Category Archives: European Prehistory

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, Ashkenazi Jews, Denisovans, European Prehistory, Genetics, Indo-European, Linguistics, Neanderthals | 417 Comments

Slow times in the New World

The pre-Columbian distribution of languages in the Americas is rather different from what we see in the Old World.  In Eurasia, Africa, and Australia, we mostly see large areas occupied by families of clearly related languages -  such as Indo-European, … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Amerindians, European Prehistory, Genetics, Linguistics | 121 Comments


The Basques are the only people in Western Europe that have a non-Indo- European language. In fact, there is no clear relationship between Basque and any other existing language: it is an isolate, as far as we know. The Basques … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, European Prehistory, Genetics | 78 Comments

Ancestral Journeys

Jean Manco has a new book out on the peopling of Europe, Ancestral Journeys.  The general picture is that Europeans arise from three main groups: the Mesolithic hunters (Hyperboreans),  Levantine farmers, and Indo-Europeans off the steppe.   It’s a decent … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, Book Reviews, European Prehistory, Genetics | 66 Comments

True Names

Now that Willerslev’s article is out in Nature,  there are a number of pieces discussing about it.  The gist is that there was a population that ranged from France deep into Siberia, one that accounts for part of the ancestry … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, European Prehistory | 36 Comments

The First of the Mohicans

I talked about some pieces of this puzzle earlier: Patterson and Reich found an Amerindian-like component in Europeans, especially northern Europeans.  Their first calculations showed such admixture in all Europeans other than Sardinians and Basques: later calculations found that all Europeans … Continue reading

Posted in Amerindians, European Prehistory, Genetics | 132 Comments

War Before Civilization

When you think of war, you usually think of organized states, or at minimum peoples with moderately sophisticated modes of production, agriculturalists or pastoralists. But hunter-gatherers manage as well. Not just war, but decisive war, the kind that that obliterates … Continue reading

Posted in European Prehistory | 20 Comments


The story isn’t finished, but it sure is interesting.  Where did the Europeans come from?  We know that modern humans replaced the Neanderthals, with a little admixture – not a lot, but enough to transmit genes of interest. We know … Continue reading

Posted in European Prehistory | 34 Comments