November 21, 2013

The return of the Hyperboreans

Greg Cochran writes at West Hunter about the new Nature article genetically linking American Indians and Europeans:
The way in which this seems to have happened in Europe is rather interesting: first you have the old Mesolithic hunters. They are then largely replaced by farmers from the Levant, some settling the southern coast of Europe and others moving up along the Danube - genetically  similar to modern Sardinians.   
A new wave [Indo-Europeans, surely] mostly replaces those farmers, and this new wave has a fair amount of ancestry from a group very similar to those original Mesolithic hunters.  So the amount of Mesolithic hunter ancestry among Europeans first goes way down and then goes up again. 
The return of the native strikes back. 
Those Mesolithic hunter-gatherers aren’t exactly a lost race, since they had plenty of descendants, but it seems that there are no longer any unmixed examples – although we really need to check out the Lapps. 
The problem is, they need a name.  “Ancestral North Eurasians” just doesn’t sing.  Neither does “Ancient Siberians”.  Personally, I like “Hyperboreans.”

As did the ancient Greeks, Nietzsche, and Robert E. Howard.


Anonymous said...

So original "native Americans" looked like Uighurs? Or maybe Kazakhs or Uzbeks?

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...


They may have been Solutreans

Anonymous said...

The migration of farmers from the Middle East didn't reach Northern Europe in large numbers. This is clear from the distribution of the J y-DNA haplogroup. It reaches into Southern Europe and dwindles down to close to zero at the northern edge of France. The J haplogroup is relatively rare in Britain, Northern Europe, and Scandinavia. I think the ancient hunter gatherer genes predominate in those areas. If someone has a different interpretation of the J haplogroup distribution feel free to reply on this.

Hal K

Pat Boyle said...

I wrote a comment to Cochran's blog post yesterday when I read it. But I didn't post it. But I did think about it.

It occurred to me that literary names like Hyborians and hobbits are cute but not what is really needed. We need more popular level speculation and we need more visualizations.

I for example have no image in my mind's eye of Denisovians. I also don't know their haplotypes. And finally, I don't know their penis size.

I'm sure any legitimate academic anthropologist today would tell you that there is no way of knowing from the fossil record any of these attributes. That's a limitation of academics. They are constrained by their reputations and careers. But these questions are all relevant or at least interesting.

All these questions and many more arise when instead of just a simple name you try to create a 3D photo realistic model of a Denisovian - for example - that acts in a virtual reality space. All the gamers have avatars that move and act in fantasy worlds. So the technology is there.

Dinosaurs models exploded onto TV a few years ago with the 'Walking with Dinosaurs' series. There are now many, many more. No two representations of a T Rex are quite the same. I think that that diversity has had beneficial effects on the minds of paleontologists and the public.

We know for example that Neanderthals had big noses and big eye sockets. Did Neanderthals blow their noses? Did the Florensis women scratch their husband's backs?

We are very close to being able to render very real looking Denisovians. That means we are near to having a popular sit com like 'Friends' in which the actors are all 'cavemen'.

This I submit is more important work than mere naming.


Anonymous said...

Did the Florensis women scratch their husband's backs?

Or their hairy feet?

Volksverhetzer said...

The polar winter nights can last for months,but they are not really that dark. The atmosphere bends enough blue and violet light at night, so you can walk outside in open terrain. When there is snow, it becomes outright easy to move around at night without any light.

Melanin stop UV-radiation, so blue eyed people get more eye cancer from sun exposure.
Since melanin looks brown, it also absorbs more from the blue-violet, than from the green,yellow,red part of the spectrum. Blue eyes OTH, absorbs more red-yellow, so a bluish color is left.

All equal, blue eyes would be an advantage over brown in the violet-blue twilight. In the tropics twilight lasts 5 minutes, else it is more than bright enough to see, or too dark to see anything, blue eyes or not.

In the Arctic, it's never really too dark to see anything at night, and the sun is relative weak in the summer.

Reindeer change eye color in the winter to blue, and in summer to golden, and blue eyes are found in nature among wolves, Arctic foxes, snow leopards, Siberian tigers.

If marginal better arctic nighttime vision led to blue eyes among humans, we should see other adaptive traits as well. Hazel eyes is one trait, but one should expect the distribution of color receptors to be skewed towards more blue reception among a blue/brown-eyed population than among Africans.

Anonymous said...

Commenting to Hal K post and to Steve Sailer's opinion in VDARE.

Hal is essentially right and you're basically obsolete with regards to this question, Steve. (Sorry, the consensus changed and you missed it)

The mtDNA as well as the Y-chromosome show that approximately the 82% or more of the current european lineages come from Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, not from levantine farmers. Two thirds are mesolithic, indeed.


"The Neolithic Invasion of Europe" (very good):


"The Archeogenetics of Europe"

You are pretty much a hunter-gatherer Steve.

Anonymous said...

OK, so did you listen to the album?