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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?

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