest son – that it would open up potential selection for biological factors that would enhance one brother’s ability to essential knock another brother out of contention. So my thinking is that there is a biological mechanism, like maybe male fetal cells in the womb – in the case of male twins – of male fetal cells in the mother, in the case of a younger brother, that act to attack the next male sibling in the line, and emasculate him. Like the way in some species of birds and hyenas, when twins are born, they quickly fight till one is dead.

      • thoward says:

        I think the research suggests that only 7% of male homosex is related to the so-called fraternal birth order. The phenomenon may not even be real.

      • panafancypants says:

        My dad is oldest of four boys and the biggest homo of them all, though if we go by behavior and not self-descriptions, then 3/4 of them are so, too. I don’t believe there’s anything to birth order. I think an infection is much more likely.

  77. Paul Conroy says:

    To my eye, Indian cavalry horses like the Marwari – with their sometime white or silver blaze – look somewhat similar to the Akhal-Teke horses of Turkmenistan – North of Iran.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marwari_horse

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhal-Teke

  78. Greying Wanderer says:

    @TAK

    “Rindge explicitly says that a 3000 BC date is much too early for spread of IE into Europe, which is what I was talking about and what the issue is in this thread. Referring to the situation 2000 years ago, Rindge says that Celtic and German had to have spread “relatively recently.” That’s not 3000 BC.

    The question of when PIE itself was spoken and where is a quite different from when it spread into Europe, which is the problem here. My point was that the 3000 BC date argued for by Cochran is much too early because these languages share words for chariot tech. that didn’t exist at that time.”

    So maybe the steppe dudes didn’t sweep west. Maybe they used their proto-cavalry / mounted infantry to raid their neighbors in the forest steppe to the NW and along the west coast of the Black Sea to the SW and it was those populations who moved west to get away from the steppe dudes. Then later when the steppe dudes had improved their tech they expanded directly?

    As to why this raiding domino effect might have been directionally challenged early on – i’d guess because the Black Sea is full of water and the easily defendable mountain villages in the Caucasus mountains were easily defendable.

    • BAP says:

      Be careful, even with such models you will be a heretic. The dominant Gimbutas “large population movements” in the remote past pattern is accepted for political reasons and defended because careers depend on it. It’s been popularized, so people like Cochran and others support it without realizing they’re supporting a PC model.

      I don’t have much of an opinion on what the IE were doing or where they were in the remote past, before the expansions, but it’s not believable that their expansions happened this early.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        I don’t mind being a heretic. Simple fact is (imo) the people who like the idea of Europeans being *completely* wiped out are wrong cos Funnelbeaker and the population expansion(s) that resulted from it by one circuitous route or another.

  79. misdreavus says:

    Unless I am deeply mistaken, BAP (a poster named “Bronze Age Pervert” on a forum called the Phora) is a bona fide Nazi, and possibly a closeted homosexual who fetishizes the power and machismo traditionally associated with fascism. (You know, this sort of thing really makes me wonder if there’s any truth at all to The Pink Swastika by Scott Lively. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve noticed such a tendency among certain gay men. But I digress…) This might help elucidate some of the truly bizarre and nonsensical comments he has been depositing like the fresh droppings of a dachshund over the doormat of this blog post, as well as quite a few others.

    Not that this has anything to do with the historical details of the Indo-European expansion, by the way. BAP’s comments are dumb because they’re dumb, not because their author is a Nazi idjuuuuut.

    • Ah. Well, that makes sense. I suspect he’s not the only one here with a loonie streak, given the comments above about ‘Conanesque’ proto-Indo-European speakers…

      • Sandgroper says:

        This is a topic area that will attract a more than average number of such comments. You only need to watch the knee jerk if someone mentions that the evidence suggests WHGs had dark skin, or that Europeans are ‘hybrids’.

        If we get onto Africa or China or Australia, they will go away, at least once they realise that the Australians we are talking about are the ones who were there >300 years ago.

    • Flinders Petrie says:

      What IS it about the Indo-Europeans that attracts the loonies (or drives normal men crazy as the case may be)?

      I admit that I find the topic fascinating, but I still don’t get why it attracts so much batshit.

    • RS-1' says:

      It’s not crazy to see something Conanesque or Khan-esque here. This was a slow process ; to that extent it is in full contrast to Ghengis Khan. Otherwise it’s quite likely to have been similar, with resistance all the way by the indigenes. History is largely bloodly, a lot of apex animals have some level of lethal intraspecific violence, as I noted in my post that disappeared (causes are malthus pressure and sexual competition), ergo we may prima facie assume the same for prehistory on that basis. Though there are also many specialist archaeologists who feel they have a strong case from their work. But of course there are 20,000 threads about this on the net, pots/peepz, did common chimps kill each other before being disturbed by humans, etc etc… so I don’t feel moved to do a grand ol’ back-n-forth.

    • BAP says:

      I don’t know what forum you mean–do you post there?–but in response to this I say, “it’s not gay if you’re on top.”

  80. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    For a fuller cultural assessment of Indo-European expansion see my book, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization. Greg’s opening commentary is quite incisive. I question Harpend’s view that “instant doubling of the food supply from a new gene was *essentially the cause* of the IE expansion. You can’t argue with calories.”
    It was a bigger package of cultural attributes associated with a horse-riding pastoral way of life and a heroic temperament. Obviously the nutritional advantage was important but reducing an entire life style to calories exemplifies scientist tendency to view humans as purely biochemical creatures.

  81. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    Basically I agree with A.J West’s take on the IEs: “…horse-riding and the large herds enabled by it; wagon-living, and the mobility enabled by that; patrilineal clans and an ideology of youth going off to raid and fight, and the military power enabled by that; etc. All of this is reconstructable to proto-Indo-European, all of it fits with the evidence from the earliest recorded Indo-European-speaking societies (i.e., Homer, the Vedas, Tacitus on the Germans, Old Irish epic, and so much more)”

    See Forum on Indo-Europeans and the uniqueness of Western Civilization in http://escholarship.org/uc/item/74j910z1#page-1
    my reply to critics: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1h1529x6

    • BAP says:

      Yes and these powerful and militarily superior people, according to this model, first decided to rule poor villagers in the Balkans and to occupy the backward and poor empty forests of Western Europe and wipe out the natives to take over poor land. They didn’t want to go south just over the Caucasus Mts. and use their military superiority to take over rich Near Eastern cities, or even become paid mercenaries in their service?

      Oh wait they did. That’s how IE first appear in the historical record, as mercs for Near Eastern states, and then soon after as elites in these regions. But much later than is claimed in the model for early expansion.

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        The IEs did not wipe out the inhabitants of Old Europe, as the paper under discussion shows. And neither did they wipe out the cultures of Old Europe, but they did superimpose their aristocratic warrior ethos, and this is the source of the unique heroic poetry of IEs.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      ““…horse-riding and the large herds enabled by it; wagon-living, and the mobility enabled by that; patrilineal clans and an ideology of youth going off to raid and fight, and the military power enabled by that; etc. …Tacitus on the Germans

      Doesn’t fit Tacitus on the Germans. Tacitus on the Germans fits white Iroquois. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have an IE elite over the top but you’re not going to get mobile pastoralist tribes in a giant forest.

      • j3morecharacters says:

        Giant forest and enormous swamps too. Tacitus’s Germans seem antisocials farming isolated small forest clearings, building their huts as far as possible from the nearest neighbor.

  82. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    A.J West asks: “Why would it be ‘PC’ to avoid mentioning Indo-European?”

    I guess West has not inhabited academia much, or not realized that a major reason the topic of Indo-Europeans has tended to be approached as if it were about peaceful language teachers spreading out is that the idea of IE expansion substantiates the 19th century view that the Europeans were a uniquely expansive, energetic, vital people. At the root of the incomparable creativity of Europeans — 97% of all great scientists, 95% of all the great explorers, 100% of all the great classical composers, 95% of all the great philosophers, the list goes on and on — was the very aristocratic, heroic, individualistic culture initiated by the Indo-Europeans.

    See my article on unique exploratory spirit of Europeans: http://fortnightlyreview.co.uk/2012/06/explore-duchesne/

    • I get that the Aryan myth is the baggage IE studies has to drag around, but surely we can get over it now. Most IE studies people aren’t fascists and nothing about the expansion of a language family causes us to endorse fascist claims. I suspect some of the older generations’ opposition to the Pontic-Caspian theory has to do with wanting to avoid the Aryan myth, but it’s no longer necessary. A lot of people nowadays don’t believe in the Pontic-Caspian theory, on the other hand, because they believe the evidence doesn’t point in that direction, as Renfrew and Bellwood have muddied the waters. It’s not necessarily ‘PC’ to avoid mentioning it; it could just be prudence in the face of an inability to interpret the relevant evidence.

      I saw your articles on Peter Turchin’s site. Of course, I agree with the IE stuff; Pontic-Caspian is the way to go. But I’m not impressed by the idea of European exceptionalism. European achievement is certainly not ‘incomparable’. I considered responding here, but I thought it would take too long, so in a short while I’ll post something to my blog.

      • Anonymous says:

        What is your blog?

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        Those percentages — re European achievements — were meant in a loose way; mind you, the 97% figure comes from the statistical study by Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment, The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 BC to 1950.

        And the 95% about European explorers is a very sensible numerical assessment.

        I read you blog commentary; the rise of the West debate is very dense and cannot be dealt with observations to the effect that we are all interconnected. This is a standard argument used by diversity promoters, and my response is: If Greece was connected to the East and presumably the East was connected to Greece, why did all the achievements happen in Greece rather than throughout the Mediterranean? Beyond the Greeks, if Europeans were connected, as other historians now say about every creative epoch in Europe’s history — the Scholastic Age, the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, Scientific Revolution(s), Military Revolution(s), Cartographic Revolution, Enlightenment, the Romantic Era, the German Philosophical Revolutions from Kant to Hegel to Nietzsche to Heidegger — why do all these achievements always happen in Europe?

      • Flinders Petrie says:

        A.J. West – you might want to clarify the first few sentences of your blog post, because it would be easy for a reader to attribute the statement above from R. Duchesne (about European uniqueness) to G. Cochran.

      • Flinders Petrie – yes, you’re right. I’ve amended it. I typed it out pretty quickly, like commenting on a blog, so…

        “And the 95% about European explorers is a very sensible numerical assessment.”

        Is it? What about all the nameless explorers who, I don’t know, travelled from the Marquesas to New Zealand and Hawai’i on double canoes? Or from Borneo to Madagascar and the east African coast? Or Ibn Battuta, Yijing, Faxian, Himilco, Ibn Fadlan, Piri Reis? You seem to be confusing documented exploration with human exploration as a whole, and that seems unjustified. And the other explorers – the more recent ones – were enabled by the mass of wealth that entered Europe in the wake of the conquests in the Americas.

        “why do all these achievements always happen in Europe?”

        Well, you can’t put it down to Indo-European heritage, because a) nothing about PIE speakers seems conducive to great achievements in science or the arts, frankly; and b) speakers of IE languages are not restricted to Europe, and include some of the cruddiest parts of inner and south Asia.

        As I said in the post, Europe has an extremely favourable climate and location. It has an extremely long coastline, lots of natural harbours, and few natural disasters (as Barry Cunliffe says, it’s between the oceans). This is conducive to the development of sophisticated maritime technologies. It’s also geographically quite variable, with a fair few mountain ranges and inland seas, tending towards political fragmentation. That may have something to do with it.

        And, of course, these events don’t always happen in Europe: before the seventeenth century (as late as that, according to e.g. Ken Pomeranz), China and India were much more developed, Central Asia was undergoing a considerable pre-colonial Renaissance, and so on. Europe wasn’t exactly a backwater in the fifteenth century, but it wasn’t anything compared to China or south Asia in terms of knowledge, revenue, or development. It took the conquest of the Americas and the Portuguese conquests in the Indian Ocean – motivated by Atlantic Europe’s distance from the lucrative trade in spices – to begin to put Europe ahead, and those were enabled largely by circumstance, and by technologies that had nothing to do with Indo-European.

        Or so I believe.

      • Sandgroper says:

        I wish I had found out about your blog a lot earlier, AJ. Your past posts on Australia are really helpful/informative.

    • James says:

      The personalities and dispositions of the great scientists don’t seem like those of the tribal, aggressive, cattle-rustling IEs though. Look at figures like Newton, John Dalton, Henry Cavendish, etc. They tended to be quite shy, shut-in types. Many of them would be considered on the autism spectrum today.

      In Ancient Greece, the pre-philosophical literature such as Homer and Pindar seems similar to the heroic IE culture, but there seems to be a dramatic change from this culture with the introduction of philosophy by the pre-Socratics.

