Wednesday, February 21, 2018

There was not an Iberian back Migration into North Africa

Rosa Fregel, et al.(2018). Ancient genomes from North Africa evidence prehistoric migrations to the Maghreb from both the Levant and Europe.

Argue that the “ farming and pottery production, could have been introduced into northern Morocco through sea voyaging by people from Iberia or the central Mediterranean as early as ca. 5400 BCE”, only problem with this hypothesis is that the oldest evidence for pottery comes from Morocco—not Iberia. Fregel et al, maintain that Iberia was the source of Maghrebi civilization eventhough they admit that Andalusian Early Neolithic cultures show North African influences before the Cardial expansion into the Western Mediterranean basin. The authors constantly contradict themselves, as evidence by the reality that if North African cultures existed in Iberia prior to the Cardial expansion, how could Cardial culture be evidence of North African adoption of Iberian culture, when the North African cultures preceed Cardial.

Another problem is that not only did agro-patoral traditions in North Africa preceed the Iberian traditions --Bell Beaker pottery appears first in Africa, not Iberia makes their claim that North African cultures influenced North Africa and a back migration took place from Europe to North Africa without merit.This is why Fregel et al, constantly use the phrase “could” when they make claims about possible Iberian sources for North African technics and genes. This indicates that Iberians could not have introduced any genes into North Africa, but Fregel et al, pretend that the North African sites are more recent than the Iberian sites when this is not supported by the archaeological research.

I agree with the authors that the IAM genomes are North African--but there is no evidence Iberians introduced any genes to North Africa. The presence of North African cultures in Iberia dating before Cardial and other Iberian cultures makes it clear that the Iberian genes came from North Africa and not the other way around.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Haplogroup R1 was spread by African Kushites into Europe. There was no Back Migration from Europe to Africa

Eugenia D’Atanasio†, Beniamino Trombetta†, Maria Bonito, Andrea Finocchio, Genny Di Vito, Mara Seghizzi, Rita Romano, Gianluca Russo, Giacomo Maria Paganotti, Elizabeth Watson, Alfredo Coppa, Paolo Anagnostou, Jean-Michel Dugoujon, Pedro Moral, Daniele Sellitto, Andrea Novelletto and Fulvio Cruciani. (2018).The peopling of the last Green Sahara revealed by high-coverage resequencing of trans-Saharan patrilineages. Genome Biology 201819:20 .

Eugenia D’Atanasio et al, claim that Y-Chromosome R1 is of Eurasian origin. They argue that “our data suggest a European origin of R-V88 about 12.3 kya, considering both the presence of two Sardinian R-V88 basal clades (R-M18 and R-V35) and that the V88 marker arose in the R-M343 background, which in turn includes Near-Eastern/European lineages”. This contention is more conjecture than, reality because it lacks any collateral evidence from archaeology to support their claim. They believe that V88 returned to Africa via a back migration.
The major problem with this proposition is that the Bell Beaker, Yamnaya and Caucasus hunter-gatherer populations who are believed to have introduced agro-pastoral traditions into Europe, and carriers of R1b and R1a were ḫЗšt, or Kushites. If the Bell Beaker , Corded Ware and early Europeans farmers came from the levant and Anatolia they probably had acquired these genes in Africa, before they migrated to Europe.

