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Thread: Could R1b have moved from the Black Sea to Portugal to found the Beaker Culture ?

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Question Could R1b have moved from the Black Sea to Portugal to found the Beaker Culture ?

    Here is more oil on the fiery question of the relation between R1b and Bell-Beaker folks.

    While looking at the Wikipedia article about Tarim mummies, I stumbled on this sentence quoted from Mallory & Mair (2000), p. 236 :

    "Because craniometry can produce results which make no sense at all (e.g. the close relationship between Neolithic populations in Ukraine and Portugal) and therefore lack any historical meaning, any putative genetic relationship must be consistent with geographical plausibility and have the support of other evidence."

    At first sight it is true that such craniometric results don't make any sense... until you realise that R1b originated in southern Ukraine during the late Neolithic to early Bronze age, and that the oldest Bronze age culture in Western Europe is found in Portugal (2600 BCE, and possibly as early as 2900 BCE). Add to that that the Bell-Beaker Culture seems to have spread from Portugal to all Western Europe where R1b is now found in high frequencies, and that the oldest subclades of R1b-S116 are also apparently confined to Western Iberia. There has also been heated discussions on the forum about the possibility of Tartessian language (from Southwest Iberia) being a precursor of Celtic languages.

    I have never been an advocate of the theory of the South-western Iberian expansion of R1b to Western Europe, simply because I do not see how R1b would have gotten there in the first place from the Pontic Steppes or the Balkans without passing first by Central Europe and France.

    But what if R1b people did move to Southwest Iberia first, be it by crossing all Europe without stopping until they reached that corner of the Atlantic coast, or else by boat from the Black Sea ?

    Three years ago, I envisaged the possibility of a major Indo-European invasion from the Maykop Culture in the North Caucasus. These would have been seafaring people, colonising all the shores of the Black Sea at first, founding Troy (the Trojans were Indo-European, speaking Luwian, a language related to Hittite, or the early Anatolian branch). Troy itself was founded around 3000 BCE, just before the Corded Ware and Bell-Beaker cultures started. Troy was a maritime and mercantile power, trading mostly around the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, but possibly all over the Mediterranean too. What if the Trojans founded a colony in Portugal or Southwest Andalusia, and that the new culture started expanding from there ? This would explain the sudden flourishing of maritime trade all over the Atlantic coast, and how a bronze age culture could have originated at all at the opposite end of Europe from where the Bronze Age started. It would also explain the similarities in R1b subclades (L21, M167) between Iberia, Atlantic France, Britain and Ireland.

    Naturally, this doesn't prevent another continental migration of R1b-L11 to have taken place from the Balkans to Central Europe (Unetice, Tumulus, Urnfield, Hallstatt, La Tène group), which would have brought R1b-S28 (U152). Yet another migration, perhaps straight from the steppes, would have brought R1b-S21 (U106) to North Germany and Scandinavia.

    By 1300 BCE Central and Western Europe was divided between two major cultures: the Atlantic Bronze Age and the Urnfield Culture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Here is more oil on the fiery question of the relation between R1b and Bell-Beaker folks.
    But what if R1b people did move to Southwest Iberia first, be it by crossing all Europe without stopping until they reached that corner of the Atlantic coast, or else by boat from the Black Sea ?
    It was for discussions such as this that I started the Z196 thread a few months ago. This is the part of R1b that appears to have gotten to Iberia earlier, and proliferated there more successfully, than its better documented brother clades U152 and L21, or its cousin U106.

    http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthr...s-U152-and-L21

    There is some discussion, on that and another thread (about Basques), of a possibility that the route from Anatolia might have been waterborne, but not via the Mediterranean. I don't have a strong opinion about that, but note that it has been discussed, and would differ from the Trojan hypothesis. Both of these theories differ from recent suggestions by Anatole Klyosov of a North African coastal route for R1b's rapid westward move to Iberia.

    http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthr...l=1#post379604
    Last edited by razyn; 08-12-11 at 17:00. Reason: add url for Basque discussion

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    I read somewhere on DNA forum that anormal frequencies of R1b L11 have been found in southern Portugal. That could be the source of all S116 in western Europe

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    First off, theoretically it's possible to consider different scenarios here, namely:

    - regardless of genetics, the question wether Beaker-Bell was Indo-European or not.

    - regardless of linguistics, the question wether Beaker-Bell was predominantly R1b or not.

