Copper Age–Bronze Age transition in southern Iberia


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Genomic transformation and social organization during the Copper Age–Bronze Age transition in southern Iberia


The emerging Bronze Age (BA) of southeastern Iberia saw marked social changes. Late Copper Age (CA) settlements were abandoned in favor of hilltop sites, and collective graves were largely replaced by single or double burials with often distinctive grave goods indirectly reflecting a hierarchical social organization, as exemplified by the BA El Argar group. We explored this transition from a genomic viewpoint by tripling the amount of data available for this period. Concomitant with the rise of El Argar starting ~2200 cal BCE, we observe a complete turnover of Y-chromosome lineages along with the arrival of steppe-related ancestry. This pattern is consistent with a founder effect in male lineages, supported by our finding that males shared more relatives at sites than females. However, simple two-source models do not find support in some El Argar groups, suggesting additional genetic contributions from the Mediterranean that could predate the BA.

Genomic transformation and social organization during the Copper Age–Bronze Age transition in southern Iberia (
Mediterranean and central European ancestries shaped the genetic profile of southeastern BA groups in Iberia

To explore the genetic turnover and the contribution of the local groups to the newly formed BA genetic profile in Iberia, we systematically tested a series of qpAdm models. We started by using the distal ancestry sources Anatolia_N, WHG, GoyetQ2, Yamnaya_Samara, and Iran_N to model the genetic ancestry components of Iberian BA groups (table S2.10 and fig. S6). We found that the local traces of GoyetQ2, a characteristic but variable component of southern Iberia CA individuals, were no longer detectable, suggesting a dissolution of geographic substructure in BA Iberia with respect to HG ancestry. We explain this by the spread of steppe-related ancestry from North to South (7) that also contributed northern and central Iberian ancestry to the South, diluting the subtle GoyetQ2 signal to a level beyond the limits of detection (text S8). By using the same qpAdm model, we also observed that Almoloya_Argar_Early, Almoloya_Argar_Late, SE_CabezoRedondo_BA, and Bastida_Argar cannot be modeled with Yamnaya_Samara as a single source but find better support with a combination of Iran_N and Yamnaya_Samara, however, without reaching P values ≥0.05 in Almoloya_Argar_Early and Late and SE_CabezoRedondo_BA (table S2.10 and fig. S6). These El Argar groups (Almoloya and Bastida) are also slightly shifted to the right on the PC1 axis, in the direction of Mediterranean BA groups with excess Iran_N-like ancestry, such as “Minoans,” who only carry Iran_N-like ancestry but not steppe-related ancestry, or “Mycenaeans,” who carry a mix of both (71), and that has also been shown for some BA individuals from Sicily_MBA (51) and for Sardinians here (Fig. 3A).
To explore the reasons for the model rejection observed in southeastern BA groups, we tested several qpAdm models (text S8). We used two- and three-way competitive qpAdm models to test whether a third source with Iran_N-like ancestry was needed. In the two-way model (table S2.11), Germany_Bell_Beaker (the largest number of individuals representing BB) was used as a fixed proximal ancestry source together with a local CA source (either N_Iberia_CA, C_Iberia_CA, or SE_Iberia_CA). For target groups in which these two sources were rejected, we iteratively tested central and eastern Mediterranean populations as a third source, as some of them are known to carry Iran_N-like ancestry (Fig. 4A and table S2.11). Using C_Iberia_CA as a local source of ancestry and Germany_Bell_Beaker as a proxy for steppe ancestry, only models with Almoloya_Argar_Early and Late as a target were rejected, suggesting that a third component was required for these Iberian BA groups. We found that adding any Mediterranean population as a third source improves the model fit, albeit without reaching P values >0.05. However, we obtained P values >0.05 when using Iran_Chalcolithic as a third source, which suggests that a higher proportion of Iran_N-like ancestry is needed (text S8 and table S2.11). Notably, when we exchanged C_Iberia_CA with the local SE_Iberia_CA, the model did not find support for a larger number of Iberian BA groups (N_Iberia_BA, SE_Iberia_BA, Almoloya_Argar_Early and Late, and C_Iberia_CA_Stp), and adding a third source in this constellation did not improve the model fit either (Fig. 4A and table S2.11).

