The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersGene Expression Blog
Modern Humans Wiped Out Modern Humans from Europe!
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

First Peoples: Europe came and went. I watched it. In case you didn’t see it there was a big reveal: archaeologists in France have uncovered a site where modern humans were producing arrowheads 50,000 years ago. This is strange for two reasons. First, what were modern humans doing with bows and arrows 50,000 years ago? They emerged in the Paleolithic transition to the Mesolithic, spreading from the Old World to the New. That is, they become common over the last 10,000 years. I don’t recall the narrator addressing this issue at all. But let’s set that to the side: if these finds are associated with modern humans then that pushes their arrival to Western Europe 10,000 years further back. Despite all the arguments about dating the presence and disappearance of Neanderthals from Europe, no one presumes that they went extinct 50,000 years ago. That implies that groups of moderns interposed themselves into Neanderthal dominated Europe in some fashion for thousands of years, until finally the Aurignacian culture arrived and replaced Neanderthals in toto.

At the site in question specifically the researchers have uncovered evidence that moderns and Neanderthals used the same location only a few months apart. But we need to remember modern humans weren’t modern yet, they were just one of the many hominin lineages which have flourished over the past 2 million years. With hindsight we can see that these initial forays were to prefigure what was to come, but at the time the two groups were not quite that different in technology and guaranteed destiny. Modern humans did not have any great advantage, so they may have come and gone depending on the circumstances.

51It8A+EKrL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Perhaps the 50,000 year old moderns in France may be likened to the Norse in Newfoundland. And in fact the analogy to the European settlement of North America, and the replacement of Neanderthals by moderns, is made in First Peoples. But the devil is in the details, as the documentary is somewhat schizophrenic about the specific dynamic until the very end. The two extreme stylized models are “make war” vs. “make love.” With the very clear evidence that modern humans admixed with Neanderthals, the narrative arc of the documentary flips from one where moderns are depicted attacking a Neanderthal camp, to one where a modern human lothario engages in “inappropriate touching” with a Neanderthal female. Though I suppose this was 40,000 years before “affirmative consent” norms, so perhaps we should cut them some slack?

In any case, going back to the analogy with the New World I think we can acknowledge that there were complex scenarios left on the cutting room floor of a one hour documentary. The mestizo population of the New World arose through a variety of means, ranging from love all the way to rape. If modern humans 40,000 years ago were anything like modern humans today, then it seems likely that their interactions would run the gamut from trade and amicable relations, to extermination, with many permutations and positions between these two. We need pick one model as the story.

At the end of it all First Peoples: Europe tells the viewer that Neanderthals were demographically swamped out, rather than killed en masse (there weren’t enough for them to be a mass anyway!). This is an idea that’s been around for a while. With very small populations the idea is that a crest of demographic expansion out of Africa just swallowed up the Eurasian hominins. We literally mated them out of existence. John Hawks elaborates this model at length when he has screen time, which makes sense as he’s been suggesting that large effective population sizes within Africa over the Pleistocene might naturally result in the “out of Africa” pulses we see in the genetic record.

Finally, this episode does now make it crystal clear to me why the original admixture event of Neanderthals with modern humans in the Middle East left its imprint on modern Europeans, and later ones did not. Modern Europeans, whether their ancestry is “hunter-gatherer” or “farmer” descend from a Pleistocene Middle Eastern/Central Asian population in totality, and so only experienced that singular admixture event with Neanderthal Middle Easterners. More concretely, the Mesolithic populations which were overwhelmed and assimilated by farmers during the Neolithic in Europe were themselves descended from peoples who had issued out of the Middle East or Central Asia to replace the first modern Europeans. The Aurignacians (or if later, Solutreans) replaced probably had somewhat higher fractions of Neanderthal ancestry, being further out on the “wave of advance.” But since they left no descendants, to a first approximation there’s no signal of a Neanderthal cline.

The past 50,000 years have been characterized by two phenomena: extinction and admixture. The rest is commentary.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Paleoanthropology 
Hide 27 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. terryt says:

    “If modern humans 40,000 years ago were anything like modern humans today, then it seems likely that their interactions would run the gamut from trade and amicable relations, all the way to extermination, with many instances between”.

    I’m sure that is a safe assumption.

    “what were modern humans doing with bows and arrows 50,000 thousand years ago?”

    Yes, a problem.

    “That implies that groups of moderns interposed themselves into Neanderthal dominated Europe in some fashion, until finally the Aurignacian culture arrived and replaced Neanderthals in toto.”

    A recent paper suggested the early Aurignacian contained at least one individual with a different set of Neanderthal genes from the lot that survive today. The implication was that his line became extinct and does not survive today. That implies that even in the Aurignacian modern humans were failing to leave long-term descendants.

