I put here this post because I was confused? Where to put it? all our threads concern History, anthropology, linguistic and genetics- so as it concerned hypothesis about I-Eans and S-Caucasus Anatolia Iran...
Some recent or half recent papers about physical anthropology and the presumed first Indo-Europeans:
Thanks to some blogs (Dienekes in first place) we had this last months some new insight concerning the physical aspect of populations involved in a possible indo-europeanization of Europe and Asia. These data could help, associated to history, archeology and linguistics, to imagine some figures even if, and it is very boring, sometimes a lot of facts do not lead to evident conclusions (is God making joke on our cost?).
Personal remark: as very often, the abstracts of surveys on this field give us only general views and speak again and again of «distances» and dendograms without any taxinomic description nor seriation by types as did traditional physical anthropology: the concept of population is pertinent but we lack nevertheless some individual subgroupings. And for common people it is hard to purchase full papers.
Some apparent facts:
Khudarvedyan (2010/2012) in a nonmetric cranial and odontological survey found an evident link between Armenians of the Highlands (Kura-Araxes culture) and the Catacomb people of Kalmykia, in the N-W corner of the Caspian Sea, of Ukraina and of Dnieper region and also between these Armenians and Tripolye culture people of Moldova and Ukraina.
«One can see a clear link between the Armenian highlands samples and the Western Europe samples (the Arcvakar sample - 17 close phenetic links are revealed). The samples from the Georgia (Samtavro /Late Bronze Age - II period) and Iran (Tepe Gissar III), Uzbekistan (Sapallitepe) are identified as the samples with closest affinities samples from Ukraine (Shirochanski) and Poland, Germany (Corded Ware culture) in particular (figure 3). This suggests that some of the European genes do actually stem from this area. So, mediterranean connections from Armenian highlands, Georgia and Central Asia are distinctly fixed in Western Europe and in the Middle-Late Bronze Age.» I recall the Corded Ware people of Germany were the most exemplar types of the 'corded' phenotype of Coon who saw in it some links with the nomadic Indo-Iranians of the Steppes. Coon though too that this type was in some way an element in modern 'nordic' type and 'indo-afghan' type; he wrote too that for him the I-E elites of Armenia and the Turkmen nomads of ancient times ( not too far from present day Uzbekistan) were principally of 'indo-afghan' type, an evolution of the so called 'eurafrican type', big though «gracile enough», dolichocephallic, and so different from the little light gracile typical 'mediterranean' type' (see farther about Palestine and Harappa)- all the way it is not saying the Corded people and Ancient Armenians were identical, but they showed evident links (to discuss: evolution or crossings?)- it confirms for me that some elements of the western Corded people were came from East as I have ever believed.my problem is: what movements are responsible of the similarities? Toward what side? I retain that if a first origin in Armenia seems the theory here, the bigger similarities are between people of Steppes and East and North-Central Europe Bronze Age. So the 'mediterranean' labelling can be questioned: southern pigmented people or partly 'proto-nordic' depigmented people of Eurasia?
Caution: some introgressions from South Caucasus into steppic people – and some similarities (more evident) between Western Europe (of the time) and Steppes people; no evidence of a massive direct arrival in Western Europe of tribes of the pure «armenian» type...
Mentioning diverse other authors, wrote majority of crania of Maikop remnants are closer to the 'gracile mediterranean' variety of man, and different enough from the Pit Grave culture human crania. But he also said other Maikop crania near Stavropol were closest to the Khvalynsk ones, without giving more details; some heterogeneity among crania of Maikop culture could be due (according to his abstract) to individual variation among the series but too in some part to crossings with other cultures people: very imprecise (the notion of individual variability, indiscutable in a certain proportion, can also mask an incapacity to make out certain unlinked elements in a population). As a whole we can retain a global and rough notion of 'mediterranean' types dominance in Maikop linking this people to Caucase, Near-Eastern, N-Mesopotamia, W Asia population.
