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The Extinct "Ghost Modern" Race of Africa and the Bantu Expansion Genocide
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As I mentioned yesterday, Carl Zimmer’s article in the New York Times on the new ancient DNA paper with its ho-hum title, Ancient DNA from West Africa Adds to Picture of Humans’ Rise, is a model of how to construct articles upside down to bore complacent NYT subscribers with the opening paragraphs before revealing the unsettling details toward the end. Carl doesn’t mention the word “pygmy” until his 18th paragraph and the word “ghost” until the 24th paragraph. But then, long after most subscribers, have stopped reading assuming that the gist of the article is Science Proves Trump Voters Stupid Once Again, Zimmer finally unveils some wild stuff:

Dr. Prendergast wondered if DNA from Shum Laka [in Cameroon] would show a kinship with living Bantu people….

In the end, it did. The researchers recovered abundant DNA from four individuals, two of whom were buried in the rock shelter 8,000 years ago, and another pair 3,000 years ago.

One of the 8,000-year-old skeletons was especially rich with human DNA. “It’s of a quality of a modern medical genome,” said David Reich, a Harvard Medical School geneticist and a co-author with Dr. Prendergast.

To Dr. Prendergast’s surprise, none of the people at Shum Laka were closely related to Bantu speakers at all. In fact, they had a strong kinship to the Aka, a group of hunter-gatherers with a pygmy body type who live today in rain forests 1,000 miles to the east.

The Aka or Bayaka Pygmies still speak their own language, unlike the more famous Mbuti Pygmies, who have fully adopted the languages of their Bantu overlords.

To make sense of this paradox, the researchers carried out a large-scale comparison of all the ancient African DNA gathered so far, along with living people from across Africa and beyond. The team found a scenario that best explains how different groups of Africans ended up with their particular combinations of DNA.

Dr. Reich and his colleagues can trace the major lineages of people back to common ancestors who lived in Africa between 200,000 and 250,000 years ago.

“It seems we have four lineages splitting at the same time,” said Mark Lipson, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard and an author of the new study.

One lineage passed down their DNA to living hunter-gatherers in southern Africa.

I.e., the small yellowish-brown Bushmen and Hottentots or Khoi-San.

A second group were ancestors of the Aka and other central African hunter-gatherers.

I.e., the Pygmies. As far as I know, there is no politically correct name for Pygmies, the way white people think you should use Khoi-San instead of Bushman and Inuit instead of Eskimo. (In reality, it’s all very complicated.) So Carl Zimmer is having a hard time bringing himself to call Pygmies Pygmies.

A third group became hunter-gatherers in East Africa, as evidenced by the fact that many living Africans in that region have inherited some of that DNA.

The fourth group, which Dr. Reich and his colleagues call “Ghost Modern,” is far more mysterious.

Ghost Modern … cool.

Of course, practically no subscribers got 24 paragraphs into the article when the Big News is finally announced.

The ancient Shum Laka people have a substantial amount of Ghost Modern ancestry. So does the ancient Mota man from Ethiopia. But ancient remains from Morocco and South Africa had none. Today some people in Sierra Leone have a tiny trace of Ghost Modern ancestry, the researchers found.

My impression is that the Ghost DNA in modern West African Bantus is more than tiny: more like 5% or more, which would be more than Europeans have Neanderthal ancestry.

It’s possible that the Ghost Moderns were hunter-gatherers who lived across the southern edge of the Sahara. They remained isolated from other Africans for tens of thousands of years. Later, they bred with people from other groups at the eastern and western edges of their range.

Most people in Africa — and the rest of the planet — can trace much of their ancestry to the East African hunter-gatherers. Less than 100,000 years ago, this group split into new lineages.

One group gave rise to many of today’s East African tribes. Another group included the Mota man. They were closely related to the people who expanded east out of East Africa and into the rest of the world.

A separate group of East Africans moved west, encountering and mixing with Central African hunter-gatherers and eventually becoming the first West Africans. The people of Shum Laka may be the descendants of this group.

Many thousands of years passed before a different group of the West Africans gave rise to the Bantu people. Their population discovered agriculture, grew and took over larger areas of land.

In other words, most sub-Saharan Africans today are descended from Bantus, who are, historically, a genocidal conqueror race rather like the Yamnayas-Aryans of Eurasia.

But the Bantu farmers didn’t swiftly drive hunter-gatherers to oblivion. The Shum Laka people survived for at least 1,000 years in the heart of Bantu country.

But after a couple thousand years, the society reached a tipping point, and the hunter-gatherers were marginalized. East African tribes that also began farming and grazing livestock applied additional pressure.

It’s possible that this pressure brought an end to many groups of hunter-gatherers, including the Mota and the Shum Laka — perhaps even the ancient Ghost Modern people.

The surviving hunter-gatherers interbred with neighboring farmers. The new study finds that the Aka, for instance, can trace 59 percent of their ancestry to the Bantu.

 
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  1. I think it is safe to say that the Bantu and pygmy populations lived in peace and harmony until the white man came along and taught the Bantu how to enslave their diminutive neighbours.

    • Agree: Julian of Norwich
    • LOL: Bruno
  2. The surviving hunter-gatherers interbred with [were killed or enslaved if males, and raped and made chattel if females, by] neighboring farmers.

    If only modern writers would stop pretending these phenomena were comparable to, say, an Irish boy and a Portuguese girl – both the children of parents from Europe) becoming high-school sweethearts as teenagers in Boston and later starting a family….

  3. Aka, a.k.a. BiAka, a.k.a Babenzele, sound very different from Bantu or West African men:

    Are the men of the African Aka tribe the best fathers in the world?

