5,500-Year-Old Neolithic Cranial Amulets Shed Light on Ancient Belief System

5,500-Year-Old Neolithic Cranial Amulets Shed Light on Ancient Belief System

In 1914, a Swiss amateur archaeologist, Ernest Roulin, approached the Museum of Science and Art in Ireland with an incredibly rare discovery – two ancient amulets made from fragments of human cranium. The amulets were dated to around 3,500 BC, during the Neolithic period, and have led to some fascinating conclusions regarding the practices and beliefs of our ancient ancestors.

The amulets are oval in shape and perforated towards one end, possibly for threading so that the item could be worn around the neck. The edges are well finished and rounded, which also suggests that they were worn or displayed as pendants.

The site of Roulin’s discovery in Neuchâtel dates to the middle Neolithic period of western Switzerland (also known as the Cortaillod culture), and so far only a few such pendants have been discovered in Switzerland.

Ernest Roulin, and a number of archaeologists have suggested that the cranial fragments were removed from the deceased and then perforated and polished to form pendants, possibly to draw strength or protection from the world of the deceased or perhaps simply to commemorate past members of the community.

However, another more gruesome hypothesis has been put forward by French anthropologist Paul Broca, which is that the skulls were perforated prior to the individual’s death through the practice of trephination, otherwise known as trepanning.

Trephination is one of the first ever surgical practices and is known to have begun in the Neolithic era. It involves drilling a hole in the skull of a living person to cure illness such as convulsions, headaches, infections or fractures. Although there is some merit to the technique and it is still practiced today for the relief of subdural haematoma, there is evidence to suggest that in ancient times people believed that illness was caused by a trapped spirit and that drilling a hole would allow the spirit to escape.

Broca believes that the skulls of those who survived trephination were believed to have magical properties, so after the patient died fragments of the skull were cut out and worn as amulets. He also argued that prehistoric doctors gave the pendants to high status individuals, because the jewellery was thought to provide good luck, deflect evil spirits, and protect individuals and their families.

The Neolithic practice of using human remains for protection or luck is not unique to cranial amulets . Excavations at the Greek lakeside site of Dispilio revealed a perforated human molar, with a similar artefact discovered during this season’s excavation in Çatalhöyük, Anatolia. We can also see the Tibetan practice of using Kapala skull caps in ritual practice.

Wearing or displaying pieces of the human body in this manner may appear unusual. However, some would argue that displaying a vessel or box containing human ashes on the mantelpiece, which is still practiced today, is not too dissimilar, and is a way of maintaining a physical connection with departed loved ones.

Related Links

This 5,500-Year-Old Sumerian Star Map Recorded the Impact of a Massive Asteroid

An ancient clay tablet now housed at the British Museum has puzzled experts for more than 150 years. The Cuneiform tablet in the British Museum collection No K8538 is known as “the Planisphere.”

Translated more than 10 years ago, the clay tablet is an actual ancient Sumerian Star Map.

The clay tablet was recovered in the 19th century from the underground library of King Ashurbanipal in Nineveh, Iraq, by Sir. Henry Layard.

Translations and eventual analysis revealed stunning details.

The ancient Sumerians etched on the surface of the clay tablet details revealing they observed a massive object, visible in space, as it smashed through Earth’s atmosphere and eventually impacted against the planet.

The tablet is a copy of a set of notes inscribed by an ancient Sumerian astronomer that observed the sky. He referred to the object coming from the sky as a “white stone bowl approaching…”

Part of a circular clay tablet with depictions of constellations (planisphere) the reverse is uninscribed restored from fragments and incomplete partly accidentally vitrified in antiquity during the destruction of the place where it was found. Found in Kuyunjik, ancient Nineveh, in the so-called “Library of Ashurbanipal.” Neo-Assyrian period. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The tablet is an astronomical work since it features a set of intricate drawings of constellations and their names.

Since its discovery, experts were unable to understand what the Sumerian Astronomer wanted to convey fully.

That changed with the appearance of computer programs that can help simulate trajectories and reconstruct the night sky thousands of years ago.

And it is precisely that way how experts finally understood what the Planisphere tablet refers to.

An ancient Sumerian astronomer recorded the events he observed on 29 June 3123 BC.

Experts found that fifty percent of the clay tablet refers to the position of the planets and weather conditions, like cloud cover.

However, the other half of the tablet details how a massive object, large enough to be observed even though it was still in space, was seen approaching Earth.

The Sumerian astronomer decided the event was of great importance, so he made an accurate note of the object’s trajectory relative to the stars.

And it turns out that the object observed by the Sumerian astronomer was most likely the asteroid that impacted at Köfels, Austria.

According to experts, the astronomer made an accurate note of the object’s trajectory to an error better than one degree.

Based on the observations made by the Sumerian astronomers, scientists have concluded that the object in question was most likely an asteroid over one kilometer in diameter.

It was most likely an Aten type, asteroids that orbit relatively close to the planet given its orbit.

The data etched on the clay tablet further explains why there isn’t an actual impact crater at Köfels.

Observations indicate that the asteroid’s incoming angle was extremely low, as low as six degrees. This suggests the space rock most likely clipped a mountain on its way down (most likely the tip of Gamskogel), causing the asteroid to disintegrate before reaching its final impact point.

Scientists explain that as it made its way down the valley, the asteroid turned into a gigantic fireball, around five kilometers in diameter.

As it impacted Köfels, it produced extremely high pressures that caused the rock to pulverize. Since it was no longer a solid object, it did not leave an impact crater behind.


Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Neolithic, also called New Stone Age, final stage of cultural evolution or technological development among prehistoric humans. It was characterized by stone tools shaped by polishing or grinding, dependence on domesticated plants or animals, settlement in permanent villages, and the appearance of such crafts as pottery and weaving. The Neolithic followed the Paleolithic Period, or age of chipped-stone tools, and preceded the Bronze Age, or early period of metal tools.

What occurred during the Neolithic Period?

The Neolithic Period, also called the New Stone Age, is the final stage of cultural evolution or technological development among prehistoric humans. The stage is characterized by stone tools shaped by polishing or grinding, dependence on domesticated plants or animals, settlement in permanent villages, and the appearance of such crafts as pottery and weaving. In this stage, humans were no longer dependent on hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants. The cultivation of cereal grains enabled Neolithic peoples to build permanent dwellings and congregate in villages, and the release from nomadism and a hunting-and-gathering economy gave them the time to pursue specialized crafts.

When did the Neolithic Period begin?

The starting point of the Neolithic Period is much debated, as different parts of the world achieved the Neolithic stage at different times, but it is generally thought to have occurred sometime about 10,000 BCE. This point coincides with the retreat of the glaciers after the Pleistocene ice ages and the start of the Holocene Epoch. Archaeological evidence indicates that the transition from food-collecting cultures to food-producing ones gradually occurred across Asia and Europe from a starting point in the Fertile Crescent. The first evidence of cultivation and animal domestication in southwestern Asia has been dated to roughly 9500 BCE, which suggests that those activities may have begun before that date.

How did Neolithic technologies spread outward from the Fertile Crescent?

A way of life based on farming and settled villages had been firmly achieved by 7000 BCE in the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys (now in Iraq and Iran) and in what are now Syria, Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan. The earliest farmers raised barley and wheat and kept sheep and goats, later supplemented by cattle and pigs. Their innovations spread from the Middle East northward into Europe by two routes: across Turkey and Greece into central Europe and across Egypt and North Africa and thence to Spain. Farming communities appeared in Greece as early as 7000 BCE, and farming spread northward throughout the continent over the next four millennia. This long and gradual transition was not completed in Britain and Scandinavia until after 3000 BCE and is known as the Mesolithic Period.

How long did it take other cultures to reach the Neolithic stage of development?

Neolithic technologies also spread eastward to the Indus River valley of India by 5000 BCE. Farming communities based on millet and rice appeared in the Huang He (Yellow River) valley of China and in Southeast Asia by about 3500 BCE. Neolithic modes of life were achieved independently in the New World. Corn (maize), beans, and squash were gradually domesticated in Mexico and Central America from 6500 BCE on, though sedentary village life did not commence there until much later, about 2000 BCE.

A brief treatment of the Neolithic follows. For full treatment, see Stone Age: Neolithic and technology: The Neolithic Revolution.

The Neolithic stage of development was attained during the Holocene Epoch (the last 11,700 years of Earth history). The starting point of the Neolithic is much debated, with different parts of the world having achieved the Neolithic stage at different times, but it is generally thought to have occurred sometime about 10,000 bce . During that time, humans learned to raise crops and keep domestic livestock and were thus no longer dependent on hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants. Neolithic cultures made more-useful stone tools by grinding and polishing relatively hard rocks rather than merely chipping softer ones down to the desired shape. The cultivation of cereal grains enabled Neolithic peoples to build permanent dwellings and congregate in villages, and the release from nomadism and a hunting-gathering economy gave them the time to pursue specialized crafts.

Archaeological evidence indicates that the transition from food-collecting cultures to food-producing ones gradually occurred across Asia and Europe from a starting point in the Fertile Crescent. The first evidence of cultivation and animal domestication in southwestern Asia has been dated to roughly 9500 bce , which suggests that those activities may have begun before that date. A way of life based on farming and settled villages had been firmly achieved by 7000 bce in the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys (now in Iraq and Iran) and in what are now Syria, Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan. Those earliest farmers raised barley and wheat and kept sheep and goats, later supplemented by cattle and pigs. Their innovations spread from the Middle East northward into Europe by two routes: across Turkey and Greece into central Europe, and across Egypt and North Africa and thence to Spain. Farming communities appeared in Greece as early as 7000 bce , and farming spread northward throughout the continent over the next four millennia. This long and gradual transition was not completed in Britain and Scandinavia until after 3000 bce and is known as the Mesolithic.

Neolithic technologies also spread eastward to the Indus River valley of India by 5000 bce . Farming communities based on millet and rice appeared in the Huang He (Yellow River) valley of China and in Southeast Asia by about 3500 bce . Neolithic modes of life were achieved independently in the New World. Corn (maize), beans, and squash were gradually domesticated in Mexico and Central America from 6500 bce on, though sedentary village life did not commence there until much later, at about 2000 bce .

In the Old World the Neolithic was succeeded by the Bronze Age when human societies learned to combine copper and tin to make bronze, which replaced stone for use as tools and weapons.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by John P. Rafferty, Editor.


Paleolithic people were hunter-gatherers. They were nomads who lived in tribes and relied on hunting, fishing and gathering wild fruits. They hunted animals like bison, mammoths, bears and deer. Meat was a source of food and animal hide was used to make clothes. They lived in clans of 20-30 people in caves, outdoors or in cabins made of tree branches and animal skin.

The Neolithic era began when humans discovered agriculture and raising cattle, which allowed them to no longer have a nomadic life style. They were able to settle in fertile areas with predictable climate, usually near river basins. Rice and wheat were the first plants they cultivated, and the first animals to be domesticated were dogs, goats, sheep, oxen and horses.

Migrations and Changing Europeans Beginning around 8,000 Years Ago

“Agriculture emerged in the Fertile Crescent around 11,000 years ago and then spread out from Turkey, reaching central Europe some 7,500 years ago and eventually Scandinavia by 6,000 years ago. Recent paleogenomic studies have shown that the spread of agriculture from the Fertile Crescent into Europe was due mainly to a demic process. Such event reshaped the genetic makeup of European populations since incoming farmers displaced and admixed with local hunter-gatherers.” ref

The Middle Neolithic period in Europe is characterized by such interaction, and this is a time where a resurgence of hunter-gatherer ancestry has been documented. While most research has been focused on the genetic origin and admixture dynamics with hunter-gatherers of farmers from Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, and Anatolia, data from farmers at the North-Western edges of Europe remains scarce. Here, we investigate genetic data from the Middle Neolithic from Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia and compare it to genomic data from hunter-gatherers, Early and Middle Neolithic farmers across Europe.” ref

“Of note, affinities between the British Isles and Iberia, confirm previous reports. However, there seems to be a regional origin for the Iberian farmers that putatively migrated to the British Isles. Moreover, we note some indications of particular interactions between Middle Neolithic Farmers of the British Isles and Scandinavia .Finally , our data together with that of previous publications allow us to achieve a better understanding of the interactions between farmers and hunter-gatherers at the northwestern fringe of Europe.” ref

Star Carr in North Yorkshire, England dating to around 10,770 – 10,460 year held an early proto-writing pendant. It is very similar to a number of other pendants from northern European sites, though its unique due to it being made from shale, where others are commonly made of amber. Research suggests two phases of markings on the pendant and possibly more than one artist. The markings may represent a tree, a map, a leaf, tally marks, even a wooden platform, which are found at Star Carr. ref, ref, ref

Horse Domestication Happened Across Eurasia, Study Shows starting 8,000 BCE

“A new DNA study suggests that different groups of people independently tamed horses starting 10,000 years ago. Horses have left their stamp on many aspects of human history, from transportation and communication to warfare and agriculture. A team of fellow researchers collected maternally inherited mitochondrial genomes from living horses in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, a strikingly different picture emerged. “We found a high number of different lineages that we were able to identify—at least 18. This means that multiple female horse lines were domesticated throughout the Neolithic period—during the last 10,000 years—in multiple locations of Eurasia, possibly including Western Europe.” ref

“Light skin in Europeans stems from ONE 10,000-year-old ancestor who lived between India and the Middle East. Those who had mutation also shared traces of an ancestral genetic code. This indicates that all instances of mutation originate from same person. The mutated segment of DNA was itself created from a combination of two other mutations commonly found in East Asians.” ref

  • Study focused on DNA differences across globe with the A111T mutation
  • Those who had mutation also shared traces of an ancestral genetic code
  • This indicates that all instances of mutation originate from same person
  • The mutated segment of DNA was itself created from a combination of two other mutations commonly found in East Asians

8th millennium BC spanned the years 10,020 through 9,021 years ago.

“Cave painting with a horse and rider was found in Doushe cave, Lorestan, Iran, 8,000 BCE. Bladed tools found in southwest Iran date from around 8000 BCE they were made from obsidian that had been transported from Anatolia /Turkey. During this time, agriculture became widely practiced in the Fertile Crescent and Anatolia. And around 7,200 BCE Cayonu in southeast Turkey: the likely domestication site of emmer wheat, and the first domestic pigs as well as cattle that spread to Europe pigs. And in general animal husbandry (pastoralism) spread to Africa and Eurasia. World population at this time was more or less stable, at Mesolithic level reached during the Last Glacial Maximum, at roughly 5 million.” ref

“After 10 years of research, we understand that Anatolia/Turkey, especially from the west, is part of the basis of all European peoples. Matching how all European cattle are all descended from Iranian cattle dispersed by farmer herders leaving Anatolia/Turkey.” – Joachim Burger – Anthropologist & Population Geneticist Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz.” ref

  • 10,000 years ago —Settlement in Franchthi Cave in Peloponnese, continues. First evidence of seed and animal stocking (lentils, almonds) and obsidian trade with Melos. The settlement was continuously occupied since 20,000 BC and abandoned in 3000 BC.
  • 10,000 years ago —Settlements at Øvre Eiker and Nedre Eiker in present-day Buskerud, Norway are established.
  • 10,000 years ago —Settlements at Ærø, Denmark are established.
  • 10,000 years ago —Settlements at Deepcar near present-day Sheffield, England are established.
  • 9,600 years ago —Howick house in Northumberland, England, is constructed
  • 9,580 years ago – Combe-Capelle Mesolithic burial.
  • 9,500 years ago —Settlements at Sand, Applecross on the coast of Wester Ross, Scotland are constructed.
  • 9,500 years ago —Mesolithic hunter-gatherers are the first humans to reach Ireland. ref

7th millennium BC spanned the years 9,000 through 8,001 years ago

“During this time, agriculture spread from Anatolia to the Balkans. World population begins to grow at an exponential pace due to the Neolithic Revolution, reaching perhaps 10 million. In the agricultural communities of the Middle East, the cow was domesticated and use of pottery became common, spreading to Europe and South Asia, and the first metal (gold and copper) ornaments were made.” ref

9,000 years ago Saudi Arabia Neolithic archaeological site with possible horses domestication in the Arabian peninsula from the civilization, named al-Maqar after the site’s location with some of the earliest evidence of horse domestication at a Neolithic site in the southwestern Asir province. The Maqar Civilization is a very advanced civilization of the Neolithic period. The site also includes remains of mummified skeletons, arrowheads, scrapers, grain grinders, tools for spinning and weaving, and other tools that are evidence of a civilization that is skilled in handicrafts.” ref, ref, ref

  • 9,000yearsago Burial plot sheds new light on early humans on a marshy plain in central Turkey. Even children as young as 8 were not buried alongside their parents or other relatives at the site called sedentary settlement of Çatalhöyük, where before most people on the planet made their living as hunter-gatherers. They also buried their dead (up to 30 of them per house) beneath the floors. ref
  • 9,000yearsago Axe found at Ireland’s earliest burial site, in Co Limerick, which has shed light on the ancient burial practices of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. ref
  • 9,000 years ago Bones of the dead were sorted and categorized before burial
  • 9,000 years ago Horse Burial Linked to Sheba
  • 9,000 years ago:
  • 9,000yearsago Evidence of Londoners, “tool-making factory” in southeast London.ref
  • 9,000 years ago: English Channel was formed.
  • 9,000 years ago: Mesolithic site Lepenski Vir emerges in today’s Serbia.
  • 9,000 years ago: Neolithic economy was established on the island of Crete (domesticated sheep or goats, pigs and cattle together with grains of cultivated bread wheat).
  • 9,000 years ago: Sweden Large-scale fish processing operation established at Blekinge.
  • 8,850 – 6,800 years ago: Advanced agriculture and a very early use of pottery by the Sesklo culture in Thessaly, Greece.
  • 8,800 – 6,800 years ago: The earliest domesticated pigs in Europe, which many archaeologists believed to be descended from European wild boar, were introduced from the Middle East by Stone Age farmers.
  • 8,500 years ago: Two breeds of non-wolf dogs in Scandinavia
  • 8,400 years ago:Cardium Pottery begins its move to west along the northern Mediterranean coast, beginning at Sesklo, Thessaly, Greece.
  • 8,200 years ago: Firm date of the move of the first farmers from Turkey across the Aegean Sea and up the Danube into Romania and Serbia.
  • 8,000 years ago: First traces of habitation of the Svarthola cave in Norway.
  • 8,000 years ago: Agriculture appears around in the Balkans, see Old European Culture. ref