    In my opinion, regardless of the question wether the Beaker-Bell people were carriers of R1b or not, as I have said before, a strong case can be made that they were not Indo-European, and that is the presence of seemingly native terms for metals and metal-working in Basque, which in my opinion requires a "native" western European metal-working culture, and the only viable candidate for the is Beaker-Bell. My question is: is it conceivable that the Beaker-Bell folks in western Portugal were inded R1b, but not Indo-European?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    My question is: is it conceivable that the Beaker-Bell folks in western Portugal were inded R1b, but not Indo-European?
    I don't know what to think.
    I believe that R1b L11 came from the Black sea region to South Western Europe for Tin and grew faster than the local population of western Europe hence the present day dominance of R1b in Europe. But either Those R1b L11 spoke some sorts of Para-proto-Tocharian-Anatolian language or a non IE language such as Etruscan or Kartvelian.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Maciamo, you mention that "the oldest Bronze age culture in Western Europe is found in Portugal (2600 BCE, and possibly as early as 2900 BCE)"... Don't you mean Copper Age? The Bronze Age only started in Iberia at around the beginning of the 2nd millenium BC as far as I know.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I'd like to see this theory more explicitly in terms of subclades. If I'm understanding Maciamo right, it looks like:

    R1b-ht35/R1b L11- L51+: Pre-Beaker in the context of Europe
    R1b-P312* (some of it): Beaker Culture, straight across Europe to Iberia... R1b-L21 and R1b-Z196 develop out of this
    R1b-U152: Developed independently in Eastern Europe and expanded out of Central Europe later
    R1b-U106 (and L238?): Developed independently from L11* and expanded out of Northern & Central Europe later

    Did I get that right? If so, I have a few questions:

    Where did the ancient Eastern European P312 go? Offhand, I don't know of any evidence of ancient P312 in Eastern Europe (same with R1b-U106... and the R1b-P312 and R1b-U106 modals are very close, so we expect them to have arisen in about the same area).

    Are we too quick to discount R1b L11- L51+ (membership in Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Turkey... generally Eastern European and some Near Eastern) as evidence of a East-West cline of R1b, with L11 arising as part of it in Europe? At which point, Central Europe (probably post-Beaker) makes more sense to me as a launching point for R1b-L11+ in Europe.

    Why would the R1b-L21 pick up and spread IE if R1b-Z196 didn't, and both represent the Beaker R1b's?

    Are the centers of diversity of R1b-L21 and R1b-Z196 actually in Iberia? (I have no clue, honestly).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    In my opinion, regardless of the question wether the Beaker-Bell people were carriers of R1b or not, as I have said before, a strong case can be made that they were not Indo-European, and that is the presence of seemingly native terms for metals and metal-working in Basque, which in my opinion requires a "native" western European metal-working culture, and the only viable candidate for the is Beaker-Bell. My question is: is it conceivable that the Beaker-Bell folks in western Portugal were inded R1b, but not Indo-European?
    Why would you think that the Basque are representative of the Bell-Beaker people ? There is no reason to think that the inhabitants of the Bell-Beaker culture were genetically homogeneous all over Western Europe. That surely wasn't the case. They were essentially descended of Mesolithic and Neolithic Europeans. R1b might have made its first appearance in Western Europe during that time, but I surely don't expect that they would have become the dominant lineage before many centuries or millennia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asturrulumbo View Post
    Maciamo, you mention that "the oldest Bronze age culture in Western Europe is found in Portugal (2600 BCE, and possibly as early as 2900 BCE)"... Don't you mean Copper Age? The Bronze Age only started in Iberia at around the beginning of the 2nd millenium BC as far as I know.
    Sorry, you are right. The Bell Beaker phenomenon started at the time when bronze technology entered Western Europe for the first time (in Central Europe) and the first bell beakers were found in Portugal, but the Bell Beaker culture was originally Chalcolithic. I think that is enough to kill the Trojan hypothesis then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Why would you think that the Basque are representative of the Bell-Beaker people ? There is no reason to think that the inhabitants of the Bell-Beaker culture were genetically homogeneous all over Western Europe. That surely wasn't the case. They were essentially descended of Mesolithic and Neolithic Europeans. R1b might have made its first appearance in Western Europe during that time, but I surely don't expect that they would have become the dominant lineage before many centuries or millennia.
    Well, there's the question, we do not really know this about Basque. What we do know is this:

