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Thread: How Middle Eastern Milk Drinkers Conquered Europe

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    How Middle Eastern Milk Drinkers Conquered Europe



    Very interesting narrative of how farming and lactose tolerance allowed Middle Eastern Farmers to out populate and conquer Europe.
    The link is to the English Language version from Der Spiegel.
    I have included the first section of the article to give you an idea what is in the rest of the article.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...723310,00.html

    New research has revealed that agriculture came to Europe amid a wave of immigration from the Middle East during the Neolithic period. The newcomers won out over the locals because of their sophisticated culture, mastery of agriculture -- and their miracle food, milk.
    Wedged in between dump trucks and excavators, archeologist Birgit Srock is drawing the outline of a 7,200-year-old posthole. A concrete mixing plant is visible on the horizon. She is here because, during the construction of a high-speed rail line between the German cities of Nuremberg and Berlin, workers happened upon a large Neolithic settlement in the Upper Franconia region of northern Bavaria.


    The remains of more than 40 houses were unearthed, as well as skeletons, a spinning wheel, bulbous clay vessels, cows' teeth and broken sieves for cheese production -- a typical settlement of the so-called Linear Pottery culture (named after the patterns on their pottery).

    This ancient culture provided us with the blessing of bread baking. At around 5300 BC, everyone in Central Europe was suddenly farming and raising livestock. The members of the Linear Pottery culture kept cows in wooden pens, used rubbing stones and harvested grain. Within less than 300 years, the sedentary lifestyle had spread to the Paris basin.
    The reasons behind the rapid shift have long been a mystery. Was it an idea that spread through Central Europe at the time, or an entire people?
    ..... rest of the article at the link.

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance

    Looking at this map of lactose intolerance, it shows that dirnking milk was invented in central and northern Europe.

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    This is lactose tolerance map



    It's roughly matching corded ware/battle axe culture. Could be first R1a people in middle of Europe.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Very odd newspaper article. Completely at odds with every study I've seen so far.

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    Haha.. Today I saw this article, and there is nothing new to it.

    I was in the Dutch Navy in 1974, and we got milk packs from a Spanish firm.
    Everyone complained about the taste of the milk, until the Medical Doctor on board explained that people in Spain do need that extra in the milk, because otherwise they would get sick and threw up. Most Dutch can drink one liter of normal cow milk without any problem.
    So the knowledge explained in the article is very old news.

    And BTW

    I also have lactose tolerance, and I am genetically (yDNA) a Proto Celt.
    My forefathers lived in Europe for at least 10.000 years. Maybe 30.000 years.

    So where is the middle east story based on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    I also have lactose tolerance, and I am genetically (yDNA) a Proto Celt.
    My forefathers lived in Europe for at least 10.000 years. Maybe 30.000 years.

    So where is the middle east story based on?
    "Proto-Celt" Y-DNA (that is, certain subclades of R1b) has not been in Europe since 30,000 years ago, and 10,000 years ago is also almost certainly too long ago. There are good speculative maps on this site that give a good best-guess estimate for the migration of R1b people.

    The article, I think, was referring to the people associated with the various haplogroups that came with the Neolithic expansion (like J2), but I'm not sure I see an obvious correlation there. I tend to see what LeBrok is seeing: a correlation with R1a peoples, who probably came from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post

    This is lactose tolerance map



    It's roughly matching corded ware/battle axe culture. Could be first R1a people
    in middle of Europe.

    Interesting. Does anyone have data for lactose tolerance in Scotland, Ireland, etc.? Ireland has almost no R1a but I had thought that the Irish majority had no problem with milk consumption. I could be wrong and would appreciate help here.

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    Major mistake in the title: they were not Middle Eastern Milk Drinkers, but Eastern European Milk Drinkers (from southern Russia and Ukraine). One of the best proofs is that Middle Easterners are still mostly lactose intolerant, in spite of 10,000 years of domestication. Modern Russians are less lactose tolerant than central and northern Europeans because they have a substantial Mongoloid admixture (Siberian and East Asian) dating at least from the imperial expansion of Russia from the 15th century onward. The Communist period also encouraged movement of people between the various parts of the USSR, bringing lactose intolerant Mongoloid people in Caucasian Russia. The fact remains that pure Caucasian Russians are just as lactose tolerant as other northern Europeans.