This part is particularly interesting to me.
So, the E-L618 was a Cardial survivor indeed. XX century B.C

The complete turnover on the Y chromosome to R1b-Z195 (a lineage derived from P312), observed in all males at La Almoloya (29 male individuals tested) and La Bastida (except for one E1b lineage dated around 2134 to 1947 cal BCE; 7 males tested), is another independent source of evidence of gene flow predominantly during the time of the CA-BA transition (table S1.1 and text S3). Notably, Y lineage R1b-Z195, the most common Y lineage in BA Iberia, ultimately derives from a common ancestor R1b-P312 in central Europe but already differs from other derived Bell Beaker R1b variants reported from central Europe and the British Isles. R1b-Z195 has been found in Sicily_CA_Stp (previously assigned to the EBA and thus considered outliers) and Sicily_EBA (51). However, the genealogical and geographic link to other R1b variants still remains unclear. The subtle presence of Iran_N-like ancestry in El Argar and Y haplogroup R1b-Z195 in Sicily opens the possibility of gene flow not only from Iberia to Sicily as previously suggested (51) but also in the opposite direction, implying reciprocal contact with the western and central Mediterranean during the BA, although direct contacts are hardly noticeable in the archaeological record.

BAS025 (Arc. ID: BA76): Infantile male burial directly dated to 2132-1949cal BCE (3653 ± 21, MAMS-47168).

We were able to confirm the almost-complete turnover in Y-chromosome lineages during theCA-EBA transition as described in (7), despite a tripling of the BA individuals analyzed to date.All pre-BA individuals belonged to the already described Y-haplogroups I2a, G2a and H2. I2awas attributed to hunter-gatherers and, G2a and H2 to early European farming groups. Thesehaplogroups are absent in all EBA individuals analyzed so far, in favor of sub-lineages of R1bM269 (Table S1.1). The exact phylogenetic position on the Y haplogroup tree could be resolvedfurther in 41 out of 49 males, who carry the derived variant at Y-SNP P312, and Y-SNP Z195 in23 out of 41 males. The low coverage genome of individual ALM041 resolves this Y lineageuntil Y-SNP S228. It is possible that all other males also belonged to the same or a closelyrelated branch. Only one subadult male individual (BAS025) was assigned to E1b1b1a1b1. Hewas dated to the 2nd phase of El Argar (2000 - 1750 cal BCE), being one of the very few and latenon-R1b-M269 males in the Iberian BA. Y-Haplogroup E1b1b1a was reported from SardiniaChalcolithic, E1b1b1b2 in Early Medieval Sardinia (51), and E1b1b1a1b1 in Medieval Sardinia

Regarding his mitochondrial:

We determined 18 different haplogroups in our new BA individuals. Most of them were alreadyreported for Iberian Neolithic, CA and BA groups. We briefly described here the ones whichhave not been reported yet. We determined the haplogroups H105a and H10b (BAS025 andEFA008) not reported so far in Iberia. Haplogroup H10* has been previously reported inGermany Bell Beaker (H10e) (6), Croatia_Sopot_MN (H10) (76), Kazakhstan_centralSaka.SG(H10 and H101) (105) and Latvia_BA (H10a) (106). We determined the haplogroup H1bd inALM029. Haplogroups H1 have been reported in Iberia since the EN ((24), Pancorbo), MN andCA (Paris, Cmolino, (6)). Haplogroup H1cf has been determined in ALM064. The samehaplogroup has been reported in today’s Canary_Islands_Guanche, (107).
From the paper ::wink:
At a cross-regional scale, none of the south Iberian CA individuals analyzed so far show evidence of any steppe-related ancestry, whereas the oldest individuals from the El Argar sites of La Bastida (BAS024 and BAS025) and La Almoloya (ALM019), directly dated to the 21st century BCE based on the radiocarbon evidence, show clear evidence of such ancestry.

I hope this e-L618 dude will
Be uploaded to yfull
He is important for the tree
This part is particularly interesting to me.

More proof of a Bronze Age CHG pulse that helped shape the bronze age and ultimately modern Mediterranean people.

