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  #51  
Old 12-01-2019, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bardos View Post
The very definition of a psychological change.
A concatenation if circumstances leading to making one option more attractive is the definition of psychological change?

What the fuck are you talking about?

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However, I still think that the causes of the psychological change in humanity, all at the same time, may be other.
Other what? Spit it out. What are you coyly hinting at? I’m dying to find out whether this has been a witnessing thread in disguise.
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  #52  
Old 12-01-2019, 02:07 PM
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A concatenation if circumstances leading to making one option more attractive is the definition of psychological change?

What the fuck are you talking about?

Other what? Spit it out. What are you coyly hinting at? I’m dying to find out whether this has been a witnessing thread in disguise.
I am not hinting at anything. I truly have no idea. I just reject the popular wisdom. However one important psychological change is that these sedentary folks somehow had arrived at the conclusion that owning stuff and having property rights was "good", "better" or "beneficial". Nomadic cultures were just the opposite; they did not have the sense of individual private property, cultures which did not recognize individual property. Stuff was shared.

So, to transition from a type of "socialist" society as a psychological state to a "capitalist one", after having lived untold thousands of years in the former... that's a big change.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimera757 View Post
..
I believe farming spread so quickly because anyone who started farming saw huge population increases, and any other humans who saw this wanted to copy this. Furthermore the farmers either conquered nearby people, or simply "encroached" on their lands and turned that into farmland.
A friend who is an amateur archeologist tells me that agriculture only spread at about the rate that new generations of farmers could develop new fields. That is, he believes that very few hunter-gatherers chose to become farmers, instead, the larger population density of farmers allowed them to take the best land (one generation at a time) from the hunter-getherers.

That doesn't explain why several groups of humans in different parts of the world all simultaneously started farming. I would agree that climate change is the most plausible explanation for that.
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
By noticing that food plants were sprouting from the rubbish pit where they dumped the seeds.

Really, this is quite obvious. You don't have to have enormous observational powers or great deductive skills to figure it out.
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
True, but the obvious isn't necessarily obvious. For the longest time it was believed that flies were spontaneously generated by rotting food, because any unpreserved meat or battlefield corpse would soon enough turn into a rancid pile of crawling maggots. They just didn't understand/perceive that flies laid eggs in there first.

(or rather, and perhaps more fairly, the debate raged about eggs vs. spontaneous generation or an expression of some form of life-force exiting rotting matter in the form of bugs raged on until the 17th century and empirical experiments)

(I'm not disputing your notion, to be clear - just tacking on pointless trivia, as is my wont )
The different is that fly eggs are quite small and hard to see, and they hatch pretty quickly. I've never observed a fly egg hatching, for instance. Whereas many seeds (for instance, wheat, apple, barley, grapes, beans...) are easy to see with the naked eye, and they sprout slowly, so the embryo is easily observable as it grows out of the seed. I have seen thousands of sprouting acorns in my yard, for instance, despite taking zero action to look for them or to sprout them. I have to believe that essentially all humans understood how plants grow out of seeds long before agriculture.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:42 PM
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What different people mean by 'agriculture' varies enormously, even among archaeologists, which does not help. There is a complete continuum from total reliance on hunting and fishing [high random, high skill] to sedentary intensive surplus-producing mono-cropping [nil random, low task complexity]. Where we choose to put a line and say that beyond that is 'agriculture' is largely arbitrary and based on prejudice and expectation as much as science.

I'd call a constellation of practices that relied on vast understanding of how plants and animals worked in nature, and then consciously manipulating that to obtain reliability of yields that otherwise wouldn't happen agricultural behaviour.

If the arbitrary line is ignored, then there is a lot of agricultural behaviour emerging and evolving as the climate stabilises post-last ice-age and, with it, greater stability in ecology. Climate change is a likely precondition, but probably not causal beyond producing ecological stability. Moving into more intensive cropping requires complex interactions between ecology, population dynamics, sedentism and social structures that all have to work together, which is probably less about climate / ecosystems than social relations supporting different types of power relationships developing within and between groups.

The way we think about agriculture is still strongly influenced by a lot of deeply-embedded 19th century racial thought about the ladder of human evolution somehow mirroring how people get their food. (See the current contentious debate in Australia about Bruce Pascoe's Dark Emu, where he cites a whole series of agricultural practices that were observed by early European settlers but which they couldn't call agriculture because that had implications about the sort of society they were busy attempting to dominate.)
  #55  
Old 12-01-2019, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bardos View Post
I am not hinting at anything. I truly have no idea. I just reject the popular wisdom. However one important psychological change is that these sedentary folks somehow had arrived at the conclusion that owning stuff and having property rights was "good", "better" or "beneficial". Nomadic cultures were just the opposite; they did not have the sense of individual private property, cultures which did not recognize individual property. Stuff was shared.

So, to transition from a type of "socialist" society as a psychological state to a "capitalist one", after having lived untold thousands of years in the former... that's a big change.
The difference between nomadic life and settles life is not a difference related to socialism and capitalism. And it certainly doesn’t require a fundamental change in human psychology related to socialism and capitalism. Even in modern times, socialist or capitalist ideologies don’t reflect an evolutionary difference between individuals.

Bands of humans made choices based on their circumstances. The ones who made choices that improved their survivability and competitiveness produced another generation. The ones who didn’t died out. They weren’t choosing between socialism and capitalism.
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  #56  
Old 12-01-2019, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
The difference between nomadic life and settles life is not a difference related to socialism and capitalism. And it certainly doesn’t require a fundamental change in human psychology related to socialism and capitalism. Even in modern times, socialist or capitalist ideologies don’t reflect an evolutionary difference between individuals.

