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Thread: "Northern" elites in Greece and Rome.

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    "Northern" elites in Greece and Rome.



    So I am slightly concerned about certain stories regarding ethnicity in Ancient Greece and Rome and whether they are true. One story goes on something like this:

    There were in Ancient Greece and Rome two kinds of groups. The commoners (slaves included) and the aristocracy. The aristocracy which was responsible for the creation of what we now think of as Greek or Roman culture, was of a different ethnicity than the commoners. The commoners were tribes original to the South whereas the aristocracy was comprised of Northern invaders. Northern not as in Northern Greece or Italy but as in Northern Europe - say, Scandinavia. These two groups did not, at the time, intermingle. They were two separate ethnic groups living in the same geographical area and being very aware of their ethnic differences ("we [the aristocrats] not only think differently than you [the commoners] do because of our culture, we also look different, very different, from you")

    I am interested in it as a purely positive theory of the DNA of the elites in Greece and Rome. Is it true and how do we know? is there a scholarly consensus on the matter?

    My main issue with such theories is that they are almost always debated by people with an axe to grind. Usually racist scumbags.

    From the Northerners we will hear: "Our ancestors invaded the South and created Greco-Roman culture (essentially). We are the ubermenschen after all."
    From the Southerners we will hear: "yeah, no you suffer from a massive inferiority complex so you have to come up with theories in order to counter the suspicion that your ancestors looked very much like those loud Germanic barbarians in the movie Gladiator"

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    I think it is a fact that often through history of Europe, and not only, some strong tribes showed up in some areas and dominated locals for a period of time. Till they eventually mingled with locals long enough to create one nation.
    We know about strong Germanic dominance over Britain, and most of western europe in middle ages. We know about dominance of Slavs over Balkans in middle ages too, then dominance of Turks, Mongols, Russians.
    I don't think that Greece and Italy is anything special in this department. They might be singled out in respect of being first strong european cultures that influenced the rest of continent for millennia. And because we don't have good documents from beginning of Greece or Rome, these events can play in hands on both side of the spectrum, and could be easily distorted.

    In case of Italy the events are better known, being more recent. We know that dominant tribe were Latins, and that they were Indo-Europeans. We are rather certain that they came from West Asia or maybe far East Europe. Nobody is sure how they looked exactly upon their arrival, before mixing with locals. They might have been a bit blonder than typical Italics, if someone cares.
    One is certain, they had dominated the region on their superior organization, from military to administration. It has to be mentioned that even a strong domination is not an easy sailing thorough history. There was, IIRC, couple of hundreds of years when Toscans dominated Latins, and I think they spoke some Afro-Asiatic language.

    If it comes to Greece's beginning, I'm not even close to a decent guess, lol. I think that at this time, let's say 2,000-1,000BC, there were many EI tribes coming through area like Celts, Latins. There was also strong satem EI influence in the area of Thracian and Dacian tribes, the branch from east IE family that included proto-proto Balto-Slavic. The case of proto-germanic or nordic is less likely to be present there, though who knows. Looking at this map below there was a strongly define flow of Nordic I1 HG south to Macedonia. It might have happened during Germanic expansion from 1000BC to 500AD. As well it might have been old hot spot of I1 that moved north after ice age.


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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    For the record, I didn't delete your thread about "Northern" elites in Greece and Rome. It must have been one of the moderators. I am also surprised since, after reading it now, I have to say that I find no reason for its deletion and I have restored it. I think you have a point, and I have been saying for many years similar things, notably that the "Northern" Indo-Europeans from the Pontic-Caspian steppes became a ruling elite throughout Europe, Central and South Asia, and even parts of the Middle East (Hittites, and possibly the Pharaohs from the 13th century BCE onwards, if King Tut's Y-DNA is indeed R1b1b2a1). I am also convinced that the original Romans and other Italic tribes were predominantly "Northern" Indo-Europeans (R1b), which explains why some had blond hair and blue eyes and looked Northern European as late as members of the Julio-Claudian dynast, in contrast with the Middle-Eastern Etruscans (J1, J2, E1b1b, G2a), who were always depicted as black-haired, dark-skinned, bearded and long-nosed, and actually more Semitic than Anatolian or Caucasian in looks. Modern Italians are a blend of the two (+ the Greeks of Southern Italy + other people, since people came from all over the Empire to Rome).

    As for the ancient Greeks, it is pretty obvious that the aristocracy, or at least free men, were ethnically distinct from slaves (at least until the second century CE, when classes started to mix more under Roman influence) because slaves were bought from neighbours (notably Egypt) or taken among defeated enemies. However the Classical Greeks were probably much more blended (Indo-European + Middle Eastern + Balkanic) than the Romans at the time of the monarchy of republic.
    Well, if the Roman elite looked non-Mediterranean it was only in the sense of being Alpinid or Dinarid or occasionally Borreby (like Pompey the Great) not Nordid in the Germanic or early Slavonic sense.

    Show me one Roman bust that indicates a Nordid physiognomy.

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    I think you have a point, Boss, and I have been saying for many years similar things, notably that the "Northern" Indo-Europeans from the Pontic-Caspian steppes became a ruling elite throughout Europe, Central and South Asia, and even parts of the Middle East (Hittites, and possibly the Pharaohs from the 13th century BCE onwards, if King Tut's Y-DNA is indeed R1b1b2a1). I am also convinced that the original Romans and other Italic tribes were predominantly "Northern" Indo-Europeans (R1b), which explains why some had blond hair and blue eyes and looked Northern European as late as members of the Julio-Claudian dynast, in contrast with the Middle-Eastern Etruscans (J1, J2, E1b1b, G2a), who were always depicted as black-haired, dark-skinned, bearded and long-nosed, and actually more Semitic than Anatolian or Caucasian in looks. Modern Italians are a blend of the two (+ the Greeks of Southern Italy + other people, since people came from all over the Empire to Rome).

