Earlier this year, I posted a series of maps graphically depicting the (at that time) exhaustive list of Ancient DNA finds, mapped out for both time and space.
The post, while now a bit dated due to additional finds, is still worth examining. When reading it, it should becomes very apparent to you, the concept in the title of this post: How Little We Know About Ancient DNA.
As you can see from the maps, it appears that people bearing certain Y Chromosome haplogroups "flew" across time and space. And that certain parts of Europe had nobody in them until someone flew across the distances.
Of course, this is impossible. It simply reflects the fact that we continue to have immense gaps in skeletal finds and in our knowledge.
Most importantly, it shows that today's conventional wisdom, popular at echo chambers like the Anthrogenica boards, will certainly change tomorrow -- revealing the adherents to such theories to be akin to arrogant fraudsters, peddling certainty where none is scientifically warranted.
Recently, a poster at Anthrogenica, with the handle Tomenable, posted an excellent visualization of the same gaps in knowledge that I referenced.
You can view a list of aDNA finds here, in chart form, courtesy of Tomenable.
And even better, here is a chart, in chronological order, showing the same.
What does the chart show? By applying *scientific* methods of taking things to their logical conclusions, and reducing our knowledge to a set of provable statements, you can easily see how little we know.
For starters, based on these chrono maps, it looks like Haplogroup C1 made it to Europe after I2. Yet almost everyone, from the scientific community to the "citizen" scientists (their term) on Anthrogenica, agree that C1 is a rare, likely "Cro-Magnon" marker, that represents the very first humans out of Africa and into Europe. On the other hand, it has been accepted for over a decade that Haplogroup I, notably I2, represents the second (or third) wave of the population of Europe, associated with the Gravettian dispersions.
But again, this is *not* "what the aDNA shows."
Ask the wiseguys on Anthrogenica, or search their posts. They express with certainty that C1 came first, followed by I2. And it probably is true. But it is NOT born out by the aDNA evidence. (Yet).
However, the same group of people turn to the aDNA evidence (blindly) to express 100% confidence in other theories, for example, everything from the notion that R1b xV88 couldn't be found west of modern Poland until the Indo-European expansions. (I find this notion laughable.)
They also rely on the aDNA evidence to express 100% confidence in wild notions of sex selection that have more in common with dimestore novels than anything scientific. The proponents of said theories also happen to be mostly males bearing R1b. Yes folks, in a world where racial identity is taboo, any sense of ingroup-outgroup dynamics for Western Europeans has simply been transferred to tiny markers on one chromosome.
In other words, many of these folks blindly turn to our meager aDNA evidence to justify their pet theory du jour, but choose to ignore what the aDNA evidence shows, when convenient.
They cite gaps in data (i.e., a lack of samples) as evidence for proving a negative, as if that was possible -- when they want to.
But they ignore the lack of samples when convenient, if it doesn't fit in their narrative for that time or place.
Doubt them, they revert to the argument "well, the aDNA shows..." but they are more than willing to fill in gaps in aDNA when convenient.
It's already been a rough year for the arrogantly certain in Ancient DNA. Notably, past theories on the dispersion of Haplogroup J2 have fallen by the wayside. Theories posted on Anthrogenica just a couple months ago, and accepted by the echo chamber as gospel fact, have been called into serious doubt by recent academic papers.
I've also posted repeatedly on how difference in culture and hyperlocal topography can affect what aDNA survives into modern times. The easiest example is one tribe burying their dead, while another tribe cremates it. Anyone who knows anything about written history understands that the reason why we don't have m(any) ethnic Roman skeletons is because they cremated their dead. To those who don't grasp this concept, it would be as if the Romans, a powerful, numerous, colonizing, widespread, important society -- didn't exist.
I can just see Anthrogenica in the year 2515: "but there are no Roman samples in aDNA," they would maintain adamantly. Yes, you would reply. But the Romans existed.
The point is simple: approach any theories explaining what happened before written history with caution. There are major gaps in the record, and it is far, far too early to approach things with the smug certainty one sees on these boards.
Look at the samples across time and space (geography). Don't hide behind relative, subjective terms like "Mesolithic" and "Neolithic." Instead, look at how Europe was populated, the way it was populated --- in gradations, over (real) time. You, too, will notice "How Little We Know (Still) About aDNA."