A review of the Earlier Prehistory of Southwestern Europe.

1 Comment

Thanks to a series of papers (Haak 2015, Gunther 2015, Martiniano 2017, Lipson 2017, Valdiosera 2018, Olalde 2018) in addition to the three recent papers by Olalde et al., Marcus et al. and Villalba-Mouco et al., we have a fascinating collection of samples for southwestern Europe which span the series of transitions occurring between Late… Continue reading

The Cirum-Pontic Region, c. 4000-3000 BC


As a brief fill-in, I will look at what the recent data adds to our understanding of the 4000 – 3000 BC period in northwestern Eurasia, which corresponds to the critical ‘’transition’’ period between the collapse of ‘’Old Europe’’ and arrival of steppe migrants. In reality, events are of course more complex, if one understands… Continue reading

How did CHG get into Steppe_EMBA ? Part 2 : The Pottery Neolithic


Introduction of pottery signifies massive cultural change. Beyond the introduction of a new technology, pottery provides additional possibilities for food storage and preparation (e.g. fish / vegetable soups, extracting animal lipids, brewing, pickling). Appearance of  larger, heavy vessels implies conversion to a more sedentary lifestyle. Such major cultural shift may have autochtonous origins, but more likely is external… Continue reading

Minoan horses and other bullshit – Open thread


My latest post erraneously received a comment that was meant for a much earlier post: Horses and wheeled vehicles. In principle it should be possible to move it to the correct destination, but I somehow failed to achieve that. The comment made, and a comment received on it, are readworthy, but of course far OT… Continue reading

The beginnings of the Bronze Age in Europe

The definition of what, or when, constitutes the Bronze Age differs from region to region, and scholar to scholar. For example, the period after the collapse of the Varna civilization (4000 BC ->) is often seen as a proto-Bronze Age or ‘’Transitional’’ period, with the Bronze Age beginning c. 3000 BC (coincident with the Yamnaya… Continue reading

Is Male-driven Genetic Replacement always meaning Language-shift?

A rethorical question, obviously, with an equally obvious, trivial answer: Well, it depends… Depends on what, however, is less trivial, and deserves a closer look at the evidence available. Let me start with distinguishing Colonisation from male-driven genetic replacement. The former entails a joint migration of males and females into new territories, e.g. the European settlement of… Continue reading