Almost as close were the Al Ubaid culture skulls of 72/73 cranial index, classified by someones as 'eurafrican' type, close too with some neolithical skulls of Tunisia: not too gracile indeed and not small at all: these types, as the 'indo-afghan' very close to them, showed a stature of 1m67 to 1m72 when in W-Europe little but 'robust' meso-neolothic people of W-Europe showed statures between 1m55 and 1m 62 and true neolithic 'mediterranean' statures between 1m60 (often) and 1m65 (rarely)
If not always of the same opinion both, Demoule and Sergent's thought that the 'indo-afghan' (read 'half-robust mediterranean or eurafrican' type) what the dominant type among Harappa (see under) population, considered by them as maybe dravidian linguistically; the I-Eans of Aryan origin would have been of the same type, fact which prevents us to discrimine seriously the I-Ean impact concerning physical types in Iran, Pakistan and India...
I think so; and so, the 'indo-afghan' or 'eurafrican' types among later I-E speaking population does not prove this type is to be associated with the first bearers of the language.
from a germanic study about genetics: («Schritte 'im weiten Raum Neue Blicke auf Zivilisationen der Eurasasichen Steppe»)
&: «Genetic DNA analysis of populations revealed an increasing genetic distance between these cultures from the late Copper Age to the Middle Bronze Age. The biggest genetic distance is between Copper Age and Catacomb culture, and they are much more pronounced compared to early Copper Age and Yamna culture. This population genetic change could indicate discontinuity or population change through migration. Based on archeological data an immigration from Eastern Steppes was postulated, however, this immigration hardly occurred, at least on the maternal side (=mtDNA): Typical Central Asian DNA lines do not occur in the tested populations. Regardless of the genetic differences within the tested groups, all these populations can be clearly classified as European. DNA markers with known phenotype suggest a continuity between the North-Pontic area of the 4th/3rd millennia BC and Europeans of today. For example, all analyzed (ancient) individuals showed the same light pigmentation that is dominating in Europe today. Only the eye color was darker compared to today.»
«The Tagar culture (Minusinsk valley) showed the biggest genetic – and also cultural – distance to all other groups. Although in terms of age this culture corresponds to the Pazyryk culture of the Altai Mountains (5th-3rd millennia BC), it seems to be a genetic isolate. Contrary, the Pazyryk culture and the much older findings from Tuva (7th/6th millennia BC) show very little genetic distance, despite the large time distance. Interestingly, the Pazyryk culture shows regional substructures: the horse riding nomads of the Chuya region show an elevated genetic distance than the Pazyryk culture from the Kazakhian Altai region and the Ukok pleateau.»
I note this abstract is very imprecise; but it says there were changes in population of the North Pontic Steppes between Copper (Calcholithic) and Iron Ages, indicating that these cultures we are tempted, with good enough reasons, to see evolutions of an unique Indo-European steppes culture, knew in fact populations introgressions at these times, apparently more from South than from any other direction; the authors seem amazed not seeing asiatic genes action in the game. Me not too much, at least concerning the western parts. The lack of big differences between the pre-Catacombs populations points to a relative continuity (with robust types of dolicho-mesocephallic people, faces varying more: ? 'cromagnids' and 'proto-nordics' ?) - the phenotypes autosomals about pigmentation show the new population (I 'm tempted to see as the «armenian» immigration from S-Caucasus) was light skinned but darker eyed than the current populations of E-Europe; a remark: a) always the same imprecision, because «Eastern Europe» is not an homogenous pure nor homogenous mixed global population – b) the known genes for skin pigmentation studied are surely the principal one which separate 'caucasoids' from 'negroids' long time ago – but we know other mutations occurred surely, if not the result of interaction of others parts of the genome, modifying (more slightly) the skin colour among 'caucasoids' – but the darker hues of eyes could fit very well the Armenian hypothesis at Catacomb times or at least an introgression from South, and it is a point confirming other analysis.So, the Steppes at metals times were not settled by an homogenous and level population.