“Expedition to the Ukok plateau, high in the Altai Mountains close to the modern-day Russian border with Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan, has found evidence that a set of intriguing petroglyphs that stylistically match the Paleolithic tradition, some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. If this is true, they will be the oldest in Siberia by several millennia. Elsewhere in the Altai Mountains, some areas have no petroglyphs at all, while certain places are like alfresco picture galleries left by our ancestors, dating from around 5,000 years ago. The Ukok Plateau is known for its thriving ancient societies highlighted by the elaborate burials of important people – including that of the remarkable tattooed ‘Ukok princess’, pictured here. But she lived far more recently on the plateau, some 2,500 years ago.” ref

“The name “Altai” means “Gold Mountain” in Mongolian “alt” (gold) and “ tai ” (suffix – “with” the mountain with gold) and also in its Chinese name, derived from the Mongol name (Chinese: 金山 literally: ‘Gold Mountain’). In Turkic languages altın means gold and dağ means mountain. The controversial Altaic language family takes its name from this mountain range. The Altai Mountains have been identified as being the point of origin of a cultural enigma termed the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon which arose during the Bronze Age around the start of the 2nd millennium BC and led to a rapid and massive migration of peoples from the region into distant parts of Europe and Asia. The Altai mountains were home to the Denisovan branch of hominids who were contemporaries of Neanderthals and of Homo Sapiens (modern humans), descended from Hominids who reached Asia earlier than modern humans.” ref

8,300 years ago: The world’s oldest skis were discovered in Russia, near Lake Sindor. And there are 6,000 years old Rock carvings of a skier from this period were discovered in Norway. In Finland around 5,300years old Skis were discovered, which were 180 centimeters long and 15 centimeters wide. These skis had five grooves. Around 4,700years old two skis and a pole were dug out of a bog in Sweden. 4,500 years old rock drawings that depict a man on skis holding a stick. The drawings were discovered on a Norwegian island.” ref

The 6th millennium BC spanned the years 8,000 through 7,001 years ago

“It falls into the Holocene climatic optimum, with rising sea levels, and agriculture spreads to Europe and to Egypt. World population grows dramatically as a result of the Neolithic Revolution, perhaps quadrupling, from about 10 to 40 million, over the course of the millennium. With the earliest evidence of wine, from Georgia. dating to around 8,000 – 7,900 years ago. is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Georgia is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. Archaeological finds and references in ancient sources also reveal elements of early political and state formations characterized by advanced metallurgy and goldsmith techniques that date back to the 7th century BC and beyond. In fact, early metallurgy started in Georgia during the 6th millennium BC, associated with the Shulaveri-Shomu culture.” ref, ref

Changes 8,000 years ago

“Ancient European DNA collected from Spain to Russia concluded that the original hunter-gatherer population had assimilated a wave of “farmers” who had arrived from the Near East during the Neolithic about 8,000 years ago. The Mesolithic era site Lepenski Vir in modern-day Serbia, the earliest documented sedentary community of Europe with permanent buildings as well as monumental art precedes sites previously considered to be the oldest known by many centuries. The community’s year-round access to a food surplus prior to the introduction of agriculture was the basis for the sedentary lifestyle. However, the earliest record for the adoption of elements of farming can be found in Starčevo, a community with close cultural ties. Belovode and Pločnik, also in Serbia, is currently the oldest reliably dated copper smelting site in Europe (around 7,000 years ago). Attributed to the Vinča culture, which on the contrary provides no links to the initiation of or a transition to the Chalcolithic or Copper age.” ref

A bit more than 8000 years ago, the world suddenly cooled, leading to much drier summers for much of the Northern Hemisphere. Massive glacial lakes in North America emptied into the Atlantic Ocean, scientists believe, altering sea currents and weather patterns and triggering what’s known simply as the 8.2 kiloyear event (referring to its occurrence 8200 years ago). The impact on early farmers must have been extreme, yet archaeologists know little about how they endured. Now, the remains of animal fat on broken pottery from one of the world’s oldest and most unusual protocities—known as Çatalhöyük—is finally giving scientists a window into these ancient peoples’ close call with catastrophe. The extreme drought brought on by the 8.2-kiloyear event would have frizzled feed crops and grazing lands, and cooler winters would have increased animals’ food requirements. The combined effect would have been leaner, thirstier livestock, and their fat may have recorded chemical echoes of that dietary stress.” ref

“Çatalhöyük’s farmers left behind any trace of the climate shift. Over the past few years, Marciniak had been digging up fragments of clay pottery (or potsherds) left buried in ancient trash piles, and clay pots were used to store meat, and researchers found relatively well-preserved animal fat residue soaked into the porous, unglazed sherds. dating from about 8300 to 7,900 years ago. Additional finds from Çatalhöyük reveal how the farmers adapted to the cooler, drier conditions. Animal bones from that time have a relatively high number of cut marks, suggesting they were butchering for every last edible bit. Cattle herds shrunk while goat herds rose, the authors note, perhaps because goats could better handle drought. Çatalhöyük’s architecture changed, as well, with the site’s iconic, large, communal dwellings giving way to smaller houses for individual families, reflecting a shift toward independent, self-sufficient households. It seems that Çatalhöyük was already in a period of fairly rapid change well before the 8.2-kiloyear event, as Çatalhöyük’s architecture had been gradually evolving for hundreds of years before.” ref

Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city” “involves a 34-acre site in central Turkey, at one time inhabited by as many as 8,000 to 10,000 people, began some 9,500 years ago, and continuing for nearly two millennia, people came together at Çatalhöyük to build hundreds of tightly clustered mud-brick houses, burying their dead beneath the floors and adorning the walls with paintings, livestock skulls and plaster reliefs. More than 8,000 years ago, Çatalhöyük was already a city of one-room homes, accessed from the roof. Places of worship often featured bucrania (displaying sacrificial bulls, and the ritual/decorative use of bull’s horns. People in Çatalhöyük were quite equal, but it might not have been the nicest society as residents had to submit to a lot of social control and that such a society only works with strong homogeneity.” ref

“For many generations, it was very unacceptable for individual households to accumulate [wealth]. Once they started to do so, there is evidence that more problems started to arise. Some of the new evidence expresses something odd about one of the hundreds of skulls dozens of them with similar wounds, all showing a consistent pattern of injury to the top back of the skull. It is believed that the pattern of the wounds suggests that most of them were inflicted by thrown projectiles, but all of them were healed, meaning they were not fatal.” They speculate that the attacks that caused the injuries were meant only to stun, perhaps to control wayward members of the group, or to abduct outsiders as wives or slaves. Moreover, the skulls with this characteristic were found primarily in later levels of the site, when more independence and differentiation between households started to emerge. Presumably, it is with these new inequalities could have potentially created new tensions among the community’s members, non-fatal violence to diffuse full-fledged conflicts that could break the settlement apart, in a way, confirm the idea of an emerging controlled society.” ref

“8,000-year-old shattered skull of a Ancient European Hunter Gatherer died in a grisly murder from Poland. The skull showed signs of healing, after “received a sharp hit with the tool,” thus he did not die at the impact and likely died a week after his injury. Because the bone was burned and the skull had obviously been dealt a strong blow, the researchers first thought maybe the man had been cannibalized but he had not, it’s possible it was burned in a funerary ritual, as people during the Mesolithic both burned and buried corpses.” ref

“About 8,000 years ago, the plateau of land between what is now the east of England and the Netherlands was flooded by the sea. This brought an end to the forests and animal life that had colonized the region from other parts of Europe, including early human communities. Cores of sediment from the bottom of the North Sea in an area called Doggerland shoal Dogger Bank in the southern part of the North Sea became ice-free about 12,000 years ago, after the end of the last ice age until flooding around 8,000 years ago. Some human remains including part of an ancient skull and several human artifacts, like fragments of stone tools have been recovered.” ref

A gruesome ancient skull cult ritual and new violence.

“Humans Have Been Brutally Mounting Skulls on Stakes for Over 8,000 years a gruesome ancient ritual. At the bottom of a small lake in eastern-central Sweden, scientists have uncovered some of the earliest known examples from a site, known as Kanalijorden, is a wetland close to the river Motala Strom. Definitely all part of a ritual where human skulls, have been handled through a complex ceremony that involved the displaying of skulls on stakes in water. The rituals were conducted on a massive (14 x 14 m) stone-packing constructed on the bottom of the shallow lake. Besides human skulls, the and cultural/ritual material also include a smaller number of post-cranial human bones, bones from animals as well as artifacts of stone, wood, bone, and antler. The bone tools include an ornamented antler pick-axe, bone arrowheads with and without microblade inserts, barbed bone leisters, antler punches, etc. ref, ref

“The human bones and wooden artifacts date to around 8,029-7,640 years ago. Burial sites often provide clues about culture, but to date, only 200 Mesolithic human burials have been found in Scandinavia. That’s why the discovery of 11 humans and one infant in Kanalijorden is so extraordinary. While earthly in graves humans were in groups, Kanalijorden is very different with more separate features and the crania injuries and the victims later died. Then the skulls were brought to the small lake and deposited on a wood-and-stone structure in the water. How exactly the victims came to die is still a mystery as the majority of the cranial remains suggest that the individuals had healed, at least in part, from their injuries. Women, were hit on the back of the head, while the men were hit on the top and it’s likely these injuries are a result of purposeful acts of violence, thus possibly skull cult rituals, trophies and relics.” ref, ref

How Europeans evolved white skin

“Most modern Europeans don’t look much like those of 8000 years ago. Europeans today are a mix of the blending of at least three ancient populations of hunter-gatherers and farmers who moved into Europe in separate migrations over the past 8000 years spreading rapidly throughout Europe. First, hunter-gatherers in Europe could not digest the sugars in milk 8000 years ago, and neither could the first farmers who came from the Near East about 7,800 years ago nor the Yamnaya pastoralists who came from the steppes 4800 years ago. And there was a massive migration of Yamnaya herders from the steppes north of the Black Sea may have brought Indo-European languages to Europe about 4500 years ago. Not until about 4,300 years ago that lactose tolerance swept through Europe.” ref

“When it comes to skin color, the team found a patchwork of evolution in different places, and three separate genes that produce light skin, telling a complex story for how European’s skin evolved to be much lighter during the past 8000 years. But in the far north where low light levels favored pale skin. Seven hunter-gatherers found at a 7700-year-old Motala archaeological site in southern Sweden had light skin gene variants. And another gene which causes blue eyes and may also contribute to light skin and blond hair. Thus ancient hunter-gatherers of the far north were already pale and blue-eyed, but those of central and southern Europe had darker skin.” ref

Indo-European languages, o ur ancient ‘mother tongue’ words were spoken around 8,000 years ago.

“8,000 to 5,500 years ago the Proto-Indo-European language was spoken from by all who lived on the steppes to the north of the Caspian Sea. Linguists say it evolved over time to spawn more than 440 modern languages and is the root of all Indo-European languages today. With offshoots in Anatolia (the Hittites), the Aegean (Mycenaean Greece), Western Europe (the Corded Ware culture), Central Asia (Yamna culture), and southern Siberia (Afanasevo culture.) late 6th and early 5th millennium BC: Beginning of Samara culture at the Samara bend region of the middle Volga, Russia. late 6th and early 5th millennium BC: Beginning of Samara culture at the Samara bend region of the middle Volga, Russia.” ref, ref

“The Proto-Indo-European Religion is reconstructed on the basis of linguistic analysis of the languages used by Indo-European-speaking people. This website gives scholarly information on what is known about traditional Paganism, the polytheistic religion of the Indo-European-speaking people and the status of research in the field. Particular emphasis is placed on the oldest sources in each language group, but folklore, customs and even christianized versions of Proto-Indo-European Goddesses, myths and rituals have been used. In India, the religion continues as it has for millennia, so information from recent or modern sources is relevant to the study. For an explanation of the whole concept, see the Introduction to Proto-Indo-European Religion.” ref “The Proto-Indo-European Religion is a beautiful religion stretching back 6000 years at least and standard methods of historical linguistics can be used for the reconstruction of common words and their meanings in the various Indo-European languages. This allows for a reconstruction of the Gods and Goddesses and some of the rituals, myths and poetry used by the linguistic ancestors of this group of speakers. While archaeology offers information about material culture, linguistic analysis offers insight into the intangible aspects of human culture, including religion, views about the organization of the natural world, beliefs about supernatural beings, processes and objects, and emotional concerns. There are at least 40 deities that can be reconstructed to the Proto-Indo-European religion. Gender is not a fixed characteristic of Proto-Indo-European Gods and Goddesses, since they are often deified forces of nature which do not have gender. The Indo-Europeans have always known this, but it seems to have deeply confused western scholars who have been trapped in sexist and patriarchal ways of thinking. Among the Goddesses reconstructed so far are: *Pria, *Pleto, *Devi, *Perkunos, *Aeusos and *Yama.” ref

8,000 years ago, the overwhelming majority of men never reproduced!

“At this time it seems there were 17 WOMEN REPRODUCED FOR EVERY ONE MAN. Once upon a time, 4,000 to 8,000 years after humanity invented agriculture, something very strange happened to human reproduction. Across the globe, for every 17 women who were reproducing, passing on genes that are still around today—only one man did the same. A researcher, a biological anthropologist, hypothesizes that somehow, only a few men accumulated lots of wealth and power, leaving nothing for others. These men could then pass their wealth on to their sons, perpetuating this pattern of elitist reproductive success. If this hypothesis is correct, it would be one of the first instances that scientists have found of culture affecting human evolution.” ref

8,000 years ago Europeans used cattle

“Analyses of the residues left inside ancient pottery vessels, suggest that the consumption of dairy products from sheep, goats, and cattle likely dates back into the Neolithic period – at least 8,000 years ago in Europe (6,000 BCE) and earlier in the Near East. The precise origins of cattle as engines of labor – known as traction – is also murky. In the past, investigators traditionally looked for evidence of items pulled – primarily (but not only) wagons and plows. Wagons – known from preserved images such as figurines and rock art – have existed for more than 5,000 years. Early plows, such as the ard or scratch plow, were made of wood, and do not preserve well over thousands of years. The oldest known evidence of plows in Europe comes from fragments of ards preserved in water-logged ancient sites. They are just under 6,000 years old. Though not nearly as effective as modern machines, early plows would have been far faster and easier than having to break compacted earth in fields with hand tools in order to plant crops. They allowed people to plant more crops using less labor, increasing the amount of food that could be grown each year.” ref

“Analysed such changes to cattle footbones from European archaeological sites dating to 6,000 years ago or later demonstrated the used of secondary products which must have radically changed the capabilities of ancient societies. Moreover, after studying the footbones of cattle from 11 sites in the western Balkans (modern-day Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina) dating to the local Neolithic, ranging from 6100 BCE to 4500 BCE (8,000 to 6,500 years ago) compared with the same bones from wild cattle at these sites expressed the presence and absence of footbone alterations indicative of the strain of traction. Research found changes to the footbones of cattle consistent with traction across these sites that were completely absent from the control group of wild cattle footbones. The presence of these pathologies, and their absence from the control population of wild cattle hunted at these same sites, proves that humans were using cattle as engines of labor in Europe at least 2,000 years earlier than was previously thought. Furthermore, comparisons of sex-specific proportions from some of these footbones showed that humans were using both male and female cattle. In fact, female cows were more common as animal engines than male bulls.” ref

8,000 years ago Manure used by Europe’s first farmers leads

“Europe’s first farmers used far more sophisticated practices than was previously thought. Scientists have found that Neolithic farmers manured and watered their crops. And evidence for this is abundant in manure, have been found in the charred cereal grains and pulse seeds taken from 13 Neolithic sites around Europe. The fact that farmers made long-term investments such as manuring in their land sheds new light on the nature of early farming landscapes in Neolithic times. The idea that farmland could be cared for by the same family for generations seems quite an advanced notion, but rich fertile land would have been viewed as extremely valuable for the growing of crops. We believe that as land was viewed as a commodity to be inherited, social differences in early European farming communities started to emerge between the haves and the have-nots.” ref

“The territoriality of early farming groups may help to explain documented events of the period involving extreme violence. The study cites the example of a Neolithic mass burial of the late sixth millennium BC at Talheim, Germany, which preserves the remains of a community killed by assailants wielding stone axes like those used to clear the land. The research is based on stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of 124 crop samples of barley, wheat, lentil and peas, totalling around 2,500 grains or seeds. The charred remains represent harvested crops preserved in Neolithic houses destroyed by fire. The samples were from archaeological excavations of Neolithic sites across Europe, dating from nearly 8,000 to 4,400 years ago.” ref

Proto-Europe 8,000 – 5,000 Years Ago with ties to Anatolian Civilization and the Indo-European Language Spreads to Western Europe with Agriculture

“Proto-European Cultures 8,000-2,500 years ago Interactive map of the Proto-European cultures in the Balkans. It is now assumed that the pre-Indo-European or Proto-European cultures which have evolved from rich archeological finds in the Greater Balkans, Greece and Sicily/Malta in the last 50 years go back to migrations from Anatolia. The archeological objects found in the Greater Balkans by Marija Gimbutas and others show a high sophistication in sculptures, ornaments, and grave culture. The “Proto-European Culture” in the Balkans and Greece is the oldest collective “civilization” known. They preceded Egypt by 4000 and China by 6000 years. Several large urban settlements (20 000 people) have been found, possibly under a female(?) priesthood. The excavators believe that the large concentrations of laborers building the temples precipitated the need for agriculture.” ref

  • 8,000 years ago: Fully Neolithic agriculture has spread through Anatolia to the Balkans.
  • 8,000 years ago: Cycladic culture begin to use a coarse local type of clay to make a variety of objects.
  • 8.000 years ago: Female figurines holding serpents are fashioned on Crete and may have been associated with water, regenerative power and protection of the home.
  • 7,900 years ago: the earliest possible beginning of the forming of Vinča culture which mainly emerges on the shores of lower Danube. Generally dated to the period around 7,700–6,500 years ago.
  • 7,900 years ago: Beginning of human inhabitation in Malta.
  • 7,500 years ago: Beginning of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture in the region of modern-day Romania, Moldova, and southwestern Ukraine.
  • 7,500 years ago: Earliest evidence of cheese-making (Kujawy, Poland).
  • 7,500 years ago Danubian culture. ref
  • 7,500-5,300 years ago Tărtăria tablets, associated with the Vinča culture. ref
  • 7,200 years ago Dispilio tablet is a wooden tablet bearing inscribed markings not unlikely to be an early form of written speech, as has been assumed about similar symbols incised on clay, discovered at settlements in the southern Balkans (Vinca culture). ref
  • 7,000-year-old Mesolithic hunter-gatherer found in Spain had dark skin and blue-eyes.” ref

