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por Olympus Mons, em 14.03.16



Click on Links for an update version - 2018 Revised Version - R1b from Shulaveri-Shomu to Bell Beaker.pdf



New - Shulaverian Hypothesis in Maps  -




The Shulaverian Hypothesis 

Shulaverian Hypothesis


And they told everyone. We are the ones that fled an attack of serpents (Ubaid).


Shulaveri-Shomu is the birth of the R1b expansion!

por Olympus Mons, em 09.January.2016

*the European dominance of Y-dna Haplogroup R1b had its origin in a very specific culture of the Caucasus the Shulaveri-Shomu, Not Yamna, nor Maikop, nor Kura arexes… no! Places like Kwemo-Kartli and Mentesh Tepe are the true Urheimat (homeland) of all western Europeans…”….



Preface - Why the Shulaveri-Shomu were our R1B forefathers.

My take on it…                                                                        

 Chapter I - ....and then they came

Who the Shulaveri were and why they had to flee

Chapter II - The African Route

In the beginning it looked like the hardest and it turn out to be the most fun

Chapter II .1- The ones that flew North

Chapter II .2- The ones that flew West

 Chapter III - Pumped out by the Sahara

Based on 5.9 kiloyear event there is no doubt people had to flee to Iberia

 Chapter IV - The Oestrimni Civilization

Bell beaker had a name. It was the Oestrimni that the greek always called them.



 Suppl 1 - They, who Fled the serpents

It was so obvious. They told everyone what happened!

 Suppl 2 - In Egypt, Trying to find some Peace

Little places and time ,Tel Tsaf, Merinde….. it was them.

 Suppl 3 - Exodus to Iberia

If not in Tassili and Accacus, then no where else.


Bibliography (for all chapters and supplements)

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 10:25


 Why the Shulaveri-Shomu were our R1B forefathers.

October 2018 DRAFT...



Why the Shulaveri-Shomu were todays western Europeans R1b forefathers.

Just a while back (in 2015), this subject would all but just bring a big yawn into me.


Like so many people, back in 2015, I kept on bumping into genomics and ancestry for DNA, autosomal DNA clustering, Y-DNA,  MtDNA Haplogroup. Reading about it becomes progressively more interesting. First one barely gets the acronyms and the long discussions and internet posts and forums from such blogs as Razib khan, Deniekes, to Eurogenes and so forth.

 Later it’s the reading of the actual papers and making your own judgement that becomes feasible.

After a while it occurred to me - What would happen if I went on a quest for myself? I was sure I couldn’t find anything. Then, strangely a short, short, period I figure I could build my own R1b story. And, again, at the end, I am right or wrong. It’s Just that simple. Nevertheless, my initial doubts, just hours after the beginning of this quest (to be fair sporadic readings started still in December 2015)  I wrote a post in January 2016.


Shulaveri-Shomu is the birth of the R1b expansion!

por Olympus Mons, em 09.01.16

*the European dominance of Y-dna Haplogroup R1b had its origin in a very specific culture of the Caucasus the Shulaveri-Shomu, Not Yamna, nor Maikop, nor Kura arexes… no! Places like Kwemo-Kartli and Mentesh Tepe are the true Urheimat (homeland) of all western Europeans. And the spread of that cultural and genetic trait started in the Iberia peninsula, because after the immediate ending of the SSC not millennia but centuries later pure r1b (M269) inhabit the peninsula making the downstream clades that populate western world (L11 and M51).”


I think it is the first digital record making the connection. Must say that when I wrote that entry I was under the impression that the SSC horizon had lasted until the end of the 5th millennium (4000BC) as stated in many places, which is wrong.

Making that connection was clear cut. It was right there in a matter of hours. All others that I considered, and others kept pushing for, seemed to crumble after some analytical thinking.

In the ensuing years I was a beacon for the Shulaveri-Shomu Culture. I Had a perfect awareness that I was the odd one out, the sole voice pushing for an unknown and never referenced south Caucasus culture. It brought me scorn, disdain and disrespect many times. In fact currently, mid 2018, the Shulaveri ARE still invisible to everyone expert on ancient cultures, language and DNA.  Even presently it’s the Iran Neolithic, the Northern Iran as the source of R1b down clades that might be relevant to the final history or R1b male haplogroup and Proto-Indo-European language and not the ones screaming in their faces from the hills of Georgia and Armenia.  It’s nothing short of remarkable that even experts in Shulaveri-Shomu (Bertille Lyonnet, Emmanuel Baudouin, Caroline Hamon, etc.)  never have made the connection, at all, of the Shulaveri to any future or adjacent culture, beyond Sioni Culture and insistence references to relationships with Hassuna and Halaf.

 Back in January 2016, once I got this strange certainty that Shulaveri were the origin of relevant subclades of R1b (+L23) and of the Proto Indo-European language I started immediately to look for the route taken by the dispersal into Europe and elsewhere.

Highly influenced by AA Klyosov (‎2012) I thought, and still think, that it made perfect sense to look for them southbound. Going as south as possible. Which meant North Africa.

But then, finding the trail via Levant and North Africa it made me stop, and for a few weeks felt like giving up since I couldn’t find it. Then piece by piece one starts to find it, or better, them. And, again, it’s there in the form of the bread crumbs.  I am sure much more would, and will, be found but at least I could find this trail, which is so obvious to me that it really bothers me for its simplicity.

In a nutshell, I had decided to write the following narrative that I was sure was harbored in what had happened millennia ago. It would go as such:

From the epicenter of southern Caucasus at times when the so overpowering Ubaid people could have taken rule of the broad region,  one tracks them, the fleeing Shulaveri, not that later after the 4900 BC event that represents the end of SSC in south Caucasus, first at Tell Tsaf Israel. Then a century pass and  in Merimde/El-Omari in Egypt Delta, next up a fleeting and elusive in Tassili Mountains as, or part of, the Bovidean pastoral II (white man phase) of north Africa then again just a couple generations later making the all chalcolithic Iberia and the birth of the Bell Beaker


However today I regret not having written from the start also the story of all the fleeing Shulaveri-Shomu. It was clearly specified by me that I believe some had run way to the north and west, but I strongly regret not having dedicated more time to those fleeing west and north. In the upcoming years as I got more participant, the ones fleeing North it was all that matter in the blogsphere most probably due to the papers that started to pour in those years.

Unsurprisingly I had to focus on those, no related to this narrative, in my  other blog  and in countless fights in blogs and Forums. But the ones that went West, along the shores of the south Black Sea, might have been extremely important in the 3rd millennium BC story known as the Bell Beakers.  Iberia Beakers meeting South Balkans Beaker cousins?


Probably due to that fact, I became more well-informed in both Steppe Archeology as to other parts of the globe which leads me to  believe today that it is as probable, if not more probable, that the ones reaching North Africa were not the relevant “Shulaveri” to western Europe history  but in fact primarily it were the ones  arriving in the 5th millennium BC in South Balkans.  A small chapter further ahead will address this issue however.


This Hypothesis narrative is however about the ones that flew south. Overall story, as I saw it back then in early 2016 and with very little knowledge, was simple and allow me to reiterate it  – From the period transition of the Halaf – to - Ubaid we saw the Shulaveri scatter.  Starting from something like 5500 BC in the southern parts of the Caucasus, and by 5000 BC Mentesh Tepe had fallen.  Mentesh was Alamo. It meant to me that by then my Shulaveri were gone.  I only really focus and narrate about those o fled south. In real life things are always a mesh of events and decisions that is called history. Some stayed, and some flew to the mountains. Beyond the mountains there is the northern Caucasus and those already were (maybe!) or became R1b as well, at least with new genetic clades. Caucasus Mountains are not easy to transpose, conquer or live in.  So, do not find it strange that under pressure the preferred option would be to flee west and southwest.


In 2018 I would just say 2 things different – To set the record straight that it was not Mentesh Tepe that is the crucial instant of the disappearance of Shulaveri but the longest continuous and the latest place to fall, Shulaveris gora. It makes sense that it’s the longest and last that sets the moment and its a fortunate coincidence that is the one that gave the name (Shulaveri).  Shulaveris gora fell by 4900bc (the important date). Second, I said that beyond the Caucasus mountains they were or could be R1b.  I don’t believe it apart from the fact that after 1000 years in the region some of the shulaverians must have already been scouting the north Caucasus for a while before the 4900BC event.  Maybe way before, not improbable we end up finding 5300BC as a plausible date for it.


Returning to the southern route.

It all came out as sounding easy at time of writing the first texts, but it was difficult to start untying their presence anywhere else because terminology is not the same in every region where papers are produced. And some of it was and is obfuscated, blurred in the fascination historians acquired for more signaling events such as the pre-dynastic Egypt or the emergence of pre-Cannan in levant, and so forth which is part of books and academia normal output.

Nonetheless I always accepted that I may be making a lot of mistakes. So, I am and was all in favor of critiques.  Those never came over this past years.


I am keeping in 2018 the story of 2015. Even back in early 2016 I did not change (much) the original storyline (the first story written in fury over a few days) based on latter findings I come across during investigations, those being reserved for several supplements that were inserted as (suppl. Chapter XXX), added in brackets during description of the overall phenomenon, hence full chapters will be at the end of the first few chapters encompassing the story.


I think it is interesting to follow my thought process back then. And somehow the first flare I pursuit was … Grapes, dogs and horses.  Everyone needs an entry point to start unravelling a jumble of ropes.  And this needs to be stated because I think in the future either of those will bring novelties.


After that initial moment, the flow that I followed:


It all started by me looking for something in the area around the Caucasus that ended or had a major shift (population, was what I was looking for) around 6,000 years ago. If R1b where indeed from the Caucasus or from the Ukraine steeps than I looked, more for fun than anything else, for something in that broadly referenced epoch and broad region. I Remember reading about MayKop with eagerness expecting it to be it, but those were too late for the purpose, since the reference to me was Chalcolithic Iberia as the source of the demic diffusion of R1b genetic mutations most relevant for today (so, +L51). It had to be something that happened (or ended for that matter) around 5th and 4th millennium BCE, early enough to have those people showing up in the Iberia Peninsula by latest mid fourth Millennium BC (3500 BCE).  It actually didn’t take long to get to the South Caucasus Culture of the Shulaveri-Shomu. It fit the bill. 

On the hind set I was lucky in not blowing it up from the onset. The 6000 years ago was wrong. People do not move over space and time that fast. It really made more sense if it was earliest the event I was looking for, as it became apparent later.


Back in January 2016 I read some of the papers on the web of the Shulaveri-Shomu especially from Bertille Lyonnet and Carolina Hamon (some published as late as end 2015).  Pretty enlightening and telling.  Then I dropped the subject of the not very profuse data regarding the Shulaveri  culture and instead for something in Portugal that covered Chalcolithic, or the centuries around half a millennium later from that Caucasus event, in Portugal give or take a century. Again, my timespan was clearly wrong but not conceptually. It couldn’t have been 500 years mediating the “migration”, not on those times of pre-history, but luckily by then I had clear the mistake and the date 4900 Bc, so 1000 years earlier, made more sense.

Being Portuguese, it didn’t take long to find the Perdigoes archeological site and related settlements. For a couple evenings it meant to devour several papers and reports coming out of ERA archeology in the Alentejo, relinquishing on papers connected to AC Valera (Antonio Carlos Valera) especially those circumscribing on his own turf the left side of the Guadiana River.  One didn’t really have to start going about the descriptions of the housing, the inhumations (burials) and the lithic material, but just looking at the drawings of the topographic plan of both sites one soon becomes confused of which paper is really looking at, if Shulaveri or Chalcolithic Perdigoes. Going about descriptions of Perdigoes (southern Portugal plain) it stroke me amazingly similar to what I had read from Lyonnet or caroline Hamon

But again, I am not an anthropologist or even an historian therefore it can all be a trick of my mind connecting dots, finding patterns, based more on ignorance then on actual knowledge. For a while (I mean, a couple of hours) I moved from Lyonnet and Hamon in the Mentesh Tepe, Aruchlo, and others places in the Shulaveri-Shomu then back again to Ac Valera and Ana Silva  in perdigões.

I could (and can) be wrong, absolutely. But it all felt like the same people. I couldn’t even grasp at times what was the doubt – Was it everybody around that time like that? Was it a common thing from everywhere and everybody? – Well no, not by a long shot!  It’s even strangely unique.


As my learning curve progressed, I tried to read material further away from the specific timeframe we will dwell around, explicitly mid-4th millennium BC to mid-3rd Millennium BC (the only time frame I really care for this subject) like the 6th millennium or even further back, but in Portugal or Spain it all seemed too primitive, too raw and too early Neolithic, if not still Paleolithic at sorts, which really strengthen my resolve that it was people, lots of people, that kick started the Chalcolithic Iberia Peninsula.  It just strikes me as odd to even contemplate the possibility that the same people that had been residing in the western part of Europe, Iberia, just jumped that fast from sociological states, culture and technology that fast.  Not at all a probability. For a couple days tried to read papers regarding Neolithic and Chalcolithic in Portugal but all one can read is utterly decontextualized to the purpose I had in mind. Scarce occupied territory, scavenging and hunting (not much) living actually of forager resource consumption, rooming off the land from cave shelter to cave shelter, full of shell middens every estuary of river.

 Then suddenly one reads Perdigões and all in all one soon gets and acquires the fascination archeology today is having with the almost 2,000 years of occupation on Perdigoes, Porto Torrão and surrounded area as well as vast archeological sites in the broader area of Alentejo in the left bank of the Guadiana river.  That place is key and I believe will be in the center of near future archeological surprises, once all the area is dug out and all the pits are open and all the bones are analyzed and sent wherever to be sequenced and genetics data is out in public. It will be a center of modern archaeology for the decades to come… At least to what is left, because a huge dam was just filled in (early 2000) making at that area the largest artificial lake in Europe, the Alqueva. On the other hand, Alqueva Dam was the reason in the first place why all those incredible sites were discovered and are making history these days. So extraordinary that just two decades ago nobody had a clue those huge settlements ever existed there.


But going back to the region of the South Georgia, north Armenia and northwest Azerbaijan... It had to be me. It had (or maybe still is) to be me, or my brain for that matter, to connect dots that do not exist, to create patterns out of noise and so forth.  It is also true that as strong as the ability to see what is not there so is the ability not to see what is in front of your eyes.

But going back to the Shulaveri-Shomu region. First thing you notice is that the Shulaveri had no priors in the region (population moving!) it really was a culture different from the Halaf culture southwest and on the other hand the Sioni culture that follow them in the same region is just too different… these had to be my guys. 7,000 years ago, they were gone from the south Caucasus… and the Sioni that followed made different houses, different pottery and different burials… just different people.  They, the Shulaveri were just gone….




I end this part with an enigmatic paragraph, but one that will make perfect sense in the end, if one is to believe in old women tales.

What really baffled me is, that at the end of this investigation I figure that, all I had to do was ask them. Because they told everyone who asked what happened.

Why don’t people listen?

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 18:58

Chapter I - ....and then they came

por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16

Chapter I

And then they came…

October 2018 Draft

Maybe, just maybe. And for those kind souls that don’t really follow these topics or are new at it.

8,000 years ago, there were a people.  When I started looking into this issue I thought that this people lived on the margin of the Volga river that flows form the Urals to the Caucasus basins. On the left bank there was another population that looked just like them (R1a). But living on different margin of the river these guys developed a different mutation (M-73) of the R1b haplogroup. So, in the beginning, in 2015, I fell for the trap of the R1b from the steppe while sticking to my strong belief of the Shulaveri-Shomu as the source of the Indo-European languages and of relevant R1b subclades (M269) and to the story at hand.

Geography is sometimes misleading, and truth is at that point it was difficult to pinpoint a very specific spot for the origin of either. Especially, especially because it was at the height of the Steppe buzz and David W. Anthony from Chicago Univ.  views were akin to a bible. From the knowledge I had, or just the storyline and bias interpretation published (scientific and amateurs) it all seemed to have an origin in the Ukraine and Russian steppes something a keen of Dnieper River (a bit west) and the others in the Volga basin. To them pre-history came across as was a long boring process until finally it led to Yamnaya (3500bc) and from there to conquer Europe. 


But going back to the 6th millennium BC, 8 thousand years ago…


Those Neolithic people, either already later mutations such as M269 or just with L388 or P297 (so very early SNP mutation), began a journey. For reasons stated above I had this wrong notion and I wrote: probably due to the 8.3Kiloyear event, or maybe just because the Holocene had already melted too much and uncover too much of the rivers and the plains that those R1b felt compelled to move south. Some just follow the river Volga while other turn all the way east moving around the east side of the Caspian sea and making a blob of R1b north of Iran and the other following the river or maybe a mix of the two just settle in the southern Caucasus to what is today South Georgia, Armenia and west Azerbaijan. Or maybe some actually came from much closer from the Dnieper basin and just crossed the mountains…


And I think I was Wrong.

In 2018, from as early as end 2016, I am adamant in defending a different history and set of events. Once more, I am an outlier in this particular view which just increases my chance of being wrong. However, I have a strong believe that the forefathers of the Shulaveri was a population originating in south Balkans! Let me explain how:

In the 8th millennium and first half of 7th, a population which we can say spoke a Pre-Pie (proto-Indo European language – lets us say 30% of its composites) , a population which could be already  M269 (or very close to become it by mutation) , lived in south Balkans. Romania, Bulgaria even parts of Serbia, around the dates of 7500-6300BC.

I hypothesize that there is a good chance the ones that became later the Shulaverian were in Romania, in archeological places such as Ostrovul Corbului, Schela Cladovei, Ovcarovo Gorata, eventually even Lepenski_Vir in Serbia. Subsequently they were related to the Iron gates  Neolithic..  I have an uncertainty only regarding Bulgaria and Thrace, since not out of question in the future we find that those two regions could in fact steal centrality from Romania. As we know core Initial farmers did avoid Thrace for some reason. Agriculturalists initial sprint into Western Europe did avoid Thrace and south Balkans by leaping into Greece and rest of Europe irrespective of later reflux.




We can safely say that by 6500BC onwards, the contacts between Iron Gates people, Romania/Bulgaria and Anatolian farmers was thriving. Bulgaria at this point was becoming full of Anatolian farmers that were moving up into north Bulgaria and Romania. So much that by 6300BC-6000BC, this former highly pastoral/no agriculture populations disappeared (except in Lepenski Vir) at that time, being replaced by farmers from I would imagine inbound from south, as well in a opposite path from northern Starcevo-Cris related populations.  What I have been defending, for a while now, is that this late 7th Millennium BC Romania/Bulgaria population (M269) will resemble early Shulaveri Shomu populations prior to admix with CHG (Caucasus Hunter Gatherer) or whatever local Caucasus people. What I don’t know is how much Anatolian farmers admix did they pick up on their journey east through Anatolia.


If by 6400bc we see the rise of NW Anatolian Neolithic sites with caprine, its only later that we find the arrival of atypical high number big cattle pastoral kind of population in Fikirtepe North of Anatolia, unlike the rest of Anatolia. The fact that Anatolia did not have Pig husbandry and suddenly Fikirtepe changes to also have Pig husbandry is usually interpreted as the arrival of a different population. Don’t really know if it was proto-Shulaveri that we find In Fikirtepe but they related obviously to West Anatolia agriculturalists known as Barcin agriculturalists in that area.

