Glacial effect on Paleolithic and Mesolithic population.

LeBrok

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I came upon a very interesting article and maps about the extent of Ice Age glaciers with enormous flood basins. Asia as we know it today didn't exist in the past. It was more of landscape of separate lands with huge seas between them and mountains of ice. Till pretty much the end of Ice Age there were communities separated for a long time from each other. This scenario could explain why we can find obvious and distinct genetic groupings of ancient populations, as WHG in Europe, ANE in Asia or ENF in Near East. They were stuck in one place and do lots of inbreeding for ten or twenty thousand years, and didn't travel much and didn't mingle till modern warmer interglacial times.

icesheetsnorthernhemispheresm.jpg


Altaic part is completely separated, and Siberia cut into small almost separate pieces. European Eastern part cut into sections by gigantic rivers emptying to giant lakes. Lakes and mountains there completely cutting off East Europe from Near East. I'm not sure if there was a land bridge between Balkans and Anatolia. The giant lakes were constantly draining the melt water to Mediterranean Sea.

However, with onset of winters, everything in upper Asia had to be frozen solid. At this time traveling through lakes and rivers would be possible. Especially when hunters are following some migratory herds of animals like reindeer or possibly mammoths. It is hard to know winter practices of these hunters, but judging by their distinct genomes they might not have traveled too far.


This is 20,000 years ago during glacial maximum. Some friendly sole marked paleolithic places of interest.
icemapmax.gif


State of affairs 13.000 years ago.
icemap13000bp.gif


And 10,000
icemapend.gif

http://donsmaps.com/icemaps.html


There are also maps showing an interesting protrusion of ice sheet towards Black and Caspian Sea. This could seriously curtail mixing of WHG with ANE H-Gs.
1024px-Iceage_north-intergl_glac_hg.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age#mediaviewer/File:Iceage_north-intergl_glac_hg.png


Sites-with-Paleolithic-Art-in-Europe.png

http://www.zonu.com/fullsize-en/2009-12-09-11372/Sites-with-Paleolithic-Art-in-Europe.html


Theoretically this land bridge between Balkans and Anatolia could have helped I2 and C6 hunter-gatherers to enter Near East from Europe and mix with farmers before they expanded into Europe? Though it could have been impassable after glacial maximum when melt water had to flow from Black Sea to Mediterranean almost all the time.

Any idea why Spain, France, Germany and Czechy are so rich in cave settlements, and Balkans or Italy (supposedly with better climate to survive during Ice Age) are almost completely deserted?

This map shows extend of wooden are during Ice Age. Perhaps these hunters didn't like forests?
icelevelstimberlines.gif

Ice Age conditions in Europe

A: The position of the polar timberline in present-day Europe

B: The position of the timberline at the most severe stage of the Würm Ice Age.

C: The limits of glacial debris deposited during the Würm Ice Age.

D: The limits of glacial debris deposited during the Riss and Mindel Ice Age.

Photo: Secrets of the Ice Age by Evan Hadingham, 1980
 
Really interesting data, but I wouldn't know how to interpret it. Although it might have been easier for Paleolithic people to survive in either an all year round winter environment or an all year round summer environment than one that kept changing. Perhaps they had trouble adapting to more than one environment.
 
Sites-with-Paleolithic-Art-in-Europe.png



Any idea why Spain, France, Germany and Czechy are so rich in cave settlements, and Balkans or Italy (supposedly with better climate to survive during Ice Age) are almost completely deserted?
Perhaps they were culturally different and where building simple huts out of wood, instead of finding caves? The way Natufians did between 20-10 kya.
Bones survive well undisturbed in caves, but there is not much left from wooden huts and exposed bones after 20 thousand years. In other words, there were lots of settlements in Balkans but almost all got destroyed, therefore we can't find them.
Just a thought.
 
Caves versus huts would be a good explanation for there being a better survival rate for the remains of some cultures over others, but I would think that choice would be largely dependent on the availability of suitable caves, and many parts of the Balkans (and Italy) have mountainous regions that should produce suitable caves. The huge number of sites in northern Spain might be at least partly a result of there being suitable caves in the area, but I would think that some parts of the Balkans should have provided the same advantages.
 
Hi LeBrok, the first map does not seem correct to me, it contradicts the other maps you post here and the maps I have seen and studied before : there was no large ice cap that covered the north of eastern Siberia and western Alaska. This was because of the drought in that area.
During the ice age the whole human population went through a big bottleneck, only the most resourceful survived.
That's what caused the distinct genetic groupings of ancient populations.
 
Caves versus huts would be a good explanation for there being a better survival rate for the remains of some cultures over others, but I would think that choice would be largely dependent on the availability of suitable caves, and many parts of the Balkans (and Italy) have mountainous regions that should produce suitable caves. The huge number of sites in northern Spain might be at least partly a result of there being suitable caves in the area, but I would think that some parts of the Balkans should have provided the same advantages.