    - The Basques today are ~80% R1b.
    - Basque is today an isolate language, and no generally accepted link has been established between Basque and any living language, meaning it's relatives must be all extinct.
    - Amongst extinct languages, the only proven link is with Aquitanian, which probably was more or less the same as what has been reconstructed as Proto-Basque. The link with Iberian is less clear, and the discussion ranges between the idea that they were part of the same language family, and the idea that they were unrelated but part of a common sprachbund.
    - If we substract Indo-European loanwords, we have seemingly 'native' terms in Basque for agriculture, domesticated animals (cattle, etc.), horse and metal-working. We basically get sort of a "mirror setup" to the inventory of PIE. These words must come from somewhere.

    Please note that I do not necessarily believe that Basque (or Proto-Basque) was the language of Beaker-Bell (in fact that is rather unlikely), but my opinion is that at least certain Basque words (read: those for metal-working) may be of Beaker-Bell origin, because otherwise one has great difficulties explaining where and how the Basques acquired these terms.
    Last edited by Taranis; 08-12-11 at 20:27.

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    The following thread would be pertinent, in many of its details and posts, to the discussion here:

    http://dna-forums.org/index.php?/top...b-bell-beaker/

    Since this is on an English-language forum, one has to sign in to read it. I know that several of the participants in this discussion are members of DNA-Forums, and apologize to those who aren't. There is a parallel thread on the French-language forum there, that may be read by anybody (who reads French), without the necessity of signing in. The latter discussion has been going on for a year, and it is only the last few weeks of it that would be very relevant to the current Eupedia discussion:

    http://dna-forums.org/index.php?/top.../page__st__320

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    .
    The problem with the theory which implies that European R1b came via Unetice and the Proto Celts is that R1b is not even the dominant haplogroup in the Unetice area.
    Take Austria for instance, the Historical land of Halstatt Celts but only 23% of R1b including 20% of R1b U106.
    If R1b P312 was really brought by Proto Celts, how could present day Austrian have only 3% of it?
    Later invasion? Even in the case of Austrian R1b P312 being reduced by German and slavic invasion, the neolithic lineages (I2a, J2, E1b1, G2) still makes 35% of the modern Austrian population.
    My guess is that R1b P312 never made the majority of Austrian.
    Even in France, it is strange that Neolithic lineage resisted better in historical Celtic lands like Auvergne and île de France (close to the Marne Moselle complex of La Tène) than in non IE area like Basque country or Catalonia (Former Iberian). I think that R1b P312 and Celts are unrelated. The Celts might have carried it but it was there before they came.
    Their genetic contribution was that of the Mycenean and Dorian in Greece, That of the Persians in Iran or that of the Anatolian IE in Turkey: not significant.
    In return, area of Bell Beaker culture matches almost perfectly the area of R1b P312.
    The two areas were Bell Beaker are first recorded are: 1) The Iberian peninsula 2) Netherlands
    I identify them as the first R1b L11 groups that settled in Western Europe. The Dutch group evovled into R1b U106, the Iberian group evolved in to R1b P312.




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    Where is this R1b in the euxine sea (black sea). ?

    I do beleive (as historically written )that R1a came to kosovo area with the germanic bastanae in 200BC (60,000), but thats another story. But to link this R1b abd R1a from the black sea, would seem to me that this is the area they split.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Well, there's the question, we do not really know this about Basque. What we do know is this:

    - The Basques today are ~80% R1b.
    - Basque is today an isolate language, and no generally accepted link has been established between Basque and any living language, meaning it's relatives must be all extinct.
    - Amongst extinct languages, the only proven link is with Aquitanian, which probably was more or less the same as what has been reconstructed as Proto-Basque. The link with Iberian is less clear, and the discussion ranges between the idea that they were part of the same language family, and the idea that they were unrelated but part of a common sprachbund.
    - If we substract Indo-European loanwords, we have seemingly 'native' terms in Basque for agriculture, domesticated animals (cattle, etc.), horse and metal-working. We basically get sort of a "mirror setup" to the inventory of PIE. These words must come from somewhere.
    Basque could have imported these terms of many extinct languages, or even coined new terms justly because they became surrounded by Indo-Europeans but never assimilated by masses of IE migrants (just a small ruling elite, which adopted the local language).