Community change from common identity to individual identity 7,500 to 4,200 years ago

“During the early Linearbandkeramik (LBK) period (around 7,500 years ago), where the first agricultural colonists to the area. Change in settlement behavior and representations of individuals and communities in Bavaria, Germany, occupying its southeastern corner during the Neolithic period (around 7,500 to 4,200 years ago). Mortuary traditions and social discourses in material culture are additional contexts for tensions between “collective” and “individual” identities into the “imagined” community. The rural landscape between the Danube and Isar rivers reveals that already during the later LBK period some core communities began to fragment and expanded into new ecological zones that encompassed relatively dry upland locations along the boundaries of major watersheds. This process of community fragmentation and settlement expansion continued during around 6,800 years ago and it was transformations in traditions of social representation in ceramic production, lithic resource exploitation, mortuary behavior, and domestic space. Communities began to express themselves locally and regionally, most visibly in ceramic traditions, and the first indigenous cultures of Bavaria (such as the Oberlauterbach group of the Southeast Bavarian Middle Neolithic cultural realm) were established. By the later Neolithic around 6,000 years ago, representations of “community” were further challenged by the appearance of cults of individual – rather than communal – identities.” ref

Genetic prehistory of Iberia differs from central and northern Europe

“A study of important sites like Cueva de los Murciélagos in Andalusia, from which the genome of a 7,245 year-old Neolithic farmer, the oldest sequenced genome in southern Iberia representing the Neolithic Almagra Pottery Culture—the early agriculturalists of southern Spain. Prehistoric migrations have played an important role in shaping the genetic makeup of European populations.” ref

“La Almagra (red ochre), also known as ″La Almagra Pottery culture″ is a red pottery found in a number of archaeological sites of the Neolithic period in Spain. It is not known how it relates to other pottery of the Neolithic period. In the 8,000-7,000 years ago Andalusia experiences the arrival of the first agriculturalists.” ref

These ″La Almagra Pottery culture″ people arrive with developed crops (domesticated forms of cereals and legumes). The presence of domestic animals is uncertain, but the known later as domestic species of pig and rabbit remains have been found in large quantities. They also consumed large amounts of olives but it’s uncertain too whether this tree was cultivated or merely harvested in its wild form. Their typical artifact is the La Almagra style pottery, quite variegated. The Andalusian Neolithic also influenced other areas, notably Southern Portugal a few centuries after, where, soon after neolithization, the first dolmen tombs begin to be built c.4800 BC, being possibly the oldest of their kind anywhere. And around 6,700 years ago Cardium Pottery Neolithic culture (also known as Mediterranean Neolithic) arrives to Eastern Iberia.” ref

Cardium pottery or Cardial ware mostly commonly called the “Cardial culture”

“An open seas navigation culture from the east Mediterranean, called the Cardium culture, also extended its influence to the eastern coasts of the peninsula. These people may have had some relation to the subsequent development of the Iberian civilization.” ref

8,400- 8,200 years ago: The earliest impressed ware sites are in Epirus and Corfu. Settlements then appear in Albania and Dalmatia on the eastern Adriatic coast dating to between 6100 and 5900 BC.[5] The earliest date in Italy comes from Coppa Nevigata on the Adriatic coast of southern Italy, perhaps as early as 8,000 years ago. Also during Su Carroppu culture in Sardinia, already in its early stages (low strata into Su Coloru cave, c. 6000 BC) early examples of cardial pottery appear. Northward and westward all secure radiocarbon dates are identical to those for Iberia c. 5500 cal BC, which indicates a rapid spread of Cardial and related cultures: 2,000 km from the gulf of Genoa to the estuary of the Mondego in probably no more than 100–200 years. This suggests a seafaring expansion by planting colonies along the coast.” ref

“Older Neolithic cultures existed already at this time in eastern Greece and Crete, apparently having arrived from the Levant, but they appear distinct from the Cardial or impressed ware culture. The ceramic tradition in the central Balkans also remained distinct from that along the Adriatic coastline in both style and manufacturing techniques for almost 1,000 years from the 6th millennium BC. Early Neolithic impressed pottery is found in the Levant, and certain parts of Anatolia, including Mezraa-Teleilat, and in North Africa at Tunus-Redeyef, Tunisia. So the first Cardial settlers in the Adriatic may have come directly from the Levant. Of course it might equally well have come directly from North Africa, and impressed pottery also appears in Egypt. Along the East Mediterranean coast impressed ware has been found in North Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.” ref

“Some ignored these early Neolithic radiocarbon dates noted above for the ″La Almagra Pottery culture″ people looking for a similar archaeological context to the earliest occurrences. They speculated that the origin ranged from Near East, Anatolian and northern Syrian. In this view, the first indication comes from the early Ugaritic, dating from between 2400 and 2300 BC. From these localities it probably migrated to Cyprus. An alternative explanation connected it to the colouration and fabrication technique of the ‘‘Diana style’’ of Lipari (final phase of the Neolithic of Lipari), although the shapes are very different. However, the sixth millennium BC radiocarbon dates confirmed for the archaeological context of the earliest occurrences of this pottery make such speculations untenable since these examples of La Almagra pottery occurred at least 3,000 years before their alleged prototypes in the east Mediterranean.” ref

8,200-6,500 years ago: The Starčevo culture, sometimes included within a larger grouping known as the Starčevo–Körös–Criş culture, is an archaeological culture of Southeastern Europe, dating to the Neolithic period between 8,200 and 6,500 years ago. The village of Starčevo, the type site, is located on the north bank of the Danube in Serbia ( Vojvodina province ), opposite Belgrade. It represents the earliest settled farming society in the area, although hunting and gathering still provided a significant portion of the inhabitants’ diet. The pottery is usually coarse but finer fluted and painted vessels later emerged. A type of bone spatula, perhaps for scooping flour, is a distinctive artifact. The Körös is a similar culture in Hungary named after the River Körös with a closely related culture which also used footed vessels but fewer painted ones. Both have given their names to the wider culture of the region in that period. Parallel and closely related cultures also include the Karanovo culture in Bulgaria, Criş in Romania and the pre-Sesklo in Greece. The Starčevo culture covered sizable area that included most of present-day Serbia and Montenegro, as well as parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Republic of Macedonia and Romania. The westernmost locality of this culture can be found in Croatia, in the vicinity of Ždralovi, a part of the town of Bjelovar. This was the final stage of the culture.” ref

Out of Iberia Migration Event 7,700 – 4,500 Years Ago?

7,700 – 4,500 Years Ago – (R1b-V88) Iberia Migration Event (the Iberian Peninsula divided between Spain and Portugal, comprising most of their territory. It also includes Andorra, small areas of France, and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar).” ref

“Paleoclimatologists have long suspected that the “middle Holocene,” a period roughly from 7,000 to 5,000 years ago, was warmer than the present day.” ref

“Common ancestor analysis put the R1b Africans (V88) thousands of years removed from the rest of their European R1b cousins.” ref

“It seems around 7,700 to 6,100 an out of Iberia event took place where an Iberia migration along southern europe back to Africa then back to Europe. The genetics most commonly attached to the Celtic (including Iberian, Gallic, Celtic, Germanic and Scandinavian), remains split between Iberia prior to the end of the last ice age and various West Asian locations after the ice age. their ancestor entered Europe from central Asia during a warm period about 40,000 to 30,000 years ago.On the Iberian Peninsula, modern humans developed a series of different cultures, such as the Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian cultures, some of them characterized by the complex forms of the art of the Upper Paleolithic.” ref, ref, ref

“We know that modern humans survived and flourished in the Iberian refuge during the end of the last ice age. The ice sheets melted and retreated earlier on the west coast than in the rest of Europe. The genetic family tree has a trunk firmly rooted in Iberia and many branches stretch along the western Atlantic coast of Europe and branches across Europe and even back into Asia. This gave the inhabitants of the Iberian refuge an advantage – a “first-mover” advantage gained by being the first to move north. These first-movers gained a land-monopoly. Western Atlantic migrations, took a path along the Mediterranean coast and down the Adriatic and it seems to indicate Crete as a stepping-stone in the Mediterranean after which there was migration into the middle east to the Nile River Valley and from there back to Africa event(s) finally occurring roughly 5,500 to 4,500 years ago. Moreover, there also seems to have been a re-migration back to Europe from Africa about 3,200 to 2,200 years ago. And, it seems again, that Crete played a role as a stepping-stone to re-entering the Eastern Adriatic region and then spreading back into Central and Eastern Europe. ref, ref

“The majority of the Chadic records (Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria) have relatively close genetic connections to individuals in the Middle East (mainly Saudi Arabia). The Chadic and Middle Eastern records tie back to common ancestors along the upper Nile. While the back to Africa migration it is amazing the re-migration back to Europe from Africa that is just as interesting. The back to Europe event took place about 3,200 ± 1,000 years ago. Again, Crete played a role as a stepping-stone to the Eastern Adriatic region and spread into Central and Eastern Europe.” ref

“By looking at the big picture, including all the data illustrates the migration patterns genetically. We see the out of Iberia and back to Africa then followed by a return to Europe.” ref

“The Vinča culture, also known as Turdaș culture or Turdaș–Vinča culture, was a Neolithic archaeological culture in present-day Serbia and smaller parts of Bulgaria and Romania(particularly Transylvania), dated to the period 5700–4500 BC or 5300–4700/4500 BC. Named for its type site, Vinča-Belo Brdo, a large tell settlement that represents the material remains of a prehistoric society mainly distinguished by its settlement pattern and ritual behavior. Farming technology first introduced to the region during the First Temperate Neolithic was developed further by the Vinča culture, fuelling a population boom and producing some of the largest settlements in prehistoric Europe. These settlements maintained a high degree of cultural uniformity through the long-distance exchange of ritual items, but were probably not politically unified.” ref

“Various styles of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figurines are hallmarks of the culture, as are the Vinča symbols, which some conjecture to be the earliest form of proto-writing. Although not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic or “Copper Age”, the Vinča culture provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy. The Vinča culture occupied a region of Southeastern Europe (i.e. the Balkans) corresponding mainly to modern-day Serbia (with Kosovo), but also parts of Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, and Greece.” ref

“The Danube Valley civilization is one of the oldest civilizations known in Europe. It existed from between 7,500-5,500 years ago in the Balkans and covered a vast area, in what is now Northern Greece to Slovakia (South to North), and Croatia to Romania (West to East). During the height of the Danube Valley civilization, it played an important role in south-eastern Europe through the development of copper tools, a writing system, advanced architecture, including two storey houses, and the construction of furniture, such as chairs and tables, all of which occurred while most of Europe was in the middle of the Stone Age. They developed skills such as spinning, weaving, leather processing, clothes manufacturing, and manipulated wood, clay and stone and they invented the wheel. They had an economic, religious and social structure.” ref

“One of the more intriguing and hotly debated aspects of the Danube Valley civilization is their supposed written language. While some archaeologists have maintained that the ‘writing’ is actually just a series of geometric figures and symbols, others have maintained that it has the features of a true writing system. If this theory is correct, it would make the script the oldest written language ever found, predating the Sumerian writings in Mesopotamia, and possibly even the Dispilio Tablet, which has been dated 5260 BC. Harald Haarmann, a German linguistic and cultural scientist, currently vice-president of the Institute of Archaeomythology, and leading specialist in ancient scripts and ancient languages, firmly supports the view that the Danube script is the oldest writing in the world. The tablets that were found are dated to 5,500 BC, and the glyphs on the tablets, according to Haarmann, are a form of language yet to be deciphered. The symbols, which are also called Vinca symbols, have been found in multiple archaeological sites throughout the Danube Valley areas, inscribed on pottery, figurines, spindles and other clay artifacts.” ref

“The Tărtăria tablets, dated to 7,500–7,300 years ago and associated with the Vinča culture. The Vinča symbols on it predate the proto-Sumerian pictographic script. According to Marija Gimbutas, the Vinča culture was part of Old Europe – a relatively homogeneous, peaceful and matrifocal culture that occupied Europe during the Neolithic. According to this hypothesis, its period of decline was followed by an invasion of warlike, horse-riding Proto-Indo-European tribes from the Pontic-Caspian steppe. In its later phase, the center of the Vinča network shifted from Vinča-Belo Brdo to Vršac, and the long-distance exchange of obsidian and Spondylusartefacts from modern-day Hungary and the Aegean respectively became more important than that of Vinča figurines. Eventually, the network lost its cohesion altogether and fell into decline. It is likely that, after two millennia of intensive farming, economic stresses caused by decreasing soil fertility were partly responsible for this decline. A hypothesis hold that the Vinča culture developed locally from the preceding Starčevo culture.” ref

“The Dispilio tablet was found in a Neolithic lake settlement in Northern Greece near the city of Kastoria. A group of people used to occupy the settlement 7,000 to 8,000 years ago. The Dispilio tablet was one of many artifacts that were found in the area, however, the importance of the table lies in the fact that it has an unknown written text on it that goes back further than 5,000 BC. The wooden tablet was dated using the C12 method to have been made in 5260 BC, making it significantly older than the writing system used by the Sumerians. The text on the tablet includes a type of engraved writing which probably consists of a form of writing that pre-existed Linear B writing used by the Mycenaean Greeks. As well as the tablet, many other ceramic pieces were found that also have the same type of writing on them. Professor Xourmouziadis has suggested that this type of writing, which has not yet been deciphered, could be any form of communication including symbols representing the counting of possessions.” ref

Hamangia culture around 7,250-6,500 years ago (Romania and Bulgaria)

First Male God? To me, it seems he stole the goddess’s birthing stool, and possibly her power? Cernavodă, the necropolis where the famous statues “The (MALE) Thinker” and “The Sitting Woman” were discovered and may date some time after 7,000 to 6,600 years ago. ref, ref, ref

And, to me, this area and time relates to the birth of the Creation of Male God around 7,000 years ago and proto-kings, such as seen in the royal nobility skeleton discovered in Grave No. 43 in the Varna culture (around 6,400-6,100 years ago) Chalcolithic Necropolis together with the numerous gold artifacts dating to the middle of the 5th Millenium BCE – and is the old processed gold in the world. Which took it to a few different areas but defiantly is seen in a new way as it moved north to the step lands of Eastern Europe and the Proto-Indo-European language as well as south into Jordan and Israel by 6,500 to 6,000 years ago at which time it then moves to Egypt becoming more advanced with the emergence of an emerging nation of Egypt around 5,000 years ago as well as Mesopotamia with Progressed organized religion.

“Hamangia Culture’s Pottery: Painted vessels with complex geometrical patterns based on spiral-motifs are typical. The shapes include: bowls and cylindric glasses (most with of them with arched walls). They are decorated with dots, staight parallel lines and zig-zags, which make Hamangia pottery very original. Pottery figurines are normally extremely stylized and show standing naked faceless women with emphasized breasts and buttocks.” ref

“The Durankulak lake settlement commenced on a small island, approximately 7000 BC and around 4700/4600 BC the stone architecture was already in general use and became a characteristic phenomenon that was unique in Europe.” ref

The Balkans, where I think the first male god originates is the site of a few major Neolithic cultures, including Butmir, Vinča, Varna, Karanovo, Hamangia. And the threat of violence that accompanied the Copper Age “Kurganization” of the eastern Balkans (and the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture) is associated with an early expansion of the Proto-Indo-European people of a Kurgan culture north of the Black Sea from which the Indo-European languages spread out throughout Europe, Eurasia and parts of Asia. In Serbia, a 7,500 years ago copper axe was found at Prokuplje. The European Corded Ware culture 4,900-4,350 years ago used stone axes modeled on copper axes, imitating “mold marks” carved in the stone. ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

The Dead among the Living in the Hamangia Culture

“Hamangia Culture’s Practice of Burying the Dead: Crouched or extended inhumation in cemeteries. Grave-goods tend to be without pottery in Hamangia I. Grave-goods include flint, worked shells, bone tools and shell-ornaments.” ref

“Human bones in the domestic space are not uncommon during Prehistory, but the settlements of the Hamangia culture did not provide, many such remains. A recent reanalysis of the excavations performed at Cernavodă–Columbia C settlement brought to light the discovery of several human bone fragments from the habitation layer. But they do exist, and they were found at various depths, in association with pottery.” ref

“Is there’s a connection between “Hamangia Thinker” and Cycladic art and the “Hamangia Thinker.” These and other similar figures could relate to another Neolithic clay figure that was found at a Cucuteni-Trypillian culture site in the town of Tarpesti, Romania called the “Thinker of Tarpesti” resemblance between the Thinker of Tarpesti statue and the Hamangia Thinker statue is uncanny.” ref

“Hamangia Culture’s Demise: It was absorbed by the expanding Boian culture in its transition towards the Gumelnitsa. Hamangia Culture began around 5250/5200 BC and lasted until around 4550/4500 BCE with cultural links with Anatolia/Turkey suggest that it was the result of a settlement by people from Anatolia/Turkey, unlike the neighbouring cultures, which appear descended from earlier Neolithic settlement.” ref

“The Boian culture (dated to 6,300–5,500 years ago) originated on the Wallachian Plain north of the Danube River in southeastern Romania. is a Neolithic archaeological culture of Southeast Europe. It is primarily found along the lower course of the Danube in what is now Romania and Bulgaria, and thus may be considered a Danubian culture. The Boian culture emerged from two earlier Neolithic groups: the Dudeşti culture that originated in Anatolia (present-day Turkey) and the Musical note culture (also known as the Middle Linear Pottery culture or LBK) from the northern Subcarpathian region of southeastern Poland and western Ukraine. Later settlements also sometimes showed signs of possible fortification in the form of deep, wide defensive ditches A segment of the Boian society ventured to the northeast along the Black Sea coast, encountering the late Hamangia culture, which they eventually merged with to form the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture. The use of lithic technology occurred throughout this culture’s existence, attested to by the presence of debitage found next to various types of shaped flint and polished stone tools. Towards the end of its existence copper artifacts began to be found, made from the high-grade copper found in the Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria. There is evidence that the Boian culture acquired the technology for copper metallurgy as a result, this culture bridged the change from the Neolithic to the Copper Age. Unlike later cultures that followed, there have not been many artifacts found in Boian culture sites of sculptures or figurines. However, the oldest bone figurine in Romania was found at the Cernica site, dating back to Phase I.” ref