Beginning as early as 5000 years ago Kushites the ḫЗšt, lived from the Nile Valley below Egypt, all the way to the Levant and Anatolia. The Kushites belonged to the C-Group culture of Nubia. The Kushites spoke Niger-Congo and Dravidian languages (1) . The Niger-Congo (NC) Superfamily of languages is the largest family of languages spoken in Africa. Researchers have assumed that the NC speakers originated in West Africa in the Inland Niger Delta. The research indicates that the NC speakers originated in the Saharan Highlands 12kya and belonged to the Ounanian culture (1).
The Ounanian culture is associated with sites in central Egypt, Algeria, Mali, Mauretania and Niger (1). The Ounanian tradition is associated with the Niger-Congo phyla (1). This would explain the close relationship between the Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan languages.
In the Eastern Sahara many individual types of tanged and shouldered arrowheads occur on early Holocene prehistoric sites along with Green Saharan/Wavy-line pottery (2-3) . 'Saharo-Sudanese Neolithic' wavy-line, dotted wavy line and walking-comb pottery was used from Lake Turkana to Nabta Playa, in Tibestim , Mauritania, on into in the Hoggar, in Niger. This pottery evolved into the Beaker Bell ceramics of Europe.
The Kushites were called ḫЗšt in Africa and the Levant. Kushites had early settled in the Levant since Narmer times. We find  Narmer's name  on jars and  serekhs from excavations in Israel and Palestine , for example Tel Erani, Arad, 'En Besor, Halif Terrace/Nahal Tillah and more(4). A bulla dating to this period makes it clear that this part of the Negev was called ḫЗts.t ("Kush") or ḫ ("Kushite").
The tangled Ounanian points are also found at Foum Arguin . These points were used from Oued Draa, in southern Morocco, to the Banc d’Arguin and from the Atlantic shore to the lowlands of northwestern Sahara in Mauritania . We now have DNA from Ounanian sites in Morocco.
The Kushites from the Levant and Anatolia took cattle domestication and millet cultivation to Europe. There is no archaeological evidence of the herding of Cattle and millet cultivation older than the Nabta Playa material (4).

At Nabta Playa the people herded cattle and cultivated crops. The Kushites cultivated pennisetum millet at Nabta Playa (c. 7950 BC ) and probably herded cattle (5-7).

All the burials in Ifri n’Amr o’Moussa site IAM1-IAM7 , are devoid of any artifacts, except for an original funeral ritual, which consists of placing a millstone on the skull  . These burials were dated from 4,850 to 5,250 BCE, they carried U6, M1, T2, X and K (8). This suggest that Africans were already carrying this mtDNA. The spread of the Ounanians to Harif in the Levant explains the presence of these Kushite clades in the Levant and Anatolia.
The Kushites were called ḫЗšt .Ta-Seti and Tehenu by the Egyptians (1). The Egyptian Pharaoh Sahure referred to the Tehenu leader as “Hati Tehenu” . The name  Hati, correspond to the name Hatti for a Kushite tribe in Anatolia. The Hatti  people often referred to themselves as Kashkas (9).
The early hunter-gathers and farmers in Europe from the Levant herded cattle, and cultivated millet.

A center of cattle worship was the Kiseiba -Nabta region in Middle Africa. At Nabta archaeologists have found the oldest megalithic site dating to 6000-6500 BC, which served as both a temple and calendar. This site was found by J. McKim Malville of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Fred Wendorf of Southern Methodist University.

