Paleolithicum or Old Stone Age
Humanoids evolved from their pre-human ancestors in Africa and appeared there some 2 million BP.
In Europe live for more than one and a half million years hominids. Their tool remains are found spread over Europe and Asia, as in Pirro, Southern Italy, in the Caucasus and South China. Human remains are only found in Afrika. (1)
After their first find spots they are named Homo Heidelbergensis. This extinct species of the genus Homo lived in Africa, Europe and Western Asia and survived until 200.000 to 250.000 BP.
Homo heidelbergensis with tools (hand axes) (2)
The Neanderthals and Denosivans
These first hominides were succeeded by the Neanderthalers. The split between the Homo Sapiens and Neanderthalers is estimated to have occurred in Africa between 500,00 - 400,000 BP based on calibration of the human mitochondrial clock using ancient genomes.
They enter Asia and Europe between 400,000 to 300,000 BP. (3)
Reconstructions of Neanderthals at a museum in Mettmann, Germany..
Neandertals were the first to leave Africa and their remains were first discovered in the Neanderthal, Neander Valley, in Germany after these finding place they are were named. Denosivans, a related group, are named after the Denisova cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia.
Remains of Denosivans are in Siberia in the Altai Mountains. They are named after the find-spot the Denosivan cave. These are just a few finger and toe remains and teeth. The age of which is estimated to be about 40,000 years old. Their bones were about twice as heavy as that of modern man. The mitochondrial genome could be determined well. They are a sister group of Neanderthals. They went apart about three quarters of a million BP. Denosivans have quite a few genes of an older unknown humanoid.
All these humanoids came as we did from Africa. After our arrival in Eurasia we lived with them for a few thousand years together, from around 40,000 to around 37,000 BP. Our genes show that there have been fruitful mutual pairings. We inherited some of their genes for a white skin.
Skull of a modern human and a Neanderthal, Museum of Natural History in Cleveland. (4)
Archeolic remains left by Neanderthals include bones and stone tools, which are found in Eurasia, from Western Europe to Central and Northern Asia. Skeletons and stone tools have been found in Israel, which date from 120.000 to 150.000 BP and in southern China from about 130.000 BP, as well as a suspected necklace of eagle talons that would have belonged to Neanderthals living in the same time in present-day Croatia. In the Denisova cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, a finger bone was unearthed which was dated to between 30.000 and 48.000 BP. The mtDNA extracted from this bone lies somewhere between Neanderthals and modern humans.
At these sites remains are found from who archaeologists could determine the genome.
The mtDNA sequences of Neanderthals are completely outside the present human variations; the same applies for the Y-DNA if the age of the first common ancestor is proposed as being younger as a result of reduced diversity, caused by major population declines during which lines became extinct, which could have been a common occurrence.
The Neandertalers had only 4 copies of AMY1 in their saliva, wiule we have in our genes many copies of the α-amylase gene AMY1. In each population ranging from 4, at some Finns, to 18. Europeans usually have 15. Very likely they got after eating of roots and tubers abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Their food consisted of meat from large mammals, fish and fruit with loose sugar. They were not skilled enough to hunt small animals.
Ear bone of a young Neandertal girl
A very complete temporal bone with an auditory ossicle: a complete stapes. Virtual 3D reconstruction techniques enabled this ossicle to be extracted virtually. Skeleton of a 2-year-old Neanderthal child found between 1970 and 1973 and named La Ferrassie 8.
Collections at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle à Paris.
When the Neanderthals became extinct is not entirely clear. Spain is probably one of the last refuges. The last finds there date from around 42,000 BP. There was a very dry period is geologically known as the Heinrich 5 event . In the struggle for existence during this difficult period when the amount of food decreased the Homo Sapiens could survive on a diet of roots and tubers, draw energy from it and digest them without trouble. (5)
The estimated split time in Africa between Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens estimated on their mtDNAs is 400,000 years ago. Nonetheless there was still gene flow between Neanderthals and the ancestors of the modern humans in Europe 50,000 - 60,000 BP. This gene flow contributed on the order of 2% of the genetic ancestry of non-Africans. (6)
There was also gene flow from a population related to the Denisovans into the ancestors of present-day aboriginal people from New Guinea, Australia, and the Philippines. It is notable that the populations today that contain the largest proportion of Denisovan ancestry are in Oceania. (7)
The populating history of the World
The time to the first common ancestor of all modern humans is estimated at 250.000 BP. Between 90,000 and 120,000 BP left some Africa and went to the Arabian peninsula. From there groups went to Iran, India, Indonesia and China. In the recently excavated Fuyan cave in southern China, dozens of teeth of modern humans found that could be dated by the surrounding strata between the 80,000 and 120,000 BP. Some of them reached Indonesia and went further to New Guinea and Australia. They largely retained their black skin. (8)
In a relatively agreeable time during the Ice Ages, an interglacial, the modern man, the Homa sapiens, spread from the Arabian Peninsula over Europe and Asia. Along two paths they appear to have gone.
