Early upper paleolithic Europeans. (EUP’s)

Nicked straight from Dienekes! Yet again.

Some of the discordance Van Vark et al. see between genetic and morphometric results may be attributable to their methodological choices. It is clear that the affiliation expressed by a given skull is not independent of the number of measurements taken from it. From their Table 3, it is evident that those skulls expressing Norse affinity are the most complete and have the highest number of measurements ( = 50.8), while those expressing affinity to African populations (Bushman or Zulu) are the most incomplete, averaging just 16.8 measurements per skull. Use of highly incomplete or reconstructed crania may not yield a good estimate of their morphometric affinities. When one considers only those crania with 40 or more measurements, a majority express European affinity.

To examine this idea further, we use the eight Upper Paleolithic crania available from the test series of Howells ([1995]), all of which are complete. Our analysis of these eight, based on 55 measurements, is presented in Table 1. Using raw measurements, 6 of 8 express an affinity to Norse, and with the shape variables of Darroch and Mosimann ([1985]), 5 of 8 express a similarity to Norse. Using shape variables reduces the Mahalanobis distance, substantially in some cases. Typicality probabilities (Wilson, [1981]), particularly for the shape variables, show the crania to be fairly typical of recent populations. The results presented in Table 1 are consistent with the idea that Upper Paleolithic crania are, for the most part, larger and more generalized versions of recent Europeans. Howells ([1995]) reached a similar conclusion with respect to European Mesolithic crania.

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Next, let us examine the issue of whether the EUP situation can be regarded as parallel to the Native American one.There are some obvious differences, principal among them the time frame. The European crania used by Van Vark et al. span 26,000 years, as against our North American sample that spans about 2,400 years. Their EUP series dates from 37,000 BP to about 9,000 BP, as against a maximum time frame for our North American sample of 9,400-7,000 BP (Jantz and Owsley, [2001]). The Upper Paleolithic time span is significantly older and more than 10 times longer than the American one, yet the EUP crania are not correspondingly further removed from the contemporary population.Given that European fossil crania are separated from their supposed descendants by greater temporal distance than is the case in America, one could easily accept that European fossil crania might be more loosely connected to the modern population. Yet, we observe just the opposite. The data in Van Vark et al. demonstrate a higher degree of affiliation with the supposed descendent modern population (16/35 = 46%) than we found in the American situation (1/11 = 9%).

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 121, Issue 2, Pages 185-188

This suggests to me that the Europeans came from one closely related source, possibly with minority contributors like Neanderthals, and that the Americans came from several different groups that have blended together over the passage of many millennia. It pretty much sinks the hilarious Afrocentrist POV that modern Europeans magically appeared out of nowhere displacing the original black inhabitants of Europe. Europeans are the product of about 40,000 years of in situ evolution.

There may have been two colonist groups of Europe originally, one who’s reamins were found in the Grottes des Enfants in France were called the Grimaldi people. I am having a devil of a time finding any information on them, except that they seemed to be very similar to the Khoisan. The structure of their forehead seems to indicate they are not related to modern Negroids though, and they are mostly described as an outlier in the Cro Magnon ‘normal’ range.

A Grimaldi skull.

Well worth a read on this subject, The Antiquity of Man, by Arthur Keith. Very old, but it lists a lot of burials and describes them and the remains in detail.

Evolutionary trends of stature in Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic Europe

Long bone lengths of all available European Upper Paleolithic (41 males, 25 females) and Mesolithic (171 males, 118 females) remains have been transformed into stature estimates by means of new regression equations derived from Early Holocene skeletal samples using “Fully’s anatomical stature” and the major axis regression technique (Formicola & Franceschi, 1996). Statistical analysis of the data, with reference both to time and space parameters, indicates that: (1) Early Upper Paleolithic samples (pre-Glacial Maximum) are very tall; (2) Late Upper Paleolithic groups (post-Glacial Maximum) from Western Europe, compared to their ancestors, show a marked decrease in height; (3) a further, although not significant, reduction of stature affects Western Mesolithics; (4) no regional differences have been observed during both phases of the Upper Paleolithic; (5) a high level of homogeneity has also been found in the Mesolithic, both in Western and Eastern Europe; (6) the internal homogeneity found during the Mesolithic in Western and Eastern Europe is associated with marked inter-regional variability, with populations of the latter region showing systematically significantly greater stature than their Western contemporaries.

Evaluation of possible causes for the great stature of the Early Upper Paleolithic samples points to high nutritional standards as the most important factor. Results obtained on later groups clearly indicate that the Last Glacial Maximum, rather than the Mesolithic transition, is the critical phase in the negative trend affecting Western European populations. While changes in the quality of the diet, and in particular decreased protein intake, provide a likely explanation for that trend, variations in levels of gene flow probably also played a role. Reasons for the West–East Mesolithic dichotomy remain unclear and lack of information for the Late Upper Paleolithic of Eastern Europe prevents insight into the remote origins of this phenomenon. Analysis of regional differentiation of stature, particularly well supported by data from Mesolithic sites, points to the absence of today’s latitudinal gradients and suggests a relative homogeneity in dietary, cultural and biodemographic patterns for the last hunter-gatherer populations of Western Europe.

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