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Thread: Bell Beakers from Germany: Y-haplogroup R1b

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    Bell Beakers from Germany: Y-haplogroup R1b

    Bell Beakers from Germany: Y-haplogroup R1b

    Just in time with my recent speculations about post-Neolithic events affecting Europe, we now have a paper of a Bell Beaker sample from Germany. Like with earlier Neolithic samples there are two camps in trying to explain the Bell Beaker phenomenon: one of them saw only a cultural phenomenon epitomized by burials with the eponymous Bell Beaker pottery; the other saw a true invading population. This is how Carleton Coon described them:

    The Dinaric type, with which the Rhenish Bell beakers are associated, is one which entered the western Mediterranean by sea from the east, and eventually moved, by some route yet to be determined in an accurate manner, to the north, and eventually to central Europe.

    As such, the Bell Beaker phenomenon is a test case for the pots-not-people paradigm. There is ample physical anthropological evidence that the people of Beaker burials had a distinctive physical type which contrasted with the long-headed type typical of the era, so I have always been on the "people" side of the conflict.

    I will update this entry when I read the paper.

    American Journal of Physical Anthropology DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22074

    Emerging genetic patterns of the european neolithic: Perspectives from a late neolithic bell beaker burial site in Germany†

    Esther J. Lee et al.


    The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture in Europe is associated with demographic changes that may have shifted the human gene pool of the region as a result of an influx of Neolithic farmers from the Near East. However, the genetic composition of populations after the earliest Neolithic, when a diverse mosaic of societies that had been fully engaged in agriculture for some time appeared in central Europe, is poorly known. At this period during the Late Neolithic (ca. 2,800–2,000 BC), regionally distinctive burial patterns associated with two different cultural groups emerge, Bell Beaker and Corded Ware, and may reflect differences in how these societies were organized. Ancient DNA analyses of human remains from the Late Neolithic Bell Beaker site of Kromsdorf, Germany showed distinct mitochondrial haplotypes for six individuals, which were classified under the haplogroups I1, K1, T1, U2, U5, and W5, and two males were identified as belonging to the Y haplogroup R1b. In contrast to other Late Neolithic societies in Europe emphasizing maintenance of biological relatedness in mortuary contexts, the diversity of maternal haplotypes evident at Kromsdorf suggests that burial practices of Bell Beaker communities operated outside of social norms based on shared maternal lineages. Furthermore, our data, along with those from previous studies, indicate that modern U5-lineages may have received little, if any, contribution from the Mesolithic or Neolithic mitochondrial gene pool.

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    In the Rhineland as in the Carpathians the arrival of the Bell Beaker culture was accompanied by the Taurid type meaning dinariform whites. Where it came from might be interesting to know seeing the Beaker Culture emerged round the Tajo and it had Moroccan precedents.

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