One would imagine that at this places, pit stops of south margins of Black Sea, this initial population flow from south Caucasus and they were learning lots of names from agriculture (let’s say PIE is 60% formed). One would expect that some, if not many, pick up heavy Farmer genetic Admix before moving to south Caucasus and become Shulaveri.


The rise of Shulaveri is, by 6000BC, the rise of a population that are master of domestication, people usually notice it because the types of cereal they cultivate is very diverse, so much that is bizarre and atypical for that epoch. They show all types of cereals and even having Spelt, coming from the Balkans. It is as if collecting species on route and testing it further ahead.

On the other hand, they kept nevertheless a sounding and distinct high Pastoral live style leading to the believe of many that they were a transhumance like people. I posit that It should be around this time L23 was born (6000bc?).  I would say that when he was born, he learned PIE (let us say 70% of it).


We need to fight our tendency to view events as a video game with levels that we move to. Things will be revealed as multifaceted. It worthwhile to refer that this channeling time of 6000-5500bc Is where we see the same archeological signs mixing between Shulaveri proper and the western Georgia, land of the Kotias the one we call the original CHG (Caucasus Hunter Gatherer). These archeological sites are known as Odishi, Anaseuli and Chkhortoli. It will be of utmost interest when we have the genome for these specific population in western Georgia, oppose to Shulaveri proper in eastern Georgia, and its role in early north Caucasus and steppe population.  There is a baseline that is not usually taken into account, which is that prior to the arrival of the Shulaveri, there was an underlying substratum of people, totally unsampled and in my view “unseen” in terms of genetics which will show the true colors of CHG. The Mesolithic people that lived from eastern Anatolia to western Georgia, to north mesoptamia, best represented as the Kmlo-2 tools, and the “Çayönü tools”, from Georgia Dzudzuana and the Lake Sevan itself. This is all prior to arrival of the Shulaveri.


These folks arriving, while admixing with any local remains of pure CHG, would diverge from the others that at the same time or even a bit earlier arrived in Aratashen/Arknashen whose admixing would later have been more with Iran Neolithic Dna. The same holds true with the ones moving from the core region of Kvemo-Kartli and Shulaveris Gora  to the Azerbaijan into the Karabakh steppes  admixing as well with Iran Neolithic.  So, those others, from western Georgia, for sure started to move up the eastern cost of black sea. Who knows if not reaching north Caucasus by say 5500BC? The route was open.

Crucial to our story and at a point in time and space, the Shulaveri just were. Just themselves. Although I admit my fascination and passion for the Shulaveri, to me always they always strike me as singular (in the sense of different). In fact we know from 2017 papers, from Margaryan and Derenko et al. , that the Shulaveri at least carry the Mtdna H2 + 152, H15a1 and I1 which is totally not Anatolian or Iran farmer Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups.


 No other sociological context has brought Archeology to the epicenter of detail discussion as the discoveries in aDna (ancient Dna) in the last 5 years.  Both from renown professors of the most important academia, to the most important laboratories for DNA Sequencing such as Harvard and the Max Planck, to very knowledgeable amateurs feverously and furiously arguing against each other in the reference blogs for the topic.  Yet, if people want to be fair, my voice was always the sole voice shinning a lighthouse on the Shulaveri-Shomu and their centrality in the construction of Europe’s language, Identity patrilineages and genetics. This fixation in the Shulaveri might tell the reader that I am just plain and simply wrong (a possibility). After countless papers, articles, zillion opinions in blogsphere none other than me set the Shulaveri as the source of PIE dispersal and the relevant subclades of R1b-M269. I can safely say, that before my efforts on bringing them to the equation of providing answers to this fascinating mysteries, they simple were not a variable anyone else compute into the formula. Not at all.


However If I am proven right I am sure there will be no lack of people stating that they also believed in the Armenian hypothesis for PIE therefore they also knew all along.  However, the proponents of the Armenian Hypothesis (AH) focus on Halaf/Hassuna or something maybe Ubaid at best. And this as a remote origin since the criticality of their hypothesis was a later time if anything more centered in the 4th millennium. They never contemplate that it might be the much earlier Shulaveri-Shomu even though the sites were known since the sixties. In fact, and on their own words they did not have a clue of whom:


“We concede that in the broad territory in which we have placed he homeland of the Indo-Europeans there is no archaeological evidence of a culture that can be positively linked to them. Archaeologists have identified, however, a number of sites that bear evidence of a material and spiritual culture similar to the one implied by the Indo-European lexicon. The Halafian culture of northern Mesopotamia decorated its vessels with religious symbols—bulls' horns and sometimes rams' heads, which are masculine symbols, and ritual images of leopard skins—that are shared by the somewhat later Catal Huyuk culture of the seventh millennium B.C. in western Anatolia. Both cultures have affinities with the later Transcaucasian culture in the region embraced by the Kura and the Araks rivers, which includes southern Transcaucasia, eastern Anatolia end northern Iran.”




“According to Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, the Indo-European languages derive from a language originally spoken in the wide area of eastern Anatolia, the southern Caucasus, and northern Mesopotamia. The Anatolian languages, including Hittite, split-off before 4000 BCE, and migrated into Anatolia at around 2000 BCE. Around 4000 BCE, the proto-Indo-European community split into Greek-Armenian-Indo-Iranians, Celto-Italo-Tocharians, and Balto-Slavo-Germanics. At around 3000–2500 BCE, Greek moved to the west, while the Indo-Aryans, the Celto-Italo-Tocharians and the Balto-Slavo-Germanics moved east, and then northwards along the eastern slope of the Caspian Sea. The Tocharians split from the Italo-Celtics before 2000 BCE and moved further east, while the Italo-Celtics and the Balto-Slavo-Germanics turned west again towards the northern slopes of the Black Sea. From there, they expanded further into Europe between around 2000 and 1000 BCE.[10][8] “


If we were to make an AH- Armenian Hypothesis Vs  SH - Shulaverian Hypothesis:


“According to Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, the Indo-European languages derive from a language originally spoken in the wide area of eastern Anatolia, the southern Caucasus, and northern Mesopotamia” 


As per shulaverian Hypothesis PIE was spoken precisely in Georgia.  Slightly in Azerbaijan and the renowned offshoot of Georgian sites  in a few small places in Aratashen, Arkanshen and Masis Blur but the bulk was much north, in contrast to AH that states east Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia. So, either they believe Halaf, Ubaid, Hassuna-Samarra or a later akin of an evolution of a Neolithic local farmer language, spoken by Kura-Araxes. Which as per Shulaverian hypothesis is wrong since both the sooner (Ubaid) or the later (Kura-Araxes) did not spoke PIE and one actually could have been involved in the disappearance of the PIE speaker and the other the result of whatever was responsible, at least in part, to that exact dismay of the Shulaveri-Shomu.

Another of the descriptions regarding Armenian Hypothesis  is:


 “The Anatolian languages, including Hittite, split-off before 4000 BCE, and migrated into Anatolia at around 2000 BCE. Around 4000 BCE, the proto-Indo-European community split into Greek-Armenian-Indo-Iranians, Celto-Italo-Tocharians, and Balto-Slavo-Germanics.

At around 3000–2500 BCE, Greek moved to the west, while the Indo-Aryans, the Celto-Italo-Tocharians and the Balto-Slavo-Germanics moved east, and then northwards along the eastern slope of the Caspian Sea. The Tocharians split from the Italo-Celtics before 2000 BCE and moved further east, while the Italo-Celtics and the Balto-Slavo-Germanics turned west again towards the northern slopes of the Black Sea. From there, they expanded further into Europe between around 2000 and 1000 BCE.”


Armenian Hypothesis is a lasting brewing of original PIE in the broad region, that the Shulaverian hypothesis is in contrast at the moment it entangles PIE with a specific culture that had absolutely nothing to do with events Gamkrelidze and Ivanov were focus on and that they set the stage for the language developments. So, to be even more clear, to me it had to be well before 4000BC the renown split of PIE. In fact, I say that most of 6th millennium locals, the Shulaveri-Shomu ones, already were PIE speakers and that means the date of PIE origin moves from the end of 4000BC to something like 5500BC. In fact I read somewhere that the first analytical and statistics analysis a many decades ago pointed already back then to a much older date for PIE than 4000BC referred by Gamkrelidze and Ivanov.

As per SH, it split happened between 5000 BC and 4700 BC. And by split it meant that only a small group, or at best several groups of small sizes remained as IE in the south Caucasus, North western Iran or east Anatolia, and the vast archeological legacy that Gamkrelidze and Ivanov had as a reference was dominated by precisely non IE speakers. Uruk, Kura-Araxes culture dominated the millenniums of the Armenian hypothesis, and those were not IE speakers. There might have been pockets of remaining Shulaveri or related to those, that spoke PIE and for sure some Shulaverian remain because there were Anatolian speakers. but   all other Shulaveri went off some other place. When some states the following paragraph is actually In stark contrast with anything related to the shulaverian Hypothesis:


“Celto-Italo-Tocharians, and Balto-Slavo-Germanics. At around 3000–2500 BCE, Greek moved to the west, while the Indo-Aryans, the Celto-Italo-Tocharians and the Balto-Slavo-Germanics moved east…”


Shulaverian postulates the following:  Those that remained made the above paragraph milieu that led to Hittite. Just that. The rest of the story as already off of that region long ago.

 The rest of the PIE history is made purely by two vectors.  The Shulaverian descendants that moved to North Caucasus and the steppe (lets set 4900bc as date) by the west passage, meaning the east cost of Black sea, and the ones that crossed north Anatolia and landed in South Balkans (4600bC). To the latter one can use the Kumtepe girl (KUM6) as a reference of the first signal of that Caucasus dispersal genomics to the West . Therefore, south Balkans spoke PIE as of after 4500BC as could later Greeks. It’s the lack of current knowledge of the period in south Balkans that span from 4500BC to 3500BC that is creating a misperception in the PIE issue, as a single source of PIE dispersal.

 It’s the same population that one sees in steppe as the ones that one sees moving up the Balkans into, among other places the steppe as well. I keep on stating that it’s not impossible (not assigning probabilities) that even Otzi the Iceman spoke some sort of derived IE. And in fact by 4000BC both PIE populations (Steppe and Balkans) were meeting in places such as North black sea and it was these two that made the dispersal of IE languages as whatever story one wants to reference. CWC or BB or any other related to that time and broad region one wants to use. And yet let us not forget that most likely dozens of IE speaking people might have existed spread out Europe. If we all speak a centralized derivation of root PIE might have happen in the Bronze age or even early Iron age, but mostly happen because it might have made sense (lets called it late and late- late PIE) because it made sense and sounded familiar to a lot of people throughout Europe that knew some of those words already and phonetically sounded familiar.

I will not advance further this topic.  I think it’s enough to allow future clarifications if the question of south Caucasus as source of PIE and R1b-L23 becomes a fact and we must create a distinction between two hypothesis that naturally share many geographical similitudes but not that many archeological ones. Not archeological ones.

In the future this will become an important distinction since this pivot moment will be known by one name or the other.

Going back to the first years of the 6th millennium.


Who were the Shulaveri-Shomu? - the people I am talking about …were very particular. Its noteworthy that in January 2016 I was writing the following:  It would be deceptive to go the avenue of sociologic interpretations, but their demeanors were unique and probable the reason behind so much grievance in the future. I imagine all those people from the Haplogroup G2a, the men that represent the Neolithic farmers, replete with that basal Eurasian DNA didn’t really find those people particular singular or noticeable when they met them in south Balkans or later in Northwestern Anatolia. If anything, it felt like they were people that stubbornly kept to themselves.  And later when J1/J2 (whichever) came with Ubaid period they were not the more aggressive or organized to be able to fight for the territory.  To the ones more pastoral from Armenia southeast lands, If I had to pick a parallelism would choose gypsies.  I’ve known quite a few, saw how they camp, dwell and kept introspectively and interoceptively (which is different) to themselves.

What made Shulaveri singular?  -  They seemed to own the terrain for as much usage and extraction of it that they could, and they showed a remarkable tendency for individualism (shown by architecture) in a time when collectivism seemed to be about to be the builder of civilizations. If one had to give them a brand it would be masters of domestication.  Of plants and animals. Apart from how to build houses and bury loved ones, one can easily see the numerous bone spoons that is typical of their settlements, the slings, long prismatic Cores and Blades and pressure flaking even lever pressure flaking, Obsidian and flint, bone hooks, dark burnished pottery, heavy flat lugs, S curve profiles, hole mouth jars and Carnelian beads. And… above all: Copper beads and spelt seeds as an exclusive thing.

Spelt is highly resistance and climatic adaptive and being something similar to club wheat but is a hybridization of it and Emmer.  Papers analyzing spelta found that the club wheat (Hexaploid) is the same In the few hybridization even occurred and that only the emmer (tetraploid) makes the difference between the Asian and the European strands. Spelt is an event that occurred twice, one earlier (where that Hexa come from) in the Shulaveri heartland (Arukhlo) and the second is what was found later in Bell Beaker.

It is a fact that as old or even slightly older Spelt has been found in Balkans. All in all, how does it only appear in too distinct cultures so far apart, one being the Shulaveri in South Caucasus.


In 2018 we do know a couple of new things about the Shulaveri. Two things in particular are outstanding. First that they were the inventors of wine, and not northwestern Iran in Hajji Firuz, bringing the date of initial wine production earlier by more than 500 years to 5800BC. Second that they had developed the first Hydraulic structures to diverge a river and to create the first irrigation system. -  It moved that date of such structures earlier over 1000 years. Apparently, this water Management system went wrong a couple centuries later and there was an accident that flood the settlements. The first engineering accident in history.

The latest finding to come is apparently that they also were apicultures and had Honey. As years go by, all this facts are bringing Shulaveri from total obscurity to references in Wikipedia and data footprints in internet. However, back in 2016 they were almost in complete obscurity.

With the arrival of Shulaveri people to South Caucasus, back in 6000BC, the first settlements were raised actually in Armenia (if dates for Shulaveri come out as carbon dating wrong for 6200bc but instead 5900bc) in Arkanshen and Masis Blur, around the same time the short duration Haci Elamxanli tepe in Azerbaijan . Not much later we have Aratashen as proper settlements at the same time we have the earliest and big Shulaveris Gora and Gadachrilli in Georgia.

whilst other kept moving to southern places to what is today Syria and Iraq, and we see the intrusion of the circular architecture and mudbrick types into Halafian culture but only in the second phase of It (II after the IA phase) , since we do know that Halaf was a prior culture (at least 200/300 years) to the Shulaveri.  To be clear I do not assume Halaf had nothing to do with Shulaveri. Not genetics nor culturally for that matter. The reason being that I believe that the movement of south Balkans to Anatolia and farther east had occurred not only for the ethnogenesis of the Shulaveri but at other movements, and I also find merit in Conoly 2012 that finds correlations regarding uncommon amounts of big cattle between sites such as Ovcarovo Gorata (Romania) to Fikirtepe and even as far way as Hogoshim in north Israel at earlier dates. The other name is Halula tell (Halaf). I just added Shulaveri to the list that Conoly and kate Manning did not. It would not surprise me, at future times when we have mapped thoroughly the aDna of all those cultures, that Halaf culture turns out to be R1b of some sorts (even V88).  Same goes for Hassuna or Samarra cultures much closer to the Zagros mountains zone towards Iran.


Up north, more to the big Caucasus mountains, prior to the appearance of the Shulaveri the land was of the chokh cultures and those were divergent. People who lived mostly of the best utilization they could of the fauna and flora resources available to them. Basically, smallish settlements of primitive ensemble were people lived mostly in one or two impressively over 60 meters big adobe houses, with a single fireplace in the center where extended clan lived together under de same roof. They were the “people of one house”. Not at all like the Shulaveri-Shomu.  It will be interesting to see how pure CHG this population will turn out to be at times of the onset of the Shulaveri.


By contrast with Caucasus mountains region, settlements not that far way, further south, on the Mil plain next to the Araxes River that extends into Iran people were more developed but still very divergent from this incoming folk, including the fact they were flint workers in contrast to Obsidian working Shulaveri. It lacked most if not all the hallmarks of the Shulaveri. As Lyonnet puts it:


“…contrast with the rectangular architecture constructed  at the Mil Plain sites. Even the concept of the building material differs, as in Aruchlo hand-shaped and  straw-tempered mudbricks were the standard, while  the bricks used in Kamiltepe were dug fresh from the ground and were used untampered and without previous kneading” in  Ancient Kura 2010–2011: The first two seasons  of joint field work in the Southern Caucasus.


That is how singular those houses and settlements represent in the area. Actually, the disappearance of the shulaveri in Mentesh Tepe, the longest occupied settlement for almost 2,000 years sees the replacement of the circular SSC huts with the rectangular houses coming from people of the south. the Shulaveri-Shomu, upon emerging  suddenly in the area, choose the foothill (never that high) near a river (essentially the Kura river) to settle from anew (no previous inhabitants) and make those small 5 meters (actually more around 4.6m) mudbrick singular (or family) half sunken huts or houses, so demarked by a not too deep negative structure (made a diameter hole in the ground), about 30 cm mudbrick base foundations and the generally adobe , wattle and daub, tholoi like house did the rest with mud to which was added straw or other organic material to give consistency (usually called pisé). Next to those they built smaller similar houses of around 1,5m to 2m tops in diameter silos for storage. And they built lots of silos.  It lasts, as architecture traits, to the very similar cultura de silos and round houses castros of Iberia thousands of years later. I think endures until the round keltoi and villages of the Celts.


The Shulaveri built bent walls connecting the round houses and silos.  Noticeable with several Pits and ditches in the living surroundings, and some with inhumations in it or just next to it. Those settlements had a central area, most time with a “courtyard” (formed by those bent walls), sometimes with a heath or fireplace to artisan work. Contrary to others they tend to bury their love ones in “house” or nearby the house of the settlement in round pits and the children were already buried in individually in a crouch.  Some others were buried in ditches.  Those were permanent settlements (structured like that from the beginning) and they lasted for mostly millennia.

Their trade mark was agriculture. But were also intense herdsmen as a life style found in Shulaveri, most likely not transhumance (changing sites with the cattle) but really pastoral at its core in Georgia. Having said that they also had parts clearly transhumance, I believe that, in particularly the Armenia ones, over time had long transhumance episodes into the lowlands into Lake Urmia way south, not only the north shore but as far as Hajji Firuz.

Yes, the R1b-M269-L23-Z2103 that was (if confirmed) found by 5500BC in Hajji Firuz where wine was also produced, was in my opinion nothing else than a Shulaveri teaching its neighbors down south in northern Iran, where they often went with cattle, how to produce wine.

It’s important to remember that this miscegenation most likely was not unidirectional and I have three things I don’t know and that we will only have a proper interpretation once aDna comes through for Shulaveri. One being how many of them were y-Dna Haplogroup J2a and others were already J2b by 5000 BC irrespective of the original Y-Dna of arriving populations that became Shulaveri, one thousand years earlier. Secondly what was the genetic admix of those in Darkveti rockshelters situated in the Kvirila valley in western Georgia and what would be the results of the admixture of those two? I would evaluate them with the least Iran Neolithic and should be closer to CHG (Caucasus Hunter Gatherer). The third would be what the Chokh (Dagestan) previous population was like genetically.