    As for the ancient Greeks, it is pretty obvious that the aristocracy, or at least free men, were ethnically distinct from slaves (at least until the second century CE, when classes started to mix more under Roman influence) because slaves were bought from neighbours (notably Egypt) or taken among defeated enemies. However the Classical Greeks were probably much more blended (Indo-European + Middle Eastern + Balkanic) than the Romans at the time of the monarchy of republic. That is because Greece was unified under Indo-European rule much earlier than Italy (nearly 2000 years earlier) under the Mycenaeans. The ensuing Dorian invasion and Dark Ages changed the status quo and allowed a remix of the gene pool within Greece, and the creation of new regional ethnicities due to the geographic division of Greece. This all led to the emergence of the regional identities in Classical Greece, namely the Attic, Doric, Achaean, Thessalian, Ionic and Aeolic. I believe that these dialectal/sub-cultural groups were probably not that homogeneous genetically vis-à-vis one another.

    Even today we can see big discrepancies between the haplogroup distribution of, say Thessalian (high in E1b1b, J2b and R1a) and Cretans (high in J2a and R1b). Since men move less than women to get married (men are more likely to inherit the property of their forefathers), the mapping of Y-DNA haplogroups shows much more regional variations (even very localised "hotspots") than autosomal maps, which tend to get more homogeneous over time within a same linguistic group. This is basically why I expect to find more autosomal variations between Greek and Italian regions in ancient samples than in modern ones. I also expect that the "class gap" would be much more obvious in ancient samples (probably very distinct among early Mycenaean ones, and in early Roman ones, prior to the Etruscan conquest).
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vallicanus View Post
    Well, if the Roman elite looked non-Mediterranean it was only in the sense of being Alpinid or Dinarid or occasionally Borreby (like Pompey the Great) not Nordid in the Germanic or early Slavonic sense.

    Show me one Roman bust that indicates a Nordid physiognomy.
    Obviously, Italic people were closest with the Alpine Celts (Hallstatt, La Tène) and the Gauls, so their appearance was naturally more Alpinid than Nordid. The Nordid type (long-headed, long-faced, tall, straight-haired) is essentially derived from I1 people, not R1b people. Only the blue eyes and blond and red hair might owe more to R1b and R1a people than I1 in northern Europe.

    My point is more that ancient Romans looked very different from the typically Southwest Asian-looking Etruscans from the pottery, frescoes and sculptures, and that modern Italian are somewhere in between. Emperors like Augustus, Tiberius or Caligula look more Celtic (or something like it, which is in fact Italic) than Middle Eastern. Other notable Romans like Cicero, Tacitus, Brutus (elder or younger) or even Julius Caesar, look more French, British or South German than Greek, Anatolian, Levantine or Arabic by today's standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss View Post
    So I am slightly concerned about certain stories regarding ethnicity in Ancient Greece and Rome and whether they are true. One story goes on something like this:

    There were in Ancient Greece and Rome two kinds of groups. The commoners (slaves included) and the aristocracy. The aristocracy which was responsible for the creation of what we now think of as Greek or Roman culture, was of a different ethnicity than the commoners. The commoners were tribes original to the South whereas the aristocracy was comprised of Northern invaders. Northern not as in Northern Greece or Italy but as in Northern Europe - say, Scandinavia. These two groups did not, at the time, intermingle. They were two separate ethnic groups living in the same geographical area and being very aware of their ethnic differences ("we [the aristocrats] not only think differently than you [the commoners] do because of our culture, we also look different, very different, from you")

    I am interested in it as a purely positive theory of the DNA of the elites in Greece and Rome. Is it true and how do we know? is there a scholarly consensus on the matter?

    My main issue with such theories is that they are almost always debated by people with an axe to grind. Usually racist scumbags.

    From the Northerners we will hear: "Our ancestors invaded the South and created Greco-Roman culture (essentially). We are the ubermenschen after all."
    From the Southerners we will hear: "yeah, no you suffer from a massive inferiority complex so you have to come up with theories in order to counter the suspicion that your ancestors looked very much like those loud Germanic barbarians in the movie Gladiator"


    Nope,
    an example for you is the AThenean koinon 'κοινον Αθηναιων' the Bank of ATheneans, which many times had as manager slaves,
    the word slave in ancient Greek has 2 words Δουλος ειλωτας, σκλαβος,
    1 means the worker,
    2 means the slave but as an animal (ες κλωβον) in cage,

    the upper class in geece always were the εφοροι efori a cast of priests and judges,
    but the main class was a kind of commoners,
    also existed class name as μετοικοι (foreign citizens)
    and the class of δουλοι
    so we speak about a major 4 class society

    δουλος
    α) someone who lost its freedom due to punishment by a judge for an amount of years (bankrupt, thief coward etc)
    b) someone who's life been spared in battle
    c) someone that was sold or bought as slave from another state or country due to the above 2 reasons.

    douloi had no chain, had their own houses wifew kids, but they we were not allowed to vote,
    they main time was to work until the amount of money to be gathered to buy freedom, or to pass the 'time'
    that is why word become synonym with lazy, and smart tricks, πονηρος , the one who tries to avoid pain.

    the one you call rulling class,
    that depends in the society before the unification of Greeks,
    for example in Theba we find Αναξ an emperror, a one man show,
    in Athens before Κυλωνειο αγος we find a system that some are land owners judgeς priest and warriors
    something like the nobles of medieval Europe
    if you check Drakon's law and case Δρακωντας you realize that

    the differences among
    i) tyrrant and king
    tyrrant was the absolute law
    King was the commander of army, replaced by general in some states

    ii) oligarchy feudalism and aristocracy

    oligarchy is considered Sparta, but was it?
    the vote priviledge belong to commoners ομοιοι who were the only one that fight,
    coomoners could follow or even kick a king with voting system
    THEY HAD NO LAND AND MONEY
    does that make them a rulling class?

    feudalism that system existed in Athens before democracy, in Makedonia etc but replaced cause of no supporters, In Makedonia kept even to ALexanders times but with division of powers,
    so in that system in the begin a family owned a land, but at the end that families become only army powers, and major elected. judges etc, a system that soon took a form like smmall kings under 1 king

    aristocracy never existed with the Plato's meaning
    it existed as councils and judges mainly in EPirus and some islands
    aristocracy means the power to the expert-best one
    such system we see when councils had big power
    mainly a priest society,

    Democracy

    in Ancient Greece Democracy had not the meaning of today,
    democracy in each state was different, but mainly based on to take hard dessicions
    the voters were a class,
    so to vote you should be
    a free man (no depth, convict etc) to some cities had a piece of land
    a defender, able to fight or had fought for city
    born by mother and father as citizen
    that excludes slaves and priests and foreigners from voting system
    (THAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MODERN EUROPE)

