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African Neolithic Part 1: Amending Common Misunderstandings

One of the weaknesses, in my opinion, to HBD is the focus on the Paleolithic and modern eras while glossing over the major developments in between. For instance, the links made between Paleolithic Western Europe’s Cromagnon Art and Modern Western Europe’s prowess (note the geographical/genetic discontinuity there for those actually informative on such matters).

Africa, having a worst archaeological record due to ideological histories and modern problems, leaves it rather vulnerable to reliance on outdated sources already discussed before on this blog. This lack of mention however isn’t strict.

Eventually updated material will be presented by a future outline of Neolithic to Middle Ages development in West Africa.

A recent example of an erroneous comparison would be in Heiner Rindermann’s Cogntivie Capitalism, pages 129-130. He makes multiple claims on precolonial African development to explained prolonged investment in magical thinking.

  • Metallurgy not developed independently.
  • No wheel.
  • Dinka did not properly used cattle due to large, uneaten, portions left castrated.
  • No domesticated animals of indigenous origin despite Europeans animals being just as dangerous, contra Diamond (lists African dogs, cats, antelope, gazelle, and Zebras as potential specimens, mentions European Foxes as an example of a “dangerous” animal to be recently domesticated along with African Antelopes in the Ukraine.
  • A late, diffused, Neolithic Revolution 7000 years following that of the Middle East.
  • Less complex Middle Age Structure.
  • Less complex Cave structures.

Now, technically, much of this falls outside of what would be considered “neolithic”, even in the case of Africa. However, understanding the context of Neolithic development in Africa provides context to each of these points and periods of time by virtue of causality. Thus, they will be responded by archaeological sequence.

Dog domestication, Foxes, and human interaction.

The domestication of dogs occurred when Eurasian Hunter-Gathers intensified megafauna hunting, attracting less aggressive wild dogs to tame around 23k-25k ago. Rindermann’s mention of the fox experiment replicates this idea. Domestication isn’t a matter of breaking the most difficult of animals, it’s using the easiest ones to your advantage.

In this same scope, this needs to be compared to Africa’s case. In regards to behavior they are rarely solitary, so attracting lone individuals is already impractical. The species likewise developed under a different level of competition.

They were probably under as much competition from these predators as the ancestral African wild dogs were under from the guild of super predators on their continent.

What was different, though, is the ancestral wolves never evolved in an enviroment which scavenging from various human species was a constant threat, so they could develop behaviors towards humans that were not always characterized by extreme caution and fear.

Europe in particular shows that carnivore density was lower, and thus advantageous to hominids.

Consequently, the first Homo populations that arrived in Europe at the end of the late Early Pleistocene found mammal communities consisting of a low number of prey species, which accounted for a moderate herbivore biomass, as well as a diverse but not very abundant carnivore guild. This relatively low carnivoran density implies that the hominin-carnivore encounter rate was lower in the European ecosystems than in the coeval East African environments, suggesting that an opportunistic omnivorous hominin would have benefited from a reduced interference from the carnivore guild.

This would be a pattern based off of megafaunal extinction data.

The first hints of abnormal rates of megafaunal loss appear earlier, in the Early Pleistocene in Africa around 1 Mya, where there was a pronounced reduction in African proboscidean diversity (11) and the loss of several carnivore lineages, including sabertooth cats (34), which continued to flourish on other continents. Their extirpation in Africa is likely related to Homo erectus evolution into the carnivore niche space (3435), with increased use of fire and an increased component of meat in human diets, possibly associated with the metabolic demands of expanding brain size (36). Although remarkable, these early megafauna extinctions were moderate in strength and speed relative to later extinctions experienced on all other continents and islands, probably because of a longer history in Africa and southern Eurasia of gradual hominid coevolution with other animals.

This fundamental difference in adaptation to human presence and subsequent response is obviously a major detail in in-situ animal domestication.

Another example would be the failure of even colonialists to tame the Zebra.

Of course, this alone may not be good enough. One can nonetheless cite the tame-able Belgian Congo forest Elephant, or Eland. Therefore we can just ignore regurgitating Diamond.

This will just lead me to my next point. That is, what’s the pay-off?

Pastoralism and Utility

A decent test to understand what fauna in Africa can be utilized would the “experiments” of Ancient Egyptians, who are seen as the Eurasian “exception” to African civilization. Hyenas, and antelope from what I’ve, were kept under custody but overtime didn’t resulted in selected traits. The only domesticated animal in this region would be Donkeys, closer relatives to Zebras.

This brings to light another perspective to the Russian Fox experiments, that is, why have pet foxes not been a trend for Eurasians prior to the 20th century? It can be assumed then that attempts of animals domestication simply where not worth investment in the wake of already domesticated animals, even if one grew up in a society/genetic culture at this time that harnessed the skills.

For instance, a slow herd of Eland can be huddled and domesticated but will it pay off compared to the gains from investing into adapting diffused animals into a new environment? (This will be expanded upon as well into the future).

Elephants are nice for large colonial projects, but unique herding discouraging local diseases that also disrupts population density again effects the utility of large bodied animals. Investing in agriculture and iron proved more successful.

Cats actually domesticated themselves and lacked any real utility prior to feasting on urban pests. In Africa, with highly mobile groups as will be explained later, investment in cats weren’t going to change much. Wild Guineafowl, however, were useful to tame in West Africa and use to eat insects.

As can be seen here, Pastoralism is roughly as old in Africa diffused from the Middle East as compared to Europe. Both lacked independently raised species prior to it and making few innovations in regard to in situ beasts beyond the foundation. (Advancement in plant management preceding developed agriculture, a sort of skill that would parallel dog domestication for husbandry, will be discussed in a future article).

And given how advanced Mesoamericans became without draft animals, as mentioned before, their importance seems to be overplayed from a pure “indigenous” perspective. The role in invention itself ought be questioned as well in what we can actually infer.

Borrowed, so what?

In a thought experiment, lets consider some key details in diffusion. The invention of Animal Domestication or Metallurgy is by no means something to be glossed over as an independent invention. Over-fixating on this however in turn glosses over some other details on successful diffusion.

Why would a presumably lower apt population adopt a cognitively demanding skill, reorient it’s way of society around it, without attributing this change to an internal change of character compared to before? Living in a new type of economy system as a trend it undoubtedly bound to result in a new population in regards to using cognition to exploit resources. This would require contributions to their own to the process.

This applies regards to African Domesticated breeds,

Viewing domestication as an invention also produces a profound lack of curiosity about evolutionary changes in domestic species after their documented first appearances. [……] African domesticates, whether or not from foreign ancestors, have adapted to disease and forage challenges throughout their ranges, reflecting local selective pressures under human management. Adaptations include dwarfing and an associated increase in fecundity, tick resistance, and resistance to the most deleterious effects of several mortal infectious diseases. While the genetics of these traits are not yet fully explored, they reflect the animal side of the close co-evolution between humans and domestic animals in Africa. To fixate upon whether or not cattle were independently domesticated from wild African ancestors, or to dismiss chickens’ swift spread through diverse African environments because they were of Asian origin, ignores the more relevant question of how domestic species adapted to the demands of African environments, and how African people integrated them into their lives.

The same can be said for Metallurgy,

We do not yet know
whether the seventh/sixth century Phoenician smelt-
ing furnace from Toscanos, Spain (illustrated by
Niemeyer in MA, p.87, Figure 3) is typical, but it is
clearly very different from the oldest known iron smelt-
ing technology in sub-Saharan Africa. Almost all pub-
lished iron smelting furnaces of the first millennium cal
BC from Rwanda/Burundi, Buhaya, Nigeria, Niger,
Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic and Ga-
bon are slag-pit furnaces, which are so far unknown
from this or earlier periods in the Middle East or North
Africa. Early Phoenician tuyères, which have square
profiles enclosing two parallel (early) or converging
(later) narrow bores are also quite unlike those de-
scribed for early sites in sub-Saharan Africa, which are
cylindrical with a single and larger bore.
African ironworkers adapted bloomery furnaces
to an extraordinary range of iron ores, some of which
cannot be used by modern blast furnaces. In both
northern South Africa (Killick & Miller 2014)andin
the Pare mountains of northern Tanzania (Louise Iles
pers. comm., 2013) magnetite-ilmenite ores contain-
ing up to 25 per cent TiO2(by mass) were smelted.
The upper limit for TiO2in iron ore for modern
blast furnaces is only 2 per cent by mass (McGan-
non 1971). High-titanium iron ores can be smelted
in bloomery furnaces because these operate at lower
temperatures and have less-reducing furnace atmo-
spheres than blast furnaces. In the blast furnace tita-
nium oxide is partially reduced and makes the slag
viscous and hard to drain, but in bloomery furnaces
it is not reduced and combines with iron and silicon
oxide to make a fluid slag (Killick & Miller 2014). Blast
furnace operators also avoid ores containing more
than a few tenths of a percent of phosphorus or ar-
senic, because when these elements are dissolved in
the molten iron, they segregate to grain boundaries on
crystallization, making the solid iron brittle on impact.
McIntosh goes over how the transition from Neolithic to Iron Age transformed African stratification and launched Middle Ages indigenous progress. This will undoubtedly be retouched in future works.
With all of this said, what gave the impression of stagnation?
Inefficient Dinka?
Rindermann cites Baker secondarily on the nature of Dinka cattle castration, that up to a third are castrated just to “look good and fat”. Multiple sources complicates this simplistic image.
Bulls (and rams) are often, but not necessarily, castrated at a
fairly advanced age, probably in part to allow the conformation and characteristics of the animal to become evident before
the decision is made. A castrated steer is called muor buoc, an
entire bull thon (men in general are likened to muor which are
usually handsome animals greatly admired on that account; an
unusually brave, strong or successful man may be called thon,
that is, “bull with testicles”). Dinka do not keep an excess of
thon, usually one per 10 to 40 cows. Stated reasons for the
castration of others are for important esthetic and cultural
reasons, to reduce fighting, for easier control, and to prevent
indiscriminant or repeat breeding of cows in heat (the latter
regarded as detrimental to pregnancy and accurate
genealogies).
Here, the ration is higher, but is not reduced singularly to aesthetic reasons.
Godfrey Leinhardt clarifies that the preferences isn’t indiscriminate, that the aesthetics is based on cattle fur configurations. And, contra to Baker’s quote, it is clarified that all cattle once dead are eaten for their meat regardless.
Francis Deng likewise estimates, based on the amount of Cattle they casual amass, that they are one of the Wealthiest in Africa by cattle count. Likewise, it distinguishes the purpose of personality oxen (of desired configuration) as a reflection of their intense investment into cattle, not neglect.
Neumann on Diffused Agriculture from the “North”?
That is, Katharina Neumann’s 2003 article on the “Late Emergence” of Agriculture. While she does review the data suggesting a late agricultural revolution, she doesn’t suggest anywhere that it was “likely” diffused from the north and rather explains it in terms in that the high mobility lifestyles of Hunter Gatherers and Pastoralists were supported better than a sedentary lifestyle due to the abundant but seasonally distributed wild plants.
She also mentioned the relative higher abundance in the Savanna over the Rainforests, which probably resulted in the continuous plant exploitation by pottery using HG from Ghana 10k ago.
Since then Neumann noted the differences between Africa and the Middle East. Not only did Pastoralism preceded agriculture, but so did pottery. Actual vessels were not seen in Europe until replacement by Middle Eastern Farmers, rather than local HG.

