Charm Offensive

There was a paper out late last year that discussed sex ratio effects in the population of Europe. They found that the Neolithic farming immigrants apparently settled as whole families, and were more likely to incorporate females than males from the pre-existing hunter-gatherers. Which sounds reasonable. The analysis looked at the X chromosome, which will have different levels of ancestry from the autosomes if there is sex-biased gene flow. Seems to me that the authors [Amy Goldberg, first author] should have included stats on uniparental markers [mtDNA and Y-chromosomes] as a sanity check, but they did not, for some reason.

They found that the later gene flow from the Pontic Steppes was large and overwhelmingly male, so much so that it couldn’t be modeled by a single event in which the Steppe men complete replaced the local men – no, there had to be further steppe male inflow after that. Interesting, sufficiently so that I wonder whether it’s correct.

The authors suggested this might have involved chariot-borne warriors, but that’s wrong – way too early for chariots. Wagons, men on horseback, possible and likely: no chariots. But when someone says something lie that, you wonder about their general knowledge of prehistoric archaeology – relevant in figuring this out. Actually you don’t wonder.

In an interview, Rasmus Nielsen (not part of the study) said that the Yamnaya men might have spread because they were “more focused on warfare, with faster dispersal because of technological inventions”. Which isn’t crazy. Amy Goldberg suggested that there were other possible explanations – the Yamnaya men could have been more attractive mates than European farmers because they had horses and new technologies, such as copper hammers. Now that is crazy.

First, to be boring about it, copper metallurgy had already been developed [in the Balkans] by the early farmers – they may have done so earlier than in the Middle East. Certainly long before the Yamnaya invasions.The Iceman had a copper axe.  Second, the idea that a complete replacement of y chromosomes could be driven by female choice – presumably while the local men stand aside and play video games – is nuts. Sure, it might happen today, but it’s the sort of complex nonsense that could only be embraced by college graduates. Back in the day, the only way those Yamnaya men scooped up the local sheilas was over the dead bodies of the local G2A farmers.

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81 Responses to Charm Offensive

  1. pyrrhus says:

    Another triumph for peer reviewed science….

  2. RCB says:

    Facts are hard.

  3. another fred says:

    That generation has a date with destiny. It will not be pleasant.

  4. Chicks dig copper hammers, if they’re polished well.

  5. Davidski says:


    In the paper published in PNAS they said wagons not chariots, so they corrected the preprint.

    I also think that the estimates in the paper are exaggerated, possibly because they used programs like Admixture and Structure instead of formal stats. But the general gist of the paper seems correct, and I think it will be confirmed with more thorough sampling of Early Bronze Age Europe.

    I don’t agree with you that steppe males went around whacking farmers on a regular basis, though this may have happened on occasions.

    The reasons for the steppe male bias aren’t quite as morbid. Firstly, most of the migrants from the steppe were males, so they had to get their women from local communities.

    Secondly, steppe societies transplanted into Central Europe practiced male patrilocality/female exogamy, like on the steppe, which meant that the ratio of foreign female input continued to rise, even after the male migration from the steppe subsided.

    Thirdly, the steppe package proved very successful in Europe, resulting in healthier and presumably larger populations with a lot of steppe admixture, especially on the male side.

    A few thousand years of this sort of thing resulted in the modern North/Central/East European gene pool. Southern Europe has a somewhat different story.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Populations collapsed when the Indo-Europeans showed up.

      • Davidski says:

        Nope, the collapse may have started before they showed up.

        There may have been different reasons for the collapse, like worsening climate for farming (fall in temperatures and rainfall, from memory), overpopulation and environmental degradation, and/or diseases like the plague.

        The diseases may have arrived from the steppe ahead of the bulk of the Indo-Europeans, so they may have been often moving into depopulated regions.