Bands of humans made choices based on their circumstances. The ones who made choices that improved their survivability and competitiveness produced another generation. The ones who didn’t died out. They weren’t choosing between socialism and capitalism.
I disagree about the lack of psychological difference in the makeup of individuals inclined to different ideologies. I think you postulate the existence of socialist societies on this planet which in my opinion are few and far between, perhaps in the most primitive areas.

Off-topic: In colonial times on the east coast of the US, there were many cases of people who would run off and join various Indian tribes; even the level of "civilization" of the 17th and 18th centuries, without TV and internet, apparently was strangling them. Their relatives, or maybe folks in general, looked on this as an aberration and would organize "rescue parties". These folks would be kidnapped and brought back to civilization, where ofttimes they would escape again. It got so bad that there were laws put into effect declaring it illegal to run off and join an Indian tribe.
  #57  
Old 12-01-2019, 04:40 PM
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I disagree about the lack of psychological difference in the makeup of individuals inclined to different ideologies.
So you believe that people are born with capitalist or socialist tendencies ... in their genes or something?


That’s an interesting proposition in a world in which almost no one lives in a purely capitalist or socialist system.

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I think you postulate the existence of socialist societies on this planet
I said nothing of the kind. 10,000 years ago there was no such thing as capitalist and socialist ideologies driving decisions in human societies.

Given that socialism didn’t even arise as an organized philosophy until well into the Industrial Age in one of the most non-nomadic societies in human history, I question the premise of your proposal.
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  #58  
Old 12-01-2019, 04:45 PM
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A psychological change that took place simultaneously in the Fertile Crescent, South America, and elsewhere? I think we can rule that out based on anything that's scientifically plausible.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture#History
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Origins
Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe,[8] and included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin.[5]
Mass psych changes around the world! Blame the ETs!
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Wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago.[9] From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops, emmer and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC,[10] followed by mung, soy and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago.[11] Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago.[12] Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia,[13] where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.[14] In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, coca, llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago,[15] and was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago.[16]
From that, it looks like global agriculture started ca.10k-11k years ago, then took another ca.5k years to develop much - leading to the birth of empires IIRC. But another article sketches a rather different timescale.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolit...ral_transition
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Agricultural transition
Map of the world showing approximate centers of origin of agriculture and its spread in prehistory: the Fertile Crescent (11,000 BP), the Yangtze and Yellow River basins (9,000 BP) and the New Guinea Highlands (9,000–6,000 BP), Central Mexico (5,000–4,000 BP), Northern South America (5,000–4,000 BP), sub-Saharan Africa (5,000–4,000 BP, exact location unknown), eastern North America (4,000–3,000 BP).[11]
From this we see that a synchronous global agricultural revolution DID NOT HAPPEN!

Well sure, 7k-8k years, the distance between Fertile Crescent (11,000 BP) and eastern North America (4,000–3,000 BP), is a gnat-fart of geologic time; but a lot happens in ~400 human generations. Thus, each origin center likely has its own local explanation. That cite lists a number of origin theories. Take your pick.
  #59  
Old 12-01-2019, 04:55 PM
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You've been repeatedly informed that the "overkill hypothesis" is just one scenario about how humans may have been involved in megafaunal extinctions. The fact that the overkill hypothesis is no longer considered to be likely doesn't mean that humans weren't the deciding factor in these extinctions.

Regarding the study you cite:



Even less can they be applied to elsewhere in the Americas, or to megafaunal extinctions in the Old World, which occurred at very different times. And of course this is a single article and can be challenged as well.



Paleontologists do recognize that a variety of effects caused megafaunal extinctions in different parts of the world, some more important in one area than in others. But the common factor in most cases was the encounter of humans with advanced hunting capabilities with a naive fauna that hadn't experienced such hunting before.



On a global scale, this is absolutely false.

Indeed, but he was posting about North America. And that's what my post applied to. No doubt in places like New Zealand it was humans. Australia also looks like humans, mostly.

I can give you twenty more articles about North America if you like.

Well, there was extinctions in Africa and the fauna there had more or less evolved along with humans. In North America it appears to be mostly climate change.

That leaves where for "encounter of humans with advanced hunting capabilities with a naive fauna that hadn't experienced such hunting before."?

Here's Africa; https://www.independent.co.uk/enviro...-a8647216.html

Ancient mammal extinctions in Africa caused by climate change rather than humans, study finds


And Europe, which says Climate and humans:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile...1e0c431517.pdf
  #60  
Old 12-01-2019, 05:03 PM
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..
But some things make it complicated. Why didn't agriculture develop in Australia? There were modern humans there by at least 40k years ago. The climate changed there quite a bit. Etc.

And Göbekli Tepe has caused some rethinking. Not just that the earliest dating is 12k years ago and what were these people eating to support the population? But also how many more of these sites are there to be discovered? It's just too early.

One thing to keep in mind is agriculture is not a "not there" then "there" thing. Some Native Americans in the PNW maintained camas meadows by selective burning of competing plants, avoiding over harvesting, etc. Pretty darn close to agriculture. (Plus they made a variety of foods with it including loaves of "bread".)....
Australia is a interesting question, here's a couple of articles about why:

https://austhrutime.com/agriculture.htm

One of the features of Aboriginal Australia that has been wondered about is that for the whole of their presence in Australia, probably more than 60,000 years, the inhabitants never adopted agriculture or domestication of animals, remaining one of the few places in the world sticking with their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life.

