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History Questions Not Worth Their Own Thread VII

Discussion in 'World History' started by Plotinus, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    The Myceneans (I think it was) had an interesting system of rule where the men ruled, but they traced their right to rule through their mothers, rather than their fathers, on the understandable pretext that you could see a woman giving birth and to whom.
     
  2. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    You seem to be right here.

    For example the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture was matriarchal, and those people apparently didn't know the concept of inheritance of property, because after inhabitants of a house died, their bodies were being burned together with their house:


    Link to video.

    And here more about the matriarchal character of that culture:


    Link to video.
     
  3. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    A good portion of Origins of the Family is dedicated to extensively tracing the various family structures that existed at various points in human history, with reference to ancient Greece, the Iroquois, Polynesians, and other groups, as they correspond roughly to the stages that propertied societies went through in the transition from primitive communism to a property-based society.

    It's not a perfect book, and subsequent anthropology and theory in the 20th century has confirmed, clarified, and overturned various aspects of Engels' (and thus Morgan's, on whose research Engels based his book) thought, but the basic structure on this topic is sound (and as Domen just showed, has been consistently confirmed by anthropologists ever since).
     
  4. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    I'd be interested to see where you found that out - most of the books I've read about Mycenaean Greece are distinctly wary about talking about politics, because almost nothing written survives from the period.
     
  5. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Why did property itself lead to a male dominated society though?

    The best I can come up with is-
    In the early days there was a gendered separation of labor due to a women's ability to have children. so women worked in domestic situations or close to home while men worked further from home.

    Still, this doesn't really explain to me why property gave men more rights

    That said, thank you for your thorough explanation. It is very helpful.
     
  6. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Megalithic cultures of Neolithic Western Europe (one note: contrary to what the video that I will post below might indicate, most of them were already farmers, and only some of them were still hunter-gatherers) were also not patriarchal, and very egalitarian - as evidenced by their collective burials (they were just throwing all the bodies altogether into huge collective burial chambers, without even putting any grave goods into those chambers).

    That was in stark contrast with Proto-Indo-European invaders of Europe, who buried their high-status male individuals in huge kurgan burials (large mounds), where each male was typically buried with 2, 3 or more women, 5, 6 or more horses and huge amounts of rich grave goods. But in some of Indo-European cultures also women could be powerful (e.g. Pazyryk Scythian "Ukok Princess", aged 25, was buried with 2 males and 6 horses).

    As the video below says (about Megalithic cultures of Western European Neolithic farmers and last hunter-gatherers):

    "Individual ownership or achievement was not part of their culture. When they died they joined their ancestors in a communal burial chamber":


    Link to video.

    =================================
    =================================

    Strongly patriarchal character of Proto-Indo-European culture is also evidenced by their reconstructed PIE language, as this video shows:


    Link to video.
     
  7. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Communal burial does not preclude a society based on individual success - look at the ossuaries of Catholic and Orthodox Europe, for example. Burials may often be all that we have to judge the past, but we should remember that the vast majority of life has nothing to do with them.
     
  8. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    ^ But archaeologist Marija Gimbutas investigated "the whole system" of Pre-Indo-European Europe - not just burials - and came to this conclusion:

    http://www.reclaimingquarterly.org/web/gimbutas/gimbutas1.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marija_Gimbutas#Late_archaeology

     
  9. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Yes. Unfortunately, as that very Wiki article points out, it's all a great deal of rubbish - a textbook example of what happens when people take a too-small pool of data and see in it what they want to see.
     
  10. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Well - her "Kurgan hypothesis" is definitely not rubbish, so probably neither is her "Old Europe hypothesis".

    Modern genetic research on Y-DNA from ancient bones (as well as modern population) has confirmed the Kurgan hypothesis beyond any doubt.

    The hierarchical rule of male warriors imposed from outside is also precisely what modern genetic and archaeo-genetic research is showing.

    Recent studies published on this subject show that about half of all modern Europeans are descended in paternal lines from a relatively small group of males, whose lineages started to expand in Europe at the beginning of the Bronze Age.

    The same is not observed when it comes to female lineages - the diversity of female lineages is much greater, and has a much older structure.

    So an extremely patriarchal warrior society conquered Europe, established new types of societies, took multiple local females as their wifes, limited access to women for conquered males. Which helped them spread their Y-DNA so much.

    The same took place in Northern-Central India, where the majority of female lineages (mtDNA) are native, but the majority of male lineages are Aryan.

