Bell Beakers from Germany: Y-haplogroup R1b

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Y-DNA haplogroup
R1a
Emerging genetic patterns of the european neolithic: Perspectives from a late neolithic bell beaker burial site in Germany†

Esther J. Lee et al.

Abstract

The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture in Europe is associated with demographic changes that may have shifted the human gene pool of the region as a result of an influx of Neolithic farmers from the Near East. However, the genetic composition of populations after the earliest Neolithic, when a diverse mosaic of societies that had been fully engaged in agriculture for some time appeared in central Europe, is poorly known. At this period during the Late Neolithic (ca. 2,800–2,000 BC), regionally distinctive burial patterns associated with two different cultural groups emerge, Bell Beaker and Corded Ware, and may reflect differences in how these societies were organized. Ancient DNA analyses of human remains from the Late Neolithic Bell Beaker site of Kromsdorf, Germany showed distinct mitochondrial haplotypes for six individuals, which were classified under the haplogroups I1, K1, T1, U2, U5, and W5, and two males were identified as belonging to the Y haplogroup R1b. In contrast to other Late Neolithic societies in Europe emphasizing maintenance of biological relatedness in mortuary contexts, the diversity of maternal haplotypes evident at Kromsdorf suggests that burial practices of Bell Beaker communities operated outside of social norms based on shared maternal lineages. Furthermore, our data, along with those from previous studies, indicate that modern U5-lineages may have received little, if any, contribution from the Mesolithic or Neolithic mitochondrial gene pool.
 
That is great news! thanks!

We've made the hypothesis that R1b could have come with Bell Beakers for months in this forum!
 
This is an extremely intriguing result, although it's somewhat unfortunate that the highest SNP resolution they give is M269. I really want to know whether this is L11+ or L51* or ht35 or something else! Without that, it's difficult to call this proof of continuity between modern R1b and Beaker R1b. But it's compelling evidence nonetheless, and ought to influence future interpretations.

The variety of mtDNA is also interesting... it seems more diverse than early Neolithic and Mesolithic samples.
 
In other words, this is quite similar to the present distribution. Dienekes' is going to update the info after reading the paper in detail.
 
I don't have the study on hand, but I am reading other reports (World Families and elsewhere) that they also tested U106 in addition to M269. Why they tested U106 rather than something more useful, I'm not sure... maybe to make it comparable to other ancient DNA studies. Anyway, predictably, they were U106-.
 
Bell-Beaker was tought to be a proto-Celtic culture, and now we know is related with R1b,
 
Really interesting stuff, looking forward to more like this, and of course Dienekes' take on it.
 
Bell-Beaker was tought to be a proto-Celtic culture, and now we know is related with R1b,

Please, let's keep the horses in the stables. :wink:

Yes, we do now (finally, I should say! :grin: ) have the connection between Beaker-Bell and R1b, but for all that we know that does say nothing about the language(s) that the Beaker-Bell people spoke. It's possible (even quite likely, I'd say, but that isn't the only possibility) that they were speakers of an Indo-European language, but given the vast scope of Beaker Bell Culture, I keep my reservations about that. After all, Beaker-Bell sites have been identified in Sardinia and in the Maghreb, neither which seemingly had any Indo-European (let alone Celtic!) presence upon them in ancient times.

I don't have the study on hand, but I am reading other reports (World Families and elsewhere) that they also tested U106 in addition to M269. Why they tested U106 rather than something more useful, I'm not sure... maybe to make it comparable to other ancient DNA studies. Anyway, predictably, they were U106-.

Yes, I agree that does seem fairly useless. In any case, I'd like to point out a few other issues here, because we are confronted with more than one paradox here:

- the oldest sites of Beaker-Bell metal working are found in western Iberia (such as Castro do Zambujal, which has been dated to ca. 2900 BC). This is primarily why people argumented for an Iberian origin of the Beaker-Bell Culture, and this is also where the stelae people hypothesis has it's origin. However, I find it hard to believe that people from southern Ukraine would travel by a more or less direct route to western Portugal. Additionally, the spread of R1b's subclades in Central and Western Europe is more in favour of a Central European entry and dispersion point, rather than a dispersion across Western Europe from Iberia. So we have two contraditionary patterns here. I hope that Beaker-Bell sites from Iberia will tell us more.