I knew it.

I don't know where they studied archaeology, but to say the Eastern Mediterranean traces are barely noticeable is just wrong.

Years ago we discussed here how the architecture more resembled that of the Minoans or the Greeks, although it may have arrived via the Sardinians. We would need more data to know for sure.
More proof of a Bronze Age CHG pulse that helped shape the bronze age and ultimately modern Mediterranean people.

I haven't read the full paper yet, but they seem to suggest that the CHG pulse happened during southeastern (and only southeastern) CA Iberia, and that the bronze age was due to arrival of steppe-related from North-Central Iberia.

[FONT=&quot] Overall, we propose that El Argar has likely formed from a mixture of new groups arriving from north-central Iberia, which already carried central European steppe-related ancestry (and the predominant Y-chromosome lineage) and local southeastern Iberian CA groups that differed from other regions in Iberian in that they carried excess Iran_N-like ancestry similar to eastern and/or central Mediterranean groups.

Nevertheless the CHG admixture seems to have continued during the bronze age :

[FONT=&quot]Moreover, the large sample sizes of early and late El Argar groups show that the Iran_N-like ancestry contribution in the local CA stratum was not enough to explain this type of ancestry satisfyingly, which, in turn, argues for a continued connection to and genetic influence from the Mediterranean BA at least until the end of the El Argar period.

Do we observe this in the Y-DNA or was there only an exchange of females from the Mediterranean as happened in other instances with Bell Beaker folks?
What, men from the Med just traded off their women and then left? Or in the case of invasion/migration, call it what you will, they left their women behind and left?

Much more likely that as happened in other places and times the incoming men either killed the "local" men or enslaved or in other ways removed them from the gene pool.

What happened to all the European farmer G2a and I2a? Most of that is gone too.
I'm just aking whether CHG Y-DNA increased during El Argar bronze age or only autosomal CHG DNA.
There is no comparison with the decrease of G2a in EEF DNA.
“While we knew that the so-called ‘steppe’-related ancestry, which had spread across Europe during the third millennium BCE, eventually reached the northern Iberian Peninsula around 2,400 BCE, we were surprised to see that all prehistoric individuals from the El Argar period carried a portion of this ancestry, while the Chalcolithic individuals did not,” says Max Planck researcher Wolfgang Haak, senior author and principal investigator of the study.
The genomic data reveals some of the processes underlying this genetic shift. While the bulk of the genome shows that Bronze Age individuals are a mix of local Iberian Chalcolithic ancestry and a smaller part of incoming ancestry from the European mainland, the paternally inherited Y chromosome lineages show a complete turnover, linked to the movement of steppe-related ancestry that is also visible in other parts of Europe.
The rich new data from the El Argar sites also show that these two components do not fully account for the genetic make-up of the early Bronze Age societies.
“We also found signals of ancestry that we traced to the central and eastern Mediterranean and western Asia. We cannot say exactly whether these influences arrived at the same time as the steppe-related ancestry, but it shows that it formed an integrative part of the rising El Argar societies, attesting to continued contacts to these regions,” adds Vanessa Villalba-Mouco, postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute and Instituto de Biología Evolutiva.
Not going to lie
I am pretty dissappointed
That none of the ancient e1b1b1
In iberia are E-L19:unsure:
I am happy for e-v68 descendents
But i can't understand how is it
That E-L19 was found in neolithic morocco
5000bc but not in ancient iberia( you only need to cross the gibraltar)
Maybe the morocoan neolithic E-L19
Was dead end
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you can see the yamnaya in basrida
the iran neolithic is interesting in some chl remains


  • rsz_1southern_iberia.png
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So, in both Chalcolithic and Bronze Age, and in Southwestern as well as Southeastern Iberia.

Very interesting.
More proof of a Bronze Age CHG pulse that helped shape the bronze age and ultimately modern Mediterranean people.

