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Thread: Metal-mining and stockbreeding explain R1b dominance in Atlantic fringe

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    Lightbulb Metal-mining and stockbreeding explain R1b dominance in Atlantic fringe



    About one year ago, I realised that haplogroup R1b originated somewhere between Central Asia and the Middle East, then moved through the Pontic steppe where it became associated with Indo-European culture, before pushing its way through the Danube valley and Western Europe.

    It all made sense. The older subclades of R1b were found East. R1b1a was found among the Levantines and R1b1* in central Africa with a trail leading back to Egypt and the Middle East 12,000-15,000 years ago. The highest diversity of R1b1b1 and R1b1b2 was found in Anatolia and the Caucasus, and the split between these two haplogroups occurred around Anatolia. Both subclades were found in Russia, Central Asia and Pakistan, an obvious sign that they had been part of the Indo-European migrations, at least in Asia.

    One thing kept bugging me with this nice theory. How did R1b lineages come to replace most of the older lineages in Western Europe ? I tried to explain that with a series of factors (polygamy, status, war...), but somehow that still didn't explain why R1b reached tremendous frequencies in places like Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany or the Basque country, and not elsewhere. I think I have come up with a reasonable answer to this mystery.

    I was looking at a map of metal-rich zones in Europe, and more specifically where copper, tin, silver and gold mines had been established in the Copper and Bronze Age. The richest regions were the Anatolia, North Caucasus, the Carpathians (Romania), the Balkans (especially central Bulgaria), the Alps, and the Atlantic fringe of Europe ( Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany). This was exactly the migration route I had established a year ago for R1b1b2. R1b people were evidently metal workers.

    The second element that dawned on me is that the Atlantic fringe from Galicia to the Scottish Highlands, must have been poor agricultural land for early farmers. This may be why farming spread later to these regions, and that aboriginal Megalithic cultures thrived there more than anywhere else. What does that have to do with R1b ? The Proto-Italo-Celts that brought R1b lineages to Western Europe from the North Caucasus and Pontic steppes had an economy relying on stockbreeding and herding more than farming. The European Bronze Age is characterised by the sharp diminution in agriculture and an increase in domesticates. The steppe culture was replacing the Neolithic lifestyle.

    Where else could this have the most dramatic effect on the population structure than in the Atlantic fringe, where the Neolithic/Chalcolithic population was sparser than elsewhere due to the late adoption of agriculture and low yield of the farms ? The arrival of the metal-hungry, horse-riding and warlike Indo-Europeans with their bronze swords and axes was a death sentence to the locals. The green pastures of the Atlantic were a boon for the flocks of cattle and herds of sheep of the Indo-Europeans. It was like a milder-climate version of the steppes with the added bonus of being rich in copper and tin, the two components of bronze.

    Mitochondrial DNA analysis of R1b regions

    To verify my hypothesis, I checked the mtDNA frequencies around Europe to see which region had the most maternal lineages typically associated with the Pontic-Caspian steppes, Caucasus and northern Anatolia. The most easily identifiable Indo-European mtDNA lineages are I, U2, U3, U4 and W. The Indo-Europeans also had plenty of H, U5, and some K, T and V as well. Unfortunately, these haplogroups being the same as in the Neolithic European population, they are useless for comparison.

    Here are the combined percentage for these five haplogroups for populations from Anatolia to the steppes, based on a Europe-wide study by Simoni et al.. Note that Simoni did not test for U2, so percentages should be a bit higher in southern Russia and the Caucasus.

    - 17.7% for the Volga-Finnic people (mostly U4 with some I)
    - 12.57% for European Russians (Helgason data)
    - 24% for the Adygeys of the North Caucasus (very high incidence of I and U3)
    - 19.9% for the Georgians of Central Caucasus (well balanced haplogroup distribution)
    - 15.9% for the Turks (well balanced too)
    - 16.7% for the Bulgarians (U3 and U4)

    A high presence of Pontic-Caspian/Caucasian mtDNA in regions of Western Europe where R1b is high would indicate a migration on a large scale, not just a military conquest by men or a diffusion of royal/noble paternal lineages.