“7,000-year-old: Bird-like object which could depict a human but bears no clear sign of gender and was carved from granite – without the benefit of metal tools, as it dates from the Final Neolithic period.” ref

Evidence of Warring Patrilineal (male based) Clans

“Around 7,000 years ago – all the way back in the Neolithic – something really peculiar happened to human genetic diversity. Over the next 2,000 years, and seen across Africa, Europe and Asia, the genetic diversity of the Y chromosome collapsed, becoming as though there was only one man for every 17 women and this mysterious phenomenon was from fighting between patrilineal clans. Moreover, variations in the intensity of the bottleneck is less pronounced in East and Southeast Asian populations than in European, West or South Asian populations.” ref

“7,000-year-old remains of a young man buried there in a strange upright position a Mesolithic site dating back 8,500 years, in Germany. The site was one of the first true cemeteries in Europe, used by native central European hunter-gatherers and fisherman from about 8,400-2,500 years ago before and after the first farmers immigrated to Central Europe from Southeast-Europe about 7,500 years ago. He was placed in a vertical pit and the body was fixed upright by filling the grave with sand up to the knees. The upper body was left to decay and was likely picked at by scavengers. The unique burial was found near the village of Groß Fredenwalde, on top of a rocky hill in northeastern Germany, about 50 miles north of Berlin. Nine skeletons have been excavated so far, including five children younger than 6 years and the 8,400-year-old skeleton of a 6-month-old infant, with arms still folded across the chest.” ref

“Buried with stone axe and horn-tipped arrow, ancient human remains have archeologists reshaping their assumptions. It is a fair assumption to say, as this fact proves, that the burial mounds emerged much earlier than the Bronze Age, in Neolithic times. In Siberia, there was found a burial mound dating to The New Stone Age (Neolithic Era) has been unearthed in Novosibirsk region. In the mound were nine people, including women and children,” ref

Kurgan hypothesis

“The Kurgan hypothesis postulates that the Proto-Indo-Europeans were the bearers of the Kurgan culture of the Black Sea and the Caucasus and west of the Urals. The hypothesis combined kurgan archaeology with linguistics to locate the origins of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE)-speaking peoples, named the culture “Kurgan” after their distinctive burial mounds and traced its diffusion into Europe. This hypothesis has had a significant impact on Indo-European studies. Three genetic studies in 2015 gave partial support to Gimbutas’s Kurgan theory regarding the Indo-European Urheimat. According to those studies, haplogroups R1b and R1a, now the most common in Europe (R1a is also common in South Asia) would have expanded from the Russian and Ukrainian steppes, along with the Indo-European languages they also detected an autosomal component present in modern Europeans which was not present in Neolithic Europeans, which would have been introduced with paternal lineages R1b and R1a, as well as Indo-European languages.” ref

“The Kurgan model of Indo-European origins identifies the Pontic–Caspian steppe as the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) urheimat, and a variety of late PIE dialects are assumed to have been spoken across the region. According to this model, the Kurgan culture gradually expanded until it encompassed the entire Pontic–Caspian steppe, Kurgan IV being identified with the Yamna culture of around 5,000 years ago. The mobility of the Kurgan culture facilitated its expansion over the entire region, and is attributed to the domestication of the horse and later the use of early chariots. The first strong archaeological evidence for the domestication of the horse comes from the Sredny Stog culture north of the Azov Sea in Ukraine, and would correspond to an early PIE or pre-PIE nucleus of the 7,000 years ago.” ref

Cultures considered as part of the “Kurgan culture”:

    (6th millennium)(5th millennium)(5th millennium)(5th to 4th millennia)(mid-5th to mid-4th millennia)Dereivka(mid-4th to mid-3rd millennia): This is itself a varied cultural horizon, spanning the entire Pontic–Caspian steppe from the mid-4th to the 3rd millennium.(late 4th millennium)ref

Kurgan hypothesis Timeline

  • 6,500–6,000: Early PIE. Sredny Stog, Dnieper–Donets andSamaracultures,domestication of the horse(Wave 1).
  • 6,000–5,500: The Pit Grave culture (a.k.a. Yamna culture), the prototypicalkurganbuilders, emerges in the steppe, and theMaykop culturein the northernCaucasus.Indo-Hittitemodels postulate the separation ofProto-Anatolianbefore this time.
  • 5,500–5,000: Middle PIE. The Pit Grave culture is at its peak, representing the classical reconstructedProto-Indo-European societywithstone idols, predominantly practicinganimal husbandryin permanent settlements protected byhillforts, subsisting on agriculture, and fishing along rivers. Contact of the Pit Grave culture with lateNeolithic Europecultures results in the “ kurganized ”Globular AmphoraandBadencultures (Wave 2). The Maykop culture shows the earliest evidence of the beginningBronze Age, and Bronze weapons and artifacts are introduced to Pit Grave territory. Probable earlySatemization.
  • 5,000–4,500: Late PIE. The Pit Grave culture extends over the entire Pontic steppe (Wave 3). TheCorded Ware cultureextends from theRhineto theVolga, corresponding to the latest phase of Indo-European unity, the vast “ kurganized ” area disintegrating into various independent languages and cultures, still in loose contact enabling the spread of technology and early loans between the groups, except for the Anatolian and Tocharian branches, which are already isolated from these processes. Thecentum–satembreak is probably complete, but the phonetic trends of Satemization remain active.ref

6,750-6,000 years ago Tell Yunatsite (Bulgarian), “The Flat Mound” is situated in the Pazardzhik Province of southern Bulgaria (Northern Thrace). The earliest settlement dates to the beginning of the Early Chalcolithic. It probably covered an area of about 100,000–120,000 m2 (25–30 acres). In the second half of the Early Chalcolithic (around 6,750–6,650 years ago and its collapse around 800 years later) a fortification wall was erected in the eastern part of the settlement, on a small natural plateau 2–3 m higher than the surrounding surface. The Chalcolithic fortification system was reinforced by a ditch surrounding the wall from the outside. The wall protected the tell on its southern and probably western sides. The Topolnitsa river provided natural protection from the north and east. In the course of time, the tell was gradually formed inside the limits of this protected area. Very interesting and important in terms of settlement organization is the fact that the wall and the ditch did not protect the entire settlement, but rather only one part of it – a Prehistoric “citadel” raised inside and above the larger settlement. The “citadel” was in use for more than 500 years, until the entire settlement was destroyed by enemies at the end of the 5th millennium BCE. The settlement structure shows some basic characteristics of towns, which emerged in the Near East about 2 000 years later.” ref

“More and more evidence seems to offer thought to the possibility the Balkan Peninsula, as well as Turkey rather than ancient Mesopotamia that is the cradle of our Modern thoughts civilization. The evidence of a little known culture preceding Egyptian and even Sumerian culture has been attracting the attention of researchers, turning everything we know about antiquity upside down. Remains of this ancient society have gradually been emerging from the ashes of human history taking us some 6-7 millennia back in time when a highly-advanced unknown civilization flourished in our lands, a period which preceded Sumer and Akkad by at least one millennium. A vivid testimonial to the existence of this mysterious civilization is the gold from the Chalcolithic Necropolis of Varna, also known as the oldest processed gold in the world.” ref

“The oldest gold treasure in the world, belonging to the Varna culture, was discovered in the Varna Necropolis and dates to 6,600-6,200 years ago. Varna is the third-largest city in Bulgaria and the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. Situated strategically in the Gulf of Varna, the city has been a major economic, social and cultural centre for almost three millennia. Varna, historically known as Odessos (Ancient Greek: Ὀδησσός), grew from a Thracian seaside settlement to a major seaport on the Black Sea.” ref

The Varna culture belongs to the later Neolithic of northeastern Bulgaria, around 6,400- 6,100 years ago. It is contemporary and closely related with Gumelnița in southern Rumania, often considered as local variants. It is characterized by polychrome pottery and rich cemeteries, the most famous of which are Varna Necropolis, the eponymous site, and the Durankulak complex, which comprises the largest prehistoric cemetery in southeastern Europe.” ref

“The culture had sophisticated religious beliefs about afterlife and developed hierarchical status differences: it constitutes the oldest known burial evidence of an elite male. The end of the fifth millennium BC is the time that Marija Gimbutas, founder of the Kurgan hypothesis claims the transition to male dominance began in Europe. The high status male was buried with remarkable amounts of gold, held a war axe or mace and wore a gold penis sheath. The bull-shaped gold platelets perhaps also venerated virility, instinctive force, and warfare. Gimbutas holds that the artifacts were made largely by local craftspeople.” ref

“Burials at Varna have some of the world’s oldest gold jewelry. There are crouched and extended inhumations. Some graves do not contain a skeleton, but grave gifts (cenotaphs). The symbolic (empty) graves are the richest in gold artifacts. 3000 gold artifacts were found, with a weight of approximately 6 kilograms. Grave 43 contained more gold than has been found in the entire rest of the world for that epoch. Three symbolic graves contained masks of unfired clay. The weight and the number of gold finds in the Varna cemetery exceeds by several times the combined weight and number of all of the gold artifacts found in all excavated sites of the same millenium, 5000-4000 BC, from all over the world, including Mesopotamia and Egypt”.” ref

“Varna Culture Decline: The discontinuity of the Varna, Karanovo, Vinča and Lengyel culturesin their main territories and the large scale population shifts to the north and northwest are indirect evidence of a catastrophe of such proportions that cannot be explained by possible climatic change, desertification, or epidemics. Direct evidence of the incursion of horse-ridingwarriors is found, not only in single burials of males under barrows, but in the emergence of a whole complex of Indo-European cultural traits.” ref

With the birth of the Creation of Male God around 7,000 years ago and proto-kings, such as seen in the royal nobility skeleton discovered in Grave No. 43 in the Varna culture (around 6,400-6,100 years ago) Chalcolithic Necropolis together with the numerous gold artifacts dating to the middle of the 5th Millenium BCE – and is the old processed gold in the world. ref Which took it to a few different areas but defiantly is seen in a new way as it moved north to the step lands of Eastern Europe and the Proto-Indo-European language as well as south into Jordan and Israel by 6,500 to 6,000 years ago at which time it then moves to Egypt becoming more advanced with the emergence of an emerging nation of Egypt around 5,000 years ago as well as Mesopotamia with Progressed organized religion.

The Rise of the Varna Culture

“The first evidence of Varna’s ancient civilization came in the form of tools, vessels, utensils, and figurines made from stone, flint, bone, and clay. Evidence suggests that it was between 4600 and 4200 BC, when gold smithing first started in Varna. As advances were made, and craftsmen mastered metallurgy of copper and gold, the inhabitants now had something extremely valuable to trade. Increased contacts with neighbours both north and south eventually opened up trade relations within the Black Sea and Mediterranean region, which was of great importance for the development of the society. The deep bay, along which the settlements of Varna, provided a comfortable harbor for ships sailing across the Black Sea and Varna became a prosperous trading center. Increased trading activity allowed the metallurgists to accumulate wealth and very quickly, a societal gap developed with metallurgists at the top, followed by merchants in the middle, and farmers making up the lower class. Incredible discoveries made at a nearby cemetery also suggest that Varna had powerful rulers or kings. And so, the foundations had been laid for the emergence of a powerful and flourishing culture, whose influence permeated the whole of Europe for thousands of years to come. Analysis of the graves revealed that the Varna culture had a highly structured society – elite members of society were buried in shrouds with gold ornaments sewn into the cloth wrappings and their graves were laden with treasures, including gold ornaments, heavy copper axes, elegant finery, and richly decorated ceramics, while others had simple burials with few grave goods.” https://lnkd.in/eQFUMY7

“There were more than 300 graves were uncovered in the necropolis, and between them over 22,000 exquisite artifacts were recovered, including 3,000+ items made from gold with a total weight of 6 kilograms. Other precious relics found within the graves included copper, high-quality flint, stone tools, jewelry, shells of Mediterranean mollusks, pottery, obsidian blades, and beads. While there were many elite burials uncovered, there was one in particular that stood out amongst the rest – grave 43. Inside grave 43, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a high status male who appears to have been a ruler/leader of some kind – more gold was found within this burial than in the entire rest of the world in that period. The male was buried with a scepter – a symbol of high rank or spiritual power – and wore a sheath of solid gold over his penis. The burial is incredibly significant as it is the first known elite male burial in Europe. Prior to this, it was the women and children who received the most elaborate burials. Marija Gimbutas, a Lithuanian-American archaeologist, who was well-known for her claims that Neolithic sites across Europe provided evidence for matriarchal pre-Indo-European societies, suggested that it was the end of the 5 th millennium BC when the transition to male dominance began in Europe. Indeed, in the Varna culture, it was observed that around this time, men started to get the better posthumous treatment.” https://lnkd.in/eQFUMY7

“The Funnel Beaker Culture – “First Farmers of Scandinavia” around 6,200-4,650 years ago marks the arrival of Megalithic structures in Scandinavia from western Europe. Megaliths seem to have originated in the Near East. The oldest ones in Europe were found in Sicily and southern Portugal and date from around 9,000 years ago. The Funnelbeaker culture marks the appearance of megalithic tombs at the coasts of the Baltic and of the North sea, an example of which are the Sieben Steinhäuser in northern Germany. At graves, the people sacrificed ceramic vessels that contained food along with amber jewelry and flint-axes. Flint-axes and vessels were also deposed in streams and lakes near the farmlands, and virtually all Sweden’s 10,000 flint axes that have been found from this culture were probably sacrificed in water. They also constructed large cult centres surrounded by pales, earthworks, and moats. The Atlantic Megalithic culture really started with the advent of farming and would have spread from Iberia to France, the British Isles, and the Low Countries before reaching Scandinavia. Considering the high Northwest African admixture in Funnelbeaker, there is a good chance that Iberian Megalithic people inherited genes from Northwest Africans, probably from the North African Neolithic route that brought R1b-V88, E-M78, J1 and T1a to Iberia. R1b-V88 and E-M78 (V13) have both been found in Early Neolithic Iberia, and are both found throughout western Europe today. The two samples below also carried about 3% of Southwest Asian admixture, which is perfectly consistent with a Neolithic dispersal from the southern Levant across North Africa until Iberia.” ref, ref

  • Funnelbeaker Culture (samples from Sweden) : H (x3), H1, H24, J1d5, J2b1a, K1a5, T2b(c. 5,800 to 5,350 ybp central-east Germany): H (x3), H1e1a, H7d5, HV, J, K1a (x2), N1a1a, T1a1, T2b, T2c (x2), T2e1, U5b2a2, U8a1a, X, X2c(c. 5,100 to 4,700 ybp central-east Germany): H, H1e1a3, H5, K1, K1a (x2), T2b, U5a, U5b, U5b1c1, U5b2a1a, V, W, X(5,400 to 5,000 ybp : central-east Germany): H (x2), H3 (x2), H5, HV, HV0, J, J1c (x2), J2b1a, K1, K1a, K1a4a1a2, N1a1a1a3 (x2), T2b (x2), U3a, U3a1, U5b, V, X2b1’2’3’4’5’6
  • Outliers from Gotland, Sweden (5,300 to 4,700 ybp): H7d, HV0a, J1c5 (2x), J1c8a, K1a2b (2x), K2b1a, T2b8ref

The presence of H1 was confirmed in remains from the Late Neolithic Funnel Beaker culture in Scandinavia, which can also be classified as a Megalithic culture. H1 and H3 lineages would have been some of the most prevalent mt-haplogroups among the Megalithic cultures of Western Europe, which spanned the whole Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, from the 5th millennium BCE until the arrival of the Proto-Celts (Y-DNA R1b) from 2200 BCE to 1800 BCE (or up to 1200 BCE in parts of Iberia). Megalithic people would have belonged essentially to Y-haplogroups I2, G2a and E1b1b, with the possible addition of J2 lineages during the Chalcolithic. From the Bronze Age, R1b male lineages replaced a large percentage of Megalithic Y-haplogroups, but female Megalithic lineages survived almost unchanged in frequency. Celtic culture was born from the fusion of Indo-European paternal lineages (R1b) with native Central and Western European maternal lineages (including H1, H3, H10, J1c, K1a, T2, U5, and X2). The first pottery produced in the Fertile Crescent appeared circa 6500 BCE. It is from this period that early agriculturalists began expanding towards western Anatolia and Greece. These Neolithic farmers potentially belonged to haplogroups H5, as well as J1c, K1a, N1a, T2 and X2, all of which have been found in ancient Neolithic samples from Europe and Anatolia, and are also found throughout the Middle East today. The mutation defining haplogroup H took place at least 25,000 years ago, and perhaps closer to 30,000 years ago. Its place of origin is unknown, but it was probably somewhere around the northeastern Mediterraean (Balkans, Anatolia or Levant), possibly even in Italy. ref

New Analysis of Cave Art

Aer seems to Suggests That Prehistoric Humans Had Sophisticated Knowledge of Astronomy. The paintings appear to reflect the position of the stars in the night sky. ref

6,000 years old Trypilian temple – observatory at Nebelivka Ukraine

“The Nebelivka village, Kirovograd region, Ukraine at the territory of one of the largest settlements of Cucuteni-Trypillia civilization dating from 4000 BC archaeologists excavated a building that was unique for its time. According to experts, the building is a Trypillian temple and has no equals in Europe. It had two levels and the area of 20 x 60 meters, that is 1200 m2. The researchers found seven altars made of clay, which had a crosslike shape. The altars had circles painted on them that formed a composition. Also, many fragments of pottery ware and animal bones, statuettes and other household items were found.” ref

Stone Age Chefs Spiced Up Food 6,000 Years Ago

“Scientists have found the first direct evidence “It’s the earliest known use of spice,” that European hunter-gatherers flavored their roasted fish and meat as well as probably deer with at least one spice: garlic mustard seeds. Pottery shards that date back to about 6,000 years ago or right before farming was well-established in northern Europe that contain microscopic fossils of crushed mustard seeds, archaeologists report in the journal PLOS One. In other words, eating wasn’t just about getting calories for hunter-gatherers in northern Europe, they were valuing the flavor in the food in a creative process. it is often assumed that what drove people to choose certain foods in prehistory was caloriesbut evidence shows there was a real change where eating was much more of a social thing about sharing and showing off the prestige of the food.” ref