    Father’s Day: Meet the tribe where fathers suckle infants – Survival International

    Why the Aka pygmy people of central Africa have the ‘best dads in the world’

    Aka Tribe Pygmy Fathers Do Something Most Men Never Would

    Babies: A Glimpse Into the World’s Most Egalitarian Society

    No ‘Jewish mothers’

    At one point, Hewlett shows me a video clip in which an infant, about a year old, is sitting in his mother’s lap holding a knife. Awkwardly, as befits his age, he uses the knife to hit a corncob in an effort to remove the kernels. The mother watches with interest. Afterward, the camera follows another baby who is moving around a boiling pot perched above a small fire. The baby waves his hands vigorously, but none of the adults sitting nearby are alarmed or do anything.

    Without a doubt, this is not a “Jewish mother” society. The idea is for the child to learn by cutting himself or being scalded, but the images are sometimes hard to watch. It all looks like scenes from a cartoon, but it’s clear that the damage caused will not disappear in the next frame.

    Their tranquillity is impressive, but also disturbing. I imagine that many infants and children are injured.

    “I have never seen an infant cut him/herself.”

    They may be the best fathers in the world, but I really doubt these jet-set lady correspondents would put them high on their lists of best husbands. There is that sticky provider issue…

  4. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    I.e., the Pygmies. As far as I know, there is no politically correct name for Pygmies,

    Colemans.

  5. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    The ghost blacks? The original BlacKKKlansmen. They put up a fight, but they lost. Same thing will happen to whites who are relegated to ghost-ness or Casperianism.

  6. inertial says:

    a group of hunter-gatherers with a pygmy body type

    LOL. They are not Pygmies, they just have a pygmy body type (I love the indefinite article there.) As everyone knows, body type is a social construct.

    • Replies: @Spangel
  7. a model of how to construct articles upside down to bore complacent NYT subscribers with the opening paragraphs before revealing the unsettling details toward the end.

    The miracle is that the occasional NYT editor permits any ‘inconvenient truths’ into their articles, even buried as usual. It’s most likely a sop thrown at the remaining experts still reading NYT articles, so as to retain NYT scientific bona fides. I don’t expect this to last.

  8. songbird says:

    Why do they call it “ghost modern?” Is the assumption that they were “behaviorally-modern” humans? Or is it purely a political construction?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @mikesmith
  9. One of the remarkable and encouraging developments that occurred over the last half of the 20th century is that it is no longer considered acceptable for one group of people to invade and conquer another, a practice common for all of humanity’s existence. Yes, it still happens, on a limited scale, but it’s not without controversy and disapproval.

    Lots of possible reasons why:
    1. Optimistic reason: human morality has developed and improved.

    2. Practical reason: Nuclear weapons and industrialized warfare have made this practice too costly for the invader.

    3. Cynical reason: Once the British / American empire got to the top of the hill, it didn’t want to lose its position.

    One result of this is that people with a shallow understanding of history can attribute all the ills in the world to whitey. That’s only because Europe was dominating the world when the music stopped. If you look back, you see that all races and nations have been both conquer and conquered.

  10. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    I want to get like a pygmy gardener. Maybe even a pygbino.

  11. Spangel says:

    Forgive me if I’m dense here, but who are the Bantus? Seems we discussed where East Africans, pygmies, Khoi San and ghost people came from. But where did the Bantu come from? When did they split from others, evolve and what combination of people are they?

    I did read David reichs book on this matter and while I remember other groups evolution with some clarity, the Bantu story now escapes me. Does this change anything we thought we knew about them? As I recall, Reich had already estimated that around 8% of Bantu dna came from ghost people at the time he wrote his book.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  12. J.Ross says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    >in this best of all possible brave new futures, we have grown out of tolerating national bullying

    Psst! Look up Julius Cæsar’s excuse for invading and conquering Gaul. That or the tribute scene in Flash Gordon.

  13. Don’t worry Steve. The NYT is not the only outlet that obscures important facts. This article does not want to even hint at why the homicide rate is so high in some cities in Virginia!

    https://mises.org/wire/majority-virginia-homicides-come-only-two-metro-areas

  14. @Spangel

    Bantus speak a Bantu language. The vast majority are standard looking sub-Saharans: not elongated Nilotics, not Pygmies, not Bushmen, basically, African-Americans without any white admixture.

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    , @Spangel
  15. @songbird

    A few years ago they were using the term “ghost archaic”. Does “Ghost Modern” imply that they now think they survived into historic time (e.g., as recent as, say, Hammurabi)?

    • Replies: @res
  16. Speaking of migrations, the population of the Americas by paleo Indians is interesting to me. Why is it that basically nothing of architectural or cultural interest was created north of Mexico City, but the Aztecs, Inca, and Maya all had impressive civilizations?

  17. Jim Given says:

    In his book, “The Living Races of Man,” Carleton Coon maintains that there are at present 7 races of human beings, including two pygmy races. There are African pygmies and Asian pygmies, separate races. According to this terminology, the term “pygmy” connotes a type of race, not a specific group of people.

  18. Lot says:

    Re PC name for Pygmies, I’ve heard “Twa” which is the name of the largest tribal grouping of them.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Steve Sailer
  19. res says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A few years ago they were using the term “ghost archaic”. Does “Ghost Modern” imply that they now think they survived into historic time (e.g., as recent as, say, Hammurabi)?

    The current paper uses both of those terms. I have trouble making out the exact definitions they have in mind, but I think the definitions are of the form:

    – Ghost = currently unknown population whose existence is inferred from known populations.
    – Archaic/Modern = in the sense of “anatomically modern” vs. “archaic” Homo sapiens:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens#Anatomical_modernity

    That link states:

    Omo-Kibish I (Omo I) from southern Ethiopia is the oldest anatomically modern Homo sapiens skeleton currently known (196 ± 5 ka).