    Ireland is an interesting case because it is the remotest part of Europe from the Pontic-Caspian region, and yet one where R1b makes up over 80% of male lineages. I wasn't expecting to find a link because I thought that R1b men would have intermarried to frequently with local European women for steppe mtDNA to survive in substantial level in the westernmost region of Europe.

    Helgason's study gives respectively 2.34% of I, 0.78% of U2, 0% of U3, 2.34% of U4 and 2.34% of W. 7.80% in total. Compared with other Western European countries, Ireland has more steppe/Indo-European mtDNA than France/Italy (5.26%), Iberia (5.4%), Scandinavia (6.52%) or England/Wales (7.69%), and only slightly less than Germany (8.74%) and the Alps (Austria/Switzerland, 9.04%).

    H1, a haplogroup typical of the Paleolithic Western European population is surprisingly low in Ireland - in fact lower than anywhere else in Europe except Bulgaria and Turkey. This could mean that a major population replacement happened in Ireland, not just for paternal linages but also maternal ones.

    Helgason's data for Cornwall (11.6%), Wales (3.3% - only hg I), mainland Britain (7%), Belgium (6.3%), France (5.4%) and Denmark (3.1%) confirms an exceptionally high incidence of IE maternal lineages in Cornwall, but not in Wales, by north-western European standards. Cornwall is one of the richest regions of Europe for tin, one of the most valuable metals during the Bronze Age. The Indo-Europeans would have settled in the region in great numbers to secure the resource. The data for modern Wales does not reflect the ancient population because modern Welsh descend mostly from ancient Britons from present-day England, pushed west by the Anglo-Saxons.

    I couldn't find data for Brittany. Like for Wales, the modern population of Brittany hardly reflects on the ancient people, because Brittany was resettled by immigrants from Britain during the late Roman period.

    Helgason's study separates data for North and South Germany. As expected by the pattern of Danubian migration, South Germany has much more Pontic/Caucasian-specific mtDNA (12% against 4.6%). Austria has 9.4%, Switzerland 8.4% and Alpine Italy 7.9%. The number of IE mtDNA diminishes as one moves away from the Danube.

    In Spain, Galicians (12.3%), Catalonians (26.6% ! => all U4 and W) stand out remarkably against Central Spaniards (4.4%), Southern Spaniards (6.5%) and Portuguese (7.5%). Cantabrians (10.3%) also have a higher than average number of Pontic/Caucasian mt-haplogroups. Catalonia has the highest percebtage of R1b in Spain along with the Basque country.

    The Basques, on the other hand, have 0% of I/U2/U3/U4/W according to Helgason and 1.8% in Maca-Meyer's study. The Basque country is the only high R1b region that lacks its mtDNA equivalents. The best explanation is that the Basque was not settled by Indo-Europeans, but that its male rulers (and aristocracy) became Indo-European and married local princesses/women. The founder effect would have amplified quickly with time if the R1b royalty/nobility produced a lot of sons (gender bias) or took a lot of local wives (polygamy). This is surely why the Basques did not lose their pre-IE language and identity. In any case, the weighed average for Y-DNA and mtDNA is lower among the Basques than for most of Western Europeans.


    Overall, we see that the regions of Western and Central Europe with the highest frequencies of Pontic-Caspian/Caucasian mtDNA are found around the Alps (12% peak in southern Germany), in Catalonia (Pyrenees region) and in the metal-rich, rocky, pasture lands unsuitable for primitive agriculture of Ireland, Cornwall, Cantabria and Galicia.

    It is probably not a coincidence that Ireland, Cornwall or Galicia have retained a stronger Celtic identity than other places in Europe.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 24-01-10 at 02:21.

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    This report mentions that the T-13910 lactase persistence allele increases in frequency as one moves from SE to NW in Europe. Its authors found that lactase persistence also increases in frequency from SE to NW in the British Isles, interestingly enough, i.e., in the direction of increasing R1b1b2 frequency.