Not many of us cook with garlic mustard seeds these days, but we probably would have thousands or even hundreds of years ago. The plant is a member of the broccoli family, and it’s related to horseradish, cabbage and kale. The crushed seeds have a peppery flavor, while the leaves taste like a mix between garlic and broccoli. Previous studies have found fossils of other spices, like coriander, turmeric and capers, near prehistoric cooking vessels across Europe. But those sites date back to only about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, when people in western Europe were already adopting agricultural practices. Spices from Asia and the Middle East are thought to have moved into northern Europe after agriculture. ” ref

How plague spread

“Between 6,000-5,000 years ago plague is believed to have contributed to the plunge of Europe’s settlements at the start of the early Bronze Age around 5,000 years ago, many Neolithic societies declined throughout western Eurasia due to a combination of factors that are still largely debated. The fact that many people died in a relatively short time in one place suggested they might have perished together in an epidemic. According to the study “the close contact between humans and animals and the accumulation of food, likely led to poorer sanitary conditions and an increased risk of pathogen emergence and transmission in human settlements of the Neolithic and afterward.” ref

“About 5,000 years ago, humans migrated from the Eurasian steppe down into Europe in major waves, replacing the Neolithic farmers who lived in Europe at that time. Previous research had suggested the steppe folk brought the plague with them, wiping out pre-existing settlements upon their arrival. However, if the plague specimen from the Swedish grave diverged from other strains 5,700 years ago, it likely evolved before the steppe migrations began — suggesting it was already there. Rather, the researchers suggested that the plague emerged in so-called mega settlements of 10,000 to 20,000 inhabitants that existed in Europe between 6,100 and 5,400 years ago. These mega settlements — up to 10 times larger than previous European settlements — “had people, animals, and stored food close together, and, likely, very poor sanitation. That’s the textbook example of what you need to evolve new pathogens,” senior study author Simon Rasmussen, a computational biologist at the University of Copenhagen, said in a statement.” ref

“If plague evolved in these mega settlements, then when people started dying from it, the settlements would have been abandoned and destroyed. This is exactly what was observed in these settlements after 5,500 years ago. Plague then could have spread across trade networks made possible by wheeled transport, which had expanded rapidly throughout Europe by that time, Rascovan said. Eventually, it would have made its way even to relatively distant sites like Frälsegården in Sweden, where the woman the researchers analyzed died. That woman’s DNA revealed she was not genetically related to steppe folk, supporting the idea that this ancient strain of plague arrived before the migrants came from the steppe.” ref

Ancient DNA and the peopling of the British Isles – pattern and process of the Neolithic transition 6000 years ago:

The British Isles aDNA and the relative roles of migration, admixture and acculturation, with a specific focus on the transition from a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer society to the Neolithic and farming. Neolithic cultures first appear in Britain around 6000 years ago, a millennium after they appear in adjacent areas of northwestern continental Europe. However, in Britain, at the margins of the expansion the pattern and process of the British Neolithic transition remains unclear. To examine this we present genome-wide data from British Mesolithic and Neolithic individuals spanning the Neolithic transition.” ref

“These data indicate population continuity through the British Mesolithic but discontinuity after the Neolithic transition, around 6000 years ago. These results provide overwhelming support for agriculture being introduced to Britain primarily by incoming continental farmers, with surprisingly little evidence for local admixture. There is a genetic affinity between British and Iberian Neolithic populations indicating that British Neolithic people derived much of their ancestry from Anatolian farmers who originally followed the Mediterranean route of dispersal and likely entered Britain from northwestern mainland Europe.” ref

6,000 years ago, humans dramatically changed how nature works

“Research reminds us that humans have actually been reshaping the planet for thousands of years, in ways we’re only just beginning to understand. A paper published Wednesday in Nature suggests that human activities caused a major shift about 6,000 years ago in the way plant and animal communities were structured on Earth — this was after the start of the geological epoch known as the “Holocene,” an era which includes the growth of human populations and their rising influence around the globe. The study compared data from the fossil record with observations from the modern era to reach its conclusions. They concluded that biological pressure from the rise of human activity during this time period was the likely cause.” ref

6,000 years old Horse Domestication in the Northern steppe lands

“Archaeological evidence has indicated that the domestication of horses had taken place by approximately 6,000 years ago in the steppe lands north of the Black Sea from Ukraine to Kazakhstan. Some of the clearest proof of equine domestication points to the steppes of Central Asia roughly 5,500 years ago. Current models suggest that all modern domesticated horses living now descend from those first tamed in Botai, in the north of present-day Kazakhstan. Yet this genomic analysis yielded unexpected results. Though Botai horses did not give rise to today’s domesticated horses, they turn out to be direct ancestors of Przewalski’s horses. Thus the latter, commonly thought to be the last wild horses on our planet, are actually the feral descendants of the first horses ever to have been domesticated.” ref

“The study highlighted certain changes that occurred with this return to a wild state, including the loss of leopard spotting characteristic of the Botai horse. The allele responsible for this coloration was probably eliminated by natural selection as it also caused night blindness. The team’s genomic analysis of twenty-two Eurasian horses, whose lives collectively span the last 4,100 years, has revealed that none are related to the Botai horse. So the origin of modern domestic horses must be sought elsewhere. The researchers are now focusing on other candidate locations in Central Asia as well as on the Pontic-Caspian steppe of southern Russia, in Anatolia, and at various European sites that are refuges for these animals.” ref

The perils of innovation?

“The discovery of plague the previously unknown strain of plague in the remains of a woman at the Frälsegården site in Sweden. Carbon dating suggested she died about 4,900 years ago during a period known as the Neolithic Decline, when Neolithic cultures throughout Europe mysteriously dwindled. in a relatively marginal area of the Neolithic world … suggests well-established and far-reaching contact networks” at that time that allowed the disease to spread. Indeed, it’s possible that “the revolutionary innovations of that time — bigger settlements with more complex organization, wheeled transport, metallurgy, trading networks over large distances, and so on” — may have set the stage for “the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, and this eventually led to, what we think, was the first massive pandemic of human history, The findings don’t mean that plague single-handedly wiped out Neolithic settlements, but rather that it may have been one factor among others, Rascovan said. For instance, the Neolithic settlements may have overexploited their environment, potentially driving forests they depended on into extinction, the researchers said.” ref

5,500-year-old Passage to the Afterlife from Ireland

A monument that may lead to a shift in scholars’ vision of Ireland’s prehistoric past has been discovered in the Boyne Valley north of Dublin. The 5,500-year-old passage tomb—a complex of multiple burials—is thought to be one of the oldest ever discovered in the area, which is renowned for its concentration of Neolithic sites. One of the stones that once covered the tomb is especially well carved. The tomb’s relatively small size suggests that it was constructed earlier than other tombs in the valley, says archaeologist Stephen Davis of University College Dublin. It may date closer to when people first began farming in the region, around 5,800 years ago. “The tomb seems to mark a transition towards a time when religion played a greater role in people’s lives, and to some extent, suggests Davis, the free time to build such monuments must have been the result of an agricultural surplus.” ref

“Newgrange is a 5,200-year-old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley in Ireland’s Ancient East. Newgrange was built by Stone Age farmers, the mound is 85 meters (93 yards) in diameter and 13.5 meters (15 yards) high, an area of about 1 acre. A passage measuring 19 meters (21 yards) leads into a chamber with 3 alcoves. The passage and chamber are aligned with the rising sun at the Winter Solstice. Newgrange is surrounded by 97 large stones called kerb stones some of which are engraved with megalithic art the most striking is the entrance stone.” ref

“Early Bronze Age men from the vast grasslands of the Eurasian steppe swept into Europe on horseback about 5000 years ago—and may have left most women behind. This mostly male migration may have persisted for several generations, sending men into the arms of European women who interbred with them, and leaving a lasting impact on the genomes of living Europeans. It looks like males migrating in war, with horses and wagons. Europeans are the descendants of at least three major migrations of prehistoric people. First, a group of hunter-gatherers arrived in Europe about 37,000 years ago. Then, farmers began migrating from Anatolia (a region including present-day Turkey) into Europe 9000 years ago. ” ref

“But they initially didn’t intermingle much with the local hunter-gatherers because they brought their own families with them. Finally, 5000 to 4800 years ago, nomadic herders known as the Yamnaya swept into Europe. They were an early Bronze Age culture that came from the grasslands, or steppes, of modern-day Russia and Ukraine, bringing with them metallurgy and animal herding skills and, possibly, Proto-Indo-European, the mysterious ancestral tongue from which all of today’s 400 Indo-European languages spring. They immediately interbred with local Europeans, who were descendants of both the farmers and hunter-gatherers. Within a few hundred years, the Yamnaya contributed to at least half of central Europeans’ genetic ancestry.” ref

“A large number of religious casting in the style of the Scythian-Siberian was discovered in Birch island in the Kolyvan district of the Novosibirsk region for more than 2.5 thousand years, can indicate joint activities of the steppe nomads and hunting britainy tribes. In a small area, there was found figures of deer, horses, Scythian bow, small cooking kotelkina, they belong to the so-called Scythian – Siberian style and associated with the culture of nomads of the Kazakh Altai and the Baraba steppes. Such isolated figures found here before.” Ref

“But the mass appearance of these things in britainas area inhabited by tribes of hunters kulaika culture relates with possible joint activities of the ancient tribes he said. Perhaps the nomadic tribes came to petinou area for trade with the tribes of hunters. This is evidenced by found next to the Scythian-Siberian casting items kulaika culture – figures of moose, bear, birds of prey, and arrowheads belonging to the forest hunters. Moreover, could it be it was a joint magical rites tribes or evidence that representatives of different tribes joined together in marriage. The layer associated with the early iron age (3-2,5 thousand years ago) is not a settlement and not a burial: judging by the number of holes, animal bones, and objects found there, it seems like a sanctuary/(temple-like area?), where they celebrated secret rites.” Ref

DNA of Bronze Age Proto-Indo-Europeans

“The so-called Kurgan hypothesis, which postulates that the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language arose in the Pontic steppe. During the Yamna period, one of the world’s first Bronze Age cultures, Proto-Indo-European speakers migrated west towards Europe and east towards Central Asia, then South Asia, spreading with them the Indo-European languages spoken today in most of Europe, Iran and a big part of the Indian subcontinent. The Kurgan model is the most widely accepted scenario of Indo-European origins. Most linguists agree that PIE may have been spoken as a single language (before divergence began) around 3500 BCE, which coincides with the beginning of the Yamna culture in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, and of the related Maykop culture in the northwest Caucasus. .” ref

“There is now compelling genetic evidence that haplogroups R1a and R1b, the most common paternal lineages in Europe, Central Asia and parts of South Asia, were mainly propagated by the Indo-European migrations during the Bronze Age. A sizeable part of European maternal lineages also seem to be of Indo-European origin, although the proportion varies a lot across Europe, but generally correlating to a large extent with the proportion of Y-haplogroups R1a and R1b. Other paternal lineages, such as G2a3b, J2b2, and T1a, are thought to have spread the Copper Age from the Balkans to modern Ukraine, then to have been absorbed by the expansion of R1a and R1b people respectively from central Russia (Volga basin) and southern Russia (Kuban, northwest Caucasus).” ref

“The first PIE expansion into Europe was the Corded Ware culture, which so far have yielded only R1a samples. R1b is thought to have invaded the Balkans, then followed the Danube until Germany, from where it spread to western Europe and Scandinavia. The Asian branch originated around the Volga basin, then expanded across the Urals with the Sintashta culture, then over most of Central Asia and southern Siberia.” ref

“In the Chalcolithic (5,000-4,000 yeas ago), a series of complex cultures developed that would give rise to the peninsula’s first civilizations and to extensive exchange networks reaching to the Baltic, Middle East and North Africa. Around 4,800 – 4,700 yeas ago, the Beaker culture, which produced the Maritime Bell Beaker, probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.” ref

Bell Beaker culture 4,800–3,800 years ago

“The Bell Beaker culture/Beaker culture, named after the inverted-bell beaker drinking vessel used at the very beginning of the European Bronze Age. Arising from around 4,800 years ago, and lasting in continental Europe until 4,300 years ago, succeeded by the Unetice culture, in Britain until as late as 3,800 years ago. The culture was widely scattered throughout Western Europe, from various regions in Iberia and spots facing northern Africa to the Danubian plains, the British Isles, and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. In its early phase, the Bell Beaker culture can be seen as the western contemporary of the Corded Ware culture of Central Europe. From about 4,400 years ago, however, the “Beaker folk” expanded eastwards, into the Corded Ware horizon. In parts of Central and Eastern Europe – as far east as Poland – a sequence occurs from Corded Ware to Bell Beaker.” ref

“This period marks a period of cultural contact in Atlantic and Western Europe following a prolonged period of relative isolation during the Neolithic. In its mature phase, the Bell Beaker culture is understood as not only a collection of characteristic artefact types, but a complex cultural phenomenon involving metalwork in copper and gold, archery, specific types of ornamentation, and (presumably) shared ideological, cultural and religious ideas.[6] A wide range of regional diversity persists within the widespread late Beaker culture, particularly in local burial styles (including incidences of cremation rather than inhumation), housing styles, economic profile, and local ceramic wares (Begleitkeramik). The Bell Beaker culture follows the Corded Ware culture and for north-central Europe the Funnelbeaker culture. Its spread has been one of the central questions of the migrationism vs. diffusionism debate in 20th-century archaeology, variously described as due to migration, possibly of small groups of warriors, craftsmen or traders, or due to the diffusion of ideas and object exchange.” ref

“DNA taken from ancient European skeletons reveals that the genetic makeup of Europe mysteriously transformed about 4,500 years ago. What is intriguing is that the genetic markers of this first pan-European culture, which was clearly very successful, were then suddenly replaced around 4,500 years ago, and we don’t know why. People sweeping out from Turkey colonized Europe, likely as a part of the agricultural revolution, reaching Germany about 7,500 years ago.” ref

“Analyzed mitochondrial DNA, which resides in the cells’ energy-making structures and is passed on through the maternal line, from 37 skeletal remains from Germany and two from Italy the skeletons belonged to humans who lived in several different cultures that flourished between 7,500 and 2,500 years ago. The team looked a DNA specifically from a certain genetic group, called haplogroup h, which is found widely throughout Europe but is less common in East and Central Asia. The earliest farmers in Germany were closely related to Near Eastern and Anatolian people, suggesting that the agricultural revolution did indeed bring migrations of people into Europe who replaced early hunter-gatherers.” ref

“But that initial influx isn’t a major part of Europe’s genetic heritage today. Instead, about 5,000 to 4,000 years ago, the genetic profile changes radically, suggesting that some mysterious event led to a huge turnover in the population that made up Europe. The Bell Beaker culture, which emerged from the Iberian Peninsula around 4,800 years ago, may have played a role in this genetic turnover. The culture, which may have been responsible for erecting some of the megaliths at Stonehenge, is named for its distinctive bell-shaped ceramics and its rich grave goods. The culture also played a role in the expansion of Celtic languages along the coast. The genetic foundations for modern Europe were only established in the Mid-Neolithic, after this major genetic transition around 4,000 years ago,. This genetic diversity was then modified further by a series of incoming and expanding cultures from Iberia and Eastern Europe through the Late Neolithic.” ref

Every man in Spain was wiped out 4500 years ago by hostile Beaker culture/ invaders: “More than 5,000 years ago a nomadic group of shepherds rode out of the steppes of eastern Europe to conquer the rest of the continent. The group, today known as the Yamna or Pit Grave culture, brought with them an innovative new technology, wheeled carts, which enabled them to quickly occupy new lands. More than 4,500 years ago, the descendants of these people reached the Iberian peninsula and wiped out the local men, according to new research by a team of international scientists. This involved both superior technology and the spread of Indo-European languages – the linguistic family to which most European languages belong – developed via the Yamna culture and their descendants. These people spread over a vast territory from Mongolia to Hungary and into Europe, and are the single primary most important contributors to Europeans today.” ref, ref, ref

“What do you call a male sibling? If you speak English, he is your “brother.” Greek? Call him “phrater.” Sanskrit, Latin, Old Irish? “Bhrater,” “frater,” or “brathir,” respectively. Ever since the mid-17th century, scholars have noted such similarities among the so-called Indo-European languages, which span the world and number more than 400 if dialects are included. Researchers agree that they can probably all be traced back to one ancestral language, called Proto-Indo-European (PIE). But for nearly 20 years, scholars have debated vehemently when and where PIE arose.” ref

“Two long-awaited studies, one described online this week in a preprint and another scheduled for publication later this month, have now used different methods to support one leading hypothesis: that PIE was first spoken by pastoral herders who lived in the vast steppe lands north of the Black Sea beginning about 6000 years ago. One study points out that these steppe land herders have left their genetic mark on most Europeans living today.” ref

“The studies’ conclusions emerge from state-of-the-art ancient DNA and linguistic analyses, but the debate over PIE’s origins is likely to continue. A rival hypothesis—that early farmers living in Anatolia (modern Turkey) about 8000 years ago were the original PIE speakers—is not ruled out by the new analyses, most agree. Although the steppe hypothesis has now received a major boost, I would not say the Anatolian hypothesis has been killed.” ref

“Traditional linguists, meanwhile, painstakingly reconstructed PIE by extrapolating back from modern languages and ancient writings. (Listen to a short fable spoken in PIE here.) They disdained Renfrew’s idea of an Anatolian homeland, arguing for example that the languages were still too similar to have begun diverging 8000 years ago.” ref

“Around 400 languages and dialects, which belong to the Indo-European language family. Among these are English, Italian, Greek, Armenian, Persian, and Hindi-Urdu. While the relationship between these languages is undisputed and had been recognised for a long time (long before my rabbit loincloths), there is a vivid debate about where this language family actually originated.” ref

“In sum, there are two competing views:

a) Indo-European spread with the first farmers from Anatolia/Near East during Neolithic Revolution starting > 9,000 years ago. This revolution also brought agriculture and domesticated animals to Europe. There is genetic evidence for this expansion of farmers, and it is plausible that these guys also spoke the language that would be the source of all Indo-European languages, the so-called Proto (meaning ‘first’) -Indo-European (or PIE).

b) Others argue that this is too early given that nearly all Indo-European languages share similar vocabulary for wheels, vehicles etc. which were not widely used until

5000-6000 years ago and therefore the origin language must postdate this point. These people link the language spread to mobile cattle herders from the vast grassland in the Eurasian Steppe, which seemed to have these cool gadgets.” ref