    Plato aristocracy
    Plato turn against democracy due to who is elected,
    he believed that democracy is not the best sysem cause ignorant people could be elected in positions,
    remember that sometimes in some public posotions the desicion was made by luck (cubes decibes)

    so the one you call rulling class
    I do not know if we can call like that a class of warriors who could decide, in some cities had no money or land

    many cities even REJECT THE INHERITAGE OF POSISTION. that is a big step to reject a rulling class, so that is why sounds strange to my ears the rulling class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I think you have a point, Boss, and I have been saying for many years similar things, notably that the "Northern" Indo-Europeans from the Pontic-Caspian steppes became a ruling elite throughout Europe, Central and South Asia, and even parts of the Middle East (Hittites, and possibly the Pharaohs from the 13th century BCE onwards, if King Tut's Y-DNA is indeed R1b1b2a1). I am also convinced that the original Romans and other Italic tribes were predominantly "Northern" Indo-Europeans (R1b), which explains why some had blond hair and blue eyes and looked Northern European as late as members of the Julio-Claudian dynast, in contrast with the Middle-Eastern Etruscans (J1, J2, E1b1b, G2a), who were always depicted as black-haired, dark-skinned, bearded and long-nosed, and actually more Semitic than Anatolian or Caucasian in looks. Modern Italians are a blend of the two (+ the Greeks of Southern Italy + other people, since people came from all over the Empire to Rome).

    As for the ancient Greeks, it is pretty obvious that the aristocracy, or at least free men, were ethnically distinct from slaves (at least until the second century CE, when classes started to mix more under Roman influence) because slaves were bought from neighbours (notably Egypt) or taken among defeated enemies. However the Classical Greeks were probably much more blended (Indo-European + Middle Eastern + Balkanic) than the Romans at the time of the monarchy of republic. That is because Greece was unified under Indo-European rule much earlier than Italy (nearly 2000 years earlier) under the Mycenaeans. The ensuing Dorian invasion and Dark Ages changed the status quo and allowed a remix of the gene pool within Greece, and the creation of new regional ethnicities due to the geographic division of Greece. This all led to the emergence of the regional identities in Classical Greece, namely the Attic, Doric, Achaean, Thessalian, Ionic and Aeolic. I believe that these dialectal/sub-cultural groups were probably not that homogeneous genetically vis-à-vis one another.

    Even today we can see big discrepancies between the haplogroup distribution of, say Thessalian (high in E1b1b, J2b and R1a) and Cretans (high in J2a and R1b). Since men move less than women to get married (men are more likely to inherit the property of their forefathers), the mapping of Y-DNA haplogroups shows much more regional variations (even very localised "hotspots") than autosomal maps, which tend to get more homogeneous over time within a same linguistic group. This is basically why I expect to find more autosomal variations between Greek and Italian regions in ancient samples than in modern ones. I also expect that the "class gap" would be much more obvious in ancient samples (probably very distinct among early Mycenaean ones, and in early Roman ones, prior to the Etruscan conquest).
    Uhh, I did not say you deleted my thread Maciamo. I don’t know who did.
    Before I get to the point, I need to say that I am neither a supporter nor a detractor of that theory. I am not a supporter of racism or any kind of theory that posits superior and inferior “races”. I am only interested in the facts.

    Now on to the point:
    I don’t actually hold any views strongly enough to defend them. I don’t know what research is conducted on this area but I have read AJ Gregor’s (a political scientist at UC Berkeley) ‘Nordicism Revisited’ (google it - Ican't post links apparently) where he sort of deals with this issue (very old paper – 1961). His views are what I am gonna post below – not mine.

    You say that it is obvious that the Greek aristocracy was ethnically distinct from rest of the population but where do you base that on? And why are dark hair/eyes associated with the non-aristocracy? AJ Gregor denies that was the case though I am not entirely convinced. But where do you base that view on? (it’s not clear from what you write above)

    That is one.

    Two: you mention “light” features and you associate them with the aristocracy (that some had light features though I am not sure that if some had light features that that means anything for the majority of the aristocrats). Gregor mentions that one has to take into account the fact that the ancient writers lived in Southern Europe and what was considered “light” there would’ve been considered slightly dark in the North. He actually says that when Ancient Greeks first met northern tribes, they were at a loss as how to describe them precisely because they looked so much unlike them. He also cites Pseudo-Aristotle who doesn’t have particularly good things to say about “light” features. Aristotle is another writer who doesn’t have good things to say about what you say are “Northern” features (again, Gregor’s citations).

    Why is that not a good argument against reading ancient sources from a Northern perspective where “light” = Northern light?

    You mention "looks" - are you referring to statues? Gregor does not think that Greco-Roman statues resemble modern Northern Europeans (he also cites Sergi and Coon who nevertheless I think are far from being uncontroversial). He thinks they do look more “modern Mediterranean” than they look “modern Nordic” though I am not sure that that runs against what you say. Does it?

    Finally, and this is my own view, you somehow associate “beards” with the non-aristocrats though I think you may have meant only the Etruscans not the Greeks. It’s very well documented that the Greek aristocrats were bearded (as any bust will attest) – you’ll have a hard time finding a bust of a philosopher or a politician who was not bearded (especially among the Classical Greeks who were after all the reason why Greece is known today). In fact, Hadrian grew a beard in order to signal his philhellenism (whereas all Roman Emperors before him were clean shaven – except Nero, another philhellene - a lot of Roman Emperors after him and especially the philhellenic Emperors like Aurelius, Commodus, etc were bearded)

    Oh I also didn’t know that Attic and Ionic were separate tribes. I thought the Athenians were considered to be Iones – Ionians. Spartas and Cretans being Dorians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss View Post
    You say that it is obvious that the Greek aristocracy was ethnically distinct from rest of the population but where do you base that on? And why are dark hair/eyes associated with the non-aristocracy? AJ Gregor denies that was the case though I am not entirely convinced. But where do you base that view on? (it’s not clear from what you write above)
    Let's not mix up everything. I wrote that I expected the original Romans to be light-skinned, and of a more northern (read Central-West European, as opposed to East Mediterranean).