    The authors of this report tested a sample of 85 Basques for the T-13910 lactase persistence allele and found that 91.7% of them had it and thus were lactase persistent.

    That same report (the second one) mentions the authors' belief that the T-13910 lactase peristence allele originated somewhere between the Caucasus and the Urals.

    So, lactase persistence in Europe seems to be another piece of evidence that supports what you wrote above, Maciamo.

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    I have revised my principal hypothesis regarding the propagation of haplogroup G2a3. Its presence in mountainous areas of Greece, Italy and southern France originally led me to think that it was linked to the diffusion of goat and sheep herding in the Neolithic via the Cardium Pottery culture.

    However, three novel elements made me change my mind (or rather think of an additional migration). Firstly, the most common subclade of G2a in Europe is G2a3b1, and this clade is estimated to be only approx. 4500 years old. It is too young for a Neolithic dispersal across Europe.

    Secondly, this G2a3b1 has been found in India alongside R1b1b2. If my theory that the Proto-Indo-European speakers originated near the Caucasus is correct, then we are almost bound to find some G2a in places settled by R1b1b. The modern Ossetians and Georgians have very high levels of both haplogroups. I think that the two originally represented different ethnic and linguistic groups (Indo-European vs Caucasian family), but their proximity would have led to some blending of population in the Caucasus region over time.

    Thirdly, I realised that G2a3 was also high in northern Portugal, Galicia, Cantabria, Wales, the Alps and Bohemia, and it occurred to me that it was in the same copper- and tin-rich regions that the Indo-European R1b1b2 would have favoured. Brittany, Cornwall and Ireland do not have much G2a3 though, but extremely high levels of R1b1b2 to make up for it.

    G2a3 would therefore represent Indo-Europeanised Caucasian people who migrated with R1b1b2 during the Bronze Age. It is possible that G2a3 percentage in western and central Europe remained fairly stable over time, while an originally small ruling elite of R1b1b2 grew exponentially due to their higher birth rate and cultural Indo-European predisposition of favouring of sons.

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    The Basques, on the other hand, have 0% of I/U2/U3/U4/W according to Helgason and 1.8% in Maca-Meyer's study. The Basque country is the only high R1b region that lacks its mtDNA equivalents. The best explanation is that the Basque was not settled by Indo-Europeans, but that its male rulers (and aristocracy) became Indo-European and married local princesses/women. The founder effect would have amplified quickly with time if the R1b royalty/nobility produced a lot of sons (gender bias) or took a lot of local wives (polygamy). This is surely why the Basques did not lose their pre-IE language and identity. In any case, the weighed average for Y-DNA and mtDNA is lower among the Basques than for most of Western Europeans.
    Basque-aquitanian wasn't the only an-IE language spoken in France and Iberia. In Catalonia, for example, was spoken iberian (language linked to basque-aquitanian)....

    Hgs don't speak! Humans do!

    If you think about a whole population replacement -as you stated about Ireland, although I don't agree- I'd bet more for an "epidemic war" than a conventional one.

    Anecdote:

    Lactose tolerance in Europe:

    http://mapscroll.blogspot.com/2009/0...rance-map.html


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    Interesting map of lactose tolerance, thanks Segia. For me this coincides with location and timing of Corded Ware Culture. I wonder if cows came with R1a people from the step, or local form of ox was domesticated in this area. This area is lash green with grass for most of the year, and surplus of grass to feed cows in winter, very suitable for huge number of cows.
    The aurochs or urus (Bos primigenius), the ancestor of domestic cattle, was a type of huge wild cattle which inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa, but is now extinct; it survived in Europe until 1627.
    The aurochs was far larger than most modern domestic cattle with a shoulder height of 2 metres (6.6 ft) and weighing 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb). Domestication occurred in several parts of the world at roughly the same time, about 8,000 years ago. It was regarded as a challenging quarry animal, contributing to its extinction.
    The last recorded live aurochs, a female, died in 1627 in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland and its skull is now the property of Livrustkammaren in Stockholm.
    Last edited by LeBrok; 05-02-10 at 06:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segia View Post
    Interesting study Segia. Thanks for the link.