        • Greying Wanderer says:

          “the collapse may have started before they showed up”

          another possibility might be the steppe herders expanded on the marginal (for farmers) land alongside the farmers so they coexisted for a while before the farmer population collapse (for whatever reason)

        • gcochran9 says:

          Disease could have played a role, but that’s much more likely when there’s a long period of isolation first, long enough for big differences in disease resistance to evolve, as was the case for the inhabitants of the New World and Polynesia.

          The villages all disappear. Farming stops. Genetic composition changes – G2a y-chromosomes go from dominant to rare in northern Europe, N1a mtdna drops by a factor of 40. An epidemic with the intensity of the Black Death wouldn’t be near enough – that only killed half the population.

          • Davidski says:

            But like I said, there may have been a variety of factors, including the steppe package being very successful and the farmer package no longer able to support large populations.

            • gcochran9 says:

              UH, why would the farmer package no longer be able to support large populations? Ennui?

              • Davidski says:

                Colder + drier climate + maybe overpopulation and environmental degradation.

                Apparently the peak of the Neolithic in Europe was during a wet and warm phase, in other words conditions similar to western Anatolia back in the day.

                I reckon those Neolithic death pits in Germany are from the tail end of this wet phase, and might be a reflection of the increasingly scarce farming resources in Central Europe.

              • gcochran9 says:

                People don’t need climate stress, or crowding, as an excuse to commit mass murder. Anything will do. You want to see a ton of depressing examples?

                If you assume that such excuses are required, you will make unforced errors.

              • Davidski says:

                “People don’t need climate stress, or crowding, as an excuse to commit mass murder. Anything will do.”

                Yes, but it seems that Neolithic farmers were committing mass murder against other Neolithic farmers, and climate stress and crowding seem like pretty good explanations for what they got up to.

                “You want to see a ton of depressing examples?”

                Nah, just some evidence. Otherwise, this looks like an exercise in confirmation bias from you.

                The climate stuff, death pits in Neolithic (not Bronze Age) Europe, and Bronze Age plague that I pointed out are supported by evidence, more or less.

                What direct evidence do you have to support your argument?

              • gcochran9 says:

                It had already happened in the Balkans, albeit more slowly. There had been two millennia of uninterrupted development. Then things change – signs of newcomers.

                First the towns became larger and fortified : then many disappeared, with the remaining ones located on islands, caves, or easily fortified hilltops, followed by several centuries with no towns at all.

                Probably these newcomers were the ancestors of the Hittites, Luwians, etc.

                We know general things about mobile pastoral societies, be they Nuer, Masai, Sarmatians, Mongols, or Turks. Peaceful they’re not.

                Moreover, there are interestingly hints in the pattern of agricultural collapse. Grain agriculture disappeared from England and Ireland – but it persisted in the Shetland Islands. Presumably because the climate there is so balmy – a place where they build stone walls around the fields to keep the sheep from blowing away…

                end of joke: the Indo-European invasions must have skipped the Orcadian islands. Who can blame them?

              • Davidski says:

                All circumstantial.

                No direct evidence of steppe herders whacking local farmers on a regular basis. See the problem?

  6. NoName says:

    “Second, the idea that a complete replacement of y chromosomes could be driven by female choice – presumably while the local men stand aside and play video games – is nuts. Sure, it might happen today, but it’s the sort of complex nonsense that could only be embraced by college graduates. Back in the day, the only way those Yamnaya men scooped up the local sheilas was over the dead bodies of the local G2A farmers.”

    True that. I am told(no firsthand knowledge of this) that it’s reached a considerable level in parts of Europe, where the Muslims girls wait until marriage to have sex, and wait until about age 25 to get married, so the Muslim boys play around with the White population, which does little to stop them. In America this is not really the case, in fact with so many Asians, in much of the country immigration helps the chances of young White men.

    In the book Savage Continent, the author claims that during WWII as many as 10 percent of Norwegian women had relationships with German soldiers. While the locals could hardly have punished the Germans, one wonders how the women got away with it.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Norway was heavily occupied, something like 1 German for every 4 Norwegians. Plenty of lonely Feldgrau, and they were calling the shots.