- In connection with the above, we still do not know how R1b got to Central Europe in the first place, or from where, or by what route. And sadly, with current data this is also pretty impossible to say.
 
A total of 10 skeletons belonging to eight graves (6 individual graves and 2 double graves) of a cemetery located at Kromsdorf in Germany, were tested. This cemetery is dated between 2600 and 2500 BC. These 10 skeletons belong to six men, three women and one individual whose sex has not been determined. Mitochondrial DNA has been successfully tested on six individuals. The results give six different haplogroups U2, W5, I1, K1, U5 and T1, indicating that these six individuals did not share maternal ancestors. On the other hand, haplogroups W5, I1, K1, U5 and T1 have been detected in ancient DNA tests on Neolithic or Mesolithic skeletons in Europe. Haplogroups K, T and W were detected in the skeletons of LBK culture in central Europe but also in Final Neolithic in Spain. The Haplogroup I was detected in the Final Neolithic in Germany and Spain. The haplogroup U is the group most frequently detected in the skeletons of Mesolithic. Thus we can conclude that the Bell Beaker female lineage are in Europe long before the third millennium BC and are inherited from previous cultures: Mesolithic for U and Neolithic for the others. The Y-DNA has been successfully tested on two individuals. The two results give the same haplogroup R1b. One has been tested specifically R1b-M269. Both are negative for the mutation U106. These results contrast sharply with the analysis of Y-DNA tests previously conducted on Neolithic skeletons: F* and G2a3 in LBK culture in Germany, G2a and E1b in cardial culture in Spain, G2a and I2a in Final Neolithic in southern France and ?tzi in Final Neolithic at the Austrian-Italian border is G2a2.

This first study on Bell Beaker DNA seems to show that this culture is characterized by the arrival of a new male population in sharp contrast with a genetic continuity in the female lineages.
 
the oldest sites of Beaker-Bell metal working are found in western Iberia (such as Castro do Zambujal, which has been dated to ca. 2900 BC). This is primarily why people argumented for an Iberian origin of the Beaker-Bell Culture, and this is also where the stelae people hypothesis has it's origin. However, I find it hard to believe that people from southern Ukraine would travel by a more or less direct route to western Portugal. Additionally, the spread of R1b's subclades in Central and Western Europe is more in favour of a Central European entry and dispersion point, rather than a dispersion across Western Europe from Iberia. So we have two contraditionary patterns here. I hope that Beaker-Bell sites from Iberia will tell us more.

I read that the first stelae were found in Brittany and have been erected well BEFORE those of Ukraine.
But according to Carleton Coon:

The Dinaric type, with which the Rhenish Bell beakers are associated, is one which entered the western Mediterranean by sea from the east, and eventually moved, by some route yet to be determined in an accurate manner, to the north, and eventually to central Europe

As we see, those German bell Beaker appeared later than Atlantic and meditteranean Bell Beakers:

campaniforme.jpg
 
Finally some Bell-Beaker Y-DNA ! Just as I was thinking we would not have any more ancient DNA for months after the Spanish and Swedish studies published recently.

Now things are getting a bit clearer. I had predicted the arrival of R1b in Central Europe from around 2,500 BCE, and this is exactly the age of these samples. Really a shame that they weren't tested at least for L11 or S116, since these could also be the older R1b-ht35 (L23).

These 2 samples being from Thüringen in Central-East Germany, they could also be the precursors of the Unetice culture. We still don't know for sure that the Bell-Beaker culture was initiated by R1b people, or that the culture spread with the migration of people rather than trade. What makes the Bell-Beaker culture so special is that it co-existed with other cultures, like the older Megalithic culture. In this case it could simply be that Bell-Beaker objects found their way in a pre-Unetice R1b settlement that had not no other connection with the true Bell-Beaker people (presumably from the Atlantic fringe of Europe). So all we know is that R1b was indeed in Central Europe by 2500 BCE as I thought, but it is over-stretching it to assume that R1b was found in all areas associated with the Bell-Beaker Culture.
 