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    Cows were domesticated since in Mesolithic, in the Lepenski Viri culture

    http://www.donsmaps.com/lepenski2.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neander View Post
    Cows were domesticated since in Mesolithic, in the Lepenski Viri culture

    http://www.donsmaps.com/lepenski2.html
    The Lepenski Vir culture (7000-4800 BCE) of Serbia is Neolithic, not Mesolithic (or at least the domesticated cattle in your link date from after the arrival of agriculture and stockbreeding, which reached Serbia around 6000 BCE).

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    I don't know why we find cattle in Lepenski Vir, but not Wheat or other cereals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neander View Post
    I don't know why we find cattle in Lepenski Vir, but not Wheat or other cereals?
    Cereals were found at Starčevo (near Belgrade), less than 100 km upstream of the Danube. The Starčevo culture is contemporary to Lepenski Vir. I can think of many reasons why cereals weren't found at Lepenski Vir :

    1) cereals were cultivated, but archaeologists couldn't find any traces of it because nothing is left or because they looked at the wrong place

    2) cereals were not yet cultivated because the farmers from Greece weren't numerous enough to settle all along the Danube, and Lepenski Vir was a community of local hunter-gatherers who had obtained cattle from their Starčevo neighbours.

    3) cereals were not cultivated because the soil was not good enough, or the crops failed due to weather conditions, destruction by war, floods or something else.

    What is certain is that agriculture and domesticates (cattle, goats and sheep) had already reached the Balkans and Carpathians in the 6th millennium BCE.

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    Further evidence for the settlement patterns of the Indo-European in western Europe can inferred from the better documented and more archaeologically explicit Indo-Iranian branch in Central Asia. The eastern expansion of the Indo-Europeans started with the occupation of the eastern Ural mountains, as far as the Tobol and Ishim valleys, all copper-rich regions. The newly acquired resources of the Proto-Indo-Iranians of the Sintashta culture boosted the bronze production, which combined with the newly invented war chariot permitted a full-scale invasion of Central Asia. The Indo-Iranians aimed for the metal-rich regions, such as the valleys of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya in Bactria, the Tian Shan and the Altai mountains. All are hotspots of R1a (with some R1b) nowadays. The mining region of Bactria was a base for the subsequent conquest of the Indian subcontinent and Persia.

    There is no reason to believe that the western branch of the Indo-Europeans should have behaved in a radically different way in their settling of Europe. Copper and tin were vital for IE Bronze-age society. Indo-European rulers from the Maykop and Yamna cultures were also notoriously avid of gold and silver, as attested by objects and jewellery found in Kurgan graves.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 06-02-10 at 12:36.

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    G2a3b1

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    However, three novel elements made me change my mind (or rather think of an additional migration). Firstly, the most common subclade of G2a in Europe is G2a3b1, and this clade is estimated to be only approx. 4500 years old. It is too young for a Neolithic dispersal across Europe.

    Secondly, this G2a3b1 has been found in India alongside R1b1b2. If my theory that the Proto-Indo-European speakers originated near the Caucasus is correct, then we are almost bound to find some G2a in places settled by R1b1b. The modern Ossetians and Georgians have very high levels of both haplogroups. I think that the two originally represented different ethnic and linguistic groups (Indo-European vs Caucasian family), but their proximity would have led to some blending of population in the Caucasus region over time.

    Thirdly, I realised that G2a3 was also high in northern Portugal, Galicia, Cantabria, Wales, the Alps and Bohemia, and it occurred to me that it was in the same copper- and tin-rich regions that the Indo-European R1b1b2 would have favoured. Brittany, Cornwall and Ireland do not have much G2a3 though, but extremely high levels of R1b1b2 to make up for it.