As a result, we have in the archaeological literature the name Ounan-Harif point. This name was proposed for the tanged points at Nabta Playa and Bir Kiseiba. Harifian is a specialized regional cultural development of the Epipalaeolithic of the Negev Desert. Harifian has close connections with the late Mesolithic cultures of Fayyum and the Eastern Deserts of Egypt, whose tool assemblage resembles that of the Harifian (9).
Y-chromosome V88 (R1b1a) has its highest frequency among Chadic speakers, while the carriers of V88 among Niger-Congo speakers (predominately Bantu people) range between 2-66% . Haplogroup V88 includes the mutations M18, V35 and V7. Cruciani et al (10) revealed that R-V88 is also carried by Eurasians including the distinctive mutations M18, V35 and V7.
Haplogroup R1b1-P25 was originally thought to be found only in Western Eurasia. Haplogroup R1b1* is found in Africa at various frequencies. Today R1b1 is called R-L278.
The first offshoot of R1b-M343 was V88. The Y-Chromosome V88 is a signature African haplogroup. Toomas Kivisild (11)   noted: "Interestingly, the earliest offshoot of extant haplogroup R1b-M343 variation, the V88 sub-clade, which is currently most common in Fulani speaking populations in Africa (11-13), has distant relatives in Early Neolithic samples from across wide geographic area from Iberia, Germany to Samara ." The relative of V88 in ancient Europe was R1b1.
In 2010, R-V88 was originally named R1b1a. Today R-V88 is named R1b1a2, and R1b1a is renamed R-L754.
The ancient Europeans and Africans share R-L278 and R-L754. The earliest carrier of R-L278  in Europe was the hunter-gatherer  Villabruna man in Italy. Villabruna man lived 14kya. We also had hunter-gatherers carrying RL278 (R1b1) in Spain and Samara. This would place Africans carrying R-L278 in Europe long before the origination of the Bell Beaker and Yamnaya cultures.
The Kushite haplogroups in Crete and West Asia varied. The Y-Chromosome among the Cretans and Anatolians were J,G, R1a1, R1b, T, K and H.
Martinez et al (14), observed that in the case of the R1 haplogroup, while frequencies of 19.2% and 21.7% are found in the Heraklion Prefecture and Lasithi Prefecture populations, respectively, more than half (56.1%) of the Lasithi Plateau individuals are R1-M306-derived.
In the case of Cretan E3b3-M123 (M34) chromosomes, they most likely signal East African or Middle-Eastern gene flow rather than European, due to the scarcity of this lineage in the latter area. Similarly, the presence of E3b-M35* individuals in the Heraklion Prefecture population could probably be attributed to an East-African or North-African contribution.
The finding that other Minoans carried haplotype T and K also indicates that the Minoans were Blacks, not whites. There are a number of shared African and Indian Y-chromosome haplotypes. These haplotypes include Y-hg T-M70 and H1.
The Kushites spread cultivation of Pennisetum millet and cattle herding into Anatolia, South Asia and Europe. As cattle herding Kushites frequently moved from place to place millet was an ideal domesticate.
Millet was an especially favorite crop for the mobile Kushites because the grains are 1) a high yield per plant; 2) millet is drought tolerant and can be grown in various terrains; 3) millet has a short growing season so pastoralists  could grow and harvest their crops in time to move their camp(s); and 4) the panicum millet has shallow roots so Kushite farmers could cultivate the crop with a hoe (7).
Ounanians crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and settled Iberia. Here they met Iberian hunter-gatherers.
Between 3200-2900 BC, African culture and people began to migrate into Iberia  and introduced megaliths and the Bell Beaker culture (15). Spanish researchers accepted the reality that the Iberia Peninsula owed the major parts of Neolithic Iberia to African immigrants (15-17).
 MacWhite (16) and Olalde et al (18), claims there was a close relationship between Iberia and Britain.  These researchers admit that Portugal and Brittany were settled by Megalithic Africans who founded respectively the Mugem and Teviec sepultures ( 16).
Iñigo Olalde et al (18) discuss the spread of Bell Beaker culture across Europe 2.7 kya. These researchers found  limited genetic affinity between individuals from Iberia and central Europeans.  Iñigo Olalde et al (18)  concludes that migration probably played an insignificant mechanism in the spread of R1 within the two areas. 
The African Sahara  and Morocco was a major source for the Bell Beaker and Corded Ware cultural complex. The Proto-Beaker pottery dates back to 4500 BC in the Sahara (17) .
 Daugas et al (19) provides a number of radio carbon dates for the Bell Beaker complex in North Africa. We  find Beaker Bell ware dating to 3700 BC in Morocco. By 2700 BC we see the expansion of Beaker complex into Iberia (19). The Iberian Bell Beaker complex is associated with the “Maritime tradition” (20-22).