Many reasons have been put forward for the lack of agriculture in Australia, but it is only recently that it was realised that they did in fact practice a form of agriculture, firestick agriculture. They not only used fire to hunt, setting fire to grass to chase out animals to aid in hunting, but regularly burnt limited areas to increase the availability of new grass to feed the animals they hunted, maintaining the populations of their prey species sustainably for many thousands of years. Not only did they maintain their hunting lands in the condition their prey species preferred, they are also thought to be possibly, at least partially, responsible for the spread of dry eucalypt forests after their arrival, because this type of vegetation is fire-resistant.


https://search.informit.com.au/docum...ELAPA;type=pdf
https://journals.lib.washington.edu/...icle/view/9978
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:24 AM
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It's not "all" humanity, and it's not "at the same time" - just very roughly so. Which is to be expected given the different circumstances, that responses to the same climatic event would take varying times in different environments.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:07 AM
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I am not hinting at anything. I truly have no idea. I just reject the popular wisdom. However one important psychological change is that these sedentary folks somehow had arrived at the conclusion that owning stuff and having property rights was "good", "better" or "beneficial". Nomadic cultures were just the opposite; they did not have the sense of individual private property, cultures which did not recognize individual property. Stuff was shared.

So, to transition from a type of "socialist" society as a psychological state to a "capitalist one", after having lived untold thousands of years in the former... that's a big change.
I think you are confusing cause and effect. For big game hunting, cooperative behaviour is necessary; similarly, a single big kill feeds a large number of people, but needs to be disposed of (or preserved, like dried meat, pemmican, etc.) People lived in small groups, and pooled everything, because the survival of the group demanded it.

(For a fun discussion of nomadic tribe economics and sharing, see the opening sequence of "The Gods Must Be Crazy")

Once a group becomes farmers, the family is more important. they have their area to work and the proceeds of this land and labour, and certainly do not have enough to share with the whole village - and of course, the question will arise - "why do we have enough food and the next hut does not?". If it is a real misfortune the group will contribute, but one family cannot feed the whole village with their usual harvest - it's to each their own.

As for possessions - being sedentary is what leads to an accumulation of possessions. A nomadic tribe is limited to what they can carry. In settled village, with care a family can accumulate many vermin-proof clay jars and more than one or two sets of clothes. They can accumulate artwork and memorial works, they can decorate their hut or expand it.

* * * *

As for "what changed?". By the time of the emergence of agriculture, humans were scattered all over the world. Their genetic lineage had become isolated on 4 land masses with minimal cross-communication or interbreeding. (5 if sub-Sahara is separate). It's not conceivable that there emerged a change in all (except Australia) at the same time. The idea that there was a time-release change buried in the human brain is also less plausible.

IMHO something changed about 70,000 years ago or so. "Modern humans" from what I've read emerged from a small bottle-neck group about that time and spread across Africa and then the world very quickly, replacing existing variants of early humans. What was it? Better speech? Conceptual thinking leading to better planning of hunting etc.? Or was it something a simple as volcanic eruptions and/or climate change drove them close to extinction and nothing special emerged? We may never know.

But, those humans did not have the steady climate able to take a good proto-crop plant and selectively grow it for the centuries at a time required to make such a plant a suitable substitute for hunting, in terms of volume of nourishment it would be feasible to cultivate... The point of the linked articles is not that there was an ice age, but that the climate came and went - what would be warm enough to grow certain crops one century might not be the next century - variability.

Anyone who's seen wild plums or crabapples or wild strawberries no bigger than a pea must consider - what would agriculture be like if that were the best of those sort of plants that could be found? If early wheat did not ripen all the same time and had to be grabbed before it fell off the stalk? They would be an addition to a hunter's diet, collected haphazardly and throwing into a mix with the meat. The point of the article was that when climate stability arrived, very soon after so did better plants through human selectivity.

As for Australia - Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel discusses this - that the main crops of agricultural societies are a lucky coincidence of the appropriate precursor plants that can be adapted to produce sustainable volumes of food for a society. Some places - notably, Australia - did not have these plants, and/or the climate was not appropriate to import the nearest agricultural neighbour's crops. Also, Australia after the ice age was more difficult to reach, so less cultural exchange.

Last edited by md2000; 12-02-2019 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:36 AM
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Nomadic cultures were just the opposite; they did not have the sense of individual private property, cultures which did not recognize individual property. Stuff was shared.
Where do you come by the notion that nomadic cultures didn't have individual property? Cite for this?
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:48 AM
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A man might own his weapons and a woman a few baskets/sacks, people own small things, but no one amassed large amounts of stuff. So yes, technically, there was private property but not hoards like modern people typically have.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:16 AM
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A man might own his weapons and a woman a few baskets/sacks, people own small things, but no one amassed large amounts of stuff.
That's the nature of being nomadic HGs. "Not a lot of stuff" doesn't mean "didn't own the stuff they had"

The issue here is whether all or most stuff was shared. There's no actual evidence for the claim that pre-agricultural people owned everything in common, and plenty of evidence from burials that they didn't.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:44 AM
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Yes, climate change. The more unstable the climate, the less agriculture pays off versus competing strategies. Especially early in the process when you don't have the selective breeding and techniques down.

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I believe farming spread so quickly because anyone who started farming saw huge population increases, and any other humans who saw this wanted to copy this. Furthermore the farmers either conquered nearby people, or simply "encroached" on their lands and turned that into farmland.
Genetic studies of human remains in the middle east and Zagroz shows that agriculture at first spread as a concept, to unrelated peoples. After a bit, someone in Anatolia figured out how to do it right, and a massive population wave spread out. The descendants of this population is still a major component of the European genetic profile. Otzi the Iceman was a representative of this group.

Interactions with the previous hunter-gatherer population varied. There are still genes from the hunter-gatherers present. Agriculture came late to the British Isles, but when it did the agriculturalists totally erased the previous population. Conversely in the east Baltic the native population held out and adopted agriculture with little replacement (at that point). Speculation is the area was so fertile and varied in resources that it supported a greater population density, that held out until picking up agriculture.