It was so evident that metals were in Iberia before the Steppic introgression of BA, and that the first metallurgy skills were already sent to S-E Europe/Balkans through Anatolia by people presenting the (simplified) mix of AF (EEFlike) + IrCHG; Chalco/BA archeology pointed in S-Iberia to tight links with surroundings of Egea sea. Even old physical anthropology pointed to links with east-Mediterranea at Eneolithic of west-Mediterranea.
the Iberian chalcolithic dates to more than 5 ka
the bronze age started only 2,5 ka
were the Iran-Neo people seeping in all that time?

and what about Vinca in the Balkans, where the chalcolithic dates to more than 7 ka ?

and how did the Iberian bronze metallurgy come from ?
it was not known in Iberia before El Argar?
did the steppe people from North-Central Iberia import the bronze metallurgy from the Mediterranean into El Argar?

mtdna types ( no mtdna L,i see significant k1a4 % ):unsure:

ALM001 X2B+226
ALM002 K1B1A1C
ALM003 X2B+226
ALM004 U5A1
ALM006 H
ALM007 H1
ALM008 V
ALM014 U5B1+16189
ALM015 K1A4A1
ALM016 H1+16189
ALM017 T2B21
ALM018 R0A
ALM019 K1B1A1C
ALM020 K1A3A
ALM021 U5B3
ALM024 J1C1
ALM025 H3
ALM026 K1A1B1
ALM027 K1A3A
ALM028 K1A+195
ALM030 H1
ALM031 J2B1A
ALM032 T2B3+151
ALM034 K1A+195
ALM035 K1A+195
ALM036 U5B3
ALM038 H1
ALM039 J1C2
ALM040 U5B2B3A
ALM041 H1E1
ALM042 H4A1A
ALM043 H1
ALM044 H3
ALM046 T2+16189
ALM047 H6A1B
ALM048 K1A
ALM049 H1
ALM050 H3
ALM051 V
ALM052 K1A4A1
ALM053 H1
ALM055 K1A4A1E
ALM056 K1A
ALM057 H1
ALM058 U5B1F1A
ALM060 U5A1+ @16192
ALM062 H1J
ALM063 K1A+195
ALM067 U5B1F1A
ALM068 K1A4B
ALM069 H1Q1
ALM070 K1A1B1
ALM071 K1A1B1
ALM073 H1J
ALM075 U5B1E
ALM076 H1+16189
ALM077 K1A4B
ALM078 K1A
ALM079 -----
ALM080 U5B3
ALM081 U5B3
ALM084 K2A
ALM086 U5B1F1
ALM087 X2
ALM088 V
BAS002 H1E1A
BAS003 H1
BAS017 U5B1
BAS018 U5B1
BAS022 K1A+195
BAS023 U5B2B3
BAS024 K1A+195
BAS025 H105A
BAS026 H3
BAS027 V3A
CBR004 H4A1A
CDM001 J2A1A1
CDM002 H3
CDM003 K1A+195
CDM004 H1E1A
CDM005 J1C1B1
CDM006 V
CDP001 K1A4A1
CDP002 J1C1E
CDP003 H1+152
CDP006 U5A1C1A
CDP007 K1A2B
CDP008 -------
CDP009 H1+152
CDP011 J2B1A
CLL001 K1A+195
CLL002 H1E1C
CLL003 K1A2B
CLL004 K1A+195
CLL005 K1A4A1
CLL006 H1
CLL007 K1A4A1
CLL008 J1C1B
CLL009 K1B1A
CLL010 J2B1A
CLL011 K1A4A1
CMO001 T2C1D+152
CMO002 K1A
CMO003 J2B1A2
EFA006 K1A4A1
EFA007 U5A2+16362
EFA008 H10B
EFA009 J2B1A
EFA010 K1A
EFA011 U5B2A
LHO001 K1A+195
LHO002 K1A+195
LHO003 U5B1B1G
LOT001 H1E1A8
MDP001 K1A
MDP002 V
MDP003 HV0
MIV001 J1C3G
MMI004 K1A1B1
MON013 H3
MON014 U5B1C
MON015 K1A4A1
MON016 T2C1D+152
MON017 H1E1A
MON019 H1
MON020 K1A+195
MON021 K1B1A
MON029 K1A1
MON033 U5B1
MON036 K1A4A1
PLZ001 K1A+195
PUC001 H3
PUC002 I1A1
PUC003 U5B2A+@16192
PUC004 V
ZAP002 H5A
BAS014 H1
EFA001 H1
EFA004 H1
FAL001 V+@72
FAL002 J1C1B1
MMI002 J2B1
MMI003 T2B3+151
ZAP001 J1C1

you can see the yamnaya in basrida
the iran neolithic is interesting in some chl remains