Horses were important to the PIE question. Therefore, finding Horse remains in Shulaveri assemblage made me jump to assumptions that they had already domesticated horses, those famous original wild horses the Tarpans. This is important, having the knowledge of how to successfully capture, tame and breed horses is one of the tell tales of this all chapters that will follow and never to forget the first horse to show “bit wear” was a 5 year old stallion from Armenia 4000 BC (at Mokhrablur, Armenia 100km from Shulaveri site itself) . And to get to horse bit wear… probably riding a horse was something they would be doing for a while until figuring out that a rope or stick trough the mouth was a better way to control a horse.  

In 2018 I do not postulate that they had domesticated horse, can’t really tell, but I do maintain that dealing around horses is part of their skills. Either just to hunt and eat, or to other functions. As the knowledge of wine making prevail in the region long after they were gone, so could have the knowledge of taming horse… which is not the same as domesticate. What we do have is deformed vertebra for cattle in a Shulaveri settlement, Hacı Elamxanlı Tepe, which is usually interpreted as a Draft animal (working animal carrying heavy loads). It raises the question undoubtedly and is pushing back thousands of years the skill.  We know today about the Hydraulic structure (5800bc) the wine making (5800bc) and as per latest news from the Toronto University team of being apicultures (5600BC) to add to so many other things related to PIE language.

 Last, but not least there is what is probably the first plough.

“Among tools used for cultivation particular attention should be paid to a red-deer antler 67 cm long from the Arukhlo I settlement and which functioned as a primitive plough (Chubinishvili 1978, 13-16)”


Then, Shulaveri also seemed to be extensively farmers as shown by the staggering amount of cereals cultivated and some other places virtuous hunters as well. Fauna, domestic and wild, was abundant ranging from Bos Taurus, pigs, to sheep and deer (antlers), and naturally dogs where already part of their daily live. Of course, they are now famous for grape farming and the first wine production culture as well as for long prismatic blades and awls. On a lateral note I think a beads and ornamentation obsession of Shulaveri will have a story of its own to tell.

At time of ending of their era is common to find copper residues.


There is a statement by K. Kh. Kushnareva in his book that sums it up real good:

“Like in so many places around the Neolithic prior to the appearance of the Shulaveri Shomu, people seemed to live in small communal of agriculturalist and when one looks at the architecture for houses it really comprised of a largish tholoi like house where everybody lived, with a centered fired in the middle where everybody gather around and it really was the family or the fire people as we can learn from the Chokh sites. Not more than 30 people living together.

Not the Shulaveri, they were different. Contrary to what one would finds earlier, the overall structure formed an interconnected complex, with housing for livestock, storage pits, clay fireplaces inside the house and outdoor ovens. Those small single houses interconnect to form a larges structure and living complex, sometimes joined by a curved wall.  At a point those settlements formed a Hierarchy of settlements, most with around 400 people and it seemed to have some sort of Hierarchy.”


It’s this last sentence of that quote, regarding Hierarchization, that most intrigued me in this passage. While researching this was at the time very important to start defining my Shulaveri. Especially in papers published in the last 5 years, it’s becoming visible some social structured that encompass the Shulaveri culture in the later stages. And although not recognized by many, the Hierarchization of the chalcolithic and the propagation over Eurasian can have a foot in much earlier cultures like the Shulaveri. In 2018, some are having it as a possibility to explain some larger houses than the rest in compounds in later stages of Shulaveri. At time of disappearance of Shulaveri horizon things were becoming complex with complex relations and specialization between niches of settlements that always were raised at seeing distances from one another.  Remember that one characteristic of Shulaveri were a set of 3 to 5 villages at a distance below 2 km from each other, and then related to other set of villages between 10-15km way.


Allow me to make a jump. In time and inference. And this was important at time of writing the first draft of my Shulaverian Hypothesis.

Irrespective of the route taken and irrespective of the specific circumstances of how it happened (if one believes it like I do),  one thing can be said  -  when we jump in time and space to Portugal, to the lowlands of Xerez valley in Alentejo, prior to the occurrence of the Bell beakers, and concerning the interconnectivity of settlements that we also see in the arrival chalcolithic , it all makes more sense if we talk a bit about 3 settlements here in the Kura valley to create a parallelism.

The departure from communal frame of mind to hierarchy societies seems to have be a mark to future Europe chalcolithic and is often reference as a thing from the steppe.

If one looks at the Shulaveri-Shomu region map in the Caucasus and you will notice clustered together the settlements Shulaveri gora, khrimis gora e irimis gora.  As Carolina Hamon describes it in her conclusions, or K. Kh. Kushnareva in the book  “The Southern Caucasus in Prehistory (…)” will tell you, those 3 settlements formed an interdependent and sort of artisan specialized system by settlement and already hierarchical dependent to larger sites.  Just as the bigger Aruchklo Settlement  forms the “big city” for those 3 settlements and other cluster further east (Shomutepe, Gargalartepesi, Toiretepe) is hierarchical dependent on the much bigger Goytepe. In fact, the latest’s layers of Shulaveri start to denote larger houses, which is also being interpreted as elite and Hierarchy rising inside those settlements.

Since I was reading about both periods and geographies at the same time it truly looked very similar.  One finds reported the same specialization and site Hierarchy, with generically the same descriptions all the way to later chalcolithic in Iberia, in the Portuguese Alentejo settlements next to the Guadiana River. All seem to have some visual contact between them and lithic tools are not proportionally abundant in the different places. Some have abundant grinders, other adzes others are more specialized in hunting, others more pastoral, and so forth.


It’s important to note, that in 2018 it was discovered that the Shulaveri were in fact the first culture to try water management, river engineering, with hydraulic structures.  Those structures seem to have collapse a few centuries later, wiping Gadachrilli Gora settlement, which constitutes the first engineering accident recorded. The reason I reference it again is due to the fact that nobody knows until today what is the purpose of the ditched enclosures and it might as well just be irrigation in its purpose.


There is also the “off place”, let’s called it that way, in both valleys.  At Kamiltepe, further southeast from these clusters, towards Iran, we have a site with a system of several concentric ditches witch Lyonnet describes a  …

The MPS, 4 concentric ditch system is a type of monument so far not known anywhere in the Southern Caucasus, and its function remains entirely enigmatic at the moment



… well, when we move to the Xerez lowlands and Alamo valley in Alentejo, Portugal, the exact same description will occur with a 12-concentric ditch system which is the now famous Portuguese late Neolithic/chalcolithic Perdigoes Site. Exactly the same description.


I think that there is a connection between these traits. And this leads to another, of many “coincidences” we will see next.  Just an example. It has been several times described as a note the profusion of Ochre grinding in some SSC sites that do not have a correspondence in wall or floor paintings or even in pottery decoration. So… what was that Ochre used for? To me it’s was obvious as soon as I read it - Body painting. It became obvious when at Alentejo sites (actually inhumations) it’s reported in a Nature paper that “Chronic mercury exposure in Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic populations in Portugal from the cultural use of cinnabar” … to body paint.  Yes, the Shulaveri-Shomu used Ochre to paint the body (hence so much Ochre grinding at khrimis gora)  as some pastoralists in Africa do today, and for what here is concerned the Iberian chalcolithic (or the descends of the Shulaveri-Shomu) did with Cinnabar in Iberia.


Meanwhile and back to VI millennium BC in the Caucasus theme.

As they came so the Shulaveri-Shomu disappeared.  Sort of Abruptly. At least as a culture highly sedentary. Some defend, and actually might even still be considered the official version being that for some reason those population became naturally increasingly nomad and abandoned their millenary sites. As a natural phenomenon. So the sites were abandoned. Some to never have again have any resettlement by anyone in the upcoming centuries and millennia. Others taken by the SIoni culture, viewed as a transaction between the SSC and the Kura Araxes cultures… but not that much. One must recognize different everything: Different pottery, different houses (rectangular) so the Shulaveri-Shomu were gone.


At this point is important to define something. When I say  Shulaveri-Shomu naturally we’re just talking about the SS sites whose final definition is in its infancy. In the end of 6th millennium BC the region shared some characteristics. Notwithstanding the purity of culture of the Shulaveri we must include as places where they interconnect and mix, to a degree I can not know, the people of the Mil steppe(at least part), Mughan Plain (Alikemek-Tepesi) and Ararat Plain - Especially here, farther south at the Nakhichevan region that shared the same traits.  So, by the end of that 1000 years the Shulaveri not only were part of Halaf as to other cultural Neolithic sites.


In this point is important to go back to Hajji  Firuz, in south Urmia Lake in northwestern Iran.  If we assume that, after being properly tested for carbon dating that the man buried in there was in fact a R1b-Z2103 then I believe he is a shulaverian. I immediately noticed when it came out that the two places where WINE production have been attested has been precisely in Shulaveri and Haji.  Re reading a couple papers got some other references and quotes that

connect the two places. Here is an example:

About a unique bone carving from Shulaveri.

 “In addition,although comparable specimens have not been excavated from Hacı Elamxanlı Tepe, we should mention the puzzling bone objects with a series of incised striations often recovered at Shomutepe-Shulaveri settlements including Göytepe (Guliyev and Nishiaki 2012: 76). Similar objects have been repeatedly recovered at early Pottery Neolithic sites in northern Mesopotamia (e.g., Sabi Abyad, Syria [Spoor and Collet 1996: 473] and Haji Firuz, Iran [Voigt  1983: 210–12]), where they have been described as “counters” or “grooved bones.””


And also the fact that Shulaveri didn’t got Obsidian from Eastern Anatolia, but from these Northern Iran places.

“However, it is also important to recognize that sources southeast of Sevan Lake, Armenia, were continuously exploited by communities in the Lake Urmia region of northwest Iran, from the Pottery Neolithic period on (Chataigner et al 2010: 386; Niknami, Amirkhiz, and Glascock 2010; Chataigner and Gratuze 2013: 17) Significantly, these communities procured obsidian from sources in the Lake Van region as well (Voigt 1983; Chataigner et al 2010: 386–87), thus bridging the two separate obsidian distribution provinces We do not claim that elements of the Shomutepe- Shulaveri culture were introduced by communities of the Lake Urmia region It is likely that future research would reveal more possible links With the present state of our knowledge, we suggest that Shomutepe-Shulaveri culture emerged in the context of cultural contacts with other regions, which, although sparse, cannot be ignored”


That lair in central Caucasus, like a column in the middle of the Caucasus is who I think were the source, or the bulk of, the migrating nomads that we are addressing in this hypothesis and will attempt to describe where they move to. So the central Shulaveri (the last to be overtaken), but also the guys in the Ararat Plain (Kmlo, Aratashen and Aknashen-Khatunarkh). Regionalists and nationalism apart, these are whom we should be calling Shulaveri-Shomu.  True, most of the populations at the fringe were more permeable to “convert” but this guys in the Shulaveri proper,  didn’t seem to have had that luck. The people of the Family nucleus round Dwellings, the Silos Culture (1.5 meters round silos), the domestication experts of plants and animals, beads lovers, they were just gone.


Whatever happened that led to the end the Shulaveri-Shomu culture in Southern Caucasus it must have been big and decisive (or not, see Suppl I ). I know. Some can point to climate events or the story of the floods so common in ancient tells that for instance made it into the bible as the Noah arc event. Or alternatively that they evolved, morphed, into something divergent but local.  Or even that there was a brewing the Ubaid period for a long time, so much more complex and multifarious, and century upon century they were moving north as a blob of civilization that just grows, new and socially complex, making the Shulaveri old stuff (see Suppl I).  Perhaps it was just the Red Ochre painting (body?) or the stubbornly different stance and outlook (houses, obsidian and ochre) that put a target on their back for whatever arrived at south Caucasus at that time.  But People don’t just disappear. Not at those ages and time and with that kind of technology. 


It’s sometimes suggested that the Shulaveri-Shomu became locally moving transhumance or roaming tribes. And those tribes, by then mostly pastoralist, moved a lot and couldn’t find a place to grow new roots as new cultures and folks wandered towards them. Anything is possible, I guess, but I strongly believe their story was different.

Yet, if they didn’t just get clouded by the wheels of time, and I am right, they represent in my view the emergence of a certain individualism and sort of stubbornness which made them unique. Is this characteristic a requisite for the hierarchical evidences we see in the latest phases of Shulaveri?

If something other than just a bunch of unorderly, unmalleable and sort of introceptive awareness people who kept for themselves or to their daily business of live hood and food production, but not impervious to engage and contact others. It’s clear from their earlier stages that incorporating surrounding tools such as Kmlo-2 tools or local variants of Mesolithic locals and later many pottery imports from the south such as Halaf and Hassuna, since we do know that they were long distance pastoral drifters.   Can all this mean they didn’t break, change their ways, and a lot of them had no option but move when the others came?

And it had to be a lot of them and moving fast.  if the Ubaid dominated the 6th millennium BC during those dates after 5500 BC we saw the broadly denoted as Shulaveri in the southern part of the south Caucasus now moving south to the Jordan valley and west to Anatolia by 4900- 4800 BC, and it means there was no adaptation for them in the later emergence of things like Leila-tepe and even later Kura-Araxes. Bear in mind that Uruk, already fully evolved Mesopotamian are reported as farther north as the northern part of the Caucasus, which must not have been a fast and short task to cross the perpetual frigid and snow-covered Caucasus mountains, hence plenty of time to bulldozer the remaining Shulaveri People at the south of those mountains in what is today Georgia.  Although I think , if it ever occurred that way, the bodily harassment was done much earlier by the hassuna-Samarra people which then could have blended to  whatever  Sioni people with rectangular and T-shape houses whose source is still unknow but might have relations to that western Umia lake/ northern Iraq region -  Why not state that they were snake (or lizard) people as their iconography shows . I confess that it’s self-serving to me, because It would play well to the fact that Shulaveri was PIE and the oldest tale is of the fight between the hero and the snake/dragon. As far as I know there is no IE speaker that does not have that tale in their culture.  So, the Dragon people overrun the Arbins at Aratashen then the rest of the people at Shulaveri. From Hassuna Samarra to the heart of Shulaveri is less than 240 miles.
In 2018, I think that I can be blaming the wrong guys. We know that the arrival of people into the region has a far more eastern admix component than just south (Mesopotamia) spreading north (South Caucasus). Put in a different way, it was not only, or maybe even, the local J2a Haplogroup males but perhaps the phenomenon of arriving L1a males from the far eastern parts of east Caspian sea that did it. It’s the story of arriving ones that became Maykop millennia later that did it. And maybe there was an arched that represent the J2b that were not at all the same culture of J2a and we shouldn’t mix both. Maybe the Ubaid were J2a and The ones in Western Georgia down until south Caspian and northwestern Iran were J2b.  But on the other hand, there is a distinct possibility of some natural event, such as a climatic one, that brought troubles and they moved.  Not that I think was the most likely since Shulaveri shows a sudden abandonment and the replacement in the region by Sioni culture means that the region was still attractive to populations.

One thing is for sure. Pressured by some sort of revolution, evolution or invasion that led to Kura-Araxes Culture, Mesopotamia, Uruk, Maykop… they were no more. The once vast land of the R1b Shulaveri, north of the Halaf culture and Hussuna-Samarra people, were no more.


A story is a story. In real life lets us never forget that there are 3 survival strategies. Fight, Flee and stand still  playing dead.  So let’s not forget that some, if not a lot, just stayed or remained in refuge either on the Caucasus mountains  where are still recognized, as per paper Journal of Human Genetics paper from Caciagli et al (2009) in the Y-Dna, of today’s Bagvalins (70% R1b haplogroup) or the South Ossetians of the mountains of Dagestan  So, no mystery if some R1b clades keep being found in later cultures (like Kura-Araxes time in the Areni cave). As normal people they stayed, made due with the situation and survived.


In 2018, what do I think happened?


Well, we can’t escape Ubaid altogether. I Have them as the culprits for the vanishing of the Shulaveri Shomu. However, have my doubts and a feeling of having bought into a simplified version of events.

Ubaid had undoubtedly a wide impact in the region. Was enormous.  They always came across to me as a concept more than anything else. The first “religious” people?   By 5500bc the Halaf-to-Ubaid was registered all over, as seen by what happened to Halaf and Halafian story is still untold by all matrics. At the same time Hassuna -Samarra just east of Halaf and into north Mesopotamia  was already a convert and part of Ubaid proper so clearly part of the Snake people.  Dalma ware, in northwestern Iran was part of this influence and somehow it was something like a process of turning into “mean and lean Uruk”. The end of Shulaveri-Shomu is NOT the birth of Uruk as I previously thought. There is a time gap of 1000 years and that is important.  Leyla-tepe was 4300 BC, Uruk 4000 BC and Maykop 3700 BC.  Ubaid must have been it. However we do not know what or who Ubaid was and  how unrelated was Ubaid to the future Kura-araxes and to Uruk. To the history of the Shulaveri disappearance the Ubaid process and the Sioni culture will be crucial.

Something else besides Ubaid was happening. And the shift Kura -Araxes dna, let us say strange shift, with their weird L1a  Ydna haplogroup, and autosomal shift towards population coming from behind the Kopet Dag mountains eastern Caspian sea. So during that almost 1000 years something amid the likes of Jeitun Culture at the Keltiminar Culture was part of the movement, of a push through north Iran , around south Caspian and into Azerbaijan, to South Caucasus as is seen in later Kura-Araxes genetics.

The Shulaveri vanished at the moment Northern Iran and Iraq Neolithic region (Hassuna) was moving north as Ubaid complex, but concurrently one needs to admit an eastern Caspian Sea people could be moving to Azerbaijan that brought the Eastern genetics admix that is seen in Kura-Araxes  seen by the male L1a haplogroup, better represented as later Sarazm culture people mixed with something visibly more westerner.  And a sign of it, is that there are challenges to the prevailing view that Chaff faced ware pottery was actually from North Mesopotamia but a local development in between  Mesopotamia and the south Caucasus, hence in my view there was some other element that was as intrusive to the overall region in the beginning of the 5th millennium as the Shulaveri had been over 1000 years before.


Must remember that some of Kura-Araxes ancestry can come from the Sioni culture that is usually seen as the transition from Shulaveri to Kura-Araxes but somewhat also linked to Leila-tepe in Azerbaijan and these linked to later Maykop in North Caucasus.  What this would mean was that when Shulaveri vanished, their less developed neighbors, the Sioni, kind of moved in making the Obsidian blades vanish, replaced by flint blades.  Yet it does not fully foot the bill.  Sioni was clearly not Shulaveri, not in geography and not in Culture, but still some, not many, marks of Shulaveri remanded pockets as an indicative of some leftovers still existed.


In this case, why not postulate that the Shulaveri were already moving spreading PIE as The Kura-Araxes remain spreading the Hattic language and the sons of Uruk the Sumerian and Akkadian.


Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 18:30

Chapter II - The African Route

por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16

Chapter II

 The African Route



If this chapter in 2015 was just about the ones that flew south, in 2018 has a long inset about the ones that flew north and the others that flew west which will follow. Both are o pivotal importance and most likely my biggest regret after 2016 draft version was not having cover them, the ones not going south, at all. I knew they had, I knew where to, but did not spend any time with it. A mistake I am going to resolve now, even if just briefly. Each deserving a full chapter of their own. Which might happen in the future.


Chapter II.1 – Those who flew north (steppe)


Most, if not all, I write here can be read in some of my post in the past. Allow me to try to structure a bit more.

As abrupt as it seemed to have been, the fall of the most important places of Shulaveri-Shomu, denoted by its burned layer in some spaces, was sudden. Archeology, despite great efforts from Russian Archeologists, is not particularly developed for the Kuban river area and closely north Caucasus mountains area, hence the view we have of it is somewhat skewed. Skewed by the fact that our knowledge and focus, being the focus of pretty much David W. Anthony.  Reading Russian papers that are found written in English seems to be enough to find a trail - Of the Shulaveri fleeing north.