The Bell Beakers in Ireland

Ireland is an endpoint and endpoints are good to test hypotheses.

The last of the four Megalithic building waves was the Wedge Tomb which briefly overlapped with the Bronze Age people. In this Bronze Age, the artifacts are Bell Beaker, which are found uniformly throughout the island in contrast to the Megaliths which are mostly in the north. The certifiably Celtic La Tène culture is also found entirely in the north, and the south is without any Iron Age artifacts at all.

No one has found any evidence of any "Celtic Invasions" of Ireland, yet the people are there. It has been pointed out that many of the pre-Christian royal sites (really more rex as in the Golden Bough, than king), are associated with Megalithic sites, especially Tara and the great Boyne Valley monuments. This seems to me to indicate a certain cultural continuity through the centuries, as opposed to some Celtic Invasion from Iberia who stumbled upon Newgrange.

So it has always seemed to me, that the only candidates for the presumed pre-Celts were the Bell Beakers, for if not them, then who?

These new R1b results are very intriguing.
 
Finally some Bell-Beaker Y-DNA ! Just as I was thinking we would not have any more ancient DNA for months after the Spanish and Swedish studies published recently.

Now things are getting a bit clearer. I had predicted the arrival of R1b in Central Europe from around 2,500 BCE, and this is exactly the age of these samples. Really a shame that they weren't tested at least for L11 or S116, since these could also be the older R1b-ht35 (L23).

These 2 samples being from Thüringen in Central-East Germany, they could also be the precursors of the Unetice culture. We still don't know for sure that the Bell-Beaker culture was initiated by R1b people, or that the culture spread with the migration of people rather than trade. What makes the Bell-Beaker culture so special is that it co-existed with other cultures, like the older Megalithic culture. In this case it could simply be that Bell-Beaker objects found their way in a pre-Unetice R1b settlement that had not no other connection with the true Bell-Beaker people (presumably from the Atlantic fringe of Europe). So all we know is that R1b was indeed in Central Europe by 2500 BCE as I thought, but it is over-stretching it to assume that R1b was found in all areas associated with the Bell-Beaker Culture.

Bell Beaker theories in Thuringia are also with Unetidat culture, then we must revisit the historians from as far back as the 1970s who together with linguists mention NorthWestBlock
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordwestblock

The old theory was that thuringia was the merging of the 4 groups - Celtic, venetic, italic and baltic.
This leads to 3 logical theories ( to me )
1 - The Celts where neither germanic or Gallic and where a people in their own right, who dominated central and southwest germany prior to the germanic migrations from the north ( jutland - holstein )
2 - The Venetic base where as per the my recently posted Veneti thread, the Veneti spread in all directions in europe. but as it base ( the majority due to linguistic and archeological finds) settled in Veneto and established the Este culture.
3 - The Baltic people would defenitley had earlier and deeper inroad of people into europe than just the coasts of pommeria, vistula delta, prussia etc etc

Did this merge form R1b is another question - there are many istances of west - east migration
 
I read that the first stelae were found in Brittany and have been erected well BEFORE those of Ukraine.
But according to Carleton Coon:



As we see, those German bell Beaker appeared later than Atlantic and meditteranean Bell Beakers:

View attachment 5602

Don't you find it odd that the bell Beakers all went west and yet they also have sites in the carpathian mountains and the danube delta - makes you think if the map is of any relevance
 
Apparently there is a problem with radiocarbon dating for the 3rd millennium BC, and especially with the use of charcoal from fires, due to the problem of old wood. Scholars like Marc Vander Linden have concluded that it is impossible to fix the location of the very earliest Beaker sites with any certainty.