    As for the Greeks, I only said that the Mycenaeans (c. 1900-1100 BCE), especially in early centuries of their rule, were most probably a distinct ethnic group of (fair skinned/eyed) Indo-Europeans from the steppes (belonging to Y-haplogroup R1a and/or R1b). I specifically explained that the Greek classes almost certainly got mixed during the ensuing Dark Ages, so that Classical Greeks were already heavily hybridised, though with different admixtures depending on the regions. This hypothesis of regional genetic variations within ancient Greece is strongly supported by the present-day distribution of Y-DNA haplogroups (my example of Thessaly vs Crete).

    So I didn't said that the aristocracy of Classical Greek (C. 510-323 BCE) was fair-skinned/eyed. They were probably as mixed as modern Greeks in this regard, though probably lighter in average because Classical Greek imported a lot of Egyptian slaves that only blended with the rest of population from the late Antiquity and Middle Ages.

    Alexander the Great, who was blond with one blue eye (the other was brown), appears to have been an exception within Greek society in having a fair complexion. I merely hypothesised earlier in this thread that this could be because he had more Mycenaean (do Indo-European) blood in him, perhaps because Macedonian nobility didn't mix as much with the rest of the population during the Dark Ages.

    The Romans started intermarrying with the (dark-skinned/haired/eyed) Etruscans from the 3rd century BCE, and increasingly over the next centuries. The Romans also mixed with the Greeks from southern Italy around that time. By the 1st century CE, many Romans had also become hybridised, resembling more the Greeks (slaves excluded) than they had ever before.

    In the heydays of both Rome and Classical Greece, it appears to me that the elite of both countries were already considerably hybridised between Bronze Age Indo-Europeans and the earlier Neolithic population. Many great civilisations in history have actually arisen from an initial hybridisation between two populations. It was the case, for instance, of the Japanese (Yayoi + Jomon), the Persians (Indo-Europeans + Elamites), the Indians (Indo-Europeans + Dravidians), the Celts (Indo-Europeans + Megalithic people), the Greeks (Indo-Europeans + Neolithic population), the Romans (Indo-Europeans + Etruscans + Greeks), the British (ancient Britons + Anglo-Saxons + Normans), etc. In most of these cases, the arrival of new migrants/conquerors brought an unprecedented vitality and brought about the flourishing of a unique new culture (and often language too). Ethnic blending between very different peoples, perhaps because it enriches the local gene pool, is generally positive for the development of a population (at least for a few centuries, until the "boost" generated by the genetic mix settles down).

    You mention "looks" - are you referring to statues? Gregor does not think that Greco-Roman statues resemble modern Northern Europeans (he also cites Sergi and Coon who nevertheless I think are far from being uncontroversial). He thinks they do look more “modern Mediterranean” than they look “modern Nordic” though I am not sure that that runs against what you say. Does it?
    I wrote that I thought of ancient Romans (not Greeks though) as more Central European in looks. I do no think at all that they looked Scandinavian/Nordic, but neither do I think that they look "Mediterranean", for the simple reason that there isn't a "Mediterranean" look. Spaniards look completely different from Greeks who look completely different from Palestinians, who completely different from Sardinians, who look completely different from Moroccans. Even Italian look quite different depending on the region. Some types are found exclusively in Sicily, others in Sardinia, and others still in Northern Italy. You won't find anybody who looks like Al Pacino in Lombardy (I mean among "pure" Lombards, not Sicilians who moved to Lombardy). There may still be Italian people who look like the ancient Romans I mentioned, but they are more common in northern Italy, and even more common in some parts of France or southern Germany.


    Finally, and this is my own view, you somehow associate “beards” with the non-aristocrats though I think you may have meant only the Etruscans not the Greeks. It’s very well documented that the Greek aristocrats were bearded (as any bust will attest) – you’ll have a hard time finding a bust of a philosopher or a politician who was not bearded (especially among the Classical Greeks who were after all the reason why Greece is known today). In fact, Hadrian grew a beard in order to signal his philhellenism (whereas all Roman Emperors before him were clean shaven – except Nero, another philhellene - a lot of Roman Emperors after him and especially the philhellenic Emperors like Aurelius, Commodus, etc were bearded)
    I never wrote anything about beards being related or unrelated to aristocracy. Why would you think that ? Many Roman emperors had beards, but many were clean-shaven too. It has more to do with fashion. Many medieval European kings had beards, but few of them did from the 17th century onwards.

    What I did write is that ancient Etruscans and Greeks, as depicted in arts, were often bearded (including Greco-Roman gods). They also always had curly hair (while Roman aristocrats of the 1st century BCE and CE usually had slightly wavy hair).

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    I am afraid I am somewhat ignorant of the history of migrations and genetics and that’s partly why I started posting here. To learn. So be patient with me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Let's not mix up everything. I wrote that I expected the original Romans to be light-skinned, and of a more northern (read Central-West European, as opposed to East Mediterranean).
    Right I’m sorry. But why would that be? You repeat it below. That you expect ancient Romans to resemble Northern Italians (and even more the French and South Germans?!) as opposed to Central(?) or Southern Italians (?) more closely (though not entirely). But why that would be?

    As for the Greeks, I only said that the Mycenaeans (c. 1900-1100 BCE), especially in early centuries of their rule, were most probably a distinct ethnic group of (fair skinned/eyed) Indo-Europeans from the steppes (belonging to Y-haplogroup R1a and/or R1b). I specifically explained that the Greek classes almost certainly got mixed during the ensuing Dark Ages, so that Classical Greeks were already heavily hybridised, though with different admixtures depending on the regions. This hypothesis of regional genetic variations within ancient Greece is strongly supported by the present-day distribution of Y-DNA haplogroups (my example of Thessaly vs Crete).
    Got it. Again, same question as above arises. How do we know that the Mycenaeans belonged to R1b and/or R1a? you don’t have to type an answer yourself btw. I am happy to read any papers.