      They didn’t get away with it: the children were shunned & treated badly after the war.

      • Steven C. says:

        Treated how badly? Denied housing, education and employment? Were they rounded up into concentration camps? Of course they couldn’t have left any descendants, right? Also there were about 3 million Norwegians in 1940; did the Germans really station 750,000 Germans in Norway?

  7. AppSocRes says:

    “Amy Goldberg suggested that there were other possible explanations – the Yamnaya men could have been more attractive mates than European farmers because they had horses and new technologies, such as copper hammers.”

    I’ve got a better theory. The Yamnaya could have had alcohol, e.g., kumis or airag. Once they got those European farm girls liquored up they’d do anything.

    • JerryC says:

      One would expect farmers to be more resistant to alcohol than steppe nomads, no?

    • TWS says:

      Beer’s been around a lot longer in Europe especially for farmers.

    • So, a Yamnayan, an Anatolian, and a Corded Ware man were arguing in a bar over the relative superiority of their native cultures. “You’re a selfish, tight-fisted lot” the Yamnayan says to the Anatolian. “if I were short o’ cash I could go into a bar and tell me mates and they’d stand me a drink. But not yours, ye miserly bastards”

      “Nae, ye’ve read us wrong, sir,” the Anatolian replied. “I might have to choose carefully what bar I went into, but once in, the lads there would stand a drink to a friend who’d come on hard times.”

      “A drink?” said the Corded Ware man. “A DRINK? Why if I went in and hadn’t enough the boys would buy me drinks all night, and even take me out back to a room where I could get laid!”

      “That’s a lie,” said the other two. “That’s never happened to you.”

      Well, not to me, no,” the Corded Ware man admitted. “But it happens to me sister all the time.”

  8. NobodyExpectsThe says:

    You already know they will always try Ockham´s butterknife over Tulsa Doom battleaxe

  9. MawBTS says:

    Genghis Khan must have been a real lady’s man to produce so many offspring. I bet he always paid for dinner and remembered to bring flowers.

  10. Sandgroper says:

    I have never been persuaded that sexual selection had much to do with anything in humans.

    Among hunter gatherers, and among more sedentary horticulturalists, intertribal warring and abduction of females seem to have been ubiquitous. I don’t see why this sort of behaviour should not have been reproduced with steppe invasion of Europe. At least some Neolithic cultures were large enough to field sizeable armies, e.g. . However, they seem to have been relatively peaceful. They had hunting weapons like spears and bows and arrows, but close-in weapons like copper axes seem to have been relatively rare, judging from archaeological finds, although they clearly did have copper. Further west, Ötzi had a copper-headed axe and no steppe ancestry, but he was 5’4″ and not very healthy – hardly a scary prospect to a tall, healthy and well armed steppe herder on a horse, although horses would have been of little use in the terrain in which he was found. There is disagreement over whether the Cucetini-Trypillian culture had domesticated horses, or whether they just hunted them to augment their grain based diet. Whatever, the culture lasted a long time, then disappeared suddenly, around the time of the steppe invasions.

    Steppe invaders would have had military advantage in that 1) they definitely did have domesticated horses, 2) they were taller and healthier, and 3) they were more warlike, as evidenced by burials of elite males with weapons, which also suggests they were more hierarchical and organised.

    There may have been relatively few big set piece battles, but there is evidence that there were at least some, and the spoils of war no doubt included females. It is a recurring pattern everywhere you look in history and pre-history.

  11. Pale Primate says:

    OT: What is your view on this? Was Kammerer a fraud or no? Is this epigenetic inheritance?

  12. bob sykes says:

    The errors in the Goldberg et al paper are indicators of just how poorly educated people are outside their immediate research.