    “But this episode does now make it crystal clear to me why the original admixture event of Neanderthals with modern humans in the Middle East left its imprint on modern Europeans, and later ones did not”.

    Possibly because the surviving combination of modern and Neanderthal was not involved in the early settlement of Europe. It gave rise to a later expansion from somewhere relatively isolated. A recent paper on the expansion of mt-DNA N implies the particular mixing may have happened in Central Asia rather than actually in the Middle East.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /gnxp/modern-humans-wiped-out-modern-humans-from-europe/#comment-1005777
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    That implies that even in the Aurignacian modern humans were failing to leave long-term descendants.

    If selection is occurring surly lots of humans are failing to leave long-term descendants.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i don't know what you are talking about. elaborate.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. @The most deplorable one

    That implies that even in the Aurignacian modern humans were failing to leave long-term descendants.
     
    If selection is occurring surly lots of humans are failing to leave long-term descendants.

    i don’t know what you are talking about. elaborate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    If selection is occurring some fraction of the population is not passing on their genes. The stronger the selection the larger the fraction, I would think.

    Moreover, those with a larger number of genes that place them at the bottom of the distribution with respect to selection are more likely to fail to have long-term descendants.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Razib Khan
    i don't know what you are talking about. elaborate.

    If selection is occurring some fraction of the population is not passing on their genes. The stronger the selection the larger the fraction, I would think.

    Moreover, those with a larger number of genes that place them at the bottom of the distribution with respect to selection are more likely to fail to have long-term descendants.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    However, Cochran ran the numbers a while ago, and it seems that to shift the mean of a population up by 1 SD would require something like only the bottom 5% to fail to reproduce for 70 generations. Similarly, to shift the mean down by 1 SD ... and this last thought is something I have not realized until now.

    Still, 5% is close enough to genocide :-)

    , @Helga Vierich
    Genocide? A 5% failure can also be attributed, not to individuals who fail altogether, but who pass on to some but not all, offspring a deleterious - or less advantageous - allele. And overall 5% mortality due, for instance, to a new strain of a virus, could produce the same kind of evolution. It is not genocide then: it is natural selection.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @The most deplorable one
    If selection is occurring some fraction of the population is not passing on their genes. The stronger the selection the larger the fraction, I would think.

    Moreover, those with a larger number of genes that place them at the bottom of the distribution with respect to selection are more likely to fail to have long-term descendants.

    However, Cochran ran the numbers a while ago, and it seems that to shift the mean of a population up by 1 SD would require something like only the bottom 5% to fail to reproduce for 70 generations. Similarly, to shift the mean down by 1 SD … and this last thought is something I have not realized until now.

    Still, 5% is close enough to genocide :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i think i get what you are saying. you are not using the conventional terminology...but in any case, it wouldn't imply total replacement like that. more likely it's inter-group competition, not selection on individual variation.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    How interesting that Greg Cochran should provide that 5 % and 70 generations calculation. About 10 years ago he poured scorn on my hypothetical version of the rise in Ashkenazi IQ (which he insisted was a post destruction of Jerusalem phenomenon) which, unlike his model, focused on the dumb Jewish males not being able to find Jewish spouses, at least during their fertile years. I calculated (as I now remember it) that if no Jew with a below 70 IQ bred for 500 years the average IQ would rise to 115. There weren't of course enough big rabbis' families to provide spouses for successful businessmen sufficient to do the business so I hope Greg now agrees that sending the dim off to shack up with Polish peasants was part of it too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @The most deplorable one
    However, Cochran ran the numbers a while ago, and it seems that to shift the mean of a population up by 1 SD would require something like only the bottom 5% to fail to reproduce for 70 generations. Similarly, to shift the mean down by 1 SD ... and this last thought is something I have not realized until now.

    Still, 5% is close enough to genocide :-)

    i think i get what you are saying. you are not using the conventional terminology…but in any case, it wouldn’t imply total replacement like that. more likely it’s inter-group competition, not selection on individual variation.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Arrows – for use in bows and arrows, were already invented in southern Africa, at least 64,000 years ago, if not earlier. See http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-11086110 and another report of a similar early appearance of pressure flaking techniques as much as 70,000 years ago http://phys.org/news/2010-10-skillful-stone-tool-sharpening-method-years.html

    For more detail: From Journal of World Prehistory, December 2012, Volume 25, Issue 3-4, pp 205-237 Date: 06 Nov 2012
    Late Pleistocene Techno-traditions in Southern Africa: A Review of the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort, c. 75–59 ka
    Christopher S. Henshilwood