Since then, Pearl Millet, Rice, Yams, and Cowpeas have been confirmed to be indigenous crops to the area. This is against hypotheses of others. Multiple studies show late expansion southwards, thus likely linking them to Niger-Kongo speakers. Modern SSA genetics revealed farmer population expansion signals similar to that of Neolithic ancestry in Europeans to their own late date of agriculture in the region as well.

Renfrew

Made multiple remarks on Africa’s “exemplars”, trying to construct a sort of perpetual gap since the Paleolithic by citing Renfew’s  Neuroscience, evolution and the sapient paradox: the factuality of value and of the sacred. However, Renfrew doesn’t quite support the comparisons he made and approaches a whole different point.

The discovery of clearly intentional patterning on fragments of red ochre from the Blombos Cave (at ca 70 000 BP) is interesting when discussing the origins of symbolic expression. But it is entirely different in character, and very much simpler than the cave paintings and the small carved sculptures which accompany the Upper Palaeolithic of France and Spain (and further east in Europe) after 40 000 BP.[….]

It is important to remember that what is often termed cave art—the painted caves, the beautifully carved ‘Venus’ figurines—was during the Palaeolithic (i.e. the Pleistocene climatic period) effectively restricted to one developmental trajectory, localized in western Europe. It is true that there are just a few depictions of animals in Africa from that time, and in Australia also. But Pleistocene art was effectively restricted to Franco-Cantabria and its outliers.

It was not until towards the end of the Pleistocene period that, in several parts of the world, major changes are seen (but see  for a more nuanced view, placing more emphasis upon developments in the Late Palaeolithic). They are associated with the development of sedentism and then of agriculture and sometimes stock rearing. At the risk of falling into the familiar ‘revolutionary’ cliché, it may be appropriate to speak of the Sedentary Revolution (, ch. 7).[….] Although the details are different in each area, we see a kind of sedentary revolution taking place in western Asia, in southern China, in the Yellow River area of northern China, in Mesoamerica, and coastal Peru, in New Guinea, and in a different way in Japan ().

And just for context as to where Precolonial Africa stood, the best I can do short hand is economic growth gaps clearly being huddled between Western Countries and non-Western countries. That is, “Modern” differences in economic growth developed over the 20th century comparisons.
As for simply looking at development, the story seems to be the same at around 1500 A.D
 paints a picture of African development in 1500, both relative to the rest of the world and heterogeneity within the continent itself, using as his indicators population density, urbanization, technological advancement, and political development. Ignoring North Africa, which was generally part of the Mediterranean world, the highest levels of development by many indicators are found in Ethiopia and in the broad swathe of West African countries running from Cameroon and Nigeria eastward along the coast and the Niger river. In this latter region, the available measures show a level of development just below or sometimes equal to that in the belt of Eurasia running from Japan and China, through South Asia and the Middle East, into Europe. Depending on the index used, West Africa was above or below the level of development in the Northern Andes and Mexico. Much of the rest of Africa was at a significantly lower level of development, although still more advanced than the bulk of the Americas or Australia.
With all this said, China traditionally speaking wasn’t necessarily devoid of gruesome magical thinking as well by duration, despite traditionally being held at a higher traditional society.
Still, Rindermann has a point on the particular intensity and behavior overall for modern norms in Africa, yet it needs a stronger premise like actually tracking atmospheres of superstition.
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Richard Fuerle and OOA: Morphological and Genetic Incongruencies

This is a topic I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Though it can be said that many scientists who investigate topics receive public outcry to a return of racial segregationist ideology in academia to an unfair extent. It would be odd however to apply the same towards Richard Fuerle, and not in any ironic way. He basically peddled the Carleton Coon Multiregional Theory that not even Multi-regionalists would buy, but a quick Google search will lead you to those who would (not the most unbiased group).

The intent of this article is to show how a decent chunk of Fuerle’s arguments are indeed outdated and doesn’t jive with current evidence. While not a review of the whole book, this post will demonstrate enough basic facts that should convince you to discourage his arguments.

Credentials-

First page (the hardest in my opinion) and none in biology. For reference, I encourage commenters to cite from the book if they take issue with my criticisms, as I’m only paraphrasing from this point forward simply because of this.

Bone density-

Quick and simple (and somewhat setting a pattern), this is a trait that RR has talked about in the past with others still getting it wrong. Rather than a reduced or adaptive specialization, bone density in modern European came as a result of sedentary behavior from the Neolithic.

Sedentary living among Sub Saharans is far more recent, even with crops going back several millennia B.C.E intensification wasn’t that common until plantations were used during the slave trade. Shifting Cultivation, though variable, was the norm. I’ll touch upon this in a future article on the African Neolithic.

Dentition:

One of his other pitfall were the implications pf Shovel Teeth in Modern Populations.

  1. The high rate of such is indicative of modern phylogenic ancestry, supporting the case of Asians.
  2.  The trait in Asians derives from Peking Man.

Both are pretty much refuted by archaic and modern variants being different. And contra to the expectations of his estimates of human divergences being millions of years old, Europeans are closer to Modern Africans than Neanderthals in dentition. This also refutes assertion on the primitive nature of Africans compared to other humans in the case of phylogenics. On the particular features, it’s another story.

In this case there’s no need to look any further than the works of Joel Irish, who I’m willing to bet is unparalleled in this topic in modern research.

Retention of primitive features was something that went back to African migrants into Eurasia, Homo Sapiens both recent and past having long retained archaic traits.

We recently examined whether or not a universal criterion
for dental modernity could be dened (Bailey and Hublin
2013). Like cranial morphology, dental morphology shows a
marked range of variation; so much that multiple geographic
dental patterns (e.g., Mongoloid, Proto-Sundadont, Indodont,
Sub-Saharan African, Afridont, Caucasoid, Eurodont, Sun-
dadont, Sinodont) have been identied in recent humans
(Hanihara 1969,1992; Mayhall et al. 1982; Turner 1990;
Hawkey 1998; Irish 1998,2013; Scott et al. 2013). Our
analysis conrmed that, while some populations retain higher
frequencies of ancestral (i.e., primitive) dental traits [e.g.,
Dryopithecus molar, moderate incisor shoveling (Irish 1997)]
and others show higher frequencies of recently evolved (i.e.,
derived) dental traits [e.g., double shoveling, four-cusped
lower molars (Turner 1983; Irish and Guatelli-Steinberg
2003)], all recent humans show some combination of both
primitive and derived traits (Bailey and Hublin 2013).

Africans tend to have higher frequencies in retained features, but in the context of recent Eurasian variants, this is to be expected and Irish have actually used this data to support an African dispersal.

Assuming that phenetic expression approximates genetic variation, previous dental morphological analyses of Sub-Saharan Africans by the author show they are unique among the world’s modern populations. Numerically-derived affinities, using the multivariate Mean Measure of Divergence statistic, revealed significant differences between the Sub-Saharan folk and samples from North Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and the New World, Australia/Tasmania, and Melanesia. Sub-Saharan Africans are characterized by a collection of unique, mass-additive crown and root traits relative to these other world groups. Recent work found that the most ubiquitous of these traits are also present in dentitions of earlier hominids, as well as extinct and extant non-human primates; other ancestral dental features are also common in these forms. The present investigation is primarily concerned with this latter finding. Qualitative and quantitative comparative analyses of Plio-Pleistocene through recent samples suggest that, of all modern populations, Sub-Saharan Africans are the least derived dentally from an ancestral hominid state; this conclusion, together with data on intra- and inter-population variability and divergence, may help provide new evidence in the search for modern human origins.

 

The same was done by his colleague  who first posited an West Asian origin as Fuerle did (undoubtedly on much firmer grounds). Has recently integrated this into modern OOA.

To date, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa are dated to around 90,000 to 120,000 years ago at the Levantine sites of Skhul and Qafzeh. A maxilla and associated dentition recently discovered at Misliya Cave, Israel, was dated to 177,000 to 194,000 years ago, suggesting that members of the Homo sapiens clade left Africa earlier than previously thought. This finding changes our view on modern human dispersal and is consistent with recent genetic studies, which have posited the possibility of an earlier dispersal of Homo sapiens around 220,000 years ago. The Misliya maxilla is associated with full-fledged Levallois technology in the Levant, suggesting that the emergence of this technology is linked to the appearance of Homo sapiens in the region, as has been documented in Africa.

This then smoothly glides into the next topic.

Craniofacial data-

Thus we also find that the basis of modern diversification is recent, as in below 50k in age.

On the appearance of Modern East Asian and Native Americans Traits,

Our results show strong morphological affinities
among the early series irrespective of geographical origin,
which together with the matrix analyses results
favor the scenario of a late morphological differentiation
of modern humans. We conclude that the geographic
differentiation of modern human morphology is a late
phenomenon that occurred after the initial settlement
of the Americas.

On the features of earlier Paleoamericans.

During the last two decades, the idea held by some
late 19th and early 20th century scholars (e.g., Lacerda
and Peixoto, 1876; Rivet, 1908) that early American populations
presented a distinct morphological pattern from
the one observed among recent Native Americans, has
been largely corroborated. Studies assessing the morphological
affinities of early American crania have shown
that crania dating to over seven thousand years BP generally
show a distinct morphology from that observed in
later populations. This observation is better supported in
South America, where larger samples of early specimens
are available: population samples from central Brazil
(Lagoa Santa; Neves and Hubbe, 2005; Neves et al.,
2007a) and Colombia (Bogota´ Savannah; Neves et al.,
2007b) as well as in isolated specimens from Southeast
Brazil (Capelinha; Neves et al., 2005), Northeast Brazil
(Toca dos Coqueiros; Hubbe et al., 2007) and Southern
Chile (Palli Aike; Neves et al., 1999). Distinct cranial
morphology has also been observed in early skulls from
Meso-America (Mexico; Gonzalez-Jose´ et al., 2005) and
North America (Jantz and Owsley, 2001; Powell, 2005).
This evidence has recently demonstrated that the
observed high levels of morphological diversity within
the Americas cannot simply be attributed to bias resulting
from the small available samples of early crania, as
was previously suggested (Van Vark et al., 2003).
Recent Native American cranial morphology varies
around a central tendency characterized by short and
wide neurocrania, high and retracted faces, and high
orbits and nasal apertures. In contrast, the early South and

Meso-American (hereafter Paleoamerican) crania
tend to vary around a completely different morphology:
long and narrow crania, low and projecting faces, and
low orbits and nasal apertures (Neves and Hubbe, 2005).
These differences are not subtle, being of roughly the
same magnitude as the difference observed between
recent Australian aborigines and recent East Asians
(Neves and Hubbe, 2005; Neves et al., 2007a,b; but see
Gonza´lez-Jose´ et al., 2008 for a different opinion). When
assessed within the comparative framework of worldwide
craniometric human variation, Paleoamerican groups
show morphological affinities with some Australo-Melanesian
and African samples, while Amerindian groups

Earlier waves of Native Americans were replaced by later waves of migrants from Asia with latter specializations.

The same can be demonstrated in Africa.

