Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-09 > 1159157485

From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Celts descended from Spanish fishermen, study finds
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2006 21:11:25 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <005301c6e053$24ab47b0$2b129a8e@PeterAKincaid>

Yes, Peter, I agree, I did ask you a loaded question.
But then, I think we have to be very careful in
attributing to certain haplogroups a presence in
Paleolithic Europe without any supporting evidence, or
linking them with various archaeological remains or
assemblages, again without any supporting evidence.

First, there is a lot of discussion on the list about
the LGM. It frankly makes me a bit uncomfortable
because, archaeologically-speaking, there is little to
no known archaeological remains dated to this period
of time. Europe was largely abandoned. We know
nothing of the Y chromosome groups present in Europe
during the Upper Paleolithic (pre-LGM) and the little
information we have on aDNA mtDNA remains indicates
the presence of groups rare or uncommon among
Europeans today.

In terms of archaeology, looking at places like Spain
(one of the focus areas of this thread), there are no
real remains indicating the presence of
hunter-gatherers until the late Mesolithic. And then
they abandon the inland areas of Spain! These areas
don't become repopulated until later agriculturalists
move in, so one might argue that these
agriculturalists are "indigenous" to the interior of
Spain, as no one was really living there anymore when
they settled it about 5000 BC. And for reasons I
won't go into here (unless anyone really expresses an
interest), it is clear from the archaeological record
that these agriculturalists came from the eastern
Mediterranean area and possibly from Italy as well.
So were these agriculturalists R1b? I? J? Or were
the earlier hunter-gatherers who disappear from the
archaeological record within a few hundred years after
the appearance of the agriculturalists R1b? Or did
they belong to some other haplogroup that essentially
suffered whole-sale genetic replacement?

The question seems far more complex to me based on the
archaeological record than people seem willing to
admit. I recently read an article arguing that the
early agriculturalists who settled Spain arrived by
sea. Again, I won't go into the details of the
archaeological record that this researcher felt
supported this particular contention, but if they did
indeed travel by sea, then it would not be farfetched
to propose that the same agriculturalists traveled via
sea to the British Isles, bringing their genetic
legacy (whatever that legacy was) with them.

Ellen Coffman

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