      • reiner Tor says:

        I propose you read Dr. Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization. In the West (including ancient Greece) it was usually the aim of philosophers to reach higher than their predecessors – Newton wanted to give an explanation which nobody else had provided before. As opposed to China, where the most notable philosophers in the past millennium merely tried to explain the thought of earlier thinkers.

      • James says:

        I’m not arguing that the West isn’t unique or that the great philosophers and scientists didn’t want better and new answers to things. I’m saying that the great philosophers and scientists seem quite different in personality and disposition from what we know about ancient IEs.

      • reiner Tor says:

        They were different, but in a sublime way they also were daring and striving for personal fame and achievement. They wanted their name and fame to outlive them, although perhaps they were less willing to sacrifice their lives in the prime of their youths while achieving that.

        But compare that to Chinese philosophers who deferred to their elders, and whose very careers consisted of explaining the thought of earlier philosophers…

      • James says:

        For example, consider the great natural philosopher and scientist Henry Cavendish, who discovered hydrogen and pioneered much of chemistry and physics. He was extremely shy and asocial, so much so that he didn’t even publish much of his work and seek recognition. He certainly sounds nothing like the figures from ancient IE culture, with its heroic warriors seeking “undying fame”:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Cavendish#Personality_and_legacy

      • James says:

        The Chinese example doesn’t tell us much of anything about this. Obviously there’s more to the difference between Europeans and Chinese than simply the IEs. There are other IE descended areas such as Ireland, Armenia, Iran, northern India, Latin America etc. that have been comparable backwaters.

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        I addressed, if briefly, the nameless “explorers” in my book, and paper, A Civilization of Explorers, published in Academic Questions. Ibn Battuta was no explorer but traveled within Muslim lands, unlike Marco Polo. Look for definition of “explorer”, it does not include everyone who hops on a canoe and moves around without seeking the unknown and self-consciously doing so. The Greeks invented the science of geography as they went about colonizing the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts, far more than Phoenicians.

        Cheng Ho was no explorer, did not discover a single nautical mile.

        No one has said that prehistoric IEs produced great philosophy; you need to read chapter 8 of Uniqueness which tries to explain, using Nietzsche and many other sources, how the barbaric aristocratic culture of IEs was sublimated into the Greek agonistic ethos of striving for excellence and dialogical contests in philosophy.

        Cunliffe actually writes about the “pioneering spirit” of Europeans but is trapped within the Braudelian discourse of geographical determinism, which is the order of day in our PC universities.

        I will say with confidence that I refuted Pomeranz thoroughly in a long chapter which takes all his claims.

      • James says:

        It’s not that the IEs didn’t produce great philosophy. It’s that many great scientists, such as the examples above, don’t strike one as similar to the figures of ancient IE culture. The fact that they strove for excellence is not a satisfactory explanation. Michael Jordan strove for excellence as well. Obviously that doesn’t mean he’s IE.

      • James says:

        Newton of course is believed to have died a virgin. Voltaire remarked that Newton “had neither passion nor weakness; he never went near any woman”. His counterpart Leibniz never married or had kids, and may have been a virgin himself. It doesn’t seem that they were like ancient IE warrior heroes seeking undying fame. There’s very little indication that great figures like Newton and Leibniz were motivated by fame and glory. They seem to have been primarily motivated by intense personal curiosity and obsessiveness that would be regarded as Aspergery today.

      • reiner Tor says:

        Yet still in science attribution is important, and plagiarism is frowned upon. Somehow also you need a culture which values new ideas, otherwise you cannot have science, and regardless of the many Aspergery people in it (inevitable in mathematics and also in some heavily mathematics-loaded subjects like physics), science nevertheless seems to care a lot about attribution, even retrospectively. There are still debates about whether this or that scientist really was the first to discover something. This tells me we find it important.

        And while Europeans are at least half IE, Persians (since the first empire) or Indians derive a much smaller portion of their genes from IE stock. But I’m open to the idea that the non-IE portion of European ancestry might also be special (even if perhaps to a lesser extent, but maybe to the same extent or even more so).

    • Matt says:

      I am not conducive to the idea that recent European advances can be attributed to maritime expansion, rather than this being a mere consequence, or “pillaging wealth” or “climatic luck” other such nonsense. It seems not particularly true or likely or interesting.

      As for the effects of the Indo-Europeans on the continent, Europe is interesting in terms of showing a relatively extensive, low density form of pastoralist-agriculturalist subsistence.

      This plausibly leads to the “lower development” we see comparing early Europe to other areas peripheral to the steppe, in some ways – low density means large settlements take a while longer to form, elites have more difficulty capturing wealth and have to spend more on defense and the military than consumption, luxury and civic goods.

      But also higher development in some other ways – high internal mobility from agro-pastoralism can aid the establishment of unusually branching and far reaching internal trade networks, a lack of unitary hegemonic states means more military advance fueled by low level conflicts, particular attitudes towards on energy use relating to having many beasts of burden about and advancements in animal based agriculture leading to escaping the Malthusian trap. Much of this seems to be part of Europe’s lifting away from the rest.

      Some of this may be part of the legacy of the Indo Europeans and the way of life they could bring to other people sharing, roughly, the same ecozone they came from and which wouldn’t export so well to India or the Middle East.

      There certainly seem to be European differences in personality from Asian societies, at least in terms of what Europeans are socially sensitive to and what they are not, which could help them think of useful stuff, but I would have a hard time attributing these solely to Indo-Europeans (who we still do not know contributed any more, necessarily, in overall ancestry in Europe than they did in South Asia) and ignoring everything which came in between.

      • “It seems not particularly true or likely or interesting.”

        Why? The great majority of supposedly incomparable European achievements took place after the fifteenth century, before which time Europe was a comparable backwater. Money flooded into Europe after Columbus – from sugar, silver, gold, slave-trading, maize, cochineal, vanilla, building new towns and markets on the other side of the Atlantic, and so on. What you need in order to explore things is money, and, in simplistic terms, what the Columbian exchange did for Europe was to provide it with a good few centuries of almost inexhaustible wealth.

        You seem to have forgotten that many of the other causes you espouse were also factors elsewhere, and yet it is Atlantic Europe that sped ahead.

      • Matt says:

        Re: Atlantic Europe speeding ahead, even the territories of Slavica seems pretty impressive and accomplished in many ways if we compare them to Asian civilizations of the late 17th and early 18th century, particularly South Asian civilization, etc.

        With the wrong societies, that gold and silver may have been “wealth” or simple hyperinflation. With the right ones, the amount of gold and silver and colonial opportunities are unimportant and they will still find a way. There’s no particular reason for a society with lots of gold and silver and slaves and sugar to be particularly advanced, etc.

        For another, yes, there are a number of medieval scholars who place the roots of much of what Europe was able to achieve and its ideas and systems of government and trade clearly in prior to the Colonial period, e.g. the Renaissance of the 12th century. This is again still not isolation from a world system of ideas, but not anything much to do with colonialism or the new world.

        As to whether the things I have mentioned were factors elsewhere, not really. There’s no civilization quite like Europe, in terms of the system of agriculture and social order it had in place.

  83. Patrick Boyle says:

    I don’t see how linguistics alone can give strong dates. Maybe I’m missing something.

    If language B splits off from language A at time period 1 and subsequently the populations of both languages learn about or invent the chariot. What would they call it? In recent modern history America adopted the term ‘sputnik’. I can imagine a culture calling a chariot a chariot because it was the name of a device they had observed their neighbors using against them. Or they had explicitly ‘reverse engineered’ it so as to compete militarily. If so wouldn’t they be inclined to adopt the foreign word?

    The adopting culture should know the foreign word for a new weapon. Don’t the Germans use the English term ‘tank’? We certainly picked up the term ‘blitz’.

    Maybe if I knew more linguistics I would understand how you can derive strong dates from word similarities. But it seems to me that two languages that use the same word for the same object can prove very little.

    • reiner Tor says:

      At the risk of venturing into a topic where I’m out of my depth, let me give you a few points.

      If you notice two languages belong to the same family, you’ll find a bunch of similarly different words – like come – komm(en), go – geh(en), over – über, etc. etc. By this you will find a number of rules – like ‘g’ always stays ‘g’, ‘c’ (pronounced ‘k’) stays ‘k’, but what sounds like the ‘o’ in come will change to an ‘o’ like in long, etc. If you find a word which sounds more similar than that (e.g. you’d find a German word exactly like the English equivalent, like in the sentence “Das ist cool.” or the word “Gangway” which is used to describe the gangway at airports leading to the airplane), this points to it being a loan word.

      I read the example of ‘Coca Cola': if it were an original Proto-Germanic word it would sound in German something like “Köchler Köhler”, but because it sounds exactly like the English word, it points to it being a loan word.

      Now imagine five hundred years from now in 2500 AD German language will change: the sound ‘k’ (‘c’ in Coca Cola) will change to the “Ach-Laut” (this has happened in Swiss German), while English will change all ‘o’ sounds to something like it is in “come”. In this distorted future, linguists will still notice that the German word Chocha Chola is different from the English Caca Cala, but that it should sound like Chöchler Chöchler if it were a Proto-Germanic word.

      So they will still notice that it was a relatively recent loan word, coming before the k/ch and o/a sound changes, but long after the o/ö, c/chl, a/er etc. changes.

      • Patrick Boyle says:

        I was responding specifically to the issue of Greg’s estimate of 3,000 BC for the spread of IE into Europe whereas others had argued that that was much too early based on linguistics analysis. I was merely questioning the value of linguistic dating since there seem to be so many ways you could be fooled by loan words and coincidences.

        You claim to be not an expert on linguistics but I must insist that I have a much deeper and more profound ignorance of this topic than you. Still I am skeptical. I don’t doubt that there can be the tracing of relationships. It’s the fixing of dates that I question. I can believe in radiocarbon dating and even tree ring dating but linguistics? It all sounds rather squishy to me?

      • Philip Neal says:

        The point about loan-words is that, once assimilated into a language, they undergo subsequent sound change along with the native words. For instance, the English words ‘church’ and ‘cardinal’ were both borrowed from Latin, but ‘church’ has undergone more phonetic change because it was borrowed earlier.

        New concepts such as ‘wheeled vehicle’ require new words to be created, either out of existing native vocabulary or by borrowing a word from some other language. We know that the various Indo-European words relating to wheeled vehicles must have been coined or borrowed at the time of the proto-language because of the sound changes they have subsequently undergone. The English word ‘wheel’, Greek ‘kuklos’ and Sanskrit ‘cakra’ have all undergone sound changes which occurred when Indo-European first broke up into its daughter languages. The Indo-European word may have been a native coinage or a borrowing, but any such borrowing would have to have occurred at the time of the proto-language.

        There is no real reason to think that proto-Indo-European kwekwlos is a loan word. It, and the various other words relating to vehicles, make good sense as new coinages from existing roots. Either way, vehicles were invented in Indo-European times, whenever that was, and the point is that archaeology can tell us when. Now, it seems, genetics is going to tell us what regions the vehicles rolled into, and in what sequence. To me, it is exciting news.

  84. whatever says:

    No single proto-european entered Europe. They were all Indoeuropeans. And while protoeuropeants did not have much of a warfare, Indoeuropeans did. Same with the people, who entered India and Iran. Some even had fancy staff like chariots and daggers. There was some blood, too: “The Eulau eulogy: Bioarchaeological interpretation of lethal violence in Corded Ware multiple burials from Saxony-Anhalt, Germany” – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278416509000348
    The late bronze farming settlements in Varna and Caranovo were burned to the ground, their protective walls – destroyed. – see The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000-3500 BC, edited by David W. Anthony, http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9052.html
    However, the people from LPC were no peaceful farmers; not sure what kind of crisis they were in – spiritual or Malthusian, but the degree of cannibalism among the neolithic farming societies from LPC in Europe was rather disturbing, as well as the mass graves: see here http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/083/ant0830968.htm or https://www.academia.edu/1403683/Cannibalism_in_the_Linear_Pottery_culture_at_Herxheim_Palatinate_Germany_ – something was eating these people at the times of indo-european arrival – or, alternatively, they were eating someone.

  85. pseudoerasmus says:

    “The West” did not rise. The centre of civilisational accomplishment simply kept shifting west and north. Greeks did little which anybody values, after the Roman period. In the last 300 years “The West” did nothing. It is the peoples of the North Atlantic seaboard who did something.

    • reiner Tor says:

      In music, literature, and even the natural sciences the Russians and Italians also had contributions in the last 300 years.

      • pseudoerasmus says:

        To Russia since about 1830 or 1840, I would grant status. Russia should be seen an early importer of Northwest European modernity. Italy has opera, some fiction and some cinema.