For the second half of the Late Pleistocene and the period pre-
ceding the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (i.e., MIS 3), the only two
sites with well preserved and securely dated human remains are
Nazlet Khater 2 (38 ±6 Ky, Egypt; Crevecoeur, 2008) and Hofmeyr
(36.2 ±3.3 Ky, South Africa; Grine et al., 2007). These fossils
represent additional evidence for Late Pleistocene phenotypic
variability of African sub-groups. The Hofmeyr specimen exhibits
the greatest overall similarities to early modern human specimens
from Europe rather than to Holocene San populations from the
same region (Grine et al., 2007). Moreover, the Nazlet Khater 2
specimen preserves archaic features on the cranium and the
mandible more comparable to those of Late Middle Pleistocene and

early Late Pleistocene fossils than to chronologically closer recent

African populations (Crevecoeur, 2012). These specimens represent
aspects of modern human phenotypic variation not found in cur-
rent populations. This situation seems to have lasted until the
beginning of the Holocene in the African fossil record, not only in
the northeastern part of the continent (Crevecoeur et al., 2009) but
also in the west central (Iwo Eleru, Nigeria, Harvati et al., 2011;
Stojanowski, 2014) and eastern regions (Lukenya Hill, Kenya,
Tryon et al., 2015). During the Holocene, an increased homogeni-
zation of cranio-morphological features is documented, particu-
larly within sub-Saharan Africa, with its peak during and after the
Bantu expansion from 6 Ky ago (Ribot, 2011).

Without Ambiguity, the EUP like Hofmeyr skull was found to be archaic relative to recent SSA.

Although the supraorbital torus is comparable in thickness to that in UP crania, its continuous nature represents a more archaic morphology ( 26 ). In this regard, Hofmeyr is more primitive than later sub-Saharan LSA and North African UP specimens (such as Lukenya Hill and Wadi Kubbaniya), even though they may have a somewhat thicker medial supraorbital eminence. Despite its glabellar prominence and capacious maxillary sinuses, Hofmeyr exhibits only incipient frontal sinus development, a condition that is uncommon among European UP crania ( 27 ). The mandibular ramus has a well-developed gonial angle, and the slender coronoid process is equivalent in height to the condyle. The mandibular (sigmoid) notch is deep and symmetrical, and its crest intersects the lateral third of the condyle. The anterior margin of the ramus is damaged, but it is clear that there was no retro- molar gap. The Hofmeyr molars are large. The bucco- lingual diameter of M 2 exceeds recent African and Eurasian UP sample means by more than 2 SD (table S3). Radiographs reveal cynodont molars, although pulp chamber height is likely to have been affected by the deposition of secondary dentine in these heavily worn teeth. Thus, Hofmeyr is seemingly primitive in comparison to recent African crania in a number of features, including a prominent glabella; moderately thick, continuous supraorbital tori; a tall, flat, and straight malar; a broad frontal process of the maxilla; and comparatively large molar crowns.

One of unique traits to Modern Eurasians is a measurable increase in Cranial Index.

Craniometric data have been collected from published and unpublished reports of numerous authors on 961 male and 439 female crania from various sites in Subsaharan Africa spanning the last 100 ka. All data available in the literature, irrespective of their “racial” affinities, were used to cover the prehistoric and early historic times (up to 400 a BP). Samples covering the last 400 years do not include European colonists and consist of skeletons exavated at archeological sites, collected by early European travelers and derived from anatomical collections. Cranial capacity, depending on the mode of its calculation, has decreased by 95–165 cm3 among males and by 74–106 cm3 among females between the Late Stone Age (30-2 ka BP) and modern times (last 200 years). Values of the cranial index did not show any trend over time and their averages remained in the dolichocephalic category. The decrease in cranial capacity in Subsaharan Africa is similar to that previously found in Europe, West Asia, and North Africa, but, unlike the latter, it is not accompanied by brachycephalization. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

It’s worth noting in even Fuerle’s data, despite emphasizing this trait in a singular black example, Caucasians have a larger browridge by comparison. Black were described as small in comparison in this trait. Likewise, the data indicates that the skulls were generally smoother and rounder with more receded Cheekbones.

On a comprehensive look on how these difference, this paper seems sufficient.

Population variation.

Morphological characteristics of the orbit that are most variable among the
African, Asian, and European samples include orbital volume (obv), orbital depth (obd), basion-superior orbit (bso), and orbital breadth (obb), and are also those that contribute most to group separation in the multivariate analyses. Interorbital breadth (dkb), biorbital Samples Asian European African 20.9960 31.2139 Asian 15.4776 Samples Asian European African 1.80745 3.19353 Asian 3.70921
68 breadth (ekb), and basion-orbitale (bio) were not found to be statistically different among these samples, however the low significance value for basion-orbitale in a one-way analysis of variance (p = 0.055) indicates that some degree of divergence exists among them. Additionally, while a significance test was not carried out for “shape” of the orbital margins, it is clear that general differences exist among groups. The most notable difference is between the Asian and African samples, in which the former possesses high and narrow orbits (a more rounded shape), and the latter is characterized by lower and wider orbital margins (a more rectangular shape).

Hominin trends

This current investigation reveals that the orbital
margins vary in association with these long-term evolutionary changes, becoming
vertically shorter, horizontally elongated, more frontated, and retracted relative to basion, with a greater degree of reduction in the inferior orbital margins.

In otherwords, the Rectangular Shape of “Negroids” are a retention, but towards a baseline Sapiens trend.

The wide rectangular shape of the orbital margins resulting from a shift in relative
size of orbital height and orbital breadth is highly characteristic of anatomically modern humans from the Upper Paleolithic in Europe and Asia (chapter 5), and extant groups from Sub-Saharan Africa (chapter 3). Following the Upper Paleolithic however, the trend toward superoinferiorly shorter and more elongated orbits associated with a grade shift in craniofacial form began to reverse, and the orbital margins become taller and narrower, taking on a more rounded shape. This more recent trend has also been documented among East Asian groups dating to the Holocene (Brown & Maeda, 2004; Wu et al. 2007), and is investigated as part of a larger examination of orbital change through the European Upper Paleolithic in chapter 5 of this thesis.

On the specifics, Eurasians.

In looking at size and shape of the orbital margins it can be seen that orbital breadth does not vary in relation to cranial shape, but does decrease as the upper facial index increases, with the same being true of biorbital breadth. In contrast, orbital height is positively correlated with both shape features, which one might expect particularly in relation to the upper facial index, in which a vertical increase in facial height and decrease in facial width would be assumed to affect in a similar way these same dimensions of the orbit. However, Brown & Maeda (2004) found that throughout the Neolithic in China, orbital height increases substantially even while facial height is reduced in that region.
In nearly every case, orbital variables are more highly correlated with shape of the
face than with shape of the head, which is understandable given their inclusion in the facial framework. However, the relationship between basion-orbitale and basion-superior orbit is negatively correlated with both cranial and facial shape variables and to approximately the same degree. This is of particular interest given that the upper facial index comprises two variables that indicate the relationship between height and width of the face in the coronal plane, though measures of basion-orbitale and basion-superior orbit lie in the parasagittal plane. Orbital depth also decreases in association with increased facial height and decreased facial breadth, but is not statistically related to change in cranial shape. This too is surprising given that orbital depth might be expected to decrease more as a result of anterior-posterior shortening of the skull rather than in relation to a narrowing and elongation of the face.  104 Although the direction and magnitude of the relationship between orbital morphology and craniofacial shape largely mimics observed changes in orbital features during the last 30,000 years in Western Europe (section 5.4 above), orbital size deviates slightly from this pattern. Both orbital volume and the geometric mean of orbital height, breadth, and depth remained relatively unchanged since the Upper Paleolithic, however both show a statistically significant negative relationship to the upper facial index, meaning that as the face becomes taller and narrower, space within the orbits is diminished.
Brown and Maeda (2004) show that among skulls of Australian Aborigines and
Tohoku Japanese, which represent changing craniofacial form since the end of the
Pleistocene, orbital volume is highly correlated with supraorbital breadth, lower facial prognathism, and shape of the orbital margins. Among these crania a broader
supraorbital region, more projecting facial skeleton and lower orbital index (more
rectangular shape) are associated with a larger orbital volume. Change in these features, including a strong trend toward higher and narrower orbits, is considered to reflect a decrease in orbital volume that occurred throughout the Holocene in China (Brown & Maeda, 2004).

Africans’ Prognathism and inter Orbital breath can be accounted for here. Pg 13. Explains an association between interorbital breadth and prognathism. Within South Africans, however, wide breadth compensates for a low prognathic profile on page 229-230. In Africans, compare to African Americans, it is more variable.  On Page 216 it notes how the role for robust craniofacial features do not correlate with browridge size. Uncorrelated features can be explained by geography for instance.

Fossils-

Richard Fuerle noted the particularly archaic nature of the 100-300k Kabwe/Broken Hill skull in contrast to Modern Humans in Ethiopia. He, in totality with modern “retentions”, asserted that this proved that African pecularities were long standing and postulated that the Middle East was the actual home of human origins.

Some problems with this logic are similar findings In Europe and Asia. Despite being contemporary with Neanderthals by context, the morphology of the Ceprano skull is closer to the LCA with Sapiens.

By contrast, Rhodesiensis existed alongside others that show more marked Sapiens differientation like the South African Florisbad mention here.

Others may mention the Iwo Eleru finding. That isn’t unique to Africa either, as the Red Deer Cave people will show. On their origins.

Our analysis suggests two plausible explanations for the morphology sampled at Longlin Cave and Maludong. First, it may represent a late-surviving archaic population, perhaps paralleling the situation seen in North Africa as indicated by remains from Dar-es-Soltane and Temara, and maybe also in southern China at Zhirendong. Alternatively, East Asia may have been colonised during multiple waves during the Pleistocene, with the Longlin-Maludong morphology possibly reflecting deep population substructure in Africa prior to modern humans dispersing into Eurasia.

More specifically.

The number of Late Pleistocene hominin species and the timing of their extinction are issues receiving renewed attention following genomic evidence for interbreeding between the ancestors of some living humans and archaic taxa. Yet, major gaps in the fossil record and uncertainties surrounding the age of key fossils have meant that these questions remain poorly understood. Here we describe and compare a highly unusual femur from Late Pleistocene sediments at Maludong (Yunnan), Southwest China, recovered along with cranial remains that exhibit a mixture of anatomically modern human and archaic traits. Our studies show that the Maludong femur has affinities to archaic hominins, especially Lower Pleistocene femora. However, the scarcity of later Middle and Late Pleistocene archaic remains in East Asia makes an assessment of systematically relevant character states difficult, warranting caution in assigning the specimen to a species at this time. The Maludong fossil probably samples an archaic population that survived until around 14,000 years ago in the biogeographically complex region of Southwest China.

