Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-09 > 1159230577

From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Celts descended from Spanish fishermen, study finds
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:29:37 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <002201c6e0ef$d6d3d410$85139a8e@PeterAKincaid>


In no way did I want you to feel singled out in an
attack. However, I think your posting of certain
theories (and that is really what we all are posting,
though I think some researchers have a tendency to
present theory as "fact," in complete disregard of
contradictory evidence I might add. I am not accusing
you of this, but the literature is certainly replete
with examples of this approach.) are a good reflection
of a model of genetic continuity that has recently
become quite popular in the both the archaeological
and genetic literature.

I guess the question really is: Which theory best fits
the evidence? And does one theory or the other fail
to address evidence that may be contradictory? Or
does it fill in the gaps where no real evidence

In the case of Iberia, as well as the British Isles, I
was simply pointing out the archaeological evidence
concering Mesolithic settlement and culture is quite
sparse, yet still very complex. Regarding the
archaeological evidence of settlement from the
interior of Iberia during the late Paleolithic to the
early Neolithic, the evidence is essentially
non-existent. If there is contradictory evidence
concerning this, I'm certainly open to hearing it.

But my point was that perhaps there is a vast
oversimplication of the process (genetic and
otherwise) of the population settlement and migrations
of Europe both pre- and post-Neolithic. And some
researchers fill in the gaps where no real evidence
exists with genetic reconstructions that are based
almost exclusively on modern DNA results. We cannot
(or at least should not) extrapolate based on modern
DNA results what various populations in Europe looked
like genetically 10,000 years ago, or if we do,
present such extrapolations as purely theoretical.
You assume that because R1b is dominant in Europe now,
it was 10,000 years ago as well, or is necessarily a
remnant of Europe's hunter-gatherer past. I disagree
with the idea that because R1b is present today in
high frequency that it was also present in similar
frequency in the Paleolithic (pre-LGM or post??) or
Mesolithic, or must date to these periods of time.

Also, I think terms like "indigenous" and "newcomers"
or "immigrants" are really meaningless in regards to
the vast stretches of time of we are discussing, not
to mention unnecessarily tinged with
emotional-overtones. If the interior of Iberia really
was abandoned as the archaeological record seems to
indicate, then the later agricultural communities that
moved back in and settled the area could be said to be
"indigenous." This is why I really don't like these
kinds of descriptions because I find them both inexact
and self-aggrandizing.

Ellen Coffman

P.S. - For the poster who made an inquiry about my
paper on genetic discontinuity, I am diligently
working on it. Hope to have it completed sometime
this fall.

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