There are numerous Bell Beaker sites in the Sahara and Morocco. A center of the Moroccan Beaker complex ceramics and arrowheads come from Hassi Ouenzga and in the cave of Ifri Ouberrid  . Artifacts  found at these sites are similar to Iberian Beaker complex forms ( 23). The interesting fact about the discovery of these artifacts is that they were widespread across the Middle Atlas mountains at sites such as El-Kiffen, Skhirat – de Rouazi,  Kehf, That el Gher and Ifri Ouberrid (23-25). This finding matches Turek (22); which explains the spread of typically beaker style stamped decoration Bell Beaker culture pottery from Morocco into Iberia, and thence the rest of Europe.
Toomas Kivisild (11)  and Mathieson et al (21) , provides a detailed discussion of R1 in prehistoric Europe. One of the most interesting finding was the presence of V88 in ancient Europe (11,18,21). It is also interesting to note that the European Agro-Pastoral populations  associated with Bell Beaker and Yamnaya carry the genomes associated with Africans recorded in 2010 (17) .
This makes it clear that the V88 sub-clades R-L278 and R-L754. , had relatives in Early Neolithic samples from across a wide geographic area from Iberia, Germany to Samara (11,17-18). This would place carriers of relatives of V88 among the Yamnaya and Bell Beaker people. Given the wide distribution of M269 in Africa, the carriers of this haplogroup in Neolithic Europe were probably also Africans since the Bell Beaker people/culture originated in Morocco as noted by Turek (22).

In summary,  the research makes it clear that the European Neolithic was began by Yamnaya and Bell Beaker people who were Kushites that had migrated to Europe from the Levant and Anatolia. The early European farmers cultivated millet and herded cattle. It is clear these Neolithic "Europeans" from the Levant and Anatolia, were Africans who took the Nabta Playa cultural traditions into the Levant and Anatolia, and thence to Europe by the Bell Beaker and Yamnaya populations. This is supported by the settlement of Kushites from Nabta Playa who took the R1 haplogroup,  Ounan-Harifian cultural traditions, millet and cattle domestication into the Levant; and from there into Europe.

1. Winters, C. (2012). Origin of the Niger-Congo Speakers. WebmedCentral GENETICS,3(3): WMC003149 doi: 10.9754/journal.wmc.2012.003149
2. Drake N A, Roger M. Blench, Simon J. Armitage, Charlie S. Bristow, and Kevin H. White. (2010). Ancient watercourses and biogeography of the Sahara explain the peopling of the desert,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienece. 2011 108 (2) 458-462; published ahead of print December 27,2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.1012231108
3. Vernet R, Ott M, Tarrou L, Gallin A, Géoris-Creuseveau J.  (2007). Excavation of the mound of FA 10 (Banc d'Arguin) and its contribution to the knowledge of the culture paleolithical Foum Arguin, northwestern Sahara (Translated from French) J Afr Archaeol 5:17–46.
4. Egyptian-Canaanite Interaction at Nahal Tillah, Israel (ca. 4500-3000 B. C. E.): An Interim Report on the 1994-1995 Excavations. Available from: [accessed Dec 26 2017].

5.Brass, M. (2013). Revisiting a hoary chestnut: the nature of early cattle domestication in North-East Africa. Sahara (Segrate, Italy), 24, 65–70.

6. Mitchell P., Paul Lane (Ed.),(2013). The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology. Oxford .

7. Miller N.F., Robert N Spengler, Michael Frachetti. (2010). Millet cultivation across Eurasia: Origins, spread, and the influence of seasonal climate, The Holocene , Vol. 26 10:1566-1575

8. Fregel  R, et al (2017). Neolithization of North Africa involved the migration of people from both the Levant and Europe. bioRxiv 191569; doi:
9.  Winters, C. (2018). The Kushites: Who, What, When, Where. Createspace.