      • pseudoerasmus says:

        Anyway, the point is this, accomplishments attributed to Europeans clearly do not belong to “The West” collectively or in general. Rather these accomplishments tend to cluster, statistically speaking, in specific geographical regions & peoples. The centre of geographic concentration, over time, has shifted north and west.

      • pseudoerasmus says:

        It makes about as much sense for a Spaniard to take pride in “European” accomplishments in quantum mechanics, as for a Sicilian to take pride in the Florentine Renaissance.

      • reiner Tor says:

        @pseudoerasmus: Yes, it tends to cluster, but Spaniards were still part of a broadly similar culture (and were genetically related to) the ones having the accomplishments. If you prescribe that they shouldn’t take pride in English or German/Austrian (how North Atlantic is Austria?) achievements, then why stop here? Why not say that people from Ipswich shouldn’t be proud of achievements by Britons from Edinburgh or London?

      • The obvious reply to this problem is not to take pride in achievements that aren’t your own – you, the individual.

      • reiner Tor says:

        The obvious reply to this problem is not to take pride in achievements that aren’t your own – you, the individual.

        This is certainly nihilistic, and not even logical. Your own (individual) achievements are the results of a combination of your genes (which might make you intelligent and hardworking and creative) and your environment since inception (including the giants on whose shoulders you were standing), neither of which are to be proud of – your genes are the achievements of evolution or your parents, and your environment is, well, it’s the environment you happened to be born to and also which in later life you chose because of your superior genes. So the only logical position is that you should not be proud of anything.

        OTOH life is not very logical. Pride is a very good thing in that it encourages people to strive for achievements, and taking pride in the achievements of other people (i.e. other than you, the individual) will help forging a community (useful) and also encourages you to help others strive for their achievements. Western civilization is on the decline, and I think it’s an interesting observation that this decline coincides with our having stopped taking pride in it.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      @BAP

      “And in the historical record this is how IE actually first appear. You want to believe that, despite having a massive demographic and military advantage, they chose instead the other direction, although later pastoral peoples frequently raided the Near East, or joined Near Eastern states as mercs. But somehow the horse-riding IE were too good or noble or something to do this.”

      Well one obvious answer would be the advantage wasn’t that massive at the beginning, big enough to raid-push the Cucuteni people to the southwest and the forest Iroquois to the northwest but not enough to spread into let along through the Caucasus until their cavalry tech had reached a higher level.

      .

      @Erasmus

      “It is the peoples of the North Atlantic seaboard who did something.”

      That’s just silly. They didn’t do anything till about 1500 and they couldn’t have done what they did without standing on the shoulders of the other peoples who went before – especially the Greeks.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        That’s not to say the achievements of the northwest weren’t particularly dramatic or that being more recently barbarian might have been a factor in it.

        (I think excessive pacification quite possibly hinders innovation as much as excessive aggression does and if so there’ll be a sweet spot.)

        However the northwest wasn’t very impressive from 3000 BC to c. 1500 AD while other places were more impressive during that period so putting it *all* down to IE makes no sense.

      • pseudoerasmus says:

        Well I agree Northwest Euroepans didn’t do much until about 1500. Which is why I said the cluster of accomplishments gradually moved north and west OVER TIME.

      • reiner Tor says:

        Well I agree Northwest Euroepans didn’t do much until about 1500.

        Do you include Germans and the French in it? (If you don’t, then the problem is that they were important in the past 300 years.) Because they built cathedrals in great numbers already by the 12th century. Important thinkers like William of Ockham and before him Roger Bacon were also Northwest Europeans. I’d wager you’ll have to push back your dates somewhere to the High Middle Ages.

  86. Patrick Boyle says:

    I presume that the title of this essay ‘Silver Blaze’ does not refer to the blaze on the heads of horses but is rather a reference to the 1892 Sherlock Holmes story in which Sherlock solves the mystery because he notices that the dog didn’t bark. I’m reading a geology book and it seems that the San Andreas fault was found in much the same way, which the author refers to as a ‘Silver Blaze’.

    Everyone knows the significance of the ‘dog that didn’t bark’ phenomenon but Greg it seems prefers to be a little more obscure.

    • Paul Conroy says:

      @Patrick,
      I was just trying to sow more confusion, however the horse comparison is valid.

      The reason the “dog didn’t bark” IMO, is that like the story of Troy and “enemy” warriors inside the city gates, so too were Indo-European mercenaries, already ensconced in their non-Indo-European neighbors defenses, and so their conquest was all the more easy…

      I know that idea was mentioned above, but I believe I originated it with my “Push-Pull” conquest comment on Dienekes blog 3 or 4 years ago… I likened it to the German mercenaries guarding the Roman frontier, including the Saxons in Britain, the Gallowglass in Ireland, and so on…

  87. pseudoerasmus says:

    “If you prescribe that [Spaniards] shouldn’t take pride in English or German/Austrian…achievements, then why stop here? Why not say that people from Ipswich shouldn’t be proud of achievements by Britons from Edinburgh or London?”

    I am not prescribing that anyone should or should not be proud of anyone else’s achievements. But if one is dividing the world in terms of accomplishments, then why limit yourself to a particular scale ? Wouldn’t we learn more by looking at finer details ? Ipswich isn’t a terribly useful unit of comparison, but Suffolk (of which Ipswich is the seat) is probably an under-contributor not only to the sum of English / British achievements, but possibly to the sum of East Anglian achievements….

  88. Greying Wanderer says:

    @Erasmus
    “Well I agree Northwest Euroepans didn’t do much until about 1500. Which is why I said the cluster of accomplishments gradually moved north and west OVER TIME.”

    More recently barbarian – but not actually barbarian.

  89. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    Much ignorance is being exhibited here about the history of Western man, which is understandable considering that our universities are now dedicated to multicultural egalitarianism, and Western man has been emasculated to a degree never seen in history. But if I may correct a few typical statements from academia: “The great majority of supposedly incomparable European achievements took place after the fifteenth century, before which time Europe was a comparable backwater.”

    Wrong. The Romans it has now been established were major innovators not only in the production of systematic legal concepts and the creation of the legal persona, and great historians and Latin writers, but in technology as well, which has been popularized here: http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/10-innovations-that-built-ancient-rome

    Some statements border on the absurd such as that “The West did not rise…Greeks did little which anybody values, after the Roman period”.

    On the mighty Greeks after the classical age, there is Alex the Great, and then the product of his empire, the Hellenistic age, during which time Rome rose, which produced a true revolution in science: http://www.amazon.ca/The-Forgotten-Revolution-Science-Reborn/dp/3540203966

    The ignorance continues: “In the last 300 years The West did nothing. It is the peoples of the North Atlantic seaboard who did something.”

    Where did you think the Enlightenment occurred and the industrial revolution and the second industrial revolution, and the atomic age, I mean, the list of achievements, while the rest of the world merely repeated the same things, is endless in the invention, for example, of all the disciplines taught in our universities, nurtured by Europe before American got on board.

    • pseudoerasmus says:

      Alexander and the Hellenistic Age came BEFORE the Roman period of Greek history ! After the Roman period, the Greeks did nothing anyone would miss.

      “Where did you think the Enlightenment occurred and the industrial revolution and the second industrial revolution, and the atomic age”

      The North Atlantic Seaboard = Northwest Europe and its offshoots.

      I am not one of those “Europe was a backwater before [date]” people. I am saying that innovativeness started in the Near East, spread to Greece, and from there for the next 2000 years had an inexorable west/north gradient.

      “The West” as a collective, innovating entity is simply untenable. It is a fictional construct.

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        No, the latter parts of the Hellenistic age were concurrent with the rise of Rome, 323 BC-31 BC, and the educated individuals who went to Rome in large numbers after Rome conquered this area were Hellenistic Greeks. Moreover, the legacy of Greece continued through the entire Middle Ages; their books and ideas were preserved and the elaborated upon starting in the early medieval era, with re-discovery of new texts during the Renaissance, particular as the Byzantium world came to an end, and, again, Hellenistic characters move to Italy and many works were imported, all of which played a big role in the Renaissance.

        Anyways, you are repeating in a very careless way what you heard from cultural Marxist professors who are providing the ideological groundwork to justify the flooding of the West with hordes of immigrants.

  90. reiner Tor says:

    Many people are asserting that Europe was a backwater until 1500. This date is very late. The cathedrals are comparable to any other structures built before them, and later similar buildings (like Brunelleschi’s Florence Dome) are probably superior – well before 1500. The Ottomans were also using European heavy gun technology in 1450, and they basically always needed superior numbers on the battlefield to win. European military technology seems to be ahead of the pack by 1400 at the latest, but architecture and the arts seem to be at least as good as anywhere else already by the High Middle Ages.

    The assertion that Europe had a lot of wealth from the rest of the world because of colonialism also seems wrong. South and Central America merely gave Europe a lot of silver (and also some gold). Given that shipbuilding industries in these places were not highly developed, Europe probably wasted a very large portion of its output merely to transport all this silver and gold to Europe, but I don’t quite understand how this could facilitate the development of modern science or further exploration. I mean, the silver was useless, Europeans had to produce the exploring ships (and explorations started a long time before, with the Portuguese working their way along the coast of Africa) and everything else, regardless of the silver shipped to Europe, although perhaps all that silver and gold might have helped the precious metals industries and jewelry making.

    • Ricardo Duchesne says:

      I dedicate many pages refuting this Marxist argument, that Europe rose on the backs of the Americas, and the slave trade. Here is a simple refutation: Spain obtained masses of silver from the Americas but did not industrialize; China colonized large tracks of land after 1500, exploited masses of non-Han groups, but did not industrialize. Meanwhile, only England strictly speaking colonized in a productive way parts of the Americas, and France a few places, but overall Europe did not, yet Germany, Switzerland, Nordic countries, etc, industrialized and became very wealthy without extracting riches from the Americas or Africa. Now, in the case of England, let’s praise the English for creating the best Naval empire history has seen! Glory to the Brits! Compare to those current Brits, deracinated, brainwashed, made to believe that Britain belongs to humanity and should be colonized by hordes of Pakistanis and Jamaicans and Moslems.

      • “Spain obtained masses of silver from the Americas but did not industrialize;”

        True; this is probably because the massive influx of silver and gold crashed the Spanish economy. And also for other reasons: exploiting human labour was a excellent way to make money at the time. It gave diminishing returns over time.

        “Compare to those current Brits, deracinated, brainwashed, made to believe that Britain belongs to humanity and should be colonized by hordes of Pakistanis and Jamaicans and Moslems.”

        Why is it always a political topic? Why? And why are they ‘hordes’ instead of merely human beings?

        Either way, the earth certainly doesn’t divide neatly into little cloistered groups and it shouldn’t remain that way. Most excellent things are products of some kind of diversity, whether you like that or not. There would be no European classical music – or, for that matter, heavy metal – without enormous amounts of Central Asian and Near Eastern influence. Europe has never been closed off; that’s the secret to its successes.

        “Meanwhile, only England strictly speaking colonized in a productive way parts of the Americas, and France a few places, but overall Europe did not, yet Germany, Switzerland, Nordic countries, etc, industrialized and became very wealthy without extracting riches from the Americas or Africa.”

        First, England != the United Kingdom/Britain. Second, industrialisation was a nineteenth century process everywhere except Great Britain/the UK, building on innovations shared with and invested in by other people in western Europe, so this certainly doesn’t invalidate the notion that

        France, Spain, Great Britain, and the Netherlands all established plantations – mostly for growing sugar, the classic plantation crop – in the Caribbean and South American coast. This trade was extremely lucrative, and there is no question that the Caribbean colonies were, for all the European powers, more important than the mainland North American ones. It was about money, and on the back of that money – which could be spent, by the way, in countries that had no direct involvement with Caribbean trade – industrialisation occurred, explorers went off on expeditions, new military techologies were devised, and so forth.

        It’s not a simple phenomenon, but you are trying to refute it simplistically. That will not do.

  91. pseudoerasmus says:

    ”Do you include Germans and the French in it? (If you don’t, then the problem is that they were important in the past 300 years.) Because they built cathedrals in great numbers already by the 12th century. Important thinkers like William of Ockham and before him Roger Bacon were also Northwest Europeans. I’d wager you’ll have to push back your dates somewhere to the High Middle Ages.”

    Actually I would push it ahead to 1600. Then you actually get some serious people in Northwestern Europe.

    I will give you the Gothic Cathedral — about whose achievements I have elsewhere descanted.