    Examples of known archaic Homo sapiens populations are Neanderthals and Denisovans.

    If anyone better understands the definitions they have in mind please explain.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
    , @Eagle Eye
  20. @Lot

    Re PC name for Pygmies, I’ve heard “Twa” which is the name of the largest tribal grouping of them.

    Just don’t use it in the vicinity of feminists.

  21. @Longstreet

    Corn and potatoes provide a lot of calories.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  22. @Autochthon

    Yep, this is another one of many genomics papers where a teeny bit of attention to Y-DNA vs. mtDNA haplogroups would shed a lot of light on how exactly that whole “interbred” thing went down.

    It would be so easy and so illuminating that one has to conclude they don’t want to know.

    • Replies: @res
  23. Thirdeye says:
    @Autochthon

    Slavery is all the more likely as the expanding agricultural group had an acute need for agricultural labor in order to thrive. That west African tribes captured and enslaved their rivals before they started the slave trades with Arabs, then Europeans, tends to be soft-pedaled in the narrative of the slave trade. The 1619 Project should, in the name of historical accuracy, be the 1000 BCE Project.

  24. @Richard of Melbourne

    If the New World Indians had been capable of trans-oceanic travel, they could have bought up those pygmies, put them to work on corn plantations, and thus prevented the genocide.

    A few thousand years later the Amerindian Newspaper of Record would have produced a multi-part feature called “1619 BC”.

  25. Thirdeye says:
    @res

    From what I can tell, the term “ghost modern” refers to a population that is locally extinct but has modern analogs in at least one other area.

  26. What race were those lawn jockeys you used to see?

    • Replies: @anon
  27. TGGP says: • Website

    In other words, most sub-Saharan Africans today are descended from Bantus, who are, historically, a genocidal conqueror race rather like the Yamnayas-Aryans of Eurasia.

    But the Bantu farmers didn’t swiftly drive hunter-gatherers to oblivion. The Shum Laka people survived for at least 1,000 years in the heart of Bantu country.

    My impression was that the Yamnaya wiped out agricultural societies in northern Europe rather quickly, while denser societies in southern Europe were less of a replacement scenario. Per Zimmer, the Yamnaya would presumably consider the Bantu to be real slackers in the genocide department. I should note, that sub-Saharan Africa retained macrofauna longer than other places, whereas they were quickly hunted into extinction in the Americas, and also retained hunter-gatherer populations longer than, for example, Europe and most of Asia. A common explanation is that they evolved alongside each other, rather than suddenly arriving with an overwhelming advantage the other couldn’t adjust to. Presumably that was the case for disease here vs during the Columbian exchange.

  28. @Longstreet

    Speaking of migrations, the population of the Americas by paleo Indians is interesting to me. Why is it that basically nothing of architectural or cultural interest was created north of Mexico City, but the Aztecs, Inca, and Maya all had impressive civilizations?

    One excuse for African backwardness is the lack of navigable rivers. But that’s turned upside-down in this hemisphere. Mesoamerican didn’t have any, either. Compare that to the Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio watershed.

    The HBD argument doesn’t work as well, either. Brainier people are supposed to be culled from cold, treacherous environments.

    Did high altitudes make up for low latitudes?

  29. @Lot

    Yeah, usually the PC solution is to pick the name of the biggest tribe in the racial group for the whole racial group: e.g., “Eskimo” is being replaced by “Inuit,” even though that peeves the Yupik Eskimos of Alaska no end.

    And of course most tribes’ names for themselves translate as The Only True Humans (Unlike Those Disgusting Subhumans Across the Mountains).

  30. @NJ Transit Commuter

    That was Mussolini’s complaint in 1935: Hey, England and France, why did you turn against colonizing Africa when it was finally Italy’s turn?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  31. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @Longstreet

    Why is it that basically nothing of architectural or cultural interest was created north of Mexico City

    I dunno. Maybe your definition of “interest” isn’t the same as others?
    There are a number of significant sites across North America. Most aren’t as big as the Maya / Aztec sites, but population density does matter.

    Here’s one.

    https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm

    Feathers of tropical birds have been found there, used as decoration or ceremonial purposes. Turquoise from that area made its way to Tenochticlan. People traded and traveled long distances for centuries.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  32. @anon

    I was at Mesa Verde a couple of years ago. One interesting thing is that about 100 big vultures were roosting for the evening on the flat rock above the cave.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Anon
  33. The Aka or Bayaka Pygmies still speak their own language, unlike the more famous Mbuti Pygmies, who have fully adopted the languages of their Bantu overlords.

    This is not quite true as far as I know. All African pygmy groups speak Bantu languages – or at least Bantu-origin languages are the major component. Though some vocabulary specific to pygmy lifestyle (hunting, forest words) has retained the original words. This is similar to the European situation where you often see hints of the original language in farming/hunting/animal words underneath the Indo-European imported language.

  34. @Longstreet

    I think the Snake Mound in Ohio is pretty interesting. IMO, the Mississippi culture in general had some interesting things going on before disease wiped them out.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
  35. res says:
    @Almost Missouri

    It would be so easy and so illuminating that one has to conclude they don’t want to know.

    Or chose not to publish.

  36. AKAHorace says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Bantus speak a Bantu language. The vast majority are standard looking sub-Saharans: not elongated Nilotics, not Pygmies, not Bushmen,

    The Nilotics don’t include the Ethiopians and Somalis ? They are another African sub-group ?

  37. @Longstreet

    “Why is it that basically nothing of architectural or cultural interest was created north of Mexico City,”

    The US is very hydrologically active, wiping out much of the evidence. Look up Poverty Point. There is mounting evidence that the Maya migrated to Florida and then spread out through Georgia, founding the Cherokee civilization. There are also a number of indicators that mesopotamian cultures were mining copper in North America and established settlements there. What we think we know about North American cultures is rapidly changing.

