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 Why the Shulaveri-Shomu were our R1B forefathers.

Early DRAFT...


Why the Shulaveri-Shomu were the R1b forefathers.

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


Like a whole lot of people, I kept on reading about 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.

Then 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, really short, time period I figure I could build my own R1b story. And, again, at the end, I am right or wrong. Just that simple. Nevertheless, just hours after the beginning of this quest I wrote a post.


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.

And making that connection was clear cut. It was right there in a matter of hours.

 Now, finding the trail via Levant and North Africa it really made me stop and for a few days felt like giving up. Then piece by piece one starts to find them. And, again, It’s there.  I am sure much more would, and will, be found but at least I found this trail.

From the epicenter of Caucasus at times of Ubaid days one tracks them at Tell Tsaf Israel. Then a couple centuries in Merimde/El-Omari, next in Tassili Mountains as the Bovidean pastoral II (white man phase) then making the all chalcolithic Iberia and Bell Beaker.  

Time will fill in the gaps but at least one can hop from one rock to the other. And details will be in the correspondent suppl chapters.


However, now it sounds easy but actually it was difficult to start untying because terminology is not the same in every region where papers are produced. And some are buried in the fascination of more sounding events such as the pre-dynastic Egypt.

And make no mistake. It’s about people, sure, and so it ended up being in spite of my primary interest at that point had an emphatic focus on horses, dogs and grapes. Sort of. But to get to that story I have to go into archeology and tell a story that might seem obvious to me but I accept that I may be making a lot of mistakes. So, all in favor of critiques.

I will not change (much) the story based on latter findings I come across during investigations, those being reserved for several supplements that will be 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.  So first chapters are the running story with bibliography also in brackets (*XXX) and after that will be the supplements ,  which represent later findings as a support for that specific sentence, paragraph or section, or on the other hand a too long story that would in the end impact on the overall flown.



What I did first:

So, 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 just for fun for something in that broadly referenced region. I Remember reading about MayKop but those were too late for the purpose, because the reference was Chalcolithic Iberia as the source of the demic diffusion of R1b genetic mutations. I 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. 

So I read some of the papers on the web about 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 SS culture and instead looked for something in Portugal that covered that period of Chalcolithic, or the centuries around half a millennium later in Portugal give or take a century. Again 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 had 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 to Ac Valera and Ana Silva  in perdigões. I mean, I could (and can) be wrong, absolutely. But it all feels the same people. I couldn’t even grasp 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.


Let’s be clear:


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 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 reads 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 figure out genetics. 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 there 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 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.  However 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.

Got 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 different from the Halaf culture and the Sioni culture that follow them in the same region is just too different… these had to be my guys. By 6000 years ago they were gone… and the Sioni that followed made different houses, different pottery and different burials… just different people.  They, the Shulaveri were just gone….


I will end this part with an enigmatic paragraph, but one that will make perfect sense in the end.

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 listens?

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