One would imagine, whether from south Ubaid people or from Kelteminar (let’s call it that) movements from Asia into south Caspian lands from places like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, or a mix of both, the Shulaveri if displaced by force, fear or inconvenience, must have retreat to West Georgia, leaving the place to Sioni with their 15m houses, similar to the Kelteminar ones.


And Shulaveri moving west means people following the open fields to Anasueli near Black sea shores . Bearing in mind that conditions between West Georgia and east Georgia, where Shulaveri lived, are climate and topographically different. It’s unclear to me why the Shulaveri choose to remain in the less temperate zone of the East and ignore the west part of Georgia where life would be easier. Perhaps had to do with better agriculture conditions or also access to Obsidian. One would imagine that somehow the push against such population would not be a single one, and that moving to the open fields of western Georgia should have given them sometime. But we see instead can be posit as follows:


 So, in the herald of the 5th millennia BC, something like 4900BC we can, me being correct, say that that arrival of escaping Shulaveri is see in Svobodnoe and Meshoko.


The Svobodnoe and Meshoko settlement should be a Shulaveri folks moving from the Kura river into north Caucasus. The biggest settlement in the Kuban river basin at those days is indeed Svobodnoe. References to Svobodnoe and Meshoko, should be read as the movement of dislocated people from south Caucasus into northern territory. It should be postulated that Shulaveri became the Zakubanye culture or was the significant part of it. the region was later overtaken as it had happened in Georgia by the same people that removed earlier the Shulaveri and later is related to Kura-Araxes and Maykop. Very different people.

As much as one finds attractive the narrative of still fleeing Shulaveri, people don’t flee for two or three centuries. And Enemies of last century are the friends of today. Truer it should have been 7 thousand years ago. However, it should explain why those places were erected as fortified settlements to held someone out.

First one should state that after a 1000 year living in the slopes of great Caucasus there must have been a spillage of people from the south Caucasus to the north. On the  other hand being the north Caucasus such a different environment it’s expected that  the archeological footprint of those days in reference literature needs to be scanty. What this means is that It’s important to note that  it makes sense that people and genetic admix, some probably from Northern parts of the Steppes and others from earlier Transcaucasia region or by the 5th millennium a mix with lots of Shulaveri must already existed in north Caucasus at this period (especially second half 5th Millennium). This  must be contemplate as true together with places like Nalchik, even Crimea and North of sea of Azov . The Shulaveri were the people that brought the package of agriculture, pastoral and general way of living that did not exist in large amounts  in north Caucasus up until that time and is referred as the very late arrival of Neolithic proper to north Caucasus. It’s a fact that Its only after the disappearance of Shulaveri it become true to that terminology. It’s not a coincidence that in there we see some of the hallmarks of Shulaveri -  Spelt. Follow the spelt grains. And never forget that later usage of Ochre in funerary context in the steppes, so many times associated as a mark of Steppe, was in fact already a mark of the Shulaveri-Shomu.

Agriculture or at least known cereals to them, was not suitable to northern climate environments, but since Shulaverian were developed herdsman the ones that moved to places like Samara should have become an important component of the Khvalynsk culture and later part of Yamnaya, people that rely essentially on those skills. Nothing new if one compares to the life style of the Shulaveri that roomed near Zagros mountains and Urmia Lake in Northern Iran.

Similar importance to Meshoko its PPC. If we had to pick a culture to represent better the arrival of Shulaveri folks to north Caucasus I would choose in a heartbeat the pricked pearl pottery at the settlement of Yaseneva Polyana. If I had to choose a place to extract dna and prove the arrival of Shulaveri to North Caucasus I would pick it because I will assume Meshoko got mixed or overturned faster. That and because the oldest copper artifacts in north Caucasus are found here. The same level of copper usage one finds earlier in Shulaveri-Shomu in Georgia and Armenia.

The importance of this site, as Meshoko for that matter, is in the stratigraphy. All expert in the settlements for the last 50 years state the different levels and the lack of cultural continuity.

First layer, what I call Shulaveri. but later for Meshoko the arrival of the new south Caucasus culture pos-Shulaveri lets say, marked by interior-punched node decoration that became common to Maykop and we now (2018) know was from very Kura-Araxes type of people or at least with the same genetic makeover and make of.  By the end of the first phase (prior to arrival of the new settlers), more so in Yaseneva, it’s also noteworthy, although very few, the ceramics tempered with crushed shells that was typical of steppe and Khvalynsk. 

On the other hand, at the end of the cycle of this culture and environment it is already denoting connection to Cucuteni–Trypillia culture and this is relevant to the next chapter of the one that fled WEST.

Shulaveri had all the paraphernalia of agriculture, all the gear of pastoral, all the typomania, metal gear, horse relations. And, why not, the perfect place to be the start of the most common tale of the Indo-European speakers, the hero that killed the snake/Dragon, because they were gone the moment Ubaid, snake people, arrived at their land.   In time for be the ignite of PIE dispersal I don’t really know of any local culture with the number, the amount of settlement and population density to be source of a language and most important they were the ones gone the moment agriculture arrived to Steppe.



Chapter II.2 – Those who flew West (Balkans)


So, what happen to the Shulaverians (Shulaveri-Shomu) moving West?

The ones fleeing north became Kubans -  Let it be another digital connection never done before.  So, the ones fleeing west became? – Boian/Gulmenita culture.


For the last few years I have been asserting that the Kumtepe girl (Kum6) from 4700 BC, in the south shores of Black Sea in Anatolia and reference in by her aDna in several scientific papers was a fleeing Shulaveri girl.  Or at least admixed with one.  Kum6 carried the H2a mitochondrial haplogroup which we had already found in Shulaveri (H2 + 152). I got called some nasty things by saying it.

So, what do we know of that Girl in Northwestern Anatolia? -  Zuzana Hofmanová et al. 2016, showed us that this girl belongs to a different population that has the characteristic of having CHG (Caucasus Hunter gatherer) unlike all previous Anatolia populations. By the same token we learned she shared ancestry with population living shortly after late Neolithic Greece called, Klei10  and  Pal7 -  all sharing CHG and being very close to Kum6 Girl.


With author GM Kılınç in ‎2016, writing about her, again about her CHG, but also the shared ancestry with Remedello culture in North Italy, 1000 year later. Telling us how remarkably close she was to Otzi the Iceman, that is thought to be a Remedello man. The expansion of EEF/CHG into Balkans in the 5th millennium via North Anatolia is a reality.  Boian, Gulmenita–Karanovo VI, also later moving north into Varna and Cucuteni-trypolie. Their admix or with parts of , not necessarily with overall traits and y-dna dominance, moving south into North Greece (yes later Mycenean), moving west until north Italy as Remedello.  Like so many, others in other places, give it time and they will mix with other people.


But what about the rest? - two words: Boian Culture.

Depending on geography, some call it Giuleşti-Mariţa culture, and sometimes is confused with Gulmenita culture to which it merged or evolved to shortly after in Romania/Bulgaria. On the other hand, some call it Gulmenita–Karanovo VI culture.  And Gulmenita is, in my mind same as Boian. Boian were refuges and Gulmenita settled population let us call that. It’s a process to increase the tell-type settlements.

Nevertheless, the focus, to understand the riddle, should remain in Boian culture.  They are important since their phases describe perfectly an arriving population (Bolintineanu Phase) settling in.  By 4500-4400bc, they are seen arriving.

One can see that, even on datasets from Mathieson papers on south Balkans. how, after a Hiatus full of G2a and I2a, samples dated to this period (4500 BC – 4000 BC) seem to be the return of R1bs (too bad not many subclades tested).

The lowest and oldest strata is about their oval houses lean to or dug pit-houses of wattle and daub structures.  Them they settled in and started to become more elaborated and settlements more permanent. It’s believed that the Shulaveri painted the interior of their houses with red ochre with plastic motifs (so did the Boian).   Boian culture, but better seen in Gulmenita, showed an Hierarchy between settlements (so did Shulaveri). Boian/Gulmenita used ditches and defensive enclosures (so was seen in Shulaveri). And copper, and anthropomorphic figurines, etc. - It’s also   noteworthy to mentioned that Boian/Gulmenita showed in their assemblage Horse (Equus ferus) and Dog.  In fact, in Gulmenita all settlements returned horse sometimes being well over 10%. And some sites return dogs as high as 16%.  


And I would not be me, if I didn’t mention something strange: The Boian are the first to show snakes in pottery ornamentation. And who dislodged the Shulaveri-Shomu from Transcaucasia?-  most probably the snake people: Ubaid and Hassuna. Where does the oldest story and myth about snakes come from? Oldest PIE.

Those things are obviously circumstantial, but there is the connection and aDna will tell the rest.

Two facts are important to register: one is that Boian Culture had a metamorphose into the mentioned Gulmenita and is believed that this mixing shortly  after also occurred with LBK people.  The Boian culture morphed or just evolve through a smooth transition into the Gulmenita culture which also borrowed from the Vădastra culture. And a part of the Boian/Gulmenita society moved to the northeast along the Black Sea coast, encountering the Hamangia culture where it’s believed they merged to form shortly after the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture.  This Boian engulfing Hamangia and being for a while Gulmenita on their way to CT. And CT (Cucuteni-Trypillian), has the previous described societies for that matter, has a story not yet told by aDna (ancient Dna) or linguistic.


If originating in Shulaveri-Shomu they were IE speakers, R1b and moving east by the black sea cost. So, as seen previously other Shulaveri would be in north black Sea and steppe straight from Transcaucasia past the mountains and also IE speaker. And one must admit the possibility that there was a time when a Shulaverian-Boian-Gulmenita-pre Cucuteni met a steppe descent of Shulaveri-Pricked Pearl -Khvalynsk somewhere over black sea and they notice how similar their language was. 


On the other hand, I must admit it raises the possibility that…. L51 was, around 4300 BC, born in Boian/Gulmenita and not in Merimde (Delta Nile) or Iberia (Zambujal Portugal).


It is not even a brilliant deduction. Hervella et all 2015 has said in plain English.


“The hypothesized contribution of Middle Neolithic migrations from North-West Anatolia into the Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe may explain the position of the BBC (Late Neolithic in Central Europe), close to the M_NEO groups from Romania in the multivariate analysis (Figs 2 and 3).”


The story of R1b into Bell beakers was not a single or a one-way direction. The fact that I focused so much in the south possible route it’s because not the easiest or more natural route, but because it has a strong possibility of having existed, centered in the Merimde beni Salama settlements, and the underdog of possibilities. In 2018 I would say that, at this point, it looks like there was an incremental importance of this group that I had not taken into consideration in 2016.  Many I came to admires defend that the end of the big settlements (biggest seen thus far) in the Balkans by 4000BC is what we see moving heavily into the further parts of western Europe. It is feasible to construct a Story of this group spreading through northern shores of Mediterranean Sea into as far as Iberia in an impulse during late 5th millennium and 4th millennium BC and  in Portugal being seen as Zambujal and VNSP culture that  also back tracked in a migration, now  as Bell Beakers, all the way until south Balkans in the in the 3rd millennium BC. Something along these lines.



… And those that flew South


In 2016 This should have been a short chapter. But it wasn’t. And it yields two, imo, the most intriguing of supplements regardless of the probabilities of its becoming true in the future because It would be a revolution in our interpretation of pre-history.

 The middle story, as I called, it’s not (was not!)  by any means the object of my interest.

In 2018 I admit my doubts about the importance of this route, or even consider it the most likely. However, I calmly wait the results of future aDna to rest it in peace. I confess that in 2016 I really had to find a southern route, and that might have skewed my drive to find it. Yet again, to me the jury is still out.

And that to happen one needs to have the genome of Merimde-beni-Salama or anywhere in the Neolithic of Delta Nile.


Here is my two cents:


To make it perfectly clear, by 4800 BC, it’s not even a big effort to find them as archeology traits in Tel Tsaf in Northern Israel. I am sure that their trademarks are also found in other places if one takes the time to look for. Tel Tsaf had lots of tell signs. Above all even has a very special copper awl directly placed its origin in Aruklho, heartland of the Shulaveri.  Cant really be more direct than that. Also the round huts and the clear culture of cereal silos, animals, lots of animals and dogs, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic ceramic figurines, etc. with this in mind is worthwhile reading Emily Marie Hubbard thesis (A Geo Archaeological Investigation of Storage and Surplus at Tel Tsaf, Israel) it’s really amazing again the imprint of this new people in the area. It defines the middle chalcolithic (5000-4500 BC) in the region as opposed to dissimilar early chalcolithic and different posterior chalcolithic phases. It’s clear that prior it was something culturally different and after them it occupied by also different folks. Sherds, architecture (back to rectangular houses, etc.).


Also possible to find part of the signs (I haven’t dig to heavily into it) in Gilat, farther south just near the Sinai, especially when papers keep referring the long Prismatic Blades (trademark of Shulaveri) of Gilat as imports from the Maadi in Egypt when it might as well be  instead them taking this tool making skill further ahead into north Africa as part of Maadi.  There are much imprinted marks in the Middle East and later in Maadi-Buto. So imprinted as the bewilderment of finding a horse skeleton as early as from late 5th millennium BC in Shiqmim site Israel, which is just near what is current Gaza Strip arriving to Egypt. Note that Horse is not a species found before in the region, nor was it found after for a very long time. It’s a flimsy connection but I stand by my inference of connecting Shulaveri with intimacy to horses and even their taming, as in fact I do with Donkeys in Delta Nile shortly after. A horse and a donkey was the “same” to them anyways.   

Having said that, adding to it today, I would have not linked it that much to horses.  Asserting a horse by its bones is complex and not an easy task, more so at a time when domestication would not have really yet reduce size for that specie. The reference is that Shulaveri were obviously very efficient in domestication. Asserting Horse domestication and rooming Shulaveri in Israel is not clearly the most solid avenue of proof, notwithstanding of all I say next.


A generation or two later, they were in Egypt and maybe part of the tribes along the Nile River that ended up making the pot from where ancient Egypt sprung.  When saying part of the pot I mean a low influence.  If we exclude Tasian culture that share some of the crania morphological traits of the early arrivals of farmers to the Delta Nile and Fayum and was way too south, they the ones that stayed in Delta Nile were the outcasts and the ones that really didn’t get involved in local civilization construction. Which one can relay correctly to the stance of the Shulaveri sites on their sites in South Caucasus. Anyways the pre-dynastic Egypt is not the story of this populations at all.

The intriguing question is: are the folks found in Merimde and EL-Omari, from the Shulaveri stock?

Let me facilitate this link in the readers mind. I started this quest by saying that somewhat I had a gut feeling it was all about Grapes, horses and dogs.  Earliest ever wine made of grapes was in Gadachrilli Gora (5800BC) than Hajji Firuz just south of Shulaveri and the next up known wine production attested is oddly enough in Abydos, Upper Egypt, by 3200BC.  How does wine making got that south prior to so many places first?  In fact, in Delta Nile Vitis  Vinifera, grapes, are already found as early as in Maadi culture by 3700 BC as in Tell el-Fara or Tell Ibrahim Awad.  So, here is one link.


They, the incoming population crossing the Sinai, seated too north in Delta Nile and not at all getting involved in the Upper vs Lower Nile conflict merging prior to the Pharaonic times.  Even on the eastern side of the Nile Delta itself one can speculate that it was them in Tell el-Farkha or Mendes at a very early stage before being also overrun by Neqada or Badarian from the south. Maadi although later stage of the cultures of the Delta might still be seen as a Shulaveri still or at least very influenced by them. It was not so obvious however and was hard and difficult to get to a point I got comfortable to state it, because everything written is so obsessed with Namer, pre-dynastic or pharaonic Egypt. 

There would be a story with the Maadi (at least in part related to Merimde) and the southern so different Badarians but in the end those are the ones that stood and ended up being consumed by Naqada III or any culture component or story that led to later Pharaonic Egypt and that is today an intrinsic part of our culture.  Maadi could be seen as  what was left after the Shulaveri at Merimde and El Omari moved on, therefore Maadi is what happened to those that mingled with other local population, probably more numerous, and the part of the story and History of those that stood behind.

It is the same as postulating that there is no record of the Shulaverians, apart from Delta Nile, so in south Egypt near the Nile river (see Suppl II – Resting in Egypt) but we could say that is, or can be interpreted as, traces west of the Nile in the many Oasis that survive the weight of Sahara birth and still exist today. And even as I said  before finding records of their stay in Delta Nile is not at all clear cut.


In 2018 I agree, nothing as transpire from the published literature, either archaeogenetic or archeology, that even hints at me being right about Merimde being Shulaverians. However one can recourse to establish the proposition that Delta Nile was at least coming from Northeast, being the contentious part that I say way far northern than people give it credit for.


So, let me quote this from Michael Hoffmann 1979 book “Egypt before the Pharaohs”:

“what little work was done portrays Merimdens as a slightly built, round-headed folk whose men averaged 5 feet 6 inches in height and women 5 feet 2 inches.  Abscesses were a common malady . . . a situation that probably reflects a combination of the new agricultural diet, genetic predisposition and local water chemistry”


It’s common to find the following references regarding our Merimdians:


“As regards predynastic population, peoples of Lower or northern Egypt show a range of variability and types. Sweeping classifications such as Caucasoid or a "Mediterranean Race" depicted under older Aryan race models are thus problematic for this region. A number of influences were present from surrounding populations. According to one history populations around sites such as Merimda, Maadi and Wadi Digla have quite different characteristics from sample populations from early Palestine and Byblos, "suggesting a lack of common ancestors over a long time.”


Until aDna comes to prove me right or wrong we can only rely in old methodologies. And to the Shulaverian Hypothesis, as the Stock of people I think came ultimately from south Caucasus moved south and we enter the 4th millennium in Egypt after they disappear from the region, Maadi and folks buried at Wadi Digla  or Shurafa really show the admixing process and all brands of morphologies of North African populations and as well as Caucasians.

Admixing process must have been quick at those days and  so we see Lots and lots of admixture as the 5.9 kiloyear event kicked in. Even Armenoid and Brachycephalic or even Lapponoid features, thus full Caucasian phenotype alongside with all sorts of admixture with Berber, Mediterranean from western Africa parts, cromagnonoid and sub Saharan Africa as reported for instance by Andrzej Wiercinski work  -  Irrespectively of what one believes is undeniable that the Egypt of those days was harboring very distinct people.


In the absence of proof, there is no other option but to play it loosely and entertain our thoughts. Such as, should not be a surprise if Tutankhamun was really an R1b M269. 

Assuming the risks of going there… It’s not even difficult to insulate this if one really wants it. The top North Africa areas with R1b are Tuaregs from Niger (33%) and Siwa berbers from Egypt (29%). The first ones, are the dead-end of the R1b-V88 going south. The second ones are the ones that stood behind and stick around the Siwa oasis (big archeological site and home of clearly outcast people of ancient Egypt for millennia).  Siwa oasis means the protectors of the sun god Amun… go figure why the boy king R1b was called Tutankh-amun.

Yes, wrong sub-clade for my purposes, but it shows that there was a movement of Pastoral stocks from Europe to this region. And we don’t know if this arrival population were originating in Iberia (as was assumed up until recent) or the other place where large quantities of R1b or several clades have been found in the past 2 years in scientific papers – South Balkans.  Where for that matter is the place I believe the Shulaveri also derive from in 8th millennium BC. Other possibilities arise.

