New podcasts

I have done a couple more podcasts with James Miller: one on the prehistory of Europe, and another on the prehistory of the Americas.

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31 Responses to New podcasts

  1. Revyen says:

    Can you please do one with James on the Robert Gordon book and especially your ideas for growth and innovation you mentioned on Twitter. You have briefly talked about your ideas for innovation in earlier podcasts but it is a fascinating topic that I think people would love to hear about.

  2. tom olby says:

    Most of the Roman Empire was populated by people who looked like each other? I’d say that changes the story about how effective a multiethnic empire can hope to be over centuries, since it is upheld as a kind of model. And they look kind of like Sardinians today?

  3. realist says:

    Podcasts suck!
    For non native english speakers it’s a pain and even for native speakers it’s a waste of time relative to reading.

    • Anon says:

      So speed it up to 1.5x or even 2x. Do you really lack the free time to just put it on in the background while you’re doing something else? Apparently there’s a large subset of people who are too autistic to sit and listen to a podcast and who are also working 3 jobs simultaneously.

      • Ursiform says:

        Different formats work for different people. No good reason for being rude about it.

      • josh says:

        Don’t know about you, but I go to the gym, do chores around the house, drive to and from work.

      • Even at 2x it’s still much slower than reading. And when one encounters word they cannot clearly recognize (e.g. non-native speaker) they would have rewind and hear it again, fail, rewind again…
        There is no good way to rewind/forward, it is still as awkward as it was in tape recorders.
        Any numbers in the message == 10x times faster when written. I have trouble listening numbers even in my native language.

        • albatross says:

          On the Apple podcast app, there’s a button for +15 seconds and -15 seconds that serves this purpose reasonably well.

    • jb says:

      I popped into the middle of the Europe podcast, and thought it was really interesting. But no, I don’t have three hours for it.

      Podcasts are certainly well suited for when you are traveling by car, and can’t (or at least shouldn’t!) read. I think the big advantage of podcasts though may not be for the listeners but for the creators. Making a three hour podcast by sitting down and shooting the breeze with some guy on an interesting topic takes three hours. Covering the same material in a written out essay would likely take much longer (at least it would for me).

      Some popular podcasts are clearly written out in advance though, so I guess some people must actually like the format. Hey, if you’ve got time to binge watch a season of Westworld then you’ve got time for podcasts!

    • Maciano says:

      Maybe you’re a whiner. I love podcasts.

      Especially these ones. Be sure to listen to Greg’s discussion with Luke Ford. Fantastic.

      • Beansie says:

        I finished it on the commute into work this morning. One of the best I’ve listened to in ages. Luke’s format of chucking random questions at Greg worked wonderfully well. Probably because it’s Greg fielding the questions.

    • syonredux says:

      I listen while driving; I can’t read and drive at the same time….Well, at least not safely….

  4. LeeWang says:

    Hate to ask, but can somebody do a summary like last time?

  5. Pygmy Ambiguous says:

    Concerning the replacement model, why do so many individuals of British and German descent have such high rates of Hunter Gatherer and Farmer on ftdna’s ancient ancestry application? My own results were like 45% HG and, 45%EF and only about 12% Bronze Age invader, and, looking through the forums, my results were not unusual. I do have a slight bit of Huguenot ancestry and most of my German ancestors were from Baden-Wurtemburg, Switzerland or regions nearby, so that might explain higher EF% results for me, but what about the other people on the forums? Would I be getting a false positive high for HG because of EHG ancestry via Corded Ware Invaders?

    Regarding the podcast, must disagree with “realist”, I haven’t finished it, very enjoyable, so this point may be moot. I would only add that midway between Gordon Childe and the pots-not-people anthropologists there was Gimbutas and her Kurgan theory.

    • carol2000 says:

      I wondered about that, too. I got 48% HG, 42% Farmer, and 10% Metal Age Invader, with 0 known continental ancestors for about 5 or 6 generations.

    • Yudi says:

      Looking at those proportions, it’s likely that FTDNA calculated them in a simplistic, but easy, manner. ~10% is about the amount of pure ANE that appears in Northern Europeans, and that is the easiest Yamnaya component to trace (since it’s highly different from EEF and WHG ancestry). However, Yamnaya also had a lot of farmer and HG ancestry mixed in, so a lot of the components that FTDNA attributes to them came to you from Yamnaya. Northern Europeans are actually 40-50% Yamnaya when this is accounted for.

  6. DataExplorer says:

    Thank you. Really interesting. When you talk about the EEF sailing up the Danube, trading shells from the Aegean, and meeting up with their relatives that went along the coast, is this all from Renfrew’s book? If not what is the source?

    • jb says:

      You inspired me to go back and take a look at my copy of Geoffrey Bibby’s book Four Thousand Years Ago, which was published in 1961, and yet seems remarkably prescient. Here are some extracts from where he talks about the first European farmers.

