Natufians NOT Source of European Neolithic

January 26, 2010

There's a theory that the migrations that spread agriculture from West Asia to Europe during the Neolithic period had their source in the Natufians, a Mesolithic Levantine population. Afrocentrists have latched on to this theory (and often cite it as fact) because some anthropologists believe that Natufians traced their origins to Africa and had Negroid affinities. That's a separate issue that's more or less rendered moot by the craniometric evidence against the above theory.

Pinhasi and Pluciennik (2004) analyzed the crania of Mesolithic and Neolithic populations and found no biological relationship between the Natufians and the later West Asian groups who spread farming to Europe:

Analysis of morphological variability in the Near East and Europe suggests that the Epipalaeolithic populations from the Natufian Levant were noticeably different to the Mesolithic populations described from the Danube Gorge, the western Mediterranean, and central Europe. No close similarities were observed between Early Neolithic and Mesolithic European groups in any of the regions studied, with the possible exception of Mediterranean Europe. However, neither were clear affinities observed between Epipalaeolithic Near Eastern groups [Natufians] and any other Neolithic or Mesolithic groups. These results support a third scenario — that the Epipalaeolithic population from which the first Anatolian farmers descended has yet to be discovered.... There is therefore no unequivocal evidence from biological morphometrics for local continuity between Natufian specimens and any of those from the Anatolian or Levantine PPN [Pre-Pottery Neolithic] cultures. Statistical analysis of the Levantine populations indicates no obvious biological continuity between Natufian groups and their successors — either the first Neolithic cultures of the PPNA or subsequently between the PPNA and the PPNB.

Pinhasi and von Cramon-Taubadel (2009) confirm the previous findings, and as a result don't involve the Natufians at all in any of the possible dispersal models of migration from West Asia to Europe:

Figure 1. Map showing geographic distribution of all OTUs. Dispersal models involving the active migration of people from SW Asia take two basic forms. Once-off single dispersals from either Anatolia (brown arrow) or the Levant (orange arrows), or continuous dispersal models whereby active population migration continued from southeastern Europe into central Europe (blue arrows). CD = Continuous dispersal, IBD = Isolation-by-distance (null), LGF = Limited gene flow.
Figure 3 plots the first two principal co-ordinates of the craniometric distance matrix. The OTUs [operational taxonomic units] do not group according to any particular geographic or temporal pattern on the first or second principal co-ordinates. However, the first principal co-ordinate separates the archaeologically defined Neolithic OTUs from OTUs designated as Mesolithic plus the Natufian. Therefore, the principal co-ordinate analysis suggests that Neolithic and Mesolithic populations are biologically differentiated.

Figure 3. Plot of the first two principal co-ordinates illustrating OTU affinity patterns based on craniometric data. The major axis of variation (horizontal axis, 34.9% variance) shows a clear distinction between all archaeologically defined Neolithic OTUs (green, brown and black circle symbols) and all Mesolithic OTUs (purple and red symbols) plus the Natufian (black triangle). Second axis = 18.7% variance.
Related: Natufians NOT Sub-Saharan African


Unknown said...

The anger you display through your writing of the Natufians reveals you are either an eurocentric or a scientific eurocentric. The latter being worse. But, I am responding to your scientific data you are virally spreading as fact. Please, remember who originally examined the site known as the Natufians. His name was Sir Arthur Keith. He described through scientific analysis the site and the people found there. These individuals you associate with use science to argue against this by not even acknowledging it but, cherry picking facts. They are none other than eurocentric scientists. And,now you and they are afraid of reviewing Sir Keith's scientific data, opting for Dr. Coon's 1939 report, that the natufian did spread culture to asia and europe. This angers you because you think europeans have done it all. Not because of planted facts or facts at all but, because of pride and maybe prejudice. And, the worse of all you are in denial. If you desire the scientific facts about this topic start with "Keith, Arthur Keith.

NWOConspiracygroup said...

EXCELLENT response Jupiter-me

What is worse is that these people are not even Natufians as the name suggests because it was made up. A recent article from an Israeli news paper classed these people as the original ISRAELITES!!!!

And so you see, the problems just get bigger for those in Israel today who call themselves Jews yet they originally came from Eastern Europe.

Anonymous said...

Jupiter gave a good response, first, despite what afrocentrists say, Natufians were NOT negroid, they were Caucasians of the Mediterranean type, they were Proto Mediterranean, the skulls found at the Jericho site and other Middle Eastern sites revealed it, check it in the Cambridge Ancient History

Carleton Coon:

What little we have from Palestine, mostly scraps of bone and a few teeth, is also Caucasoid. For example, the Mesolithic Natufian skulls and long bones from thet country are those of ancestral Mediterranean's

cemil kusoglu said...

The brown arrows crossing Anatolia suddenly gets blue after Greece. Is it a subliminal message?