10. Cruciani F, Trombetta B, Sellitto D, Massaia A, Destro-Bisol G, Watson E, Beraud Colomb E, Dugoujon JM, Moral P and Scozzari R (2010). Human Y chromosome haplogroup R-V88: a paternal genetic record of early mid Holocene trans-Saharan connections and the spread of Chadic languages. European Journal of Human Genetics 18 800–807. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.231
12, Winters C (2010). A Sub-Saharan Origin of the Early European Farmers. Comment: Ancient DNA from European Early Neolithic Farmers Reveals Their Near Eastern Affinities, by Wolfgang Haak et al , PLOS Biology, November 9, 2010,
13. Winters C (2011). Possible African origin of Y-Chromosome R1-M173. International Journal of Science and Nature 2(4) 743-745. Available:
14. Martinez L,  et al , Paleolithic Y-haplogroup heritage predominates in a Cretan highland plateau, Eur J Hum Genet. 2007
15. Lahovary N (1963). Dravidian Origins and the West. India, Madras: Longmans.
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18. Olalde I, Brace S, Allentoft ME, Armit I, Kristiansen K et al., (2017). The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genomic Transformation of Northwest Europe. bioRxiv vol doi:
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22.Turek, J. 2012: Chapter 8 – “Origin of the Bell Beaker phenomenon. The Moroccan connection”, In: Fokkens, H. & F. Nicolis (eds) 2012: Background to Beakers. Inquiries into regional cultural backgrounds of the Bell Beaker complex. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The basic lineages of L3 had probably spread across Africa prior to 100,000 BC

Vicente M. Cabrera1*, Patricia Marrero, , Khaled K. Abu-Amero,Jose M. Larruga. (2017). Carriers of mitochondrial DNA macrohaplogroup L3 basic lineages migrated back to Africa from Asia around 70,000 years ago.

Cabrera et al, argue that the basic lineages for L3 migrated back to Africa 70,000 years ago. The proposition is not supported by any archaeological evidence. Absent any archaeological evidence this proposal lacks any credibility. It is more likely that L3 had already spread across Africa prior to 100,000 BC. This is obvious by the fact that the Aurignacians carried L3 (N).

The TMRCA mtDNA ancestor of hgs L3, M and N lived around 94.3kya(3). There appears to have been a serial expansion of haplogroup N from the Great Lakes region of Africa to other parts of Africa 93kya (3a).  From Tanzania Khoisan speaking people probably spread the haplogroup into Ethiopia by 80kya. this agrees with Cabrera et al's contention that L3, had early spread into East Africa.