I recall nevertheless that the people of Firsovo-XIV (near Barnaul, in the Altai forest-steppe zone) affiliated to Andronovo culture showed a mixture of two principal types: the so called 'Andronovo-Fedorovo proto-european type' (or broad-faced eastern Cromagnoid) and what Solodovnikov calls a 'mediterranean' more dolichocephallic and high-narrow- faced. The former was unknown around the Upper Ob, and would be come there from Eastern-Europe (but I have in mind the Hungarian scholars thought it was yet an element among the first Proto-Ugro-Finned!). The second ('med') type of Firsovo XIV «displays a similarity with a foreign European constituant present among the Yelunino culture population of the Early Bronze Age in the Upper Ob Basin».
Under the migration, the Andronovo population groups would have used to involve the Yelunino people from the S-W Altai areas into their moving to the Upper Ob. (it is said this Yelunino population contained some 'mongoloid' elements and it was forced to move from Lower Ob to Upper Ob). Some 'mongoloid' ('west-siberian' = old naming 'uralian') elements among men and women of Firsovo XIV show some «close contacts». The narrow retreating forehaed of the submentioned 'mediterraneans' shows me they were more on the 'eurafrican' or 'indo-afghan' type than on the 'little more gracile mediterranean' type (like in Arabia, b.i.) - it is what I consider as the «N-E aquilinenosed branch » of the dolichocephalic europoid southern block – stronger today in the eastern area of Caspian Sea. We could consider with attention and caution the possible links between this phenotype component and the so called 'west-asian' autosomal component.This type (for me) appeared in more southern piemonts of Eastern Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan , less influenced by a gradual introgression of lighter and more «gracile» 'mediterraneans'.see series of the East caspian region (1977) and robust and gracile 'mediterraneans' in Near-Estern-Levant.
All the way, here yet we see a southern demic influence in a relatively short span of time.
An other survey about historical evolution of the population in Kazakhstan speaks of a first europoid or caucasian imput, pure, of the so called 'cro-magnon' phenotype of the Russian Scientists, a subdolichocephal robust type with broad and short face, agressive nose-bone, moderately retreating forehead, low and quadrangular orbits, slightly projecting cheek-bones, what is close to the older western 'cro-magnon' type of France and Riviera: the difference for me is that the skull height would be greater than in the occidental type, and surely are the eyes arcades a bit stronger too: I wonder if the 'Oberkassel' type of germany (I see responsible of the 'cromagnoid' traits among Northern Europe populations) is not more on this side than on the western type's side?... this eastern 'Cr-M' type is also the one scientists describe as an element of people of Sredny Stog and Yamnaya cultures and as a whole among old populations of Western Siberia and North-Eastern Europe whatever the culture (S-Finns, Finno-Ugrians, I-Eans) – Kazakhstan would have underwent a continuous flow of 'mongoloid' influences reflected in the metrics since the Iron Age; apparently females (mothers) mediated if I rely on surveys (almost only «europoid» Y-DNA but «asiatic» mt-DNA introgressions by time). This survey does not go into depth and focalized more on 'mongoloid' flow than on 'caucasian' subtile subtypes; I believe some other 'caucasian' types different from 'cro-magnoids' took part in the play, you have only to look at Uzbeks of today and their nasal profiles.
As a conclusion here I should say that at least at the beginning, before iron Ages, the 'caucasid' ('europoid')population of N-E and C-E Caspian See was of 'cromagnid' type too.