What if, if, we find out one of these days that the Halaf were of the V88 stock?  what I am stating is the importance of a 7th millennium BC population movement from the South Balkans where different subclades coexisted being one V88 and the other M269. The Shulaverians became L23  from M269 mutation and the r1b-V88 went other places. 

then, in my hypothesis south Balkans was the origin of both migratory movements. If we see much earlier signs linking South Balkans in Hogoshim north Israel the timing would be correct to link this movement farther south into Egypt with what we today call Fayum (near the lake) in Egypt.  In my mind, being other premises correct, it’s not unfounded to state that the movement of people from south Balkans on the 7th Millennium BC and later was made of more than one branch. One to go to South Balkans, other seen as south Hogoshim, and kept occurring until reaching the Delta Nile and early Fayum. Some could have been with the branch V88 and others M269.  When things went wrong some followed the scent of people they could relate to, and this route following south the V88 might have been the option. This serves just to state that things in reality rarely follow a unidimensional form but are complex and made of gradients.

One can imagine that maybe the Siwa stock of V88 was just descendants of earlier Fayum. They lasted in history.  The Assyrians went very far to “meet” these people there in the Oasis and even Alexander the great made a perilous 6-day journey through the desert to meet these individuals. History tells us they continued to be, stubbornly, themselves (it’s something one can always say of the Shulaveri stock) up until the Islamic rule finally manage to change their believes and ways in the 12th century AD. The toll, as reported, was being left with only 40 surviving males. Consequently, lots of founding effects on today’s Siwa oasis males where any M269 might have been lost.

It’s not uncommon for linguists to put forward hypothesis that challenge and questions the canons accepted. Either in the Siwi language or their high number of R1b-V88 patrilineage there might be bread crumbs there to link them to Dagestan (where the others stood) or all the Kartevelian languages. Way off my linguistic league to go there.  And Siwas are too admix with sub-Saharan genepool (like the rest of the V88) to track the Shulaveri or any other south Balkan component. (True, but no so clear with the others – See suppl.  II – Chapter, From pool to pool, the sons of the L278)


So, let’s here keep track of the folks that ended up in Iberia Peninsula. In 2018 I would shamelessly add… if this was in fact the route taken. Maybe what I write next never happened and they just moved back up levant or where just gone altogether because their population figures were not high enough. But if they did, this is where I find them.


By 4000 BC they were no more Merimde Beni Salama culture as was not related places (El-omari, Fayum where they herd the cattle, Kom where they store stuff) but it remained there the Maadi which I think could be in part related but highly infiltrated or conquered by the Badarian from the south. Maadi is seen as a bridge between Levant and south Egypt where the Badarian and Neqada were moving up and overrunning everything to develop what is to be known as the pharaonic Egypt.


The Merimdians were gone again. Did they flee again?  Maybe. Me being correct there must have been a flow of R1b Shulaveri moving past Egypt moving west to which we see the marks in Delta Nile. This is the exact moment of the 5.9 Kiloyear event that started to make the Sahara Desert. And if they were looking for land looking to the west, they really were getting into troubles by the climatic changes. It seems a safe bet to always estipulate that the Shulaveri needed land. And finding land for agriculture is pivot on their quest.  Moving west meant, unlike one can assume by today Sahara landscape to move into what is today the harshest part of Sahara desert but was at the times we here reference the region that resisted more time as habitable and paradisiac - Tassili and Accacus mountain range.


Again, I don’t think the R1b had such a big influence in the region. As I think had in fact none on the civilization rising of the Middle East.  However, at this stage after moving west departing from Cairo (what is now Cairo) I think they were part of the substratum living off the 100km long and 20km wide valley between Tassili and Accacus. And prior to being kicked out by the impious Aeolian desert events, they were there for a while.

That broadly referenced area was overrun by sand. Loads and loads of it. If one could just remove the sand would find whatever is missing of the vast amount of people, E1b1b (M-81) and a certain amount of R1b, that populated the mountains in middle of North Africa. That would be another story concerning E1b1b of mutation E-M78 and the Old Berber guys of the E-M81 that I think also crossed the Gibraltar with the Shulaveri R1bs.


It is a motherlode of problems to find archeological evidence in the exact regions where they might have stood for a while, because those areas are part of the Sahara nowadays. And they could have been in the Sahara while de Desert was being created by climate change. Its meaningless today in terms of archeology but the people there might not have been that irrelevant for the region history. Most experts in northern Africa art see the influence of the Sahara people in the surgence of the Egyptian dynasty. For instance reading a fine paper (*222) about discussions and argument in North Africa art one can read he following:


“little evidence for Predynastic Egyptian influences on the prePastoral and Bovidian Pastoral art of the Sahara, because the latter are already so well developed at such an early date, before anything similar can be recognized in Egypt.48 He now favors the idea of Saharan groups influencing the developments in the Nile Valley, probably by the mechanism of non-Negro pastoral peoples migrating to the Nile Valley ca. 3500 B.C., during Predynastic times, and having some effects on the birth of classic Egyptian art in the Protodynastic period about 3200 B.C. (This would apparently explain the absence of the RoundHead style in Egypt or, as far as is now known, anywhere east of the Ennedi: it had disappeared much earlier.


A word about women.

Roaming Shulaveri could have been an overrepresented male population migrating south. That is something to be yet explained. Either women died of hardships or stayed with whom ever made the male population stock move away from the Caucasus, since women were always a valuable commodity. But I don’t think it was all men. Some women (or a lot) were travelling and bearing their children all the way from the Caucasus. But the male herdsman and roaming around men must have being picking up women all along the road. So looking to the Tuaregs Fezzan of Libya with 60% mtdna H1 (highest anywhere), the so called west European Mtdna,  as do we find something else that will link them to today’s Dagestan women (here H2 is more common) and the fact that we can say that H2 was also very much present at south Caucasus earlier.  Actually H2 is a parent subclade of H1 and H3 (as well as h13). And the most important fact (*442) is that H2 is only found in great amount (11%) amongst the Chuvash (from the Volga Urals north of Dagestan (remember chapter I), but also high frequency in Portugal and Spain, were a specific subclade H2a5 is even found only in Basque (*450) and residual around the area and them blanks out completely. So, forgetting males, women had a very different story altogether.


Two other things also are noteworthy. first one that Hg Mitochondrial V has the same age (slightly older) of hg H1 and H3 and sees its higher freqs in exact the same places as H1 and H3, and notably being that in Caucasus is only existing also in the Dagestan mountains (in Avars) as well as strangely is seen in some Berbers populations (*448). Second is that H1 and H3 (and V) are responsible for the closeness of some groups of current North Africans populations and marks the distance from others (*449), therefore can be seen as hallmarks of the Shulaveri/R1b passage on their way to Europe and identifies the groups that ended up travelling with them into Europe, if one believes this northern Africa route as a possibility for L23 (R1b-M269 son) arrival to Europe.

One can dwell with this subclades for ages. I do it so that its written and if ever found to be true, to be linked to my Shulaverian Hypothesis. So another notable fact is that one should bear in mind subclades and structure of Mdna H1 Haplogroup, if not for everything else then by the high frequency of H1 and H3 in Iberia and North Africa Berber tribes (some) it implies that the Caucasus, North Africa corridor and Iberia was something established already at the beginning of the Holocene (*451). Especially for H1 since I think H3 probably was more in consonant with the Shulaveri movement (as does H2 and V). So finding patterns for less than a millennia is really hard.  North Africa, the Sahara Desert one (for the last 5000 years), has been a wasteland and graveyard of a lot of things, like most harsh deserts are, and there is a lot of structure that was just washed away and extinct by sand and heat.  So one always have to look deeply.


But enough of this detour. Let’s not digress.


A generation (s) later Shulaveri-Shomu were part of the Libya, Algeria and Tunisia, and R1bs (I think not our Shulaveri tribes but broadly Arbins coming earlier from South Balkans) even made the pot of Chad’s herdsman tribes (no surprise those are the next follow up places in terms of percentage of men R1b). - and it’s not that there is no record, right?  It’s even called the Bovidian Pastora II.  And it’s “II” because first, phase I, the cave paintings showed what would be easily represented as dark people (dark faces period) and suddenly white Caucasian types where represented as herdsman with bows (called also Caucasian period in some terminology).  One can look at Tassili-n-Ajjer paintings (reading the book: African Herders: Emergence of Pastoral Traditions is very telling) to see this plainly.  One can find there paintings in essence of cattle herding but also some horse or even dogs. Tassili-n-Ajjer has vast pastoral and herdsman paintings of very big herds. But it does also have paintings of Dogs hunting (amazing the one of five dogs and a hunter) and clearly a horseman herding cattle.


By the time of the Bovidian pastoral phase II the 5.9 kiloyear event had already kicked in for a while. And the arrival of the Shulaveri coincided with the beginning of the violent Aeolian erosion of the once fertile lands. Bad times, with those huge sand storms that witness even the caving of rock shelters roofs.

A curious fact is that the dogs depicted in those paintings, clearly sighthounds type of dogs, are ancestors of the ugly, slender and anorexic Spanish Galgo, one of the three races that cluster together with the beautifully huge Serra da Estrela from Portugal and the even more colossal Kangal dog from eastern turkey in the same genetic Haplogroup (later will address all those papers in Dog Chapter) and are the only ones truly related to the Big Mastiffs of the Caucasus.  In the journey, clearly the slender ones like the Spanish Galgo had the upper hand on survival but not the big scary ones that didn’t really make it in big numbers. We see these sighthounds dogs in Pre Egyptian dynasty as in ptahhotep’s mastaba (3 millenium BC) or the tomb of amenemhat necropolis of beni hasan.  Regarding Dogs, one always need to have present that Dogs were trademarks of Tel Tsaf and Merimde.


Anyways, in the wake of their arrival to North Africa, and the beginning of this middle pastoral periodit’s the time of Knapped stone arrows North Africa. These changes also parallel the lithic production of knapped stones. At the end of the period, geometric elements evolve to bifacial, knapped arrow points. “   - They arrived at Tassili Acacus (in large numbers) and like later in the Iberia peninsula it’s most visible lithic feature is… Arrowheads. Lots of.


Regardless of all other being in the end wrong, I can state that our imagination usually underrepresents the population of North Africa prior the desertification.  And when things start to get really disruptive some of them moved to the Nile and other moved west and south. Bad choice. Moving to the west meant not escaping the desiccation and aridification of the Sahara. Some definitely moved south and as the desiccation was ending the oasis which all North Africa was becoming, those R1b pastorals got stuck down south and became the now known as V-88 subclade of the Sahel African tribes. So most V88 tribes were south or stayed behind although naturally some also ended up in Europe. (See Suppl III – Chapter, Exodus to Iberia)


Not much record of them in Morocco therefore it was a run for their lives.  Only option was moving North… to the Iberia peninsula. And yet things were already pretty sour between those large groups of people, either all R1b Shulaveri or Indigenous local proto-Berbers as we always see in those situations.  Better quote something:


“Among the early depictions of war is a battle scene, in a rock painting in Tassili n’Ajjer. dated to between 4300 and 2500 B.C., with groups of men firing bows and arrows at each other. In the image a group on the right stand ready to fire their bows as a group on the left begins an assault”


This hardship is important to understand the stance, the harshness and spike of these people when they got into the Iberia peninsula.  Because southern Iberia was not gentle people strolling around and that is key to understand how they became the bell beaker warriors so fast.


And I suppose the book The Emergence of Pressure Blade Making: From Origin to Modern Experimentation by  Pierre M. Desrosiers will be mentioned a few time next chapter, but let’s leave here this quote regarding  lever aided blades  on the of the chapter 2 from Marie-Louise Inizan:

“Thick outsized blades (more than 20 cm) the so called Canaanite debitage began to appear at the end of the 4th millennium BC (Anderson-gerfaud and Inizan 1994). This corresponds to the development of lever-aided debitage (pelegtin 1988, 1987) “.


One can argue…but, why does that has to do with she SSC? – Again, Jacques Chabot and Jacques Pelegrin on “Two Examples of Pressure Blade Production with a Lever: Recent Research from the Southern Caucasus (Armenia) and Northern Mesopotamia (Syria, Iraq)”:


We do at least know that the culture represented in the Araxe basin by the sites

of Aratashen and Aknashen-Khatunarkh shows very close links with the Shulaveri-

Shomutepe culture, which developed throughout the sixth millennium to the North

in the Kura basin. Architecture, as well as ceramics, bone and lithic industries, testifi

es to the fact that these two cultures share a common root, and it could be amongst

this common stock that the technique of pressure with a lever developed ( Arimura

et al. 2010 ).”


Having then arriving in the Iberia peninsula, from North Africa, already with blade production of long blades by the usage of lever didn’t help it to be peaceful. Perhaps what happened earlier wasn’t peaceful. Had they learned something from what happened in Merimde?

It served them well.


The rest of this story, and how it happened, is in supplement EXODUS TO IBERIA -  Plight of the P297 mutating to M269?

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 17:50

Chapter III - Pumped out by the Sahara

por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16

Chapter III 

Pumped out by the Sahara

“ …Suddenly  it all changed with the arrival of carenated Ceramics, arrowheads and loom weights”


Because of the vast People migration that was under way at that time, as seen in supplement about middle Sahara, maybe one of the biggest ever seen at that time.

The birth of the Sahara is one of the most dramatic event of climate change and is essential to the history of the Iberian Chalcolithic.

Still in the 4th Millennium we see the movement of people across Gibraltar. This was a fact. Now, in 2018, we just found out through fragel et al, that the samples from 3000BC in Morocco (KEB) were quite alike chalcolithic Europe. But not entirely. And they were half way from Berbers and even ancient Guanches of canary islands that we know were in fact almost 50%  r1b - M269.  So it’s a given, a fact, that crossing Gibraltar was normal and even as far as the canary islands- But we will stay clear of that.

The numerous vanishing population of north Africa as shown by Katie Mannings work were moving across Gibraltar to southern Iberia. It’s conceivable that by 4,000BC  they must have known about Iberia as an option to solve their conditions.

Merimde had over 2000 people just there alone, other places also had a considerable population near the Acacus mountains, Near the Atlas Mountains there were sites that one can relate to what we are referring in here.

 I will transport us next, fast to the left bank of the Guadiana River in the Xerez lowlands and the Alamo valley in Alentejo, Portugal.  However, to understand how that exodus occur one always must bear in mind that from the northwest point of Africa to the Alamo Valley in south Portugal its just 400 KM (or 250 miles), or that distance from Oran in Algeria a 1000 miles. Herdsman are known to have travelled much farther than that in a heart beat.


In 2018 I would change this chapter, brazenly so, to a preambles of my country Portugal pre-history.


Neolithic Portugal (up until mid-4th millennia bc) was a place scarcely inhabited. Neolithic as agriculture movement was sort of a late arrival to the peninsula and not something that has left a massive imprint as a Neolithic era per se. Most of what we find, even deep into Neolithic (end 6th Millennium) is very much still nomadic or transhumance population, mostly using temporary caves for sheltering and very rarely the existence of the traditional Neolithic “long houses”.  Therefore, it’s fair to assert that lifestyle in the south Iberia mixed not clear cut agricultural with evidence of pastoral lifestyle, undecorated pottery, percussion lamination of rocks.  At the later stages it has emerged the megalithic monuments, the cromlechs, as burial grounds and not. Even in the region we are about to enter, the Xerez lowlands and Alamo valley (northern Alentejo), hunting seemed to be a very rare event. And pastoral comprised most of bovine and ovicaprine, rough and crude, not at all evolved lithic are the norm (all in *456).

Agriculture was as we all know a movement from the East Anatolia to Europe so no surprises that it took so long to reach this part of the world. And they had lots of natural resources to live by, such as easy access to fish and shell food has seen by the large Shell Middens found everywhere so not a very big pressure to elaborate strategies of making the most out of the environment.  There is no way someone can make the argument that such primitive undeveloped and meager forms of agricultural ensembles and for all purposes barely pastoral population would jump into what we later see established in the next millennia.  Not in complexity, not in sheer volume of population. It all happened fast, with settlements arising in a very short period in southern Spain just tens of years apart.  Which meant a flood of people.   What were they moving to? What was it like the terrain and territory they were settling into?


Again, contextual is important.  By well mid 4th millennium BC they, if any remaining population from south Caucasus that had remained in North Africa were already in the Iberia Peninsula alongside with some E1b1 and other flow of people, and in some considerable numbers. If Merimde, El-omari and their specific parking at Fayum was gone by 4000 BC, wouldn’t surprise me by any measure to find outliers in Iberia that were Merimdians (previous Shulaveri) R1b and E1b1 (M-81) by 3800 BC. If talking about r1b-M269-L23…(L51?) makes you have an allergic reaction, just ignore the Y-dna haplogroup of the diverser stock of people crossing and imagine it irrespective of the Male haplogroup they could hypothetical have.

This transfusion of people is so clear and impressed in Iberian archeology, that is clearly denoted by the noticeable number of objects from North Africa but not only, and in fact related to Egypt,  on form and shape that are only found in this time frame (like Leceia objects to mention only one).  So it should in fact not be a shock to anyone when I say that Chalcolithic Iberians arriving were a mix of North African Populations mixed with specific south Caucasus stock of people, because it’s in fact what I am hypothesizing.  So that for instance BRUNTON & CATON-THOMPSON, 1922, made an effort to prove that the Portuguese chalcolithic was related to the Badarians in Egypt. Obviously, I think they were wrong, well not Badarian but as I state in here the Merimde/El-omari and somewhat the Maadi that at that precise epoch were actually been overrun by the Badarians themselves. The same holds true for finding Shells that only existed in North Africa which but was also common to be found in late 4th millennia early 3rd in Portugal, or lots of Ivory, elephant Ivory, some of it alleged as of coming directly from Egypt already sculpted like replicas of Egyptian axes allowing them to make a connection between Egypt and the Land that is to be the birth of the Bell Beaker (read João Luís Cardoso papers).

The famous Perdigoes site where dozens and dozens of elephant ivory idols are found in burials each year. First people arriving in Perdigoes in 3300bc brought with them objects from North Africa and I truly think  brought as well the “African cattle Complex”. It means they would be coming from places like Takarkori rock shelter in the Acacus mountains where carbon isotopes were found in the milk fat (already lactose tolerant, they were?) and studies also shows that those animals had access a lot of different plants, meaning that they moved the cattle around a lot probably because environment was changing fast at those days of aeolian abrasion winds. It needs to be mentioned that the fatty lipids found in pottery were specific of the mid Pastoral period - So this lactose tolerant fresh milk drinking population had an added source of fluid, and the people who were able to tolerate lactose stayed better hydrated than those who didn’t have the genes for it.  As I suspect we will find in Perdigoes and many south Portugal chalcolithic the same fatty lipids once that analyses are performed.


One must always remember that in small numbers (or not that small) they were getting across the Atlas Mountains and could be getting across Gibraltar as small groups of herdsman with their Cattle, Dogs and Tarpan Horses all along the first half of the 4 millennium. And they brought aggressiveness with them. we are looking here to what is the time when, for instance, we start to find inhumations in Iberia Peninsula that were most likely killed by interpersonal violence as Ana Maria Silva so well show us (* 601) special with all those DCF (Depressed Cranial Fractures) that we already knew from Otzi that, arrows or not, was the preferred method of finishing enemies off. To keep beating on the drum, similar to the famous Narmer depiction of  how they used a mace to finishing them off.  And there were lots of cranial trauma being found on those centuries versus postcranial that are associated with occupational (walker 2001) injuries. 

