Staggering claim: Humans in Americas 130,000 years ago

A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA

Steven R. Holen, Thomas A. Deméré, Daniel C. Fisher, Richard Fullagar, James B. Paces, George T. Jefferson, Jared M. Beeton, Richard A. Cerutti, Adam N. Rountrey, Lawrence Vescera & Kathleen A. Holen

Nature 544, 479–483 (27 April 2017) doi:10.1038/nature22065

The earliest dispersal of humans into North America is a contentious subject, and proposed early sites are required to meet the following criteria for acceptance: (1) archaeological evidence is found in a clearly defined and undisturbed geologic context;  … ⇒

Richard Zgusta (2015:149) sketches the migrations, transformations, and fluctuating fortunes of lineages grafted from outside food-producers onto the Nanai, historically non-agricultural sedentary fisher-hunters in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky regions of the Russian Far East—lassos for lines, equestrians to pedestrians. Some of these come to insinuate themselves into multiple “ethnicities” or народы.

One of the numerically largest lineages associated with immigrants from Manchuria are the Beldy. According to their oral traditions,  … ⇒

Things to prevent you from sleeping or eating

The French apostolic missionary Mermet de Cachon (1828–1870) finds his prying deflected and then rebuffed in Hokkaido (English transl. of excerpt in Refsing 2000:23; original reproduced same volume):

One day while I was visiting my good Ainu, I asked the elders about the origins of their ancestors, and about the first facts in their history, but I was unable to get anything out of my hosts; the elders trembled at my questions,  … ⇒

Freshly back from Vancouver, which I will be recapping later.

Here’s a first-pass pull of titles from the preliminary program of the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in New Orleans (April 19, 2017–April 22, 2017), which I’m sorry to say I won’t be making.

Some of these were presented previously at SAA2017 or have already come out in journals/as preprints.  … ⇒

Proof of hereditary elites at Chaco

Archaeogenomic evidence reveals prehistoric matrilineal dynasty

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14115 (2017)
doi:10.1038/ncomms14115

Douglas J. Kennett, Stephen Plog, Richard J. George, Brendan J. Culleton, Adam S. Watson, Pontus Skoglund, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Kristin Stewardson, Logan Kistler, Steven A. LeBlanc, Peter M. Whiteley, David Reich & George H. Perry

For societies with writing systems, hereditary leadership is documented as one of the hallmarks of early political complexity and governance.  … ⇒

Y-DNA supports population discontinuity between Early Neolithic & Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age in Cis-Baikal

Exciting findings in the 2015 PhD thesis of Nour Moussa, a student at the University of Alberta affiliated with the Baikal(-Hokkaido) Archaeological Project.

Thesis abstract:

The study of Ancient DNA (aDNA), DNA recovered from archaeological and historic post mortem material, has complemented the study of anthropology and archaeology. There are several challenges in the retrieval and analysis of DNA from ancient specimens including exogenous contamination with modern DNA,  … ⇒