    • Dave chamberlin says:

      Good point. A number of comments on this thread clearly show they haven’t read very much world history and if they have they are incapable of incorporating into a world view not nessecarily because they are stupid but because they are stubborn to the point of silliness. It goes on and on Year after year.

      We didn’t kill all those tasty delicious animals right after we got there and drive them to extinction, climate chance did it. When we had a clear advantage over another people we didn’t kill their men and take their women, no….it was their low sperm count, yea, that’s the reason. What is it with “scholars” wanting to make humans nice guys when all the evidence says otherwise. Were the direct descendants of those Yamnaya crazy warriors that raised holy hell all over Europe in times we do have written history? Yea but you don,t have the proof that the Yamnaya were badasses.

      On and on it goes

  13. Goldberg gave a talk on this at my university recently. Really interesting stuff, but I had this reaction: The model that she is using assumes that migrants arrive, mate with the locals and immediately form a homogenous admixed population. Then the next generation of migrants arrives, adds their genes to this population to form another homogenous population, and the process continues for whatever number of generations. The conclusion (about huge numbers of male migrants arriving with few females) comes from this model.

    But another possibility is that migrants arrive, and set up a stratified polygynous society. Instead of panmixia in each generation, descendants of the initial migrants establish themselves as the ruling aristocracy, and that elite status continues for generations. Membership in the elite could and probably did have a strong patrilineal bias – having an elite dad counted for more than having an elite mom. This fits with everything we think we know about early Indo-European society.

    The general point is that when we see amazingly strong patrilineal biases in historical population genetics (Genghis Khan’s Y haplotype, extreme Y chromosome bottlenecks in Holocene Eurasia, etc.), we’re often looking at a combination of polygyny with a strong social memory that gives the son’s son’s sons … of some founding patriarch a reproductive edge. I’m going to guess that Australian aborigines, who are often quite polygynous, but don’t keep track of begats the same way, are not going to show such strong patrilineal biases.

    In discussion, Goldberg agreed that this was worth looking into, and maybe modeling in the future.

    • US says:

      “The model that she is using assumes that migrants arrive, mate with the locals and immediately form a homogenous admixed population. Then the next generation of migrants arrives, adds their genes to this population to form another homogenous population, and the process continues for whatever number of generations. The conclusion (about huge numbers of male migrants arriving with few females) comes from this model.”

      Here are some Danish data:

      “The report [from Statistics Denmark] has some stats on family patterns and the degree of observed endogamy. When it comes to male immigrants from Western countries who are classified as being in a relationship, in 59% of the cases the partner is of Danish origin and in 37% of the cases the partner is an immigrant from a Western country. When it comes to the female immigrants from a Western country, 63% of the partners are of Danish origin and in one-third of the cases it’s a Western immigrant. The pattern is different when it comes to immigrants from non-Western countries. For male immigrants from non-Western countries, 13% have partners of Danish origin and 80% have partners from a non-Western country. For female immigrants from non-Western countries, 28% have partners of Danish origin and 68% have partners of non-Western origin. […] When it comes to females from Turkey, Pakistan and Iraq, only 2% of them have a partner of Danish origin. (p.34)
      *97% of female Turkish immigrants with a partner have a partner of Turkish origin. 94% of Pakistani females in a relationship have a partner of Pakistani origin. (p.35)
      *88% of Turkish descendants in a relationship have a partner of Turkish origin. (p.37)”

      The data above are from a report by Statistics Denmark from 2011. I translated the numbers myself and blogged them in detail in part because I was sick and tired of clueless idiots from foreign countries discussing things about which they obviously knew nothing (people like Goldberg, that is).

  14. dearieme says:

    I’d think that a mobile, horse-borne population of herders could do a lot of damage to static arable farmers just be letting their animals graze the farmers’ crops.

    • dearieme says:

      That, and the way that concentration of forces will favour the herders over the farmers when the blood-letting begins.

      • TWS says:

        The life of a herder also gives you an edge in learning how to fight. Bow, lance, lasso horse handling are all good warrior skills.