“Proponents of a) say to b) You have no migration to prove this
Advocates of b) tell a) : No wheels, no words for wheels.” ref

“Genetic data from ancient people won’t tell us what language they spoke but it can reveal information about the movements of people in the past. This makes it possible to trace large events that could also have carried languages into new places. Our project has detailed genetic data of 69 prehistoric Europeans from across Europe, spanning from 8,000 to 3,000 years ago. This data reveals the ancestry of Europe, demonstrating that Europeans carry signs of the original peoples of Europe (the Hunter-Gatherers), the first farmers (from the Neolithic revolution), and a new group of ancestors who arrived later. These patterns are so clear we feel we can contribute something to debate about the spread of Indo languages.” ref

  1. “Hunter-gathers were distinct from all other samples. However, they’re also different from each other, and we think this is because they lived in small (isolated) bands.
  2. Unlike the Hunter-gatherers, Europe’s first farmers looked similar to each other, no matter where we found their remains. Farmers from Spain, Hungary, Germany or Scandinavia also look similar to southeastern Europeans and Near Easterners, which is why we think they came from the same region in the Fertile Crescent, the homeland of agriculture and animal husbandry.
  3. Hunter-gatherers were not completely pushed out of the way when farmers established cosy (but not so little) homesteads across Europe. In fact, we saw an increase of hunter-gatherer ancestry

“This third type of ancestry had been hinted at by previous work but it was unclear when it came to Europe. Our large data set, with its high resolution across time and geography, made the answer clear. All individuals younger than 4500 years had this third ancestry. To try and find the home of this third ancestor, we added an ancient steppe pastoralist from the Samara region in Russia into our analysis for comparison. Bingo! Our samples from the Corded Ware culture from 4500 years ago were the earliest and had the most, tracing three quarters (!) of their ancestry to eastern cattle herders that had roamed in the Russian and Ukrainian steppes north of the Black Sea.” ref

“These cattle herders were highly mobile, had domesticated horses and oxen-drawn carts, and had expanded eastwards reaching the Carpathian Basin in Hungary. However, this migration from the steppe also meant something else. The sheer number of shared genes made it likely that the Corded Ware people also shared a steppe language. This train of thought sits well with the spread of Indo-European from the steppe (b above). Importantly, it provides a human migration that could have brought the vocabulary that describes a pastoralist economy including inventions (wheels, vehicles) that were not in use when the first farmers arrived.” ref

“Another way of thinking notes that the cattle herders would also have originally come from farmers in the Near East. Living in the steppes, they developed new technologies and the language to describe them, before introducing both to Europe. This would mean that a variation of the farmer/language theory (a) was correct, albeit with a steppe detour. Though it defiantly emerged out of (b) to become the spread of the Indo-Europeans. Either way or a seeming, if not a partial mix of both I think could have some closer possibility in a way it wasn’t the whole IE family, then at least some of its major branches.” ref

“Researchers say these chalk cylinders, carved more than 4,000 years ago, give the exact length measurements used to lay out Neolithic monuments like Stonehenge. A set of highly decorated chalk cylinders, carved in Britain more than 4,000 years ago and known as the Folkton drums, could be ancient replicas of measuring devices used for laying out prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge, archaeologists say. A fixed number of turns of a string around the hand-size objects gives a standard measurement of 3.22 meters — or about 10.5 feet — a length that was used to lay out many Neolithic stone and timber circles. They were found in the grave of a child, which is thought to date to the late Neolithic period — from 5,000-4,500 years ago — or the early Bronze Age Beaker period in Britain, lasting from 4,500-3,800 years ago. The archaeologists think the Folkton and Lavant drums are not the actual devices used for prehistoric monuments, but rather replicas. Chalk is not the most suitable material for manufacturing measuring equipment, and it is thought that the drums may be replicas of original ‘working’ standards carved out of wood.” ref

“The latest research shows that the Folkton and Lavant drums had a very different origin from another type of prehistoric carved object found elsewhere in the British Isles, known as Neolithic stone balls. More than 500 stone balls, ornately carved by hand about 5,000 years ago, have been found in the northeast of Scotland, in the Orkney Islands, and in parts of England, Ireland and Norway.Researchers have generally ruled out the idea that the stone balls were used to make measurements — it is now thought they were mainly ornamental in purpose. The Folkton and Lavant drums, however, suggest that the Neolithic monument builders of Stonehenge and other ancient henges possessed specialized geometric knowledge that may have been celebrated or taught to children in their culture. The existence of these measuring devices … implies an advanced knowledge in prehistoric Britain of geometry and of the mathematical properties of circles.” ref

2nd millennium BCE spanned the years 4,000-3,001 years ago

“The alphabet develops. At the center of the millennium, a new order emerges with Minoan Greek dominance of the Aegean and the rise of the Hittite Empire. The end of the millennium sees the Bronze Age collapse and the transition to the Iron Age. In Europe, the Beaker culture introduces the Bronze Age, presumably associated with Indo-European expansion. The Indo-Iranianexpansion reaches the Iranian plateau and onto the Indian subcontinent (Vedic India), propagating the use of the chariot. Mesoamerica enters the Pre-Classic (Olmec) period. North America is in the late Archaic stage. In Maritime Southeast Asia, the Austronesian expansion reaches Micronesia. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the Bantu expansion begins. World populationrises steadily, possibly surpassing the 100 million mark for the first time.

“About a century before the middle of the millennium, bands of Indo-European invaders came from the Central Asian plains and swept through Western Asia and Northeast Africa. They were riding fast two-wheeled chariots powered by horses, a system of weaponry developed earlier in the context of plains warfare. This tool of war was unknown among the classical civilizations. Egypt and Babylonia’s foot soldiers were unable to defend against the invaders: in 1630 BCE/3,630 years ago the Hyksos swept into the Nile Delta, and in 1595 BC, the Hittites swept into Mesopotamia. Near the end of the 2nd millennium BC, new waves of barbarians, this time riding on horseback, wholly destroyed the Bronze Age world, and were to be followed by waves of social changes that marked the beginning of different times. Also contributing to the changes were the Sea Peoples, ship-faring raiders of the Mediterranean. In Europe at this time is still entirely within the prehistoric era much of Europe enters the Bronze Age early in the 2nd millennium.” ref

Ancient Nomadic Europeans Herders Only Started Digesting Dairy 4,000 Years Ago

“4,000 years ago: Irish people originate from the MIDDLE EAST: Celtic DNA shows farming led to a ‘wave of immigrants’ entering Ireland. The set of traits that make Celtic people so distinct may have been established 4,000 years ago, due to an influx of people from the Black Sea and the Middle East. Analysis of four ancient genomes from Ireland has uncovered their ancestry is the result of a ‘genetic shift’, caused by an increase in farming and metal work in the region. In particular, the researchers said that the adoption of agriculture led to ‘waves of immigration’ in Ireland which ultimately shifted their genetics. Elsewhere, analysis of ancient genomes from three Bronze Age men (remains pictured) showed they had more typical Irish traits, such as blue eyes and even a common Irish blood disorder. ref

Researchers analysed DNA from remains of four people found in Ireland. Such as a from a Stone Age farmer woman is thought to have had dark hair and brown eyes. Three Bronze Age men genetically closer to modern Irish, with blue eyes. And these findings show that that waves of people that made it to Ireland’s ancient shores helped to shape the modern genetic identity. ref

By comparing the remains of the woman with these men, they believe there was a ‘genetic shift’ in the region, 4,000 years ago. It is believed these later genetic traits were brought by people from the Pontic Steppe – a Black Sea region stretching across modern Ukraine, Russia and Georgia – who journeyed to Ireland when the region became a farming and metal work hub. The male remains were found at Rathlin Island, County Antrim. Farming originated in the Middle East and the descendants of early Neolithic farming cultures migrated across Europe eventually reaching Ireland (pictured). Descendants of people from the Pontic Steppe may have migrated to Ireland more than 4000 years ago in the Bronze Age, bringing the gene for blue eyes. ref

4,000 years ago: A pattern of small holes cut into the floor of an ancient rock shelter in Azerbaijan shows that one of the world’s most ancient board games was played there by nomadic herders. Now known as “58 Holes.” The game is also sometimes called “Hounds and Jackals” a game set with playing pieces fashioned like those animals in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Amenemhat IV, who lived in the 3,800 years ago.” ref

“The distinctive pattern of round pits scored in the rock of the shelter in Azerbaijan came from that same game. But the Azerbaijan version may be even older than the game set found in the pharaoh’s tomb. Evidence from rock drawings near this shelter suggested that it dated to about 4,000 years ago, when that part of Azerbaijan was populated by nomadic cattle herders. At that time, the game was widespread across the ancient Middle East, including Egypt, Mesopotamia and Anatolia. It suddenly appears everywhere at the same time. Right now, the oldest one is from Egypt, but it’s not by very much. So, it could just be because we haven’t found it from somewhere else older. So, it seems to [have] spread really quickly.”Azerbaijan journey and the games played for about 1,500 years, and very regular in the way that it’s laid out.” ref

“The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from about 6,000 years ago and is the culture, which firstly appeared in the territory of Azerbaijan, covered the area from the North Caucasus to Mesopotamia, from East Anatolia to Central Asia. until about 4,000 years ago, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end in some locations it may have disappeared as early as 4,600-4,700 years ago. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain it spread northward in Caucasus by 3000 BC (but never reaching Colchis). Kura–Araxes culture is sometimes known as Shengavitian, Karaz (Erzurum), Pulur, and Yanik Tepe (Iranian Azerbaijan, near Lake Urmia) cultures. It gave rise to the later Khirbet Kerak-ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire.” ref, ref

“The formative processes of the Kura-Araxes cultural complex, and the date and circumstances of its rise, have been long debated. Shulaveri-Shomu culture preceded the Kura–Araxes culture in the area. There were many differences between these two cultures, so the connection was not clear. Later, it was suggested that the Sioni culture of eastern Georgia possibly represented a transition from the Shulaveri to the Kura-Arax cultural complex. At many sites, the Sioni culture layers can be seen as intermediary between Shulaver-Shomu-Tepe layers and the Kura-Araxes layers. This kind of stratigraphy warrants a chronological place of the Sioni culture at around 6,000 years ago.” ref

“Scholars consider the Kartli area, as well as the Kakheti area (in the river Sioni region) as key to forming the earliest phase of the Kura–Araxes culture. To a large extent, this appears as an indigenous culture of Caucasus that was formed over a long period, and at the same time incorporating foreign influences. There are some indications (such as at Arslantepe) of the overlapping in time of the Kura-Araxes and Uruk cultures such contacts may go back even to the Middle Uruk period. Some scholars have suggested that the earliest manifestation of the Kura-Araxes phenomenon should be dated at least to the last quarter of the 5th millennium BC. This is based on the recent data from Ovçular Tepesi, a Late Chalcolithic settlement located in Nakhchivan by the Arpaçay river.” ref

“At some point the culture’s settlements and burial grounds expanded out of lowland river valleys and into highland areas. Although some scholars have suggested that this expansion demonstrates a switch from agriculture to pastoralism and that it serves as possible proof of a large-scale arrival of Indo-Europeans, facts such as that settlement in the lowlands remained more or less continuous suggest merely that the people of this culture were diversifying their economy to encompass crop and livestock agriculture. Late in the history of this culture, its people built kurgans of greatly varying sizes, containing widely varying amounts and types of metalwork, with larger, wealthier kurgans surrounded by smaller kurgans containing less wealth. This trend suggests the eventual emergence of a marked social hierarchy. Their practice of storing relatively great wealth in burial kurgans was probably a cultural influence from the more ancient civilizations of the Fertile Crescent to the south.” ref

“Hurrian and Urartian language elements are quite probable, as are Northeast Caucasian ones. Some authors subsume Hurrians and Urartians under Northeast Caucasian as well as part of the Alarodian theory. The presence of Kartvelian languages was also highly probable. Influences of Semitic languages and Indo-European languages are highly possible, though the presence of the languages on the lands of the Kura–Araxes culture is more controversial. In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages.

“The expansion of Y-DNA subclade R-Z93 (R1a1a1b2)which, is compatible with “the archeological records of eastward expansion of West Asian populations in the 4th millennium BCE, culminating in the socalled Kura-Araxes migrations in the post-Uruk IV period.” According to Pamjav et al. (2012), “Inner and Central Asia is an overlap zone” for the R -Z280 and R -Z93 lineages, implying that an “early differentiation zone” of R-M198 “conceivably occurred somewhere within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and Caucasus region as they lie between South Asia and Eastern Europe”. According to Underhill et al. (2014/2015), R1a1a1, the most frequent subclade of R1a, split into R-Z282 (Europe) and R-Z93 (Asia) at circa 5,800 before present, in the vicinity of Iran and Eastern Turkey. According to Underhill et al. (2014/2015), “[t]his suggests the possibility that R1a lineages accompanied demic expansions initiated during the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages.” ref

4,000 years ago: What happened in the Urals?

“A post-Sintashta-Petrovka period settlement structures in the late Bronze Age up to the transition to the Iron Age. Artefacts discovered so far have shown that the southern Trans-Ural region at the dividing line between Europe and Asia on the northern edge of the Eurasian Steppe constitutes a unique cultural landscape. Superb Bronze and Iron Age monuments, such as burial mounds (“kurgans”) and settlements, show that this was a centre of economic development and sociocultural processes that already began in the third millennium BC. After the decline of fortified settlements, the housing structure changed and “open” settlements with terraced houses without fortifications emerged. Russian research dates these settlements to the middle of the second millennium BC, i.e. the Late Bronze Age. the fortified settlements of the Sintashta-Petrovka period (around 2000 BC). Characteristic for this culture were early chariots, intensive copper mining and substantial bronze production. Attention has now shifted to various other archaeological sites of the Bronze and Iron Ages in the microregion at the confluence of the Yandyrka and Akmulla rivers and the upper end of the Karagaily-Ayat valley.” ref

4,000 years ago Ancient Silk Road Trade Route

“Ancient Silk Road trade route was first trodden by high-mountain herders more than 4,000 years ago, new DNA reveals. The silk road is a complex system of trade routes linking East and West Eurasia through its arid continental interior. Pastoral herders living in the mountains helped form cultural and biological links. They were doing this thousands of years before the Silk Road started. The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes that runs across the Asian continent, connecting countries as far east as Japan to Europe. It derives its name from the lucrative trade in silk that occured across continents from at around 2,200 years ago.” ref

“The earliest attested Indo-European language, the Hittite language, first appears in cuneiform in the 16th century BC (Anitta text), before disappearing from records in the 13th century BC. Hittite is the best known and the most studied language of the extinct Anatolian branch of Indo-European languages. And Mycenaean Greek, the most ancient attested form of the Greek language, was used on the Greek mainland, Crete and Cyprus in the Mycenaean period.” ref

“Proto-Sinaitic” and “Proto-Canaanite” starting 3,850-3,550 years ago is also applied toearly Phoenician or Hebrew inscriptions, respectively as well as the reconstructed commonancestor of the Paleo-Hebrew, Phoenician and South Arabian scripts.” https://lnkd.in/gNz-Ahr

“In Greece, Classical Antiquity begins with the colonization of Magna Graecia and peaks with the conquest of the Achaemenids and the subsequent flourishing of Hellenistic civilization (4th to 2nd centuries). The Roman Republic supplants the Etruscans and then the Carthaginians(5th to 3rd centuries). The close of the millennium sees the rise of the Roman Empire. The early Celts dominate Central Europe while Northern Europe is in the Pre-Roman Iron Age. The first millennium BC is the formative period of the classical world religions. World population more than doubled over the course of the millennium, from about an estimated 50–100 million to an estimated 170–300 million. Close to 90% of world population at the end of the first millennium BC lived in the Iron Age civilizations of the Old World (Roman Empire, Parthian Empire, Graeco–Indo-Scythian and Hindu kingdoms, Han China).” ref

“3,000 years ago: Fossils reveal human farmers migrated BACK to the Africa from Europe. the genome of an ancient African individual provided the first clues that humans migrated back to Eurasia from Africa within the last 4,500 years. A genetic study has provided evidence that a population of modern humans migrated from Europe to Africa around 3,000 years ago. Researchers have so far now identified two migrations from Eurasia into Africa: One about 3,000 years ago, of non-Africans entering east Africa, and a second one 900–1,800 years ago. The number of migrants flooding into the Horn of Africa 3,000 years ago may have amounted to over a quarter of the population of the region at the time.” ref

“It’s not clear why they moved, though one theory that’s been suggested is that farmers looking for fertile land traveled up the Nile. This migration from the ancient Near East and Fertile Crescent, roughly corresponding to modern Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria, reshaped the African continent’s genetic makeup. Archaeologists with the help of local people discovered a cave containing the bones of a man – dubbed Mota, who died around 4,500 years ago and from whose temporal bone they managed to extract intact DNA. By comparing this ancient DNA with modern samples, researchers were able to map genetic changes that have taken place in the past 4,500 years ago. The researchers traced this injection of genes to an event known as the ‘Eurasian African continent backflow.” ref

“Wheat and barley, which first emerged in the Near East, appeared as crops in East Africa around 3,000 years ago. The Eurasian backflow theory ties in with research about the spread of Semitic languages from the Near East to Ethiopia. By studying the kinds of genes the Stone Age farmers carried to Africa, the scientists also found they were closely related to the same population that had brought agriculture to Europe about 7,000 years ago. Today, those ancient farmers’ closest genetic relatives are found on the island of Sardinia, a western Mediterranean island and autonomous region of Italy.” ref

“The ethnonym “S(a)rd” belongs to the Pre-Indo-European linguistic substratum. The oldest written attestation of the ethnonym is on the Nora stone, where the word Šrdn bears witness to its original existence by the time the Phoenician merchants first arrived to the Sardinian shores. According to Timaeus, one of Plato‘s dialogues, Sardinia and its people as well, the “Sardonioi” or “Sardianoi” might have been named after “Sardò”, a legendary Lydian woman from Sardis, in the region of western Anatolia (now Turkey). Sardinia was first colonized in a stable manner during the Upper Paleolithic and the Mesolithic by people from the Iberian and the Italian peninsula. During the Neolithic period and the Early Eneolithic, people from Italy, Spain and the Aegean area settled in Sardinia.” ref