      By 70 kya Khoisan people probably spread hg N into West Africa. Sometime before 40kya there was probably a second migration event from Cameroon and possibly the Senegambian region into Northwest Africa on into Iberia (3a).
     The mtDNA haplogroup N has the common transitions 73,7028,11719, 12705,14766 and 16223. The defining mutations include 8701,9540,10398, 10873 and 15301. Haplogroup N is a branch of L3 (M,N).
         There are also N hgs found in Africa. Haplogroups N,N* and N1 is found in  low frequencies within Sub-Saharan groups including  Senegambians (9), Tanzanians (3) and modern Ethiopians (1) .In Egypt 8.8 percent of the Gurma carry hg N1b (25).
      Much of the ancient mtDNA found in Iberia has no relationship to the people presently living in Iberia (1a). Dominguez found that the lineages recovered from ancient skeletons are the African lineages L1b,L2 and L3. Almost 50% of the lineages from the Abauntz Chalcolithic deposits and Tres Montes, in Navarre are the Sub-Saharan lineages L1b,L2 and L3.
    Until recently it was assumed that the earliest dates for hg N were in Eastern Eurasia. This view has changed recently as a result of the extraction and examination of ancient mtDNA from Cro Magnon skeletons dating to the Aurignacian period (26).
        The archaeological evidence indicates that AMH replaced Neanderthal during the Aurignacian period in Europe between 32-35kya (27). The Aurignacian civilization appears to have expanded from West to East (28-30).The founders of this culture came from Africa (28,29,31). Some researchers have argued that the Aurignacian culture was introduced to Europe from Africa (1a,32). They based this conclusion on the fact that its tool kit was foreign to the Mousterian type, and the culture appears in a mature form throughout Europe from France to Central  Europe (1a,3a, 32-33).
       Around 40,000 BC Europe was occupied mainly by Neanderthals. They begin to be replaced in Europe around 32,000 by the CroMagnon
people at Les Eyzies in France (29). It is also evident that archaic humans were replaced in much of the Levant by the Levantine Aurignacian culture bearers by a local variant of this technology at Ksar Akil Xlll-Vll 32kya , not 60-50kya. 
The Cro Magnon  DNA found in the ancient skeletons dates back to the Aurignacian period. The Cro magnon skeletons  belong to the N haplogroup (26).  
     The Cro Magnon skeletons carried N1a,N1b,N1c and N* (26). It is characterized by motifs 00073G,10873C, 10238T and A4CC between nucleotide positions 10397 and 10400. Most of the skeletons carried hg N*.
     It appears that the hg N was the most frequent mtDNA carried by Western European populations for over 20,000 years. This gene as discussed earlier is found primarily today outside Western Europe. The Cro Magnon people were mainly hunter-gathers.
     Haak et al. found that the twenty-four samples included haplogroups H or V, T, K, J , N1a and U3 (36). The frequency of N1a among ancient samples ranged from 8% to 42%.The archaeological evidence make it clear that the Cro Magnon people probably originated in Africa where we find hg N among African populations throughout the continent (3-3a,9). The spread of Cro Magnon populations from Iberia eastward into Eastern Europe and the Levant support the view that  haplogroup N was carried into Eurasia by Cro Magnon population from Africa across the Straits of Gibraltar into Iberia (28).
            The dates for the hg N in East Asia are far later than the dates for hg N among Cro Magnon populations in western Eurasia.  This suggest that the hg N was carried into Iberia by Cro Magnon people.   
       The Aurignacian culture did not enter Europe from the Levant. The Aurignacian civilization appears to have expanded from West to East (29-30) . The spread of the Aurignacian culture from Western to Eastern Eurasian suggest that while hg N*,N1 was already present among Western Eurasians,  by around 12-14 kya hgs N2- N3 probably originated in Siberia, not East Asia. It would appear that the presence of these haplogroups in Eastern Europe are the result of a back migration from Siberia.
    The high frequency of hg N among the ancient Western Eurasians make it clear that eventhough hg M and hg N may have exited Africa along the southern coastal route out of Africa 65kya most carriers of hg N probably left Africa during the migratory trajectory across the Straits of Gibraltar. Low frequencies of hg N in East Asia and Oceania today, are probably the result of the southern coastal route out of Africa from the Red Sea on into Asia.This view is supported by the ancient M and N lineages found in Asia.
      In conclusion, the  ‘Classic Aurignacian’ culture probably began in Africa, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar into Iberia, and expanded eastward across Europe (3a,40-41,44) . The archaeological record informs us that CroMagnon people carried hg N and replaced the Neanderthal population of the Levant,  at Ksar Akil around 32, 000 years ago (42-43), not the Natufians who entered the Levant almost 20,000 years later. Moreover, by 7000 BC the dominant haplogroup of Western Eurasians remained hg N1(36) .
     The appearance of phylogenetically related sequences of hg L3  present  in many ancient  Iberian skeletons suggest  that this haplogroup may have a long history in Iberia. The fact that hg N came to Iberia with the Cro-Magnon people in Aurignacian times suggest that carries of L3 may have also been part of this population movement.
       The mtDNA, skeletal and archaeological record generally,  support a third migration event out of Africa before the expansion of the Natufians into the Levant 10,000-20,000 ybp (35). This third out of Africa event took place between 40-35kya, when modern man crossed from Africa into Iberia carrying haplogroups N and L3,  and began to replace Neanderthal as the dominant population in western Eurasia.

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