    The most common Y-DNA lineage in Northern-Central India is so young, that 4700-3600 years ago there was only ONE person with this lineage.

    And today several hundreds of millions of Indians are descended (paternally!) from that one person, who lived 4700-3600 years ago!

    The same is the case in Europe. 76% of Irish males* are descended paternally from ONE high-status male who lived 4600-4500 years ago.

    *3575 out of a sample of 4700 Irish males = 76%.
     
  11. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Oh yes, the Kurgan hypothesis is fine - all the nonsense about matriarchal societies, 'the Goddess' and so on is entirely wishful thinking, though. It may be true, but it's not a justifiable conclusion from the data at hand.

    Fill in my usual warning about using genetics to imply politics and conquest as well. If most of the people in North London have Israeli ancestry, did Israel conquer it?
     
  12. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Most of the people in North London probably have every possible ancestry, including Eskimo (probably just 0,1% or less of their DNA, but still). However, we are talking about Y-DNA which is only passed from father to son, and it is only a tiny portion of overall ancestry, but if some male lineage increases in number so much during such a short time then it is not a coincidence, but Genghis Khan or another conqueror - in this case those were Proto-Indo-Europeans.

    Another thing is whether you want to apply the term "conquest" to times when states did not exist, but only tribes or other social groups. Maybe it was cultural domination, maybe they just accepted those newcomers as chieftains, without bloodshed. So "conquest" may or may not be a good term.

    Another thing is that of course these theories which I describe here are not 100% certain, just 90% or so. We still know little about ancient DNA.

    ========================================

    There is also an indication that people with some Y-DNA lineages have a greater chance to conceive boys than girls. Some very small correlation was found, that for example one Y-DNA has a 0.5 chance to conceive a boy, and another Y-DNA has a 0.500000000000123 chance to conceive a boy. The difference is minimal but if you give it enough generations, then some statistical differences may show up, and of course these lineages will spread faster.

    Because girls don't have Y-chromosome, obviously.

    ===============================================

    As for the model of conquest.

    Check for example this simulation - a population of "red-orange" ancestry with "R" Y-DNA conquers a population of "blue-azure" ancestry with "G" Y-DNA. After three generations the intermingled population has mostly "R" Y-DNA of conquerors, but in terms of overall ancestry is still mostly "blue-azure":

    Autosomal refers to overall ancestry:

    Spoiler :



    This is probably what happened in Europe and India - except that it took much longer than just three generations.

    Overall ancestry of modern Europeans is mostly Stone Age, and of Indians mostly dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization.

    But Y-DNA has been altered by some conquering warriors - though not to such a large extent as in this simulation.

    The problem is that Europeans have mostly Stone Age ancestry and Indians also have mostly Pre-Aryan ancestry.

    But their Y-DNA lineages are largely (some 35-45% of the total) from those conquering Indo-Europeans.
     
  13. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Why conquests at all, though? After all, a lot of American men in several English villages fathered English children, because they were stationed there during the war. Likewise, I don't doubt that several children were born to foreign fathers in the days when a sailor might have 'a girl in every port'. Genetic spread doesn't imply political spread at all. Why are you assuming that there are even chieftains in the first place? Bear in mind that the burial record often shows what the people doing the burying wish was political reality.
     
  14. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    But statistically that had no impact on ancestry of English people as a whole. That handful of American men would have probably needed to father almost as many children as all the English men in England combined in order for us to see a similar effect as took place in Bronze Age Europe.
     
  15. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Maybe you are right - it is actually not certain to what extent "random fluctuations" happen, and how fast can they happen. Some people don't have children at all until they die, some have mostly boys (so they spread their Y-DNA), some have mostly girls (so they don't spread their Y-DNA), etc. - but in large and stable populations it is often assumed that such micro-level fluctuations become statistically blurred when you take a look at the general picture (large representative samples).