Sketch of the population routes in the World. (KY A= 1000 years). (9)
The populating history of Europe
Europe is populated by two main routes
One path went through Turkey over the Bosphorus which then was narrow and shallow then further to the Danube Valley and from there to Central and Northern Europe. The oldest remains in Europe are found in Romania and the Czech Republic. The radiocarbon dating of the skeletons is between 40,000 and 32,000 BP.
A second path was northward from Iran to Kazakhstan and Siberia and thence westward to Europe, and eastward to Asia.
From the Steppes of Asia is a group pulled back to the west.
The origin of the Europeans
The knowledge about the origins of the current inhabitants of Europe and the history of their precursors is continually enhanced by the many new DNA research techniques. One of the oldest fossils of anatomically modern humans of Europe is Kostenki 14, found on the Middle Don River in Russia. This skeleton dates from 37,000 BP. Its genome shares a close ancestry with the 24,000-year-old Mal'ta boy from Siberia and with many present Europeans and native Americans, but not with modern eastern Asians.
The Kostenki 14 genome shows evidence of shared ancestry with a population basal to all Eurasians and it also relates to the later European Neolithic farmers. It contains more Neandertal DNA, and in longer tracts, than present Europeans. This is consistent with the shorter period of time until the last matings.
His genome reveals the timing of divergence of Western Eurasians and East Asians to be more than 36,200 BP; and shows that European genomic structure today dates back to the Upper Paleolithic deriving from a metapopulation that at times stretched from Europe to central Asia. (11)
The dark skin color has changed into a whiter one through the Neanderthal genes and by natural selection because pigmentation obstructs production of Vitamin D. This was in favor for the whitest people. (12)
The Mal'ta boy belonged to an ancient population spread out across Asia 24,000 BP. They came into contact with an East Asian population and mingled at some point. Native Americans are descended from him.
This population is not related to the Asians who live in the region today. But they also passed down their DNA to Europeans, but much later, in the Bronze Age with people of the Yamnaya culture, who lived 5,500 to 4,300 BP in what is now southwestern Russia. (13)
The Aurignacian culture
The first settlement in Europe by modern humans is thought to have occurred between 50,000 and 40,000 BP. The site of Willendorf II in Austria is till now the oldest known. Here are the first remains of stone-working man, and thus begins the Stone Age. The lithic artifacts date from 43,500 cal B.P. The climate was in that time a medium-cold steppe-type environment. This overlaps with the latest directly radiocarbon-dated Neanderthal remains, suggesting that Neanderthal and modern human presence overlapped in Europe for some millennia, possibly at rather close geographical range. (14)
The oldest human cultural expressions is called the Aurignacian. The name is derived from the French town Aurignac in the Haute-Garonne, the location of an archaeological culture from the late Paleolithic. The Aurignacian ended between 28,000 and 26,000 BP. This culture is associated with the first presence of the Cro-Magnon people, the first modern humans in Europe. Well-dated finds are five individuals from the Mladec cave in the Czech Republic about 32,000 BP and three anatomical modern humans of Pesteracu Oase cave in Romania, 35,000 BP.
The people of this culture produced worked bone or antler points and the earliest known cave art, such as the animal engravings at Aldène and the paintings at Chauvet cave in southern France.
The three Pictures here are from Wikipedia
The Venus of Hohle Fels (also Venus von Schelklingen) hewn from ivory of a mammoth tusk found in 2008 near Schelklingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germ. It is dated to between 35,000 and 40,000 BP.
The Swabian Alb region has a number of caves that have yielded mammoth-ivory artifacts of the Upper Paleolithic period, totaling about twenty-five items to date. These include the lion-headed figure of Hohlenstein-Stadel dated to 40,000 BP, and an ivory flute found at Geißenklösterle, dated to 42,000 BP.
The "Lion Man", found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave of Germany's Swabian Alb, dated at 40,000 years old, is the oldest known anthropomorphic animal figurine in the world.
The Late Glacial Maximum
The Neanderthals were extincted during the late glacial Maximum from 25,000 to 19,500 BP, The hunter-gatherers sought, and some found, refugia in South Europe and after this period they repopulated Europe again.
The caves of Lascaux in France show then the first artistic expressions of the Homo sapiens, our human species. They date from 20.000 to 12.000 BP.
Petroglyph of a Cro-Magnon man in the Lascaux caves in France, 15.000 BP.
The final stages of this period caused a genetic bottleneck in Europe. This period was followed by a period of climate instability and ended in the Bølling-Allerød interstadial period a warm period that ran from c. 14,700 to 12,700 BP. It was five hundred years before the beginning of the Bølling period, 15,5 ± 0.3 KA BP, that Europe was again colonized by a new population the Magdaleniens hunter gatherers coming from the Near East, that had diverged from the former residual population some 30 millennia earlier. The resident hunters draw northwards and follow the reindeer. (15)
The vast majority of late Pleistocene and Early Holocene individuals between till 15,500 BP belonged to mtDNA haplogr M and. Then they were succeeded by U. Haplogroup M is now mainly present in Asia, Australia and America, but virtually absent in populations with European ancestry. (15a)
Middle Stone Age or Mesolithic
After the last "Ice Age" or Weichselien, the landscape and the people in it changed rather abruptly. This warming started thirteen thousand BP, the polar ice rapidly receded north, and the ice caps on the high mountains melted. Two thousand years later, the tundra with its reindeer and big game, was almost entirely replaced by deciduous forests from the south, which covered the whole of Europe. About 10.000 BP it was even a bit warmer here than it is now.