The key to survival in the ice age were not caves, but good clothing.
Nobody survived the ice age in the Balkans, except in the area around the Agean Sea.
In Europe the largest population survived in southern France with less severe climate, caves and good hunting steppe-tundra hunting grounds.
But the main thing was good clothing. Gravettians had sewing needles, Aurignacians didn't.
Aurignacian (haplo C6) had spread all over Europe, 40000 years ago.
33000 years ago Gravettian (haplo I) started to spread from Caucasus (this was the area where I split from IJ).
They had needles and had even invented rotary drills to bore the eyes in the needles.
Before the ice age Aurignacian survived only in the forested valleys and in the caves, but Gravettians were hunters on the cold steppes.
Aurignacians were no match for Gravettians, Gravettians took over the whole of northern Europe.
During ice age few Aurignacian tribes survived in Iberia, where cold was less severe, but hunting grounds were poorer too.
That is why LaBrana C6 was found in Iberia.
Neolithic C6 in Hungary was not European, they were survivers from the Levantine Aurignacian.
 
Any idea why Spain, France, Germany and Czechy are so rich in cave settlements, and Balkans or Italy (supposedly with better climate to survive during Ice Age) are almost completely deserted?

during the ice age all caves in Germany and Czechia were deserted
Balkans were deserted too, except the coastal areas of the Aegean Sea ; there must have been an are in Italy were people survived, but the exact location hasn't been found, it may have been in the Adriatic Sea which was dry land at the time
 
Hi LeBrok, the first map does not seem correct to me, it contradicts the other maps you post here and the maps I have seen and studied before : there was no large ice cap that covered the north of eastern Siberia and western Alaska. This was because of the drought in that area.
During the ice age the whole human population went through a big bottleneck, only the most resourceful survived.
That's what caused the distinct genetic groupings of ancient populations.
It's true, though I wish I could find an institute or research group who specialises in Ice Age to get the latest data. If there is sort of consensus, from averaging all the maps, it points to glaclial extend looking something like this:
1280px-Northern_icesheet_hg.png


The East part of Asia doesn't have big continues mass of ice, but sort of islands. This map also shows this peninsula of ice riching to Black Sea. This could have been the natural divide between WHG and ANE folks. They probably didn't mix much till something like 10-12 thousand years ago, when connection got wide open and populations build up in numbers.

I guess, we can suppose that extreme desert areas worked as a buffer against population movement too.
lastgla.gif

The East Asians were pretty much cut off, also Indians (in India), Sub Saharan Africans. North West Africa looks livable though. Perhaps our connection to West African admixture?
Gibraltar was easier to traverse in Ice Age. With friendly winds it could have taken couple of hours on a raft.
images
 
Caves versus huts would be a good explanation for there being a better survival rate for the remains of some cultures over others, but I would think that choice would be largely dependent on the availability of suitable caves, and many parts of the Balkans (and Italy) have mountainous regions that should produce suitable caves.
It crossed my mind, though I doubt that old mountains all over Balkans lack caves.



The huge number of sites in northern Spain might be at least partly a result of there being suitable caves in the area, but I would think that some parts of the Balkans should have provided the same advantages.
Yes, this is the viable answer. Lack of favorite pray around caves. Although Balkans are big and surely there would be few areas of populated caves.
 
Neolithic C6 in Hungary was not European, they were survivers from the Levantine Aurignacian.
It was my first thought, when I've seen C6 in Hungarian samples. Well, maybe a second thought. ;)
 
The key to survival in the ice age were not caves, but good clothing.
Nobody survived the ice age in the Balkans, except in the area around the Agean Sea.
In Europe the largest population survived in southern France with less severe climate, caves and good hunting steppe-tundra hunting grounds.
But the main thing was good clothing. Gravettians had sewing needles, Aurignacians didn't.
Aurignacian (haplo C6) had spread all over Europe, 40000 years ago.
33000 years ago Gravettian (haplo I) started to spread from Caucasus (this was the area where I split from IJ).
They had needles and had even invented rotary drills to bore the eyes in the needles.
Before the ice age Aurignacian survived only in the forested valleys and in the caves, but Gravettians were hunters on the cold steppes.
Aurignacians were no match for Gravettians, Gravettians took over the whole of northern Europe.
During ice age few Aurignacian tribes survived in Iberia, where cold was less severe, but hunting grounds were poorer too.
That is why LaBrana C6 was found in Iberia.

Aurignacian and Gravettian cultures ended by Ice Age Maximum. Populations has rebuilt from Spanish refuge as Solutrean and later as Magdalenian cultures, but mostly located in Western Europe. We are still stuck with Balkan puzzle.
 
Aurignacian and Gravettian cultures ended by Ice Age Maximum. Populations has rebuilt from Spanish refuge as Solutrean and later as Magdalenian cultures, but mostly located in Western Europe. We are still stuck with Balkan puzzle.

Balkans were uninhabited during the ice age, but also during mesolithic times (at least south of the Danube). E.g. in Bulgaria there is only 1 mesolithic site, near Varna.
When the first farmers arrived in the Balkans, it was uninhabited.
Why? It's a mistery.
 