  15. Dave chamberlin says:

    I don’t think they politely asked the men folk to leave but let their women stay either. David Anthony has found the distinctive yamnaya carts buried from Iraq all the way up to Sweden in a fairly short period of time that the housing structures of the first farmers disappeared. I took a vacation to the highlands of Sardinia where the closest living ancestors of the first farmers still live. They are diminuative, both in height and bulk. I think of the closest living relative of the Yamanaya, both in time and genes and i think of Vikings and the Germanic tribes that kept the Romans at bay. Now that is enough of an advantage for domination in war but then you put those besrker Vikings on horses and make the tiny Sardinians stay in one place while the marauding horsemen can strike and disappear at will.

    One thing Davidski is right about is they didn’t have to murder many of the first farmers. A terror campaign would get them to move south away from the Yamnaya they were ridiculously mismatched against.

    • Dave chamberlin says:

      I suggest people who still hold on to the belief that there was a peaceful transition between the first farmers and theYamnaya do a bit of reading on how the Romans described the Germanic tribes. That is the closest we can get to the Yamnaya in written history. The Romans tell us they were so violent and so warlike that the tribes were separated by patches of wilderness because living next to each other wasn’t possible. Of course this is far closer to the present and the Germanic tribes were far more interbred with the first farmers. So it stands to reason that Yamnaya were even more warlike than the Germanic tribes.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        “The Romans tell us they were so violent and so warlike that the tribes were separated by patches of wilderness because living next to each other wasn’t possible.”

        I think this was probably Tacitus not knowing what slash and burn agriculture was.

        (although i accept the basic point about those kind of cultures being naturally violent)

        • dearieme says:

          “Tacitus not knowing what slash and burn agriculture was”: would that have worked in Germany? It wouldn’t in Britain.

  16. Lars Smith says:

    The size and shape of the battle axes used by the Battle Axe/Corded Ware people reminds me of the size and shape of the heads of polo mallets. The shaft hole is of a diameter similar to a polo mallet shaft. The argument that the stone axes were ceremonial objects because the shafts were not substantial enough to be used in battle can’t be true.

    Stone heads are heavier that mallet heads made of wood, but the weight of the heads depends on the object you want to hit. Polo mallet heads have become lighter as the balls are now more often made of plastic instead of bamboo or willow. You would want a heavier head if the target was an opponent’s head.

    So, envision if you will, polo players with polished stone axes against people without horses.

  17. rkr says:

    Neolithic European G2a may have been a very useless set of Y-chromosome mutations for the most part.
    What if they just couldn’t produce high quality semen? Whatever the problem may have been, after a long period of natural selection the differences might not be as marked in present day individuals.
    We need to drop the idea that every haplogroup is equally fit, particularly when we’re dealing with peripheral populations which are vulnerable to high mutation loads. It’s not just a matter of letters like R>G or I>C as there was definitely no shortage of R-lines which went extinct, almost all of them actually.

    Let’s take Basques as an example. Do they descend from a Bell Beaker~Italo-Celtic elite which drove everything non-R1b to near extinction? That certainly is a hypothesis.
    What if they were simply an obscure and small tribe which just happened to have the most dysfunctional G2a(or anything else) you can imagine? R1b may have gradually replaced it over 150-200 generations, aided also by bottlenecking.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Naturally, they could only produce high-quality semen when living on islands or in a mountain fastness.

      Next question: can the oh-so-common tendency to pick default hypotheses that fly in the face of everything that has ever happened in human history be explained by demonic possession?

      • rkr says:

        Islands? Sardinia isn’t exactly a shining example of G dominance you know. It’s there but not at a frequency which would correlate with their farmer ancestry.

        As for mountains, my understanding is that Circassians and Georgians have their own brand of G. Frequency of G at the Alps is not very convincing.
        But like I said, it’s not a matter of letters. All we need is for there to be some disparity with the particular mutations which were spread by LBK and their close kin, and that which replaced it.