The Weichselien had an major impact on the anatomically modern human populations in Europe prior to the Neolithic. Craniometric discontinuity at the Last Glacial Maximum in Europe shows this. An new population inhabit Europe in a completely altered nature. (16)
Though it may seem strange and counter to our natural suppositions, the biomass of forest mammals is less than a third of the biomass of mammals on the open tundra and steppe. Because this wildlife was smaller and faster, it was more difficult to hunt. These animals could also keep themselves well hidden. Therefore, hunting required new and different tactics and forms of cooperation. This change came too fast for most people of that era and, by the final glacial cold phase, the population was already greatly diminished. A further dramatic population decline followed, reducing both the number of population sites and the number of residents in them, and simplifying the culture of Cro-Magnon man until it finally disappeared.
A very shrunken and sober population which had been living in the Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age passed on into the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age.
These people lived as they always had, in small family groups who came together to form larger groups of twenty to several hundred persons during some periods in the year. They followed the wandering herds of cattle and knew the places where suitable food could be grown in different seasons. They regularly came together in larger groups to exchange products and establish contacts, to marry and to observe ritual celebrations.
It was an egalitarian society. Only later did different social strata emerge, as is evidenced by differences in burial gifts and precious goods in some children's graves. This was certainly the case when the wealthier graves were located together. Some cemeteries also contained groups of graves with similar objects, which may indicate different social classes or ethnic groups.
It is noteworthy that dogs had a high position, they were often buried with their master and some had even their own graves with rich burial goods.
However this dog, buried in Alblasserwaard, had nothing, at least nothing that endured through time. (17)
In a region in the Near East, the so called Fertile Crescent, lived hunter-gatherers. They roamed this area that was rich in fruits and game. of permanent occupation there is still no trace. The two best known groups are the the Baradostian, 34,000 – 20,000 BP of the Zagros Mountains of western Iran and the Levanto-Aurignacian, 27,000 – 20,000 BP in the Levant.
Here people lived with the Y-DNA haplogroup G. Which was already split in the first subgroups, G1 especially in the eastern part, G2 in the central and western part.
In the Fertile Crescent these populations evoluated gradually to a proto-agrarian semi-sedentary society. In the warm and moist Bølling-Allerød interstadial, 14,700 to 12,700 BP was a rapid population growth and they lived together in a population in a Pre-Pottery Neolithic Culture.
In the southern part of the Levant, becomes a special society is forming, the Natufians (14,000-11,500 BP). Their culture rooted in the preceding Kebaran. They had a rather dark skin and had the Y-DNA haplogroup E.
They lived when the Magdalene lived in Europe who had drove the Hamburg hunters northward to the Icerrim. The Natufiers extend southward to the Negev desert and northward to the northern part of the fertile crescent. They were hunters and nomads but also had dwelling places with fixed huts, which sometimes contained 100 kg heavy basalt mortars and pestles in which they processed the wild cereals to flour. In the graves we see utensils and jewelry such as Mediterranean shells and pierced teeth and stones, and a sometimes a dog skeleton.
The cold dry Dryas intermezzo (12,500 tot 11.500 BP) ended the early phase of the Natufiers. The system of large residences breaks apart and they switched to a mobile and distributed living mode in small units
Neolithic or New Stone Age
The craddle of Farming in the World. (18)
Pre Pottery Neolitic (11.700-8,800)
At the end of this about thousand years during cold youngest Dryas period the old knowledge has remained preserved and is passed on. The cornfields are operated again by the Natufians as at Jericho and Abu Hureyra. The population concentration is larger now than ever with up to 500 inhabitants. In the fertile Peninsula, a remarkable amount of cultural diversity soon emerges. Grain silos are built and a wall is being built around the Jericho of that time.Jericho would then be the oldest city in the world.
Around 12,000-11,000 BP, humans began practicing agriculture here and started making pottery. The first urban society began in Göbekli Tepe around 11,550 BP (9500 BC). Probably this was a special place of worship, they built here their first temples and homes.
The archaeo-botanical remains from Boncuklu Höyük in west Anatolia to Çatal Höyük in south Anatolia in Turkey and Chogha Golan in the Zagros mountains in West Iran represent the earliest records of long-term plant management.
In the north of the Fertile Crescent, between 10,500 and 9,500 BP began the domestication of the four later farm animals, sheep, goat, pig and cattle.
Pottery Neolitic (8,800 BP)
"Seated Goddess" figurines from the Halaf Culture c. 7,500 BP, Tepecik-Ciftlik before 8,500 BP, and Çatalhöyük c. 9,000 BP.
The first pottery is found in Anatolia at Çatal höyük dated 9000 BP and in Saby Abyad on the Euphrates 8800 BP. Over the next centuries we see it appearing throughout the region. It is a good quality pottery bowl, painted with simple parallel lines in red and black, but also simple, fairly coarse, red-baked pots for general use.
