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Thread: Engraved stones from Cypriot Neolithic settlement

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    Engraved stones from Cypriot Neolithic settlement

    They found human remains too. I hope they don't contaminate them and call someone. It would be good to know what the Neolithic colonizers of Cyprus were like.

    See:
    https://www.archaeology.org/news/613...engraved-stone

    "NICOSIA, CYPRUS—Stone vessels, human remains, and a fragment of an anthropomorphic clay figurine were uncovered in shallow pits at the Prastio-Mesorotsos site in western Cyprus, according to a report in Cyprus Mail Online. The site is located on a prominent rocky outcrop in the Dhiarizos Valley, with views of the mountains and the sea, and was inhabited from the Neolithic period through the Middle Bronze Age. The recovery of an engraved stone, similar to stones found at Choletria-Ortos, which is also located in the Paphos region; Choirokitia, which is located on the southern coast; and Lebanon, located across the Mediterranean Sea, suggests the inhabitants of these sites had contact with each other, perhaps as early as the late Neolithic period."


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    The genetic impact associated to the Neolithic spread in Europe has been widely debated over the last 20 years. Within this context, ancient DNA studies have provided a more reliable picture by directly analyzing the protagonist populations at different regions in Europe. However, the lack of available data from the original Near Eastern farmers has limited the achieved conclusions, preventing the formulation of continental models of Neolithic expansion. Here we address this issue by presenting mitochondrial DNA data of the original Near-Eastern Neolithic communities with the aim of providing the adequate background for the interpretation of Neolithic genetic data from European samples. Sixty-three skeletons from the Pre Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) sites of Tell Halula, Tell Ramad and Dja'de El Mughara dating between 8,700–6,600 cal. B.C. were analyzed, and 15 validated mitochondrial DNA profiles were recovered. In order to estimate the demographic contribution of the first farmers to both Central European and Western Mediterranean Neolithic cultures, haplotype and haplogroup diversities in the PPNB sample were compared using phylogeographic and population genetic analyses to available ancient DNA data from human remains belonging to the Linearbandkeramik-Alföldi Vonaldiszes Kerámia and Cardial/Epicardial cultures. We also searched for possible signatures of the original Neolithic expansion over the modern Near Eastern and South European genetic pools, and tried to infer possible routes of expansion by comparing the obtained results to a database of 60 modern populations from both regions. Comparisons performed among the 3 ancient datasets allowed us to identify K and N-derived mitochondrial DNA haplogroups as potential markers of the Neolithic expansion, whose genetic signature would have reached both the Iberian coasts and the Central European plain. Moreover, the observed genetic affinities between the PPNB samples and the modern populations of Cyprus and Crete seem to suggest that the Neolithic was first introduced into Europe through pioneer seafaring colonization.
    http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetic...l.pgen.1004401
    Check out this article from 2014 I dug up about the Pre Pottery Neolithic B cultures of the Levant. They share a genetic affinity to the modern day populations of Cyprus and Crete.

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    (Not to get slightly off topic, but still relevant to Cyprus) but here's the Minoan and Mycenaean PCA with modern day people from Crete; who share affinity to the PPNB and modern Cypriots according to the 2014 paper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Check out this article from 2014 I dug up about the Pre Pottery Neolithic B cultures of the Levant. They share a genetic affinity to the modern day populations of Cyprus and Crete.
    Yes, even the mtDna alone tells the story; they got the broad strokes migration trail right for the Neolithic. Good find.

    What will be interesting now, if they do an ancient dna analysis, is to see how much the Copper Age or Bronze Age migrations associated with yDna lineages like J2 or even later migrations changed the autosomal signature of people from Cyprus. Was it those migrations which pulled their genomes so far toward the Middle East or were they always more "CHG" like or maybe even SWAsian like? There's also E-V13 to consider. Everything points to that arriving from mainland Greece.

    I also really want to see a comparison of the Neolithic Cypriot total genome to the LBK like EEF genome or some of the Balkan Neolithic genomes we now have available.

    I say that because actually Cyprus was the first outpost of Neolithic farmers from the Near East.They probably would have taken off from the nearby coast where present day Syria meets southeast Turkey given the currents in the Med. Was there then a further migration from Cyprus into the Aegean Islands, a bifurcation with Cardial going west by sea and the other group going up into mainland Greece, the Balkans after that and ultimately Central Europe? Or, was Cyprus one migration route that ended there, and there were separate migrations from further up the coast into Anatolia that made it into the Aegean? If the latter, how different were they? I doubt there was much difference,but it would be an interesting comparison to see, for example, if there was a difference in terms of the Levant Neolithic component.