  18. Greying Wanderer says:

    “Back in the day, the only way those Yamnaya men scooped up the local sheilas was over the dead bodies of the local G2A farmers.”

    This isn’t necessarily inconsistent with climate change / plaque etc.

    There’s a model with Akkad/Sumer of Akkadian herders moving into the territory of Sumer on the land that was too marginal for crop farming but fine for sheep herding and them co-existing for a time before a conflict broke out.

    It seems plausible to me that the early version of steppe herders (i think of them as “wagon IE” rather than “cavalry IE”) could have expanded in a similar way on land that was good for pasture but less good for crops ( especially along the northern border of LBK) with the fighting part breaking out at some later date after the numerical balance of power between herders and farmers shifted for whatever reason e.g plague, climate.

    Separate to that I think the early steppe herders had a strategic military advantage on and near the steppe simply through being able to hit and run back to the steppe but that advantage declined with distance from the steppe and the full cavalry advantage only came much later. If so that would give four distinct stages:

    displacement of farmers by early IE on and near steppe by constant raiding

    herder infiltration-migration of early IE away from the steppe

    at some point conflict breaks out from the infiltration-migration off-steppe

    lastly, and quite late (Goth etc) actual direct conquest by cavalry IE ending with the Norman invasion of Ireland (cavalry IE vs wagon IE?)

    • Karl Zimmerman says:

      I can’t remember if I read it here or elsewhere, but the point’s been made that even without active warfare the Indo-Europeans could have crashed the population of Northern Europe pretty easily. Just let the livestock forage on fields full of crops while migrating westward. Indeed, the preferential paths for pastoralists to migrate would be through the fields, not through the remaining forest. Given food storage was a huge issue for agricultural societies in Europe up through the introduction of the potato (one bad harvest was enough for a famine) it would be hard for a single agricultural community to recover from even one such instance of this.

      Of course, the farmers would try to fight back when the Indo-Europeans did this, which would in turn mean many of them would get killed (easier for pastoralists to retreat and fight another day, while the farmers had no choice but to try and fortify where they were. The problem is you can fortify and defend a village even with simple earthworks and wood, but unless you’re talking about really rugged terrain with natural chokepoints (or islands) you cannot fortify your croplands to stop raiders. Hrrm…

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        I think it almost certainly started and ended in conflict but i think the Akkad/Sumer model (Hittites?) shows that there might be a slow buildup phase in between.

      • TWS says:

        Warrior people like to fight. Sometimes even after they’ve been ‘pacified’ they still are more aggressive than not. People don’t revere weapons, war gods, and the trappings of combat without enjoying it.

        Just remember, that the red stuff spurting from the sacrifices on the Mayan stuff is flower petals. Not blood.

  19. j says:

    We have closer examples of nomadic Warriors moving into agricultural lands. Saxons settling Roman Britannia, Danes colonizing the Danemark, Normans moving into South England, a million English migrating to India, etc. After the initial bloodshed, the process seems to be smooth and gradual.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Saxons were farmers, so were Danes.

      Hungarians were the farthest west of the steppe nomads, in recent historical times. They raided over much of western Europe – in a particularly bad time, when the Vikings and Saracens were also raiding. But they stopped, after the Ottonians beat the living snot out of them at Lechfeld.

      There used to be agricultural tribes out on the Great Plains, living along the rivers. After Amerindians in the region acquired horses, there weren’t any such tribes – they were all driven out or killed. Do I think this happened because of climate change? No, because I am not an idiot.

      Do I think that Amy Goldberg is an idiot? Not exactly, but she’s perfectly comfortable with idiotic explanations. Who should I blame? Stanford? Society?

      • TWS says:

        My tribe acquired horses and almost immediately emulated the other warrior tribes on the plains rather than continue their old ways. They would go a long way out of their way just to participate in what other horse type guys were doing.