    G2a3 would therefore represent Indo-Europeanised Caucasian people who migrated with R1b1b2 during the Bronze Age. It is possible that G2a3 percentage in western and central Europe remained fairly stable over time, while an originally small ruling elite of R1b1b2 grew exponentially due to their higher birth rate and cultural Indo-European predisposition of favouring of sons.
    The problem with this theory is that this large population of R1b1b2 comes from agriculture Neolithic. G2a3b1 came to Western Europe by spreading the metal and language IE it has not been limited by the R1b1b2 ht 15 of the late Neolithic of Western Europe and there is no R1b12 ht 15 in India. Last-thing haplogroup G is small everywhere .

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    Quote Originally Posted by willy View Post
    The problem with this theory is that this large population of R1b1b2 comes from agriculture Neolithic. G2a3b1 came to Western Europe by spreading the metal and language IE it has not been limited by the R1b1b2 ht 15 of the late Neolithic of Western Europe and there is no R1b12 ht 15 in India. Last-thing haplogroup G is small everywhere .
    I have explained many times on this forum that R1b1b2 cannot have come with Neolithic farmers. Please have a look at the thread R1b1b2 Arrived in Europe During the Neolithic

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    Matriarchy in Basque country

    I remember to read that basque ancient culture was based in matriarchy rather than patriarchy until historicla times, perhaps preventing endogamy. The women were held land and the women use to live with a brother at home.

    A series of wars with celtic IE with shortage of the aborigin neolithic men bearing Y haplotypes in this kind of matriarchy society plus the cultural uses of women looking for foreign partners would explain the the R1b replacement without mtDNA replacement.

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    So mtdna J is discounted as IE huh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnk View Post
    I remember to read that basque ancient culture was based in matriarchy rather than patriarchy until historicla times, perhaps preventing endogamy. The women were held land and the women use to live with a brother at home.

    A series of wars with celtic IE with shortage of the aborigin neolithic men bearing Y haplotypes in this kind of matriarchy society plus the cultural uses of women looking for foreign partners would explain the the R1b replacement without mtDNA replacement.
    There are no proofs of violent episodes in the Basque Country during Prehistory and ancient authors wrote that a sort of matriarchy was common among cantabrians (IE), not in basque-aquitanians.

    IE toponyms and anthroponyms were spread in antiquity along the current basque country (Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Araba), such as Deva, Alisanco, Alba, Deobriga, Gabalaeca, Nerva, Tritium Tuboricum, Salionca, Uxama Barca, Vindeleia, Virovesca, Peremusta, Tullonio, etc....

    The highest presence of non-IE (place and personal) names in Iberia isn't located in the three modern basque provinces, where 2000 y.a. the IE thing is overhelming.

    It would be also useful to explain how other spanish region with the highest peaks of R1b's (e.g. Catalonia) was -at least- historically non-IE speaking. The equation R1b=IE=patriarchy=warlike..... doesn't fit very well. I think "ad hoc" explanations are not very scientific but I understand that is really hard to make a good map with a fragmentary puzzle. And we are talking about southern peninsulas -with a relative early writing-, now let's imagine about central and northern Europe!

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    Very interesting news! I did not realize that in those days mining and the
    search to metals were so important. So the haplogroup R1b must have
    an origin in the Caucasus and Anatolia. But did anyone read the wipedia
    article about R1b? It remains a disputed question where R1b has its
    origin. According to this article maybe in southwest France?
    For me Coon's book "Races of Europe" used to be a kind of bible. So
    I was impressed by the Irish and Scandinavian Upperpalaelithics.
    But they must be considerated as descendants of the French Cro-Magnons
    and Aurignacs. And Armenians and mediterranians (the kind of people
    from Analotia) are very rare in the British Islands and absent in Norway.

    Can we see the haplogroup Ia which is very numerous in south Scandinavia, North Germany and the Netherlands as real Germanic and real European autochtonous? Did the haplogroup I an origin in West-Europa during the Ice Age?