Zoffmann («Anthropological sketch of the prehistoric population of the Carpathian Basin»)
She studied the Neolithic period of 5000/2500: Lepenski Vir (LVL), Körös+(Starcevo)+Cros culture (K(S)C, Alföld Linear Pottery culture (ALP), Central European Linear Pottery culture (CELP), Lengyel culture, Tisza and Vinca cultures, the Copper Age of 2500/1900 BC (Bodrogkeresztùr («BDG»), and Baden+Kostolac+Cotofeni cultures (BKC), the Bronze Age of 1900/800 BC (Hurbanovo, Gàta-Wieselberg cultures), Maros-Perjàmos cultures and Tumulus culture of Hungarian Plain, and the Iron Age (800/0 BC) (Bosut, Mezöcsàt cultures, Scythians, Celts in Slovakia and in transdanubia. The abstract is not very clear sometimes: speaking about K(S)C ry people I red in first place «mostly «Gracile Mediterranian» indicating eastern contacts, but later I red too that some similitude existed between K(S)C and ALP (Hungary both) «implying a partial common origin», and later yet that ALP people were «of 'protonordic' type gradually gracilized, pointing to an origin outside the Carpathian Basin».Which of the two component was the common basis? The ALP is considered as very different from Central Europe Linear Pottery cultures people (Bohemia LP and CELP) as were very different the WPL (Western Linear Pottery of Germany as a whole) from these last ones (remnants of Mesolithic people?)– Starcevo showed big distances too with apparently (the text is unclear) some brachycephally on the Vinca sites. The author said «the neolithic population of Western and central Balkans was unknown to us...» I say: some dinarids like in modern times? Or 'alpines'? The author wrote too that she saw «a continuity in the somewhat local autochtonous population or CELP/BLP until the final Neolithic into the Lengyel culture (Aszôd, Môràgy-B1), and the Tisza, Sirmium sites of Vinca culture, isolated groups during neolithic, maybe before»... except the Lower-Austria Lengyel sites showed «Southeastern contacts» - She sees 'robust leptodolichocephallic' types + 'gracile leptodoclichocephallic' tyeps (me: 'proto-nordic' or 'eurafrica' types and 'gracile mediterraneans' of 'neolithic danubian type?)+ a few 'cromagnoids' types in this original population of the basin. At Copper times in the Tiszaplogan site she sees an intrusion of 'cromagnoids' preceding the Pit Grave colons (often of same phenotype): a «vanguard»? The later mixture observed in Pit Grave colons times could date from this first period yet? BUT at the following period of Bodroleresztùr (Middle Copper Age) this 'cromagnoid' inflood diminish and almost fade out, retreating before the local previous types (and others? see under). At Final Copper Age, archeology and anthropology shows the arrival of new people, nomadic breeding tribes that correspond to Baden culture and Kostolac and Cotofeni in Transylvania, with types of «southern and southeastern components» (so called 'mediterraneans'?). This flow of tribes occuped the whole Carpathian Basin but did not eliminate the former population, all of these people took part in the Bronze Age formation there (Maros-Perjàmos). «At the contrary, the Bell Beakers people's intrusion in central and Western parts of the Basin in limited territories seem having send a new type there: the planoccipital 'dinaroid' or 'taurid' type which leaved traces in subsequent population of Kisapostag and Gàta-Wieselburg.» More or less pure 'dinaroid' or not, she found «a penrose identity between the Gàta-Wieselberg people and the Bell-Beaker series of Moravia and Germany.» The Hurbanovo population was very different from the local previous types and showed links with the Lower-Austria Lengyel series and the Zlota-Tripolye-Hamangia ones, of southern and south-eastern types (again 'mediterraneans'? Look at other surveys seeing links between Armenians of the Highlands and Tripolye culture sites.
The tumuli culture of Hungary knew inhumation only in South: the human remnants show the people were close enough to the already mixed population of Maros-Perjàamos - the Iron Age cultures of Bosut in Sirmium show too the same picture, but in East Carpathian Basin, the 'mediterranean' component increased well with people came from East, maybe the Sigynnes, close too the iron Greek and the Hallstatt populations. At these times this Sigynnes (surely akin to the Scythes of Bessarabia) did not cross nor mix with the precedent people. To conclude, the Celts does not appear as having send an heavy demic element at any period...