  38. Steve,
    Speaking of Africa, I saw a new tweet by A New Radical Centrism about Ugandian Indians and their role in the economy and a BBC story.
    I did some research and what I found was just incredible…
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36132151

    According to the BBC, Ugandian Indians made up 65% of Tax Revenues.

    According to the World Bank, Ugandian Tax Revenues made up 14% of GDP
    https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/uganda/publication/increasing-tax-flow-key-to-financing-ugandas-growth-development

    Of course, the taxes aren’t drawing from the informal sector, so we really can’t know the true share of the economy, but Indian contributions to taxes make up 9.1% of GDP.

    However, according to this website, taxes make up 50% of a formal business/income revenue, so let’s apply that assumption. So Indian contributions make up 9.1*(1/.5)=18.2% of the Ugandian Economy.
    https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2016/06/uganda-income-tax.html

    Ugandian Indians were 23000 in 2010, and were .0005% of the population.

    Uganda’s total GDP was 87.5 billion.

    18.2% of that is $16 Billion Dollars

    On a per capita basis that means that Ugandian Indians have a per capita GDP of $692701 dollars!. Now obviously there is one billionaire and some millionaries skewing the results, but that is just amazing for a population in such a horrible environment.

    I know the Whites of South Africa are the same boat, providing some 70% of the countries economy. I wouldn’t be shocked if the per capita GDP of Whites in South Africa was the same as the per capita GDP of the UK or even America.

    Are there any other cases of such a minority dominance? I think there are some Chinese in East Africa with similar stats.

    The horrifying implication is that virtually all the growth in Africas economy isn’t even being done by Africans, with bad implications for the rest of the world….

    • Replies: @anon
  39. Rapparee says:

    In other words, most sub-Saharan Africans today are descended from Bantus, who are, historically, a genocidal conqueror race rather like the Yamnayas-Aryans of Eurasia.

    There’s an hilarious plaque at Boston’s MFA, in the African Art exhibit, amongst the Benin bronzes which were funded by African kings’ proceeds from their part in the slave trade. The plaque expresses considerable hand-wringing about the means by which the artifacts were bought/acquired/stolen by evil imperialists, writing that they struggle with the “troublesome legacy” to this day. The actual African artifacts in the exhibit- such as bronze models of the heads of decapitated foes, kept as trophies- were very obviously commissioned by men with a real “Crush your enemies and see them driven before you!” value system, who would have died laughing at the milquetoast museum-keepers’ liberal neuroses.

  40. @Ozymandias

    A lot of copper was mined out of Isle Royale in Lake Superior in prehistoric times.

    Even though it’s closer to Canada, it’s owned by the US become while negotiating the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Ben Franklin had heard it had an Indian copper mine on it and demanded it, and, as usual, Franklin got what Franklin wanted.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  41. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:

    Why is it that basically nothing of architectural or cultural interest was created north of Mexico City

    People today do not comprehend how arid the region actually is (modern USA southwest + northern Mexico). It’s a vast desert zone that would’ve suppressed any civilizational development like a less intense version of the Sahara.

    Nasty, extended, super-intense droughts plague the region periodically. Meaning civilization-killing droughts where everyone would be forced out.

    I read about this years ago. The details were roughly every 300-500 years(?) there occurs one of these mega bone dry droughts that can last 50-100 years(?) … very extreme stuff. And apparently there hasn’t yet occurred one of these dead zone periods during the entire history of the USA. But it’s coming because it’s part of the cycle. Supposedly.

    Anyway if this is a real phenomenon it would function as a giant wipeout mechanism for any people who put down roots in the area. Maybe the modern USA has the tech to survive it but maybe not.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  42. anon[932] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I was at Mesa Verde a couple of years ago. One interesting thing is that about 100 big vultures were roosting for the evening on the flat rock above the cave.

    Waiting for tourists to try climbing the cliff face ?

  43. anon[932] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Arthur

    The horrifying implication is that virtually all the economic growth in Africas economy isn’t even being done by Africans, with bad implications for the rest of the world….

    Population growth, on the other hand, is definitely being done by Africans.

    • Agree: John Arthur
  44. @Anonymous

    Mesa Verde is in the middle of a cold desert. It’s not at all obvious where you’d find enough calories to feed an apartment building full of people.

  45. My people (the Somalis) survived the Bantu expansion, and in fact were pushing into Bantu and Nilotic territories when the English stopped us. The nastiest thing perfidious Albion did to the Somalis was giving the NEP region to Kenya after its 99% Somali inhabitants voted to join Somalia. This day though the Somalis in NEP have it pretty good, and Somalis in Kenya are the fastest growing ethnicity (like 5+ kids per woman.) Lol NEP being in Kenya might ultimately work out in Somalia’s interests.

  46. By the way, here’s a personal piece by a Somali guy for Al-Jazeera about the Somali experience in Kenya.

  47. Off topic, but another very good bloggingheads with Glenn Loury and John McWhorter: MLK Edition!
    Glenn speaks the truth!

    • Thanks: bomag
  48. Kids are fascinated by pygmies, at least I was. Because they’re interesting. And small.

    These days my favorite iSteve content is stuff like Quentin Tarantino living in Tel Aviv:

    https://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/quentin-tarantino-talks-israel-my-life-here-is-so-wonderful/2020/01/23/

  49. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Ozymandias

    This is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s idea in American Gods that Egyptians sailed up the Mississippi in ancient times. This, or Mesopotamians doing it, strains credulity. What evidence is there that either the Egyptians or Mesopotamians had anything like the seafaring technology to get to North America?

  50. @Dave Pinsen

    More like extremely lucky to shipwreck rather than die at sea.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  51. anon[371] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Lawn Jockeys first were produced as cast iron horse hitches when the jockey trade was dominated by southern blacks, before the invasion of european jockeys.