        But it was for peaceful purposes of course. They just got all gussied up and carried their weapons to trade with other tribes. ‘I’ll trade you that nice horse and your wife for an arrow’.

    • dearieme says:

      “a million English migrating to India”: really? I know the death rates from disease were high, but a million? Or are you including troops, traders, and civil servants who eventually went back home?

      • j says:

        Grossly, a million in three hundred years. The railways alone imported thousands.

        • dearieme says:

          So you include those who went home again. Which is pretty much the opposite of what’s being discussed on this thread.

          • j says:

            It is true that the English are gentlemen and did not recast the genetic composition of the subject population in one generation, as the Genghis Khan did in Central Asia, or the Arabs in North Africa, or the few untiring Castilian conquistadors in America, but neither are (or were) vegetarian faggots as you imply.

  20. seppia says:

    Well, I think that Amy Goldberg is right (at least to some extent). All you have to do is to watch the new Volkerwanderung in Europe now to see her point. First: loads of male refugees from ME and Africa are coming to Europe. They are marrying European females and have much higher fertility rate than the indigenous people. If they cannot marry in Europe they “import” wifes from ME and Africa. In 2 generations they will be the majority population in Western Europe, Maybe there will be some “last stand” but the game is largerly over. The development of civilisations is cyclical. The same happened to Rome. The same happened probably during the “invasion” of Yamnaya men.

    • Unladen Swallow says:

      What I routinely ask a fellow co-worker whenever I am bored. There is a musical parody version of this line on YouTube as well.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        “There is a musical parody version of this line on YouTube as well.”

        there’s another one like that of Arnie’s “if it bleeds we can kill it” line from Predator

  21. Janko Raven Johnson says:

    Funny to see less shitpoasty Dave in comments and for him to be one arguing against only violent invasion. Great discussion, gents! Thanks.

  22. RW says:

    OT, but someone with the proper qualifications might like to correct the following “Stereotypes of African Americans” Wikipedia entry: “Stephen Jay Gould’s book The Mismeasure of Man (1981) demonstrated how early 20th-century biases among scientists and researchers affected their purportedly objective scientific studies, data gathering, and conclusions which they drew about the absolute and relative intelligence of different groups, and of men vs. women.”

  23. Jalfrezi says:

    The “women” were probably also too young to decide who to marry.

    Anthropologists have named the practice of kidnapping females from other tribes “women theft” but this is a misleading euphemism. The “women” who are kidnapped are most often little girls so it would be more accurate to call this kind of thing child abduction. It makes more biological sense to abduct say 12 or 8 year old virgins with all their fertile years remaining than 25 year old women who have already squeezed out several babies. Essentially what’s happening is that tribes are stealing eggs off of each-other and the females with the most eggs in their ovaries are the young virgins who haven’t started reproducing and started using up their eggs.

    In Numbers 31 the raiders killed the men, boys, and the women and only spared the little virgin girls to keep as wives. The typical age girls would get married around that time was about 13 so work out what kind of age these girls were. They weren’t 20 year old virgins.

    Mongol warriors would do the same kind of thing. After raiding a village they would round up all the virgins over the age of 7 and keep them as wives. So we’re talking about girls 8-15 let’s say.

    Persephone was about 14 when she was abducted by Hades and Helen was about 10 when she was first abducted.

  24. TruthPrevails says:

    Its good to know how degenerate, lowly and barbaric the steppe nomads were , who went pillaging raping murdering sedentary farmer folks all through out Eurasia, while temporarily settling in places.

    And with such a background, the so called scholarly community likes to fantasize, that these very same people were the noble Aryans. Irony or a joke. You decide.

    • Jalfrezi says:

      I think they’re just naive about it. A lot of people don’t understand that the values we have today that it’s wrong to rape, murder, fuck kids, abduct and torture people etc are only quite recent moral developments. We’ve only recently discovered these moral truths just as we’ve only recently discovered the laws of gravity or chemistry.

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