Çatal Höyük gives a detailed picture of the changes that occur over time. Prior to 8500 BP there is a serried built up area, which is seen as a high degree of cohesion, but after that the structure differs into a large number of smaller units, separated by open spaces, indicating a shift from collectivity to individual households. At the same time, the number of inhabitants decreases in the old settlement, but it is being established in the flat new settlements.
In the Levant the same happened a few centuries earlier. This change is related to the emergence of an intensive mixed farm company, which was created by combining arable farming and livestock farming. As a consequence, revenues increased and the population grew, increasing space for each household. Enterprising children move to new settlements.
Leaving the Region
The population left the region and migrated in all directions, The most western groups westward to Europe, the eastern groups in the Zagros went eastward to central and southern Asia and northward to the Caucasus and the Russian steppes, southward to the Arabian peninsula and back to Africa to Egypt and Libya and probably already then to Morocco. They took with them seed and their livestock
The beginning of expansion to Europe was already before 8500 BP to three regions: the lake area in the south of Antalya, the Aegean coast on both sides of the Aegean sea, and in the Northwest around the Marmara Sea at Barcin.
It has been suggested that leaving the ancient great settlements in Anatolia would be the result of the 8200 event, the Misox oscillation. For three centuries it became hotter and drier. Also, because of the rise of the sea level, the breakthrough of the Bosphorus would have given a sudden rise of the level of the Black Sea by tens of meters. This rise of sea is even linked to the mythological stories in these regions, such as the Gilgamesh epic and the Flood in the Semitic and Jewish stories. But centuries before this phenomenon, the trek to elsewhere had already begun.
A hunter-gatherer from 7,000 BP in northern Spain was still dark skinned. But an early Neolithic farmer from Germany possessed also the same alleles for a white skin as found in modern Europeans. (21)
Early Aegean farmers dating to ± 8,500-8,000 BP are the main ancestors of early European farmers. They have the Y-DNA haplogroup G2a. They are genetically somewhat different from the former residents of the eastern part of the Fertile Crescent. Who had other G clades. Where the original homeland was is not yet entirely clear. (19)
All have in common that they derived around half their ancestry from a "Basal Eurasian" lineage with none or little Neanderthal admixture, that separated from other non-African lineages prior to their separation from each other, more than 50,000-60,000 BP who. all then plausibly still living in Africa. (20)
After a period ot two millennia, around 6,000 to 5,000 BP, the farmers in Europe had acquired quite a few genes from the residential population of hunter-gatherers, far more than their ancestors in Anatolia had. What clearly coincides with a degree of knowledge transfer from the residential population to the new population of farmers, such as the use of stone species, obsidian from the Tokij Zemplni mountains and radiolite, a kind of flint, from the Bakony Hills at Lake Balaton. Also a demonstrable part of their food is now also from hunting.
Y-DNA G2a was present in the majority of the Y lines of this population, together with the MtDNA K1a12a and X2. This genetic picture remains broadly exist until the Bronze Age.
The spread of the Neolithic population across Europe went along two different ways.
The Maritime group
They went from the Aegean maritime region along the coasts of Anatolia and the Levant to Cyprus and Crete. Their pottery is decorated with simple geometric motifs with impressions of various spatulas. It is called Impresso in the Aegean region and in the Levant. In Corfu there comes a variation in their pottery, which is called Impressa. This they keep.
From the west coast of the Balkans, they cross in 8,200 BP to Italy. In this phase, their pottery becomes more diverse and decorated with more complex motifs exclusively applied with the cockle shell, cardium edule, this is what we call Cardium culture. The expansion continues unabated and thus, approximately 7,500 BP Portugal is reached via the Spanish coasts
There is a leep frogging growth of clusters of residential areas in the Mediterranean coastal plains. Between 7,500 and 7,200 BP, farmers and hunters lived side by side. The farmers in the plains, the hunters around it in the hills. The hunters and fishermen's food is half from the sea, that of the farmers is entirely of the built-up land.
From Corfu is in about seven centuries, measured along the coasts, approximately 4000 km bridged, an average of 5 km per year or 150 km per generation. Not only the coasts of the country were colonized but also the islands, such as Corsica and Sardinia, and the inland to the Italian Alps
A group went in France nordwards north along the Rhône and loire to the French Atlantic coast. In Normandy is lies their most famous center La Hoguette. Through the Alsace, the Hoguettians cross the Rhine to Stuttgart and there they meet the continental LBK branch at Worms. We also see this in South Limburg. They may have arrived at the same time.
It is very likely that many of these have taken the crossing to Britain, included Ireland. They will have taken the shortest crossing in Calais. (21c).
the Continental group
B. The Continental group goes through Macedonia to Serbia and through the valley of the Morava downstream to The Danube and thence through the Danube Valley to Hungary. On the Hungarian lowland, this culture comes 8000 years ago. They continue through the Rhine Valley to the Lössgronden of Westphalia and the Southern Netherlands, along Maas and Jeker. In South Limburg, the Hesbaye and Condroz, she is flourishing from 7,300 years BP. Here they meet the Hoguettiens. Through Lorraine, a branch went along the basin of Paris to the Channel and Hainaut. (21a).