On the other hand not a blunt force killing for that poor young man killed by an arrow that severed his spinal cord at Lapa do Bugio cave - Shot in the back, close range (*453).

Anyways the examples are many. And, amongst others, Jose Ignacio Vegas work show an innumerous episodes of violent deaths, most of them by arrows whose heads even got embedded in the victim’s bone. Especially young males.  And lots of parry fractures (raise arms in defense). The Middle of 4th millennia BC was a violent streak in Iberia (*664). Particularly for young males, that are very much over represented as inhumations. Iberia Neolithic Populations with their very rudimentary way of life, at those days of 3500BC , were not competition to the incoming wave of cattle herdsman, hunters, horseman and archers, and also and above all not for people masters of domestication either animal or plant.  Hence the high prevalence of agriculture concurrently with Cattle cult  and hunting that they brought with them.


On the other hand, one should try not to “normalize” too much as a game and just consider everything excessively homogeneous in Iberia for that period. I mean it is a sort of homogeneous picture the Iberia Peninsula in terms of population and way of living, but it had its local populations that must have had some sort of reaction to events, and that reaction must not have been the same everywhere. And I do accept that at the same time it could have been coincidently occurring events of arrival population form other parts of Europe.  Maybe in fact many fortifications settlements arising from the jump of the chalcolithic means that we were in the presence of arriving population as well over the Pyrenees mountains that in the face of different people incoming north African stocks would feel threaten and the need to build fortifications to fight for land and resources.

Chronology gives us an influx from the south. First settlements were in south Iberia. But it does not preclude, like the example of Coa valley in north Portugal late neolithic, that concurrently we were observing the arrival of other stock of people coming from northern shores of Mediterranean, or south European routes. Even if the Shulaverian Hypothesis clearly points to a north African route, I have in 2018 the strong believe that Shulaveri became Boian and Gulmenita.  What happened between 4500BC in Boian (Bulgaria) and 3500BC Iberia can in fact mean that I am wrong about the NA route, but right about south Balkans posterior flow that is what we could be seeing also arriving to Iberia at the same time as the massive influx of north African populations fleeing Sahara birth. It’s not inconceivable that it was north African pops in Perdigoes e Porto Torrão and new European stock north of Tagus in Zambujal and the broad VNSP culture that gave rise to the first Bell beakers.

Today It’s obvious after so many papers that have been published between 2016 and 2018 that I need to consider this route as feasible, even though I still stick to the original claims of a north African route.


Either way, many locals also could have no choice.  Fight (and were killed or somehow enslaved) and fleeing. But with so much available land because of scarce population it had to be full of places a population could run to, from the incoming impressive stock of people popping out trough Gibraltar.

 I think for instance there is a very telling site that really represents exactly this fleeing or newly arrival from Europe events - Reading Neolithic and chalcolithic not that farther north than the Xerez lowlands but still at a considerable distance (300 Km) one finds the Coa Valley (*533) where lots of people are seeing sort of cluster in waves at late Neolithic. I would imagine it combined with paleo Portuguese Neolithic Mtdna and Y DNA  with also Neolithic Farmers.  That is why you find there in the mountains surrounding Coa Valley still today the local blob of G2a that one commonly finds in mountain regions in Europe.


If this Coa stock was not exogenous for Iberia, then augmented population headcounts at these sites means most likely one thing: Run north from the incoming intimidating others and local populations had no option but to move northbound around the Serra da Estrela mountain range, keep running until you bump into the other huge Iberia River. The Douro River. There, where you can’t cross is the Coa Valley where humans between 3500 BC and 2000 BC cluster (again *533).  Works done in the last 50 years in the area clearly show this spur of population increase at times. Whatever words one uses to characterize the events that englobes and defines Chalcolithic Portugal it cannot be applied there, even later periods of bell beaker, social complexity and so forth. Is not there. Ever. They were left to be, serenely has they were, because the bell beakers moved southbound the Serra da Estrela Mountain range, being that the reason why Madrid is south of Cuenca Alta del Manzanares and actually are so genetically closed to Central area Portuguese. It’s the Bell Beaker route and I imagine they didn´t detour much from it.  Coa Valley will most likely be still a cornerstone in understanding the population transitions in Iberia Chalcolithic, precisely because they, the people which lived there for a millennium where actually not that chalcolithic anyway.


In the south not that earlier, whatever the population was, but definitely proto-bell beaker, also bumped into a river although not the same one. That was the Tagus River. To Cross it they followed the Sado river until bumping in the estuary of Tagus. There is for sure not the place to cross it, large and deep waters, so population needs to move along the river and cross a bit up north stream near the Muge region.  Coincidently that was the territory of the very ancient and primitive Muge People that so much ink brought in works and papers of the first half of the XX century, which I will address next, people that actually didn’t had nowhere to run so they disappeared at around that time.

There is a lot of doubts over the carbon dating for that period. But if 4000 BC saw the Sado and Muge Shell middens sites being overtaken it would not be improbable if it were, at least in part, my Merimdian first scouts arriving to Iberia and roaming the land prior to the influx of north Africa. It’s a stretch but it depends on better reassessment of carbon dating that has to be done and even later findings since the subject and sites are to be readdressed in works by Portuguese archaeology currently. And again, while writing something one tends to carve the lines when those lines tend to be very blurred. What I mean is that by 3.800BC there could be a mix of Shulaveri/Merimde (R1b) and Berbers (E1b1b) in south Iberia as the flow of people across Gibraltar was a reality at those dates.


Actually I think the Muge people (Homo Taganus) were absorbed by the incoming more evolved population coming through as seem by chalcolithic poor people around Zambujal (carenque) findings not many centuries later. Homo Taganus was found to be for at least 4 thousand years in the region and then were gone. Fading away, true, but not before giving that increase jaw prognothism to the bell beakers or at least adding to it on top of the mix with berbers and some L3 women in Egypt.  See if that is a trademark that is sometime noted about the Bell beaker population, then let’s be assured that it wouldn’t be a mystery where they could have picked up that characteristic.   Anyway Lapa do Bugio guy with the deep arrow in the back is just not that far way (Sessimbra).   It’s a long stretch I know… But only if one discounts that there is always, and still lingering, mystery of the brachycephalic crania in their midst, yes in the middle of the so primitive Muge skelletons, that still stumps Portuguese archeology. It’s a maybe and clearly an open issue to track.


Whatever or however happened, chalcolithic in Iberia was a chiasm with the past, was a novelty, and was so noticeable, as in very few other places seen prior to it, because they came into Iberia hot. Fuming.  And by hot I mean those people were the representation in this side of the Gibraltar of the populations of the North African late pastoral phase in middle Sahara when paintings depicting fights and arrow battles, which actually even in there were a strange and new phenomenon. In Egypt King scorpion and king Narmer (if they were not the same) were crushing skulls and proud of it.


But whatever North African incoming folks encounter in Iberia was no match for them. How could it be. That is why, after that, by last quartile of the 4th millennium clear signs of interpersonal violence seen in cave burials just fades way and seems to stop. You don’t really kill your own. At least until you look at them as such.

All those fortified settlements that mark the new south Iberia (From 3400 BC) were not meant to protect them from the primitive living inland or  each other (at least not the ones already living in Portugal)… it was from the incoming ones, so I suppose the stock coming was actually somewhat differentiated in the packs or packages. 


On the other hand, one always suggests the simplicity of crossing Gibraltar strait into Europe, however one thing is for sure,  the lacking of R1b and the isolation of several subclades of mtdna H1 (H1v, H1x  younger than 4,000 years)) in northern Africa means that it was not so “normal” to cross between continent. Especially not back to Africa, because North Africa was becoming the hell scorched Sahara world and the plains of southern Portugal and the land of the middle mountains in south Iberia, must have looked like Paradise. But actually the only lowlands in all Iberia from the Atlantic up until the Pyrenees is the Lowlands of Alentejo and is way we will focus in there. Look at a hypsometric map of Iberia and it’s all too obvious.

It also means that the increase in population in Iberia from the last quartile of de 4 millennia BC meant it was made of a huge exogenous migration of people that where already out of the comfort zone since the 5.9 kiloyear (3.900 year BCE) or the birth of the Sahara Desert. A mere 4 to 5 centuries later things were so bad that populations either flocked around the Nile to become the Egyptian civilization or cross the Gibraltar strait to a vast continent that seemed to wait them. Priceless to see Mp4 video from Katie Manning work (*800).


Meanwhile in Iberia as far as I know, Neolithic Portugal was a whole could have become lot more diverse than what we have been giving credit for. There is a chance that the several I2a1 found in late Neolithic Portugal was a population entering Iberia. I2a1 is seen from the Balkans until the UK and Iberia over time, at least to the samples we today have.  Farmer came earlier to a local substratum and I2a1 hunter gatherers or whatever still also could be an influx into Iberia and maybe the explanation for the megalithic monuments for which mesolithic Portugal is known. Never forget that one of the first inhumation yielding Dna in Perdigoes was a Mtdna U4. Events with several population moving to the same geographic locations is a recipe for conflict, hence the fortifications.


Furthermore, if once I thought that the high prevalence of Male Y DNA lineages E1b1b in Alentejo were from Arabic invasions or earlier Phoenicians, now I am not so sure if those arriving were in its majority were in fact the R1b Shulaveri-Shomu, but also some equal proportion of E1b1 (mutation M-81) in the mix.  I always find it funny to see in genetic maps (*459) that little stain of this Haplogroup, alongside with R1b, exactly where the Siwa Oasis is. Looks like their destiny was really connected. We already addressed the female component that must have been part of the inbreeding by women being picked along the way an added to the stock of Shulaveri and Berber that later landed in Iberia. Just take a look of L3 that is nonexistent in Europe outside Iberia. So, notably, the existence in Portugal of Mtdna L3 (*678) which is not at all sub-Saharan as other L mtdna that might have come from the slave trade is really a tale of these women when meeting the R1b. The same L3 (L3f3) that is only found with Chadic R1b-V88 nowadays and we know that they were a stock that picked women while in Egypt (see Suppl - Resting in Egypt).  Look at the run of it : L3f (Northeast Africa, Sahel, Arabian peninsula, Iberia, Gaalien, Beja) , L3f1b6 (Asturias, Spain)  L3f3 – (Chad Basin). How did it go from being confined so far east, in the southern part of Egypt and even southern Africa horn regions, also so interconnected to R1b-v88 in Sahel, but also jump to Iberia peninsula if not by being added into a stock of men that travelled but did not root long in the land between?


Centuries of North African exodus and local genetic stratum made the Oestrimni people. And the Oestrimni admix to make the Bell beaker. And the bell beaker admix to make… History throughout Europe.  The Iberia peninsula although the birth of the R1b propagation it always stood as a beacon of that initial migration from North Africa to Europe. So much more heterogeneous genetically. And serology and DNA sequence (*477) shows the relatedness of Portuguese, Spaniards and proto-Berber (paleo-North Africans Berbers or Tamazight). The Portuguese still have genes only they possess (HLA-A25-B18-DR15 and A26-B38-DR13), the Oestrimni mark (?) and Portuguese and Basques do not have A33-B14-DR1 (indicating lower Mediterranean admixture).  That is the mtdna H1 that they picked up in the works. Measure this HLA with mtdna and I bet you have a good chance of getting correlation.


If we consider them all the Oestrimni what did they looked like? There are a lot of papers describing morphology of the western Iberia Extremadura since the late 19th century: 

Let me give you an overall view of what this people looked like, following the excellent work of Thomas Budner and M D Garralda, especially the ones inhabiting what was the cradle of the Beaker folks. In Carenque, right beside the Zambujal Castro, but also true for overall region of Zambujal and VNSP area (Extremadura) and one might assume for all Oestrimini substratum. There were 4 type of People, much alike the ones found in North Africa in this period but not only. Gracile Mediterranean (much like the Tenereans people were) Robust Mediterranean, the Highly Dolichocephalous (Homo Afer Taganus - local very ancient people) and Brachycephalic (not like North Africa and more like the Shulaveri or if you prefer the stock like those in Merimde and even El-Omari).  And, going back to a previous point,  for instance in Muge (Portugal) it has been creating confusion for over a century that quite a few brachycephalic inhumations were found in the territory of the whole lot more primitive, Homo Afer Taganus.  They were a very, very old type and very much Paleolithic genotype that occupied the Tagus estuary known by some as the Muge race (not really like any other so far found in Europe) and, importantly (most of all to me), lived between the Tagus river and the Sorraia river (here goes this name again) . Well two things link them. The higher than expected Jaw prognathism. The other of my own doing: a lot of Brachi in the exact same place were the Sorraia Horses (which are Shulaveri Tarpans mixed with lusitano horses-see in later chapter about it) were found wandering thousands of years later. One wonders.  Trust me- All this Muge people, Brachycephalic inhumations and strange lithic material (those arrows…), all things out of context, need to be addressed again someday, since most field works and analysis come from the thirties last century (*111). Really this alone would be a sub-suppl on its own (*667).


Consequently, these were the groups coming out trough Gibraltar and mixing locally. Men were 1,60m tall and women 1,50m tall (average). Guys south the Tagus River (again the Sorraia & Brachiocephalic region) seemed to be a bit taller going roughly 170m for male and 160 for female.  Actually the exact height given by Hoffman to Merimde people (5,6ft and 5.2ft).

Only 50% of them reach 30 years old and 20% of them got to be old age. But it surely must have beat the life expectancy and harshness of the one left behind.

About 8% were Hiper- dolichocephalic, 34% Dolichocephalic, 46% mesencephalic, 8% Brachycephalic and 4% ultra- Brachycephalic (*333). So majority were Mesencephalic but found in environments that if Brachycephalic Shulaveri were an elite and higher hierarchical layer that led to Bell beaker folks, mostly because of the influences they had from the brewing of the emerging cultural evolutions of the Levant and now Caucasus, they essentially would not really be found at (since they would tend to be on larger settlements). But the key point is there were a lot of brachycephalic people, at least 15%, much more than, for instance, is found today in Iberia in an average of 5% . And MD Garralda has found a lot more Brachycephalic in Iberia Chalcolithic in other localities and sites than the ones I have mentioned. So the existence of such a large number of these type is actually the contrast we can establish between the current outlook of North Africa which was disappearing and the fresh and newbies arriving to Iberia and the follow up mixture and admixture combinations.


Lots of different people, or tribes, were arriving for centuries to come after 3.500 BC. Especially when provoked by some extraordinary event that changes a place landscape in terms of population as It was happening in North Africa. What I mean is that if current North Africa Berber and Tuareg , as proto populations of the Sahara region are any indication for the heterogeneity of the populations migrating in an exodus into Europe , so there were a whole lot of different tribes, Shulaveri-Shomu stock of several Caucasus region but also local genetic substratum crossing the Gibraltar in roughly same period . Not all did at the same time (obviously) or with the same exact mix of men, women (mtdna), dogs, horses or cattle. I suspect we will see differences in migrating paths for different parts of the Iberia peninsula and the substitution of the local genetic substratum occurred in different timeframes and at different rates so not at all in the same time. And if it meant some auto-identity in-group psychology involved in some of those packs, so by then different tribes also meant tension between groups and ultimately led to the emerging of the warrior occupancy and that led to the hierarchical bell beaker warrior.   We will see next how that operated. So an important note is that one should not interpret the empiric revolution of the 3rd millennium BC as exactly the same event everywhere. So already in Europe and leaving all that behind, we will focus next is in a specific area that one can built full similarity with the Kura River in southern Caucasus for the Shulaveri in the Caucasus at several levels. The left bank of the Guadiana River in the Xerez lowlands of Alentejo, Portugal.


Enough with this.  Papers published regarding chalcolithic Portugal are so vast that only the papers I downloaded will take well into summer vacation to lay down at the beach and read it.  Amazing work. They are some many and from so many great anthropologists that one feels overwhelmed.

However the story they tell you is consistent, recurrent, very well described.  And if I have to pick one to start with, I would any day of the week pick Simon Davis and Rui Mataloto’s paper (*460)

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Chapter IV - The Oestrimni Civilization

por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16

 Chapter IV


 The Oestrimnis Civilization



Where could they have come? - Very rapidly the numbers became staggering.  Just in a small area were they settled first, in lowlands Iberia, south of Tagus (remember Zambujal Bell beaker is north of Tagus) left to the Guadiana river they must have rapidly amount to tens and tens of thousands living together. If the all area, as we will see next, had cities and villages with urban areas of 500ha like Porto Torrao (SInga), just in this surroundings it must have lived well over 20,000 people. I mean more people them today live in the current place there which is the big village of Ferreira do Alentejo. And just not longer than a decade or so ago nobody knew that it was ever been there.  Just imagine by 3000 BCE the life that was established in this overall area of Singa, Perdigoes, Outeiro do circo…. How many people actually must have been living there? How different was it from Sumer, or the pharaonic Egyptians?  - No wonder so many people thinks that what Plato called Atlantis was actually in there (at least one of the realms, others were all over Iberia). Naturally Plato was overblowing a story we overheard is father tell friends while he was a child, regarding a story his own father had heard from Egyptian Priests…


And this had a name. Sure, name given by the Greeks but still. It was called latter on the Oestrimni (north) and the Coinos (south) people.   Actually, if something, there is no VNSP civilization. There is the Oestrimmis civilization and that meant all the south and north of western Tagus River but being the people that lived in the farther western Part of the European continent. Bell beaker was a cultural phenomenon that arisen in the Oestrimni context and Oestrimni should be considered the first coalescent territory in Europe of the Arbins (R1bs) coming out of the Shulaveri-Shomu culture. And again the Greeks told us that they were part of the Iberia of the west and they thought, go figure, it was the same people of the Iberia from the East (in current Georgia, middle of the Caucasus). They thought so, rightfully, because the Oestrimni told them, and everyone who asked, their story - didn´t they?


SAO PEDRO and PARAISO (the front line)

As per referred paper from Rui Mataloto.

Those were the first arriving. Now I know where they arrive from. Followed the Guadiana river upstream until boxed between the river and the Mountains one must take a decision: Follow the river (going eastward and back) or cross the river, turning left and enter what is now Portugal. This is the entrance into the lowlands.  And there they stood, in a narrow passage of something between 10 and 20 km, controlling it for a thousand years.

Phases at Sao Pedro, followed quickly. In a small hill controlling the plain, first the settlement, was built of perishable material, so, not meant to endure. Only the rock defense wall was swiftly built. But upcoming phases followed fast, building the traditional Shulaveri Polygonal plan of circular structures with curve or bent walls connecting (…you know the description by now) and always with less than 100 people. Obviously an outpost.   Fauna show that they arrive with Horses, Cattle and dogs (that is what I like and there is plenty in this paper). Then they hunt and killed like crazy. Taxa shows the staggering amount of game these people there hunt. Especially red deer and Auroques.

Not enough to control the area. Not long after another walled settlement up north, Paraiso (paradise),  lock the entrance on the other side of the entrance, near the next barrier up north (*461) a mountain that blocks passage. So, Sao Pedro by the river and Paraiso fortress locking the entrance further inland and north. Paraiso seems to have taken the biggest visibility (either violent or just peacocking) as reported by Rui Molototo the staggering number of small settlements that popped and disappeared. Something also reported in other sites eastern of the fortified settlements. No wonder there were so many horses there. We now that the horses there and in Sao Pedro were not meat but used for Shot horsing… so, soldering. Didn’t farm, did seem interested in pastoral activities.