    William of Ockham and Roger Bacon ? Can they really compare with Aquinas, Maimonides and Avicenna ? But let’s face it, the mediaeval philosophers, whether Christian or Muslim, are mostly just working in response to / within the context defined by the ancients. And if you erased all of them out of history, the only thing we would miss is the ancient texts they helped preserve. The mediaeval agenda of endlessly debating the ancient questions of the reality and nonreality of the particulars versus the universals, just gets totally forgotten by about 1500.

    In the 17th century you actually get a break from the ancient philosophical categories. Even then, only English empirical philosophy is of any value and the continental crap can all be erased from the face of history.

  92. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    I addressed, if briefly, the nameless “explorers” in my book, and paper, A Civilization of Explorers, published in Academic Questions. Ibn Battuta was no explorer but traveled within Muslim lands, unlike Marco Polo. Look for definition of “explorer”, it does not include everyone who hops on a canoe and moves around without seeking the unknown and self-consciously doing so. The Greeks invented the science of geography as they went about colonizing the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts, far more than Phoenicians.

    Cheng Ho was no explorer, did not discover a single nautical mile.

    No one has said that prehistoric IEs produced great philosophy; you need to read chapter 8 of Uniqueness which tries to explain, using Nietzsche and many other sources, how the barbaric aristocratic culture of IEs was sublimated into the Greek agonistic ethos of striving for excellence and dialogical contests in philosophy.

    Cunliffe actually writes about the “pioneering spirit” of Europeans but is trapped within the Braudelian discourse of geographical determinism, which is the order of day in our PC universities.

    I will say with confidence that I refuted Pomeranz thoroughly in a long chapter which takes all his claims.

    • “using Nietzsche and many other sources”

      How scientific.

      “The Greeks invented the science of geography as they went about colonizing the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts, far more than Phoenicians.”

      Is that right. Including Himilco, I presume. Think about this, though: the Greeks got their letters and their ships from Levantine people. They stood on the shoulders of giants. We all do, all the time. You seem to think, on the contrary, that one privileged group of people were simply born gigantic, and that doesn’t seem reasonable.

      “Look for definition of “explorer”, it does not include everyone who hops on a canoe and moves around without seeking the unknown and self-consciously doing so.”

      Do you have any idea how far it is between New Zealand and the Marquesas? Or even between the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia? Let alone between Rapa Nui and mainland South America (which was certainly visited by Polynesians, as evidenced by their knowledge of the sweet potato)! They weren’t hopping on canoes and going to places that they already knew existed – which would be an achievement anyway on such an ocean. They were earth’s premiere pre-Columbian explorers, using incredibly sophisticated technology to go further than anyone had ever gone before on some of the roughest and certainly the largest seas on the planet.

      That you discount their accomplishments so blithely speaks volumes.

      • reiner Tor says:

        @A. J. West: No, they were not explorers. Discovering a place, moving there to permanently live there, end of story: that’s not really exploration. Which is why Polynesians had no idea what was outside their small islands, and apparently their islands mostly stayed islands, with very little or no contact to the outside world. An explorer is a person who mostly out of curiosity goes to a place, comes back, writes about it, so that it increases the knowledge of his tribe/nation/civilization: that’s exploration. (I question if that increase in knowledge is even possible in a preliterate society. I also question that in the absence of such increase in knowledge, why anyone would want to go to explore anything in the first place, except if he has a very simple motive like finding a new place to live. Hence no explorers.) That is also why Marco Polo is remembered as a great explorer, whereas the perhaps thousands of other Europeans living in the Far East at the time (merchants and maybe missionaries) don’t count as explorers, nobody even remembers their names. It was Marco Polo who increased Europeans’ knowledge of the place.

        Why is it always a political topic? Why?

        You might argue that the fact that the time we stopped being proud of our civilization and the time our civilization went into decline merely coincide. I would argue otherwise.

        You also have to recognize that while you support mass immigration, some people don’t. So your political views also correlate to your other views. You can do as if you never noticed that there’s a cultural Marxist baggage, where views like “race is a social construct”, or “the earth certainly doesn’t divide neatly into little cloistered groups” go hand in hand with views like “Most excellent things are products of some kind of diversity” or support for replacement level mass immigration. (The latter you seem to support yourself.)

        I would think that if present tendencies go on, European whites will be no more after just maybe a century. I think this will result in a decrease in diversity. I think it’s at least as sad as the near total disappearance of pure Amerinds.

        the earth certainly doesn’t divide neatly into little cloistered groups

        I suggest you read Dr. Cochran’s earlier post Clines and Races. Humans certainly do divide into little cloistered groups. Perhaps not “neatly”.

    • “Cunliffe actually writes about the “pioneering spirit” of Europeans but is trapped within the Braudelian discourse of geographical determinism”

      It’s not geographical determinism. It’s just saying that geography confers an advantage. West Africa has a rubbish coastline for ships – few good harbours, lots of reef, and so on. There’s also nowhere to go, except further down to the African coast, because early maritime technology would have found it difficult to sail north around Africa. So people in west Africa were not likely to develop good ships and discover the Americas or sail into the Indian Ocean. People in Europe, with its very long coastline and lots of lovely Mediterranean destinations to visit, were very likely to do so. It’s not determinism because it’s not the only factor.

      As for all of that ‘glory to the Brits’ stuff – this is just conservative pablum, isn’t it? Just romantic nineteenth century nonsense. That’s not how the world actually works.

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        Tor replied well to your easy going, feel good bromides picked up in undergrad courses taught by liberals calling upon the Brits to embrace “humanity” and feel guilty about creating the greatest Naval Empire in history.

  93. pseudoerasmus says:

    No, the latter parts of the Hellenistic age were concurrent with the rise of Rome, 323 BC-31 BC, and the educated individuals who went to Rome in large numbers after Rome conquered this area were Hellenistic Greeks.

    So I guess you have never heard of the traditional division of ancient Greek history into Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods ? How shocking.

    Anyways, you are repeating in a very careless way what you heard from cultural Marxist professors who are providing the ideological groundwork to justify the flooding of the West with hordes of immigrants.

    I merely object to this. The periphery of Europe has got a lot of people like the Spaniards, the (modern) Greeks, the Romanians, etc., who have done nothing to brag about for a long long long time (if ever, in the case of the Romanians), and these frontiersmen try to live off the glories of other peoples.

  94. pseudoerasmus says:

    “using Nietzsche and many other sources, how the barbaric aristocratic culture of IEs was sublimated into the Greek agonistic ethos of striving for excellence and dialogical contests in philosophy”

    See, continental philosophical crap. Give me English empiricism any day !

  95. SpaghetiMeatball says:

    Richard, are you making a cultural or genetic argument for European “uniqueness”
    I, am not European, am actually overseas expatriate student Turkish. But on genetic tests from 23andme I was classified as 49.6% bona-fide european. I shared a lot of segments with participants from the balkans. Does that mean I have 49.6% of this magic je-ne-sais-quois that all europeans inherited from their ancient aristocratic nordic alien ancestors?

    What does Indo-european languages and culture have to do with immigration to britain today?
    You are a very strange and confused man.

    I agree with you that northwestern europeans like brits, french, germans and scandinavians are very smart, talented, and cool-headed people. They build wonderful cities and are very polite and refined. But what does all this have to do with bronze-age savages in cattle wagons?

    What is this je-ne-sais-quois of the indo-european aryan heritage of europe?
    What does it have to do with European accomplishment? Can you define it in a scientific way first (and not in your vague confusing way, bin anlamlatlari konushma we say in Turkish, it means speech of a thousand meanings). I mean, can you describe a certain set of particular behaviors that only europeans show, connect to some gene, and then prove by DNA analysis that europeans have — say — 66% that gene, africans have only 1%, asians 5%, and so on.
    Or is this too much of a “biomechanical unsprituality” for you?

    I’m perfectly willing to believe that european exceptionalism (and it is real, no doubt about that) is from some magical thingie, but you the burden lies on you to prove this for us.

  96. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    James (see above) asks how can one draw a direct connection between IE striving for glory in military contests and nerdy, sexless scientists like Newton. He confounds the nature of creativity in a barbarian age and in a civilized age; there is no quick answer, I believe that Nietzsche offered major insights on this question, realizing that as much as he disliked Socrates, for example, he, Socrates, was an immensely passionate man, even though he showed no sexual interests at all. See Nietzsche’s reading of Plato’s Symposium; Socrates walked out of the drinking party fully alert leaving the young (passionate and sexual young men) asleep and unable to keep up with him. In this man we witness a different, cultured form of self-restraint, and command over one’s instincts, and it takes will to power to achieve this. Don’t interpret strive for fame as if it were a show in entertainment tonight; it is a complex psychological disposition, and Newton was a very willful man, ambitious, power seeking, and filled with pride. Not at all the domesticated Chinese-like male you make him to be!

    • SpaghetiMeatball says:

      And the Chinese are not “willful, ambitious, power seeking”?

      5 minutes in a boardroom meeting with some managers will show you otherwise.
      I still don’t understand what exactly you are saying.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Barbarians will have different behavioral traits to civilized farmers – particularly aggression. Once they become civilized the barbarians will gradually lose that aggression.

        Some people think those barbarian traits are good in themselves although personally I think they generally make people into violent meatheads.

        However aggression can be applied to anything – including a scientific or technical problem like making a steam engine work – so there will be a sweet spot (imo) when a civilized population still has enough barbarian aggression to be very innovative.

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        It is not a question of either or, spaghetti with or without meatballs, but a question of degree; the Europeans have shown themselves to be more creative, restless, expansive; and then, each point I make here has to be taken as part of a wider network of points, such as the uniquely aristocratic character and individualism of Europeans. The Chinese do exhibit ambition but in a more restricted manner, collective, less creative manner; can you even imagine Chinese cowboys as portrayed by Clint Eastwood?

      • James says:

        Have you ever seen Eastwood’s Spaghetti Westerns? Eastwood spends of the movies squinting his eyes and not saying much.

    • SpaghetiMeatball says:

      Chinese cowboys? :P

    • James says:

      Yes, the heroic warrior figures of ancient IE culture seem quite different in disposition and temperament from modern figures like Newton.

      I’m not sure why you bring up Socrates. Socrates married, had kids, was a war hero, was social, traveled widely. He was quite different from the modern figures I mentioned.

      I’m interpreting the strive for fame as the seeking of social recognition, recognition by others, etc. Not as a “complex psychological disposition” which is vague. I think most would agree with this.

      We have good records and characterizations of people like Newton, Leibniz, Dalton, Cavendish, etc., and they tended to be relatively nerdy, introverted, asocial, etc. And many seemed primarily motivated by personal curiosity rather than fame. Ambition to understand something is not identical to ambition for fame.

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        I bring up Socrates because he was in may ways the first intellectual in Western history, the prototypical absent minded introvert who exhibited internally the characteristics you wish to say are irrelevant to achievement and strive; as it has been said of him: “His self-control was absolute; his powers of endurance were unfailing; he had so schooled himself to moderation that his scanty means satisfied all his wants.” “To want nothing,” he said himself, “is divine; to want as little as possible is the nearest possible approach to the divine life “; and accordingly he practiced temperance and self-denial to a degree which some thought ostentatious and affected.”

        You are looking for a formula, and empirical fact, an easily identifiable datum, but you will not find it in an exchange at a blog; all I can say is that we should, in the first place, recognize the reality of European creativity, at a far higher level in every sphere of life, at varying levels in varying places in what we call the West.

      • James says:

        Nobody denies the reality of European creativity here.

        I didn’t say anything about characteristics being “irrelevant to achievement and strive [sic].”

        Socrates was quite different from the modern figures I originally mentioned. Socrates married, had kids, was a war hero, traveled widely. He was quite social, which is why most of what we know about him and his opinions come from dialogues. I don’t think anyone would classify him as an introvert compared to the figures I mentioned.

      • reiner Tor says:

        Nobody denies the reality of European creativity here.

        Sure some people do.

      • James says:

        reiner tor,

        I mean the regulars here and at similar HBD blogs.

    • “domesticated Chinese-like male”

      In the state of Qin, the foundation of imperial China, soldiers were rewarded for how many heads they took in battle, and officers were rewarded for how many heads their subordinates took. In Shang-era archery workshops, lots of arrows with human bone points have been found. I should also point out that there’s a theory that the Qiang people mentioned in Shang narratives as their main rivals – and main sacrifical victims – were Indo-European speakers. Indo-European speakers (possibly) defeated and sacrificed by the far more powerful Shang people.

      ‘Domesticated’. Riiiight.

      Of course, military might has little to do with science and exploration except as it provides funds for this, and the desire for fame and money above all things isn’t conducive to exploring the universe in peace (it’s more liable to create ‘scientists’ who fudge their results to make themselves look good…). But whatever. I think your point of view is backward, nineteenth century, conservative, politicised, empirically incorrect, racist nonsense, and you’ve done nothing to show that it isn’t.

