Tuesday, May 01, 2007

INDO-EUROPEAN ORIGINS and related - or not

Date Line May 1, 2007

We can easily get sidetracked by comparisons to major migrations and immigration periods.


1. "The evidence collected by archaeology in the last thirty years, in fact, overwhelmingly prove the absence of any large scale invasion in Europe, and the uninterrupted continuity of most Copper and Bronze Age cultures of Europe from Neolithic, and of most Neolithic cultures from Mesolithic and final Paleolithic."

2. "the IE Neolithic Dispersal, which is based on the observation that the only moment in European prehistory which might coincide with a gigantic change such as the presumed Indo-Europeanization of Europe is the beginning of farming in the VII millennium B.C."

3. "Renfrew has concluded that these early farmers were the Proto-Indo-Europeans, responsible for the introduction of IE in southern and central Europe, and that the subsequent IE dispersal started from these two areas, along with the dispersal of farming techniques."

4. "The philosophy behind this theory is thus that the Proto-Indo-Europeans, far from being warriors who invaded and conquered Europe by sheer military force, are instead the inventors of farming, who conquered Europe by cultural and intellectual superiority. A philosophy which remains, in essence, eurocentric, even though the Proto-Indo-Europeans are now seen as the peaceful inventors of farming, instead of the warlike supermen of the traditional theory."

Obviously things remain "Eurocentric" when we are dealing with cultural dominance -- at least until there is evidence of non-European/Middle Eastern origins of major cultural and social markers.

The IE context in conjunction with farming having developed along the Levant (effectively Anatolia and Israel) – narrows discussion to a very limited cultural association (Caucasian).

Physiological change is also a factor in our search. That change is the development of lactase-persistence (LP), a gut enzyme which allows digestion of milk sugar in adults which is associated with pastoral peoples and absent in major portions of the world haplogroups.

Indo-Europeans are associated with the drinking of mare's milk -- which is the highest milk sugar content and therefore shows an absolute existence of the new enzyme.

The Nomadic aspect brings in a Central Asian population which suddenly become heavily associated with both Central/Eastern Europeans and farming; a population associated with Hg R1a and R1b believed to have originated in the Baltic region prior to the last Ice Age.

As we are dealing with Caucasians, who are the only population group known to be predominantly lactase-persistent, we have a very narrow range of haplogroups as players in the evolution of modern societies. For now, these are taken to be E, R, G, J and I.

LP studies show the most persistent enzyme strain is in Northern Europe and lesser persistence among Mediterranean populations. This is consistent with Hg R1a and R1b origins, but as it is post-glacial the equestrian connection, mare’s milk, favors R1a as the source.

However, even here we have an alternative possibility – Hg I1a (M253), the Scandinavian Haplogroup which may have originated in the Black Sea region as M170, and raises the question of exactly when was pastoral development.

Language becomes a factor in showing the cultural crossings and establishing which culture (thus haplogroup) was dominant, thus introduced Farming, Cities, and even Writing; which created the time and abilities to develop literature and record related conceptual priorities.

THOUGHT: If everything, all human development, is rooted in the Middle East and carried outward, it follows that there is something special about the region, or the grouping of people there. Basically screw the mystical and determine the factual.
1. What is it that resulted in sequential development there?
2. What Haplogroup witnessed all stages of development?
3. What is missing from the region now - but existed before?

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