Subsequent studies on dentition confirm this view, along with multiple others.
Our results indicate that the Hexian teeth are metrically and morphologically primitive and overlap with H. ergaster and East Asian Early and mid-Middle Pleistocene hominins in their large dimensions and occlusal complexities. However, the Hexian teeth differ from H. ergaster in features such as conspicuous vertical grooves on the labial/buccal surfaces of the central incisor and the upper premolar, the crown outline shapes of upper and lower molars and the numbers, shapes, and divergences of the roots. Despite their close geological ages, the Hexian teeth are also more primitive than Zhoukoudian specimens, and resemble Sangiran Early Pleistocene teeth. In addition, no typical Neanderthal features have been identified in the Hexian sample. Our study highlights the metrical and morphological primitive status of the Hexian sample in comparison to contemporaneous or even earlier populations of Asia. Based on this finding, we suggest that the primitive-derived gradients of the Asian hominins cannot be satisfactorily fitted along a chronological sequence, suggesting complex evolutionary scenarios with the coexistence and/or survival of different lineages in Eurasia. Hexian could represent the persistence in time of a H. erectus group that would have retained primitive features that were lost in other Asian populations such as Zhoukoudian or Panxian Dadong. Our study expands the metrical and morphological variations known for the East Asian hominins before the mid-Middle Pleistocene and warns about the possibility that the Asian hominin variability may have been taxonomically oversimplified.
Along with this replication,
Mandibular and dental features indicate that the Hexian mandible and teeth differ from northern Chinese H. erectus and European Middle Pleistocene hominins, but show some affinities with the Early Pleistocene specimens from Africa (Homo ergaster) and Java (H. erectus), as well as the Middle-Late Pleistocene mandible from Penghu, Taiwan. Compared to contemporaneous continental Asian hominin populations, the Hexian fossils may represent the survival of a primitive hominin, with more primitive morphologies than other contemporaneous or some chronologically older Asian hominin specimens.
Finally, just to make the point.
 Our dental study reveals a mosaic of primitive and derived dental features for the Xujiayao hominins that can be summarized as follows: i) they are different from archaic and recent modern humans, ii) they present some features that are common but not exclusive to the Neanderthal lineage, and iii) they retain some primitive conformations classically found in East Asian Early and Middle Pleistocene hominins despite their young geological age.
 The age of this specimen has been updated to an upper limit of 370k
Middle to Late Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia has remained controversial regarding the extent of morphological continuity through archaic humans and to modern humans. Newly found ∼300,000-y-old human remains from Hualongdong (HLD), China, including a largely complete skull (HLD 6), share East Asian Middle Pleistocene (MPl) human traits of a low vault with a frontal keel (but no parietal sagittal keel or angular torus), a low and wide nasal aperture, a pronounced supraorbital torus (especially medially), a nonlevel nasal floor, and small or absent third molars. It lacks a malar incisure but has a large superior medial pterygoid tubercle. HLD 6 also exhibits a relatively flat superior face, a more vertical mandibular symphysis, a pronounced mental trigone, and simple occlusal morphology, foreshadowing modern human morphology. The HLD human fossils thus variably resemble other later MPl East Asian remains, but add to the overall variation in the sample. Their configurations, with those of other Middle and early Late Pleistocene East Asian remains, support archaic human regional continuity and provide a background to the subsequent archaic-to-modern human transition in the region.
This guy helped fit a sequence for these guys with East Asian and Europeans Variation in Archaics, not overlapping signficantly mind you in African Sapiens like Irhoud on the PCA to warrant and sort of validation of Fuerle.
The HLD human sample, primarily the HLD 6 skull but including
the isolated cranial, dental, and femoral remains, provides a suite
of morphological features that place it comfortably within the pre-
viously known Middle to early Late Pleistocene East Asian human
variation and trends. These Middle-to-Late Pleistocene archaic
human remains from East Asia can be grouped into four chro-
nological groups, from the earlier LantianChenjiawo, Yunxian,
and Zhoukoudian; to Hexian and Nanjing; then Chaoxian, Dali,
HLD, Jinniushan, and Panxian Dadong; and ending with Changyang,
Xuchang, and Xujiayao. They are followed in the early Late
Pleistocene by Huanglong, Luna, Fuyan, and Zhiren, which to-
gether combine archaic and modern features.
All together, what does this show? This study conveniently addresses that.
There is nonetheless substantial variation across the available
East Asian sample within and across these chronological groups
and especially in terms of individual traits and their combinations
within specimens (SI Appendix, Figs. S16 and S17 and Tables S10,
S12, and S13). However, similar variation within regions and
within site samples is evident elsewhere during the MPl (as reflected
in the persistent absence of taxonomic consensus regarding MPl
humans; see refs. 19, 23, 41, and 42), and it need not imply more
than normal variation among these fluctuating forager populations.
The growing human fossil sample from mainland East Asia,
enhanced by the HLD remains, therefore provides evidence of
continuity through later archaic humans, albeit with some degree
of variation within chronological groups. As such, the sample
follows the same pattern as the accumulating fossil evidence for
MPl (variably into the Late Pleistocene) morphological conti-
nuity within regional archaic human groups in Europe (e.g., ref.
43), Northwest Africa (e.g., ref. 44), and insular Southeast Asia
(e.g., refs. 21 and 24), as well as into early modern humans in
East Africa (e.g., ref. 45). Several divergent peripheral samples
[Denisova, Dinaledi, and Liang Bua (4648)] do not follow this
pattern, but they are best seen as interesting human evolutionary
experiments (49) and not representative of Middle to Late Pleisto-
cene human evolution. It is the core continental regions that provide
the overall pattern of human evolution during this time period and
form the background for the emergence of modern humans.
Although there is considerable interregional diversity across these
Old World subcontinental samples, primarily in details of craniofa-
cial morphology, these fossil samples exhibit similar trends in primary
biological aspects (e.g., encephalization, craniofacial gracilization).
Moreover, all of these regional groups of Middle to Late Pleistocene
human remains reinforce that the dominant pattern through archaic
humans [and variably into early modern humans through continuity
or admixture (16, 50, 51)] was one of regional population consistency
combined with global chronological trends.
Simply put, the Eurasian and African data complement each other of having “oddballs” that are less signficant in greater context of large Stone age diversity in morphology.
The next critique won’t be as broad given how they are covered in my previous work.
Pygmies and Khoi-san-
He figured Pygmies were Australopithecus admixed to explain their stature, when it was actually due to convergent recent selection in the last 20k years.
On Khoi-San, he took a partial Carleton Coon approach and claimed at least part of their ancestry comes from “Mongoloids” to account for their eyelids, skintone and head shape. Hopefully those reading have already read my review of the actual science of this matter. If not, see link above.
Genetics-
Woodley conveniently tested it out and came up with some “surprising” errors.
Fuerle has recently attempted to build a case for the existence
of multiple biological species of humans from a molecular perspective.
Fuerle used comparative genetic distance data involving various
DNA types obtained from a variety of sources for a range of
biological species and subspecies [54]. The results of his review
are summarized in the following table. Additional data involving
non-mtDNA based estimates of the genetic distance between the
gorilla species and the chimpanzees and bonobos have been included
for comparison.
Table 4 would seem to suggest that the Sub-Saharan African
(Bantu) and Australopapuan (Aborigine) genetic difference as measured
by SNP’s is greater than the genetic distance between both
the two species of gorilla (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei), and
greater than the distance between the common chimpanzee and
the bonobo as measured by mtDNA.
On the basis of this Fuerle suggests that there are only two
consistent courses of action to take regarding re-classification –
splitting or lumping. Either H. sapiens could be split into two species
– Homo africanus which would encompass modern African
populations and Homo eurasianensis which would encompass Eurasian
populations; making the genus Homo consistent in his view,
species-wise with respect to other genera in which the differences
between species are expressed in terms of much smaller genetic
distances; or alternatively the genetic variability within the human
species could be used to typologically define the absolute limits of
what constitutes a vertebrate species, which could then be employed
as a taxonomic baseline in the classification of other species.
This would mean lumping the two gorilla species and the
chimpanzee and the bonobo as single species.
Further on,
FST reflects the relative amount of total genetic differentiation
between populations, however different measures of genetic distance
involving mtDNA and autosomal loci are simply inappropriate for the purposes of inter-specific comparison as the different
genes involved will have been subject to markedly different selection
pressures and are therefore not likely to have diverged at the
same time [62]. To illustrate this point, this author listed alternative
estimates of the distance between the gorilla species and the
common chimpanzee and bonobo, based on various nuclear loci
and autosomal DNA. The much higher numbers reflect the extreme
variation that can be expected when different genes are considered.
Fuerle’s presentation of the data is also problematic for another
reason, namely he makes no mention of the current
debates surrounding gorilla and chimpanzee/bonobo taxonomy;
as new research on these taxa regularly generates novel and in
some cases wildly variable estimates of genetic distance between
these primates, and there is even some debate over whether the
eastern and western gorillas are separate species [60].
Curnoe and Thorne have estimated that periods of around two
million years were required for the production of sufficient genetic
distances to represent speciation within the human ancestral lineage
[56]. This indicates that the genetic distances between the
races are too small to warrant differentiation at the level of biological
species, as the evolution of racial variation within H. sapiens
started to occur only 60,000 years ago, when the ancestors of modern
humans first left Africa.
Summary- The current morphological data, prehistoric morphological data, and population genetics leaves the basis of Fuerle’s model of race differences in shambles. When there was a debate, it fitted nowhere from the beginning.
The shallow fringe appeal of Fuerle in actual HBD is quick to be present with either naivety or deliberate bias, which isn’t shocking given what little background the author had despite a notably large citation on his data.
This review isn’t without its inherent flaws. Primarily being driven largely by my own repugnance towards the book, despite my efforts of citations, I didn’t make use of direct quotes. This effect my negative argument toward Fuerle, potentially making straw-men of his arguments that were addressed.
I feel, however, I’ve done an adequate job of building my positive argument of better arguments in the framework of various researchers.

Cranks in Anthropology

By Phil

The following will not all be anthropologists by trade or certification, but each carved their own little niche the distorts research. I will address them in way that reflects the weird way they are all connected.

Bruce Fenton: So thanks to RR, I’ve learned how he once peddled crap such as “giants“, among other things. Needless to say, that answered alot of my questions I had after taking apart his article on his book a while back.

Jeffery Schwarz and John Grehan: Now, to be fair, these guys deserve somewhat more credit in their premise, that is regarding the morphological links with orangutans and humans. It has some basis in how humans evolved, originally being arboreal and not knuckle walking. However, their approach of preferring inheritance based on external morphology over coding DNA and overall genetics has been criticized again, and again, and again, and again.

For clarification, I found them from an Indian study on Hominid development in Fenton’s spurces, which focused on bipedalism. It noted an “Asian hypothesis” of human origins. Technically, Grehan proposed an African-Asian distribution, and as of now Schwarz’s actual hominid data currently works with OOA as a base model while adjusting it. So it doesn’t support Fenton even if Orangutans were the actual ancestors of humans.

It’s worth mentioning as well, the commenter “Marc” in the Grehan link is a crank as well, but not for today.

Shi Huang: Shi Huang here is the only other major researcher I know of who has actually produced any notable difference in the Human-Chimp clade finding, on top of rejecting OOA.

The implications however stray further from the Cann study than Fenton’s. In fact, if you read the link on phenotypic association of human populations…it’s kind demonstrates the futility of using external phenotypes.

Overall, his theory on Africans being Denisovan and Neanderthal admixed humans doesn’t align with Haplogroup associations touched upon previously in my Fenton article linked to Dienekes, the nature of the East African cluster mentioned in my article on modern Africans with A and B y chromosomes making up the majority of Eurasian affiliated Nilotics, and my previous article on the post Neanderthal substructure making up the majority of African genetics.

Now compare all of these inferences, to this-

Fossils or traits indicating AMH migration from East Asia into Africa or Europe have
been noted before. First, native Africans such as Khoisans are well known to have certain East Asian features such as shoveling teeth, epicanthic fold, and lighter skins. Mbuti pygmies look very much like the Andamanese. The much lower frequency of shoveling teeth in African fossils and Khoisan relative to ancient and modern Chinese suggests that this type of teeth could only originate in China with its African presence due to migration. The type of shoveling teeth found in Neanderthals and Pleistocene Homo from Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos may either be a different type from that of Asians and Africans or come from early disposal of Homo from Asia to Europe (Martinon-Torres et al., 2007; Wolpoff, 1996). Second, a combination of three features has been noted to be region-specific to China fossils with lower frequency also found in North Africa: a non-depressed nasal root, non-projecting perpendicularly oriented nasal bones and facial flatness (Brauer and Stringer, 1997). Third, Dali man of China (~250,000 years ago) had lower upper facial index and flat nasomolar angle, but these two modern features only first
appeared in Europe in Cro Magnons (Xinzhi Wu, personal communication).