What I retain is that more than a colonization occurred there in C-S-E Europe and that very often the new populations did not eliminate the ancient ones but were either almost completely absorbed or participated in a resulting mixture. The principal «sources» seem heavily 'cromagnid' populations of the Urkainian steppes and more southern more 'mediterranean' like populations which seem came by South; it is hard to say where they were coming from: W-Anatolia or western coasts of Black See (I think to the supposed Sigynnes).
compare the 'gracile' and 'less gracile' mediterraneans' of East Aral Sea (Syr Darya etc...): what culture: sedentary people in contact with steppic people? I-E already?
A metric survey concerning populations of the regions S-E of the Caspian Sea and S-E of the Aral Sea, near Tachkent at the feet of the Altaï mountains, in today Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan (+ Pamir and not to far from Hindue Koush) mentions:
in the agricole and «industrial» Sarazm culture (Zeravchan valley, Uzbekistan, close to N-W Samarkand) – 4000/3000/2?00 BC – tin was extracted by a big number of men to produce Bronze. They had copper, gold, silver too by their hand! Cylindric seals evocate similar founds among ancient farmer populations as in Mesopotamia, Iran, Baluchistan and Indies. Tight links too with harappa culture! This huge city with evident links with South-West regions was abandoned since 1750 BC before Bronze Age in other regional places. Three skeletons, studied in a certainly noble tomb, showed dolichocephallic types of 'europoids' narrow faced and strongly profiled, typical of the Middle Asia and Anterior Asia populations. Tumuli of Bactrian (Turkmenistan) (with «catacombs». Here the types were as a whole of 'europoids' with dolichocephallic crania, profiled and narrow faces of middle height, low eyes-sockets (orbitals) and prominent nose; as a whole, a southern 'europoid' type; for me with maybe sometimes archaïc traits (eyes-sockets). Kara-Depe people: «'leptomorphic mediterranean' of 'eurafrican' variant with skulls very close to Sialk (Iran) ones. In Altyn Depe, same region, the types do not seem having evolved from Calcholithic to Bronze.»: as in Gheoksiur they found there a 'gracile mediterrean' type. In Sapallitepa in Uzbekistan, on the Amou-Darya valley, the 'mediterranen' types were very gracile, short satured and light (1m63, 55kg). In Tadjikistan, at Ranni-Tulkhar (close to Syr Darya too) if they were dolichocephallic, the skeletons were heavier, larger, the forehead retreating, the face very higher and massive, a more prominent nose: the authors say 'mediterranean form' but I translate: 'indo-afghan' (from the 'eurafrican') marked type: me: maybe a component of the «corded» type of Coon? A bit isolated here according to the authors, but «without 'steppic' influence». At Vakhsh (valley close to Tulkhar) dominance 'mediterranean' (depending on interpretation?) too «but some archaïc traits as more sloping forehead, lower eyes-sockets, broader nose and face, more sturdy constituion: a 'proto-mediterranean' type before differenciation»: I think of a kind of 'cromagnoid' type, put them different from other true 'mediterraneans' and from Tulkhar people also. The author says: «different too from steppic tribes and Andronovo people». Kiiatkina says too «the stocks breeding populations of the Pandj and Vakhsh (flowing in Amou Darya, and just West of Pamir monts) were surely autochtonous» (so their archaïc aspect?).
