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Egypt (Stay up North!)
From pool to pool, so travelled the sons of the L278 subclade
The Sinai was always too arid to allow agriculture. And apart from it all if there is something we also can effortlessly attribute to shulaveri is that they were - land lovers. They never abandoned agricultures no matter what other forms of subsistence they use. So from the Middle East where they were being kicked-out the next point to look for them it had to be near the Nile River.
Before that I had to look for them in the Jordan valley or above that. It’s all too difficult. Nevertheless they are there. If not in any other site, they were at the right time in Tel Tsaf. It took until I found “A Geological Investigation of Storage and Surplus at Tel Tsaf,
Israel” by Emily Marie Hubbard that I found my Shulaveri. It’s not easy because they didn’t stay for long so are always buried in some intermediate phase (Hubbard shows that delightfully). But they are there. The Cultura dos silos and round dwellings and overall very precise architecture and in-settlement burials, awls, that copper awl that this paper (*476) directly relates to copper awls of the Shulaveri in Georgia, at Aruckhlo, and lots more that exists in the land of the Shulaveri but do not exists there (Obsidian, copper, etc) … and beads, lots of beads. Follow the timeline, they were there by 4900 BC. Oh yes there was my tarpans horses, dogs, the cattle and all the pattern we already attribute to them (*919). Again then they disappeared.
In Egypt one first notices Faiyum. After a thousand years of solitude in the area, after the Qurunians, it suddenly pops Faiyum culture between 5500 BC and 4500 BC being the first Neolithic mise-en-scène near the Nile. At later stages one tracks some potholes indicating settlements and lots of hearths. Also finds the domesticated cereals and cattle typical of Caucasus/Levant. And intriguingly most sites look like and are reported as a passage for cattle herders. Actually cattle numbers only incur probably , as Fayum terminology, at Kom K and Kom W sites, hence 4600 - 4400 BC, which means it really was the Merimde taking large stocks to the big lake Qaroun before taking it back home northbound back home to Merimde and El-Omari . Fayum was south of lake and KOMs are north. They came from elsewhere because domesticated cereals and cattle was not local and actually was all too transient, by 4000 BC all those sites were abandoned and they had moved on. Fayum sort of fits the bill but... Too little and didn’t really tick me fully as them.
It was only when I found Merimbe (Phase II), Maadi and my favorite El-Omari. Dates of 4,700 bc to 4,200 bc really fit the bill. “My” Shulaveri - Small round houses, with mudbrick circles, made of wattle and daub/Pisé, with shallow pits, storage pits In silos and hearths, lots of arrowheads. So, houses of 1.5m (silos) and over 3m (houses), Mudwalls connecting (pise). Silos (authors called here granaries) were associated with individual houses… and dogs. Many references to dogs and the fact of Merimde showing the oldest Dog Burials found in Egypt.
And remember that those few studies of Crania and skeletons refers to Merimde stock people as…. Round head tall and lean people (Hoffman 1976). So most likely brachycephalic.
Merimde is from the offset a full Neolithic with a fully developed Neolithic; ceramics, farming and herding supplemented by hunting, gathering and fishing. And the houses, the earliest houses found. Always the individual houses. And never forget …never seem, apart from Caucasus Shulaveri, contracted sideways burials always inside the settlements. A total novelty but old school Shulaveri. And I must assume that if there is still a small lights flashing at the back of my mind in this investigation are … Beads. And knowing from the start that Carnelian beads were hallmarks of the Shulaveri Burial, finding so many references to Merimde burials with Carnelian Beads (which usually is given as sign of trade because there is no carnelian in Egypt) and finding carnelian (cornalina) in Chalcolithic Portugal burials….really still puzzles me. And carnelian beads are like a bread crumb I personally am constantly on the lookout for.
As far as I have read. Polish arrowheads, known as celts (name telling), were only found in Portugal and later In Irish sites, hence the name. In book History of humanity: prehistory and beginnings of civilization by Sigfried Laet, it states that celts were also part of the Merimde settlements.