  52. @Autochthon

    If only modern writers would stop pretending these phenomena were comparable to, say, an Irish boy and a Portuguese girl – both the children of parents from Europe) becoming high-school sweethearts as teenagers in Boston and later starting a family….

    Ahh. You paint such a nice picture of life in the before time. Before the fags, the trannies, the hectoring dykes and tedious feminists all pushed in our faces 24×7 along with the incessant lectures on “diversity” and “privilege”.

    So sweet, so pleasant, so healthy, so … retro! Makes me sad for what we’ve lost.

    Triggering!

  53. Eagle Eye says:
    @res

    In the context of the paper, “Ghost” appears to indicate that the population is only known from the genetic inheritance absorbed by non-Ghost populations.

    The distinction between “Ghost Modern” and “Ghost Archaic” seems to pertain to the estimated time period in which those ghost groups “introgressed” into the gene pool of other, non-Ghost populations.

  54. @Steve Sailer

    A lot of copper was mined out of Isle Royale in Lake Superior in prehistoric times.

    Even though it’s closer to Canada, it’s owned by the US…

    Actually, the westernmost point, at Windigo, is marginally closer to Minnesota than to Ontario. But both are about fifteen miles– so why is it in Michigan, 56 miles away? Isle Royale is farther from Lansing than from the capitals of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Manitoba.

    Everyone knows that Michigan got the UP as consolation for losing Toledo to Ohio. But Michigan’s statehood came in 1837, and the Ojibwa (Chippewa) treaty that ceded the western half and Isle Royale to the U.S. was signed in 1842.

    Michigan wasn’t a state yet during the Toledo War, which is why they lost. (The line affected not only Ohio, but Indiana and Illinois, also states at the time; senatorial score 6-0.)

    Likewise, Wisconsin (1848) and Minnesota (1858– guess which state entered in-between!) were in a weaker position relative to Michigan in 1842. They wanted that copper.

    The Grand Portage Band, which owns the Minnesota peninsula, belongs to these Indians, but they weren’t a party to the treaty. They lost their reservation to tax forfeiture (so much for sovereignty), and it became a state park. But they got it back, and now it’s both, a unique situation in the U.S.

    Have a look at these Indian bands’ nifty license plates:

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @res
  55. Anonymous[111] • Disclaimer says:

    The Steppe conqueror peoples of eastern Europe – the ‘Aryans’ – were never particularly ‘genocidal’. Dominating, yes, but ‘genocidal’, no.
    Basically, they mixed with the locals where ever they found them, the Anatolian farmer folk of old Europe, the hunters of western Europe, etc, although they tended to bag all the women and royal titles for themselves. They even mixed their blood with the markedly different people they encountered in the depths of central Asia and the borders of China – and not to mention the dark skinned Indians.

  56. Curle says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    You don’t believe The Book of Mormon?

  57. Anonymous[111] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    On the other hand, the belated realisation has come to many that the ‘colonization’ of the third world – it never really was a ‘colonization’ in the classic sense of settlement by the conquerors – especially black Africa, is *the* single greatest, biggest, epochal error the white race has ever made in its long long history, a catastrophe which will, surely, come back to them not only to haunt them, but to extirpate them entirely.
    The upshot is that Africa should have been left the Hell alone and allowed to be Africa. Dr. Livingstone and the rest of the scurvy crew notwithstanding.

    The ‘argument’ about ‘vital natural resources and minerals’ really ‘gets my goat’, as they say in England. For pity’s sake, don’t you think Africans are interested in ‘trade’ and possessing all the bright shiny gadgets and geegaws, SUVs, fighter aircraft etc etc, that can be fairly and freely exchanged through ‘trade’?

    When dealing with The Economist, ones must always remember that one is dealing with persons of the mentality of a 7 year old.

    • Replies: @bomag
    , @OW
  58. Anonymous[223] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    idea … that Egyptians sailed up the Mississippi in ancient times

    There appears to have been ship-borne trade between Cornwall (tin) and the Eastern Mediterranean as early as 3,000 BC. The mariners were probably not sedentary Egyptians, but Proto-Phoenicians or other groups, e.g. Pelasgians from pre-Indoeuropean Greece.

    The Atlantic is eminently navigable with relatively modest craft unless one runs into storms. Trade winds would naturally carry a craft from Gibraltar to Central America. (The same trade winds later powered the “Middle Passage.”)

    Ancient mariners will have been painfully aware of the importance of keeping ample supplies of drinking water.

  59. JMcG says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Yes, like those Japanese fishing boats that occasionally washed up on the west coast in the nineteenth century, sometimes with starving Japanese fishermen aboard.

  60. @NJ Transit Commuter

    “it is no longer considered acceptable for one group of people to invade and conquer another,”

    You mean the way blacks and browns have been invading the entire Western world since circa 1965?

    • Agree: Charon
  61. @Reg Cæsar

    There are no rivers in the thirteen original American colonies which penetrate the continent.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  62. @Foreign Expert

    Right. Not until the 1820s when the Erie Canal connected New York to the Great Lakes, setting New York on the way to the being the world’s richest city.

    That’s why a key event in the history of America was George Washington getting into a battle with the French at the site of Pittsburgh, which set off the global Seven Years War, World War Zero. As Ben Franklin explained in 1760, who ever controlled the middle of North America would rule the world in the 20th Century, and there were two key river cities that controlled the continent: Quebec City and New Orleans.

    • Replies: @Charon
  63. bomag says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    it is no longer considered acceptable for one group of people to invade and conquer another

    Well, no longer acceptable to do it militarily.