    But your example of Americans impregnating several women in several villages could not have a statistical implication. Especially that those Americans could actually be descended from British Y-DNA, so it could be hard to find a difference. Anyway - you are probably not "secretly American". I don't think their offspring replaced British during WW2. :smoke:

    There is still a terribly small amount of ancient DNA - and a lot of places to find it. For example in the Catacombs of Paris alone there are bones of some 6 million Parisians who lived probably from Late Roman times until the 19th century:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacombs_of_Paris

    Or the Catacombs of Rome, where some of the tombs dating back to the Roman Empire are still sealed:

    http://www.domitilla.info/idx.htm?var1=docs/en01.htm
     
  16. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    To be honest, I have no idea where I picked up that piece of information. Maybe it was something I read years ago. :(
     
  17. Algeroth

    Algeroth 8 and 1/2

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    Funny that you've used a lot of words, but failed to explain anything. Pushing the causation one step away to establishment of property rights is not an explanation
     
  18. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    And a few hours later... a new paper on Bronze Age DNA has just been published.

    "Population Genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia":

    Article (access under paypal): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v522/n7555/full/nature14507.html

    Supplementary info (free access): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v522/n7555/extref/nature14507-s1.pdf

    Discussion:

    http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/31293-101-Ancient-Eurasian-Genomes-Available-Online

    http://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2015/06/101-ancient-eurasian-genomes-allentoft.html

    This is what authors of the paper - allegedly (second-hand citation) - claim about Cucuteni-Trypillian culture:

    BTW - Scandinavian Bronze Age (baSca) sample: 50% R1b, 30% I1, 20% R1a haplogroups:

    (quite similar to modern Scandinavians, except that now it is more like 40% I1, 35% R1b, 25% R1a):



    Interestingly, according to this paper there could be a back-migration from North America to Siberia:

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2015/06/101-ancient-genomes-from-bronze-age.html

    But Proto-Indo-Europeans also shared a common ancestral Siberian population with Native Americans.

    People such as Mal'ta boy who lived in Siberia 24,000 years ago were ancestral to both those groups.

    The reason why proponents of the "Solutrean hypothesis" found a few but striking similarities between Native Americans and Europe is not because both North America and Europe were colonized by descendants of essentially the same group of prehistoric Siberians. But to Europe that came late - with "Ancient North Eurasian" DNA, which was strong in Proto-Indo-Europeans.
     
  19. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    As far as I know, we aren't 100% sure. One hypothesis is that the pre-property division of labor left men in charge of more prestigious things like defense and hunting, while women were in charge of more sedentary things like gardening. Because they stayed in the village and because there was no firmly-set atomic "families" like we think of today, the father of children could not be certain, only the mother could, hence the emphasis on mother-right. It also meant that women typically held or shared political power in the tribe on an equal footing with men, dispatching the men to perform various tasks outside the tribe/camp, like war, hunting, or resource-gathering. Anthropologists hypothesize that it was either animal husbandry or war (since raids back then were usually for the purpose of taking another tribe's flocks or their women as trophy brides/slaves) which gave a new emphasis on attempting to pass down property to one's kin. Since these were areas that men had control over, they acquired vastly more prestige, and the new property gave them considerable power over the women, which enabled them to seize political power and reshape the conception of the family into a male-dominated one, with women relegated to house duties, gardening, and child-rearing, and the man guaranteeing that he knew who his progeny were so that they might inherit his property upon his death, and others might not.
     
  20. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Coming back to "common ancestry" of Native Americans and Europeans. Mal'ta (24,000 years old Siberians) and Afontova Gora (17,000 years old Siberians) populations, were among ancestors of modern Native Americans, and they were also among ancestors of modern Europeans (but to a slightly lesser extent than their contribution to Native Americans).

    Modern populations which are most similar to prehistoric Mal'ta and Afontova Gora, are Native Americans (1st) and West Eurasians (2nd) - especially various groups in Russia, Siberia and Eastern Europe, such as the Mari people:

    Map: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/images/nature12736-f1.jpg

    Chart: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Atc-yykaT1c/Uo0Tyu_EB_I/AAAAAAAAJZ4/kZHJkoNpey0/s1600/treemix.png

    And this study explains, that Native Americans are a mixture of East-Asian-like ancestors and West-Eurasian-like ancestors (West-Eurasian-like ancestry in Native Americans originated from those Mal'ta and Afontova Gora Upper Paleolithic Siberians, who were also among ancestors of modern Europeans - but those Siberians were more similar to modern Native Americans than to any other modern groups - modern Europeans are also similar to those prehistoric Siberians, but a bit less):

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12736.html


    Link to video.

    "Ancient North Eurasian" (ANE) component in modern people shows similarity to those Mal'ta and Afontova Gora Siberians.

    In Europe it apparently peaks near the Caucasus and in some parts of Russia, with over 20% ANE-like ancestry:

     

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