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        The modern definition of ‘racist’ is someone who’s winning an argument with a liberal

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        I will grant the word “domesticated” was not quite right; and will indeed add that no Chinese would ever debase their culture and traditions they way cultural Marxists like you do; no Muslim, no Mexican; and believe me, much as they enjoy populating Western lands and being celebrated for their enrichment of white culture, they don’t respect weak males like you.

      • Bruce says:

        “The modern definition of ‘racist’ is someone who’s winning an argument with a liberal”

        There is no pre-modern definition of the word “racist.” My grandfather is older than the word “racist.”

      • Ilya says:

        @A.J. West: well, how many *millennia* ago the state of Qin ceased to exist?

  97. Greying Wanderer says:

    @pseudo

    ““The West” as a collective, innovating entity is simply untenable. It is a fictional construct.”

    Once you understand the period c. 400 to c. 1300 was the result of economic strangulation via a constricted money supply then I think it is quite tenable. Without that economic strangulation those Gothic cathedrals would have been going up in 600 AD – although without a recurring pattern of economic strangulation they might have been Sumerian cathedrals.

  98. Greying Wanderer says:

    Anyway this is all kinda off the point as we don’t even know if this wave of DNA that swept over the LBK farmers was Indo-European Conans or standard Cucuteni euros who moved west to get away from IE raiders.

  99. dave chamberlin says:

    The comment section seems to have a mind of it’s own. At first we started with a very important breaking science news story and then it evolves to completely random stuff like “glory to the brits!” and the (who would have guessed) odd opinions of a bronze age nazi pervert.

  100. Paul Conroy says:

    @Ricardo,
    Isn’t Creativity linked to the Big-5 trait of Openness?

    So in essence you’re looking there a gene/allele/SNP linked to Openness?

    IIRC, South American natives have the highest concentration of some allele linked to wanderlust… so maybe that came from the ANE side.

    It may be that wanderlust, curiosity and/or restlessness (ANE), when combined with an hierarchal society (EEF), that emphasizes aggression and individuality (WHG), is the best combination of traits to harness creativity into great works??

  101. BAP says:

    Can anyone show a genetic trace of the Roman Empire specifically in Romance-speaking countries? If you had none of the written history, but only scant archaeology, linguistics, and genetic studies, would you be able to reconstruct the Romance expansions? Where would you start looking?

    But wait, Cochran says Ashkenazis are descended from Roman women. Yes, this must be it. The Roman Empire spread through Ashkenazis then, also through superior metabolism of olive oil and anchovies O_o

    Meanwhile where is there a genetic trace of the Magyar, Cuman, and Bulgar migrations into Europe, which we know definitely happened including the dates, etc.

    • Paul Conroy says:

      @BAP,
      Interesting question…
      The most obvious places to find a specific Italian component of Roman occupation, would be in non-Mediterranean lands, as that component could stick out more.

      Take a look at Wales – which may represent the pre-Saxon population of Southern Roman Britain:

      http://admixturemap.paintmychromosomes.com/

      14.8% – Southern Italian
      11.6% – Northern Italian

      Then if you’re looking for Roman empire related displaced tribes or people, you could look to Scotland, as it was on the Southern border of Hadrian’s Wall that the Romans located 5,500 Alano-Sarmatian horsemen and their families (possibly up to 25,000 people all told), who had a home base in Ribchester, Lancashire.
      3.6% Lezgin

      These Steppe horsemen, were defeated in battle somewhere around Eastern Hungary, but had come from somewhere around the Caucasus/Ukraine IIRC. The latter may account for the elevated Native American like ancestry in Scotland today, as well as some of the Central Asian DNA among some Scots and their descendants, especially so called Border Reivers.

      My mother has ancestry from Northern England, and shows Native American ancestry per 23andMe, 4% Lezgin on some admix analyses, and on others looks like she is 25% Austrian.

  102. SpaghetiMeatball says:

    The comments to this post are like a menagerie of human mental illness.

  103. panjoomby says:

    I much appreciate Ricardo Duchesne chiming in. For those who may not have read his book, his interview with Marshall Poe at New Books in History is an excellent summary. http://newbooksinhistory.com/2011/05/13/ricardo-duchesne-the-uniqueness-of-western-civilization-brill-2011/

    • dave chamberlin says:

      He is a very bright guy, no question about it. But I think there is a vastly more scientific way to look at variation in intelligence and that is done by studying population genetics and IQ testing. People have done that and come up with results that I put a whole lot more trust into and I might add directly contradict Duchesne. I don’t care to split intellectual hairs with this man. I think it is pointless. A million Duchesne’s can type for a million years and they won’t figure out how the human mind evolved. But you let loose enough Reich’s, Patterson’s, and Lazaridis’s for decade or two and we will being having a lot more exciting confabs at blogs about real answers to human history and what we are now.

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        But consider this:

        The seemingly amorphous, immeasurable, and infinite concept of a Faustian soul is far better to explain Western uniqueness than the measurable but rather confined IQ concept. There is clearly a general link between IQ and cultural achievement. But IQ experts, J. Philippe Rushton and Richard Lynn, have yet to offer a sound explanation why Europeans achieved far more intellectually and artistically than the East Asians with their higher average IQ. Rushton highlights Chinese priority in a number of technologies before the modern era. He points to the Chinese use of printing by the 9th century, “flame throwers, guns, and cannons” by the 13th century, magnetic compass in the 1st century, etc.
        Sounding like a multicultural revisionist, Rushton adds: “With their gunpowder weapons, navigation, accurate maps and magnetic compasses, the Chinese could easily have gone around the tip of Africa and ‘discovered’ Europe!”

        Even more, Rushton views the last five centuries of European superiority as a temporary deviation that is now being superseded by not only Japan but China, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea. Lynn has the same opinion. But they have not offered an answer as to why Europeans were responsible for almost every single advance and invention in modern times. East Asian creativity, they say, was kept under a lid by cultural norms and institutions that are now breaking down. But there are multiple problems with Rushton’s claims, starting with his very one-sided association of creativity with science and technology, and his exaggerations about Chinese technology prior to 1500. After the Sung era (960-1279), the Chinese ceased to be inventive, whereas it was the medieval Europeans who went on to make continuous improvements on the Chinese inventions Rushton mentions, and then Europeans added their own: spectacles, mechanical clocks, navigational techniques, gauges, micrometres, water mills, fine wheel cutters, and more.
        The Chinese possessed large junks but did not discover a single new nautical mile. The ancient Greeks were more advanced in the theoretical sciences, geometry, deductive reasoning, not to mention their arts and humanities. The Romans were just as inventive technologically, progenitors of great military strategists and beautiful conquerors, and true innovators in jurisprudence. Chinese education is still backward, dogmatic, and this is why they send their students to the West. Europeans invented each and every discipline taught in our universities. Virtually every great philosopher, poet, painter, novelist, explorer in history is European.
        It is not variations in IQ I am trying to explain, and it is not the rise of modern industry or science, as the Marxists Pomeranz, Frank, Wong, et. al would have us believe, it is the unsurpassed creativity of the West in all sphere of life.

        Now, the Faustian soul can be analyzed empirically, as I tried in the book by describing the material conditions of the IE pastoral/aristocratic life. What Harpending says about lactose and caloric intake is consistent with Spengler’s approach — so long as we don’t presume that the human personality — less so the personality of Europeans, since, after all, they were the ones who were genuine personalities — can be captured with neat measurements. I should clarify that my emphasis is not on ideas but on temperament; the creators of the West were not pacified intellects sitting on desks but men with a certain temperament.

      • massimo says:

        Actually I think Lynn claims East Asians are less creative and cites psychological factors like openness to experience, which I suppose could be tied to the “Faustian soul” idea, not just cultural and institutional reasons. I believe Rushton made similar claims.

      • massimo says:

        Re Lynn, see here:

        http://mankindquarterly.org/spring2008_lynn.html

        “Race Differences in Intelligence, Creativity and Creative Achievement
        Richard Lynn”

        “Evidence is presented showing that the North East Asians have lower creativity measured by openness to experience. It is proposed that this explains their lower creative achievement.”

      • massimo says:

        Wouldn’t genetics be a better explanation than “The seemingly amorphous, immeasurable, and infinite concept of a Faustian soul”, which sounds like a deus ex machina?

  104. Bob says:

    Pride gives members of a kind an emotional connection to the group, a sense of its value, and the motivation to work for its perpetuation.

  105. misdreavus says:

    Judging from the comments he has left on this blog post, I’m not sure if Ricardo Duchesne is much of an intellectual improvement at all over the “cultural Marxist” loons he so vociferously decries in every other posting. Do we really need more people like Houston Chamberlain in the humanities?

    Of course Western exceptionalism is a fact, but please try not to argue like a aspergers lunatic, and don’t introduce politics unless it is germane to the discussion at hand. You don’t want any more darkies infesting your precious European countries. We get it now. Nobody even broached this topic before you did, not even the bona fide Nazi who crawled in here from the sordid underbelly of the Phora.

    As for the notion that Nietsche has any intelligent insights to offer on the genesis of northern European creativity, excuse me while I soil myself laughing.

    • reiner Tor says:

      I’m not sure if my previous comment is still waiting in moderation, but if you think Western intellectual achievement is exceptional, and if I’m correct that you also agree that it has (at least partially) a biological basis, than what is the reason not to oppose mass immigration, by “darkies” or others? Because that is sure to lead to a decline in said intellectual achievement.

      • misdreavus says:

        What would you think of someone who starting ranting about the “gay agenda” like a syphilitic madman during a discourse about the Dong Son culture in northern Vietnam? Whether or not that person has intelligent things to say about homosexuality or the gay rights movement is irrelevant..Keep your stupid politics out of this thread.

      • misdreavus says:

        Also, regarding mass immigration, be careful where you draw your lines.

        The whole point of Charles Murray’s Human Acccomplishment is not just that Europeans have accomplished a lot more than other races over the past five hundred years, but that certain subgroups within western Europe proper have proven themselves to be vastly more creative than the others. Just what exactly have the Portuguese contributed to physics recently? Average IQ varies considerably among white European populations, roughly 10-12 points from the highest to the lowest, from the highest to the lowest, as does a host of other psychological dimensions such as conscientiousness, social trust, empathy, etc. There is no such thing as a singular “white” race, and there never has been — selective pressures operate a lot faster than people often imagine, and so there goes Duchesne’s crackpot Indo-European theory. Yes, human races do exist, but selection pressures are different everywhere in the world, not just on opposite sides of a continental divide. The high accomplishments of Brunelleschi, Marconi, and da Vinci are hardly reflective of the creativity of the typical lazzarone in the mezzogiorno, any more than it is possible to extrapolate directly from sharpeis to lhasa apsos.

        There are rational and sensible reasons to advocate for a strict moratorium on immigration to every developed nation (not just Europe and the Anglosphere), but if you seriously want to turn back the clock at this point, why don’t we be consistent here and just kick out every single Sicilian, Irishman, or eastern Slav from the United States, considering the poorer intellectual achievement of these European populations. After all, who are they to sap the creative juices of the master race?

      • reiner Tor says:

        Keep your stupid politics out of this thread.

        This is a political blog, because in a world where two plus two officially equals five, saying two plus two equals four is a political statement, whether you (or Dr. Cochran) like it or not. But I never bring my highly intelligent politics into this thread, unless when someone else brings up the topic.

        There is no such thing as a singular “white” race

        There is a white European race, but yes, there’s a difference between subgroups. I never stated otherwise. So what is your point?

        Al West is not a Marxist, and neither are the vast majority of academics who typically fall under the umbrella of “cultural Marxism”

        I tried to go to this Phora but I don’t know how to search users comments, so after something like one minute I gave up trying to list named user’s comments, and now I cannot verify if he really is a Nazi. But given how liberally that adjective is attached to individuals with an unPC point of view, I rather doubt whether our “bona fide Nazi” really has Nazi views, and of course he cannot be a Nazi, since he never read the Mein Kampf, the strict criterium of someone being labelled a Nazi, just as reading Gramsci (or Adorno or Horkheimer) should be the criterium of someone being labelled a cultural Marxist.

        As for the Chinese never debasing their culture and traditions, have you ever heard of the Cultural Revolution?

        Well, they debased everybody else’s traditions as well, and in the same time praised their (then present) system, they also were highly nationalistic, waging aggressive border wars with their two biggest neighbors. This was the time when the Soviet joke about the peacefully plowing tractors originated, and the Sino-Soviet border conflict with hundreds of KIA on both sides was waged.

  106. misdreavus says:

    “The seemingly amorphous, immeasurable, and infinite concept of a Faustian soul is far better to explain Western uniqueness than the measurable but rather confined IQ concept.”