    Today it is done economically:

    Plan A: buy up another people’s stuff
    Plan B: move in and take their jobs
    Plan C: load up on the offered welfare payments

    • Replies: @BB753
  64. I posted this in the other thread about this paper but no one is playing up the fact that Reichs paper provides two phylogenies for modern Africans based off what we learned from these Ancient individuals and they found that two models where basal west Africans had 10% or 29% ghost modern were consistent with the data. If that is correct and especially if that figure is on the high side, it somewhat invalidates the “Africans and non-Africans only split ~50kya argument for why there can’t be meaningful functional differences between them” argument. Not that 50,000 years isn’t enough time for selection to cause big differences anyway

  65. HoekomSA says:

    Khoisan is the PC word for the hottentot and bushmen of south Africa. Khoi comes from there name of one of the cape tribes had for themselve which is Khoi khoi which means real men which as steve implies above that other peoples wernt rally human…and San comes for the Hottentot word for them which means thieves and murderers.
    The 2 groups hated each other and were in constant conflict. Both would try and kill each other. There was one incident in the northern cape where the Nama (a hottentot/Khoi subgroup) went to church and the bushmen came to them there and killed them all.

    Most other groups (Blacks, Whites and hottentots) regarded the bushmen as vermin to be killed virtually onsight.
    The xhosa (nelson Mandela’s tribe) amongst thesouth african Bantu have the highest percentage of Bushman ancestry in the region….but it is all on the female side. What the Xhosa would do when they on the warpath is they would kill all the men and take all the women and children and incorporate them into the tribe. Killing the men was interesting by the way, as the captive the warriors took were handed to the womenfolk to be tortured to death eg skinning alive, cutting of sensitive body parts etc. which didnt make them a favourite of the other sides soldiers.

  66. As far as I know, there is no politically correct name for Pygmies….

    Crap, now we can’t use the P-word?

  67. Charon says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Ben Franklin explained in 1760, who ever controlled the middle of North America would rule the world in the 20th Century

    Pretty prescient! But Franklin didn’t foresee how that nation would be hijacked by a tiny minority of foreign tribalists. Sort of like the detailed Aztec prophesies which failed to account for Spaniards.

  68. @Reg Cæsar

    The Congo River, with the exception of the Stanley Falls right before its mouth, is extremely navigable.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  69. watson79 says:

    Steve,

    Did you notice that Mesa Verde’s population was served by what appears to be a single, small spring?
    Struck me that life there must have been really tough.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @anon
  70. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A grave objection, raised at the time, was that the Ethiopians are and were, for a large part, Christians, and what’s more some of the world’s oldest continually practising Christians.

    The mores of that time held that it was unacceptable for a christian nation to initiate unprovoked aggression against another – innocent – christian nation.

    • Replies: @BB753
  71. Spangel says:
    @Steve Sailer

    To clarify, I know who present day Bantus are- I just don’t know where they came from. When did their branch split and from who?

  72. Spangel says:
    @inertial

    Could be accurate. They may only know that they had a Pygmy blood type, not their groups average height.

  73. bomag says:
    @Anonymous

    …realisation has come to many that the ‘colonization’ of the third world – it never really was a ‘colonization’ in the classic sense of settlement by the conquerors – especially black Africa, is *the* single greatest, biggest, epochal error the white race has ever made in its long long history

    The realization is that colonization accelerated the Third world’s access to modern tech, especially transportation into the First world.

    But the transfer would have come anyway, so it is rather orthogonal to the issue of European influenced countries to defend themselves from immigration invasions, irrespective of their colonial history. Other errors are driving this.

  74. Thea says:
    @Longstreet

    Mesa verde national park has some interesting 1000 year old( give or take a few centuries in both directions) Pueblo settlements. Also the Iroquois longhouses of the northeast. But wood doesn’t last.

  75. BB753 says:
    @bomag

    Yeah, the Chinese are pretty clever! (understatement of the century)

  76. @Ozymandias

    There is mounting evidence that the Maya migrated to Florida and then spread out through Georgia…

    They’re still migrating and spreading out.

  77. @watson79

    Was a Mesa Verde a booming economy or was it a remote redoubt, like Machu Pichu? It looked like a tough place to scratch out a living.

  78. SF says:

    In one of Jimmy Carter’s books, “An Hour Before Daylight,” he describes his father’s black employees as very knowledgeable and competent farmers. I hope this abiliy hasn’t been lost in current generations.

  79. anon[343] • Disclaimer says:
    @watson79

    Did you notice that Mesa Verde’s population was served by what appears to be a single, small spring?

    All the larger and many of the smaller cliff dwellings have one or more water seeps / springs in the back of the cave as a result of the geology of the mesa. There are remains of simple irrigation systems on the mesa top that were used to collect, store and distribute rainfall. The mesa has a south facing tilt that made growing season a little bit longer. But the very extended drought of the 13th century did them in, and they moved down hill to more reliable water supplies such as rivers. The Pueblo people are their descendants.

    Steve Sailer
    Was a Mesa Verde a booming economy or was it a remote redoubt, like Machu Pichu? It looked like a tough place to scratch out a living.

    Subsistance farming is not a booming economy, but at its height the population of that mesa and the surrounding area was in the tens of thousands. There are smaller versions scattered around the southwest. People moved around more than we think in those days. See the Tarahumara for another example.

  80. res says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Everyone knows that Michigan got the UP as consolation for losing Toledo to Ohio. But Michigan’s statehood came in 1837, and the Ojibwa (Chippewa) treaty that ceded the western half and Isle Royale to the U.S. was signed in 1842.

    Michigan wasn’t a state yet during the Toledo War, which is why they lost. (The line affected not only Ohio, but Indiana and Illinois, also states at the time; senatorial score 6-0.)

    I was going to respond that if you are interested in questions like this you should read this book.