And by now you know that I am all about horses, dogs and so forth. So they had “Horses” and dogs. There are several papers addressing dog remains. There are more papers addressing the horse/Wild Donkey. And because horses skeleton analysis is really hard to establish differences between sub-species , so nobody should take as a coincidence that the lengthy discussions about Equus Africanus in Egypt, starts with finding Equus remains with Marimbe and especially those found buried in El-Omari settlements (*122). Make no mistake. And the fact that, those found with Merimbe (Tarpan?) were actually bigger and larger than the Equus Africanus (where they?) in latter dynastic stages (which they owe to domestication) it makes lengthy explanations that sound like mind gap filling in arguments.
Horses were a rarity in the region. A rarity that even when found is exactly at time we address in this context. Going back to the Shiqmim horse puzzle near the sinai. There is always a Horse baffling problem in the path of the Shulaveri. Reading several books it usually says:
“Finally the recent exciting discovery of those bones (equus Caballus) in sealed chalcolithic deposits at Shiqmim indicates the introduction of these animals into southern Levant as early as the late fifth/early fourth millennium…”
in “Near eastern archeology” from Suzanne Richard.
Again, and so early, the Horse baffling problem that I reported in North west Africa Supplement III and in Iberia/bell Beaker Chapters (loads of horse problems there). Although it doesn’t mean that specific cases reported in lower Nile are really all of them misinterpreted Tarpans as Equus Africannus - Shulaveri were masters of domestication, either plant or animal, that was how they were defined. And an Equus is an Equus. So they supposedly knew how to tame those even easily than the untreatable aggressive Tarpans (lousy horses they were). Anyhow remember, although pastoralists and agricultures no earlier site show any horse, Equus Africannus or whatever. Not in Nabta Playa, nor in Tibesti or Uan Muhaggiag. None before Merimbe/El-Omari.
Anyhow the paper sets a start for the finding of those animals in the settlement context.
“the earliest remains thought to be donkeys were identified on the basis of size and archaeological context and are thought to date to late 5th millennium and the first half of the 4th millennium B.C. contexts in the Egyptian prehistoric settlements of El-Omari (ca. 4600–4400 B.C.), Maadi (first half of 4th millennium B.C.), and Hierakonpolis (ca. 3600 B.C.) (18, 25–28).”
Ok, I might have found my Shulaveri Tarpan “Horses” amongst some captures wild Donkeys.
El-Omari helps because it has a very narrow dating. 4500BC to 4200BC meant those days a brief refill stop. Very specific. And By these dates their homeland was already Sioni culture turning Kura-Araxes cultures.
If one looks at a Map, all those sites Merimbe, El-omari, Fayum (just the KOM sites to water the cattle) in northern part of Egypt are really in the pathway of arriving population that just stopped near the big lake Qaroun. The Fayums were east and south of the lake but the Merimbe & El-Omari were north of the lake and probably when had to move (for whatever reason) they moved west. The earlier R1bs that were east south, might have tended to move south facing the already heavy and numerous pastoralist societies that had stem out of the Nabta Playa and north bound, making the Badarian People. Bad luck I guess. Because it was the midst of Badarian and Tasian and Naqada cultures and peoples. If I had to trough out there a reason why they moved away would bet on the Badarian mix with possibly some Maadi North people and Neqada people south troubles, that started to wage conflict with each other that later we know from the Pre-dynastic stories that led to the Civilizations we all know today. So the stories of Scorpion king and King Namer and the unification of reigns that led to pharaonic period. Consequently, it’s not really difficult to see lots of aggravation for an outside people that looked different such as the Caucasian Shulaveri in the eyes of very much autosomal mixed people that were the substratum of the region.
And I think Merimde/Al-Omari up there really north near Cairo had to move West again, like it had happen in Caucasus and probably in Israel to the next “pool” in the Tassili and Hoggard mountain range in Libya/Algeria. That is the next supplement (Suppl 3 - Exodus to Iberia). The earlier, most likely from Fayum if mixed with R1b, had moved south east. So the rest of this chapter is about the ones that stood or moved south. The ones we might associate with R1b-V88.