A similar pattern of an agricultural population explosion erasing local populations can be found in Southeast Asia.

As for the Mammoth/Mastodons, there is always some new paper trying to exonerate humans by pointing the finger at some other culprit. Comet strike, mega-flu what have you. Climate change seem like a poor choice.

The species and related probscidea go back to the Miocene, and seems to have had a remarkable ability to weather climate changes, powering through both the hotter Miocene and repeated, fast-shifting (in evolutionary terms) glacial and inter-glacial periods. I am not aware of any evidence of stress during previous climate changes.

They even managed to survive into historic times in a location not reached by humans. If you can make it on Wrangel Island, you need a really good excuse not to flourish elsewhere.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:20 AM
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My guess (IANA anthropologist, archaelogist or historian) is that it was a combination of a few things that none of which on their own would have resulted in agriculture.

1. Climate change such that cultivation was actually viable.
2. Someone noticing that plants grow from seeds, and deliberately reserving a proportion of their food crop seeds to replant the following year. I bet this was more of an observational thing- "Hey- those wheat plants grew where I threw out the leftover stuff in the pouch in the spring! Maybe I can repeat that and have more seeds come Fall...."

I mean, once you're at the point where you're trying to hedge your bets by scattering seeds in hope of getting more food, you've basically got agriculture. From there, you're domesticating the food species.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
That's the nature of being nomadic HGs. "Not a lot of stuff" doesn't mean "didn't own the stuff they had"

The issue here is whether all or most stuff was shared. There's no actual evidence for the claim that pre-agricultural people owned everything in common, and plenty of evidence from burials that they didn't.
My guess (subject to change with more evidence) is that people owned their personal tools and clothes/ornaments, but not much else because there wasn't much else. The territory was "owned" in common. They cooperated to build shelter(s). Food was definitely shared, often with elaborate rules for distribution. Likewise, rights to harvest various resources were elaborately codified, but there was a notion that all of this was supposed to contribute to everyone's survival. I think sometimes people think it was some sort of free-for-all finders-keepers but in fact all the HG societies so far discovered have a lot of rules to follow.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:44 PM
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In 1978, James Burke did a 10-part series called, "Connections", which traced the development of existing items back as far as he could.

In episode one, he theorized that the primary motivating factor away from hunting-and-gathering was the invention of the plow. Humans could now grow food in place rather than spending time looking for food.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:01 PM
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In episode one, he theorized that the primary motivating factor away from hunting-and-gathering was the invention of the plow. Humans could now grow food in place rather than spending time looking for food.
Certainly wrong, since plowing was a relatively late development. Early agriculture relied on hoes and digging sticks (and still does in the subtropics and tropics). The earliest evidence of plowing seems to be about 3800 BC, which is 4000 years too late. Also, AFAIK plowing never developed in the agricultural societies of the Americas. While early plows were drawn by humans, to be really effective they needed domesticated draft animals, which were lacking in the Americas.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:37 PM
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Keep in mind that the process of domestication predates agriculture by quite some time. We wouldn't complete the process until the advent of agriculture, but we were on our way to coevolving a mutually beneficial relationship with a number of different species ages ago.

The earliest bands of hunter gatherers would have been picking berries and grains as they walked their trails, dropping some seeds along the path and others when they relieved themselves. They would pick the largest, most appealing to a human grains and fruits, and this is the very beginning of "artificial selection", though at this point it was no more "artificial" than a fruit evolving bright colors to draw in birds. But it ensured that large, colorful, tasty and sugary fruits (all relatively speaking, of course) wouldgrow where humans are.

In places like South America, we even stepped in for plants whose evolutionary partners had died out. Avocados, for example, evolved their huge pits because they were eaten whole by giant ground sloths and mammoths; the pit would pass the digestive system and sprout. When the sloths died out, the avocado couldn't reproduce anymore. But we stepped in and replaced the megafauna.

This applies to livestock as well. Thousands of years before we bred and herded goats, we were able to selectively hunt old animals past reproductive age out of the wild herds, ensuring continued growth; we were able to kill off the most aggressive males in each generation, ensuring a more docile species; and we were able to protect the herd by killing off wolves or other predators that strayed into our territory.

By the time we decided to stay in one place for good, our grains were larger, our fruits juicier, our prey species more docile. All preselected and primed for domestication -- species we didn't have such a beneficial relationship with would be outcompeted, or vice versa -- we would congregate in areas full of our beneficial species.

It's almost like our early ancestors and the ancestors of our domesticated species worked together to create the ideal environment for civilization to arise in. But of course, that is how it would seem to us, the end product of this union. From the perspective of a puddle, the hole in the ground it finds itself in is exactly the right size and shape for the water.

ETA: So what changed 10,000 years ago? Conditions were finally right for us to settle permanently enough to leave the traces of what we today call "civilization", and the rate of change escalated from there exponentially -- a process that continues today. But the birth of civilization wasn't REALLY a distinct event -- just a continuation of previous processes that finally passed a tipping point.