    I also read an article that the very present in Norway and Sweden haplogroup R1a may have an origin of the Ahrensburg Culture near
    Hamburg. If this is right, the Norwegian and Swedish haplogroup R1a
    was not imported by Indo-European immigrants, but dates till the
    most ancient inhabitants!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haganus View Post
    For me Coon's book "Races of Europe" used to be a kind of bible. So I was impressed by the Irish and Scandinavian Upperpalaelithics. But they must be considerated as descendants of the French Cro-Magnons and Aurignacs. And Armenians and mediterranians (the kind of people from Analotia) are very rare in the British Islands and absent in Norway.
    Mediterraneans "very rare" in the British Isles? Not even Coon, who when it comes to the British Isles was kind of a revisionist who contradicted a lot of previous opinions and observations on Britons by the British anthropologists themselves, denied how important their presence is in those islands:

    "The Neolithic economy was probably first brought to Britain by the bearers of the Windmill Hill culture from the Continent, and they in turn were members of the group which had invaded western Europe from North Africa by way of Gibraltar. The racial type to which these Windmill Hill people presumably belonged was a small Mediterranean, but there is little or no direct skeletal evidence from England to confirm this. By far the most important Neolithic movement into Great Britain, and into Ireland as well, came by sea from the eastern Mediterranean lands, using Spain as a halting point on the way. It was this invasion which passed up the Irish Channel to western and northern Scotland, and around to Denmark and Sweden. The settlers who came by sea were the Megalithic people, and belonged to a clearly differentiated variety of tall, extremely long-headed Mediterranean, which was presumably for the most part brunet. This racial group furnished both Great Britain and Ireland, which consisted, before their arrival, of nearly empty land, with a numerous and civilized population which has left many descendants today."

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    But mediterraneans and armenians did not enter Scandinavia. During the Neolithicum
    there was nothing known about the Swedish iron ore and the peninsula was an unattracted and backward country for tribes from the south. There are no proves
    of arrivals of dark haired men in Denmark during the Megalithic and Neolithicum.

    Please explain me why the bearers of R1b should go to Denmark? I suppose that
    there were autochtonous. Read the wipedia about the haplogroup R1b: it is a disputed
    question if the haplogroup R1b arrived in West-Europa before or after the Ice Age.
    And see the ressemblance between the Aurignac Bruenns of Ireland and Norway!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haganus View Post
    Very interesting news! I did not realize that in those days mining and the
    search to metals were so important. So the haplogroup R1b must have
    an origin in the Caucasus and Anatolia. But did anyone read the wipedia
    article about R1b? It remains a disputed question where R1b has its
    origin. According to this article maybe in southwest France?
    For me Coon's book "Races of Europe" used to be a kind of bible. So
    I was impressed by the Irish and Scandinavian Upperpalaelithics.
    But they must be considerated as descendants of the French Cro-Magnons
    and Aurignacs. And Armenians and mediterranians (the kind of people
    from Analotia) are very rare in the British Islands and absent in Norway.

    Can we see the haplogroup Ia which is very numerous in south Scandinavia, North Germany and the Netherlands as real Germanic and real European autochtonous? Did the haplogroup I an origin in West-Europa during the Ice Age?

    I also read an article that the very present in Norway and Sweden haplogroup R1a may have an origin of the Ahrensburg Culture near
    Hamburg. If this is right, the Norwegian and Swedish haplogroup R1a
    was not imported by Indo-European immigrants, but dates till the
    most ancient inhabitants!
    Coon was a scientific fraud and a known racist. If you make use of Coon, chances are you are dealing with material that is suspect. No one with any academic reputation takes much of what Coon had to say about races with any seriousness. Do the research...