    “The focus of this paper is on two remarkable techno-traditions in the prehistory of southern Africa, the c. 75–71 ka Still Bay and the c. 65–59 ka Howiesons Poort. These were periods when the technological and behavioural repertoire of early Homo sapiens expanded rapidly to include novel technologies such as heat treatment of lithic materials, pressure flaking of stone points, manufacture of complex armatures INCLUDING THE BOW AND ARROW, and the production of symbolic artefacts including shell beads and engraved ochre, bone and ostrich eggshell. In this paper I first review briefly the historical background relating to the recognition of these techno-traditions; second, concentrate on the archaeological sites known to contain these assemblages within southern Africa; and third, discuss aspects of the precocious material culture that appears during these phases.” (emphasis mine)

    So I afraid that you have been misinformed when you say “..what were modern humans doing with bows and arrows 50,000 years ago? They emerged in the Paleolithic transition to the Mesolithic, spreading from the Old World to the New.” Bows and arrows were in use among hunter-gatherers before the Mesolithic, and were certainly still in use among hunter-gatherers in the Kalahari when I did my fieldwork there. At that time, some were still even made of natural stone, some of hammered wire.. however most favoured traditional arrowheads were made of very fine bone points, as these were better at transferring poison. Use of bone points for arrows appears to be of great antiquity as well, as discussed by Francesco d’Erricoa and Christopher Henshilwood in “Additional evidence for bone technology in the southern African Middle Stone Age” Journal of Human Evolution
    Volume 52, Issue 2, February 2007, Pages 142–163

    Even more recently, the evidence for this increased:

    “….This paper describes three bone tools: two points and the end of a polished spatula-shaped piece, from unequivocal HP layers at Sibudu Cave (with ages greater than ∼61 ka). Comparative microscopic and morphometric analysis of the Sibudu specimens together with bone tools from southern African Middle and Later Stone Age (LSA) deposits, an Iron Age occupation, nineteenth century Bushman hunter-gatherer toolkits, and bone tools used experimentally in a variety of tasks, reveals that the Sibudu polished piece has use-wear reminiscent of that on bones experimentally used to work animal hides. A slender point is consistent with a pin or needle-like implement, while a larger point, reminiscent of the single specimen from Peers Cave, parallels large un-poisoned bone arrow points from LSA, Iron Age and historical Bushman sites. Additional support for the Sibudu point having served as an arrow tip comes from backed lithics in the HP compatible with this use, and the recovery of older, larger bone and lithic points from Blombos Cave, interpreted as spear heads. If the bone point from the HP layers at Sibudu Cave is substantiated by future discoveries, this will push back the origin of bow and bone arrow technology by at least 20,000 years, and corroborate arguments in favour of the hypothesis that crucial technological innovations took place during the MSA in Africa.” which quote is from the abstract of a 2008 paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science (Volume 35, Issue 6, June 2008, Pages 1566–1580) entitled “Middle Stone Age bone tools from the Howiesons Poort layers, Sibudu Cave, South Africa” by Lucinda Backwella, Francesco d’Erricob, and Lyn Wadleyd.

    There is an informative and intriguing discussion of the whole question of behavioural modernity in a paper by FRANCESCO D’ERRICO , “The Invisible Frontier. A Multiple Species Model for the Origin of Behavioral Modernity” which ends with the following suggestion: ”Two hypotheses, which are not mutually exclusive, may explain both convergences and differences be- tween the two populations on which I have focused here. The first is that the two populations reacted in compara- ble ways to comparable ecological pressures. The other is that, as their similar lithic technology in the Near
    East suggests, cultural barriers, and perhaps biological ones, between these populations were permeable. The limited amount of fossil DNA available seems to indicate17,101 that differences between Neanderthals and recent humans were of the order of two or three times those found within recent humans. But even in this case, the data can be used to support the placement of
    humans either in the same species or in different ones, given the recent or- igin of common ancestry. And Europe was, at all times, a cul de sac. Handaxes arrived there one million years after their invention in Africa, and agriculture, in some areas of Europe, 7,000 years after its invention in the Near East. This demonstrates that we do not need to assume different cognitive abilities to explain gaps in the appearance of some behaviors in the two populations. “ A PDF of this paper is available here: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.126.1932&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jm8
    There is also evidence of projectiles from about 279,000 Bc. in Ethiopia (though not yet arrowheads but rather throwing spears) made (probably) by early Homo sapiens/late African "Heidelbergensis".

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078092

    "Projectile weapons (i.e. those delivered from a distance) enhanced prehistoric hunting efficiency by enabling higher impact delivery and hunting of a broader range of animals while reducing confrontations with dangerous prey species. Projectiles therefore provided a significant advantage over thrusting spears. Composite projectile technologies are considered indicative of complex behavior and pivotal to the successful spread of Homo sapiens. Direct evidence for such projectiles is thus far unknown from >80,000 years ago. Data from velocity-dependent microfracture features, diagnostic damage patterns, and artifact shape reported here indicate that pointed stone artifacts from Ethiopia were used as projectile weapons (in the form of hafted javelin tips) as early as >279,000 years ago. In combination with the existing archaeological, fossil and genetic evidence, these data isolate eastern Africa as a source of modern cultures and biology."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. @The most deplorable one
    If selection is occurring some fraction of the population is not passing on their genes. The stronger the selection the larger the fraction, I would think.