      Though they had been long in the land, these builders of passage-graves and sowers of the forest clearings, they knew from the traditions of their people that their ancestors had originally come from the south…

      There were, of course, the natives, the fishers of the foreshores and the hunters of the less thickly wooded hinterland. But there the barriers were down, had been for generations. There had never been any noticeable racial difference between the settlers and the old hunters and fishers who had dwelt on the land before agriculture came. Now there were none, and few in the village could not claim a portion of native blood…

      Over in the more thickly wooded Ardennes lived people with the same hilltop corrals, the same way of life, even an understandable language. In fact a tenuous relationship, a feeling of being of one blood, extended throughout the backwoodsmen of the whole of western Europe, to where the forests of France lapped the bastions of the Alps or petered out on the sun-baked hills facing the Mediterranean…

      Aside from the part about no noticeable racial differences, this aligns pretty closely with what we know now! In the next section of the book he introduces the Indo-Europeans — the “battle-ax folk” of the steppes — who with their horses and chariots overrun the Neolithic European farmers. Again, not all the different from what we are learning now.

      I read this book when I was maybe 14, and I was enraptured by it. Bibby doesn’t just look at Europe, he covers the whole world of 2000 BC, or at least tries to. I’m sure he made a lot of mistakes, but skimming through it now it still looks like a fantastic book. Highly recommended (if you don’t mind reading a popular science book that might be older than you are)!

  7. teageegeepea says:

    Cochran suggested that Queen Elizabeth was infertile due to congential syphilis. I had always thought her lack of children was simply due to never marrying, but I can’t claim to be especially knowledgeable about her. If she had syphilis, wouldn’t that caused her noticeable mental problems as she got older?

    I recall reading an argument that the illegal slave trade in the US was much larger than is commonly believed, and that the growth attributed to “natural increase” was actually due to importation. It seems a marginal theory which isn’t accepted by most historians, but since such natural increase was never observed for any other slave society it would be a potential explanation of the discrepancy.

    • dearieme says:

      The explanation is simple. American Exceptionalism.

      • syonredux says:

        “The explanation is simple. American Exceptionalism.”

        Definitely a negative example. Had Mainland Anglo-American plantations been more like the sugar islands in the Caribbean, the USA’s demographic situation would be a lot rosier….

    • syonredux says:

      “I recall reading an argument that the illegal slave trade in the US was much larger than is commonly believed, and that the growth attributed to “natural increase” was actually due to importation. It seems a marginal theory which isn’t accepted by most historians,”

      Because it’s been demolished. Historians (Philip Curtin, etc) have spent a lot of time looking for large numbers of post-1808 illegal slave imports….and turned-up practically nothing. Some illegal importing went on, but not enough to be significant.

      Also, the “natural increase” started well before the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade ended.

      As for why slaves enjoyed high rates of natural growth in mainland Anglo-America, several factors were in play:

      Higher birthrates: Obviously. Compared to places like the Caribbean, slave women in mainland Anglo-America (hereafter called MAA) gave birth to lots of kids. Why? Various factors. One seems to be that MAA provided better treatment for nursing mothers.

      Better Sex Ratio: Slave-owners elsewhere in the Americas had a stronger preference for buying male slaves. Fewer women=fewer babies.

      Cotton and tobacco> sugar: Sugar was a man-killer. Mine slavery also wasn’t much fun.

      Disease load: The Tropics are an unhealthy place.

      • syonredux says:

        Odd. some stuff got left out from my previous post:

        Higher birthrates/lower infant mortality rates: Obviously. Compared to places like the Caribbean, slave women in mainland Anglo-America (hereafter called MAA) gave birth to lots of kids, and a higher percentage of them survived. Why? Various factors. One seems to be that MAA provided better treatment for pregnant and nursing mothers.

  8. tim hadselon says:

    The podcasts are great, please do more!

    • sprfls says:

      Seconded. I would pay for a regularly-scheduled podcast — for me it’s more valuable than book reviews, especially of books where it’s already evident they’re not worth attention.

      It doesn’t even need to be limited to a specific topic. Just Cochran talking about random stuff is great. Seemed like Miller was getting a bit worried straying off-topic, but again, for me, all the interesting tangents are some of the best parts.

      • tim hadselon says:

        I agree. Sometimes more comes out of a free flowing conversation that jumps topics, especially with someone as knowledgable as Cochran.

      • Philip Neal says:

        I have just listened to them both – lengthy but worth it. The digressions are the best bit, as they go into areas not covered on the blog and show Greg thinking on his feet.

        Also, good to know that he has got the point about peas.

  9. biz says:

    Although it is nothing compared to getting across the Pacific, wouldn’t it also have been a challenge for the Andamanese-like people to get over the Andes and into Brazil? We could imagine a freak storm delivering a raft to South America but no freak storm will carry you over the second highest mountains on Earth. Maybe I shouldn’t be picturing modern Andaman Islanders, but I am.

    • Cloveoil says:

      Modern Andaman islanders are not Palaeolithic tech: they had contact with outside, sufficient enough to be Mesolithic re: bows and arrows and etc. Their LCA with the ghost pop in Brazil would probably not have been pygmified, either.

      C. L. Scheib et al recently did a study finding four New World components, two of which peak in South America… maybe one of them is older than the Amerinds?

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