    LOL

  107. misdreavus says:

    I will grant the word “domesticated” was not quite right; and will indeed add that no Chinese would ever debase their culture and traditions they way cultural Marxists like you do; no Muslim, no Mexican; and believe me, much as they enjoy populating Western lands and being celebrated for their enrichment of white culture, they don’t respect weak males like you.

    You cultivate the unfortunate habit of insulting everyone who disagrees with you by calling them Marxists. Stop that nonsense. Al West is not a Marxist, and neither are the vast majority of academics who typically fall under the umbrella of “cultural Marxism” (whatever the hell that means — just how many “ethnic studies” professors have even read anything by Antonio Gramsci?). The fact that you are (mostly) correct about Western intellectual achievement does not make it so. You write like a columnist for vdare.com, not a scholar in social sciences at a large public university. What I find asinine is that only one party in this exchange has been posting lucid and intelligent arguments throughout this discourse, and unfortunately, it’s not the side that has read Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment. Even the Nazi was politer than that.

    As for the Chinese never debasing their culture and traditions, have you ever heard of the Cultural Revolution?

    • JayMan says:

      Thank you! I’m glad there’s someone in this comment stream putting things in their proper place.

      The comments to this post have been very hard to follow because they contain so much downright nonsense. Which is a shame, because there’s some really insightful things in here… :\

  108. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    I was aware of the paper by Lynn that ‘massimo’ refers to. This is what the abstract we all can read says: “There is however an anomaly: North East Asians have a higher IQ than Europeans, but their creative achievements have been less. Evidence is presented showing that the North East Asians have lower creativity measured by openness to experience. It is proposed that this explains their lower creative achievement.”

    First, Lynn acknowledges there is an “anomaly”; second, he says that Asian lower creativity can be explained by lack of openness, leaving the impression that it is only a matter of opening up, which is what I meant when I said that they thought that East Asians would surpass Europeans once they lifted the lid of cultural conformity. Nevertheless, I do sense that Lynn has not been as pro-Asian, if you like, as Rushton, and Lynn is correct that under the current cultural Marxist regime, if I may use my own words, Europeans are bound to become a confused, race-mixed, deracinated, emasculated, state-controlled, smiley, rather unimpressive people to be surpassed by confident ethnocentric Asians.

    Misdreavus judgement that a Nazi is someone who appreciates European creativity is indicative of how restrictive intellectual discussions are today under cultural Marxism.

    • Paul Conroy says:

      I’ve read much about this anomaly of Chinese students who perform similarly to Western students on standardized tests, yet are lower on measures of creativity.

      However to me there is no anomaly! I’ve attended college with Chinese students – computer science – and to a person they were all cheating. They do not view cheating as being morally wrong, they view it as “getting ahead”!

      So the reason for the seemingly poorer performance of Chinese students on creativity, is due to creativity being more difficult to cheat at – simple as that!

      More on cheating Chinese here:

      http://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/asian-immigrants-and-what-no-one-mentions-aloud/

      • Ricardo Duchesne says:

        Someone sent me this. his words:
        For a “master race,” those Asians sure cheat a whole damn lot:

        http://educationrealist.wordpr

        http://www.globalpost.com/disp

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

        Their restaurants are also overrepresented when it comes to health code violations:

        http://www.wftv.com/news/news/

        Let this be a lesson to those who think Asian immigration into White countries is somehow beneficial.

      • Paul Conroy says:

        Just to be clear here – that “someone” was not me…

      • Matt says:

        I think the general findings on creativity tests and Chinese compared to Europeans are highly inconclusive, and it is not clear the tests relate well to creativity.

        That said, cheating and creativity do show some links of tests of creativity (of dubious benefit though these are).

        In these the cheaters tend to be *more* creative. There is likewise a link between lying and creativity. The theory is because cheaters and liars and willing to break the rules and creativity is essentially rule breaking and thinking outside established rules.

        Still, if there is a norm of cheating, then perhaps that wouldn’t be the case – if there’s no established, seriously considered rule not to cheat, cheaters wouldn’t be less rule bound than non-cheaters.

    • misdreavus says:

      Misdreavus judgement that a Nazi is someone who appreciates European creativity is indicative of how restrictive intellectual discussions are today under cultural Marxism.

      I never once called you a Nazi. We do have an actual Nazi posting here (and quite a few who have yet to crack open the proverbial closet), but that’s beside the point.

      “Openness to experience” is a dimension of personality (one of the “Big Five’) that can be measured through psychometric testing, and like all aspects of personality and character, happens to be partially rooted in heredity. Surely Richard Lynn knows this, but I doubt you do. You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about, and I am absolutely certain that you have never read the paper in question.

    • massimo says:

      Openness to experience is a psychological factor or personality trait. It doesn’t mean “opening up” culturally or socially.

      Rushton was no pro-Asian and had similar views as Lynn on these matters.

  109. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    Sorry, I don’t mean to keep going, but read what misdreavus said about my posts: “The fact that you are (mostly) correct about Western intellectual achievement does not make it so.”

    Am I missing something? The fact that I am mostly correct does not mean that I am mostly correct.

    Here you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the essence of political correctness in academia today.Even if you are mostly correct factually and logically, it does not mean you are — if it does not conform to the dictates of PC.

    Those who would like to get my two part article just published on how the historical profession has been defiled at the highest levels of academia can write to me personally at rduchesn@unb.ca

  110. misdreavus says:

    Since this thread has collapsed long ago into a miasma of pseudo-intellectual silliness and delirium, I now feel comfortable launching a tangent or two of my own. What’s a few additional heaps of garbage in the trough of a pigsty, anyway?

    With that being said, let me point out that with notably few exceptions, so-called “HBD” (or “human biodiversity”) is a movement that exists largely within the confines of the internet. This, of course, has done absolutely no favors to its dispersal within society at large, because if technology has taught us anything, it is that the anonymity of the web tends to bring out the crazy and stupid in everyone, Surely there was a time when people actually tried to research certain topics before launching a slurry of half-baked and inchoate opinions with an audacious (and entirely unwarranted) degree of self-confidence — not so much because people were any better informed in yesteryear than they are today, but because certain structural barriers posed an impediment to the crazy and incompetent expressing their ideas in lofty places. Now that (most of) these have been safely dismantled, we’ve got nutters from Stormfront sparring tête–à–tête with anthropology professors over elementary facts that anybody can look up in a linguistics textbook. How splendid is that.

    This is a most sudden and hilarious change of affairs. Thanks to the almighty web, we’ve got “white genocide” nutters, “red pillers”, devotees of Asatru, Sedevacantists, keyboard warriors, “neo-reactionaries”, social justice warriors, 4chan experts, and bedlamites of every stripe and fashion littering the comments section of every blog about human biodiversity. They’re not only shockingly ill-mannered and coarse, but many of them have yet to absorb all of the facts about “HBD” that have been settled science for several decades — you try explaining to any of these “Dark Enlightenment” lunatics that single mothers are not responsible for adverse outcomes in bastard children, as is proven by a wealth of longitudinal adoption studies.

    I can’t decide whether or not I like it at all, for the life of me — but it’s here to stay!

    • misdreavus says:

      because certain structural barriers posed an impediment to the crazy and incompetent expressing their ideas in lofty places

      I rescind this statement, but only partially. We’re talking about gradations of insanity here.

    • misdreavus says:

      you try explaining to any of these “Dark Enlightenment” lunatics that single mothers are not responsible for adverse outcomes in bastard children, as is proven by a wealth of longitudinal adoption studies.

      “not responsible” as in single parenting is not responsible for X, Y, etc.

    • SDL says:

      When you exile certain areas of research or certain ways of thinking from mainstream academics, this is bound to happen.

    • BAP says:

      misdreavus you do a lot of hemming and hawing about your superior knowledge of history and HBD, none of which, however you display anywhere. You’re being a status whore and trying to disassociated yourself from “Nazis,” which is understandable, as you are young and gay. But instead of calling me a Nazi, would you care to argue against any of the points I’ve made in this thread about the timeline of IE expansions, horse-riding, chariotry, etc.? You seem to be so convinced I’m wrong, and also “Nazi,” but I doubt you even know of the debate that I’m referring to…

      On the face of things it’s strange that making a minority argument about when horse-riding, e.g., first developed should get such passionate responses and get me called a “Nazi.” But it’s not strange when you think that people like AJ West are career-wedded to the dominant pop image of hordes of IE on the steppe moving into Europe with their herds and horses some time in the remote past (a theory for which there’s no archaeological or historical evidence, only badly interpreted linguistic evidence). The rest of you have bought the same model because it’s what you heard about from TV, etc.; but the most recent linguistic, historical, and archaeological evidence is that IE spread by elite dominance, not by any great Volkerwanderung, and much later than previously thought.

      Until genetic studies can show e.g., expansion of Romance languages, you have no business speculating on when IE first entered into Europe, for which there’s no historical record.

      • gcochran9 says:

        There’s plenty of evidence for a massive population turnover in Northern Europe around 3000 BC. Saying that the Indo-Europeans couldn’t have done it because they didn’t yet have “cavalry” is just stupid – someone did it.

        As for archaeological evidence of a population shift at this time – sure there is.

        Saying that the IE expansion just had to be elite dominance is also stupid. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.

        I said “enough”, earlier, but you didn’t listen.

  111. Greying Wanderer says:

    @AJ West

    “‘Domesticated’. Riiiight.”

    I think an HBD prediction would be that sedentary high-density farming likely pacifies a population in proportion to how long they’ve been doing it (in generations). If so those populations who have spent the fewest generations in that environment ought to be “wilder” in various ways.

    .

    “In the state of Qin, the foundation of imperial China, soldiers were rewarded for how many heads they took in battle, and officers were rewarded for how many heads their subordinates took. In Shang-era archery workshops, lots of arrows with human bone points have been found.”

    The Shang era, c. 2000-3000 years before high-density settled agriculture came to northern Europe or an extra 2000-3000 years worth of pacification or dating from the Qin only an extra 1000 years. So that wouldn’t contradict the first point.

    Also, and I don’t know this but will bet it’s true anyway, the Qin definitely and probably the Shang as well had particular regions where they drew a disproportionate number of their best soldiers from: hill tribes mainly, for the same relative pacification reasons.

    .

    If a second prediction is that the generally speaking socially negative “barbarian” character traits which are the traits pacified over time by settled agriculture can **in the right doses** have a major positive effect on innovation then a third HBD prediction would be the centers of innovation would move northwards over time as high density settled farming gradually moved north into less pacified populations.

    • Paul Conroy says:

      @Greying,
      I could buy that last paragraph certainly…

    • TWS says:

      Brutal actions does not equal ‘undomesticated’ a pitbull is plenty domesticated and plenty brutal. Chinese babies are more ‘docile’ from birth. I don’t know how we could prove it one way or the other for the same pop 1000 years ago. A rotti or cane corso is far more likely to tear your arm off than most wolves ( outside India) but that doesn’t make the wolf a house pet.

      • reiner Tor says:

        I don’t quite understand the emotional charge of this debate. Chinese are domesticated, just as Europeans, except probably somewhat more so. Compared to “wild” humans both Europeans (even medieval Europeans) and Chinese are plenty domesticated, and the difference is slight from that perspective. However, it could result in significant creative differences, especially since Chinese creativity used to be much higher in the past. (When they were probably much less domesticated..?)

      • TWS says:

        Me neither. I have no dog in this fight (what there is) I am stunned though at the vitriol not normal for here anyway. The OP is really interesting and the subject of what or ‘mampire cowboy’ ancestors did is endlessly fascinating but this is just odd.

  112. Pingback: The Problem with HBD, the Dark Enlighment, Neoreactionism, Alt-Rightism, and that Jazz | JayMan's Blog

  113. misdreavus says:

    Another day, another tangent.

    It seems Duchesne has published a number of articles that are available on the public domain — here’s one that I found particularly interesting. In it he laments the system denigration of white Canadian heritage by society at large, as well as the refusal by cultural and academic elites in Canada to accept the critical role of Anglo Saxons in establishing all of the important cultural institutions of their nation.

    While I lack the knowledge or personal experience to judge whether his personal assessment of the ethnic transformation of Canada is valid (particularly in Vancouver along the west coast), I think I know sloppy research when I see it. To be true, mass immigration should be regarded as an unwelcome trend in any nation, Western or non-Western — especially when it is implemented as a mechanism for selfish gain by unscrupulous elites (many of whom happen to be members of the very same race that is being “displaced” by the influx of migrants), but that’s not an excuse to tell outright falsehoods about the Chinese, or any other nation, for that matter. Nobody can say with a straight face that China in the year 2014 is a Han chauvinist nation — for one, the current regime in power explicitly promotes higher birth rates among Tibetans, Zhuang, Dai, etc. and other ethnic minorities; enforces a system of affirmative action that favors minorities in university admissions; and offers zero-interest business loans to Chinese of non-Han heritage, among other shocking displays of ethno-racial supremacism. That sure doesn’t sound like Madison Grant to me.