Last edited by Babale; 12-02-2019 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:10 PM
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Beer, beer, beer beer-


But not because folks suddenly had an intense desire to get inebriated like a Notre Dame freshman. The drink of choice in colonial America was hard cider. The alcohol meant it could be kept for quite some time without spoilage/disease issues. When you're wading along the edge of an ice age, fresh, pure, uncontaminated water's not all that hard to come by. Climate warms up, running water sources gets...iffy- and the need for the ability to carry and store liquids that remain drinkable becomes a very important component of survival. Moist grains WILL ferment- and desperation leads to discovery. Light bulb moment, gradual shift to steady production & supply, less disease, more calories, greater population. Anyone who thinks one would farm by choice if given an alternative has never farmed. Farming was harder than working as a lumberjack!
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:13 PM
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My guess (subject to change with more evidence) is that people owned their personal tools and clothes/ornaments, but not much else because there wasn't much else. The territory was "owned" in common.
This definitely isn't the case with the current HGs I'm familiar with (the San). Individuals (often women) own such territorial features as water holes and foraging areas. So cites for why this is supposed to be different in the distant past would be useful.
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They cooperated to build shelter(s).
Sure, everyone helps erect temporary structures.The Amish have communal barn raising, do they not own property then?
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Food was definitely shared, often with elaborate rules for distribution.
That's not egalitarian "sharing", that's a stratified gift economy. Not the same thing at all. There's a clear sense of who has the rights to portion food out. The hunter, if it's meat (and this is usually to everyone, gift economy style), the forager's family only, if it's foraged food. That distribution right's a form of ownership.
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there was a notion that all of this was supposed to contribute to everyone's survival.
Cite, please. Cites for recent anthropology or archaeology papers that show this "notion" rather than your romantic supposition.
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I think sometimes people think it was some sort of free-for-all finders-keepers but in fact all the HG societies so far discovered have a lot of rules to follow.
That's the opposite of everyone sharing everything. You know what we call it when there are elaborate rules for who can use what? Property rights.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:49 PM
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Not just agriculture but a whole host of things from biological evolution to the development of industrial technology seem to follow the same general pattern: no apparent change for long periods of time, a tipping point, then exponential growth to the limits. Has anyone proposed a general theory of why this pattern occurs, and how that would apply to agriculture?
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:16 PM
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.....So cites.....Cite, please. Cites....
Did you miss the part where I said this is my GUESS?????
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:31 PM
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Did you miss the part where I said this is my GUESS?????
No, I didn't. I just assumed your guess was based on something concrete, given the forum. Maybe some anthropology training, maybe some fieldwork with HGs, maybe a National Geographic Kids article you skimmed one time. Not just a wild stab in the dark.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:35 PM
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Not just agriculture but a whole host of things from biological evolution to the development of industrial technology seem to follow the same general pattern: no apparent change for long periods of time, a tipping point, then exponential growth to the limits. Has anyone proposed a general theory of why this pattern occurs, and how that would apply to agriculture?
For evolution it's Punctuated Equilibrium., but I don't know anyone's applied it to agriculture.

The theory isn't without its critics even there.

Last edited by MrDibble; 12-02-2019 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:23 PM
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This is fascinating and will change things a lot when verified:
https://ktla.com/2017/04/26/discover...CkprFo76iRcYvk

The remains of a mastodon discovered during a routine freeway excavation in San Diego shows there was human activity in North America 130,000 years ago — or about 115,000 years earlier than previously thought.


......

Paleontologists with the San Diego Natural History Museum discovered the remains of the ancient mammal more than 20 years ago. But it wasn’t until now that scientists were able to accurately date the findings, and possibly rewrite the history of the New World as we know it.

“This is a whole new ball game,” Steve Holen, co-director of the Center for American Paleolithic Research and the paper’s lead author, told CNN. The discovery changes the understanding of when humans reached North America.

The study, to be published this week in the science journal Nature, said the numerous limb bones fragments of a young male mastodon found at the site show spiral fractures, indicating they were broken while fresh.

Hammerstones and stone anvils were also found at the site, showing that humans had the manual skill and knowledge to use stone tools to extract the animal’s marrow and possibly to use its bones to make tools.
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:12 PM
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The study, to be published this week in the science journal Nature, said the numerous limb bones fragments of a young male mastodon found at the site show spiral fractures, indicating they were broken while fresh.

Hammerstones and stone anvils were also found at the site, showing that humans had the manual skill and knowledge to use stone tools to extract the animal’s marrow and possibly to use its bones to make tools.[/I]
As is often said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and this site doesn't provide that. Spiral fractures and alleged hammerstones do not a butchery site make. The interpretation has been criticized by many archaeologists, including Tom Dillehay, whose analysis of the Monterverde site in Chile helped break the "Clovis first" paradigm. If this was a butchery site, why weren't formed stone tools and cut marks on the bones found as well?
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:43 PM
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As is often said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and this site doesn't provide that. Spiral fractures and alleged hammerstones do not a butchery site make. The interpretation has been criticized by many archaeologists, including Tom Dillehay, whose analysis of the Monterverde site in Chile helped break the "Clovis first" paradigm. If this was a butchery site, why weren't formed stone tools and cut marks on the bones found as well?
Like I said, when verified. Before peer review and publication, it's pretty much just "interesting" but doesnt prove anything. I have doubts, but still it's interesting anyway.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:04 PM
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Even if there were pre-Clovis humans in the Americas, it has to be asked if they contributed anything to the genetic and cultural legacy of later populations, or if they became extinct and were entirely supplanted.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:00 PM
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Like I said, when verified. Before peer review and publication, it's pretty much just "interesting" but doesnt prove anything. I have doubts, but still it's interesting anyway.
I would say if verified, rather than when verified, with the "if" being of exceedingly small probability.

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Even if there were pre-Clovis humans in the Americas, it has to be asked if they contributed anything to the genetic and cultural legacy of later populations, or if they became extinct and were entirely supplanted.
It's definitely now commonly accepted that there were pre-Clovis humans in Americas, but the colonization has been pushed back maybe 5,000 or at the very most 10,000 years earlier, not 100,000 years. And it would have to be assumed that any very early population that old would have had to become extinct pretty rapidly in order not to leave the slightest trace anywhere in the Americas for 100,000 years. Certainly no trace of DNA that old has been found in Native American populations, other than the Neanderthal genes found in all non-African populations.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:17 PM
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I would say if verified, rather than when verified, with the "if" being of exceedingly small probability.