    But I went and looked and they just say Isle Royale was part of the UP deal without any of the details you note (though they mention Franklin). Does anyone know the full story? Perhaps the claim was in place in 1837 but was just not formalized until the 1842 treaty?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  81. I know nothing about the technical details, but I do know a little about Cameroon, and it looks to me that there are some problems with the story.

    To Dr. Prendergast’s surprise, none of the people at Shum Laka were closely related to Bantu speakers at all. In fact, they had a strong kinship to the Aka, a group of hunter-gatherers with a pygmy body type who live today in rain forests 1,000 miles to the east.

    Shum Laka is in southwestern Cameroon, in an area that is presently grasslands. The Baka remain in the rain forests of southeastern Cameroon, intermingled with various Bantu and other ethnicities, a few hundred kilometers to the east of Shum Laka. Not 1,000 miles east.

    The Baka people, known in the Congo as Bayaka (Bebayaka, Bebayaga, Bibaya), are an ethnic group inhabiting the southeastern rain forests of Cameroon, northern Republic of the Congo, northern Gabon, and southwestern Central African Republic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baka_people_(Cameroon_and_Gabon)

    Moreover, populations at Shum Laka were likely transient.

    Particularly during the Last Glacial Maximum, refuge occupations by people would have been short-term and highly variable based on rapid, localized changes.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shum_Laka

    Thus, unless I am missing some crucial information, it is unremarkable that ancient Baka were found at a transient site near to today’s Baka.

    BTW, Baka is a polite descriptor for the population.

  82. @Longstreet

    Speaking of migrations, the population of the Americas by paleo Indians is interesting to me. Why is it that basically nothing of architectural or cultural interest was created north of Mexico City, but the Aztecs, Inca, and Maya all had impressive civilizations?

    Basically you need two things, to leave big monuments behind:

    a) agriculture at sufficient scale/efficiency to create a food surplus that the elite can harness to build with and

    b) rock–and more specifically a desire/preference to build in rock

    Most of the Eastern US/Canada area was not fully agricultural. They did some corn agriculture and managed their forests with fire for quasi-ag nut gathering and easier hunting. But they were not fully agricultural.

    The most agricultural of these peoples at biggest scale was the Mississippian culture of the central Mississippi valley–the mound builders. The “state” with the largest scale seems to have been the folks at Chokia–basically right across from St.Louis, about 10mi downstream from the Missouri junction.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahokia

    But the reason they probably had the largest scale was there were in Mississippi bottom land, and didn’t have a lot of stone readily available. They could easily build housing, fortifications, temples, with plentiful timber and soil and that’s what they did. But, of course, the timber rots away, the soil slumps. The scale of what they did is visible, but it’s not impressive or very interesting architecturally.

    In contrast the Mexica had dense corn/bean agriculture in the Valley of Mexico and an alliance of Mexica groups was able to dominate the Valley and conquer other non-Mexica in a good bit of central Mexico. With that surplus they could build in the readily available stone.

    I agree with Jared Diamon that a critical factor holding the Native Americans back was the lack of a horse or even any decent draft animal. That made a true conversion to full agricultural more difficult and much less efficient. And the lack of a horse meant the scale of states–the ability of an elite to dominate a larger area–was more limited.

    It’s an interesting counter factual history “what happens if whites and Asians” don’t come. At some point the bison would have been domesticated, bred into something resembling cattle and trained as draft animals like oxen. The lack of a horse would have made their history quite different, but actually might improve the ability of settled civilizations to resist barbarian intrusion. (A continual problem in Eurasia until gunpowder.) Bottom line, the temperate US landmass is quite a terrific productive piece of real estate. I believe the natives would have broken out on a path of civilization not unlike Eurasia–just a few thousand years behind.

  83. Bannon says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    Lots of possible reasons why:
    1. Optimistic reason: human morality has developed and improved.

    2. Practical reason: Nuclear weapons and industrialized warfare have made this practice too costly for the invader.

    3. Cynical reason: Once the British / American empire got to the top of the hill, it didn’t want to lose its position.

    Potential 4th Reason: Once the British/American empire got to the top of the hill, it ushered in a new era of attempting peace, reason, free markets, shared power, independence for conquered territories, respect for other people groups, etc. etc.

    We live in an era when the last guy that made it to the top of the hill legitimately decided to break the cycle, and create something better. And now there’s no appreciation for it — not only not a “thank you,” but a request that white people exit the stage of history and swallow a cyanide pill.

    • Agree: nymom
  84. syonredux says:

    Razib Khan’s thoughts:

    Basically, just like elsewhere in Africa where the Bantu expanded, you see massive discontinuity in this region of Cameroon (the modern agriculturalists in the area are Bantu-speaking). If you have ever analyzed African genetic data, the lack of high magnitude structure of the Bantu over wide areas is pretty shocking. The reason there’s little structure seems to be two-fold

    Rapid population expansion, so not much time to accumulate distinct variants (you see this in Northern Europe too)

    Minimal admixture with local populations, at least until you get to modern-day South Africa (then there is an admixture cline with Khoisan)</blockquote

    Meanwhile, you have these zones of relic hunter-gatherers here and there. These samples seem to be one of those cases. I think it’s analogous to the fact that hunter-gatherers persisted in pockets for thousands of years after the initial arrival of Neolithic farmers in Europe.

    First, there were several human lineages that diverged 500,000 to 1 million years ago. In Eurasia, these became Neanderthals and Denisovans. In Africa, one of the branches led to what we call “modern” humans. But a variety of lines of evidence indicate that within Africa there were also highly diverged human groups, analogous to Neanderthals and Denisovans. One could call them “African Neanderthal” analogs. But within the context of this paper, they are “ghost archaics.” But those aren’t the only “ghosts.”