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Please note that I do not necessarily believe that Basque (or Proto-Basque) was the language of Beaker-Bell (in fact that is rather unlikely), but my opinion is that at least certain Basque words (read: those for metal-working) may be of Beaker-Bell origin, because otherwise one has great difficulties explaining where and how the Basques acquired these terms.
    I don't believe that the Bell-Beaker had a language at all. The Bell Beaker was not even a unified culture but more of a phenomenon found among late Megalithic cultures and parts of the western Corded Ware culture. I think it was more a fashion for a new pottery style and some artefacts that spread through trade. There is no evidence of mass migrations. What I had in mind was that R1b-S116 people would have travelled by sea and settled in Portugal, but the diffusion of these R1b around Western Europe would have been very slow and progressive, continuing during the Atlantic Bronze Age (starting 1300 BCE), and even during the early Iron Age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    My question is: is it conceivable that the Beaker-Bell folks in western Portugal were inded R1b, but not Indo-European?
    Same thought popped to my mind, few days ago, when someone mentioned that Basques language might be related to Berber from North Africa.
    What if the first R1b that came to Iberia were not Indo European speakers, and they took the North African route or sea from Asia to Iberia? It might explain why Basques are so reach in R1b and not speaking IE. We should keep in mind that if separation between R1a and R1b happened 18 000 years ago the languages should be way different than they are. If we compare Russian and Basque (both rich in R1) we would need this 18 thousand years for them to diverge so much. My point is that during 18 thousand yeas of separation we should be able to find populations high in R1b and R1a in Europe and Asia that don't speak IE, even if they didn't take someone else's language.

    Taranis, are there any metallurgical similarities between Basques, Berber and Hittite (or some other Anatolian or West Asian culture)?

    "Because craniometry can produce results which make no sense at all (e.g. the close relationship between Neolithic populations in Ukraine and Portugal) and therefore lack any historical meaning, any putative genetic relationship must be consistent with geographical plausibility and have the support of other evidence."
    This is very interesting indeed. I always saw some similarities in cultures of both Galicias, Iberian and Slovakian/West Ukrainian, like folk clothing. On few occasions I confused Portuguese songs with Slovakian. The pronunciation of many sounds is very similar.
    This might be important, as I notice that often when people change language because of invasion, they take most vocabulary from invaders but they keep their own pronunciation, accent, melody, and often simplify grammar too. I can't pinpoint who influenced who, but IMHO these two Galician peoples, lived very close together some time ago. The West Iberian R1B might have come from different migration than Basque, IE, possibly celtic/pre-celtic speaking.

    I though I throw in few more eccentric hypothesis here. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    This is very interesting indeed. I always saw some similarities in cultures of both Galicias, Iberian and Slovakian/West Ukrainian, like folks clothing. On few occasions I confused Portuguese songs with Slovakian. The pronunciation of many sounds is very similar.

    So I'm not the only one who thinks that Portuguese sounds a bit Slavic sometimes :)

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    Something I find against the theory of the Beaker culture being Indo-European is their practice of megalithism. In Scandinavia and the North European Plain, megalithism was thriving during the non-IE Funnelbeaker Culture, but quickly died out with the arrival of the IE Corded Ware complex (it reappeared in the form of "ship burials" in the Iron Age, but that is obviously an unrelated phenomenon to the Neolithic megalithism). On the other hand, megalithism only died out in western Europe around the Late Bronze age, long after the end of the Beaker culture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Well, there's the question, we do not really know this about Basque. What we do know is this:

    - The Basques today are ~80% R1b.
    - Basque is today an isolate language, and no generally accepted link has been established between Basque and any living language, meaning it's relatives must be all extinct.
    - Amongst extinct languages, the only proven link is with Aquitanian, which probably was more or less the same as what has been reconstructed as Proto-Basque. The link with Iberian is less clear, and the discussion ranges between the idea that they were part of the same language family, and the idea that they were unrelated but part of a common sprachbund.
    - If we substract Indo-European loanwords, we have seemingly 'native' terms in Basque for agriculture, domesticated animals (cattle, etc.), horse and metal-working. We basically get sort of a "mirror setup" to the inventory of PIE. These words must come from somewhere.
    .
    And aslong as I'm making an ars of myself,lol, with this pronunciacion hypothesis, here is some more. I don't know Basque and not much Spanish either, so I can judge these languages by sounds and melody only. When I heard Basque for first time I though they were speaking Spanish. I can easily distinguish Portuguese from Spanish though they are very related, but I have problem doing the same with Basque and Spanish, though they are completely unrelated. Why is that?
    I think Celtic in large scale was imposed on non Celtic speaking Iberians, Aquitanians, who took vocabulary and grammar, but retain their native pronunciation. Pronunciation is still similar to original Iberian language therefore to Basque too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    And aslong as I'm making an ars of myself,lol, with this pronunciacion hypothesis, here is some more. I don't know Basque and not much Spanish either, so I can judge these languages by sounds and melody only. When I heard Basque for first time I though they were speaking Spanish. I can easily distinguish Portuguese from Spanish though they are very related, but I have problem doing the same with Basque and Spanish, though they are completely unrelated. Why is that?
    Widespread bilingualism and cultural homogeneity, in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    And aslong as I'm making an ars of myself,lol, with this pronunciacion hypothesis, here is some more. I don't know Basque and not much Spanish either, so I can judge these languages by sounds and melody only. When I heard Basque for first time I though they were speaking Spanish. I can easily distinguish Portuguese from Spanish though they are very related, but I have problem doing the same with Basque and Spanish, though they are completely unrelated. Why is that?
    I think Celtic in large scale was imposed on non Celtic speaking Iberians, Aquitanians, who took vocabulary and grammar, but retain their native pronunciation. Pronunciation is still similar to original Iberian language therefore to Basque too.
    Well, one problem really is that the situation as it was just before the Romans conquered the Iberian penninsula is pretty unclear, in particular for the west. For instance, we know of the Lusitanians in the west of Iberia, who did not (in my opinion, anyways) speak a Celtic language, and many place names in otherwise "nominally" Celtic areas in the West of Iberia sport names that are compatible with Lusitanian, but not with Celtic. My opinion is that the Celts may indeed have not been the first Indo-European inhabitants of Iberia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asturrulumbo View Post
    Widespread bilingualism and cultural homogeneity, in my opinion.
    Definitely some influence, I can't deny. I've never heard an old villager speaking Basque, so I can't say more on this subject.
    Talking about similar situation, can you tell me why Scottish are still rolling there r's even when speaking in English.

    You might be familiar with Spanish speaking by locals in Mexico in some secluded villages (in certain funny way), where public education and mass-media were introduced relatively recently. This is more what I'm talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Well, one problem really is that the situation as it was just before the Romans conquered the Iberian penninsula is pretty unclear, in particular for the west. For instance, we know of the Lusitanians in the west of Iberia, who did not (in my opinion, anyways) speak a Celtic language, and many place names in otherwise "nominally" Celtic areas in the West of Iberia sport names that are compatible with Lusitanian, but not with Celtic. My opinion is that the Celts may indeed have not been the first Indo-European inhabitants of Iberia.
    What would you think of the possibility of Tartessian being an IE but non-Celtic language (like Lusitanian)? I say this because in the Late Bronze Age, Southwest Iberia participated fully in the Atlantic metallurgical complex, and not only that, but also these stone slabs have been found, which in my opinion have motifs that are possibly IE:





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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Definitely some influence, I can't deny. I've never heard an old villager speaking Basque, so I can't say more on this subject.
    Talking about similar situation, can you tell me why Scottish are still rolling there r's even when speaking in English.

    You might be familiar with Spanish speaking by locals in Mexico in some secluded villages (in certain funny way), where public education and mass-media were introduced relatively recently. This is more what I'm talking about.
    In Mexico, there certainly are different accents spoken by the indigenous communities around the country, especially as for many it is their second language. However, in the case of Basque I believe it's different, as Spanish has been around (at least in the urban areas) for a very long time, and even when speaking Spanish Basques don't have a particular accent.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asturrulumbo View Post
    What would you think of the possibility of Tartessian being an IE but non-Celtic language (like Lusitanian)? I say this because in the Late Bronze Age, Southwest Iberia participated fully in the Atlantic metallurgical complex, and not only that, but also these stone slabs have been found, which in my opinion have motifs that are possibly IE:
    Well, first off, these are great images. The problem is that the language is pretty much undeciphered as of now, but it doesn't look Indo-European in the slighest. There was a review of Koch's work earlier this year (by a fellow named Zeidler, from the university of Trier), and he pointed out that the Tartessian writing system was hardly suitable for writing an Indo-European language at all. What's absolutely possible, is that there are Indo-European (Celtic or otherwise) names inside a non-Indo-European matrix, but I don't think the language itself was Indo-European.

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