What were they keeping this passage to and from who?  - Because they let some people pass. For sure. Because just south and farther west, following the plain, there was a city developing that I will address later. Was the Porto Torrão (just the name of the area) were the first gigantic city of the west has being built, the huge city of SINGA


But let’s not go there just yet because, for our purposes is important to talk about the other place where they locked the other river passage…


The Triangle of Light (Porto das Carretas, Mercador, Moinho de Valadares)


See, while Paraiso and S. Pedro controlled the entrance to the plain, further south there is place where river passage is (and was) easy. So right on Top of it in a hill it was built a fortified settlement. Built with walls from the start. This was undoubtable built as a fortress like the other two. Porto Carretas is all about horses, hunting, arrows and blades.  The reason I like so much this triangle of light, is because, like the sites we saw at the Caucasus (Shulaveri gora, khrimis gora e irimis gora) also this 3 sites seem to have a total dependency and hierarchical function. Porto Carretas was the fortress, farther back was Mercador as a cattle raising and butchery and further back agriculture from Moinho Valadares.  …Papers…


What marks all this places is the amount of horses. You don’t record this amount of horses even in Zambujal or Singa or anywhere else for a long time. I like the mercador because it marks the first place I read about the Baffling horse problem - See, if there is something unresolved in 40 years of anthropology in Portugal, and is common to most if not all the papers I am here mentioning… Is the Horse. This horses here, are not like the Pleistocene horses that existed and not like the Bronze and iron age horses… So, they all, all, go on a spin trying to figure out what those were. Not Ass, not hydbrinds… but horse although smaller (Tarpan!).  Yes, the R1b, shulaveri arrived with Tarpan Horses. Not the best horses in the world when compared to the beautiful big and docile Lusitano horse breed, with which the bell beakers conquer Europe. The Tarpan were left wild and became the Sorraia wild  horses… Sorraia river is just 50 km up north from here. Brutal. – There will be a full chapter about Horses, another about dogs and then grapes with loads of papers. Let’s not ruin the events here.


San Blas and La PIJOTILLA (the others?)


What where they protecting against?  To assert that those outpost where protecting against San Blas and La Pijotilla feels weird (these two are in Spain and the others in Portugal).  However, there is a river and we know how the story of man are divided by rivers. 

AC Valera and Odriozola have already establish the following (*463 or *464):


“In this work we study by physico-chemical methods (INAA, XRF, XRD and TL) the production technology and the consumption of 200 sherds of Bell Beaker and decorated vessels from 4 of the largest settlements throughout all Iberia and that are found alongside the Guadiana River forming part of different networks (La Pijotilla, San Blas, Porto Torrao, Perdigões) as well as medium size sites (Monte do Tosco, Molino Perdido), in order to stablish cosumption and distribution patterns within the pottery production of these sites.


So PCA or Ward Analisys on pottery and sherds clearly separates this networks. We don’t really know much about their interaction but these 4 dominated the early stages of the III millennium Iberia.  La Pijotilla (80 ha), San Blas (50ha), perdigões (50ha) and Porto Torrao ( Singa like I prefer to call it -100ha)

And no doubt, as seen earlier, there are 3 major military  outpost marking the passage

San Blas are the ones that couldn’t turn left up stream because of S. Pedro and Paraiso, couldn’t turn right because of La pojitilla, couldn’t cross the river earlier because of Porto carretas and Mercador… so they just stood.  From Porto carretas fort one can see San Blas, and San Blas is also fortified as it is la Pijotilla.  But from those 3 fortified settlements on the left bank river with a lot of horses and archers to the west, the huge settlements (Singa and Perdigoes ) are not fortified.

Anyway, Tina Thurston and Roderick Salisbury (*466) establish very convincly that there was a territory on the left bank and another on the east bank of Guadiana with different characteristics and identity of the producer and consumer of pottery.





SINGA and Perdigoes (no need for defense walls)


To understand all this movement of people, and I can’t stress this enough, one should look at a hypsometric map (mountains, lowlands, etc.) of the Iberia Peninsula. It’s really obvious why things were as they were. And also why one should therefore be very careful with any characterization of the Iberian Peninsula as a monolithic thing.

Crossing Gibraltar its really intuitive just stop at the vast lowland and that is why the chalcolithic “city” of  Valencina de la Concepción is in there when you look ahead and there is a mountain range in front of you. Also turning eastward populations just followed the plains and then farther ahead bump into high elevation again stop, and the “Marroquíes Bajos “ stood there where Jaen is today. Turning south, there is a narrow mountains passage and you end up in Los Millares back in the Mediterranean Sea.  Great place to be defended. From land they can only came from one place. Those guys must have had a lot on their hands between then looking by how keen they were of defense walls. Or not. Those walls were just meant to push away the incoming populations that were being pump out of North Africa by the Desertification and arising of the new Sahara Desert.  Those were probably really pump up (pun intended), stressed and not at all in a chatting mood.  I imagine that this 3 have a story of their own.


Anyway, cross Gibraltar and turn west, bump into Guadiana river (actually real name is Odiana) and if that one is as big as it seem to have been so couldn’t easily be crossed there (Algarve region had no Chalcolithic at all) and you have no choice but to move north following it. Apparently easier to cross up north, you do just that and one enters the widest, biggest plain and lowland of all Iberia Peninsula. That thing covers half of Portugal (south).  Right in the middle probably the biggest “city” of the chalcolithic Iberia which is what archeologist call Porto Torrao but actually one should do the honor of call it what the locals (some at least) call it themselves and want to change the name of the current village to – SINGA (Singa radio, singa pharmacy, sing ball, Singa, singa).

That thing was huge, not at all smaller than the cities that were being built in Mesopotamian, such as Uruk or Ur (people never seem to agree on how big it were).  100ha would see around 10 to 15 thousand people living there. Half way between SInga/Porto Torrao and the fortified warrior settlement of Porto Carretas lay Perdigoes (30ha) that so much international attention is having the past decade.

And these site are all about also Ditches and enclosures. I imagine common in several neolithic (calcolithic) places (I don’t know) but I always remember that several papers about the shulaveri-Shomu and related to their big places, the ones that also seemed to beacon the rest of the settlements, Like Aruchlo or Kamiltepe or Mentesh Tepe also mention the ditches that merge into channels (enclosures actually) and thought to be irrigation channels.



Perdigoes its just a puzzle.   It was essentially a spiritual place that attracted people from all over. Thousands of Pits, large trenches 3.5 meters deep and tens of meters wide. It must have taken a astounding effort to accomplish. And the way they did it, frenetically digging old ones and filling…. Just weird.  It looked like a place people went through on their way to other places. Lots of Ivory and dental morphology showing that a lot of people had come from North Africa (*776). PCA analysis puts those in an axis of increase and decrease proximity with North Africa and less but still valid proximity with later pre-historic Italian peninsula populations known (notorious lacking any similarities with Oriental Mediterranean and North Europe) . 

So when (and if) we start getting Y polymorphism from the inhumations and it comes out with a lot of E1b1 it should really be no surprise. However remember that Perdigoes is riddled with decorated horse phalanges as figurines matching and at exact the same period other R1bs where doing in the eastern part of the Volga, the Botai Tersek (for which they were known for).  And remember this earlier than the ones that is reported in literature for bell beakers. So there should have been at least as much of this genetic Haplogroup as R1b.  But R1b would be an Elite that had bred rights over most of the female population and at the end it showed. Two Portuguese regions have lots of E1b1 (M81) precisely Alentejo and Santarem which is the “route” in which the bell beaker used on their way north. Europe is under sampled so I figure there will be a lot more Chalcolithic E1b1 in Portugal, Spain, south of France and north Italy than exists today…

On a note, it should not be a surprise  that two top northern Spain regions, side by side, one shows the highest value for R1b in Europe (Basque) and the next door the highest for E1b1 (Cantabria) in the Pasiegos area.  It’s a story on its own. Being mutation M-81 just 6000 years old it’s from this time that they ended up there. Clearly different people with different phenotypes.



All in all live was good in the plains. Perdigoes, that had people coming from all over, clearly shows a puzzling lack of Dental Enamel Hypoplasias that chalcolithic Inhumation display and which were so more common in earlier populations and very common in Bronze, iron ages or even much later times. It meant that food was good, no severe diseases, nothing that shocked the body into making those line marks in the teeth. Actually a trademark also in the Shulaveri, that led Lyonnet to write “No trauma or specific pathologies, especially no strongly  marked hypoplasy of the teeth enamel Lyonnet 2015”.  There were on the other end a lot more cases surging of skeleton stress effects due to hard labor carrying weights.  Doubt it were from the “elite”.  But also more dental caries and notably one finds Signs of trepanation abound in Chalcolithic Portugal. As we known were practice in the neolithic Caucasus where some of the oldest signs of this skull chirurgical operation was actually found. And not just in Perdigões. Same is true up north in Zambujal. While oldest trepanation is mentioned as in France 6,500 BC, the second one is actually from the land of the Shulaveri 4000-5000 BC, and with signs of surviving as it happens in Chalcolithic Portugal (French cases are strange. Forty crania in one site of a total 120… what was that? Mass surgery going wrong?).


The region must have been, if those population had any aesthetic feelings been a site to be looked at. The Alamo Lowlands, the Xerez Valley, was covered at that time with the semi- Deciduous Oaks forests, and what a sight if must have been at that time when the oaks turn golden (from autumn to spring) and the region was a sea of golden and reddish hues. Anyone who at present days have had the chance of looking into an area with Semi Deciduous Oaks understands what it means.


3 to 5 centuries later the Castros of Zambujal and Vila nova de Sao Pedro (VNSP) were being erected on the other side of the river. The big one, the one that owns the Iberia Peninsula the Tagus River.

This was the Oestrimni civilization. What kind of name is that VNSP (?).  were the people that had to flee their homeland in the plains of the Caucasus because of an attack of the serpents (Ubaid). They were the descendants of the Shulaveri-Shomu.  Although later the Greeks and Romans only called Oestrimni north of Tagus (because of Lisbon) and the southern part were called the Coinos, truth is they all were the Oestrimni (people of the far west") in Latin. 


Tagus is the river the bell Beaker folks, the Arbins , bearers of genetic haplogroup R1b (already mutated with P312, L11, L21 and DF27 ) started to move north to became the genetic patrilineage that mark the existence of the western Europe, from the British islands, Northern Europe even reaching the Baltic or the Slavic Hungry where they meet to southbound cousins from the other side of that river, either the Volga or de Dnieper. The Arbins met the Aryans. The bell beaker met the Corded ware. Or as I truly rather see it, the Oestrimni Archers culture (OAC culture)  met the Battle Axe Culture. We should know that by now, shouldn’t we? They, both, built the first iron wall didn’t they?


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publicado às 17:10


por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16




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publicado às 17:00

Suppl 1 - They, who Fled the serpents

por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16


Suppl I

The serpents are comming

They who populate our nightmares


They were all wrong. All.

However it’s remarkable how it was all explain by themselves to Periplus, for instance, when he was in what is now Lisbon. And Periplus wrote it. And later Avienius wrote in “Ora Maritima” citing him.


Usually is put like this:

“…the fourth century CE Roman poet on geographical subjects, Rufus Avienus Festus, in Ora Maritima ("Seacoasts"), a poem inspired by a much earlier Greek mariners' periplus, records that Oestriminis was peopled by the Oestrimni, a people who had lived there for a long time, who had to run away from their native lands after an invasion of serpents. His fanciful account has no archeological or historical application, but the poetical name has sometimes been ambitiously applied to popularized accounts of the Paleolithic inhabitants of Atlantic Iberia “


If you are a Portuguese History fan, history is the roman period starting 200 BC and whatever happened after.  So in the fog of “don’t know don’t care” usually there is the reference of the Lusitanians by which the Portuguese themselves self-identity in reference to the mountain people up north that fought the Romans longest. The Romans said that there… lay a people that do not govern themselves nor let others govern them.   


So references earlier than the roman period in the peninsula is usually to a very diffuse Cynetes that had developed a written language leaving stelae mainly found in the south of Portugal… and if one tries go further back in time, pre end of first millennia BC, and there is almost a Blank slate, as if there was no social or territorial structure and there is a very faint mention to the Oestrimni and Coinos. Try to google it see how little there is about them. Yet I think that they were the ones that really were the bell beaker origin and the true referential point to the R1b that came from the Caucasus.


And books about ancient greek mariners state things such as these:


Before 530 BC the Greeks had made an exploratory voyage from their colony in the south of present day France. It was known as Massilia in those days, and is now still the thriving port of Marseilles. The expedition visited Tartessos, with which town they had exchanged trade since about 630 BC. There are fragments of an ancient manuscript known as the Massiliote Periplus which were quoted in a poem by Festus Avienus in the 4th century AD. It tells that the Tartessians went far north for their trade, perhaps as far as modern Brittany, and to two large islands even further north, known as Ierne (Ireland) and Albion (Britain).


That is what we now call the bell beakers and it propagation of R1b throughout Europe, isn’t it?


And the romans citing the greek great mariner Periplus stating related that this area.

“ Oestriminis (Extreme West in Latin) was peopled by the Oestrimni, a people who had been living there for a long time; they had to flee their homeland after an invasion of serpents."


What homeland are they referring?

Could it mean the Caucasus that lead to their exodus? Why not? …. On a personal note, after writing the previous paragraph, it took me 10 minutes, not longer, to find out that the  Ubaidians (that preceded the Uruks and Sumerians (Mesopotamia)), clearly involved in Shulaveri disappearance,  are actually known as the serpent people (!) remember in chapter I  I wrote because down south it was brewing the Ubaid period and they were moving north making the SSC old stuff


They even modified their skull from childhood to look more like snakes and portrait themselves with large almond-shape eyes like snakes (suppl X chapter…) :


“They come from a pre-Sumerian people—the Ubaidians. These hand-sized statuettes usually depict lizard- or snakelike people in various informal poses, such as holding and suckling a baby. Others are portrayed wearing shoulder padding or armor and holding staffs or scepters. It is the elongated heads and almond-shaped eyes that lend the figurines their reptilian appearance, leading many to believe that they depict serpent-related gods..”  Have fun (



And, why not, remember that at the slowness of prehistoric times stories and legends endure. 

All chapters of books about the Ubaid period, have titles such as “snake in the grass”, ophidian figurines, etc.  Google yourself Ubaid and see the pics and one immediately understands. Google Ubaid Crania and you will see the serpents that invaded the Shulaveri and made them flee.

 That is why the greeks, after trading for a century with the people in what is today Portugal described what is nowadays the city of Lisbon…


 “Ophiussa, also spelled Ophiusa, is the ancient name given by the ancient Greeks to what is now Portuguese territory near the mouth of the river Tagus. It means Land of Serpents.”


And I guess the Greeks learned more than that didn’t they?  it was so obvious, for instance for the Greeks called the southern part of the Caucasus… Iberia.  Not a coincidence, off course. It makes no sense. Therefore the Greeks knew that the people that lived in the Oestrimnis where the same people that lived in the Caucasus. Except that when they figure that much, actually the people that were living in Caucasus were of a completely different stock.


What really happened was the following.

The Caucasus and middle East had several Haplogroup and several stock of different people.  To make it simple, the Shulaveri-Shomu people were people that had spilled from the northern Caucasus do this side of the mountains.  Or maybe just around the Caspian sea and settled there when bumping again into the mountain. I don’t really know. However just on the other side of the mountains there were plenty of R1b as it, I think so, on this side of perpetual iced Caucasus Mountains.  But It means that everybody that lived north of lake Van (might eventual have been R1b and those are the ones I call the Shulaveri, although Shulaveri itself Is the only the northern part, next to the Kura river, and the ones with the traits we have been referring in this thesis more deeply clear. But many of the people living south of could also have been R1b more notably really near Araxes river in Kultepe-Nakhichevan or Aratashen and today are already considered as Shulaveri in opposition to sites near the heart of Shulaveri shomu that show different traits such as the Kmlo-2 culture. We will see in the future if ancient DNA is extracted. So lots of pre-bell beaker type of castros, not fully walled (most just half walled) and overall as we have seen a very sort of self-centered, sturdy, rough and seemed actually very psychological robust. Not friendly that is certain. That impregnated individualism in the architecture but very collaborative inter-site with specializations, great hunters, obsessed with long prismatic blades and the master of archery. Overall they were the masters of domestication. Either plant or animal. They master it. Apart from that… not at all a complex, elaborated, confabulated or creative force. 

If you look at a map it’s just a 200 km radius of movement where they were allowed to live free and roaming with their cattle and dogs on the back of their Tarpan horses. Not even getting as far south as Lake Van.

By 6000BC Shulaveri were already formed as a full package of plants and animals domestication. By 5500BC it was their apogee of sorts and by 5000BC they were pretty much gone.

Now, bellow Van Lake to the left there were the Halaf Culture that span from North part of what is today Syria, east Turkey until Taurus mountains and part of north Iraq.  Next to it and a bit to the right we had the Hassuna-Samarra culture.

And south of this all, into the southern part Iraq by 5500 BC started the Ubaid period. And they were evolved, complex, strange awkward,  delusion and  all the adjectives one can muster to describe a people that saw themselves as serpents, that did extreme crania deformation since infancy to deform the crania and make it look like serpents. They did had something elaborate and fermenting something that clearly went beyond what was the existence of people until then. I mean, this the people that led to the great civilizations of Mesopotamia, to Ur city, Sumer and the Sumerians that invented writing. So real evolved. And a whole new ball game in the planet.

Deformation of crania was not a localized phenomenon. It was seen very fast at Samarra people and it lingered for ages in the region, so much that even in places like Ganj Darra in Iran,  into the 9th-8th millennia BCE, so millennia later, lots of inhumation where found that represented a large part of the whole, and that actually had crania deformations.

Ubaid was a spread of something that could bedazzles lots of people and so not a stretch to see peoples around to subdue or embrace to. However apparently not the tall, sturdy guys a bit north than that.

And it was violent.


There is a note from Emmanuel Baudouin in “Mentesh Tepe, an early settlement of the Shomu-Shulaveri Culture in Azerbaijan


This description of the architectural elements would not be complete without the mention of a thick grey e blue layer(~10 e 20 cm) of ash with very small inclusions of charcoals that has been identified over a large part of the Neolithic level of the settlement. In some of the buildings, it clearly separates the two phases of occupation (Neolithic from Chalcolithic).


And by chalcolithic it was the Sioni Period, not at all resembling the Shulaveri. There was new and changed everything from architecture do social legacies.


It was a storm of serpents.  These Ophidian people, could (and I think it were) the Samarran just a bit south. Samarran is dated 5500 BC to 4800 BC so just at the right time to be the culprits. They were the serpents that did the dirty work. They were the ones that prior to URUK showed snake figurines. And that is why it is found Samarran painted pottery in those later layers of Shulaveri-Shomu as out of place or outliers pieces of sherds and pottery.

To the legends of the roaming Shulaveri, they were expelled from home by the serpents that were actually after the sources of Obsidian or even copper layers.