I’ll admit I’m no expert in genomics, but having at least looking over the Dali paper and comparing it to this, I think anyone else who has sense and had done the same would come to the same conclusion as I would to dismiss this paper as the leaps and assertions it makes are vast and at times amateur. Wu Xinzhi apparantly read this himself, but recalling his own paper and work he was much more cautious and more involved in this kind of data. As particular as his theory was, it never devolved into statements like this.

That humans have been a single species for more than ~2 myr is consistent with the
unique feature of being human, i.e., creativity, which could be defined as constant creation of novelty. Intentionally made and constantly improved knife type stone tools, first appeared 2.3- 2.8 myr ago, may be beyond the capabilities of non-humans and mark the first appearance of creativity in life on Earth.
The appearance of modern humans should be accompanied by new technologies just as
the knife type stone tools were associated with the first appearance of the genus Homo. A technology just one step more advanced than stone tools is pottery making. Consistent with our model, the earliest pottery making intended for practical usage was found in Hunan and the neighboring Jiangxi in South China at 18,000-20,000 years ago (Boaretto et al., 2009; Wu et al., 2012). While future investigations could extend the time even earlier, one should not expect a new technology to appear simultaneously with the first appearance of AMH since it would take time for the first modern humans to grow into a large enough population to be able to invent new cultures. It is also remarkable to note that the next new invention after pottery, rice or agriculture, also likely came from Hunan (Zhang and Yuan, 1998). Both the link to his blog post on OOA and this slightly dismissal post on his work shows an ardent defender of his, one that should be very familiar.

German Dziebel: It only takes a short cross-reference to see his BS. Basically, he’s pushing some sort of hypothesis that undermines the divergences of Pygmies and Bantu farmers. This basically mean ignoring the conclusions from his own sources on genetics, here, and here. He confuses the pygmy phenotype, which is shown to be independent, with the pygmy genetic cluster. This is disingenuous to anyone familiar with the topic. He is correct that they are not genetically unrelated due to the geneflow, which accounts for language, but his proposal to explain this primarily on recent splits is contradicted by full genetic research tackling the matter.

On the Shi Huang paper, he says that the Chinese lack the possibility of “bias” Americans feel to support OOA based on guilt of African American discrimination. Perhaps, yet that doesn’t explain Manzi on the Ceprano skull, nor does that explain this paper showing Chinese lacking the substructure expected from the more popular idea of regional continuity, which actually shows bias on behalf on the Chinese to push a theory. Likewise, Wu Xinzhi who proposed the hypothesis even stated it wasn’t mutually exclusive with OOA.

I’ve been saving this as an article concept due to how amazing it was to come across each of them twice after what started as a simple cross reference. This shouldn’t, however, be read as someone who is against changes to the mainstream, but as someone with actual scrutiny on scientific stances. I can accept the meaningfulness of Orangutans, Australians, and Chinese archaic humans in modern human origins.

Reviewing Ancient Sub-structure in modern Sub-Saharans

By Phil

In my absence a lot has occurred in researching African substructure since the Ballito boy paper a while back.

I’ve somewhat touched upon this subject previously in two relevant articles, one of which I will provide a short update on regarding “cranks” in population history, including Bruce Fenton, in the future.

The structure of this article will be outlining the general and particular ancestral groups linked to modern Sub-Saharans, briefly putting them in context of OOA, and attempting to approximate them in the form of fossilized specimens. The ancestry analysis will start from the most recent data to the most ancient data discussed (that is shortly before the Holocene towards the branching of H. sapiens from other relatives from H. Ergaster from about 0.5-1 mya) as it will only be more complex from then on.

The first layer will be the finding from the Mahgreb remains that date about 18k, showing profile that is approximately two thirds Near Eastern hunter gatherer, 1 third Sub-Saharan but showing no particular affiliation to a modern sample. It is only slightly shifted towards the Hadza, perhaps suggesting the ancient Eastern African cluster that preceded Basal Eurasian. This shows two things, one the antiquity of back migration to Africa and the oldest DNA sample that is directly linked to modern Sub-Saharans. This could possibly be part of a previous human culture, which may have been part of the migration that lead to modern West Africans. I, however, hesitate to suggest they are direct ancestors. It provides an rough portrait of ancient North Africa nonetheless, a location I particularly figured to be relevant for clues on modern sub-saharans given the different geography of North Africa at the time of the “Wet Sahara“.

The next finding is the break-down of DNA among Western (Yoruba and Mende), Eastern (Nilotic), and Southern (Khoi-San) Africans. The findings show that, in accordance to the Ballito Boy study, Western Africans are a mixture of Ancient East Africans and Basal African Sapiens, Khoi-Sans are derived from the basal Branch at around 250k-300k, and Nilotics are mostly of the 70k-80k branch. However, what it shows is that these populations exchanged genes, particularly between Eastern and Southern Africans. In the case of West Africans, the Yoruba more so then the Mende. I suspect that this could explain the Igbo from the African Genome project showing signs of hunter-gatherers that are more like the Khoi-San than Pygmies at low percentages.

Archaic DNA is where it gets interesting however. I’ve already discussed the 140k-150k admixture event that lead to modern variation of MCU7, but two canididates have came up. One, predictably by this point, is an archaic human ancestry at about 8% in Yoruba, using the same methods to detect 2% archaic DNA in pygmies, dated around 460k-540k , roughly after the divergence of Sapiens from Neanderthals based on another study. The first study however distinguished it from that of the Pygmies, which seems to be older according to this study. The dating of the Pygmy’s admixture is also set around 30k, while the same study dates that of the average Sub-Saharan at 9k. Likewise the TMRCA is place at around 2.9 based on one of the Loci, this seems to align nicely to the age of the MCU7 phylogeny in Africans compared to that of Eurasian Archaics. This is however older than the admixture found in Hammer’s study, suggesting late Erectus. This can be resolved by the conclusion of Hsieh’s study. That is, archaic admixture in Africa was found to be weak, though continuous. This could mean that while penetrating new ecosystems, Hominid interaction what short but often, accumulating alot of layers in small degrees, preserved due to advantageous traits as seen in Neanderthal’s immune system genes. These genes were in turn a trait of the common ancestor that Sapiens lost.

It is therefore possible that archaic admixture could contain different archaic admixture within it based on this behavior. A previous study’s results of loci with ages similar to that of the Neanderthal divergence in hunter gatherers supports this, being somewhat intermediate between MCU7 population and the Basal African. This particular one, however, may very well be tied to a larger finding.

A revised study finds archaic African admixture prior to the split, yet it isn’t African exclusive and seems to have occurred prior to the OOA split. It is only a preprint, but it aligns with what we may have assumed given how long archaic and modern linegaes have mixed. However, as opposed to the continuous flow inferred from pygmies, this particular event was strong and rapid. The researchers likewise note on page 4, though against models of an TMRCA after that of Neanderthals, do not rule it out as a scenario in African substructure. This acknowledges the point made by Razib awhile ago that substructure in Africa reflects the complex development of hominids there. This even pertains to even the Sapiens specific line.

I will now briefly outline the following fossils relevant to modern African population substructure. At the most diverge, early homo found at the Ishango area. I would like to mention that I doubt it mated with Sapiens directly, as the sediment analysis would suggest. Rather, I believe this specimen would genetically contain the variant of genes multiple studies have found to be under selection in African hunter-gathers. The Late Erectus found in Hammer or the Rhodesiensis-like specimen in the initial ghost population models for the Yoruba and Mende I believe were the actual populations that interacted with Humans while possibly carrying these genes.

Late Erectus, or Ergaster, then is represented by Tighenif or Rabat. The latter species can be presented by Bodo or Kabwe. The Kabwe, however, seems to be within Erectus s.l based on internal anatomy than a Petralona equivalent to Sapiens as Bodo is suggested. That is, relative to Bodo or Florisbad, it lacks specializations towards Sapiens. The Ceprano studies however show it nonetheless to be more within the range of overall morphology towards Middle Pleistocene Hominids rather than Ergaster.

(Edit: The Post- LCA admixture could be represented by the two specimens above as well, and I would likewise add a Sapiens Intermediate as well, Florisbad. This status seems to have been replicated here, here, here, here and here. The similar Eliye Springs skull bridges the gap towards Sapiens.)

The next specimen would be the Ceprano skull, the best morphological node for the species Sapiens, Neanderthal, and Denisovans for their LCA. This is significant as it thoroughly rebukes Fenton by his first mistake, dismissing the morphological data in Western Eurasia and Africa. It is shown to be distant from Asian Erectus and seems to represent a “Homo Erectus Sensu Lato” that developed derived traits that would be continued into a trajectory seen in Africa. This is supported by Mounier’s analysis that hypothesized the LCA to be closer to African than European samples. Likewise, his analysis with Manzi shows Erectus/Ergaster tendencies in morphology in partiuclar areas rather than Neanderthal. Manzi also acknowledges a potential morphological link in Africa as well. Therefore we can attribute the LCA detected in DNA in Africans and non Africans by the revised preprint to the above specimen.

(Edit: Manzi has additionally, without confusion, located such an African ancestor to the Hiedelbergensis morphology of Ceprano at the Gombere site.)

Basal Humans, likely the migratory population 148k years ago, would be presented by the Iwo Eleru skull. Jm8 mentions of their relation to similar specimen and DNA sequences found. Likewise, they seem to be responsible for A00.

My previous article has previously mentioned the resulting phenotypic diversity in Modern Africans by way of their skulls. However, I will briefly touch upon some recent examples from my bin of sources.

Klasies River 100k : More so “modern” than Florisbad but shows no particular phenotype towards Khoisan.

Border Cave 100k-50k: Speculated once to be linked to modern Khoi-san, however modern studies shows that it is only apparent much later. General considered “Modern“.

Lukena Hill Crania 20k: Similar to late Pleistocene North Africans, rare morphology in modern samples. Best represents pre-holocene humans prior to gracilization along with 33k Nazlet Khater. The latter skull could likewise conform to Khoi-san ancestry prior to Gracilization in the Holocene.

Matjes River Crania 9k: Joins other Holocene skulls displaying Khoisan morphology.

Nakuru IX: Odd skull with not much literature, somewhere from southern Africa and dated around 17k, yet aligns with Bantu. This book, which provides a very close continuum in morphology that I’ve been following, dates it as Holocene with some Khoi-san samples. This suggest that at some point it was re-grouped.

Concluding remarks, I have left out alot of other significant details that could give direction in what to investigate in future findings. I encourage that readers go over the original articles themselves to notice other significant findings, such as the relevant positively selected features associated with them. I, may likewise, touch upon the sequences of morphology, paleo-environments, and archaeology in the future. For the time being, we have acquired both game-changing evidence of ancient substructure and a refined continuum of homo evolution in recent years.

Did we come from Australasia?

by Phil78 3179 words

In a recent response to the MCU7  genetic admixture from Archaic, it has been argued that if this entered the Sub Saharan Genome at 145 kya, every population by OOA standards should have it.

Not necessarily, as the study noted how their findings conform to recent findings that actually ground African Origins.

Our finding agrees with recent reports of such an introgression in
sub Saharan African populations (Hammer et al. 2011; Hsieh et al. 2016), as well as the
unexpectedly old human remains (Hublin et al. 2017) and lineages (Schlebusch et al. 2017).

In other words, what I’m thinking is that this connects somewhere with the Basal human component model for West Africans and some LSA finds, though that is for another day.