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    Already posted, but it is precise :


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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
    Interesting. Does anyone have data for lactose tolerance in Scotland, Ireland, etc.? Ireland has almost no R1a but I had thought that the Irish majority had no problem with milk consumption. I could be wrong and would appreciate help here.
    This is from Jean M's excellent site which was referenced here again today in the new Bell Beaker thread. The color coding is easier for me to read than the gray-scale. It's small but if you zoom in, Ireland looks over .8 and Scotland/west England&Wales over .7.



    http://www.buildinghistory.org/dista....shtml#lactose

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    That's three world maps and one European map of lactose (in)tolerance, and they all contradict each other pretty badly, especially with regards to South-East Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eochaidh View Post
    This is from Jean M's excellent site which was referenced here again today in the new Bell Beaker thread. The color coding is easier for me to read than the gray-scale. It's small but if you zoom in, Ireland looks over .8 and Scotland/west England&Wales over .7.



    http://www.buildinghistory.org/dista....shtml#lactose

    Thanks,

    I had heard of but not seen myself claims that the Irish were more prone to Gluten Intolerance, but I couldn't recall ever hearing that lactose intolerance was a problem for them. They look to be rated very high for tolerence according to this map.

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    I don't know why, but here in Balkan peninsula, I never saw a human who doesnt drink milk. Maybe the map is wrong.

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    I'm 100% sure that the map posted by Eochaidh is very wrong.

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    Sigh..

    The map is right. My yDNA group is situated in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland.

    And we can drink at least a liter in a few minutes, without getting sick.

    Of course most people can drink milk, but only a glass or so.

    Regulus and Lebrok are 2 clowns on this forum who try to frustrate every discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    "Proto-Celt" Y-DNA (that is, certain subclades of R1b) has not been in Europe since 30,000 years ago, and 10,000 years ago is also almost certainly too long ago. There are good speculative maps on this site that give a good best-guess estimate for the migration of R1b people.

    The article, I think, was referring to the people associated with the various haplogroups that came with the Neolithic expansion (like J2), but I'm not sure I see an obvious correlation there. I tend to see what LeBrok is seeing: a correlation with R1a peoples, who probably came from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe.
    No, you have it all mixed up.
    R1a is Eastern Europe.
    R1b is Western Europe.
    J2 is Caucasian, and maybe Greek, Roman or Phenician.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    No, you have it all mixed up.
    R1a is Eastern Europe.
    R1b is Western Europe.
    J2 is Caucasian, and maybe Greek, Roman or Phenician.
    I don't think I have it mixed up. R1a is common in Eastern Europe, R1b is common in Western Europe, and J2 spreads into the places that you mentioned. But R1b in particular has its center of diversity well East of Western Europe, and the subclade common to Western Europe (R1b1b2a1) is quite young (~6000 years old). Compare to Haplogroup I, which has its center of diversity in Europe and is something like 25,000 years old.

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    What about childhood lactose intolerance, is there a map of this scenario and if yes, do you know what ancient civilizations fit the bill? Thanks :) The reason I ask is I've had issues with milk as a kid but grew out of it as I hit my teenage years.

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    Sounds like you have the african form of lactose tolerance which is not as complete, or maybe you just had bowel issues you outgrew, which is common. Probably more common than celtic having african lactose form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight View Post
    What about childhood lactose intolerance, is there a map of this scenario and if yes, do you know what ancient civilizations fit the bill? Thanks :) The reason I ask is I've had issues with milk as a kid but grew out of it as I hit my teenage years.
    It's very unusual, because kids are genetically predispose to drink milk and lots of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noman View Post
    Sounds like you have the african form of lactose tolerance which is not as complete, or maybe you just had bowel issues you outgrew, which is common. Probably more common than celtic having african lactose form.
    I have no African ancestry in me, yet interesting enough I used to vomit alot in the car after drinking milk, my Biological Dad even used my milk weakness as a decoy to get revenge on my mom as an infant. Is there a dna company who can detect Neolithic Dna in my ancestry? :/ Refering to Reinart's remark also