The culture of these Early Neolithic Farmers is characterized by the cultivation of wheat and barley, and the particular shape of pottery with the characteristic decorations, called the Linear Band ceramic Culture, LBK. They brought with them their cattle, sheep and goats from the Middle East to their new living places. The analysis of the clothing, Alpine Ice mummi Ötzi shows this beautifully. (21b).
British Neolithic farmers were genetically similar to contemporary populations in continental Europe and in particular to Neolithic Iberians, inhabitants of the east coast of Spain, suggesting that a portion of the farmer ancestry in Britain came from the Mediterranean rather than the Danubian route of farming expansion. (21d)
With stone chisels, axes with a horizontal blade, the LBK farmers cut down parts of the jungle and put on there their fields. Here the first wheats as emmer and einkorn was cultivated, and oilseeds as linseed and poppy seeds.
Through exchange within a wide network farmers knew to obtain raw materials from distant regions, such as hematite, an iron oxide with preservative, for example for hides, and hard. black amfibolite for drawbars.
Reconstruction of a LBK village on the Cannerberg at Maastricht. The dead are buried in joint cemeteries, partly burned partially unburned, close to each other, and got objects with them in the grave.
In a short time the society has changed completely. Settlements Arise in the form of several hamlets from three to five houses. These houses have a wooden frame with wattle walls covered with loess, such as in Caberg at Maastricht.
From 7,000 BP, the pottery has two shapes. The famous LBK pottery is quite soft and has open bowls with the typical zigzag straps. The La Hoguette pottery, named after the first location in Normandy, is found across the Rhine and also in our country at Kessel and Sweikhuizen; It is harder and egg-shaped and has a pointed bottom. Until the end, these two cultures flourish side by side.
Linear Band Ceramic pottery from Limburg, the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands
There is a rapid population growth with the farmers, but with the hunter collectors this is not observed.
For Germany a growth has been calculated from 8000 people on arrival to 250,000 at the end of the LBK, a growth of 25% per generation. In South Limburg lived in the heyday up to 2000 people. This is as much as the mesolitic population of the whole of the Netherlands.
The late stages of the Tire Ceramics are characterized in particular in the west by increasing internal violence, most likely between related groups. It seems that the robberies have developed into a real plague and ultimately led to a disruption of the society through women's robbery, loss of lives, disturbance of harvests or loss of livestock
In the Haspengouw and ZuidLimburg the settlements at the end are becoming smaller and then break down short after 7,000 BP altogether. Then follows a short gap where the old exploits are overgrown. It is unclear where the people stayed thereafter.
There is no idea about the causes. The society becomes divided into a number of separate cultural areas, each with their own pottery style, as well as own innovations, such as in the form of axles and housing constructions.
Based on the rapid and abrupt changes, it is thought of a crisis by internal causes such as soil depletion together with rapid population growth. A plea here against is that the loess soils are very fertile. Due to population growth territorial conflicts may have been a cause. There may have been be external causes, for example a serious large-scale epidemic. Or a combination of these.
The agricultural tradition and the wide exchange network for specific commodities was restored not long after the loss of the LBK by farmers of the Rössen culture, 6,500 to 6,000 ybp such as inter alia in Maastricht to Randwijk. The Rössen vessels are characteristically decorated with double incisions "goat's foot incision".
They are best known for their Breitkeile, massive pole axes of stone, which apparently formed a popular export item. They are found far beyond Limburg to in Southern Germany.
This was followed by the Michelsberg culture, 6,400 to 5,500 BP. It is a collective name of a large number of related communities. They are known by their tulip faced beakers.
Kugelbecher der Rössener Kultur (22a)
They lived in the area from southern Scandinavia in the north, the Netherlands to the west, the Danube in the south. In the southeast there was partly an overlap with Lengyel culture. They are the Hunebed builders of Drenthe in the Netherlands. .
Their residences usually lie on hilltops and have the impression to have been strengthened settlements, indicating restless times.
Along the Meuse are found hundreds of sites of their pottery and flint remains. Their residences have been simple because we hardly find relics, but they left the first still visible traces in the Limburg landscape in the form of flint mines, such as in Rijckholt-St Geertruid and Valkenburg.
The gray flint blocks were collected to a depth of 12 meters from the lime. With deer horns and flint hoes operators dug an extensive system of deep mine shafts.
It is striking that their settlements showed an increase in defensive measures. Notable are the many finds of skeletons that are buried very disorderly, so it seems that that the owners of a relatively large number of skeletons have died a violent death. This indicates a violent end of this era. (22)
The Chalcolithic period or Copper Age
The Carpathians, in the Northern Balkans are rich in copper. The first copper ore is mined in where now is Serbia and Hungary from 7400 to 5800 ypp. there are made the first copper weapons, tools and jewelry.
A century later the first gold is melted and processed in present Bulgaria. This is traded over long distances en is found in the former pastoralist societies in the southern Russian steppe and in the cultural flourishing Asia Minor.