Now, as for the alternative model that I’ve seen advertise by the site RedIce, we now come to a recent newcomer, Bruce Fenton.

Now, before I begin my criticism of his premise of a new “paradigm”, I like to say that the reviews I’ve seen (Amazon) he certainly seems to have talent in writing. However, reading this article, and other summaries of his model, I must say I’m not tempted to buy his book based on his confidence of his basic model “filling in holes” in OOA and treating it debunked, especially when his sources all more or less can be conformed into OOA 2.

First, let us go into how he rules out both Africa and Europe due to recent Neanderthal DNA  from Neanderthals from Spain.

Research by the geneticists Benoit Nabholz, Sylvain Glémin, and Nicolas Galtier has revealed significant problems with scientific studies that rely heavily on genetic material alone, divorced from the physical examination of fossils (especially in the accuracy of dating by molecular clocks).[i] We are however fortunate to have a 2013 research project from Indiana University, headed by well-respected evolutionary biologist Aida Gómez-Robles at our disposal: a comparative analysis of European hominin fossil teeth and jawbones. The Indiana University project concluded that all the fossil hominins in Europe were either Neanderthals or directly ancestral to Neanderthals – not ancestors of Homo sapiens. We must understand that while respective groups in Africa match European hominin populations, this revelation discounted all known African hominins as being ancestors of modern humans. The morphological research also provided further shock – the divergence between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals had apparently begun as early as one million years before present.

Odd how he made that leap when the researcher he cites actually says otherwise on Africa as a candidate.

From the new study’s results, Gómez-Robles says that “we think that candidates have to be looked for in Africa.” At present, million-year-old fossils attributed to the prehistoric humans H. rhodesiensis and H. erectus look promising.

Fenton then further mention Denisovan diverging, using DNA, as 800k and the places the ancestor of all three between 700-900.

His Response? This finding from China.

The first possible answer to this ‘where to look’ question came in July 2016 with scientist Professor Zhao Lingxiain, whose research group announced they had identified modern human fossil remains at the Bijie archaeological site ranging up to 180,000 years old.[i] Not only were they digging up fragments of modern humans, but also evidence of other mysterious hominin forms. The Chinese paleoanthropologists suspected that some of the recovered fossils might even be from the mysterious Denisovans, previously identified in Siberia.[i] Could modern humans have first emerged in East Asia? It has certainly begun to look like this might be the case. My independent investigative research carried out over the last several years, however, disagrees: my work places the first Homo sapiens in Australasia.

For the context of how this can still conform to OOA, the actual range was 112k to 178k, and while this muddies the typical 50k to 80k migration it can still fit in the 90k to 130k Migration of the Levant that was presumed to have all been wiped out.

Back in 1982, two of the most renowned evolutionary scientists of the modern age, Professor Alan Wilson and his understudy, Rebecca Cann, discovered compelling evidence for an Australasian genesis for modern humans. These controversial findings never emerged in any of their academic papers; in fact, they only appear in a short transcript included in a book published in the same year by two British research scientists, The Monkey Puzzle: A Family Tree. Silence does not change facts, and the fact remains that there is compelling DNA evidence pointing towards Australasia as the first home of Homo sapiens. Indeed, so much data exists that it eventually led to my controversial new book, The Forgotten Exodus: The Into Africa Theory of Human Evolution. My research colleagues and myself have uncovered overwhelming evidence that places the first modern humans in Australasia, and with them several other advanced hominin forms.

There might be some temptation to dismiss this matter out of hand, as it can be difficult accepting that leading academics have got it so wrong. It is, however, important to understand that in every case the opposing arguments against the current consensus position are based on, or supported by, peer-reviewed studies or statements given by consensus academics. Could it be that the year 2016 will one day be known as the year that the Out of Africa paradigm died?

If 2016 becomes associated with the end of one scientific paradigm, then 2017 may become related to the emergence of a new model for human origins, one that I am proposing and have termed ‘Into Africa’. My Into Africa theory is closely related to the ‘Out of Australia’ theory formulated by two of my Australian collaborators, Steven and Evan Strong, but goes significantly further down the rabbit hole of our evolutionary story.

I’d wish he supported this unreplicated genetic study (as far as I know) with actual archaeological continuity in Australasia because so far, pre-sapiens people there are generally  Erectus-like, his own sources on the matter supporting that view.

He summarizes both Multiregional and OOA theory (single recent origin), then proceeds to his own.

[UPDATE– Something that I pondered was exactly what pattern of migration did Cann produce? Well, based on two articles produced by Steve Strong, who I believe is an associate of Fenton, shows that my suspicions were correct.

The pattern found was Australoids- Mongoloids- Caucasians, Negroids/SSA, the opposite of Fenton’s Framework. I figured that, regardless of where Australians fit, the affinity of groups wouldn’t change. Strong has another article in which he uses a paper linking origins to Australia which was covered on this blog here as well as covering Denisovans which, as I shown in this post, to fit fine in OOA 2 aside from some complications in mapping precisely the nature of smaller migration into SE Asia.

Regarding Cain’s findings as a whole, the sample size of the study was one among many that were small and covered a week range of the Native’s populations in general, as discussed and somewhat ameliorated here.

With that realized, study after study after study places them in a 50k-55k Time Frame, more or less consistent with Archaeological dates, may LM3 (Mungo Man) be either 40k or 60k. It must also be kept in mind that Cann’s findings existed prior to the knowledge of Denisovan admixture, which possibly could’ve skewed divergence dates, as explained by Dienekes. This gives a good reason for Cann’s findings to be seen as erroneous. In regards to Strong’s citing of Vanderburg, it shows his specialty in this sort of work if “unique haplotypes” aren’t a natural result of human differentiation.

Regarding Archaeology from both articles, Strong makes the point of even earlier findings not popularly reported in Australia, ranging from 60-135k for fossils, older for tools and scorching. Not only are these younger than the currently oldest Sapiens in Africa, but also in the time frame of a currently known exodus into SE Asia discussed in the post, even if they were legit as I’ll dive into detail.

Reference of certain sites of >100k estimates has been shown to be much more recent, being originally confounded by less accurate techniques. The same could apply to cremated bones listed as well. This leaves the mysterious “Lake Eyre Skullcap” by Steve Webb which, as far as I can tell, has been only scarcely covered. However, only in that source is it reported as that old, as both newspapers and scientific newsletters reports at that time reported it as 60-80 years old using Fluorine-dating, referring specifically to Megafauna that was believed to have existed 30k-40k years ago that it may have coexisted with.

Webbs wrongly compares the Flourine dates relative to the values of the Mungo remains, when this type of dating works best for relative ages on specimens that are on the same site or comparable conditions, of similar density (he describes them as more Robust than Mungo remains), similar size (Uses Large and small animals, but logically it would also apply to mere fragment to more whole remains), and for humans particularly Ribs or Cortical bone layers should be compared.

But an even odder argument of his is how the earliest tools in Australia, being found to be less advanced than other tools of the same time frame mean people sailed from Australia. What this could more likely mean is that they were “simplified” based on Lifestyle, as covered in a previous blog post on Expertise, Brain size, and Tool complexity.]

In my model, I offer compelling evidence for three key migrations of Homo sapiens heading out of Australasia. The first migrations began around 200,000 years ago, during a period of intense climatic problems and low population numbers, with a small group making their way to East Africa.[i] The remains of some of these first Africans have been discovered close to one key entry point in the east of the continent (400km), known as the Bab-el-Mandeb straights.[i]

I then identify a second migration event 74,000 years ago, following the eruption of the Lake Toba super volcano.[i] Small groups of survivors to the north of Lake Toba, finding themselves unable to move south to safety, were then forced to head west to escape the devastating nuclear winter and toxic clouds that followed the disaster. The lucky few that could move fast enough eventually made their way into Africa and found safety in the south of the continent. I suggest that some of these few moved along the coasts of Asia, and others sailed the open ocean to Madagascar and hit the coast of South Africa – I associate these refugees with cave sites including Borders Cave, Klasies River Caves and the Blombos Cave.[i]

The problem with this is due to the previously mentioned finds in Morocco making Sapiens much older in Africa and further West. Though climate conditions, by the way, based on his link provides no reason for it to be centered at Australasia as it was described to affect Africa’s interior.

Second, the South African caves he describes contains specimens, likely to have contributed to modern South Africans, show deeper genetic roots than what he suggests when they diverged.

But the most glaring problem is that none of his sources shows Sapiens skeletons or activity prior to that in Africa, Indonesia clearly not having a confounding enough preservation problem due to its Erectus sites.

The third migration event identified in my research is arguably of greatest interest because it involved the direct ancestors of all non-African people alive today. As the global environment recovered from the Lake Toba eruption 60,000 years ago, a trickle of modern humans (calculated to be just under 200 individuals) moved out of Australasia into Southeast Asia, slowly colonising the Eurasian continent.[i] These adventurous men and women were the forebears of every non-African and non-Australian person living on Earth today. This Australasian colonisation of the world is very well supported by the study of both mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal haplogroups, and given further credence by the location and dating of several fossils.

This oddly enough goes against what we show with “180k” teeth of a modern human in China, that’s not accounted for in his sequence of African-Eurasian dispersal from Australasia.

He also goes against an earlier point he made by “relying on genetic material”, as he himself has yet to provided H.sapiens being present in the Area.

The model I offer represents a radical revision to the current evolutionary narrative, and is perhaps revolutionary. It will not be easy for academics to accept such bold claims from someone whom is neither a paleoanthropologist or an evolutionary biologist. Why, then, should one take this work seriously?

The Into Africa theory is firmly based on real-world evidence, data that anyone can freely access and examine for themselves. My argument incorporates a great wealth of peer reviewed academic papers, well accepted genetic studies, and opinions offered by the most respected scientific researchers. Indeed, rather ironically, many of my key sources derive from scientists that stand opposed to this model (being vocal supporters of the Out of Africa theories).

Well the irony doesn’t necessarily come off strong when you don’t argue in this article why the findings contradict their views, nor have the sources you provided so far actually firmly grounds your theory by placing human origin into Australasia, the two that do being an unreplicated study and a volcano incident in a vicinity with little fossil continuity with Modern humans from its early hominids.

Recent scientific studies have begun to change the landscape of paleoanthropological research. Examination of the recent conclusions associated with the analysis of Homo erectus skulls in the Georgian Republic confirms that several species of hominins in Africa are in fact nothing more than expected variance within the greater H. erectus population.[i]
That source talk about the origin of the Flores Hobbits, not the Georgian Erectus or African Hominid classification.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, there is growing suspicion among scientists that Homo floresiensis evolved from a lineage of hominins that lived much earlier than the immediate ancestors of Homo sapiens.[i] Detailed analysis of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry convincingly places their founder populations in Southeast Asia and Australasia. There seems little about the currently accepted academic narrative that has not yet come under fire.

He in turns uses a source that supports his later claim of early humans (homo) in India by 3 million (actually 2.6 million based on the source, I believe I’m seeing a trend here), Though the claim he refers to shows continuity with ancestral populations in Africa and has hardly much to do with OOA as of current status hence why there was “no fire”.

[Update-3/18/19 The Indian study he uses, like I mentioned, supported African origins of Homo/Homan clade based on chronology at about 4.5 mya. However, it speculates on an alternative involving data used by “Red Ape” Schwartz. More on that in a future article soon.]

Fenton, furthermore, provided no evidence of his claims of Denisovan-Neanderthal origins in Australasia.