“The scientists analyzed a total of 3,491 mitochondrial DNA samples from the present-day population on the island. They compared them with 21 ancient samples collected from skeletal remains found in rock-cut tombs, megalithic tombs, caves and rock shelters dating back to between 3,000 to 6,100 years ago. The results suggested that 78.4 % of the modern mitogenomes cluster into “Sardinian-specific haplogroups” (haplogroups are genetic population groups who share a common ancestor). This means that there is little mitochondrial genetic diversity among Sardinians compared to other European populations.” ref

“Most of them appear to have descended from the first farmers who occupied the island since the Neolithic and Bronze Age, between 2,000 and 8,000 years ago. However, the findings do not completely discard the hypothesis that another population already lived on the island some 13,000 years ago. In fact, the study confirms that traces of these ancient people’s DNA may be found in some modern Sardinians. The scientists have identified two haplogroups which may have been present on the island before the arrival of the first Neolithic farmers. These haplogroups are called K1a2d and U5b1i1, and together comprise almost 3% of modern Sardinians.” ref

Some of the History of the Peoples and Tribes who Made Italy

“The most common variey of haplogroup I in Italy is I2a1a (M26), which is found mostly in Sardinia (36% of the male lineages) and to a lower extent in Iberia and coastal areas of the Western Mediterranean. It is still unclear where I2a1 (P214) developed. It could have been in Italy, in the Balkans, or even further east in the Carpathians and north of the Black Sea. According to current estimates, I2a1 appeared about 20,000 years ago, close to the end of the LGM, and split almost immediately into western branch (M26) and an eastern one (M423). In all likelihood, the territory of the nomadic I2a1 people must have included Northeast Italy and the Dinaric Alps within the refugium. The tribe grew and split, with some branches going west to Italy and the Western Mediterranean, and the other going east to the Balkans and the Pontic Steppe.” ref

“By the time the first Neolithic farmers and herders arrived in Italy from the Near East 8,000 years ago most of the peninsula could well have been inhabited by I2a1a hunter-gatherers. Agriculture had appeared in the Levant at least 11,500 years ago. In the ensuing two and a half millennia it spread slowly to Anatolia and Greece. From Greece, it took another millennium for Neolithic farmers to cross the sea to Apulia, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia, and from there move inland and colonised the rest of the peninsula for yet another millennium. Around 7,000 years ago all Italy bar the remotest corners of the Alps had adopted agriculture. The Near-Eastern newcomers belonged essentially to haplogroup G2a, and seem to have carried a minority of E1b1b, J*, J1, J2 and Tlineages. The majority of modern Italian E1b1b and J2 came later though, with the Etruscans, the Greeks, and the various Near Eastern people who settled in Italy during the Roman Empire, particularly the Jews and the Syrians.” ref

“Hunter-gatherers appear to have mostly fled the peninsula after the arrival of Neolithic farmers, except in Sardinia, where they blended with them, perhaps trapped by the sea and unable to do otherwise. Nowadays, Sardinians are the population resembling most closely Neolithic Europeans. This was already known from archeological and anthropoligical studies, but was confirmed by the testing of Ötzi’s genome, a 5,300 year-old man mummified in the ice of the Italian Alps, and whose DNA was found to be very close to that of modern Sardinians. Countless people have settled in Italy since the Neolithic: Near Eastern farmers, Italic tribes, Ligurians, Etruscans, Phoenicians, Greeks, Celts, Goths, Lombards, Byzantines, Franks, Normans, Swabians, Arabs, Berbers, Albanians, Austrians and more. All have left their genetic print on the populations of the regions where they settled.” ref

“The Bronze Age was brought to Europe by the Proto-Indo-Europeans, who migrated from the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe to the Balkans (from circa 6,000 years ago), then went up the Danube and invaded Central and Western Europe (from 4,500 years ago). Italic-speakers, an Indo-European branch, are thought to have crossed the Alps and invaded the Italian peninsula around 3,200 years ago, establishing the Villanova culture and bringing with them primarily R1b-U152 lineages and replacing or displacing a large part of the indigenous people. The Neolithic inhabitants of Italy sought refuge in the Apeninne mountains and in Sardinia. Nowadays, the highest concentration of haplogroup G2a and J1 outside the Middle East are found in the Apeninnes, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia.” ref

Etruscans, Phoenicians & Greeks

“Between 1200 and 539 BCE the Phoenicians built a vast commercial empire from their Levantine homeland along the southern Mediterranean as far as Iberia. In Italy they had colonies in western Sicily and southern and western Sardinia. Based on the haplogroups found in modern Lebanon and in their former colonies, the Phoenicians seem to have carried a mixture of haplogroup J2, J1, E1b1b, G, R1b-M269/L23, T, L, R1b-V88, R2 and Q, roughly in that order of frequency. By comparing Sardinian and Lebanese DNA, it can be estimated that the Sardinians have inherited between 16% and 24% of their Y-DNA from the Phoenicians.” ref

“The Sardinians only differ from the Basques by the presence of Bedouin-like (purple) and Caucaso-Gedrosian (greyish green) admixture, and a slightly more elevated percentage of Neolithic farmer ancestry (orange). These three components are found in roughly equal proportion in the modern Lebanese, and lumped together would account for 10 to 15% of the Sardinian DNA. This is the best estimate at present of the genome-wide contributions of the Phoenicians to the modern Sardinian population. It is not surprising that the presumed percentage of Phoenician Y-DNA should be a bit higher, as men typically made up a larger proportion of colonists in ancient times.” ref

“Another key player in the make-up of Iron Age Italy were the Etruscans, who appeared circa 750 BCE apparently out of nowhere. Some have postulated that they came from Anatolia, but their origins remain uncertain to this day. Although their territory matches closely the extent of the Italic haplogroup R1b-U152, the Etruscans were non-Indo-European speakers, and their language is unrelated to any other known ancient languages apart from the Raetic language of the Alps and the Lemnian language of the Aegean Sea. It is likely that the Etruscans came from somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean and imposed their language on the Italic tribes living in Tuscany, then to the Po Valley, thus splitting Indo-European-speaking tribes in two. Based on the non-Indo-European halogroups found in central and southern Tuscany today, the original Etruscans probably belonged to an compound of haplogroups J2, E1b1b, G2a, and R1b-M269 (or R1b-L23) in that order of frequency. This would appear to support of Greek or West Anatolian origin. The high frequency of R1b-U152 found in Tuscany today can be attributed to Italic tribes absorbed by the Etruscans, and to the Romans who resettled part of Etruria.” ref

“It is the ancient Greeks who had the biggest impact on the genetic make-up of southern Italy. From the 2,800 years ago the Greeks set up colonies all along the coasts of Campania, Calabria, Basilicata, southern Apulia, and Sicily (except the western tip) in what would become known as Magna Graecia. Their genetic signature are essentially haplogroups J2 (18-30%) and E1b1b (15-25%), but the ancient Greeks also carried some R1b-M269/L23 (5-10%), G2a (3-8%), T (1-6%), I2a1b (1-5%), R1a (1-3%), and J1 (1-2%). It is very clear on the haplogroup maps that the areas in central and southern Italy furthest from the coast and from ancient Greek colonies, such as Abruzzo, Molise and the southern Apennines correspond to the highest percentages of haplogroups G2a, J1 and T in Italy, but also the lowest frequency of E1b1b and J2 in the southern half of Italy. There is no better way to contrast the Neolithic population of Italy with the ancient Greek colonists.” ref

“The Greeks also colonized Liguria and the French Riviera, where they founded Genoa, Nice (which was an Italian city until 1860) and Marseille. The Phoenicians and Cartaginians also kept bases in Liguria at some point. Modern Ligurians have the highest percentage of haplogroup E1b1b outside southern Italy (almost entirely the Greek E-V13), but also the highest level of G2a and J1 outside the Apennines, which probably means that this mountainous region also served as a shelter to Neolithic populations during the Italic invasions. R1b makes up about half of Ligurian lineages, among which 22% belong to the U152 subclade, 20% to P312 (the highest level in Italy), 6% to L23, and 2% to L21. The ancient Ligures spoke a language intermediary between Celtic (P312, L21) and Italic (U152) families, and their Y-DNA is split exactly in half between Italic and Celtic. The 6% of L23 are probably of Greek origin. Overall about one third of the modern Ligurian lineages could be of Greek origin.” ref

3,000-year-old Bronze Age time capsule vitrified food found in jars in England

“Archaeologists have the opportunity to discover how people in the late Bronze Age lived and what they ate by excavating a dwelling destroyed by fire 3,000 years ago in Cambridgeshire County, England. Researchers are calling the site one of the most important European Bronze Age sites at a time capsule, as vitrified food—meaning it has become like glass—has been found in jars at the site. They think it was a settlement of prosperous people. Another major find at the site occurred when a huge timber wheel was discovered. It is one of the largest Bronze Age wheels to have been unearthed by archaeologists anywhere in the world. The wheel measures a meter (3.28 ft.) in diameter and 3.5 centimeters (1.38 inches) thick. Archaeologists believe it would have originally had a heavy duty leather tire. These dimensions and the style of the wheel have lead archaeologists to suggest it was likely part of an ox-pulled cart. And the settlement was buried in wetlands with the remnants of the community buried very deeply in the mire. As well as nine well-preserved log boats were unearthed there. The dwelling was encircled by wooden posts until a fire made it collapse in the river. The fact that it was submerged helped preserve its contents and among the findings are decorated tiles made from lime tree bark.” ref

“The stele of Nora is a sandstone block (105 cm high, 57 wide) bearing an inscription that almost all of the scholars believe to be made in the Phoenician alphabet. It was found incorporated in a dry stone wall of a vineyard near the apse of the church of Sant’Efisio in Pula, an urban center located in southern Sardinia that originates from the ancient city of Nora, one of the first Sardinian-phoenician cities. The finding out of its original archaeological context limits the information obtained from the document to its content. Preserved in theNational Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, the stele unveils the first Phoenician script ever traced to the west of Tire: its dating fluctuates between the ninth and eighth centuries BCE.” https://lnkd.in/gyXH_mA

1. “2,200 -2,100 years ago , Limestone votive stela decoration in low flat relief in pediment is a 12 petalled rosette in a disk 4 line neo-Punic inscription symbol of the goddess Tanit is flanked by caducei above them are astral symbols.” https://lnkd.in/gtPQjw5

Briton prehistoric monument to Bel at Craig-Narget, Wigtownshire. With Hitto-Phoenician Sun Crosses, etc. EARLY BRITONS WERE ARYAN PHOENICIANS that the Hittites were Aryans, obsessed with the preconceived notion that the Hittites, whatever their affinities might be, were certainly not Aryans. The present work is the first instalment of the results disclosed by the use of my new-found keys to the Lost History of the Aryan Race and their authorship of the World’s Higher Civilization. It offers the results in regard to the lost history of our own Aryan ancestors in Britain and discloses them, the Early Britons and Scots and Anglo-Saxons, to have been a leading branch of the foremost world-pioneers of Civilization, the Aryan-Phoenicians.” https://lnkd.in/gqD7GgG

“Swastika Crosses on dress of Phoenician Sun-priestess carrying sacred Fire. From terra-cotta from Phoenician tomb in Cyprus.” https://lnkd.in/gqD7GgG

2. -Bel, “The God of the Sun” and Father-God of the Phoenicians. From a Phoenician altar of about the 2,400 years ago. Note rayed halo of the Sun.” https://lnkd.in/gqD7GgG


Trephination (also known as trepanning or burr holing) is a surgical intervention where a hole is drilled, incised or scraped into the skull using simple surgical tools. In drilling into the skull and removing a piece of the bone, the dura mater is exposed without damage to the underlying blood-vessels, meninges and brain.

Trephination has been used to treat health problems associated with intracranial diseases, epileptic seizures, migraines and mental disorders by relieving pressure. There is also evidence it was used as a primitive form of emergency surgery to remove shattered pieces of bone from fractured skulls after receiving a head wound, and cleaning out the pools of blood that would form underneath the skull.


First Cases of Trephination

Evidence for trephination occurs from prehistoric times from the Neolithic period onwards. The main pieces of archaeological evidence are in the forms of cave paintings and human remains the skulls themselves from prehistoric times. It is the oldest surgical procedure for which we actually have archaeological evidence. At one site in France, burials included forty instances of trephination from around 6500 BCE one third of the skulls found at the site. The percentage of occurrences there though is fairly high and percentages largely differ between sites and continents. It is from the human remains found at such sites that we know that the surgery had a fair survival rate. Many skulls show signs of healing and indicate that the patient lived for years after the event, even sometimes having trephination performed again later in life and again surviving the experience.

Trephination In Mesoamerica

From pre-Columbian Mesoamerica we find evidence on physical cranial remains in burials in addition to iconographic artworks and reports from the post-colonial period. The occurrences are widespread throughout South America, from the Andean civilisations and pre-Incan cultures such as the Paracas culture in Ica in South Lima where burials show signs of trephination, skull mutilation and modification. In Mexico, Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula, archaeological evidence dates from between 950 and 1400 CE. The earliest archaeological survey from the American continent published is from the late 19th century CE when the Norwegian ethnographer Carl Lumholtz performed surveys of the Tarahumara mountains. Lumholtz's publications were the precursor to documented cases from Oaxaca, Central Mexico and the Tlatilco civilisation.


Trephination In Europe

From Europe in the Classical and Renaissance periods we have evidence of trephination from archaeological and literary sources, including within the famous and essential writings of Hippocrates and Galen where it is termed in the Greek ἀνάτρησιζ. One thing that strikes one when dealing with evidence from both America and Europe is just how widespread this technique was and how it appeared as a major surgical technique on both continents independent of influence and association.

The Hippocratic Treatises make mention of trepanning in the chapter on injuries of the head, which states: 'For a person wounded to the same . . . extent . . . will sustain a much greater injury, provided he has received the blow at the sutures, than if it was elsewhere. And many of these require trepanning.'

Sign up for our free weekly email newsletter!

Galen also makes mention by explaining the technique of trephination and the risks involved to the patient:

For when we chisel out the fragments of bone we are compelled for safety to put underneath the so-called protectors of the meninx, and if these are pressed too heavily on the brain, the effect is to render the person senseless as well as incapable of all voluntary motion.

Much of the archaeological evidence from Europe for trephination comes from southwestern Germany dating to as early as the stone age. But the cranial evidence for the procedure is widespread throughout Europe Ireland, Denmark, France and Italy in particular. And there is considerable evidence from Russia and China. The early documents from classical Greece and anthropologists' observations of pre-modern people in Peru have shown that the people involved had a knowledge of the risk involved in the procedure. Publications detailing the technique from Mote Alban conclude that there was a process of non-therapeutic experimentation for some time which explored the use of different techniques and sizes of burr hole.


Trephination In China

Han and Chen have completed a particularly interesting study of the archaeological evidence of trephination in early China. They looked at six specimens from five sites ranging from 5000-2000 BP which showed cranial perforation in prehistoric China. The earliest skull analysed by Han and Chen was the M382 Cranium from Fuikia aite, Guangrao, Shandong. M382 was the skull of an adult male of the Dawenkou culture which shows a hole which was 31mm at the widest point. Evidence of healing shows that the patient recovered and lived for a considerable time before he later died. M382 was radiocarbon dated to around 5000 BP. Han and Chen bring up one particularly interesting hypothesis as to why trephination was performed: to obtain bone discs from people alive or dead for protection from demons. This would suggest, if correct, that in prehistoric China there was a cohabitation of ideas concerning human and supernatural intervention in association with illness and disease.

A Contemporary Treatment

What we can conclude about trephination is that this ancient surgical technique was astonishingly widespread and was practised on the living and the dead in association with head trauma and for other reasons including the spiritual and the experimental. The cranial evidence which appears is from a range of patients of different ages and sexes, showing that the operation was performed on men, women and children. Evidence of healing and multiple burr holes indicate that there was a survival rate and some were even operated on repeatedly. However, some skulls show us the risks of the operation as well. Some skulls uncovered are evidence that the procedure was abandoned mid-operation as the trephining is incomplete.

It may seem a strange thing that this technique was used throughout the world in different places and periods unrelated to one another. However, there is a logic in the desire to relieve pressure which may naturally lead to trephination as an accepted answer. After all, in theory trephination works, and in some cases it works in practice. This is why the technique is still used for multiple reasons in modern medicine. For instance, trephination is used in some modern eye surgeries such as a corneal transplant it is just termed differently as a form of pseudoscience called a craniotomy. It is also used in modern intracranial pressure monitoring and in surgery for subungal hematoma (blood under the nail) because one can also refer to trephination in reference to nails and other bones.


Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Jericho, Arabic Arīḥā, town located in the West Bank. Jericho is one of the earliest continuous settlements in the world, dating perhaps from about 9000 bce . Archaeological excavations have demonstrated Jericho’s lengthy history. The city’s site is of great archaeological importance it provides evidence of the first development of permanent settlements and thus of the first steps toward civilization.

Traces have been found of visits of Mesolithic hunters, carbon-dated to about 9000 bce , and of a long period of settlement by their descendants. By about 8000 bce the inhabitants had grown into an organized community capable of building a massive stone wall around the settlement, strengthened at one point at least by a massive stone tower. The size of this settlement justifies the use of the term town and suggests a population of some 2,000–3,000 persons. Thus, this 1,000 years had seen movement from a hunting way of life to full settlement. The development of agriculture can be inferred from this, and grains of cultivated types of wheat and barley have been found. Jericho is thus one of the places providing evidence of very early agriculture. It is highly probable that, to provide enough land for cultivation, irrigation had been invented. This first Neolithic culture of Palestine was a purely indigenous development.

These occupants were succeeded about 7000 bce by a second group, bringing a culture that was still Neolithic and still not manufacturing pottery, though it was not indigenous. This occupation probably indicates the arrival of newcomers from one of the other centres, possibly in northern Syria, in which the Neolithic way of life based on agriculture had developed. This second Neolithic stage ended about 6000 bce .

For the next 1,000 years there is little evidence of occupation at Jericho. Only about 5000 bce did Jericho show the influences of developments that had been taking place in the north, where an ever-increasing number of villages had appeared, still Neolithic but marked by the use of pottery. The first pottery users of Jericho were, however, primitive compared with their predecessors on the site, living in simple huts sunk in the ground. They were probably mainly pastoralists. Over the next 2,000 years, occupation was sparse and possibly intermittent.

At the end of the 4th millennium bce , an urban culture once more appeared in Jericho, as in the rest of Palestine. Jericho became a walled town again, with its walls many times rebuilt.