    As Greg Cochran mentioned in another post, in China, you must be a racist if you believe that Tibetans have genetic adaptations to high altitude. Sure, China does engage in military reprisals against Tibetan and Uighur separatists, but that has absolutely nothing to do with ethnic chauvinism, and everything to do with geopolitical forces and the threat of terrorism (whether real or imagined) by separatist groups.

    You’ve said similar silly things elsewhere in this comments thread, as well as in some other publications, and I’m not going to bother addressing it all. This appears to be a lingering habit of yours, not the product of occasional or sporadic lapses in reasoning. Online comments published anonymously by Chinese netizens prove nothing. An op-ed in the Daily Mail (of all newspapers!) is not a valid source whatsoever. If you’re going to persist in publishing silly things that can be refuted by five minutes of online research, why on earth should I (or anyone else) trust anything you have to say about a serious matter such as the origin of Western ingenuity?

    If you want to advocate for white rights, all power to you — just don’t be an idiot about it. I know it’s hard for you, but keep striving! Maybe someday you will manage to convince two or three people outside your narrow social circle to adopt your sociopolitical agenda.

    • misdreavus says:

      Just in case anyone is wondering, I am *not* Chinese.

    • Ricardo Duchesne says:

      misdreavus has let it get to his head that he is writing intelligent posts only because some illiterate name JayMan praise him “your, sir, are The Man”, so now he thinks we need to read every little emotion he experiences as he encounters arguments inconsistent with the few things he learned from some blogs. Most of his criticisms are adhominem attacks of the least qualified type, using abusive terms to invalidate what he cannot in a scholarly manner, including such phrases and words as “Duchesne’s crackpot Indo-European theory” (though he has never read my book, which has received an unusually high number of 8 full review essays from an usually wide a spectrum of disciplines), “Stormfront”, “Nazi”, “racist”.

      I know he is getting frustrated because so far I have refuted every little argument he’s made. Let me frustrate him even more: he says that “Murray’s Human Accomplishment is not just that Europeans have accomplished a lot more than other races over the past five hundred years, but that certain subgroups within western Europe proper have proven themselves to be vastly more creative than the others. Just what exactly have the Portuguese contributed to physics recently?”

      If he had read my essay on European exploration, he would have noted that I criticized Murray’s limited understanding of achievement (as I do more extensively in my book), while at the same agreeing that European achievements occurred at various times in varying places. But Murray exaggerates the achievements of northern Europeans in part because, as I said, he only examines intellectual and artistic achievements, and neglects, for example, the incredible rounding of Africa by the Portuguese. He has a typically academic view. The Greek achievements were very long lasting, from about 750 BC to the first centuries AD, if we take into account the exceptional way in which Greek philosophers in Byzantium transformed Christian beliefs into a full theology, the best theological religion in history, leading to the magnificent world of Catholic Scholasticism.

      I could go on referring not only to the Spanish explorations but also to the Spanish Golden Age of the 1500s to early 1600s.

      Not being able to counter these arguments, misdreaful’s next trope is to simply assert the “white” race does not exist. The Europeans could not have achieved anything since they don’t exist! Right.

      Next he picks an article I wrote on Vancouver, a long PDF version; a shorter version was published in the prestigious British journal, Salisbury Review, but one needs membership to read it; however, this article spread through the web like fire, and here is one copy posted in a website dealing with immigration issues: http://www.cireport.ca/2012/09/ricardo-duchesne-multicultural-madness.html

      He claims that this is “sloppy scholarship” though he acknowledges he knows nothing about this issue per so; his basic criticism is incredibly odd and indicative of someone who is way out of his league: “To be true, mass immigration should be regarded as an unwelcome trend in any nation, Western or non-Western”.

      In other words, my criticism of mass immigration in Canada cannot be valid unless I also address mass immigration into non-Western lands. Well, kiddo, mass immigration is a planned program implemented only in Western countries; there is no mass immigration into non-Western lands, but only mass immigration from non-Western lands into Western lands. For all the leftist (and liberal right wing talk) about how we need to face up to globalization-immigration, the fact is that Asia’s now advanced economies have seen international trade, investment and finance represent ever growing portions of their economies, but immigrants have accounted for a mere 1.4-1.6% of Asia’s population over the past twenty years – despite fertility rates well below replacement levels. Can you dig this fact?

      Are the South Koreans, despite low fertility rates, and globalization, racist in that they specifically passed a law against immigration that would alter the character of their historical traditions? Are the Japanese? Are the Saudi Arabians, who import Asians to do the dirty work, but never offer citizenship to them? What about Israel, a nation based on Jewish ethnicity, and which has recently kicked out African immigrants? http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/12/us-israel-africans-idUSBRE85B0IY20120612

      Imagine if Canada did this.

  114. SpaghetiMeatball says:

    Thanks for fucking wasting the comment space, assholes.

  115. dave chamberlin says:

    Ricardo…..please. You will never have anything but worthless opinions until you fathom how much can be achieved through the scientific method and how little can be achieved by just words. You will never get it. I don’t think you are capable of stopping the endless torrent of words in your head and simply reflecting on this point. I’m done, we are all done, but your words will run on and on and on. There is a real world out there and exciting things are happening, real progress in science is being made that are leading to real answers on issues all you do is talk, talk, talk about. For one author of the paper that started this thread there are a million Duchesne’s. That is why I’m sadly resigned to agree with this quote, “I love humanity, it’s people I can’t stand.”

  116. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    For the sake of keeping this thread away from politics, or at least ending on a note that is less about contemporaneous issues (much as these issues are relevant), it should be noted that I don’t view the IE expansion as involving big waves of invaders conquering the inhabitants of Old Europe and displacing them; it was a long drawn out process involving conflicts, of course, but also economic and demographic movements, and depending on region and time, there was coalescence of diverse cultural motifs and, very important, the rise of a type of agriculture which combined animal and grain farming, by *independent farmers*, not to be seen in Asia, but only in Ancient Greece, Rome, and Medieval-Modern Europe, and the settled nations of America, Australia, and Canada.

    I discuss in my book the contrast between “Eastern Group-Oriented and Western Individualizing Chiefdoms”, but no one has been able to digest this original argument about the aristocratic character of Western chiefdom and economy. One thing I would consider at greater length, rather than in passing or in footnotes, as I did in the book, is the independent family farms of Europeans, as these farms embodied the democratization of aristocratic chiefdoms and culture of IE warriors, which is reflected in the rise of hoplite warfare, and the reforms of Solon and Cleisthenes. This pattern repeats itself in the rise of Roman army of independent farmers. For now, see work of Victor Davis Hanson, The Other Greeks, The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization, http://www.amazon.com/The-Other-Greeks-Agrarian-Civilization/dp/0520209354

    This emphasis on working the land as an independent farmer nurtured new virtues in Greece and Rome which are the basis of democratic Republicanism, the virtues of honest labor, practical manliness, self-reliance, moral integrity, and hospitality, as we see in Hesiod’s Works and Days.

    • massimo says:

      Are you making a cultural or genetic argument?

      You agree that races exist and that there are racial differences, so genetics would explain this, no? And if it was genetics, the IEs would not have had a minor demographic impact, no?

  117. whatever says:

    did actually *anybody body read the full data supplement to the paper? What GCochran suggests is attractive, but is not supported from the data. The ANE/WHG ratio actually *do* shifts, and it shifts big time: from the data supplement:
    *EEF WHG ANE *
    Albanian *0.781 0.092 0.127*
    Ashkenazi_Jew 0.931 0 0.069
    Basque 0.593 0.293 0.114
    Belorussian 0.418 0.431 0.151
    Bergamo 0.715 0.177 0.108
    Bulgarian 0.712 0.147 0.141
    Croatian 0.561 0.293 0.145
    Czech 0.495 0.338 0.167
    English 0.495 0.364 0.141
    Estonian 0.322 0.495 0.183
    French 0.554 0.311 0.135
    French_South 0.675 0.195 0.13
    Greek 0.792 0.058 0.151
    Hungarian 0.558 0.264 0.179
    Icelandic 0.394 0.456 0.15
    Lithuanian 0.364 0.464 0.172
    Maltese 0.932 0 0.068 ..
    ………………………
    Ukrainian 0.462 0.387 0.151

    The entire argument of GCochran is flawed, so is discussion. The ratio of EEF/WGE/ANE shifts from population to population; more – it shifts from person to person within population . However, there are awkward things, that truly remained unnoticed: For example: “West Eurasians share more alleles with Karitiana than other eastern non-Africans'” – truly brave and novel statement;
    “”Some northeastern European populations (Chuvash, Finnish, Russian, Mordovian, Saami) share more alleles with Han Chinese than with other Europeans” -???
    The ANE/WHG/EEF ratio is especially imbalanced (and poor fit) for Russians and Finns:
    Finnish -0.257 ± 0.195 1.199 ± 0.292 0.058 ± 0.119
    Mordovian -0.215 ± 0.163 1.162 ± 0.241 0.053 ± 0.108
    Russian -0.256 ± 0.209 1.236 ± 0.308 0.021 ± 0.125
    The WHG component pics in Russians, Finns and Mordovians, which makes WHG poor choice for abbreviation. Finns and Mordovians are not western, nor they are European, so the entire abbreviation WHG is a nonsense, unless the authors of the research want to imply that Mesolithic Europe was inhabited by mostly ugro-finns (which is, speakers of the languages from the so called uracil family) as contemporary Europeans carry substantial Uralic background. In general the paper fails to address the origin of the Indo-Europeans, as does the discussion here.

    • reiner Tor says:

      Maybe I totally misunderstood, but my impression was that WHG came from two sources, first it comes from an admixture of EEF with WHG (during the initial EEF intrusion, when EEF didn’t totally displace WHG but partially mixed with it), then it comes again together with ANE. So depending on the original WHG proportion (much higher in the North) ANE/WHG ratio should change.

      Where the WHG was already very high (in the North, probably), ANE should be smaller than WHG. Where WHG was very small or nil (in the South, closer to where EEF came from – EEF only picked up some WHG as it went to higher latitudes, possibly because the climate was more favorable to WHGs there and so they could resist their turf better, and EEF could only intrude by first admixing with WHGs), WHG will be somewhat smaller than ANE. BTW this points to ANE being the dominant component of the WHG/ANE (IE?) population.

    • reiner Tor says:

      Some northeastern European populations (Chuvash, Finnish, Russian, Mordovian, Saami) share more alleles with Han Chinese than with other Europeans

      Is it not just the sample of alleles they checked? I guess it’s not true for all alleles.

      An alternative explanation could be that Finns had a separate but equal evolution which made look much more similar to the French than to Han Chinese. A third possibility is that those alleles disproportionately affect invisible qualities like personality types etc., hence the outward similarity of Finns to the French.

    • gcochran9 says:

      You’re wrong. Try read what I said more carefully. You might try reading the article more carefully as well – the caption to extended Data Figure 7 is an error, and you do yourself no favor by responding to a mistake.
      The statistic f4(A,B,Han, outgroup) measures whether the Han share more alleles with population A than population B. The Han share more alleles with certain groups in Eastern Europe than they do with the general run of Europeans.
      It is not the case that Lithuanians are closer to the Han than they are to other Europeans – but it is the case that the Han are closer to Lithuanians than they are to the Dutch.

      As for the bit about the Karitiana – means that West Europeans, Germans for example, are genetically closer to Amerindians than they are to Koreans or Chinese. This has all been worked out in earlier publications.

      It’s an ANE/Sibermen thing – you wouldn’t understand it.

      • pseudoerasmus says:

        GCochran, can you answer my question from a couple of days ago ? I’ll just repeat : I can understand that France, Italy and the Balkans would have a north-south gradient when it comes to WHG+ANE, but why on earth should Scotland and Norway have about the same amount of WHG+ANE as Eastern Europe ? Shouldn’t there be an east-west gradient as well if WHG+ANE was an IE marker ?