    So I didn't said that the aristocracy of Classical Greek (C. 510-323 BCE) was fair-skinned/eyed. They were probably as mixed as modern Greeks in this regard, though probably lighter in average because Classical Greek imported a lot of Egyptian slaves that only blended with the rest of population from the late Antiquity and Middle Ages.
    Right, I misunderstood you though I don’t think C. Greeks were nearly as mixed as M. Greeks because the latter have received waves of Vlachs, Arvanites, Franks, Venetians, etc which mixed with the local population during and after the period of the Eastern Roman Empire (the atrociously named "Byzantine" Empire). The so-called “gasmouloi” in the Morea during the Latin occupation were the result of Franks and Greeks intermarrying (usually Frankish men and Greek women). Also, Sally McKee (in her ‘Uncommon Dominion’), says that intermarriages (Greek and Venetian) were common among the nobles and even more common among the commoners in Venetian Crete (especially much later when the original Venetian families had basically become...’Cretanised’).
    Anyways, this is a huge issue in itself and I need not worry about that now.

    I never wrote anything about beards being related or unrelated to aristocracy. Why would you think that ? Many Roman emperors had beards, but many were clean-shaven too. It has more to do with fashion. Many medieval European kings had beards, but few of them did from the 17th century onwards.

    What I did write is that ancient Etruscans and Greeks, as depicted in arts, were often bearded (including Greco-Roman gods). They also always had curly hair (while Roman aristocrats of the 1st century BCE and CE usually had slightly wavy hair).
    There was a peculiar sentence about the middle eastern Etruscans being depicted as “black-haired, dark-skinned, bearded and long-nosed, and actually more Semitic than Anatolian or Caucasian in looks.” Since I supposed we were making distinctions between the allegedly Northern aristocracy and the allegedly Southern commoners, I did take that to mean that there was somehow a cultural difference in that respect – Etruscans (commoners) having beards, “Italics” or whatever were the “original” Romans, not having beards. Anyways, this is clear though what is not clear is what I pointed out above.

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    Yetos is absolutely correct concerning modern and ancient definitions of terminology. The word aristocrat, king, slave, et. in ancient times didn't have the same meaning as they did in middle ages or modern times. The idea of King as an absolute monarch is a Christianized meaning during medieval times. When Romans and Greeks speak of Rex or Celtic Rix it's describing a paramount magistrate elected by a council of elders or free men (commoners) to conduct war. In times of war (great stress) a general needed to be appointed who had complete authority over the action. A king in ancient times would be more similar to a 4 star general in the US military. The council of elders and priestly caste made all the social rules. Because ancient society was highly ritualized and superstitious the priestly class held tremendous power over every day life. The meaning of ethnicity wasn't as black and white (no pun intended) as it is today. If you worshiped and followed the same rituals you were part of the ethnic group. Many commoners would be asked to leave a city-state and create a colony. Those commoners lucky enough to be the founding fathers of the new colony were the new elite. Social system was first come first served. The aristocrats of Rome were part of the supposedly founding families of Rome. Romulus and Remus were probably simple shepherds that lived with their families prior to Rome becoming a military significance in 750bc. There is archeological evidence showing that Rome before 750bc had a small settlement of substance farming and herding people.

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    The patricians were probably more mixed with the Etruscan thans the plebeians since the Etruscans once ruled Rome.
    As for the slaves in Rome, hundred of thousands of them were Celts (after the Gallic wars) and Germans.

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    I seriously doubt that or Rome would of spoke Etruscan and not Latin. Plus, the patrician names would be slanted towards Etruscan and they are Latin. Rome (Latins) threw off Etruscan occupation from Etruscan war lords (Kings), but the people and those who ruled the republic were Latins (Italics the beloved cousins of the Celts, lol). The Etruscan Kings were given Latinized names from future historians. I don't believe any actual name of an Etruscan King of Rome has been found engraved or written before 509bc. I could be wrong.

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    I just read on Wiki that only the last three kings were of Etruscan origin. The first four were Sabine and Latin I'm guessing.

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    Shaving and beards in ancient Greece.

    Shaving is considered a Messopotamian habbit,
    shaving is considered a kind of mourning.

    from homer we know that at a case of Death
    Girls cut their hair
    Men shave their bear
    relatives put ashes in their head.

    today we wear a black tie but not that time,

    So
    Philoshophers who are not connected with Death or war they should be shaved,
    Gods is another case
    Zeus Poseidon Hephaistos have bearb But Apollo Hermes and Ares (Mars) don't
    Why?
    the answer is also in many other statues, floor pictures etc
    Alexander also has no beard,
    Leonidas also had no beard
    Why?
    cause man who had to fight in a battle should prepaire their boddies
    so they do mainly 3 things
    1 dance and drink before the travel to battlefield
    2 wash and shave the night before battle,
    THEY SHOULD be prepair for death, and go clean to underworld.
    3 in some cities we also see the prepairation of hair, a pigtail (the word is πλεξις Or κοτσος).
    the pig-tail in case of death was cut by a compagnion and send to relatives, especially the mother.

    So beard is common among philoshophers, some gods, politicians etc, but it is uncommon in soldiers

    remember that shaving was a mourning culture in ancient world, that pass today through military believes mainly.

    So Apollo is also something arc-angel Michael. He has the right to kill, especially women so he brings mourn
    Hermes is ψυχοπομπος, consider it as courier organiser to underworld, he holds the caduceus
    Ares (mars) is god god of war, so master of massive mourning,
    these gods could not have beard,

    Yet we see beard in some warriors, like King Phillip, Alkibiades

    well here are special cases, which personally I don't know,
    for example in Alkiaviades we see the bellow







    It seems like after a big danger in a battle Δηλιο 424 BC, or after entering the political, or after finishing a philoshophy school or lvl, (student of socrates) they grew beard,
    But I am certain about the connection among shaving and mourning.