About 2300 bce there was once more a break in urban life. The nomadic newcomers, consisting of a number of different groups, were probably the Amorites. Their successors, about 1900 bce , were the Canaanites, sharing a culture found the whole length of the Mediterranean littoral. The Canaanites reintroduced town life, and excavations have provided evidence both of their houses and of their domestic furniture, which was found in their tombs as equipment of the dead in the afterlife. These discoveries have indicated the nature of the culture that the Israelites found when they infiltrated into Canaan and that they largely adopted.

Jericho is famous in biblical history as the first town attacked by the Israelites under Joshua after they crossed the Jordan River (Joshua 6). After its destruction by the Israelites it was, according to the biblical account, abandoned until Hiel the Bethelite established himself there in the 9th century bce (1 Kings 16:34). Jericho is mentioned several other times in the Bible. Herod the Great established a winter residence at Jericho, and he died there in 4 bce . Excavations conducted in 1950–51 revealed something of Herodian Jericho: a magnificent façade along the Wadi Al-Qilṭ is probably part of Herod’s palace, and its style illustrates Herod’s devotion to Rome. Traces of other fine buildings can be seen in this area, which became the centre of Roman and New Testament Jericho, approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) south of that of the Old Testament town. Jericho of the Crusader period was on yet a third site, a mile east of the Old Testament site, and it was there that the modern town would later develop.

Old Testament Jericho has been identified in the mound known as Tall Al-Sulṭān (at the source of the copious spring ʿAyn Al-Sulṭān), which rises 70 feet (21 metres) above the surrounding plain. A number of major archaeological expeditions have worked at the site, notably in 1952–58 under Kathleen M. Kenyon, director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem one of the main objectives has been to establish the date of the town’s destruction by the Israelites—a matter of importance for the chronology of the Israelite entry into Canaan. Most of the town of the period, including the whole circuit of the town walls, has been removed by erosion enough survives to show only that there was a town of the period. This may have been destroyed in the second half of the 14th century bce , but evidence is too scanty for precision. The site was then abandoned until the Iron Age. Little trace has been found of the 9th-century- bce occupation attributed to Hiel, but there was a sizable settlement in the 7th century bce , ending perhaps at the time of the second Babylonian Exile in 586 bce . The site was then finally abandoned, and the later Jerichos grew up elsewhere.

A particularly important remnant from Umayyad rule is the remains of the Khirbat al-Mafjar, a remarkable 8th-century building complex situated in the Wadi Al-Nuwayʿima, some 3 miles (5 km) north of Jericho. The complex, which originally included a palace, mosque, and bathhouse, was damaged by an earthquake shortly after it was begun and was never completed. Among the best-preserved of its remains are the exquisite mosaic panels and pavements for which the complex is renowned. Although the identity of its patron has been disputed, it has been associated with both Hishām ibn ʿAbd al-Malik (reigned 724–743) and his nephew, the controversial caliph al-Walīd ibn Yazīd (reigned 743–744).

A minor village in Ottoman times, Jericho became a winter resort after the British mandate over Palestine was established in the early 1920s. The city underwent major expansion, however, after its incorporation into Jordan in 1949. The establishment in the neighbourhood of two enormous camps of Palestinian refugees following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 brought great activity to the town, which was largely rebuilt the area of the oasis was expanded by irrigation. The Israeli occupation of the city following the Six-Day War of June 1967, however, resulted in the dispersal of much of the refugee population (see Arab-Israeli wars). Jericho was one of the first of the cities and towns evacuated by Israeli forces and turned over to the administration of the nascent Palestinian Authority in the wake of the 1993 Oslo Accords (see two-state solution). Pop. (2017) 20,907.


The starting point for the studies described in the article were the results of traceological studies of a collection of seal craniums discovered during archaeological excavations at a Subneolithic site complex in Šventoji, Lithuania. Microscopic analysis revealed repetitive technological traces and well-developed use damages on the surfaces, the characteristics of which most likely indicate their use during ritual practices, possibly in a similar way to that suggested for antler frontlets known from several Mesolithic sites. This is the first such discovery in this part of Europe, shedding new light on the symbolic culture of the hunter-gatherer communities inhabiting the south-eastern Baltic Sea coast between 3200 and 2700 cal BC, and especially the role of seals and their skulls, what is discussed in the article in a wider perspective. The use-wear traces described in the article are also a unique example of damage created on the surface of artefacts that are associated with ritual practices, and can, therefore, provide important information in identifying and correctly interpreting similar objects of this type elsewhere.

The Near East

The Neolithic religion of the Near East originated between 8300 and 6500 bce in the zone of the so-called Fertile Crescent (Palestine, Syria, northern Iraq, and Iran). It flourished between 6500 and 5000 bce in Anatolia, and disintegrated between 5000 and 3000 bce in the lowlands of Mesopotamia.

Evidence of a sedentary way of life, a basic trait of the Neolithic period, is clearly discerned in the Natufian culture, which developed in Palestine and Syria between 10,000 and 8300 bce. Excavations of Natufian settlements have yielded indirect evidence of the use and cultivation of grain (for example, stone mortars, pestles, and sickles). Such evidence, together with the remains of dogs, marks the Natufian as the dawn of Neolithic culture in the Near East (the so-called Proto-Neolithic). Although no objects of an undoubtedly sacred character have been discovered at Natufian sites, it is nevertheless possible to form some idea, on the basis of surviving houses, graves, and art objects, of the religious concepts, cults, and rituals extant in this period.

No cult places have been found in Natufian settlements, with the possible exception of the remains of a large oval structure discovered in Jericho. Its isolated location on virgin soil beside a spring indicates that this may have been a cult site visited at certain times of the year.

That all of the figural representations belonging to this culture were carved from pebbles suggests beliefs associated with water and its creative potential. These representations include schematized human heads from Ain Mallaha and Al-Oued and an "erotic" statuette from Ain Sakhri showing an embracing couple, perhaps illustrating the concept of the "holy marriage." Sexual attributes are not marked on any of the figures, and the relationship of the sexes is expressed in an allusive way: the large stone mortars with circular recipients in their middles probably represent the female principle, as the phallus-shaped stone pestles probably represent the male principle.

These mortars, used for the grinding of grain, were sometimes sunk into the floor of circular houses, next to the hearth (as at Ain Mallaha). They were also frequently associated with burials and used either as grave markers (Wadi Fallah) or as altars around which graves were arranged in a semicircle (Al-Oued). Frequent burial of the dead in pits used for the storage of grain, and the occasional building of hearths above graves (Ain Mallaha) or in cemeteries (Nahal Oren), emphasizes a close connection between the dead and the processes of providing, keeping, and preparing grain food. There is also evidence to suggest some link between certain animals, the dead, and the underworld: for example, a grave in Ain Mallaha contained a human skull framed with the horns of a gazelle another grave at the same site contained the skeleton of a dog and seven human skulls, each accompanied by an equid's tooth, were found in Erq el-Ahmar. These finds may indicate that the Natufians believed that ancestors provided all the basic sources of food, that they looked after plants and animals and caused them to multiply.

Evidence of a cult of ancestors is also found in the complex funeral customs of the Natufians, especially in their burial of detached skulls, sometimes grouped in fives or nines. At Ain Mallaha, two graves lay beneath a circle of stone with a diameter of two and one-half meters upon it a quadrangular hearth was built. A skull and two uppermost vertebrae lay on the hearth, an indication perhaps of human sacrifice. This structure and a hearth in the cemetery at Nahal Oren, with a deposit of ashes one-half meter thick, present reliable evidence of a chthonic cult. Here were altars on which sacrifices were offered to the heroic dead or to the forces governing the underworld. There is, however, no evidence of a transition from the chthonic to an agrarian cult in the Proto-Neolithic period.

Throughout the entire zone of the Fertile Crescent, the period between 8300 and 6500 bce saw the appearance of villages in which cereals were cultivated and animals domesticated, as is now known through the discovery of remains of barley, wheat, sheep, goats, and pigs at scattered sites. Pottery was very rare, and therefore this period has been termed the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. The number of finds associated with religion is comparatively large, but they were discovered chiefly in Palestine, Syria, and northern Mesopotamia.

The traditional cult of ancestors, manifested primarily in the detachment and special treatment of skulls, developed further, culminating between 7500 and 6500 bce. Complete burials or detached skulls, sometimes placed in special structures, were discovered beneath the floors of houses in almost all sites from this period. In Mureybet, skulls were placed on clay benches along the walls of the houses, so that they were always within reach. In Jericho, a skull might be covered with a kind of plaster, and then a face, sometimes with individualized features, was modeled upon it. Evidence of the same practice exists at Beisamoun and Tell Ramad (both in Syria), where each plastered skull was placed on a clay support in the form of a seated human figure.

Cult centers discovered in Palestine (Jericho and Beida), in the upper Euphrates Valley (Mureybet), and in western Iran (Ganjadareh) provide more detailed evidence for the religion of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. In Jericho, two rooms and a structure are supposed to have served cult purposes, primarily because of their unusual shapes: a room with a niche in which a block of volcanic rock stood on a stone support was discovered in a house a pit filled with ashes was found in the middle of another house, which suggests that some ritual was performed in that place finally, figurines representing oxen, goats, and, perhaps, pigs were found in a large structure with wooden posts placed in an unusual arrangement. In Beida, a group of three enigmatic oval structures, located some fifty meters distant from the settlement and approached by a paved path, were explored. In the middle of the central structure, a large block of sandstone was set upright a large slab with a parapet built around the edge lay against the southern wall, and a triangular basin, made of a large slab and partly filled with ashes, soot, and charred animal bones (probably the remains of a sacrifice or a ritual feast), was found outside the wall. In Ganjadareh a room with a niche containing fixed, superimposed rams' skulls was found in the middle of the Neolithic village, and in Mureybet rooms were discovered in which horns of wild oxen, perhaps bucrania (sometimes flanked by the shoulder blades of oxen or asses), were embedded in the walls.

These rooms were mostly house shrines, for they were directly linked with dwelling rooms. Only the group of three oval structures in Beida and the building with wooden posts in Jericho might have been communal shrines. The cult objects from these shrines suggest that the powers venerated in them had not yet acquired an anthropomorphic shape and that their presence was expressed by aniconic forms, mostly by upright stones or the heads of bulls or rams. Two finds only, dating from the very end of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, might be associated with anthropomorphic deities. These are the remains of three plastered human statues from Jericho and the deposit of at least ten human statues, 80 to 90 centimeters high, and twelve busts, 30 to 45 centimeters high, found in Ain Ghazal (Palestine). The Jericho statues make up a group representing a man, a woman, and a child, possibly a divine triad. The Ain Ghazal statues have stylized bodies but individualized heads one of them represents a man, and the others have female breasts.

The meaning of these statues, and of the busts that were found surrounding them, is difficult to decipher. Since miniature clay figurines of pregnant women, often deliberately damaged, were also found in Ain Ghazal, we may surmise that the small anthropomorphic figurines were used in fertility rites or in some chthonic-agrarian cult the larger statues may have been representations of particular deities and therefore objects of the greatest veneration.

The cults performed in individual households became clearly distinct from those in the care of the broader community or of persons specially chosen by the community (priests and priestesses) only in the period of the full consolidation of the Neolithic culture, between 6500 and 5000 bce. A gap between the sacred and the profane opened during this time, as is evidenced by the very limited number of sacred objects, mainly fragmented anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, found in villages from this period, in conjunction with their high concentration in some settlements this causes people to speak of religious centers.

The best example of such a center is Ç atal H ü y ü k in Anatolia, where fourteen building horizons, dating from 6300 to 5400 bce, were discovered. Each of these levels consists of dwelling rooms linked with storage spaces and shrines, of varying size, that contain sacred representations (reliefs and frescoes), stone and clay figurines, and graves of privileged members of the community, possibly priests and priestesses. A certain consistency in the arrangement of representations on walls suggests the existence of a coherent religious concept or myth in which the character and mutual relationship of superior powers were clearly defined. We may assume that the reliefs depicted the divine powers, the frescoes described the sacred activities (religious ceremonies, sacrifices, and ritual scenes), and the statuettes represented the chief actors in the myth. Scenes associated with the world of the dead were always shown on the northern and eastern walls of the shrines, scenes related to the giving of birth were depicted on the western walls, and representations of the goddess and the bull appeared on all of the walls. The most common motifs used in the reliefs were bulls heads and the so-called "twin goddesses," whereas most of the frescoes depicted bulls and vultures. In addition, there were various other symbols, such as representations of the human head, the boar's head, and the female breast. Viewed as a whole, these complex motifs represent the confrontation between the creative powers (the bulls, the twin goddesses) and the destructive forces (the boars, the vultures), and the opposition of birth and death or light and darkness. The statuettes express a similar opposition: they are representations of the great female deity (sometimes in her positive and sometimes in her negative aspect) and of the goddess's son or male consort.

Representations of the same female deity were discovered in the Neolithic settlement of Hacilar (southwestern Anatolia), dating from around 5500 bce. Statuettes, modeled in a naturalistic way and frequently colored, represent a young or mature woman, naked or clothed, in a standing, seated, or reclining position, sometimes with a child or an animal in her lap or arms. Plastered bulls' heads, as well as stone amulets in the shape of bulls' heads, were also found, but there were no shrines. Some houses, however, had niches with stone slabs, a type of which had a human face with large eyes incised on it. These may have been figures of ancestors, household spirits, the guardians of the family. The later settlements of Hacilar, dating from 5400 to 5000 bce, yielded two shrines associated with the cult of the dead, standardized feminine statuettes, almost violin-shaped masculine figurines, and anthropomorphic and zoomorphic ritual vessels. Over the following two millennia, the number of figurines decreased, but painted pottery became very common, and its decoration frequently incorporated basic religious concepts.

At the beginning of the fifth millennium bce, Anatolia lost its importance, and the centers of culture and spiritual life were transferred to Mesopotamia, Khuzestan, and the Transcaspian lowlands. The intensive migratory movements, exploitation of new materials (copper and gold), and increased exchange of goods transformed the traditional religion in almost all of the regions of the Near East and led, at the end of the fourth millennium bce, to the disintegration of all Neolithic cultures. Although a number of distinct and frequently unrelated cultures emerged in the period between 5000 and 3000 bce, the religion of this period was characterized by three general features: the separation of the world of the living from the world of the dead, as manifested in the increasing practice of burying the dead in special cemeteries outside the settlements the separation of cult centers from dwellings and the establishment of communal shrines and the abandonment of figural representations of deities and the tendency to suggest their potency and activity by means of abstract symbols, signs, and ornaments.

All these traits already are evidenced clearly in the cultures from the first half of the fifth millennium bce. In northern Mesopotamia (the Halaf-Hassuna-Samarra cultures), the dead were buried mainly outside the settlements, and only children were interred beneath the floors of houses or shrines. Anthropomorphic figurines either disappeared or underwent a change in significance. The number of feminine figurines was comparatively large in the Samarra and Halaf cultures, and costly materials (for example, alabaster) were frequently used for their manufacture, but they were usually placed in graves. Shrines from this period can be identified by their special position in the settlement rather than by their decoration or by the objects found in them. In Eridu (southern Mesopotamia), the shrine formed the nucleus around which the settlement was built in Pessejik and Dashliji (Transcaspian lowlands), shrines were distinguished not only by their size and rich decoration but also by their position.

In the cultures of the second half of the fifth and the fourth millennium bce, the processes manifested earlier developed further. In the Al-Ubayyid culture, there is evidence of monumental temples on platforms and of cult places separated from settlements. Some temples (for example, the temple from Layer VIII in Eridu) already resembled ziggurats. No statues or figurines of deities were found in these temples, but there were altars around which rites, probably similar to those shown on the seals of the Gawra type (processions, ritual dances, the adorning of altars, and the like), were performed. Burials were made in cemeteries separated from settlements (Tell Arpachiya, Eridu, Al-Ubayyid), and grave goods included both feminine and masculine figurines as well as a type of figurine representing a woman with a child in her arms. These figurines did not represent deities rather, they were instruments used in funerary rites. It is obvious that deities became remote and abstract toward the end of the Neolithic period. The religion of the Al-Ubayyid culture, as well as that of other contemporaneous cultures of the Near East, was basically transcendental. In this respect, it anticipates the religion of the early urban civilization of Mesopotamia.

Archaeologists Find Artifacts of Oldest Written Black African Language and Rare Ancient Art Depicting Egyptian Goddesses With Black African Features

An ongoing archaeological dig in Sudan has unearthed fascinating Nubian artifacts from sub-Saharan empires where women held power and prestige. The artifacts also contain remnants of the oldest-written black African language and present the first ever depictions of Egyptian deities with black African features.

The artifacts were uncovered by a team led by researchers from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Sorbonne Université as part of the French Section of Sudan's Directorate of Antiquities (SFDAS), which is co-funded by the CNRS and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, a press release on the archaeological site said. The dig first started in 1963 and resumed in 2009. It is expected to continue until 2020.

The site, a necropolis dedicated to honoring the dead in contemporary Sudan, is located in an area known as Sedeinga, not far from the Nile's western shore. The necropolis was once part of ancient Nubia, a region along the Nile and home to Africa's earliest civilizations. The uncovered tombs are from Napata and Meroe, ancient African kingdoms also known as the kingdom of Kush, which thrived from the seventh century B.C. to the fourth century, Live Science reported.

Related: Stone tools found in India resemble those in Africa, changing our theory on ancient human migration

The necropolis was built by the Napata kingdom in the seventh century B.C. and then was added to by the Meroitics five centuries later. Some of the most significant findings include tablets and tombs written in Meroitic, the earliest-known written language of sub-Saharan Africans. The language is still not completely understood, and the new texts may help expand our knowledge of this ancient and mysterious language.

"While funerary texts [in Meroitic], with very few variations, are quite well known and can be almost completely translated, other categories of texts often remain obscure," Vincent Francigny, an archaeologist with the SFDAS and co-director of the excavation, told Live Science. "In this context, every new text matters, as they can shed light on something new."

Related: Out of Africa: 90,000-year-old human finger points to much earlier migration

In addition to the ancient text, the site revealed for the first time a depiction of the Egyptian goddess Maat showing distinctly African features. Other depictions of Egyptian goddesses suggest that women in ancient Nubian cultures were held in high esteem and that unlike the neighboring Egyptians, family ancestry was traced though the maternal line, not the paternal. While the artifacts clearly show that high-ranking women had power in these societies, it's not clear if lower-ranking women were offered the same opportunities and respect.