      • whatever says:

        I do not mind being wrong. However, I am referring to the table 3, not to table 7; If the data in table 3 is wrong as well, I am wrong. If it is not (and it is not) the ratio ANE/WHG is not constant at all in no sub-region of Western Eurasia.
        As for the ANE/Sibermen thing -it is highest in the Estonians: Estonian 0.322 0.495 0.183; They have the highest portion of WHG as well; by this I mean, nobody’s perfect. However, since Estonians do not speak Indoeuropean language – they speak Ugro-finnic, they are not Indo-europeans. Which, among many other things, means that the Indo-europeans would have been not Indo-europeans, but Uralic people, which is nonsense. So, long live the Estonians, the last true Sibermen, I guess, or whatever. Note (if you wish) that WHG/ANE component is higher in Hungarians than in Western Europeans – Hungarians are another Ugro-finnic group – another yellow flag. The populations with highest ANE/WHG are not speakers of Indo-european languages. Can add more to it, but see no reason to do it. The hypothetical paper that you were referring to can’t be written. I think you are right and there had been population replacement – but this paper does not proves it.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Of course there was population replacement, or at least massive change. Ancient DNA in northern Europe switches form all Sardinian to at most half.

          If you want details, look at the supplement, page 68-95.

      • whatever says:

        The *Neolithic* hunter gatherer from Iberia, 7000 B.C, clustered with the contemporary Scandinavians. Contemporary Iberians do not cluster with contemporary Scandinavians – they cluster with western Mediterranean populations. Whatever population replacement happened between then and now shifted the Iberian population from Scandinavian cluster to a Mediterranean one. No doubt Neolithic farmers played some role in the shift. Still, more resent historical events are also in effect – the inclusion of Iberia in the Roman Empire and in the Caliphate. At the same time, the papers, which deal with the genome of the Iberian hunter, claim, that he is connected to Mal’ta paleolithic hunter – but no ANE component; At the same time they are defining the ANE section in regard with Mal’ta’s genome. Differentiation between WHG &ANE portions they make looks arbitrary. ANE is like an extra section of WHG, that happened to arrive later in Europe (post 7000 BC) – rest was already there. To make the things even more confusing, nearly half of the genome of EEF is already WHG – which is, not presented in the contemporary middle eastern populations&presented in Neolithic hunter gatherers in Europe. If you join together all 3 WHG sections in the contemporary Europeans -WHG +ANE+WHG part of EEF genome, and attribute WHG presence in contemporary Europe to a population replacement, this replacements gets really big – nearly 70% of the genome of most contemporary Europeans would have come from events that happened post 7000 BC, and in the case of European north east – it would be nearly 95% of the genome. This is in case you are right about the native European hunter gatherers getting exterminated or with otherwise suppressed demography by the Neolithic farmers. In regard with the Indo-European origins and arrival, the paper opens many new questions and does not answers the existing ones. For example ANE component – Baltic &part of Scandinavian Uralic population got indo-Europeanized in historic times – some Finno-Ugric tribes became Indo-European speakers as late as 10th century AD (incorporated in Germanic and Slavic speaking medieval populations) This process has been going on for millennia. ANE could have entered European genome via the migrations of the Germanic and Slavic tribes, spreading Uralic ancestry in Europe during early post antiquity. Or it could have been Indo-European Sibermen. Last opens the possibility for elite dominance model – what is not available in the genetic landscape in Europe 7000 BC is only the ANE component – which is between 10 and 18% of the genome of contemporary Europeans. Rest is already presented in Europe.10% input looks like elite dominance. Too many possible answers.

  118. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    Peter Frost claims that selection can change gene frequencies to mimic replacement, or something like that.

    http://www.evoandproud.blogspot.com/2014/02/replacement-or-continuity.html

    Selection? Where have I heard about that before?

    • gcochran9 says:

      He’s wrong. The signatures we’re seeing are generated by long-term drift on neutral alleles – the vast majority of all alleles. Moreover, the turnover in mtDNA is far too abrupt to be a product of selection. And there’s also a turnover in Y chromosomes at the same time.

      That said, there has certainly been selection on some alleles in Europeans, strong selection in some cases. MtDNA haplogroup H has probably expanded over time.

      • Peter Frost says:

        If we look at the genetic divide between the latest hunter-gatherers and the earliest farmers, some of it must be due to the effects of natural selection, and not admixture. For one thing, wherever we have a good time series, the divide is actually between the earliest farmers and somewhat later farmers. For another thing, if we look at Haplogroup U lineages — which are typically cited as evidence for population replacement — we find a sharp drop in their prevalence even in regions that switched to farming very recently (almost in historic times) and for which we have good archaeological evidence of cultural continuity. We also have evidence that Haplogroup U lineages are not selectively neutral. In fact, there is strong evidence for heat production trade-offs in these genes.

        I’m not arguing that no population replacement occurred. I’m arguing that estimates of population replacement have been greatly inflated, almost by a factor of 2, because no allowance is made for the effects of natural selection.

  119. Ricardo Duchesne says:

    In response to a question by massimo above whether in writing about IE expansion and colonization of Old Europe, I am “making a cultural or genetic argument? You agree that races exist and that there are racial differences, so genetics would explain this, no? And if it was genetics, the IEs would not have had a minor demographic impact, no?”

    It seems to me that in addressing or agreeing with the expansion of the
    Indo-Europeans and their assimilation of non-Indo-Europeans, both socially and
    linguistically, we should be aware that the peoples of Old Europe (pre-IE invasion Europe) and the IE were members of the same “white” race.

    The upper Paleolithic Europeans spread out throughout Europe including Russia, as attested by the burials discovered in Sungir, Russia, buried some 25,000 years ago, http://books.google.ca/books?id=PmTOT7xp4b4C&pg=PA234&lpg=PA234&dq=sungir+Upper+Paleolithic+clothed+male,+discovered+in+Sungir,+Russia&source=bl&ots=B_pl58iY54&sig=whNgce4M70WYfOyK9r1rbVmHYiE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jhSUT_naGOjk6QGnhtW2BA&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=sungir%20Upper%20Paleolithic%20clothed%20male%2C%20discovered%20in%20Sungir%2C%20Russia&f=false

    Taking into consideration the Neolithic farmers who arrived from the Near East, moving first into the Greek mainland and the Balkans, around 6500 BC, Coon writes about the racial make-up of Europeans: “The white race is of dual origin consisting of Upper Paleolithic types and Mediterranean types; the Upper Paleolithic peoples are the truly indigenous peoples of Europe; the Mediterraneans invaded Europe in large numbers during the Neolithic period”

    I agree that the genetic roots of European culture in general are to be found in this combination of Upper Paleolithic (from which the IE came) and Near Eastern Neolithic, though, it should be recognized that the Near Eastern Neolithic racial groups impacted Mediterranean Europe far more than Nordic Europe (farming spread into the rest of Europe from the eastern south not by occupation but by imitation).

    Coon says that the Near Eastern farmers who mixed with the upper-Paleolithic made up an essentially white Mediterranean race.

    This is why I stress the cultural impact of the IE (aristocratic individualism) on Old Europe rather than genetic.

    Now, another cultural point to consider about the IE occupation is that individualism may have been already a cultural marker of Northwest Europeans before the IE arrived, as evidenced in their family patterns, nuclear families already freed to some extent from extended kinship ties. I contrasted various individualizing practices introduced by IEs, including the Kurgan mounds which singled out male warriors. One type of evidence relevant here, as it concerns family habitation, is the observation noted by some that with the Indo-Europeanization of Europe, one sees a movement away from settlements based on communal-village systems, and, later, from extended families living in long houses, towards smaller houses based on nuclear families. For example, the basic unit of settlement in central-Western Europe, 4500-3500 BC (before IE colonization), was the “rectangular post-framed longhouse”.
    The long house ranged from about 6 to 45 meters, with many around 15 to 30 meters in length, and 6-7 wide; BUT these long houses may have housed “a basic family unit”; and the spacing between buildings suggest “independence of individual households within the village”.

    Later these groups of long houses are said to have evolved into “nucleated” villages, and later one sees settlements in the form of dispersed farmsteads. The burials of Old Europeans, including northern Europe, were communal, however, unlike that of the IEs.

    • massimo says:

      By genetic or cultural argument, I mean nature or nurture argument.

      The nature argument or genetic argument is that culture, like any other phenotype, is determined by genes. The nurture argument is that it is not determined by genes.

      In this context, the nature argument would be that the Indo-Europeans’ culture of creative achievement was determined by their genes, which were then passed onto Europeans and determined the later European creative achievements.

      The nurture or cultural argument would be that the Indo-Europeans’ creative achievement was not determined by their genes but by their culture, which was passed onto Europeans and determined the later European creative achievements.

      Are you making a genetic/natural argument or a cultural/nurture argument? It’s not clear when you say, “This is why I stress the cultural impact of the IE (aristocratic individualism) on Old Europe rather than genetic.”

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  121. massimo says:

    I think Jason Malloy has offered some interesting genetic or nature explanations regarding the creativity issue:

    From a comment at the Inductivist blog (link won’t go through):

    There are two different kinds of creativity … or rather there are two distinctive wells of creativity.

    The first well is simply an extension of general intelligence. Smarter people can make more interesting and complex connections. They also have lower time preference which permits gradual elaboration of their raw creative abilities through craft.

    The second (and probably more vital) well is an extension of male sexual drive, and should be thought of as “insight” or extemporaneous creativity. It is hormonally mediated which explains why men are more creatively accomplished than women, and, more importantly, why male creative accomplishment occurs primarily when men are in their 20s and then declines with age. Female creative accomplishment does not show this aging pattern because females are drawing from the former well of creativity but not the latter.

    East Asians have plenty of the former kind of creativity but are deficient in the latter because they are biologically calibrated for low male mating effort. Blacks are the opposite. They have high extemporaneous creativity because they are calibrated for high mating effort.

    This vital creativity has declined over time as men have become biologically pacified (e.g. the dramatic centuries-long decline in violence — violence being another extension of male mating effort). Most recently Millennials are both less violent and less creative than previous generations.

    So contrary to received concerns, I believe creative stagnation should be viewed as a symptom of civilizational progress.

    And from a comment at Bruce Charlton’s blog:

    Vital creativity is a sexually selected trait. Almost all recognized creative accomplishment is male, occurs during the prime reproductive years, and declines gradually with age. Violent crime, athleticism, and creative output follow the same age curve for men due to their shared purpose and origin in the male sex hormones. Violence, athleticism, and creative display are all competitive male drives which work to attract female sexual partners. Then as men age or enter committed relationships the male sex hormones abate, so paternal traits increase and these mating traits decrease.

    State antiquity is similar for East Asians and Europeans, and shouldn’t explain the difference in sexual traits. Asian males have a weaker mating drive than European males and the best paradigm for explaining population differences in mating effort right now is differential pathogen exposure.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “State antiquity is similar for East Asians and Europeans, and shouldn’t explain the difference in sexual traits.”

      I don’t think that’s true for Northern Europe.

    • Matt says:

      Medievals with high violence were more creative than early moderns? Not sure about that.

      I think while Malloy is right in the crucial insight that one of two key elements of creativity is cognitive ability, simply thinking better, his description of the other kind of creativity as an element of male mating effort seems wrong.

      Why is this wrong? Because it doesn’t get to the simple essence of what creativity really is. Creativity is thinking better and thinking differently – superior divergent thought.
      It’s not clear why a tendency to think differently, to have an unusual focus, would relate to mating success. Why wouldn’t girls like conventional acting men? It’s not clear that women have ever preferred oddballs.

      It’s essentially the dreaded “invoking sexual selection”, which is dubious for many reasons Cochran has previously discussed.

      Let’s consider instead how Cochran has previously viewed creativity, as a composite of general cognitive ability and an odd focus, which is not necessarily adaptive and in fact likely to be maladaptive.

      How does this relate to patterns where young males and Africans display higher g-equivalent creativity and young females and East Asians lower?

      A quick hypothesis on this would be that –

      Young males are primed for odd focii, particularly outside of mating, by a competitive personality complex. They are more likely to reject the thinking of others, due to arrogance, and so develop an odd focus (divergent thinking).

      Africans are not quite like this. Instead it is the case that their less Malthusian environment, where provisioning is only handled by females without the need for male involvement, does not select for as high a level of “common sense”, i.e. solid, plain, Farmer-ish, Amish-ish, conventional thinking without flights of fancy. Men don’t provision, so they, and by extension the rest of the population who share their genes, don’t need to be focused, solid, commonsensical types.

      Under this argument we could see where Europeans may have diverged from Asians – should European environments be less Malthusian, there’d be less of a tight constraint for both cognitive ability and against peculiar thinking, which combined = creativity.

      Of course, this is general – certain adaptations to Malthusian environments which no longer hold in the world might be a sort of “Darwinian mental illness” in themselves (but not a Darwinian mental illness in the past), like certain kinds of hoarding behavior, attitudes to risk, etc.

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  125. Magus Janus says:

    by far the most entertaining comments section ive read in a while popcorn

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