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Major mistake in the title: they were not Middle Eastern Milk Drinkers, but Eastern European Milk Drinkers (from southern Russia and Ukraine). One of the best proofs is that Middle Easterners are still mostly lactose intolerant, in spite of 10,000 years of domestication. Modern Russians are less lactose tolerant than central and northern Europeans because they have a substantial Mongoloid admixture (Siberian and East Asian) dating at least from the imperial expansion of Russia from the 15th century onward. The Communist period also encouraged movement of people between the various parts of the USSR, bringing lactose intolerant Mongoloid people in Caucasian Russia. The fact remains that pure Caucasian Russians are just as lactose tolerant as other northern Europeans.
    Maciamo, I very often (almost always) appreciate your analysis spirit but here I disagree a bit concerning Russians: or we are not speaking about european Russians? the mongoloid element in them are very very scarce (3-6% I think) so it cannot explain a too important loss of lactose-tolerance -
    to go back to the thread, I found this 'Spiegel' article a lot "fairy tale"-like (as often in diaries); I think that lactose tolerance could be born in different places and selected by natural pressure in different places, but always among breeding populations (it is not very new, I know!) - the mutationS can occur in near-eastern descendants as well as among previous hunter-gatherers of old Europe - (I red somewhere that a subsahrian african breeding tribe had this alctose-tolerance: an exception in Africa? apparently) -
    what seems true is that agriculturist Near-Easterners did not mix at first in Europe; but after?
    above I said: breeding (elevage) obligatory for selection: right! selection need breeding culture - but breeding culture does not imply selection - the mutation+selection gave (hazard) an advantage, surely enough, nevertheless -
    uneasy to conclude for details: some advantageous genes among Near-Easterners but selected after by changing way of drinking, and passed progressively to others by late mixings, or some advantageous genes among "Old Europeans" selected lately too by late adoption of agriculture? steppic peoples could very well have
    this or ones of these mutation OK but the good question (already made) is: thave Irish people and British people a high lactose tolerance
    just for contradiction!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    Maciamo, I very often (almost always) appreciate your analysis spirit but here I disagree a bit concerning Russians: or we are not speaking about european Russians? the mongoloid element in them are very very scarce (3-6% I think) so it cannot explain a too important loss of lactose-tolerance -
    to go back to the thread, I found this 'Spiegel' article a lot "fairy tale"-like (as often in diaries); I think that lactose tolerance could be born in different places and selected by natural pressure in different places, but always among breeding populations (it is not very new, I know!) - the mutationS can occur in near-eastern descendants as well as among previous hunter-gatherers of old Europe - (I red somewhere that a subsahrian african breeding tribe had this alctose-tolerance: an exception in Africa? apparently) -
    what seems true is that agriculturist Near-Easterners did not mix at first in Europe; but after?
    above I said: breeding (elevage) obligatory for selection: right! selection need breeding culture - but breeding culture does not imply selection - the mutation+selection gave (hazard) an advantage, surely enough, nevertheless -
    uneasy to conclude for details: some advantageous genes among Near-Easterners but selected after by changing way of drinking, and passed progressively to others by late mixings, or some advantageous genes among "Old Europeans" selected lately too by late adoption of agriculture? steppic peoples could very well have
    this or ones of these mutation OK but the good question (already made) is: thave Irish people and British people a high lactose tolerance
    just for contradiction!
    New elements have come to light since I posted this. Lactase persistence genes have been found among Neolithic populations in Sweden (Funnelbeaker culture and Pitted ware) and Spain (Cardium Pottery) as early as 3000 BCE. The Lactase persistence gene therefore could not have originated in the Steppe, but it isn't certain whether the mutation first appeared among Paleolithic/Mesolithic Europeans or in the Middle East.

    Mutations take place completely haphazardly. They don't happen for a reason. So there is no reason to believe that lactose tolerance necessarily originated among milk-drinking animal herders. Actually it is possible that the mutation itself is much much older than domestication, perhaps as much as 20,000 to 50,000 years old. Useless without domesticated cattle or goats the mutation would have stayed dormant and would not have been actively selected for its health benefits until the Neolithic.