Uruk, the follow up of Ubaid, in Chalcolithic were found even behind the Caucasus Mountains into the north Caucasia.  And as the Sioni culture appeared in the previous Shulaveri, on their way to be Kura-Araxes culture the Shulaveri were no more. The really surge in the very beginning of the 6th millennia and were gone by the end of the 6th millennia. Then found heavily on the Merimde sites at the Nile Delta where by the end of the 5th millennia they were also gone leaving behind a legend that still persists in Egypt that the peoples of Europe were actually people the fled from Karnac and Luxor (weird legend anyways). 4th millennia saw the birth of Sahara and the events that followed really sent then to Southern Europe in Iberia by the last centuries of it in huge numbers mixed with other fleeing people although they should have been in Iberia in not large number since not long, couple of century, after leaving Nile Delta by 4000BC.   3rd millennia saw them conquer Europe as the Bell Beakers, 2nd millennia as the warriors of the Iron age fighting trough out Europe, then 1st millenia as Etruscans, and later Romans and the rest is history.

Anyways the more they moved away from the center of their coalescence point, Portugal, the more they became genetic diverse by interbreeding with women of other autosomal DNA and ended up making western Europe.


But for a long time they didn’t forgot the snakes that did them wrong.  So they told everyone about it.





Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 16:40

Suppl 2 - In Egypt, Trying to find some Peace

por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16


Suppl II

  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.

From Paper:


“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.) (182528).”


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).


Even vaguer…

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.[8]

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."[8]

                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 (  or 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.





*122 -

*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



Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 15:24

Suppl 3 - Exodus to Iberia

por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16

Suppl III

Exodus to Iberia

Plight of the P297 mutating to M269?




The stepping stone to reach Iberia Peninsula didn’t seem to have made any lasting mark in what is today Morocco but one might infer that it jumped from places in the mid north Africa. If one talks about exodus, one piece of the puzzle needs to be cleared from the offset. Take a couple minutes to see the Mp4 animation from one of the most important paper I manage to find:


Our analysis reveals a major demographic event with a significant departure from the null model (P < 0.0001) coinciding with the AHP, between 11,000 and 5500 years BP ( Fig. 2). The first statistically significant period occurs around 10,250 years BP, albeit only for a brief time, followed by a second peak in population around 9500 years BP, and a more sustained growth trend until 7500 years BP. Between 7600 and 6700 years BP, the Sahara appears to have undergone a substantial population decline, which is consistent with records of occupational hiatus in the Tenere (Sereno et al., 2008). This is followed by a rapid recovery between 6700 and 6300 BP (with the help of the Arrival of Shulaveri fleeing the Ubaid)  at which point population levels reach their relative optimum. Despite smaller scale fluctuations until 5500 years BP, this resurgence of Holocene populations appears to be only temporary, and is quickly followed by a major, and irreversed population collapse occurring between 6300 and 5200 years BP (Shulaveri R1b moving to Iberia after fleeing the URUK). Subsequent to this collapse, populations levels revert to a more gradual and permanent decrease albeit with a short reprieve between 3800 and 3500 years BP


The demographic response to Holocene climate change in the Sahara by Katie Manning


Note: bold insertions are mine. By the end of this paper at Science direct there is purely delicious Mp4 animation of how it all went down that is priceless o really grasp the scope of events. - (



Therefore events in this supplement should focus on the time frame of the years between  6000 years ago and something like 5300 year ago (4000 to 3300 BC). Or almost the whole 4th millennia. Actually animation in the paper mentioned above shows the brutal declined from 3.500 BC to 3000 BC. 5 centuries were enough to completely change the face of North Africa. Things south/central Sahara were a bit slower due to big water reservoirs, but north was short and brutal. - At this point we’re talking specifically about the ones that were the last ones to be pushed. Those that only had genetic Polymorphism P297, not completely ruling out already M269 mutation. Time will tell.


Let’s recap. At the end of 6th millennia it was time to flee (around 4,900 BCE). Driven by the final push from Hussana-Samarra into the Caucasus, the R1b Shulaveri had to be take flight following the steps of their people that had started the run way before with the Halaf-Ubaid transition about 500 years earlier, and probable has seen the southern part of the Shulaveri grounds (notably Aknaahrar and ???) been overtaken and its people forced to move as nomads.  It’s always sound advice to look for what Konstantine Pitskhelauri has to say about the Caucasus and what he says is:


“ … this expansion started even earlier, at the end of the 5th millennium BC, and continued in the 4th millennium. Large masses of Uruk migrants had settled in the South, and later in the North Caucasus”



This was the time that the region became Haplogroup Y patrilineage J1/J2 and later even got the G2a from Anatolia.  It’s really confusing, at least to me, the P25 (older mutation) and the occurring of the V88 and the M269. Times are too close to each other. And even so, it’s really not possible to be sure that the date given were the exact and correct ones. And naturally it’s under sampled everywhere.

 But, concerning Africa we need to start sampling for P25 and P297.

Nevertheless there is something that is obvious to me - Mutation P25 that led to V88 was, as I see it, in North Africa for a while when the P25 already with mutation P297 in them got there. P25/V88 were the first one being “kickout” by the Halaf- to - Ubaid transition. It means that by around 4900 years before BCE, part of the Shulaveri-Shomu, the southwestern part that used to border with the Halaf people, were already taken by the North Iraq movement by a much further evolved people and they became nomads, Herdsman looking for their place in the world, ending up in North Africa. The Halaf people accepted the Ubaid, the serpent people coming from the south… but looks like the Shulaveri just north of them didn’t. It’s even worth to see if between 5000 BCE and 4700 BCE there is a noticeable singled out episode in the Shulaveri-Shomu realm of archeology.

It all means that later, around 4,000 BCE, when the Uruk finally overrun the shuvaleri territory and crossed even beyond to north Caucasus, there was already sort of a milieu, a context if you prefer, through which to herd the Shulaveri themselves to north Africa. North Africa in fact was on its apogee climatically being on the pinnacle of its attracting people period (the Sahara Pump Theory).  Katie Manning, in her amazing MP4 video and pics makes that perfect clear.


Let’s be clear: By 4.000 BCE there was a clear path from the Caucasus to Iberia. A Path of people like them, a path of landscape to pasture and good land to farm. And North African archeology at that point is rip with papers with it.  It was the climax of the good sahara.


1000 years later, by 3000 BCE North Africa was a shadow of what it had been in terms of population. At the Same time, during the last 500 years of the 4 millennium (from 3500 BCE to 3000 BCE) Iberia peninsula went from scarce to crowed (real crowded if Just Singa  City was 100ha and harboring over 10,000 people). The eastern part of the Sahara saw the first Keynesian experience with the surge of the Egyptian civilization and some were definitely R1b (group 1). A large stock of people cross the Gibraltar to Iberia (Group 2), a whole lot, probably even more, stood around in the center, where the water was still abundant. in the valleys between and around Tassili and Acacus (group 3).

Group 1 stood jumping from pool to poll south bound form Egypt to Chad as seen in previous suppl and bred with sub Saharan African women mtdna L3,

 Group 2 crossed Gibraltar with a lot of women Mtdna H1,  which had a lot of ancestrally with other local groups and I am sure it showed in the progeny.

Group 3 stood in the center of the Sahara with probable a mix of the two women, H1 and L3 (naturally I mean as a larger group).  Lovely story to be told there. As today so many center their attention to the ones that became the Bell Beakers, at the same time there is a fascinating , mystic and foggy story for the ones that coming from the south Egypt and the ones from the south Air Mountains joined in around lake Chad, where for the next 2000 years it became a focus of a lot of settlements and people.  What an action story to be told must this be.


Reading several papers it’s obvious that there were at that point different people. Either the Tenerians, that in south Sahara also buried in lateral flex position,,  those smaller, slender and more gracile “Mediterraneans” that showed up in upper Niger in the 5th millennium were actually the R1b I am looking for or the R1b-V88 is still unclear. There was a middle pastoral period that had all, all, the hallmark and “brand” of what we will see centuries later in western Iberia. It was the cattle (Bos) people. After them it became also a different way of relationship with cattle based on ovicaprids. Inhumations inside habitations area (see Takarkori cave, round hut inside the cave, burial in house, etc.), tendency to mix collective with single burials,

Several papers dwell endless on emergence of Hierarchical elite for that brief period… as we will see in Iberia chalcolithic that led to the bell beakers.

One can find a litter of small sites in the northern west part, which were used for transhumance or small period usage. There is an enormous quantities of sites, hints and proves… but not that they were M269. Since the region is crowded with R1b-V88, unless one accepts that back then most of them were P25/297 and only later the mutation for M269 arise this would make it all crystal clear. Until then... Let’s keep looking.


Back to the remains of the Shulaveri-Shomu that were on the run. So, it must haven’t take them long to get to central Sahara to what today is Libya and Algeria. That is exactly the time when the pastoral round heads pictures disappeared (around 4000 BC) and the Bovidean Pastoral white people II started. So I figure that most of R1b were not V88 at all here. I figure P297 (as most likely we one day will find in Shulaveri) where the bulk (wonder if some already had M269 in their genes). Actually the Sahara didn’t let them stay for that long.


Look at a google Maps, imagine sand as savannah and just follow river streams until they bump into Mountains and that is where you always find them.  If one imagine that even the R1bs already there (Eastern north Africa) in places like Siwa Oasis, might not be friendly to stress out roaming population of horseman, dogs and cattle then they might just kept on going until the mountain ranges of the central Sahara where they  seem to have had a stop in the WADI TANEZZUFT VALLEY. 

Just east of the tassili-n-Ajjar, the Wadi Tanezzuft was for a millennium a site for excellence for settlements because ever so rich in water. Therefore it was a place for semi-nomadic pastoral groups. And the staggering amount of settlements attest to that fact.  Those settlements also denote different networks of people as denoted by different networks of lithic material (or maybe the tendency for site/settlement specialization we already saw at SSC) .  It’s easy to follow the down of those settlements as it increases population in Iberia peninsula (?). Specially focus on paleo-oasis of Tahala.  And Although Dna would always be a decisive factor to clear history I suppose the desert is the worst place to find it. However, the swift covering sand must have kept a great volume of archeological evidence for us to find and complete history in the future.

One must notice that the majority of texts always refer the chiasm manifesting in there around 4000 BC as a base date.

Reading Megalithic architecture and funerary practices in the late prehistory of Wadi Tanezzuft by Savino di Lernia,  as in other paper, is usually referred the existence in the middle Pastoral context (versus late, which was different everything) of Pits, and circle of stones, and conical structures and Stone Rings, annexes and “arms” of small walls (ring a bell? ) which did not occurs at earlier or later periods.  One always has to try to extract the Middle Pastoral from this papers because they tend to focus on late Pastoral until Garamatian period and what we’re trying to extract is a population that came but didn´t had the luck of staying because of the starting of the 5.9 Kiloyear event. Most structures, like burial pits within the perimeter of circle stone (30 to 40 cm same as the foundations of houses for SSC and later Oestrimni in Iberia), being this areas have to be “seen” beneath what later periods did on top of it.


Anyway, there are references to population discontinuity and specially a total discontinuity between middle pastoral and even the initial part of late pastoral.

 Anyway, this round structure with an inhumation in it at the end of the interview is round enough for me. (


MAURO CREMASCHI & SAVINO DI LERNIA (Environment and settlements in the Mid-Holocene paleo-oasis of Wadi Tanezzuft (Libyan Sahara) are telling us a tale of one of the last water resource of the 4 millennium. This paper tell us the story I was looking for. Since the Kura River and the mountains we can always rely on looking for the river, the rock massif and there they were. This here is was not different.  Finding the Tanezzuft valley, west of Acacus scarp and east of Tassili was to me finding the Shulaveri.

This paper is one of many that are a must to be read.  Here just a small example:


Three main phases of cultural adaptation to the changing landscape can be distinguished. An initial Middle Holocene phase, probably commencing around 6000 BP. with an 'anomalous' Middle Pastoral occupation, characterized by large settlements in the Titersin area, in the playa and along the dune fields, exploiting riverine resources, and with a specific socioeconomic organization.”


A second phase, roughly datable to the beginning of the Late Pastoral, associated ,vith the first contraction and shift of the Tanezzuft system, which led to increasing site density in the region between Kaf Jinun and Tahala oasis. This region became the focal area for human communities, but dramatic site density, decreasing resources, and overexploitation of the landscape probably led to the emergence of social stratification. as suggested by the funerary rituals associated with this phase (di Lernia et al. 2001).




“Archaeozoology of the funerary structures (Wadi Tanezzuft) by FRANCESCA MERIGHI

The Archaeology of Libyan Sahara Volume I  Chapter Eight, is also very telling

 Beside round pits with humans and animals (Tuaregs have the myth of site where horses were buried with humans) there are several references to be noted:


“Association of human and animals in funerary structures is quite rare in Saharan Africa during the Neolithic, but in the region under study some animal burials, mainly of cattle, ovicaprines, and dogs have been reported (Paris 2000).”


But, the one I am especially fond of, since I keep on referring the importance of establishing the existence of the original TARPAN horses as a trademark of the Shulaveri travelling, I was baffled by finding here the same amaze about horse bones that I find for instance in the Portuguese papers…


“Equus africanus is a likely candidate for our femur and represents the easiest explanation. Nevertheless, an attribution to the domestic horse cannot be excluded. The femur is not very large if compared to modern Equus caballus  , but its size is comparable to that of its homologue in some Italian horses of Paleovenetian and Roman age and therefore the specimen might represent a small horse. This hypothesis is not supported by the fact that the earliest domestic horses documented so far in Africa are characterized a fairly large size (Boessneck 1988; Achilles Gautier personal communication). However, the strict association of the bone with the human skeleton (the femur was found on a large flat stone covering the human rib cage, Fig. 8.3) may instead favors its attribution to a domestic horse rather than to a wild ass”



The same confusion about the horses that are but don’t fit. They don’t fit the narratives because they were the Tarpans travelling with the Shulaveri and have become the North African Barb horses that travel with the Barbers and the Sorraia horse in Portugal (that is why there is a chapter I am writing Just about horses).



Not aiming to make a weird transition from horses to women, one always must remember that this is a focal point. Make no mistake. Either the Ubaid or the already URUK, the snake people, that the Oestrimni of ancient Portugal credit for their plight, kicked the man… but kept the women.

These first and latter groups where mostly man. And they did (I am sure) the same to the others and took their women. And when they got into Iberia it was not a distinct people.  See lack of women meant having admixing with people  that bring  different loads into your pool and that is why that getting into South Iberia, as they were kicked massively by Sahara turning Desert,  they were already coming with a mix of Dolichocephalic , Mesencephalic (lots and lots) mixed with some the latter group of more Shulaveri Brachycephalic people. A blend of proto –Berbers autosomal and robust and gracile types more Mesencephalic and probably also a trade they brought from North Africa to mix and increase with some of the local Iberia people, specifically the locals that lived in the birth of Bell beaker cultures, the Muge people, to increase what was then found as a sort of trade mark of the Bell beaker which was a rather large number of maxillary alveolar prognathism (Jaw protrudes to the front). 



And variety tend to led to the fortified.






* Lakeside Cemeteries in the Sahara: 5000 Years of Holocene Population and Environmental Change – Paul C sereno


* Reconsidering the emergence of social complexity in early Saharan pastoral societies, 5000 – 2500 B.C. – Michael Brass


* Mobility and kinship in the prehistoric  Sahara: Strontium isotope analysis of Holocene human skeletons from the  Acacus Mts. (southwestern Libya)


*Inside the “African Cattle Complex”: Animal Burials in the Holocene Central Sahara

Savino di Lernia


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Chapter about insurgence into Iberia in early IV millenia BC - Still not decided if needed. 

Its all about finding the Muge People of TAGUS river.

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Oestrimni (rightfull name of the Bell Beakers)

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Righfull Chapter about what it means

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Of Round dwellings and Castros

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About round dwellings, huts and Castros

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Horse Baffling Problem

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About Horses doubts trough all this periods and landscapes

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Blades and Arrows Chapter

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About Bade and arrow making issues

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About Dogs Mtdna issue

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Master of Wine Making

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Chapter About Wine casts, ages in Iberia Peninsula and Caucasus and genetic Intravariability.

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NO DATA Chapter

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Still Un-defined

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Bibliography (for all chapters and supplements)

por Olympus Mons, em 12.03.16

 *99 -THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN: from ancient times to the present day - By Ismail bey Zardabli

 *222 -

 448 - H1, h3 e v - The Molecular Dissection of mtDNA Haplogroup H Confirms That the Franco-Cantabrian Glacial Refuge Was a Major Source for the European Gene Pool


*449 -Mitochondrial DNA haplogroup H structure in North Africa (shares with north African some)

*442 - High-resolution mtDNA evidence for the late-glacial resettlement of Europe from an Iberian refugium

*450 - New Population and Phylogenetic Features of the Internal Variation within Mitochondrial DNA MacroHaplogroup R0.


*451 - Mitochondrial Haplogroup H1 in North Africa: An Early Holocene Arrival from Iberia

*453 - An arrowhead injury in a Neolithic human axis from the natural cave of Lapa do Bugio (Sesimbra, Portugal – by Ana maria silva


*452 - Mitochondrial DNA from El Mirador Cave (Atapuerca, Spain) Reveals the Heterogeneity of Chalcolithic Populations





*459 -


*460 - Animal remains from Chalcolithic  São Pedro (Redondo, Alentejo).


*461 - O povoado calcolítico do Paraíso (Elvas, Alto Alentejo) , Rui Mataloto* Catarina Co




*464 - (apontamentos 3)


*466 - Reimagining Regional Analyses: The Archaeology of Spatial and Social Dynamics


*477 - Relatedness among Lusitanian people and Basques, Spaniards, and Algerians studied by HLA allelic frequencies and haplotypes - by Department of Immunology, Universidad Complutense, Madrid


*601 – Skeletal evidence of interpersonal Violance from Portuguese late Neolithic collective Burials: An Overview – Ana Maia Silva and Rui Boaventura.


???? - Diet and Mobility of Late Neolithic populations of Central-South Portugal: Isotopic analysis of human remains from the Lisbon and Alentejo regions of Portugal.


*533 - (trabalhos do Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa, 1996-2000)  ANTÓNIO FAUSTINO CARVALHO*


*511 – Mesolithic-Neolithic population relantionship in Portugal : Evidence from mitochondrial DNA by Fiona Bamforth


*678- Diversity of mtDNA lineages in Portugal: not a genetic edge of European variation


*555 -Mitochondrial DNA transit between West Asia and North Africa  inferred from U6 phylogeography -- Nicole Maca-Meyer1, Ana M González1,


*776 -


*333 Human remains of carenque by Thomas Bubner


*111 – Just google “Muge people braquicéfalos” there are plenty of papers and works.


*555 - The osteological series from Cabeço Da Amoreira (Muge, Portuga)  La série ostéologique de Cabeço Da Amoreira (Muge, Portugal) E. Cunha and F. Cardoso


*667 -


*800 -


*664  - Sticks, Stones, and Broken Bones: Neolithic Violence in a European Perspective

By Rick J. Schulting, Linda Fibiger


*122 -

*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



* Lakeside Cemeteries in the Sahara: 5000 Years of Holocene Population and Environmental Change – Paul C sereno


* Reconsidering the emergence of social complexity in early Saharan pastoral societies, 5000 – 2500 B.C. – Michael Brass


* Mobility and kinship in the prehistoric  Sahara: Strontium isotope analysis of Holocene human skeletons from the  Acacus Mts. (southwestern Libya)


*Inside the “African Cattle Complex”: Animal Burials in the Holocene Central Sahara

Savino di Lernia


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