Here's a quote from Vander Linden's recent paper, "Demography and mobility in NW Europe in the third millennium cal BC" (posted by alan trowel hands over at World Families Network):

In a widely quoted paper, Muller and van Willingen re-evaluated the relatively limited 14C evidence for the entire Bell Beaker Phenomenon and systematically considered charcoal dates as unreliable because of the potential 'old wood' effect (Muller and van Willingen 2001). Although their decision seems methodologically sound, by acting so, they created an imbalanced dataset since, for instance, charcoal dates constituted until recently the only source of information for the Netherlands (Drenth and Hogestijn 2001; Lanting 2007/2008;Lanting and van der Plicht 1999/2000;Lanting and van der Waals 1976). Their statistical treatment of the resulting dataset is thus only informative of their criteria for selecting dates, but by no means of any past reality (Vander Linden 2006: 12). The Portuguese Estremadura has yielded consistently old dates, pointing to the emergence of the BellBeaker Phenomenon somewhere between 2700 and 2500 cal. BC, but similar old - and otherwise valid for any quality criteria - dates are also available for the rest of the Iberian peninsula, the French Midi and the Netherlands (Vander Linden 2006:12-14, annex). The solution, or absence thereof, of the problem lies in the radiocarbon curve for the third millennium cal. BC, which shows a lengthy plateau between 2700 and 2500 cal. BC (see Raetzel-Fabian 2001). All the 'old' dates fall within this plateau and are therefore virtually undistinguishable from each other. This bias in favour of the Estremadura is actually the renewed expression of a marked preference for this area which goes a long way back in the Bell Beaker historiography (e.g. Castillo 1928). All things considered, it is thus not possible to assign a Portuguese origin, or any other one, for the Bell Beaker Phenomenon on the sole basis of the radiocarbon evidence. Because of the inherent limits to the use of the 14C dating method for the third millennium cal. BC, any attempt at locating the BellBeaker homeland must therefore eventually rest upon explicit cultural and typological arguments (Vander Linden 2006: 14).
 
The first person I ever recall making the Beaker Folk/R1b connection was a man named Rick Arnold. That was back in 2008 at the now-defunct dna-forums web site.

But a number of past scholars have suggested that an early Celtic language arrived in the British Isles with the advent of the Beaker Folk, and one of the natural implications of that would be that R1b came with them, as well (whether one agrees or not).
 
The first person I ever recall making the Beaker Folk/R1b connection was a man named Rick Arnold. That was back in 2008 at the now-defunct dna-forums web site.

So did, over the years, quite a number of people on this forum, including myself.

However, I don't deny that I abandoned the hypothesis in the meantime, due to the fact that the pattern didn't seem to match up (hence my suggestion it was a native, western european phenomenon). And indeed, they still don't match up (a seemingly Central European entry of R1b into Western Europe vs. Iberian metalware). If we disregard Iberian metal ware, a more Central European origin for Beaker-Bell does indeed seem much workable, and it is compatible with the patterns of R1b.

I also have to add that in the meantime, I also speculated that the pattern of R1b rather followed the demise of the Beaker-Bell culture, rather than it's expansion. With the limited data that we have as of now, I would not wholly rule out that scenario, either.

But a number of past scholars have suggested that an early Celtic language arrived in the British Isles with the advent of the Beaker Folk, and one of the natural implications of that would be that R1b came with them, as well (whether one agrees or not).

There's also the very real possibility that the Celtic languages were simply not the first stratum of Indo-European languages in Western Europe (see the Lusitanian language, and also the situation in Gallaecia). In particular Gibson and Wotko "The background of the Celtic languages: theories from archaeology and linguistics" argued in favour of this scenario.

In any case, I absolutely do agree with the implication regarding the British Isles. It would be very nice now to have Y-DNA samples from the successive cultures in Britain that followed Beaker-Bell (such as the Wessex Culture) to verify this.
 
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to make sense on any expansion we need to not only look at migration for need , but migration due to/for trade

http://www.paabo.ca/papers/Y-STR-PAABO.pdf

Since some trade goods , like amber due to its plant resin can be dated by year and place ( within 50K) then these are very useful.
 

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