    Phillip the B

    No Beard



    Phillip B with Beard


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    1 members found this post helpful.
    italics were not scandinavians, but they could be more similar with celts than with neolithic mediterranean people that were more ancient in italy


    some wiki infos

    During Copper Age, at the same time of the appearance of metalwork, Indo-European people migrated to Italy. Approximatively four waves of population from north to the Alps have been identified by archeological evidence:

    • Around the mid-3rd millennium BC, from populations who imported copper smithing. The Remedello culture (ca. 3400 - 2800 BC) took over the Po Valley.
    • From late-3rd to early-2nd millennium BC, with tribes coming both from the north and from the Franco-iberian area identified with the Beaker culture(ca. 2400 – 1800 BC[2]) and by the use of bronze smithing, in the Padan Plain, in Tuscany and on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily.
    • In the mid-2nd millennium BC, associated with the Terramare culture (ca. 1700-1150 BC.[3]). The Terramare culture takes its name from the black earth (terremare) residue of settlement mounds, which have long served the fertilizing needs of local farmers. The occupations of the terramare people as compared with their Neolithic predecessors may be inferred with comparative certainty. They were still hunters, but had domesticated animals; they were fairly skillful metallurgists, casting bronze in moulds of stone and clay, and they were also agriculturists, cultivating beans, the vine, wheat and flax. The later Latino-faliscan people have been associated with this culture.
    • From the late 2nd millennium to the early 1st millennium BC, the Iron Age Proto-villanovan culture (ca. 1100 - 900 BC), related to the Central EuropeanUrnfield culture, brought iron-working to the Italian peninsula. Proto-villanovans practiced cremation and buried the ashes of their dead in pottery urns of distinctive double-cone shape. Generally speaking, Proto-villanovan settlements has been found in almost all the Italian peninsula from Veneto to eastern Sicily (Milazzo), although they were most numerous in the northern-central part of Italy. The most important settlement excavated are those of Frattesina in Veneto region, Bismantova in Emilia-Romagna and near the Monti della Tolfa, north of Rome .



      Villanovan Culture in 900 BC


      InCampania, a region where inhumation was the general practice, proto-villanovan cremation burials have been identified at Capua, at the "princely tombs" of Pontecagnano near Salerno (finds conserved in the Museum ofAgro Picentino) and at Sala Consilina. The later Osco-Umbrian, Veneti (and possibly the Latino-Faliscans too) have been associated with this culture. In Tuscany and in part of Emilia-Romagna the proto-villanovan culture was followed by the Villanovan Culture, often associated with the non-indoeuropean Etruscans.In the 13th century BC proto-Celts (probably the ancestors of the Lepontii people) coming from the area of modern day Switzerland, eastern France and south-western Germany entered in Northern Italy (Lombardyand eastern Piedmont) starting the Canegrate culture whom not long time after, merging with the indigenous, and originally Pre-Indo-European[citation needed], Ligurians, produced the mixed Golasecca culture.
      About this time, Illyrians tribes migrated from the Balkan coasts to Apulia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss View Post
    Right I’m sorry. But why would that be? You repeat it below. That you expect ancient Romans to resemble Northern Italians (and even more the French and South Germans?!) as opposed to Central(?) or Southern Italians (?) more closely (though not entirely). But why that would be?
    First of all, I did not mention modern Italians. I wrote that these specific ancient Romans looked more French/South German than Greek, Anatolian, Levantine or Arabic. Greek might include South Italians, but I certainly did not mention Central Italy. The region is such a genetic melting pot that I prefer to avoid it for comparisons. If you try to determine whether the Romans, and their descendants the Italians, are more genetically Indo-European (Italo-Celtic) or pre-IE Middle Eastern, what good does it make to say that the ancient resembles the modern population ? It's kind of obvious. The discussion is about the origins of the ancient population, not trying to confirm the connection between ancient Romans and modern Central Italians.


    Secondly, I am not expecting these ancient Romans to look more like the North Italians or the French, it is what I observe from the ancient sculptures. Here is a little collage of famous ancient Roman faces from the 1st century BCE and CE. Note that Caligula's bust was recolourised using the original pigments, so we know exactly what his skin, hair and eye colours were like. Augustus was described as having "bright eyes" (meaning light coloured), with hair that was slightly curly and inclining to golden (so dark blond or light brown, which is lighter than most French or even South German male adults). I added Virgil, who was from Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) as a comparison with old Roman families of the same period. Virgil's physical type matches perfectly that of the Julian dynasty.



    Note that none of them have the long, prominent nose often described as "Italian nose" (more common in the south), nor the tall "Greek nose" that descends straight from the forehead without curving. These "Classical Romans" have a relatively small and short nose. They also have a characteristic V-shape face, with a receding (and often cleft) chin. Their hair is brown and wavy, like in central Europe, not black and curly like in the Middle East and North Africa, nor black and straight like in Iberia (esp. Basques).

    Got it. Again, same question as above arises. How do we know that the Mycenaeans belonged to R1b and/or R1a? you don’t have to type an answer yourself btw. I am happy to read any papers.
    So far no Y-DNA has been tested from ancient Mycenaeans, but there is ample archaeological evidence linking Mycenaean culture with that of the Pontic steppes (kurgan graves, chariots, similar metalworks and pottery contrasting a lot with Neolithic Greece). There is little doubt that the Mycenaeans originated from the steppes. If archaeology isn't enough, Mycenaean language is clearly Indo-European, the first IE language in Greece.


    Right, I misunderstood you though I don’t think C. Greeks were nearly as mixed as M. Greeks because the latter have received waves of Vlachs, Arvanites, Franks, Venetians, etc which mixed with the local population during and after the period of the Eastern Roman Empire (the atrociously named "Byzantine" Empire). The so-called “gasmouloi” in the Morea during the Latin occupation were the result of Franks and Greeks intermarrying (usually Frankish men and Greek women). Also, Sally McKee (in her ‘Uncommon Dominion’), says that intermarriages (Greek and Venetian) were common among the nobles and even more common among the commoners in Venetian Crete (especially much later when the original Venetian families had basically become...’Cretanised’).
    Anyways, this is a huge issue in itself and I need not worry about that now.
    Obviously modern Greeks are more mixed than Classical Greeks. Genetic admixtures normally always increase over time (unless there is a complete population replacement or bottleneck, but that wasn't the case).