A new population in Europe
Russia was inhabited by a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a 24,000-year-old Siberian. But the step dwellers of that time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but also from a population of Near Eastern ancestry although of other origin as in the West.
On the southern Russian steppe flourished during 5,600 and 4,300 BP years ago the Yamnaya Culture. They are held for the proto Indo-Europeans. They are cattle-breeding nomads and the first users of wheeled vehicles pulled by hordes. They bury their dead in pits sometimes covered with mounds that shows their social stratification. They harden their copper to bronze.
A new population comes round 4,800 BP from their region. They are also called the Battle Axe People. They conquer in short time whole Europe. Their pottery is called the Corded Ware culture.
The Bell Beaker culture (Germ: Glockenbecher-Kultur) flourished in Europe and England between 4850 and 4140 ybp. The dead were no longer buried in a common grave room. They began a new way of burial, in which the dead were burried in an individual grave covered by a mound of grass or heather sods. In South Limburg started this 4,900 years ago and continued until shortly before the Roman era. Thousands of burial mounds are found consisting of stones and Loess. People of high rank are unburned in squat position with standard grave gifts as cups and utensils.
North Eurasian Hunter
There is a drastic replacement of the European population and taken into account the many archaeological finds this happened by intense violence. The dominant Y-DNA haplogroup G2a is in a short time supplanted by haplogroup R1a and the old population survives best in mountain ranges, on the Alps, and on islands.
The old original European population of hunter-gatherers with haplogroup I decreases less in number. No drastic fall is also found in the female mtDNA, inherited through the women.
West Eurasian farmer (23)
From the time of the Late Neolithic, 4,500 BP the population in Western Europe traces 75% of their ancestry to the Yamnaya. This applies to the male Y-DNA in which we see the remarquable fact that the current European population for more than 50 % consists of descendants of one man. It seems that a royal lineage of the Yamnaya people has claimed for the kings and princes all wives and that all other men, even from their own people, were inhibited in their reproduction. (24)
The Origin of the Dutch
The first description of the peoples of our region comes from Gaius Julius Caesar (100-42 BCE) in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico [Commentaries on the Gallic War], written in Rome in 51 BCE. He begins with: Gaul is divided into three parts, one inhabited by Belgians, one by Aquitanians, and one by Celts, called by us Galli, and of these three, the Belgians are the bravest.
The Belgians live north of the Seine and the Marne, up to the Rhine. They tell him that most of them are descendants of Trans-Rhine Germans, who expelled the original inhabitants of Gaul.
Some of them took over the names of ancient Celtic peoples: the Atuatuci claim to be descendants of the Cimbri and the Teutons; the Batavians come from Chatti.
The island of the Batavians is formed when the Mosa (Meuse) River intercepts a branch of the Rhine (called Vaculus [Waal]), and then flows into the Rhine itself. As this river approaches the ocean, it divides into several branches, forming many large island which are inhabitated by wild barbaric peoples, some of whom live only on fish and birds' eggs. These are the old hunter-gatherers, the Celts, the Sea Peoples, and especially the Germans.
The Belgians at the beginning of our era.
Demographic changes before Roman Times
At least so it is told by Caesar, the man who omits many facts to increase his exploits and to cover-up of the genocides and other exaggerates or invents to present these peoples much more primitive than later is found out that they were.
Golden stater of the Nervii
He says nothing about their advanced hunting weapons, as their boomerangs, while they have had a lot of hostilities and trade. Caesar mentions clearly intentional not that the Belgian peoples struck their own coins and how rich were their temples.
Gold prices fell in the Empire when Caesar sold the many gold items he had looted from the Celtic temples after remelting them to gold bullion. (27).
Gold coin of the Eburones
It is clear that the peoples between the Somme and the Weser, the later Netherlands had their own language group, which was different and probably older than the Celtic and Germanic language groups.
the different residential areas varied quite often. In this way the Usipeti and the Tencteri crossed in the year 55 BC the Rhine, chased away by the Suebi and settled near their related tribe the Sugambri, now east of Roermond on the river Roer.
There existed in the time of Caesar in these regions no clear boundaries . The Rhine, has been named by Caesar as a border between Gauls (Celts) and Germans. But the Celtic La Tène culture spread across central France, southern Germany and he went to Czech Republic. And in southern Germany lived Celts but no Germans
It was Emperor Claudius, 41-54, who after many unsuccessful attempts to conquer Germania Transrhenalis as a border of the Empire at least took the river Rhine.
Aduatuci and Eburones
These tribes stayed between the Scheldt and the Rhine. The Aduatuci probably more on the south side of the Somme. This tribe is overcome by Caesar after a final battle at their fortress at the current Thuin. Caesar claims to have completely wiped out the tribe and their wives and children sold into slavery.
In 52 form the Eburonic kings Ambiorix, and the old Catuvolcus, together with a number of neighboring nations a confederation against the Romans. The Treveri, Nervii, Aduatuci, Menapii and also some Germans staying on this side of the Rhine join them. Caesar collects four legions and invades the country of the Nervii. He forces them to surrender and takes many prisoners with their cattle, he devastated their country and robs it empty..
