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15 November 2014

At http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141106-european-dna-foss… … here is another post on the DNA extracted from a Palaeolithic European in Russia and clarifies the findings more transparently than earlier links – or so it would seem.

A 37,000 year old skeleton has revealed that although the arrival of farmers around 6000 years ago left a noticeable impace on European DNA the same DNA  was present in the Palaeolithic skeleton -many moons prior to the farmers. Whilst nobody, at present, is is denying the major impact of the early farmers (from Anatolia and the Fertile Crescent) the fact remains that Europeans are clearly related to people in the Middle East (and this includes the people that went on to develop farming in the early Holocene period) during the Stone Age (and long before farming became a way of life). We may also note, again left unsaid, the geographical region of Europe and the Middle East was also the habitat occupied by the Neanderthals – who perhaps ranged somewhat wider – prior to 40,000 years ago.

From the final couple of paragraphs it would appear the researchers were hoping for a simple link to their Out of Africa theory but it has turned out to be more complicated. If catastrophism is factored in to the Late Pleistocene this is just what we might expect to find – and all DNA studies seem to lead towards such an avenue. Lots of complicated migrations and inter connections that are difficult to untangle.

See also www.geneticarchaeology.com/research/Ancient_genomes_show_the_European_me… … which emphasizes the fact that the arrival of farmers around 6000BC made the most notable change to European DNA, without addressing the fact the same DNA profile was present 36,000 years ago. It also points out there was a large Neanderthal presence in the genome of the skeleton – and calculates the mixture took place as early as 54,000 years ago. Lot of ifs and buts here and we can look forward to the next article in the ongoing research programme which appears to involve two factions with slightly different stories to tell.

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