    In other words, were the people represented by the green and red and the people of the purple arrow the same? Where did the Cardial migration break off? Was it from a group more similar to that from Cyprus or from the western coast of Anatolia. Some papers indicate they were basically the same, but it would be nice to get more data. Plus, just because Cardial and LBK type genes are largely the same, doesn't mean the same holds true for Cyprus, which is what we're talking about.





    The following graphic really annoys me. This is from an academic paper, and yet they don't show the Neolithic on Cyprus? You have to be pretty skeptical about everything.


    This one gets it right. We have the Boncuklu sample. They should compare to that.

    Of course, if we really want to use genetics to figure out sources and percentages to assign to different chronological and archaeological periods in a certain area we'd need a lot of ancient samples in a transect of time, sort of a genomic trench through the eras, instead of an archaeological trench down through a tell. If there was a late Neolithic migration, for example, we'd only know that if we had a sample from that period, otherwise we'd attribute all of the change to the Copper and Bronze Age.

    For instance, I recall a paper on ancient dna which showed that the biggest genetic change in Greece was not Neolithic to Bronze Age, but early Neolithic to Late Neolithic? Am I misremembering that? Maybe it was only mtDna? Stupidly, I didn't put the paper in my files, or if I did, I didn't put enough tags on it. If someone remembers it and has a link could you post it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    For instance, I recall a paper on ancient dna which showed that the biggest genetic change in Greece was not Neolithic to Bronze Age, but early Neolithic to Late Neolithic? Am I misremembering that? Maybe it was only mtDna? Stupidly, I didn't put the paper in my files, or if I did, I didn't put enough tags on it. If someone remembers it and has a link could you post it?
    Did some searching, I believe it might be this paper:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/113/25/6886.full
    Ongoing gene flow into and across the Aegean is also indicated in the genome of a Chalcolithic individual from Kumtepe [Kum6 (25)], a site geographically close to Barcın but dating to ∼1,600 y later. Although archaeological evidence indicates a cultural break in many Aegean and West Anatolian settlements around 5,700/5,600 cal BCE [i.e., spanning this 1,600-y period (30)], Kum6 shows affinities to the Barcın genomes in “outgroup” f3-statistics in the form f3 (‡Khomani; TEST, Greek/Anatolian). The shared drift between Kum6 and both the early and late Neolithic Aegeans is similar in extent to the drift that Aegeans share with one another. However, f4 statistics of the form f4 (Aegean, Kum6, Early farmer, ‡Khomani) were often significantly positive (SI Appendix, Table S22; Dataset S2), suggesting that European Neolithic farmers [namely, Linearbandkeramik (LBK), Starcevo, and Early Hungarian Neolithic farmers] share some ancestry with early Neolithic Aegeans that is absent in Kum6. This is consistent with population structure in the Early Neolithic Aegean or with Kum6 being sampled from a population that differentiated from early Neolithic Aegeans after they expanded into the rest of Europe. Accordingly, compared with Barcın, Kum6 shares unique drift with the Late Neolithic genomes from Greece (Klei10 and Pal7), consistent with ongoing gene flow across the Aegean during the fifth millennium and with archaeological evidence demonstrating similarities in Kumtepe ceramic types with the Greek Late Neolithic (31). Finally, the Kum6, Klei10, and Pal7 genomes show signals of Caucasus hunter-gatherer (20) admixture that is absent in the Barcın genomes, suggesting post early Neolithic gene flow into the Aegean from the east.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Did some searching, I believe it might be this paper:
    Thanks, Jovialis. This isn't the specific reference I had in mind, but I'm very glad you brought it up, because it does address the general issue. Hofmanova et al shows that increased Caucasus was already on the coast of the Aegean by the Chalcolithic. It's possible that it actually got to Greece and diffused from there by the late Neolithic. I always thought that Otzi's relatively high Caucasus component, which Dienekes picked up years ago, had to be explained. It could have come into Europe with advanced copper metallurgy.


    It's not the only way to view it, of course. This is what Hofmanova has to say:
    "Ötzi the Tyrolean Iceman (11) shows unique shareddrift with Aegeans to the exclusion of Hungarian Early Neolithicfarmers and Late and Post Neolithic European genomes and feasiblyrepresents a relict of Early Neolithic Aegeans."

    I don't think Early Neolithic Aegeans had that much Caucasus, though.

    The Hofmanova paper, which had a lot to recommend it, hasn't had the impact it should have had because the usual suspect threw a teen-age style hissy fit because one of the PCAs had Poland with a lot of "Near Eastern". The sample wasn't from an ethnic Pole; it was an Ashkenazi genome. Can't have anyone think that Poles are in any way similar to Jews. Of course, if you read the article it was clear what they meant.

    I hope I can make some time to re-read it carefully, because I think there's a lot in it that I didn't really mine out.

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