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    I spun the thoughts that Maciamo posted a few times over in my head and a thought popped up. He found a correlation with migrations to metal-rich regions. The thought that came to me as a result had to do with Irish myths of their own origins. It is pretty well known that their myths tell the story of the various waves of migrations that came onto the island. A little less well known is the position taken by a number of writers that the stories of folk such as leprechauns may be a way for the ancient Irish to have explained as a euphemism what happened to the people who lived there prior to the Indo-European migrations. One writer (I can't recall which one now) believed that there may have been a tinge of guilt as a result of how the original inhabitants were treated and that the "little people" who exist in the fens or otherwise away from most people found their way into the lore of the island. It could have also explained how some remnants of the old population tried to endure by hiding out for a generation or two and that any that were "caught" were forced to reveal the source of their wealth. Maciamo wrote of the correlation that seems to show that the invaders pursued sources of metal. Can we be surprised that the myths may also treat this subject when they mention "finding and catching" a person who has been trying not to be found and that the individual must then reveal his "crock of gold" (knowledge of metal deposits)?
    Last edited by Regulus; 29-11-10 at 19:23.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
    I spun the thoughts that Maciamo posted a few times over in my head and a thought popped up. He found a correlation with migrations to metal-rich regions. The thought that came to me as a result had to do with Irish myths of their own origins. It is pretty well known that their myths tell the story of the various waves of migrations that came onto the island. A little less well known is the position taken by a number of writers that the stories of folk such as leprechauns may be a way for the ancient Irish to have explained as a euphemism what happened to the people who lived there prior to the Indo-European migrations. One writer (I can't recall which one now) believed that there may have been a tinge of guilt as a result of how the original inhabitants were treated and that the "little people" who exist in the fens or otherwise away from most people found their way into the lore of the island. It could have also explained how some remnants of the old population tried to endure by hiding out for a generation or two and that any that were "caught" were forced to reveal the source of their wealth. Maciamo wrote of the correlation that seems to show that the invaders pursued sources of metal. Can we be surprised that the myths may also treat this subject when they mention "finding and catching" a person who has been trying not to be found and that the individual must then reveal his "crock of gold" (knowledge of metal deposits)?
    It is well known in Ireland that the Tuatha Dé Danann after losing to the Milesians retreated underground into the Sídhe and from then on became known as the Sídhe people or in english as the fairy people. They live in the mounds which are frequent around the Irish labdscape

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    Thanks for that. I had read about that some time ago. That story definitely describes similar circumstances; I did have one question, though.
    Was the Tuatha de Danaan from an earlier wave of indo europeans or are they now held to be more likely original inhabitants? I had thought that they were among the earlier of the proto-celts to arrive, but the general opinion on this may have changed. If they were proto-celts, it would be interesting if they were treated in roughly the same way by the Milesians as the Tuatha may have treated the original inhabitants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
    Thanks for that. I had read about that some time ago. That story definitely describes similar circumstances; I did have one question, though.
    Was the Tuatha de Danaan from an earlier wave of indo europeans or are they now held to be more likely original inhabitants? I had thought that they were among the earlier of the proto-celts to arrive, but the general opinion on this may have changed. If they were proto-celts, it would be interesting if they were treated in roughly the same way by the Milesians as the Tuatha may have treated the original inhabitants.
    The Tuatha de Danann were from an earlier wave of settlers. Before them (according to mythology) there were the Fir Bolg and the race of Nemed and others before them too.

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    Rather than taking the position of archaeologists and such who tend to dismiss in an outright fashion anything that they cannot prove by digging things up, I like to think that there is much to be gleaned from old myths. I hold that they often do present a summation of history, albeit one where much is added and the original picture is obscured.

    We seem to have a correlation between settlements of certain groups and metal-rich areas. In at least one of those lands we have myths of indigenous people of sorts who have knowledge of locations of precious metal but who remain in hiding. When these "people" are discovered and captured, they can be forced to reveal where the gold is. I would imagine that the various waves of Indo-Europeans were comprised of men who were pretty aggressive in seeking out sources of wealth and, in consequence, power. In other words, maybe there is some truth behind the old stories of leprechauns. They may have been started out as real people and slowly morphed into what we read about today.


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