 As of 2016, we have finds that place early humans in India 3 million years ago (Masol), and Homo erectus populations ranging from Indonesia to the Georgian Republic 2 million years ago (Dmanisi).[i] On the Australasian island of Guinea, we find the only signature for interbreeding between Denisovans and modern humans dating to 44,000 years ago. This interbreeding occurred long after Australia’s supposed isolation, as claimed by the consensus narrative.[i] How do entirely isolated populations interbreed with other human groups?

See here.

We computed pD(X) for a range of non-African populations and found that for mainland East Asians, western Negritos (Jehai and Onge), or western Indonesians, pD(X) is within two standard errors of zero when a standard error is computed from a block jackknife (Table 1 and Figure 1). Thus, there is no significant evidence of Denisova genetic material in these populations. However, there is strong evidence of Denisovan genetic material in Australians (1.03 ± 0.06 times the New Guinean proportion; one standard error), Fijians (0.56 ± 0.03), Nusa Tenggaras islanders of southeastern Indonesia (0.40 ± 0.03), Moluccas islanders of eastern Indonesia (0.35 ± 0.04), Polynesians (0.020 ± 0.04), Philippine Mamanwa, who are classified as a “Negrito” group (0.49 ± 0.05), and Philippine Manobo (0.13 ± 0.03) (Table 1 and Figure 1). The New Guineans and Australians are estimated to have indistinguishable proportions of Denisovan ancestry (within the statistical error), suggesting Denisova gene flow into the common ancestors of Australians and New Guineans prior to their entry into Sahul (Pleistocene New Guinea and Australia), that is, at least 44,000 years ago.24,25 These results are consistent with the Common Origin model of present-day New Guineans and Australians.26,27 We further confirmed the consistency of the Common Origin model with our data by testing for a correlation in the allele frequency difference of two populations used as outgroups (Yoruba and Han) and the two tested populations (New Guinean and Australian).The f4 statistic that measures their correlation is only |Z| = 0.8 standard errors from zero, as expected if New Guineans and Australians descend from a common ancestral population after they split from East Asians, without any evidence of a closer relationship of one group or the other to East Asians. Two alternative histories, in which either New Guineans or Australians have a common origin with East Asians, are inconsistent with the data (both |Z| > 52).

Here we analyze genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data from 2,493 individuals from 221 worldwide populations, and show that there is a widespread signal of a very low level of Denisovan ancestry across Eastern Eurasian and Native American (EE/NA) populations. We also verify a higher level of Denisovan ancestry in Oceania than that in EE/NA; the Denisovan ancestry in Oceania is correlated with the amount of New Guinea ancestry, but not the amount of Australian ancestry, indicating that recent gene flow from New Guinea likely accounts for signals of Denisovan ancestry across Oceania. However, Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA populations is equally correlated with their New Guinea or their Australian ancestry, suggesting a common source for the Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA and Oceanian populations. Our results suggest that Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA is derived either from common ancestry with, or gene flow from, the common ancestor of New Guineans and Australians, indicating a more complex history involving East Eurasians and Oceanians than previously suspected.
So it is accounted for by other genetic research.
We are finding anomalies in all areas of evolutionary studies, whether we look at the mitochondrial and Y-chromosonal data, the datings associated with human archaeological sites, or analysis of hominin morphology. Rather than continuing with the attempt to fit square pegs into a round hole, it is time to face the fact that holes are round and that our story of human origins has been significantly wrong.

Well, studies such as the ones above have reworked hypotheses on migrations theories, the paper you cite on Denisovan admixture being among the many smaller scale migration already being debated and shifting as my second link mentions. So while rethinking ideas in light of evidence is a good thing, there should be clear limits on what to discredit.

Overall I wish I could like the idea as a competing idea to OOA, but this if this paper is to serve any impression of the book, using various studies on hominids and human genetic at different scales showing no clear pattern center towards South East Asia in both Archaeology AND genetics but with just enthusiasm of creating a new idea and to fill holes, then I’m disappointed.

With that said, if anyone with better knowledge and citations from the book (Fenton mentions research from close colleagues of his) then I may be more inclined to accept new finds if they are in favor of shifting human origins from Africa to Australasia.

Origins and the Relationship between West Africans and Hunter-Gatherer Populations

by Phil78 1802 words

Many casual members of HBD may not be completely aware of the population history West Africans and hunter-gathers like Pygmies beyond, say, the Bantu Migration.

Those who frequent articles by population genetics bloggers such as Dienekes or Razib Khan ought to be aware of how, in the sense of Macro races, the two clusters are distinct despite their relatively close association in a human cladistic sense to the confusion of others.

Fortunately enough, two recent finds in both genes and fossils this year not only paint the history of these two groups but also humanity as a whole, with the evolutionary timeline of Sapiens being pushed back to 300k, possibly further according to Chris Springer.

Hublin–one of the study’s coauthors–notes that between 330,000 and 300,000 years ago, the Sahara was green and animals could range freely across it.

While the Moroccan fossils do look like modern H sapiens, they also still look a lot like pre-sapiens, and the matter is still up for debate. Paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer suggests that we should consider all of our ancestors after the Neanderthals split off to be Homo sapiens, which would make our species 500,000 years old. Others would undoubtedly prefer to use a more recent date, arguing that the physical and cultural differences between 500,000 year old humans and today’s people are too large to consider them one species.

(The morphological characteristics of these hominids will come into play latter.)

Taking in this information in, we now ought to have a better context to place the divergence of HG populations and the rest of mankind (including West Africans) being more than 260,000 years ago.
[Edit– Razib has recently posted a short piece recalling expert criticism  on the reported date, suggesting that it is an overestimate. While quite possible, as he compares it to claims of a 25k split between European and NE asians and no neanderthal admixture in Europeans. With that said, he has also alludes to a similar suggestion on African lineages that I’ve outlined here. If this is the case, then why do they range so close to Modern West Africans? The reason, for the most part, being that this finding technically refers to it’s ancient primary cluster and not it’s modern composition as a whole.]

So in terms of proportions, 30% of the composition of West African people contain the human ancestors of the Ballito Boy, a specimen believed in turn to represent the ancestors of modern Khoisan people without the genetic admixture of either Bantu or East African Pastoralists. (Which this study finds to range from 9% to 22% in all modern Khoisan Groups).

[*Edit- When I say HG’s people association with West Africans, I’m referring to the relative position the two populations have compared the actual East African cluster exemplified the most by Nilotic people, not “Horners”. I realized this confusion when I look at genetic distance test and found Bushmen populations ranking closest to Ethiopians, this is probably just a result of their admixture with Ethiopians as later studies \accounted for the confound and gave more accurate results, West African’s closest cluster being both Nilotics and Ethiopians with Pygmies and San clustering closer than before, though Mbuti are rather intermediate with San than sharing a branch.

This seems to dampen earlier but plausible ideas suggestion of highland Ethiopians having a San-like African profile explain their affinity to each other, but this helps illustrate the nature of the cline in affinity of Native African clusters as Razib covered later that year both between each other and relative to non African populations. Here, we see that the San have closer affinities to West Africans than to Nilotics, though the pygmies groups having an odd relationship. Not only are Biaka people closer to West Africans than Mbuti are, but in general are closer to West Africans than to Mbuti. This is likely connected to these findings.

The findings also illustrate that oddly,  next to my knowledge at least, how though the San and Mbuti share similarly deep splits from non-africans, both of their smallest distances are with the Biaka than with each other despite the Biaka being closest to West Africans who are as distant as the Mbuti are to the San. Clearly imagining pygmies as merely as a cline between San and Bantus doesn’t work without considering a either considering them their own cluster altogether or to isolation. I’m considering the former idea for the most part.

Mainly because Mbuti are the smallest Pygmies, with height in that region being correlated with Pygmy ancestry versus Bantu, and Biaka pygmies have been shown to be only 18.5% to 30% “pygmy”, if assuming Mbutis are pure and Bantus are the outside group. Though the latter point explains the overall association they have with West Africans, there is still the remote position of the Mbuti. According to Cavalli Sforza, the San and Bushmen don’t necessarily share a particularly close relationship but both their lifestyles and apparent divergence from Bantus makes the idea rather convincing.

Based on the new study, which is though scant on including pygmies, comparing Mbuti dates to San shows similar dates to what was estimated at the high range of the previous 90k-195k split, if not a little higher. This is also consistent with the pygmies (in pure form) being intermediate between West African ancestors and San in the 1994 study and the new date for the Khoi-san. Their more or less genetic isolation may’ve played a role as well in their similar position with other African due to limited geneflow compared to the Khoisan and Biaka being connected through the Bantu Expansion, undermining the affinity Khoisan and Mbuti have through common ancestry. Basically similar to the relationship of Sardinians and mainland Italians which reflects a similar distance relationship with. ]

Now, the first thought crime most are pondering at this point is whether or not the Khoisan are fully human in the context of genetics and recent anthropology? John Hawks  already discussed the position of the ancient moroccans in our evolutionary tree and expresses the authors’ comments on how, despite their archaic features restrain them from being clearly modern, they and similar finds play the role as the founding lineage to contribute to modern Sapiens.

In Hublin and colleagues’ “pan-African” hypothesis, every African fossil that had parted ways with Neanderthals is part of a single lineage, a stem population for modern humans. They connect the evolution of these early H. sapiens people to a new form of technology, the Middle Stone Age, which was found in various regions of Africa by 300,000 years ago.

So how many other archaic groups were in Africa? Under the Hublin model, there may have been none. Every fossil sharing some modern human traits may have a place within the “pan-African” evolutionary pattern. These were not river channels flowing into the desert, every channel was part of the mainstream.

But there may be a problem. Geneticists think there were others.

To which he alludes to Iwo Eleru findings, found to be closest to Early AMH (120k levant)

Now, as for cranial representatives that the Ballito Boy likely is associated with, there has been indeed quite a few earlier skulls fitting the profile that were classed separate of more archaic types of similar geography like Florisbad, and thus would be classed away from the Moroccans as well.

An example being this rather interesting analysis of the Border Cave skull (which I believe is 50k, at a site which bushman-like tools dated at 46k).

When all (six rather than just three) discriminants are
considered, Border Cave in fact lies closest to the Hottentot
centroid and is contained within the .05 limits of this distribution.
The fossil also approaches the Venda and Bushman male
centroids but falls beyond the .05 limits of these groups. This
is new information, not principally because of the Hottentot
identification, which is dubious, but because Border Cave is
shown emphatically to be well within the range of modern
African variation for the measurements used. The cranium is
heavily constructed, but it is hardly archaic in the fashion of
Florisbad or Broken Hill.

border cave front view- yooniqimages.com

border cave skull lateral view- yooniqimages.com

Hottentot (Khoi pastorlist) skull, Lateral and Front, (for comparison)

And here’s the best primary reference of a “bushman skull” I could find to display it’s similarities and differences with more admixed Pastoralists. One listed trait that’s notable is the less prominent occipital protrusion of the Bushman skull despite being measured as more dolichocephalic, probably due to a narrower relative breadth but that cannot be seen here.

However the only one I know of that is linked with Khoisan with modern research , is the similar Fish Hoek specimen.

Humanitec-Anatomy of an intellectual triad

Primitive Man of the Peninsula. Cape Times (South Africa), October 26, 1927 

One Hundred Skulls: OEC and Exploring Human Origins

In comparison to Jebel Irhoud 1

Zetaboards (Anthroscape), unknown source

front and lateral view Jebel Irhoud- yooniqimages.com

And Florisbad

Ira Block Photography

And comments from the study mentioned, which links Fish Hoek with modern Khoisan, comparing morphological differences among Stone age African Skulls, Bushman, Pygmies, and Bantu Farmers.