    Extant human populations sample only a fraction of the “modern” family tree, which seems to have diversified from one of the African human groups 300,000 years ago or so.

    There is now a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that Neanderthals mixed with an African lineage that is an outgroup to most other Africans and descended-from-Africans. Because of its size and warm climate, I believe that Africa was quite a good habitat for humans, and there were a variety of them across the continent. Though I don’t discount deep-time back migration of Neanderthal/Denisovan groups into Africa, I think due to the different population sizes it is probably more the case that Africans went into western Eurasia than vice versa. Additionally, Southeast Asia seems to be a good target habit for any African species due to similarities of biome (e.g., Sundaland).

    Finally, there is the fact that it seems non-African ancestry is closest to the Mota sample, dated to 4,500 years ago in Ethiopia. This makes geographic sense, though I do wonder if this is an artifact of continuous gene flow back from Eurasia, as much as the likelihood that this is near the exit path of African humans.

    What about the details of this paper? Look a the supplements and notice all the admixture graphs. There are lots of potential fits to the data, and more data will come in. The paper is clear to not put too much faith in one set of weights for gene flows, and different graphs might explain the patterns in the data. Additionally, a highly dense African landscape of hominins might exhibit lots of continuous gene flow and isolation by distance. There’s a lot more to learn. Nothing is being closed in this case.

    https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2020/01/22/all-the-commotion-within-africa/#comments

  85. This link on the Wikipedia talk page made me burst out laughing! Self conscious anyone?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Pygmy_peoples#Edit_Request:_Identify_Pygmies_As_Humans

  86. @res

    I was going to respond that if you are interested in questions like this you should read this book.

    Isn’t it obvious I already have? More than once!

    • Replies: @res
  87. “Efe” is the woke term for most vertically challenged Congolese forest folk.

  88. @Hapalong Cassidy

    The Congo River, with the exception of the Stanley Falls right before its mouth, is extremely navigable.

    I accede to your greater experience.

  89. OW says:
    @Anonymous

    The idea that Africa would have stood still had it not been colonized by Europe is dead wrong. Technology transfer would have happened anyway as chiefdoms and kingdoms began to trade with the outside world. Western education would have been brought over by missionaries, or imported with money gained from exports. States would have naturally risen from the coalescing of various tribes and kingdoms. There would have been many more states than they are today, but they would be more coherant. There would have been more Botswana’s than there are today.

  90. @Richard of Melbourne

    Except for the fact that slavery was being practised on the African continent long before any European set foot there.

    • Replies: @Foreign Expert
  91. Anon[360] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The turkey vultures of Mesa Verde

    http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/2014/05/the-turkey-vultures-of-mesa-verde/

    Five years ago, Lissa and I stopped to talk to a ranger on the Petroglyph Point Trail at Mesa Verde. We’d been admiring the turkey vultures soaring above the canyon, and the ranger clued us in. If you like turkey vultures, she told us, go to the Spruce Tree House overlook at dusk tonight and you’ll see a whole bunch of ’em coming in to roost.

    We did, and Oh My. That year, I think it was in July, we counted more than a hundred at one time. They soared in a few at a time – one, two, three, four – over a period of hours. They’d sit on the cliff opposite, warming their wings in the setting sun, before settling in for the night, one at at time, in the trees in the canyon below Spruce Tree House. It was a life experience. That summer, we detoured on our return from vacation to see it again.

  92. @Citizen Olympic

    Until recently, slaves were simply people who lost a war, more or less everywhere.

  93. @Reg Cæsar

    I’m not sure why the Foreign Expert starts on about navigable rivers within the the practical borders of the colonies which became the U.S.A. which “penetrate the continent” when you are asking about North America: “penetrating continents has the kinds of implications for global commerce Mr. Sailer went on to explain, but its nothing to do with the point about large, urban civilisations and their architecture. The Nile is not navigable beyond the Sudd: does it “penetrate the continent” (whatever that means)? It sure facilitated some monumental architecture near the coast!

    In any event, the premise nothing of moment was built in North America is unsound:

    Still, the Mississippians and others did not primarily build with stone, so what they built did not last (oh, it lasted plenty long for its purposes while it was repaired, maintained, and replaced, but it did not make for a nice memorial after its builder were gone). This is true of many peoples’ architecture, including the Germanic and Celtic peoples and their predecessors: Stonehenge is no Coliseum, but, then, the Romans never invented calculus….

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  94. res says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Probably should have been obvious. My comment did note that you seemed to know more about it than the book did.

  95. @Autochthon

    Stonehenge is no Coliseum, but, then, the Romans never invented calculus….

    I can just see it:

    Z = X^IV
    Z’ = IV X^III
    Z” = XII X^II
    Z”’ = XXIV X

  96. BB753 says:
    @Anonymous

    “The mores of that time held that it was unacceptable for a christian nation to initiate unprovoked aggression against another – innocent – christian nation.”

    So what was WWII about, again?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  97. @BB753

    “The mores of that time held that it was unacceptable for a christian nation to initiate unprovoked aggression against another – innocent – christian nation.”

    So what was WWII about, again?

    How Christian were the nations of Europe?

    Or North America, for that matter? We ended that war by obliterating the largest church in Asia. Which was built on a site connected to the largest martyrdom in history.

    Nineteenth-century liberals sought to weaken the power of the church and the state. Guess which of those efforts failed.

  98. mikesmith says:
    @songbird

    “Ghost” refers to DNA that can be identified in living populations (or potentially in the remains of extinct populations) as belonging to an extinct population that left no known remains. “Modern” in palaeoanthropology ususally refers to sapiens, “archaic” to non-sapiens. So “ghost modern” means DNA from a sapiens population that died without leaving any surviving bones or fossils.

  99. MEH 0910 says:

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  100. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

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