    Moreover, those with a larger number of genes that place them at the bottom of the distribution with respect to selection are more likely to fail to have long-term descendants.

    Genocide? A 5% failure can also be attributed, not to individuals who fail altogether, but who pass on to some but not all, offspring a deleterious – or less advantageous – allele. And overall 5% mortality due, for instance, to a new strain of a virus, could produce the same kind of evolution. It is not genocide then: it is natural selection.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. So the idea that Mesolithic hunter gatherers survived in Mediterranean refugia and then repopulated Europe after the last glacial maximum – maybe they did, but then they were swamped genetically by incoming hunter gatherers and farmers from the Middle East? Am I getting that right? And the evidence for that is that there is no evidence of a cline in Neanderthal ancestry?

    I read that mtDNA haplogroup U5 is dated in Europe at 9,000 years BP, which I took as part of this repopulation from refugia event, and read that this is still present at small but not zero frequency among modern northern Europeans (5%).

    So I’m confused, and may need to update my priors.

    I didn’t watch the series and can’t, unfortunately – geographically disadvantaged. I might have to try to find it and buy it somewhere.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  10. Available to buy on DVD in the PBS Shop, but only shipping to North America.

    *sigh*

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  11. Tim says:

    “I didn’t watch the series and can’t, unfortunately – geographically disadvantaged.”

    Do you mean you can’t, or just don’t want to break their rules. Of course you can watch anything on the internet from almost anywhere using a VPN.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Massey
    I've been trying to do it within the rules, but I do find the geographic rights thing intensely frustrating, as now.
    , @John Massey
    Thanks Tim.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. @Tim
    "I didn’t watch the series and can’t, unfortunately – geographically disadvantaged."

    Do you mean you can't, or just don't want to break their rules. Of course you can watch anything on the internet from almost anywhere using a VPN.

    I’ve been trying to do it within the rules, but I do find the geographic rights thing intensely frustrating, as now.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @The most deplorable one
    However, Cochran ran the numbers a while ago, and it seems that to shift the mean of a population up by 1 SD would require something like only the bottom 5% to fail to reproduce for 70 generations. Similarly, to shift the mean down by 1 SD ... and this last thought is something I have not realized until now.

    Still, 5% is close enough to genocide :-)

    How interesting that Greg Cochran should provide that 5 % and 70 generations calculation. About 10 years ago he poured scorn on my hypothetical version of the rise in Ashkenazi IQ (which he insisted was a post destruction of Jerusalem phenomenon) which, unlike his model, focused on the dumb Jewish males not being able to find Jewish spouses, at least during their fertile years. I calculated (as I now remember it) that if no Jew with a below 70 IQ bred for 500 years the average IQ would rise to 115. There weren’t of course enough big rabbis’ families to provide spouses for successful businessmen sufficient to do the business so I hope Greg now agrees that sending the dim off to shack up with Polish peasants was part of it too.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. The Aurignacians (or if later, Solutreans) replaced probably had somewhat higher fractions of Neanderthal ancestry, being further out on the “wave of advance.” But since they left no descendants, to a first approximation there’s no signal of a Neanderthal cline.

    What I find interesting is that the opposite dynamic occurred in settling North America, at least in New France. Settlers on the “wave of advance” in New France/Lower Canada/Quebec actually had a higher fertility rate than those in the core. I can dig up a source if there’s an interest.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    all things equal the pop on the wave of advance has higher fitness. the issue though is that i'm positing that early waves were replaced because of intergroup competition. the analogy here would be with amerindians. they expanded, so that ancestral groups in siberia were 'less fit.' but eventually they were mostly replaced in n america.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @CupOfCanada

    The Aurignacians (or if later, Solutreans) replaced probably had somewhat higher fractions of Neanderthal ancestry, being further out on the “wave of advance.” But since they left no descendants, to a first approximation there’s no signal of a Neanderthal cline.
     
    What I find interesting is that the opposite dynamic occurred in settling North America, at least in New France. Settlers on the "wave of advance" in New France/Lower Canada/Quebec actually had a higher fertility rate than those in the core. I can dig up a source if there's an interest.

    all things equal the pop on the wave of advance has higher fitness. the issue though is that i’m positing that early waves were replaced because of intergroup competition. the analogy here would be with amerindians. they expanded, so that ancestral groups in siberia were ‘less fit.’ but eventually they were mostly replaced in n america.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    Good point.