Like I said earlier Fayum moved, south and were trying to move south. Which encompass most of what I thinks is the grand part of the R1b-V88 ending up in Chad and the rest of the sub-Saharan region where even today R1b is the mains male patrilineage. So will just leave the guys up north alone, those that move on to the west. Because those are different stories. This is probably the story of earlier, directly descends from the Fayum, as the others, the ones that end up in Iberia and later all over Europe, where the descendants of the Merimde and El-Omari. The Maadis I think also stayed behind and are probably part of the story of the Siwa oasis. There must have been an interesting story between them and the Badarian from the south. See, south (or upper Nile --- people tend to think upper is north but is actually south) as a more populated area and with a lot of sub-Saharan black genetics must have not have seen the Tallish, slender and fair skin Shulaveri with appraisal (they were the others). I most tend to move way some stay. And fight and died or just play dead or submit.
And what you read out of those places in the south, on their way to Lake Chad it translate exactly that. At Merimde sites, the Shulaveri were owing the terrain and thought they would settle, therefore, made dwellings and crops and herd their stocks into the KOM sites for pasture, and party (at least it looked like it by the amount of animals killed in there). But for those guys father south it didn’t look like it.
Let’s set the record straight. The farther south you move the foggier this all is. The only reason why we go there is because still today it’s a way to Chad and Cameroon were the highest number of R1b-v88 are still found. Some populations are still today 80% plus R1b.
So in middle Egypt.
Farafra Oasis (Qasr Farafra) and Dakhla Oasis - Remember, people tend to flocked around the Nile but not these people. This Oasis is really curious. Its 300 km way from everywhere: From the Nile, from the big lake Qaroun up north. So it was a travelling point away from confusion and conflict. For some reason it was called in the 5th Dynasty the Land of Cows. And through the period never even denoted Pharaonic marks whatsoever. When climate change finally arrived some of those wet Sahara populations flocked to the Nile and became also started the pharaonic process, but prior to that, or even during, some must have moved even farther away from the complex forms of contact and social interactions that were in the brewing for the Nile river populations.
This region was always occupied. For millennia. It was like a refuge. Then middle Holocene, arrives the more sedentary populations (4500 BC) at site like Wadi Obeiyid /Bahr Playa and starts plant cultivation. Lithic assemblage shows the staggering amount of population increase the area had from that point on, people dedicated to the extensive exploitation of wild cereals. Of particular interest is the Hidden Valley in the upper part of Qasr Farafra. - This shows a 2000 year long occupation, starting from around 5000 BC and ending by 3,000 BC. With several layer of phases from heavy agriculturalist, more cattle and later arrowheads. Most important, Round Huts with a solid circular base (circular Hut Foundations) with Heaths inside, clustering together as family nucleus, in important strategic places of the Valley (all in 397 and *398 and *399). Nevertheless it wasn’t a good place. Very sensitive to the climate fluctuations and when the final aridification arise it was not a good place to be. So many flew south, many west. That is way we have the Siwa Oasis with still 30% R1b male lineage. And some didn’t stop and meet up with Merimde R1bs probably on their way already to refill the stock of women from Mtdna H. Many went clearly south (as we know by the R1b blob in Africa).
farther south, also way from the Nile is Nabta Playa with Round sub structures (over 4m), inside Hearths, storage Pits, domesticated cattle, cereals, pottery, beads… So more the same. However there might be something “off” about Nabta. Nabta might have been a ceremonial site. If someone wants to figure why Perdigoes was even erected, how about this :
Around 4800 BC a stone circle was constructed, with narrow slabs approximately aligned with the summer solstice, near the beginning of the rainy season.
More complex structures followed during a megalith period the researchers dated to between about 4500 BC to 3600 BC. Using their original measurements and measurements by satellite and GPS measurements by Brophy and Rosen they confirmed possible alignments with Sirius, Arcturus, Alpha Centauri and the Belt of Orion. They suggest that there are three pieces of evidence suggesting astronomical observations by the herdsmen using the site, which may have functioned as a necropolis. "The repetitive orientation of megaliths, stele, human burials and cattle burials reveals a very early symbolic connection to the north." Secondly, there is the orientation of the cromlech mentioned above. The third piece of evidence is the fifth millennium alignments of stele to bright stars.