It's definitely now commonly accepted that there were pre-Clovis humans in Americas, but the colonization has been pushed back maybe 5,000 or at the very most 10,000 years earlier, not 100,000 years. ....
Yes, very definitely Pre Clovis and they are toying with 30,000 years ago. OK, 30K, that is a maybe. I dont think, once they got rid of the Clovis line in the sand, 30K would be shocking. Colibri, you wouldnt be shocked if the very earliest humans in the Americas was 30000 years ago, would you?

But 130,000 years ago?! wow. That would be earthshaking.

I have doubts but if!

Last edited by DrDeth; 12-08-2019 at 11:19 PM.
  #84  
Old 12-08-2019, 11:59 PM
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My WAG is that HG’s required huge areas of land to follow the herds and migrating animals, which works fine until your tribe keeps bumping up against other tribes and conflicts erupt for limited resources. Once the area becomes saturated with so many people, the tribes start to look at other food sources. Since the Gathering part of Hunter/Gatherer is already established, it’s just honing these skills that brings about agriculture.
Basically population density brought about the shift to agriculture, Ie. humans learned how to be more efficient with the land they were confined to. I have no cites, again just a wag
  #85  
Old 12-09-2019, 01:32 AM
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My WAG is that HG’s required huge areas of land to follow the herds and migrating animals, which works fine until your tribe keeps bumping up against other tribes and conflicts erupt for limited resources. Once the area becomes saturated with so many people, the tribes start to look at other food sources. Since the Gathering part of Hunter/Gatherer is already established, it’s just honing these skills that brings about agriculture.
Basically population density brought about the shift to agriculture, Ie. humans learned how to be more efficient with the land they were confined to. I have no cites, again just a wag
Yeah, this is along the lines I was thinking, but better stated.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:29 AM
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On the topic of H. sapiens' arrival in America, the Y-chromosome tree may be of interest. I've crudely summarized a clading diagram from the linked site, beginning with Q's separation from R about 29,000 years ago. (R is the haplogroup now dominant throughout Europe.) The dates are fairly firm; Ytree provides error bars which I've shown only for Q-M1107. All dates are in thousands of years before present, the first date is "formation", the 2nd is TMRCA. After the dates I've crudely summarized the place distribution shown at Yfull.

Q 29.0/28.7
... Q-L275 28.7/14.4 South Asia
... Q-F1213 14.4/10.0 Widespread
... Q-L472 28.7/26.1
...... Q-F1096 26.1/24.3 Widespread Asia
...... Q-F746 24.3/16.2 China
...... Q-L56 26.1/19.9
......... Q-Y2659 19.9/18.7 Bosnia, Sri Lanka
......... Q-L940 18.7/16.6
............ Q-L932 16.6/15.7 Widespread Asia
............ Q-L527 16.6/3.0 Sweden
......... Q-L53 19.9/17.8
............ Q-YP4040 17.8/16.6 Russia
............ Q-L54 17.8/16/0
............... Q-L330 16.0/7.7 Russia/Hungary
............... Q-M1107 16.0±1.1/16.0±1.1
.................. Q-Z780 16.0/15.9 Amerindian, Anzick1
.................. Q-M930 16.0/15.3
..................... Q-L804 15.3/3.2 Scandinavia
..................... Q-M3 15.3/13.3 Amerindian

A move to America 16,000 years ago is clearly visible (M1107). We can't rule out that there was an earlier Y-chromosome in the Americas, extinct or not yet detected. (At least one ancient skeleton, "Anzick1", is shown on the Yfull chart.)

The Q-L804 haplogroup found in Scandinavia is intriguing. (Showing it is one reason I prepared this detailed chart.) Was this some sort of migration (or prisoner capture?) from America to Scandinavia???
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:51 AM
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I read that animals (mainly horses and cows) were the reason humans settled down anywhere because someone figured out the grass they ate regrew in certain spots every year

then they learned/figured how to grow the grass your self and growing food came from there as in some places the animals and people ate the same thing (and lived in the same house in the winter in colder places)
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:51 AM
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The article is going to be three years old soon, and the discovery seems to have generated remarkably little buzz during the time. I suspect their conclusions that these are signs of human activity are overblown.

There were anatomically modern humans that left Africa during the previous interglacial and spread along the tropics of India and southeast Asia. And when the climate cooled they went extinct, getting replaced by our more cold-adapted cousins. Back then we could go extinct like any other species.

For this find to be accurate, we would have to have migrated though colder areas, pushing out the better-adapted Denisovans, and then into the Americas. And then have gone extinct with no push from other Sapiens in our niche.

And we'd need to be capable of hunting some really big megafauna back the for that find to be accurate. That level of hunting capacity is normally associated with us wiping out the megafauna on a vast scale.

So summing it up:

-This is really far outside of our range at the time.

-We'd need to push through environments and competition we did not seem to handle well at the time to get there.

-We'd need to do it fast, 130 000 years ago was at the very start of the previous interglacial, predating the other signs of an ancient out-of-Africa episode.

-Theres no sign of the kind of impact humans capable of hunting megafauna like that normally has on ecosystem.

-Theres no sign of humans from the time period or after. Humans capable of getting there and hunting like that does not just go extinct in the absence of competitors.