    It strikes me as rather unfortunate that much of the what one would expect to have been the demographic core of humanity is so poorly covered by ancient DNA, at least to date.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. ELM says:

    Regarding the mestizo populations of the New World, I think the majority of them came about through consensual relations (unless one subscribes to the late feminist Andrea Dworkin’s view that all male-female intercourse amounts to rape). There was of course rape; for example, one of Columbus’ childhood friends boasted about sexually assaulting an Amerindian woman he met on one of Columbus’ voyages to the New World. However, numerous accounts of early Latin American colonial times tell of Native women leaving their Native husbands for White men or otherwise seeking relations with Europeans.

    Interestingly, something similar happened in the Philippines, albeit on a much smaller scale due to the lower population of colonizers: in this case, Filipina woman willingly and even enthusiastically entered into relations with Spanish men (often priests; this was before the time of Sodom and Gomorrah seminaries). So there’s every reason to believe that something of the sort happened in pre-history as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Paul S
    This is also the case with white admixture in African-Americans. Many think it's ALL from rape. I'm sure there were plenty rapey slave masters, but the fact is that it was no different then than now; there can be advantages to sleeping with your boss.
    , @syonredux

    Regarding the mestizo populations of the New World, I think the majority of them came about through consensual relations (unless one subscribes to the late feminist Andrea Dworkin’s view that all male-female intercourse amounts to rape). There was of course rape; for example, one of Columbus’ childhood friends boasted about sexually assaulting an Amerindian woman he met on one of Columbus’ voyages to the New World. However, numerous accounts of early Latin American colonial times tell of Native women leaving their Native husbands for White men or otherwise seeking relations with Europeans.
     
    There was also a lot of de facto polygyny. The Church just looked the other way.
    , @Chuck
    I'm sure Genghis Khan's many paramours were all too willing to mate with the great conqueror after he dispatched their husbands. After all, if he bested them in combat his genes must have been superior.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. Paul S says:
    @ELM
    Regarding the mestizo populations of the New World, I think the majority of them came about through consensual relations (unless one subscribes to the late feminist Andrea Dworkin's view that all male-female intercourse amounts to rape). There was of course rape; for example, one of Columbus' childhood friends boasted about sexually assaulting an Amerindian woman he met on one of Columbus' voyages to the New World. However, numerous accounts of early Latin American colonial times tell of Native women leaving their Native husbands for White men or otherwise seeking relations with Europeans.

    Interestingly, something similar happened in the Philippines, albeit on a much smaller scale due to the lower population of colonizers: in this case, Filipina woman willingly and even enthusiastically entered into relations with Spanish men (often priests; this was before the time of Sodom and Gomorrah seminaries). So there's every reason to believe that something of the sort happened in pre-history as well.

    This is also the case with white admixture in African-Americans. Many think it’s ALL from rape. I’m sure there were plenty rapey slave masters, but the fact is that it was no different then than now; there can be advantages to sleeping with your boss.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ELM
    Thank you for responding to my post.

    With slavery, I think it's a different ballgame because it's really hard to know whether a slave woman 'consents' to have sexual intercourse with her slave master. It's somewhat of the same thing with a female employee and male boss. In an extreme case I knew of, a married woman was fired from her job for refusing her employer's sexual advances (ironically, he was married too). NB: That's not to say the definition of 'rape' has been overblown. For instance, a sexual relationship between a male priest or minister and female parishioner? Contrary to what some assert, that's not rape unless it occurs in a theocracy.

    On the other hand, the idea expressed in some history textbooks that all Spanish male-Amerindian female relationships (barring of course cases where the man actually forced himself on the woman or the woman was underage) had 'an aura of rape' to them strike me as bunk. It's a bit of the same mentality of those who were 'sure' that the three Duke Lacrosse players raped the Black female stripper in 2006. In other words, reality takes a back seat to politics.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. I know I’ve raised this in the past, but I have increasingly wondered about the extent to which inbreeding in Ice Age Eurasia led to repeated population replacement, given we have genomic information for a number of archaics and moderns from the region now, many of whom appear to be inbred to various degrees.

    Basically, during comparably warm phases humans migrate into northern Eurasia. Then, as the climate worsens, they retreat towards refugia, where their populations decline dramatically. Human populations become effectively “insular.” In some cases the population shrinks to such an extent that everyone could be related to the equivalent of first cousins or greater. This results in decreased fitness – lowered intelligence, smaller adult height, perhaps fertility issues – but not enough in many cases to wipe the groups out entirely.

    Come the next warm period, the groups begin to expand out again from their home territories. However, they are met from new populations coming from the Near East. These populations have kept up long-term breeding contacts with more outgroups, and display greater population diversity. Although they need to alter their cultural toolkit to adapt to new climates, genetically speaking the newcomers are more fit – smarter, bigger, and more fertile. The groups which before were just good enough to survive. Even though the climate has moderated, when put up against newcomers who outbreed them, they go into terminal decline, minus a small amount of admixture.