They conclude their report by writing that "The symbolism embedded in the archaeological record of Nabta Playa in the Fifth Millennium BC is very basic, focussed on issues of major practical importance to the nomads: cattle, water, death, earth, sun and stars."
Malville, J McKim; Schild, R.; Wendorf, F.; Brenmer, R (2007). "Astronomy of Nabta Playa".
Ok, Just food for thought.
Getting muddled… Into sub-Saharan Africa or how they came to be in the Sahel.
Nobody will really cover this story until meeting Scott MacEachern and reading The Prehistory and Early History of the Northern Mandara Mountains and Surrounding Plains.
Everybody seems to dismiss R1b specific mutation R-P25 found strangely and oddly here in some of this tribes, as we today find mutation V88 as well, the truth is only R-P25 was found and later mutations V88 can also have occurred. But also bearers of R-P25 might just be bearers of that mutation that actually have up north mutate to R-M269 (European subclade). So, it could mean that M269 (European) is a mutation of R-P25 (from R1b1a, R-P297 off course).
I would assume that if one really finds inhumations that supply good enough DNA, will in fact find Mutation R-P25 and R-P297 and V88 in settlements of the Northeast Africa most important late neolithic Oasis and mountains. But with different routes.
From the Farafra Oasis, 600 km southwest of Cairo, those R1b picked-up women, lots of women with African dna (L3f3) and actually it’s exclusively found there and nowhere else in sub-Saharan Africa, but also found at very considerable amounts in Portugal (Pereira et al ) and we’re talking about the L3f it self (other might have come from slave trade). And this south same bound populations have no U6 women the Haplogroup that marks North African women. That is because U6 women were found further west and not in the Nile river region where they pick women (alongside with Loads of Mtdna H, the future west Europe clades). Later moved from sites such as Qasr Farafra to coalesce in the norther part of the Mandara Mountains of Chad (and I will avoid Chadic linguistic and avoid the tales of the Sao people, the giants that were the forefathers of the current tribes that overtook then… don’t even go there although Scott MacEachern knows by now there is a movie in there… If it weren’t for the political correctness that mark current times.
For a while I didn’t get why that people would be more resemble to the Southwest Egyptian guys then the one just dropping down from between Tassili-n-Ajjer and Tibesti mountains or Ahaggara and Air… there was so many people there. But then read Origins of African Plant Domestication” and figure that land northern of Lake Chad, the Pays-bas was not really suitable for habitation at that time so no R1bs with U6 women moving to that area. So, that is how you know they come from the northeast.. and then history is , at least for me at this point, very blurred in the smog of the very ancient “giants” that led to the SAO-Kotoko people or in the intricate of the Chadic languages (http://i51.tinypic.com/ri7s76.png or http://i.imgur.com/fJaBm.png) to see the blue r1b color on Kotoko) .
Anyway it all fades into oblivion of unexplored traces for 3000 years (maybe one day a sub-supl chapter will arise here).
Nonetheless the story although unclear, is one of Horses, dogs, fights and …. Round Huts that cluster together in nucleus. Yes, foggy, but I guess not to people like Scott MacEachern, Claire Bourges or Maureen Reeves that for sure have a clear understanding then they really say. Any of it went unimaginable until just a couple decades ago. One can always read “The politics of house shape: round versus rectilinear domestic structures in Dela compounds, northern Cameroon” by Diane Lyons if has the time and see how it all shaped the mind.
*476 -The Beginning of Metallurgy in the Southern Levant: A Late 6th Millennium CalBC Copper Awl from Tel Tsaf, Israel Yosef Garfinkel
*919 – Animal bones from tel tsaf - Salo Hellwing
**397 - Archeology of Farafra Oasis (western desert , Egypt ) Barbara Barich and Giulio Lucarini.
*398 - From Lake to Sand The Archaeology of Farafra Oasis Western Desert, Egypt edited by Barbara E. Barich, Giulio Lucarini
*399 - Holocene Playa Deposits of FarafraOasis, Egypt, and Their Palaeoclimaticand Geoarchaeological Significance by F. A. Hassan, B. Barich