Very interesting. Where did those Iran_N people come from ? I doubt there was pure Iran_N anywhere in the Bronze Age. Did they come from Sicily by boat ?
This part is particularly interesting to me.
It was so evident that metals were in Iberia before the Steppic introgression of BA, and that the first metallurgy skills were already sent to S-E Europe/Balkans through Anatolia by people presenting the (simplified) mix of AF (EEFlike) + IrCHG; Chalco/BA archeology pointed in S-Iberia to tight links with surroundings of Egea sea. Even old physical anthropology pointed to links with east-Mediterranea at Eneolithic of west-Mediterranea.

Well, we discussed all of this here, but it seems to have come as a shock to Allentoft and company.

I ran across this and saved it:
"The working of copper became a widespread technology in South-East Iberia around 3000 cal BC, at the beginning of Los Millares. Most of the systematically excavated settlements of this period have provided some evidence of metal working, such as crucibles or reduction vessels, kilns, ores or copper droplets (Keesmann et al.1991-92;Montero 1994). At least in the settlements of South-East Iberia, the complete production sequence, from the reduction of the mineral until the finishing of the metal objects, seems to have been carried out inside settlements, independent of their size, geographical location or architectural complexity.

The analysis of the macro-lithic assemblage of the classic site of Cerro de laVirgen (Granada) has revealed that the majority of the metal working tools (hammers, slabs, sharpening plaques), as well as other evidence related to ametallurgical production cluster in one area of the ca.50m2excavated in this 0,7 ha settlement (Delgado 2003).The workshop was placed in the open air and surrounded by round dwellings, which did not stand out in terms of wealth, size or other features which could hint towards an unequal access to metallurgy. The distribution of sharpening plaques inside and outside many buildings further suggest that the produced metal tools were used and maintained by all members of the community. The widespread distribution of metal objects, as well as other materials with a high social value (e.g. high quality pottery, ivory, non-local flint and other raw materials) also supports the idea that metal production and craft specialization in general played an important role during Los Millares, but did not lead towards the emergence of a class society (Castroet al . 1998; Chapman 2002).
As we have mentioned above, the end of the third millennium is a period of drastic changes. A part from the introduction of new technological devices, many of which are linked to metallurgy, most of the previous settlements are abandoned and a completely new settlement pattern and territorial organisation emerged. Contrary to the situation observed before, evidence of metal workshops becomes extremely scant during ElArgar. The only exception is Peñalosa (Jaen)
The sudden collapse of El Argar around 1550 cal BC supposed again a new situation, as the analysis of the metal working tools begins to show. Until the 1970s it was practically impossible to distinguish the Post-Argaric from previous occupation phases, and all the materials coming from multiperiod settlements were classified as Argaric. The absence of hardly any funerary evidence after 1550 supposed a further difficulty in the identification of metal artefacts. Yet, as more stratified nformation becomes available, metallurgy appears as an important aspect in post-Agaric economic organisation."

It's interesting to speculate that perhaps the original settlements, which showed no hierarchy among the people might have been a metal working group from abroad.

Los Millares, which always looked so Aegean like to me, and nothing like what the newly arriving steppe admixed people were building.




As so often in this hobbyist community, anything that didn't fit the narrative of David Anthony and Eurogenes had to be wrong.
Very interesting. Where did those Iran_N people come from ? I doubt there was pure Iran_N anywhere in the Bronze Age. Did they come from Sicily by boat ?

I see an arrival in the late Copper age, and my idea, when I debated all of this with Jean Manco at least ten years ago, was that metallurgists indeed navigated long distances searching for ore and places to work it by hugging the coasts in their boats.

They could have come (as a mixture of Anatolia Neolithic and Iran Neo/CHG), directly from the Aegean, or with stop overs in Sicily and/or Sardinia.

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