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Diffusionism (Pre-History)
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Europeans in America
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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What would archaeologists have made of L'Anse aux Meadows had it been found in Wyoming?

This is little more than rhetorical question. We can be sure what they would have made of it. They would have recognized it as a Native American site. To do otherwise would be to commit career suicide of course, and to make oneself a social pariah---only a racist would deny the capabilities of First Nations peoples!.

But there's no real need to invoke either terror; for it would occur to no archaeologist to imagine a site like that found at L'Anse aux Meadows as anything other than a Native American site, if found in any other context. There is no pre-columbian culture in Wyoming to establish a context allowing for a European settlement in that territory. Therefore, whatever is found there, must be related to the existing native populations (What is, is what was).

L'Anse aux Meadows could be interpreted otherwise only because of the historical traditions, which long -ago decided to allow for "Vikings" in some portion of North America, proximate to Greenland and Iceland. So archaeologists permitted the hobbyist amateurs responsible for finding L'Anse aux Meadows to keep their little prize "European settlement."

But is it that?

Really?
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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History tells us that this woman is Scandinavian.


Bjork
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Here's another look.

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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Compare...










One of the last two women pictured is Bjork.

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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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I'm not sure where you are going with this, as the typical Icelandic phenotype is very Germanic and Bjork's atypical phenotype can be accounted for by orthodox contact between Europeans and natives in Newfoundland.

(My guess would be she is from one of the four Icelandic families known to carry the haplogroup C1e. gene.)

But I'm sure you have an intriguing slant on all this.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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A recent effusion from Ancient Origins was sent to me and since it is a precis of a Nature article (that once great but now rather tawdry peer reviewed journal) it is worth filleting. It has a grab-you headline but starts off non-contentiously enough

Study Finds Huge Undetected Migration Wave to Prehistoric Britain
The Bronze Age in Britain lasted from circa 2500 BC to 700 BC. Prehistoric Britain in this period was marked by complex tool making using copper and bronze. Britain’s Bronze Age was also characterized by the widespread adoption of agriculture in Britain.

Or, like we say, everything was in place. Nothing much has changed since. We wuz wrong

A new study, published in Nature, discusses a previously unrecognized, large-scale migration wave from eastern France, especially, into Britain during the Middle (1500-1000 BC) to Late Bronze Age (1000-700 BC). The study claims this third migration wave likely facilitated the spread of early Celtic languages across prehistoric Britain.

Oh no! Not Again! The entire British population has had to give up their language yet again to take up something new. What's this one called? Oh, Celtic. Do tell us more, Nature, we're all agog. I'm asking in English but if you'd find Welsh or Gaelic more comfortable I can arrange for that.

more later/
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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According to Nature, this 'large-scale migration wave from eastern France' originated from the steppes, as usual with 'hordes'

By analyzing the degraded DNA from the remains of 400 ancient Europeans, the researchers showed that 4,500 years ago nomadic pastoralists from the steppes on the eastern edge of Europe surged into Central Europe and in some areas their progeny replaced around 75 percent of the genetic ancestry of the existing populations.

75% sounds a lot but the take-over is thought to have been wholesale, as per previous though now disputed theories about incoming Anglo-Saxons

Descendants of the nomads then moved west into Britain, where they mixed with the Neolithic inhabitants so thoroughly that within a few hundred years the newcomers accounted for more than 90 percent of the island’s gene pool. In effect, the research suggested, Britain was almost completely repopulated by immigrants.

The lead researcher, Dr David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard, believes that Indo-European languages derive from Iran or Armenia, aka the south Caucausus

"Ancient DNA available from this time in Anatolia shows no evidence of steppe ancestry similar to that in the Yamnaya (although the evidence here is circumstantial as no ancient DNA from the Hittites themselves has yet been published). This suggests to me that the most likely location of the population that first spoke an Indo-European language was south of the Caucasus Mountains, perhaps in present-day Iran or Armenia, because ancient DNA from people who lived there matches what we would expect for a source population both for the Yamnaya and for ancient Anatolians. If this scenario is right the population sent one branch up into the steppe – mixing with steppe hunter-gatherers in a one-to-one ratio to become the Yamnaya as described earlier – and another to Anatolia to found the ancestors of people there who spoke languages such as Hittite."

Ah, the Hittities, who appeared c. 1500 BC and mysteriously vanished c. 12000 BC, leaving behind 'unexplained remains' in Anatolia (Hattusa) and the Treaty of Kadesh, which has a world record as the oldest recorded peace treaty that survives to this day.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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The conclusions reached are based on a relatively small number of samples. Where the samples were found isn't clear, perhaps it was Kent

Analyzing DNA from 793 individuals, the investigators discovered that a massive Late Bronze Age movement displaced around half the ancestry of England and Wales and, possibly solving another longstanding riddle about British history, may have brought early Celtic languages to the island from Europe.

Unlike the Romans, the newcomers seem to have been more interested in agriculture than in mining or quarrying

According to the findings, from 1,000 B.C. to 875 B.C. the ancestry of early European farmers increased in southern Britain but not in northern Britain (now Scotland). Dr. Reich proposed that this resulted from an influx of foreigners who arrived at this time and over previous centuries, and who — no doubt to the disbelief of 21st-century British nativists — were genetically most similar to ancient inhabitants of France.

It has generated a fair amount of academic chat as the genetic findings tie in with the latest Celtic Empire hypothesis though it might result in Ireland being a bit of a conundrum Celtic language-wise

For most of the 20th century, the standard theory, “Celtic from the East,” held that the language started around Austria and southern Germany sometime around 750 B.C. and was taken north and west by Iron Age warriors. An alternative theory, “Celtic from the West,” saw Celtic speakers fanning out from the Atlantic seaboard of Europe, perhaps arising in the Iberian Peninsula or farther north, and settling in Britain by as long ago as 2,500 B.C.

In 2020, Dr. Sims-Williams published a third theory, “Celtic from the Centre,” in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal. His premise was that the Celtic language originated in the general area of France in the Bronze Age, before 1,000 B.C., and then spread across the English Channel to Britain in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.

“What is exciting for me is that Dr. Reich and his team, using genetic evidence, have reached a compatible conclusion,” Dr. Sims-Williams said. “Their earliest DNA evidence is from Kent, still the easiest place to cross from France.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/22/science/archaeology-britain-migration-dna-reich.html
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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The real nigrah in the woodpile is that geneticists are taking the word of linguists, historians and archaeologists (who are all taking each other's word for it) about the people/language situation in the past. They all have a pretty good fix on the situation in the present so know what their theories must produce. Such a comfort.

Obviously, you and I know this 'Celtic' is a complete phantasm. Insofar as it should be called 'Celtic' it is spoken exclusively and, as far as we know has always been spoken exclusively, in the westernmost margins of the British Isles and France. Possibly also Spain, possibly also Patagonia.

Once you start basing base population genetics on Anatolia, the one region of Eurasia where it is known with reasonable certainty that the present population is not the one that was there in antiquity, you're in deep doo-doo. If you're relying on the Hittites for anything, you'd be better off using astrology.
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