To summarize, therefore, the Pleistocene skulls from across Africa tend to be broad,
long, with a broad face and broad, short orbits.
By contrast, the skulls of the Khoisan (“Bushman”) population are relatively short,
low, broad, narrow, with a comparatively intermediate nose.
Pygmies are characterized by great variability, but they usually have small-sized
round skulls, and a balanced face. Their degree of dispersion, however, contradicts the findings of other studies, which have detected a strong homogeneity among Pygmy populations, even if these support the hypothesis that the typical features of these populations, including their short stature, took place after their geographical separation through convergent evolution. As is suggested by other more recent studies (Ramírez Rossi y Sardi, 2010; Anagnostou, 2010; Vigilant, 1989).
The Bantu-speaking populations are mostly at the center of the graph, which rep-
resents a common morphological tendency, but with a strong variability, whether they come from Southern, Eastern or Central Africa. This supports the idea of a common, more recent ancestor than that for the Pygmy and Khoisan groups, as well as a similar way of life founded on cattle breeding and farming, independent of their surrounding environment.

The Late Peopling of Africa According to Craniometric Data. A Comparison of Genetic and Linguistic Models

For context, the specimen in the sample that exemplifies the traits associated with the Pleistocene group the most would be the Herto Skull, which is comparatively closer to modern humans than the Jebel Irhoud findings.

160,000-year-old skulls fill crucial gap in evolution- Telegraph

So despite their divergence being closer to the age of more archaic specimens, why do their likely less admixed ancestors and modern populations contrast clearly in phenotypical traits? This would, by my amateur speculation, leave two options. Either gracilization took place in convergence with other populations or a more plausible route that the archaeological finds don’t precisely place the specimen’s actually divergence, thus the more archaic forms likely have older splits than what their fossilized age suggest and the clear traits of “Modern human” phenotype possibly being older as well in that respect.

Chaos and Nationhood with Blacks

 1900 words

By: Phil

When critics of the mainstream approach towards modern African-American grievance questions the agency of the population to improve their standards of living, they often cite either how minorities such as poor European immigrants of the Early 20th century assimilated better despite discrimination, or how Black immigrants from Africa occupy a higher mode of living.

While multiple factors contribute to the discrepancy, one caught my attention which struck me a paradoxical but soon started to make sense as I dug deeper. That trait being the lack of effective widespread “unity” among not just Black Americans but many other populations, especially those in Africa.

– The Situation

As for my titular use of “chaos” to describe it, I owe it to an Unz commenter who contrasted it from individualism or collectivism. For an intra-regional example, you have riots or protests regarding threats seen as pertaining to the racial mass, yet you have commonly cited the lack of the same regard for those killed by perpetrators of the same race.

From an inter-regional example I refer to the words of my father that, despite the beliefs of some, there is no “Black America” in which the interests or beliefs of blacks due to having comparatively looser connections than others based on a national level. This is noted by regional variance in ideology between blacks during the Progressive Era or better yet modern African conflicts, many of which can be classified as Christians versus Muslims on the larger scale yet can even be observed on a finer, pre-colonial level of identities (Osaghae and Suberu 2005).

There are numerous examples of pre-colonial migration, usually stimulated by wars or natural disasters, which have continued to generate bitter conflicts today owing to continuing discrimination against the immigrants by the original settlers. These include the eighteenth century mass migration of Oyo Modakeke into Ife in search of a safe haven from the internecine wars of the Oyo empire; the movement of Urhobo and Ijaw into Warri, where the Itsekiri claim to have been the original settlers; the migration of the Jukun-Chamba from Cameroon to parts of the present Taraba state, originally settled by the Kuteb; and the sixteenth century settlement of Hausa merchants in Zangon Kataf within a territory occupied by the Kataf (Isumonah 2003; Mustapha 2000). “

I attribute three reasons why this would be.

One being geography, as these behaviors are most notable with African nations that often overlap in cultural spheres despite living on a huge continent, and also how Black Americans probably covering the largest area relative to other New World African descent populations thus making diversification more enabled.

The second being the process of slavery in New World populations giving various forms of cultural transmission amongst black slaves by region who as well came through different tribes, either producing the typical “Scot-Irish” Black culture or a “Creole” culture, like the Gullah people of the South East. The Third, the Basal reason, being the effects of Genetic interests at hand as put by RR and how African Diversity works.

-Genetics

Here Razib Khan explains that when Foreign Admixture is removed, African diversity is higher among individuals than for major geographical groups.In other words, while geographically diverse, the actual organization of the diversity in the context of cultural boundaries is more stratified due to the lack of breeding, be it outbreeding or replacement involved in nations.

This suggestion is strengthened by famous blogger Jayman attributing this to the lack of large states in Africa to the lack of especially large states in Africa. Granted, you did have relatively large ones in the Sahel but the didn’t last as long as those in Eurasia, falling mainly due to internal struggles.

In the presence of cultural homogeneity, reflecting of a shared lineage, you see improvements in places such as Botswana (Tswana-Sotho) or Ghana (Akan people) partially due to better cultural, and thus likely genetic,  unity due to past nationhoods. Apparently, though for short duration, the Tswana formed a political body as large as France,

This is also consistent with the observations made by Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, a famous colonialist researcher on African and US blacks, on African born blacks on the sea Islands of the South East, which he describes as of “Yoruba Stock” in semblance.

“Also they are when away from white influence inclined to sparsity of clothing-not nowadays a common trait in the United States negro. They are also pure negroes entirely without any infusion of white blood. Crime is very rare among them.The Negro in the New World by Harry Hamilton Johnston p. 470

A good modern example would be the demographics of West Africa Immigrants, being principally Akan of Ghana and the Yoruba or Igbo of Nigeria, who each come from relatively well constructed precolonial formations. What is also of note is how their prominence seems to be correlated to the extent in which Cousin Marriage is practiced, possibly reflective of the precolonial patterns of cousin marriage

Application for the U.S population in kin networks, where it does not work.

PP, in which he discussed the ethnocentrism of different groups, said this regarding blacks and kin altruism.

“And yet eventually these extremely different tribes mixed, and so you would have parents raising kids who have genetic variants very alien to their own, and this probably contributed to the breakdown of the black family: it’s harder for kin altruism to get selected when the kids you are altruistic to, don’t resemble you that much genetically because their other parent is so unlike you that they don’t inherit your high degree of kin altruism or inherit it as a recessive unexpressed trait.  And when kin altruism gets only weakly selected for, racial loyalty (which is probably just an outgrowth of kin loyalty) is probably weakly selected for too.”

Which would be incorrect. Yes, while crossing over does occur, a child would be overall close to their parent’s overall genetic background on the level of relatedness. Leaping from that neglected detail, he assumes from his evidence of “lack of racial loyalty” would that blacks have less ethnic nepotism and thus weaker kin altruism despite not taking into account of selection occurring within subgroups of various constructs like you see in Africa which would apply to families inside them.

If this theory was even supportable, one would expect the opposite that actually occurs with the percentage of Black children to return to relatives compared to White children.

 

“Of the 94,483 black children discharged from foster care, 12,860, or 13%, were discharged to a relative guardian. Of the 182,941 white children discharged from foster care in 2004, 20,453, or 11%, were discharged to a relative guardian.Of the 15,087 black children adopted from foster care, 4077, or 27%, were adopted by a relative. Of the 29,244 white children adopted from foster care, 5861, or 20%, were adopted by a relativeOf the 279,421 black kids living in foster care for some portion of the year, 69,888 or 25% were living with relatives. Of the 474,734 white children living in foster care for some portion of the year, 101,300, or 21%, were living with relatives.

So black children getting adopted from foster care are somewhat more likely to be adopted by relatives than white kids (27% vs. 20%), black kids exiting foster care are slightly more likely to be discharged to a relative guardian than white kids (13% to 11%), and black kids in foster care are slightly more likely to be living with relatives than white kids (25% vs. 21%). The differences support the hypothesis that blacks are more likely to utilize kinship care networks, but not by a lot, at least in regard to the foster care system.”

From Audacious Epigone, who also notes that despite the higher likelihood of such networks that doesn’t explain disproportion in foster care. Though evidence for IQ is at best moderate, interpersonal indicators were stronger (Azar, Stevenson, and Johnson 2012)).

“SIP problems were associated with direct measures of neglect (e.g., cognitive stimulation provided children, home hygiene, belief regarding causes of child injuries). Further, for the direct measures that were most closely linked to CPS Neglect Status, IQ did not add significant predictive capacity beyond SIP factors in preliminary model testing. Implications for intervention with PID discussed.”

This is possibly linked to EI scores found to differ between Whites and Blacks (Whitman, Kraus, and Rooy 2014)

“The present work examines applicant reactions to a test of emotional intelligence (EI) using an organizational sample of 334 job applicants. Results indicated that Blacks had higher face validity and opportunity to perform perceptions of EI than Whites, but that Whites performed significantly better than Blacks on the EI test. Although exploratory analyses revealed that test performance was positively related to test reactions, we also found that the magnitude of this relationship differed between Blacks and Whites for the opportunity to perform perceptions. We discuss our findings by offering practical advice for organizations considering or using a measure of EI for selection and assessment.”

Evidence for Kin networks is also supported by more data (Taylor 2013).

“Turning first to findings for family support networks, four significant differences were observed in this analysis. African Americans gave assistance to their family members more often than non-Hispanic Whites, were more likely to have daily contact with their extended family members than both non-Hispanic Whites and Black Caribbeans, and had more frequent interactions with their family than Black Caribbeans. Three general conclusions can be drawn from these findings for family assistance and interaction. First, these findings are consistent with prior work indicating that African Americans have similar or higher levels of involvement with kin than non-Hispanic Whites, but are inconsistent with reports that African Americans have lower levels of family support than Whites (e.g., Hogan et al., 1993). As noted in previous reviews of this literature (Sarkisian & Gertsel, 2004), comparisons across studies are problematic given important differences in the dependent variables used. The present study’s investigation of several dimensions of family support relationships (e.g., enacted support, emotional support, contact, negative interaction) in diverse groups of the population and using a common set of sociodemographic correlates clarifies the nature of race/ethnic differences in these relationships.”

It also found, however, weaker ties outside the family, which strengthen my suggestion of finer stratification of kin ties than just simply less selection.

“Several significant differences in friendship networks were observed in this analysis. Non-Hispanic Whites interacted with their friends and gave support to their friends more frequently than African Americans. Additionally, non-Hispanic Whites received support from friends more frequently than both African Americans and Black Caribbeans. Many of the differences between African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites could reflect basic differences in their levels of involvement in friendship networks. For instance, 16.7% of African-Americans, 16.1 % of Black Caribbeans and 9.7% of non-Hispanic Whites report that they never receive help from friends. Similarly, African Americans (11%) were twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites (4.7%) to indicate that they hardly ever or never interact with friends. Lower levels of involvement with friends among African Americans could be due to estrangement from friends, isolation from friends or exclusive involvement with kinship networks (Ajrouch et al., 2001). Collectively, these results, and previous research (Griffin et al., 2006; Waite & Harrison, 1992), indicate that non-Hispanic Whites are more likely than African Americans to interact with friendship networks and to identify friends as an important source of support.”

This lack of support was not seen, however, with fictive kin or congregational members. So perhaps wither the perception of relationship or differences in genetic similarity may answer some of these questions.