This Caesar collects a large number of auxiliaries and goes to the land of the Eburones. Initially the Eburons win many battles. But the battle gradually turns into guerrilla with varying infiltrations. To this the fortunes are turned and Ambiorix can only watch how his country is devastated. The old Catuvolcus who no longer can lead the battle kills himself as usual with a potion. (16b)
Ambiorix is attacked treacherously in his sleep one night. He manages to escape with some faithful and sends messages from across the country that everyone must surrender or find a refuge.
Caesar boasts then to have completely destroyed (vastatis) their country as he has done with the Nervii. The Eburones are gone as an independent nation. Pollen Counts in Jülich, the easternmost area of the Eburones show on growth of agricultural land by forests.
Gold Finds in Heers near Tongeren and Amby at Maastricht are properties that have not been retrieved by their owners. (29).
Coin find at Heers near Tongeren (31)
After the book of Caesar there are no written sources about this region. The attention focuses again on the internal problems in Rome as the battle for the emperorship. An indication of how it fared give the pollen counts in Jülich population in our distant region. They show a replacement of farmland by forests. But that's further on in present day Germany.
Even if only a quarter of the population of Maastricht and Tongeren survived the disaster of 50 BC. the population will quickly began to flourish. However, no historians in that time have written about the population of this for them distant land. We got no longer names.
There are from 43 to 23 BC many indications of small uprisings spread across Gaul, without indicating names or locations. The fortification of Caestert on the edge of the St Pietersberg at Canne south of Maastricht, who as shows dendrologic research is built in 31 BC. indicates such a struggle.
We can assume that the population just subsitst. The roman writer Varro cites a visitor of these lands who saw countrymen improve their land with marl in order to reduce the acidity. This limestone is mined in South Limburg around Maastricht.
In the years shortly before the beginning of our era flourishes on the banks of the Meuse and Scheldt a pottery industry of red and black plates and cups. produced with the turntable, unprecedented here. At the fertile loess soils flourishes grain production. With the help of German slave labor there is a great for the export referred production of salt, iron, cattle and Ardennes ham.
The main road from Cologne on the fertile loess soils over Tongeren to Boulogne sur Mer and on to England is a trade route on one of the most prosperous regions of Gaul.
Demographic changes in Roman Times
For the defense of the Northern Borders treaties are concluded with German tribes. To them is granted to enter the Empire and they get locations at the edge of the Empire with the contract to keep out other interested parties and to become food supplier and to provide recruits for the legions. In our region that are the Batavi and the Tungri,
In our region that are the Batavi, a group from Hessen expelled Chatti, They get the island between Meuse and Waal, current Betuwe. In the neighborhood live Cananefates, who resemble them according to the Romans in behavior and appearance. They speak the same language and had lived longer there. The Batavians come in a rather empty land. Live here less than a hundred thousand people. After their entry, which is about 120,000.
The new peoples are placed under supervision of an administrative center. For the Batavians such a center arises around the current Valkhof in Nijmegen at the beginning of the first century in a place where some years before the beginning of the era was already a small settlement.
Both Tungri as Batavi supply troops for the Roman Legions, The Batavi infantry, the Tungri infantry as well as cavalry, and they will fight in many regions under their own leades with their own banner. On the left you see the banner logo of the Batavi Iuniores on the right of the Tungri.
The Batavi have been sent to many places. Still in 360 to Britain probably to counter a rebellion. Later the Batavi returned on the continent, but it is unknown when this happened. Four cohortes of the Tungri are known, they saw many places of the Imperium, also Mauretania.
Nothing more is heard of the Batavians. Perhaps they settled in areas where they had served as auxiliaries in the Roman legions, such as Hungary and England, and even Italy or the eastern borders of Persia.
A Cohort of Tungri was at Vercovicium (now known as Housesteads, Northumberland) on Hadrian's Wall. The cohort Tungri was split in the time of Hadrian in two Cohorts of Tungri, both cohorts 1000 men strong. In the Batavian war a cohort of Tungri defected to Iulius Civilis.
They are mentioned by Pliny for the first time a result of the reorganization of Emperor Augustus which was carried out around 20 BC and the Civitas Tungrorum was formed. It is not clear from which they were composed, but many think that under this name the former residents of the Sambre and Meuse valley, of the Hasbaye, the Condroz and the Ardennes were caught who had survived the massacres of Caesar, together with a group Germani Cisrhenani from the Julich region.
For the Tungri is built a administrative center Atuatuca on the site of the present Tongeren. This is a fortified and walled fortress with stone houses for soldiers and veterans.
Here settle traders and come markets. Local gentlemen are building a stone house in the vicinity of the board and get magistrate positions. There are schools and temples are erected. It seems that the ancient fortress of the Eburones on the edge of Mount St Pieter at Caestert then is abandoned.
The fertile Loess region in Germania Belgica has always been one of the richest areas of Gaul. He produces corn, cattle and horse riders but also infantrymen for the Roman legions.