    Read More
    • Replies: @terryt
    I agree with your comments here, Karl. One further comment, though, is that the isolated inbred population may have evolved some genetic character that would enhance survival when able to be absorbed by the incoming population. I think that is what has given rise to the geographic variation we see in the modern human population. Some combinations have been so well-adapted to a variety of conditions that it has been able to expand far from its region of origin. It is what I have come to call the wave theory of evolution.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. syonredux says:
    @ELM
    Regarding the mestizo populations of the New World, I think the majority of them came about through consensual relations (unless one subscribes to the late feminist Andrea Dworkin's view that all male-female intercourse amounts to rape). There was of course rape; for example, one of Columbus' childhood friends boasted about sexually assaulting an Amerindian woman he met on one of Columbus' voyages to the New World. However, numerous accounts of early Latin American colonial times tell of Native women leaving their Native husbands for White men or otherwise seeking relations with Europeans.

    Interestingly, something similar happened in the Philippines, albeit on a much smaller scale due to the lower population of colonizers: in this case, Filipina woman willingly and even enthusiastically entered into relations with Spanish men (often priests; this was before the time of Sodom and Gomorrah seminaries). So there's every reason to believe that something of the sort happened in pre-history as well.

    Regarding the mestizo populations of the New World, I think the majority of them came about through consensual relations (unless one subscribes to the late feminist Andrea Dworkin’s view that all male-female intercourse amounts to rape). There was of course rape; for example, one of Columbus’ childhood friends boasted about sexually assaulting an Amerindian woman he met on one of Columbus’ voyages to the New World. However, numerous accounts of early Latin American colonial times tell of Native women leaving their Native husbands for White men or otherwise seeking relations with Europeans.

    There was also a lot of de facto polygyny. The Church just looked the other way.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the historical ethnography makes that pretty clear. i'm pretty sure that analysis of Y chromsomes will confirm this... the raw # of iberian men was always rather small.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. @syonredux

    Regarding the mestizo populations of the New World, I think the majority of them came about through consensual relations (unless one subscribes to the late feminist Andrea Dworkin’s view that all male-female intercourse amounts to rape). There was of course rape; for example, one of Columbus’ childhood friends boasted about sexually assaulting an Amerindian woman he met on one of Columbus’ voyages to the New World. However, numerous accounts of early Latin American colonial times tell of Native women leaving their Native husbands for White men or otherwise seeking relations with Europeans.
     
    There was also a lot of de facto polygyny. The Church just looked the other way.

    the historical ethnography makes that pretty clear. i’m pretty sure that analysis of Y chromsomes will confirm this… the raw # of iberian men was always rather small.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. Chuck says:
    @ELM
    Regarding the mestizo populations of the New World, I think the majority of them came about through consensual relations (unless one subscribes to the late feminist Andrea Dworkin's view that all male-female intercourse amounts to rape). There was of course rape; for example, one of Columbus' childhood friends boasted about sexually assaulting an Amerindian woman he met on one of Columbus' voyages to the New World. However, numerous accounts of early Latin American colonial times tell of Native women leaving their Native husbands for White men or otherwise seeking relations with Europeans.

    Interestingly, something similar happened in the Philippines, albeit on a much smaller scale due to the lower population of colonizers: in this case, Filipina woman willingly and even enthusiastically entered into relations with Spanish men (often priests; this was before the time of Sodom and Gomorrah seminaries). So there's every reason to believe that something of the sort happened in pre-history as well.

    I’m sure Genghis Khan’s many paramours were all too willing to mate with the great conqueror after he dispatched their husbands. After all, if he bested them in combat his genes must have been superior.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. terryt says:
    @Karl Zimmerman
    I know I've raised this in the past, but I have increasingly wondered about the extent to which inbreeding in Ice Age Eurasia led to repeated population replacement, given we have genomic information for a number of archaics and moderns from the region now, many of whom appear to be inbred to various degrees.

    Basically, during comparably warm phases humans migrate into northern Eurasia. Then, as the climate worsens, they retreat towards refugia, where their populations decline dramatically. Human populations become effectively "insular." In some cases the population shrinks to such an extent that everyone could be related to the equivalent of first cousins or greater. This results in decreased fitness - lowered intelligence, smaller adult height, perhaps fertility issues - but not enough in many cases to wipe the groups out entirely.

    Come the next warm period, the groups begin to expand out again from their home territories. However, they are met from new populations coming from the Near East. These populations have kept up long-term breeding contacts with more outgroups, and display greater population diversity. Although they need to alter their cultural toolkit to adapt to new climates, genetically speaking the newcomers are more fit - smarter, bigger, and more fertile. The groups which before were just good enough to survive. Even though the climate has moderated, when put up against newcomers who outbreed them, they go into terminal decline, minus a small amount of admixture.