    There was a peculiar sentence about the middle eastern Etruscans being depicted as “black-haired, dark-skinned, bearded and long-nosed, and actually more Semitic than Anatolian or Caucasian in looks.” Since I supposed we were making distinctions between the allegedly Northern aristocracy and the allegedly Southern commoners, I did take that to mean that there was somehow a cultural difference in that respect – Etruscans (commoners) having beards, “Italics” or whatever were the “original” Romans, not having beards. Anyways, this is clear though what is not clear is what I pointed out above.
    That was your assumption. Etruscans were composed of both aristocrats and commoners, but people depicted in arts are usually aristocrats. Etruscans are pre-Indo-European, and the fact that they had dark skin, black hair and curly hair, like modern population mostly lacking Indo-European admixture (Sardinians, Saudi, Yemeni) is just a confirmation that light pigmentation was indeed brought to central, southern and western Europe by the Indo-Europeans (from north-eastern Europe). If the Romans had light skin, brown, blond or reddish hair, and light eyes (and we know they did), then they must have had a considerable amount of Indo-European blood - probably more than 50%, since light pigmentation is recessive and disappears quickly when mixed with people who lack those genes. Haplogroup R1b is the one associated with the (Indo-European) Italic people. Nowadays it is only dominant (over 50%) in northern Italy, and is close to 50% in the Latium. I expect that the ancient Italic tribes, including the Romans, had over 80% of R1b before mixing with the Etruscans or other non-IE neighbours. The free citizens of Rome at the time of Augustus must still have had at least 60% of R1b. I would think that modern Romans are a little bit darker in complexion, and a bit further away from the Celto-Italic type, due the influx of non-Celtic (or Germanic) immigrants to Rome from the 1st to the 5th century.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I don't think R1b are Proto Indo-European or early Indo-Europeans. I mean only a subclade of R1b be as late Indo-Europeans that of R1b-U106 who were Indo-Europeanized in Central Europe where we see the mingling of Bell Beakers and Corded Wares and which group played a role in Indo-Europeanizing Western Europe.

    Moreover light pigmentation doesn't originally come from R1 carriers. They are bronze age invaders, firstly R1a from Pontic-Caspian steppes who were West Asian/West Central Asians and Mesolithic European in ancestry and R1b from East Anatolia. It is obvious that through sexual selection( choosing lighter North European females) light pigmentation became frequent among them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss View Post
    The commoners were tribes original to the South whereas the aristocracy was comprised of Northern invaders. Northern not as in Northern Greece or Italy but as in Northern Europe - say, Scandinavia. These two groups did not, at the time, intermingle. They were two separate ethnic groups living in the same geographical area and being very aware of their ethnic differences ("we [the aristocrats] not only think differently than you [the commoners] do because of our culture, we also look different, very different, from you")
    "
    the Latins arrived in Italy about 1100 BC , their original homeland was in southern-central Europe rather than Scandinavia. According to Kristian Kristiansen the "italic urheimat" was probably in Austria and western Hungary (Europe before history pg.388)

    According with the old anthropological data in Latium there are two main physical types , 1) Dolicocephalic mediterranean with dark eyes and hair 2) brachycephalic type with higher stature and light eyes and hair

    One can believe that the first type represent the original inhabitants of Latium while the second type the indoeuropean invaders but i think that the question is far more complex
    Last edited by Cato; 31-08-12 at 14:34.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    here are some pigmentation data about modern romans

    Men from Ridolfo Livi - Antropometria militare

    hair: blond 6,4% , red 0,8% , black 32% , brown 60,8
    eyes: blue 8,3% , gray (and green) 17,9% , black 9% , brown 73,8%

    Women from Maria Montessori - Caratteri fisici delle giovani donne del Lazio

    hair: blond 13% ,brown 37% , black 50%
    eyes: dark 85% light 15%

    IMO ancient romans weren't much lighter or darker than moderns

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato View Post
    here are some pigmentation data about modern romans

    Men from Ridolfo Livi - Antropometria militare

    hair: blond 6,4% , red 0,8% , black 32% , brown 60,8
    eyes: blue 8,3% , gray (and green) 17,9% , black 9% , brown 73,8%

    Women from Maria Montessori - Caratteri fisici delle giovani donne del Lazio

    hair: blond 13% ,brown 37% , black 50%
    eyes: dark 85% light 15%

    IMO ancient romans weren't much lighter or darker than moderns
    Thanks for the statistics. The questions when referring to "the ancient Romans" are :

    1) Where ? Are we talking about the city of Rome, all the Latium, all Italy, or the Roman Empire ?
    2) When ? Populations evolve with time. The citizenry of Rome in 500 BCE, 50 BCE, 200 CE and 500 CE would have been quite different.
    3 What Romans ? Are we talking about "stock Romans" (old families), all Roman citizens, or also recent immigrants and slaves ? Nowadays Romans say that your family needs to have lived in Rome for 7 generations to be considered a true Roman. That's about 200 years.

    In this thread I have been targeting very specifically old Roman families (so only citizens, and even patricians more than plebeians) living roughly between 100 BCE and 50 CE in the city of Rome. If we are talking about the entire population of Central Italy towards the end of the Roman Empire, the picture would look utterly different, and probably much closer to the modern population.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malsori View Post
    I don't think R1b are Proto Indo-European or early Indo-Europeans. I mean only a subclade of R1b be as late Indo-Europeans that of R1b-U106 who were Indo-Europeanized in Central Europe where we see the mingling of Bell Beakers and Corded Wares and which group played a role in Indo-Europeanizing Western Europe.

    Moreover light pigmentation doesn't originally come from R1 carriers. They are bronze age invaders, firstly R1a from Pontic-Caspian steppes who were West Asian/West Central Asians and Mesolithic European in ancestry and R1b from East Anatolia. It is obvious that through sexual selection( choosing lighter North European females) light pigmentation became frequent among them.
    just one of my thoughts:
    concerning depigmentation, I believe it can have occurred in Eastern Europe-Western Siberia and not by obligation in Northern Europe - I have no opinion because I have not the smallest proof concerning the pigmentation of the PREVIOUS Y-R1b bearers (before they, maybe, drown their autosomals in "seas" of other groups females, by the bias of elite male domination, proposition of Maciamo) BUT I just recall you that surely a lot of the Y-R1b settled a long time in Eastern Europe or Western Siberia too, as some of the Y-R1a bearers (not by force in the same places at the same times, of course) -
    if we concentrate only around pigmentation, it is almost sure that Romans and other Italic patricians (nobles) was very mixed in pigmentation, showing even some red haired people even if rarest than among Celts, the recordmen for that (and not the Germanics) -I recall that there is not something as a simple opposition more and more light vs more and more dark, but different genes coding different lightness or darkness, and several ligneages, no simplistic binary opposition -
    COON, Gods save his soul, said that among the Roman nobility he remarked dolicho 'mediterraneans' (too imprecise), dolicho 'nordics', brachy 'dinarics' - I add that surely brachy 'alpines' was present, as they was dominant in Pompei under the ashes nad are today the firts element among modern Italians as a whole (not in Sardinia, sure!!!)... Even if COON is not my gooroo, I have some confidence in these affirmations: Italic, after separation from Celts, stayed I believe longer in central Europe as say someones here, I suppose between SE-Austria, S-Hungary and N-Croatia: it makes sense according to linguistics and archeology... so the 'dinaric' element is not surprising - I add this phenotype whatever the Y-HGs attached to it, was present in N-E and E-Italy since the 2000 BC (bronze), came from the Balkans by land (what culture, these first ones? I-E yet??? ) what is sure is that they was not parto of the first ligneages of the pre-Ligurians of N-W Italy-
    maybe these first 'dinarics' (mixed with others in a mixture that was typicla to central Balkans) was accointed to some ancestors of the I-E Dorians Greeks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato View Post
    here are some pigmentation data about modern romans