In the forth century Maastricht becomes more and more important with trade and crafts, richer and more powerful than Atuatuca. It lies at the crossroads of two routes. From North to South, there is the river trade on the Meuse; and from East to West from Cologne over Aachen, Maastricht, Tongeren and Boulogne Sur Mer to England a trade route.
The civil administration moves from Atuatuca to the new city Traiectum ad Mosam and the clerical administration with bishop Servatius follows.
There are still Roman garrisons as the northern border of the empire is shifting to the south and now lies along the trade route from Cologne to England. veterans get here settlements. Among them may have been Romans as well as legionaries of foreign origins, who had no fatherland or were of nomadic origins.
Germani Transrhenales who lived from Cologne to the Saxons at the North Sea were named Franci. In the second half of the third century they live around Xanten, where residents were previously called Sugambri. There are many destructive invasions of Germanic peoples (Franks) in northern Gaul. Atuatuca is destroyed, burned and abandoned around 270 as were the villas on South Dutch and Belgian territory. the region is depopulated.
Around 350 are Salian Franks in Toxandria and in Cologne rules a Frankish king. Emperor Julian takes them in 358 as allies in the Empire. They provide auxiliary troops under their leaders Bauto and Arbogast who get high Roman ranks. Meanwhile, Franks do raids in the Middle Meuse region and occupy two castelli at Maastricht.
After the death of the Great Roman general Aetius in 454 the imperial power ebbs away. Local men fill in the vacuum. The region of the former Tungri from the Rhine in Cologne to Cambray and Tournay comes under local Frankish rulers.
Merovingian Empire in 481 in dark green. (32)
The strongest under the Merovingian warlords was King Childeric in Tournai. He became a Roman Dux, army chief. His son Clodovech, 481-511 also called Clovis, expands its empire over much of northern and central Gaul. He is Roman Consul. It unites local rulers in particular, the Catholic bishops to whose faith he repents. At his baptism, his descent is named Sugamber. The Sugambri lived centuries earlier between Meuse and Rhine near Venlo.
The possibly mythical progenitor of the royal dynasty is Merovech. They are called Merovingians. Their oldest family homelands lie in the former area of the Tungri, west of the Meuse. Not far from their probably native land Sicambria (Sugambria).
Gold Maastricht coin AD 600 (33)
A burial ground in the village Borgharen Maastricht dates from the seventh century according the golden coin given as Charon's obole. They were from a wealthy family. The man had a sword and shield, a bow and arrow and with him lie under more stirrups and food jars.
The male Y-DNA haplogroup was J2(a1b). The mitochondrial DNA will be determined later.
The woman wore earrings and a rich beaded necklace with amber beads. She had, among other things a comb of stag horn, an amulet with bears teeth, an ivory ring an a kauri shelf coming from the Red Sea. Whith them burried were two young horses. There were food pots and copper, pewter and bronze dishes from the British Isles, Germany and France
The two young children are placed near the woman and are obvious earlier died and reburied children
Noteworthy is that all individuals from the excavation on the basis of the strontium isotopes study to turn out to be of non-local origin. Besides the fact that all seem to be immigrants, the geological origin of these individuals is also highly diverse, the women most likely from this region, the men are from more away from the Eiffel. (34)
And now this man with the richest grave and the only one of whom his Y-DNA is known, from where came his ancestors. that must be from far. J2(a1b) is in this country very rare. He was a considerable horseman, a knight, He stems very probably from a Roman veteran of the auxilia, defending the northern borders of the Roman Empire. The borders lay where now the Belgian language border is.
Veterans who did not return to their native land got mostly land where they had served last. He may have come from Italy but not excluded is the Caucasus, because there are regions where more than half of the population has this haplogroup. And if you want to read a name. Possibly he was a Sarmatian.
The civitas Tungrorum became in that time the pagus Hasbania or Hesbaniensis. Now La Hesbaye in french, Hespenland in dutch. Around AD 600 lived here the ancestor of haplogroup G-Y15220, .
The Middle Ages
Above the rivers live the Frisians. In later centuries, many leave their country when the climate is become word, colder and wet. Together with Angles and Saxons they leave for England. Their land is then taken over by the neighboring Angles, Saxons and Jutes who collectively take over the name Frisians. The area north of the Rhine will always be called Friesland. In the East of our country Saxes come in.
In the eleventh century the notion Holland (Houtland = woodland) arise, land of forests. Agriculture, livestock, fishery and trade create wealth and so growth, so that around the year 1500 nearly a million people lvan live in the Netherlands and in 1650 almost 2 million. This growth is both spontaneous partly by entry of immigrants from Belgium, France (Huguenots), Germany, Spain and Portugal (Sefardim).
The New Time
Large growth and influx originates in the Golden Age from all parts of Europe, traders scientists artists and due to the liberal views many intellectuals who due to the almost complete absence of censorship van publish free.
During the last century many people from their former colonies chose the land of their former oppressor rather than their newly independent country. Dutch industry took in a period of rapid growth missing workers from Asia and Africa. And as always, our country is open to refugees in spite of current against forces. From a demographic point of view, this recent influx is convenient since our birth rates remain far below death rates, and so we are below the replacement value.
Auteur: Boed Marres