Maybe the lack of archeological sites in at least some parts of the Balkans has to do with politics and war. It's probably been much easier to do archeology in Spain than in the Balkans for the last 40 years. But that doesn't explain the very limited evidence for human settlements in Italy. The only explanation I can think of is that the earliest settlers entered Europe from Africa into Spain (and only a few into Italy, for some reason) and spread from there but the ice in the Alps kept people from crossing into the Balkans. There must have been some barrier that largely kept people from moving into the Balkans from the Middle East, some geographic barrier that's no longer there.
 
I checked the Paleolithic sites on Balkans

Bacho Kiro is Aurignacian, dated at 45 kya. Supposedly it is disputed, because of very small fragments of bones found, if this is human or Neanderthal site. There is no art.
Some art was found in cave close by but there are no bones or signs of habitation, and no date on it. The art in this cave is rather primitive when compared to other well known caves. Too much mushrooms? lol
img_0396.jpg


Magura-Cave-11.jpg


Cuciulat cave, have some art, but there is no information about bones or dating. Just a rough estimate 23-35 kya.
60469289.jpg


I can't believe these are all the Paleolithic caves. There need to be more for sure.
 
The two Near Eastern Caves from the map above, Mount Carmel and Hayonim Caves are very old with mixed Neanderthal and Human cohabitation.

So we have no signs of human habitation after Glacial Maximum till Neolithic, in Balkans and Near East? To me it looks like a lack of archeological research than lack of people in these prime lands.
 
Maybe the lack of archeological sites in at least some parts of the Balkans has to do with politics and war. It's probably been much easier to do archeology in Spain than in the Balkans for the last 40 years. But that doesn't explain the very limited evidence for human settlements in Italy. The only explanation I can think of is that the earliest settlers entered Europe from Africa into Spain (and only a few into Italy, for some reason) and spread from there but the ice in the Alps kept people from crossing into the Balkans. There must have been some barrier that largely kept people from moving into the Balkans from the Middle East, some geographic barrier that's no longer there.

why would they have found all these paleolithic and neolithic sites in the Balkans, and not the mesolithic?
first paleolithic entries into Europe came through Balkans, Balkans were populated during paleoilthic before the ice ages
Bonunician was related with Emirian in the Levant
Proto-Aurignacian : the trail starts in the Balkans, not southern Spain. Contemporary with Ahmarian in the Levant. Though tools were different, both industries were the first to strike blades directly from core stones, one step beyond Bohunician and Emirian lithic reduction technology.
Aurignacian, recent dating shows it started in Willendorf, Austria near the Danube, these were Proto-Aurignacians expanding north
Gravettian was supposed to have entered through Balkans, it looks more and more that it entered through Mezmaiskaya, Caucasus
There may have been some entries through Gibraltar, it was certainly not the main entry door.
 
The two Near Eastern Caves from the map above, Mount Carmel and Hayonim Caves are very old with mixed Neanderthal and Human cohabitation.

So we have no signs of human habitation after Glacial Maximum till Neolithic, in Balkans and Near East? To me it looks like a lack of archeological research than lack of people in these prime lands.

The Levant does not lack mesolithic sites (Kebaran , Natufian , .. ) and it was probably habited during the ice age. Same goes for the Zagros Mountains.
Anatolia may not have been inhabited during ice age and except coastal areas paleolithic and mesolithic sites are very scarce.
 
I checked the Paleolithic sites on Balkans

Bacho Kiro is Aurignacian, dated at 45 kya. Supposedly it is disputed, because of very small fragments of bones found, if this is human or Neanderthal site. There is no art.
Some art was found in cave close by but there are no bones or signs of habitation, and no date on it. The art in this cave is rather primitive when compared to other well known caves. Too much mushrooms? lol
img_0396.jpg


Magura-Cave-11.jpg


Cuciulat cave, have some art, but there is no information about bones or dating. Just a rough estimate 23-35 kya.
60469289.jpg


I can't believe these are all the Paleolithic caves. There need to be more for sure.

are these paintings reliably dated? first 2 seem rather primitive drawings, not classical Aurignacian / Gravettian style
in the first there seems to be a bow and arrow, which was invented probably after the ice age
 
are these paintings reliably dated? first 2 seem rather primitive drawings, not classical Aurignacian / Gravettian style
in the first there seems to be a bow and arrow, which was invented probably after the ice age
That's right, bow, arrows, emius and giraffes. All none existent in Paleolithic Europe. At the bottom of second picture there is a date 1933 and some scratched big letters at the top of the pick. Looks like a joke to me.
 
That's right, bow, arrows, emius and giraffes. All none existent in Paleolithic Europe. At the bottom of second picture there is a date 1933 and some scratched big letters at the top of the pick. Looks like a joke to me.

Look at the bottom left hand side of the first picture. Isn't that a dinosaur chasing someone? That places the time of the painting to something other than the Paleolithic.
 

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