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A move to America 16,000 years ago is clearly visible (M1107). We can't rule out that there was an earlier Y-chromosome in the Americas, extinct or not yet detected. (At least one ancient skeleton, "Anzick1", is shown on the Yfull chart.)
Remember, the group that became ancestral to almost all native American DNA is supposed to have had a period of isolation in Beringia for 15 - 25 000 years. (Beringia standstill hypothesis)

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The Q-L804 haplogroup found in Scandinavia is intriguing. (Showing it is one reason I prepared this detailed chart.) Was this some sort of migration (or prisoner capture?) from America to Scandinavia???
Common ancestors. The same group that became ancestral to Native Americans also migrated westwards into Scandinavia. Remember, the earth is a sphere and the further north towards the pole you go the shorter the east- west distance around the earth becomes.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:54 AM
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Linguistic and genetic evidence point strongly to three invasions of America:
(a) Amerindian ca 15,500 BP
(b) Na Dene 8000 BP?
(c) Eskimo-Aleut
Is this three-wave model still widely accepted?

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Remember, the group that became ancestral to almost all native American DNA is supposed to have had a period of isolation in Beringia for 15 - 25 000 years. (Beringia standstill hypothesis)
The first Google hit suggests either "about 30,000 BP" or (after 2015 study by Raghavan) "no earlier than 23,000 BP" for the beginning of the isolation in Beringia. These dates make more sense to me than the 40,000 to 30,000 BP you imply. One might surmise that the Q Y-haplogroup developed in Beringia (and migrated both west and east after the glaciers receded), while R, sibling to Q, was left behind in Siberia, west of Beringia

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Common ancestors. The same group that became ancestral to Native Americans also migrated westwards into Scandinavia. Remember, the earth is a sphere and the further north towards the pole you go the shorter the east- west distance around the earth becomes.
Perhaps. But note from the chart that the Scandinavian haplogroup Q-L804 makes the Amerindians of Q-Z780 paraphyletic. Q-L804 has a very recent MRCA date (1200 BC) and hasn't turned up anywhere except Scandinavia and its colonies. I don't know how to explore the hypothesis but I think an ancient Atlantic sea voyage may be plausible.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:55 AM
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The Q-L804 haplogroup found in Scandinavia is intriguing. (Showing it is one reason I prepared this detailed chart.) Was this some sort of migration (or prisoner capture?) from America to Scandinavia???
More likely Sámi or some other group with a large Siberian genome component (~25% in their case).
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:51 AM
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Saami is mostly N Y-Haplogroup and did not migrate to Scotland etc. as Q did. The Q-L804 has not been found in Siberia.

A prehistoric transAtlantic voyage does NOT seem far-fetched. Scandinavians were known to be serious sea navigators well before 1500 BC.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:07 AM
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Saami is mostly N Y-Haplogroup and did not migrate to Scotland etc.
I'm not suggesting they did, I'm suggesting a path for the genes to get into the overall Scandinavian genome. From there, getting to Scotland is easy. Like you said, Scandinavians love their sailing.

As to it not showing up in current Siberian populations - I doubt the coverage is so great that we can rule it out completely yet.
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A prehistoric transAtlantic voyage does NOT seem far-fetched. Scandinavians were known to be serious sea navigators well before 1500 BC.
It's not impossible, and later Scandinavians in Greenland certainly interacted with the Thule. It's just way earlier than the recorded voyages, and without any textual or artifact evidence.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:09 AM
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The first Google hit suggests either "about 30,000 BP" or (after 2015 study by Raghavan) "no earlier than 23,000 BP" for the beginning of the isolation in Beringia. These dates make more sense to me than the 40,000 to 30,000 BP you imply.
You're probably right. Its been many years since I read on it properly and I see they've revised the estimates downwards. When I first came across it it was assumed the proto-Americans needed to be there before, and then get isolated as the Ice Age worsened in the Late Pleniglacial.

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Perhaps. But note from the chart that the Scandinavian haplogroup Q-L804 makes the Amerindians of Q-Z780 paraphyletic. Q-L804 has a very recent MRCA date (1200 BC) and hasn't turned up anywhere except Scandinavia and its colonies. I don't know how to explore the hypothesis but I think an ancient Atlantic sea voyage may be plausible.
Are you sure? I rather thought Q-L804 was 10-17 000 years old with a most likely origin in Beringia or Northeast Asia. Sister group to Q-M3?

Last edited by Grim Render; 12-09-2019 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:06 AM
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Linguistic and genetic evidence point strongly to three invasions of America:
(a) Amerindian ca 15,500 BP
(b) Na Dene 8000 BP?
(c) Eskimo-Aleut
Is this three-wave model still widely accepted?
In broad outlines yes, although the Amerindian migration in particular has been found to be quite complex, with an early split between groups that colonized eastern North America and South America, as well as apparent back-migrations. The hint of some Australasian ancestry in some South American groups has AFAIK not yet been fully resolved.

The Eskimo-Aleut migration is also more complex than previously thought. Some studies have found the Paleo-Eskimos, or Dorset culture, to have been a separate, earlier migration not connected to later Eskimos/Inuit. More recent studies have found genetic connections of the Paleo-Eskimos to not only to the Inuit and Aleuts but also the Na-Dene.

One thing is for sure, more data almost always results in a more complex picture than previously assumed.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:47 AM
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For reference, here is the relevant part of the Y-chromosome tree I showed earlier:
...... Q-M1107 16.0/16.0
............ Q-Z780 16.0/15.9 Amerindian, Anzick1 [aka Q-CTS1780]
............ Q-M930 16.0/15.3
.................. Q-L804 15.3/3.2 Scandinavia
.................. Q-M3 15.3/13.3 Amerindian

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Originally Posted by Grim Render View Post
Are you sure? I rather thought Q-L804 was 10-17 000 years old with a most likely origin in Beringia or Northeast Asia. Sister group to Q-M3?
Using the dates from Yfull, Q-L804 was formed 15,300 years ago, but the MRCA of all Q-L804 males known to Yfull was a recent 1200 BC. (Since the lineage is rare anyway, the recency of this MRCA date may mean very little.) The "formation" date of a node is simply the MRCA date of its immediate ancestor node.