    I agree with your comments here, Karl. One further comment, though, is that the isolated inbred population may have evolved some genetic character that would enhance survival when able to be absorbed by the incoming population. I think that is what has given rise to the geographic variation we see in the modern human population. Some combinations have been so well-adapted to a variety of conditions that it has been able to expand far from its region of origin. It is what I have come to call the wave theory of evolution.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. @Razib Khan
    all things equal the pop on the wave of advance has higher fitness. the issue though is that i'm positing that early waves were replaced because of intergroup competition. the analogy here would be with amerindians. they expanded, so that ancestral groups in siberia were 'less fit.' but eventually they were mostly replaced in n america.

    Good point.

    It strikes me as rather unfortunate that much of the what one would expect to have been the demographic core of humanity is so poorly covered by ancient DNA, at least to date.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. Jm8 says:
    @Helga Vierich
    Arrows - for use in bows and arrows, were already invented in southern Africa, at least 64,000 years ago, if not earlier. See http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-11086110 and another report of a similar early appearance of pressure flaking techniques as much as 70,000 years ago http://phys.org/news/2010-10-skillful-stone-tool-sharpening-method-years.html

    For more detail: From Journal of World Prehistory, December 2012, Volume 25, Issue 3-4, pp 205-237 Date: 06 Nov 2012
    Late Pleistocene Techno-traditions in Southern Africa: A Review of the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort, c. 75–59 ka
    Christopher S. Henshilwood

    “The focus of this paper is on two remarkable techno-traditions in the prehistory of southern Africa, the c. 75–71 ka Still Bay and the c. 65–59 ka Howiesons Poort. These were periods when the technological and behavioural repertoire of early Homo sapiens expanded rapidly to include novel technologies such as heat treatment of lithic materials, pressure flaking of stone points, manufacture of complex armatures INCLUDING THE BOW AND ARROW, and the production of symbolic artefacts including shell beads and engraved ochre, bone and ostrich eggshell. In this paper I first review briefly the historical background relating to the recognition of these techno-traditions; second, concentrate on the archaeological sites known to contain these assemblages within southern Africa; and third, discuss aspects of the precocious material culture that appears during these phases.” (emphasis mine)

    So I afraid that you have been misinformed when you say “..what were modern humans doing with bows and arrows 50,000 years ago? They emerged in the Paleolithic transition to the Mesolithic, spreading from the Old World to the New.” Bows and arrows were in use among hunter-gatherers before the Mesolithic, and were certainly still in use among hunter-gatherers in the Kalahari when I did my fieldwork there. At that time, some were still even made of natural stone, some of hammered wire.. however most favoured traditional arrowheads were made of very fine bone points, as these were better at transferring poison. Use of bone points for arrows appears to be of great antiquity as well, as discussed by Francesco d’Erricoa and Christopher Henshilwood in "Additional evidence for bone technology in the southern African Middle Stone Age” Journal of Human Evolution
    Volume 52, Issue 2, February 2007, Pages 142–163

    Even more recently, the evidence for this increased:

    “....This paper describes three bone tools: two points and the end of a polished spatula-shaped piece, from unequivocal HP layers at Sibudu Cave (with ages greater than ∼61 ka). Comparative microscopic and morphometric analysis of the Sibudu specimens together with bone tools from southern African Middle and Later Stone Age (LSA) deposits, an Iron Age occupation, nineteenth century Bushman hunter-gatherer toolkits, and bone tools used experimentally in a variety of tasks, reveals that the Sibudu polished piece has use-wear reminiscent of that on bones experimentally used to work animal hides. A slender point is consistent with a pin or needle-like implement, while a larger point, reminiscent of the single specimen from Peers Cave, parallels large un-poisoned bone arrow points from LSA, Iron Age and historical Bushman sites. Additional support for the Sibudu point having served as an arrow tip comes from backed lithics in the HP compatible with this use, and the recovery of older, larger bone and lithic points from Blombos Cave, interpreted as spear heads. If the bone point from the HP layers at Sibudu Cave is substantiated by future discoveries, this will push back the origin of bow and bone arrow technology by at least 20,000 years, and corroborate arguments in favour of the hypothesis that crucial technological innovations took place during the MSA in Africa.” which quote is from the abstract of a 2008 paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science (Volume 35, Issue 6, June 2008, Pages 1566–1580) entitled "Middle Stone Age bone tools from the Howiesons Poort layers, Sibudu Cave, South Africa” by Lucinda Backwella, Francesco d'Erricob, and Lyn Wadleyd.