    If we suddenly see lactase persistence genes pop up in Neolithic Spain and Sweden, in two regions sharing a similar Paleolithic ancestry (Y-haplogroup I + mt-haplogroup U4 and U5) I would be inclined to think that the mutation was already present, even at low frequencies, among most Mesolithic European populations, and that when Neolithic farmers arrived and started to mix with them the selection process started.

    If that is the case, lactase persistence gene could have been present in the Mesolithic from Iberia to European Russia, across western, northern and eastern Europe. Thus it could also have been picked up by R1b people once they moved into the Steppe and mixed with indigenous people (mtDNA U4 and U5).

    This is the best explanation I have for the fact that lactose tolerance is so much more prevalent nowadays among northern Europeans and especially Scandinavians, who descend heavily from Mesolithic Europeans, and is virtually absent from the Middle East and rare in the Balkans. Since R1b is Middle Eastern in origin but mixed early with northern Europeans in the steppes, then again in central, western and northern Europe, the percentage of people with the lactase persistence gene would have increased as they gradually absorbed indigenous European DNA.

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    Roman authors recorded that the people of northern Europe, particularly Britain and Germany, drank unprocessed milk. This corresponds very closely with modern European distributions of lactose intolerance, where the people of Britain, Germany, and Scandinavia have a high tolerance, and those of southern Europe, especially Italy, have a lower tolerance
    China is particularly notable as a place of poor tolerance, whereas in Mongolia and the Asian steppes mare milk is drunk regularly. This tolerance is thought to be advantageous, as the nomads do not settle down long enough to process mature cheese
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactase_persistence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    New elements have come to light since I posted this. Lactase persistence genes have been found among Neolithic populations in Sweden (Funnelbeaker culture and Pitted ware) and Spain (Cardium Pottery) as early as 3000 BCE. The Lactase persistence gene therefore could not have originated in the Steppe, but it isn't certain whether the mutation first appeared among Paleolithic/Mesolithic Europeans or in the Middle East.

    Mutations take place completely haphazardly. They don't happen for a reason. So there is no reason to believe that lactose tolerance necessarily originated among milk-drinking animal herders. Actually it is possible that the mutation itself is much much older than domestication, perhaps as much as 20,000 to 50,000 years old. Useless without domesticated cattle or goats the mutation would have stayed dormant and would not have been actively selected for its health benefits until the Neolithic.

    If we suddenly see lactase persistence genes pop up in Neolithic Spain and Sweden, in two regions sharing a similar Paleolithic ancestry (Y-haplogroup I + mt-haplogroup U4 and U5) I would be inclined to think that the mutation was already present, even at low frequencies, among most Mesolithic European populations, and that when Neolithic farmers arrived and started to mix with them the selection process started.

    If that is the case, lactase persistence gene could have been present in the Mesolithic from Iberia to European Russia, across western, northern and eastern Europe. Thus it could also have been picked up by R1b people once they moved into the Steppe and mixed with indigenous people (mtDNA U4 and U5).

    This is the best explanation I have for the fact that lactose tolerance is so much more prevalent nowadays among northern Europeans and especially Scandinavians, who descend heavily from Mesolithic Europeans, and is virtually absent from the Middle East and rare in the Balkans. Since R1b is Middle Eastern in origin but mixed early with northern Europeans in the steppes, then again in central, western and northern Europe, the percentage of people with the lactase persistence gene would have increased as they gradually absorbed indigenous European DNA.
    Very good points Maciamo. Here is a map of Lactose intolernce around the world


    In Europe it shows huge similarity in how globe13 north Euro(aka Mesolithic - Paleolithic European) is distributed. Which is more evidence that it is from Mesolithic and probably Paleolithic Europeans. doesn't matter if they did not have milk they still were able to drink it. I think it may be a European thing going back to the common family of all Europeans in the Paleolithic age. For Europeans it may be used as a way to find how much European blood they actulley have. It is hard to believe so many people in the world cant drink milk. my area is mainly non white and i have seen them drink milk just fine.

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