Considering stature, the means are:
Parkhai (just S-E Caspian, ancient Hyrcania): 1m69,3 / Sumbor (close to Parkhai): 1m1m67,9 / Altyn Depe (between Caspian and Afghanistan, very close to N-Iran): 1m69,2 / Kara Depe (just N- Altyn depe): 1m71,1 / Sapallitepa (Amou Darya-Oxus, just before Tadjikstan): 1m63,2 / Djarkutan (N-Syr Drya, close to Kyrgyzstan): 1m69,3 / Makonimor (Tadjikstan): 1m69,3 / Tigrovaia Balka (sovietic Tadjikstan, on the Vakhsh): 160,5 /
the author thinks spite the very different statures, Djarkutan and Sapallitepa are of the same human stock, being life conditions the only cause of apparent differences. I have some doubts when I read always the same explications: I wait to know the causes of this supposed different levels of life... the same Kiiatkina writes also (some lines before: «Sachant d' après les matériaux archéologiques qu' à Sapallitépa, le niveau de vie était suffisamment élévé, nous pouvons penser qu' ils n' étaient pas sous-alimentés. Apparemment cet aspect gracile était une particularité de constitution (physique) du groupe.» : so different life conditions or different origin???...
$: Globally her conclusion is that the farmers populations were of diverse 'mediterranean' types, showing the breeders tribes some differences... (not very precise!)
personally, if I can admit that some 'cromagnoid' form could be at the origin of the future 'nordic' and 'mediterranean' forms (very rough description) I note that Piankova sees cultural influences of the steppic tribes of the North upon the Vakhsh culture (b.i. Tumuli with a stones crown, cooking vessel, and steppic andronovian culture knives in bishkent, in Tadjikistan too. So I find amazing he does not see any physical link between Vakhsh with the Andronovo steppic population which had too some 'cromagnoid' traits. It is true that an ancient type can be common to distinct descendants, and that some remaining common traits are not the proof of modern exchanges of genes; it remains the remote common origin of less evolved groups and that cannot be swept off so easily.
At Bronze Age around 2000 BC and after the Bactrian (N-Afghanistan, S-Uzbekistan, S-Tadjikistan) was densely populated. Immigrants from Iran and Turkmenistan, along with cultural traits from Elam, Luristan, Mesopotamia plus metallurgic and demic influences from Indus Valley (Harappa).
Around 1300/1100 BC the Vakhsh (situated in ex N-Bactrian) region shows a culture where local tribes shift to stock breeding for ecologic reasons – as a whole Bactrian N was at the confluent of an agricultural urban culture with a nomadic breeding culture, with exchanges between the two cultures (steppic influences in metallurgy, later).
So a contact region for a long time and one more problem for I-E origin theory.
Ferghana region (same): collective sepultures close to the ones of the primitive agricole cultures of Anterior Asia and S-Turkmenistan. The physical type was principally 'mediterranean doclichocephallic europoid' type' and in less common the 'proto-euopoid' type of the Steppes (!?!)- the datations hesitate between 1200 to 600 BC (roughly).
It is very interesting noting east the Caspian Sea the extension of a chain of agricultural «piemonts» oasis along the mountains ranges over 1500 km and several cases of evident contacts with steppic populations (the settlements and metal artefacts are for the most of steppic culture, not the pottery) and the common painted ceramics all over the future Parthe, Margian, Bactrian, Sogdian (achemenid period?). N-E Iran origin + Steppes contacts and mixing? I wonder if this does not mark a rather male origin (small influx) from steppic people and a female origin of southern Caspian people?
All the way, looking at the autosomlas poolings and distribution, I find the 'caucasian west-asian' influx does not suit too well to the whole I-E colonization of Europe and could mark two distinct events: a mix with last 'mediter-sardinian' came with neolithical agriculture colonization, and a later influx with South Caucase pre-Maikop and post-Maikop akin populations (look up at the survey about East Caspian metals ages) – I leave you to make your opinion considering Y-DNA and autosomals distribution( I 'll do a check later). Greeks surely do their parts in S-W Europe at Iron Ages too.
QUESTION OF THE LANGUAGES: after to not be too long in one post
let 's remember: all the italic texts are my personal bets and guesses, trying to make out things clearer, if I can! It is a pity skeletons do not say by themselves the pigmentation and the flesh aspect of our «old daddies and mummies». I think the depigmentation of high statured dolichocephallic people took place in the Russian Steppes or Siberia but I can mistake as well...