    There is an informative and intriguing discussion of the whole question of behavioural modernity in a paper by FRANCESCO D’ERRICO , "The Invisible Frontier. A Multiple Species Model for the Origin of Behavioral Modernity” which ends with the following suggestion: ”Two hypotheses, which are not mutually exclusive, may explain both convergences and differences be- tween the two populations on which I have focused here. The first is that the two populations reacted in compara- ble ways to comparable ecological pressures. The other is that, as their similar lithic technology in the Near
    East suggests, cultural barriers, and perhaps biological ones, between these populations were permeable. The limited amount of fossil DNA available seems to indicate17,101 that differences between Neanderthals and recent humans were of the order of two or three times those found within recent humans. But even in this case, the data can be used to support the placement of
    humans either in the same species or in different ones, given the recent or- igin of common ancestry. And Europe was, at all times, a cul de sac. Handaxes arrived there one million years after their invention in Africa, and agriculture, in some areas of Europe, 7,000 years after its invention in the Near East. This demonstrates that we do not need to assume different cognitive abilities to explain gaps in the appearance of some behaviors in the two populations. “ A PDF of this paper is available here: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.126.1932&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    There is also evidence of projectiles from about 279,000 Bc. in Ethiopia (though not yet arrowheads but rather throwing spears) made (probably) by early Homo sapiens/late African “Heidelbergensis”.

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078092

    “Projectile weapons (i.e. those delivered from a distance) enhanced prehistoric hunting efficiency by enabling higher impact delivery and hunting of a broader range of animals while reducing confrontations with dangerous prey species. Projectiles therefore provided a significant advantage over thrusting spears. Composite projectile technologies are considered indicative of complex behavior and pivotal to the successful spread of Homo sapiens. Direct evidence for such projectiles is thus far unknown from >80,000 years ago. Data from velocity-dependent microfracture features, diagnostic damage patterns, and artifact shape reported here indicate that pointed stone artifacts from Ethiopia were used as projectile weapons (in the form of hafted javelin tips) as early as >279,000 years ago. In combination with the existing archaeological, fossil and genetic evidence, these data isolate eastern Africa as a source of modern cultures and biology.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jm8
    Earliest Stone-Tipped Projectiles from the Ethiopian Rift Date to >279,000 Years Ago
    (in full)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827237/

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131126-oldest-javelins-stone-weapons-projectiles-human-evolution-science/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. Jm8 says:
    @Jm8
    There is also evidence of projectiles from about 279,000 Bc. in Ethiopia (though not yet arrowheads but rather throwing spears) made (probably) by early Homo sapiens/late African "Heidelbergensis".

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078092

    "Projectile weapons (i.e. those delivered from a distance) enhanced prehistoric hunting efficiency by enabling higher impact delivery and hunting of a broader range of animals while reducing confrontations with dangerous prey species. Projectiles therefore provided a significant advantage over thrusting spears. Composite projectile technologies are considered indicative of complex behavior and pivotal to the successful spread of Homo sapiens. Direct evidence for such projectiles is thus far unknown from >80,000 years ago. Data from velocity-dependent microfracture features, diagnostic damage patterns, and artifact shape reported here indicate that pointed stone artifacts from Ethiopia were used as projectile weapons (in the form of hafted javelin tips) as early as >279,000 years ago. In combination with the existing archaeological, fossil and genetic evidence, these data isolate eastern Africa as a source of modern cultures and biology."
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. ELM says:
    @Paul S
    This is also the case with white admixture in African-Americans. Many think it's ALL from rape. I'm sure there were plenty rapey slave masters, but the fact is that it was no different then than now; there can be advantages to sleeping with your boss.

    Thank you for responding to my post.

    With slavery, I think it’s a different ballgame because it’s really hard to know whether a slave woman ‘consents’ to have sexual intercourse with her slave master. It’s somewhat of the same thing with a female employee and male boss. In an extreme case I knew of, a married woman was fired from her job for refusing her employer’s sexual advances (ironically, he was married too). NB: That’s not to say the definition of ‘rape’ has been overblown. For instance, a sexual relationship between a male priest or minister and female parishioner? Contrary to what some assert, that’s not rape unless it occurs in a theocracy.

    On the other hand, the idea expressed in some history textbooks that all Spanish male-Amerindian female relationships (barring of course cases where the man actually forced himself on the woman or the woman was underage) had ‘an aura of rape’ to them strike me as bunk. It’s a bit of the same mentality of those who were ‘sure’ that the three Duke Lacrosse players raped the Black female stripper in 2006. In other words, reality takes a back seat to politics.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. @Tim
    "I didn’t watch the series and can’t, unfortunately – geographically disadvantaged."

    Do you mean you can't, or just don't want to break their rules. Of course you can watch anything on the internet from almost anywhere using a VPN.

    Thanks Tim.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Razib Khan Comments via RSS