One way to bring about the diagram — perhaps much more likely than the capture of Amerindians by ancient Scandinavian seafarers — is that M1107 was Beringia; M3 went East while L804 went West, and Z780 stayed behind in Beringia. Later Z780 followed M3 to America. This is the view of a 2019 paper "Y Chromosome Sequences Reveal a Short Beringian Standstill, Rapid Expansion, and early Population structure of Native American Founders".

Quote:
... we estimate a Beringian Standstill duration of 2.7 ky or 4.6 ky, according to alternative models, and entry south of the ice sheet after 19.5 kya. Third, we describe the star-like expansion of Q-M848 (within Q-M3) starting at 15 kya [11] in the Americas, followed by establishment of substantial spatial structure in South America by 12 kya. Fourth, the deep branches of the Q-CTS1780 [Q-Z780] lineage present at low frequencies throughout the Americas today [12] may reflect a separate out-of-Beringia dispersal after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Pleistocene.
...
We conclude that the out-of-Beringia event into the Americas could only have happened after 19.5 kya and was shaped by a short Beringian Standstill no longer than 4.6 kya, assuming that Beringia also gave rise to some Northern Eurasian lineages(Q-L330, Q-L804) as a result of a back-from-Beringia dispersal.
The chronology in this paper is vague (unless I missed it, skimming); is "after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Pleistocene" intended to represent some time many centuries after the M3 invasion? BUT, the Anzick1 skeleton (12,600 ybp) is in Z780 and Yfull shows Z780 radiating into separate Amerindian branches at 15,000 ybp.

My reading on these matters was several years ago, so I hope I can be forgiven for overlooking this 2019 paper! Still, I'm not at all sure my trans-Atlantic hypothesis is wrong:
* The ancient Scandinavians were accomplished sea-farers.
* Sure, a back-migration from Beringia to some arbitrary corner of Asia is possible. But to pick Scandinavia as that arbitrary corner?! The corner almost adjacent to America by excellent sea-farers! Coincidence?
* Yfull's 15,000 ybp date for Z780 radiation calls into question the paper's assumption that the Beringians lingered after the M3 invasion.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:20 PM
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Another point - migrations initially happened along the seacoasts - that the aboriginal ancestors made it to Australia indicates a decent level of sea-going capability over 40,000 bc - not transoceanic, but more than just floating haphazardly on makeshift rafts. People settled in rich delta areas where birds and fish were abundant could be hunters with little incentive to move camp. This likely gave them the time and observational data to understand they could plant the food crops they wanted as supplements to their diet. Delta dwellers would also have ample fertile, well-watered land inland to expand their growing options.

(Also note that contrary to the plough concept, I recall the folklore about Thanksgiving mentioned the locals taught the pilgrims effective farming techniques with local crops that involved building a mound with corn on top, beans around the side, and for good measure, bury a fish carcass in the mound to provide fertilizer. One can't help but wonder if this mimicked the original evolution of agriculture in the area, where they discovered seeds germinating out of a garbage heap.)

Last edited by md2000; 12-09-2019 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:28 PM
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It occurs to me that a straightforward research is possible which might find strong evidence for the Trans-Atlantic Hypothesis! (Absence of the evidence wouldn't refute the the hypothesis, but it would significantly reduce the likelihood.)

In the Hypothesis, an ancient group of North Americans somehow migrated across the Atlantic to some destination in Northwest Europe. With a Y-chromosome (Q-L804) which has not yet turned up among Native Americans. But IIUC there has been very little coverage of Natives from U.S. (or Canada?) — precisely the region likely to have cousins of Q-L804 if they exist.

How many U.S. Native Americans, especially from Northeastern non-Eskimo tribes, have had DNA tested? Very few seem to appear at YFull. IIRC a near-taboo by natives against DNA-testing was mentioned in one of the 'Pocahontas Liz' news items.

And, I suppose, digging up ancient Native skeletons may infuriate Natives. Even the Anzick testing annoyed Natives, especially since they weren't notified in advance.

If/when a large canvass of Northeastern Native American Y-chromosomes is ready (preferably supplemented with old skeletons), what odds am I offered that someone will show up cousin to Q-L804?
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:14 PM
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...
And we'd need to be capable of hunting some really big megafauna back the for that find to be accurate. That level of hunting capacity is normally associated with us wiping out the megafauna on a vast scale.

S..

-Theres no sign of the kind of impact humans capable of hunting megafauna like that normally has on ecosystem.
....
No, That level of hunting capacity is not normally associated with us wiping out the megafauna on a vast scale.

Which is- very little.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:16 PM
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...

(Also note that contrary to the plough concept, I recall the folklore about Thanksgiving mentioned the locals taught the pilgrims effective farming techniques with local crops that involved building a mound with corn on top, beans around the side, and for good measure, bury a fish carcass in the mound to provide fertilizer. One can't help but wonder if this mimicked the original evolution of agriculture in the area, where they discovered seeds germinating out of a garbage heap.)

Yes, fish guts & bones, but not a whole fish as often pictured, since you'd get more food energy out of a whole fish.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:17 PM
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...

How many U.S. Native Americans, especially from Northeastern non-Eskimo tribes, have had DNA tested? Very few seem to appear at YFull. IIRC a near-taboo by natives against DNA-testing was mentioned in one of the 'Pocahontas Liz' news items.
..?
Very few to no American natives today are 100% native.
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