    Men from Ridolfo Livi - Antropometria militare

    hair: blond 6,4% , red 0,8% , black 32% , brown 60,8
    eyes: blue 8,3% , gray (and green) 17,9% , black 9% , brown 73,8%

    Women from Maria Montessori - Caratteri fisici delle giovani donne del Lazio

    hair: blond 13% ,brown 37% , black 50%
    eyes: dark 85% light 15%

    IMO ancient romans weren't much lighter or darker than moderns
    I do not disagree too much: even if I believe first patricians was a bit lighter than modern days Romans or Lazzio people - (the 13% of blond females in Lazzio seams to me too high, indeed -today Lazzio people are a bit darker than the italian mean but you know a whole country mean is always very uncertain: surveys are not taking in count the density of population by regions: I found 8% of blond hairs among Italians, for the North is more populated than the South nowadays -
    just a detail (technical) Livi was very close to truth about light pigmentation, and his regional %s are very good - but he failed to discrimine among middle and "light" dark pigmentation, for eyes like for hair - just a detail -
    all the way, I think Maciamo want to show that first Italic elites was different enough from the present day Southern Italians (the most of the outwards emigrees, gaving an "Epinal" false image of all Italians that are far of being all on the same model) -

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    I do not disagree too much: even if I believe first patricians was a bit lighter than modern days Romans or Lazzio people - (the 13% of blond females in Lazzio seams to me too high, indeed -today Lazzio people are a bit darker than the italian mean but you know a whole country mean is always very uncertain: surveys are not taking in count the density of population by regions: I found 8% of blond hairs among Italians, for the North is more populated than the South nowadays -
    just a detail (technical) Livi was very close to truth about light pigmentation, and his regional %s are very good - but he failed to discrimine among middle and "light" dark pigmentation, for eyes like for hair - just a detail -
    all the way, I think Maciamo want to show that first Italic elites was different enough from the present day Southern Italians (the most of the outwards emigrees, gaving an "Epinal" false image of all Italians that are far of being all on the same model) -
    probably early italics were lighter before they mixed with the indigenous population considering that they were a north alpine folk most were of light or intermediate pigmentation with a minority of dark individuals (as today "middle-danubian" people like Austrians,Hungarians etc.) , anyway are we sure that the patrician class was composed only by the indoeuropean-urnfield invaders ? or by both indoeuropean and "indoeuropeizated"-indigenous , i'm saying this because when the urnfield culture (called proto-villanovan) appeared in Latium replacing the Apennine culture at first there wasn't much social stratification , it appear later as the distinction between patricians and plebeians , the patricians were merely the original inhabitants of Rome founded in the VIII century b.C. (about three-four century after the latin immigration south of the alps) and the original inhabitants of Rome were very probably both "urnfields" and "apennine" people.

    ps. regarding the % of dark eyes among men ,73,8% include the 9% of "black eyed"-individuals ..so summarizing light eyes 26,2% , dark eyes 73,8% . As other studies show generally in Europe women are more light-haired than men but at the same time more dark-eyed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    I have some confidence in these affirmations: Italic, after separation from Celts, stayed I believe longer in central Europe as say someones here, I suppose between SE-Austria, S-Hungary and N-Croatia: it makes sense according to linguistics and archeology...
    according to Marija Gimbutas : "In the middle-Danube area , in northern Yugoslavia , Hungary , Austria , western Slovakia and southern Moravia , this is the Caka or early Velatice phase of the middle Danube group . In it we find the the largest numbers of best parallels for all the bronzes found in Greece , Italy , and east Mediterranean" (Bronze Age Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe )

    Even the Dorian migration is linked with expansion of this particular urnfield group...my guess is that the Dorians were originally not-Greeks , rather Illyrians or similar to Italics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato View Post
    according to Marija Gimbutas : "In the middle-Danube area , in northern Yugoslavia , Hungary , Austria , western Slovakia and southern Moravia , this is the Caka or early Velatice phase of the middle Danube group . In it we find the the largest numbers of best parallels for all the bronzes found in Greece , Italy , and east Mediterranean" (Bronze Age Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe )

    Even the Dorian migration is linked with expansion of this particular urnfield group...my guess is that the Dorians were originally not-Greeks , rather Illyrians or similar to Italics.
    That is the problem

    1) The bronze age in Greece is not after North but after Cyprus, Cyprus means Copper,
    Greece enter chalkolithic era before rest of Europe due to Invsion from cyprus.

    2) The dorians,
    the geometrical features as also the black painting existed in Greece much before dorians,
    Dorians are considered to enter from Danube or Illyria,
    their origin is Trikke Δωριεις Τριχακες,
    Trikke exist in Greece in land of Graioi (Greeks) in Dacia in Baltic,
    The dorians is connected with iron age, that is why is put 1100 900 BCE and especially a kind of more flexible iron,
    if you read the post about χαλυβες iron age exist in Greece from 1150 BC and entered from Lydia not from Danube,

    Gibutas theory although fits in North does not fit in Greece, low Balkans (Thracians-Illyricum) and west parts of Minor Asia,

    the only possible migration from Central Europe is the R1a that happened at about 3500 BC and still this is under discuss cause Balkans might be the starting point of R1a due to high diversity, althoiugh diversity might be from many migrations, remnants in a sink.

    Mt Pelion (Old mountain in translation) has maybe the oldest iron mines in area,

    Mt Aimos still is one of the most iron deposits in the world.

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